California Miramar University Student Support Staff

Marcelo Difini, Learning Management System Director

CMU’s Director of Student Services, Mr. Marcelo Difini has over 10 years of experience in the academic field. He graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration from one of the most prestigious universities in Brazil. Marcelo completed a 2 year internship during his bachelors at CORSAN Water Treatment Systems, a government company that supplies clean water to the whole state of Rio Grande do Sul, South Brazil. He also lived in Sydney, Australia to improve his English skills before the completion of his bachelor’s degree. Before moving to San Diego, Marcelo worked for 4 years in a Real Estate Company. In 2006, he decided to drastically change his life to enroll in a MBA program. The initial idea was to complete the master’s degree and return to Brazil, but a job at opportunity came his way. Almost 3 years managing an admissions department, working with international students, preparing budgets and working with data and learning management systems, qualified Marcelo to upgrade his career. California Miramar University hired him in October 2011 to be the Director of Student Services where he is directly involved in the tremendous growth that turned CMU into a recognized university, and is considered the fourth top MBA school in San Diego.

Email: [email protected]

Carol Kulis, International Admissions & Program Coordinator

Carol’s love for other cultures and traveling began back in high school, when she had the opportunity to be an exchange student to Panama. In her early career, she worked in the travel industry dealing with corporate travelers. She established two corporate travel departments including writing travel policy and procedures.

In 2002, Carol went to Beijing, China to teach English. There, she discovered a new passion in teaching. She went on to teach English in Germany, Poland, and South Korea. After returning to the states, she continued to teach English and tutor young English Language Learners. Later she joined a small local university’s admissions department.

Carol joined CMU in June 2015 as the international program coordinator. As the university’s international population grew under her direction, CMU hosted its first International Festival in November 2017. One student summed up best CMU’s diverse international population “going to class was like being at the UN.” She believes the diverse student body gives students the opportunity to broaden their views and expand their knowledge through other cultures.

Email: [email protected]

Andi O’Briant, Digital Marketing Administrator

Andi O’Briant has always had a passion for art, design, and event planning, the question was, which industry would bring her the most joy and satisfaction in life. Although she truly loved the tradeshow industry and enjoyed starting a business with her father, the world of higher education was the industry that inspired her the most. The reason universities were so interesting to her was the transformational power they have to offer people opportunities to achieve their goals through knowledge and skill building and because lifelong learning is her personal passion. Andi quickly realized that the digital art world was the way of the future and the possibilities were vast and inspiring. She graduated top of her class from the College of Fine Arts at Ball State University with a BFA in Graphic Design and Visual Communication with a minor in Marketing from the Miller College of Business in 2009. Andi received a certificate from Purdue University Ext. in their Community Leadership Program in 2016.

Along the road of her career she has worked as a graphic designer, event coordinator, and operations manager for three universities, an in-house designer for two different tradeshow exhibit companies, a small business owner, a designer for a large corporation, the sole designer and brand manager for a small manufacturer, and as a freelancer graphic designer. Andi’s experience working with universities has prepared her well for creating digital marketing and communication pieces to help students understand their campus and their academic world with all the opportunities and growth it offers. The trade show industry environment has taught her how to successfully juggle multiple client projects and to work quickly and efficiently. Working in-house, she learned to follow brand guidelines and to be creative while still maintaining consistency. Andi’s freelance experience has strengthened her communication skills with clients and developed strong organization skills and independent problem solving abilities. Her combined knowledge from all these worlds has given her the experience and confidence to work with amazing clients from around the globe.

Andi currently coordinates all student events, social media platforms, website design and management, print and digital graphic design pieces, and university video creation. She is passionate about California Miramar University student life and is excited to make CMU better every day!

When Andi is not designing, you’ll find her enjoying playing and inventing cooperative games with friends or relaxing with her partner at the pickleball courts or the beach or walking around her beautiful, sunny San Diego neighborhood. She loves volunteering and joins her grandfather, George (Pop) O’Briant every year for a week long trip to help provide meals and build houses for families in need in Biloxi, Mississippi with the organization called Back Bay Mission. Andi loves to draw and paint and is known to lace up her motorcycle boots and head out for a ride along the coast.

Email: [email protected]

Chris Shade, Athletic Director / Men’s Basketball Head Coach

Chris Shade is the Athletic Director at California Miramar University. The Fighting Falcon’s Athletics website shows all the Athletics Programs we offer, including Men’s Basketball, Baseball, Softball, Men’s Soccer, and Women’s Soccer. Softball and Women’s Soccer are new sport programs here at CMU and we are recruiting now! Here at California Miramar University our priority is academics then athlete. We are looking for athletes that value their academic career.

Email: [email protected]

Myra Smith, Director of Admissions

Myra Smith, MBA, With 20 years in education and positive student-centric education and corporate experience, Mrs. Smith brings an impressive record of accomplishments in higher education. Her expertise includes leading multi-state admissions strategies, specializing in student recruitment initiatives, being dedicated to mission-driven institutions in particular, and supporting organizations committed to student advancement.

As a Regional Director of Admissions and Associate Campus Director, she successfully managed initial accreditation grants, DOE compliance, fiscal management, and curriculum development, Veterans Affairs, and Admission services.

Mrs. Smith has led initiatives designed to streamline business processes and enhance collaborative policy development and campus growth. Mrs. Smith is particularly dedicated to helping students achieve their academic goals and thrive.

Email: [email protected]

Dune Trinn, Director of Financial Aid

Email: [email protected]

Rupali Vora, Associate Dean of Academics

Guided by the California Miramar University premise that ‘Knowledge is Power’, Rupali strives to support students, faculty and staff at CMU in all their academic endeavors. She has been with CMU since 2017, serving as a solo librarian in which she focuses on reference, Moodle course rooms, cataloging, circulation and resources. Rupali designs information literacy content and delivers it in classroom and online courses.

Her journey as a librarian started a decade back and she went through the experiences of being a cataloger, in reference, providing faculty support in course creation and as a solo librarian. Born and brought up in India, with her undergrad in India and Masters in the U.S., she brings a unique perspective to CMU in working with Domestic and International students. She has traveled extensively around the U.S. and has now called San Diego home. Rupali has earned an undergrad degree in Pharmacy from LMCP, India, a certificate course in Integrated Marketing Communications from UC Berkeley and a Masters in Library and Information Science from SJSU. She is a member of Special Library Association and loves to volunteer.

Email: [email protected]

Arene Colon, Document Collector

Arene has been involved in education since 2002. Arene brings years of experience helping students obtain their goals with her ability to help a student navigate the enrollment process. Arene realizes the importance of communicating with students through their educational journey all the way to graduation. Her willingness to go the extra mile for students and co-workers alike make Arene an asset to CMU.

Email: [email protected]

Call Now