Professor of Theatre Gil Gonzalez was appointed to serve as Associate Dean for Academic Support in 2020–overseeing the Center for Academic Advising and Success (CAAS), Student Disability Services (SDS), and First-Year Programs. His goal has been to create integrated academic support for students (and faculty) by better coordinating the College’s existing resources and developing innovative new strategies for student and institutional success.
Gonzalez joined the Whittier faculty in 2005 and had served as the Associate Dean of First-Year Programs since 2014.
Jessica Hernandez ’19, M.S., is the new associate director of academic support for the Center for Advising and Academic Success (CAAS). Hernandez will oversee the new student registration labs in fall and spring, the Academic Success Program, and the First-Year Enrichment Program. Hernandez also serves as the lead representative for the CARE Team (formerly PEAP) for CAAS.
At Whittier, she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and economics, with a minor in Spanish.
Samantha Casañas ’20, M.Ed., is the new assistant director of academic support at CAAS. Casañas will oversee the Student-Athlete Peer Mentor (SAPM) and Tutoring programs in addition to providing general support for CAAS.
At Whittier, Casañas majored in sociology and was a four-year student-athlete on the softball team. She recently completed her master of education in postsecondary administration and student affairs from the University of Southern California.
Christina Martinez ’13 is the new Academic Support Coordinator at CAAS. She will oversee the daily operations of CAAS and coordinate programming coming out of the Center.
At Whittier, she earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology and completed a 400-hour senior internship at the Kaiser Permanente Educational Outreach Program. As an undergrad, Martinez was involved in the Thalian Society, Spirit Squad, Social Work Council, and Phi Alpha National Honor Society.
Mariam MacLeod, Psy.D. is the director of Student Disability Services (SDS). MacLeod has been with the College since 2015, serving as director since 2017. She has expertly led the department through recent growth and transitions.
Justin Lising is the new associate director of SDS. He joined the team in 2018, serving as accommodations coordinator/graduate intern and assistant director.
Lising attended Mount San Antonio College before transferring to the University of California, Irvine where he majored in political science and a double minor in international studies and education. He completed his master's in educational leadership at California State University, Fullerton in 2019.
Aldo Hari will continue to serve Whittier College students in his new role as the support specialist in SDS. Hari previously served as a resource advisor/graduate intern during the last academic year and now is a permanent member of the team.
Hari earned a bachelor's degree in drama from the University of California, Irvine. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in higher education from California State University, Fullerton.