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Meet the Staff


Director

  • Belinda Zamacona, M.A.

    Belinda Zamacona, M.A.

    Hometown: Colonia La Venta, Acapulco de Juárez, Guerrero, México
    High School: Fallbrook Union High School
    College (BA & MA): San Diego State University. Currently a third-year doctoral candidate in a joint doctoral program in Education Studies with UC San Diego & CSU San Marcos. 
    Favorite spot on Campus: Su Pan
    On my bucket list: To spend an entire summer at the beach. 
    Advice to new students: “No estudio por saber más, sino por ignorar menos”. ―Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

    Belinda is honored to have had the opportunity to conceptualize, create, and implement the Chancellor’s Associates Scholars Program. A first-generation, English-language learner student and native of southern México, she has been part of UCSD since 2009. Belinda is passionate about issues of access and equity in education, social class issues in higher education, and breaking cycles of BIPOC communities in support of justice and liberation of these communities. Her professional background includes working with parents and families at both the elementary school and university level, community relations, access, yield and retention programs, and special initiatives. 

    belinda@ucsd.edu | (858) 822-6740
    Office hours: Virtually available Mon - Fri, from 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM
    Schedule an Appointment, https://calendly.com/bzamacona

Coordinators for Academic Support and Student Success

  • Ria Rodriguez, M.A. | STUDENT SUCCESS COORDINATOR

    Ria Rodriguez, M.A. | STUDENT SUCCESS COORDINATOR

    Hometown: El Cajon, CA
    High School: Granite Hills High School
    College (BA): University of California, Merced
    College (MA): San Diego State University
    Favorite spot at UCSD: Price center because of all the food!
    Bucket list: Cage Diving with Sharks
    Advice to new students: “If you were born with the weakness to fall you were born with the strength to rise.” – rupi kaur

    Ria Rodriguez is the inaugural Student Success Coordinator in the Chancellor's Associates Scholars Program. In her role she oversees the peer mentorship program for first-year students, as well as summer transition interventions, alumni tracking, amongst other responsibilities. Ria is alumna of UC Merced, where she majored in Political Science. She completed her Master of Arts in Education in the Postsecondary Educational Leadership Program with a specialization in Student Affairs. As a first-generation college student, Ria is passionate about creating community and supporting students throughout their journey at UC San Diego. She has been with UC San Diego since 2015 and is excited to continue her journey of growth to better serve the students she works with.

    m4rodriguez@ucsd.edu | (858) 822-5392
    Office hours: Virtually available Mon - Fri, from 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
    Schedule an Appointment,https://calendly.com/m4rodriguez
  • Karen Van Ness, M.A. | ACADEMIC SUPPORT COORDINATOR

    Karen Van Ness, M.A. | ACADEMIC SUPPORT COORDINATOR

    Hometown: Richardson, Texas
    High School: Plano Senior High School
    College (BA): Brown University
    MA & C.Phil: UCSD Department of Literature. Currently in joint doctoral program in education at UC San Diego and California State University, San Marcos
    Favorite spot at UCSD: The May 1970 Peace Memorial on Revelle Campus
    Bucket list: To finish my dissertation!
    Advice to new students: UC San Diego can feel big & impersonal, but you will find your place if you look for it.

    Karen has worked at UC San Diego for over 15 years as a writing instructor and as a program coordinator in Student Affairs.  She is currently working on her doctoral dissertation on the role of the University of California system in the success of non-traditional students.

    kvanness@ucsd.edu | (858) 246-0322
    Office hours: Virtually available Mon - Fri, from 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
    Schedule an Appointment, https://calendly.com/karenvanness

Office Manager

  • Kimberly Rodriguez Jimenez

    Kimberly Rodriguez Jimenez

    Hometown Chula Vista, CA
    High School: Chula Vista High School
    College (BA) University of California, San Diego
    Favorite spot at UCSD: OASIS and UCSD Women's Center
    Bucket list: To visit every state in Mexico
    Advice to new students: "What we do is more important than what we say or what we say we believe." - bell hooks

    Kimberly has worked for the Chancellor's Associates Scholars Programs as of July 2016. As a first-generation, low-income student, Kimberly is passionate about social justice issues and has worked as a student counselor in various capacities throughout their time at UC San Diego. They are an alumna of UCSD and where they majored in Language Studies and minored in International Studies and Business.

    ksr002@ucsd.edu | (858) 246-2788
    Office hours: Virtually available Mon - Fri, from 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
    Schedule an Appointment, https://calendly.com/ksr002

Graduate Student Researcher

  • Ivan Valdovinos, Ed.M.

