Staff

Angelica Tran headshot Angelia Tran - SSS (ASPIRE) Assistant Director Angelica is a first-generation college graduate born and raised in the Bay Area. She graduated from San José State University with a B.A. in Justice Studies and an M.A. in Counselor Education. She has been a part of the TRiO family as both a student participant and as professional staff for over 15 years and understands first hand the impact and importance of TRiO programs. She loves working with students and helping them achieve their academic goals and beyond.

ASIPRE Staff Anthony StokerAnthony Stoker - Peer Advisor Anthony Stoker is currently a graduate student in SJSU's counseling program. He personally got his start in Chabot College's SSS (ASPIRE) program and he wants to do his best to be just as helpful to others as they were to him. Through their help, he was able to successfully transfer and earn his undergraduate degree. Throughout his time as an undergrad, he had worked with various student service programs like SSS (ASPIRE), MESA (Mather, Engineering, Science Achievement), and Disabled Student Resource Center as a tutor and student assistant. 

ASPIRE Staff Jessica Sierra headshot Jessica Sierra - Peer Advisor Jessica is a first-generation college graduate from San José State University. She is currently pursuing her M.A. in Counselor Education. Originated from Michoacan, Mexico, Jessica has first-hand experience with the challenges migrant, low-income students might encounter in pursuing a college degree. Her own educational journey has ignited a desire to provide the needed support to guide students in overcoming any challenges they might face in reaching their professional and educational goals. Jessica spent most of her undergraduate years supporting first-generation low-income college students through her different roles working for EOP and as a graduate student for the Cesar E. Chavez Community Action Center. She is really excited to work with the SSS ASPIRE family. For fun, Jessica enjoys dancing singing, and going hiking!

ASPIRE staff Dr. Maria E. Cruz headshotDr. Maria E. Cruz - SSS (APSIRE)/McNair Director Dr. Maria Elena Cruz is a descendant of the Huichol (Wixaritari) people of Mexico and was born in Northern California. She is the first person in her family to graduate from college and the first to receive her Ph.D. She received her BA in English with an emphasis on Twentieth-Century Literature (from Modern to Contemporary) Anglophone and Multiculltureal studies from U.C. Berkley (2004). Dr. Cruz is also proud to be a McNair Scholar Alumnus from U.C. Berkley. She completed her Masters in Social-Cultural Anthropology at the University of Texas Austin (2007) and a Ph.D. from the same department in 2013. Dr. Cruz loves to spend time with her family, friends and enjoys traveling.

ASPIRE Staff Martha Toral headshotMartha Toral - Analyst & Administrative Coordinator Martha is a first-generation student and native-born San José, Californian. Her love of the sciences inspired her decision to major in STEM. She graduated from SJSU with a B.S. in Molecular Biology and a minor in Chemistry. Martha is a wonderful new addition to the office and has reorganized the entire program. She is awesome and we are thankful for her!