Staff Directory


    Travis S. Becker, M.A.

  • Headshot of Travis S. Becker.

    Title: Director, Lionel Cantú Queer Resource Center
    Pronouns: He/They
    Phone: 831-459-4395
    Email: trbecker@ucsc.edu
    Office Location: Lionel Cantú Queer Center

    Travis S. Becker is the proud Director of the Lionel Cantú Queer Resource Center at the University of California, Santa Cruz. A first-generation college graduate, Travis was born and raised in the east bay, in Livermore, California. Raised in the Bay, but "made" in New York, Travis graduated with a Master's degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from NYU, and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing Communications and English Language and Literature from California Lutheran University. Travis has worked with and for queer and trans youth and young adults in a number of capacities from The School of American Ballet at Lincoln Center in NYC, to homeless youth in San Francisco with Larkin Street Youth Services, where they were the inaugural Program Manager and helped open a Transitional Living Program in the Haight-Ashbury district. He regularly facilitates workshops and speaks on panels about LGBTQIA+ identity on and off-campus, including in more recent years, a panel at the de Young Museum in San Francisco and training with school counselors and psychologists at Hayward Unified School District. Travis currently serves as an LGBTQIA+ liaison to the University of California Office of the President. Travis is also... an educator, storyteller, troublemaker, Stevie Nicks superfan, furparent, first-born child, eldest sibling, partner, "guncle", "that" Sag friend, a lover, a little loquacious, and one of their proudest accomplishments is having served a term as a regional president for an (un)official Mariah Carey fan club.


  • Ky Valentín Borunda, B.A.

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    Title: Trans Education Specialist, Lionel Cantú Queer Resource Center
    Pronouns: He/Him
    Phone: 831-275-2623
    Email: kborunda@ucsc.edu
    Office Location: Lionel Cantú Queer Center

    Ky is the Trans Education Specialist at the Lionel Cantú Center. He grew up in South Central L.A. and is the transgender son of Mexican Immigrants. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor's Degree in Comparative Ethnic Studies and reps Berkeley hard *Go Bears*! In his role as Trans Education Specialist he supports Trans, Non-binary, Gender Noncomforming, Gender Queer, and Gender Questioning students with identity exploration, navigating coming out, wellness planning, accessing HRT, career development, and referrals to other support services. Outside of his working life, Ky is a father to a 2.5-year-old Labrador-Chow dog named Luna. He enjoys gaming and some of his favorite games are Animal Crossing, Crash Bandicoot, and Mario Kart. Currently, he is learning how to solve Rubik's Cubes which has been a lifelong goal. Ky is available for 1:1 appointments with students, staff, and faculty as well as available to develop and present trainings for your department/unit.

    Fun fact: He is a Cancer Sun, Aries Moon, and Leo Rising


  • Melissa Chimwaza, B.A.

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    Title: Program Coordinator, African American Resource and Cultural Center
    Pronouns: She/Her
    Phone: 614-432-4489
    Email: mchimwaz@ucsc.edu
    Office Location: Ethnic Resource Centers (Bay Tree Building)

    Melissa Chimwaza is the Program Coordinator for the African American Resource and Cultural Center. She graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Human Biology & Society where she first was exposed to an Ethnic Resource Center which supported her academic journey and allowed her to thrive. Now, Melissa is dedicated to the planning and execution of programs that will engage, inspire and uplift UCSC’s African/Black/Caribbean students. She is eager to build community and work with students to create the programs that will best serve them. Melissa grounds her work and values in critical race & feminist theories and aspires to support BIPOC students in their own journeys within higher education.


  • Cameron J. de León, B.A.S.

  • Headshot of Cameron J. de León.

    Title: Financial and Resource Specialist / Office Manager
    Pronouns: Him/They/El/Ellx
    Phone: 831-459-5999
    Email: cajdeleo@ucsc.edu
    Office Location: Ethnic Resource Centers (Bay Tree Building)

    Cameron J. de León, he/they (B.A.S. in Psychology & Women’s and Gender Studies, UC Davis). Cameron is from Salinas, CA and began his career at UCSC in Sept. 2013. They identify as a Queer, Trans, Mixed Xicanx, Genderfluid, femme boi. He supervises the ERC Assistants and works directly with all RC staff and students, focusing on fiscal and administrative tasks. Cameron has initiated and works closely on many projects including the ERC Gallery, ERC Pantry, RC Podcast, T-Camp, QTPOC Conference, and also serves on the planning committee for the local Latinx LGBTQ+ Film Festival as a member of the Semillas Project. His passions include youth leadership development, social justice education, QT/POC liberation, and prison abolition with the ultimate goal of dismantling white supremacy & heteropatriarchy.


  • Abbygale González, B.A.

  • Headshot of Abbygale González.

