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Focus on the Future Keynote Speakers


Valeria Carrillo, English Tutor and English Tutor Leader, Los Angeles Pierce College

Valeria Carrillo is an English tutor, with a specialty in course-embedded tutoring, at Los Angeles Pierce College. Using frameworks, such as Metacognition, Growth Mindset, and Reading Apprenticeship, she aims to equip her students with strategies for success to foster independent learners. A former Pierce student herself, Valeria now attends Cal State Northridge, where she is pursuing a B.A. in Liberal Studies for elementary teaching.

Roni Haj Hussein, Chemistry/Physics/Math tutor and Science Tutor Leader, Los Angeles Pierce College

Roni Haj Hussein is a full-time student at Los Angeles Pierce College, where he is studying biochemistry. He has been a chemistry tutor since 2018 and has worked as STEM Tutor Leader since 2019. Currently, he is tutoring chemistry, physics, and math. As a tutor leader, Roni has been working on enhancing tutors’ communication skills and creating a learning environment that allows students to achieve academic excellence. As a tutor, Roni has been working on facilitating workshops that help students to read and understand science textbooks and articles.
Lindsey Lazo, Biology/Philosophy Tutor, Social Sciences and Humanities Tutor Leader, Los Angeles Pierce College

Lindsey Lazo is a graduate student at California State University, Northridge, where they study Counseling with a specialization in College Counseling and Student Services. Lindsey has worked as a peer educator since 2015 as a tutor in both biology and philosophy and as a tutor leader for the Social Sciences and Humanities. As a tutor leader, they have trained and mentored their fellow tutors, holding space to discuss triumphs and challenges during their peer educator experience. Lindsey has presented at statewide California conferences, including Southern California Tutor Expo, the Annual Reading Apprenticeship Conference, and the Strengthening Student Success Conference, as well as at a national conference, ACTLA. Their presentations have focused on the impact and role of peer education in access to services and its impact on student equity and success. Lindsey earned a Bachelor of Arts in Child and Adolescent Development with a concentration in Early Childhood Education from CSUN and an Associates of Science in Early Childhood Education from Los Angeles Pierce College.
Crystal Kiekel, Center for Academic Success Director, Los Angeles Pierce College & Learning Assistance Project Coordinator, California Community Colleges’ Success Network

Dr. Crystal Kiekel is a full-time faculty member at Los Angeles Pierce College, where she directs the Center for Academic Success, which provides course-embedded tutoring, general tutoring, workshops, and internships to Pierce students. She is also a coordinator for the California Community Colleges' Success Network (3CSN), a professional learning network for California community college educators with a focus on improving student equity and success. She leads 3CSN's "Learning Assistance Project," which builds opportunities for peer educators statewide (including tutors and SI Leaders) to learn and grow together as a professional community. Crystal earned a Master’s of Social Welfare (MSW) from UCLA with an emphasis on management and planning of nonprofit organizations, and a Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) at Cal State Northridge with an emphasis on community college leadership and policy development.

Student Keynote Presenters

samuel hail

Samuel Haile is a recent graduate from the University of Toronto Scarborough with a Honors Bachelor of Science in Human Biology and Molecular Biology, Immunology & Disease. He has been both a facilitator for multiple biology courses and a mentor facilitator at UTSC's Facilitated Study Group (FSG) Program for two years. During his time as an FSG facilitator, he has collaborated with others at UTSC and developed a new program for first-year biology students within his FSG program that provides support for the Formal Lab Report assignment while following the SI model.

anshu kashyap

Anshu Kashyap is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto Scarborough where he served as a Facilitated Study Group (FSG) Leader. He is currently University of Ottawa medical student. He has been part of the FSG program since 2018 summer and has facilitated courses ranging from Biology to Statistics. He was also co-founder of the Formal Lab Report Seminar program along with Samuel.

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