MeetStaff

Meet the Staff

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Yvonne Berumen

Vice President and Dean for Admission & Financial Aid
(She/Her, Habla Español, First-Gen)
yvonne_berumen@pitzer.edu

Yvonne grew up in Pico Rivera, California where she attended El Rancho High School. A Pitzer alumna from the Class of 1997, Yvonne received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology. In 2005, she earned her Master’s in Higher Education with an emphasis in Quantitative Analysis. Yvonne has over 19 years of experience in higher education and college counseling. Prior to returning to Pitzer, she was the Vice President of Scholarships and Academic Support for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund where she managed HSF’s strategic outreach to students, parents and educational constituents, which included developing content that promoted college attainment and academic success. She was co-architect of a $417 million grant to establish The Gates Scholarship, a next generation scholarship that would recruit, retain and support the best and brightest underrepresented students through their bachelor’s degree. In her spare time, Yvonne enjoys staying active through dance and hikes with her dogs.

Recruitment territories: California, Hawaii, International (Europe, India, Pakistan)

Favorite Place in the Claremont Village: The Circus Studio is my favorite spot. It’s owned by a Pitzer alumnus and they offer aerial circus classes along with yoga and Pilates. Students have been able to take classes for PE credit there, too!

Fun Fact: I have been a dancer since I was 4. I was so small when I started that my mom couldn’t find ballet shoes that fit me. I love all forms of dancing and it’s my creative outlet.

My College Search Advice: As a former college counselor, I could share pages of advice, however, the first piece of advice I always give students is to reflect and ask themselves what makes them happy. What learning environment is best suited to them? Don’t be led by the rankings or where your friends are applying. Start with you. Do you learn best in a small or large environment? Do you want a residential campus? What type of students do you want to be surrounded by? What are you passionate about? Chances are, the colleges will have the major you’re looking for and basic amenities, but being in the right school can impact your overall satisfaction and whether or not you graduate from a particular college.

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Santiago Ybarra

Director of Admission
(He/Him, Habla Español, First-Gen)
santiago_ybarra@pitzer.edu

Santiago was raised in California’s central coast. After graduating from Watsonville High School he attended Pomona College, earned a degree in psychology and found himself drawn to college admissions. While in college he interned for the Minority Student Action Program and worked as a Senior Interviewer. He was also involved in the 5-College ballroom dance team and volunteered at a local elementary school. He enjoys road trips to national parks, camping, biking and spending time with his dogs. Since joining Pitzer’s internationally-minded community in 2010, Santiago has been inspired to visit a greater variety of international locales.

Recruitment territories: California, Illinois, New York, Wisconsin, U.S. Territories (Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa), International (Caribbean, Latin America)

Favorite Place in the Claremont Village: Uno Tre Otto

Fun Fact: I have been to all 50 states.

My College Search Advice: Go to the school you will be most successful at, not the one you think is most prestigious.

David Girvan

David Girvan

Associate Director of Admission
(He/Him)
david_girvan@pitzer.edu

David was born and raised just south of Boston in Norwood, Massachusetts. He attended Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts receiving his BA in Graphic Design. During his time at Stonehill he was heavily involved in student leadership through the admissions office and the orientation team, and started his love for travel during a semester abroad in Florence, Italy. After his transformative experience in college, he continued his passions for student leadership and development in the college admissions field since 2013. He received his MEd in Higher Education Administration in 2018 at Northeastern University. David is excited to be a part of Pitzer’s core values driven community and to gain new perspectives moving to Los Angeles. Outside of work, he enjoys running, hiking, and all things pop-culture related.

Recruitment territories: Alaska, California, Idaho, Montana, New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, International (Canada, China, Hong Kong)

Fun Fact: It’s a personal goal to have visited at least as many states as my age, luckily I’m a little ahead right now having visited 32 states so far!

My College Search Advice: Focus on the college community you feel you’d thrive in most. It is important to look at what are the various factors that are on your must-have checklists, from academics, to extracurriculars, potential study abroad opportunities, and the campus community. What are your must-haves and what can you have flexibility on to still be challenged to grow? The fit of an institution will help you go far.

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Hayley Burke

Assistant Director of Admission
(She/Her, First-Gen)
hayley_burke@pitzer.edu

Hayley is lucky to have spent her entire life in sunny Southern California. That is, aside from the five years she spent freezing in Philadelphia, PA at Bryn Mawr College. After graduating in 2015 as a sociology major, she stayed on to pursue her Master of Social Work degree from Bryn Mawr’s Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research. Hayley loves to travel, and spends much of her time subtly sending plane ticket deals from Scott’s Cheap Flights to her friends. Her dream destinations include Greece, Montana, Spain, Chile and Mexico City. While at Bryn Mawr, Hayley was surrounded by extraordinary women who pushed her to become a strong advocate against social inequity and injustice. Working towards this goal, she co-founded a reading and writing group for local incarcerated women. She remains committed to this mission in her role as an Admission Counselor, working to make Pitzer accessible for formerly incarcerated individuals. Outside of work, Hayley is an avid beach-goer and fearlessly experimental baker who loves nothing more than to lean into her extroversion and spend all of her time with friends and family and food.

