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EOPS Staff

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Picture of Dr. Sherri RodriguezDr. Sherri Rodriguez 
Dean, Special Programs

As Dean of Special Programs, Dr. Rodriguez is responsible for program planning, implementation, compliance and evaluation for EOPS, CARE, NextUp and Guardian Scholars.

Prior to coming to Los Angeles Valley College, Dr. Rodriguez worked at a variety of educational institutions including El Camino College, USC, UCLA and UC Santa Barbara. Before her career in education, Dr. Rodriguez was a media buyer for a performing arts center and a promotions director for a radio station.

She earned her Bachelor’s degree at California State University, Fullerton in Communications and her doctorate degree at UCLA in Educational Leadership.

Dr. Rodriguez may be reached at (818) 947- 2726 or e-mailed at rodrigsa@lavc.edu.


Armine AkopyanArmine Akopyan
Counselor, EOPS/CARE

As an EOPS Counselor, Armine Akopyan is responsible for providing academic, career, transfer and personal counseling to EOPS/CARE students.

Previously, Armine served as an EOPS counselor at Los Angeles Trade Technical College and Mt. San Antonio College.  While working at Pasadena City College, she served as General, EOPS, STEM and First Year Experience Counselor. At Santa Monica College, she supported students as a Welcome Center Counselor. Also, at Los Angeles Pierce College, Armine worked with students in the Career and Transfer Center. She has also provided advisement to EOP students at California State University, Northridge.

Armine is a former community college and EOP student who transferred from Pasadena City College to California State University, Northridge (CSUN). She holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology and master's degree in Counseling, with an emphasis in College Counseling and Student Services.

 Armine Akopyan can be reached at (818) 947-2432 or e-mailed at akopyaa@laccd.edu.


Jessica AraujoJessica Araujo
Counselor, EOPS/CARE

As an EOPS Counselor, Jessica Araujo is responsible for providing academic, career, transfer and personal counseling to EOPS/CARE students. She is also the primary counselor for the CARE Program by verifying eligibility and planning all events, workshops, conferences and field trips.

Prior to Valley College, Jessica was a counselor at Los Angeles Mission College in the Teacher Pathways program. In addition, she has over six years’ experience working in EOPS/CARE programs at various community colleges. She was also a Professional Growth Plan Advisor/Counselor at Los Angeles Universal Preschool Workforce and Professional Development where she managed the increase of Early Childhood Education degree awareness and attainment for those interested in the Los Angeles County.

After earning her Associate’s degree at Los Angeles Mission College, she transferred to California State University, Northridge where she earned her Bachelor’s degree of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences with a concentration in Family Studies. She obtained her Master’s degree in Educational Counseling from University of La Verne.

Jessica Araujo can be reached at (818) 947-2432 or e-mailed at araujoja@lavc.edu.


Picture of Alma Olivares-LueraAlma Olivares-Luera 
Counselor, EOPS/CARE

As an EOPS Counselor, Alma Olivares-Luera is responsible for providing academic, career, transfer and personal counseling to EOPS/CARE students.

Professor of Counseling, Alma Olivares-Luera, has been an EOPS counselor at Los Angeles Valley College (LAVC) since 1997. She began her career as a counselor fresh out of graduate school at LAVC as part of a Title III grant.

She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in English at UCLA and her Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology and Counseling with an option in Career Counseling at California State University, Northridge.

Alma Olivares-Luera may be reached at (818) 947-2432 or emailed at olivaram@lavc.edu.


Jessica Ruiz

Jessica Ruiz
Counselor, EOPS/CARE/NextUp/Guardian Scholars

As an EOPS Counselor, Jessica Ruiz is responsible for providing academic, career, transfer and personal counseling to EOPS/CARE/NextUp students. She is also the primary counselor for the NextUp/Guardian Scholars programs by verifying eligibility and facilitating Meet-Up's, events and workshops.

Before coming to Los Angeles Valley College, Jessica worked at Santa Monica College as a career counselor where she continues to teach career planning courses as an adjunct faculty. As a paraprofessional,  she served students in the Disabled Students Program and Services (DSPS) at Los Angeles Southwest College.  She was also a Career Advisor for the Career Center at Pasadena City College.  

Jessica is a former Valley College and EOPS student. She attended LAVC and transferred to California State University, Northridge (CSUN) where earned her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Sociology.  Additionally, she earned her Master’s of Science degree in Educational Psychology and Counseling with an option in Career Counseling at CSUN.

