Your browser does not support JavaScript! Meet Our Faculty & Staff | San Diego Miramar College

Meet Our Faculty & Staff

Director: Dawn DiMarzo, PhD

A little bit about me: I have been a mentor of beginning teachers and practicum teachers throughout most of my career. Some of my past
experiences have included being a Director for an intergenerational child
care/senior center in Rhode Island, a Director for an employee child care
center for Health Professionals in Rhode Island,  I taught Kindergarten in
Fort Lauderdale Florida for seven years and served as Grade Chairperson, before
relocating to San Diego.  I currently am a Professor and Department Chair here
at Miramar as well as Program Director at the Child Development Center here on
campus.  I have been with the district since 1999.  I am committed to
assisting students in pursuing their educational dreams.   My Education
includes: A.S In Child Development from the Community College of Rhode Island
B.S. In Child Development/Elementary Education from Rhode Island College with a
concentration in Theatre and Communications. M.Ed In Early Childhood/Elementary
Education form Rhode Island College in Providence, Rhode Island, Ed.D In Child
and Youth Studies with a Concentration in Curriculum and Instruction from Nova
Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida .  My dissertation was
on Improving Attrition in Early Childhood. I was born and raised in Rhode
Island and have lived here in San Diego since 1999.. I have a daughter who is
going to be a Senior in the Fall at San Francisco State where she is majoring
in Astrophysics. I love hiking, spinning classes, traveling, and have a passion
or Country music and line dancing as well as catching up with friends and
family on the East Coast by visiting them as often as I can. You can reach me
at and my number is 619-388-7678. Enjoy your time at Miramar;
we are glad you are here.  

 Carrie Green

I am the Sticky Bear teacher with our two year old
classroom.  I little bit about me, I grew up on a small farm in Wisconsin
and in 2001 I relocated to San Diego. I started my career in Child Development
at Miramar by taking classes so that my children could attend preschool at the
Child Development center.  I have my A.S. in Child Development from
Miramar, and am close to completing my B.A. in Child Development at SDSU.
 I am also a California Mentor Teacher.  Prior to my current position
I was a lead teacher at the UCSD child development center for three years.
 Having the opportunity to experience different college preschool settings
has helped me develop my teaching style.  My future goals include getting
my Master's degree in Child Development.  

My husband David and I have three children, Jorden (18),
Madison (13), and Lincoln (8).  We love animals and have an English
bulldog, a cat, bird, guinea pig and fish. In my free time I enjoy camping with
my family, gardening, the beach, road trips and of course traveling back to
Wisconsin when I can.  I hope you enjoy your experience here at Miramar.

Angie Smith

My name is Angie Smith and I am the Astro Grover's teacher. I joined
the Miramar College Child Development center in January of 2016. I’m so excited
to be a part of this talented group of teachers, students, parents, and
I earned my bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Irvine and am
proud to say I also have my Site Supervisor Child Development Permit. I am very
passionate about early childhood education (ECE) and I consider myself to be an
advocate for children, families, and the ECE profession. I love my job and I
believe it is an important one!
When I’m not working, I love going on adventures with my nibblings (nieces and
nephews), gardening, reading, camping, and spending time with my husband and
our cats.
Thanks for taking a moment from your day to learn a little about me. I can’t
wait to learn and grow with you! 

Lori Ely

My name is Lori Ely and I am a teacher in the Gummy Bear classroom.  I have my  Associate in Science degree for Child Development and a Child Development Teacher permit.  I am a mother of two boys and enjoy walking on the beach and exploring new places.

Rudy Arce

I am Rudy Arce with several years of teaching experience as
a visiting teacher for the SUSD for grades pre-K to 12th grade. I have an AA
degree in Liberal Arts from Santa Ana  College, a BA in Behavioral Science
from CSUDH, and a Master Teacher Certificate from Miramar College. My daughter
Michelle graduated from UCI and my daughter Melanie graduated from UCSB.

I believe the early childhood years are the most
developmentally important years in a child's life because they form the
foundation for life-long learning. I believe children learn best by exploring
their environment to learn and by having  many opportunities to be
creative in their learning experiences.

I enjoy working at Miramar College CDC because I value the
learning environment the center has provided relevant to children's needs,
abilities, and interests for their social, emotional, physical, and
intellectual development.. 

Rekha Chhabra

Namastae (Hello in Hindi, India)!!!  I have been
working with Miramar College since 2009 and I love every bit of it.  I
started my journey with the center as a parent and a student. In the process, I
got fascinated and intrigued by this field and decided to pursue my degree in
Child Development even after my daughter graduated from the center.  I
have a B.S. in Zoology (honors) and a Diploma in Naturopathy and Yoga Science.
 I hold a Site Supervisor permit from the California Commission on Teacher
Credentialing. I have worked as a teacher assistant as well as Language Arts
coach for children at the center. Currently I am working as a Project Assistant
to Dr. Dawn DiMarzo.  I have also been working as a tutor/SI to assist
college students taking Child Development classes and enjoy sharing my
knowledge and experience with them.  At the same time, learning something
new from them expands my horizon of understanding and perspective on different

I was born and raised in Delhi, India and moved to the
United States in 1994. I have lived in New York, Ottawa (Canada) before moving
to San Diego in 2006. I have been married for over 21 years and am proud mother
of two beautiful children, a 19-year-old son who is a sophomore at UCSD
majoring in Computer Science and an 11-year-old daughter in the middle school.
I enjoy gardening, interior decoration, dancing, and watching my children grow!

