EOP Staff

    Jesus Morales/ He, Him, His

  • Jesus Morales

    EOP Director

    California State University Monterey Bay- Social Behavioral Science B.A. ; University of Denver- Higher Educations M.A. 

    Jesus Morales has joined the division of Student Affairs and Success as the new Director of Educational Opportunity Programs. Jesus is a transformational and dynamic leader who brings more than 20 years of leadership experience to UC, Santa Cruz. In his prior roles he has assisted in supporting executive decision making and continuous improvement via key roles in offices of enrollment services, counseling, IT, institutional planning, policy formation, outcomes assessment and strategic, academic, operational planning in both the California Community Colleges and State University systems. Prior to joining UC Santa Cruz, Jesus served as Director of Degree Planning Initiatives at Los Rios Community College District where he successfully implemented Highpoint Degree Planner online advising tool.

    As he transitions into his this exciting chapter at UC, Santa Cruz, he looks forward to meeting everyone, becoming a contributor to our collective agenda, and, above all, serving our current students and future educators by providing them with a positive student experience. Jesus earned a BA in Social Behavioral Science from California State University and an MA in Higher Education from the University of Denver with an emphasis in Organizational Change.


    Email: jmora103@ucsc.edu
    Location: Academic Resources Center (ARCenter) 121

  • Anum Qadir/ She,Her,Hers

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    Assistant Director of EOP | Counseling & EOP STEM RISE Scholars Program Coordinator, EOP STEM Peer Success Coaching

    B.A., Environmental Studies, Sociology @ UC Santa Cruz
    Hi! I'm Anum -  I was a first generation, transfer student at UC Santa Cruz with a double major in Sociology and Environmental Studies, having started my work in EOP as a peer coach. Now, a decade later in higher education after various roles in academic advising and coaching, I'm honored to have a role serving as an Assistant Director of Educational Opportunity Programs (EOP), at UC Santa Cruz! I believe in helping students build their agency throughout their journey at UC Santa Cruz through meaningful dialogue, counsel on campus navigation, and first-gen student engagement. Advocacy for students is the 'why' of my work! Outside of work, I love reading, hiking, community engagement, and art! Independent films, bookstores, and a solid coffee shop are some of my favorite things. 

    How to reach me: Schedule via Slug Success, email aqadir@ucsc.edu, or call our EOP front desk to schedule directly (831) 459-2296!

    Email: aqadir@ucsc.edu 
    Location: Baskin School of Engineering Room 159
    Liaison: Crown, Merril, Cowell, and Stevenson Colleges

  • Lucia Ortiz / She, Her, Ella

  • Lucia Ortiz

    Academic Counselor | Wellness Program

    B.A. Sociology, UC Santa Cruz; B.A. Latin American & Latinx Studies, UC Santa Cruz

    Welcome to EOP! As an EOP Academic Counselor and program coordinator, I hope to provide a space of support and community for all EOP students. In my role, I provide holistic counseling for all EOP students and I work with a student staff team to create fun and engaging wellness activities for our EOP community. I look forward to working with you and I hope to see you around at the ARCenter! 

    A little bit about me: I am a first-generation college graduate and alumna from UCSC! As a student, EOP was the space where I found support, community and friends. I was born and raised in Los Angeles and Santa Cruz has become my second home. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, cooking, baking, journaling, spending time with friends and going on long walks and adventures with my pug! 


    Email: luaortiz@ucsc.edu 
    Location: Academic Resources Center (ARCenter) 121
    (831) 459-2296
    Liaison: Porter College & Kresge College

  • Maurice Nicholson/ He, Him, His

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    Academic Counselor | EOP Ambassador & P2R Coordinator

    B.S. Business - Supply Chain from UW - Whitewater; M.S.Ed. Higher Education Leadership from UW - Whitewater

    Hello all ! My name is Maurice Nicholson and I am currently serving as the EOP Academic Counselor for the Peer Advising Leaders (PALS). I am originally from Milwaukee, WI and just moved to the beautiful state of California. I identify as mixed raced/bi-racial (African American/Black and Puerto Rican). I love sports, comics and art as well as cooking in my spare time. I originally attended the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater where I obtained both my B.S. (in Business) and M.S.Ed. (in Higher Education Leadership). I am grateful to be in the position I am in today as I come from very humble beginnings. Because of this, I intend to dedicate my life’s work to student success and retention. I believe that learning is a never ending journey and that we should never stop educating ourselves and growing. I am proud to be serving the students here at the University of California, Santa Cruz and hope to make an impact in the lives of our students and the campus at large. I look forward to my time here at the university and I hope to be of great service to you all.


    Email: majonich@ucsc.edu
    Location: Academic Resources Center (ARCenter) 121
    Liasion: College Nine & John R. Lewis College

  • Leydi Cortes/ She,Her,Hers

  • Leydi Cortes

    EOP STEM Academic Counselor

    Santa Barbara City College — UCSB MATH BA — Cal Poly San Luis Obispo — Higher Education Counseling & Student Affairs MS

    Hello EOP students! My name is Leydi Cortes, and I serve as one of the EOP STEM Counselors. I began my undergraduate journey at Santa Barbara City College and then transferred to UC Santa Barbara, where I earned my B.A. in Mathematics. In 2023 I graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with my Masters in Higher Education Counseling and Student Affairs.

