Chicanx & Latinx alumni news from UCSC
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Alumni Voices

Jaime Torres


I am Jaime Torres (Rachel Carson '06, biology), a second generation Mexicano-Americano and a proud Banana Slug. While UCSC is the most breathtaking campus in the world, it is the people that make it second to none. I met some amazing people, created many lasting friendships, and received a world class education.

Another influential place in my life is

where my parents grew up—El Barrio Segundo—nestled between downtown El Paso, Texas and the border city of Juarez, Mexico. As I listened to my parents’ stories, I realized that many of the struggles they faced were nonexistent in my life. My mother was the second oldest in a family of 10 children. She helped raise her siblings and worked to support her family. My father grew up without his father, raised by his grandmother. He moved from Juarez, Mexico as a teenager to El Paso knowing only how to speak Spanish. My parents helped stretch their families’ money by crossing the border on foot to buy groceries. Gratitude fills me. I often wonder, “Would I have survived these circumstances?”


My parents focused on education as the key to escaping poverty. My mother was the second person in her family to graduate from high school, and my father was the first to graduate from high school, earn a bachelor’s degree, and then earn his MBA.


When I reflect on El Barrio Segundo, I think about social class and the struggles many first-generation Americans face. My parents’ lives and struggles were worlds apart from mine. They remind me:

“Nunca olvides de donde viene tu familia.”

“Never forget where your family came from.”


These are more than just words. They embody the spirit and core values of my ancestors: Be humble and work hard, no matter the circumstances. The resilience and sacrifices of my family allowed me to create an amazing life with my wife and three children. These values guided me as I built a career as an investment advisor at one of the most prestigious firms on Wall Street.


Because UCSC played a big role in my life, I give back by growing the UCSC Regional Alumni Network in San Diego. My long-term objective is to motivate San Diego alumni to volunteer with local charities. I want our Banana Slug alumni to be valuable contributors of the community who help the underserved.


COVID-19 has severely impacted many people of color within our communities, adding to the struggles they already face every day. It is important now more than ever to help those in need. I have seen this firsthand through my involvement with the Ronald McDonald House Charity. I invite you to reach out to a charitable organization within your community and ask them how you can help. You may be surprised that the experience is as incredible for you as it is for those you help.

Learn more about becoming an alumni volunteer!

Special Announcements

photo of Chancellor Larive

A message from Chancellor Larive to the UC Santa Cruz Community


As the year comes to close, Chancellor Cynthia Larive recounts the university's journey through 2020 and shares her goals for the New Year.

Associate Professor Sylvia Falcon

Two UC Santa Cruz programs win funding for public interest technology


Latin American and Latino Studies Professor Sylvanna Falcón's Human Rights Investigations Lab will receive $180,000 in new funding from the Public Interest Technology University Network (PIT-UN). The funding will bring in more experts to mentor students across fields like digital verification to cybersecurity and law.

Profiles in Excellence

Bobbie Joe Garcia- winner of the Gabriel Zimmerman Memorial Scholarship

Bobbie Joe Garcia wins the Gabriel Zimmerman Memorial Scholarship


Bobbie Joe Garcia is a senior transfer student from Greenfield, CA double-majoring in community studies and politics. In addition to being recommended for her academic achievements, numerous professors mentioned Bobbie Joe's "intellectual agility, work ethic, communication skills, social justice commitments and, through it all, her baseline goodness as a person.”

Alum Jacob Martinez
alum Ruby Vasquez

Alumni Jacob Martinez and Ruby Vasquez to be honored with Hometown Heroes Awards


Alumni Jacob Martinez (Oakes '05) and Ruby Vasquez (Merrill '86) were honored as Hometown Heroes for their work with Campesino Caravan, a community project that provided local farm workers with masks, groceries, lunches, information on the pandemic, and community appreciation. Martinez will also be recognized for his business, Digital NEST, a technology workforce development hub that provides youth in rural communities with high-demand technology skills.

professor micha cardenas

Arts professor micha cárdenas wins IndieCade Award for climate art game


Sin Sol (No Sun), an art game by Professor micha cárdenas of art & design: games and playable media has won the Impact Award at the 2020 IndieCade International Festival of Independent Games. The award honors work that explores social, cultural, and/or political issues in a whole new way.

