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Palomar College Learning For Success


Teaching and Learning Center


Meet Our Staff



Dr. Gabriel Sanchez
Counselor on Special Assignment
760-744-1150, ext. 3931



My name is Dr. Gabriel Sanchez. I was the first person in my family to go on to college. I had an amazing experience as community college student which motivated me to want to pursue more education. After community college, I transferred to San Diego State where I double-majored in Sociology and Psychology, then went on for my Master’s in Education with an emphasis in Multicultural Counseling at SDSU. In 2009, I went back to SDSU for my Doctorate in Education with an emphasis in Community College Leadership. I have been a counselor since 2012 and working in education since 1997. This is my 14th year working at Palomar and I have really enjoyed working with the staff in the TLC to expand the FYE program and in helping to launch the Palomar Promise.


Debra Avila
Teaching & Learning Center — Manager
760-744-1150, ext. 3663



Hi I am Debra. I was raised in the Inland Empire and then moved to Northern California to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Sociology at UC Berkeley. I have been working in higher education for over 20 years in the areas of academic advising, admissions, counseling and outreach. I joined the TLC staff in February 2012. I am excited to be a part of a team and department focused on promoting student academic achievement and success. My outside interests include participating in outdoor activities, nature walks, traveling, music, reading, and spending time with family and friends.


Rosalinda Tovar
Teaching & Learning Center –Coordinator



Hello, my name is Rosalinda Tovar, I am the Coordinator at the TLC-SM. I have been with the TLC-SM since 2014. Prior to working at Palomar College I worked at the Office of Academic Support & Instructional Services (OASIS) at UCSD for close to 10 years. My professional career began at OASIS shortly after my graduation from UCSD, as the Assistant Coordinator for the Study Management Program. Not long after that I became the Assistant Coordinator of the Language & Writing Program, and remained as such until my departure. As a UCSD and OASIS Summer Bridge Program alumni my transition into my professional career was nurtured by colleagues who started out as mentors.

I graduated from UCSD with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Ethnic Studies. I credit my early academic and personal success to my participation in programs such as AVID in high school, and Summer Bridge in college. I am a product of transition programs and that’s what makes my work so meaningful to me. As a first-generation college graduate I am vested in the continued success of our students, particularly those who are coming from underprivileged communities. I am the first to graduate from college but I will not be the last.

I am the eldest of three children, with a younger brother and sister. I am the daughter of a hard-working, strong and gentle immigrant mother whose will to survive and heart are equally strong. I have been married for 18 years, my husband and I have two daughters ages 15 and 8. I enjoy trying out keto recipes, crafting with my girls, and taking pictures of the life I am working hard to live with intention.

“She believed she could so she did.” -R.S. Grey

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle you know nothing about.”


 Austin Alex
Teaching & Learning Center Specialist



I am Austin Alex. I am originally from the Inland Empire. I attended Texas Christian University where I received my Bachelors in Sociology with a minor in Criminal Justice as well as my M.Ed. While obtaining my Masters of Education in Higher Education Administration with an emphasis in Student Affairs, I taught college and career readiness for a Fort Worth Independent School District After School program, was a substitute teacher, and worked as an Adviser to promote college access at underserved schools in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. I have been with Palomar College since 2015 as Site Coordinator for a college access program (GEAR UP) providing resources to over 2000 students in San Marcos, and Vista. I am passionate about giving back because I recognize that without those mentors in my life to push me toward my goals, I would not be where I am today.

“I’m not saying I’m going to change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world.” – Tupac Shakur


Dalia Lopez
Teaching & Learning Center Assistant
760-744-1150, ext. 3710



I have been working at Palomar College for 18 years and joined the San Marcos Teaching and Learning Center (TLC) in December 2013. I provide administrative, instructional and specialized student support to the instructors, staff and students in the SMTLC and for the programs including; Palomar Promise-First-Year Experience, Summer Bridge, Learning Communities and Peer Mentoring. I am Bilingual – Spanish. Moreover, I enjoy reading, cooking and outdoor activities especially beach walks and gardening. I also have four amazing adult children and a beautiful grand-daughter that’s even more amazing!

“There’s always something to be thankful for.“


Providencia Gonzalez
Teaching & Learning Center –Office Assistant
760-744-1150, ext. 3931



Greetings, my name is Providencia Gonzalez, and I have been working for Palomar College since 2008.  I am currently a TLC office Assistant. Previously, I  worked as a tutor at the S.T.A.R. tutoring center. I then worked at the Counseling Department as a Student Support Assistant. I was also a student at Palomar College. I obtained 5 A.A. then transferred to CSUSM and received a B.A. in Literature & Writing with Cum Laude Honors. Currently, I am taking courses at CSUSM to obtain my Masters.

