Graduate Division

DECADE Student Council

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

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 Claudia Campos at cfcampos@uci.edu

DECADE Student Council Members

Maryam Asghari

Maryam Asghari

Co-Chair, STEM

Degrees:
  • Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Ph.D., UC Irvine, In Progress
  • Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, M.S., UC Irvine , 2017
  • Mechanical Engineering, B.S., University of Tehran, 2015
Biography

Maryam is a fourth-year graduate student in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department. She is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and her research aims at a more sustainable, efficient power generation and clean environment. Maryam works in Advanced Power and Energy Program, and her recent work focuses on integration of highly efficient, zero emission Solid Oxide Fuel Cell technology with Cooling and Dehumidification systems.

Steven Andrew Mejia

Steven Andrew Mejia

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

Degrees:
  • Sociology, Ph.D., UC Irvine, In Progress
  • Sociology, M.A., UC Irvine, 2018
  • Sociology, B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, 2016
Biography

Steven Andrew Mejia is a third-year doctoral student in the Department of Sociology. Steven’s research investigates the global political economic and cultural processes shaping cross-national environmental and development outcomes over time. Steven’s future research focuses on the social structural predictors of environmental hazard exposure in urban cities. 

Adrien A. Arias

Adrien A. Arias

Campus Coordinator

Degrees:
  • Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Ph.D., UC Irvine, In Progress
  • Biology, B.S., CSU San Bernardino
Biography

Adrien is a doctoral student in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology working with Dr. Emanuel Azizi.  Adrien studies animal locomotion (i.e. how animals move across their environment) by focusing on the muscles, limb mechanics, and locomotor strategies used by animals when they walk, run, swim, or jump. His current project is comparing the forelimb and hindlimb muscles of alligators, who offer interesting evolutionary, ecological, and mechanical contexts to better understand what dictates the evolution of limb musculature. In addition to research, Adrien is a co-founding member of SACNAS at UCI and its current Social Media Chair.

Melissa Thone

Melissa Thone

Education Chair

Degrees:

  • Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Ph.D., UC Irvine, In progress
  • Chemical and Biochemical Engineerin,MS, UC Irvine, 2016
  • Chemical Engineering, BS, Rochester Institute of Technology, 2014

Biography

Melissa is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. She joined the Bio-Therapeutics Engineering Laboratory (BioTEL) at UC Irvine to pursue her PhD in designing personalized therapeutics for cancer. In her free time, Melissa seeks out professional development opportunities in teaching, mentoring, and leadership. She hopes to apply her passions for teaching and research by becoming a tenure-track professor in the near future.

Melina Pinales

Melina Pinales

Public Relations Co-Chair, Lead Editor

Degrees:
  • Education Ph.D., UC Irvine, In Progress
  • Human Development and Family Sciences, B.S., UT Austin, 2014

Biography

Melina is a third-year doctoral student in the School of Education with a concentration in Education Policy and Social Context. Her research seeks to understand the implications of government policies on the academic, social emotional, and psychological development of children in early childhood settings. She is a Gates Millennium Scholar, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, and a recipient of the Eugene-Cota Robles fellowship.
Janielle Vidal

Janielle Vidal

Public Relations Co-Chair, Social Media

Degrees:
  • Environmental Health Sciences (Toxicology Track), PhD, UC Irvine, In Progress
  • Chemistry, A.B., Bryn Mawr College, 2014
Biography

Janielle is a third-year graduate student in the Environmental Health Sciences and is a recipient of the Graduate Diversity Recruitment Fellowship. Her research focuses on elucidating the role of gene-environment interactions in the pathology of Alzheimer’s Disease in the Kitazawa lab. Specifically, she seeks to elucidate the role of excess copper in modulating the immune response which she hypothesizes may be through the induction of senescent phenotypes or through the disruption of the gut microbiome. She carries out these investigations primarily in vivo (animals) but will conduct in vitro studies (cells) in the future.

Elena Dominguez

Elena Dominguez

Recruitment Co-Chair

Degrees:
  • Ph.D. Neuroscience, UC Irvine, In Progress
  • BS Psychology, Brooklyn College, 2015
Biography

Elena Dominguez is a second graduate in the department of Neurobiology and Behavior. She focuses on cognitive aging in individuals 90 and older by studying the human brain through structural MRI scans. She hopes to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of preserved memory in advanced aging. 

Daniel Jaimes

Daniel Jaimes

Recruitment Co-Chair

Degrees:

  • Mechanical Engineering, Ph.D., UC Irvine, In Progress
  • Mechanical Engineering, M.S., UC Irvine, 2017
  • Mechanical Engineering, B.S., UC Irvine, 2013
  • Aerospace Engineering, B.S., UC Irvine, 2013

Biography

Daniel Jaimes is a doctoral student in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and a recipient of the UCI Faculty Mentor Program Fellowship. He works in the Advanced Power and Energy Program (APEP) as a researcher for the UCI Combustion Laboratory, and studies the viability of using renewable fuels in advanced power generation systems. More specifically, Daniel conducts experimental and computational studies to better understand alternative fuel combustion at conditions of elevated temperature and pressure.

Edith Huarita

Edith Huarita

Secretary

Degrees:
  • Planning, Policy & Design, UC Irvine, PhD, In progress
  • Master in Public Policy, UC Los Angeles, 2015
  • BA in Conflict Studies, DePauw University, 2008
Biography

Edith Huarita is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the Urban Planning and Public Policy in the School of Social Ecology. Edith has focused on serving tenants living in substandard housing in Los Angeles and worked as a paralegal for approximately five years advocating for tenants’ rights. Edith’s current research work focuses on housing issues that affect low-income renters in the private rental sector in the City of Los Angeles.