Alumni Notes

Student in front of mural

Fall 2020 Alumni Notes


News, notes, updates, and announcements from Slug alumni!

Education and Training Opportunities

Woman in the city

Alumni Course Discount at the UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Extension


UCSC Extension is excited to offer

UCSC alumni a special spring and summer quarter discount for all courses over $500! Check out our full catalog of online and live-online courses and connect with our Student Services team to retrieve your discount promo code. Sign up today!


Career and Network Support

How to get hired graphic

How to Get Hired Webinar Series


The "How to Get Hired" webinar series is a great way to learn tips and tricks on how to get hired from an industry professional in a particular area of study.

Arts: January 6, 2021, 4 p.m.

Life Science: January 13, 2021, 4 p.m.

Public Service & Helping Professions: January 20, 2021, 4 p.m.

Computer/Engineering: January 27, 2021, 4 p.m.

3C schedule

Communities of Color Career Series


January 25–28, 2021

The Communities of Color Career Series (3C Series) provides a safe space for students and alumni of color to engage in honest dialogues and networking opportunities. Students develop career strategies, establish mentor relationships with alumni, and leave equipped with knowledge that will help them thrive in the professions they pursue after graduation. The conference is organized annually by a team of students and staff from the Career Success, Alumni Engagement, and the Ethnic Resource Centers.


Call for Applications

LBLA banner

The Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley is thrilled to announce that we are now accepting applications for the Latino Board Leadership Academy (LBLA) - Class XVII.


This 10-week academy trains Latinos on how to serve in leadership roles as board members of nonprofits in Silicon Valley. LBLA addresses the leadership gap by recruiting, training, and guiding Latinos to maximize their power of giving. You will develop skills as a leader, integrate cultural competence, and be connected to a strong network of peers across Silicon Valley.  


The deadline to apply is Monday, January 11, 2021, to be considered for LBLA Class XVII.

Apply Here!
University of California Chicanx Latinx Alumni Association logo

Request for Nominations to Advisory Council


The UC Chicanx Latinx Alumni Association (CLAA) is seeking nominations for their new Advisory Board. This Advisory Board would allow CLAA to expand the sphere of influence for CLAA to effectuate timely change within the UC system to benefit the Latino community. The Advisory Board will create new avenues of direct communication and increase the visibility of Latino issues with UC leadership. Membership on the Advisory Board will be comprised of UC alumni who have demonstrated leadership in their chosen profession and continued/consistent advocacy on behalf of the Latino community. For more information, please contact Virginia Rivera, senior director of Planned Giving, at or (831) 332-3934.

UC CLAA consists of representatives from each of the ten UC campuses who are focused on increasing Latino representation within the University of California, promoting the Hispanic Serving Institution designation at six of the ten campuses, and raising funds to support Latinx students, especially undocumented students.

Work at UC Santa Cruz!

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UC Santa Cruz wants to see an increase in Chicanx and Latinx representation at all levels of the university. Please consider applying, and pass along these job announcements to other Chicanx and Latinx folks in your networks. You'll find a comprehensive list of all open positions here.


CITRIS/CPSRC Administrative Assistant | Baskin School of Engineering
Application review begins on 1/06/2021


Software Engineer | Genomics Institute
Application review begins on 1/06/2021


Research Development Analyst (ARI) | Arts Institute
Application review begins on 1/25/2021

This newsletter was produced by the Alumni Engagement office at UC Santa Cruz. If you have suggestions for content you'd like to see featured, please contact Rhonda Kinard at



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Santa Cruz, CA 95064


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