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

Francisco

Francisco Gutierrez Carranza

Campus Coordinator

Degrees:
  • Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Ph.D., UC Irvine, In progress
  • Biology, BS, UC Riverside, 2014
Biography

Francisco Gutierrez Carranza is a doctoral student in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics in the laboratory of Dr. Klemens Hertel. Francisco is a National Science Foundation (NSF) GRFP fellow and his research focuses on investigating the kinetics of mRNA degradation and its effects on gene expression.

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.