CCGI Team

Executive Staff

The Executive Director is responsible for providing strategic leadership, oversight, and guidance of the California College Guidance Initiative (CCGI).



Tessa Carmen De Roy
Executive Director
T: 323.999.7161
E: tderoy@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: Ed.D, and Masters in Urban Planning, University of California, Los Angeles
Where I grew up: Los Angeles, California
First people in my family to go to college: Both of my parents were first generation college graduates. My mom went to college on a New York Regents scholarship, and my dad used veterans benefits to finance his education. My family is a perfect example of how assisting students in accessing educational opportunities changes the trajectory of entire families.
Why I work for CCGI: I’m deeply concerned about the gaps in knowledge and information that prevent both people and systems from fulfilling their potential. Working at CCGI, I have the daily privilege of trying to fill some of those gaps, while working with a passionate and talented team. 
My interests/hobbies: I spend my free time with my kids, on the yoga mat, or exploring the endless range of food adventures available to me in Los Angeles.


Technology and Communications Staff

The Technology and Communications team is responsible for the development, maintenance, and iteration of CaliforniaColleges.edu, the State of California’s college and career planning platform, including content and collateral to effectively engage educators, students, and families.



Leigh S. Ranck
Director of Technology and Communications
T: 424.272.6714
E: lranck@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: B.A. in Journalism and Politics, New York University
Where I grew up: Arlington, Texas
First person in my family to go to college: My grandfather
Why I work for CCGI: Through hard work and dedication, I made the most of my K-12 education and earned a degree from my dream school. I am proud to play an integral role in designing a platform and accompanying communications that make it easier for educators to give students the support they need to reach their college and career goals.      
My interests/hobbies: I enjoy playing competitive tennis, traveling both internationally and around the U.S., and listening to blues and jazz. 


Laurel Sunderman Headshot

Laurel Sunderman
Communications Manager
T: 916.750.0602
E: lsunderman@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: B.A. and M.A. in English, California State University, Sacramento
Where I grew up: Pine Grove, CA
First person in my family to go to college: My grandfather
Why I work for CCGI: I love to take complex ideas and figure out how to communicate them clearly through writing and design. My job allows me to exercise my greatest strengths and to be part of a mission I truly care about.    
Fun fact: When I was young, my parents gave me their Beatles albums and a record player, and I’ve been a “Beatlemaniac” ever since.


Maribel Chonhim Headshot

Maribel Chonhim
Platform Specialist
T: 626.594.5309
E: mchonhim@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: M.A. in Educational Counseling and PPS credential, Azusa Pacific University; B.S. in Sociology, University of La Verne
Where I grew up: Born and raised in Duarte, CA
First person in my family to go to college: My older sisters attended community college, and later, four-year universities. I was the first to attend a four-year university right after high school.
Why I work for CCGI: I thrive in an environment where every day is different and there is always something new to learn. Also, knowing that my work impacts students throughout California inspires and motivates me to always do my best. 
My interests/hobbies: Some might call me a Disney fanatic! I have been in awe since my first trip as a child, and I try to go as often as I can. 


Data Staff

The Data team oversees the design and development of all data-informed functionality of CaliforniaColleges.edu and ensures the security of all student records. The team works closely with local school districts and higher education partners to maintain data integrity, and facilitate the sharing of data across systems in a manner that addresses barriers to student success.


Ben Baird Headshot

Ben Baird
Director of Data Management
T: 916.758.1643
E: bbaird@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: M.S. in Information Systems, Drexel University; B.A. in Spanish Language and Literature, University of California, Santa Barbara
Where I grew up: Born in San Francisco and raised in Sacramento, CA
First person in my family to go to college: My grandparents
Why I work for CCGI: I’m motivated to help school districts use data to identify problems and figure out how to solve them. If I can make the process of successfully transitioning to college easier for California students, even by just a few clicks, I consider my work a great success. 
My interests/hobbies: I enjoy playing the piano, restoring cars, and gardening.


