Meet Our Team

Hello & Welcome!

The HSI team can help you with questions about programs and services funded by HSI grants at UC Santa Cruz. We’re a group of dedicated individuals from the Division of Student Affairs and Success who enjoy supporting UC Santa Cruz’s diverse community. Please feel free to contact us via email or to stop by our office if you have questions about our grant initiatives.

You can find our team members below:

HSI Staff & Leadership Committee  |  Initiatives Team  | Co-PIs, Partners & Collaborators


    HSI Staff

  • HSI staff oversee the development of future HSI grant initiatives and management of current grants, including program efficacy and data evaluation. You can contact them about our many partnerships with campus academic departments and other student services units. We’re happy to answer your question or connect you to the right team member.

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    Lydia Zendejas
    Charis Herzon
    Director, HSI Initiatives
    charish@ucsc.edu | (831) 459-2986
    Lydia Iyeczohua Zendejas
    Project Director, HSI Grants
    zendejas@ucsc.edu | (831) 502-7033
    Maria Garcia
    Alvaro Gonzalez
    Maria Garcia
    Contract & Grant Financial Analyst  
    madogarc@ucsc.edu | (831) 502-8147
    Alvaro Gonzalez
    Equity Data Analyst
    agonz283@ucsc.edu | (831) 502-8733
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    Gwendelyn Rivera
    Director of Equity Assessment and Evaluation
    riverag@ucsc.edu
    Sara Sanchez
    GANAS Graduate Program Director
    ssanch34@ucsc.edu
    Elena Valencia
    Elena Valencia
    SEMILLA Grant Administrative Specialist
    eledvale@ucsc.edu | (831) 502-8734 

  • Leadership Committee

  • The UCSC HSI Leadership Committee has led the UC system in its transformation towards becoming a racially just Hispanic-Serving Research Institution. With their wealth of HSI policy knowledge and opportunities, they are positioned to provide exceptional leadership and authority for decision-making and resource allocation for success and sustainability.

    • Nandini Bhattacharya
      Associate Director, CITL & Lecturer, Mathematics
      nandini@ucsc.edu | (831) 459-1265
    • Catherine Cooper
      Emerita Professor, Psychology 
      ccooper@ucsc.edu | (831) 459-4157
    • Rebecca Covarrubias
      Associate Professor, Psychology 
      rgcovarr@ucsc.edu | (831) 502-8136
    • Charis Herzon
      Director, HSI Initiatives
      charish@ucsc.edu | (831) 459-3460
    • Xiomara López
      Director, El Centro: Chicanx Latinx Resource Center
      xielopez@ucsc.edu | (831) 459-5608

    • Juan Poblete
      Professor, Literature
      jpoblete@ucsc.edu | (831) 459-5734