Southern States University’s administration is constantly growing and changing to better assist the student in gaining the knowledge they will need to succeed in the business community.
John Tucker, M.B.A.
John Tucker has over 25 years of management experience in large complex teaching institutions, both in medical schools and higher education administration. He has worked in both patient care and medical administration at Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center in New York City, and at the City of Hope in Los Angeles. Most recently John worked in senior management positions for 16 years at three major University of California campuses, including UC San Francisco; UC Santa Barbara, where he served as Assistant Chancellor; and UCLA, where he served as Chief Administrative Officer for the Academic Senate, the governing body for over 3,000 tenured and non-tenured faculty. John holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences from Virginia Tech, and a Master of Business Administration degree in Marketing and Finance from Pace University, New York City.
Claudia Araiza, Ph.D.
Interim Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs/Chief Academic Officer
Dr. Araiza began her career as a Business Economist in 1997 as an International Trade Analyst with the U.S. Department of Commerce and as an Independent Consultant providing services in business and statistical analysis. Since then she has held positions in various capacities in business, academic, and governmental-settings ranging from business and economic analysis, business development and promotion, and academic administration and research. Her academic experience began more than 10 years ago while working for the UCLA Medical Group, San Diego State University, Clark University, and Claremont Graduate University with her involvement in practical multidisciplinary research studies geared towards the National Institutes of Health, the US Department of Homeland Security, and the National Science Foundation. Very recently she began providing her expertise for the Saylor Foundation as an Academic Consultant in curriculum design for online economics and business courses. Dr. Araiza is a graduate from San Diego State University with a BA in International Business and Economics and an MA in Economics. She received her PhD in Economics with a specialization in Business and Financial Economics from Claremont Graduate University. After completing her PhD studies in 2009, she began her teaching career at Southern States University specializing in the economics, statistics, and MBA courses. Dr. Araiza has been Core Faculty at SSU since 2010 and has recently been appointed Interim Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer. She is an active member of the American Economic Association, the National Association for Business Economics where she serves as an academic committee consultant (by appointment), and the Southwestern Economics Association where she serves as Treasurer (by appointment). She is a native of California and is enjoying a quiet life after many years of travel.
Mary Patton, M.A.
Assistant Vice Chancellor, Intensive English Programs
Mary has over six years of management experience, from banking, to hotels and customer service, to education and teaching. Mary began her teaching profession at a small community college in Wisconsin and has since worked at several language schools large and small. Mary is currently pursuing her doctorate in TESOL. She received her M.A. in English Linguistics specializing in TESOL at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and her B.A. in English and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Mary loves learning about other languages and cultures and hopes to one day step foot on every continent.
John Scholte, M.Div.
Assistant Vice Chancellor, Administration, Newport Beach Campus
John Scholte has served in senior management positions in San Diego for over 20 years as the Director of Legacy Corps, an intergenerational program with the University of Maryland, and as both Administrator of St. Paul’s Community Care Center and Marketing and Public Relations Director for St. Paul’s Senior Homes & Services. Before coming to San Diego he served the Reformed Church in America starting a church in Denver Colorado, and serving an established congregation in Freeport, Illinois. He graduated from Hope College with a Bachelor’s in Religion/Communications and Social Influence and from Western Theological Seminary with a Master’s of Divinity degree.
Danny Hsing, B.A.
Assistant to Chancellor and President/ PDSO
Danny Hsing comes to SSU with previous experience as a Senior Manager and DSO from POLY Languages Institute in Irvine and Los Angeles, where he was first exposed to working with international students. His most recent employment was with Argosy University as an Assistant Director of Admissions, working with students pursuing their Bachelor’s Degree. Danny holds a B.A. in Political Science from UC Irvine and is also fluent in both English and Korean. In his spare time, he enjoys watching and playing basketball and football.
Sean Sell, M.A., J.D.
Sean Sell completed the UCSD Teacher Education Program, and he has a BA in English from the College of William and Mary in Virginia, where he also obtained his law degree. He taught English and history for ten years in the San Diego Unified School District. He then taught ESL for a year in San Juan del Rio, Queretaro, Mexico, before joining the staff as an English teacher at SSU’s sister school International Academy of English. After teaching for 16 months, Sean took the position of Registrar and Chief Compliance Officer at SSU. He is also currently working on a masters in comparative literature at San Diego State University.
William Amoke, M.B.A.
Dean of Students & Academic Advising
William Amoke has 10 years of professional experience working in various capacities at institutions of higher learning. Positions William has held include: Academic Dean, Director of Admissions and Records and Designated School Official. His responsibilities have included student records management, student counseling and advising, immigration advising and providing leadership and management of a variety of administrative operations. William holds an MBA in Strategic Management from United States International University, San Diego, CA and a BA in Economics and Business from Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA.
Denise Mastro, M.A.
Administrative Director & Director of Admissions
Denise Mastro has 10 years of professional experience working in assorted roles at the International Academy of English, where she has held roles including: Director of Admissions and Records, Vendor Relations and Purchasing Manager. She has been with SSU since 2005 and has held similar roles, with responsibilities including records management, student services counseling and advising, immigration advising and providing leadership and management of a variety of administrative operations. Denise holds a Master of Education degree from Universidade Santana e Sao Paulo, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and a Bachelor of Physical Education from De Mogi Das Cruzes in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Svetlana Kondratenko, Ph.D.
Svetlana Kondratenko holds a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University and a Doctor of Philosophy in Journalism Degree from Moscow State University (Russia). Svetlana’s professional experience in an academic library includes providing reference and readers’ advisory services to students and faculty, cataloging, and digital asset management. Before joining Southern States University in 2009, Svetlana worked at the San Diego State University Library.
Wendy Du, B.S.
Site Director, La Jolla Campus
Wendy Du has over six years of professional experience working in assorted roles at the International Academy of English, where she has held roles including: Director of Admissions and Records. She has been with SSU since 2008 and has held similar roles, with responsibilities including records management, student services counseling and advising, immigration advising and providing leadership and management of a variety of administrative operations. Wendy holds a B.S. in Accounting and Hotel Management from a respected University in China.
Fernanda Lins Hanson, MBA
Academic Advising and Support Officer
Fernanda holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Southern States University, Newport Beach, California, and a Bachelor of Nursing from the Universidade Sao Camilo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Fernanda came to the US in 2008 and attended the IEP program (Intensive English Program) at Southern States University where she later joined the academic programs to obtain her MBA degree. Fernanda has professional experience in advising and volunteering when it comes to helping students get on the path to graduation and their academic future.