Harness the power of the Alumni Network by connecting with UCSC grads from all different fields in our 2021 Alumni Summer Career Series! Our 6 session series kicks off July 14th, and continues every other week throughout the summer. With plenty of opportunities to speak with successful alumni in smaller breakout sessions, and ask questions to qualified presenters, our Summer Series will undoubtedly give you all the advice you need! 

Where Do I begin!
7/14/21, 12-1pm
Struggling to find a job after graduation? Learn how different fields have changed with the remote job market, and gain insigh itnto what steps you should take to get a start on your career! Join alumni from STEM, Humanities, and Social Science departments to talk through what steps you should take as you begin your journey.
You can still check out the recording of this event here!

Sareil Brookins, Stevenson College ‘19, majored in Intensive Psychology, and Critical Race & Ethnic Studies (with an emphasis on the African diaspora). 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, Critical Race & Ethnic Studies Student Working Group, Humanities Undergraduate Student Committee, Student Health Outreach, & Promotion, 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 of a Student Success Coach at the University of Maryland Global Campus. In her free time, she is involved with the UCSC Alumni Council, spending time with her furbaby, and going to weekly karaoke nights. You can contact her on LinkedIn and on the UCSC Career Advice Network

riepe_1.jpg Michael Riepe, Oakes College ’91, graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering. In 1998 he earned a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan. His specialty is in the area of Electronic Design Automation software for FPGAs and VLSI integrated circuits. He is also interested in architectures and compilers for machine learning acceleration processors. He is currently a Senior Principal Engineer at Achronix Semiconductor in Santa Clara, CA. When he is not designing chips, Michael enjoys photography, traveling, trail running, mountain, and backcountry skiing. You can contact him on Linkedin and the UCSC Career Advice Network. He is hiring software engineers. 
tgreene_portrait_20170708_001.jpg Thomas Greene, Kresge College ‘82, received his BA in Physics from UCSC and a Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Arizona. He is now an astrophysicist in the Space Science and Astrobiology Division at NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA. He conducts observational studies of exoplanets and young stars and develops astronomical technologies and instrumentation. Before joining NASA, Tom worked in the semiconductor manufacturing industry in Silicon Valley, was on the faculty of the University of Hawaii, served on the staff of the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility, and worked on astronomical observatories at the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center in Palo Alto, CA. He is a co-investigator on the NIRCam and MIRI science instruments of the James Webb Space Telescope. While at NASA Ames, he has served as the Director of the Ames Center for Exoplanet Studies, Project Scientist of the SOFIA mission, and Chief of the Astrophysics Branch.
johanna-image.png Johanna Rodriguez, Oakes College '14, earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics with a minor in Legal Studies. Johanna is a Los Angeles native. Having grown up in Watts, she returned to the LA area after her time at UCSC. After graduating, Johanna interned for Los Angeles City Councilmember Joe Buscaino, assisting in daily operations of the office and event organizing. In addition, she spent nearly 4 years working for San Jose City Council Councilmember Tam Nguyen, working on neighborhoods, gang prevention, code enforcement, housing and homelessness, as well as public safety issues. For the past three years, she has served as the Watts & Harbor Representative for Mayor Eric Garcetti. You can contact Johanna on LinkedIn
Interviewing 101
7/28/21, 12-1pm
Learn tips and strategies to ace your next job interview! Join us for leading interview advice from fellow Slug alumni, as well as a Q&A with certified career coaches. With the opportunity to take a crash course in interviewing, as well as answer mock interview questions, you will learn how to navigate through the interview process with ease.
You can still check out the recording of this event here!
sarah-high_res.jpg Sarah Davidson (Cowell, '19) is currently a Full Cycle Technical Recruiter onsite at Microsoft via Search Wizards. She is also the founder of Red Thread Services which is a career coaching passion of hers. She started this business because she truly believes in helping others unlock their full potential. A fun fact about her is that she was adopted from China at the age of 2 1/2 years old. In her free time she likes going to the gym, cooking new recipes, and hanging with friends and family. Sarah loves empowering others and looks forward to meeting new people.
karen-img_3447.jpg Karen Zellers (she/her) is a recent UCSC graduate (Crown, '19) and current Recruiter at Amazon Web Services. She applied to 187 jobs during her senior year at UCSC before ending up at Amazon, so she is enthusiastic about helping others in their career journey.

