Alumni Council

UC Santa Cruz Alumni Association 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.


    John Madrid - 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.


  • Shelly Meron - Executive Vice President

  • 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 Sacramento with her husband. In her spare time, she loves to read, travel, bake, and play with her dogs.


  • Christy Martin- Vice President of Finance

  • 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. Over this past year, Christy has served as the Chair of the Communications Committee.


  • Judith Gutierrez - Vice President of Administration

  • Judith Gutierrez

    Rachel Carson College, 2018

    B.A. Politics

    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 California. Through her role, she gained experience in nonprofit management, government relations, strategic lobbying, and a keen awareness of how higher education policy is shaped. During her tenure, students led advocacy efforts that gained a sizable state investment in the UC, thus generating the UC’s first tuition decrease in decades. Judith now works for 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. She is driven by a mission of promoting educational equity, access to quality education, and professional development for young alumni. She currently serves as the Special Advisor on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) to the Alumni Council and participates on a number of the Council committees.


  • Meredith Vivian Turner - Past 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 policy. For four years, she served as the chief advocate 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. There, she cultivates a broad base of alumni, donors, thought-leaders, students and other advocates within the UC community and spearheads strategic advocacy campaigns on UC’s state budget and legislative priorities.


  • Sareil Brookins

  • Sareil Brookins

    Stevenson College, 2019

    B.A. Psychology and B.A. Critical Race, & Ethnic Studies

    Sareil majored in intensive psychology, and critical race & ethnic Studies (with an emphasis on the African diaspora) at Stevenson College. During her time at UCSC, Sareil was a part of many organizations such as the Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation Planning Committee, Office of Diversity Equity & Inclusion, EVERFI Student Focus Group Member, Critical Race & Ethnic Studies Student Working Group, Humanities Undergraduate Student Committee, Student Health Outreach, & Promotion, Condom Co-op Volunteer, Black Sistahs United, and much more. Since her recent graduation, she is now the academic advisor for the University of Maryland College Park at their Shady Grove campus and previously held the role as a Student Success Coach at the University of Maryland Global Campus. In her free time, she is involved with the UCDC Basic Needs Advisor Board, Student Enrollment Management (SEM) Leadership Council; Communication & Advocacy, and Regional Center Operations (RCO) Leadership Committee. Sareil wants to contribute to UCSC in any way that she can so she can remind students (current and prospective) like herself, that it is possible to attend and graduate from UCSC and keep a strong connection with alumni, staff, and faculty.


  • Armando Flores

  • Photo: Armando Flores

    Stevenson College, 2015

    B.A. Politics

    After graduating from UCSC with a Politics degree in 2015, Armando went on to support several non-profit organizations in the greater Los Angeles area. Armando has worked in politics and advocacy for seven years, tackling several public policy issues impacting the energy, transportation and land use sectors. Armando was involved in Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity as a student, and is currently involved with the Southern California Leadership Network, San Fernando Valley Young Democrats, and sits on the Board of Directors for the Valley Industry & Commerce Association (VICA). He also serves as Chair for VICA's Energy and Environment Committee.

    Armando is inspired by the Council’s commitment, and hopes to support the Council’s Strategic Work Plan while finding effective ways to cultivate partnerships and engagement between students, the university and alumni. He believes his professional experience in civic engagement and government affairs will allow him to bring a unique perspective to the Alumni Council, as well as help drive advocacy efforts that will advance the best interests of the university and all students.


  • Mario Enrique Galdamez

  • Mario Enrique Galdamez

    Merrill College, 2006

    B.A. Politics/LALS

    After completing his UCSC degree, Mario received a master’s in public administration at CSULA. Since then he has worked as the Chief Operating Officer for a nonprofit organization assisting individuals with disabilities to maximize their quality of life. He has also served as a Board member and a member of the advisory board at Asian Pacific Islanders with Disabilities of California (APIDC). He hopes to assist UC Santa Cruz by contributing his expertise working with local, state and federal government and the nonprofit sector to provide students with whatever tools they can use to advance their success and overcome any barriers that may stand in their way.


