Graduate Division

Dean's Leadership Council

Dean's Leadership Council

Meet the Dean's Leadership Council

The Dean's Leadership Council serves as an advisory board to Gillian Hayes, Dean of the Graduate Division and Vice Provost for Graduate Education at UCI. The council was founded nearly a decade ago and each member serves as a significant leader in either academia, industry, or both. They aid the Dean and Graduate Division in moving graduate education forward, implementing programs, and strategies to make sure UCI graduate students are set up to thrive.


Greg Campbell, Dean's Leadership Council

Greg Campbell


Gregory S. Campbell is currently a management and leadership consultant. As part of his practice, Mr. Campbell provides leadership coaching to a number of high profile executives as well as young professionals, of which many are leaders of not-for-profit organizations. He is also the author of The Surprising Power of the Coil and The 5-2-1 Principle.

Prior to 1997 he was Executive Vice President and Partner, of Coldwell Banker Corporation, along with four other individuals and the Bechtel family. At that time, it was headquartered in Mission Viejo, California. He had direct responsibility for Coldwell Banker Residential Affiliates, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Guardian Title & Escrow, corporate marketing, education and real estate. Prior to Coldwell Banker, Mr. Campbell was Senior Vice President, Asset Management for Homart Development Company, a Sears-owned national regional shopping center and office building developer. 

Prior to joining Homart, in 1984, Mr. Campbell was a US partner, Executive Committee Member, Senior Vice President of Richard Ellis, Inc. and President of Richard Ellis Management, Inc. Richard Ellis was a Chicago-based subsidiary of Richard Ellis, London, a real estate advising firm. In this position he was responsible for the asset management of client-owned properties, as well as the coordination of development services provided by the firm.

Michael Rakijas, Board Member

Michael "Rocky" Rakijas


Michael "Rocky" Rakijas is an Engineering Fellow having worked at Raytheon and Thales-Raytheon System, a Raytheon subsidiary, in Southern California for over 25 years.  Rakijas’ domain expertise is in sensor signal processing, data fusion and sensor data communications.  He’s worked in the research and development of various sensor programs that include the processing of sonar, radar, lidar, chemical, magnetic, acoustic, and seismic data. He’s had patents in multi-function, signal, and magnetic signal processing.

Rakijas currently works in radar signal processing but has served as the Site Technical Director for the Fullerton location of Raytheon. He often helps acquire new business through proposal efforts and the development of new technology. He has worked with universities to develop new sensor and data processing concepts and capabilities for defense and government applications.  He has won the Raytheon Excellence in Engineering Technology and a Raytheon Innovation Challenge award.  Prior to working for Raytheon, Rocky worked for Lockheed Martin on active and passive sonar and acoustic/mechanical noise cancellation programs.

Rakijas earned his BS and MS degrees from MIT and a Ph.D. from the University of California Irvine, all in Electrical Engineering.

Jim Meacham

Jim Meacham


Jim Meacham is a founding principal of Altura, where he is responsible for managing a diverse team that provides services for some of the world’s most energy efficient and iconic real estate projects. Meacham has helped pioneer the application of data analytics to the built environment to ensure energy efficiency projects deliver meaningful and lasting results. 

Meacham is a proud Anteater and received his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from UC Irvine in 2005, where he was a graduate researcher at the National Fuel Cell Research Center.  Prior to attending UCI, Jim worked in industrial automation and was a high school math teacher. Jim lives with his wife (also an Anteater!) and two sons in Corona del Mar and enjoys cooking, camping, hiking, running, mountain biking, skiing and all of California’s natural beauty.

Tepring Piquado

Tepring Piquado


Tepring Piquado, Ph.D. is a proud post-doctoral alumna of UC Irvine and married to John Magallanes UCI Class of 2001. After completing her post-doc, she went to Sacramento to complete a science, technology and policy fellowship with California Council on Science and Technology. Currently, Tepring spends time in Sacramento working as chief policy director at California Issues Forum, and in Los Angeles as a policy researcher at RAND Corporation and professor of ethics and policy design at Pardee RAND Graduate School. She earned her B.S. in computer science from Georgetown, and her a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Brandeis.

