About the Team

The heart of the Hub is our staff - a group of caring faculty and staff that reach out to students directly to discuss how our college can support them better and suggest programs and resources from which they would benefit. Pirates: if our team calls or texts you, please connect! Helping students is our favorite!

You can connect with us in Starfish, by text, or email at thehub@occ.cccd.edu.

OR, come and see us IN-PERSON @ the HUB! The Hub can be found on the first floor of Watson Hall, first door on the left. Our team of Peer Mentors and Success Coaches are available to assist you live, in person, on a drop-in basis!

Picture of "The Hub Student Resource Center" Logo - a house with a heart inside.

  

 

 

SUCCESS COACHES

Success Coaches are seasoned professionals making their career in education. They can help provide you with a success plan and check in with you regularly to help you stay successful. If you don’t even know where to start, or are feeling like you don’t have what it takes, Success Coaches can build you a success plan to ensure that you know what to do to stay the course and be successful.   

A success plan might consist of, for example, a combination of to-do items like developing your next semester course registration plan with an Academic Counselor, enrolling in and visiting the Student Success Center for Free Tutoring, attending a Time Management workshop with one of our coaches, meeting your Financial Aid Specialist, and more. We know that all of our students are different and one plan doesn't fit all; your plan will be customized for your needs. Best of all, we're beginning to develop success plans in Starfish - so that the steps you need to take can be available for you in our Starfish Student Success Network. This will allow you and your coach to check in throughout the semester and make sure you’re on the right track!

Note: Starfish links are for current students only. Please work with a peer mentor if you're looking to become an OCC student.

Erin Fitzgerald (She/Her)
STUDENT PROGRAMS PROJECT COORDINATOR,
SUCCESS COACH

 Hi! I'm Erin, and I've worked in several different positions here at OCC. My Pirate roots run deep; I started working at OCC when I was just 19, part-time, while I earned my B.A. I became a lawyer because I wanted to serve my community, but made my way back into higher ed because life is more fun and colorful on a college campus! I manage several projects, including Success Matters and Starfish, but coaching and supporting our students is my favorite. When I'm not working, you can find me reading, crocheting, or doing other hobbit-like activities with my three kitties. 

MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH ERIN!

Heather Dominguez (She/Her)
AIM COORDINATOR,
SUCCESS COACH

Hi! I’m excited to be on this team and be a part of your story at OCC. I was NOT a traditional student…changed my major 4 times, transferred 4 times, been on suspension due to low GPA, took an extended Gap Year (5 years), part-time school while working full-time, then decided to make school the priority and finally earned my bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science just after I turned 31! Now, I get to work with students daily, many who’s educational story is similar to mine. Anatole France said, “Nine tenths of education is encouragement.” Your success matters to me, and I’ll be here encouraging you all the way!

MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH HEATHER!

Mlou Aquino (They/Them/Theirs)
SUCCESS COACH

Hello! I’m MLOU and I’m passionate about connecting you to resources to help you succeed and flourish! I am openly out as Queer, Transgender, & Non-Binary. I started my OCC journey as a student in 2014 where I received my A.A. in Psychology in 2017. Then, I transferred to CSULB and graduated with my B.A. in Psychology in 2020. I jumped around through different majors, was involved in many campus organizations, and spent a total of six years in school! Trust me when I saw I can empathize with the busy and stressful student experience because I was once that busy and stressed student too! 

More About Me: I’m very passionate about accessibility, mental health, & LGBTQ+ advocacy. I’m an artist and I love to doodle and make zines. Fun Fact: My artwork can be found in one of the OC libraries! 

PEER MENTORS

These are folks that are on your team and can help with quick questions, and give peer-to-peer advice from the prospective of a fellow student. What have they found helpful on their journey? When is your registration window open? Which department should you contact for help with a parking pass? They got you.

Brianna Hoang (She/Her)
PEER MENTOR

Your Success Matters to me because: As a peer mentor and a current OCC student myself, I truly understand the struggles and hardships that can come with pursuing an education. Your accomplishments also become our accomplishments, which is why I want to be a part of your academic journey and be able to see you succeed in achieving your goals. It can get a little scary to approach this whole college thing on your own, but that’s what we are here for! We want to connect you to the right resources and information that will best benefit you during your time here at OCC. So, if you’re ever feeling alone or lost, please remember that we are here for you and that we will do the best that we can to help you.

