Admissions Staff and Territories

When we were your age, we applied to college too. And now we get to put that experience (and many others) to use, making the application process as easy as we can.  We look forward to getting to know you!

Michael K. McKeon, Assistant Vice Provost and Dean of Admissions


Hometown:  Peekskill, NY

Education:  State University of New York College of Arts and Science at Oneonta, B.S. With Highest Honors, in History/Social Science Education; Adelphi University/Hofstra University, M.A. in History

Favorite Local Restaurant:  Metro, Lafayette, where I once enjoyed a sweet pea panna cotta that I wanted to rub in my beard

What you love most about SMC:  The intentionality in its Lasallian liberal arts heritage -- that leads to dignified and fulfilling lives, which is mirrored in Seminar, January Term, Community Time, and Late Night. We do it the Saint Mary’s Way, and aren’t defined by how it’s done elsewhere.

Helpful college hint:  Study the student profile; other students will educate you at least as much as the faculty.

Michael works with applicants from the following areas: 

California counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa, Sacramento, and San Francisco
Out-of-state: Hawaii and Washington
Email: [email protected]

Damien Fatongia '05, Associate Director of Admissions and Southern California Regional Representative


Hometown:  Nuku'alofa, Tonga

Educational Background: Saint Mary's College, B.A., Sociology/Anthropology

Favorite Local Restaurant: Bianca's Deli, Moraga. Quite possibly the best chicken and jack cheese sandwich you'll ever have in the Bay Area. 

What you love most about SMC: The SMC community is what makes SMC a special place for me. When making your way across the campus you should allow yourself extra-time as you'll stop and have many conversations on your way to your destination.

Helpful  college hint: Take advantage of the visit experience. Sit in on a class, take a tour and meet with students. 

Damien works with students from the following areas:

California counties: Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernadino, and San Diego. 
Email: [email protected]

Patrick Lorenzo, Associate Director of Admissions


Hometown: Oakland, CA

Education: University of California, San Diego, B.A. in Political Science and Urban Planning; Saint Mary’s College of California, M.A. in Leadership

Favorite Local Restaurant: Rustic Tavern

What you love most about SMC: The engaged, spirited, and curious energy of our students.

Helpful college hint: Find a place to both fit in and stand out.

Patrick works with applicants from the following areas:

California counties: Santa Clara 
Email: [email protected]

Craig Means, Director of Articulation/Associate Director of Admissions


Hometown: Fremont, CA

Education:  Pepperdine University, B.A. in Sociology; Saint Mary’s College, M.A. in Counseling

Favorite Local Restaurant: Prima, Walnut Creek

What you love most about SMC:  Connecting with students and having an impact in their academic journey.

Helpful college hint: When researching the type of institution you want to attend it is important to look across a variety of sectors in higher education both public and private. Visit each school, ask questions, and pursue the school that will provide the best opportunities for you to develop personally, academically, and professionally.

Email[email protected]

Angelica Moore, Director of Transfer Recruitment/Associate Director of Admissions 


Hometown:  East Saint Louis, IL

Educational Background:  San Diego State University, B.A. in Public Administration; Drury University, M.A. in Education; Saint Mary's College of California, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership

Favorite Local Restaurant: New Sushi King, Alameda

What you love most about SMC: It truly is a caring community. A diverse group of students, faculty, and staff all work together towards providing pathways leading to meaningful lives.

Angelica works with all potential transfer students to Saint Mary's.

Email[email protected] 

Drew Riley, Associate Director of Admissions


Hometown: North Canton, OH

Educational Background:  Carroll College, B.A, in English and Creative Writing; Fairleigh Dickinson University, M.F.A. in Poetry

Favorite Local Restaurant: I have to pick three: Shan Dong in Oakland, Café Romanat, an Ethiopian café, Oakland, and Burma Superstar, Oakland

What you love most about SMC: I love the diversity at SMC: diversity of cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds, perspectives, and ideas. SMC is big enough that you’ll find a community of people you feel comfortable with on campus, but small enough that you can’t isolate yourself and go four years without having challenging conversations and being introduced to new ways of thinking.

Helpful hint when it comes to College: Sleep. Protect your sleep like a mama bear protecting her cubs. Eight hours of unbroken sleep nightly will allow you to be more productive, improve your grades, improve your relationships…college students (and high school students!) sometimes think lack of sleep is a badge of honor, but it’s really just a bad habit.

Drew works with applicants from the following areas:

California counties: NA
Out-of-state: Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Montana, Ohio, Oregon and Wisconsin
Email: [email protected]

Erik Coloma '09, Assistant Director of Admissions 


Hometown: Elk Grove, CA

Educational Background: Saint Mary's College of California. B.A. in History

Favorite Local Restaurant: Momoyama Sushi

What you love most about SMC: The sense of community you feel on campus. You are constantly surrounded by people there to support you.

