Full-Time MBA Program
Meet the MBA Recruiting & Admissions Staff


Gary Lindblad
Assistant Dean and Director, Full-Time MBA Program

Originally from Northern California, Gary joined the Merage School in 2005 returning to California from the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto where he was the Assistant Dean and Executive Director of MBA Programs. Prior to his move to Canada, Gary served as Assistant Dean and Director, MBA Programs at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota from 1998-2002, and from 1992-1998, he was the Associate Director of the Executive and Fully Employed MBA Programs at the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA.

Gary earned a BA in English and Education from the State University of New York, College at Fredonia, and Masters and Doctor of Education degrees in Higher Education from UCLA. Gary’s doctoral dissertation researched innovations in the use of computing technology in business school education.  His current interests include following innovations in business education, the digitally-enabled music industry, and the influence social media has on all forms of education and the creative class.  You can follow Gary on Twitter @garylindblad.



Sarah Gill
Director of Recruitment and Admissions


Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Sarah moved to Orange County, CA in 2004 to work as a Planning and Research Analyst for W. B. Doner Advertising working on accounts such as Mazda, PacSun, Black and Decker and UnitedHealthCare. Sarah left Doner in 2006 to join the Paul Merage School of Business to pursue her passion for higher education.


Sarah completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Southern California where she received her bachelor of arts in Communications. She is also a graduate of the Fully Employed MBA program The Paul Merage School of Business . You can follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahRGill.



Elisa Lee
Associate Director of Recruitment and Admissions


Born and raised in Southern California, Elisa started her career in the corporate world at Takeda San Diego working in the Human Resources department. Before joining the Paul Merage School of Business, Elisa worked at Metagenics, Inc. specializing in Recruitment and Talent Acquisition.


Elisa earned her Bachelor's in Communications at the University of California, San Diego.  Also, Elisa just recently graduated from the Fully Employed MBA program at The Paul Merage School of Business.




Juliet Valdez
Assistant Director of Recruitment and Admissions

Raised in Southern California, Juliet began her career in public affairs as an account coordinator for Schubert Flint Public Affairs. She provided assistance with media relations and a range of projects for accounts such as Ford and OCTA. Prior to joining UC Irvine's Paul Merage School of Business in 2011, Juliet worked at the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego, where she specialized in MBA Recruitment and Admissions, and Graduate Student Services.

Juliet completed her undergraduate education at California State University, Fullerton where she earned her Bachelor's degree in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations.



Sajni Patel
MBA Recruitment and Admissions Coordinator

Originally from South Florida and the Washington D.C. area, Sajni moved to Orange County in 2009 to begin her undergraduate career. She earned her BS in Earth & Environmental Sciences from the University of California, Irvine. At UC Irvine, Sajni also played an active role in Undergraduate Admissions and Out-of-State student outreach as an Admissions Ambassador and a Campus Representative for several years. In addition, she worked as a Community Assistant in the Vista del Campo student housing community for two years, working with undergraduate and graduate students to create a healthy and happy residence life. As a recent graduate, Sajni is very excited to continue her commitment to UC Irvine by joining the Full-time MBA Admissions team, and following her passion of working in higher education on beautiful and diverse campus.