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Staff Biographies (February through May 2012)

Project Manager:

Sonja Tristan is an Urban Studies and Planning - Community, Housing and Economic Development, major at California State University Northridge, class of 2012. Her areas of interest include urban development, urban design, sustainability, public policy, and transportation. She was born in the City of San Fernando and has lived in Los Angeles all of her life. She is a mother and businesswoman. She is passionate about her family, her work, higher education, Los Angeles, and the world in which she lives. For fitness, Sonja enjoys yoga, walking, and taking the stairs. Some positions recently and currently held:
CSUN Tiger Team for The Transit Coalition - Project Manager, Urban Planning Students of Northridge (UPSN) - Secretary, American Indian Student Association, (AISA) at CSUN - Treasurer National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) at CSUN - Success Network Team Leader

Assistant Project Manager:

Christopher Alan Ocean Hicks is an Urban Studies and Planning major with a specialization in Environmental Planning and a minor is Sustainability class at California State University Northridge. Chris will graduate in the fall of 2012. His areas of interest is in Planning for the multi ethnic city, General Plan and Zoning laws, Qualitative and Quantitative research methods, Planning for the Natural and Built Environment, California Environmental Quality Act, Community & Neighborhood Planning, Social Policy, Environmental Justice, and especially Transportation Planning. He was raised in Eagle Rock and moved to The Santa Monica Mountains in Sherman Oaks. He is dedicated to his family and friends. He has worked hard to get to the point where he is now and to be a well rounded person. Some positions currently held:
CSUN Tiger Team for The Transit Coalition - Assistant Project Manager
Urban Planning Students of Northridge (UPSN) - Public Relations


Jose Galdamez Jr. is an urban studies and planning - environmental and sustainable planning at major at California State University Northridge, class of 2012. His area of interest includes sustainability, geographic information system (GIS), transportation, urban development, and urban design. He was born in the city of Los Angeles and lived all his life in Los Angeles. Jose is a hard dedicating worker that will take on challenges and accomplish them. On his spare time he spends it with his family, friends, and doing outdoor activities. He has goal in mind to make changes in Los Angeles and to create a sustainable city. Position currently held: CSUN Tiger Team for The Transit Coalition – GIS Analyst, Team Leader.

Colin Linebaugh in an Urban Studies and Planning major with a specialization in Environmental Sustainability at California State University Northridge, class of 2012. His areas of interest include sustainability, urban development, architecture, green building, transportation, environmental justice, land use planning, planning for the built and natural environment, and social policy. He was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Thousand Oaks. He loves his family, friends, good music, and the Los Angeles Lakers. He is high achieving, hard working, and highly motivated. Position currently held:

Fipe Leilua is an Urban Studies and Planning- Regional planning major, with a minor in Sociology at California State University Northridge, class of 2012.  She is very much passionate in urban development, urban design, affordable housing development, and transportation.  Fipe is a native to the county of Los Angeles, she was born and raised in Los Angeles. She is very passionate about her church, family, and work.  She loves all aspects about cities and plans to improve the future of all cities.

Wesley Vasquez is an Urban Planning-Urban Design major at California State University Northridge and is graduating in the Spring of 2012. His interests include architecture, transportation planning and community development. Wesley was born in Santa Barbara, a beach city located northwest of Los Angeles. He currently resides in the city of Oxnard and commutes to the San Fernando Valley frequently. On his free time he enjoys traveling, spending time with his family and learning to cook. Position currently held: CSUN Tiger Team for The Transit Coalition – Professional and Public Outreach.

Larry Shoemaker from Bishop, California is the Tiger Team’s IT and website coordinator, part of the Geographic Information Systems tech team, as well as the Grant Writing support staff. Larry will be graduating this May 2012 from California State University Northridge with a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies and Planning, with a focus on Environmental Planning. Larry was the President of the CSUN Urban Planning Student Association, and represented his department to student government.   Larry’s areas of interest include integrating technology into the urban environment , community engagement,  hands-on sustainability projects, nature, electronic music, and rapid transit amongst others.  Larry is a hardworking individual, well-travelled, and well-versed in the holistic aspects of planning for a diverse city.

Isacc Flores is a Senior working towards his BA in Urban Studies and Planning with an emphasis in Environmental Analysis. Isacc will graduate in December 2012. Born and raised in Los Angeles CA. he has been in various planning groups with his neighborhood members. He is the Tiger Teams Grant and GIS member.Isacc’s interesta are Neighborhood Planning and advocates for people in need. Isacc enjoys to work with computers and anything IT. He likes the integration of both the built and natural environments. After visiting both South East Alaska and South Africa he was able to see the different ways they plan their cities and neighborhoods.

Gail Pitters is an Urban Studies and Planning major with emphasis on Urban Study Community Services/Administration. Her areas of interest are community planning and transportation issues associated with it; Green development issues; public policy and the development of an efficient transportation system for California.  She was born in Canton, Ohio but has lived most of her life in Los Angeles.  She goes to school and works for the City of Pasadena in Public Works Engineering. When she is not working and going to school she spends time with her family in Sylmar.  She also enjoys historic architecture, swimming and watching college volleyball. Positions held are: CSUN Tiger Team for The Transit Coalition - Public Outreach Team Leader
City of Pasadena, Public Works Department, Engineering Aide
Continental  Land Title Company - Title Engineer

Joshua Schroder is an Urban Studies and Planning major and a Geology minor, class of 2012. His passion is in the sustainability aspect in all parts of life. He was born in Peru in 1988 and was adopted at birth. Before coming to CSUN he lived in the Central Coast area of California in Hollister, a small farm town. He was recruited down to CSUN in pole vaulting for track and field. After living in Los Angeles for the past 5 years, his eyes have really opened up to the urban issues. He has great passion to make a difference in any area he is put in. He is currently working with the CSUN Tiger Team for The Transit Coalition as part of the Questionnaire and Public Outreach Teams.

Tiger Team Biographies - September through December 2012

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