David Black, Ed.D., MPH, LPCC, CRC
Associate Director, Accessibility Services
David comes to OSAS after working in different sectors, all serving individuals with different backgrounds and needs. He worked with domestic and international partners in the technology industry to develop and improve accessible products and services. In the health care sector, as a licensed mental health counselor, he served a variety of clients, from veterans to abused adolescents to individuals living with severe illness, coping with depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD, and conduct disorder. In higher education, he was in disability services, an assistant dean, and an assistant professor in rehabilitation counseling, educating the next generation of counselors serving individuals with disabilities. He has researched and published manuscripts and book chapters on universal design, accessibility, and medical aspects of disability.
One of David’s favorite quotes:
“Never say never because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.” – Michael Jordan
Testing Services Coordinator
Kyle earned his Bachelor’s degree in Broadcasting and Electronic Communication Arts from San Francisco State University in 2017. Upon moving to Los Angeles, he began working in classroom media at AMDA which fostered his burgeoning interest in higher education. This interest combined with an extensive background in the hospitality industry has given Kyle a strong foundation from which to support students and help them achieve their goals. Outside of OSAS, Kyle is a musician and avid chess player.
One of Kyle’s favorite quotes:
“How often I found where I should be going only by setting out for somewhere else.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
OSAS Administrative Assistant
Lanett worked at USC Widney Alumni House before coming to Office of Student Accessibility Services in 2017. She is the front line contact for students, families and campus partners providing general guidance regarding OSAS registrations process and policies. She also enjoys music and attending U2 concerts.
One of Lanett’s favorite quotes:
“Make your mind over and make a difference in the lives of others.”
Celeste Carmona, B.S.
Center Supervisor, Testing Services
Celeste started her career in disability services at Cypress College as a student worker in their Disability Support Services office. She continued her disability-related work at California State University, Fullerton as a Testing Student Assistant and received her B.S. in Human Services. Celeste has a passion for accessibility in higher education and is currently pursing her Masters in Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs (PASA) at the USC Rossier School of Education. As the Center Supervisor for the OSAS Testing Center, Celeste carries out the day-to-day operations and quality assurance for the Center, and provides direct support to a caseload of OSAS students.
One of Celeste’s favorite quotes:
“It always seems impossible until its done” – Nelson Mandela
Steve Crays, B.S.
After several years in the fields of project management, technology, and operations, Steve began his career in the disability realm with Easterseals Massachusetts as an Assistive Technology Specialist in June 2017. While with Easterseals, Steve found a niche working with diverse, low-income students with disabilities who needed assistive technology to raise them to the same level as their non-disabled peers. Before leaving Easterseals, Steve held the roles of Office Manager, Assistive Technology Regional Center Manager, and Assistive Technology Specialist simultaneously. Steve joined the OSAS team in January 2022 as the Office Manager. Steve’s experience with disability services, project management, technology, operations, and passion for helping college students were the ideal combination for the OSAS Office Manager role.
One of Steve’s favorite quotes:
“If we are in tune, if we are fortified, we can go through the greatest misfortune without being crushed. If we are not in tune and thus unfortified, we are in danger even in the midst of good fortune. There are obstacles in the spiritual path, but they only rise and overcome us when our life is out of rhythm. To remedy this, we must find a proper basis for our actions. When we find this, harmony is restored" - Swami Paramananda
Testing Services Coordinator
Catherine earned her B.A. in Psychology from California State University, Los Angeles. During that time, she worked as an academic counselor’s assistant at East Los Angeles Community College to support student academic goals. Following the completion of her B.A. Catherine worked as a medical social worker at a private hospital, serving those suffering from mental health crises, homelessness, and addictions. Catherine is passionate about mental health and supporting those striving for a higher education. Her ambition is to obtain a M.A. in academic counseling to continue her career at the community college or university level.
One of Catherine’s favorite quotes:
“Growth is the synthesis of change and continuity, and where there is no continuity there is no growth” - C.S. Lewis
Erica Hällebo, M.S.
Erica earned her B.A in Psychology from the University of Southern California and a M.S in Education with a focus in child and adolescent psychology from the University of Edinburgh. While studying her Masters, Erica completed her research on neurodivergent representation on academic websites. Erica joined OSAS in August 2021 and is excited to be a part of the Trojan family once again. Erica’s goals are to continue advocating for neurodiversity in education and increase social awareness on campus and off. As the Notetaking Services Specialist, Erica oversees all notetaking related accommodations and also manages a caseload of students.
One of Erica’s favorite quotes:
“The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases." - Carl Jung
Matt Hertz, M.S.