  • Gardenia Guerrero

  • Photo: Gardenia Guerrero

    Oakes College, 2021 

    B.A. Sociology/LALS

    Gardenia graduated from UCSC in 2021 with a double major in Sociology and Latin American and Latino Studies, with a minor in education. Currently, Gardenia is a Program Director for a non-profit community organization in Long Beach, CA, offering free mental health services, college and career readiness workshops, and leading food distributions for community members. As a student, Gardenia volunteered at the food pantry, and participated in work-study at the Womxn’s Center and the Human Resources facility. She is currently affiliated with the Los Angeles County Development Authority, and YMCA of the USA.

    Gardenia believes that as a first generation Latina, she can provide a unique lens to a university whose Latinx student population is growing. Her goal is to offer connections and free services to students, by helping them gain perspective of the professional world.


  • Annapoorna (Anna) Gururajan

  • Photo: Annapoorna (Anna) Gururajan

    Oakes College, 2015

    B.S. Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology

    Since leaving UCSC in 2015, Anna has worked at both large and small companies in the biotech sector. She found her stride working for start-up companies in clinical trial management & research to advance new therapeutics globally in virological, dermatological, and inflammatory diseases.

    She currently works as a Senior Clinical Trial Manager where she is responsible for all operational aspects of global clinical trials including design, planning and execution in GI related diseases. Anna volunteers in her spare time—most recently serving on the UCSC Alumni Scholarship committee, Bay Area Chapter of St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, and as a high school/college mentor for STEM students. 

    Anna hopes to work alongside councilors to try and understand, diagnose, and implement solutions to strengthen the obtainability of the council’s goals. She believes that together, they can lay the groundwork for a strong, structurally functional alumni foundation that serves to enrich UCSC for generations to come. 


  • David B. Hansen

  • David B. Hansen

    Oakes College, 1976

    B.A. Politics 

    In addition to David’s UCSC undergraduate degree, David earned a degree from University of Bergen, Norway. He later earned a master’s in applied economics from UCSB and a master’s in business administration from Berkeley Haas. David’s career has spanned Norwegian energy policy, health business strategy, healthcare IT management, and internet start-ups. He currently helps manage an online educational company he co-founded. David joined UC Santa Cruz’s Alumni Council with the goal of improving career options for UCSC’s students and alumni. He currently serves as the Chair of the Student and Alumni Success Committee. David is also a co-founder and volunteer leader for the Slugs and Steins faculty lecture series.


  • Walter M. Joyce

  • Walter M. Joyce

    Cowell College, 1967

    B.A. Literature

    Walter graduated with a bachelor’s degree in literature from Cowell College. He later attended CPCU, an insurance education association. Currently, he is an independent insurance broker with HUB International Ltd. He has a number years of community service experience including serving as a Grand Juror for the Santa Clara County civil grand jury, having 40+ years as a member of the Chamber of Commerce, 40+ years as a member of Rotary International and past local president, 40+ years as a member of Insurance Agents and Brokers of America and past local president, and 15+ years as a member of the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem Knights Hospitaller and past Prior of the Western US. He hopes to shine a light on the importance of supporting liberal arts and a humanities education. He is willing to increase his family’s financial support to UCSC, and pledges to communicate with other alumni to increase their support.


  • Corinne Kappeler

  • Corinne Kappeler

    Kresge College, 2011

    B.A. Sociology, Film and Digital Media Minor

    Corinne is a first-generation college graduate originally from Salinas, CA. She is passionate about empowering under-represented communities through technology. She began her career at WHYY, Philadelphia’s NPR and PBS station, where she worked in community relations. She is currently the 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 help launch their careers. Before joining the NEST, she was 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. 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.

