Vince Cuseo, vice president of enrollment and dean of admission
Territories: New York City, Long Island, UT, and parts of CA: City of San Francisco
Vince is a grizzled (but approachable) veteran of the admission profession, joining the Oxy staff in 1999 after serving as director of admission at Grinnell College. He cut his teeth at Boston College, Santa Clara University and Stanford University during his formative admission years. A proud native New Yorker, he did his undergraduate and graduate work at Fordham (in philosophy) and Columbia’s Teachers College (higher education), respectively; this accounts for his penchant for analysis, swift gait and passion for “real” pizza. Predictably, he has affinity for the colors black and orange, even - surprise! - when worn by a team with “SF” on its cap.
Chris Ferguson, associate vice president of enrollment
Territories: Parts of CA: Santa Barbara, Central Coast, South Bay of San Francisco, Inland Empire, & international applicants from Canada
Chris is a city and coastal adventurer at heart. Born in Pomona, CA and raised throughout southern CA, Chris joined Oxy in 2016. Chris often rides his skateboards, his bike, or just simply enjoys the beach life of the California coast. He previously served as dean of admission at Drexel University in Philadelphia and oversaw the enrollment functions at The New School in New York City. After spending many years on the east coast, he is thrilled to be back in the west connecting students and families to Oxy. Chris earned his EdD in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania, his MSW from University of Denver, and his BA in behavioral sciences from Wilmington College.
Charlie Leizear, senior associate dean of admission and director of first-year admission
Territories: DE, District of Columbia, MD, MI, Central and Southern NJ, PA, VA, WV, parts of CA: West LA, and international applicants from Europe
Charlie grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta, then headed to Washington, DC to attend The George Washington University (GW) with grand aspirations to become a jet-setting diplomat. Charlie quickly learned that he was ill-suited for a lifetime in politics (taking a sharp turn to pursue a degree in statistics), and instead was able to realize his jet-setting dreams by working in international admission at his alma mater. After completing his MBA in GW's School of Business, Charlie briefly worked for a small university in Switzerland and then managed international admission at Haverford College before arriving at Oxy in 2015. Oxy's commitment to social justice and global, experience-based education drew Charlie west to Los Angeles, and he was more than happy to trade in his snow-boots for sunglasses. At Oxy, Charlie directs the recruitment and evaluation process for all first first-year applicants.
Maricela L. Martinez, senior associate dean of admission and director of inclusion and transfer admission
Territories: MA (greater Boston area), MN, and parts of CA: East Los Angeles, Glendale/Pasadena, San Fernando Valley
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Maricela originally joined Oxy Admission in 2001, having begun her career in admissions while completing her undergraduate degree in Art History and Latin American Studies at Wellesley College. Maricela has also worked for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Institutional Research department and holds a master's degree from Harvard University. Most recently she served as an associate director of admission at Scripps College. Maricela coordinates our transfer process and works closely with diversity initiatives.
Robin Hamilton '08, senior assistant dean of admission
Territories: ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, MO, NE, WA, and WI
Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Robin first came to Occidental as a student in 2004, in search of a diverse learning environment and an outdoor pool. During her time at Oxy, Robin was a member of the women's swim team, a charter member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, and worked on campus as a Resident Advisor and Office of Student Life Programming Assistant. After graduating with a degree in Urban & Environmental Policy, Robin worked at some great universities, but ultimately found her way back to Oxy in 2015. Now back on campus Robin enjoys working with our prospective student-athletes (although her own abilities have diminished), indulging at local taco trucks and convincing more PNW-ers to trade in the rain for the delights of a southern California winter.
Courtney Stricklin Burgan '03, senior assistant dean of admission, coordinator of volunteer relations
Territories: Territories: AZ, KY, NV, OH, and parts of CA: Long Beach, South Bay of Los Angeles, Orange County
Courtney is a SoCal native and has been a resident of North East Los Angeles since matriculating at Oxy. As an Oxy student, Courtney was an orientation leader, residence hall coordinator, and even had an eventful stint as the college mascot. She was an Art History and Visual Arts major at Oxy, received her MFA at Otis College of Art and Design, and maintains a practice in the performing and conceptual arts in addition to her work in higher education. Courtney returned to Oxy in 2012 in order to create an employer relations program for the career center. She is excited to now manage alumni and parent partnerships for the office of admission.
Michelle Naito-Lo ’14, assistant dean of admission
Territories: HI, parts of CA: San Diego county, and international applicants (apart from Europe and Canada)
Michelle spent the important years of her life in the city directly east of Los Angeles, but calls herself a L.A. native to all who ask. She joined the Office of Admission after graduating from Oxy in 2014 with a degree in Biology. During the 2016-2017 cycle, Michelle traded in her sunglasses and two season year (hot or not hot) for a mask and wool socks to live in China as the InitialView fellow. When not leading international recruitment, she enjoys exploring the food scene in Los Angeles.
Everett Nelor, admission counselor
Territories: CO, ME, NH, NM, RI, VT, WY, and parts of CA: East Bay of San Francisco, South and South Central Los Angeles
Everett grew up in Atlanta, GA and took a gap year as an AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer before attending Bowdoin College. While a student at Bowdoin, Everett worked in Admissions as a student intern and Senior Interviewer, was a part of the rugby team, and played bass in various music ensembles. After graduating with a degree in psychology, Everett joined Oxy in 2014. He coordinates the Senior Fellow Program, works on diversity initiatives, and serves as liaison to community-based organizations.
Columbia Shafer '15, admission counselor
Territories:AK, AR, CT, LA, MT, ND, OK, SD, TX, Northern NJ, Upstate NY and parts of CA: Far Northern CA, Marin County, Sonoma County, Napa County, Central Valley
Columbia came to Occidental from a teeny-tiny town in Northern California in 2011. Four years (and many late-night taco truck runs) later, she graduated with honors in Cognitive Science. During Columbia’s time at Oxy she conducted psychological research, founded a Murder Mystery Book Club, and stage-managed for the theater department. Since graduating, she has worked in the Office of Admission where she coordinates with the arts programs and communications. You can find her trying the regional BBQ wherever she recruits.
Cris Cambianica, admission counselor
Territories: AL, GA, LA, MS, NV, NC, OR, SC, TN and parts of CA: Orange County, San Diego County
Cris was born and raised in San Fernando Valley and attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Cris studied Sociology and worked in Reed’s Multicultural Resource Center, Office for Institutional Diversity, and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program. Cris returned to Los Angeles, joining Oxy in 2016 and now serves as liaison to community-based organizations.
Emma Goldstein '16, admission coordinator for campus events
Territories: East Los Angeles, Hollywood
Emma was born and raised in the suburbs of New York City, and began working in the Office of Admission after graduating from Oxy in 2016. At Oxy, Emma was an East Asian Studies major, worked for the International Programs Office as a study abroad Peer Adviser/Office Assistant, helped coordinate International Student Orientation, and worked as a Campus Tour Guide. Emma now coordinates on-campus events and activities for prospective students, including Admitted Student Days, Overnight Visits, and Campus Tours. She also oversees our fleet of wonderful tour guides and several student interns.
Our support staff team:
Back Row: Diane Hernandez, Olivia Martinez, Teri Perkins, Joan Brewer, Peggy Sadonis; Front Row: Yolanda Cisneros, Tiffani Bruno, Dorothy Fields, Tiffany Wright