Welcome New Employees

The Research Foundation is pleased to welcome these new employees who have joined the organization during the past few months.

Eli Lopez

Eliseo V. Lopez

Office of Sponsored Programs
Phone: 408-924-1437

Eliseo “Eli” Lopez, who recently graduated from SJSU with a degree in Business Administration and Management, is already providing high-level customer service to the SJSU research community as part of the Office of Sponsored Programs.

“The team has been very supportive and I feel empowered to deliver high quality work to our faculty.”

Prior to working with the Research Foundation, Eli was an Events coordination and Database Management Ambassador with the Generation Of Asiprational Leaders (GOAL) program at SJSU.

“In GOAL we encouraged student involvement under three pillars of success: Career, Curriculum, and Community. We accomplished this through seminars, hands-on workshops, panel discussions, holiday events, sporting events, and more.”

Eli also has previous experience in big-box retail with a focus on customer service, efficiency, and teamwork. He is a San José native, first-generation, latinX SJSU alumnus. He majored in Business Administration with a concentration in Management. 

During the weekends Eli likes to play acoustic guitar or board games with friends - puzzles, strategy, and RPGs are some of his favorite genres.

Sonia MedinaSonia Medina

Accounts Payable Manager
Phone: 408-924-7395
Email: sonia.medina@sjsu.edu

Sonia Media, Accounts Payable (AP) Manager, describes her first months at the Research Foundation as both exciting and challenging.

“I’m looking forward to the many updates we are implementing in the AP department.” 

Sonia joined the Research Foundation from Flex, where she worked for 21 years, starting off as a mail clerk and working her way up to AP Supervisor. In that position she led a team that re-vamped the entire accounts payable process, putting in automated systems that reduced paper, errors, and manpower, while increasing productivity. Under her leadership they were able to increase vendor discounts by 30%.

Sonia is a local, having been born and raised in San Jose. She has a 19-year-old daughter and a 10-month-old granddaughter. In her free time she hikes on state trails and participates in 5k runs (although she says that she walks them). She also enjoys taking drives in the hill, and visiting wineries or breweries.

A fun fact about Sonia is that she considers herself an “80’s” girl!

“I love everything from the 1980’s - music, movies, tv shows, fashion, etc.”

Thanh Nha Nguyen

Nha Nguyen

General Ledger Accountant
Phone: 408-924-1461
Email: thanhnha.nguyen@sjsu.edu

Thanh Nha Nguyen, who goes by “Nha,” has joined the Research Foundation as a General Ledger Accountant. She formerly worked at an accounting firm and a construction company, although she is now enjoying learning about nonprofit accounting.

“The Finance and Accounting team have helped make my transition go smoothly and I really appreciate that. I am looking forward to becoming a valuable asset to the organization.”

Nha graduated from SJSU with a degree in Business Administration and a concentration in International Business. During her junior year at SJSU, she spent a semester studying in Hong Kong as an exchange student.

“That was the best life experience that I have ever had. It helped me learn more about myself and changed me as a person. When we find ourselves in a new and unfamiliar contexts, even the smallest interactions can become significant lessons.”

Originally from Vietnam, Nha loves traveling and is passionate about exploring other cultures. She has been to eight countries and hopes to add more to the list in the future. During her free time, Nha likes to hang out with friends & family, and volunteer in ways that support the homeless population.

Binish RafiBinish Rafi

Financial Operations Analyst
Phone: 408-924-7393
Email: binish.rafi@sjsu.edu

Binish Rafi, Financial Operations Analyst, joined the Research Foundation from non-profit organization Abode Services in Fremont.

“Abode’s mission is to end homelessness. I was part of the finance team which developed contract budgets along with the Counties, ensured compliance with the budget, and invoiced the costs to the County both on a reimbursement and performance basis. Abode taught me about the different ways people can be helped by giving them control over their lives an assisting them with being able to lead a better life.”

She also previously worked as a financial analyst in Toronto, Canada. 

Binish expresses enthusiasm about working at the Research Foundation, and is enjoying learning about its mission, its systems, and how it supports principal investigators throughout the life cycle of a research project.

Originally from Pakistan, Binish has a four-year-old son and spends her free time meeting up with friends for play dates at the park, running, reading, and watching TV.