Meet the DOS Staff

Come visit us in our offices in Heggblade Center.

 

 
Headshot of Sharon Basso
Sharon Basso

Vice President for Student Affairs

(909) 621-8114

Sharon has dedicated her entire professional career to fostering the academic success and personal growth of college students. With over three decades of experience in student affairs, Sharon has an outstanding reputation as a trusted counselor and empathic supporter of students and is an innovative, strategic, and effective leader in higher education. In her work with students, faculty, and staff, she has been dedicated to the growth of a healthy, inclusive community.

Before joining CMC in 2016, Sharon spent much of her career at Lehigh University, where she oversaw 18 departments in student affairs and was responsible for the management of nearly 60 professional and administrative staff. Prior Lehigh, Sharon was a psychological counselor at Fairleigh Dickinson University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Lafayette College, where she also played Division I basketball.

She has a master’s degree in college counseling and student development administration from Shippensburg University and a doctorate in educational leadership, administration, and policy from the University of Delaware.

Headshot of Dianna DT Graves
Dianna Graves ’98

Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students

(909) 607-8055

During her two decades on the CMC staff, Dianna has always put the student experience first, dedicated to making sure every CMCer has the opportunity to thrive. Before assuming the Dean of Students role, Dianna served as the Assistant Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, collaborating with students, faculty, staff, and trustees on CMC’s institutional priorities.

As a CMC student, Graves earned 11 varsity athletics letters, received the prestigious Dickinson Award, served as Head Resident Assistant, and won the Berger Prize as one of two outstanding students in her graduating class. Prior to her career in higher education, Graves worked briefly as a research associate in the Molecular Genetics Department at City of Hope, investigating the genetic processes underlying cancer.

Graves returned to CMC as the head women’s volleyball coach, a position she held for 12 seasons. In 2010, she became Director of Academic Planning at CMC. In that role, she oversaw federal grant administration, institutional accreditation, and external program review. She played a lead role in establishing the Personal and Social Responsibility Initiative, working with the Dean of Students and the Dean of the Faculty on issues related to sexual assault, drug and alcohol use, academic integrity, and campus climate. Graves also served as CMC’s institutional liaison to the Western Association of Schools and Colleges for seven years. In 2015, the College recognized her leadership with CMC’s Exceptional Service Award.

Graves holds a Ph.D. in education from Claremont Graduate University, is a member of multiple professional organizations, and serves on the Board of the Claremont Educational Foundation.

Headshot of Susan Layden.
Susan Layden

Senior Associate Dean of Students for Student Success

(909) 607-8307

Susan holds a B.A. in Psychology from Siena College, and a Ph.D. in Literacy from the University at Albany. Susan has worked extensively on initiatives connected to access and equity, diversity and inclusion, disability services, athletics, and international student support; she serves on the national steering board for the Consortium for High Achievement and Success (CHAS), and trains faculty and staff at colleges and universities in Intergroup Dialogue (IGD) pedagogy. At Skidmore College, where she worked before coming to CMC, she was also part of the small faculty team responsible for creating the first Intergroup minor in the nation. Susan is a native New Yorker, an avid athletics fan, and loves gardening, making pizza, hiking and spinning, and spending time with her family and friends.

Ashley C. Barton

Associate Dean of Students for Diversity and Inclusion and CARE Center Director

(909) 607-9357

Ashley serves as the Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion and CARE Center Director. As a passionate advocate for DEI work, she is excited to serve the CMC community as it learns and grows. She is responsible for facilitating initiatives across the College to encourage an inclusive environment for students of a variety of backgrounds, identities, experiences, perspectives, and ideas. Moreover, she provides educational experiences and training programs, from orientation to more advanced programs, for student leaders, groups, and organizations; aiming to make CMC a better place.

Ashley is a native of Los Angeles who received her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Sociology with a minor in Education from UCLA. Soon after she also completed a Master of Education degree, also from UCLA. Later on she went on to cross town rival, the University of Southern California, to pursue a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Higher Education Administration. She focused her dissertation work on how academically and socially successful Black students persist, engage and graduate.

Upon completion of her degree she became the inaugural director of the Black Student Resource Commons at the University of San Diego. There she served for a little over 8 years, creating programs for the Black community on identity development, peer mentorship, academic success strategies, cultural celebrations and critical dialogues.

With 14 years in higher education, Ashley’s passion for diversity, equity and inclusion continues. She is dedicated to supporting campus-wide diversity efforts, while encouraging positive and fruitful collegiate experiences for students.

When she’s not out there trying to save the world through education, she can be found reading on the sofa or crafting!

