Student Staff 2015 - 2016              

alejandro picture

Kara Rivera | Alternative Break Coordinator | karar [at] uci [dot] edu

Hello!! I am Kara Rivera and I am a third year majoring in Sociology and hoping to double in Chican@/Latin@ Studies. This year I will be serving as one of the four Alternative Break coordinators. I was very lucky to be part of the CCC volunteer program last year, so it feels incredible to be back here- a space that has allowed me to grow and meet amazing and inspiring people. Some of my interests and hobbies include visiting new places, napping (anywhere), trying new dessert places, and having deep talks with friends! Through my involvements at UCI, I hope to make this campus safe and welcoming for all students. I’m usually always at the Cross so if you see me around feel free to say hi and/or talk to me!

caroline picture

Jenny Tseng | Alternative Break Coordinator | tsengj2 [at] uci [dot] edu

Hi! My name is Jenny, and I am currently a fourth year transfer student who is majoring in Sociology and minoring in Political Science. On my free time, I enjoy walking my dog, getting in as much sleep as I can (even if it is five extra minutes), and of course, finding new ways to smile and laugh each and every day.

As a volunteer last year, the cross-cultural center has allowed me to be myself while pushing me to new boundaries. Through the cross, I have grown so much, and hope to continue to do so as one of the four (amazingly awesome) alternative break coordinators for the year. So please visit, ask questions, and perhaps join one of our programs. See you soon!

hana picture

Leticia Cruz | Alternative Break Coordinator| leticic1 [at] uci [dot] edu

Hewo, I am Leticia Cruz and if you get to know me, you will find that I am an amazing person. This is my second year at UCI, I am a CLS major and taking the 11 series to be a double major with PSB. I consider the CCC my home away from home. I am very fortunate to have participated in SMLI (Summer Multicultural Leadership Institute) which led to my volunteer position at the CCC last year. I will be one of the four Alternative Break Coordinators this year. I hope to engage in conversations with my peers regarding social justice issues and challenging the idea not the person. 

karen picture

Michelle Yang | Alternative Break Coordinator | yangwl [at] uci [dot] edu

Hey everyone, my name is Michelle and I'm currently a third year majoring in International Studies. I was a volunteer last year and I'm excited to be one of the Alternative Break Coordinators this year. I'm pretty friendly so feel free to say hi, I'm always down to chat over boba or something. ʕ•ᴥ•ʔʕ•ૅૄ•ʔʕ•ᴥ•ʔ

byron picture

Jennifer Lima | Community Outreach & Programs Intern | jlima1 [at] uci [dot] edu

Hello Everyone, My name is Jennifer Lima (aka Jenny from the Cross) I am a third year studying Sociology. This year I am serving you all as one of the Community Outreach and Programs intern at the Cross-Cultural Center. The Cross-Cultural Center is my home away from home, if I’m not in class, I’m at the cross (especially the MEChA office). The Cross provides a safe and welcoming environment to the whole UCI community and creates opportunities for critical dialogues as well as casual dialogues to occur in order to grow together and learn from each other. This year, my goal is to produce programs that will enhance students experience at UCI by challenging each other to have dialogues outside the space about important social issues that affect ourselves and our peers.

yazleen picture

Saul Avelleira | Community Outreach & Programs Intern | savellei [at] uci [dot] edu

Hi everyone! My name is Saul Avelleira and I am a third year Political Science major. I am one of the Community Outreach and Programs interns. The Cross-Cultural Center has been a safe space for me and I hope it is for others as well. I have been involved with MEChA since my first year and this year I am one of the Co-chairs for MEChA. I hope to engage in discussions and create programs that will raise consciousness and awareness over various social and political issues. Im excited to be working at the Cross this year and getting to know everyone! 

susan picture

Susan Phommask | Graphic Design Intern | sphommas [at] uci [dot] edu

Greetings and salutations! My name is Susan Phommasak and I am currently a second year majoring in Public Health Sciences. I am very excited to work with the Cross-Cultural Center and my peers this upcoming year. Graphic design is one of the few passions and stress relievers that I have, so to be able to do what I love as well as help make the UCI community more transparent to the diversity that we have. Other than graphic design, I enjoy updating my music blog, eating new food (particularly Mexican food), and taking long (like really long) trips in my car. Overall, I’m looking forward to this year and getting to know all my peers! :)


Melanie Fernandez | Outreach & Marketing Development Intern | melanief [at] uci [dot] edu

Hello! My name is Melanie Fernandez and I am a second year currently majoring in Criminology, but I hope to switch to Business Administration. As the Outreach and Marketing Intern at the Cross Cultural Center I am in charge of promoting the events and workshops created by this organization. I hope to pursue a career in marketing, so I am very excited for what this year has to offer and hope the experiences I obtain here I can carry on into my career. I also hope to make great relationships with all the staff I am working with and I'm eager to help with all the events held by the CCC.


