Kevin Huie, Director

Student Success Initiatives

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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, SSI Assistant Director & TSC Program Director 

Student Success Initiatives and Transfer Student Center (TSC)

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Joanna Hernandez grew up as a first-generation Latina & former foster youth student.  Over her past 10 year of work experience in higher education, she has specifically focused on advocating for first generation & low-income student's needs, is a practiced counselor and seasoned program developer. She is passionate about the future of higher education and ensuring it is an safe & inclusive environment for all student communities. Joanna completed her masters in Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan, and her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Latin American & Iberian Studies from UC Santa Barbara. She currently serves as the Assistant Director at the Student Success Initiatives Office providing leadership to programs that support foster youth, student parents, undocumented students, transfer success programs, community partnerships, as well as first generation and low-income students. Prior to this appointment, she served as the TRIO project director at UC Irvine and worked as an EOP counselor at UC Santa Barbara. Joanna is a dog & cat mom, hiking enthusiast, aspirating plant-based home chief, urban art lover, and music appreciator. Please feel free to reach out to her if you would like additional support or want to get connected to any of the SSI programs.

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Office: 2100 Student Services II
E-mail: joanna.hernandez@uci.edu

Dianna Mendoza, Office Manager

Student Success Initiatives Office

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

Carlos Martinez, Student Success Programs Office Coordinator

Freshman Edge and Transfer Programs

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Carlos serves as the Office Coordinator for the Transfer Student Center. As a former transfer student himself, he earned his Associate of Arts for Transfer in Psychology from Glendale Community College in California. He went on to graduate from UC Irvine with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Social Behavior.

Carlos’s responsibilities revolve around maintaining an inclusive and welcoming environment for both current and prospective Transfer students and their peers. In his role, he oversees front desk operations, as well as the student service needs for a variety of Student Success Initiatives programs, including the Freshman Edge, Transfer BOOST, and Student Parents and Families programs. Carlos also serves as the initial point of contact for TSC guests, families, and campus partners, connecting them with the appropriate campus resources.

Carlos enjoys playing video games, jamming out on the keyboard, and sharing recommendations for shows to binge watch. Feel free to reach out to him with your transfer student experience questions, or to simply share a bright moment in your day.

Office: 2100 Student Services II
E-mail: carlosmm@exchange.uci.edu

Sei Young Lee, Program Director

International Student Excellence Programs (ISEP)

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Sei brings to this position her previous experience teaching multilingual students in the Program in Academic English and Composition Program at UCI along with previous counseling experience for the Tucson Unified School District in Arizona. Her current research interests include literacy development and the college experience of multilingual students, and the issues around biases/stereotypes of this population of students. Other topics of interest are issues of equity for underrepresented faculty in higher education, student evaluations of teaching, and learning analytics in remote learning environments. Her work has been published in the Journal of Second Language Writing. She is interested in and very passionate about helping each student included and engaged in the campus community irrespective of their various backgrounds and identities. Sei will oversee the International Peer Group Scholars Program (IPG) and Global Leaders, while facilitating faculty connections and collaborations across campus. She earned her BA in Psychology and MA in English Language and Linguistics from the University of Arizona and her PhD in Education from Claremont Graduate University.

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Office: 2200 Student Service II

Email: seiyl@uci.edu

Brighitte Preciado, Program Director

Student Retention Programs

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Brighitte grew up in the Los Angeles area and has over 10 years of experience within higher education including residential life, student activities, and outreach and retention. Brighitte earned her B.A. in Film and Media from UC Berkeley and her M.S. in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Colorado State University. Brighitte served as the Director of the TRIO Scholars Program at UC Riverside and most recently supported student organizations and events at Scripps College as the Assistant Director of Student Engagement. As a first-generation college graduate, Brighitte is passionate about providing mentorship, advising and support to students within underrepresented communities.

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Office: 2200 Student Service II

Emailbsprecia@uci.edu

Adeeva Myers, Counselor/Coordinator 

Gateway Initiatives & Gateway Scholars Program

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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.

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

Kathy Dong, Counselor/Coordinator 

Summer Bridge & STEP Program

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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 an effort to place communal care as the forefront of her daily practices with family and loved ones.

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

Blanca Villagomez Cedeño, Counselor/Coordinator 

DREAM Scholars & Transfer Programs

Blanca (pronouns: she/her/ella) grew up as a first-generation student and daughter of immigrant parents in the San Fernando Valley. She currently serves as the Counselor/Coordinator for DREAM Scholars and Transfer Programs. She has dedicated the last ten years of her career to developing initiatives and resources supporting first-generation, low-income, transfer, and undocumented students. Her commitment to educational equity and social justice is rooted in her belief that students are empowered and transformed when they are provided with holistic support and safe spaces. Blanca completed her M.S. in Counseling, Student Development in Higher Education (SDHE) at CSU Long Beach. She earned her B.A. in Sociology from UCLA (Go Bruins!). In her spare time, Blanca enjoys exploring scenic spots, watching sci-fi movies, and doing yoga at the beach. 