Headshot of Jess Neilson.
Jess Neilson

Senior Assistant Dean of Students for Mental Health and Health Promotion

(909) 607-7293

As Case Manager, Jess provides support to students who may experience personal challenges during their time at CMC, while also contributing to the care of the mental health and wellness of the campus community. Jess works with students to identify their current needs and coordinates support through an ongoing partnership, including referrals to campus and community resources and monitoring of personal progress. Her goal is to help students engage in effective problem-solving by navigating supportive options together. She received her B.A in music from Skidmore College in her home state of New York and her M.A in Counseling Psychology from Argosy University. Jess has a background in residential life and disability support services within higher education as well as experience as an Associate Marriage & Family Therapist. She has been a Seattle Seahawks fan since before she could walk and is an avid outdoorswoman who is passionate about the therapeutic benefits of spending time in nature.

Jenny Guyett

Senior Assistant Dean of Students for Residential Life and Student Engagement

(909) 621-8258

Jenny is a graduate of Drew University where she studied history and psychology. She earned her master’s degree from Springfield College, majoring in psychology and counseling with a concentration in higher education administration. She is currently ABD in her doctoral program at New England College, focusing on completing her dissertation. Jenny has had a variety of experiences in student affairs. She has worked in admissions, student activities/community service, academic advising, orientation, and residential life. She has also served as adjunct faculty at other institutions. Jenny is passionate about the liberal arts education. Her main areas of interest include positive psychology, issues around access and equity, partnering with parents and family, and creating a strong sense of community within the residence halls. Originally from New York City, Jenny is thrilled to be on the west coast! When not in the office, she spends her free time on the Pellie (her bike), running, checking out new beaches, teaching or practicing yoga, reading, kayaking, skiing, watching new movies and documentaries, exploring California, and spending time with her beloved dogs Sharkbait and Cali.

Headshot of Brian Weir.
Brian Weir

Director of Public Safety and Emergency Management

(909) 621-8816

Brian is a military and law enforcement veteran with an extensive safety and security background, ranging from threat assessment/force protection to proactive Community Oriented Policing strategies. He served in the United States Air Force as a Security Forces Commander/Chief of Police and was recognized as the first USAF reservist to deploy after 911 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Brian retired from the Beverly Hills Police Department in November 2016. During his multi-faceted career, he served as operator/team leader within the framework of SWAT, specializing in Defensive Tactics, WMD, K-9 operations, narcotics/counter-surveillance, active shooter/rapid response engagements and dignitary protection, assisting US Secret Service in the protection of multiple US Presidents and other globally known protectees. Brian holds a Master’s Degree in Military Operational Art and Science, Air University and is a proud Aggie from Texas A&M University, graduating with a BS in Sociology. In his off time, Brian enjoys trying to hone his golf game and spending time with his beautiful family. Brian is excited about the traditions, unique cultures and family like atmosphere at CMC, where mutual support and respect allows a safe, work hard-play hard approach. Brian and his team are so excited to meet you and be an integral positive part of your unforgettable college experience at Claremont McKenna.

Matthew Layman

Assistant Dean of Students for Academic Success

(909) 607-8107

Matt Layman provides support to students and their academic success, ensuring students are aware of and take full advantage of the all the tools and resources available to them at CMC, including the Romero Success Coaches, a peer mentorship group he oversees. Having worked a variety of roles for over a decade in higher education, he assists students with prioritization and time management to adequately balance all of their commitments. Matt always makes time for his students, whether that is through a scheduled meeting, cheering them on at a team or group competition/event, or just a random pop in to his office for conversation and/or coffee. He received his Master of Arts Degree in Education from Heidelberg University and his bachelor’s degree in athletic training from Manchester University, where he was also a three-sport college athlete. Loves coffee shops, houseplants, his garden, cooking his Italian family recipes, and can often be seen walking through campus with his wife and their two dogs Koa and Millie.

Maude Nazaire
Maude Nazaire

Assistant Dean of Students for Academic Success and Accessibility Services

(909) 607-0316

As a member of the Academic Success team, Maude provides support for students with accommodations and any student seeking help in the realm of academic success. Maude is the point person for any student with disabilities, whether temporary or permanent, to get connected, request accommodations, and receive support during their time at CMC. She is passionate about creating and fostering an environment that integrates accessibility and inclusion. Maude holds a B.A. in Speech and Hearing Science from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Arts in Counseling, and an Ed.D in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in mental health from La Sierra University.

