The all-Veteran ESTEP Management team is committed to guiding student Veterans through transition from the military, to graduation and beyond, by empowering the Veteran through personalized high-touch mentorship with a holistic approach.
Ericka is the Project Coordinator on the Office of Naval Research ESTEP grant. She provides direction and oversight for two veteran professional development programs on campus: ESTEP internships and Peer Mentoring. Ericka manages a team who serve the student veteran population here at CSU San Marcos and the larger student veteran community in California. With her background in social work, she provides the theoretical framework from which the team and programs operate which is strengths-based and focuses on the whole person. Professional development has many prongs and along with her team, Ericka has carried forward the vision and mission of Director of Veteran Services, Dr Patricia Reily that sees every student veteran worthy of individualized approaches to transition, higher education, and placement in sustainable careers of choice.
Ericka’s passion for connecting the veteran community to resources and helping them define success stems from many years navigating the often difficult VA systems. After a knee injury had her attending 150 medical appointments in one year, she realized that making it in the world of veteran resources requires the ability to ask the right questions, connect with the right people, and then share that information to others who could use it. Through her encounters with VA education, healthcare, and benefits and compensation, she has built up a strong network of individuals who are ready to assist student veterans in the most efficient way possible. Her goal is to be a part of helping to alleviate the suffering of others through information sharing, resource brokering, and mentoring other veterans through transition to civilian life!
Moses is the Veterans Retention Counselor who provides professional development and retention counselling services for student veterans on campus. Moses also oversees the CSUSM Peer Mentor program and manages interns for the ESTEP program.
“My transition was not easy; after separation I went from handling millions of dollars’ worth of humanitarian aid to scanning cards at LA Fitness to getting fired from every job I had. Going through my transition, it was due to the amazing help of the veteran community that I was able to find my way, and the main fuel for what I do is that I just wanted to give back in the same way that so many gave to me. When I began my college career, I was immediately thrust into advocating for veterans, and loved every single moment of it. In the years I’ve been able to advocate for veterans from the local level up to the national level, and I’ve been able to gain enough experience to insight to understand that all I want to do is work with students one on one. Student success and veteran success is what drives me, and has been my professional life’s work since 2008.”
Priscilla is the Outreach and Communications Specialist for ESTEP and Veteran Services at CSUSM. She cultivates relationships within this and other universities, military education and transition offices, nonprofits, regional business chambers and military/veteran advisory councils and committees to identify and market opportunities to assist student Veterans in their professional development and transition to sustainable careers.
“After separation from active duty, I quickly realized that the transition class provided by the military did not adequately prepare me for the loss of identity I would feel, compounded by adjusting to life as a civilian and a full-time student. In the years since, I’ve been fortunate to connect with resources across the nation that assist Veterans like myself. I’ve dedicated my life to sharing those resources (and lessons) to empower other Veterans to be the best versions of themselves.”
Jamie provides ESTEP Management support, undertaking our administrative workload through vetting, communication, and project placement for applicants. She facilitates communication with active interns, tracks ongoing eligibility, processes facility access for project members, maintains the ESTEP database, and manages the budget for the ESTEP program.
“I joined the ESTEP team because I was really impressed with what the program had to offer our Veterans. Not only do I feel that it is a great way to develop student STEM Vets professionally, but also provides a generous means for them to accomplish this while studying and attending school full-time. Our coordinator has put together an incredible team, and as a result, our Veteran interns have met great success upon graduating!”