Khuong Le | Assistant Director
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Maya Mahajan | Coordinator
During her undergrad, Maya cultivated a love of learning in her work as a tutor with the SLC Writing Program. After graduating with a BA in Peace & Conflict Studies, she returned to the SLC as part of the professional staff in the Spring of 2018. Being a part of the SLC community has been an invaluable experience for her as not only a Cal student but also as a lifelong learner. She is dedicated to continuing the SLC tradition of being a welcoming and inclusive space where students can explore their identities as Cal scholars and global citizens.
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Mike Leong | Co-Director
Mike Leong has worked at the SLC Math/Stat program since he started as a tutor in 1987 during his undergraduate years at Cal. He has supported every lower division mathematics and statistics course in the form of a study group or an adjunct course. Recently, he has been teaching Math 32 for Summer Bridge and Stat 198 for students studying probability. He comes to work every day looking forward to engaging with students and tutoring staff in their learning process and practices. If you’re at the SLC on a Sunday, you might see him with his dog, Charlie!
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Michael Wong | Co-Director
After graduating from Cal in 2001 with a B.A. in Physics, Michael began working full-time in the Math/Statistics program while completing an M.S. in Physics from San Francisco State in 2009. When not working with students at the SLC, Michael performs on the french horn in various musical groups around the Bay Area, and serves as the Artistic Director for Marching and Pep Programs for the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band, the Official Band of the City and County of San Francisco.
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Branden Saenz | Co-Director
Branden Saenz received a Bachelor's Degree in Pure Mathematics with a Minor in CalTeach (STEM Education) in Spring 2013. He first joined the SLC as a peer tutor in Fall 2011 and became a professional staff in Fall 2013. He has taught adjuncts supporting Math 16A, 1A and 54, Algebra II/Geometry/Pre-Calculus/Trigonometry courses for the SPEAR Middle School Academy, and Math 96 Workshop for the Summer Bridge Program in his time with the SLC. He is passionate about supporting students at UC Berkeley and beyond as well as sharing his passion about Math and learning with all he encounters.
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Brittnee Mazorra | Coordinator
Brittnee graduated from Cal in Fall 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in Pure Mathematics. She started working for the SLC in the Field Studies Program in 2018, and found that tutoring sparked her passion for teaching math. She has since taught workshops for Math 96 during Summer Bridge, Study Group for Math 54, and an Adjunct course for Math 54. She joined the professional staff as a Coordinator in the summer of 2021. She finds joy in providing a safe and inclusive space for students to collaborate, working with a wonderfully diverse group of student users and staff, and supporting students as they discover their love of learning.
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Emily Fleming | Coordinator
As a lover of learning, math, and Cal, Emily is thrilled to have joined the SLC professional staff in 2021 after working for the Math and Statistics Program in various roles during her time as an undergraduate Golden Bear. Emily graduated from Cal in 2020 with a B.A. in Pure Mathematics, a minor in CalTeach (STEM Education), and a passion for supporting scholars in their mathematics. She is delighted to now work to foster the inclusive community of learners that helped her find belonging as a mathematician at Cal, and grateful to learn and grow in her work daily. When not working, catch Emily playing board games or knitting!
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Jason Ferguson | Coordinator
Jason first found his passion for teaching while he was a graduate student. He is thrilled to be able to work every day with diverse, dedicated, and passionate colleagues in the Student Learning Center. The aspect of his work he finds most rewarding is fostering an inclusive community where students' views of success in math are transformed from ability to complete exams to the ability to apply problem-solving techniques in their own academic field.
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Jocelyne Castro | Coordinator
Jocelyne received bachelor degrees in Cognitive Science and in Pure Mathematics. She began her Berkeley career as a Summer Bridge Scholar and found her passion for teaching and Mathematics through the SLC. She is passionate about creating a student-centered classroom environment to meet student needs, engage students’ curiosity and holistically support the students throughout their careers at Cal.
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Miranda Gonzales | Assistant Director
Miranda graduated from Cal in 2017 with a B.S. in Nutritional Science. She first entered the Student Learning Center as a member of the Summer Bridge 2013 cohort. Over the course of her undergrad she supported the SLC in various capacities, cultivating a passion for student-centered service. She worked as a peer tutor with the Writing Program, and also served as a student coordinator and ambassador for Summer Bridge. Upon completing her degree, she joined the professional staff as a coordinator for the Science Program, marrying together her passion for peer pedagogy with a long-held love of science as a means of inquiry and a tool for engaging with the world. She is thrilled to be supporting undergrads in building community and collaborating to collectively thrive in the sciences.
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Shirley Ly | Assistant Director
After earning her B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from UC Davis in 2014, Shirley served in a variety of professions that include healthcare, biotechnology, and higher education. Through her diverse work experiences, she gained a deep appreciation for science education and discovered her passion for supporting students in navigating college. In 2017, Shirley joined the SLC Professional Team, where she is proud to be part of a highly collaborative and dynamic group of colleagues committed to learning. She earned her M.Ed. in Science Curriculum and Instruction in 2021, and is thrilled to channel her passions every day to serve the community of budding scientists at Cal.