Jessica Ruiz can be reached at (818) 947-2432 or e-mailed at ruizj@lavc.edu.


Alex Ojeda

Miguel Sandoval
Counselor, EOPS/CARE

As an EOPS Counselor, Miguel Sandoval is responsible for providing academic, career, transfer, and personal counseling to EOPS/CARE students.

He has worked as an Academic Specialist, Math Intervention Counselor, and Career/Transfer Counselor at Los Angeles Mission College.  At Los Angeles Pierce College he had multiple roles working as a Foster Youth Liaison.  At Pasadena City College he has served as a General Counselor and is currently working for the Program for Academic Support Services, which is a federally funded TRIO program.  At Los Angeles Valley College he has assisted students in the STEM and Non-Credit departments. 

He is a Los Angeles Valley College graduate, earned his Bachelor Science degree from the University of California Los, Angeles and a Master Science degree from California State University, Northridge.  He has varied experience having worked in many community colleges and looks forward to helping students reach their academic goal(s).

Miguel Sandoval can be reached at (818) 947 – 2432 or e-mailed at sandovma@lavc.edu.


Melanie-New-Photo.jpgMelanie Abnoosian
Student Services Assistant, EOPS

As a Student Services Assistant for EOPS, Melanie is responsible for supervising the clerical student workers. She also provides support for the CARE program within EOPS.

Prior to working in EOPS, Melanie worked at Los Angeles Trade Technical College (LATTC) in the Office of Student Life and the Assessment Center.  In addition, she worked as a faculty member teaching a variety of courses including English, Basic Skills, and Learning Skills.

She earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California (USC) in English and Education. She then went on and obtained her Master’s degree from California State University Northridge (CSUN) in Education.

Melanie Abnoosian can be reached e-emailed at abnoosm@lavc.edu .


Carissa GonzalezCarissa Gonzalez
Student Services Assistant, EOPS/NextUp

As the Student Services Assistant for EOPS/NextUp, Carissa is responsible for supervising the clerical student workers. She also provides assistance and support for the NextUp, foster youth program within EOPS.

Prior to working in EOPS, Carissa worked as a financial aid assistant at Los Angeles Pierce College. In addition, she has over five years’ experience working in admissions and records here at LAVC. She also works as a community liaison for a food pantry, in which she works with low income and homeless individuals/families.

Carissa is a former Valley College student.  After earning Associate’s degrees at Los Angeles Valley College, she transferred to California State University, Northridge where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with an option in Social Welfare. She then went on and obtained her Master’s degree in Educational Administration with an option in Higher Education at CSUN.

Carissa Gonzalez can be reached at (818) 947-2732 or e-mailed at gonzalcj2@lavc.edu.


Kristoffer Tolentino
Senior Office Assistant, EOPS

As the Senior Office Assistant for EOPS, Kristoffer Tolentino is responsible for the program database, MIS, and providing clerical support to the EOPS counselors and staff.  Also, is responsible for providing priority registration and textbook services to EOPS students.   

Before arriving at Los Angeles Valley College, Kristoffer was a student worker and a registration assistant at Los Angeles Trade Technical College for the Financial Aid Department.

He earned his Bachelor's degree at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona in Accounting.

Kristoffer Tolentino can be reached at (818) 947-2727 or e-mailed at tolentks@lavc.edu.


Alex Ojeda

Alex Ojeda
Coordinator, NextUp/Guardian Scholars

As the NextUp/ Guardian Scholars Foster Youth Programs Coordinator, Dr. Ojeda is responsible for identifying current and former foster youth attending Los Angeles Valley College and ensuring their needs are met. 

Dr. Ojeda was a transfer student from Los Angeles Mission College and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, a Master’s Degree in Chicana & Chicano Studies and a Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies from California State University Northridge (CSUN). 

Currently, Dr. Ojeda is a professor of Criminology and Justice Studies at CSUN and is the Director of the CSUN MOSAIC program which provides university student mentors to “at-risk” youth attending continuation/ alternative high schools in the San Fernando Valley.  In addition, he has facilitated Independent Living Program (ILP) courses for current foster youth at Los Angeles Mission College.

Dr. Ojeda may be reached at (818) 778-5763 or e-mailed at ojedaa@lavc.edu.