    Corinne joined the Alumni Council on July 1, 2019. This has given her the opportunity to support alumni and current students in meaningful ways. This past year, she served as the Chair of the Alumni Association Scholarship Committee. Her leadership focused on raising needed funds to support academically thriving students who have financial need and finding opportunities for them to get connected to additional resources.


  • Claudine Lim

  • Claudine Lim

    Cowell College, 2014

    B.A. History

    Claudine earned a bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in history of art and visual culture at UCSC. She then attended Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications where she earned a dual master’s in international relations and public relations. Since then, she has become a mentor for the UCDC program where she helps students navigate career, personal, and professional goals in the Washington DC area. She is currently the Manager for the Principles for Digital Development at DIAL, United Nations Foundation, where she stewards a global community of over 250 cross-sector organizations and manages their governing body, and sets goals, priorities, strategies, and messaging to promote best practices in technology-enabled programs. Claudine has a deep commitment to promoting the wonderful opportunities and education the university has to offer and hopes that all students have the financial access and knowledge of these opportunities. Her network at UCDC, as well as in DC and with global partners, would be an asset to UCSC students looking to build a career in policy, international relations, or communications.


  • Jessica Lum

  • Photo: Jessica Lum

    Rachel Carson College, 2009 

    B.A. Environmental Studies and Economics

    Jessica graduated from UCSC in 2009 with a BA in Environmental Studies and Economics. For the last four years, she has served as Senior Director, Executive Office and Public Policy at the San Francisco Travel Association. Aside from her work for the SFTA, she has served on several non-profit boards and committees including: Walk San Francisco, Friends of SF Environment, City College of San Francisco, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and several more.

    Through her services on boards, including four educational institutions and a scholarship foundation, and her management of a board, she has a deep understanding of council expectations and operations. She hopes to lend her experience in non-profit governance to support organizational health and good governance. Jessica describes her experience as a student at UCSC as transformative and unforgettable, and she hopes to capture and reignite that spirit among alumni so that they too feel moved to give back.


  • Moses Massenburg

  • Photo: Moses Massenburg

    John R. Lewis College, 2011

    B.A. Sociology

    After graduating in 2011, Moses went on to earn an MA in History from Michigan State University, and is now a Ph.D. Candidate at MSU, serving as a research assistant, and editorial assistant for the Journal of African American History. Moses was a part of several campus organizations including the African Black Coalition, the A/BSA Black Student Union, and attended  the Alternative Spring and Winter Break to Post-Katrina New Orleans. Currently, he continues to recruit new students to UCSC and mentors dozens of African American Alumni in their respective fields. Outside of UCSC, Moses serves the world’s largest and oldest organization devoted to African American History and Culture in his capacity as a member of its Executive Council. 

    Moses brings extensive research and teaching interests in African American History that he believes will elevate UCSC’s existing strengths in cultural, social, and women’s history by putting them in concert with his expertise in African American women’s and African Diaspora history. He applies his scholarship to his activism with youth and elders as a farmer, community gardener, and historical consultant in Compton and Watts, California. Moses believes in the transformative potential of UC Santa Cruz, and wants to expand this experience for prospective and current students.


  • Juliet Musso

  • Juliet Musso

    Cowell College, 1982

    B.A. Psychology

    Juliet earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Cowell College with honors before going on to attend the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley for her Ph.D. in public policy. During her time at UCSC, she worked as a peer mentor at Cowell College. She is currently  Associate Professor and Vice Dean for Academic Affairs at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California, where she has been faculty for 27 years. She is involved in several professional associations such as the Association for Public Policy and Management, the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. Juliet believes that her combination of nonprofit, academic, and public policy expertise can help to advance the goals of the Alumni Council.


  • Max Ortiz

  • Max Ortiz

    Cowell College, 2009

    B.A. Politics

    Max Ortiz is a Senior Vice President and Private Client Manager at Bank of America’s Private Bank. Max joined the firm in May of 2017 and has over 12 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 Bank of America’s Private Bank, 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 earning his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz, Max was a four-time national champion while earning All-American honors in tennis. Max is an avid surfer, yogi, and golfer.