Headshot of Gleanne Kienzler.
Gleanne Kienzler

Assistant Dean of Students for Diversity and Inclusion

(909) 607-5198

As the Assistant Dean of Students for Diversity & Inclusion, Gleanne supports diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism initiatives on campus while also serving as a resource for underrepresented student populations at CMC. In her role, she helps students learn about themselves so they can leverage their strengths to make an impact on their community. Gleanne is a first-generation college student with a BSBA and MBA from Hawaiʿi Pacific University. She is currently in the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program at Cal State Fullerton, exploring how cultural experiences influences civic behavior. She hopes that her findings will provide a better understanding of the role culture plays in empowering students through their experiences and strengths to further American democracy and create a more equitable and inclusive society. In her free time, she can be found at the dog park with her dogs or surfing at the beach.

Headshot of MaryKate Jacobs on campus.
MaryKate Jacobs

Assistant Dean of Students for Student Engagement

(909) 607-9790

As the Assistant Dean of Student Engagement, MaryKate Jacobs works to ensure that all students are empowered to create their own unique and fulfilling CMC experience beyond the classroom. She believes that by engaging with the campus community through co-curricular opportunities, students are able to further develop their skills and become even more capable and confident individuals. She serves as the advisor to the Associated Students of Claremont McKenna College. She also oversees Orientation and WOA and approves student events on campus. In 2017, MaryKate earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina Wilmington in Political Science. She later graduated from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville with her master’s degree in College Student Personnel in 2019. In her free time, MaryKate loves battling California heat to try to grow something in her garden, visiting coffee shops, and walking her dog, Brandi.

Headshot of Chrishelle Perez.
Chrishelle Perez

Assistant Director of Student Engagement

(909) 607-4966

As the Assistant Director of Student Engagement, Chrishelle provides support to all students as they explore their experience outside of the classroom and engage with the campus community. She is passionate about being a resource for students as they develop all the skills needed to be compassionate and effective leaders at CMC and beyond. In her role, she advises the College Programming Board (CPB) and all CMC clubs and student organizations. Additionally, she assists the Director of Student Engagement with Orientation and First Year Programs.


Chrishelle earned her Bachelor of Science in Sociology at the University of La Verne in 2016. In 2020, she graduated from California State Fullerton with a Master’s of Science in Higher Education with experience in Student Life and Student Conduct. Before joining the Dean of Students team at CMC, Chrishelle was an academic advisor at the University of Southern California. When she isn’t in the office, Chrishelle loves to get lost in a book and huge mug of tea or take a drive to explore SoCal. She also is a life-long Dodgers fan, Ravenclaw, and Disney Adult.

 

Wendy Torres-Badajoz
Wendy Torres-Badajoz

Assistant Director of Residential Life

909-607-9663

As the Assistant Director of Residential Life, Wendy (she/her) provides support to the Resident Assistant staff and is the primary point person for students living off campus at the Kendry apartments. In her role, she has direct oversight of the programming efforts of Resident Assistants and helps them find innovative ways to make their halls the most inclusive spaces they can be.

Wendy earned her Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and History from CMC. And is currently working on Masters in Student Affairs and Educational Justice. While at CMC, she worked at the Athenaeum, as a First Year Guide, Tour Guide, Student Director of Outreach and Resident Assistant. She participated in a year of Study Abroad on the DC program and at the University of Havana, in Cuba. She calls on all of these experiences when working with current students to support them in their journey to make CMC better. When she isn’t in her office in Heggblade, Wendy can be found at Dodger Stadium or at her mom’s restaurant eating the best Mexican food in the area.  

 

Headshot of Cynthia Keller.
Cynthia Keller

Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs and the Dean of Students and Clery Coordinator

(909) 607-9814

Cynthia assists the Vice President for Student Affairs and the Dean of Students and oversees the management of the Dean of Students Office. She serves as the primary contact on behalf of the Vice President and the Dean of Students and provides support in the daily operations of each department within the office. Cynthia supervises the DOS Student Assistants, supports the Student Affairs Committee for the Board of Trustees, and makes arrangements for Commencement. Cynthia also serves as the College's Clery Compliance Coordinator, ensuring compliance with all laws under the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in integrative studies from Arizona State University. Stop by to see her anytime and you will always be greeted with a warm smile and a positive attitude, provided she has had her morning coffee and has a full candy bowl.