David Medina Headshot

David Medina
Deputy Director of Data and Evaluation
T: 831.320.4758
E: dmedina@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles with a specialization in research, evaluation and statistical modeling
Where I grew up: Salinas, CA
First person in my family to go to college: My older sister
Why I work for CCGI: I enjoy tackling complex problems through efficient and simple coding. I take pride in seeing how much time I can save myself, my coworkers, and district educators by effectively systematizing processes. 
Fun fact: I am obsessed with birds.


Raj Kaur Headshot

Raj Kaur
Data Analyst
T: 916.706.6753
E: rkaur@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: B.A. in Organizational Leadership, Brandman University
Where I grew up: The bay area, and after high school, Sacramento, CA
First person in my family to go to college: Me. I’ve always had a strong interest in education and the pursuit of a meaningful career. 
Why I work for CCGI: My job really lets me pursue my passion for advocating education. It allows me to dig into the details and exercise my knowledge and skills to solve issues for school districts and help students. I appreciate that CCGI doesn’t just push students toward higher education, but provides them with information about all their options so they can choose their own path.
My interests/hobbies: I hope to pass on my love of education to my son. I read to him daily so that he can fall in love with the intriguing world of books and have a passion for gaining knowledge. I also like to read books that help me gain insight into my own life journey.


Heather Miller Headshot

Heather Miller
Data Analyst
T: 916.662.5490
E: hmiller@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: B.A. in Organizational Communication, California State University, Sacramento; International Quality Management Standards certification, British Standards Institute
Where I grew up: Madison, WI
First person in my family to go to college: My great-great grandfather on my mother’s side 
Why I work for CCGI: I enjoy the opportunity to work with complex data and interact directly with school districts. There is nothing better than leading an educator toward that “aha moment” that will make their jobs easier. 
Fun fact: I used to teach ballroom dance professionally and trained with some of the ballroom dancers seen on the International Dance Circuit. 


Operations Staff

The Operations team ensures the alignment of CCGI’s technology platforms, implementation strategies, and operational protocols. The team manages all CRM (Salesforce) data for the organization, and facilitates team effectiveness across our statewide, virtual workplace.


Meredith Curry Headshot

Meredith Curry
Director of Operations
T: 408.901.0290
E: mcurry@CaliforniaColleges.org

Colleges attended and degrees earned: M.B.A., California State University, Long Beach; B.A. in English, University of California, Los Angeles
Where I grew up: California (Sacramento and San Jose) and the Philippines
First person in my family to go to college: Me
Why I work for CCGI: I know the work our team does has the power to impact so many young lives and whole communities. I enjoy supporting all CCGI departments by troubleshooting issues, resolving problems, and building people’s capacity with Salesforce, training, task management, etc. 
My interests/hobbies: I love to exercise my creativity and particularly enjoy singing, dancing, and poetry. I also speak Tagalog. 


Chris Gardiner Headshot

Chris Gardiner
Operations Manager
T: 916.720.9178
E: cgardiner@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: B.S. in Social Science, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Where I grew up: Pleasanton, CA
First person in my family to go to college: My parents
Why I work for CCGI: My work enables CCGI staff to successfully grow partnerships with school districts. I take pride in supporting internal processes that ultimately make educators’ lives easier and help students discover paths they may never have thought possible.  
Fun facts: I am an official member of the Barry Manilow fan club, and I was once the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) free throw champion for the state of California.


Laurel Papke Headshot

Laurel Papke
Senior Operations Specialist
T: 408.676.9420
E: lpapke@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: B.A. in Communication, Arizona State University
Where I grew up: San Jose, CA
First person in my family to go to college: Both of my great-grandfathers went to college, one becoming a doctor and the other an attorney. 
Why I work for CCGI: I love telling people about the work we do. Whether they’re remembering their own college or career planning experiences or desperately looking for help for their own child, there is always someone in the room who says, “I need that!” I’m proud to work with a great team and impact so many lives in a positive way.
Fun facts: I enjoy a good jam session on my drums, tending to my garden, and am an avid animal lover.  


