About Us

Student Outreach and Recruitment (SOAR) is home to Guest Relations and Campus Tours, Student Marketing & Communications, TRIO programs Upward Bound and Educational Talent Search, Community and Academic Partnerships, and the Testing Center. We provide outreach and recruitment services to students at more than 100 high schools, 22 community colleges, and many middle and elementary schools. We encourage you to contact us with any specific questions or comments, and visit our campus soon. 

Dwayne Cantrell, Director
Student Outreach and Recruitment

For the past three years, Dwayne Cantrell has provided leadership and direction as the director of Student Outreach and Recruitment. Mr. Cantrell's 20-year career has spanned three of four California higher education systems and the corporate world. He is a sought-after speaker at national educational conferences and has worked with the San Francisco 49ers entertainment group, Coca-Cola and Nike.

Mr. Cantrell earned his bachelor's degree in criminal justice administration and master's degree in counselor education from San Jose State University. He also has a master's degree in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary and a doctoral degree in educational leadership from CSUN. He is also an instructor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling at CSUN.

Juana Maria Valdivia, Associate Director
Student Outreach and Recruitment

Juana Maria Valdivia is responsible for managing and supervising the outreach counselors and the Guest Relations and Campus Tours unit within Student Outreach and Recruitment. She provides leadership and guidance for the outreach team and the University Ambassadors program, which includes more than 65 CSUN students who serve as the university's official tour guides. She leads and coordinates various university outreach events to promote college awareness. Juana has worked in the field of higher education for more than 15 years. She obtained a bachelor's degree in theatre arts and a master's degree in educational leadership and policy studies from CSUN.

Charity Chia, Coordinator
Testing Center

Charity Chia directs development and operations for the university's testing services, which facilitate degree completion and promote access and enrollment. She has worked at CSUN for more than 10 years — first in Admissions and Records and now as coordinator for the Testing Center. Charity earned her bachelor's degree in accounting from Truman State University in Missouri.


Gigi McGuire, Assistant Director
Community and Academic Partnerships

Gigi McGuire provides leadership for the Community and Academic Partnerships unit within Student Outreach and Recruitment. She has worked with SOAR for more than 20 years as a recruiter, tour coordinator, outreach counselor and assistant director. She works on numerous statewide initiatives in collaboration with local school districts, community-based organizations and federal grant programs. As an expert in the California State University system, Gigi provides training to new high school counselors. Gigi earned her bachelor's degree in sociology and master's degree in public administration from CSUN.

Marieanne Quiroz, Assistant Director
Student Marketing & Communications

Marieanne Quiroz provides leadership and strategic direction for the Student Marketing & Communications unit within Student Outreach and Recruitment. Marieanne has more than 18 years of communication, marketing and event planning experience in both the corporate world (The Walt Disney Company) and the nonprofit sector (Chamber of Commerce). Marieanne is a CSUN alumna who has been working professionally at CSUN since 2003. She has a bachelor's degree in recreation and master's degree in educational leadership and policy studies.

Evelyn Torres Garcia, Director
TRIO Programs

Evelyn Torres Garcia is the director of TRIO, federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. Over the last 10 years, she has worked to provide opportunities and access to higher education for K-12 students. Evelyn earned her master's degree from CSUN in counseling with an emphasis in college counseling and student services. She is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Development, where she teaches race, culture, gender and ethnicity development.