Meet the Staff

Student Staff

  • David Vazquez

    David Vazquez

    David Vasquez is a Math/Secondary Education Major from Revelle College. His gender pronouns are: he, his, him, and his Name. David was born and raised in the city of Pomona the youngest child of five. He attended Pomona High School, in which he gained most of his leadership experience by being Drum Major of the Pomona High School Marching Band. David is also part of a non-profit organization in Pomona called Bright Prospect, a college-access program that helps students in underserved communities get to and through college. He chose to attend UC San Diego because he felt it was the campus that felt more like home. The SPACES Overnight Program had a big influence on David's decision to attend UCSD. Despite his excitement to make UCSD his next home, David experienced massive culture shock during his first weeks at UCSD, and he was almost on the verge of dropping out his first year. David was unable to find community on campus due to not being able to find students who looked like him. David experience anxiety and hopelessness because of such culture shock, but it is this same emotion that drove him to establish his own community at UCSD. David is the founder and Co-Chairman of Hermanos Unidos de UC San Diego, an organization geared towards increasing the Latino/Chicano retention rate at UC San Diego by providing a support system for Latino/Chicano males, and overall, a Familia. David applied to be the Retention Intern so that he can further explore his abilities to retain the Latin@/Chican@ community at UCSD, and use the Raza Resource Centro as an outlet to further serve UCSD.
  • Daniella Tajimaroa

    Daniella Tajimaroa

    Daniella Tajimaroa, or Dani, is a second year, International Studies- Sociology major with an Ethnic Studies minor from Revelle.  She was born in Orange, CA and her preferred gender pronouns are she, her/s, and Dani.  Dani will be serving as one of this year's Arte y Cultura interns and hopes to put on events and programs that will allow students to learn and embrace the rich, cultural history of our Latin@ and Chican@ communities.  As a first generational college student and daughter of immigrant parents, Dani holds dear the value of culture, tradition, and arte, and sees value in implementing these to solve issues in our community and supporting underrepresented students.

    Dani is a member of MECha, La Fe, and Foster the Students.  She promotes getting involved with student organizations in succeeding and would like to continue helping students to get involved, engaged, and build community though the RRC.  As a previous Summer Bridge student, Dani yearns to contribute to the success of our Latin@ and Chican@ community in higher education, and firmly believes the centro and its capable staff presents ample opportunity to do so.

  • Estefania Perez

    Estefania Perez

    Estefania Perez is a second year student from Marshall College majoring in International Studies with a focus on International Business. Her gender pronouns are she, her, and her name. She will serve as the Program Assistant intern for the 2016-2017 school year.

     Estefania was born in Santa Monica but spent most of her life in the suburb city of Temecula. As a first generation college student, she wanted to involve herself on campus as much as she could in order to make the most of her time at UC San Diego. In addition to being a part of the Raza intern team, Estefania is an active member of Korean-American Campus Ministry (KCM) and Intervarsity's LaFe.

     As an intern at the RRC, she hopes to further the development of the Centro and have the chance to welcome students into a space of comfort and safety. In addition, she hopes to take away a better understanding of her Hispanic heritage and gain valuable experience at the Centro.

  • Alexis Buz

    Alexis Buz

    Alexis was born in Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco Mexico and immigrated to the U.S. in 1996 with his parents at the age of two. His gender pronouns are: he, his, him, and his Name. Despite having been admitted to some of the best engineering programs such as Cal Poly and UC San Diego as a high school senior in 2011, he decided to attend San Joaquin Delta Community College due to lack of financial resources as an undocumented student; he graduated in 2014 with an A.A. in Biomedical Engineering.  He then successfully transferred to UC San Diego where he is currently pursuing an Ethnic Studies & Public Health Double Major.  He intends to go on to Law School after he graduates with UCSD class of 2017 and pursue a JD/Masters joint program, particularly Immigration and Civil Rights Law degree and a Public Policy or Public Administration Masters degree. Alexis has been both a strong advocate for undocumented students and families as well as a community organizer.  He has worked with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), The CA DREAM Network (CDN), and the San Joaquin Immigrant Youth Collective (SJIYC).  He has also interned at the UCSD Cross Cultural Center as a Social Justice Educator and has been an intern at ACLU of San Diego.  Currently he is one of the Two-Statewide Facilitators for the UC Undocumented Student Coalition and one of the two UCSD Representatives, as well as the Chair of External Affairs of Migrants Rights Awareness (MiRA) at UCSD. 
  • Belén Hernández-Garcia

    Belén Hernández-Garcia

    Belén is a 2nd year Political Science - International Relations major in John Muir College. Her preferred gender pronouns are she/her/hers. This year she will be serving as one the two Yield and Access Coordinators.