Shane Hillers (Oakes, '12) graduated from UCSC in 2012 with a degree in Economics and Modern Literary Studies. He moved to Santa Cruz from Victorville in 2008 with the dream of being a screenplay writer. Today, he leads the go-to-market strategy for the G Suite sales team at Google Cloud. It wasn’t the most textbook formula on how he got to where he is today, but Shane learned a lot along the way and hopes to help others. He still lives in Santa Cruz because the beach and redwoods are hard for him to give up. And outside of work—he enjoys the outdoors, basketball, reading and grabbing a drink. Eventually he wants to walk away from the technology industry to start his own business and finally write that novel.
headshot.png Christopher Hsiao (College Nine, '18) graduated from UCSC and started as a new grad Software Engineer at Google a few months after receiving his degree. As a first year at UCSC, he explored UI/UX design with two startups, and after deciding to pursue engineering, he interned with OpenDNS (now Cisco Umbrella) during his 3rd and 4th years. Today, he works on Android Engineering Productivity, which aims to improve developer productivity across all aspects from code management to build and test infrastructure. He has been an active interviewer for the last 2 years, since early 2019. Also, he has been actively offering mock interviews, interview and prep advice, job search tips, and resume reviews to students, alumni, and friends. The tech industry from internships to your first job can be a difficult and daunting one to break into, so he looks forward to helping out in any way he can.
Being your authentic-self at work
8/11/21, 12-1pm
Discover how to remain true to your values, perspectives, and identity in your career. Speak to alumni from diverse backgrounds to learn how being your authentic self can benefit your career.
You can still check out the recording of this event here!


unnamed.png Colin Diaz (College Nine, '03) has over 20 years of management, marketing, sales, and community outreach experience. His past ventures have spanned the sports, entertainment, education, hospitality, and chamber sectors. In his current role as the President/CEO of the Culver City Chamber, Colin serves as the face of business in his community, representing small and multi-national companies by providing advocacy, business resources and relationship building opportunities. He brings an impressive educational background with an M.B.A. from Duke University and an M.F.A. from Chapman University. As the head of the Culver City Chamber for the past 3+ years, Colin uses a blend of his professional, personal, and educational experience in his efforts to grow and elevate the chamber brand to others and protect its reputation. During his tenure, the Chamber and City have seen significant business growth and expansion into new industries.
unnamed-1.png April Yee (Oakes, '02) worked in the private equity industry for over 10 years, being based in San Francisco and New York City. After undergoing emergency, life-saving cardiothoracic surgery 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. April holds a B.A. in Psychology, a B.A. in American Studies, and a minor in Communication & Rhetoric from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She serves as Board President of Kidpower International; is VP of Finance for the UCSC Alumni Council; and is the Director of Membership for OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates, SF Chapter. April enjoys reading, writing, learning, and connecting.
unnamed-2.png Shonté Thomas (Rachel Carson, '99) has served as Associate Dean of Students since July 2020. In this role, she directly supports the Ethnic & Gender Centers, offering intentional cultivation of community through collaborations, direct mentorship, student advocacy, and supporting the production of innovative and comprehensive E&G programming. As a scholar-practitioner, she bridges theory to practice using skills and an assets-based equity approach, learning from the mistakes of the past, and incorporating campus partners to provide strategic leadership. Her passion and investment in liberatory, equitable diversity work is personal, and she strives daily to create a much-improved ecosystem for all, with specific interest for students with minoritized identities.
4.png Armando Francisco Hernandez (College 10, '08) is the descendent of migrant farmworkers from Mexico and Native Americans. He learned how to deal with loss at an early age because he began going blind at the same time that his older brother was dying of cancer. This bred a tenacity in Armando that persists in the face of any adversity. Armando has been fortunate by being intelligent and talented enough to pursue his ambitions which have culminated in his graduating from UCSC, and a career in production and broadcasting—all while staying true to himself despite the difficulties there within.
To Grad School, or not?
8/25/21, 12-1pm
Explore different paths after undergrad in this event. Whether it's choosing to enter grad school, the workforce, or both, this event will help you make a more informed decision on what path is best for you.
5w5a0772.jpg Lakeya Cherry (Rachel Carson, '04), DSW, MSSW is an executive coach, social worker, educator, thought leader, and Google #IamRemarkable and Certified Dare to Lead™Facilitator. Through her work, Lakeya has developed programming and facilitated content that has touched the lives of many around the globe. She is the Chief Executive Officer of The Network for Social Work Management, an international organization dedicated to strengthening leadership in health and human services. Under her leadership, the Network has grown globally and introduced new, innovative programming that meets the needs of social work and human services leaders everywhere. At her previous position with 2U, Inc., a technology company partnering with prestigious universities to place degree programs online, Dr. Cherry was in charge of spearheading national partnerships and managing field education agency development initiatives.
screen-shot-2021-08-09-at-3.00.58-pm.png After earning his bachelor’s from UCSC, Brian (Cowell, '04) 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.


