Rocket Fuel

Contact: Staff Bios


Nate Hinerman

Nate joined GGU in 2009, and entered the role as Dean from his previous position as Associate Professor. In his faculty role, he was heavily involved in the reconstruction of GGU's Undergraduate degrees in order to ensure that our graduates are well prepared to meet the challenges of today's world. Nate's teaching focuses on ethics, critical thinking and core areas of philosophy and psychology. He has published research on hospice/palliative care, suffering, and bereavement.

As Dean, Nate's vision for Undergraduate Programs is to provide skills, promote employability, enable adaptability, and encourage self-esteem through comprehensive and on-going support for all of our students. He believes that GGU's undergrad degree programs should provide rich training in the areas of liberal arts and lifelong learning with an emphasis on practical business applications; it is important that students develop the capacity to think critically and creatively in both personal and professional settings.

Read More about Nate


Ayana Richardson
Assistant Dean

Ayana joins Golden Gate University with over 12 years of experience in higher education administration. Born in Chicago, IL and raised in Ithaca, NY, Ayana pursued her undergraduate degree at New York University. After receiving her Bachelors of Science in International Business and Finance, Ayana returned to Ithaca as a Financial Aid Counselor in the Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment at Cornell University.

After moving to Chicago, IL to attend graduate school at Roosevelt University in Chicago, IL, she received her Masters of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management in 2005 and returned back to Ithaca. Over the past 8 years, Ayana has held positions at the Cornell University Graduate School as the Registrar and Director of Student Services and at Ithaca College as the Assistant Dean of Student Services in the School of Business.


Ayla Akgul
Program Coordinator

Ayla, a Bay Area native, began working at Golden Gate University in early 2015 after returning home to California. She was recently working in Istanbul, Turkey for the past two years with the Turkish and European Erasmus Programme at Istanbul Bilgi University. After receiving her bachelor's degree in international relations and global studies from the University of the Pacific, Ayla set off to Washington D.C., where she started her career in education at American Councils of International Education. Her work thus far within higher education has been with international students and Native Americans. In 2014, she completed her master of international Education from SIT Graduate Institute so she could continue to pursue her passion in higher education. She enjoys helping students succeed academically and making students aware of the opportunities, such as study abroad. Ayla is a firm believer that all individuals should have access to education, which should be considered a basic human need.

After work hours and on the weekends, Ayla spends her time helping her family with their restaurant business. She enjoys playing tennis and traveling with her newly immigrated husband to the many different sights to see in California.


Bree Butler
Success Coach

Bree has been a Success Coach with Golden Gate University since 2012. She received a BA from Humboldt State University, with a double major in Studio Art and Psychology. Bree then went on to complete a MA from Capella University in Mental Health Counseling, focusing her studies on the growing field of coaching. Bree has been passionate about the transformative power of education ever since witnessing her father become Valedictorian of his Nursing program while juggling a full-time job, a wife and four young kids. Bree is driven by the desire to positively impact others while encouraging them to reach their true potential.

Outside of GGU, Bree enjoys being creative with a wide range of artistic mediums, including acrylic painting, hand-lettering, and watercolors. She is at her happiest, however, when she's spending time with her son Mason, playing dominoes, shooting hoops, or snuggling up with a good book.


Jennifer Duncan
Assistant Director

Advising Services

Jennifer returns to GGU with over 12 years of experience in enrollment services. After serving as a licensed social worker, her career in education began in a more traditional setting at Plymouth State University (PSU) in NH, where she worked for 8 years. Since that time, including a year with GGU Enrollment Services in 2005, she has worked with non-traditional and online students as while recruiting transfer students for a degree completion program at Indiana State University. She holds a BA in Social Work with minors in Gerontology and Health Management Policy at the University of New Hampshire, and is currently finishing an M.Ed. in Human Relations from PSU.

As Jennifer and her family raise their passionate and curious toddler, the whirlwind of admissions travel no longer felt fitting. Upon her move back to the east coast and through the support of an amazing leadership team in Undergraduate Programs, Jennifer has smoothly transitioned into her current advising role and is able to work remotely. She has found her niche advocating for and partnering with students along their unique and individual educational journeys.

