California Miramar University Student Support Staff

Marcelo Difini, Director of Student Services

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]

Christy Gay, Registrar, Corporate Relations

Growing up along the U.S./Mexico border in San Diego, California, Christy developed an intimate understanding of the inter-related social, economic, and environmental factors that have fueled crises in the region for many generations. Her exposure to these issues sparked a personal interest in the development process and its effects on a population.

After completing her undergraduate degree in International Relations at United States International University in Mexico City, Christy’s personal and professional goal was to actively participate in the development process and to apply specific knowledge and practical skills to the evaluation of its impact on the population. She devoted her energies to acquiring practical experience and expertise through work in community and economic development, low-income housing, community outreach and mobilization, workforce development, and international health. After receiving her Master of Science degree in Population and Development from The London School of Economics and Political Science, she continued to work as a consultant to various development institutions and organizations around the world.

In 2011, Christy began teaching undergraduate courses in American National Government, Introduction to Politics, International Relations, Peacemaking: A Study of Conflict Resolution, Communications, Ethics, and graduate level courses in Thesis/Research, and International Business. Her love of teaching soon grew to include the administrative side of academia. At Coleman University, she assisted the Chair of the Graduate Studies Department in creating a Model of Assessment to carry out a Program Review. She also managed the Graduate Studies Writing Center and served as Chair of the Academic Policies and Procedures Committee.

Presently, Christy is the Registrar at California Miramar University, where she also works to build Corporate Relations. As higher education undergoes a major metamorphosis, Christy is working to ensure CMU emerges as a leader in the industry.

Email: [email protected]

Kathie Kautz, Operations & Student Advisor

Kathie Kautz brings 13-years of experience to CMU. She has worked with both international and domestic students in admissions and has held the position of PDSO and DSO. She also has experience as a Registrar and Director of Admissions. She currently works with students in the role of Student Advisor and assists the COO and finance department.

Kathie has worked in various fields, which makes her transferable skills an asset to the position she currently holds. Her career started in finance after graduating from high school. She then moved on to work in the insurance industry (Personal lines and Commercial Lines), worked for several architectural firms (Residential and Commercial), and with Residential and Commercial Real Estate firms before finding her niche in the field of academia.

Kathie started two businesses; a retail business selling cards, balloons, and flowers when she moved to San Diego from Texas, and a debt management company. She is also a co-owner of three companies; Insurance, Real Estate and Property Management.

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]

Dr. Jack McCready, Dean of Academic Affairs

Dr. McCready has over 40 years of experience in Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation (RDT&E) along with successful product implementation. As Dean of Academic Affairs for California Miramar University (CMU), he brings a unique coupling of theoretical knowledge with the four decades of practical, real-world experience to ensure students receive a strong foundation in both areas. Under his direction, the Academic Programs at CMU use faculty who are rich in practical work experience who then reinforce this dualistic, educational approach. This approach results in students who are prepared for their chosen career fields and at the same time increases their competitive position for the job market…

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Email: [email protected]

Bree Moore, Finance

In CMU’s finance department you will find Bree Moore. She was born and raised in San Diego, California. Coming from a family of programmers, she was introduced to computer software at a young age. With that upbringing, it encouraged her to expand her knowledge with different programs. That was when her interest in accounting began and she became certified in accounting software.

At an early age, Bree started her professional career off in management and billing. Taking courses and attending seminars to advance her career. Her attention to detail, organization and professionalism set her up for success. Over the years, she has gained experience in a variety of fields. Adapting and utilizing each experience to advance her knowledge and strengthen her core skills. Armed with her drive and extensive experiences, Bree’s entrepreneurial spirit engaged. By the age of 25, she opened her own company.

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 cooperative games with friends or relaxing with her husband at the tennis 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 weeklong 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 and Women’s Basketball, Baseball, Softball 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]

Dune Trinn, Director of Financial Aid

Email: [email protected]

Rupali Vora, Librarian

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

Email: [email protected]

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