Mercy Willard, Executive Director

Mercy Willard joined the Trojan Family after having spent 16 years in the nonprofit health sector.  She has a long and successful history of building relationships and community partnerships, as well as developing programming for underserved populations—with an emphasis on the Latino community and those living with a disability.

Most recently, Mercy served as Director of Community Health Strategies for the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the American Diabetes Association (ADA). In this role, she developed programs and strategic partnerships with community organizations to promote diabetes prevention and treatment. Prior to that, she served in a similar capacity with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, where she also served as the West Region Liaison on Diversity and Inclusion, and assisted with volunteer recruitment and board development.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2001 and a master in nonprofit management from Regis University in 2005. She is also an alumna of the CORO Health Leadership Fellowship Program. She is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership at the USC Rossier School of Education.

Mercy is committed to making a difference in the community and using her experience as a first-generation low-income student to help others.

Dolores Sotelo, Associate Director

Dolores Sotelo oversees the LAA scholarship program and plays a key role in LAA’s annual events. A member of the Trojan Family since 1980, she previously held positions in the USC Office of Admissions and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering Minority Engineering Program. She has also held leadership roles with the USC Latino Forum and the Latino staff support organization, and is active in the University Staff Club.

Sotelo has been honored for her commitment to USC Latino students by the USC Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, the USC Latino Business Student Association, USC Chicanos for Progressive Education and the USC Latina/o Student Assembly. She is an avid Trojan football fan.

Isabel Aranda ’00, Assistant Director

Isabel Aranda manages alumni and student relations, and provides support for fundraising, communications and event planning. Prior to joining LAA, she served as executive/research assistant at a public policy research company. Over the course of her career in the public sector, Aranda has worked as a college advisor at Santa Monica College; a development manager for  several Santa Monica-Malibu School District community projects; and as a campaign manager for local city council and board of education candidates.

Aranda received a BS in public policy and management from the USC Price School of Public Policy; she later earned a master in public administration from California State University, Northridge. She is a former LAA scholarship recipient and has served on the LAA Scholarship Committee.

Vivian Sampson, Budget Analyst/Office Manager

Vivian Sampson joined the LAA in 2014. She has nearly 30 years of administrative experience working for national and international corporations, including PricewaterhouseCoopers, LA Care Health Plan and Columbia Pictures.

Sampson earned an associate’s degree in secretarial science from Missouri Southern State College, as well as a BS in business management and a MBA from University of Phoenix.