David Silva Headshot

David Silva
Operations Specialist
T: 916.768.8844
E: dsilva@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: California State University, Sacramento and Bethany Bible College, Santa Cruz
Where I grew up: Sacramento, CA
First person in my family to go to college: My maternal grandfather, and in my immediate family, my sister
Why I work for CCGI: I have over 15 years of experience in office management and leadership over dynamic, virtually-based teams. It’s very satisfying to be able to use my knowledge and skills to support CCGI operations and help ensure California students are prepared for life after high school. 
Fun fact: I have a background in classical singing and theater. In 1995, I won the Birdsall award for best supporting actor at the Magic Circle Theatre in Roseville, CA.


Implementation Staff

The Implementation team supports school districts in the effective adoption and integration of CaliforniaColleges.edu and its embedded college and career planning curriculum. Through ongoing strategy and training support, the team helps educators use data-informed tools to improve college and career guidance for students.


Maya Ramos Clayton Headshot

Maya Ramos Clayton
Director of Statewide Implementation
T: 323.902.7319
E: mclayton@CaliforniaColleges.org

Colleges attended and degrees earned: M.S. in Professional Writing, New York University; B.A. in Comparative Religion and African Studies, Smith College
Where I grew up: San Francisco’s Richmond District (CA)
First person in my family to go to college: My parents
Why I work for CCGI: My job requires a level of grit, thinking, and patience that really sustains me personally and professionally. I draw energy from our talented, hardworking, and persistent team, including educators on the ground who literally devote their lives to the work of supporting students to meet their aspirations and goals.
My interests/hobbies: I’m an avid writer and I love travelling with my family.


Anna Lorena Garcia Headshot

Anna Lorena Garcia
Implementation Manager
T: 661.438.1144
E: agarcia@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: B.A. in Liberal Studies, University of LaVerne
Where I grew up: I was born in Sonora, Mexico and moved to Wasco, CA, in the heart of the central valley, when I was 10. 
First person in my family to go to college: Me, and it was the best experience and accomplishment of my life. 
Why I work for CCGI: I take pride in being able to help a variety of people with different backgrounds reach their fullest potential in pursuit of their personal, academic, and professional goals.
Fun fact: I was once on a television game show called Street Smarts. I answered questions and the contestants had to verify my answers as true or false. Interviewing and filming was a lot of fun!


Ying Lo-Khang Headshot

Ying Lo-Khang
Implementation Manager
T: 916.827.0509
E: ylo-khang@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: M.S. in Social Work, Columbia University; B.A. in Social Work and Education, University of California, Berkeley
Where I grew up: Sacramento, CA
First person in my family to go to college: As one of 10 children, I had older siblings who attended local colleges, but I was the first to attend college away from home.
Why I work for CCGI: As a first-generation college student, I know how hard it is to access higher education resources. I love that CCGI enables districts to better provide these resources so that all students can have an equal opportunity to go to college.
My interests/hobbies: I enjoy Broadway musicals and Zumba. 


Antoinette Magee Headshot

Antoinette N. Magee
Implementation Manager
T: 562.285.3857
E: amagee@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: M.A. in Multicultural Education, California State University, Dominguez Hills; B.A. in Political Science, San Francisco State University
Where I grew up: Long Beach, CA
First person in my family to go to college: My mother, who earned a doctorate degree.
Why I work for CCGI: My job is rewarding because it’s all about empowering others. I love helping school districts form strategic plans to better serve students. Those students, in turn, will be empowered to tap into their potential and form their own plans for life after high school.  
Fun fact: For five years as a child, I got to travel across the country as a competitive ice skater. 


Hannah Smith Headshot

Hannah Smith
Implementation Manager
T: 510.698.9341
E: hsmith@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: M.Ed. in Prevention Science and Practice, Harvard Graduate School of Education; B.A. in Ethnic Studies and Education, University of California, Berkeley; A.A. in Social and Behavioral Science, City College of San Francisco
Where I grew up: I lived in a small town in New Hampshire before moving to Los Angeles in my early teens.
First person in my family to go to college: My older sister was the first to go to college, and my mother earned a degree when I was older.
Why I work for CCGI: I believe so strongly in CCGI’s data-informed approach. Data has the power to create and maintain programs, address student barriers, and effectively gauge the best methods and strategies to support students on their educational journey. 
Fun fact: I have seven siblings.


