• Mentors

Our Program Mentors

The mentors at META+LAB consist of Faculty, Staff, recent graduates, and CSUN volunteer alumni whose primary role is to teach and guide the students in the program.


There are currently no mentors as part of the Catalyst program.


Dr. Steven Fitzgerald, Professor, Computer Science

Steven Fitzgerald is a Professor of Computer Science at CSUN, and his teaching focus is on operating systems, compilers, and networking. In his current role, Steve also serves as the Co-Director of the Matador Emerging Technology and Arts Laboratory (META+Lab). This group is composed of a team of students, mentored by faculty members, that develop web applications and engages in other activities to improve campus services via the use of leading-edge technologies.

Visit Steve's Faculty Profile.

Joe Bautista, Assistant Professor, Art (VISCOM Liaison)

I am a Visual Designer, UI/UX Designer, Creative Director, and Design Educator. My passion is helping clients, students, designers, and entrepreneurs reach their goals.

I am also a director at The Center for Visual Communication (VISCOM). Established in 2007 as an on-campus creative agency for off-campus clients. VISCOM combines teaching and research when our faculty, students and industry professionals work together to provide design thinking, communication strategy and creative solutions.

Visit Joe's Faculty Profile

Kristen Walker, Professor, Marketing

Bio coming soon!

Andrew Hamilton, Lecturer, Computer Science

Andrew is a CSUN alumn. He is a successful IT professional who also lectures in the Computer Science Department. He is the lead mentor for META+LAB's Operations Team and has been the primary driving force behind our successful adoption of AWS Cloud Computing services. Andrew teaches the Pathfinder Workshops for the CIT/Operations track.

Visit Andrew's Faculty Profile.

Nerces Kazandjian, Lecturer, Computer Science

Nerces joined CSUN in August 2012 as a Web Developer. He is currently one of the staff mentors and Product Owners of META+LAB since the unit's inception in November 2014. He has been a lecturer for the Department of Computer Science since Fall 2013. He is also a division representative on the campus Web Coordination Group.

Visit Nerces's Faculty Profile.

Lisa Smith, Lecturer, Computer Science

Lisa joined META+LAB as a CIT undergraduate student. As a Creator, she lead a team of students in all aspects of DevOps and IT support within the lab and at other campus entities. Her leadership skills were instrumental in the implementation of AWS cloud computing. She joined as as a Catalyst upon graduation and she continues to lead and teach new students. She recently taught the Operations track of the Pathfinder Program and the Programming Immersive. She is currently completing the AWS Certification process and planning an AWS Certification course for students in the Fall 2017.

Visit Lisa's Faculty Profile.


Yazmin Peebles, Assistant Director

Yazmin joined META+LAB in April 2015 as the Business and Operations Manager. She has previously worked in various start-ups, including her own. Her roles have ranged from corporate controller to project manager and business owner. Her small business expertise has helped META+LAB grow from five to 106 students. She manages the day-to-day operations of the lab, including the budget, 34 student employees, and 73 pathfinders.

Andrew Grano, Visual and Front-End Developer

Bio coming soon!

Luis Guzman, Back-End and Web Services Developer

Luis is META+LAB's first mentor who has gone through the entire META+LAB program. As a Computer Science undergraduate student, he joined the program as an Explorer. He quickly transitioned to a Creator and, after graduation, he was hired as a Catalyst. The impact that Luis has made in the program has allowed META+LAB to grow and refine its program. Recognizing the benefits, knowledge, and skills that Luis brought into the program, he was hired as a permanent employee as a Web Developer and QA Lead in March 2017.

Tiffany Navales, UI/UX Designer and Developer

Bio coming soon!