In her free time, Jennifer loves spending time with family and friends, reading, playing Scrabble and exploring the east coast, once again. She also hopes to become a hospice volunteer.


Alliah Gilman-Bey
Associate Director

Advising Services

Alliah comes to GGU with four years of academic advising experience, as well as experience in other areas of student services including student accounts, financial aid, enrollment, and career advising. Her passion for providing quality service to students makes her a resource in the GGU educational journey. Alliah is originally from Brooklyn, New York and moved to the Bay area to pursue her goal of completing her Bachelor of Arts in Research Psychology at Mills College in Oakland, CA. She is now working on a Master of Arts in Counseling with a focus on College Student Services and Career Counseling at Saint Marys College of CA.

Alliah loves the beauty and sunshine of Northern California and now calls it home! Her main hobbies range from watching and discussing Japanese animation to restaurant-hopping with friends. She has a pet guinea pig named Peanut Buttah and unsuccessfully tries to teach him tricks.


Sarah Maslov
Director of Administration

Sarah began working in student support and education as an undergraduate at Virginia Commonwealth University. After completing her BA in International Social Justice Studies, Sarah continued with a second BA in English while working in academic advising for freshmen students and English majors. After graduation she worked as a program assistant and general advisor in VCU's Education Abroad office. In 2012 Sarah moved to England to pursue a research MA in Eighteenth Century Studies at The University of York, an experience that solidified her interest in academia and higher education. With the goal of encouraging students to become owners of their own educational and professional opportunities in mind, Sarah joined the GGU community in March of 2014.

Sarah enjoys spending her free time getting to know beautiful Northern California. She is also an avid reader and travel enthusiast.


Maya Moore
Assistant Director

Advising Services

Maya joins Golden Gate University with more than 3 years of experience working in education, including academic advising and teaching. She received her BA in psychology from Spelman College and completed her JD at Chicago-Kent College of Law. Following graduation, she practiced civil law for several years until deciding to pursue a career in higher education. After completing her teacher training, Maya moved to China in 2011 to teach at two universities and has had a passion for helping students ever since. She hopes to inspire GGU students with her professional journey and impress upon them that it is never too late to find your passion and reach your career goals.

Maya moved to the Bay Area in 2013 from Chicago by way of Guangdong, China. She still feels new to the Bay Area and spends as much time as possible enjoying the beautiful landscapes and weather. Maya also enjoys traveling, eating spicy food, listening to jazz, watching classic black & white movies and practicing yoga.


Saba Sohail
Assistant Director

Advising Services

Saba has worked in higher education since 1998, and in academic advising since 2004. She holds master's degrees in Near Eastern studies/anthropology and applied linguistics from The Ohio State University (OSU), and a bachelor's degree from The University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to her current position with GGU Undergraduate Programs, she served as Academic Advisor with UC Berkeley and with OSU. She enjoys helping students navigate the paths of their college careers. Outside the office, Saba runs after two high-energy toddlers, practices yoga and enjoys world arts such as music and dance.


Jamie Webster
Assistant Director

Advising Services

Jamie joined Golden Gate University in 2012 with 10 years of experience working in education spanning several areas of student services, including enrollment, guidance counseling, and academic advising. Most recently, Jamie worked as an academic advisor for Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ. She earned her bachelors degree from Northern Arizona University and completed a Master of Arts in Education in 2005.

Jamie was born in New Hampshire but spent most of her life in Scottsdale, AZ. After living in Colorado and California, where she first began to work for GGU, she relocated back to Arizona in 2013. When Jamie is not working she is spending time with her husband, two Boxers, and cat. She is an animal lover and actively volunteers with a local Boxer rescue organization. Jamie also enjoys traveling, cooking, reading, and spending time with her family, including two nieces and nephews, all of whom live in AZ.

She is passionate about higher education and enjoys helping her students achieve their goals of earning their degree.