  • Julia Silverman Schechter

  • Julia Silverman Schechter

    Stevenson College, 1983

    B.A. Politics

    During her time at UCSC, Julia was a Student Lobby Annex Director and a UC representative to the California Postsecondary Education Commission Student Advisory Board. She later earned a master’s in education Administration and Policy Analysis from Stanford University, and a doctorate in education leadership from Seattle University. After receiving her master’s she worked in Sacramento as staff for the California Legislature's Assembly Higher Education Subcommittee, and since then has held a number of different roles in secondary and higher education. Julia currently resides in Seattle where she is a community volunteer and founder of The Mentoring Project. She hopes to use some of her knowledge of public higher education to encourage participation and giving from her alumni cohort, advocate for UCSC interests, and be more involved with the Institute of Arts and Sciences and other important programs at Santa Cruz that require alumni support.


  • 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, he’s served in various leadership roles, and is a past president of the Association. 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.


  • Susan Tappero

  • Susan Tappero

    Graduate Division, 1988, 1992

    Ph.D. and M.A. Mathematics

    Susan earned a master’s 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. Since joining the Alumni Council, Susan has stepped into leadership roles including holding office as the Vice President of Administration in 2020.


  • Shonté Thomas

  • Photo: Shonté Thomas

    Rachel Carson College, 1999

    B.A. Politics

    Shonté graduated from UCSC in 1999, and continued on to earn an M.Ed at Pepperdine University in 2003, and has more recently participated in an EdD program at UC Davis. Currently, Shonté serves as the Associate Dean of Students at UC Riverside where she has 9 Resource Centers in her portfolio, serving a diverse population of students. Additionally, Shonté held the position of Director of the African American Resource & Cultural Center at UCSC from 2013 to 2020.

    Shonté has remained connected and engaged with UCSC, and hopes serving on the Alumni Council will enable her to continue to make impactful differences, and to identify/provide solutions from an informed perspective to best serve the ever-present needs of her alma mater. She would like to continue to learn from mistakes of the past, and engage campus partners to provide the most effective tools of support and leadership for campus stakeholders.


  • Brian Turner

  • Brian Turner

    Cowell, 2004

    B.A. Legal Studies 

    After earning his bachelor’s from UCSC, Brian 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.

    Brian plans to continue contributing in his role as Chair of the Governance Committee, primarily focusing on creating robust policy and procedure documents to ensure ongoing compliance with the restated bylaws. He will also continue as a member of the Student and Alumni Success Committee, focusing on helping Banana Slugs achieve their career goals.


  • Kevin Volkan

  • Photo: Kevin Volkan

    Kresge College, 1981

    B.S. Biology

    After graduating in 1981, Kevin went on to earn an M.A. in Psychology from Sonoma State University, an Ed.D. in Educational Psychology from Northern Illinois University, a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Center for Psychological Studies, and an M.P.H. from Harvard University. Kevin has been a Professor of Psychology at CSU Channel Islands for the last 21 years. In the past, he has worked as assistant dean of the graduate school at UCSC. Outside of UCSC, Kevin serves at a local hospital teaching and doing research with medical residents, and has made numerous radio and television appearances as a psychological expert.

    Kevin has been advising a number of UCSC students over the last few years, and feels he has a sense of the kinds of challenges they are facing. There are three things he hopes to work on as an alumni councilor: the amount and quality of student advising, tutoring for current students (particularly in the STEM disciplines), and fundraising. 


  • April Yee

  • 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. After undergoing emergency cardiothoracic surgery which saved her life in 2015, April is now a Holistic Life Coach focusing on self-care and well-being practices for professionals and anyone who wants to be more fully engaged in their lives. 

    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 the Director of Membership for the OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates, San Francisco Chapter. April enjoys reading, writing, talking about and practicing self-care, and continually learning and connecting.