Staff Bios

 

Kevin Huie, Executive Director of Student Success

Kevin M. Huie is a seasoned teacher, trainer, speaker, facilitator, advocate, activist, consultant, counselor, and administrator. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Kevin has been mentoring, coaching, and advising students throughout his 20-year career in higher education focusing specifically on their academic achievement, personal development, leadership potential, and overall sense of cultural well-being. He also has provided numerous trainings for academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and thriving businesses. Kevin has a Masters’ degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and Multicultural Counseling from Loyola University Chicago, an Executive Leadership Management Certificate from Rockhurst University, is a certified Diversity Trainer and Mediator and has a Certificate in Strengths-Based Leadership from the Gallup Organization.

Kevin has a strong passion for contributing to the holistic, transformative development of each and every student and organization with whom he works. He has previously worked for both of his alma maters, the University of Notre Dame and Loyola University Chicago, serving as an Assistant Director and Director respectively within the schools’ Student Affairs’ Divisions. More recently, Kevin served as the Executive Director of the Cross-Cultural Center at UCI where he specialized in the development and execution of premier leadership and diversity programs and provided strategic direction for the Dean of Students and the Vice-Chancellor of Student Affairs on campus issues and diversity related matters. Kevin has also taught extensively at the university level, contributing as a lecturer in the Department of Education and the School of Humanities at UCI, the School of Education at Loyola, and the Department of Psychology at Notre Dame. In his spare time, Kevin enjoys working out, playing and watching sports, and hanging out at the pool or beach with his family.

Office: 2200 Student Services II
E-mail: khuie@uci.edu

 

Joanna M. Hernandez, Assistant Director of Student Success Initiatives

Joanna completed her Masters in Higher and Postsecondary Education from the University of Michigan and her Bachelors of Arts in Sociology and Latin American and Iberian Studies. Joanna comes to UC Irvine with several years of service to the UC system. Prior to her current appointment, Joanna worked as an Educational Opportunity Program Counselor at UC Santa Barbara, assisting first generation, low-income students in maximizing their educational experience. Joanna’s graduate research focused on the first generation student experience, intersectionality, and identity development.  She is passionate about empowering historically underrepresented students in developing self-efficacy skills and achieving a lifetime of success. If you have any questions about the TRIO Scholars Program at UC Irvine or are interested in participating please contact Joanna Hernandez.

To Book an Appointment: https://appointments.web.uci.edu/

Office: 2200 Student Services II
E-mail: joanna.hernandez@uci.edu

 

Evani Chavez, TRIO Project Director

Evani completed her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Irvine where she earned her Bachelors of Arts in Sociology and Chicano/Latino Studies. She completed her Master of Science in Counseling: Student Development in Higher Education at California State University, Long Beach.  Evani is passionate about working with students and has dedicated her education and career to placing education and community first. She is excited to be working at her alma mater and hopes to use her experience to make a positive impact on campus. If you have questions about the TRIO Scholars program, please contact Evani Chavez.

To Book an Appointment: https://appointments.web.uci.edu/

Office: 2200 Student Services II
E-mail: molinae@uci.edu

 

Xochilt Vega, TRIO Project Advisor

As a first-generation student who grew up in Compton, CA Xochilt attended California State University, Dominguez Hills (Go Toros!) for both her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and her Master’s degree in Counseling. During her professional career she worked as a mentor for Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) helping first-gen., low income freshmen with their transition from high school to college while also serving as an executive board member for an organization who supports undocumented and AB540 eligible students on campus. Through the efforts that were made on campus they were able to facilitate the first Faculty/Staff Ally training for CSUDH and serve as a testament that highlighted the need for a Dreamers Resource Center that opened shortly after on campus.

