Meet Our Team

Cookie GarrettCookie Garrett

Pronouns: She/Her/Queen

Director of the Diversity & Inclusion Student Affinity & Resource Centers

Phone: (510) 885-3853

Dr. Cookie Garrett (She|Her|Queen) is the Director of the Diversity and Inclusion Student Affinity and Resource Centers (DISARC) at CSU East Bay. She is a native of Atlanta, GA and resides in Oakland, CA. Dr. Cookie obtained her bachelor’s of psychology and masters of school counseling degrees from Valdosta State University in Valdosta, GA. She most recently obtained her doctorate of education in educational leadership from San Francisco State University. She has over 13 years of experience in Student Affairs creating community, student engagement, developing inclusive spaces, fostering belonging, and advocating for equity and justice. 

Her understanding is that in order to connect with anyone in an authentic way you must first honor their humanity and their experience. This leads to her belief that the best way to support students is to serve with humility, guide with grace, and lead with love. Dr. Cookie Garrett works to incorporate these values and believes in her daily engagement because for her, having left a positive impact in the lives of her students, staff, and peers is time well spent. 

Dr. Cookie also believes in giving back to the community in which she resides. She does so by services as a member of the Board of Directors of the Oakland Museum of Children's Art. She is also a proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated and a life member of Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity. Dr. Cookie has embraced the motto “If I am to be anything at all, I must render service to all.”

LaRon McCoy

LaRon McCoy

Pronouns: He/Him

Black Student Success Center Coordinator

Phone: (510) 885-4789

LaRon McCoy (he/him/his) is the Black Student Success Center Coordinator in the Diversity and Inclusion Student Affinity and Resource Centers. An Oakland native, LaRon graduated from Skyline High School and continued on to a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Teaching from California State University, East Bay. During his time at CSU East Bay LaRon was a student assistant in the Educational Opportunity Program where his spark for care and service was kindled. Being able to assist his fellow students in accessing and receiving services is what led LaRon to a career in higher education. Because of LaRon participation in the Renaissance Scholars and Educational Opportunity Programs (EOP), he has the unique tools to utilize his knowledge of the East Bay campus to assist students in their matriculation to the East Bay Community.

Outside of East Bay, LaRon coaches high school and youth track and field in Oakland, Ca. where he helps to not only build strong athletes but create individuals who will go on to be positive contributors to society as well as lifelong learners. LaRon is extremely excited and blessed to be in the position to give back to his community.  LaRon has also been involved in the nonprofit world for a number of years working with foster youth across the bay area. SOAR For Youth is a program that provides foster youth with academic enrichment opportunities, a community of camp leaders, academic advocates, peers and an opportunity to experience UC Berkeley and the surrounding Bay Area. LaRon is also a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, where he serves as the Vice President of the Omicron Theta Lambda chapter seated in Hayward California. Guided by our aims of “Manly deeds, scholarship, and love for all mankind” we strive to uplift and serve our community through leadership, mentorship, and education.  

Marie Alexandra R. Ibarra

Marie Alexandra R. Ibarra, M.A.

Pronouns: She/Her

Asian Pacific Islander Student Success Center Coordinator

Phone: (510) 885-2840

  • Michigan State University | Master of Arts, Student Affairs Administration (Higher, Adult & Lifelong Education
  • Cal State East Bay (2015) | Bachelor of Arts, Theatre Arts with a Concentration in Musical Theatre

Marie is #ForeverPioneer. She shares a range of experience working with diverse student populations: from international affairs in Japan, supporting K-12 leadership development and special needs students, as well as contributing to postsecondary academic support services from the Midwest to the West Coast (e.g., writing centers and resources, first-year and first generation student experiences, undocumented/DACAmented communities, and transfer student programs). She strives to support the holistic development of students in the face of adversity and oppressive institutional structures, and works to further empower students to believe in themselves and their strengths. 

Vanessa Varko-FontanaVanessa Varko-Fontana

Pronouns: She/Her/Ella

Latinx Student Success Center Coordinator

Phone: (510) 885-4786

Vanessa is originally from Los Angeles County and has been in the Bay Area since 1999. As a first generation college student Vanessa have faced many challenges navigating through undergraduate, career growth, and returning to graduate school.  She brings with her vast experience in youth development, community organizing, cultural student affairs, and collaborative leadership.  She is excited to support students explore Latinx culture, community, academic support, and campus resources.