About Us

Student Outreach and Recruitment (SOAR) provides outreach, recruitment and informational services to high school and community college students interested in attending a four-year university. SOAR is home to Guest Relations and Campus Tours, the TRIO programs Upward Bound and Educational Talent Search, Community and academic partnerships and the Testing Center.

SOAR Director Juana Maria Valdivia

Juana Maria Valdivia, Director
Student Outreach and Recruitment

Juana Maria Valdivia provides leadership and guidance for the Student Outreach and Recruitment team. Working in the field of higher education for more than 15 years, she has supervised the University Ambassadors program – which includes more than 65 CSUN students who serve as the university's official tour guides – and managed various university outreach events to promote college awareness. She obtained a bachelor's degree in theatre arts and a master's degree in educational leadership and policy studies from CSUN.

SOAR Associate Director Vera Hampton

Vera Hampton, Associate Director
Student Outreach and Recruitment

Vera Hampton administers and directs outreach and recruitment efforts aimed at prospective domestic, out-of-state and international freshmen and transfer students for Student Outreach and Recruitment. She brings more than 10 years of professional experience in admissions, outreach and recruitment, having worked at California State University, Monterey Bay, University of California, Santa Cruz, and most recently, in the office of Student Outreach and Recruitment at San Jose State University. Vera has earned a bachelor's degree in human communication from CSU Monterey Bay, and a master’s degree in education counseling and student personnel from San Jose State University.

Testing Center Coordinator Charity Chia

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, Partnerships & Initiatives

Gigi McGuire, Assistant Director
Partnerships & Initiatives

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.

Evelyn Torres Garcia, Director TRIO Programs

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.