Meet Your Merrill Advisors

    Merrill Advisors

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    Alejandra Guzman Llamas

    Pronouns: She/Her

    Role: Academic Advisor

    About Me: Greetings Slugs! I'm Alejandra, an academic advisor for Merrill College. I was born in Mexico and raised in Los Angeles, CA. I am a Dreamer and first-generation college student. In my role I help students identify and explore their interests and establish academic, personal, and career goals. Feel free to connect with me for questions or even to share how your quarter has been going. In my free time I like to go on outdoor runs, watch movies, and spend time with friends and family.

    Hometown: Los Angeles, California


    B.A., Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz

    B.A., Spanish Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz

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    Caroline Wakaba Futamura

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Role: Academic Advisor

    About Me: An Ohio native, I received my A.B. in Biology and French at Bowdoin College and subsequently taught English in Tokyo, Japan, where I fell in love with teaching. Embracing my passion for the French language and Francophone cultures, I decided to pursue my M.A. through Middlebury College and my Ph.D. at Rice University. Following my initial calling as a French professor (for over eleven years), I taught at Susquehanna University, Bennington College, Saint Anselm College, Georgetown University, and the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC). For my teaching and research, I have also traveled to France, Tunisia, Morocco, Québec, Senegal, and Martinique. Seizing the opportunity to switch to a student support role, I more recently served as a Senior Academic Specialist at the DLIFLC offering modules on autonomous learning strategies, time management, resiliency building, test-taking strategies, and test anxiety management to initial entry students. The culmination of my experiences as a professor, an advisor, and an academic specialist has brought me to UCSC, where I currently serve as a Merrill Advisor. Dedicated to getting to know my students’ dreams and unique identities, I enjoy working closely with them in order to provide tailored and holistic mentoring as they pursue their personal, social, academic, and/or professional endeavors to ultimately become autonomous lifelong learners and global citizens. In my free time, I love to sketch, explore California’s coastline and redwood forests, take road trips with my husband, and spend time with family.

    Hometown: Wadsworth, Ohio


    Ph.D., French Studies, Rice University

    M.A., French, Middlebury College

    A.B., Biology and French, Bowdoin College

  • EOP STEM Counselor

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    Jessica Macias

    Pronouns: She/Her

    Role: EOP STEM Counselor

    About Me: Hey Merrill Slugs! My name is Jessica Macias and I am an EOP STEM Counselor. I am a Latina, first-generation, and UCSC Alumni with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. I am passionate about supporting students and acting as a bridge for those facing adversity to resources and a community of STEM mentors. I like to take a holistic approach when engaging in conversations regarding resources and will provide guidance to help students in STEM achieve their educational and career goals by implementing a growth mindset environment, instill self-efficacy and provide a sense of belonging. I look forward to meeting and working with you all!

    Hometown: La Puente, CA

    How to reach me: My advising hours are Monday-Friday from between 10am-4pm.
    Appointments can be scheduled through Slug Success. Please note that All appointments will take place via Zoom through spring quarter 2021.

  • Merrill Peer Advisors

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    Jasmine Jones

    Pronouns: She/Her
    Major and Minor: Human Biology and Dance

    About Me: I love helping and making realistic plans so why not become a peer advisor at the best college on campus?!

    Fun Facts:
    I am pursuing a career in modeling and acting
    I love puppies
    I am from Georgia
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    June Duarte

    Pronouns: She/They

    Major: Psychology and Cognitive Science

    am very grateful that I was able to become a peer advisor because my academic career has highly benefited from the opportunities and insight advising offers and I want to do the same for others. I find it valuable and important to help students navigate the challenges of college by providing them with support and information about campus resources.

    Interesting Facts:

    I love painting and being around nature.
    I am interested in pursuing a career in UX Design.
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    Olivia LaBarbera

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Major: Sociology

    I’m excited to be a Peer Advisor because I am passionate about helping fellow UCSC students achieve their academic goals. I also am an advocate for mental health awareness and want to help my peers find the resources they need to thrive at UCSC. 

    Interesting Facts:
    I have a 4 year old German Shepherd Dog named Poppy
    I love making homemade pasta
    I have a lot of family in Italy