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Nancy Nguyen


Nancy Nguyen


Major: Sociology


Minor: Public Administration, Honors Interdisciplinary Studies

Expected Graduation Date: May 2019


Future Goals:  To enter a Masters in Public Policy program after undergraduate education.



Nancy Nguyen is one of five children to immigrant and refugee Vietnamese parents. Her experience growing up in a low-income minority-concentrated town prompted her to pursue policy change to support communities experiencing financial insecurity. Her professional interest in public policy is reflective in her campus and community involvement. 

She is a Research Assistant with SDSU's Research Foundation for the Access to Opportunity Program, where she investigates how policies by the public, non-profit, and private sectors can better support low-income families. She was a former Research Assistant with the National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST), where she investigated the approaches employed by personnel in high-performing, urban, K-12 schools in serving the emotional and social needs of their students. Her research project with NCUST was awarded the Provost's Outstanding Award. 

Nancy also represents 29,000 undergraduates in investigating and making recommendations for campus policy and serves as President for Gates to Success, an organization supporting first-generation low-income college students. In addition, she serves as a Resident Advisor and a Peer Leadership Consultant. In the community, she serves as a Legislative Intern for Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber's office, where she is tasked with researching and vetting legislative reports. Due to her previous contributions as a Students for Economic Justice Fellow with the Center on Policy Initiatives, she received a Certificate of Recognition from a local Assemblymember. These credentials have granted her status as a Fellow with the Public Policy and International Affairs Program, where she will spend this summer at a fully funded program at Princeton University, developing a comprehensive report on a current international policy issue using skills in economics, statistics, and policy analysis. With these cumulative experiences, she hopes to enter economic research-development to provide informed guidance to federal agencies on policy initiatives.



Contact Nancy:

Director of Internal Affairs


Alondra Hernandez


Alondra Hernandez


Major: Kinesiology: Pre-Physical Therapy


Minor: Leadership

Expected Graduation Date: December 2017


Future Goals: To get accepted into graduate school for a Doctorate Degree in Physical Therapy, acquire volunteer hours for graduate school, and learn about different academic resources offered at SDSU to help first generation students.


Biography: Alondra Hernandez is a fourth year undergraduate student at SDSU. She is majoring in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Pre-Physical Therapy and in the Spring Semester of 2016 she declared a minor in Leadership. Alondra now holds the position of Director of Internal Affairs with Gates to Success and hopes to encourage all students to get involved on campus with the thought of progressing in academic success, especially those who are first generation students. She also has a passion to help commuter students from SDSU reach their career goals by working closely with other organizations and Associated Students to provide support away from home. In the future, Alondra hopes to help people with injuries recover from them as well as create positive relationships with others to promote self-confidence with progress in physical therapy.


Contact Alondra:

Assistant Director of Internal Affairs



Nick Lograsso


Major: Computer Science


Minor: Honors Interdisciplinary Studies

Expected Graduation Date: May 2019


Future Goals: To achieve a B.S. in Computer Science and graduate with at least a 3.5 G.P.A.


Biography:  Nicholas Lograsso is a second-year undergraduate student in the Susan K. Weber’s Honors College, studying computer science with a minor in honors interdisciplinary studies. Nicholas is involved with multiple organizations on campus. Currently, he serves as Assistant Director of Internal Affairs of Gates to Success of SDSU and is involved with the Association for Computing Machinery chapter on campus. In addition, he works as a student technician at SDSU Instructional Technology Services in the Learning Spaces division. In his free time he enjoys playing music with two co-hosts on a radio show at KCR College Radio. In the future he hopes to help people with technology by designing more effective code and work alongside people who use it to improve the lives of others.


Contact Nick:

Director of External Affairs


Francisco Panchito MartinezFrancisco "Panchito" Martinez


Major: Philosophy


Minor: Leadership and Honors Interdisciplinary Studies


Expected Graduation Date: Fall 2020


Future Goals: For members of underserved communities to have access to institutions of higher learning.


Biography: Panchito was born Francisco Antonio Martinez Penuelas to immigrant parents from Mexico. He is the oldest of four brothers, the first to graduate high school in his immediate family, and the first in his extended family to attend a four-year university. Panchito was raised in Barrio Logan, a neighborhood in San Diego where less than 35% of residents 25 and older have a high school diploma and only approximately 10% have a Bachelor's degree or higher. In the fourth grade, Panchito was enrolled in Barrio Logan College Institute (BLCI), a nonprofit that helps students from underserved communities be among the first in the family to attend and succeed in college so that they may become agents of change in the world. With the help of BLCI, Panchito was accepted to SDSU as a Vice President of Student Affairs Leadership Scholar that came with a $30,000 scholarship. Panchito is currently in his second year at SDSU. On campus, Panchito serves as a Peer Leadership Advisor where he facilitates workshops for the over 300 different organizations on campus; manages partner relations in San Diego for Gates to Success; and is on the Associated Students External Relations Board that advocates for student interests at the local, state, and national level. Outside of campus, Panchito is the Leadership Program Specialist at BLCI. In this role, Panchito works closely with the Executive Director to design, develop, and evaluate leadership programs for the organization.


Contact Panchito:

Chief of Finance


Omar Sanchez

Omar Sanchez


Major: Psychology


Minor: Spanish

Expected Graduation Date: May 2019


Future Goals: Help underrepresented communities in the U.S. and Mexico get a college education.


Biography: Omar is a second-year undergraduate studying Psychology with a minor in Spanish. Being a first generation college student born in Tijuana and raised in Barrio Logan he wants to impact the way that education is viewed in the Mexican-American and Latino community. He is currently the Chief of Finance of Gates to Success where he hopes to make an impact on the future lives of first generation college students that don't think they can make it.


Contact Omar:


Currently unfilled. Please contact Gates to Success at if you are interested in participating on the Executive Board for the 2016-2017 school year.

Chief of Marketing



Lianne Aratea


Major: IS3D (Exercise Nutritional Sciences, Nutrition, Psychology)


Expected Graduation Date: May 2019


Future Goals: To graduate from SDSU with at least a 3.6 GPA, participate in undergraduate research, and have an internship/job position waiting for me when I graduate.


Biography: Lianne Aratea is a third year Interdisciplinary Studies major looking into ENS, Nutrition, and Psychology. She is currently active in Gates to Success as well as the AIESEC San Diego local chapter and Student Diversity Commission. She hopes to particpate in undergraduate research looking into the effect of nutrition on the psychological state of people (especially children) during her time at San Diego State. She is currently in the position of Chief of Marketing to help spread the image and message of Gates to Success in order to help undergraduate students see the different resources and opportunities that are available on campus. Lianne is hoping to continue on to graduate school or a doctoral program to become a Psychologist, but she has a great interest in higher education student affairs with her current involvement as a temporary student assistant for the Division of Undergraduate Studies.


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