    Ivan Valdovinos, Ed.M.

    Hometown: Soap Lake, Washington
    College (BA): Washington State University
    College (Ed.M.): Harvard Graduate School of Education
    Bucket List: To spend a year traveling the world. I have already visited 14 countries across 5 continents.
    Advice to New Students: Seek support services and resources to help propel you towards your personal and career goals. People want to help. It is your job to establish your network and seek opportunities.

    Ivan Valdovinos is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Education Studies at the University of California, San Diego. He is a first-generation college student and the son of Mexican immigrants from Michoacán, Mexico. Ivan attended Washington State University where he obtained dual Bachelor degrees in English and Foreign Languages and Cultures. He also holds a Washington State Teacher Certification with an endorsement in English Language Arts. Upon completion of his undergraduate career, Ivan entered graduate school at Harvard University where he completed a Master of Education in Education Policy and Management. Prior to joining the Education Studies Department at UCSD and CASP, Ivan served as the Director of the TRIO Student Support Services Program at Wenatchee Valley College where he actively worked to increase retention, graduation, and transfer rates. His research interests are centered around college access and equity issues in higher education with a particular focus on men of color, rural education, family engagement, and community college.

    ivaldovi@ucsd.edu | (858) 534-8366 [voicemail only]
    Office hours: Virtually available Mondays 2:00 - 6:00 PM, Tuesdays 1:00 - 2:00 PM & 4:00 - 5:00 PM, and Wednesdays 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    Schedule an Appointment, via email.. 

CASP Course (EDS 50 & 150) Instructors

  • Dallawrence “Dal” Dean, Ph.D.

    Dallawrence “Dal” Dean, Ph.D.

    Hometown: Fort Collins, Colorado
    College (BA): Colorado State University
    College (MA): Michigan State University
    College (Ph.D.): The University of Texas at Austin
    Favorite Spot at UCSD: The Price Center. I find the student energy invigorating!
    Bucket list: To visit all seven continents. Five down and two to go!
    Advice to new students:  Do not be afraid to be vulnerable and ask for help. We are invested in your success and want to see you succeed!

    About me:
    Dr. Dean is a lecturer in the Department of Education Studies at the University of California-San Diego. He teaches courses and conducts research on the following subject areas: education, diversity, race, and equity and access issues in higher education. Dal is also a member of numerous professional organizations and community groups.

    Email: ddean@ucsd.edu 

  • Amy C. Wang, M.A.

    Amy C. Wang, M.A.

    Hometown: Houston, Texas
    College (BS): Penn State University
    College (MA): University of Denver
    Favorite Spot at UCSD: Muir Woods Coffee
    Bucket list: Star in a musical 
    Advice to new students:  Connect with at least one person you can vent about school with. And, eat lots of hot cheetos. 

    About me:
    Amy is a doctoral student in Education Studies at UCSD and a research associate for the National Institute for Transformation and Equity. In her research, she is interested in understanding structural forces that inhibit the success of communities of color in the academy and how they choose to resist. Outside of school, Amy enjoys indulging in k-dramas, attempting to run, and playing with her 9-year-old corgi, Mango.

    Email: acw001@ucsd.edu

  • Hannah Hyun White, M.A.

    Hannah Hyun White, M.A.

    Hometown: Scottsdale, Arizona
    College (BS, BA, & MA): University of Arizona
    Favorite Spot at UCSD: Fallen Star on top of Jacobs School of Engineering building.
    Bucket list: Visit South Korea and the village where I was born and adopted from.
    Advice to new students:  The academy/institution does not determine your worth. You belong and deserve to be here

    About me: Hannah is a proud first-generation, Korean American transracial/transnational Ph.D. student in the Department of Education Studies here at UCSD. Her research concentrates on understanding colonial paradigms within transracial/transnational adoptee communities, and student engagement and experiences in social/political student movement groups in higher education. As a transracial adoptee and Asian American womxn, she has a deep commitment to community. She hopes to empower students to realize their agency and capacity for leadership, amplify the voices and lived experiences of marginalized students, and affirm the values of students of color. Prior to her doctoral studies, Hannah received both her B.S. in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, B.A. in Linguistics, an M.A. in Higher Education and has experience within multicultural affairs, orientation, career services, and disability resources.

