Student Success Educational Equity Participatory Action Research Scholars (2020-21)

  • Profile for Huda Ajaz
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    Huda Ajaz (she/her/hers)
    College Nine | Intensive Psychology & Sociology Double Major


    Huda is a third-year, first-generation student who is pursuing a double major in Intensive Psychology and Sociology. She is an undergraduate research intern for the Student Success Educational Equity Participatory Action Research pilot project. The purpose of this project is to analyze the matters surrounding educational equity, focusing on how to better equip students of underserved populations with knowledge, skills, and resources to promote student success. As a first-generation student, Huda is particularly interested in how to provide support that holistically addresses the structural barriers that minority students often face in education. She hopes to use her experience to focus on how psychological resilience can be adapted to overcome obstacles and how to apply this strength in different communities.

  • Profile for Kamryn Callwood
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    Kamryn Callwood (she/her/hers)
    Cognitive Science Major


    Kamryn is a second-year Cognitive Science major and first-generation college student. She is an undergraduate research intern for the Student Success Education Participatory Action Research pilot project. The aim of this project is to analyze issues related to educational equity and to work towards improving the overall success of first-generation students while also building a community of empowerment. As a member of Girls Who Code, Kamryn is particularly interested in expanding the number of women in computer science and other related STEM subjects. Kamryn hopes to draw from her own experiences to advocate for students from marginalized communities and to help foster an environment that will allow for easily-accessible opportunities.

  • Profile for Samantha Chacon Sifuentes
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    Samantha Chacon Sifuentes (she/her/hers)
    Kresge College | Psychology Major


    Samantha is a fourth-year Psychology major and a first-generation college student. She is a Professional Career Development Intern for the First Generation Initiative. Her project focuses on conducting events and research for the Student Success Educational Equity Participatory Action Research pilot project. This project aims to identify issues of educational equity and work towards social and healing justice; as well as to strategize how to promote a supportive learning environment for first-generation students. As a first-generation student, Samantha wishes to be a support for other students, using the tools she’s received from departments, including EOP, Kresge College, and CITL. She greatly values advocating for college students’ well-being and wants to help create an environment that fosters student resilience.

  • Profile for Bobbie Joe Garcia
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    Bobbie Joe Garcia (she/they)
    College Nine | Community Studies & Politics Double Major


    Bobbie Joe is a senior pursuing degrees in both Community Studies and Politics. Bobbie Joe is a Student Success Educational Equity Participatory Action Research intern who will analyze issues related to educational equity at UCSC and how they impact student success. As a first-generation transfer student from a marginalized community, Bobbie Joe is incredibly passionate about equity and justice and hopes their work will contribute to much-needed increased support for disadvantaged students. They also plan to utilize the research and knowledge they gain through their internship to further their community advocacy efforts in their hometown of Greenfield, CA.

  • Profile for Rosa Guzman
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    Rosa Guzman (she/her/hers)
    Mathematics Major


    Rosa is a fourth-year, first-generation student, majoring in Mathematics at UCSC. She is an undergraduate research intern for the Student Success Educational Equity Participatory Action Research pilot project. The project focuses on researching and identifying the current issues regarding educational equity and how to proceed in exploring solutions that emphasize social and healing justice. Rosa has a passion for education and advocating for student-centered foundations and is interested in how current systems can change to better address the educational inequity currently experienced by many students, especially marginalized communities in STEM.

  • Profile for Yoko Katahira-Ables
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    Yoko Katahira-Ables (she/her/hers)
    Education & Intensive Psychology Double Major


    Yoko Katahira-Ables is a third-year undergraduate student who is pursuing a double major in Education and Intensive Psychology. Yoko is particularly interested in the study of intersectionality and the role that overlapping identities play in one’s educational experience. She is a part of the Student Success Educational Equity Participatory Action Research, which addresses issues of equity as a means of improving student success outcomes, providing the proper support and resources for first-generation students, and building a space of empowerment for the UC Santa Cruz community. As a first-generation student herself, Yoko hopes to engage in real steps towards social justice and student success, especially for those that have lacked the proper tools needed to navigate higher education.

  • Profile for John Lopez-Guarchaj
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    John Lopez-Guarchaj (he/him/his)
    Feminist Studies Major


    John Lopez-Guarchaj is a first-generation, senior-standing, transfer student pursuing Feminist Studies at UC Santa Cruz. While pursuing the humanities, John is working towards incorporating his field of study onto his interest within the medical field. As a part of the Student Success Educational Equity Participatory Action Research team, he hopes to help disadvantaged communities as well as provide necessary resources in order to help decrease the gap between first-generation communities and higher education. As a first-generation college student, John believes that fostering community along peers from various backgrounds is a valuable asset in order to build a resilient community at UC Santa Cruz.

  • Profile for Axel Morales Sanchez
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    Axel Morales Sanchez (he/him/his)
    Merrill College | Business Management Major


    Axel is a third-year Business Management major and a first-generation college student. He is part of the Student Success Educational Equity Participatory Action Research pilot project. This project aims to identify issues of educational equity and work towards social and healing justice; as well as to strategize how to promote a supportive learning environment for first-generation students. As a first-generation student, Axel wishes to help and guide other students, drawing from his first-hand experiences as a DACA student, as well as from his experiences in Merrill College and other departments. He greatly values determination and hard work in fellow students and wants to create an environment where students feel motivated to overachieve and help others.

  • Profile for Josset Yarbrough
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    Josset Yarbrough (she/her/hers)
    Neuroscience Major


    Josset is a fourth-year Neuroscience major and a first-generation college student. Her project focuses on conducting research for the Student Success Educational Equity Participatory Action Research pilot project. This project aims to identify issues of educational equity and work towards social and healing justice; as well as to strategize how to promote a supportive learning environment for first-generation students. Josset particularly finds interest in understanding how undergraduate STEM students from marginalized communities navigate and find research opportunities on campus as well as obtaining the resources they need to pursue graduate degrees. As a first-generation student, Josset hopes to help create an academic environment of equity and egalitarianism by drawing from her personal experiences, as well as her experience being an RA and prior core membership of Black Womxn's Alliance (BWA).