Office of Student Equity and Success

Meet Online with Student Equity & Success via Cranium Cafe

The Office of Student Equity is committed to creating a welcoming environment for all students to ensure a sense of belonging through the support programs, workshops, speakers, trainings. The programs under the umbrella of the Office of Student Equity and Success provide on-going support and resources to support student academic goals. In fall 2018 the office launched the college’s first Faculty Fellow program and President’s Commission on Diversity and will be opening the Center for Identity, Exploration and Inclusion Fall 2019.

Our Office is located in the Campus Center, down the stairs from the bookstore, CC 301.

Contact Information

Andrea Washington

Andrea Washington

Student Equity and Success
Administrative Assistant

(408) 741-2564

Faculty Fellows

Faculty Fellows are responsible for implementing programs that address (but are not limited to): student professional development, identity exploration, trainings and navigating college. The fellows are responsible to engage students and foster their success at West Valley College.

Philip Severe
African American/Black Students

Meeting Hours

Thursday: 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM

Meet Online with Philip via Cranium Cafe

Phil has been a full-time academic counselor and instructor at West Valley College for 5 years as well as the coordinator of our Umoja Community. As the Faculty Fellow for African-American/Black students he helps students by engaging them in conversation, coordinating events and fun activities; which will hopefully make their world a bigger and better place, opening doors along the way. “My goal as a Faculty Fellow is to develop a sense of community and belonging for our African American/Black students, while providing them support in their personal and educational goals. Our students are the future, and they deserve our best in order to reach their full potential on their way to changing the world."

Christina Shih
Asian Pacific Islander Students

Meeting Hours

Tuesday: 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM
Thursday: 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM

Meet Online with Christina via Zoom

Visit the Asian Pacific Islander Fellow Program

Christina has been an instructor at West Valley for almost ten years. She chose to be the Faculty Fellow for Asian Pacific Islander students because she wanted to assist students outside the classroom. “My first step is to listen to API students to understand their needs. Then I will work with different departments on campus (e.g. Financial Aid, Career Center) to provide resources to those students. My goal is to create an API community on campus that will become increasingly student-driven as we grow.”

Rebecca Cisneros-Diaz
Latinx Students

Meeting Hours

Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Meet Online with Rebecca via Zoom

Rebecca is a first generation college student, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, and was born and raised in the East Side of San Jose. She has been a WVC English faculty member for over 20 years and has always been an equity activist, working to narrow the opportunity and achievement gaps for West Valley students. She wants students to know she will support and advocate for them, build their leadership skills, and help expand their community network, including coordinating events that will inspire, empower, and raise awareness on Latinx issues. “I have always tried to foster a welcoming and encouraging environment for students who may fear that college is not for them. A high quality academic experience and a college degree is ABSOLUTELY for them. I look forward to seeing mi gente achieve greatness on our campus and beyond!“

Leigh Burrill
Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, and Queer Students

Meeting Hours

Monday: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Meet Online with Leigh via Zoom

Password: folk

As a faculty member in the English department and coordinator of the Women, Gender, Queer Studies Program, Leigh has been active with the LGBTQ+ community at WVC for 17 years. The LGBTQ+ Faculty Fellowship enables Leigh to continue her life’s work in promoting gender, women’s, queer, and social justice awareness and progress on campus. “My goals are to ensure that students know that they have community on campus, feel safe, inspired, and seen, and can have a voice in building awareness and promoting visibility for the rainbow of gender and sexuality diversities on our campus and in our communities — and have fun and make friends while doing it!”

Shamiran Badal
Middle Eastern Students

Meeting Hours

Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Friday: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Meet Online with Shamiran via Cranium Cafe

Shamiran is a valued member of our college Student Services team and has enthusiastically extended her range of support to include serving as the Faculty Fellow for Middle Eastern students. She knows that student support programs play an essential role in the academic success of our students. “My walk with students starts from the first time they step on campus and ends when they march in their graduation ceremony. Our precious diverse community includes many students with different potentials and needs. My mission is to reach out to the many Middle Eastern students, to assist them with the challenges and to be a part of their proudest moments of academic achievement."

Erika Vargas
Native American Students

Meeting Hours

Wednesday: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Meet Online with Erika via Zoom

Erika is an Athletics head coach in the Water Polo and Swim program at West Valley. She often mentors and counsels her players and wanted to provide that same support to Native American students. “My goals as a Faculty Fellow are to provide a welcoming and safe environment to everyone, to be a source for any Native American student who needs help with scholarship, finding tutors, talking with financial aid, or just venting. Every student deserves to walk around West Valley with confidence and claim this school as a steppingstone to their future.”

Center for Identity, Exploration and Inclusion

Opening Fall 2019

Student Equity Plan

2019 – 2020 Student Equity Goals

Last Updated 4/24/20