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Our Staff

Draper Center Staff
Jessica Rashidi Jessica Rashidi
Program Assistant

A So Cal native, who grew up in South Gate and La Mirada, Jessica currently resides in Claremont with her spouse, Wal, and her dog, Keeper. She has her B.A. in Women’s Studies and Communications and her M.A. in American Studies from California State University, Fullerton. She loves blogs, board games, movie/TV show marathons, and reading.
Jose Luis Ramirez Jose Luis Ramirez
Assistant Director, Community Based Research & Learning

Jose Luis Ramirez, Jr. grew up in Long Beach to immigrant parents from Mexico & Peru, as the eldest of three and a first-generation college student. Jose developed his passion for social justice work as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, working alongside community partners through Stiles Hall and the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Program. His professional experience includes the Berkeley Unified School District, the LULAC National Educational Services Center, and leadership development with college students over the past decade at UC Berkeley & UC Irvine. Jose is currently working towards completion of his master’s degree in Education at Claremont Graduate University. He is committed to creating supportive spaces for praxis.
Maria Tucker Maria Tucker, PhD
Director/Associate Dean of Students

Maria Tucker developed her expertise working with youth and college students through her two decades of work at Pomona College, the University of Michigan, Cornell University, Cal Poly Pomona and Citrus Community College. In 1994, she began brokering community partnerships during early work with K-12 schools through a state funded educational outreach program and has continued this work through collaborating with community based organizations. Maria earned her PhD from the University of Michigan and a masters degree in Public Policy from the Claremont Graduate University.  She completed her undergraduate work at the University of California, Riverside. Her life and work interests focus on justice, education and the natural environment. Dr. Tucker grew up in the San Gabriel Valley and was a first generation college student. She attended high school at one of the PAYS partner schools. Maria serves as a board member of the Pomona Community Health Center and for the Los-Angeles based theater company About Productions. 
Priscila Garcia Priscila Garcia
Post Baccalaureate Fellow, Educational Outreach

Priscila Garcia was born and raised in the Inland Empire, and she is one of twelve siblings. She graduated from Montclair High School; at Pomona College, she majored in English and minored in Sociology. Her earliest memories consist of hearing her parents tell her that she needed to do well in school to make their sacrifices worthwhile. As a result, the work she does is rooted in the knowledge that what she accomplishes is not only for herself but also for those that came before her and for those to come. Her passion for social justice within the education system drives her work, and she hopes to continue inspiring young people to pursue higher education. Prior to working at Pomona College, Priscila worked at Chaffey Community College, where she tutored and mentored students. As the Post Baccalaureate Fellow for Educational Outreach at the Draper Center, she strives to inspire the Pomona College community to continue forging partnerships that support the academic achievements of K-12 students.
Sergio Marin Sergio Marin
Assistant Director, Educational Outreach

Sergio Marin was born and lived most of his life in Los Angeles.  He is the oldest son of immigrant parents and a first generation college student. It is this experience that has shaped his work in education, leadership, and youth development.  Sergio has served youth as a program manager with Public Allies-Los Angeles, a program specialist with the National Conference for Community and Justice Education Department, and as an educator at the intermediate level.  He has also designed and implemented programs for various “youth-serving” organizations in the public and private sector, including Cal Poly Pomona, the Museum of Tolerance, and numerous high schools.  Program topics have included communication, gender, race, age, and leadership.  Sergio maintains a strong commitment to education, dialogue, and community.
Tomás Summers Sandoval Prof. Tomás Summers Sandoval
Faculty Coordinator

A raconteur by trade, Tomás Summers Sandoval is the Faculty Coordinator at the Draper Center. Over the years he has been a fry cook, a Santa-for-hire, and a semi-professional competitive eater. Once, in the third grade, he dodged ten. He enjoys watching televised whittling or, when possible, Game of Thrones. He has three kids, two dogs, and, in his spare time, he works as a college professor.

The heart and soul of the Draper Center are our student coordinators, who run our community programs and staff the day-to-day needs of our center.

