California Cradle-to-Career Data System Welcomes New Members to Drive Educational Excellence

C2C Staff | January 5, 2024

By: Angelique Palomar, Updated February 2024

As the California Office of Cradle-to-Career (C2C) turns to a new chapter to welcome 2024, we are thrilled to introduce the newest members of our Governing Board and two Advisory Boards. These remarkable individuals bring diverse expertise in the education, workforce, and social services sector. Their shared passion to serve all Californians will help C2C provide the state’s residents with actionable tools that will empower them to achieve their life goals.

Meet Our Governing Board Members

Nathan Evans (California State University Office of the Chancellor)

Dr. Evans joins us from the California State University, Office of the Chancellor, bringing a wealth of experience in higher education. We are grateful to have his insights and direction as we shape strategies that foster seamless transitions from education to career. 

Ana Luz Gonzalez-Vasquez (UCLA Labor Center)

Dr. Gonzalez-Vasquez brings a unique background in qualitative and quantitative research with a focus on workforce development, low wage workers, and informal labor markets. Her perspective and extensive experience make Dr. Gonzalez-Vazquez a key member in C2C’s Governing Board. We are grateful to have Dr. Gonzalez-Vazquez’s leadership.

Christopher J. Nellum (The Education Trust-West)

Dr. Nellum, a long-time supporter of the state longitudinal data system and former C2C Community Engagement Advisory Board member, brings with him a deep knowledge of the California education landscape and its intersection with justice and economic mobility. We look forward to Dr. Nellum’s continued guidance.

Liberty Van Natten (California Department of Education)

Member Van Natten’s background in education research, implementation, and community outreach at the California Department of Education positions her as a valuable addition to the Governing Board. We are honored to have a leader like Liberty serve on our Governing Board and help drive our mission of creating more equitable futures while centering student success. 

Meet Our Data & Tools Advisory Board Members

Lisa Catanzarite (UNITE-LA)

Dr. Catanzarite’s expertise in education and workforce development at UNITE-LA makes her a key player in guiding the development of data and tools here at C2C. Her insights will help ensure that our data system is robust and responsive to the evolving needs of students and educators. 

Diana Harlick (San Mateo County Office of Education)

Member Harlick brings her experience from the San Mateo County Office of Education to the Data & Tools Advisory Board. Her focus on innovation and educational excellence will play a crucial role in refining the tools that empower educators, administrators, and the communities Cradle-to-Career serves.

Helen Norris (Chapman University)

Member Norris’ deep background in information technology and its intersection with higher education make her an ideal fit for C2C’s Data & Tools Advisory Board. Her passions to advance higher education through information technology and empower marginalized communities through mentorship will provide C2C with an added edge needed to ensure we are providing users with tools that will encourage informed decision-making. 

Diana Phuong (Braven)

Member Phuong’s experience at Braven brings a unique perspective on empowering students to excel in their education pursuits. Her input will be invaluable in creating tools that help students to navigate their education and career journeys effectively. 

J. Oliver Schak (The County of Santa Clara Behavioral Health Services Department)

Member Schak is a nationally recognized expert on higher education affordability and finance and most recently pivoted to behavioral health services. Oliver’s shift adds a crucial dimension to the Data & Tools Advisory Board as his insights will help ensure that our data tools are sensitive to the holistic well-being of students.

Meet Our Community Engagement Advisory Board Members

Lorenzo Gamboa (Santa Clara University)

Member Gamboa’s role at Santa Clara University and his commitment to community engagement make him a valuable asset to the Community Engagement Advisory Board. His extensive background with college advising and personal experience navigating the college to employment journey as a first-generation student will help ensure that our initiatives resonate with California’s diverse communities. . 

Adam Gottlieb (UNITE-LA)

Member Gottlieb’s dedication to education equity at UNITE-LA aligns seamlessly with our goals. With a background in higher education policy at the local, state, and federal level will help guide our efforts to engage with various communities and effectively provide solutions for the unique needs for those areas. 

Karina Lopez (Compton College)

Member Lopez’s role at Compton College as a counselor for the EOPS/CARE/Next Up Program serving first-generation, low-income, single parents, current or former foster youth, undocumented, and students of color. Her insights are vital and will help shape strategies that cater to the unique needs of community college students.

Carla Lopez-Valdez (Para Los Niños)

Member Lopez’s commitment to educational outreach at Para Los Niños makes her an ideal member of our Community Engagement Advisory Board. Her deep background advocating for social justice reforms will provide insights to guide our efforts in holistically providing the most inclusive data system in the nation. 

Mike Nguyen (Student at UC Berkeley)

Member Nguyen, a Bay Area native and student at University California, Berkeley, provides a crucial student perspective. With an already extensive background in community engagement and education advocacy, Mike’s firsthand experience will ensure that the voice of students is central to our initiatives. 

Alexis Takagi (Santa Clara University)

Member Takagi, a second-year doctoral student at Santa Clara University School of Education and Counseling Psychology, where she is pursuing an EdD in Social Justice Leadership with an emphasis on higher education, brings a fresh perspective and well-rounded academic insight to our Community Engagement Advisory Board. Her passion for education will contribute to creating strategies that resonate with both students and state leaders. 

As we welcome these exceptional individuals, we look forward to a year of collaboration, innovation, and progress. Together we will continue to build a cradle to career pathway that empowers every individual in California to achieve their full potential. Here’s to a brighter future for education in the Golden State!

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