Staff

Associate Vice Chancellor, Alumni Affairs
Chief Financial Officer, UCLA Foundation

Julie A. Sina, Ph.D.

Email | Phone: 310-825-6878

Julie Sina formally and officially became UCLA’s Associate Vice Chancellor for Alumni Affairs in December 2013 after serving in an interim capacity since February of that year, during which, she demonstrated remarkable leadership skills that allowed for a creative and concerted transformation of the entire Alumni program. In partnership with the UCLA Alumni Association Board, Julie has overseen the adoption of a new alumni engagement model that has refocused alumni activity around regional and international work, young alumni involvement, attention to affinity and diversity networks, the continuum from student recruitment to career development and closer ties to alumni efforts in the professional schools and College. Members of the search committee were uniformly impressed with Julie’s dynamic vision for alumni connectivity – both within the campus and with one another. It should come as no surprise that Julie’s long and deep career in Student Affairs and Board leadership prior to her arrival at UCLA evolves naturally into the realm of alumni engagement and Association partnership. Indeed, Julie’s blue and gold spirit and true Bruin values, coupled with her special talent for aligning many moving parts within a common vision made her the standout candidate. Julie served as Chief of Staff supporting the deans and the College prior to joining External Affairs.

In addition to Alumni Affairs, Julie leads the Advancement Services division and serves as C.F.O. for the UCLA Foundation and UCLA Investment Company.

Julie earned her Ph.D. at Virginia Tech and in addition to Virginia Tech has served the University of Florida, University of the Pacific, Iowa State and University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Coordinator, UCLA Alumni Affairs’ Affinity Programs

Juliana Alvarez ’08

Email | Phone: 310-825-6338

Juliana Alvarez is the coordinator for UCLA Alumni Affairs’ Affinity Programs. Previously, she was the administrative specialist for the operations and external relations unit in the UCLA Graduate Division, where she managed the dean’s suite office and coordinated events such as the UCLA Doctoral Hooding Ceremony and the Chancellor’s Award for Postdoctoral Research.

After graduating from UCLA in 2008, Alvarez worked in the public sector as a congressional intern with Rep. Howard Berman’s district office and as a field supervisor for David Vahedi’s campaign for Los Angeles City Council in the 5th District. However, her passion for higher education led her back to UCLA. In 2012, Alvarez participated in the UCLA Staff Enrichment Program that cemented her commitment to UCLA.

Alvarez earned bachelor’s degrees in both political science and history, as well as a minor in Spanish, from UCLA.

Reservations Manager, Alumni Center Management

Burke Anderson

Email | Phone: 310-206-0537

Burke Anderson is the reservations manager of the James West Alumni Center. Previously, he worked as an event director for Regal Rents and an event coordinator for the Getty Center. Anderson brings 10 years of experience to Alumni Affairs in event and venue management. His areas of expertise include event production, logistical planning and team building.

A graduate of the University of Idaho, Anderson holds a bachelor of arts in English as well as a bachelor of science in psychology.

Finance Assistant

Ewa Barylak

Email | Phone: 310-825-9066

Ewa Barylak is the finance assistant for Alumni Affairs. Barylak began her career as a finance assistant in the Department of Electronics at the Wroclaw University of Technology in Poland. She has experience in bookkeeping, general accounting, financial administration and management.

After moving to the United States, Barylak spent more than 10 years as a full charge bookkeeper, accountant and, eventually, senior accountant for two private corporates in the San Fernando Valley.

A graduate of the Wroclaw University of Technology in Poland, Barylak holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and management and a master’s degree with honors in organization and management in industry.

Coordinator, Young Alumni and Student Engagement

Alyson Beckman

Email | Phone: 310-206-0663

As coordinator for the Young Alumni and Student Engagement team, Alyson Beckman provides event support and manages data, volunteers and program logistics. She also works with the Student Alumni Association (SAA), the Alumni Scholars Club and the UCLA Spirit Squad.

Beckman earned a B.A. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she was a student in the college of letters and science honors program. She studied abroad in London, became a member of Alpha Phi and was an active member of the Wisconsin Alumni Student Board, which is UW’s equivalent student group to SAA.

Director, Social Media

Brandie Barrera

Email | Phone: 310-825-8657

Director, Alumni Scholars Club

George Brown, III

Email | Phone: 310-206-0622

George Brown is the director of the Alumni Scholarship Club for Alumni Affairs. Previously, he was director of membership for the YMCA. George has nearly a decade of experience in student recruitment, scholarship management and student programming.

Brown is a member of the Black Staff and Faculty Association at UCLA. He is also a volunteer at West Angeles Church of God in Christ and St. Jerome Catholic Church.

Brown’s areas of expertise include building strong teams, scholarship program development and management, student programming and student recruitment.

