Dr. Rick Trevino
Dr. Rick Trevino is a Higher Education professional with a passion for student development and enhancing student success. He is a first-generation college student that earned a B.S. in Kinesiology and M.P.A. from California State University Northridge, as well as an Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership from California Lutheran University where his dissertation focused on first-generation students in First-Year Experience programs. Dr. Trevino has spent over decade overseeing areas such as Student Life, First-Year Experience, and Student Success Programs. Dr. Trevino most recently served as the Associate Director of the First-Year Experience for USC Dornsife.
Lucy Rinard is a higher education professional with over a decade of experience. She is dedicated to promoting the growth and development of students by creating a supportive space where they feel listened to. Raised in South Central Los Angeles, she is a proud graduate of the USC Leslie and William McMorrow Neighborhood Academic Initiative (NAI). Lucy is a first-generation college graduate and is a double Trojan, having earned a BA in History and Political Science from the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences and an M.Ed. in Educational Counseling from the Rossier School of Education. Prior to joining the Norman Topping Student Aid Fund, Lucy was the Assistant Director of First-Year Advising at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences.
Alejandra Tenorio-Rosas is dedicated to students’ holistic success. She is a first-generation college student that earned a double BA in Media and Cultural Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies from the University of California, Riverside, as well as an M.Ed. in Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs from USC. As a native of South-Central Los Angeles, she believes representation matters in higher education to achieve one’s fullest potential. Alejandra empowers students to explore both their studies and identities, serving as a trusted advocate throughout their academic journey. In her role as NTSAF’s Student Advisor, she aims to foster a safe, inclusive space for student growth and achievement.
Governing Board Chair 2023-2024
Antonio Okeke is a graduate student with enthusiasm to make further progress in empowering and supporting low-income, first-generation, and transfer students. He is a double Trojan from a first-generation, Black family; he recently completed his Bachelor of Science in Public Policy this past May (2023). He is currently earning his Master’s in Public Administration. Okeke is honored to have previously worked with and supported first-year students as a Residential Advisor in the Office of Residential Education, transfer students as a Transfer Liason for the Transfer Student Assembly, and multicultural students as a Justice Equity Diversity Inclusion Peer Educator in the Office of Student Equity and Inclusion Programs. As Chair, he intends to foster community, promote adaptability, and encourage practicality during the 2023-2024 academic year.
Daisy Castillo is a graduate student in the Educational Counseling Masters program. She identifies as Mexican-American, first-generation, a transfer student, Topping Fellow, and Latino Alumni Association (LAA) Scholar. A native of Ventura County, Daisy attended Ventura Community College where she later transferred to the University of California, Santa Barbara to earn her Bachelor of Arts in Chicana/o/x Studies with a minor in Educational Studies. Passionate about educational equity and underrepresented student advocacy, she has spent much of her time serving the undocumented, transfer, unhoused, and first-generation communities.
Eliana Cotom is a graduate student in the Rossier School of Education pursuing a Master’s in Educational Counseling. She identifies as a first-generation Latina, transfer student, double Trojan and South LA native. Eliana attended Santa Monica College and later transferred to USC, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Education and Society. As a first-generation student, she is passionate about holistically supporting students in their academic, professional, and personal journeys, as well as educational equity and fostering spaces for student communities. In her work, she has supported prospective transfer students as well as the first-generation student community.
Dr. Thomas Freeman
Associate Vice Provost, Academic Programs
Dr. Thomas Freeman is an experienced Higher Education Administrator with a demonstrated history of impactful work in academe. He joins USC and the Topping family from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), where he was an award-winning educator and leader. Dr. Freeman has spent much of his career promoting STEM education and opportunities for all, particularly those from underserved and underrepresented backgrounds. He earned a B.S. in Biochemistry from Xavier University of Louisiana and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Tulane University. He then won a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship to investigate molecular interactions in a protein that became a novel target for cancer therapeutics at UNC’s School of Medicine. In his current role, Dr. Freeman leads initiatives that provide diverse pathways connecting students to the technology ecosystem at USC.