Graduate Division

DECADE Student Council Archive

"It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength." - Maya Angelou

Announcing the Call for Nominations for the 2017-2018 DECADE Student Council

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The DECADE Student Council consists of current graduate students who are advisory to DECADE leadership, Equity Advisors, and the Graduate Dean’s Diversity Council.  They also help plan and organize programming and events for DECADE, including workshops and seminars.

To receive information about DECADE events and services, email uci-decade@uci.edu and request to be added to the listserv.  For information on getting involved contact Jason Cruz at jason.cruz@uci.edu

Decade Student Council Members

Miles Davison

Miles Davison

Recruitment Co-Chair

Degrees:
  • Sociology Ph.D., UC Irvine, In progress
  • Sociology, B.A., Texas Christian University, 2014
Biography

Miles is a third-year doctoral student in the Department of Sociology, and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. His research broadly explores the intersections between race, education, and the criminal justice system. Currently, Miles’ research examines the effects of school-based restorative justice programs on racial disproportionality in school discipline and long-term academic outcomes for students.

Martín Jacinto

Martín Jacinto

Co-Chair, H.A.S.S.

Degrees:
  • Sociology Ph.D., UC Irvine, In Progress
  • M.A. Latin American Studies, UC Santa Barbara, 2012
  • B.A. Political Science and International Relations, UC Santa Barbara, 2009
Biography

Martín Jacinto is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Department of Sociology. Martín’s research applies social network analytical methods to examine how commodity trade and trade networks shape the structures of global inequality over time. Martín’s research aims to develop and apply innovative methodologies to measure economic development of low-income countries. Martín is a Eugene-Cota Robles Fellow and Kugelman Peacebuilding Fellow.

Ceazar Nave

Ceazar Nave

Public Relations Co-Chair, Social Media

Degrees:

  • Physiology and Biophysics Ph.D., UC Irvine, In Progress
  • MSc. Cellular and Molecular Biology. San Francisco State University. 2014
  • BA Liberal Studies. San Francisco State University. 2012
  • BA Biology [Physiology Emphasis]. San Francisco State University. 2012

Biography

Ceazar is a third-year graduate student in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics. He works the lab of Dr. Todd Holmes and his current project involves studying what happens to the brain when the biological clock is disturbed. More specifically, Ceazar uses fly brains to determine the effects of jet lag on the circadian rhythm.

Sara Sameni

Sara Sameni

Co-Chair, STEM

Degrees:
  • Biomedical Engineering Ph.D., UC Irvine, In Progress
  • Biomedical Engineering, M.S., UC Irvine , 2012
  • Biomedical Engineering, B.S., UC Irvine, 2009

Biography

Sara Sameni is a fifth year doctoral student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and a former NSF BEST IGERT fellow working in Dr. Michelle Digman’s laboratory. Her project involves using biophotonics to develop/discover new biomarkers for early detection of Huntington disease, a fatal neurodegenerative disorder. On her spare time she organizes various professional and social events to empower women and minorities on campus and help them through their graduate journey.

 

Nestor B. Tulagan, Jr.

Nestor B. Tulagan, Jr.

Public Relations Co-Chair, Lead Editor

Degrees:
  • Education Ph.D., UC Irvine, In Progress
  • B.A. in Psychology and Social Behavior, UC Irvine, Class of 2012
Biography

Nestor is a third-year doctoral student in the School of Education. Broadly, his research focuses on parental socialization processes shaping the educational outcomes of youth. His current projects examine the forms and functions of the involvement strategies in which ethnic-minority parents engage to effect positive academic motivation and achievement among adolescents transitioning into high school. Nestor is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, a Provost Ph.D. Fellow, and a Eugene Cota-Robles Fellow.

Sara I. Villalta

Sara I. Villalta

Recruitment Co-Chair

Degrees:

  • Sociology Ph.D., UC Irvine, In progress
  • Sociology, B.S., UC Riverside, 2012

Biography

Sara I. Villalta is a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology, and a Graduate Student Researcher for the School of Social Sciences. Sara has been heavily involved in the promotion of diversity at the university level since her time as an undergraduate student and has continued to exhibit a commitment to such issues into her graduate career. Sara’s research utilizes theories on race/ethnicity and immigrant incorporation patterns to explain varying degrees of assimilation among Latin immigrants. Her more recent work focuses on perceptions of discrimination among second and third generation Latinos in the metropolitan Los Angeles area.

Taffeta Wood

Taffeta Wood

Education Chair

Degrees:
  • Education Ph.D., UC Irvine, In Progress
  • Post-Baccalaureate Elementary Education, Rio Salado College
  • B.A. Religious Studies, Arizona State University
Biography

Taffeta is a former teacher who now studies here at UCI in the Language, Literacy, and Technology emphasis of the Education, PhD program. Her research focuses on how best to support teachers in classrooms that serve diverse learners using research and evidenced-based interventions. She is currently researching and developing technology to support teachers who teach math to students of different language backgrounds.