    Title: Program Coordinator, Womxn's Center
    Pronouns: She/Her/Ella
    Phone: 831-459-2072
    Email: agonza64@ucsc.edu
    Office Location: Cardiff House Women's Center

    Abbygale González is the Womxn's Center Program Coordinator at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is a first-generation college graduate from Watsonville, CA. She received her B.A. in Political Science and International Studies from the University of California, Irvine. Her passions lie in advancing gender equity, grassroots organizing, dismantling white supremacy and the empowerment of minoritized communities. She has served her community through her participation in various local nonprofits and community organizations, such as the Watsonville Film Festival, Digital NEST and Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County. In her previous role at UCSC, she served as the Quarry Amphitheater’s Event Management and Production Coordinator, organizing an array of live music events as well as on-campus programming. She is a Community Volunteer with Monarch Services and is currently serving on the Santa Cruz County Latino Affairs Commission.


  • Carlos Gutierrez, B.A.

  • Headshot of Carlos Gutierrez.

    Title: Program Coordinator, Chicanx Latinx Resource Center
    Pronouns: He/They
    Phone: 831-459-5449
    Email: caalguti@ucsc.edu
    Office Location: Ethnic Resource Centers (Bay Tree Building)

    Carlos Gutierrez (He/They) is the Program Coordinator at El Centro, the Chicanx Latinx Resource Center. He decided to apply for this position after having worked for the RCs during his undergard career and seeing just how much impact the cultural and identity centers had on him. As a young professional his goal is to learn as much as possible and prepare himself and the students who he works with for life after UCSC.


  • Rebecca Hernandez, Ph.D.

  • Headshot of Rebecca Hernandez.

    Title: Director, American Indian Resource Center
    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
    Phone: 831-459-5608
    Email: rhernandez@ucsc.edu
    Office Location: Ethnic Resource Centers (Bay Tree Building)

    Dr. Hernandez is the Director of the American Indian Resource Center at UCSC where her attention is focused on retention of Native students and developing programs that promote a better understanding of American Indian culture(s) and lifeways in the university setting. For the past 15 years she has been employed in university administration and has taught courses in Ethnic Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, American Indian Studies, Museum Studies and Art History in universities and community colleges. Her academic expertise is in American Studies with a concentration in Native American Studies and Visual Culture. She also holds an MFA in Exhibition Design and Museum Studies. She has worked in a variety of institutions, including universities, museums and archives: the University of California Los Angeles, Pasadena City College, Center for Southwest Research, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and the Southwest Museum. Her local community service includes regular consultation with the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History and the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History. She is a member of the American Indian Studies Association, the American Studies Association and the American Alliance of Museums and serves on the board of the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History and the Santa Cruz County Latino Affairs Commission.


  • Riana Howard, M.S.W.

  • Headshot of Riana Howard.

    Title: Interim Director, African American Resource & Cultural Center
    Pronouns: She/Her
    Phone: 831-459-3561
    Email: rihoward@ucsc.edu 
    Office Location: Ethnic Resource Centers (Bay Tree Building)

    Riana Howard, she/her pronouns, is starting her 5th year on campus and is now serving as the new Interim Director for the African American Resource & Cultural Center (AARCC). Prior to her role as Interim Director for AARCC, she worked with Services for Transfer and Re-entry Students (STARS) and HSI initiatives on campus.  Riana is originally from San Diego, CA and was a first-generation transfer student. She received her bachelor’s in Human Communications and her master’s in Social Work, MSW. Riana’s work is rooted in educational equity practices and assisting in breaking down systematic barriers in the educational system. She strives to help cultivate community through campus collaborations, mentorship, advocacy to campus administration, and advocating for and creating programming for African/Black/Caribbean (ABC) students.


  • Shannel Joseph, B.A.

  • Headshot of Shannel Joseph.

    Title: African, Black, Caribbean (ABC) Retention Specialist
    Pronouns: She/Her
    Email: stjoseph@ucsc.edu 

    Shannel Joseph (B.A. Psychology, University of California Santa Cruz) is serving as the Interim African/Black/Caribbean (ABC) Retention Specialist for the African American Resource & Cultural Center. Shannel is originally from Los Angeles, CA and began her undergraduate career at UC Santa Cruz in 2013. She worked for EOP as an undergrad student for 2 years wanting to support first generation & low income students to contribute to the success of her community. Upon graduation in 2017, she served as an EOP Academic Counselor and Wellness Program Coordinator continuing her work to retain and support EOP students until the completion of their undergraduate degree and beyond. In her new role, Shannel plans to work to ensure success, community building, mentorship, and programming for ABC students. She is very grateful to have the opportunity to work closely with the ABC student population which has been a community she has worked hard to advocate for since she began her work in 2017. Shannel identifies as an Afro Latina, with family who come from Central America (Belize and Guatemala). Some fun facts about Shannel is that she loves music, art, kayaking, hiking and cooking. 


