Alumni Council

University of California, Santa Cruz Alumni is governed by an elected board of alumni volunteers called the Alumni Council. If you are interested in being part of the council, please contact Shayna Kent at skent1@ucsc.edu or (831) 459-3966.

 


    Meredith Vivian Turner - President

  • Meredith Vivian Turner

    Rachel Carson College, 2009

    B.A. History

    While pursuing a degree in history, Meredith began exploring her passion for advocacy through on-campus organizations and state, local, and federal politics. Her subsequent master’s degree in public policy and work for a state senator drove her to pursue a career in higher education advocacy. For four years, she served in several leadership roles for the Cal State Student Association, the statewide advocacy organization for Cal State students.

    Since 2016, Meredith has led the University of California Office of the President's state advocacy efforts as the Associate Director for Advocacy and Institutional Relations, where she cultivates UC advocates and spearheads strategic advocacy campaigns on the state budget, legislation, and university initiatives. 


  • Michael Riepe - Past President

  • Michael Riepe

    Oakes College, 1991

    B.S. Computer Engineering

    Michael earned a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Oakes College before going on to attend the Rackham Graduate School at the University of Michigan for his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. Since then, he has worked as the Principal Engineer at Achronix Semiconductor and as a Software Architect and Consulting Engineer at Magma Design Automation Inc. He is also a member and Chair Emeritus of UC Santa Cruz’s Baskin Alumni Advisory Council for the Jack Baskin School of Engineering.


  • John Madrid - Executive Vice President

  • John Madrid

    Oakes College, 1998

    B.A. Language Studies

    John earned his B.A. in Language Studies from Oakes College in 1998. As part of the Language Studies program, John participated in the Education Abroad Program (EAP). While part of EAP, John studied for one year at the University of Granada in Granada, Spain. 

    Since graduating from UC Santa Cruz, John has worked in the information technology field for multiple financial institutions in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Currently, John is the Director of Information Technology for United Artists Releasing.

    John previously served on the Alumni Council Board from 2007 to 2014, and served on the Scholarship Committee. John also served on the Chancellor’s Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture and Inclusion from 2010 to 2012.


  • April Yee - Vice President for Finance

  • April Yee

    Oakes College, 2002

    B.A. American Studies, B.A. Psychology

    April graduated from Oakes College with a B.A. in Psychology, a B.A. in American studies with a concentration in political, social, and economic analysis, and a minor in communication and rhetoric. She worked in the private equity industry for over 10 years, being based in San Francisco and New York City. She has been transitioning and readjusting to life after emergency cardiothoracic surgery, which saved her life in 2015.

    April now works part-time as a home care provider for her aunt and is completing a holistic life coaching program certification in order to work with women and women of color in tech and finance around self-care and wellness practices. She spends more of her time writing now, which has always been a passion of hers. In addition to the Alumni Council, April serves as the Board President of Kidpower International, which is based in Santa Cruz; is the Chair of the Dr. Jennie H.Y. Yee Scholarship Fund at Galileo Academy of Science and Technology in San Francisco; and is a board member of Friends of Roots and the OCA-San Francisco Chapter. April enjoys reading, writing, talking about and practicing self-care, and continually learning.


  • Susan Tappero - Vice President of Administration

  • Susan Tappero

    Graduate Division, 1988, 1992

    Ph.D. and M.A. Mathematics

    Susan earned an M.A. in Mathematics from the UC Santa Cruz Graduate Division in 1988, and obtained her Ph.D. in Pure Mathematics in 1992. She joined the mathematics faculty first at Middlebury College and then at the University of Northern Colorado before returning to Santa Cruz. She worked for 25 years at Cabrillo College as the director of MESA, a transfer equity program for students who want to go into a math-based field. She retired in June of 2018.


  • Andrew Call

  • Andrew Call

    Rachel Carson College, 2007

    B.A. Film & Digital Media 

    Andrew earned his B.A. in Film and Digital Media from Rachel Carson College in 2007. He is currently a recruiter at a search firm called Talented Recruiting, and previously worked at Uber, Facebook, and Houzz. He has a career coaching practice and is a graduate of the Coaches Training Institute in San Rafael. He lives in San Carlos with his wife, Elena, their daughter Isabelle, and their two cats, Calvin and Hobbes. 

    Outside of work, you can find Andrew spending time with family, traveling, volunteering, swimming, playing tennis, working on his novel and watching movies. Andrew is excited about being on the Alumni Council board and having the opportunity to give back to UC Santa Cruz, an institution that has played a formative role in his life.

