SSHA Undergraduate Advising Staff

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SSHA Academic Advising is located on the second floor of the Classroom & Office Building (COB) at UC Merced in Room 204. Our office is open on the following dates and times to assist students, but advisors are only available during scheduled walk-in advising times.

  • Monday-Friday 9am-12pm; 1pm-4pm


SSHA Academic Advisors

Brenda Maldonado-Rosas

Manager of Students Services, Lead Advisor


Phone: (209) 228-2366     Fax: (209) 228-4007


  • Anthropology major and minor
  • Cognitive Science major and minor
  • English major and minor
  • History major and minor
  • Literatures and Cultures major and minor
  • Spanish major and minor
  • Community Research and Service minor

About Brenda:

Brenda Maldonado-Rosas grew up near UC Merced in Livingston, California. She attended the University of California, Davis (Go Ags!) and earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and Spanish. She then headed to California State University, Sacramento where she completed her Master of Science in Counseling, with a specialization in Career Counseling.

"What I enjoy the best about my job is assisting students find the connection between what they want as a career and their major and experience at UC Merced. There is no set road for people to get to their dreams and goals, so being able to show students their different paths on how to get there makes my job worthwhile."

“I am a strong believer in planning as much as one possibly can, for ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’ (Alan Lakein). Having a plan in place can eliminate many unnecessary obstacles and problems in one’s life.”

Armando Contreras


Phone: (209) 228-3029     Fax: (209) 228-4007


  • Economics major and minor
  • Management major and minor
  • Management and Business Economics major and minor
  • Services Science minor

About Armando:

Armando Contreras comes to UC Merced from Huntington Park, California (South East Los Angeles). He attended UCLA and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Chicano and Chicana Studies and a minor in LGBTQ Studies. After several years of working with first generation high school students, he attended California State University, Long Beach to obtain his Master of Arts in Education (Social and Cultural Analysis of Education). He currently commutes from Fresno and is now a proud resident of the Central Valley.

“What I like most about being an advisor is the opportunity I have to share my own experience as a first-generation college student and dialogue with students about the endless possibilities that exist when you have a college education. Being able to create a space where students can feel comfortable and welcoming will allow them to discuss their goals and passion, leading to their success”

“I change myself, I change the world” - Gloria E. Anzaldúa

Cristina Esquivel


Phone: (209) 228-7962     Fax: (209) 228-4007


  • Global Arts Studies Program major
  • Public Health major and minor
  • Undeclared SSHA
  • American Studies minor
  • Arts minor
  • Chicano/a Studies minor
  • Philosophy minor
  • Writing minor

About Cristina:

Cristina Esquivel grew up near UC Merced in Atwater, California. She attended California State University, Fresno where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work and a certificate in Cross-Cultural Competency. She continued her education at Fresno State and received her Master of Science in Counseling, Option in Student Affairs and College Counseling.

“As an academic advisor I enjoy being able to build connections with a diverse range of students, while supporting them in achieving their goals. I love that each student is individually unique, but that all students are progressing towards the same meaningful goal of becoming academically successful.”

“Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it” ― Gautama Buddha

Kou Her


Phone: (209) 228-3028     Fax: (209) 228-4007


  • Critical Race and Ethnic Studies major
  • Political Science major and minor
  • Sociology major and minor

About Kou:

Kou Her was born and raised in a refugee camp in Thailand. She immigrated to the United States to Stockton, CA. She is an alumnus from UC Merced and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. She is currently pursuing her master's degree in Educational Counseling at CSU Stanislaus.

"What I love most about being an academic advisor is having the opportunity to assist students with their academic planning and advising students to be on the right path to graduation. I look forward to providing support and guidance to students so they can develop the confidence and discipline to complete their education at UC Merced."

“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today” –Malcolm X

Danielle Quiroga

Phone: (209) 228-4131     Fax: (209) 228-4007


  • Psychology majors and minors

About Danielle:

Danielle Quiroga comes to UC Merced from the beautiful mountain town of Tehachapi, California. She attended California State University, Fresno, “Go Dogs!”, and received a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies focusing on History and Science. From Fresno, she headed back down the Central Valley to attend California State University, Bakersfield to obtain her Master of Science in Educational Counseling for Student Affairs.

“I have always enjoyed working with college students. While working in Residential Life I would see the transformation that a student would go through from their first semester to their graduation. I always admired the work that an Academic Advisor would do working with a student. I enjoy discussing the different path’s a student can take to achieve their ultimate goal. I wanted to be an advisor because I wanted to help students find the right path for their goals.” 

“I think the most important key to being a successful person in life is hard work. Vince Lombardi said once, ‘The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must pay for success.’”


Students in the following programs should email for assistance.


  • American Studies minor
  • Arts minor
  • Chicano/a Studies minor
  • Philosophy minor
  • Writing minor