Transition Mentors

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STARS Transition Mentor Program
The Transition Mentorship Program (TMP as we call it for short) consists of 4 Transition Mentors, 1 Lead Transition Mentor, and a cohort of 100-145 mentees at any given time each quarter. Transition Mentors are current transfer students who offer high levels of support on a one on one basis. As STARS student staff members they can answer questions, make referrals to appropriate resources, and assist with financial planning, navigating the campus, acclimating to the university, addressing academic goals, balancing family responsibilities, and connecting with the campus community. During the academic year TMP also sponsors engaging programs for TMP mentees to gather in community.

The benefits of being a part of the TMP community are:
1. Having an open line of communication with a highly trained Transition Mentor
2. Getting first-pass access to TMP events, workshops, newsletters, work/internship opportunities, and more!
3. Being a part of a tight-knit community that cares for your wellness, growth, and journey.
To learn more about the TMP leadership team, click here! The mentee application will re-open sometime in early September so keep your attention out for that invitation if you’d like to join TMP! If you have any questions about the STARS Transition Mentorship Program please contact Vivianna Alvarez, STARS Program Coordinator, at vilalvar@ucsc.edu.


    Vivianna Alvarez (they/them/their)

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    TMP Coordinator

    Email: vilalvar@ucsc.edu

    Greetings! My name is Vivianna Alvarez and when referring to me please use they/them/their pronouns. I was born and raised in Houston, TX, earned my B.A from Hampshire College in Massachusetts, and my M.Ed from 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 my role at STARS I coordinate TMP, 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 the Renaissance Scholars Program when needed. 

    The TMP leadership team is a community of listeners, game-changers, and learners who desire to support you throughout your journey and growth. We are so excited to welcome each and every one of you to the STARS family and hope you’ll get involved with the Transition Mentorship Program!


  • Janie Garza (she/her/hers)

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    Lead Transition Mentor

    Email: starsm6@ucsc.edu

    Hi, y’all! My name is Janie Garza, and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I was born & raised in the Central Valley, specifically Fresno, CA. My major is Sociology and I’m passionate about education reform, culture and climate within education, writing, but my personal passions include studying astrology, spending time with my dog, and reading. What motivates me to support others and be a mentor is my own personal experiences within my journey of higher education and that led me up to it. My own struggles, failures, and successes motivate me to help others who may need the support in similar ways. Some resources I’ve taken advantage of at UCSC are Slug Support. They offer Safeway gift cards if you are experiencing food insecurity and there is a social worker from CalFresh there for students to get assistance quickly. I hope you all have a wonderful academic journey and welcome to the Banana Slug family!


  • Cameron Daniel (he/him/his)

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    Transition Mentor

    Email: starsm7@ucsc.edu

    My name is Cameron Daniel, and my pronouns are he, him, his. I was born and raised in Inglewood California. My major is Sociology with a Global Information and Social Enterprise concentration and an Education minor. I am passionate about education and youth outreach in marginalized communities. I am motivated by helping other people gain access to resources that can help them elevate their lives. The person who inspires me most is my mother. She showed me that hard work, dedication, and integrity are important. I have received resources from slug support when my laptop stopped working. They were able to give me a laptop grant that was able to pay for a new laptop. I look forward to working with new transfer students and welcome you all to UCSC!


  • Marie Sosa (she/her/hers)

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    Transition Mentor

    Email: starsm8@ucsc.edu

    Hello! My name is Marie Sosa and I use she/her/hers pronouns. I was born and raised in the East Bay. My major is Sociology and I’m very passionate about learning different cultures, social movements, and why things are the way they are in society using a sociological imagination. Some areas I am focused on in Sociology are mass media, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, and sex. I am very passionate about helping others and my community. I hope to be a traveling social worker in the future. Personally, I am passionate about traveling to new places, trying new foods, adventuring into new nature spots, and learning about the culture and traditions of those places. Growing up my mentors and community were and still are my support system. This motivates me to help others and be that support that I received. One person who inspires me is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez because she is fearless, humble, and tries to give so much back to her community. She also focuses on women of color empowerment and climate change which I resonate with. Some programs at UCSC that I’ve taken advantage of are OPERS for fun activities like backpacking or dance classes, STARS which offers a ton of resources whether its academically or personally, and Slug Support which can help others financially. Can’t wait to meet and help you along your journey here at UCSC!


  • Antonio Rangel (he/him/his)

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    Transition Mentor

    Email: starsm9@ucsc.edu

    Hello! My name is Antonio Rangel, feel free to call me Tony. My pronouns are him/his. I was born and raised in El Centro, CA (Imperial Valley) a border town in Southern California. I transferred from Imperial Valley College to UCSC in the Fall of 2019. My major is Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, a fairly new major to UCSC. I’ve always been really passionate about helping my community, whether that's at UCSC or the Imperial Valley. As a transfer student, I’ve learned how to navigate the transfer process and can use those experiences to help others succeed. I recommend every student look through the DRC website (Disability Resource Center) and look through their services. They are very friendly and offer a variety of academic support. Welcome to UCSC, Banana Slugs! 


  • Jeyson Aldana (he/him/they/them)

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    Transition Mentor

    Email: starsm10@ucsc.edu

    Hey! My name is Jeyson Aldana and I use He/Him/His, They/Them pronouns. I am currently working towards graduating in Sociology, while double minoring in History of Consciousness (HISC) and Latin American & Latino Studies (LALS). Living my whole life in Inglewood, California, I didn’t expect to move up north to study here in Santa Cruz. Yet in transferring here, I have been able to conduct my own research on campus while creating a network with professors passionate about social theory, political philosophy, and cultural studies. Since I entered UCSC, I have created strong bonds with peers, staff, and community members. I’ve also worked closely with PhD students via EOP programs. Beyond academics, I like to picnic in the meadows, play my Nintendo Switch, and café hop. Identifying as a gay, bilingual, latinx student, this campus has given me a space to understand my identity much more. The greatest support I have received during my transition is from my PhD, Transfer Academy, and STARS Transition Mentors. They have offered me guidance in navigating the institution and beyond being ‘students’, they are friends. In search of assistance, they have directed me to various resources and programs that offer services to students. I am beyond excited to meet and support y’all this upcoming academic year!


Student Resources 

  • Transfer Success Class
    Provides first-quarter, community college transfers with an understanding of the workings of a research university with an emphasis on advanced academic expectations.
  • STARS Student Budget
    Financial tool to help assist you with creating a personal budget, with your income and expenses. Evalute how much money you have each quarter by reviewing your Financial AId, income earned, family contrubutions, as well as quarterly bills and overall expenses.
  • Academic Support Resources
    There are a number of resources available at UCSC to support you in succeeding.  Be proactive in seeking help when you need it, and remember that there are many people at UCSC who want to see you do well.
  • STARS Advisors
    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.