At California Issues Forum, Tepring provides advisory guidance and analysis on active bills and major issues being considered by state legislators. At RAND, she leads projects that provide evidence-based guidance to federal, state and local decision-makers. She has published across a wide range of topics including traumatic brain injury, emerging technologies, human-machine systems, DNA sequencing, and military workforce transitions.

Goran Matijasevic, Board Member

Goran Matijasevic


Goran Matijasevic, Ph.D., MBA, is the executive director of the UCI Chief Executive Roundtable. In that capacity, he oversees and advances research collaborations and strategic initiatives associated with Roundtable programs and mission objectives. He is one of UC Irvine's ambassadors to the local and national business community, establishing partnerships and opportunities that serve to enhance leader-to-leader connections across the campus. Matijasevic also serves as the senior assistant vice chancellor for Alumni and Constituent Relations, working on enhancing alumni engagement. 

Prior to his position at the Roundtable, he was director of research development at The Henry Samueli School of Engineering. Before coming to UCI, Matijasevic worked in research development manager positions at two electronic start-ups. He is past president of the University Industry Demonstration Partnership (UIDP). 

Matijasevic currently serves on the boards of OCTANe and SoCalBio, as well as the advisory board of 2-1-1 Orange County. He received his MBA from Pepperdine University and his Ph.D. degree from UC Irvine in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Chris Lay, Board member

Christopher Lay


Christopher (Chris) Lay’s background includes professional practice in the Healthcare,

Financial Services, Technology, and Specialty Finance industries, as well as deep experience operating in Private Equity and Hedge Fund investment environments. As the Founder and CEO of Endeavour Capital Partners, Lay led the acquisition of Wave Crest Financial LLC, a leading provider of specialty finance (Factoring & ABL) services.

He has also served as an Operating Partner at BayView Capital, holding positions both as COO

and CFO of 123 Home Care Services LLC, a provider of high-quality non-medical home care services.

Prior to his work as a Financial Services professional, Lay accumulated fifteen years of experience in the healthcare industry, including preclinical research and neuropharmacology. His work has included therapeutic drug monitoring at The Scripps Research Institute and fundamental research in ischemic stroke at the University of California. This research has led to the authorship of 22 peer-reviewed journal publications and two fellowships from the University of California and the American Heart and Stroke Association.

As a Postdoctoral Scholar, Chris served as a neuroscientific consultant for Ultrawave Labs, a biotech startup whose mission was to develop the next generation of high-resolution medical imaging. Lay’s role at Ultrawave included evaluating the safety and feasibility of adapting Ultrawave’s proprietary technology for use in neuroimaging. These efforts culminated in seed-stage financing by Johnson and Johnson.

Lay holds a B.S. in Biology form the College of Idaho, a Ph.D. in Neurobiology from UC Irvine and an MBA from the University of Southern California. He is the recipient of a University of California Distinguished Fellowship in Neuroscience, an American Heart Association Fellowship in Cerebrovascular Disease, and a Guilford C. Babcock Fellowship in Finance from USC.

Sandra Loughlin

Sandra Loughlin


Dr. Sandra Loughlin is a researcher and administrator at UCI from 2012 until she retired in 2019. Her research focused on the effects of drugs on the developing brain, with a particular interest in the effects of tobacco constituents on adolescent brains. Loughlin has published over sixty papers in peer-reviewed journals and edited a book entitled Neurotrophic Factors. 

During her work at the UCI Graduate Division, Dr. Loughlin drew on her scientific expertise to create and lead Graduate Resource Center programs on professional development, including mentoring, teaching, public speaking and leadership. She also assisted UCI students in the preparation and submission of competitive fellowship applications.