As a TLC office assistant I perform complex clerical and administrative support for the center and other assigned programs (Palomar Promise—FYE). I am also responsible for managing the social media platforms for the TLC, Palomar Promise—FYE and other assigned programs.

I enjoy dancing, meditation, camping, yoga, hiking and eating healthy. Moreover, I am so passionate about dance that I was a previous performer at the Faculty dance show, Noche Havana show, and Student choreography show. I performed my own choreography with a group of selected students at the student choreography showcase .  I also helped in the creation of the first Dance Club on campus and was the treasurer of the club.

Napoleon Hill once stated, “Education comes from within; you get it by struggle and effort and thought.” And, yes I understand that an education involves the achievement of a degree. However, I urge student’s to become aware that education is not just a slip of paper. Education is also the act of moving within an enlightened state of self to not only change the livelihood of the self, but to help others in their pursuit of an inspiring and positive  life.

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.”-Plutarch


Marvin Colon 
Teaching & Learning Center –Office Assistant/Promise Peer Mentor
760-744-1150, ext. 3931



Hi my name is Marvin Colon. I am a former FYE student and participated in Summer Bridge for two years in a row. Currently, I work in the TLC as an office assistant and Promise Mentor. I have an Associate’s degree in Psychology and will be transferring to a CSU school next Fall 2019. My academic goal is to earn a Master’s degree in Psychology. My career goal is to counsel teens in Juvenile Hall and high risks students. My goal as a Mentor is to provide students with an improved Palomar College experience by sharing helpful information and experiences with students. I enjoy watching comedy, horror, and superhero movies. When I want to be energetic I’ll either hike, play football or basketball with friends. My favorite place to visit is the beach, preferably Moonlight beach in Encinitas.

“The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.”  Aristotle


Hossna Sadat
Promise Counselor
760-744-1150, ext. 2649



Hossna Sadat is a full-time counselor and assistant professor at Palomar College. She started as an FYE/Promise counselor at the beginning of Spring 2018. Hossna obtained her dual bachelor’s degree in history and political science from UCSD and a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in multicultural counseling and social justice from SDSU. She is currently in the last year of her doctorate program at SDSU.

Hossna was a first-generation, community college graduate and has worked in the education sector since 2002. She has been teaching since 2009, and previously taught college students in England for five years. When she’s not working, she loves traveling, cooking, spending time with her family, and campaigning for social justice/human rights.

She firmly lives by this quote by Nelson Mandela every day, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Sandra Perez-Orozco
Promise Counselor
760-744-1150, ext. 2680



My name is Sandra Perez-Orozco. I have been a counselor at Palomar Community College for five years.
I have a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Minor in Chicano/Latino Studies from Cal State, Long Beach and a Master’s degree in Counseling, Specialization in School Counseling from the University of San Diego.
My hobbies include running, going to dinner with my family on Fridays, and going to the movies. I am a big movie buff. I enjoy going to the movies on the weekends. My favorite genre of movies are horror movies!
As a counselor at the TLC, I provide academic and emotional support, as well as guidance to first year students (FYE) and current Palomar College students.
I provide students with comprehensive and detailed information to assist with their educational and career objective.

This includes:

• Helping students create educational plans based on their future objective;  transfer, AA degree, certificate, vocational• Assisting students with selection of classes, registration process, and matriculation: admissions, orientation, assessment, evaluation of transcripts of first year and current students
• Providing students with information on programs to help facilitate admissions to universities: UCSD-University Link, UC Tags, SDSU-Tag, CSU-ADTs
• Assisting students with academic petitions and providing referrals to campus resources: EOPS, DRC, VA, Career Center, Mental Health Support Services, tutoring
• Counseling students with personal concerns and those in crisis
• Providing students with appropriate referrals and follow ups.

“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”


Cari Martinez
Promise Counselor
760-744-1150, ext. 5630



Hey, I am Cari Martinez. I grew up in a military family and lived in the Tri-City area quite a bit of my life. My BA in Literature and Writing was completed at CSU San Marcos in 1997. I went on to receive my MS in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Student Development in High Education from CSU Long Beach.  I have 3 beautiful children and a wonderful husband of 19 years. I enjoy helping people, singing, and spending time with my family. I look forward to working with students and going above and beyond in counseling sessions.