Monica Serrano | R.E.A.C.H. Co-Coordinator | mrserran [at] uci [dot] edu

Hello everyone! My name is Monica Serrano and I am a 4th year Urban Studies and International Studies double major. I am this year’s Reaffirming Ethnic Awareness and Community Harmony (R.E.A.C.H.) co-coordinator. My journey at the Cross-Cultural Center has been great, I started as a volunteer back in 2013 and in 2014-2015 I was part of the REACH class, and this year I am more than happy to be back as one of the interns. My different involvement with the Cross-Cultural Center have allowed me to grow as a person and develop my critical thinking, and this year I hope to continue growing through this amazing opportunity!


Patsy Morales | R.E.A.C.H. Co-Coordinator | patsym [at] uci [dot] edu

Greeting! My name is Patsy Morales Gonzalez and I am a 4th year Social Ecology Transfer Student. I serve as this years Reaffirming Ethnic Awareness and Community Harmony (R.E.A.C.H) Co-Coordinator. My journey at UCI has been a short one as a transfer student but I am making the best out of it. I joined the Cross Culture Center in the Fall of 2014-2015 as a R.E.A.C.H. student and have fallen in love with the CCC office from there on. I am from Wilmington, California which is located in Los Angeles. Growing up in a low income community has not enabled me from succeeding but it has made me into the strong woman I am today. My goal at the Cross Culture Center is to send the message that "You Can Do It!" With that being said you can fight any obstacle in your way and whenever it get too tough, ask for help! Here at the Cross Culture Center we want to create a safe space where you may feel comfortable and treat it as a second home. If you have any questions feel free to contact me or stop me at anytime! 


Cheryl Flores | Cultural Wellness Intern | crflores [at] uci [dot] edu

Hello Everyone, My name is Cheryl Flores and I am a senior, double majoring in African American Studies and Literary Journalism. My affiliation with the Cross Cultural Center began as a freshman when I interned for the Black Student Union. Since, I have continued my involvement as a board member my sophomore year, and one of the Chairs last year. Currently, I serve as the Gender and Sexuality Chair for BSU and I work for the Cross as the Cultural Wellness Intern. This year, I look forward to coordinating great programs where students can learn and be a part of a space that welcomes them. With my positions, I look forward to supporting students when possible.


Naty Rico | Personal Development | ricon [at] uci [dot] edu

Hello! I'm Naty, I'm a 4th year Sociology and Education double major. My hometown is in Los Angeles, and I am the oldest of 3.  I serve as this year's Personal Development Intern here at the Cross Cultural Center. With this position I will be working on the REAL Talk program, a program created for storytelling among students to promote validation and empowerment. I also serve as the Co-Chair for MEChA de UCI, a Chicanx/Latinx organization that I've been involved in since my 1st year. If I'm not in class, you are likely to find me at the Cross Cultural Center, mainly in the MEChA office. Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. I look forward to meeting you all :)

tracey picture

Caroline Truong | Umbrella Organizations Liaison | carolict [at] uci [dot] edu

'ello! My name is Caroline and I’m a fourth year triple major in CLS/PSB/EDUC. Name a show, movie, or book; I’ve most likely cried because of it. I was a lucky Alternative Break Coordinator last year and I was very reluctant to part from the Cross so, I'm back as the Umbrella Org Liaison this year. As a CCC intern, I hope to explore social issues through meaningful service and education, and challenge assumptions. I’m excited to contribute to the good work the CCC does for students and the community. This year will be a year of many changes but the Cross will never stop being a safe and open space for me. Something I've learned from being a part of the Cross Cultural Center, is that you don't have to be in protests, or like politics to be actively engaged with the community. Most of it, is making sure voices are being heard and that there's a dialogue that can take place in any space.


Janani Venkateswaran | Volunteer Coordinator | jvenkate [at] uci [dot] edu

Hello hello, as a volunteer last year, the CCC became my second home and I loved my time here that I decided to come back as a Volunteer Coordinator. I loved the volunteer program and all the ways that it helped me learn and grow. It exposed me to various perspectives and made me more aware of the surroundings and environment that I live in. I love to be in the space of the Cross both when I'm working and not working there, so if you see me here or anywhere else, do say hi. :)

I love watching theater/plays and musicals. I LOVE to read and I dream of having my own personal library in the future. I also listen to music a lot. I am very attached and connected to my roots back in India so I have a whole wide range of interests in food, music, dance and plays. :) I am currently a Psychology & Social Behavior and Drama double major, in my second year here at UCI. I have a lot of school pride and am super happy to be an Anteater! #ProudAnteater #ZotZot. :)