Academic Support Staff



Benito Pacheco is the director of the department. He has 15 years experience at Highlands University working in various capacities. Pacheco welcomes students, staff, and faculty to visit the department.  He encourages students to meet with academic advisers periodically to ask questions, discuss progress, and keep informed about ongoing initiatives.

David Esquibelis the department’s coordinator for accessibility and testing services and an academic adviser. Esquibel has a wealth of knowledge in serving students with disabilities and is available to inform all students who may have a physical, psychological, emotional, learning or other disability as defined by the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and/or Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act, or all services and accommodations available at Highlands. The COMPASS, and other non-affiliated tests are coordinated and administered by Esquibel. Esquibel is available to conduct academic advisement for all undergraduate Highlands students.


Annette Garcia is the department’s administrative assistant.  She has years of experience at Highlands and oversees the departmental budget. Garcia is an instrumental asset to the department and works closely to assist director and coordinators with project completion.


Shannon Saiz
  is the Student Orientation Coordinator/Adviser. She has five years of experience working in postsecondary education and is  enthusiastic about assisting  students with furthering their education.  Shannon is looking forward to organizing a fun-filled informative orientation that new students will enjoy and be excited about attending Highlands University.


Alex Gadberry is the Intervention and Retention Coordinator. He has over seven years of professional experience in higher education. He brings with him an abundance of knowledge and fresh ideas that stem from his institutional experiences.  He is looking forward to working closely with students, faculty, and staff to improve the quality of life for the Highlands’ community.