    My firsthand experiences as a first-generation, low-income, DACA-mented college student drives my passion to support, empower, and advocate for students. In my counseling role, my focus is on fostering relationships built on trust and respect. I strive to cultivate an atmosphere where students feel at ease sharing their stories. My objective is to form partnerships with students, ensuring they feel supported, confident, and connected to the resources they need to navigate both personal and educational goals.

    Outside of work, I enjoy watching new movies and shows. I enjoy cooking my mom’s recipes and occasionally trying a new recipe. My self-care routine includes walks or a workout, reading a good book, puzzles, board games, or video games, and treating myself to a local cup of coffee.

    I’m excited to connect with you!

    Email: leacorte@ucsc.edu
    Location: Baskin Engineering Building 1 Room 159 & Academic Resource Center (ARC -
    Liaison: Oakes College, Rachel Carson College, & Baskin Engineering.

  • Karina Avalos She/Her/Ella

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    EOP Academic Counselor - Undocumented Student Services

    BA in Liberal Studies, with an emphasis in Cross-Cultural Studies from The National Hispanic University.

    Karina was born in Guerrero, Mexico, and raised in San Jose, California. After earning her undergraduate degree in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Cross-Cultural Studies from the National Hispanic University, she found herself intrigued by the work of student affairs professionals. Before joining the UCSC campus community, Karina served San Jose State University for almost 10 years. In the first half of her tenure, she worked as a Graduation Evaluator for the Office of the Registrar as liaison to the College of Health and Human Sciences. In the latter half, her experience culminated as a Counselor and Graduation Data Specialist for the College of Humanities & Arts, where she supported a range of initiatives to drive student retention, graduation, and success.

    As a DACAmented counselor, Karina understands firsthand many of the challenges that undocumented students and their families can face in their everyday lives and in higher education. Once she discovered her passion for service in student affairs, she became unequivocally committed to advocating for underrepresented students in higher education. As the USS Counselor, Karina will serve with heart and skills to elevate, support, and advocate for undocumented students on campus and beyond.

    In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and her dog, Gino, going to the beach, drawing, savoring her favorite ice cream (sometimes tamarind, mostly nance fruit), cumbia, and discovering new music.

    Stop by the ARCenter to visit her in person on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, or catch her virtually on Slug Success.


    Email: kaeavalo@ucsc.edu 
    Location: Academic Resources Center (ARCenter) 121

  • Greg Carter, MBA / He, Him, His

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    Business Operations Manager

    Greg is a highly analytical Business Manager with more than fifteen years of experience working in higher education finance, operations, project management, program development and research. He is passionate about social justice and proud to be supporting the important work of UCSC’s EOP office.


    Email: glcarter@ucsc.edu 
    Location: Academic Resources Center (ARCenter) 121

  • Roberto Becerra He/him/his

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    EOP Administrative Specialist

    Psychology B.A.; Latinx American Latinx Studies (LALS) B.A. - UC Santa Cruz

    Hello everyone! My name is Roberto Becerra and I am a recent UCSC alum. During my time in Santa Cruz, EOP was a great resource that supported me all four years. I was an EOP Bridgee as well as an EOP Wellness intern for 3 years during my undergrad. Now that I have transitioned from student staff to professional staff, I am excited to provide support to EOP students the same way that it was provided to me. 

    A little bit about me is that I am a first-generation college student who was born and rained in Inglewood, California. Coming up to Santa Cruz was a huge transition for me and one that almost made me leave UC Santa Cruz within my first quarter here. I hope to meet students to alleviate their concerns regarding navigating higher education and to know that they can succeed! When I am not busy working or supporting EOP, I enjoy going on cruises with my car and enjoying the beautiful sights this life has to offer. 


    Email: rbecerr4@ucsc.edu
    Location: Academic Resources Center (ARCenter) 121

  • Ritu Goswamy They/Them

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    Staff Attorney

    Barnard College, Columbia University (B.A. Psychology, minor in English) and Boston College (Joint J.D./M.S.W. degrees)

    Ritu Goswamy (they/them) is a Staff Attorney with the UC Immigrant Legal Services Center and serves UC Santa Cruz. They are a graduate from Barnard College, Columbia University (B.A. Psychology, minor in English) and Boston College (Joint J.D./M.S.W. degrees). Prior to joining the Center, Ritu worked as a child welfare worker in Oakland, and as an attorney with the Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center (now Legal Aid at Work) and Legal Advocates for Children & Youth (part of the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley). Ritu was an Equal Justice Works Fellow with Homeboy Industries, where they founded the legal services program serving formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated people. Ritu then ran their own private immigration law practice for 15 years focused on complex family-based and naturalization cases, U visas, VAWA, asylum, and removal defense. Ritu is also a leadership and wellness coach and published author. They enjoy hiking, walking on the beach, farmers markets and ayurvedic wellness practices. Ritu is a second-generation immigrant, and proficient in Spanish and Hindi.

    Phone: 530-574-9414
    E-mail: ritu.ucimm@law.ucdavis.edu
    Location: Academic Resources Center (ARCenter) 121