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Maps, Directions & Parking
Find Your Way to Cañada College and Around Campus

Class Schedule
A Complete List of Classes


Counseling Faculty Team

Bryon Ramey

Byron Ramey

Welcome to Cañada College, my name is Byron Ramey and I’ve been with the San Mateo Community College District representing our dynamic counseling team for nearly a decade. Following completion of my Master’s Degree from SJSU in Educational Counseling, I started with Cañada College as a general counselor providing academic, career and personal counseling. In addition, I specialize in working with athletes and military veterans. I am blessed to be working in the CA community college system and look forward to working with new students.

On my free time I enjoy outdoor activities, including; skiing, surfing and camping.

Cindy Mata

Cindy Mata

My name is Cindy Mata. I am a part-time counselor at Cañada College. I’ve worked in general counseling, EOPS, and I’ve taught career courses. I started my educational career at community college where I earned an Associate’s degree, I went on to get a Bachelor’s degree in both Psychology and Sociology, and ultimately, I received a Master’s degree in Counseling with concentrations in College, Career, and Marriage, Child and Family Counseling from San Francisco State University.

I was the first college graduate in my family. I truly believe in the power of education. I especially love community college; it’s a transformative place where one can change his/her life. Come on in and let’s talk about how college can enhance your life. Let me help you reach your academic goals!

Gloria Darafshi

Gloria Darafshi

Hello – my name is Gloria Darafshi and I am a Counselor at the college. I have worked at Cañada for over 10 years and have experience working in General Counseling, EOPS, Instruction, and Transfer. I also teach CRER 137 Life and Career Planning. My educational degree is a Master’s in Social Work (MSW). Prior to working in education, I worked for the County of San Mateo Human Services Dept., for the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts as a Grant Manager, and in my home state of Connecticut for a private, non-profit that served recovering alcoholics and ex-offenders. I love the diversity of students at Cañada College and helping students to achieve their educational goals!

 Karen Olesen

My name is Karen Olesen and I am a partner, daughter, sister, cousin, aunt, great-aunt, friend here in California and in Denmark; My hobbies, include watching and sometimes participating in all sports, watching and reading documentaries and biographies, traveling (Europe, Honduras, Peru, Russia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Columbia, Aruba), keeping close to family and friends; I enjoy the comradery with our counseling team and especially appreciate the opportunity to provide support to our students as a Academic & Career Counselor. B.S. Criminology/Corrections, Fresno State University, M.S. Counseling Education, San Francisco State University.

Find us on twitter @cancollegecouns !

 Kim Lopez

My name is Kim Lopez and I am the Dean of Counseling at Cañada College. Prior to joining Cañada College, I served as the Director/Counselor of the EOPS/CARE, CalWORKs & Student Support Services programs at the College of the Siskiyous in Weed, CA. I earned my BA in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and my MA in Counseling at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.



 Lorraine Barrales-Ramirez

Lorraine Barrales-Ramirez

Welcome to Cañada College! I grew up in Redwood City and graduated from Menlo-Atherton High School. As a first generation college student and the daughter of Mexican immigrants, I had challenges along the way. Like many of you, I started my journey at a community college undecided about my major. I ended up earning an Associate’s Degree in Spanish and transferred to Cal State Fullerton where I completed a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business. After a few years working in various educational and non-profit organizations, I found my calling to pursue a career in counseling. I returned to school where I earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Notre Dame de Namur University and a Master’s Degree in Educational Counseling from San Jose State University.

Since 2008 I have been the EOPS/CARE/FFYI Counselor and Coordinator at Cañada College. We assist low-income, educationally disadvantaged students pursue a college education. Every day, I look forward to working with students in helping them achieve their educational and career aspirations. To learn more about EOPS/CARE/FFYI go to:

 Lyn Belingheri

Hello … my name is Lyn Belingheri. I am a part-time Counselor at Cañada College. I have worked at the College for 12 years. I feel extremely fortunate to be working with the diverse student population of Cañada. I have experience in General Counseling, EOPS, Middle College, DRC, MESA and Outreach areas. I have taught College Success courses, and also Career 430, an individual, one on one, career exploration course. In the private sector I have worked as a Career Counselor for an independent consulting firm, providing Career and Educational Counseling to working adults.

I am a product of the Community College system, starting my educational path at Cañada then transferring to CSU East Bay for my Bachelor’s in Human Development and completing my Master’s in Counseling (Career/College emphasis) at San Francisco State University.