Loughlin earned her Ph.D. in Neuroscience, University of California, San Diego, while also obtaining a B.A. in Psychology, University of California, San Diego

Jose Romero-Mariona

Jose Romero-Mariona


Dr. Jose Romero-Mariona currently serves as one of the leaders of Cybersecurity Innovation as well as the head of the Cyber Science & Technology Branch of the Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific in San Diego. His research focuses on the areas of cybersecurity that involve non-traditional systems like critical infrastructures and their usability.

He has proposed and successfully secured funding for over 20 projects from sponsors, ranging from breakthrough mathematical and cryptographic work, to mobile computing security, to critical infrastructures-related research. His work has resulted in over 50 scientific publications as well as multiple patents and numerous awards.

Dr. Romero-Mariona’s impact on the Navy is reflected in three key projects - a miniature device

providing cryptographic support for unmanned platforms to transmit classified information; a

technology that enables repeatable evaluation of cybersecurity technologies through metrics; and a project that examines Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition networks, the systems that monitor and control crucial national infrastructure such as the power grid and water purification.


He has also led the Grassroots Science and Technology project which has assembled a group of

young scientists and engineers to develop a strategy to empower new professionals at NIWC Pacific to become successful government researchers. Dr. Romero-Mariona has a passion for STEM outreach and mentoring as demonstrated by his volunteer work with the California Alliance for Minority Participation Summer Science Academy which focuses on women and minorities in science. The group’s Noche de Ciencia en Espanol brings scientific demonstrations to schools in the San Diego area to encourage STEM careers.

Born in El Salvador, Dr. Romero-Mariona came to the United States to escape that country’s civil war when he was just 16 and spoke no English. His ability to learn a new language quickly enough to gain acceptance to the University of California at Irvine and proved how intellectually gifted he was. The university recognized his talent, and after earning his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science he remained at U.C. Irvine and eventually earned his Ph.D. with a full fellowship.

Dr. Romero-Mariona is a member of IEEE, SHPE, MAES, and several other professional organizations.

Ivan Williams

Ivan Williams


Ivan Williams is an executive producer, entrepreneur, and senior business leader. After over three decades working with leading oil and gas companies, Williams transitioned to the entertainment industry, where he has received widespread acclaim for his creative accomplishments and support of the arts. Partnered with creatives and innovators across the globe, Williams has been involved in all major aspects of the development, finance, and marketing activities of startups, major energy

companies, and Hollywood movies and tv shows.

Williams holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from Oregon State University, an MBA from UC Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business, and is a military veteran with 10-years of service as a reserve naval intelligence officer. He is currently a partner and executive vice president of Scenario entertainment group in Los Angeles.

Christine Nakamoto

Christine M. Nakamoto


Christine’s career includes decades of experience in both domestic and global business management. She served as the CEO of an international manufacturing firm establishing herself as a leader in regulatory and manufacturing processes. She has also been involved as a front line mental health advocate as the director of a community mental health agency. Christine chaired the advisory board of UCI’s Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine, continues to be an active member of the Dean's Leadership Council for Graduate Studies at UCI as well as serving as the key corporate and community advisor on several other UCI boards guiding the efficient connection of academic research to the correct and necessary service.

Christine holds a doctorate degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of the Pacific, as well as a Masters of Public Administration and a Bachelors of Arts degree, both from the University of Colorado.

Gabriel Vargas, Board Member

Gabriel Vargas


Dr. Gabriel Vargas obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley where he majored in Anthropology & Genetics. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California, Irvine followed by a research track residency in Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco.

After a clinical and research fellowship, he joined the faculty at UCSF as an assistant professor in the Psychiatry Department where he spent three years leading a research group. After leaving academia in 2006, he spent five years at Roche, the last three in Basel, Switzerland as the head of the Neuroscience Clinical Biomarker Group where he worked on molecular and digital biomarkers.

Dr. Vargas joined Amgen in 2011 and leads a group of physician scientists in Neuroscience and heads the Digital Health activities in Medical Sciences. He co-leads Amgen’s newly formed Clinical Technology & Experience Lab and has led several digital health studies to test wearable sensors and devices and patient engagement technologies.