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

Isha Bhatt, Counselor/Coordinator 

Chancellor's Excellence Scholars (CES), Promise Scholars

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Isha graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Health Policy and a Minor in English. As a first-generation/low-income student, her introduction to UCI was through the Summer Bridge program. She continued to partake in several campus organizations ranging from UNICEF to Hip-Hop Congress, the Indian Sub-Continental Club, as well as ASUCI. The challenges through her undergraduate career made her passionate about providing aid to others and she went on to complete her Master’s of Science in Mental Health Counseling at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She has been passionate about bringing awareness to the community about positive mental health care and advocating for those struggling with theirs. As a student who has seen firsthand the effects of coming from an underprivileged/served community, Isha is committed to helping students from various backgrounds navigate their multiple roles, succeed, and thrive within their spaces. She is proud to be back at UCI and can’t wait to help students achieve their goals.

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Office: 2200 Student Service II

Email:ibhatt@uci.edu

Ananda Van Boeyen, Counselor/ Coordinator 

Transfer Programs, Formerly Incarcerated and Systems Impacted (FISI) & Student Parent and Families (SPF)

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Ananda Van Boeyen grew up as a first-generation, low-income, immigrant family student. She chose to complete her Master of Social Work, having experienced first-hand the power of mentorship and having someone believe in your dreams, dignity, and worth. Ananda has spent over 15 years working with families, early intervention mental health services, people without housing, survivors of domestic violence, immigration detainees, and reentry services. Ananda is passionate about creating a sense of community and belonging for all students while helping them find their voice and power. Ananda loves the outdoors, whether it is hiking, the beach, or napping under the sun. She enjoys listening to music, attending concerts and festivals, reading, running, working out, podcasts and napping. Please contact her with questions and for support.

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Office: 2100 Student Service II

Email:avanboey@uci.edu

Martha Lucero Contreras, Counselor/ Coordinator 

Foster Youth Resilience in Education (FYRE)

Martha Lucero Contreras serves as the current Counselor/ Coordinator for the UCI FYRE Scholars program. Martha grew up in Huntington Park in the county of Los Angeles. She is a first-generation Latina graduate from Cal State University, Fullerton where she received a Bachelor's degree in Chicana and Chicano Studies and Sociology, as well as a Master's Degree in Sociology with an emphasis in Education. As a first-generation, low-income student, Martha values the community she found at CSUF that helped her navigate the university. That experience sparked a passion to continue supporting students throughout their educational journeys. Prior to this role, Martha worked at CSUF GEAR UP- working with students in Anaheim to access higher education. Martha's goal is to build a community of support, respect, and empowerment for all current and former foster youth at UCI.

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Office: 2100 Student Service II

Email: m.contreras@uci.edu

Wiley G. Wilson Jr., Program Coordinator 

UMOJA Program

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Wiley Wilson grew up as a low-income, First-Generation, African American, and Black student in both Southern Alabama and Southern California. Wiley earned his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at the School of Social Sciences at the University of California, Irvine.  As an undergraduate student, Wiley had founded numerous campus organizations and programs such as the UMOJA Community Campus Organization and the Seat at the Table Project and had advocated for, and guaranteed funding from the Associate Student of the University of California, Irvine going toward assisting marginalized groups on UCI’s campus. As a recent graduate, Wiley understands the needs of current students in the current University system. He has extensive experience working within the UMOJA Community as an UMOJA Ambassador in the Transfer Initiatives Program under the Office of Admissions and Relations at UCI and was honored as the 2021 UMOJA Alumni of the Year and the Black Thriving Scholar under the Black Thriving Initiative. Wiley’s goal is to make sure that students have options, not ultimatums, as they journey through the Academic System. Wiley in his spare time loves to hike, travel, watch cartoons and anime. If you have any questions about the UMOJA Pre-Pilot Program, are interested in being a part of the UMOJA Community, or wish to collaborate, please contact him.

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Office: 2100 Student Service II

Emailwgwilson@uci.edu

Rosemary Sanchez, Counselor/Coordinator 

Freshman Edge

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Rosemary is a proud, first-generation Latina who was born and raised in LA. Her personal journey to and through higher education sparked an interest in college access several years ago so she began working with organizations like EAOP and USC’s College Advising Corps. Eventually, her work led her to a newfound passion which is college student retention. Curious to learn more about higher ed and ways to better support her students, she returned to UCLA for her M.Ed. in Student Affairs. Her advising philosophy is centered on providing holistic support; it is her goal to help students excel as scholars but equally important for her to help them build their self-efficacy and authorship in their personal lives. Rosemary loves music (especially hip-hop and r&b), watching sports, spending time outdoors, traveling, and working out.

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Office: 2100 Student Service II

Emailrosemas1@uci.edu

Crysta Hu, Program Coordinator 

International Peer Group (IPG) Scholars Program

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Crysta has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Cal Poly Pomona and a Masters of Education in School Counseling from the University of Southern California. She has experience working with and counseling the K-12th population, and has always been passionate about working with students. She believes in empowering students and helping to promote their emotional, academic, and professional success. She also has experience working at a non-profit in Orange County, serving the AAPI community and individuals with mild to severe mental health struggles. Being born in another country and being a daughter of immigrant parents, Crysta understands the challenges and barriers immigrants and international students face, which drives her passion to work within the International Excellence Student Programs (ISEP). She is excited to serve as the International Peer Group (IPG) Coordinator under Student Success Initiatives (SSI) at UCI. In her free time, Crysta loves to eat, listen to music, watch TV shows and movies, travel to national parks, and spend time with family and friends.

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Office: 2100 Student Service II

Email: Crystafh@uci.edu

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