Meet the Admission Center Staff

Though the USC admission counselor who covers your territory will be your primary contact, you may meet several people throughout the admission process, including our admission ambassadors and tour guides— all of whom were in your shoes not too long ago!

Claire Adams

  • Tour Guide

  • Junior
  • Major: Theatre
  • Minor: Art History
  • City: Oak Park, CA
  • Random Fact: I've never been to McDonalds.

Robbie Baxter

  • Tour Guide

  • Sophomore
  • Major: Economics
  • Minor: Cinematic Arts
  • City: West Windsor, NJ
  • Random Fact: Apparently I'm ambidextrous: I can bowl, write, eat and throw a ball with my left or right hand.

Josue Campos

  • Admission Ambassador

  • First-Year
  • Major: Electrical Engineering
  • Minor: Spanish
  • City: Pasadena, CA
  • Random Fact: I extremely love to Keep up with the Kardashians!

Rosa Chung

  • Admission Ambassador

  • First-Year
  • Major: Business Administration
  • Minor: (hopefully Cinematic Arts by next year)
  • City: Seoul, South Korea
  • Random Fact: When I marry a Korean man with the last name "Park" I will be one step closer to becoming Rosa Parks. I am also a Third Culture Kid.

Kurt Clements

  • Tour Guide

  • Sophomore
  • Major: Communication; Mathematics
  • City: Lake Elsinore, CA
  • Random Fact: I once accidentally drove my car on top of a fire hydrant.

Adam Feisst

  • Tour Guide

  • Junior
  • Major: Business Administration; Communication
  • Minor: German Studies
  • City: Eau Claire, WI
  • Random Fact: I traveled around Europe alone for a month.

Jac Garell

  • Tour Guide

  • Junior
  • Major: Theatre; Communication
  • City: Orinda, CA
  • Random Fact: My favorite ride at Disneyland is Splash Mountain.

Madi Harris

  • Admission Ambassador

  • Sophomore
  • Major: Environmental Studies
  • Minor: Spanish
  • City: Seal Beach, CA
  • Random Fact: I grew up in an Orange County beach town, but I still can't surf. It's practically heresy!

Maddy Keavy

  • Tour Guide

  • Sophomore
  • Major: Journalism: Broadcast and Digital
  • Minor: Communication & the Entertainment Industry
  • City: Visalia, CA
  • Random Fact: I used to milk cows... for fun.

Uriel Kim

  • Tour Guide

  • Junior
  • Major: Biology
  • Minor: Health Policy and Managment
  • City: Monterey, CA
  • Random Fact: When I was younger, I used to model for catalogues and textbooks.

Julia Loup

  • Admission Ambassador

  • Sophomore
  • Major: Psychology
  • Minor: Communication Design and Marketing
  • City: Pasadena, MD
  • Random Fact: I LIVE for popcorn and have never done a cartwheel.

Arad Margalit

  • Admission Ambassador

  • Sophomore
  • Major: Business Administration
  • City: Castro Valley, CA
  • Random Fact: I have a twin brother, and my little siblings are also twins!

Charlie McGrady

  • Admission Ambassador

  • Junior
  • Major: Computer Science
  • City: Silver Spring, MD
  • Random Fact: I have a one eyed cat named Boo.

Maria Osechinskaya

  • Admission Ambassador

  • Junior
  • Major: English
  • City: Irvine, CA
  • Random Fact: One of my absolute favorite things to do is to challenge my pet parrot, Pixel, to dance-offs. He has become a champion of rhythmic head-bobbing.

Caitlin Plummer

  • Tour Guide

  • First-Year
  • Major: Print and Digital Journalism
  • City: Lynnwood, WA
  • Random Fact: When I was five, I learned all of the words to Don McLean's eight-minute song "American Pie." If you play it, I can still sing every word.

Teddy Rounds

  • Tour Guide

  • Sophomore
  • Major: International Relations
  • City: Boston, MA
  • Random Fact: I am colorblind. And because of that, I can't see laser pointers...it baffles me to this day.

Mercy Sherman

  • Tour Guide

  • First-Year
  • Major: Creative Writing; Classics
  • City: Charlottesville, VA
  • Random Fact: I met my celebrity crush in the airport... And he was the one who initiated conversation! Chad Michael Murray for life.