  • Veronica Garcia

  • Oakes College, 2001

    B.A. American Studies

    Veronica came to UC Santa Cruz as a transfer student and first generation student. Her passion for education is rooted in her personal lived experiences, mentorship and dedication to facilitating opportunities for marginalized communities to have access within higher education and beyond. As a member of the Alumni Council, she looks forward to exploring ways to strengthen the pipeline for inner city and community college transfer students. She has worked as a college counselor at community colleges in Los Angeles for the last 20 years.


  • Dr. Blair Gifford

  • Dr. Blair Gifford

    Rachel Carson College, 1978

    B.S. Economics

    Dr. Blair Gifford received a B.S. in Economics in 1978. After graduation, he worked as a systems engineer and had a start-up software company in Chicago. In 1993, Blair received a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago. Today, he is a Professor of Global Health Management in the Business School and the Center for Global Health at the University of Colorado, Denver. He does his research work primarily in Kenya, Haiti, Vietnam, and China, and has had visiting professor appointments at Northwestern University, Yale University, and Tsinghua University (Beijing).

    In 2008, Blair was named a New Century Fellow by the Fulbright Association. Blair is active in community organizations in Denver and competes in baseball, golf,  and tennis. On the UC Santa Cruz Alumni Council, Blair chairs the Faculty Engagement committee which has been active in multi-day alumni excursions and Prof and a Pint events.


  • Judith Gutierrez

  • Judith Gutierrez

    Rachel Carson College, 2018

    B.A. Politics 

    Judith graduated from Rachel Carson College in 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in Politics, with a focus in Public Policy. While at UCSC, Judith was elected president of the University of California Student Association (UCSA), a statewide organization representing over a quarter-million undergraduate, graduate, and professional UC students across the state of California. Through her role, she gained experience in executive nonprofit management, government relations and strategic lobbying, as well as a keen awareness of how higher education policy is shaped in California. Today, she serves as the Policy and Project Manager for Executive Director Marlene Garcia at the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC), the nation’s largest agency responsible for administering financial aid programs to students attending public and private universities, colleges, and vocational schools in the state of California.


  • David B. Hansen

  • David B. Hansen

    Oakes College, 1976

    B.A. Politics 

    David received a B.A. in Politics from Oakes College in 1976, alongside a degree from University of Bergen, Norway. He later earned an M.A. in Applied Economics from UCSB and an M.B.A. from Berkeley Haas. David’s career has spanned Norwegian energy policy, health business strategy, health care IT management, and internet start-ups. He currently helps manage an online educational company that he co-founded. David joined UC Santa Cruz’s Alumni Council last year with the goal of improving career options for UCSC’s students and alumni.


  • Armando R. Hernandez, Ph.D.

  • Armando R. Hernandez, Ph.D

    Crown College, 2005

    B.S. Chemistry/Biochemistry

    As a first-generation college student, Armando transferred to UC Santa Cruz from Ventura College in 2002. During his time at UCSC, he was a teaching assistant in organic chemistry through the Academic Excellence (ACE) program and was a UCSC STEM Diversity MARC fellow. He received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Stanford University in 2012 and was a postdoctoral scholar at The University of Chicago until 2014. Armando has been in the biopharmaceutical industry ever since and is currently a Senior Manager in the Analytical Development Department at Sutro Biopharma in South San Francisco.

    Armando has been actively engaged with UCSC students and alumni since graduation and has given presentations on various career development topics. He is excited to be a member of the UCSC Alumni Council. Outside of science, Armando enjoys the outdoors, traveling, cooking, bodybuilding, and fitness.


  • Corinne Kappeler

  • Corinne Kappeler

    Kresge College, 2011

    B.A. Sociology, Film and Digital Media Minor

    Corinne is a proud first-generation college graduate from Salinas, CA. She is passionate about empowering under-represented communities through tech inclusion, working with systems-change nonprofits to increase their impact. She is Director of Growth at Digital NEST, an organization that supports young people in agricultural towns in California to build technology skills and get access to a supportive network of professionals to launch their careers.

    In 2014, she became the first Executive Director of Girl, Develop It! (GDI), a national nonprofit that creates welcoming, supportive opportunities for women and non-binary adults to learn software development skills. Under her leadership, GDI grew from a small grassroots start-up organization to a thriving national movement with more than 110,000 members participating in 60+ communities across the country.

    She began her career at WHYY, Philadelphia’s NPR and PBS station, where she worked community relations. Corinne has spoken at the White House and given keynote addresses at technology conferences like Dreamforce and RedHat Summit. She is a recipient of the Valentine Foundation’s Visionary Leader Award, and she attended the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders at Stanford University Graduate School of Business.