    Email: hhwhite@ucsd.edu

  • Sarang Kim, M.A.

    Sarang Kim, M.A.

    Hometown: Daegu, South Korea
    College (BA): University of California, Los Angeles
    College (MA): International Graduate School of English, Seoul, South Korea

    Favorite Spot at UCSD: Yogurt World
    Bucket list: Making a documentary film with my husband 
    Advice to new students:  Take good care of your mind, soul, and body and frequently remind yourself how beautiful and precious you are. And surround yourself with those whom you can be yourself in your aspirations, beliefs, and passion.

    About me: Sarang is a doctoral student in Education Studies at UCSD. Her research interests revolve around examining social and institutional contexts that shape the educational experiences of racial/ethnic minorities in American and Korean education systems, especially focusing on the issues of college access and equity. She hopes to contribute to a cross-national dialogue and comparative research on social justice, equity, and inclusion in an education system in our interconnected world. In her free time, Sarang enjoys meditating, hiking, and watching eating shows on YouTube. 

    Email: sak014@ucsd.edu

  • Valerie Gómez, M.S.

    Valerie Gómez, M.S.

    Hometown: Downey, CA
    College (BA): University of California, Los Angeles
    College (MA): California State University, Long Beach

    Favorite Spot at UCSD: Scripps Coastal Meander Trailhead
    Bucket list: To visit the town my family is from in El Salvador.
    Advice to new students:  Believe in yourself! You are smart, talented, and you deserve to be here! Find a community that you connect with, ask for help when you need it, and attend office hours.

    About me: Valerie is the proud granddaughter and daughter of Salvadoran immigrants, a first-generation college graduate, and a second-year Ph.D. student in the Education Studies Department at the University of California, San Diego. Her scholarship draws from Chicana/Latina feminist epistemology, Critical Race Theory, and Latino Critical Race Theory to examine how racism and nativism mediate the educational trajectories of Latinx students. Valerie has several years of experience working in higher education supporting the holistic development and academic success of transfer and undocumented students. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, going on hikes, and learning how to dance salsa and bachata.

    Email: valeriegomez@ucsd.edu

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) Liaison

  • Lilian Salcedo, PsyD.

    Lilian Salcedo, PsyD.

    Hometown: México City, México
    College (B.A.): University of California, Riverside
    College (M.A. and PsyD.): California School of Professional Psychology (AIU), San Diego Campus
    Favorite spot at UCSD: Ecological Park on the corner of Voigt Dr and Hopkins Dr. This area is home to the Eucalyptus Grove where monarch butterflies have been known to gather.
    On my bucket list: Visit Cerro Pelon, a monarch butterfly sanctuary in Mexico.
    Advice to new students: As you navigate your college experience, be on the lookout for good friends, allies, and supporters. They can become part of a very emotionally beneficial network of support you cultivate to see you through your time at UCSD and beyond.

Student Office Coordinators

The Chancellor's Associates Scholars Program has occasional vacancies in positions for students to serve as office coordinators to support the Program Manager and assist with activities. E-mail Belinda if you're interested.

  • Lizbeth Roman-Salgado, Class of 2021

    Lizbeth Roman-Salgado, Class of 2021

    Lizbeth is the most senior student staff member as the Student Supervisor for CASP.

    Hometown: San Diego, CA
    High School: Lincoln High School
    Eleanor Roosevelt College, Public Health (Major),  Real Estate and Development (Minor)
    Favorite Spot on Campus: RIMAC, and ERC Green
    On my bucket list:To visit as many national parks as possible
    Advice to new students: Take it slow, adjusting to the college environment can be challenging but with time it will become much easier. Get along with your roommates! It will make your academic year feel less stressful. Last but not least, never give up. Every day you can start off fresh and you make the best out of it!