Helpful college hint: College is all about either finding or continuing your passion.  Don't be afraid to step outside your comfort zone! (e.g. travel abroad) 

Erik works with all international applicants and students from the following areas:

California counties: Contra Costa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, and Sacramento
Out-of-state: Guam, Nevada
Email: [email protected]

Samantha (Sami) Davison '12, Assistant Director of Admissions 


Hometown: Livermore, CA

Educational Background: Saint Mary’s College, B.A. in Communication

Favorite Local Restaurant: Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe, Emeryville--the Combat Mac n Cheese is out of this world. Not to mention, one of its owners is a Bay Area music legend!

What you love most about SMC: I love that Saint Mary’s asks so much of students both inside and outside the classroom. Challenging and difficult conversations may occur, but that is how you grow. The students here are interested in shaking things up and making the world a better place. Saint Mary’s helps students quantify just how they can do that--we ask students to learn with their head, heart and hands.

Helpful college hint: Engage in conversation that matters. Know what you stand for, stand up, and don’t be afraid if sometimes you’re the only one standing.

Sami works with students from the following areas:

California Counties:

Butte, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humbolt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, San Francisco, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, and Trinity

Out-of-State: Connecticut, Idaho, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Utah, and Vermont.
Email: [email protected]

Cindy England, Assistant Director of Admissions

CindyEHometown: Cornwall, NY

Education: University of Massachusetts, B.S. in Mathematics

Favorite Local Restaurant: Sideboard, Danville - the kale chips are amazing!

What you love most about SMC: The community here is really caring and supportive. I love that our campus is nestled in nature and so beautiful.  

Helpful college hint: Make time for exercise! It's the best way to manage stress and stay healthy. 

Email: [email protected]

Pedro Ramirez, Assistant Director of Admissions


Hometown: Stockton, CA

Educational Background: University of California, Irvine, B.A. in Chicano Studies, M.Ed. University of Texas, Austin

Favorite Local Restaurant: Shan Dong Chinese Food, Oakland. Order the braised green beans and I'll eat it off of your plate. Seriously.

What you love most about SMC:  For me it's not uncommon to play a pick up game with students, grab a bite to eat, or chat about their favorite book. I really enjoy the way staff and faculty interact with students on a daily basis.

Helpful college hint: Always remember you learn just as much outside of the classroom as you do in it.

Pedro works with applicants from the following areas:

California counties: Alameda, Amador, Calaveras, Contra Costa, Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Mariposa, Merced, Plumas, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare and Tuolumne.
Out-of-state: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.
Email: [email protected]

Jerrie Zee, Assistant Director of Admissions

Jerrie Zee

Hometown: Moraga, CA

Education: University of California, Davis, B.A. in English Literature/Asian American Studies; Saint Mary’s College, M.A. Educational Leadership

Favorite Bay Area Restaurant:  Bianca’s Deli, Moraga  

What you love most about SMC:  SMC allows for adventures to fit every mood. There are multiple hiking trails and biking routes for the outdoor enthusiasts in our backyard, to museums, concerts, and sporting events within 25 minutes.  

Helpful college hint: Enjoy this time. It goes by really quickly. Take the time to explore and find your passion both academically and personally.

Email[email protected]

Elizabeth (Beth) Mahalak, Senior Admissions Officer


Hometown: Arlington, VA

Education: College of William & Mary, B.A. in English; The George Washington University. M.A. Higher Education Administration.

Favorite Local Restaurant: Cookie Bar

What you love most about SMC:  I absolutely love the closely knit student body.  The class formats - collegiate seminar especially - encourage such a collaborative learning environment that translates to a warm and welcoming community.  It's more than just an academic experience, it's a place to call home for four years.    

Helpful college hint: The admissions process can seem daunting but don't forget it's an exciting time too.  Remember that this is your choice - where you want to be, what you want to study, what type of student you want to become. Take the lead on your own college application process and feel empowered by all of the choices.  If you ask questions and stay organized, you'll breeze through the application and enjoy your senior year.

Beth works with students from the following areas:

California: Alameda, Madera, Marin, Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and Ventura.
Out-of-state: Alaska, Delaware, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, and West Virginia.
Email: [email protected]

Marcel Hite, Admissions Officer


Hometown: Detroit, MI

Education: Claremont McKenna College, B.A. in Literature and Psychology

Favorite Local Restaurant: Patxi's Pizzeria. They have the best Chicago-style deep dish pizza I've had since moving to California!

What you love most about SMC:  Everyone is so friendly; the campus is beautiful; there's great food everywhere.

Helpful college hint: Be open-minded. You may think you know what you like, what you want to major in, and what you want to do after you graduate, but that could change. Be open to that change if you find something you're passionate about or enjoy.

California Counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa, Solano, Sonoma, Yolo
Out-of-state: Arizona, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming 
Email: [email protected]