A graduate of California State University, Northridge, Brown holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Brown is a native of Los Angeles.

Director, East Coast Networks

David Burns ’06

Email | Phone: 310-562-7508

David Burns ’06 is the director of the UCLA Alumni East Coast Networks. He brings exceptional volunteer management and leadership skills to this role. Burns has served as a volunteer for the UCLA Alumni Washington, D.C. Area Network for the past six years and currently serves as their president (since 2011). During his six years with the network, they have more than tripled their engagement numbers, developed a successful program strategy and developed a succession plan. In addition, Burns has worked in partnership with UCLA Development to launch the first endowed alumni network scholarship outside of California. He is responsible for working directly with the Washington, D.C Area Network, the New York Tri-State Network and the Boston Network.

Previously, Burns served as director of internet strategy and civic innovations for the U.S. Conference of Mayors, where he directed the technology and innovations task force; he developed and implemented new social media strategy for the organization and provided technical assistance to cities. He assisted mayors and city staff with developing their own strategies for communication and engagement.

Burns graduated from UCLA with a degree in history and political science. He is based in Washington, D.C.

Assistant Director, Membership Program Promotions

Marcia Campbell

Email | Phone: 310-983-1198

Marcia Campbell is the alumni services and promotions manager for Alumni Affairs. Previously, she was the customer care lead/blogger for MyShape.com. After graduating from college, she also spent time as a membership services associate at the Sierra Club headquarters.

Campbell’s areas of expertise include training and development, problem-solving, sales and communications. She has volunteered with Family Literacy Foundation, Meals On Wheels, Special Olympics and several after-school tutoring programs.

A graduate of San Francisco State University, Campbell she holds a bachelor’s degree in humanities with a concentration in cross-cultural arts. She also received an associate degree in merchandise marketing from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.

Budget Director, Alumni Affairs

Christina Chase

Email | Phone: 310-825-3371

As the budget director of UCLA Alumni Affairs, Christina Chase manages the budget and financials for the UCLA Alumni Association and coordinates the annual financial statement audit.

Chase began working with nonprofit organizations in 1999 and has been working in the field of accounting since 2004. She has worked almost exclusively for nonprofits. Chase earned a B.B.A. in finance from Georgia State University, with a minor in sociology. Prior to working at UCLA, she was the director of finance for Woodcraft Rangers, an afterschool program that serves youth in Los Angeles. Chase is currently a member of Woodcraft’s board of directors.

Chase was born and raised in the south and has had the pleasure of living in Los Angeles since 2007.

Director, Orange County and San Diego Networks

Julie Chiu ’94

Email | Phone: 310-650-6561

Julie Chiu ’94 is the director of the UCLA Alumni Orange County and San Diego Networks. She has immense experience in education, marketing and volunteering. Chiu has been living in Beijing, China for the past six years. While in Beijing, she has been extremely helpful in building a UCLA Alumni network and continuing to keep alumni connected to each other and UCLA. Chiu has also worked with the UCLA Undergraduate Admissions office with recruitment in China, where she serves as the contact person for all admissions recruitment trips. In 2013, she was helpful in planning two alumni receptions welcoming Chancellor Gene Block to the area.

Previously, Chiu was the assistant admissions manager at Beijing City International School, where she represented the school and focused on community outreach at education fairs, conferences and community events. In addition to this role, she was also responsible for parent relations, and building and strengthening the parent community. Chiu also worked for the Olympics in Beijing, Sydney and Atlanta; she coordinated ground transportation operations, and was responsible for the recruitment and supervision of volunteer drivers.

Chiu graduated from UCLA with a degree in sociology. She is based in Orange County.

Director, Student Athlete Alumni Outreach and Engagement

Courteney Cosso ’02

Email | Phone: 310-206-4458

Courteney Cosso is the student athlete alumni outreach and engagement director for Alumni Affairs. Previously, she managed the club from within the UCLA Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, but through a recent collaboration and partnership she is employed now by Alumni Affairs as well. She has three years experience working in Intercollegiate Athletics fundraising, marketing, membership and event planning.

Cosso currently manages the Bruin Varsity Club Mentoring & Networking Program, which helps current and former student athletes with professional development and career networking.

A former member of the UCLA Women’s Soccer team, Cosso earned her B.A. in English from UCLA. She is a member of the National Letterwinners Association of America. In 2006, she went on to earn her J.D. from Chapman University School of Law.

Director, Alumni Marketing and Communications

Anthony Cube

Email | Phone: 310-206-0410

Anthony Cube is director alumni marketing and communications. Cube is the chief editor for the all alumni e-newsletter Connect@UCLA and responsible for student and young alumni marketing in addition to UCLA Mentor Program and volunteer opportunity communications.

