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Freshman Advising Success Team


Greetings from the Freshman Advising Success Team (FAST). Our team of nine advisors are here to aid the incoming freshman students kick off their journey to graduation on the right path. The beginning of their journey includes making sure that the classes they take in their first semester are the right ones to meet their major and/or general education requirements.

Each freshman student will have their own advisor assigned to them to make sure that their first two years at East Bay are successful. The student will be able to speak with them about their classes, changing their major, and any other issues that might come up before they begin.

Attached is a list of advisors and a brief background on them. The assigned advisor will be contacting students to set up an appointment to enroll them in classes before June 30, 2019.

We are here to assist you on your journey. Please do not hesitate to contact us at the General Education office 510-885-2941 or email us at if there are any questions or if you want to know who your assigned advisor is.

Welcome to East Bay--Let us assist you on beginning your journey as a Pioneer!!!!

FAST Bio's

Linda Beebe

GE Freshman Advisor


Hi, my name is Linda Beebe and I am an advisor in the General Education office. My major role at East Bay is to advise incoming freshman students and help them succeed in all avenues of being a student, which includes trouble shooting financial aid issues, registering for classes and assisting in the adjustment to life as a student.

I have been at East Bay for 30 years and have been advising for 21 years. I am an alumnus of East Bay, receiving both my undergrad and graduate degree at East Bay. You can say East Bay is my life.

I will be here to assist you in your 1st two years at East Bay to make sure that your start is successful and that you stay on your path to graduation, 4 years later.

GO PIONEERS and Welcome to East Bay.

Sharla Blank

GE Freshman Advisor


Hello! My name is Sharla Blank and I am a Freshman Advisor with the General Education Office.  I started at Cal State East Bay as a Counselor in the Educational Opportunity Program.  Before coming to East Bay, I was an Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Washburn University for 10 years. 

I have a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Occidental College and a master’s degree and doctorate in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, San Diego.  In my free time, I enjoy hanging out with friends, going to the beach, relaxing with my cats, reading, and traveling. 

Feel free to reach out to me anytime!  Together we will work on creating a strong foundation for your time at CSUEB.  I look forward to meeting you! 

Bobby Ewing

Enrichment Counselor


Hello and welcome to Cal State East Bay!  My name is Bobby Ewing and I am the Sankofa Scholars Academic and Enrichment Counselor in Student Equity and Success.  My role is focused on supporting African American students as they transition to and navigate though CSUEB.

I received both my Bachelor's degree in Sociology and my Master's degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of San Francisco.  My Master's program was focused on improving access to higher education for first generation, low-income, and underserved students.  

I recently began working at CSUEB.  However prior to East Bay, I worked at the University of California, Berkeley with undergraduate and graduate students.  Additionally, I worked at the University of California, Santa Cruz where I served as an Academic Counselor and Pre-Graduate Programs Coordinator for the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP).

I am excited to meet you all and please feel free to reach out with any questions or just to say hi!

Jorge Alvarado Grajeda

EOP Counselor


Hello and welcome to Cal State East Bay! My name is Jorge Alvarado Grajeda and I am a Counselor in the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP). I graduated from UC Davis with a degree in Psychology and am working on my graduate degree in Counseling Psychology at nearby Santa Clara University.

I have been here at CSUEB for the last couple of years and have had the opportunity to work with first-year freshmen throughout much of my time here. College is a time of much personal, social, and academic transition, so I hope to be an informative resource and collaborator as you navigate all of these new experiences. Please feel free to connect with me anytime you have a question and I will be happy to help!

Bill Irwin

Athletic Academic Advisor


I joined Cal State East Bay as the Athletic Academic Advisor in 2015-16 after just over a year at Utah State University serving as the Football Academic Coordinator. My primary role at East Bay is to work with the student-athletes to ensure eligibility and on-time graduation through proper class scheduling and to support their academic endeavors.

Prior to my time at Utah State, I spent the previous six years as an Academic Support Coordinator at Army West Point, working with the men's and women's basketball, men's lacrosse, and men's and women's soccer, softball, and football programs.

Before Army, I spent the 2007 season as the tight ends coach at Columbia University in New York City. Prior to that, I served as a coach and academic/life skills coordinator for the football team at Western New England University. During that time, I earned my master's degree in athletic counseling from nearby Springfield College.

I was a three-year starter and center for the University of Connecticut football team, where I earned my bachelor's degree in Psychology and Sociology and helped the Huskies to a Motor City Bowl win in the first ever bowl appearance in 2004.

Although I am originally from Fairfax, VA., my wife and daughters and I reside in San Leandro.

Evelia Jimenez

AACE Counselor


Welcome to the beginning of your journey at CSU East Bay! I am Evelia Jimenez, a Counselor in Academic Advising and Career Education (AACE). My college degrees are in Psychology and Education. I am bilingual in Spanish.

My role is to help you navigate your first few years at CSUEB and provide you with the advising resources you need to succeed in college. I understand the challenges many college students experience having myself been a first generation, low-income student. 

This year marks my 18th year working as a Counselor at CSU East Bay. The best part has by far been witnessing many students graduate and ultimately that is my goal for you too. I look forward to meeting you.

Diane Petersen

EOP Counselor


Hi, I am Diane Petersen and I have been an EOP Counselor at CSUEB since 2000. Prior to that, I worked at CSUEB for three years as the advisor to students who were either on academic probation or had been dismissed from the University.

I received my undergrad as a transfer student from Sacramento State University, in Liberal Studies and a minor in Environmental Studies. After being a peer mentor for the EOP Program, I decided I did not want to be a teacher but instead I wanted to be an academic counselor and completed a Master of Science in Counseling with a Marriage and Family and Child Counseling degree. 

Being a first generation, low income student, I know firsthand that college can be difficult and challenging at times. I truly enjoy assisting students with finding their passion and establishing career and academic goals. 

Personally, I love learning new things and reading books and when I am not working at CSUEB, I am hiking in the East Bay hills with my pup Bigges.

Aaron Placke

AACE Counselor


My name is Aaron Placke and I am a counselor at Academic Advising and Career Education (AACE). I graduated from University of California Santa Cruz with a degree in Psychology and am currently pursuing an M.S. in Recreation and Tourism at Cal State East Bay.

While college is an exciting and valuable experience, I understand that it can also be daunting. There are many expectations that come along with college life and it can be difficult to navigate the woods on one's own. As a fellow student and advisor, I am eager to help guide you through your academic career and be a reliable resource for you to graduation and beyond!

I look forward to meeting you!

AACE Counselor

International Students


My name is Sam Tran and I am a counselor in the department of Academic Advising and Career Education (AACE). I graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and a Mater's degree in Public Administration. 

As international students, you have to juggle a lot of things with your transition into a different environment and there are times where it can become overwhelming. I am here to help create a path to achieve your career and educational goals. I have 23 years of work experience in higher education.

I have work at San Francisco State University, University of California Berkeley, and California State University, East Bay.

I have also served as an Outreach Advisor, Admissions Specialist, Evaluator, Academic Advisor, EOP Counselor, Academic and Career Counselor, Supervisor, and Program Coordinator.

Now, I am honored to serve as your international student advisor. I look forward to meeting you.

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