First Paycheck, what to do?
9/8/21, 12-1pm
Learn the ins and outs of spending, saving, and investing in this session. Whether you're new to the world of finance, or looking to spruce up your financial literacy skills, this event is for you! Discover the best way to use a paycheck, and make your money work for you.
screen-shot-2021-08-30-at-1.17.22-pm.png Tyler (Crown, '07) is an alumnus of UCSC earning a BA in English Literature. Having zero ideas what to do next he decided to go to law school because a girl he had a crush on thought "he might be good at it" and he greatly wanted to impress her. He graduated from law school, spent two years as a litigator, a couple more as an estate planner before diving into the world of University fundraising. He now works at Santa Clara University where he helps supporters find ways to maximize their giving. Tyler did not receive great financial advice through his early 20s, spending far too much money on shoes and video games. Through his work as an estate planner, he learned from his clients about financial literacy and dedicated the rest of his 20s to learning and reading books about personal finances and wealth creation. What he's learned is that personal finances is a long-term horizon, and implementing a plan now can help alleviate financial anxiety no matter your income level.
After completing his UCSC degree, Mario (Merrill, '06) 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.


When to Look for a new job!
9/22/21, 12-1pm
Join UCSC alums to discuss when it's the right time to look for a new job. Whether it's to gain new skills, find a better job environment, or to do something you love, discover the best way to take the next step in your career journey! And learn how to utilize skills from your current job in order to be successful in your next. 
image-1.png Armando Hernandez (he/him/his), Crown '05, transferred from Ventura College in Southern California in 2002 and graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a B.S. in Chemistry/Biochemistry in 2005 (Crown College).  After obtaining his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Stanford University and completing postdoctoral training at The University of Chicago, he entered the biopharmaceutical industry in 2014.  He has worked as a Senior Group Leader as well as a Scientist in formulation and analytical development. Armando currently works as a Senior Scientist in the Quality group at Nutcracker Therapeutics in Emeryville, CA and is a member of the UCSC Alumni Council.  When not in the lab, Armando enjoys cooking, the great outdoors, weightlifting and fitness.
neel-patel-headshot.jpg Neel Patel (College Ten, '12) graduated from UCSC with a B.A. in Business Management Economics. Today, Neel is a Product Marketing Manager at Asana, a work management platform that helps teams orchestrate their work. Previously, he spent the early part of his career at a brand and creative marketing agency working with Fortune 500 companies, including Google, Netflix, Nike, Pernod Ricard, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The path to where he is today came with a very open, curious mind and a passion for creative storytelling to help brands stand out. UCSC's network ignited his career and he's excited to help fellow graduates find their next step. You can connect with him on LinkedIn for advice and guidance. Go Banana Slugs!
linkedinheadshot.jpg Helen Yamamoto, Merrill College '09, graduated with a major in history and a minor in astrophysics. She's currently a Technical Program Manager for Hardware Engineering at Amazon Web Services in Seattle, WA, and her previous technical work has included astrophysics research using the Hubble Space Telescope, developing detectors to launch into the ionosphere, integrating drones into national airspace for NASA, testing and launching large satellites,laser spotting, developing consumer devices, and startups for smartglass, data, and self-driving cars. Her non-technical work has included law, museums, education, bartending, translating, restaurant management, and event planning.
mike-jaron.jpeg As Studio’s Data Science Manager, Mike Jaron (Crown, '12) is responsible for all things data. He conducts original research, empowering his team to leverage data in order to build products with real-world impact. Previously, Mike was at McKinsey, helping startups develop products and helping clients with their data needs. Before that, he spent three years at Google developing an NLP-based technology for commercial application.Mike received his BA from UC Santa Cruz in Economics and his MA in Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences from Columbia University. He is a Bay Area native, and when he is not running or biking with his dog he is actively lounging and watching movies and television.



If you have any questions, email us at alumni@ucsc.edu