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Meet our admission officers

Vince Cuseo, vice president for admission and financial aid

Territories: New York City, UT, and parts of CA: City of San Francisco

Vince joined Oxy in 1999. He previously served as director of admission at Grinnell College, with prior admission stints at Stanford University, Santa Clara University, and Boston College. A native (and proud) New Yorker, he earned his B.A. from Fordham in philosophy who did graduate work in student personnel administration at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Erika Yamasaki, director of admission
Territories: AZ, FL, HI and parts of CA: Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Riverside, San Bernadino, Ontario, Great Imperial Valley, Covina

Raised in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, Erika attended Boston University where she earned undergraduate degrees in economics and communication. She served her alma mater as the West Coast assistant director of admission before earning a Ph.D. in education from UCLA. At Oxy, Erika coordinates the Alumni-in-Admission program, chairs the Admission communications team, and coordinates the office’s work in the greater Los Angeles area.

Charlie Leizear, associate dean of admission

Territories: DE, District of Columbia, MD, NJ, Upstate NY, PA, VA, US territories, parts of CA: West LA, Hollywood/Wilshire and international applicants

Charlie was born and raised in the suburbs of Atlanta, then attended George Washington University (GW) in Washington, DC to pursue an undergraduate degree in Statistics. After completing his undergraduate studies, Charlie worked in the GW Office of Admission while simultaneously completing his MBA from GW's School of Business. Charlie later worked as a regional admission officer for Franklin University Switzerland and most recently led the international recruitment efforts at Haverford College before arriving to Oxy in 2015.

Maricela L. Martinez, associate dean of admission

Territories: MA (greater Boston area), MN, and parts of CA: East Los Angeles, Glendale/Pasadena, San Fernando Valley

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Maricela originally joined Oxy Admission in 2001, having begun her career in admissions while completing her undergraduate degree in Art History and Latin American Studies at Wellesley College. Maricela has also worked for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Institutional Research department and holds a master's degree from Harvard University. Most recently she served as an associate director of admission at Scripps College. Maricela coordinates our transfer process and works closely with diversity initiatives.

Robin Hamilton '08, assistant dean of admission

Territories: ID, IA, KS, ME, MA (excluding the Boston area), MO, NE, NH, RI, VT, WA, WY, and parts of CA: Glendale, Pasadena, East Los Angeles

Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Robin first came to Occidental as a student in 2004. During her time at Oxy, Robin was a member of the women's swim team, a charter member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, and woked on campus as a Resident Advisor and Office of Student Life Programming Assistant. After graduation, Robin worked as an Admission Counselor at Beloit College in Wisconsin and as an Assistant Director of Admission at UCLA. She is currently working on her Ed.D. at UCLA.

Everett Nelor, admission counselor

Territories: CO, IL, NM, WI and parts of CA: East Bay of San Francisco, South and South Central Los Angeles

Everett grew up in Atlanta, GA and took a gap year as an AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer before attending Bowdoin College. While a student at Bowdoin, Everett worked in Admissions as a student intern and Senior Interviewer, was a part of the rugby team, and played bass in various music ensembles. After graduating with a degree in psychology, Everett joined Oxy in 2014. He coordinates the Senior Fellow Program, works on diversity initiatives, and serves as liaison to community-based organizations.

Columbia Shafer '15, admission counselor

Territories: AK, AR, IN, KY, MI, MT, ND, OH, OK, SD, TX, WV and parts of CA: Far Northern CA, Marin County, Sonoma County, Napa County, Central Valley  

Columbia came to Occidental from a tiny town in Northern California. She began working at the Office of Admission after graduating from Oxy in 2015. During Columbia’s time at Oxy she participated in student research in the Cognitive Science and Psychology departments, founded the Murder Mystery Book Club, worked as a Senior Fellow for the admission office, and stage managed for the Theater Department. She now works with the Admission communications team.

Cris Cambianica, admission counselor

Territories: AL, GA, LA, MS, NV, NC, OR, SC, TN and parts of CA: Orange County, San Diego County

Cris was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley and attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon. At Reed, Cris studied Sociology and was involved in Reed’s Multicultural Resource Center, Office for Institutional Diversity, and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program. Cris is passionate about equity in higher education and joined Oxy in 2016.

Matthew Cecconi '16, admission counselor

Territories: CT, NY (Westchester County, Long Island, Rockland) and parts of CA: South Bay of San Francisco, Central Coast, South Bay of Los Angeles, Long Beach

Matthew, born and raised in Eagle Rock, moved less than two miles to Occidental. After graduating in 2016 with a degree in Sociology, he began working in the Office of Admission. While a student at Oxy, Matthew was on the Blyth Fund, tutored in the Community Literacy Center, worked as a Senior Fellow in the admission office, and performed in the musical Hairspray. He now coordinates the Tour Guide program on campus.  

Emma Goldstein '16, admission coordinator for campus events


Emma was born and raised in the suburbs of New York City, and began working in the Office of Admission after graduating from Oxy in 2016. At Oxy, Emma worked for the International Programs Office as a study abroad Peer Adviser and Office Assistant, served as an International Student Orientation Leader, and as a Campus Tour Guide for the Office of Admission. Emma now coordinates on-campus events for the Office of Admission including overnight visits, Explore Oxy, and Admitted Student visits.

Our support staff team:

Back Row: Diane Hernandez, Olivia Martinez, Teri Perkins, Joan Brewer, Peggy Sadonis; Front Row: Yolanda Cisneros, Tiffani Bruno, Dorothy Fields, Tiffany Wright

... and meet the Financial Aid Office staff.


Collins House
1600 Campus Road
Los Angeles, CA 90041

Phone: (323) 259-2700
or (800) 825-5262
Fax: (323) 341-4875