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Meet the Staff

Advisor assignments for 2020-21 are listed below.

For more information, read the message sent to your UCM email on Fri. 8/21.

The general email for BAC is bac@ucmerced.edu.

 

BOBCAT ADVISING CENTER TEAM:

Michelle Roppeau, Ph.D.

Director of First Year and Undeclared Advising

maroppeau@ucmerced.edu

(209) 382-4407

 

Maribel Rivera-Bonilla

Administrative & Operations Coordinator

mrivera-bonilla@ucmerced.edu

(209) 291-9739 (BAC front desk)

 

 

 

ACADEMIC ADVISORS:

 

 

Kenya Alas, M.S., Senior Academic Advisor

kalas2@ucmerced.edu, (209) 228-3393

     * Advises 2020-21 first years with last name A

     * Advises 2020-21 non-transfer second and third year undeclared with last name A-Z

 

Kenya's story:

I was born and raised in Los Angeles and my family is from El Salvador. In January 2018, I relocated to Merced to become part of the wonderful Bobcat Advising Center team. I completed my B.A. in child and adolescent development at Cal State Northridge and my M.S. in college counseling and student development at Azusa Pacific University. I am the first in my family to complete a graduate degree. Additionally, I am an animal lover: I have eight parakeets and two dogs named Rocky and Niro.  I am excited to work with all my assigned Bobcats!

 

Giovanni Alejo, M.S., Academic Advisor

galejo3@ucmerced.edu, (209) 228-3395

     * Advises 2020-21 first years with last name B, D, H, N, U

 

Giovanni's story:

I am from Salinas and identify as a first-generation low income student of color.  I started at Hartnell Community College then transferred to UC Berkeley where I completed a B.A. in psychology.  In December 2019, I completed my M.S. in counseling with an emphasis in student affairs and college counseling at Fresno State.  I have had the opportunity to travel to Germany and Cancun and like to work out, inspire others, and learn about my students’ stories.

 

Lai Lor, M.S., Academic Advisor

llor3@ucmerced.edu, (209) 228-3396

     * Advises 2020-21 first years with last name L, P, T

 

Lai's story:

I am a native of Merced who started my higher education journey at Merced College.  I then transferred to Fresno State where I earned a B.A. in psychology and an M.S. in counseling with an emphasis in student affairs and college counseling.  During my graduate program, I completed 1200 hours of internships as part of my degree!  I have competed in the Miss Hmong Central Valley, Miss Hmong California, and Miss Hmong International pageants where my platform focused on the significance of higher education for Hmong youth, the value of counseling and mentoring, and the importance of pursuing your dreams.

 

Cesar Ochoa, M.A., Academic Advisor

cochoa28@ucmerced.edu, (209) 228-3394

     * Advises 2020-21 first years with last name E, K, O, R, X, Y

 

Cesar's story:

I am a native of Merced and completed a B.A. in geography (human systematic emphasis) from Fresno State.  I then earned a social science teaching credential and completed my M.A. in education with a counseling emphasis with distinction at CSU Stanislaus.  I enjoy spending time with my wife and two kids, hanging out with friends and family, running, reading social science books, learning to play the guitar, and playing vinyl records.

 

Alan Reynolds, Ph.D., Senior Academic Advisor & Coordinator for Undeclared Transfer Student Support

areynolds8@ucmerced.edu, (209) 228-3369

     * Advises 2020-21 first years with last name G, I, S, W

     * Advises 2020-21 undeclared lower division transfers with last name A-Z

 

Alan's story:

I am a native of Chico and completed a B.A. with a double major in philosophy and political science at Pepperdine University in Malibu.  I then went to the University of Oregon and completed my M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy.  I am happy to be back in California after working for the last four years as an academic advisor at Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina.  A fun fact about me:  when I was younger, I competed in the national yo-yo championship. 

 

Teresa Salters, Academic Advisor

tsalters@ucmerced.edu, (209) 228-3387

     * Advises 2020-21 first years with last name C, F, J, Z

 

Teresa's story:

I grew up in a variety of places including California, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Oregon.  I started my college career at Oregon Coast Community College then moved back to California and earned a B.A. in psychology with honors at UC Merced.  I am a proud Bobcat alum!  At UC Merced, I made the Dean’s Honors List and Chancellor’s Honors List and was a member of Psi Chi Honor Society.  Before joining the Bobcat Advising Center, I worked in the Transfer, Returning, & Veteran Program at UC Merced.  I am currently pursuing my M.A. in Higher Education Administration and Leadership at California State University, Fresno.

 

Linda Yang, M.S., Academic Advisor

lyang66@ucmerced.edu, (209) 228-3392

     * Advises 2020-21 first years with last name M, Q, V

 

Linda's story:

I am a native of Merced and earned a B.A. in psychology at CSU Stanislaus.  I completed my M.S. in counseling with an emphasis in student affairs and college counseling at Fresno State.  A fun fact about me:  I have lived in Merced County for my entire life and last year was the very first time I left the country when I vacationed in Cancun.