Zachary Smith

  • Admissions Ambassador

  • Junior
  • Major: International Relations; Political Economy
  • Minor: History
  • City: Carmichael, CA
  • Random Fact: I've worked in the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of California government.

Madison Tucky

  • Tour Guide

  • First-Year
  • Major: English
  • City: Las Vegas, NV
  • Random Fact: I've written an award winning play that has never actually been performed.

Preston Walker

  • Tour Guide

  • Junior
  • Major: Philosophy, Politics & Law
  • City: Oak Park, CA
  • Random Fact: In the lovely summer of 2008, I played 9 holes of golf the even lovelier Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. I won.

Laura Wright

  • Admission Ambassador

  • First-Year
  • Major: Biomedical Engineering
  • City: Charleston, WV
  • Random Fact: I kicked a shark when I was little, so now I'm scared to go too far into the ocean.

Ashima Agrawal

  • Tour Guide

  • Sophomore
  • Major: Communication
  • Minor: Public Health
  • City: Saratoga, CA
  • Random Fact: I can't stand the sound of people eating - especially carrots.

KC Brunson

  • Admission Ambassador

  • First-Year
  • Major: Mechanical Engineering
  • City: Agoura Hills, CA
  • Random Fact: I am almost done folding (and stringing) 1000 paper cranes for luck.

Austin Carter

  • Admission Ambassador

  • Junior
  • Major: Global Health; Mathematics/Economics
  • City: Beaverton, OR
  • Random Fact: I didn't lose my first tooth until I was 11!

Dru Chavez

  • Tour Guide

  • First-Year
  • Major: Public Relations
  • Minor: Natural Science; Nonprofits, Philanthropy, and Volunteerism
  • City: San Pedro, CA
  • Random Fact: I have never had a pet, Facebook, or broken bone in my body, so being where I am today, shows that even with a deprived childhood, there is hope for us all.

Grant Derderian

  • Tour Guide

  • Sophomore
  • Major: Computer Science and Business Administration
  • Minor: Applied Computer Security
  • City: Pasadena, CA
  • Random Fact: My high school graduating class had only 26 students!

Maria Fish

  • Admission Ambassador

  • Junior
  • Major: Narrative Studies
  • Minor: Environmental Studies, Spanish
  • City: Portland, OR
  • Random Fact: My little brother was born on my birthday!

Jenny Gilbert

  • Tour Guide

  • First-Year
  • Major: Philosophy
  • Minor: Natural Sciences
  • City: Sacramento, CA
  • Random Fact: My favorite television show is House; it made me want to become a doctor!

Meggie Howell

  • Tour Guide

  • Junior
  • Major: Policy, Planning, and Development; Health Policy and Management
  • City: Woodinville, Washington
  • Random Fact: I'm afraid of live fish, but my favorite food is sushi!

Brigid Kelly

  • Tour Guide

  • Sophomore
  • Major: Policy, Planning and Development
  • Minor: Spatial Studies (Spatial Sciences Institute)
  • City: St. Paul, MN
  • Random Fact: My favorite food is cotton candy.

Maika Koehl

  • Admission Ambassador

  • First-Year
  • Major: Business Administration
  • Minor: Philosophy
  • City: Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
  • Random Fact: My family is made up of die-hard Laker fans. I have a room in my house with purple walls and signed jerseys everywhere.

Laura Lucchesi

  • Tour Guide

  • Sophomore
  • Major: Mathematics
  • Minor: Italian
  • City: San Francisco, CA
  • Random Fact: I share a birthday with my dad and Beyonce.

Sean McCall

  • Tour Guide

  • Sophomore
  • Major: Cognitive Science
  • Minor: Marketing, Multimedia Literacy
  • City: Andover, MA
  • Random Fact: I enjoy long walks on the beach, fine dining, and calling my mother every 3-4 days to check in.

Jackie Molina

  • Tour Guide

  • Junior
  • Major: Industrial & Systems Engineering
  • City: Pasadena, CA
  • Random Fact: I got my acceptance letter on my birthday! I also have 9 family members who have attended USC.

Kimberly Ostiller

  • Tour Guide

  • Sophomore
  • Major: Spanish; Public Relations
  • City: Altadena, CA
  • Random Fact: My personal pogo-sticking record is 4,144 consecutive jumps completed in fouth grade.

