Professor Erika Zavaleta is a recognized leader on multiple fronts within conservation biology and sustainability. Her research studies how humans are changing the diversity of land-based plant and animal communities. She works closely with conservation organizations, governments, and communities to support better management of natural resources and was recently appointed to the California Fish and Game Commission by Governor Gavin Newsom
Q&A with Changemakers
Chris Lang, a graduate student in Environmental Studies and intern for the People of Color Sustainability Collective (POCSC), and Breanna Byrd, a graduate student in Feminist Studies and intern at the African American Resource and Cultural Center, discuss their experiences around environmental justice and the motivation for their activism.
In 2014, Jacob Martinez founded Digital NEST—a technology workforce development hub providing youth in underserved communities with high-demand technology skills, mentoring and hands-on experience so they can secure well-paying jobs. Beginning in 2021, Jacob will serve as an external special adviser to UC Santa Cruz Chancellor Cindy Larive, bringing his insight on economic opportunity, community empowerment and digital innovation. He is an alumni of UC Santa Cruz, earning his degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 2004.
Since earning his bachelor’s in politics at the University of California, Santa Cruz back in 2004, Forrest Stuart has gone on to build a highly influential academic career, pursuing burning questions about the societal underpinnings of poverty and criminalization across disciplines. He’s now an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at Stanford University, where he directs the Stanford Ethnography Lab.
Jennifer Baszile is the Interim Vice Chancellor for the Division of Student Affairs and Success at UC Santa Cruz. In her role, Jennifer leads a diverse and talented group of professional and student staff who provide campus-wide coordination and leadership for student affairs and success programs and activities across departments, divisions, colleges, and administrative units.
Rachel Nelson, PhD, is the Director of the Institute of the Arts and Sciences (IAS) at UC Santa Cruz, and teaches in the History of Art and Visual Culture Department. Currently, Nelson is co-curating a multi-sited group exhibition, Barring Freedom, engaging art, prisons, and justice, which will be shown in San José, and Santa Cruz.
Assistant Professor Anjuli Verma is a faculty member in the Politics Department and Legal Studies Program. Her research examines legal reform, social inequality, and the governance of crime and punishment from an interdisciplinary perspective using multiple methods.
Bianca Esquivias and Jonathan Winston, Building Belonging Fellows, discuss their COVID-19 Public Health Campaign with DigitalNEST. Both students are undergraduate sociology majors at UCSC with a concentration in GISES (Global Information Social Enterprise Studies).
Adriana Manago, assistant professor of psychology at UC Santa Cruz, is a cultural developmental psychologist interested in the proliferation of communication technologies, culture change, and social development during adolescence and the transition to adulthood.
MariaElena De La Garza has over 29 years of experience in nonprofit work and is currently the Executive Director of the Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County. MariaElena has passion for building and supporting community networks, leadership in action, and solution-based strategies.