3CSN Executive Director
Deborah L. Harrington, Executive Director & Project Administrator, is the Dean of Student Success for the Los Angeles Community College District and the Founding Director of the Faculty Teaching and Learning Academy (FTLA). She is also a member of the Leadership Team for LearningWorks, a center designed to link policy and practice in California’s community colleges. LearningWorks is a collaborative organization led by the Career Ladders Project, the RP Group, and 3CSN. Dean Harrington has extensive experience working in California’s community colleges; first and foremost she served as a full-time English professor for the first twenty years of her career and holds a professorship at Los Angeles Valley College. She has additionally served in management roles at several colleges including Director of the Writing Center, Dean of Humanities & Social Sciences, and Vice President of Academic Affairs. You may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
As Dean of Student Success at the Los Angeles Community College District, Deborah brings together faculty and administrative staff in order to initiate the design and implementation of programs that effectively support student equity, access, persistence, and success across the nine colleges; these successful efforts in turn led to the envisioning and funding of the California Community Colleges’ Success Network (3CSN), the professional development grant of the Basic Skills Initiative. Deborah holds a Doctorate in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles, a Master’s Degree in English from California State University, Northridge, a B.A. in English from UCLA, and an A.A. in Humanities from College of the Canyons.
3CSN Network Director
Jessica Cristo, 3CSN Network Director, is Associate Dean of Student Success for the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD). She is also an adjunct English instructor at East Los Angeles College. As a faculty member, she has worked on state and federal grants that were focused on first year students’ transition into college, particularly enhancing students’ college knowledge and readiness. In her time at ELAC, she worked on the BSI, Achieving the Dream, and high school initiatives. Jessica received her Bachelor’s degree in journalism at Boston University, her Master’s degree in English literature from Cal State Los Angeles, and her Ed.D. Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. She wrote her dissertation on Latino/a AB540 students accessing and navigating the California Dream Act on community college campuses. You may contact her at email@example.com
3CSN Area Network Coordinators
Northern California Network Coordinator
Southern California Network Coordinator
Rebecca Moon-Stone, MPA, Southern California Network Coordinator, has worked as an SI Coordinator for the past seven years at Riverside City College. Working as an SI Coordinator, she has worked with multiple state and federal grants that are focused on placing SI Leaders into Basic Skills, STEM, and college level courses that focus on student success. In her time as a SI Coordinator, she implemented along with the assistance of other colleges the 1st Annual SI Conference. She also implemented the first Leadership Development training for Student Employees at her college. Rebecca received her Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in Communications and her Master’s degree in Public Administration from California Baptist University. You may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
3CSN Communities of Practice
Paula Brown, Co-Coordinator of the Equity Project, is a faculty member at L.A. Harbor College in the Kinesiology and Health Education Department. She is a Co-Coordinator for the California Community College Success Network’s (3CSN) Equity Project Community of Practice. She is trained in Culturally Responsive Teaching & Learning (CRTL) and Intergroup Dialogue in Higher Education. Through 3CSN, she participated in The Faculty Teaching Learning Academy (FTLA) in 2010 and was a Harbor College team member at BSILI in 2013. She facilitated faculty training through the Teaching Learning Center at Harbor College for five years. She has conducted CRTL training at Harbor College, throughout the LACCD, the Basic Skills Leadership Institute, and several other CCC’s with faculty, staff, and administrators. She was the Co-Chair of the AtD Cultural Equity Initiative for three years at Harbor College. She is recognized in this area because of her passion for this work and her ability to successfully facilitate important conversations. You may contact her at email@example.com
Reading Apprenticeship Project/Threshold Project
Nika Hogan, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of English at Pasadena City College (PCC) and the Reading Apprenticeship College Coordinator for the Strategic Literacy Initiative at WestEd (SLI). She currently coordinates the Reading Apprenticeship Community College STEM Network, funded by the Helmsley Trust. In addition, she co-directs two statewide Communities of Practice for the California Community College Success Initiative (3CSN): the Reading Apprenticeship Project (with Devon Werble) and the Threshold Project (with Kim Costino). Her work is focused on developing pedagogical, curricular, and institutional approaches and structures that will maximize the retention and success of all students. She has been involved in many learning communities through PCC’s Teaching and Learning Center and helped to develop the First Year Pathways program, which was awarded the California Community College’s Chancellor’s Office Award for a Student Success Initiative. She has a B.A. in English and Women’s Studies from the University of Michigan, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Multiethnic U.S. Literatures from the University of Massachusetts. You may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Habits of Mind/Growth Mindset Project
