Veterans Center

San Diego State University's primary commitment is to the safety, health and wellbeing of all campus community members, including students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Staying conscious of the uncertainty of COVID-19, the The Joan and Art Barron Veterans Center is now open. Please feel free to continue to contact us by email at or connect virtually Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.

Meet the Staff

Elisa East
Interim Director, Military and Veterans Program

Elisa serves as the Interim Director of the Military and Veterans Program located in the Joan and Art Barron Veterans Center (JABVC), at San Diego State University (SDSU). JABVC serves as the hub for all military-connected students on campus. Elisa oversees the processing of educational benefits, existing and new programming initiatives, student engagement opportunities, and supportive services for the diverse military-connected student population. These efforts aim to enable students to progress towards, and achieve their educational objectives. Elisa is equity and inclusion minded, committed to student success, and knowledgeable of the nuances and layered intersectionalities of military culture. With her conscious, and agile leadership, she engages multiple campus and community stakeholders keeping student academics, personal growth, and professional development at the forefront of each endeavor. Elisa is a United States Army veteran and earned her B.A. in Psychology (2014) and M.A in Education with an emphasis in Counseling (2018) from SDSU.

Vanessa Quiñones Portrait
Vanessa Quiñones
Senior Education Benefits Specialist/School Certifying Official

As the Senior Military Education Benefits Specialist, Vanessa is responsible for overseeing VA compliance; processing State, VA, and TA educational benefits; and providing guidance for our military-connected students throughout their academic journey. Her student population includes: College of Health and Human Service, College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts, and SDSU Global Campus. Vanessa can be reached at or (619) 594-0496.

Jose Esparza Portrait
Jose Esparza
School Certifying Official

Jose Esparza has served in the United States Navy from 2002 to 2008 and is currently a Naval Reservist stationed at Naval Air Station, North Island. During his active duty enlistment, he served as a Master-at-Arms performing a variety of military law enforcement functions while stationed overseas in Sasebo, Japan and aboard the USS Ronald Reagan ported in San Diego, CA. Following his separation from active service, Jose attended the University of California at San Diego completing his bachelor's degree in Sociology in 2014. Jose began working at the Barron Veterans Center in 2015 where he assists San Diego State University veterans, active duty, reserve and military dependent students with their education benefits available through both the US and California Departments of Veteran Affairs. Additionally, Jose serves as our point of contact for admissions and outreach related inquiries. Jose can be reached at or by calling 619-594-3225.

Jaycee Bagatas
School Certifying Official

Jaycee is a School Certifying Official who has spent several years in the private school sector as School Certifying Official, Financial Aid Administrator, and Admissions Manager. He assists students in using their GI Bill/veteran-related benefits and advising on courses related to student degrees. Although he has never had the honor of serving in the military, he grew up in Japan as a US military dependent and is very familiar with the challenges that military personnel and their families face. Jaycee hopes to continue to serve the university's military-connected population by furthering his knowledge and experience in advising and student services. In his spare time, Jaycee is a Level 1 CrossFit trainer. Jaycee can be reached at or by calling 619-594-3047.

Ryan Morris Portrait
Ryan Morris
VetSuccess on Campus Counselor, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

VetSuccess on Campus Counselor, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Ryan graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and from Fresno State University with a Master's Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling in 2007. While attending Fresno State, he was a member of the Chi Sigma lot international honor society for professional counselors and completed an internship in Fresno State's Workability IV program. Ryan started working for the U.S. Department of Veterans in February 2008 as a Vocational.

Rehabilitation Counselor and conducted transition assistance at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton from 2009 through 2011 for service members medically separating out of the military. For his efforts, he was recognized with the Employee of the Quarter Award within the VA San Diego Regional Office in 2010. Ryan has received the Vet Success On Campus (VSOC) Counselor of the Year award in 2020. Ryan also worked as an IDES Counselor at Naval Medical Center San Diego from 2011-2016 where he provided transitional services to those service members that were medically separating. He was assigned as the VetSuccess on Campus counselor aboard San Diego State University in early 2016 where he assists the campus' military-affiliated students with navigating their benefits, options, and opportunities.

Ryan's office on campus is located in the Barron Veterans Center (Student Services West building, room 1661) and he can be reached at or by calling (619) 594-2444.

Josh Imes
Troops to Engineers Program Coordinator

Originally from Virginia Beach, Virgina, Joshe comes to SDSU from ViaSat where he served as a government contractor in a Security Analyst role. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy and International Relations from the University of Oregon. He also served 7 years in the US Army as an Infantryman. Josh looks to utilize his experience as a service member transitioning to a civilian career to help jumpstart the careers of student veterans majoring in Engineering & Computer Science fields. Josh can be reached or by calling (619) 594-2577.