Meet the Staff

Internship opportunities for the People of Color Sustainability Collective are offered at the end of Spring quarter for the following academic year. Interns work collaboratively with other campus Resource Centers. PoCSC student interns learn about and engage with environmental issues while gaining leadership, facilitation, event planning, project management, and research skills. If you have any questions about internship opportunities, please contact us at pocsc@ucsc.edu.


Read about our awesome staff!

    Stephanie Hernández

  • steph

    Pronouns: They/Them
    Major: Psychology, Literature
    3rd Year

    I am a 3rd year at UCSC and I'm from Norwalk, CA. Along with being an intern for AIRC and PoCSC, I am a Neighborhood Assistant at Oakes College and a member of Poetically People of Color. I also work with Oakes Garden helping to create an inclusive garden space for students of color and to build community that advocates for issues out of environmental spaces. I enjoy rollerskating and hot cheetos.


  • Valeria Paredes

  • Valeria Paredes image

    Pronouns: She/Her/Ella
    Major: Environmental Studies/Economics
    3rd Year

    My name is Valeria Paredes. Chicana and I'm an Oakes College Affiliate. I’m a third year double-majoring in Environmental Studies and Economics. This is my second year interning at the People of Color Sustainability Collective. I love working closely with American Indian Resource Center because we must always acknowledge whose land we occupy. I am interested in community health, food sovereignty, land politics, urban planning, herbalism, and more! Environmental justice issues are strongly tied to (and unfortunately contingent upon) economic interests, this inspired me to study both of these areas. I enjoy laying out in the sun, dancing, taking care of my little brother and sister, and eating apples.

  • Lian Utsumi

  • lian
    Pronouns: She/Her, They/Them
    Major: Economics/Environmental Studies 
    3rd Year
    I am a third-year from Los Angeles majoring in Economics and Environmental Studies. This is my second year working with PoCSC and the AIRC. This intern position has taught me so much about Native foodways, sustainability, social and environmental issues, and I am excited to continue to learn, as well as spread this knowledge to others in the community.

  • Anna Pérez-Gómez

  • Anna Pérez-Gómez

    Pronouns: She/her/hers
    Major: Sociology, Education Minor
    4th year
    Porter affiliate

    Hello! I’m from Los Angeles, CA and this is my fourth and final year here in UCSC. As a first-generation with a low-income background, I’m deeply passionate in basing my focus on serving justice for marginalized, underprivileged and low-income communities. My role in UCSC consists of working for the Education Opportunity Program as an intern where we cater to first-generation students such as myself. As well as being an academic intern for the El Centro: Chicanx and Latinx Resource Center where I get to create programs and events to promote inclusivity and welcoming spaces for Latinx/Chicanx students. As I recently joined PoCSC, the committee will allow me to become more educated to the inequities and disparities that occur within our environment and health especially in regards to communities of people of color. All in all, I love to enjoy mother nature, watercolor, make vegan desserts, journaling, and hiking!

  • Diana Bracamontes-Vargas

  • Diana Bracamontes-Vargas

    Pronouns: she/her
    Major: Anthropology
    4th year
    Gemini

    Hola! I'm Diana, first generation Xicana from Riverside, California. This is my first year as an intern with PoCSC and I'm super excited to learn more about ways POC have continued the decolonization of environmentalism and sustainability. I look forward to gain knowledge and share knowledge about new ways to honor the land, give back, and ask guidance from our healing plantitas that have lived in solidarity with my ancestors. On my free time, I like to chismear with my folks back home and whip it up in the kitchen while listening to sad/angry girl music. There is no in between.


  • Claudia Isela Serrano

  • Claudia Isela Serrano

    Pronouns: she/her/hers
    Major: Sociology, Latin American and Latino Studies Minor
    2nd year transfer

    Hello, My name is Claudia Isela, and I identify as an undocumented first-generation student, a DRC student, transfer student, and a Latina in higher education. As a first-year academic intern for El Centro: Chicanx and Latinx Resource Center, I am working with PoCSC because I would like to learn more about how community partnership groups and social and environmental justice grassroots organizations collaborate to advocate for ecological sustainability and social justice for underrepresented communities. Communities in which every day are affected by issues ranging from air quality, local tax revenue, to safe drinking water, access to open space, and employment opportunities for formerly incarcerated residents. I’m excited to be able to support with hosting educational events, social media awareness campaigns, and student-led discussions to provide UCSC students a safe space to have a critical dialogue about the intersections between race, ethnicity, class, gender, culture, national origin, and the environment.


    Next year, I plan to apply to the University of Southern California, as well as the University of San Diego, California, to earn my master's degree, either in Social work or Community Counseling. In the future, I would like to become an academic counselor or an outreach program director for high school students.