Meet the Team

El Team

Vannessa Falcón Orta

Founding Director

Vannessa Falcón Orta is the Founding Director of the Transborder Student Ally Program (TSAP) at San Diego State University (SDSU). Vannessa is also a doctoral candidate in the joint Ph.D. in Education Program at SDSU & CGU.  In 2013 she graduated from the California State University, Long Beach with an M.S. in Counseling, and emphasis in Student Development in Higher Education. Prior to her graduate studies she transferred from Southwestern Community College and received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from SDSU in 2008.  Vannessa was born in Los Angeles, CA and has lived a transborder lifestyle in the U.S.-Mexico Border region since the age of 12. Vannessa’s background has significantly inspired her research and service focused on Transfronterizx students in higher education from the San Diego-Tijuana border region. She has presented her research in local, national and international conferences; and has published her findings in the Journal of Transborder Studies and New Directions for Student Services. Vannessa has also served extensively on grassroots student-led change initiatives as founder and president of the first Transfronterizx Alliance Student Organization (TASO) at SDSU and in the nation.

Sara Gonzalez-Quintero

Associate Director

Sara Marlene Gonzalez-Quintero is distinguished in major scholar who recently graduated from San Diego State University, where she received her B.A. in Sociology and Spanish with a minor in Latin American Studies. She worked for the Sweetwater Union High District as a tutor for two years where she focused to aid ESL students in their high school experience and academia. During 2016 she studied abroad in Havana, Cuba where she attended the University of Havana for a semester. She also formed part of the Mexican Migration Field Research Project at the University of California, San Diego in 2017-2018 where she gained quantitative research experience and advocated for the needs of binational students residing in Tijuana at Capitol Hill. Sara was also part of the Transfronterizo Alliance Student Organization at SDSU where she served as Co-Vice President and Public Relations Representative. Her objective is to enter an interdisciplinary M.A. program involving global education, sociology and international relations. As a way to validate and bring awareness to the transborder student population and represent the needs of binational students inside the schools through research to impact policy in the Tijuana-San Diego region. She is now working at the Disability Help Center as a Disability Specialist where she continues her fight for social justice.

Julio Ortiz

Multi-Media Coordinator

Julio Ortiz is a writer and filmmaker from Tijuana.

Vanesa Flores

Graphic Design

Vanessa Flores is a current student at San Diego City College. She performs the role of Graphic Designer of the TPATP organization and has lived a transborder lifestyle since she was a child. Her transfronterism became more consistent when she started to cross consistently to attend college and study in San Diego. She plans to transfer in Fall 2019 to a 4-year institution to obtain her bachelor’s degree in Musical Theatre. Flores has worked with Borderclick, a digital living archive of transborder experiences from the non-profit organization The AJA Project that focused on documenting the life of the transborder community and bringing life to the issue of the struggles the community goes trough. She was also a volunteer at SDSU’s TASO (Transfronterizo Alliance Student Organization) that focused of providing an inclusive space for the transborder students and faculty of the University to help them succeed in their education ad career. Flores is thrilled to be working with SDSU and the great participants of the TSATP organization to help to create more awareness to the faculty on the transborder community and how to be a successful ally to it.