She then transitioned over to CSULB’s Educational Talent Search (ETS) a college access program for 5 different South Bay high schools helping students be college and career ready. After a couple of years at CSULB she transitioned over to the University of Southern California (USC) where she was placed at an LAUSD high school helping students and parents from diverse backgrounds with the college access process. It was through these experiences she gained working in these programs that her love for helping students coming from diverse communities grew. Xochilt is excited to join SSI and DUE as the new TRIO Advisor to continue making a positive impact on students and to continue the strong efforts made on campus.

Office: 2200 Student Services II

E-mail: xvega@uci.edu

 

Iliana Zepeda, First Generation Student Programs Coordinator — TRIO Scholars Tutor Coordinator

Iliana graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a Bachelors of Arts in International Studies, Education Sciences and a minor in Anthropology. Through her college career, Iliana took advantage of various opportunities such as the UC Education Abroad Program, the Summer Academic Enrichment Program, and other research opportunities. She was also involved in organizations on-campus and off-campus. During her undergraduate career, she became a NASPA Undergraduate Fellow and gained a better understanding and appreciation of higher education and student affairs. It was through her experience in this program that her career goals were cemented. Iliana is passionate about mentoring and advocating for students. Iliana is not new to the TRiO family. During high school, she was part of Cal State Fullerton’s Upward Bound Program and attributes her success to this program and others of its kind. It is through this program that she was able to find role models and mentors that helped her pursue her education and ultimately join the UCI family after graduating. She is excited to become a support system and play a positive role in students’ development here at UCI.

Office: 2200 Student Services II
E-mail: zepedai@uci.edu

 

Adeeva Myers, Counselor/Coordinator, Gateway Initiatives

Adeeva is a Southern California native from the city of Carson. She earned her Bachelors of Arts degree in Social Welfare from the University of California, Berkeley and completed her Masters of Education degree in Educational Counseling from the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California. While in undergrad, Adeeva participated in various leadership roles on campus including working as a Resident Assistant and being a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. She has extensive experience in college access, previously working with organizations such as TRiO Upward Bound and the USC College Advising Corp where she assisted majority low income, first generation students in applying and enrolling into college. As a product of an under-resourced high school, Adeeva understands the plight of students needing added support in their efforts to achieve within higher education. Her goal is to see our education system grow into a more equitable institution where students of all backgrounds can achieve equally. Therefore, she is dedicated to helping cultivate young lives concerning their academic, personal, and professional success! Adeeva would love to chat with you. Please contact her with any questions about the Gateway Scholars program.

To Book an Appointment: https://appointments.web.uci.edu/

Office: 2200 Student Services II
Email: ammyers@uci.edu

 

 

 

 

 

 

Janet Perez-Molina, Counselor/Program Coordinator – Foster Youth Resilience in Education (FYRE)

Janet attended California State University, Fullerton (Go Titans!) where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Human Services. Janet has several years of professional experience working as an Academic Advisor for Pre-Collegiate TRiO Programs at Cal State Fullerton.  She also served as Academic Coordinator for the CSUF GEAR UP Program. She completed her Master of Science in Counseling: Student Development in Higher Education at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). Janet is dedicated to helping underrepresented students from low-income backgrounds to prepare and succeed in postsecondary education. Janet loves to connect students to resources and networks that will provide that support and help them thrive in college. Janet hopes to be a resource for you all throughout your time at UCI. If you have any questions about the Foster Youth Resilience in Education (FYRE) Program at UC Irvine or are interested in participating, please contact her.To Book an Appointment: https://appointments.web.uci.edu/Office: 2200 Student Services II
E-mail: jvperezm@uci.edu

 

Kathy Dong, Counselor/Coordinator, Summer Bridge and STEP Program

Kathy Dong serves as the Counselor/ Coordinator of Summer Bridge & the Second-Year Transition Program (STEP) under UCI Student Success Initiatives. Kathy earned her B.A as a double major in Political Science and Sociology from UC Irvine (Zot Zot!) and is currently working towards her Master of Science in Counseling, with the emphasis in Student Development in Higher Education Program (SDHE) at CSU Long Beach. Prior to this role, she also held positions at UCI Cross-Cultural Center, UCI Orientation, and Long Beach City College Transfer Center. As someone who also identified as a first-gen/low-income student and benefited from student success resources in college, she finds her current work personal. She hopes to be a resource and support for students to find their inner roots, develop their tools, and recognize their assets and strengths. In her free time, she makes effort to place communal care as the forefront of her daily practices with family and loved ones.

