STARS staff embrace and develop connections and cooperative relationships with colleagues and community partners to create a meaningful and personalized network of support for our students.  We foster critical reflection and action among students and staff. We value self-care, healing, and transformation for our students and ourselves.



Peer Advisers are continuing Transfer and Re-entry students who assist through advising and counseling, computer consulting and administrative support services.

Peer Advisers are available during the academic year in the STARS Student Center (Kresge 180) and via email at


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    Sara A. Radoff

    Director, Services for Transfer and Re-entry Students.

    My passion in life is working to transform educational policies and practices to make them more socially just. My core values include developing caring relationships with students, colleagues, and friends, seeking out opportunities for collaboration and connection, and unapologetically challenging systems of oppression. I am dedicated to serving students and supporting their success. Prior to joining STARS, I  served as the Academic Preceptor at Oakes College. Before that, I worked in international education and community development work. I received a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Montana, and a M.A. from the University of British Columbia, specializing in Society, Culture, and Politics in Education.

    Contact me:
    Office Location: Kresge 188

  • Jannet

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    Jannet Ceja

    STARS Program Coordinator

    My name is Jannet Ceja (she/her pronouns) and I am a Program Coordinator here at STARS.  I was born and raised in Salinas, California. I transferred here to UCSC from Hartnell College in 2011 and then graduated in 2013 with a B.A. in Politics.  As a student here, I was a peer adviser for the STARS program.  I loved the work that was being done, so I decided to work for STARS after I graduated, as a way to give back to the transfer community that I was a part of. I love working with STARS because I meet incredible people on the daily, and I am able to assist them with their educational journey.  I am here to offer support, a helping hand, as well as an ear to listen. I look forward to meeting you!

    Contact Me:
    Office Location:Kresge 178

  • Elizabeth

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    Elizabeth Moya

    Renaissance Scholars Adviser

    I am a UCSC alumn, majored in Sociology and Legal Studies. I am currently attending San Jose State University for my Masters in Social Work. I will graduate May 2018. In my current role as the Renaissance Scholars Adviser, I provide various academic, social, and personal coaching services to support students who have experienced separation or estrangement from family networks.  The common thread among our community is resiliency and strength in navigating significant hardships. Our community includes former or current foster youth, orphans, or wards of the court. We also assist those who have experienced any of the following while growing up: homelessness, violence or neglect in their homes, parents or guardians with severe mental illness or substance abuse, or those who have been pushed out of their homes due to their gender identity or sexual orientation. Those who have been impacted by incarceration or forcible separation from family due to deportation will also find community with us. Some of my past experience revoles around student and youth mentorship with EOP Bridge Program, Barrios Unidos, and career counseling with underserved youth in Eastside San Jose. Most of my passions come from my personal background and me being an alumn of the Renaissance program. I come from personal struggles, abuse, violence, homelessness, and trauma. I share my story with other students and youth to give hope that dreams are meant to come true with patience and guidance. I had inspiring mentors in my life to help me get to the point where I am at today. I only wish to walk alongside students to offer my support to be that one positive mentor or coach in their life. I am a true believer in advocacy and personal growth. I encourage and motivate students to reach their full potential while listening, guiding, and being patient with students. I relate to students and can build a positive professional relationship to help students feel they belong to a community of trusting individuals.

    Contact Me:
    Phone number:831-459-4819
    Office location:Kresge 174

  • Vivianna

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    Vivianna Alvarez, M.Ed

    STARS Program Coordinator

    Hola hola! My name is Vivianna Alvarez and my pronouns are they/them/their. I joined the STARS community August 2019 and am so excited to be calling Santa Cruz my new home. I was born and raised in Houston, TX, earned my B.A from Hampshire College in Massachusetts and my M.Ed at the University of Vermont. Throughout my educational and professional experiences I’ve loved working with other first-generation college students, immigrant families, queer & trans people of color, and serving historically marginalized communities. In addition to serving students on the front lines, I am dedicated to resisting and dismantling toxic cultures and systemic inequities.
    In my role at STARS I work with the Transition Mentors who support fellow transfer students with a holistic approach, advise Pister Scholars, collaborate with Admission on the COMET Program, and create professional development and volunteer opportunities for STARS students and leaders. I also offer general counseling for all transfer students and support Liz with the Renaissance Scholars Program when needed. 
    As the newest member of STARS, I am excited and grateful to join a family of colleagues who are passionate about working with resilient and intelligent students who are committed to their aspirations and success. We are a community of listeners, game-changers, and learners who desire to be a part of your journey and growth. So please feel welcomed to stop by our/my office to check-in about anything that’s coming up for you and/or hindering your ability to succeed in any capacity; or swing by to say hello, grab a snack, and be in community!

    Contact me:
    Phone number: 831-459-5886
    Office location: Kresge 184

  • DeShonne

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    DeShonne Keller

    Administrative Specialist

    My name is DeShonne Keller and I'm the STARS Administrative Specialist. In this role, I provide financial management, processing and analysis; oversee physical spaces; coordinate communications; and liaise with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. I have seven years as the Kresge College Assistant, with prior administrative, cashier and office management experience. Currently I'm studying at Cabrillo College and working towards completing the IGETC Certification and working on transfer/major coursework in Sociology. I plan to transfer to UCSC as a transfer and re-entry part-time student.

    Contact me:
    Phone number: 831-502-7077
    Office location: Kresge 234




  • Julie

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    Julie Howell

    Veterans Coodinator

    My name is Julie Howell (she/her/hers) and I am delighted to be the acting UCSC Veteran Program Coordinator. I am a 5-year US Army veteran and in that time, I served two combat deployments to Iraq. For about 10 years I worked as a chef, traveling the world and working in many places like New Zealand and Antarctica. I decided to give school a try and committed to being a full-time student in 2013 at Cabrillo where I studied Cultural Anthropology. I recently graduated from UCSC with a Bachelor’s Degree in History and I am halfway through a Master’s Degree in Public Policy (MPP) at Mills College in Oakland. My focus is on veteran policy and advocacy, as well as veteran success in higher education. I work with several veteran organizations both locally and at a national level, promoting veteran friendly policies here in Santa Cruz as well as on Capitol Hill in Washington DC. Veterans face a unique set of challenges when they return to school and as someone who has been in those very shoes, I offer valuable experience in the ways I can assist veteran students. I’m eager to get to know everyone and to help create a more inclusive veteran community on campus where everyone is comfortable expressing themselves and contributing to the greater mission. It is also my goal to bridge the gap between veterans on campus and veterans in the greater Santa Cruz community.

    Contact me:
    Phone number: 831-502-7377
    Office location: Kresge 232