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Disability Resource Center
Staff Directory

More Alike Than Different


Fran Lopez
Associate Dean
Phone: (408) 848-4871
Email: flopez@gavilan.edu

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Disability Resource Center (DRC). As the Associate Dean of the department, I am a strong advocate for our students. I take great pride in creating a welcoming student-centered environment where students with diverse challenges are warmly received by a staff of outstanding professionals dedicated to our student's success. Once a student signs up and qualifies for our services, we assist them with their educational goals, registration, identify academic accommodations, provide them support in their regular college classes, DRC guidance courses, specialized instruction and other support services. Our services and programs are designed so that students can participate as fully and benefit as equitably from the college experience as their peers without disabilities.

Rosalinda Barbosa-Moreno
Office Assistant
Phone: (408) 848-4767
Email: rbarbosa@gavilan.edu

As the Office Assistant to the Disability Resource Center, I provide the first direct contact for students who come to our office. I assist students with information on how to obtain services from DRC, as well as give assistance with scheduling appointments with our DRC Counselors, Learning Disability Specialist and Workability III Supervisor. Please stop by our office for more information on how to qualify for our services.


Karen Sato
Adapted Physical Education Instructor
Phone: (408) 848-4878
Email: ksato@gavilan.edu

Welcome to DRC's Adapted Physical Education (A.P.E.) Department. I'm Karen Sato and I have been at Gavilan for 29 years working in the Disability Resource Program. I will be your instructor in the Adapted PE Aquatic or Fitness Conditioning Center classes. I will teach you how to safely use the equipment or complete the exercises in and out of the water or gym.
We can ADAPT the exercises/workouts to your specific needs. You'll be able to stretch, work on your cardiovascular and strength building or continued physical maintenance. The classes are informational, educational, beneficial and an enjoyable way to work on your Health / Fitness. Hope to see you in A.P.E.!

Mark Taberna Picture

Mark Taberna
Phone: 408-848-4767 or 408-848-4741
Email: mtaberna@gavilan.edu

Welcome! My name is Mark C. Taberna--your DRC Counselor. I am here to assist you in not only achieving your academic goals, but also to collaborate with you in the education planning process. This collaboration consists of choosing together the appropriate accommodations, education goal(s), support course(s) and/or other possible avenues in order to ensure your success. Your needs and thoughts matter! Please do not hesitate to make an appointment for counseling. I truly enjoy being of service. I have a varied background ranging from military service to a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology. I genuinely enjoy working with people, and I am looking forward to working with you.


Tamara Merrill
Career Prep Instructor/HOPE Gilroy
Email: tmerrill@gavilan.edu

My name is Tamara Merrill and I am an instructor for Gavilan College DRC CareerPrep Program. I teach both on and off campus. I also work as an instructor for HOPE Services in the Work Activity Center and the Supported Employment Program.

The Supported Employment program teaches students with varying developmental and physical disabilities to acquire good work habits, and individual instruction at local businesses where students work such as; Northcoast Medical, Home Depot and Target. This job involves working with agencies that include: Department of Rehabilitation, San Andreas Regional Center, VTA, MediCal, Social Security, and various other professionals as needed to assure a studentís success in school and at work.


Cheryl Brown
Career Prep Instructor/HOPE Hollister
Phone: (831) 638-6844
Email: cbrown@gavilan.edu

My name is Cheryl Brown and I am an instructor for the CareerPrep program on campus. CareerPrep is a 2-3 year program created for students with intellectual disabilities. The curriculum consists of career vocational courses, including: Job Readiness, Self-Advocacy and Community Integration. I also provide instruction at HOPE Services in Gilroy and Hollister, and at HOPE's Supported Employment service sites. Students at HOPE learn vocational skills necessary to stay employed at the work activity center and/or find employment in the community.


Nathan Maxey
Vocational Instructional Specialist/HOPE Gilroy
Phone: (408) 846-6946
Email: nmaxey@gavilan.edu

My Name is Nathan Maxey. I'm the Disability Resource Center's Vocational Instructional Specialist for Gavilan Community College. Our program is a joint effort with HOPE Services in Gilroy. My role is to offer vocational workshops and instruction with the goal of preparing our students to achieve gainful and permanent employment in the community. We are unique in that when employment is scarce during economic downturns, a vast network of local employers remain contracted with HOPE to provide onsite production employment. This network of employers enables our students to earn money and on the job training at HOPE until they are offered long-term employment in the community. If you are interested in a tour, contact Gavilan College's DRC at 848-4565, or my direct line. I am available to assist you Monday through Friday, 7:30am until 3:00pm.


Jane Maringer-Cantu
High Tech Center Instructor
Phone: (408) 848-4722
Email: jmaringer@gavilan.edu

I have been an instructor with the Gavilan DRC for over 25 years. I currently teach three courses in our High Tech Center (HTC), which is a unique facility that provides our students access to computers and computer training through state-of-the-art assistive computer technology. The courses I teach are: Computer Access Evaluation, Computer Assisted Instruction and Adaptive Computer Basics. The major function of the High Tech Center is to evaluate the range and degree of a studentís functional limitations, implement the appropriate adaptation or reduce the disabilityís effect on computer access and train the student to use the adaptation within the context of general computer skills. The skills and knowledge a student gains in the HTC can be taken to other campuses, universities and ultimately, to the work place. I also teach an Adapted Physical Education class off-campus.