  • Amanda Say, Class of 2020

    Amanda Say, Class of 2020

    Amanda is the most senior student staff member as the Senior Student Office Coordinator for CASP.

    Hometown: San Diego, CA
    High School: The Preuss School UCSD
    Thurgood Marshall College, 
    Human Biology
    Favorite Spot on Campus
    : Empty dance rooms
    On my bucket list: See the Northern Lights! 
    Advice to new students: Remind yourself that you deserve to be here! Don't let anything or anyone convince you otherwise.

  • Ilhan Nunow, Class of 2020

    Ilhan Nunow, Class of 2020

    Hometown: San Diego, CA

    High School: The Preuss School UCSD 
    John Muir College: 
    Human Biology (Major), Ethnic Studies (Minor)
    Favorite Spot on Campus
    : My Bed 
    On my bucket list: See a Kpop Concert  
    Advice to new studentsIt is perfectly okay to fail and mess up, however, it's not okay to just give up. Nothing is ever too late. 

    Ilhan is also one of our CASP Peer Leaders (CPLs).

  • Joseph Park, Class of 2023

    Joseph Park, Class of 2023

    Hometown: Yorba Linda, CA
    High School: Valencia High School (Placentia, CA)
    Eleanor Roosevelt College, Molecular and Cellular Biology
    Favorite Spot on Campus: Wagner Dance Rooms
    On my bucket list: study abroad in Korea
    Advice to new students: Don't compare yourself to others! Your goals are your own and you'll get to them on your own journey :)
  • Luiza Tanoue Troncoso Peres, Class of 2022

    Luiza Tanoue Troncoso Peres, Class of 2022

    Hometown: São Paulo, Brazil
    High School: St. Nicholas School
    John Muir College, Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience
    Favorite Spot on Campus: John's Market
    On my bucket list: Write a book.
    Advice to new students: Dare to dream! Go anywhere and do anything your heart desires, but never forget where you came from and the people who helped you along the way.

  • Melany Guzman, Class of 2023

    Melany Guzman, Class of 2023

    Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
    High School: F. Bravo Medical Magnet High School
    John Muir College, Ecology, Behavior and Evolution 
    Favorite Spot on Campus: Biomedical Library
    On my bucket list: Learn to speak French or Italian 
    Advice to new students: Don't be afraid to ask for help. There are so many resources on campus that can really help you, but always remember to take a break and have some fun.
  • Sarahi Macias, Class of 2022

    Sarahi Macias, Class of 2022

    Hometown: South Central Los Angeles
    High School: King/Drew Medical Magnet High School of Medicine and Science
    Earl Warren College, Business Psychology
    Favorite Spot on Campus: Eucalyptus Trail
    On my bucket list: Visit Japan
    Advice to new students: Acclimating to university life is much more difficult than we'd like to admit, and some adjustments take longer than others. When you start to crave change, the first small steps are the most crucial. They mark the start of your transformation, the best part is that they don't have to be grand or profitable, they just have to be taken and you'll get results.

CASP Peer Leaders (CPLs) and CASP Peer Mentors (CPMs)

The CPLs  work with a caseload of 8-10 CASP students providing peer mentorship, support and counseling related to academic, personal, and sociocultural issues affecting their college transition. CPMs work with a caseload of 12-18 continuing CASP students who wish to continue receiving peer mentorship and support during their time at UCSD.

The role of the CPLs and CPMs is to foster a welcoming, safe, and inclusive community among entering students and to encourage student development and identity awareness through one-on-one meetings and quarterly group events. Any questions about our CPLs, or if you’re interested in applying to be a CPL in the future, please contact us at casp@ucsd.edu.

