Steven Neal



Steven Neal is the director of the Academic Community of Excellence program at Loyola Marymount University. He executes and oversees educational initiatives and services that support the graduate and professional school aspirations of underrepresented students. As a member of the Office of Intercultural Affairs, he also supports the development and implementation of implicit bias and inclusive excellence initiatives for university and external constituents. He earned an M.S.Ed. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Indiana University, an M.Div. from The Master’s Seminary, and a B.A. in English from San Diego State University



Francesca Briones

I am a junior Health and Human Sciences major and a member of the 2018 ACE cohort. After my time at LMU I plan to pursue a Master’s in Public Health with an emphasis on community health. As a peer scholar, I consider my primary role to be a resource for ACE students as they develop their post-graduate and career goals. I consider the most valuable aspect of the ACE experience the professional and personal network that it allows students to develop for themselves.




Maryela Mendoza

Being a program assistant I enjoy giving back and helping other students in their academic careers just as I was assisted in adapting to college as a first generation student. My career goal is to become a structural engineer and receive my professional engineer license within a year or two after I graduate with my B.S. in Civil Engineering. In my free time I enjoy painting, supporting local coffee shops, and going to concerts.


Alex Mikhail

I am a sophomore Communication Studies major interested in managing the Marketing and Public Relations for artists in the music industry. As a program assistant, I take great pride in promoting the ACE program and all the benefits it holds for underrepresented students looking to pursue higher education. I plan on pursuing an MBA degree to build on my commmunication knowledge and better prepare for my goals. In my free time I enjoy playing basketball, hiking with friends, listening to music and working out.


Haakon Stratte

As a program assistant I take pleasure in helping underrepresented students at LMU discover opportunities to aid in their pursuit of attending graduate or professional school after undergrad. I am a junior economics major with an interest in pursuing a career in data analytics and possibly attending graduate school as well after graduation. Outside of school I enjoy thrifting, hiking, going to museums, and exploring Los Angeles. 





Erykah Walton

I am a sophomore majoring in Biology and minoring in Spanish. As a program assistant, I enjoy helping my fellow ACE scholars by locating scholarship and internship opportunities. I plan on attending medical school and becoming a physician-researcher with a focus on infectious disease. In my free time, you can catch me stargazing, caring for my plants, and eating at the best food spots in LA.