Marina Lares
Adaptive Services Specialist (High Tech Center)
Phone: (408) 848-4891
Email: mlares@gavilan.edu

My name is Marina Lares. I am the Adaptive Services Specialist at the DRC. I provide students with any assistance that will better enable them to succeed here at Gavilan College. After the initial intake, the student may fill out the Student Request form that indicates which services will be needed. I arrange services such as Note Taking, Adaptive Equipment, Adaptive Hardware and Software, and I assist students in the High Tech Center. In addition, I assist in the production of Alternate Media for students with a wide variety of disabilities. I also assist in the research and ordering of new software and hardware for the High Tech Center. I am a former DRC student who graduated from Gavilan College so I am familiar with the challenges our students face. I recently completed my Bachelors in Business Management from San Jose State University.


Irma Lopez
Transportation Specialist/Mobility Aide/Test Proctor
Phone: (408) 848-4865
Email: ilopez@gavilan.edu

Hi, I am Irma Lopez, the DRC Transportation Specialist/Mobility Aide/Test Proctor. I am responsible for the safe transportation of students with disabilities to and from classes as well as to assist students who utilize adaptive equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, canes, and other adaptive devices. I also provide transportation services to students who have acquired temporary disabling injuries as schedule and time permits. As the Mobility Aide, I work in the Adapted Physical Education Classroom assisting Adapted Physical Education faculty and staff. In addition to my transportation duties, I assist with the test proctoring services and work in the main DRC office. I maintain the list of students receiving the testing accommodations, and I help with the organization of student files, continuously reconciling forms and updating the student information on our online database.


Lori Burgman
Learning Disorder Specialist/Instructor
Phone: (408) 848-4861
Email: lburgman@gavilan.edu

As a Learning Disabilities Specialist I administer achievement and cognitive tests to determine students' eligibility for learning disabilities services, and to explore students' individual academic strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles. Additionally, I teach Guidance 563, a support class for Math 205, and Guidance 562, a support class for Math 400 and Math 402. I also work in the DRC Learning Skills Lab as part of a wonderful team who are devoted to ensuring students' academic success.


Robert Overson
Learning Disorder Specialist
Phone: (408) 848-4832
Email: roverson@gavilan.edu

Hello and welcome to Gavilan Community College and to the Disability Resource Center (DRC). As a former K-12 Special Education Teacher, I have the experience to understand the learning process and the challenges it possesses. As a Learning Disabilities Specialist, I believe in assisting students through evaluation of their learning potential and recommending services and accommodations that will help them be successful. My primary goal is to assist students in overcoming challenges with learning difficulties and provide them with the tools necessary for their equal access to education.

"In order to know anything you must first know yourself."


Ali Arid
Instructional Program Specialist
Phone: (408) 848-4829
Email: aarid@gavilan.edu

Hello, one of the most rewarding experiences I have in my profession as an Instructional Program Specialist and a Math Instructor is seeing the students succeed at Gavilan College and beyond. Students come to the lab with various learning challenges. We provide them with the instructional assistance and guidance that help them learn and study effectively. We help them learn and use effective strategies for managing their time, organizing their work, understanding the material and completing their homework. We also guide them on how to prepare and take tests successfully. Our goal is to help students recognize their strengths and gain confidence to further enhance their educational goals.

Photo of Gilbert Horta

Gilbert Horta
Instructional Program Specialist
Phone: (408) 848-4829
Email: ghorta@gavilan.edu

Hello, I find satisfaction in working as an Instructional Program Specialist. My desire is to aid students to convey their thoughts and feelings through writing. I also enjoy helping students build pathways to achievement in mathematics. Being a student with learning disabilities myself, I know the obstacles that students face. Since I have firsthand experience with overcoming my own challenges, I will be able to better help and equip students to identify their strengths. I’m not just a staff member; I’m also a student working toward my B.S. degree in Special Education.
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


Lydia Casas
Test Proctor/Mobility Aide
Phone: (408) 848-4858
Email: lcasas@gavilan.edu

Hello, I am Lydia Casas. I am the Test Proctor for the Disability Resource Center. In this position, I assist the students in several ways. I proctor their extended-time examinations. I assist students in making appointments with their Counselor, and Learning Specialists. I assist in the tracking of positive attendance and Student Educational Contracts for our department. My work contributes to the overall services of this department through daily contact with the students, providing information and assistance to them. In the summer, I also work with the students in the Adapted Physical Education program.


Jacquelyn L. Richburg
Job Developer/Workability III
Phone: (408) 848-4857
Email: jrichburg@gavilan.edu

Hello, my name is Jacquelyn Richburg. I am a Job Developer for the DRC WorkAbility III program. My primary role is to help students with disabilities transition into the workforce. We are contracted with the CA State Department of Rehabilitation which works to refer students with disabilities for help with job placement, career guidance and vocational counseling. I focus on providing students with individualized job search, outlook on the current job market and skill requirements to identify appropriate employment opportunities. I also review resumes, coach students with mock interviews, and help them prepare job applications. Another key connection is the building of relationships with local employers to find an ideal job match for our students. To ensure success, I maintain contact with students and managers after the hiring process.
“What You Do Today Creates Every Tomorrow” ~ Oprah

All college information or academic materials are available in alternate media upon request at (408) 848-4865.
For more DRC information, call 408-848-4865 or TTY at 408-846-4924.

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Last modified: January 24, 2015
Gavilan College Red Diamond 5055 Santa Teresa Boulevard Red Diamond Gilroy, CA 95020 Red Diamond (408) 848-4800