Debra L. Hammond
Debra L. Hammond has more than 39 years of experience in higher education. She received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Rutgers University and a master’s degree in educational administration from California State University, Los Angeles. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the University Student Union (USU) at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). The USU is a 501(3)(c) non-profit organization governed primarily by students. She opened a $60 million Student Recreation Center as well as a Pride (LGBTQ) Center, a Veterans Resource Center, and a state-of-the-art Oasis Wellness Center in 2013 and is currently in the process of planning a $130 million renovation/new construction project for the USU. She also serves as a faculty member in the Michael D. Eisner College of Education. She teaches in the college counseling student services program where she received the Outstanding Professor of the Year Award in 2012. For her body of work, the California State University (CSU) selected Debra from among the CSU’s 23 campuses as its outstanding staff member of 2016. The Wang Family Excellence Award is the highest award presented to an administrator by the CSU. Debra also received the San Fernando Valley Business Journal’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017 for her accomplishments as a woman in business.
Associate Executive Director, Equity, Programs and Leadership
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.
Sharon S. Kinard
Associate Director, Administration & Communications
Sharon S. Kinard started her employment with the University Student Union in 1999, serving in several progressively responsible positions prior to stepping into her current role as associate director in October 2020. A former news reporter with the Los Angeles Daily News who covered city and county governments and education, Sharon provides solid news, writing and editing experience. She has oversight of the Department of Administration, Marketing Department, Department of Technology Support Services and Assessment.
A former part-time co-instructor of assessment for CSUN’s Michael D. Eisner College of Education in its college counseling/student services graduate program, Sharon earned a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix and a bachelor’s degree in journalism (English minor) from San Diego State University. She also is a facilitator in Strengths-Based Education with Gallup Inc.
Sharon is passionate about measuring student success efforts, programs and services. She enjoys writing, hiking and mentoring, as well as thought-provoking books, films, family and good friends.
Associate Director, Operations & Services
Samantha Liu started her employment as a student assistant with the University Student Union in January 2007 — her second semester at CSUN. She since has served in a variety of roles and currently serves as the Associate Director, Operations & Services. She oversees the Operations & Facilities Planning, Facilities Maintenance and Reservations & Event Services departments. She is a double home-grown CSUN graduate with a master’s degree in Public Administration with an emphasis in Public Sector Management & Leadership and her undergraduate degree in Public Health Education.
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.