Cassidy Alvarado, Director of National & International Fellowships
Leavey Hall, Suite I
Cassidy Alvarado’s areas of interest include equity, access, and inclusion in higher education, community college and transfer student support, postgraduate pathways, and international education. In addition to leading ONIF, she is also a lecturer in LMU's University Honors Program, an adjunct instructor in student affairs and higher education administration at UC Berkeley Extension, an elected board member of the National Association of Fellowship Advisors (NAFA), and annually serves as a first-round evaluator for the Critical Language Scholarship.
Prior to LMU, she co-established the National & International Scholarships and Fellowships Program (NISFeP) at California State University, Los Angeles. In this capacity, she supported students in pursuing external awards that offered transformative and challenging experiences in the areas of academic and applied research, and global and civic learning. She also managed the Honors thesis process and assisted students with internships, research opportunities, and graduate admissions.
Cassidy graduated in May 2021 with her Doctorate in Educational Leadership for Social Justice from LMU. Her dissertation explored community college and transfer student access to nationally competitive awards, like the Gilman and Fulbright grants. She also received an M.A. in Humanities, with an emphasis in creative writing, from Mount Saint Mary's University and a B.A. in English from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
ONIF Student Coordinator
Emma Blankenship is a sophomore at Loyola Marymount University and is currently studying to earn her B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Studio Arts. She is originally from St. Charles, Illinois but loves living in Los Angeles where she can enjoy both the warm weather and great connections. Emma is passionate about many social justice issues such as climate change, homelessness, and mental health awareness. She also loves anything art related and spends a lot of her time painting, doing graphic design work, sewing, or making ceramics! Additionally, Emma has held multiple positions on-campus including being an Orientation Leader and Peer Mentor for incoming freshmen as well as working as a “Lions for Learning” tutor and mentor for the children at Cowan Elementary. Emma loves helping others and is excited to be working as a Student Support Coordinator through the Office of National and International Fellowships where she can support students through navigating fellowship opportunities.
ONIF Student Coordinator
Vanessa Hurtado is a freshman at LMU majoring in political science. On campus she is the co-director of philanthropy for the LMU Women in Politics Club and is also a Student Ambassador. She is very excited about attending LMU and is looking forward to getting more involved on campus! She is excited about her position as Student Support Coordinator for ONIF and is looking forward to helping fellow students with anything that they need regarding fellowship opportunities!
ONIF Student Research Assistant
Yasmin Sadaghiani is a senior at LMU and is currently studying to earn her B.A. in Marketing Analytics. She is originally from Toronto, Canada but has lived in LA for the past 6 years and loves it here! She transferred from Santa Monica College and is proud to be a transfer student. Currently, Yasmin manages social media content for the student organization @liontransfer.network, which focuses on providing new and current transfer students the resources they need to help them transition to life at LMU. She is excited about her position as a Student Research Assistant for ONIF and is looking forward to working on current and future projects!