Maricopa Emergency Management System Alert

ATTENTION STUDENTS: Facial coverings that cover your nose and mouth are required in all college facilities. CGCC is offering services in-person and via phone, email and online. Use our contact page for hours, locations and additional information.


Foster Youth

Your educational journey is just beginning, and we’re here to help you stay on the path you’ve chosen. You have a team ready to help you achieve your educational goals beginning with our foster youth champions. These champions across the college are here to provide support in nearly all aspects of your college career.

We can help with:

  • Figuring out a major
  • How to fit your classes to your schedule
  • Navigating FAFSA, verifying your ID and paying for college
  • Where and how to get your high school transcripts
  • Resources for health and well being
  • Employment opportunities
  • Transportation
  • Mentoring, tutoring and technology resources


Our commitment to you

Your foster youth advocates focus on three main areas:

Helping you stay in school

We’re focused on creating supportive environments on our campuses. Staff members are dedicated to supporting students, so you can focus on your goals.

Completing your degree or certificate

Completing a degree or certificate leads to greater overall earning potential. You have the support you need to succeed in higher education, no matter what goals you have.

Transferring to a university

Going to a new school isn’t always easy. Not only do you gain the education and skills you need to transfer to a four-year school, you have the opportunity to connect with the staff from Arizona State University’s Bridging Success program. This connection supports a smooth transfer to the university.

Foster Advocate

Chandler-Gilbert Champions

Meet your champions. You can contact them all at


Alisa Beyer

Dr. Alisa Beyer
Psychology faculty

Finding balance while going to school, dealing with home life and work can be a challenge. Remaining true to yourself, staying connected to your values and pushing through challenging times can be difficult, but Alisa is here to help you connect with careers that match your values and long-term goals. Alisa also says reach out when you need support. You have a community here that wants you to be the best version of yourself.

Sonya Brieske Computer Lab

Sonya Brieske
Instructional services manager

Sonya is the person you want in your corner when you have technical issues! She is the Instructional Services Manager for the computer lab and makes things run! And because she knows technical issues can sometimes trip students up, her advice is “STOP! Don’t drop!” when things get rough. That includes learning remotely. As a former foster child herself, Sonya wants students to know “Don't give up because you have a team of people willing to help you through it.”
Bilingual: Korean

Ashley Bouknight

Ashley Bouknight
Program specialist, student life

One of the most important things you can do to be successful in college (after studying of course!) is to get involved and Ashley’s role at Student Life and Leadership on the Williams campus puts her in the path of activity! Ashley can connect you to engaging opportunities even in a virtual environment. But watch out - when she’s not helping students connect to all that CGCC offers, you can find Ashley high flying on the trapeze, running or just being outdoors.

Elizabeth Daly

Elizabeth (Lisa) Daly
Adjunct professor, English

Going to college for the first time can feel overwhelming. Lisa suggests that the best thing to do is to break things down into steps: from the application process to financial aid to picking a major and the right classes. That way, each move forward is an achievement. Another way to make things less overwhelming is to make sure you reach out to your instructors and ask questions. Everyone is here to support you and help you toward your success.

John Dean

John Dean
English faculty

As a former CGCC student, John knows that attending college can be a challenge for everyone, but don’t let financial issues get in the way. He advises students to contact him or any of the other champions to help guide you to resources available whether it’s financial aid or scholarships or basic needs. As the first in his family to graduate from college, he knows what it feels like to navigate the process without guidance so he is here to help you avoid the pitfalls he faced.

Margie Gomez

Margie Gomez
Adjunct business faculty

Margie has spent a lifetime mentoring and giving back, beginning when she was in college working with Operation Back to School to distribute school supplies to community members, Boys and Girls Clubs, etc. She knows that challenges can feel overwhelming at times, but she will connect students to resources, offer support and help students choose solutions that work for them. She also says students need to prioritize self-care, practice being kind to themselves and not get caught up comparing themselves to others.

Katie Haar

Katie Haar
Service learning & civic engagement program supervisor

Connecting people at the right times can be key to success. For Katie, working in Service-Learning and Civic Engagement means she gets to meet people all over the CGCC campus and in our community. And while she may not have all the answers, she can probably help you find someone who does. One key piece of advice she offers students is don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t worry that you might look like you don’t know what you are doing - everyone has been in that position before until someone helped them.


Sarah Helmuth

Sarah Helmuth
Early childhood and teacher education service-learning placement coordinator

Sarah can assist students with surveys for individual education placements, help obtain an IVP fingerprint card, initiate contact with mentor teachers, and assist with completing service-learning documents. She wants students to know they shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help. Students are facing a multitude of challenges in today’s world, but the CGCC team are here to help you succeed even if those challenges are for basic needs, food assistance or mental well-being.

Veronica Hippolito

Veronica Hippolito
Vice president, student affairs

Veronica helps connect students to services, to support and resources. As a vice president at CGCC, she can explain how things work and what to expect as well as help students navigate policies and procedures. Students are balancing a number of responsibilities including work, financial, family and school obligations. This can be stressful and worrisome. She wants students to know they are not alone. We can help them navigate challenges and connect them to help.

Cynthia Johnson

Cindi Johnson
Admissions and Records

Cindi is here to help you navigate the admissions process, residency and transcripts. Her advice to students is to stay excited because the time at CGCC will be fun.

Jenna Kahl

Jenna Kahl
Associate vice president, community relations

Wondering how to transfer what you learned at CGCC to a four-year institution? Jenna has the expertise to help you on your next step in your educational journey. Navigating that change can be hard and so can planning for that future, but in Jenna’s role at the college, she has access to tools that can make it easier for you to do just that. “You don’t know what you don’t know so be open to learning and asking questions,” she said.

