The NTSAF staff is housed in Ronald Tutor Campus Center 425. The staff consists of the Director, the Assistant Director, the Governing Board Chair, a Program Coordinator, and two Outreach Coordinators. The student staff of the NTSAF supports the objectives of the Board, provides assistance to the Topping Scholars, coordinates NTSAF programs, and assist in the daily functions of the Fund.
Christina L. Yokoyama, Director
Christina is an alumna of the University of Southern California, having earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Policy and
Management as well as a Master of Education degree in Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs. She has served as the
Director of the Norman Topping Student Aid Fund since February 2007. As the Director of the Fund, Christina manages the
annual solicitation and selection of scholars, distributes scholarship funds, oversees all activities and programs of the Board, and
serves as an advisor for Topping Scholars. Christina’s USC experience began as a multi-cultural freshman, first-generation
college student in August 1998. She joined the university staff in May 2002 as a Financial Aid counselor. Because of her clear
passion for high financial need, first-generation college students like herself, Christina was invited to serve as the Financial Aid
Representative on the Norman Topping Student Aid Fund Governing Board from 2002-2005. In the summer of 2005, Christina
joined the Doctor of Education Program Office as a program advisor to doctoral students in the USC Rossier School of Education.
Only a year and a half later came this incredible opportunity to rejoin the Topping Family.
Felipe Martinez, Associate Director
As the Associate Director, Felipe’s primary responsibilities include outreach to different high school and community colleges,
coordination of the NTSAF Exceptional Funding Program, and the implementation of retention programs for the Fund. Felipe
was born in Mexico City and came to the United States in 1991. After living in East Los Angeles and graduating from Garfield
High School, he attended the University of California, Berkeley where he earned a Sociology degree in 2003. He first arrived to
USC as a graduate student in the Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs (PASA) Program. He is currently pursuing
a Doctorate in Educational Leadership where he plans to examine the benefits of international education for first-generation
college students. Felipe describes working for the Topping Family as the perfect job because it allows him to work directly in
both access to higher education and the retention of students at the university level, two issues he is passionate about. Outside of
his work responsibilities, Felipe enjoys dancing, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.
Jeymi B. Choi, Office Manager
Jeymi joined the Topping Family in January 2010 as the office manager. She earned a Master of Education degree in
Postsecondary Education and Student Affairs from USC in May 2009. Jeymi currently splits her time between USC’s Asian
Pacific American Student Services and the NTSAF. She is happily married and a mother to Nathaniel Lee. Jeymi is excited
to be part of the Topping Family and is grateful to have met such an amazing group of students.
Samuel Kosydar, Governing Board Chair
Sam is a junior majoring in Physics. He is originially from Boise, Idaho. Sam served as a Student Representative on the
NTSAF Governing Board. Sam looks foward to serving as the Governing Board Chair and interacting with the Topping
Eric F. Benavidez, Outreach Coordinator
Eric is a senior majoring in International Relations. He is originally from Rome, Georgia. As the Outreach Coordinator, Eric is
responsible for coordinating student panels, tours and other events for visiting students who want to learn more about USC and
higher education. As an active brother of Gamma Zeta Alpha Fraternity, Inc, Eric works with the local community, providing aid
and education to day laborers and hosting health awareness and mentorship opportunities for local middle school and high school
Tahjana Dunn, Program Coordinator
Tahjana Dunn is a junior earning a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in finance, and a
bachelor’s degree in Accounting. While at USC, Tahjana has served as the Assistant Director of Special Events for USC
Program Board. She is also involved in the Marshall Business Student Government and the Consulting Club. She is also
engaged in various community service opportunities through several alumni groups on campus. Tahjana is looking forward
to her first year with the Topping Family; she hopes to leverage her experiences to provide a great experience for the
Topping Scholars. As the Program Coordinator, Tahjana will be involved with planning several events for Topping Scholars.
Tandia Elijio, Outreach Coordinator
Tandia Elijio is a junior majoring in Anthropology with a minor in Consumer Behavior. As the Outreach Coordinator, Tandia
coordinates presentations, student panels, tours and a number of other events for visiting students who are interested in the
University of Southern California. She is actively involved throughout USC and the surrounding community through a
number of extracurricular activities and community service. She hopes to increase students’ awareness about the importance
of higher education and to assist them in their journey. She is excited to work with the Topping Family and hopes to assist
young scholars reach their potential.
Tony Martinez, Program Coordinator
Tony is a senior majoring in Kinesiology with a minor in Business Adminstration. During his USC tenure Tony has served as
Resident Advisor at Parkside International College as well as chair in many organizations. Tony is excited to continue work
with the Topping Scholars in his role as a program coordinator. Tony is responsible for planning and executing numerous
NTSAF programs throughout the year.
Melvin Villaver, Recruitment Coordinator
Melvin is an incoming transfer student at the University of Southern California. He is a junior majoring in Sociology
with a double minor in Music Industry and Songwriting. Outside of academia, Melvin is a professional musician with
songwriting and production credits to several notable artists and acts. Growing up in South Los Angeles, Melvin has a
passion for reaching out to the youth in his local community and strives to raise the level of expectation for at risk and
disadvantaged youth of diverse backgrounds. He is very excited to be a member of the Norman Topping Student Aid
Fund staff and hopes to assist all scholars the best way he possibly can.