Michelle E. Zuñiga

Michelle E. Zuñiga

Secretary

Degrees:
  • Urban Planning and Public Policy Ph.D., UC Irvine, In Progress
  • Urban and Regional Planning, MURP., University of Colorado Denver School of Architecture and Design, 2014
  • International and Cultural Studies (Latin America Emphasis), B.A., Business Administration Minor, University of Tampa, 2010
Biography

Michelle E. Zuñiga is a doctoral student in the Department of Urban Planning and Public Policy and a recipient of the Eugene Cota Robles Fellowship. Her research focuses on the intersections of environmental justice, transportation, and the immigrant population’s involvement in the urban planning process of their communities. Michelle’s current research examines the implementation of mitigation efforts such as freeway cap parks and transit oriented developments in low-income communities and how they act to improve or perpetuate environmental harms on adjacent neighborhoods.

connie

Connie Kang

Campus Coordinator

Degrees:
  • Education, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, in progress
  • Economics, B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 2014
Biography

Connie Kang is a third-year doctoral student in the School of Education specializing in Education Policy and Social Context. Her research interests lie in examining inequality and how they may be reduced through interventions and educational policies. 

Dominique Ingato

Dominique Ingato

Education Chairs

Degrees:
  • Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, UC Irvine, Ph.D., in progress
  • Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, UC Irvine, M.S., 2014
  • Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, B.S., 2012
  • Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania, B.S., 2012
Biography

Dominique is a doctoral candidate in the chemical and biochemical engineering program. She followed her passions for nanotechnology and cancer research by joining the BioTherapeutics Engineering Laboratory (BioTEL) at UC Irvine in 2012. Her primary research focuses on the development of cell-derived nano-carriers for biocompatible, targeted cancer therapy. She is also interested in engineering education and has researched the design of problem-based learning modules for STEM courses. Dominique is a National Science Foundation Fellow and Fletcher Jones Fellow. 

Elaine Kathryn Andres

Elaine Kathryn Andres

Public Relations Co-Chair, Social Media

Degrees:
  • Culture & Theory, UC Irvine, PhD (in progress)
  • Rhetoric with Honors, B.A., UC Berkeley, 2012
Biography

Elaine Kathryn Andres is a third year doctoral student in the program in Culture & Theory at UC Irvine and is a recipient of the UCI Diversity Recruitment Fellowship. Her research examines the nexus of race, gender, and place in popular music and visual culture. Her current work focuses on the performance of racial, ethnic, and economic encounter embodied in the work of popular Asian American “cross-over” artists. 

Henry Lem

Henry Lem

Co-Chair: H.A.S.S.

Degrees:

  • Chinese language and literature, UC Irvine, Ph.D. in progress
  • Chinese literature, M.A., National Cheng Kung University (Taiwan), 2013
  • Chinese, B.A., Portland State University, 2010

Biography

Henry Lem is a third year doctoral student in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures. Henry is currently conducting research on how reading and interpretation were conceptualized, theorized, and practiced in Ming-Qing China (approx. 16th to 19th centuries). His research also examines the formation of diverse reading practices and their impact on women readership in China.

Jessica Pruitt

Jessica Pruitt

Public Relations Co-Chair, Lead Editor

Degrees:
  • Culture & Theory, UC Irvine, PhD, in progress
  • English, B.A. & Gender Studies, B.A., Arizona State University, 2014

Biography

Jessica Pruett is a doctoral student in the Department of Culture and Theory, and a recipient of ASU's Naomi Harward Activism Award. Jessica's research uses queer and feminist theory to look at lesbian relationships to mass culture, investigating the ways in which queer women are excluded from the realm of popular media. 

Laureen D. Hom

Laureen D. Hom

Secretary

Degrees:

  • Planning, Policy & Design (Asian American Studies emphasis), Ph.D., UC Irvine, in progress
  • Sociomedical Sciences (Urbanism & the Built Environment concentration). M.P.H., Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, 2008
  • Anthropology, B.A. & Art History, B.A., UCLA, 2004

Biography

Laureen D. Hom is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Planning, Policy & Design and a recipient of the Graduate Opportunity Fellowship. Her research focuses on the intersections of urban studies, community formation, spatial politics, and ethnic neighborhoods. Laureen’s current research applies theoretical approaches from urban sociology and cultural & political geography to examine neighborhood change in Los Angeles Chinatown since the 1965 Immigration Act 

Lisa Soyeon Baik

Lisa Soyeon Baik

Council Co-Chair (STEM)

Degrees:
  • Physiology & Biophysics, UC Irvine, PhD, in progress
  • Double major for B.S. in Neurobiology, Physiology & Behavior, and B.A. in Psychology, UC Davis, 2011
Biography

Lisa Soyeon Baik is a doctoral student in the Department of Physiology & Biophysics in the laboratory of Dr. Todd Holmes.   Lisa is a National Science Foundation (NSF) GRFP fellow and an ARCS scholar.  Lisa’s research focuses on a novel phototransduction mechanism and light-induced neuronal changes that underlies changes in physiology and behavior. 

Miles Davison

Miles Davison

Recruitment Co-Chair

Degrees:
  • Sociology UC Irvine, PhD, in progress
  • Sociology, B.A., Texas Christian University, 2014
Biography

Miles is a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology, and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. Miles’ research explores the reach of the criminal justice system in K-12 education and the impacts of school discipline policy on students of color. 

Sara I. Villalta

Sara I. Villalta

Council Co-Chair (STEM)

Degrees:
  • Sociology, PhD, UC Irvine, in progress
  • Sociology, B.S., UC Riverside, 2012
Biography

Sara I. Villalta is a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology, and a Graduate Student Researcher for the School of Social Sciences. Sara has been heavily involved in the promotion of diversity at the university level since her time as an undergraduate student and has continued to exhibit a commitment to such issues into her graduate career. Sara’s research utilizes theories on race/ethnicity and immigrant incorporation patterns to explain varying degrees of assimilation among Latin@ immigrants.