Chicanx & Latinx alumni news from UCSC
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The CZU Lightning Complex wildfires that burned in the nearby mountains impacted many members of the UC Santa Cruz community. Our thoughts are with students, faculty, and staff who have been displaced, and the many who have experienced devastating loss. Learn about ways to help.

Alumni Voices

Ron Gonzales

"We all have the responsibility to find a way, in our own way, to improve the lives of others."

My father, who was my hero and role model, instilled this mantra in me and my four siblings. Like many other Hispanic fathers, he served our country in the U.S. Navy in World War II and the Korean War. Although he and my mother raised us to be proud of our culture, this was a time in our nation’s history when diversity was not celebrated.

The only language spoken in our home was English because my parents feared we would be discriminated against if we spoke with an accent. I carry this history with me, knowing that being a Latino leader today matters.

Like many Hispanic students, I didn’t have the financial resources to go directly to a four-year university, so I attended De Anza College before transferring to UC Santa Cruz. I chose a major in community studies, because I felt it was a perfect match for my life ambition to improve the lives of others.  

Forty-seven years later, I’m proud of my professional careers in education, government, tech, business, and philanthropy. I have served as an elected official on the Sunnyvale, Calif., City Council (including two terms as mayor), as a Santa Clara County supervisor, and as mayor of San Jose, Calif. (our nation’s 10th largest city). I’m very proud that in each of those elected positions, I was the first Latino elected.

For the past 11 years, I have given back in a different way, serving as president and CEO of the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley. Our foundation’s mission is to improve the lives of Silicon Valley Latino families and their children through three priorities: educational excellence, leadership development, and convening and engaging the Latino community. I try to live my life every day by working to improve the lives of others, and I hope my father looks down on me with pride.

The COVID-19 crisis has impacted our Latino community more than most. Now more than ever, we all need to engage ourselves in changing the trajectory of our community, especially our children. I recently adopted a motto: “Your actions are so loud; I can’t hear what you’re saying!” So, when it comes to improving the lives of others, I ask you, “Are your actions so loud, others can’t hear what you’re saying?”

Kindness and integrity are never forgotten. Help me improve the lives of our Latino families—our neighbors, coworkers, friends—and, the same way my father was a role model to me, you will be a shining example to others.

–Ron Gonzales (Kresge '73, community studies)

Learn more about Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley

Special Announcements

Michael V. Drake

A message to the UC community from President Michael V. Drake, MD


As Michael V. Drake, MD assumes his new role as UC’s 21st president, he sends his greetings and gratitude to the entire university community.


Prop. 209's affirmative action ban drove down Black and Latino UC enrollment and wages, study finds


In June, the UC Board of Regents unanimously supported a repeal of Proposition 209, amplifying the sweeping support within the university system to restore affirmative action.

Profiles in Excellence

Daniel Garcia

Daniel Garcia, Rachel Carson College '20, Politics and Latin American & Latino Studies

During his first quarter at UC Santa Cruz, Daniel Garcia helped found an organization called Beyond Dreams, which became a space where undocumented students could gather, socialize, and share their life stories.

Dr Antonio Velasco

Fields of Poison: Migrant Farmworker to Crusading Physician


In 1974, Antonio Velasco (Crown '75, biology) was among the students and faculty at UC Davis who helped start Clínica Tepati, a student-run clinic that addresses the healthcare gap in the Sacramento Latino community. Velasco said he still considers its founding a milestone achievement in his career.
Check out Michael Halperin's biography of Dr. Velasco here.

Ron Gonzales, right

Leaders push to name new BART station after ex-San Jose mayor


A group of political leaders, activists, and friends have launched an email campaign to rename the new San Jose BART station, "The Ron Gonzales Berryessa Station."

Fundraising Events

Giving Day 2020 logo

Get ready to give on September 30th!


The UC Santa Cruz community is coming together on Giving Day, September 30, to ensure the programs that make the student experience so unique remain resilient during these challenging times. This 24-hour crowdfunding campaign, with 140+ areas of campus participating, starts at midnight on September 30.

Career and Network Support

Leveraging your experience in today's job market event banner

Leveraging your experience in today's job market

September 23, 4:30 p.m. PDT

This event will include a presentation from LinkedIn about how to strengthen your professional network from home, and an alumni panel discussion for recent graduates preparing to enter the job market with a focus on alumni of color.

Stemming into the workforce event banner

Virtual conference: Stemming into the workforce


September 26, 10 a.m.–1 p.m. PDT

Join the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley for its second Latinx Speaker Series of the year at our Latinas in STEM Conference on Saturday, September 26th, from 10 a.m.–1 p.m. and participate in our panels featuring Latina trailblazers in the STEM world of Silicon Valley!

Career Pivots: Changing industries + realigning your brand event banner

Career Pivots: Changing industries + realigning your brand


October 23, 12 p.m. PDT

Considering a career change? You’re not alone! Join our experienced panel of UC alumni for tangible tips for changing careers, identifying opportunities, and leveraging your strengths to successfully pivot to a new industry.

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.

SOAR/Student Media/Cultural Arts & Diversity Program Manager | SOMeCA
Application review begins 9/21/2020

PBSci Divisional Liaison | ITS Division
Application review begins on 9/22/2020

Admissions Freshman Reviewer | Admissions
Application review begins on 9/23/2020

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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