Kiana Maillet

Manahu (Hello in Paiute)!  I am proud to say that I
began my Child Development journey here at San Diego Miramar College many years
ago as a student. Since that beginning, I have earned 2 degrees at Miramar
(Child Development Site Supervisor and Liberal Studies), transferred over to
SDSU where I earned degrees in Psychology and Child Development with a minor in
American Indian Studies and then I went on to the University of Phoenix where I
earned an MPA in which I focused on Child Development Public Policy and then to CSU San Marcos where I received my Masters of
Social Work Degree.  I also hold a Child Development Program Director
permit from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.   My
experience includes over 16 years of working in the field and includes many
jobs from working in the classroom to management to training and everything
in-between. In my spare time, I volunteer with various organizations including: the American Indian Recruitment Program  (A.I.R.), the Soaring Eagles Dance Group, the San Diego Unified
School District Title VII Indian Education Program, and Inter Tribal Sports.  Welcome to the Miramar College Child Development Center!!

Elizabeth Thomas

I have been working for the Child Development Center for
nineteen and a half years. I started at the Center as a parent/student with my
son back in 1991. I was able to obtain my Associate of Science Degree in Early
Childhood Education in 1997 from Miramar College. From 1996 to 2000 I worked as
a teacher, a teacher's aide, kitchen aid and assistant to the front desk Child
Development Instructional Lab Technician at the time.  You can say I wore
many hats in the Center and loved every minute of it.  I became the front
Desk Child Development Instructional Lab Technician from 2000 to current and I
enjoy meeting all the new students and families we get each semester.
 While I went to school here in my earlier years my son attended the
Miramar College Child Development Center and he has many fond memories of
preschool. My son has grown and left the nest leaving behind his two sisters
that my husband and I are currently raising through middle school at this time.
 As a family we love to go kayaking, swimming at the beach, playing board
games, playing volleyball, basketball, going to the movies and enjoy cooking
together. If you have any questions about our preschool program feel free to
contact me at: 858.536.7851 or 619.388.7851.  Welcome to Miramar!

Zandra Acojido

Welcome to Miramar CDC! My name is Zandra Acojido. I was
born and raised on the island of Guam – located in the Pacific Ocean few hours
from Japan. My family and I relocated to San Diego in 2009. I have had the
pleasure of working with children in preschool and elementary school for the
last six years. I have been a parent volunteer to a room mom and accumulated
tons of volunteer hours. I went from student to substitute teaching and
currently I am the assistant teacher for the Astrogrover room here at the
Miramar College CDC. 

I transferred from Argosy University, Mission Valley in 2010
to Miramar College. I majored in Business and worked as a bank teller for five
years but I wasn’t happy with where I was and so after only a few weeks of
being a parent volunteer I now major in Child Development/Early Childhood
Education. I am hopeful after Spring I will have an A.S. in Child Development
and also a certification as a master teacher. I hope to continue and obtain a
B.A in Early Childhood Education and if the years are in my favor (slowly but
surely) I hope to obtain a M.S. Degree and become an Occupational

When I am not teaching at school - I am teaching at home to
my four incredibly crazy loving children. Yes, four children- I have two boys
and two girls. My firstborn son is a middle schooler and my middle children are
both in elementary school. My youngest is a Sticky Bear here at the Miramar
CDC. When and if possible, I love going for runs, long high hikes, yoga, mix
marital arts, listening to music whenever wherever, and taking my family on
outings especially, eating out and trying new things together. Welcome again
and enjoy your visit!  Mahalo! 

Erin Ligsay Gray

My name is Teacher Erin.  I am originally from the bay
area (San Jose, CA).  Currently, I live in the Scripps Ranch/Poway area
with my two lovely children, Lilianna (Lily) & Amelia (Mei Mei).  I
have been working with young children since 1998.  As for my education/schooling,
I am almost done with my Bachelor’s in Human Service Management (three more
classes!!).  My background is in Human Development and Child Development
with a focus on special needs and observations.  I am a life-long learner and
you’ll always find me signing up for classes when I can.  I like to keep
my brain sharp!

My hope is to finish my special education teacher
credentials and possibly work as a counselor, family advocate, or in a special
needs classroom. I also plan to finish up my educational goals by getting my
MSW or MFT. Currently I work as an instructional aide and Child Development
tutor at the Miramar Child Development Center.  My hobbies include,
watching movies, reading, exploring new places, eating new cuisine, meeting new
people, and spending time with my two girls.  Welcome to Miramar!  I
look forward to meeting you and your family!

San Diego Miramar College

10440 Black Mountain Road

San Diego, CA 92126-2999


San Diego Community College District

San Diego City College

San Diego Mesa College

San Diego Miramar College

San Diego Continuing Education


Theme by Miramar College. Based on the Danland Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer