SSHA Academic Advisors
Meet your SSHA Academic Advisors!
Director of Students Services, Lead Advisor
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."
“Failing to plan is planning to fail" ― Alan Lakein
Carolyn Barranco grew up in Los Angeles, California. She is an alumnus from the University of California, Merced and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She later attended California State University, Fresno where she completed her Master of Science in Student Affairs and College Counseling.
“I love the field of advising because it gives me the opportunity to interact with students in a way that is impactful towards their academic career. It also allows me the opportunity to share my experiences in hopes of inspiring other students to attain personal and educational success despite life’s adversities. Advising opens the pathway for me to make an impactful change in the life of a student.”
“Challenges is what makes life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful” -Joshua J. Marine
Jesus Galvan grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, IL. He attended Loyola University Chicago, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Biology. He continued his education at Iowa State University and earned a Master of Education (Higher Education Student Affairs).
“I appreciate that my experiences can both pour into and benefit from the UC Merced community – from getting to know students to working in partnership to develop a strategic approach toward someone’s goals. Serving as an academic advisor provides me the opportunity to sustain an environment that validates and empowers students, in hopes of alleviating the challenges they experience while navigating intersectional identities and their respective stressors.”
"You are growing into consciousness, and my wish for you is that you feel no need to constrict yourself to make other people comfortable." Ta-Nehisi Coates
Kitsya Macias grew up in Long Beach, a city in Los Angeles County. She attended the University of California, Santa Barbara and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Chicana and Chicano Studies. She later attended California State University, Fullerton and completed her Master of Science in Education, with a concentration in Higher Education.
“I enjoy working with students to help them realize their potential and achieve academic success. I am here to support students in their educational journey and help them navigate higher education.”
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” –Nelson Mandela
Kou Her grew up in a refugee camp in Thailand. She is an alumna from the University of California, Merced and completed her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She later attended California State University, Stanislaus and completed her Master of Arts in Education, with a concentration in Counselor Education. She graduated with distinction (Summa Cum Laude) and is a member of the Honor Society Phi Kappa Phi.
“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
Student Success Coordinator
Lauren Brackett grew up in southern California (Victorville, CA and LA County), and is forever fan of the Los Angeles Lakers! Lauren attended California State University, Fresno and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and a Master of Arts in Higher Education, Administration, & Leadership.
"I love the field of advising because of the interaction I get to have with students. I, myself, was a struggling student, and I want nothing more than to share my experiences and help students find their pathways to personal success. Advising allows for me to share the knowledge that I have gained and hopefully create opportunities for students to thrive in their college career."
“Everything negative - pressures, challenges - is all an opportunity for me to rise.” Kobe Bryant