About the Center




 Tiffany Wright 
Aliento Program Administrator 

Tiffany Wright,  MA is the Aliento Program Administrator. In this role she supports current students with academic advising related matters. Additionally, she supports the Program Director with various program development needs. Tiffany holds a Masters in Education from Loyola Marymount University. She has served the Pepperdine GSEP community since 2012 in student services roles. With a passion for student success, she looks forward to progressing students through their graduate degree program and encouraging them to become superior mental health professionals. 


 Dawn-Marie Luna
Aliento Graduate Assistant 

Dawn-Marie Luna  is a graduate student in Aliento's third-year cohort class, completing her Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy-Latinx focus. Dawn-Marie also serves as a research assistant to Dr. Miguel Gallardo and Dr. Carrie Castañeda-Sound. She graduated from California State University, Fresno with her Bachelor's Degree in Women’s Studies and Psychology. During her undergraduate career, she worked at a high school where she worked closely with learning directors, counselors and teachers to help increase graduation rates through providing students with subsidized employment during the implementation of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. She organized and developed a core group of young people to present pre-employment workshops to their fellow peers equipping the youth with the skills needed to succeed in the workforce. Dawn-Marie has experience working with non-profit, and government agencies throughout the Central-San Joaquin Valley implementing Racial and Economic Justice programming for queer youth along with, developing conscious youth leaders. She plans to utilize her bilingual and bicultural skills to increase access to culturally congruent therapy for Latinx families (specifically LGBTQ families) whose mental health needs are often overlooked and provide psychoeducation to decrease the stigma that has long been associated with mental health treatment within Latinx community. She is dedicated to being a voice for mental health access, and culturally congruent practices in the Latinx community. With her personal and educational experiences within the mental health arena, she hopes to use her Master's degree to fill the need for culturally sensitive and competent mental health providers.


 Angelica Diaz
Aliento Graduate Assistant 

Angelica Diaz is a graduate student in Aliento’s fifth cohort, completing a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy with Latinos. She graduated from the University of California, Riverside (UCR) with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Spanish. As an undergraduate student, she worked with her campus’ Academic Resource Center to assist students dealing with emotional problems impeding their academic success.She also worked for UCR's Orientation program and guided first-generation and transfer students through the transition to a 4-year University. She currently works as a Student Services Specialist for the office of Disability Support Services at Fullerton College, where she helps students find independence and confidence to continue their education. She is interested in the ways mental health issues arise in first-generation students, and she aims to use her degree to be a resource for often marginalized and at-risk student populations, including English-learner, low-income and bicultural students and their families.


 Fabiola Arroyo
Aliento Graduate Assistant 

Fabiola Arroyo is a graduate student in Aliento's fifth cohort class, pursuing a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy with Latina/o/x's. She graduated from the University of Washington with Interdisciplinary Honors, a Bachelors of Science in Biology, and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from the Foster School of Business. As an undergraduate student, Fabi was a member of M.E.Ch.A. (Movimiento Estudantil Chicanx's de Aztlan) and the Student Diversity Coalition that advocated and successfully implemented the Diversity Requirement to graduate from the University of Washington. Fabi is interested in the ways the current political climate affects the mental and emotional health of Latinx immigrants and children of Latinx immigrants. She is also interested in how technology is rapidly changing the mental and emotional health of all people connected today and is exploring ways of how to integrate spirituality into psychotherapy. In her off time, Fabi is currently on a mission to explore a different beach/cove in Laguna Beach to watch the sun set each week, loves eating tacos in Santa Ana, going to the gym, and spending time with family and friends. 


Dr. Gallardo  and the entire Pepperdine community would like to thank Nahal Kaivan, Michelle Rubio, Cynthia Ruiz and Huna Yim for their commitment in conceptualizing, researching, and developing Aliento. Without their help, Aliento would still be a work in progress. Their commitment to the Latina/o community will serve many students, and the entire university community, for years to come.