Meet Your Advisors

    Lead Academic Preceptor

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    Pronouns: He/Him/His

    About Me: Greetings! My name is Dan and I'm the Lead Academic Preceptor for Crown & Merrill Colleges. I began my career in Higher Education working in Residential Life and have held positions in Admissions, Re-Entry, Financial Aid and Academic Advising, bringing me from California to Colorado and back to California again! When I'm not on campus working with our fabulous students and advisers, I enjoy playing Disc Golf, Rock Climbing, watching and discussing all things soccer/football and hiking with my partner and dog through the many trails and forests in Santa Cruz and the Bay Area. Come by and say hello!

    Hometown: San Diego, CA


    B.A., in Philosophy, Sonoma State University

    M.Ed in Student Affairs, University of California, Los Angeles

  • Academic Advisor

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    Alejandra Guzman Llamas

    Pronouns: She/Her

    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

  • Academic Advisor

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    Caroline Wakaba Futamura

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    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

  • Academic Advisor

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    Pronouns: They/Them

    About Me: RAYMUNDO is a “Banana Slug” alumni who graduated in 2015 with double majors in Italian Literature and Spanish Studies plus a minor in History. As a UCSC transfer student RAYMUNDO worked with STARS, Orientations, Recreation, and became a CUIP intern with Cultural Arts & Diversity.

    After graduating, RAYMUNDO collaborated for two years with UCSC Literature faculty as research assistant. Then, more recently RAYMUNDO worked five years in the admissions department serving underrepresented students and traveling to community colleges throughout California’s remote regions.

    RAYMUNDO is passionate about serving and making the world a better place; one person at a time.Therefore, RAYMUNDO loves contributing to society by guiding each and every student to accomplish their academic goals and move on to a better & more successful quality of life.

    RAYMUNDO Life’s philosophy is to be grateful & embrace each day and all life's beautiful interactions. RAYMUNDO loves constant experiential learning, traveling and meeting people from all walks of life. RAYMUNDO says “ Every person sometimes is a unique and interesting book " waiting to be read or ready to be written a brand new and unique chapter.

    Hometown: Aptos, CA.


    B.A., Italian Literature, UC Santa Cruz

    B.A., Spanish Studies, UC Santa Cruz

    B.A., History, UC Santa Cruz

  • EOP STEM Counselor

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    Jessica Macias

    Pronouns: She/Her

    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.

  • Peer Advisors are here to support you!

  • Feel free to stop by the Merrill office during Peer Advising drop-in hours.

    You can also Google Chat with a Peer Advisor to ask quick questions!

    • When: Peer Advising chat hours are generally 9am-4pm, Monday-Friday
    • How: Add (+) to your Google Hangouts, using your UCSC email (chat function is on the bottom left of your gmail screen)

    You can also email Peer Advisors questions at

    Peer Course Endorsements:

    See our Peer Advisor Course Endorsements here!

  • Lead Peer Advisor

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    Pronouns: She/her 

    Major: Psychology 

    About Me: I am excited to be on the Merrill Peer Advisory team! I want to see every person succeed in their own ways and help students gain knowledge and resources to become their best academic and mental selves. 

    Interesting Facts

    • I love to paint and journal. 
    • I have three dogs and a black cat named toast. 
    • I enjoy baking!

  • Peer Advisor

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    Pronouns: She/Her

    Majors: Sociology & Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology

    About Me: I’m excited to be a Peer Advisor this year and assist the Merrill community! I look forward to meeting with and helping everyone in any way that I can.

    Fun Fact:

    • I like to read and crochet in my free time
    • I love going to the beach when I’m home
    • My favorite color is purple

  • Peer Advisor

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    Pronouns: She/Her

    Majors: Computer Science

    About Me: Hello slugs, I'm thrilled to be a part of the Merrill Peer Advisory team. As a first-generation American with roots in both Afghanistan and Mexico, I come from a diverse and close-knit family. One thing that brings me immense joy is helping others navigate their academic journey and beyond.

    Fun Fact:

    • I'm a twin
    • I'm left handed
    • I'm an avid hiker
    • I love going to the drive-in movies