Kari Bauer has served as a leader and manager for both non-profit and private businesses, departments, office operations, budgets and human resources. Kari enjoys building teams and making improvements wherever she works, from Peet’s to California Polytechnic State University to Bugaboo Mountain Sports. At UCSC, Kari’s energy and creativity resulted in streamlined processes for students and lightened workloads for staff. Kari earned her B.A. in foreign languages at Lewis and Clark College where she helped found an outreach program for Russian immigrant youth aspiring to enter college.
Katherine Canales grew up in Hollywood, California. As an undergraduate, she helped organize statewide conferences and film festivals while earning her B.A. in international politics at UCSC. In 2002, Katherine was caught in a devastating earthquake while visiting El Salvador. She put her organizing talent to work and developed effective community-based disaster relief programs. Katherine returned home to serve as a mentor for low-income, first generation college students for the Upward Bound/TRIO Program at the University of Southern California.
Yenyen Cuison is the Organizing Director for Engaging Education (e2). During a field study in San Francisco, Yenyen was inspired to become active in her community. She worked for Public Allies, helping to found the Anakbayan Silicon Valley youth organization, and traveled to the Philippines. Yenyen served as coordinator for student-initiated retention programs while earning her B.A. in community studies at UCSC. Yenyen stays connected to the Bay Area Filipino community, most recently organizing typhoon relief and support for the immigrant community.
Cory Fong was born and raised in Sacramento, California. Before joining SOMeCA as a Program Manager, he pursued a B.A. in literature while serving as an editor and reporter for five years in various collegiate publications, including UCSC’s student-run newspaper, City on a Hill Press. As a student mediamaker, Cory focused on developing practices that promote critical-thinking and collaboration within a newsroom, building relationships with campus communities, and challenging himself and his peers to research and write about underrepresented communities in ways that confront stereotypes prevalent in mainstream media.
Sayo Fujioka has deep roots in the San Francisco and Monterey Bay Areas and UCSC, where she earned a degree in sociology. Before serving as SOMeCA Director, Sayo managed successful electoral campaigns. She was recruited to UCSC to design leadership trainings, then served as a student organization adviser. Sayo attributes her love of collaborative, fast-paced environments to ten years in the Bay Area restaurant industry, including serving as a Field Representative for the hotel and restaurant union. Currently Sayo also works with a non-profit producing citywide cultural festivals in Watsonville.
Francisco Galvan was a Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholar and a Rotary International leader in his hometown of Hawthorne, California. He served as a Bilingual Instructional Technician for English Language Learners while simultaneously building his financial and management skills in a retail corporation. Through his work, Francisco developed a keen appreciation for fiscal processes and the creativity involved in increasing financial efficiencies. Francisco earned his degree in Literature at UCSC and served as a mentor for his Greek Letter Organization.
Angela Harris joined SOMeCA in 2013 after serving as Outreach and Development Manager at a non-profit organization in New Mexico, which empowers youth to develop socially just and environmentally sustainable communities. Angela also served as Volunteer Coordinator for a domestic violence shelter in the Santa Fe, addressing the presence of violence in the community. As an undergraduate, Angela was an organizer for the Student Environmental Center and the Campus Sustainability Council at UCSC, where she received her B.A. in environmental studies and biology.
Scott Leiserson serves as Student Media Assistant Director and Broadcast Advisor, teaching and advising students in key technical, organizational, and legal aspects of broadcast production. As a longtime leader for sports teams and youth groups, Scott trained and mentored hundreds of young people to gain the skills of collaboration, delegation, and responsibility, qualities Scott finds essential to successful filmmaking. As a student, Scott served as President of the Film Production Coalition and earned his degree in film and digital media at UCSC.
Arlan Mendiola joined SOMeCA in June 2015 as a Program Manager. He is a first generation college graduate, having earned an M.Ed. in postsecondary administration and student affairs from the USC Rossier School of Education as well as a B.S. in molecular biology from UCSC. Before returning to UCSC, Arlan worked in various aspects of education including college preparatory programs, career services, academic advising, and alumni engagement. His passion to serve in higher education stems from his undergraduate involvement with the Filipino and Asian/Pacific Islander communities.
Susan Watrous is both a UCSC lecturer and a SOMeCA Program Manager, advising Student Media's print organizations. She has a degree in American studies and over 20 years of experience as an editor, writer, and project manager for magazine, book, academic, and multimedia projects, including companies that produce hardware and software to power the high-tech world. Susan is passionate about teaching and about empowering the next generation of media makers. She is a recipient of a UCSC Excellence in Teaching Award.
Don Williams brings over 35 years of theater production, performance, and mentorship to his role as Artistic Director of Cultural Arts and Diversity (CAD). Don is the founder, producer, and director of the African American Theater Arts Troupe and Rainbow Theater, which offer diverse and empowering theater performances to the campus and to under-resourced high schools throughout California. He earned his B.A. in theater arts with a minor in Telecommunications at Michigan State University and studied directing and theater history at the University of Southern California.