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Meet the Staff

John Segoria, M.S. Director, Disability Support Services

John received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, and a minor in Sociocultural Anthropology from San Diego State University. After completing his bachelor’s degree, John was admitted into the Master of Science program in Rehabilitation Counseling at San Diego State University. Upon completion of his master’s degree in 1990, John was hired as the Coordinator of Disability Support Services at California State University San Marcos. As the Director of Disability Support Services, John believes that all students with disabilities should be given the opportunity to succeed academically and the chance to prove themselves as contributing members of society.

Kara Kornher, Psy.D., Psychologist & Learning Disabilities Specialist

Dr. Kornher was born and raised in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. She attended the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where she received her BA in Psychology with a minor in Linguistics. She completed her junior year abroad at the University of Exeter in England. Dr. Kornher received her Psy.D. (Doctor of Psychology) in Clinical Psychology from the School of Professional Psychology at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. She arrived in San Diego in 1993 to complete her predoctoral internship at Psychological and Counseling Services at UCSD. Prior to joining Disability Support Services in 1996, Dr. Kornher completed a postdoctoral internship for the L.A. County Sheriff's Department and also practiced at Scripps Hospitals and Vista Balboa Crisis Center. She was awarded tenure at Cal State San Marcos in July, 2000. In addition to her primary role in Disability Support Services, Dr. Kornher provides supervision for doctoral level psychology interns in Student Health and Counseling Services. She coordinates and supervises the psychological assessment portion of the Student Health and Counseling Services predoctoral internship program.

Michelle Saavedra, M.S., Disability Support Services Counselor for DSS

Michelle Saavedra Diaz is an academic advisor for DSS students and also coordinates interpreting and captioning services for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing students along with coordinating alternative text needs for print impaired students to receive their textbooks in electronic formats. She has worked at CSUSM in DSS since 2006 and worked as a Career Counselor at San Diego State University (SDSU) working with students with disabilities before joining CSUSM.  Her area of specialization is working with the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing. Michelle received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Special Education focusing in Deaf Studies from California State University Northridge also known as the National Center on Deafness. She received a Master of Science Degree from SDSU in Rehabilitation Counseling and completed a Professional Educational Leadership Training program for professionals working with the Deaf through an SDSU fellowship grant program. Michelle has been working with individuals with disabilities since before 1990 when a federal law was passed known as the Americans with Disabilities Act. Initially, Michelle worked exclusively with the Deaf as a Sign Language Interpreter in the community and education settings. She also worked as a job developer early in her professional career preparing individuals with disabilities entering the workforce.  

Benjamin Towns, Ph.D., Psychologist and Senior DSS Coordinator & Counselor

Dr. Towns received both his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees in Psychology from the University of Texas at Arlington. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University. Throughout his graduate training, he has obtained supervised training in a wide variety of mental health settings including a crises center, inpatient/outpatient drug rehabilitation facility, and outpatient community and college counseling centers. At these settings, Dr. Towns conducted crisis management, short-term and long-term individual therapy, group therapy, and psychological assessments with adolescents and adults. He has also worked with the special education department at a local high school where he conducted psycho-educational evaluations for determining special education eligibility. Dr. Towns has been with Disability Support Services at CSUSM since 2012.   

CA License PSY 32788 

Diana Soderbeck, Office Manager & Testing Coordinator 

Diana has lived in San Marcos for close to 40 years and watched the construction of California State University San Marcos. When CSUSM started being built she told her family, “I want to work there someday” and now she has been with Disability Support Services for over 11 years. The Testing Center Coordinator was officially added to Diana’s scope of responsibilities just over 3 years ago. As part of Diana’s professional and personal development she has been certified in several areas which include Leading and Supervising Others, Situational Leadership, Project Management, The Art of Communication, Communication Skills for Women, Capitalizing on Your Strengths and Evelyn Wood Speed Reading to name a few. Diana continues to work toward earning her degree in Human Development while balancing the demands of a busy work schedule. If you have any questions or need information, Diana can be reached at dsoderbe@csusm.edu or by phone at (760) 750-4905.

Marilyn Chapman, Administrative Support Assistant II, Testing Scheduler

I have lived in the North County Area my entire life and attended local schools and played sports all through my life and even in college. I am 24 years old, I have been married now for just over a year to my husband who is my high school sweetheart. My husband is currently in the United States Air Force. We have been through boot camp and deployments and even though it can get tough in times when he is away, I am proud of him for serving our country. We have a son who is 7 years old who is fun-loving, friendly, and extremely talkative- I love our little family. I am currently working on my B.A. in Human Development with a concentration in Counseling Services. I am expected to graduate the summer of 2016 and hopefully get into a program to obtain my Masters in Social Work the following year. I am glad to be part of Disability Support Services as I enjoy providing a service and assistance to those who need it and I strive to continue to provide any type of assistance to the populations I have and will serve in my career. Once I graduate I hope I can gain more experience, continue to learn and help students, and eventually get into the field of counseling. If you need special testing accommodation information, please feel free to contact me at testingscheduler@csusm.edu or by phone at (760) 750-4905.

Melannie Munoz, Administrative Support Assistant II, Notetaker Coordinator

Melannie was born and raised in the Imperial Valley in a small town near the border to Mexico.  Her parents are migrant field workers who always motivated her to pursue higher education. After high school, she moved to San Marcos, CA to get her bachelor's degree. 5 years later, she graduated from Cal State San Marcos in Spring 2021 with a B.A. in Human Development and a minor in Spanish. Therefore, she is proud to call herself a first generation college student. During her time at CSUSM she was a member of the College Assistant Migrant Program (CAMP) and the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP). Melannie was also involved in a couple of organizations on campus such as the Orientation Team and the EOP Association. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, exploring the city with her sister, and going to the beach. However, her favorite hobby is playing softball on the weekends here in San Marcos. Melannie feels grateful for the opportunity to work with the DSS office. In order to help provide services to students at CSUSM.

Disability Support Services Office(760) 750-4905dss@csusm.eduOpen Monday through Friday from 8:00am until 6:00pm (unless otherwise posted). Location: Craven Hall 4200 & 4300. Fax (760) 750-3445