Jan Connal, Ph.D. has a depth of knowledge about improving student success and extensive experience coordinating projects and providing professional development. For the last three years, she has participated with 3CSN as the Orange County Learning Network (OCLN) regional coordinators and, more recently, as its Habits of Mind Project Coordinator. Prior to this, she also served on the Steering Committee for the Basic Skills Initiative (BSI) in California’s community colleges for three years, with responsibility for faculty development in effective practices. At Cerritos College, Jan is an Academic Counselor; she also works across her campus to coordinate SLO assessment activities and has chaired the Developmental Education Committee (promoting assessment and evidence-based effective practices). Previously, Jan also contributed to the success of the Faculty Inquiry Network, funded for three years by the Hewlett Foundation, as an inquiry coach to support the professional development of faculty engaged in action research. Jan also co-facilitated her college’s Carnegie SPECC Project and engaged the Visible Knowledge Project, both of which were Scholarship of Teaching and Learning initiatives at Cerritos College. Previous to assuming her current position she served a variety of administrative posts, including Dean for Institutional Advancement and Planning, Dean of Educational Support Services, Director of Research, Development and Planning. Jan earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (Research Methods and Evaluation) from UCLA. You may contact her at email@example.com
Learning Assistance Project
Crystal Kiekel, Ed.D., Coordinator of the Learning Assistance Project, is a full-time faculty member at Los Angeles Pierce College, where she teaches a Freshman Success Seminar and directs the Center for Academic Success, which provides course-embedded tutoring, general tutoring, workshops, and internships to currently enrolled students. She also serves as the faculty coordinator for Achieving the Dream and the Basic Skills Initiative, as the co-chair of the Student Success Committee, and as member of the Los Angeles Community College District Student Success Initiative. Crystal earned a Master’s of Social Welfare (MSW) from UCLA with an emphasis on management and planning of nonprofit organizations, and a Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) at Cal State Northridge with an emphasis on community college leadership and policy development. You may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Regional Network Coordinators
Far Northern California Regional Network
Nicole Bryant Lescher, Far North Regional Coordinator, is an English professor at College of the Redwoods. Originally from Flint, Michigan, she began teaching in Detroit and spent several years teaching and serving in administrative roles within community colleges in Casper and Cheyenne, Wyoming. In both Wyoming and California, she has served as a faculty coordinator for Dual Enrollment and worked closely on curricular innovation, with a focus on revising developmental education. She currently serves on the California Community College’s AB 705 Implementation Committee. Nicole is dedicated to community college students and believes deeply in their capacity. She never stops being amazed at the transformative nature of community college experiences and by what is possible when hopeful students connect with dynamic, passionate, faculty and staff. Nicole loves to hike, read books, and look for banana slugs with her toddler. You may contact her at email@example.com
Northern California Learning Network (NCLN)
Sarah Sullivan, Northern California Learning Network Coordinator, is a Professor of English at Mission College in Santa Clara, CA, where she also directs the Basic Skills and Student Outcomes Transformation Grant. She has taught reading, composition and critical thinking courses there since 2010. Before moving to the Bay area, Sarah taught for seven years in her home state of Massachusetts. Sarah earned a Masters in Language and Literacy from Simmons College in Boston, MA and a Bachelors of Arts in English from Colgate University in New York. Sarah is passionate about professional learning and believes that all educators have a responsibility to engage in life-long scholarship in teaching and learning. In addition to Reading Apprenticeship, Sarah has participated with Communities of Practice in Habits of Mind, Threshold Concepts, Equity Project and BSILI, the Leadership for Curricular and Transformation Institute. Along with an amazing team of equity-minded leaders, including students, Sarah has engaged in deep equity and transformation work, and has provided opportunities for over 100 full and part time faculty, staff, student tutors/leaders and administrators to participate in 3CSN professional learning opportunities. Sarah lives joyfully, with her little house tiger, Fiona, deep in the redwoods of the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains! You may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lauren Servais, Northern California Learning Network Coordinator, is an English Instructor at Santa Rosa Junior College, where she co-coordinates the Asian and Pacific Islander American Student Success Program. Over the years at SRJC, Lauren co-coordinated the Basic Skills Initiative, Peer Assisted Learning Program, and New Faculty Professional Learning Program, served as the Faculty Coordinator of Student Equity, co-coordinated the Reading Apprenticeship and Meaningful Assessment FIGs, and facilitated the Multicultural Education Community of Practice.