Kim Kocak

Kim Kocak
Senior student services specialist

Life as a child of a military veteran meant Kim moved often -- almost every other year -- when growing up. The realities of always being “the new kid” are very close to home for Kim. Because of that, Kim knows that disconnection can hinder your success and her goal is to make sure you connect to a CGCC community ready to offer resources, support and spirit as well as basic needs and support programs to help you in and out of class.

Jamie Konatske

Jamie Konatske
Biology faculty

A member of the CGCC family since 2011, Jamie works with students on creating their career paths and meets with students to help with academic or personal issues, then connects them with campus resources. She advises students to get to know their instructors and communicate any issues or concerns early. Off campus, Jamie volunteers at the Arizona Museum of Natural History.

Ann Lopez

Ann Lopez
Business faculty

Having spent more than 20 years at CGCC, Ann has seen trends come and go. The shift to virtual or online classes is just one of those changes but her advice to students remains the same - let your instructor know if you are struggling. They want to see you succeed as well. And if you need resources outside the classroom to succeed, there are avenues of support open to you. We can work together to find solutions. You are not alone! Her quote is from Pope St. John XXIII: “Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but what is still possible for you to do.”

Kathleen Lüppker

Kathleen Lüppker
International student advisor

Helping international students navigate the American collegiate system can be just as daunting for the student as it can be for former foster children. But Kathleen is an expert at helping this process and can be your guide as well. Your success is her success so don’t hesitate to ask her any question about the process! Many parts of the systems used aren’t necessarily user-friendly and the acronyms used can confuse anyone new. But there is a support team in place, ready to help you make the most of your time here.
Bilingual: German

Christina Mason

Christina Mason
Student services analyst - Academic Advising

Christina is a passionate academic advisor, dedicated to providing career and academic advisement to a diverse population of students by providing a guided pathway towards success through joint collaboration, personalized and individualized advisement, and educational opportunities. Understanding each student’s goals for attending college is essential for both the student and the institution to be successful. With the added stress of the pandemic, challenges with financial hardship, and inability to connect directly with the appropriate resources, all which could lead to detrimental impacts on our students, now is the time to take the leap, ask for help, and be confident in your decisions.

Jasmine Mercado

Jasmine Mercado
Student service analyst, Early College

Don’t let one bad grade end your educational dream! Jasmine helps students get connected to resources on campus that can help them improve their grades, which in the long run helps them stay motivated and engaged. Her help starts when students are still in high school where she helps them navigate what path they want to take to their future. When she isn’t doing that, you can find Jasmine checking out the best coffee around especially small shops like Tres Leches Cafe or Lux Central. Bilingual: Spanish

Garrett Meyer
Student services specialist

Financial aid can be one of the most daunting things about going to college, but Garrett can help you break down the process into manageable steps to make your educational journey easier. This is especially needed during this COVID-19 era. When he is not helping students navigate the financial aid process, you can find him navigating his way around a golf course, hopefully dealing with numbers a lot smaller than aid packages!

Elizabeth Scott

Elizabeth Scott
Administrative specialist senior

As co-chair of Foster Advocates Beth is the go-to person! Not only that, if a student is having trouble navigating how to start or has questions about financial aid, student success, student life, Beth knows the answer or who to talk to through her role with the vice president of student affairs. Beth knows -- she was not only a foster child herself, but is also a foster parent. She can relate to your situation.

Monique Seleen

Monique Seleen
Academic advisor, Academic Advisement

As an Academic Advisor Monique helps assist students in figuring out what classes they need to fit their major, guides them on the transferring process, and is there when it comes time to apply for graduation. Monique knows that one of the biggest challenges to attending college can be cost and she encourages students to apply to as many scholarships as they can, no matter the amount. It can make a difference! Monique has been at CGCC since January 2019, but when she isn’t on campus she likes to spend time with her husband, her dog, and enjoys baking and thrift store shopping.

Yvette Strickling

Yvette Strickling
Program analyst, Student Rights and Responsibilities

Being willing to challenge yourself and stretch your limitations, understanding that the educational process can be hard means when you grasp the fruits of your labor it is worth it. Yvette says that sometimes meeting with a career advisor can help students identify their interests and what path they might take to achieve their goals. She wants students to know that the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities provides resources for the college community, including student education, care and self-advocacy.

Anne Suzuki

Dr. Anne Suzuki
Dean, student development

As the Dean of Student Development, Anne leads the team that helps students get connected to resources on campus, tools that can help them balance, work, school, family and life. Anne suggests students get involved in campus life by connecting with fellow students, professors and staff. She lives this mantra too by always trying new things. When she isn’t at CGCC you can find her near the ocean or out walking. Please also contact her if you are interested in pursuing graduate, law, medical or dental (etc.) school and how to prepare for these programs.

Myles Whittymore

Myles Whittymore
Peer mentor

As everyone had to transition to online and virtual work and classes, that can be stressful. Myles understands that and suggests that students get familiar with the resources that Chandler-Gilbert has to offer to help them succeed. Myles is a peer mentor, so he works directly with students and can offer a student perspective.

Julie Wright

Julie Wright
Fiscal supervisor, Student Business Services

After fostering a child for three years, Julie immediately became his advocate and helped guide him through many challenges. She understands some of the unique challenges former foster children face. Because of that she is ready to help you navigate the challenges. She knows that facing these issues can be daunting and make you want to quit, but she is ready to help students face the challenges as a stepping stone to knowledge. I help champion our students by assisting them in navigating and understanding their financial responsibilities when it comes to paying for college.