  • Dana Linda, Ph.D.

  • Dana Linda, Ph.D.

    Rachel Carson College, 2007

    B.A. Literature and Feminist Studies

    Dana earned her bachelor’s degrees in literature and feminist studies from UC Santa Cruz, and she received a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from UCLA. As a Banana Slug, she was actively involved in shaping the Rachel Carson College residential community and also participated in the Inside Out Writing Project. Currently, Dana works in the Bay Area tech sector and serves on San Mateo County’s Commission on the Status of Women.


  • Eanad Lott

  • Eanad Lott

    Cowell College, 1992

    B.A. English and American Literature

    Eanad Jurann Lott graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz with a B.A. in English/American Literature, and while at Santa Cruz she also spent her junior year in the Education Abroad Program at the Lancaster University in Bailrigg, England. She completed her graduate education at The Ohio State University with a M.A. in African American and African Studies (Black Studies). She is currently one of the Alumni Councilors for Cowell College. While as a Slug she was involved the following groups and activities: Cowell Senate, African/Black Student Alliance (A/BSA), Umoja Mentoring Program — Big Brother/Big Sister, ISAKE (African American Theater Group), Cowell College Residential Life Staff (Multi-Cultural Adviser).

    She worked for many years in the technology field for Walt Disney Internet Group and Microsoft. Afterwards she transitioned into a career within the non-profit arena where she worked for Saint John’s Program for Real Change. While there as the Deputy Director of Operations through her efforts in grant writing she brought in over 3.5 million dollars in funding for the organization over a three year period.

    Currently Eanad works in the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault field as Director of Operations and Client Services. As a member of the South Lake Tahoe community she volunteers her time as a board member for Tahoe Coalition for the Homeless which created a Warm Room Homeless Shelter for South Lake Tahoe each winter.  This project provides centralized shelter and referral services for the homeless for the first time ever within South Lake community. She is a former Appointed Board Member, Board Secretary, and Member of the Executive Committee for Paratransit Inc., dedicated to providing transportation services to individuals with disabilities, the elderly, and related agencies throughout the Sacramento County area. Eanad was also the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for Safe Embrace a Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Agency based Reno. She was also a member of the board of directors for The South Lake Tahoe Cancer League an all-volunteer organization that provides transportation to life saving treatments and stipends to community members being treated for cancer.


  • Christy Martin

  • Christy Martin

    Rachel Carson College, 1988

    B.A. Computer and Information Science

    Christy was a first-generation college graduate and longtime advocate for the role of women in STEM. She understands firsthand the life changing impact of building bridges to underrepresented communities. In addition to connecting directly with students, she would like to help grow UC Santa Cruz programs and expand outreach to students who may not think that college or engineering is an option for them.

    Christy runs a technology services company that works with content creators and distributors including NBC Universal and Comcast. She is excited by the intersection of media and technology and its ability to quickly influence large scale social change. Christy also serves on the board of the City Lights Theater Company in San Jose, CA and is an executive member of Women in Cable Telecommunications. 


  • Shelly Meron

  • Shelly Meron

    Stevenson College, 2005

    B.A. History, Journalism Minor

    Shelly graduated from Stevenson College in 2005, with a degree in history and a minor in journalism. While at UC Santa Cruz, she also wrote and edited for City on a Hill Press and interned at the Santa Cruz Sentinel. She earned a master's in journalism from UC Berkeley in 2007, and began working as a reporter for the Bay Area News Group. After five years covering everything from business and real estate to city government to K-12 education, she transitioned to a media relations role at the University of California, Office of the President (UCOP). Today, Shelly is the Director of Executive Communications and Engagement at UCOP.

    Shelly lives in the Bay Area with her husband. In her spare time, she loves to read, travel, bake sourdough bread, and play with her dog.


  • Saurabh Mishra

  • Merrill, 2007 and Graduate Division, 2008

    B.S. and M.S. Economics

    Saurabh Mishra earned his B.S. in Economics from Merill College in 2007, an M.S. in Applied Economics and Finance in 2008 and a Ph.D. in Reliability Engineering from the University of Maryland College Park. He is an economist, reliability engineer, and machine learning scientist. For ten years, he served as an economist at the World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and International Finance Corporation (IFC) where he worked on versatile operations, projects, and research around the world. He pioneered research on trade in services, export competitiveness, economic diversification, structural transformation and drivers of global economic growth. He continues to consult for diverse international institutions including International Finance Corporation (IFC), Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), World Trade Organization (WTO), and advises startups and companies.