CALL OR TEXT: (714) 714-7931

EMAIL: bhoang55.s@cccd.edu 

DAYS I WORK: M, W

Natasha Kuhn (She/Her)
PEER MENTOR

Your Success Matters to me because: Every student has a unique background and story behind their school career. I believe that every student should be able to succeed in their goals, and we are here to help you achieve them with guidance suited to your needs. Every question is a good question. We are happy to help you succeed!

CALL OR TEXT: (714) 432-5145

EMAIL: Coming Soon!

DAYS I WORK: T, Th, F

Alyssa Ongoco (She/Her)
PEER MENTOR

Your Success Matters to me because: As a fellow student, balancing our personal life and work are tough. Success is not just about getting our job done, it is about enjoying and feeling happy on whatever path you choose. We want to be there for you, guide you, help you flourish and find your purpose. Your success is our success!

CALL OR TEXT: (714) 714-7935

EMAIL: nongocodots@cccd.edu 

DAYS I WORK: M, T, W, F

Natalie Papazian (She/Her)
PEER MENTOR

Your Success Matters to me because:  Everybody follows a different academic journey, and as a student myself I know how challenging life can be at times. I personally could not have gotten to where I am today without the amazing support that I’ve received from the vast resources that OCC offers, and it’s our goal to make sure that all students have the opportunity to feel the same way!

CALL OR TEXT: (714) 714-7934

EMAIL: npapazian.s@cccd.edu 

DAYS I WORK: M, T, W

Andres Suarez (He/Him)
PEER MENTOR

Your Success Matters to me because: We all start from scratch. Life is based on challenges that make you improve over time, but there will always be a starting point to overcome that challenge. For college, we help you by guiding you in your starting point so that you can get through all the difficulties that the academy puts you in front. Everyone has the right to ask, and we're here to help you.

CALL OR TEXT: (714) 714-7925

EMAIL: agiraldosuarez.s@cccd.edu 

DAYS I WORK: M, T, Th, F

STARFISH COUNSELORS

Our Starfish Counselors are ready to connect with you by phone, email, or text when you raise your hand in Starfish, or if you are referred to a counselor from another staff or faculty member.

How to Connect: Raise your hand in Starfish! 

Note: Starfish links are for current students only. Please work with a peer mentor if you're looking to become an OCC student.

Jessica Martin (She/Her)
STARFISH COUNSELOR

Hi Everyone, I am a counselor at OCC. I am so happy to be here to help you successfully complete your academic goals at OCC. Just like you, I started my college career as a community college student at Santa Barbara City College; and then I transferred to UCLA to complete a bachelor's degree in English. I also went on to complete a master's degree at CSULB in Counseling. When I am not meeting with students at OCC, I am reading, watching movies, and rowing with a women's club team. My office is located in 3rd floor of Watson Hall in the Counseling Department. Please come by and say hi.

Laura Reese (She/Her)
STARFISH COUNSELOR

Who am I? Laura Reese, an Academic Counselor assigned to Financial Aid. I specialize in how courses impact financial aid and reverse.

Little about me and OCC. OCC Graduate - Pirate for Life. I am a product of the support from Financial Aid, EOPS, OCC Scholarships, ASOCC Programs, and Children's Center.

Personal. I am passionate about supporting students because I know it was the support of OCC Staff and Faculty that helped me to be who and where I am today.

Cyndy Garcia (She/Ella)
STARFISH COUNSELOR

Hola! I'm Cyndy Garcia, and I am a proud first-generation, non-traditional community college alumna. I began my educational journey at Orange Coast College and Santa Ana College before transferring to UCLA where I majored in sociology. I earned my master's degree in Counseling with an emphasis in Student Development in Higher Education from CSULB. As a graduate student, I was a counseling intern at OCC, so I'm excited to serve OCC students as an adjunct counselor. In my free time, I enjoy working on DIY/sustainable projects, trying to keep my houseplants alive, and attempting to roller skate. Whether hanging out at the park or at home, I enjoy spending time with my partner and our dog, Rumi. I look forward to connecting with you!

Samantha Adams (She/Her)
STARFISH COUNSELOR

Hi! My name is Sam, and I am a first-generation college student where I started my higher education at Orange Coast College. I earned my ADT in Psychology and transferred to UCSB to earn my Bachelors in Psychology. After some exploring, I ended back at Orange Coast College working in the Transfer Center. This is where I discovered my passion working with community college students and decided to continue my education and earned my Master's in College Counseling from CSUDH. Your Success Matters to me because seeing you reach your goals not only empowers you, but also the team that supports you. I look forward to working with you!