Graduate Student Nursing Association

Contact List

Note: All nursing students are members of the GNSA

Executive Board Positions Name

Hezekiah O'Neal

Hello, my name is Hezekiah O'Neal. I was born in Ohio, and spent the majority of my teens in Phoenix, Arizona where I received my bachelors degree in Exercise Science and Chemistry from Northern Arizona University. It was in my undergraduate career where I become involved and took on various leadership roles both on campus and in my community. Serving as the senior class president allowed me to grow as a leader and encourage others on campus to get involved and build a strong community. Now I attend the University of San Diego, and I am extremely blessed to have this opportunity to work with you all as the GNSA President. I enjoy hiking, eating, sky diving, eating, bungee jumping, eating, shopping, eating, traveling to various places, oh, did I mention eating? We are super excited to build a strong community within GNSA and the School of Nursing overall.

Hezekiah O'Neal
Vice President

Kaylyn LaValle

My name is Kaylyn LaValle and I am the Vice president of the Graduate Nursing Student Association. I completed my bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology at CSU San Marcos in 2014. I have worked in healthcare for the past three years as an emergency room tech at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center. In addition to currently working in healthcare, I have worked as a high school soccer coach and have also done years of volunteer work for the San Diego Police Officers Association and Historical Association. One of my favorite things to do when not in the hospital, is work as a floral designer creating flower arrangements for weddings and other special events. I have one puppy named Mia and spend my free time playing with her, taking her on hikes and trips to the beach. I look forward to this year working as a member of the GNSA Executive Board.

Kaylyn LaValle

Bessie Coronado

Hello, my name is Bessie Coronado. I grew up in Torrance, California. I received my bachelor’s in Political Science with a minor in Spanish from Loyola Marymount University. Before starting the MEPN program, I worked at a law firm in the busy metropolis of Downtown Los Angeles for five years. I wanted to be a lawyer. However, when I fast tracked my way towards a new career path, I started working a variety of jobs including being a restaurant server, caregiver for the elderly and individuals with disabilities and being a volunteer in the ED all while still working at that same law firm. I have an incredible support system of family and friends. I enjoy hiking, yoga, cooking, horseback riding, and travelling wherever the airlines have the best deals! I am immensely humbled and honored to serve our School of Nursing and the GNSA Executive Board as Secretary. Send me an email anytime if you’d like to chat!

Bessie Coronado

Daniel Roderick

My name is Daniel Roderick.  I grew up in Massachusetts and graduated with a B.S. in Sports Medicine from Merrimack College.  After undergrad, I came to San Diego with the Augustinian Volunteer Program and ended up staying to become the general director of a group home for children in Tijuana, Mexico. I served as CEO of the US board of directors responsible for fund raising, though most of my time was spent living and working down in Tijuana for seven years. My interests in nursing include pediatrics, emergency medicine, and global health. I am excited to be helping this year to coordinate our clinic visits and health fairs in Tijuana with University Ministry. Please feel free to contact me about participating in these amazing experiences or anything else involving the GNSA!

Daniel Roderick
Faculty Advisor Susie Hutchins,
Graduate Student Council Liaisons:

1. Gina Hernandez (

Gina Hernandez

My name is Gina Hernandez and I am a second year candidate for a Master’s of Science Nursing with a focus in Health Informatics.  I am involved school and local events as well as work full time as a Registered Nurse in the telehealth setting. My personal time is spent amongst my family, my church and my community. I am very grateful to be your GSC Representative and will do my very best to represent the nursing community at USD.

2. Brooke Hollyfield (

Brooke Hollyfield

My name is Brooke Hollyfield and I am a second year RN, MSN, CNL candidate for Master’s of Science in Nursing. I currently work as a nursing assistant at Sharp Grossmont hospital and as a server at Seasons 52 restaurant.  In my free time I enjoy volunteering in the community, school events, yoga, hiking, cooking, and spending time with family,.  I am honored and grateful to serve and represent the nursing community as one of your GSC representatives.

3. Diane Ward (

Diane Ward

My name is Diane Ward and I am a second year MEPN student in the School of Nursing. I previously worked as a customer service representative and project manager in the printing industry. Nursing had always crossed my mind and a few years ago I decided to shift careers and pursue this long-existing passion in healthcare. I enjoy being an active member of my community, be it as an employee or student, and look forward to representing the School of Nursing as part of the Graduate Student Council.

