CCPD team

The Weingart Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) team has over 56 years of combined experience providing top-notch career counseling to students interested in government, private sector, non-profit, and advanced higher education settings.

The CCPD's career counselors use a client-centered and solution-driven approach when meeting with students to ensure optimal levels of achievement within the career counseling process.

Below you will find an overview of the Career Center’s team areas of career and professional development expertise. 

Michelle PonceMichelle Ponce, M.A.

Assistant Dean

Michelle joined Whittier College in July 2013. She comes to Whittier College with twenty years of progressive and visionary counseling. Michelle has created an eclectic style of engaging young career professionals through individualized and comprehensive career development and the exploration process as well as to provide career competencies as a strategic vision to enlighten life-long learners. She is engaged in numerous career professional committees and holds various roles within each. Michelle is energetic and innovative with a unique ability to influence and integrate collaboration between diverse personalities and styles. She enjoys facilitating authentic mentoring relationships while building and maintaining rapport with various constituents. Michelle holds a Master of Arts in Counseling from Chapman University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from California State University, Fullerton.

Sandra AranaSandra Arana, M.S.

Assistant Director, Career and Professional Connections

Sandra joined the CCPD in March 2015. She brings more than ten years of experience working with college students. She received her Master of Science in Counseling - School Counseling from California State University, Long Beach in 2012. She has co-facilitated and led events that support the enrichment and empowerment of students from underrepresented communities. She is invested in developing connections that bridge the communication gaps amongst all students and partner stakeholders. When she is not enjoying making site visits to prospective employers or counseling students, she enjoys spending quality time with her two active boys.

Kolini Coleman

Assistant Director, Career Development Programming and Evaluation/Career Counselor

Kolini Fepulea'i To'omalatai Coleman (she, her, hers), is a proud Native Hawaiian and Samoan scholar from Southern California. She was raised in Torrance, CA, and attended school in Carson before earning her Bachelor of Science in Criminology from the University of La Verne. She originally intended to pursue a career as a prosecutor for gang and domestic violence but changed her historical trajectory from law to education after completing her undergraduate senior thesis—The Role Education Cultural Upbringing and Parenting Styles Play in the Formation of Samoan Gangs in Carson, Long Beach, and American Samoa.
Currently, Kolini is pursuing her Master of Arts in Social and Cultural Analysis of Education at California State University, Long Beach. While Kolini is a California native, her heart and home remains on the beautiful island of Oahu, Hawaii. Kolini is involved with several social justice-oriented organizations and she is an advocate for attainable and equitable education for all students. She is an avid reader, a proud auntie to the loves of her life—Nolan and Mila, and a professional Netflix/hulu binger. 

Matthew ArandaMatthew Aranda

Marketing Coordinator / Office Manager

Matthew joined the Weingart Center for Career and Professional Development in January 2017, as an alumnus of Whittier College. His professional experiences have emphasized programming approaches to education, mainly in the form of higher education programming and summer camps with specialized curriculums. His positions required him to design, facilitate, and lead groups of various ages ranging from preschool to young adults for various purposes ranging from literacy to improvisational comedy. Emboldened to extend the Career Center brand to new lengths, Matthew is honored to serve as a member to a team that once coached him. 

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