  • Elysia Mac, Class of 2021 (Senior CPL)

    Elysia Mac, Class of 2021 (Senior CPL)

    Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
    High School:
    F. Bravo Medical Magnet High School
    Earl Warren College,
     Data Science (Major), Business (Minor)
    Favorite Spot on Campus:
    8th Floor Geisel
    On my bucket list: 
    Live in another state by myself!!
    Advice to new students: 
    Things have a funny way of working out eventually, just hang in there! (:

  • Michelle Lin, Class of 2021 (Senior CPL)

    Michelle Lin, Class of 2021 (Senior CPL)

    Hometown: San Jose, CA
    High School: Piedmont Hills High School
    Earl Warren College, Physiology and Neuroscience (Major), Business and Global Health (Minor)
    On my bucket list: Travel to Thailand & Indonesia
    Advice to new students:  Get involved as early as you can! That's the best way to meet new friends and start building connections. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and explore new interests!!
  • Amci Hernandez, Class of 2021

    Hometown: San Diego, CA
    Community College: Southwestern College
    Revelle College, Sociology - Social Inequality
    On my bucket list: Going on a hot air balloon ride.
    Advice to new students:  Be yourself! School and the world are overwhelming, but always be your true self and never give up. Go to office hours, your professors actually appreciate it. Always ask for help and advice, it never hurts and if it bothers someone, that is not the right person to go to. Finally, do the best you can, not as much as you can because at the end of the day it's not about quantity, but quality.
  • Amir Gull, Class of 2021

    Hometown: San Diego, CA/Tijuana, B.C., Mexico
    Community College: Southwestern College
    Thurgood Marshall College, Mathematics-Computer Science
    On my bucket list: Travel the world
    Advice to new students:  Take advantage of discussions and office hours!!!
  • Brenna Deasy, Class of 2022

    Hometown: Oceanside, CA
    High School: El Camino High School
    John Muir College, Psychology/Human Health
    On my bucket list: Travel the world.
    Advice to new students:  Don't be afraid to ask for help from your peers, TAs, and professors! You have a huge web of people who can help you succeed!
  • Brian Do, Class of 2022

    Brian Do, Class of 2022

    Hometown: San Diego, CA
    High School: Serra High School
    Revelle College, General Bio
    Favorite Spot on Campus: CASP Office
    On my bucket list: Travel to Switzerland
    Advice to new students: Take every opportunity that life presents
  • Ivan Moreno, Class of 2021

    Hometown: San Diego, CA and Tijuana, B.C., Mexico
    Community College: Southwestern College
    Sixth College, Linguistics
    On my bucket list: Visit Japan
    Advice to new students Stay on top of deadlines and don't leave assignments until an hour before the deadline. Try and start them early so that you have more time to relax and that way you won't be so stressed. Remember that sometimes the hardest part of any assignment can be starting it. So once you've started it, it should be smooth sailing from there. Also, don't be afraid to connect with professors. It may seem daunting but professors love to talk and they especially love to talk about their research.
  • Jin Yi Wu, Class of 2021

    Jin Yi Wu, Class of 2021

    Hometown: Guangdong, China
    High School: Bravo Medical Magnet High School
    John Muir College, Human Biology
    Favorite Spot on Campus: Muir Woods Coffee House
    On my bucket list: Traveling with beloved friends to our favorite destinations in the world (e.g. Iceland, England, China, Japan, and Vietnam)!
    Advice to new students: College can be tough, but so are you! Remember to take time to breathe, catch up with parents/friends, and have fun along your (college) journey!
  • Keiko Sledge, Class of 2021

    Hometown: Palmdale, CA
    Community College: Antelope Valley College
    Revelle College, International Studies - International Business
    On my bucket list: I really want to travel to France! I have taken a few years of french and am completely obsessed with the culture. I am planning a trip for after I graduate!
    Advice to new students Stay organized. I live by my digital calendar and use a paper planner for assignments. It is so important to stay on top of things, especially as a new student when there is so much to figure out!
  • Ken Guinto, Class of 2022

    Hometown: Downtown San Diego, CA
    Community College: San Diego City College
    Sixth College, NanoEngineering
    Favorite Spot on Campus: Muir Woods Coffee House
    On my bucket list: Travel Southeast Asia and Latin America.
    Advice to new students: If you are persistent, you will get it. If you are consistent, you will keep it. So be persistent and consistent. Don't allow time to pass by you without first taking a "bite" out of the "apple" it brings you every day in life.
  • Lizzeth Serna, Class of 2022