     She was born and raised in Oaxaca, Mexico up to the age of seven and has since lived in San Diego, CA. As a college first-generation Latina, Belen highly values access to higher education as a gateway to a more just and equitable society. She hopes to create quarterly programs and events that will help the current and future Latin@ students and their families feel welcomed and supported at UC San Diego. Through out the entire school-year she will also help plan and coordinate the SPACES Overnight Program for newly admitted students. 

     Belen is an active member of MEChA, La Fe, and Migrant Rights Awareness (MiRA). She is part of the OASIS Summer Bridge family and the Chancellor's Associates Scholars Program community. Her two-cents of advice: "Remember to validate yourself and validate others. We all need support and encouragement. You have the capacity to do something greater than yourself!"

  • Daniel Osberto Gonzalez

    Daniel Osberto Gonzalez

    Daniel Osberto Gonzalez, from Downtown, Los Angeles, is a fourth year student from Earl Warren College pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Science and Technology as well as Theatre and Dance. Daniel identifies himself as a first generation American cis-gendered heterosexual Mayan-Guatemalan/Salvadorian Male. His gender pronouns are he, him, and his name.

    Currently, Daniel is a 2Excel Mentor with the Office of Academic Support and Instructional Services (OASIS) with eleven femtees/mentees facilitating their development, success, and empowerment in the university system. He is also a pro-active Peer Educator with the Campus Advocacy, Resources, and Education (CARE) at the Sexual Assault Resource Center (SARC) advocating for a change in campus culture that promotes consent, healthy relationships, and effective bystander intervention for all students, staff, and faculty on-campus.

    His involvements on-campus are LaFe as well as Intervarsity Christian Fellowship USA that allows students to learn about the context of social justice in their faith to further empower their established socio-cultural and ethnic identities.

    After his undergraduate career, he intends to pursue a Joint-Master’s Program in Public Health and Social Work or a Joint Master’s Doctoral Program in Public Health via Health Policy to advocate against all forms of violence (e.g. physical/non-physical, socio-political, economic, and environmental) through the formation of effective policies that will promote equity in underserved local or international communities.

  • Christian Gonzalez

    Christian Gonzalez

    Hello my name is Christian Gonzalez Reyes, but I would prefer to be called Chris amongst my friends. You want to learn a bit about me? How genuine of you, sit down and get ready to know a bit about me. I don’t really know how to write these biographies, so hopefully the following makes sense- it’s going to be scattered facts by the end.

    I was born in Anaheim and have been living there my whole life- with the exception of like two months but that does not count! Back at home are my two parents, my three brothers and my two sisters- I am the second oldest in the family. I don’t really know what to talk about from my life, so I’ll focus most of this piece on how I became the person I am today. I was the type of person to not see the importance of my own culture until I became a University student. Coming to UCSD has shown me that I come from a rich culture and amazing traditions. My love for the Spanish Language and my newly acquired love for the culture from my Chicano culture has made me decide to pursue a double major in Spanish Literature and Mathematics. Alongside the interest in my culture, the efforts of my parents have helped me grow into a person who genuinely cares about people. Seeing my parents go through hardships have made me aim for a better future for myself and for my parents. As it can be seen, family, especially my parents, is the center of my life alongside my personal interests. My personal interests, that make me who I am, include: Youtube, Music, and socializing with close friends. For the future, hopefully I can look back and say I am who I want to be. I may be a work in progress right now, but I want to be able to at least impact the life of one individual. I still may not know what I want to do, but helping and caring about individuals is what I have in mind.      