Lauren‘s varied professional interests are firmly rooted in her experiences of growing up on Oahu, talking story, speaking Hawaiian Creole, and being mixed race, multiethnic, and a first-generation college student. Lauren’s main inquiry has been how to most effectively help first-generation, linguistically and culturally diverse students acquire agency in higher education and gain access to multiple literacies, including academic discourse, to transform their worlds. As an educator, she has focused her professional practice on developing critical consciousness and cultivating humility, for equity work requires on-going praxis and an acknowledgement that there is always more work to be done.
Lauren is an English Instructor at Santa Rosa Junior College, where she co-coordinates the Asian and Pacific Islander American Student Success Program. Over the years at SRJC, Lauren co-coordinated the Basic Skills Initiative, Peer Assisted Learning Program, and New Faculty Professional Learning Program, served as the Faculty Coordinator of Student Equity, co-coordinated the Reading Apprenticeship and Meaningful Assessment FIGs, and facilitated the Multicultural Education Community of Practice.
Before moving to California, Lauren was founding faculty at Cascadia Community College, a Vanguard Learning College of the League for Innovation in the Community College. Lauren earned her BA in English from the University of Hawaii, Manoa, MA in English Literature from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and MEd. in Curriculum and Instruction (areas of focus: Multicultural Education; Language, Literacy and Culture; and Higher Education) from the University of Washington, Seattle. You may contact her at email@example.com.
Central Valley Regional Network (CVRN)
Erik Armstrong is one of the Regional Coordinators for the Central Valley Regional Network. In addition to his role as a Coordinator, he is currently an Assistant English Professor at College of the Sequoias. He has been teaching in the Central Valley since 2008, with stints at both at Modesto Junior College and Fresno City College, with a focus on Basic Skills instruction. He was an integral part of the C6/TAACCCT basic skills redesign for CTE and authored an Open Education Resource (OER) textbook titled, The Essential Guide to the Physical Therapy Aide that embeds basic skills instruction into the content of the CTE course. He is currently working on his college’s Basic Skills Students Outcome Transformation (BSSOT) grant, focusing on acceleration and placement. He holds a B.A. and an M.A. in English from California State University, Chico. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Los Angeles Regional Network (LARN)
Diana Bonilla, Co-Coordinator of 3CSN’s Los Angeles Regional Network (LARN) as well as the Equity Project, is a Professor of Counseling at Los Angeles Mission College (LAMC) where she works as a full-time Counselor in the General Counseling Department. She also teaches College Success courses and serves as a student success leader on her campus. Since 2013, Diana has been an active participant and leader in several of LAMC’s student success programs: Fall Kickoff, Summer Bridge- First-Year Experience program-METAS, Achieving the Dream, and Basic Skills Ad Hoc and Standing Committees. Diana earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego, and her M.A. in Multicultural Counseling from The Community Base Block (CBB) Program at San Diego State University. You may contact her at email@example.com
Gia Gambaro Blount, Co-Coordinator of 3CSN’s Los Angeles Regional Network (LARN), is an adjunct instructor in Child Development and Parent Education at Pasadena City College. She received her BA in Developmental Psychology from San Francisco State University and her MA in Early Childhood Education from Pacific Oaks College. At Pasadena City College she served on the Learning Assessment Committee for four years, as curriculum tutor for the Curriculum and Instruction Committee for two years, and as the faculty co-author and co- instructor for Integrated Education Basic Skills and Training (IBEST) certificate in Child Development and VESL. She believes that one of the most impactful differences in students’ lives is to give them ongoing support in and out of the classroom and to connect them to services and co-curricular experiences that will contribute to their social and navigational capital. Away from the classroom she spends time with her two boys and adorable dog.
