MICOP Board of Directors
Attorney with GEKLAW
Biography: Monica Fairwell is an attorney that represents injured workers against insurance companies. Monica is proud to serve as an advocate for workers. She enjoys her volunteer work with several organizations throughout Ventura County. Monica attended UC Santa Barbara for her undergraduate degree in Political Science. She then attended Pepperdine University School of Law. While in law school, Monica studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Monica also enjoys playing soccer and spending time with her two daughters.
Chief Behavioral Scientist, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
Los Angeles, CA
Biography: Biography: Rafael Vásquez, Ph.D. in Education from Claremont Graduate University, is a second generation Zapotec from Guëzh Bac (Tlacolula de Matamoros, Oaxaca). For over a decade he has collaborated with various Indigenous immigrant non-profit organizations on issues of educational access, civic engagement, and cultural expression. His research addresses social factors that shape Latino and Indigenous Mexican students’ education and examines how educational institutions influence these student’s experiences, resulting in a co-authored book chapter titled Zapotec, Mixtec, and P’urhépecha Youth: Multilingualism and the Marginalization of Indigenous Immigrants in the United States. He has published many journal articles and has taught Indigenous, Chicana/o, and Ethnic Studies at the high school level and at various national and international universities such as the University of New Mexico and the Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca. Rafael has been interviewed and quoted in various media outlets including La Opinión and the New York Times.
Counselor, Hueneme High School, OUHSD
Biography: Katalina Martinez is the categorical counselor at Hueneme High School in South Oxnard. Raised in Oxnard, Katalina graduated from Hueneme High School class of ’99. Katalina went on to San Diego State and transferred to Cal State Bakersfield to complete her education and to play Basketball. Katalina graduated with a degree in History and Economics. She also completed her master degree in educational counseling and earned her credentials in counseling and education. Katalina has a passion for teaching basketball at all levels and started a basketball club with her coaching partner. So Cal Stars is a non-profit based out of South Oxnard. Katalina helps promote health and higher education among her student-athletes. Katalina has coached Girls Basketball at Hueneme High School for the past 6 years. Her team has earned Pacific View League Champions, Citrus Coast League Champions and Southern Section Division 5 Champions. Katalina Martinez was named Southern Section and Pacific View League Coach of The Year.
Head of Advocacy Relations, Amgen Inc.
Studio City, CA
Biography: Glenna Shen is the head of Advocacy Relations, General Medicine for Amgen Inc., with stewardship of its external affairs strategy, including that for Health Equity. She has held several positions at Amgen, including in legal, compliance, and global marketing. Glenna was previously head of Compliance at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, an Amgen subsidiary, and prior to that, Vice President and Senior Counsel at Hilton Hotels. Glenna holds a Bachelors from the University of Miami (FL) and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Southern California. Fueled by curiosity, she is an avid reader and traveler, passions she shares with her husband, and two children. Dedicated to addressing health disparities, she is committed to helping to ensure equitable access to quality and innovative healthcare.
Biography: Now retired after 30+ years in banking, Suzanne spent upwards of 20 years as Founder and Director of the Social Investment Research Service (SIRS), a division of Prudential Securities’ Institutional Equity Research Department in its Washington D.C. research office. SIRS was an ethical investment screening service for large institutional equity investors. She left Prudential and joined (now) Thomson Reuters as part of its Institutional Shareholder Services division as Managing Director later moving on as a principal and founder of an investment advisory firm. Suzanne is former Vice-Chair of the Social Investment Forum, an industry trade association, and was a regular contributor to “Corporate Finance Review,” an academic journal published by Hofstra University. In 2016, she moved back to her home county of Ventura and has been involved with local organizations working to preserve and defend our unique environmental and diverse cultural environments.
Jake Donaldson, MD
Family Medicine, Santa Paula West Medical Group and PRIDE Clinic
Biography: Jake Donaldson is a family physician in Ventura County. Aside from his general family medicine clinic, he serves as one of the providers for the Santa Paula Pride Clinic which serves LGBT patients in Ventura County. Outside of medicine, Jake enjoys finding ways to participate in the movement for social and economic justice on all levels, from local to international. He also loves hanging out with his partner Nicole (an Episcopal priest) and his daughter Anaïs.
Family Nurse Practitioner
Biography: Adelina Lopez is a Family Nurse Practitioner in Ventura County. She also completed Doctorate in Nursing Practice degree through Brandman University. Outside of medicine, Adelina is passionate about creating an environment of equality and access for all members of the community in health care. She also loves spending time at home with her family, exploring new places, and volunteering at community outreach events for different charities.
Teacher, Cesar Chavez Elementary School, Oxnard School District (OSD)
Biography: Arturo Lopez is a 6th Grade Bilingual Teacher at Cesar Chavez K-8 in the Oxnard School District. He was raised in Goleta, California in a family of 7. His parents immigrated from Jalisco and Guerrero, Mexico. He is a graduate of the College of Ethnic Studies, Raza Studies Department, at San Francisco State University, with a Minor in English Literature. He received his teaching credential after completing the Bilingual Education for Social Transformation (BEST) program at SFSU. He has worked with a wide range of youths, in a variety of roles since 2006. His travels have taken all over, from Mexico and Central America to Thailand, Vietnam and Nepal. Culture, identity and resistance are at the forefront of his work in and out of the classroom.
Lecturer, California State University Channel Islands
Biography: Veronica Xochitl Valadez is an educator, community activist, visual artist, and traditional Aztec Dancer. Veronica is currently a lecturer of Chicana/o Studies at CSU Channel Islands where, in addition to teaching, she helps organize a number of important events including Indigenous People’s Day, Celebrando la Mujer, and Dia de los Muertos. She is also the proud advisor and maestra of CI’s student club “Danza Tlaloc Ollin.” As an educator, Veronica has dedicated herself to teaching culturally relevant curriculum that promotes social justice in elementary schools, community colleges, and university classrooms. As an advocate of Ethnic Studies, she is a lead member of Ventura County’s Ethnic Studies Now Coalition, the Ventura County Coalition for Justice, and XOCHITL LA (Xicana/o Organizers Cultivating Humanity and Indigeneity in Teaching and Learning). Veronica is also a co-founder of “Ehecatl Wind Philosophies, LLC”, which is an education consulting firm that provides professional development and consulting services to school districts in cultural competence and Ethnic Studies.
Dr. Elizabeth Villa, PhD
Community Outreach Specialist, California State University at Channel Islands
Biography: Elizabeth was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Her parents immigrated from Mexico and she is a 1st generation student. She completed her BA in Latin American Studies from UCLA and recently recived her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at the University of California Santa Barbara. Her research centers on educational inequalities with a critical race theory focus. She is currently a lecturer at California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI). When she is not working, Elizabeth enjoys salsa dancing, live music, being outside and enjoying the sun.
Affiliations listed for identification purpose only. Names listed in alphabetical order by last name post President, Treasurer, and Secretary roles.