Matt started his educational career at California State University, Channel Islands, where he received his B.A. in Psychology. He then earned his M.S. in Counseling with emphasis on College Student Personnel at Cal Lutheran University. Matt served as an Office Graduate Assistant at Disability Support Services during his time at CLU. Prior to Matts current role at OSAS, he served as a Career Counselor at California State University, Channel Islands. He is extremely passionate and an advocate for mental health among higher education. As an Accessibility Specialist, Matt’s primary role consist of supporting a caseload of OSAS students. Matt strives to support all students while focusing on aspects of academics, personal goals, and career aspiration.
One of Matt’s favorite quotes:
“Never let the fear of striking out stop you from playing the game” – Babe Ruth
Esther Kim, M.S. Ed
Esther graduated from UC Irvine where she earned her B.A. in Political Science. After graduating, she began working in DC public charter schools while earning her master’s degree at Johns Hopkins University. For 5 years, she worked as a general education teacher, special education teacher, and a case manager for fourth- and fifth-grade students. Esther is passionate about educational equity, accessibility, and the transitional work that goes behind the scenes from K-12 to higher education.
One of Esther’s favorite quotes:
“Education was about the practice of freedom." - bell hooks
Victoria Kim, M.S.
After receiving her B.A. in Liberal Studies from UC Riverside, Victoria took her time to explore the world of education. She started her professional journey in the K-12 system and ECE Special Education. Her passions for accessible education, holistic development, and inclusivity lead her to earn a M.S. in College Counseling and Student Development from Azusa Pacific University. One day, Victoria would love to obtain a doctorate degree in hopes to bring more awareness in mental health for underrepresented students. Victoria began her career with OSAS as a Testing Services Assistant in 2019. She is currently an Accessibility Specialist who provides direct support to a caseload of OSAS students
One of Victoria’s favorite quotes:
“We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are." – Sirius Black
Testing Services Administrator
Russell earned his B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles while working as a Student Office Assistant for UCLA’s College Academic Counseling (CAC). At CAC, Russell supported a staff of 13+ counselors, helped counsel students from the College of Letters and Science, and led the revamping for one of CAC’s social media initiatives. As a Testing Services Coordinator, he happily continues to serves students and provide administrative support. In the future, Russell would love to work as a high school counselor or at the higher education level.
One of Russell’s favorite quotes:
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom" - Anais Nin
Libby Lessentine, M.S.
Senior Accessibility Advisor
Libby started her career in disability services in 2009 at Washington University in St. Louis, working directly with students, faculty, and campus partners to plan for and provide accommodations for students. She was excited to join USC’s OSAS office in the summer of 2023, serving as a Senior Accessibility Advisor. Libby’s career in high education also includes experiences in Career Services and Academic Advising. She earned her BA in Urban Studies from Rhodes College and her MS in Higher Education Administration with an emphasis in Student Services from the University of Memphis.
One of Libby's favorite quotes:
“Find out who you are and do it on purpose" - Dolly Parton
Kelly Liang, M.A.
Testing Services Coordinator
Kelly is dedicated to fostering student growth and supporting them by providing programs and services. With higher education experience in residential education, her background includes program development, team management, and crisis response. Kelly holds a B.A. in History from the University of California, Irvine, and a M.A in Postsecondary Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Student Affairs from San Diego State University. In her role as a Testing Services Coordinator, Kelly continues to be committed in making a positive impact on students’ higher education journey.
One of Kelly’s favorite quotes:
“When you learn something from people, or from a culture, you accept it as a gift, and it is your lifelong commitment to preserve it and build on it.”― Yo-Yo Ma
Alex Mazzeo, M.Ed
Lead Specialist, Clinical and Professional Programs
Alex began his educational journey at the University of Florida, where he earned his B.S. in Psychology and M.Ed. in Student Personnel in Higher Education. While finishing his master's degree, Alex completed his practicum internship in the Disability Resource Center, directly supporting outreach and student programming efforts to promote disability as a valued aspect of diversity. He went on to serve as an Exam Accommodations Coordinator at UC Santa Cruz, then a Disability Specialist at UCLA. Alex is passionate about student development, educational equity, and social justice, and strives to incorporate these values into his everyday practice.
One of Alex’s favorite quotes:
“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems." - James Clear
Kim Nguyen, MSW, LCSW
Associate Director, Clinical & Professional Programs
Kim is a licensed clinical social worker who’s been working in the field of education since 2011. Kim served as a school counselor for nearly 6 years providing individual and group therapeutic services to students with special needs. She has always had a passion supporting students with their long-term educational goals. That led to Kim pursuing student disability services in higher education for 2 years before joining OSAS. Kim currently manages a OSAS caseload with an emphasis in coordinating accommodations for students in clinical and professional placements.
One of Kim's favorite quotes:
“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” –Brene Brown
Lead Specialist, Assistive Technology and Alternative Format
Allison came to OSAS from USC's Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work where she supported students, staff and faculty through the Office of Inclusion and Diversity. Within this past role, Allison fostered improvements in accessibility and equity through implementing the necessary practices and protocols to meet the needs of USC students and faculty alike. In her current role as a Lead Specialist of Assistive Technology and Alternative Format, she primarily supports students with print disabilities. Allison has a strong passion for cultivating an equitable environment where everyone has the opportunity to succeed regardless of one’s different abilities.
