Project Change at College of San Mateo - Meet the Mentors
skip directly to Main Content Navigation Search A-Z Index Find People Top Story Breadcrumbs Footer
Project Change
Meet the Mentors

Katie BlissKatie Bliss
Title: Project Director, Project Change
Degrees: Post-Secondary Reading and Composition Certificates, San Francisco University; M.A., English, Notre Dame de Namur University; B.A., English, Notre Dame de Namur University; Transfer, College of San Mateo
Passions: Providing students access to higher education, promoting social justice, and helping young people find their voice through writing and literature
Hobbies: Writing, hiking with my Basenjis, watching campy horror films, and reading heartwrenching memoirs
Quote: "And time yet for a hundred indecisions/And a hundred visions and revisions" 
T.S. Elliot
Autumn NewmanAutumn Newman
Title: Assistant Professor, English
Degrees: M.F.A., Creative Writing/Poetry, University of Southern Maine; B.A., English, Cal State University Sacramento; Transfer, Cuesta Community College
Passions: Non-violence and Buddhist philosophies, meditation, poetry, music, film, and helping people learn
Hobbies: Cooking, consuming art and looking at cute cat pictures online (don't hate).
Quote: "Come celebrate with me, that every day something has tried to kill me and failed."
Lucille Clifton
Kimberly EscamillaKimberly Escamilla
Title: Assistant Professor, English
Degrees: M.F.A., Poetics, New England College; M.A., English (concentration: Composition Theory and 19th Century British and American Literature), Cal State University East Bay; B.A., English, Cal State University East Bay
Passions: My husband and two sons. Teaching all levels of writing, reading, and thinking to college students. Writing poetry, non-fiction, and memoirs. Operating The International Poetry Library of San Francisco
Hobbies: Enjoying coastal living, hiking, and boogie-boarding
Quote: "To feel most beautifully alive means to be reading something beautiful..." 
Gaston Bachelard
Joyce LuckJoyce Luck
Title: Assistant Professor, English
Degrees: M.A., Fiction Writing, SFSU; M.A., English Language and Literature, Pennsylvania State; B.A., English, Randolph-Macon College; B.A. Religious Studies, Randolph-Macon College
Passions: Serving others
Hobbies: Writing, reading, playing guitar, painting, enjoying nature
Quote: "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience." 
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Karen PowellKaren Powell
Title: Executive Director of Maintenance and Facilities, San Mateo County Community College District
Degrees: M.A., Leadership, St. Mary's College; B.A., Management, St. Mary's College; Construction Management Certificate, UC Berkeley; Facilities Maintenance Administrator (FMA) certificate from BOMI. Credential as an APPA Certified Educational Facilities Professional (CEFP).
Passions: A passionate reader of literature, a dog lover, and a lifelong East Bay resident. Born and raised in Berkeley and now lives in a loft in a converted school in West Oakland
Quote: "Have patience with everything unresolved in you heart and try to love the questions themselves"
Rainer Maria Rilke
James CarranzaJames Carranza
Title: Dean of Language Arts (Professor of English)
Degrees: Post-Secondary Reading and Composition Certificates, San Francisco State University; M.A., Literature, San Francisco State University; B.A., English, UC Santa Barbara; Transfer, Diablo Valley College
Passions: Advocating for and ensuring all students access to higher education
Hobbies: Surfing, reading, swimming, and various outdoor activities
Quote: “When power becomes gracious and descends into the visible—such descent I call beauty. And there is nobody from whom I want beauty as much as from you who are powerful: let your kindness be your final self-conquest.”
 Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Jeramy WallceJeramy Wallace
Title: Assistant Professor, English
Degrees: M.A., English, Notre Dame de Namur University; B.S. Biology/Biochemistry, Notre Dame de Namur University; Certificates in Teaching of Composition and Postsecondary Reading, SF State University
Teaching Experience: Since 2011
Career Highlights: Co-Coordinator, Professional Enrichment, Basic Skills Initiative at CSM (2012-present); Stanford human rights fellow (2012-13); CSM Umoja Co-coordinator (2014-present)
Passions: First and foremost, I have a great passion for my family and for being the best husband and father I can be. It is from this passion that my others are born. My passions for teaching and for social justice stem from my desire to create a more just and equitable society for my daughter to grow and prosper in. And, of course, I am passionate about my students. I look forward to school everyday because CSM has some of the brightest and motivated students in the bay area.
Hobbies: Hiking, camping, reading, and spending time with the family
Quote: “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”  Malcolm X
Krystal RomeroKrystal Romero
Title: Director, Student Support Services
Degrees: M.A., Counseling, SFSU; B.S., Human Development, Cal State San Luis Obispo
Teaching Experience: Since 1999
Responsibilities: Works with new students and their transition from high school to college; works closely with instructors who teach pre-transfer level courses to ensure that their students are fully aware of the programs and services here on campus to help them succeed; meets with students who are striving to improve their grades to attain good academic standing
Other Interests: Hangs out with family and friends, watches her youngest child explore the world and has fascinating conversations with her older one, camping with her husband
Estela GarciaEstela Garcia
Title: Health Center Assistant Project Director
Degrees: B.A.. Justice Studies, San Jose State University; A.A., Administration of Justice, Ethnic Studies, and Social Science, College of San Mateo
Passions: Helping individuals who want to better their life and need the help. Higher education!
Hobbies: Going to the movies and hiking
Quote: “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us” 
Alexander Graham Bell
Cynthia EricksonCynthia Erickson
Title: Adjunct Faculty, Business and Management
Degrees: B.A., University of San Francisco; Certification, SPHR
Teaching Experience: Since 2009
Hobbies: Travel, Photography, Cooking
Quote: "The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary."
Vince Lombardi