Meet the Staff

Student Staff

  • Alexis Villegas (he/him/his)

    Social Justice Intern

    Alexis Villegas is a first generation student from Tijuana, Mexico. He’s a transfer student from MiraCosta College planning on majoring in Ethnic Studies with a minor in International Studies. Alexis is a member of the TRIO SSSP program at OASIS and currently the Social Justice intern for the Raza Resource Centro. Alexis enjoys the outdoors all while spending time with family and friends on the weekends.

  • Alison Salgado (she/her/hers)

    Arte & Cultural Intern

    Alison is a first generation student in John Muir College and is from South Central LA. She is majoring in Sociology. She is both a Spanish and English speaker, y también sabe escribir en Español (she also knows how to write in Spanish). 

  • Benjamin Lomeli (they/them/theirs)

    Retention Programs Intern

    Benji identifies as a Queer Brown Sissy Boi. They are a first generation, transfer student majoring in Sociology with aspirations of becoming a community college professor. They are from Long Beach, CA where they enjoy bike riding, drinking coffee, and reading books! 

  • David Nuñez (he/him/his)

    Advertisement & Marketing Intern

    David Nuñez is a Latinx undergraduate pursuing a major in Human Biology. Born and raised in San Diego, he's interested in learning more about the issues that affect the Latinx community both inside and outside of campus. Aside from academics, he likes to spend his time staying physically active, being outdoors surrounded by nature, and listening to upbeat music. If you can't find him at the Centro, he's most likely at the Muir Woods Coffee House or at RIMAC.

  • Jennifer Garavito (she/her/hers)

    Yield and Access Intern

    Jen Garavito is a third-year, Physiology & Neuroscience major from Orange County, CA. She has volunteered for UCSD Health and tutored at The Preuss School. Her interests include going to concerts, rewatching The Office, arts & crafts and cooking. When she is not stressing she likes to do research on how to help the students affected by the achievement gap.

  • Karla Torres (she/her/hers)

    Civic Engagement Intern

    Karla Torres is a first-generation transfer student from Ontario, California. She is majoring in Sociology with an emphasis in Culture and Communication and minoring in Education Studies. Karla spends most of her time trying to help others and is involved with the PAL Program on campus. She is bilingual, speaking English and Spanish. She loves traveling and she adores dogs!

  • Kimberly Jimenez (she/her/hers)

    Arte & Cultura Intern

    Kimberly Jimenez is a first generation student embarking on her second year at UCSD as a Communication major along with a Buisness and Studio Art double minor. When she is not studying for exams, she is either kicking it at the beach with her friends or working on new watercolor paintings in her room while jamming out to her favorite music artists. As someone who is passionate about the arts and empowering Latinx/Chicanx students to succeed in education, she is excited to take on the Arte and Cultura position (along with her amazing Co) in order to plan creative and innovative events that will help celebrate the rich and beautiful cultures we hold close to our hearts. 

  • Marlene Lara (she/her/hers)

    Program Assistant 

    Marlene Lara is a first generation student from the Central Valley, in California. She is double majoring in Psychology and Political Science with an emphasis in International Studies with the aspiration to attend Law School. In her free time she likes listening to music, binge watching shows on Netflix and taking naps.


  • Mayra Garcia (she/her/hers)

    Yield & Access Intern

    Mayra García is from Los Angeles, California. She is double majoring in Urban Studies and Planning & Political Science - Public Policy. She is also a peer leader for the Chancellor's Associates Scholars Program and loves volunteering with different organizations on campus like the Triton Food Pantry. Mayra enjoys reading anything science fiction, hiking with friends, and exploring new cities. 

  • Beatriz Barron (she/her/hers)

    Graduate Intern

    Beatriz Barron is a first gen muxer from Riverside, CA. She studied Social Welfare and Education as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley and is currently a graduate student at SDSU studying Post-Secondary Educational Leadership. She is a member of her Student Advisory Board and serves as the Social Justice Coordinator. Beatriz spends her spare time learning how to cook her ama's recipes and exploring new places with her amig@s. 


Career Staff

  • Daniel Cardenas (he/him/his)

    Daniel Cardenas (he/him/his)

    Operations, Facilities and Student Programs Coordinator 

    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 (she/her/hers)

    Claudia Martinez (she/her/hers)

    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. She served as the First Generation Student Programs Coordinator at the University of Redlands from 2012-2014 and has been part of the RRC since July 2014. 

    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. Fue la Coordinadora de Programas para Estudiantes de Primera Generación del 2012-2014 en la Universidad de Redlands. Claudia a trabajado en el Raza Resource Centro desde el verano del 2014 como parte del personal inaugural en la posición de subdirectora. 

    Office: 858.246.1844

  • Gerardo Arellano (he/him/his)

    Gerardo Arellano (he/him/his)


    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