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Rebecca Poon | Director
Rebecca comes to the SLC with over 18 years of experience in education. She has taught at the elementary through graduate level, developed innovative teaching and learning materials, facilitated the capacity building of staff through instructional coaching and group trainings, and led cross-disciplinary research and evaluation projects. Rebecca completed her Ph.D. in education and B.A. in mathematics at Cal and her M.A. in education at Stanford University. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends and exploring new cuisines and scenic places.
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Eleonor G. Castillo, Ph.D. | Director
Eleonor began her journey as a teacher of color at a Title I, urban elementary school. She earned her Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership from the University of Maryland. For nineteen years, she has taught and developed curriculum in PreK-12 and higher education. Her passion for education policy and social justice led her to conduct critical policy research and advocacy toward the passage of the Maryland Dream Act and California Assembly Bill 420 (preserving the teaching of Filipino Language and Culture classes). She engages with students as learners and practitioners, asking them to envision themselves in service roles by supporting their peers, empowering their communities and neighborhoods, and pursuing systemic and institutional change toward equity and justice.
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Cara Stanley | Director
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Sarah Oshel | Coordinator
Prior to joining the SLC, Sarah worked in educational access and equity as a college advisor to high school students. She graduated from Cal in Spring 2020 with a BA in Sociology, with a particular interest in social issues of the education system. As an undergrad, she worked as a study group facilitator for the SLC Social Science Program and for Summer Bridge. She values supporting the transition to college so that higher education does not lose the crucial perspectives and brilliance of students from emerging populations and that students feel supported through the academic and personal growth of their college experience. When not working, Sarah can be found walking her dog, Barkeley (named after Berkeley), or taking classes about financial literacy.
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Jee Soo Kang | Coordinator
Jee Soo received her B.A. in Anthropology with a minor in Educational Studies from Haverford College in 2016. After graduating, Jee Soo moved to Boston to work with elementary school students before transitioning to work in higher education. In 2019, Jee Soo began pursuing an M.A. in Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University to study the intersections between Korean drumming and political activism. She believes in the transformative power of education in fostering critical consciousness, cultivating the mutual humanization of teacher and student, and catalyzing social change.
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R. Laydei Woodard | Director
As a first-generation, low-income, working student from South Central LA, there weren’t many spaces at Cal Laydei felt she could thrive in but she found community and support when she joined the SLC as a Research Writing Facilitator. Through this experience, coupled with earning her BA in African American Studies (Honors) and Ethnic Studies, she developed a passion for the written word and its ability to impact social change. In this work, she gained a deep appreciation for helping scholars see their potential to transform the world through research and academic writing. In 2014, she became a Writing Program Coordinator and has continued fostering an inclusive community for scholars to shape their unique writing voice and support their peers to do the same.
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Rochelle Venuto, Ph.D.| Coordinator
Rochelle brings to the Student Learning Center her passion for literacy and equity. While earning her Ph.D. in Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz, she discovered joy in teaching academic and creative writing, and helping students develop their own unique voices. More recently, as the coordinator of an early literacy program of the Oakland Public Library, she worked to bring enrichment to under-resourced classrooms. She is thrilled to be part of the Student Learning Center, and to contribute to a welcoming space where writers are supported in their academic and personal journeys. When she isn’t at the SLC, you can find Rochelle at the ocean (especially on cloudy days), doing crossword puzzles, or on her yoga mat.
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Veronica Perry | Administrative Assistant
Veronica received her B.S in Psychology with a minor in Counseling from Oakwood University, a Historically Black University in Alabama. She believes mental wellness and holistic health are vital for students to achieve academic and personal growth. Over the past 5 years, she has been deeply involved in her two children’s own academic maturation and brings the passion to cultivate joy in learning to the students in the SLC by identifying their “why” early on. She aims to be a positive liaison between students and her colleagues, while fueling students to always use their voice and advocate for themselves. When not at the SLC you can catch her happily invested in activities that center her community, her culture and her family.
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Cara Stanley | Executive Director
For over three decades, Cara has worked with Cal undergraduates to empower them to embrace their authentic selves, live up to their intellectual gifts, and take ownership of their academic journeys. In addition to her role as Executive Director, she teaches courses on Black student identity and Black feminist thought, with an emphasis on the life and work of Audre Lorde. She is the founder of the SPEAR Middle School Scholar Academy and co-founder of the VéVé Clark Institute for Engaged Scholars. Cara earned her B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley in Ethnic Studies and M.A. from San Francisco State in Interdisciplinary Social Science. She oversees the Mathematics/Statistics Program and the Strategic Learning Program. She also serves as the the Director of Summer Bridge.
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Khuyen completed her Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies in 2011 at Cal. A firm believer in the ability of Cal undergraduates to transform the institution and the world, she is thrilled to be a member of the SLC community. Her favorite part of the job? Colleagues who are committed to lifelong learning and students who are passionate about making a difference. She oversees the Discovery Program, International Student Program, Language Exchange Program, Strategic Learning Program, Economics, UCFTR, Science, and Writing.
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