Doctoral Liaison:

Genesis Reyes

Clinical Nurse Specialist Representative:

Kathleene Puno (

Kathleene Puno

My name is Ma.Kathleene Puno and I am excited to be part of the Graduate Nursing Student Association to promote a positive experience for all graduate students.  I am a first year Clinical Nurse Specialist student and a Registered Nurse with over 10 years of experience.  I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Holy Trinity University located on the Island of Palawan, Philippines.  I have worked at King Faisal Hospital, Saudi Arabia and Tri-City Hospital in various clinical settings such as medical-surgical, telemetry, ICU and orthopedic.  I have also worked as the Assistant Director of Nursing at Vista Knoll Specialized Care.  Currently, I am a fulltime Clinical RN at Palomar Pomerado Health.  When not at school or working, I enjoy spending time with my husband surfing, swimming, and cooking.  My interests include my two kittens, photography, guitar, gardening and Harry Potter.

Student Affairs Liaisons:

1. Mark Manning (

2. Jennifer Saldivar (

Jennifer Saldivar

Hola, my name is Jennifer (Yenny) Zaldivar. I received my bachelor’s in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Anatomy and Physiology from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2015. Before the MEPN program, I served as a hospital volunteer and worked as an ER registration representative. I enjoy making new friends over a good cup of coffee and going on new adventures with great company. I look forward to serving as the MEPN Student Affairs Representative.

Healthcare Informatics Representative:

Gina Hernandez (

Gina Hernandez

My name is Gina Hernandez and I am a second year candidate for a Master’s of Science Nursing with a focus in Health Informatics.  I am involved school and local events as well as work full time as a Registered Nurse in the telehealth setting. My personal time is spent amongst my family, my church and my community. I am very grateful to be your GSC Representative and will do my very best to represent the nursing community at USD.

2nd Year MEPN Representative:

Tina Chung (

Tina Chung

My name is Tina Chung, and I am the second year class representative at Hahn School of Nursing at USD. I graduated with my BS in Psychology from UC Davis, where I found my passion in nursing through volunteering at a student-run clinic for the underserved communities, as well as volunteering on a pediatric floor. My favorite thing about nursing are the relationships that I form with my patients, and being a small but meaningful part of their lives.

1st Year MEPN Representative: Sasha Gardner
Program Committee Chairperson:

Juhi Israni (

Juhi Israni

Hi, my name is Juhi Israni. I grew up here in Sunny San Diego. I received my bachelor's degree in Public Health Science with a minor in Medical Informatics & Environmental Science from University of California, Irvine. Before starting the Masters in Healthcare Informatics program, I worked at Poway Unified School District as a nutrition & behavioral specialist at the elementary level. In addition, I had a variety of internships in wellness marketing, clinical research, and epidemiology. In my free time I am always on the dance floor, taking photographs, doodling in my sketchbook, event planning, or collecting stamps in my passport. I am honored to serve our School of Nursing and Health Sciences and the GNSA Executive Board as Program Chairperson. I look forward to bringing exciting new events and fundraiser opportunities to the program. Send me an email anytime if you'd like to chat. 

Program Committee Members:

1. Anne Uyen-an-Ho (

Anne Uyen-an-Ho

Hello, my name is Anne Uyen (You-Win) Tran-Ho and I recently completed my bachelor's degree in Public Health with an emphasis in Child Family Development at San Diego State University. Prior to being part of the programming committee of GNSA, I was the VP of Programming of PPGA:SDSU where I had the opportunity to educate the university's community about health and rights, to increase awareness into pro-choice activism on campus as well as serving as a coalition to state and national reproductive right efforts. I am excited to assist the programming committee this year with various events throughout this year!

2. Ryan Brown (

Diversity Club Co-Chairs:

1.  (

Olga Samokhvalova

Hello, my name is Olga Samokhvalova. I am currently a 2nd year MEPN (Masters Entry in Nursing Program) student. My previous degree was a teacher of Biology and Chemistry in Ukraine. I am a lifelong student and volunteer.  Also, I am a member of Sigma Theta Tau, the honors nursing society. After graduation, I hope to obtain my RN license and pursue my new carrier in nursing. 

2. Annette Diaz-Santana (


Diversity Club Facilitators:

1. Arianna Reisman (

Arianna Reisman

As an undergraduate, an interest in social justice and history led me to the study of Comparative Literature. After graduating, I searched for a career in which I could positively affect the lives of others. When I began volunteering in healthcare, I saw how helpful my academic background could be in incorporating cultural awareness into the treatment of patients. I am thrilled to be promoting a deeper understanding of diversity among my peers in my current leadership role within the Diversity Club of the GNSA and look forward to continuing this practice in my future career as a nurse.

2. Erin Zilka (