Skip to main content

SRS Leadership Team


Dr. Maruth Figueroa

Assistant Vice Chancellor, Student Retention and Success

Dr. Maruth Figueroa serves as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Retention and Success at UC San Diego. In this role, Dr. Figueroa provides leadership to this cluster, creating a culture of success for UC San Diego's students through educational opportunities that are strengths based, invested in community building, and foster equitable educational experiences for students.

Dr. Figueroa has over fifteen years of experience in higher education in a variety of institution types, supporting student retention for historically underrepresented students, closing the opportunity gap and increasing graduation rates. Most recently, Dr. Figueroa served as the Interim Associate Vice President for Retention, Academic Advising, and Learning at California State University, Dominguez Hills. In this role, Dr. Figueroa was responsible for student retention and graduation, academic advising and support programs, peer coaching, first-year and transfer experience. During her tenure at CSUDH she provided leadership and direction that contributed to many accomplishments, including improved retention rates, improved six-year and four-year graduation rates, decreased degree deferrals, and decreased DFW rates for bottleneck courses. All of this success was made possible through inter-divisional collaborations and inter-institutional partnerships.

A first-generation college graduate, Dr. Figueroa is committed to collaborations and partnerships that put students first. Her research interests include access and equity for underserved student populations, AB 540/undocumented/DACAmented students, leadership and spirituality development on college campuses. Dr. Figueroa earned her B.S. in Business Administration, Marketing and Doctorate in Educational Leadership, Higher Education Administration from the University of Southern California and her M.A. in Communications from California State University, Fullerton. She is a member of National Association for Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE), and the College Reading & Readiness Association (CRLA).

 

Daniel Arturo Alfaro Arellano

Program Manager, Undocumented Student Services 

Daniel is the current Program Manager of Undocumented Student Services at UC San Diego. The focus of his work is to ensure the retention and success of undocumented students through effective practices and holistic services. He is passionate about getting to know students individually and being an active participant in their success. Since 2016, Daniel has been able to successfully increase foot-traffic to the Undocumented Student Services Center, which is a factor that has led to the higher usage of the services provided by his program. As part of his role as Program Manager of Undocumented Student Services, he conducts presentations for the campus community and other higher education institutions on how to become an ally to undocumented students. Daniel has dedicated his career to working with immigrant communities. He has extensive knowledge of immigration policies and has worked managing programs that bring together resources to inform and protect immigrants. Through his various roles, he has worked in close collaboration with government, public, and private entities. Daniel is an active participant in immigrant rights networks and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Counseling from California State University, San Marcos.

David Artis, Ph.D.

Dean, Undergraduate Research Advancement

David Artis, Ph.D., Dean of Undergraduate Research Advancement, came to the Office of Academic Enrichment Programs (AEP) in November 2000, from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. There he had served as a faculty member, graduate school administrator and Director of Academic Services in the School of Public Health. At UC San Diego, he has overseen steady growth in the number of AEP programs and services, including coordinating more scholarship opportunities for students in all fields, increased participation in AEP-sponsored undergraduate research conferences, and more collaborative program efforts with other campus units. Dr. Artis is a graduate of Yale and Stanford.

Iris Ayala-Swindell, M.S.Ed

Program Manager, Student Veterans Resource Center

Iris Ayala-Swindell is the current Program Manager for the Student Veterans Resource Center. In this role, Iris manages initiatives and resources to support the success of military-affiliated students, which includes service members, veterans, ROTC cadets, spouses, and dependents. Iris started supporting the military population while in the military herself. Iris served ten years in the U.S. Navy – four years on active duty as a Logistics Specialist and six years on reserve duty as a Unit Career Counselor. In this role, she managed the Career Development Program for her unit, supporting the success of military members as they pursued career and educational goals. Since transitioning out of the military, Iris has dedicated her higher education career to helping military-affiliated students thrive at the university and community college level. Through her previous roles as a military student advisor, academic and career advisor, program advisor, and program coordinator, Iris has helped students successfully enroll, persist, and attain their educational and career goals. Iris has also served as a career development and first year success instructor. Iris received her M.S.Ed. from Southern Illinois University - Carbondale and B.S. from University of Delaware. She also completed her Graduate Certificate in Academic Advising from Kansas State University.

Veronica Bejar

Assistant Director for the Academic Enrichment Programs and McNair Program (AEP)

Veronica Bejar is the Assistant Director for the Academic Enrichment Programs and McNair Program. She has over twenty years of experience preparing and encouraging talented students to pursuing post-baccalaureate degrees. As the Assistant Director, Veronica assists the ongoing operations of the AEP academic year programs, conferences, and summer research programs.

Jackie Duerr, Ed.D.

Program Manager, Transfer Student Success

Dr. Jackie Duerr serves as the Program Manager for Transfer Student Success at UC San Diego. In this role, Jackie coordinates efforts and collaborates across campus to support transfer students academically, professionally, and personally. Ensuring students have positive educational experiences has been a passion of Jackie’s ever since she completed her bachelors as a transfer student herself, and has dedicated her academic and professional careers to support transfer students as well as students on academic probation. Jackie received both her Bachelors of Science in Psychology with an emphasis in Counseling and Family Psychology, and her Masters of Arts in Education with an emphasis in Counseling and Guidance, from California State University, San Luis Obispo, and her Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership from Fresno State University.

David Galvez

Assistant Director for the Office of Academic Support and Instructional Services (OASIS)

Originally from Los Angeles, David Galvez is the Assistant Director for the Office of Academic Support and Instructional Services (OASIS). He has over a decade of experience working with first-generation, historically underresourced student populations in higher education. As the Assistant Director of OASIS, David assists in the ongoing operations of OASIS' Summer Bridge, Second-Year Experience and Language Arts and Math and Science tutorial programs.

Charles Lu, Ph.D.

Director, Office of Academic Support & Instructional Services (OASIS)

Dr. Charles Lu was appointed director of the Office of Academic Support and Instructional Services (OASIS) in 2017. Previously, he was an executive director in the academic diversity initiatives portfolio of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Lu has also served as a clinical assistant professor, teaching courses on research methods, organizational leadership, and social entrepreneurship in education. A published author, Dr. Lu’s research on STEM, college preparation and completion, and diversity in higher education has been highlighted in popular media and peer-reviewed academic journals. Over the years, Dr. Lu has served as an educational researcher and consultant, school director, academic coach, middle school science teacher, and was the recipient of the Toyota International Teacher of the Year award, where he created a virtual curriculum on environmental sustainability in the Galápagos Islands. In his spare time, Dr. Lu enjoys CrossFit, hiking with his dog, watching Netflix, exploring new restaurants, and traveling the world. Dr. Lu received his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration and B.S. in Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin, and his M.A. in Secondary Science Education from Loyola Marymount University.

Lindsay Romasanta, Ed.D.

Director, Student Success Programs

Dr. Lindsay Romasanta joined the UC San Diego Student Retention and Success Team as the Director of Student Success Programs in the fall of 2016, having worked in a variety of public service settings ranging from grass roots community non-profits to large state universities. Like many first-generation college students, she stumbled upon her professional passion of choice — higher education — by chance. Since that discovery, she has dedicated her professional and scholarly work helping college students achieve their dreams of higher education. Dr. Romasanta's research interests are first-generation college students, resilience, retention of underserved students, and anti-deficit approaches in higher education. She is currently working on publishing her research in book chapters and an academic journal. Dr. Romasanta is a proud Pilipina, low-income, first-generation college graduate. She received her bachelor's degree in social work and a certificate in Asian American studies from Arizona State University, her Masters of Public Administration degree from Georgia State University, and her Doctorate of Education in Leadership and Innovation from Arizona State University.

Belinda Zamacona, M.A.

Director, Chancellor’s Associates Scholars Program (CASP)

Belinda is the founder of the Chancellor’s Associates Scholars Program (CASP), conceptualizing the program when she was hired in 2014. Her responsibilities as the Director for CASP include the creation, development, and implementation of a comprehensive retention program to support students who receive the Chancellor’s Associate Scholarship, which recognizes and supports talented students with financial need who have great potential and motivation to succeed at UC San Diego. Belinda is a proud first-generation, English-language learner student, born in México. Belinda has been part of UC San Diego since 2009. She is passionate about issues of access and equity in education. Her professional background includes working with parents and families, community relations, and access, yield and retention programs. Belinda has served as a higher education leader nationally, being a past member of the leadership team for NASPA’s Socioeconomic and Class Issues in Higher Educational Knowledge Community, and an Advocate in the Advocacy Group for NASPA’s Center for First Generation Student Success. She is a member of NASPA, AAHHE, ASHE, and HACU. She is a third year doctoral candidate in Education Studies, and her research is on the career paths of undocumented college students.