One of Allison's favorite quotes:
"Things are only impossible until they’re not!” – Capt. Jean-Luc Picard
Assistive Technology and Alternative Format Coordinator
Mauricio graduated from the University of California Santa Cruz in 2013, where he got his BA in Politics. Mauricio started as a student worker for the Disability Resource Center. After graduating, he accepted a staff role at the DRC as the Alternate Media Production Manager. After 7 years, Mauricio now works at OSAS as the Services Assistant where he provides support for any Assistive Technology requests.
One of Mauricio's favorite quotes:
“Learning never exhausts the mind” – Leonardo Da Vinci
Sara Sasoones, M.Ed
Sara started her educational journey at California State University, Northridge, where she received her B.A. in Psychology, and later received her Master’s of Education in Educational Counseling through USC’s Rosser School of Education. Sara has worked with a myriad of student populations both at CSUN and at USC, and is excited about the prospect of supporting individual student needs through accessibility services while incorporating intersecting identities.
One of Sara's favorite quotes:
“It is vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it.” - Charlotte Brontë
Senior Accessibility Specialist
Darlene earned her B.A. in Psychology from California State University, Fullerton. Prior to joining OSAS, Darlene worked in postsecondary education for 8 years, serving students with disabilities at both public and private institutions. She is passionate about mental health awareness and social justice and continues to advocate for equitable and inclusive environments for students to thrive. As an Accessibility Specialist, Darlene provides support to a caseload of OSAS students.
One of Darlene’s favorite quotes:
“Your identity is your most valuable possession. Protect it” – Mrs. Incredible
Ayda Shahi, MSW
Center Director, Testing Services
As the Center Director, Ayda oversees accommodated testing at the OSAS Testing Center and provides direct support to a caseload of OSAS students. Prior to working at USC, Ayda served as an academic advisor, as well as a social worker in the New York City public school system. Her experience includes working with K-12, at-risk youth, and individuals with mental health conditions. Ayda is passionate about working with students in higher education, providing support and resources so every student can succeed.
One of Ayda’s favorite quotes:
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe
Madison Shaw, M.A., M.Ed.
Assistant Director, Policy, Programming & Evaluation
Madison joined the OSAS staff as a Graduate Advisor in 2017 and transitioned to the role of Disability Specialist in July 2018. She earned an M.Ed in Educational Counseling from the USC Rossier School of Education and an M.A. in Psychology from Touro University. Some of Madison’s key interests include student mental health and well-being, and the retention and persistence of students with disabilities. Madison is passionate about serving students in higher education and hopes to earn a Psy. D in the future. As a Assistant Director, Madison provides direct support to a caseload of OSAS students, and assists with student service processes, outreach and educational events.
One of Madison’s favorite quotes:
“Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict.” —William Ellery Channing
Aly Thach, M.Ed.
Lead Specialist, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services
Aly began her educational career at Mount San Antonio College and earned her B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Education Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. She earned her M.Ed. in Educational Counseling from USC’s Rossier School of Education and joined OSAS in the Fall of 2021. Aly has always been passionate about educational equity and student life. As a Lead Specialist, Aly oversees the deaf and hard of hearing service related accommodations and also manages a caseload of students.
One of Aly's favorite quotes:
"Thankful for another day, another chance” — Unknown
Tom L. Thompson, M.A.
Tom comes to OSAS after a long career (44 years) where he began as the Director of Access and Disability Services at William R. Harper College in Illinois. He has been an active member of AHEAD since 1981 and twice served on their Board of Directors. He also served in Illinois as the Chair of the Illinois Board of Higher Education’s Disability Advisory Committee for 9 years. Upon retirement from Harper College in 2010, he began doing more consulting work with higher education institutions, as an External Evaluator (for AHEAD and NASPA), a Consultant focused on organizational development and as an Interim Director/Consultant, of 7 institutions: Northern Illinois University, California State University – Fullerton, Brandman University, Utah Valley University, New Mexico State University, University of California, Santa Cruz and Loyola University of Chicago. He is also the editor/contributor to two AHEAD publications
One of Tom's favorite quotes:
"All good things come by grace and grace comes by art and art does not come easy.” – Norman McClean, “A River Runs Through it”
Testing Services Coordinator
After Remi earned her B.A. in Media Arts and Practice from the University of Southern California in 2021. She worked as a media artist and has been involved in projects ranging from usability research for VR to album covers for touring bands. Remi worked in several offices while studying at USC, including the Office of Orientation Programs and Residential Education where she developed a passion for working with students and helping them find their place at USC.
One of Remi's favorite quotes:
"You can't be that kid standing at the top of the water slide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute." - Tina Fey