Headshot of Lyn Hughes
Lyn Hughes

Administrative Coordinator

(909) 607-7950

Lyn supports the Residential Life team and supports some elements of first-year orientation. Lyn is your first point of contact if you need assistance with housing, dorm damage, meal plan changes, health insurance, or questions regarding the first-year student portal. A native Californian, Lyn is a graduate of Cal State Fullerton with a B.A. in Communication. She hopes you will drop by Heggblade Center DOS South, if you have any questions regarding life at CMC. Even if you don’t have a question, stop by and visit ‘Wilson,’ our motion activated red candy “robot” who cheerfully dispenses handfuls of Peanut Butter M&M’s, Skittles, or jelly beans.

Erika Hongo
Erika Hongo

Administrative Associate

(909) 607-7386

Erika Hongo was born and raised in Toyama, Japan, and holds a B.A. in International Studies from Meiji Gakuin University in Yokohama, Japan. She studied at the University of California, Santa Barbara as an exchange student and fell in love with Southern California. Before joining the DOS team, she worked at International Place, a shared resource center for international students across the 7Cs, for three years. She loves cats (owns two), ballet (both watching and doing – practiced for over ten years), reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. If you want to know good Japanese restaurants in the area, she is the person to ask.

Headshot of Seyha Klam
Seyha Klam

Administrative Coordinator, Civil Rights, Title IX, and CARE Center

(909) 607-0651

Seyha assists the CARE Center, Office of Civil Rights, and Title IX. He takes care of the logistics of CARE Center programming and is the point person when it comes to the CARE Center Book loan. He currently has a 100% approval rating from everyone in his household. He loves watching basketball and boxing. When he isn’t quoting the Simpsons or bad action movies he can be found at his desk, twirling his moustache, plotting the growth of the CARE Center.

Portrait of Joe Bender
Joe Bender

Administrative Assistant

(909) 607-6359

As an Administrative Assistant, Joe provides a broad range of administrative functions for and clerical support to the Dean of Students Office, directly supporting the departments of Student Engagement, Activities, Orientation, and Health and Wellness. He oversees the reservations for on campus student events, ticket sales sponsored by DOS, and the DOS motor pool. He manages the Board Game inventory for student use, the Campus Digital Signage email account, and the Dean of Students Office petty cash system. In his free time, Joe enjoys motorcycle touring, backpacking, camping, vegetable gardening, baking artisanal sourdough bread, cooking and ballroom dancing.

Taivna Mills

ASSISTANT DEAN OF STUDENTS FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENT SERVICES AND ACADEMIC SUPPORT

(909) 607-3910

Taivna Mills is originally from Mongolia and has immigrated to the U.S. 20 some years ago to pursue graduate studies as an international student at Iowa State University in Iowa. After earning her bachelor’s degree in Russian Studies and Linguistics in Mongolia, she decided to pursue a graduate degree outside of Mongolia which she then landed in Ames, Iowa to attend the Iowa State University.  After receiving her graduate degree in International Development Studies, she had the opportunity to work in the International Student and Scholar Services at the University of Iowa in providing support to international students in the last nine years. In her new role as an Assistant Dean of Students for International Students and Academic Success at CMC, she continues to serve international students by providing immigration advising and supporting in cultural adjustments and academic success.

In her spare time, she loves to spend time with her husband and three daughters exploring and trying new cuisines and traveling to different places. Her family has travelled to Mongolia, Jamaica, China, some European countries, Costa Rica, and Colombia and many U.S. states. Her family has the ambition to travel and explore African continent.  She also enjoys playing volleyball and watching track and field with her family. She is enjoying Southern California - being away from cold and snow, but misses Iowa that has been home to her in the last 20 years.

 

Chantal Izaguirre

DIRECTOR OF HEALTH PROMOTION AND STUDENT SUPPORT

(909) 621-8204

Chantal joined the Dean of Students in 2022 to help build a new foundation for health education and promotion programming for the campus community. As CMC’s health educator, Chantal implements and evaluates health promotion programs, events, and workshops that educate and empower students to make healthy lifestyle choices. In this role, she works closely with students experiencing personal challenges and offers referrals to mental health resources. She also oversees the inaugural peer health ambassador program, a group that provides peer-led educational programming within the areas of mental health and health promotion.

Chantal is originally from Los Angeles and is a graduate of California State University, Chico where she studied Health Science Education and Spanish. During her time at Chico State, she was a member of Alpha Gamma Delta and spent a semester abroad in Madrid, Spain. Upon graduating with her bachelor’s, she served as a Graduate Assistant at Western Kentucky University where she oversaw the university’s Health Education and Promotion program and obtained a Masters of Public Health. In her free time, Chantal loves to travel and go hiking with her dad. The two regularly summit Mount Baldy and enjoy visiting national parks. She is very excited to be a part of the CMC community where she strives to create avenues towards health and social equity by driving change through education, outreach, and advocacy.