Project CHESS

Collaborative for Hispanics in Higher Education & Student Success

Project Team

To contact the project team, please email

Cal Lutheran 

Interim Project Director:

Jessica Lavariega Monforti, Dean of College of Arts & Sciences

Project Director:


Project Coordinator:


Interim Learning Circle Chairs:
  • Paloma Vargas, HSI Director and Assistant Professor, Biology Department
  • Colleen Windham Hughes, Associate Professor, Religion Department
Male Initiative:
  • Joel Canacoo, Coordinator for Forrest Fitness Center and Summer Sports Camps
  • Rahuldeep Singh Gill, Associate Professor, Religion Department
  • Joseph Hernandez, Information Technology Service Desk Manager
  • Malcolm Oliver, Assistant Professor and Director of Master of Public Policy and Administration Program
Additional Implementation Team Members:
  • Jonathan Gonzales, Senior Coordinator for Engagement and Inclusion
  • Deborah Harris-Sims, CSM
  • Tom Marsh, Comptroller/CAO
  • Kelly Owens, Office of Sponsored Projects and Research
  • Matt Ward, VP of Enrollment Management and Marketing

Moorpark College

General Point of Contact:

Amanuel Gebru, VP of Student Support

Administrative Assistant:


Faculty Professional Development Coordinator:


Interim Learning Circle Chairs:
  • Nina Belfor
  • Howard Davis, Dean of Student Learning


Student Success Specialists:


Additional Implementation Team Members:
  • Jesus Vega, Student Success Center - Cultural
  • Eddie Beltran, Student Success Center
  • Silvia Barajas, VP of Business Services

Positions marked as “TBD” are grant funded but not yet filled.