Larissa Purnell

  • Admission Ambassador

  • Sophomore
  • Major: Business Administration
  • City: Chino Hills, CA
  • Random Fact: On my first roller coaster ride in 4th grade, I swallowed a bee on the first and largest drop. Ironically, I still love riding roller coasters.

Eric Ruble

  • Tour Guide

  • Junior
  • Major: Broadcast & Digital Journalism
  • Minor: Marketing, Cinematic Arts
  • City: Denver, CO
  • Random Fact: My last name is the Russian currency, but it's actually German for "beet farmer."

Victoria Simons

  • Tour Guide

  • First-Year
  • Major: Economics
  • City: Scottsdale, AZ
  • Random Fact: My dog, Sebastian, can sing and even won 1st place in a dog singing competition.

Himal Suthar

  • Admission Ambassador

  • Junior
  • Major: Biomedical Engineering
  • City: South Pasadena, CA
  • Random Fact: I was named after a mountain range. Guess which one.

Caroline Vanstrom

  • Tour Guide

  • First-Year
  • Major: Public Relations
  • City: Roswell, GA
  • Random Fact: I can't ride a bike and wish that I were British.

Linda Wang

  • Tour Guide

  • Junior
  • Major: Philosophy, Politics & Law; Sociology
  • City: Palo Alto, CA
  • Random Fact: Since entering college I've had a turtle, a pregnant cat, and a hedgehog.

Joey Backs

  • Admission Ambassador

  • Junior
  • Major: Philosophy, Politics, & Law; International Relations
  • City: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
  • Random Fact:  I despise the snack Corn Nuts.

India Bulkeley

  • Admission Ambassador

  • Junior
  • Major: Cognitive Science
  • Minor: Photography & Social Change and Consumer Behavior
  • City: New York, NY
  • Random Fact: I had a Chinchilla named Chuck Coco Boo Radley.

Noah Camarena

  • Tour Guide

  • First-Year
  • Major: Print and Digital Journalism
  • City: Lemoore, CA
  • Random Fact: I've lived in California my whole life but the only professional sports team I like from California is the Los Angeles Kings.

Burt Chaikin

  • Tour Guide

  • Sophomore
  • Major: Cinematic Arts Critical Studies
  • City: Highland Park, IL
  • Random Fact: I have been performing magic tricks since I was three-years-old!

Elena Dole

  • Tour Guide

  • First-Year
  • Major: Theatre (BFA Acting)
  • City: Sherman Oaks, CA
  • Random Fact: I am a citizen of both the U.S. and France, I have an awesome lil bro, as well as a pretty extensive Vans and Birkenstocks collection. Also, I wear mom jeans.

Cristina Gago

  • Tour Guide

  • First-Year
  • Major: Health and Humanity; Biology
  • City: Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
  • Random Fact: I am a citizen of both the U.S. and Spain.

Shalaka Gole

  • Admission Ambassador

  • First-Year
  • Major: Business Administration
  • Minor: Digital Studies
  • City: San Ramon, CA
  • Random Fact: The most creative/original rendition of my name that I've heard is Sha-baklava. There are many more.

Kevin Ivie

  • Tour Guide

  • Sophomore
  • Major: Communication
  • Minor: Dramatic Arts
  • City: San Clemente, CA
  • Random Fact: My middle name is Akio, which translates to my birth season in Japanese!

Kevin Kim

  • Tour Guide

  • Sophomore
  • Major: Computer Science; Business Administration
  • City: Fullerton, CA
  • Random Fact: I can ride my bike with no handlebars!

Pooja Kundargi

  • Admission Ambassador

  • Senior
  • Major: Kinesiology
  • Minor: Public Health
  • City: Cupertino, CA
  • Random Fact: I have 14 scars on my knees, all received within the 4 years I played Field Hockey in high school.

Hannah Maluyao

  • Tour Guide

  • First-Year
  • Major: Print and Digital Journalism
  • City: Visalia, CA
  • Random Fact: I once bowled an accidental strike by bouncing the ball off the top of the bumper. I was then promptly escorted out of the bowling alley.

Leslie McCracken

  • Admission Ambassador

  • Senior
  • Major: Communication
  • City: Del Mar, CA
  • Random Fact: I am terrified of the open ocean, but one of the most rewarding things I've ever done was go night diving with 15 foot manta rays.

Perry Nunes

  • Tour Guide

  • Junior
  • Major: International Relations; Economics
  • Minor: Cinematic Arts
  • City: Bellevue, WA
  • Random Fact: I'm from Seattle but I've never owned an umbrella in my life.