I understand the necessity for students to have a focus and clear path to ultimately reach their goals. I also understand the roadblocks that can happen along the way. I look forward to being part of the planning process that will provide you with the path to your educational and career goals.
 Melissa Alforja

Greetings! My name is Melissa Alforja and I work for the TRiO Student Support Services (SSS) program as a Facullty Coordinator & Counselor. I enjoy working with students to help them discover, plan and pursue their academic and career endeavors. My goal as the TRiO SSS counselor is to work closely with students who are first in their families to attend college, and/or income eligible. Prior to joining Cañada College in 2006, I worked at Evergreen Valley College, Heald College and Challenger School.

If you would like to more about TRiO SSS, please feel free to check out:

Nadya Sigona

My name is Nadya Sigona. I am thrilled to be a counselor here at Cañada College. I enjoy working with students to encourage them to pursue their dream careers and to help them overcome the obstacles along the way. I obtained my Masters in Counseling Education from San Jose State University. Prior to that I received a Masters in Human Resources from Golden Gate University and I also worked counseling adults in the workplace. I can't wait to meet you! I know that many of you have unique talents, challenges and dreams that I would love to hear more about. I look forward to seeing you.

Nicholas Martin

My name is Nicholas Martin and I am a General Counselor and Instructor. I feel privileged and honored to work with our fantastic students, faculty and staff each and every day in various capacities. One of my areas of expertise is working with Veteran students—a rapidly growing population needing our assistance and guidance now more than ever. Besides striving to be the best counselor I can be every day, one of my goals is to expand my counseling skills by learning Spanish. As a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), it is imperative that we are equipped to help our dynamic and diverse student population.

Prior to joining Cañada College, I worked at Berkeley City College and St. Joseph Notre Dame High School assisting students with their academic plans, choices, and goals.

If you are interested in learning more about the Counseling Department and our services, please stop by our office Building 9 give us a call at (650) 306-3452.

Bob Haick

Bob Haick

Greetings! I came to Cañada in 2004 and am currently the Director of the Career Center. Before I came to Cañada, I honed many of my skills over the years in such capacities as a Regional Restaurant Manager, Elementary School Teacher, Regional Manager of Training and Development for Kinko’s Southern California, and as a successful entrepreneur of a tech business. In addition, I hold a Bachelor’s Degree, Teaching Credential, and Masters in Counseling. I feel my past and present experience prepares me well to help students along their career journey.

Sandra Mendez

Sandra Mendez

For the past 10 years I have been tutoring, mentoring and counseling individuals through the many transitions of school and life. I started by volunteering my time and before I knew it, community college counseling had become my profession. It is a profession that I am very fortunate to say I love. I have a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from UC Berkeley. I obtained a Master's degree in Counseling from Saint Mary's College of California. I have lived and worked all over the bay area and through all my experiences I have learned that I have enjoyed working with people and finding out what inspires them. I look forward to working with you and making your college experience a positive and fulfilling one.

Sandra Rodrigues

I hope you are as happy as I am to be at Cañada! My name is Sandra Rodrigues. I recently joined Cañada and have found it to be a great place to be. Prior to joining Cañada College, I worked at Skyline College for 5 years. I truly enjoy working with students in the areas of major and career exploration, in planning an individualized path that will wholistically meet student's educational goals, and assiting in any way that I can to help student succeed academically. I hope to meet you soon!

Sarah Aranyakul

Hello! Welcome to Cañada College. My name is Sarah Aranyakul, I have been a counselor here since March 2012. Prior to working at Cañada College, I was a counselor at City College of San Francisco for six years and Gavilan College for four years. I received my AS in Business Administration from Cañada College, BS in Management from Golden Gate University and MA in Counseling from Santa Clara University. As an immigrant and first generation college graduate, I value education and believe in working hard. I am committed to serving students to the best of my ability. I hope to have the opportunity to work with you and assist you in achieving your goals.

Soraya Sohrabi

Welcome to Cañada College, and thank you for visiting us at the Counseling Department. My name is Soraya Sohrabi and I am a General counselor who also specializes in transfer programs and our International Student program. I completed my Bachelor Degree in International Business Management at San Francisco State University, and Master’s Degree in Counseling Education at San Jose State University. I have taught Career courses such as Career life planning, College Success, Exploring Careers, Majors, and Transfer, Introduction to Scholarships, and the Honors course, Transfer Essentials. I am privileged to have been able to assist students for the last 20 years advising and counseling them with their educational, career goals, planning, and personal issues. I look forward meeting you at the counseling Department.

Tony Basques

Hi There: My name is Tony Basques and I am an Adjunct counselor at Cañada College where I have been providing academic and personal counseling. I was the counselor for Middle College student at the College of San Mateo (for ten years) where I also taught Career 121/122. I have really enjoyed working with the students at Cañada College for the past 5 years. I have worked with Financial Aid students as well as the Early Alert program.

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