    Lizzeth Serna, Class of 2022

    Hometown: San Diego, CA
    High School: Gompers Preparatory Academy 
    Thurgood Marshall College, Theatre 
    Favorite spot on campus: RIMAC or Taco Villa 
    On my bucket list: Travel around Europe! 
    Advice to new students: Be yourself!! Also, don’t be afraid to try new things and get out of your comfort zone. You won’t know if you like it if you never give it a chance!
  • Martha Montoya, Class of 2022

    Martha Montoya, Class of 2022

    Hometown: San Diego, CA
    High School:
    Patrick Henry High School
    John Muir College, 
    Human Developmental Sciences
    Favorite Spot on Campus:
    The Women's Center
    On my bucket list: 
    Skydiving and traveling the world
    Advice to new students:
      Don't be afraid to make mistakes because there is always room for improvement. That being said don't be afraid to ask for assistance when needed because there are several useful resources on-campus willing to help out students as well as staff members. Overall, enjoy your college experience and never give up on dreams!
  • Nathaniel Parada, Class of 2021

    Hometown: San Francisco, CA
    Community College:
    Southwestern College
    Eleanor Roosevelt College, 
    Global Health
    On my bucket list: 
    Learn French
    Advice to new students: 
    College can be difficult but you are more than capable of achieving great things here. Make sure to take care of your physical/mental health and surround yourself with people who bring positivity to your life. Push yourself to grow and be open to trying new things!
  • Nydia Preza, Class of 2022

    Nydia Preza, Class of 2022

    Hometown: San Diego, CA
    High School: Hoover High School
    John Muir College, Political Science
    Favorite Spot on Campus: Muir Quad
    On my bucket list: To skydive
    Advice to new students:  Sometimes school may seem very overwhelming and it may be easy to get caught in the mindset that you can't do something. It can get easy to compare yourself to others and doubt your abilities. Remember that you are here because of everything you have accomplished and that your hard work and dedication got you here! Don't be afraid to try new things and take advantage of the different opportunities that come your way! You got this!!
  • Shalin Desai, Class of 2021

    Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
    High School:  Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School
    Thurgood Marshall College, Physiology & Neuroscience
    On my bucket list:  Travel to Europe and Australia. Road trip across the country, courtside tickets to laker game. Flying first-class across the world.
    Advice to new students:  Hi everyone. You’re not in this alone! There are countless resources set up to help you navigate your undergraduate journey and if you ever feel that you need guidance, please always reach out for help :)
  • Tabassum Alam, Class of 2022

    Tabassum Alam, Class of 2022

    Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
    High School:
    F. Bravo Medical Magnet High School
    Eleanor Roosevelt College, 
    Computer Science
    Favorite Spot on Campus:
    Voigt Dr & sunsets from ERC dorms
    On my bucket list:
    Kayaking, hiking, anything related to nature.
    Advice to new students:
    Just do it, quite literally!
  • Toni Saly, Class of 2022

    Hometown: San Diego, CA
    High School: 
    Gompers Preparatory Academy
    Thurgood Marshall College, 
    Sociology - Social Inequality
    On my bucket list: 
    Backpack through South East Asia and Europe
    Advice to new students: 
    My advice for new students is just to get started. The hardest step is the just getting started, but once you do your closer than you think. Everyone should take things at their own pace, just remember to do your best you actually have to initiate. It takes 21 days to build a habit and 90 days to create a lifestyle.
  • Yalila Vega, Class of 2021

    Yalila Vega, Class of 2021

    Hometown: Palmdale, CA
    High School:
    Highland High School
    Revelle College, 
    Human Biology
    Favorite Spot on Campus:
    The Bistro
    On my bucket list:
    Study Abroad to Italy or Greece for the Summer!
    Advice to new students: 
    Never let the peer-pressure change you. Stay true to your identity, your background, and your roots. If you ever catch yourself comparing yourself to others or doubting your ability, just remember that if you are here is because YOU earned it. Work hard con muchas ganas and don't forget that it is not about what others do, but rather the legacy that you leave here. So make it count!

OLC Student Co-Facilitators

Once-a-Week Learning Communities (OLCs) are 50-minute learning community seminars that give students an opportunity to engage with peers on topics ranging from transitioning into college to utilizing on-campus resources and more. OLC student co-facilitators are there to provide support to the staff facilitator and provide a student perspective to all of the participants.