Frances Suderman Headshot

Frances Suderman
Implementation Manager
T: 909.454.6945
E: fsuderman@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: B.A. in English; M.A. in English Composition; two years of continuing education in Educational Leadership, California State University, San Bernardino
Where I grew up: Lake Arrowhead and San Bernardino, CA
First person in my family to go to college: Me
Why I work for CCGI: Every day, I have the opportunity to show people something new and guide them to discovery. The best part of my job is seeing educators grow and take initiative to help students who would otherwise not have well-informed guidance.  
My interests/hobbies: I enjoy reading, playing with my hound dog, visiting craft coffee shops and breweries, and traveling.


Silvestre Vallejo Headshot

Silvestre Vallejo
Implementation Manager
T: 323.591.4694
E: svallejo@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: B.A. in Cinema-Television Production, University of Southern California
Where I grew up: A small town in the state of Jalisco, Mexico and later in Long Beach, CA
First person in my family to go to college: Me
Why I work for CCGI: My job allows me to collaborate on a wide variety of different projects, which is intellectually stimulating and helps me to constantly learn new skills. I love knowing that the work I do better equips counselors to help students discover their own aspirations and reach their goals.
Fun fact: When I was 20, I backpacked alone through Spain, France, and Italy.  


Kristina Acevedo Headshot

Kristina Acevedo
Implementation Specialist II
T: 858.371.3115
E: kacevedo@californiacolleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: B.A. in Educational Studies, B.A. in Public Policy and American Institutions, and M.A. in Urban Education Policy, Brown University
Where I grew up: Temecula, CA
First person in my family to go to college: My parents were the first in their families to go to college. As the daughter of first generation Mexican-Americans, this was a significant accomplishment that informed my own education and postsecondary endeavors.
Why I work for CCGI: In my multi-faceted role with CCGI, I am able to use my skills and experience to support educators and contribute to the development of a platform that ensures all students have access to college and career planning resources. 
My interests/hobbies: I enjoy running and doing HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts, spending time with my family, and wine tasting.


John Carmichael Headshot

John Carmichael
Implementation Specialist
T: 562.373.5273
E: jcarmichael@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: B.A. in Psychology, Biola University
Where I grew up: Southern California (Los Angeles/Inland Empire/Orange County area)
First person in my family to go to college: My grandfather went to college after World War II using the GI bill. 
Why I work for CCGI: I want to build up the youth in my community.  I can’t think of a better way to do that than working with educators in my city to help facilitate student success. 
Fun fact: I used to be a third-degree brown belt in Shao-lin Kung Fu. 


Joey Segura Kwon Headshot

Maria "Joey" Segura Kwon
Implementation Specialist
T: 626.214.8553
E: jkwon@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: M.S.W., Smith College School for Social Work; B.A. in Psychology, California State University, Los Angeles
Where I grew up: Alhambra, CA
First person in my family to go to college: My father attended college, and some members of my extended family have earned degrees. I was the first in my immediate family to earn a graduate degree. 
Why I work for CCGI: I love working with a team of knowledgeable, approachable people who genuinely care about student success, and I enjoy using my skills to help ensure all students have equal access to higher education.
My interests/hobbies: I dance folklorico (Mexican folk dance) and have been an indoor cycling instructor for 7 years. 


Jossie Munoz Headshot

Jossie Muñoz
Implementation Specialist
T: 626.214.8553
E: jmunoz@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: M.A. in Higher Education and Student Affairs, New York University; B.A. in American Studies and Spanish, Dickinson College
Where I grew up: Corona, CA
First person in my family to go to college: Me
Why I work for CCGI: I believe in paying it forward. As a child, I witnessed first-hand the struggles low-income and first-generation students face in navigating the college application process. I enjoy giving back to my community by working with educators to help current students prepare for life after high school.
Fun fact: I made it to the sixth round on the game show Minuto Para Ganar (Minute to Win It).

Contact Us

Tessa Carmen De Roy, Ed.D.
Executive Director of California College Guidance Initiative
T: 323.999.7161
E: tderoy@CaliforniaColleges.edu

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