John Tucker

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.

Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs/Chief Academic Officer
Claudia Araiza

claudia new short

Dr. Araiza began her career 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 analyses to small private businesses and non-profit organizations. Since then, she has held positions in various capacities in business, academic, and governmental-settings ranging from business and economic analyses, business development and promotion, and academic administration and research. Her academic experience began more than ten 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 to the Saylor Academy as an Academic Consultant in curriculum design for online courses in economics and business. 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, she began a teaching career at Southern States University as Core Faculty specializing in the economics, statistics, and MBA courses. Dr. Araiza is currently Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer at Southern States University with a Core Faculty appointment. She is an active member of the American Economic Association, the National Association for Business Economics, and the Southwestern Economics Association.

University Registrar / DSO
Wendy Du


Wendy Du has been with SSU since 2008 and has held various roles including Administrative Director of Intensive English Program, Immigration Advising, University Bursar, and providing leadership and management of a variety of administrative operations. Wendy holds a B.S. in Accounting and Hotel Management.

Director of Financial Aid
Denise Souza Mastro

University of Mogi Das Cruzes: Bachelors in Physical Education, Sao Paulo Santana E Sao ​​Paulo University: Master in General Education, Sao Paulo Other languages: Portuguese, Spanish

Dean of Admission / Academic Adviser (San Diego Campus)
Jonathan Ramirez

Jonathan Ramirez
Jonathan Ramirez is the Director of Admissions and Advising who helps SSU students plan and prepare to successfully complete their academic goals.
Jonathan received his graduate training at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, where he earned M.A.Ed. in Counseling and Guidance.


University Librarian and Career Services Director
Carri Wolhwend

Carri Wohlwend, University Librarian and Career Services Director, comes to Southern States University from the California Community College system where she worked as reference librarian and associate librarian. Prior to that, Carri worked for the County of San Bernardino in the training branch of the public library as a library assistant. Her library career started after winning a competitive internship at the National Archives and Records Administration.She holds an Associate of Arts degree in Fine Arts from Victor Valley College. A Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from California State University San Bernardino. The Master of Library and Information Science degree from San Jose State University. She is also presently enrolled in the Master of Archives and Records Administration program, also at San Jose State University.


Site Director (Las Vegas Campus)
Bill Doyle

doyleBill is from Dublin, Ireland and has taught English in Brazil for twelve years before moving to the US in 2013. Bill has been an official University of Cambridge Speaking Examiner since 2008 and has obtained his TESOL certificate. At SSU he serves as Site Director for the Las Vegas campus and as a Designated School Official for international students.

Site Director (Newport Beach Campus)
Beate Berg

Beate “Bea” Berg was born and raised in Germany and graduated from university with a degree in Pedagogics and Languages (German, English and Russian). In the United Kingdom, she worked as a German Instructor at the Goethe Institute in Manchester among others. In 1990 she moved back to Germany and taught at the Reinhold-Würth-University in a town in the South-West of Germany. She also opened her own language school in which she taught English and Business English for companies. In 2007, Bea relocated to Newport Beach, California where she was the Director of Education at West Orange College, Fullerton. She is the Site Director at the SSU Newport Beach Campus.

Academic Adviser/Newport Beach
Kimi Ho

Born and raised in Germany, Kimi came to the U.S. to pursue his undergraduate degree. He graduated with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from California Polytechnic University Pomona with emphasis in Finance and Real Estate. He has worked in several industries such as in aviation and banking to finally find himself in the educational sector. Kimi was managing a Language Institute before starting at Southern States University as Academic Advising and Support Officer.

IT Specialist
Pavlo Fedotov

Pavlo Fedotov began his career in 2008 as a Researcher Assistant in Kharkiv National University of Radioelectronics (Ukraine). He has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering, a Master’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering and a Ph.D in Computer Systems and Engineering from Kharkiv National University of Radioelectronics, Ukraine. In the past, he held positions in IT as Systems Network Administrator and Software Engineer (QA). In 2016 he moved to the US. Ever since he has been working as Information Technology Specialist/Core and Lead Faculty of the IT Programs at Southern States University.

Jr IT Admin/ Project Manager For Student Portal
Gautami Verma Gajula

Gautami Verma was born and raised in India and graduated from the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University with a degree in Computer Science and Engineering. She received an MS degree in Computer Science from National University, California. She worked as a Jr. Software Developer at SajaTech Inc. At SSU she serves as  Web Developer, IT Admin and Project Manager for Campus Cafe (Student Information System). She is also one of our core faculty. She teaches Database Management Systems and Advanced DBMS  in the MSIT program.