  • Roberto Ocampo

  • Roberto Ocampo

    Merrill College, 1975

    B.A. Sociology

    Roberto majored in sociology at Merrill College and earned his master’s degree in counselor education from San Jose State University. He is a very active member of the Salinas community with a long history of service to the community. Roberto currently serves as a Trustee for the Alisal Union School District in Salinas. He is a former member of the Salinas City Council and a retired guidance counselor for the Salinas Union High School District, with forty years of experience as a high school counselor. He is the Secretary of the Carmel, Junipero Serra, Secular Franciscan Fraternity, a member of the Christians in Commerce organization, and volunteers for the Monterey County Diocese.


  • Max Ortiz

  • Max Ortiz

    Cowell, 2009

    B.A. Politics

    Max Ortiz is a Senior Vice President and Private Client Manager at U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management. Max joined the firm in May of 2017 and has over eight years of investment, credit, and banking experience supporting the needs of high net worth families and institutional clients. He provides wealth management services to help clients navigate the intricacies of investment strategy, portfolio structuring, and generational planning.

    Prior to joining U.S. Trust, Max worked at Hall Capital Partners in San Francisco from 2012-2017 in their portfolio management group. He assisted in the development and implementation of investment strategy, portfolio reporting, and general client service.  From 2010 to 2012, he worked in operations at Western Asset Management company, a leading fixed-income management firm in Los Angeles.

    While at UC Santa Cruz, Max was a four-time national champion while earning All-American honors in tennis.  Max is an avid surfer, yogi, and golfer.


  • Leisette Rodriguez

  • Leisette Rodriguez

    Cowell College, 1996

    B.A. Sociology

    Leisette Rodriguez is a 1996 UC Santa Cruz graduate affiliated with Cowell College. She received her B.A. in Sociology and has a Minor in Education. She holds a Juris Doctor degree from CUNY School of Law in Queens, New York and practices immigration and federal labor law.

    Leisette is a former union organizer, a photographer, motivational speaker and an attorney practicing immigration and federal labor law in Los Angeles. She is the board chair of Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project, President of the Parent Policy Council for the Long Beach Unified School District Headstart Program, and a member of the Latina Lawyers Bar Association.

    During her time at UCSC, Leisette was an active member and co-chair of many clubs and student organizations. She also fenced, played rugby, wrote for TWANAS and City on a Hill.  She is very proud and honored to be able to contribute to UCSC as a member of the Alumni Council.


  • Dom Siababa

  • Dom Siababa - Assistant Vice President of Local Affairs

    Merrill College, 1975

    B.A. Sociology 

    A second generation Filipino American who grew up in the Salinas Valley, Dom entered UC Santa Cruz as an EOP student. During his junior year, he arranged for a field study in Seattle to work with Filipino Youth Activities, Inc., a Filipino American social service agency, and has been involved with community based organizations ever since. He worked at PG&E for over 20 years, where he held several management positions, then in high tech for eight years and currently works as a small business solutions advisor.

    Dom has served on the Alumni Council for 12 years and is a past president of the association. He is excited to be back in a leadership capacity. He has two beautiful daughters from a previous marriage and not only volunteers on campus but also with various community organizations in Salinas where he now resides.


  • Brian Sniegowski

  • Brian Sniegowski

    Rachel Carson College, 1996

    B.A. Politics, B.S. Economics

    Brian double-majored in politics and economics at Rachel Carson College and earned his M.B.A. from USC's Marshall School of Business. Currently, Brian is the Director of Innovation and Development at Farmer’s Insurance. As well as serving on the UC Santa Cruz Alumni Council, he has worked with the UCLA Alumni Association as the Senior Marketing Manager and Director of Regional Programs. Brian also serves on the board of a public policy nonprofit in southern California and has chaired the UCSC Multicultural Festival.


  • Brian Turner

  • Brian Turner

    Cowell, 2004

    B.A. Legal Studies 

    Brian graduated from Cowell College in 2004, with a degree in legal studies. Brian then attended Chapman University, Fowler School of Law where he graduated cum laude with his Juris Doctorate degree.  After spending several years practicing law as a litigator he moved to Sacramento where he opened up the Law Office of Brian H. Turner.  The Law Office of Brian H. Turner represents clients in a wide variety of matters that resulted in serious personal injury. 


  • Matthew Waxman

  • Matthew Waxman

    Porter College, 2006

    B.A. Film and Digital Media, B.A. History and Theory of Architecture

    Matthew graduated from Porter College in 2006, earning degrees in both film and digital media and the history and theory of architecture. He went on to attend the Harvard Graduate School of Design and currently lives in the Boston area. In addition to serving as an Alumni Council Board Member, Matthew is a collaborator at an east coast architecture and planning firm.