Welcome Center

Welcome Center Staff

We're here to support you while you get started on your journey at SMC!

Meet the team!

Jose Hernandez
Jose Hernandez

Interim Associate Dean, Outreach, Onboarding & Engagement

I received my Associates of Arts in Liberal Arts from Santa Monica College and transferred to UCLA where I received my Bachelor’s degree in History.   I then completed my Masters in Counseling degree from Loyola Marymount University.  I was a middle school counselor prior to starting my career in counseling at SMC in the fall of 2008.  Born and raised on the west side, I enjoy swimming, biking and classic Chevy’s.

Dierdre Weaver
Dierdre Weaver

Director, Outreach & Onboarding Initiatives

I received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at UCLA prior to completing my Master’s in College Counseling and Student Services at California State University, Northridge. I was a returning student at Santa Monica College in 2004 and have been working at the College since 2012. I came back to school in 2004 to study business as I was running my own company having just been awarded my first U.S. Patent. Born and raised in New York City, my favorite hobby – Table Tennis!

Josh Casillas
Josh Casillas

Student Onboarding Specialist, Welcome Center

I graduated from Santa Monica High school and attended Santa Monica College off and on from 1995 – 2003. I initially started working at SMC as a part time employee in 1995, then became a full-time employee in 2004. I was born and raised in the city of Santa Monica and when I attended SMC my major was Administrative Justice and Art History. My hobbies include venturing the outdoors, listening to a wide variety of music, helping others and learning.  

Janet Kleinman
Janet Kleinman

Administrative Assistant, Welcome Center

I was born and raised in New York but finished college in California.  I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Radio/TV Broadcasting, a Master’s Degree in Education, a Teaching Credential from Cal State, LA and a certificate in Applications Programming from UCLA Extension.  After completing my degrees, I wanted to continue learning so I took a number of classes at SMC, which I didn’t have time to take previously.  I’ve been working at SMC since February 2016 but prior to that, I worked a few local companies/universities including USC, Hughes/Raytheon, and the RAND Corporation.  I exercise regularly to stay in shape and play Mahjong every week.

Andres Munoz
Andres Muñoz

Student Services Assistant, Campus & Future Alumni Relations

I've worked for Santa Monica College for 16 years and I'm an alum of this wonderful institution. I am very passionate about SMC and would love to tell you all about us. Proud to be SMC!

Fabio Prieto
Fabio Prieto

Student Services Assistant, Welcome Center

Born and raised in Santa Monica, I received my BA in English Literature from Loyola Marymount University, graduating cum laude. I began my career in tutoring, but I have worked with the public ever since I left the tutoring sector in 2011. I worked for the City of Santa Monica for several years before I joined SMC full-time in 2015. My role with the Welcome Center is assisting and guiding students with the onboarding process, and pointing them towards resources to aid in their transition from high school to Santa Monica College. In my free time, I enjoy watching Formula One, reading poetry, hiking, and sitting in front of a warm, crackling campfire. I plan on retiring in the Pacific Northwest.

William Taylor
Will Taylor

Outreach & Recruitment Specialist, Welcome Center

I first attended SMC directly after graduating from high school in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. I transferred to my dream school, UCLA (go Bruins!), and then worked in various capacities in entertainment for several years. Fun fact: I was Aaron Paul’s stand-in and photo double on Breaking Bad : ) I came back to SMC to take pre-requisites for graduate school and managed to land a job in the Welcome Center. I’m now a grad student at Georgia Tech and want to help as many SMC students as I can on their education journey. SMC is a special place and a great launching pad for anything you want to do!

Robin Yancey
Robin Yancey

Student Services Assistant, Welcome Center

I graduated from SMC in 2007 with my AA in Liberal Arts and from CSU Long Beach in 2012 with my BA in Communications Studies with a minor in Film & Electronic Arts. I've worked in the SMC Welcome Center since 2013 in various capacities, helping shape the First Year Experience program and eventually the SMC Promise program. I currently focus on the copywriting and web editing for the Welcome Center in addition to helping new students join the SMC community. I'm a licensed nail artist, graphic designer, and self-published author who also makes cuticle oils and candles.