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 the American Indian Resource Center and the People of Color Sustainability Collective. 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 the AIRC director, Dr. Rebecca Hernandez at her email:

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.