  • Hatchly Galindo Moreno

    Hatchly Galindo Moreno

    Hatchly Galindo Moreno is a 2nd year student from Thurgood Marshall College studying Political Science. Her preferred gender pronouns are she/her/hers/her name. She is from Murrieta,CA in Riverside county and is a first-generation, working class college student that comes from a mixed status family. She chose UCSD because it was close to home and it provided a space to be able to be more independent and grow as an individual. Hatchly is serving as the Arte & Cultura intern and hopes to host events, workshops and implement programming that can educate students and bring awareness on different forms of art and cultura in the Chican@/Latin@ community. Her goal is to tie in aspects of the Chican@/Latin@ cultura such as music, customs, politics and history showing how arte is essential in the expression of cultura. Hatchly understands how art can be used as a tool that connects people and wants to highlight cultures in the Latin@ community that are not frequently represented. Since UCSD emphasizes STEM majors, there needs to be more representation in the form of diversity in arte and cultura, creating a greater sense of community within campus. Hatchly decided to work with the RRC because it is an opportunity to form connections within the Chican@/Latin@ community and empower students by providing a space for students to appreciate and learn more about their cultura. She is involved in MEChA, Thurgood Marshall College Student Council as Library Student Advisory Representative and currently as Student at Large of Justice, Estudiantes de Aztlan, and the Summer Bridge Program.  

  • Lorraine Lopez

    Lorraine Lopez

    Lorraine Lopez is a fourth year student from Revelle College. She is studying International Studies Political Science/Economics with a minor in Business. In 2015, she attained her Associate of Arts degree (AA) in Business from College of the Sequoias, in only 18 months, and was a graduation speaker at her commencement ceremony. Her gender pronouns are she, her and her name. She will serve as the Civic Engagement Intern.

    Lorraine was born and raised in the rural community of Corcoran, California in the San Joaquin Valley (“the Central Valley”). A third generation Latina, Mrs. Lopez desires to give back to her community by assisting other students in pursuing their own higher education. Having established a strong work ethic, leadership and volunteer background through years of service, Lorraine is excited to begin working at the Raza Resource Centro. She wants to make a difference and assist others navigate the college experience in a community atmosphere. She hopes to put to use her skills and in return wants to learn from current students, her cohort and the administration about the Latino culture and the UCSD experience. As a life experienced student, she understands that we do not live independent of one another and wants to work in partnership with others to close those gaps of misunderstanding.      

    Upon graduation, she wants to return to the San Joaquin Valley and provide support services in underdeveloped areas to assist students to achieve their academic and personal goals. Her goal is to further her understanding of politics, economics, and cultural differences to supplement her learning experience at UCSD with a better understanding of the diverse population. Through her experience, she understands the only way to change the outcome of your future is to be the change you want to see and if she makes a difference for at least one individual/Latinx, it would be worth it.

Professional Staff

  • Daniel Cardenas

    Daniel Cardenas

    Raised in the east Sacramento suburb of Fair Oaks, Daniel completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from Sonoma State University and his Masters in College Administration from Oregon State University. He has had the honor of working at a variety of institutions for the past decade, most recently in the UC Davis Cross Cultural Center where he advised Danzantes del Alma, the Mexican Folklorico Dance Troupe, as well as the La Raza, Native American, and Mixed-Heritage Culture Days planning committees.

    As an educator, Daniel is interested in the assessment of the intersections between social justice and student artistic expression; he also writes and performs his own poetry, and is active member in the global #HipHopEd movement. He is excited to join the students, faculty and staff of UCSD this year, and looks to be a partner in community with others as we strive for equity and the success of Chicanx/Latinx/Raza students. 

    Office: 858.534.5019

  • Claudia Martinez

    Claudia Martinez

    Assistant Director

    Claudia Martinez was born and raised in Tijuana, México. She moved to the United States at the age of 14 with her parents and younger brother in 2001 just in time to enter high school. She graduated from the University of Redlands with a Bachelor’s degree in Race and Ethnic Studies and Spanish in 2009 and is finishing her Master’s Degree in Higher Education.

    Claudia Martinez nació y fue criada en Tijuana, Baja California, México. Ella, junto con sus padres y hermano menor, se mudo a los Estados Unidos a la edad de 14 años en el 2001 para poder ser admitida en la preparatoria. Claudia se graduó de la Universidad de Redlands con su Bachillerato en Race & Ethnic Studies y Español en el 2009 y esta terminando su maestria. 

    Office: 858.246.1844

  • Gerardo Arellano

    Gerardo Arellano


    Gerardo N. Arellano received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley and his BA from UC San Diego in the departments of comparative ethnic studies. Dr. Arellano is the inaugural director of the Raza Resource Centro at UC San Diego. His research interests include trans-border culture and migrations, de-colonial pedagogies, Latina/o post secondary educational achievement and retention. He has extensive experience working with underserved students of color at the community, high-school, and university levels. He loves to work with students and he enjoys advising graduate and undergraduate students, strategic planning, curriculum design, program development and assessment. He is passionate about coaching students to obtain scholarships, internships, research and conference experience.

    Office: 858.246.1650