Carol Passarelli

  • Tour Guide

  • Junior
  • Major: Human Biology
  • Minor: Psychology
  • City: Mountain View, CA
  • Random Fact: I'm a certified archery instructor and take care of llamas in the summer.

Sara Robinson

  • Admission Ambassador

  • Sophomore
  • Major: Psychology
  • Minor: French
  • City: Arroyo Grande, CA
  • Random Fact: I used to foster rabbits. I also have a dog, a cat, and two horses.

Heaven Saunders

  • Admission Ambassador

  • Sophomore
  • Major: Public Relations
  • Minor: Marketing
  • City: San Pedro, CA
  • Random Fact: My name is a mix of parents' names. Heather + Keven = Heaven.

Caitlin Sims

  • Tour Guide

  • Junior
  • Major: Health & Humanity, Communication
  • City: San Jose, CA
  • Random Fact: I know most 90s Disney movie soundtracks by heart. Although my singing ability is questionable.

Juliette Sward

  • Tour Guide

  • Junior
  • Major: Creative Writing
  • Minor: Screenwriting
  • City: Northfield, IL
  • Random Fact: I was voted Miss Congeniality in my 8th grade volleyball team which explains a lot about my lack of athletic involvement since then.

Alex Vasconcellos

  • Tour Guide

  • Sophomore
  • Major: Human Biology
  • Minor: Psychology and Law
  • City: San Diego, CA
  • Random Fact: If someone says my last name wrong and looks to me for approval, no matter what they say I congratulate them.

Alex Wilensky

  • Tour Guide

  • Junior
  • Major: Sociology
  • Minor: Nonprofits, Philanthropy and Volunteerism
  • City: Orange, CA
  • Random Fact: I once won a cheese hat at the county fair for making the best grilled cheese sandwich with an iron.

Admission Staff

Joy Oaks

  • Director

  • B.A. Liberal Studies/English
    Cal Poly Pomona
    M.Ed. Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs
    Ed.D. Educational Leadership
    University of Southern California
  • I am a third-generation Angeleno and have worked at USC for 18 years in a variety of capacities. I enjoy spending my free time reading as many books as possible, attending USC football games, and taking advantage of all that Los Angeles has to offer, especially live music. I love having the opportunity to show off my amazing hometown to all types of guests to the university.

    Favorite spot on campus: Widney Alumni House

    Admission Advice: Try not to get too hung up on rankings and be sure to focus more on which schools will be a good fit for you and which ones will provide you with the kinds of opportunities you are seeking. The “best” college is the one where you will be happiest, not always the one with the highest ranking.

Joe Beltran

  • Associate Director

  • B.S. Music Industry
    M.Ed. Educational Counseling
    University of Southern California
  • A transplant from the Gulf Coast of Texas, Los Angeles and especially USC have been my home away from home since 2002. As a USC admission counselor, I have visited students across the state of California, Seattle, Houston, New Jersey, South Carolina, the state of New York and Vermont. When I am not engulfed in the world of college admission, I enjoy reading, physical fitness, exploring LA and helping others.

    Favorite Place on Campus: The Queen’s Courtyard

    Admission Advice: Congratulations! I know it may seem daunting at times, but the college search and application process can be an exciting and exploratory time in your young lives. Take a deep breath, dive in and let us know how we can help.

Jeri Schuessler-Loynachan

  • Student Services Assistant

  • B.A. Anthropology
    Paralegal Certificate
    M.L.S. Master of Liberal Studies
    University of Southern California
  • I am a native of Los Angeles and my professional experience has been varied as an educator, paralegal, librarian, property manager, and artist/photographer. It is rewarding to be immersed in the Admission Center’s dynamic environment. I have navigated the college admissions process with my two daughters and recently returned to academia completing my Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies.

    Favorite Place on Campus: Cinematic Arts Library located in the Doheny Memorial Library Ground Floor.

    Admission Advice: Please visit our beautiful University Park Campus! This is your opportunity to learn about student life, degree programs, and research possibilities from an undergraduate perspective and discover if USC is the best match for you. Our tour guides and ambassadors are enthusiastic advocates eager to share their experiences with you.

Admitted Student Open House at USC (2014)


Admission Center Team Retreat in Santa Monica (2014)