Meet the Team

TRIO - Administration

Dr. Maria Elena Cruz

TRIO(SSS & McNair) | Program Director


Dr. Cruz photo

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. Berkeley (2004). Dr. Cruz is also proud to be a McNair Scholar Alumnus from U.C. Berkeley. She completed her Masters in Social-Cultural Anthropology at the University of Texas at 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.


Rika Hache

TRIO(SSS & McNair) | Analyst & Administrative Coordinator


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TRIO(SSS) - Advising

Schedule an Appointment [Current TRIO(SSS) Students Only]: Check your email for calendly link to schedule an appointment.

Angelica Tran

TRIO(SSS) | Assistant Director / Academic Advisor


Angelica Tran photo

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.


Anthony Stoker

TRIO(SSS) | Academic Advisor


Anthony Stoker photo

Anthony is a TRIO alumni who got his start working as a student assistant with the TRIO ASPIRE & EXCEL programs at Chabot College. Seeing how the advisors were able to make such a difference in their student’s academic journey was a huge inspiration for him to eventually pursue a career in counseling. With the help of the program he was able to transfer to UC Berkeley earning his BA in Music, and then later on to SJSU to earn his Masters in Counseling and Guidance. TRIO is the community that he came up in, and he is very excited to have the opportunity to give back in a meaningful way.


Maria Fernanda (Marifer) Ruiz

TRIO(SSS) | Academic Advisor


Maria Fernanda (Marifer) Ruiz photo

Maria Fernanda (Marifer) Ruiz is a first-generation student from Hayward, CA. She received her B.A. from UCSB in 2021 and Counseling and Guidance Program from SJSU in 2023. She personally knows the struggles of being a first-gen student navigating a four-year institution and wants to make sure that other first-generation students feel supported in their educational journey. She hoped to continue supporting students in their educational journey in the future. She is the new Academic Advisor for TRIO (SSS).