2013-2014 Student Coordinators 
Ali Goss Ali Goss
Ali, nomadic by trade, is a sophomore majoring in International Relations with a concentration in the Middle East and Conflict Resolution. Despite her focus on the Middle East, she is currently involved in research regarding youth involved in gang violence in urban LA. At the Draper Center, Ali is currently working on Sagehens Engage! with much gusto as well as CBRL, attempting to unite community learning and classroom learning. She is a proud Quest Scholar and Ambassador.
Cesar Mesa Cesar Mesa
Cesar is the coolest cat on the block back in his hometown of Fontana, CA. He’s into new books, bad music, and old puns. Cesar is an alumnus of the Pomona College Academy for Youth Success (PAYS) program and is now a second year at Pomona double majoring in Chemistry and Mathematics with a possible minor in Chican@ Studies. As a low-income, first generation college student of color, Cesar strives to collaborate with others to combat educational access issues. Introduced to the Draper Center by Hall of Famer, Julie Juarez, he now spends his time co-coordinating the Next Level Program and Alternabreak. Aside from studying for his biweekly OChem exams, he enjoys late night Mix Bowl, In-N-Out runs, and chillin'’ with the homies.
David Baxter David Baxter
Hailing from The Rock, GA, David is now a second year pursuing a major in International Relations and a minor in German. In addition to coordinating Pomona Partners and Alternabreak, David is involved in the Ballroom Dance Company, Quest Scholars group, and Model UN. His interests includes equal access to education, writing, coffee, running, and long walks on the beach.
Eric Martinez Eric Martínez
Born in Guerrero, Mexico and raised in Dallas, Texas, Eric is a senior at Pomona College. He is studying environmental analysis with an emphasis in geology. At the Draper Center, Eric helps coordinate Sagehens, Engage! and K-12 Campus Programs. He also serves as the Associated Students of Pomona College (ASPC) Vice President for Finance. As a senior, Eric is currently trying to decipher the meaning of life in hopes of determining what to do with his own life.
Gervais Marsh Gervais Marsh
Gervais is a junior Sociology and Gender Women’s Studies double major. He was born in Barbados, but spent most of his life in Kingston, Jamaica. He is a co-coordinator for Sagehens Engage and PAYS. He enjoys online window-shopping, watching reality tv and dancing as much as possible. He is also a member of the Pomona Student Union and the Caribbean Students’ Organization. Not too sure what he wants to do after school, as long as it is related in some way to social justice work and he gets to live in a city, maybe Los Angeles, maybe New York.
Hong Gao Hong Gao
Hong was born in Fuzhou, China and moved to Brooklyn, New York when she was 13 years old. She is a junior studying East Asian History. Her interests include poverty, health and immigrant issues. She has been doing research about domestic labor issues in the restaurant industry, as well as the experience of Chinese and Korean American children who help out in small first-generation family-run businesses. At the Draper Center, she is involved with LINC and Alternabreak. On campus, Hong is also involved with IDEAS, an immigrant rights 5-C organization. Hong enjoys learning Spanish,Classical Chinese and Japanese. She also swims, plays volleyball and reads in her free time.
Jackie Ching Jackie Ching
Jackie is a senior at Pomona College from Honolulu, Hawaii. Majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) with an economics concentration, Jackie hopes to pursue a future career in public service. At the Draper Center, he co-coordinates the Coronado Garden Project and the Next Level programs. His interests include educational equality and corporate social responsibility. In his spare time, Jackie enjoys supporting his favorite Los Angeles sports teams, browsing various topics in American history, and spending time with family and friends. He is also a prospective Chinese minor, member of the 5C Hula Club, and Mentor for the Quest Scholars Network Chapter at Pomona College.
Jose Luis Gomez José Luis Gómez
José Luis is a second-year student majoring in Public Policy Analysis with a concentration in Sociology from sunny Phoenix, Arizona. He is the coordinator for Learning IN collaboration (LINC), and works with the Community-Based Research and Learning programs of the Draper Center. Outside of the coziness and warmth of the center, José Luis is involved as a sponsor, a Questbridge mentor (working with low-income/first-generation Pomona first-years), and an IDEAS mentor for undocumented students. He also enjoys sleeping and can most-likely be found eating peanut butter.
Karen Herrera Karen Herrera