San Diego Imperial Valley Network (SDIVN)
Kelan Koning, Communications Coordinator, is an adjunct instructor of English at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). During her sixteen years working for the Educational Opportunity Programs (EOP) at CSUN, she served as content writer as well as managing communications and in-house outreach and follow-up for over 24,000 interested applicants. Having been a low-income, first generation student who spent part of high school in a legal guardianship, Kelan is deeply committed to serving historically underserved students. Her higher ed journey began at community college where she found her voice and rebuilt confidence. She graduated from University of Oregon with a BA in English and completed all coursework for a teaching credential at California State University, Northridge, ultimately earning an MA in English-Creative Writing. She is part of the Reading Apprenticeship Leadership Community of Practice as well as 3CSN’s Integrated Reading and Writing Community and views this as social justice work. In her free time she enjoys photography, travel, collage art, reading, writing poetry, and thrifting. You may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Eddie Tchertchian, 3CSN Technology Coordinator, is a full-time instructor of mathematics at Los Angeles Pierce College and serves as the Technology Director for 3CSN. Eddie earned a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics from University of California, Los Angeles and a Master’s in mathematics from California State University, Northridge. In addition to his involvement with 3CSN, Eddie is currently the vice chair of the mathematics department at Pierce College. He also acts as the Math Specialist for the Center of Academic Success on campus, where he facilitates all course embedded math tutoring, general math tutoring, math workshops, and special projects involving tutors and math faculty. Eddie is also serving as the co-chair of the Technology Committee on campus, and is a proud member of the Student Success Committee, Academic Senate, Enrollment Management Committee, and Student Equity Team. Eddie’s work for 3CSN focuses around maintenance of 3CSN’s online presence and technical support for its coordinators. You may contact him at email@example.com
Betina Vallin, 3CSN Network Specialist, is a SFP -Program Specialist at the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) and helps keep things organized and flowing behind the scenes so that everyone else looks good. Betina first started working in the LACCD as a Student Assistant at East Los Angeles College in 1999, where she completed her AA in Office Administration. Upon graduation she took a position at the District office as a Senior Secretary for Workforce Development. In November 2011, she joined the 3CSN team. Betina received her BS at CSU-Dominguez Hills in Applied Studies/Public Administration in 2015 and is currently in the MPA program at CSU Northridge. You may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Faculty Coordinator, LA College Promise
Joanna Zimring Towne is the Faculty Coordinator for the LA College Promise. She has served in a variety of campus and district leadership roles in the Los Angeles Community College District for the past nine years and has extensive experience in program development and management. She was the Director of New Student Programs at Pierce College, and served as a campus leader for the implementation of the Student Success and Support Program at Pierce along with the creation of the office of New Student Programs. Joanna participated in all aspects of LA College Promise planning including serving as the point person for integrating LACP enrollment activities with LACCD’s new Student Information System. During her career, Joanna has additionally worked for the City of Los Angeles and a variety of non-profit organizations. She is a certified professional coach for both public and private organizations in the areas of strategic planning, program implementation, and program management. In addition to her coaching credentials, she holds a Masters of Social Work (MSW) and Masters of Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Southern California. You may contact her at email@example.com