  • Nancy Kim, M.A.

  • Headshot of Nancy Kim.

    Title: Executive Director
    Pronouns: She/Her
    Phone: 831-459-3790
    Email: nikim@ucsc.edu
    Office Location: Cardiff House Women's Center, Rm 113

    Nancy I. Kim (she/her) is a Banana Slug alum with a Bachelor’s degree from UCSC in American Studies. She received her Masters degree in Asian American Studies from UCLA, and has worked in higher education for 25 years. Nancy also served as Director of the Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center at UCSC. Prior to returning to UCSC, she was Interim Director at Pomona College Asian American Resource Center, and taught Asian American Studies as adjunct faculty at UCSC, UCLA, CSU Northridge, and Scripps College.


  • Jemzi Ortiz, B.S.

  • Headshot of Jemzi Ortiz.

    Title: Program Coordinator, American Indian Resource Center
    Pronouns: She/Hers
    Phone: 831-459-5349
    Email: jortizfr@ucsc.edu
    Office Location: Ethnic Resource Centers (Bay Tree Building)

    Jemzi Ortiz (she/her/ella) is a proud Northern Cheyenne tribal member, third-generation Mexican American woman and first-generation college graduate. She graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a B.S. in Human Biology in 2019. She was an intern at the American Indian Resource Center for 3 years during her undergrad and wanted to to support and advocate for Native American students in higher education and in the community as the Program Coordinator. Topics that she is interested in learning more about are how to decolonize the U.S. health system, health inequalities, indigenous people in STEM, missing and murdered indigenous women and girls and other urban Indian related issues. She enjoys being with her partner and family, dancing, going to concerts, playing video games, reading, traveling, naps and watching the Portland Trail Blazers. 


  • Colleen Rice, M.S.Ed.

  • Headshot of Colleen Rice.

    Title: Director, Women's Center
    Pronouns: She/Her
    Phone: 831-459-2169
    Email: corice@ucsc.edu
    Office Location: Cardiff House Women's Center

    Colleen S. Rice (she/her/hers) is the Women's Center Director at University of California, Santa Cruz. She graduated with a BA in Vocal Music Performance and Political Science from Winthrop University in South Carolina, and received her MSEd in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Indiana University Bloomington. She got her start in the profession via New Student Orientation and First Year Experience programs, and thus, will forever love the hope of new beginnings that come with the start of each school year. Her passion for women's equity and empowerment was born out of her own trauma, research, and healing surrounding campus sexual assualt. She hopes to begin a doctorate soon, and looks forward to continuing her research on survivor identity development, highlighting the crucial role that community and storytelling play. An avid bell hooks fan, and self-proclaimed nerd, she can be constantly seen reading (or listening- thanks Audible!) to another feminist text, nerdy podcast, or running book. When not telling you about the above, she can be seen petting literally any dog nearby, telling you about her Shiba and two cats, and re-reading Harry Potter, again.


  • Caz Salamanca, M.A.

  • Headshot of Car Salamanca.

    Title: Director, Asian American Pacific Islander Resource Center
    Pronouns: He/Him/Siya
    Phone: 831-459-2096
    Email: cazs@ucsc.edu
    Office Location: Ethnic Resource Centers (Bay Tree Building)

    Caz Salamanca (He/Him/Siya) is the Director of the Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center at the University of California, Santa Cruz. An alum of the UC system (B.S. in Cognitive Science from UC San Diego), and the CSU (M.A. in Education w/ a concentration in Counseling from SDSU), Caz brings 10+ years of experience working in higher ed, with 5 of those years working in a cultural center (MOSAIC Cross Cultural Center at San José State University). He is the current Treasurer for the California Council of Cultural Centers in Hgiher Ed (CaCCCHE), an organization comprised of the staff of identity-based resource centers, and a former co-chair of the Asian/Pacific Islander caucus of the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Hgiher Ed (NCORE). Caz's interests include student identity and leadership development, hip hop education, and exploring the intersections of social justice issues and pop culture.


  • Sadelle Sewalt, B.A.

  • Headshot of Sadelle Sewalt.

    Title: Program Coordinator, Black Academy
    Pronouns: She/Her
    Phone: 619-537-9214
    Email: ssewalt@ucsc.edu 
    Office Location: Ethnic Resource Centers (Bay Tree Building)

    Sadelle Sewalt (She/Her) is the Program Coordinator for Black Academy, a program hosted by the African American Resource & Cultural Center. She has worked to further the ABC community at UCSC by serving as a Resident Assistant for the Rosa Parks African American Themed House, working as an intern for the AARCC during her undergrad and serving as the program coordinator for AARCC shortly after graduating, which has been very rewarding and valuable work to her. She graduated in 2020 with a B.A. in psychology and is also interested in topics such as sociology, history, philosophy, cultural anthropology, nutrition, alternative ways of living, and music.