Recruitment territories: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas, International (Middle East and Asia, excluding India, Pakistan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan)

Favorite Place in the Claremont Village: Crème Bakery! If you love baked goods, Crème is THE place to get your fix. Everything is made with real butter, and lots of it. I recommend the lemon scone or any of the croissants.

Fun Fact: I was in NJROTC for all four years of high school. (Embarrassing pictures of me in uniform available upon request.)

My College Search Advice: When building your college list, make a spreadsheet with each college and its relevant information. Does the school require standardized tests? List it there. Want to get in touch with your regional counselor? Write down their email. Staying organized will help ensure that you meet your deadlines and feel confident throughout the process.

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Erin Griffin

Assistant Director of Admission
(She/Her, Habla Español)
erin_griffin@pitzer.edu

Erin was born and raised in Carpinteria, California where she attended Cate School. Wanting to explore and challenge herself after graduation, she set out east to Colby College in Waterville, Maine where she earned her degree in Spanish and Environmental Studies. She devoted her time at Colby to the Residential Life program as a Community Advisor and Area Resident Director, volunteering at the local homeless shelter and teen center, and working as a Senior Fellow in the admission office. During her four years she spent a semester abroad in Córdoba, Spain and took weekends to explore Maine’s small towns, mountains, and extensive coastline. Although a fan of the snow, Erin made her way back west after graduation and spent some time interning at a disaster relief organization in her hometown. Eager to jump back into higher education and admissions work, she found Pitzer. In her free time Erin loves heading to the ocean, hiking, and enjoying all things food.

Recruitment territories: California, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, International (Oceania)

Favorite Place in the Claremont Village: 42nd Street Bagel – their everything will leave you wondering how it is physically possible for that many poppy seeds to fit on one bagel. Also Saca’s Mediterranean – because it is just so good.

Fun Fact: I’ve driven across the country three times.

My College Search Advice: Focus on finding the college that ‘fits’ you the best. Ask if there is good student-faculty interaction, but also ask what those interactions are like. Ask if there are study abroad opportunities, but also ask how many, how accessible they are, and what sets them apart from other school’s offerings. Consider the various factors you need for academic and extracurricular success, and seek out those specifics as you get to know a school. Though there are 100 colleges out there that are the perfect fit for you, this level of discernment can help narrow it down.

Alex Morse

Alex Morse

Admission Counselor
(She/They)
alex_morse@pitzer.edu

Alex grew up in Phoenix, Arizona before moving to Los Angeles, California to attend Occidental College to earn her degree in Psychology with a minor in Writing. At Occidental, she spent her time singing in the Oxy Glee Club, leading student clubs including the Queer Student Alliance and Planned Parenthood Club, conducting independent research on LGBTQIA+ populations, and working as an intern and later a Senior Fellow in the admission office. After graduation, she was eager to continue working in the world of higher education and was thrilled to find an opportunity to do so at Pitzer. Outside of work, Alex loves all things games from board games to escape rooms to Live Action Fantasy Roleplay, as well as being a mom to her adorable pup Henry.

Recruitment territories: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon

Favorite Place in the Claremont Village: Some Crust Bakery has the best treats in town! Their cupcakes are not only beautiful to look at but delectible to taste. It’s dangerous working so close to something that delicious.

Fun Fact: While most people were born in their local hospital, I was born in the living room of my childhood home (intentionally)!

My College Search Advice: There are SO MANY colleges you could be happy at–many of which you’ve probably never heard of. Look high and low for schools, and keep an open mind and heart. College is a wonderful and enriching experience, and that’s true regardless of a school’s name recognition.

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Natalia Duran

Admission Counselor
(She/Her, Habla Español)
natalia_duran@pitzer.edu

Natalia grew up in Montclair, California where she graduated from Montclair High School in 2015. Natalia recently joined the Pitzer College Alumni Network as a graduate of the class of 2019. During her time at Pitzer, she double majored in Environmental Analysis and Chicanx/Latinx Studies. She was also a student fellow at the Robert Redford Conservancy for three of her four years, and she was a senior Admission Fellow at Pitzer’s Office of Admission. She was also heavily involved in clubs and held a leadership position in Pitzer’s Latinx Student Union. While at Pitzer, she had the opportunity to study abroad in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama, which left her with an itch to continue her traveling adventures as an admission counselor!

Recruitment territories: California, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Minnesota, Tennessee

Favorite Place in the Claremont Village: 21 Choices! Mix in strawberries and oreos with any of their daily flavors and you’ll be solid!

Fun Fact: I’ve been stung by a jellyfish before! (And no, it was not fun!)

My College Search Advice: A lot of people don’t know what they want to study in college, and that’s okay! If you’re on the fence about majors, look into schools that allow you to explore your interests both inside and outside of the classroom. Also, don’t be afraid to ask the admission office questions, we’re here to help in any way possible!