Office: 2200 Student Services II
E-mailkdong@uci.edu

 

 

Dianna Mendoza, Office Manager

Dianna has worked at UCI for 25 years all within the Division of Undergraduate Education. Since Fall 2011, she has been working as the Office Manager for Student Success Initiatives and Transfer Student Hub. Dianna is excited to meet the students our office serves and help them achieve their goals while at UCI.

If you have general questions about Student Success Initiatives, please contact Dianna Mendoza.

Office: 2200 Student Services II
E-mail: dmmendoz@uci.edu

 

 

Chayanne Ramirez, Office Manager

Chayanne Ramirez is a recent UCI alum who double majored in Social Policy and Public Service and Chicano Latino Studies. She was born and raised in the city of Santa Ana, having had unique experiences that inspires and motivates her to pursue a career in higher education. In her role as Student Success Initiative’s Office Manager, she provides key administrative support to all SSI Staff. She enjoys having conversations with the students that come into the office and offers them support when needed. She is also a Polynesian Dance Instructor at a high school in Santa Ana, where she mentors, coaches, and has her best interest in her students. She aspires to work in higher education in a position that gives her an opportunity to inspire students, particularly those that come from the same community as she does.

Office: 2200 Student Services II
E-mail: chayannr@exchange.uci.edu

 

 

 

Rocio Zamudio, Counselor/Program Coordinator

Rocio transferred from Santa Ana College to California State University, Fullerton (Titan Pride!) where she earned a B.A. in Sociology. Additionally, she earned her M.S. in Counseling from California State University, Long Beach (Go Beach!), where she completed her thesis on Latinas in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) who have persisted through community college and 4-year universities.  Her research and experience working with transfer students at Santa Ana College have ignited her passion for working with first-generation, low-income, and non-traditionally aged students who have overcome a variety of obstacles to reach their academic goals.  Her commitment to student success has inspired her to pursue a doctorate in the near future in order to change the institutional barriers faced by these students.To Book an Appointment: https://appointments.web.uci.edu/Office: 2200 Student Services II
E-mail: rmzamudi@uci.edu

 

 

Mitra DeSouza, International Student Excellence Program (ISEP) Counselor/Coordinator

Mitra is a UCI alumna (Social Ecology) who returned to UCI after working for several years at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago. She has over 20 years of experience in higher education and a M.Ed. in College Student Personnel from the University of Maryland.  She is passionate about fostering inclusive environments where all students can thrive.Mitra offers free academic counseling and personal guidance to international undergraduate students.  Schedule an appointment with Mitra.In her free time, Mitra (who grew up near the ocean) enjoys spending time at the beach and watching movies with her family.

Office: UNEX/Summer Session Building A, Room 201 (#231 on campus maps)
E-mail: isep-due@uci.edu

 

 

Stefani Tran, International Peer Group (IPG) Scholars Program Coordinator

Stefani graduated from the University of Minnesota where she earned a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in East Asian Studies. During her time as an undergrad, she studied Japanese and studied abroad in Tianjin, China. Following graduation, Stefani explored South Korea for two years while teaching English to adults and middle school students. For the past 15 years, Stefani’s focus has been helping multicultural students find community and academic success in higher education.When not working, Stef sketches at local coffee shops and surfs up and down the California coast.  She is currently learning how to play the ukulele and skateboard.

Office: UNEX/Summer Session Building A, Room 201 (#231 on campus maps)
Email: isep-due@uci.edu