Debra L. Hammond
Debra Hammond has served as the Executive Director of the USU for over 20 years, beginning her tenure in November, 1993. She is responsible for the overall strategic direction and vision for the USU including serving as the executive secretary of the Board of Directors of our non-profit corporation. She also provides guidance and direction to the following major areas of the organization: Finance and Business Services, Marketing and Programs, Operations and Services, Student Recreation Center, Human Resources, and Administration and Governance. Debra also serves as a part-time faculty member in the Michael D. Eisner College of Education in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling (student services/college counseling program). Debra is passionate about the development of students and staff and is committed to creating spaces, facilities, programs, services and opportunities that enrich and enhance the lives of students. She is an advocate for deepening the connection between students and the CSUN campus in order to promote student success and persistence to graduation. Debra received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Rutgers University and her master’s degree in educational administration from California State University, Los Angeles. Debra served as a past president of the Association of College Unions International (ACUI), which is the association that helps to develop college unions and community on college campuses throughout the United States and abroad. In 2006, she received the Butts-Whiting Award which is bestowed upon those who have made significant and lasting impacts on the association and the profession.
Associate Executive Director, Operations & Services
Jimmy Francis started with the University Student Union in February 2011, and served as the Director for the Student Recreation Center before being appointed to the Associate Executive Director role. He provides leadership and direction for the operations and services areas of the USU, and also leads its renovation and construction projects. His passion is to help students achieve their educational goals by providing valuable employment experience and quality programs, services and facilities. Jimmy earned his master’s degree in Sports and Exercise Management from The Ohio State University and his bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from Ohio Wesleyan University.
Joseph C. Illuminate
Associate Director, Accounting & Finance
Joseph Illuminate has served as the Associate Director, Finance & Business Services since February 2004. He provides leadership and direction for the USU Finance & Business Services department. Joseph is focused on being a steward of student fees to ensure there are sufficient resources to fund programs and services for students at the highest level. He earned his master’s degree in Public Administration and graduate certificate in Business Administration from California State University, Northridge. Joseph also holds a bachelor of science degree in Business Administration with a specialization in accounting from California State University, Los Angeles.
Associate Director, Human Resources & Professional Development
Kristen Pichler, or KP as she’s more commonly known, started her employment with the University Student Union in 1985. Since then, she’s served in a variety of progressively responsible positions prior to stepping into her current role as the Associate Director, Human Resources & Professional Development in 2000, leading HR functions for the USU’s 450 employees and 40 volunteers. KP fosters a legal, safe, and fair employment environment, and is a champion of the student employment experience, encouraging students to acquire knowledge, skills, habits and attitudes that will help them succeed at work both now and post-graduation. She is a devoted Matador, holding both a master’s degree in Public Administration and a bachelor’s degree in English, from California State University, Northridge.
Associate Director, Marketing & Programs
Freddie Sanchez joined the University Student Union in November 2015 as the Assistant Director for Resource Centers (Veterans Resource Center, Pride Center). In 2017, he was appointed as the Associate Director for Marketing & Programs overseeing various USU departments including Diversity & Inclusion, Events, Marketing, Pride Center, Veterans Resource Center and leadership development for the USU Board of Directors. Freddie is passionate about providing equitable opportunities for students that are transformative and increase student success at CSUN. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Joint Ph.D. Program in Education at Claremont Graduate University/San Diego State University. He received a Master’s of Education in Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs from the University of Southern California and two bachelor’s degrees (Spanish and Financial Mathematics & Statistics) from the University of California, Santa Barbara.