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Duanduan Hsieh

Admission Counselor
(He/Him, 會講中文, 臺灣閩南語)
duanduan_hsieh@pitzer.edu

Duanduan grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey and Taipei, Taiwan. After graduating from Taipei American School, he moved to Carlisle, Pennsylvania to attend Dickinson College where he earned his degree in Art and Art History. During his time at Dickinson, Duanduan worked in the admission office, served on multiple campus committees, and founded the Asian and Asian-American Collective. He also studied abroad in Italy as well as completed summer internships in New York City and Belgium. Now in Los Angeles, Duanduan is excited to continue work in higher education and spend his free time painting, camping and trying new food recipes.

Recruitment territories: California, Delaware, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, International (Africa, Taiwan).

Fun Fact: Right after graduating from high school, my theater troupe and I performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Favorite Place in the Claremont Village: Gus’s BBQ!

My College Search Advice: When you begin your college visits, it’s easy for the colleges to blend together and become confusing. I recommend that students record a short video of themselves noting their first impressions so you can always refer back to how you first felt about a college.

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David Dysart

Associate Director of Enrollment Systems
(He/Him)
david_dysart@pitzer.edu

Born and raised in Southern California, on the computer is where he spent most of his days. David has made his rounds working in Higher Ed as well as the Public and Private sectors, but he is thrilled to be back in a university setting here at Pitzer. With an educational background in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, he has always tended toward the analytical side of life, but he merges this with a love of the arts. A board member of a community theatre, he enjoys still being involved even if it’s not on the stage as often.

Favorite Place in the Claremont Village: Claremont Village Eatery – super cute with great food and coffee!

Fun Fact: I was thrilled that Pitzer had a slackline on the Mounds so I didn’t have to set one up myself when I wanted to do it.

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Gloria Romo

Executive Assistant to the Vice President
(She/Her)
gloria_romo@pitzer.edu

Gloria was born in Los Angeles and graduated from South Gate High School. She joined Pitzer in 1999 bringing many years of experience as an executive assistant both in the private sector and in academia. She has also completed relevant coursework at Mt. SAC and Cal Poly Pomona. Gloria loves to travel, read, watch black & white movies, attend musical productions and museums, has a heavy social life with her friends and family (especially with her eight grandchildren), and enjoys extended weekends with her husband to the beach or mountains.

Favorite Place in the Claremont Village: Laemmle theater. Love their latest movies and independent films.

Fun Fact: I love to dance to all kinds of music, especially Cumbia.

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Lina Sandve

Admission Assistant
(She/Her, First-Gen)
lina_sandve@pitzer.edu

Lina grew up in Arizona, but spent many years in Albuquerque, NM where she worked at the University of New Mexico as a Department Administrator. While there she took advantage of the Tuition Remission program, taking 1 or 2 classes a semester, and after 12 determined years, earned her Bachelors in Business Administration degree. After retiring, the lure of sunny Southern California, the beach, and a diverse population resulted in a move. Her daughter is a Scripps alum who works at Harvey Mudd, and her son-in-law works at Pitzer as well – this is a Claremont Colleges family! Lina enjoys the beach, reading, dancing, watching the Packers play football, and meeting people. Her two grandchildren hold top-billing in her life and she looks forward to being with them whenever possible.

Favorite Place in the Claremont Village: Definitely Crème Bakery. Everything there is beautiful and inviting. The smell alone is pure bliss. Choose anything and enjoy!

Fun Fact: I served in the Air Force for four years right out of high school.

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Arturo Covarrubias-Paniagua

Enrollment Systems Analyst
(He/Him, Habla Español, First-Gen)
Arturo_Covarrubias-Paniagua@pitzer.edu

Born in Pomona but raised in the High Desert, Arturo is a lifelong Southern California resident. After graduating from Silverado High School in 2013, Arturo attended California State University, San Bernardino to earn his Bachelors in Biological Psychology and is currently completing his Masters in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. While at CSUSB, Arturo discovered his love for academia and community outreach by partaking in research, working in the Graduate Studies office, volunteering as a peer advisor, and serving as the Psychology Club vice president. After a brief stint of working in the public sector, Arturo is thrilled to be back in a Higher Education setting! In his free time, Arturo instructs a research methods laboratory at his alma mater, collects retro video games, plays piano, and regularly attends concerts and Anime Conventions in the Los Angeles area.

Favorite Place in the Claremont Village: I’m still new to the Claremont area so none yet!

Fun Fact: I take singing lessons at the Claremont Community School of Music.

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Henry

Office Pup
(He/Him, Speaks Woof!)
admission@pitzer.edu

Henry was found on the side of a freeway and made his way through the shelter system before finding his fur-ever home with admission counselor Alex Morse. His favorite activities include hiking, getting attention from every human he meets, and pooping on the spiky bushes on Pitzer’s campus.

Territories: Fluffy grasses at Holden Garden, The Mounds, the Pit Stop Cafe, the dog bed in the Admission Office Conference Room, and the couches in the Admission Office Lobby.

Fun Fact: I can sleep over 18 hours a day!

Watch Henry’s information session
See a dog’s eye view of Pitzer college