Born and raised in La Puente, California, Karen is a junior at Pomona College in the process of completing an English and Studio Art double major. Karen is a Mexican-American first generation college student. Karen is passionate about the reclaiming of language by low-income communities of color and the role of art making in developing agency and self-representation. On the Tuesdays and weekends Karen enjoys being angsty and fabulous. Post undergrad Karen will probably be working in the trenches as a teacher. At the Draper Center, Karen coordinates the Rooftop Garden, the Draper Center Shuttle, and the Pomona College Academy for Youth Success (PAYS).
Kimberly Africa Kimberley Africa
Kimberley is a junior math major with an interest in sociology from Baldwin Park, CA. She is interested in social justice work and hopes to pursue a career that involves issues of educational access. Kimberley is a coordinator for K-12 Campus Programs and CBRL and helps support PAYS. She is also an AARC intern, a member of SOCA, on the ASPC Senate, and a mentor for the Math and Sociology departments. She enjoys watching movies and television, eating, and playing volleyball.
Maddi Cowen Madeline Cowen
A sophomore raised in Miami, FL, Maddi is a declared English major but is also considering biology, chemistry, math, environmental analysis, and linguistics as potential areas of study. A sponsor and Eco-Rep in Wig, she is also involved with 5C Out Loud, IDEAS, PEAR, the KSPC Poetry Program, and possibly more clubs that she can’t remember. She is the coordinator for the Food Recovery Network and for an Alternabreak trip in the spring.
Mauricio Navarro Mauri Navarro
Mauri is a fourth-year Linguistics major, with interests in language and gender, queer theory, community, intersectional identity, and screenwriting. Mauri focuses on the ESL Tutoring Program and a new collaboration between the Draper Center and the QRC. When not occupied with work or school, Mauri loves to sing, dance, and watch hilarious videos online.
Nelson Cole Nelson Cole
A sophomore from Austin, Texas, Nelson’s major is undecided but is considering a major in Public Policy Analysis with a focus in Media Studies. Nelson is a member of the Football team and the B.L.O.C organization. He is a coordinator for the Coronado Garden Project as well as an Alternabreak trip in the spring.
Rachel Jackson Rachel Jackson
Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, Rachel is a third year majoring in Politics with a concentration in American Politics and a minor in Spanish. Growing up on the border in a biracial, biethnic home, Rachel is passionate about everything that lives along and among the seams. As a Draper Coordinator, Rachel helps out with the ESL program and with the new (and very exciting!) collaboration between Draper and the QRC. When not at the Draper Center or in class, Rachel works at the Writing Center and tries to attend and support as many events on campus as possible.
Rebecca Baiman Rebecca Baiman
Becca Baiman is a Junior math major from Oak Park, IL. She is pumped to be back for a second year working at the draper center. She is a co-coordinator for Coronado Garden Project and Rooftop Garden Mentoring Program. Besides working at the Draper Center, Becca is a tour guide for the college and enjoys playing the cello and fiddle.
Sarai Jimenez Sarai Gabriela Jimenez
Sarai is currently a 4th year at Pomona College. She is a coordinator for LINC(Learning in Collaboration), and the Rooftop Garden Mentoring Program. She is History major with a Latin American concentration and is writing her thesis on the experiences of Italian immigrants in Mexico during WWII. Sarai enjoys semi-playing guitar, speaking Italian and Spanish, spending time with her family (mom, dad, 2 sisters, and brother), traveling, eating dessert, and running. She really enjoyed her first visit to Mexico this summer(where she got to meet a part of her incredible family) and hopes to return there after she graduates.
Sarah Buchhorn Sarah Buchhorn
Michigander Sarah Buchhorn is in her fourth and final year at Pomona College, and her third year of working at the Draper Center. She currently is a coordinator for Pomona Partners and a member of the Winter Grants Committee. Sarah enjoys writing and receiving letters, green tea, satire, electronic music, GIFs, and reading (novels/theology/sociology).
Sonya Zhu Sonya Zhu
Sonya is a senior Psychology major from Coralville, Iowa. She is a coordinator for Pomona Partners and K-12 Campus Programs. Sonya is also a Head Mentor for the Asian American Mentor Program (AAMP), a hip-hop dance and Zumba enthusiast, a member of the Claremont Colleges Bollywood team, and a coffee and tea drinker. She hopes to continue working with youth after graduating from college, and plans on going into clinical psychology or public health someday.