Prior to joining UCLA, Cube worked for the Josephson Institute of Ethics as an educational programs manager. He was responsible for coordinating and marketing nationwide training seminars for a character education program called CHARACTER COUNTS!

Cube graduated from UC Irvine with a bachelor’s degree in political science.

Director, Alumni Outreach and Engagement, East Coast

Kenneth Donaldson ’97

Email | Phone: 310-764-7690

Kenny Donaldson became the director of Alumni Outreach and Engagement for the East Coast in August 2013. In this role, he is in charge of developing new alumni networks within the Eastern United States and collaborating with existing networks.

Donaldson brings to the position skills he honed during nine seasons on the UCLA Athletic Department’s Academic and Student Support Services staff as the men’s and women’s basketball academic coordinator. He worked with student-athletes, basketball staff and athletic-academic staff to coordinate academic progress. In addition, Donaldson coordinated the Scholarship Book and Reimbursement Program for all student-athletes and served as the liaison for the Peer Learning Program for all student-athletes. For three years, Donaldson also served as the assistant director of academic services in addition to co-directing the Campus Relations Program and facilitating the athletic department’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.

From 2001-03, Donaldson served as an assistant basketball coach at Bishop Alemany High School in Mission Hills, Calif. In the fall of 1995, he was an intern on UCLA’s athletic training staff while studying at UCLA. He was a three-year basketball letter winner at Granada Hills High School, from 1990-92.

Donaldson earned his bachelor’s degree in physiological sciences (pre-med) from UCLA in 1997 and his master’s degree in sports psychology from California State University, Long Beach in 2008.

Assistant Director, Northern California Networks

Katherine Dureault ’87

Email | Phone: 310-617-8206

Katherine Dureault ’87 is the Assistant Director, Northern California and Pacific Northwest Networks. In her role, she works with established alumni networks throughout Northern California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Dureault also identifies and helps to establish new networks in her region.

Dureault brings exceptional volunteer management and development skills to this role, having a long history of serving as a volunteer leader. She has served as the president of the Del Rey School Parents club, where she was responsible for the recruitment, training and oversight of 40 board members, the coordination of 300 volunteers and fundraising efforts of $1 million per year. Previously, Dureault served in numerous capacities as a volunteer leader with her national sorority, including roles as the Northern California alumni coordinator and Northern California collegiate district manager. She was responsible for all five Northern California alumni chapters, for which she provided training, recruitment and leadership development. She significantly grew their San Francisco chapter and developed a new chapter in Silicon Valley. Dureault has recently served as the vice president of school campaigns for the Educational Foundation of Orinda, where she successfully oversaw a $1.5 million campaign. In her professional roles, she worked for Citicorp as a commercial credit officer with The Private Bank and at Wells Fargo Bank as a branch sales manager.

Dureault graduated from UCLA in 1987 with a degree in economics and is married to a Bruin.

Senior Director, Alumni Membership and Marketing

Natalee Ellars

Email | Phone: 310-206-2139

As the senior director of alumni membership and marketing, Natalee Ellars is responsible for the day-to-day oversight and management of the Alumni Affairs marketing and membership teams.

Prior to joining UCLA, Ellars was vice president for business development and marketing for Young Communications Group, Inc., an advertising agency representing the full spectrum of nonprofit clients, from education to wellness. Previously, she served as vice president of marketing for OneUnited Bank and vice president and segment manager for Union Bank of California. In those positions, Ellars developed social media marketing and online strategies to reach a national audience, directed membership campaigns, envisioned short-term and long-term campaigns to increase visibility in major markets and customized messages, marketing materials and constituent communications to reflect organizational values and increase engagement.

Ellars is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College with a degree in history and organizational psychology. She has a passion for community service and has contributed more than 2,500 hours volunteering with nonprofit organizations throughout Los Angeles. She currently serves as the board president for Center For Health Justice.

Senior Director, Affinity Groups

Cia Ford ’08

Email | Phone: 310-206-0684

As senior director, affinity groups for Alumni Affairs, Cia Ford is engaged in UCLA’s alumni relations efforts with the UCLA College, professional schools and other campus entities. She has worked in Alumni Affairs since 1990 and at UCLA since 1985.

Ford brings expertise in the broad areas of networking, data collection, volunteer management and continuing volunteer education.

Director, Alumni Marketing

Estellaleigh Franenberg

Email | Phone: 310-794-5189

In 2010 Estellaleigh Franenberg celebrated 10 years of service at UCLA. Currently, she is a director, alumni marketing, for Alumni Affairs. Previously, she was Alumni Affairs' member services manager for seven years.

Her areas of expertise include targeted and constituency-based marketing and communications, high-level customer service, campus and community relations and volunteer recruitment.

Franenberg is an active champion of breast cancer treatment, research, and awareness and has walked hundreds of miles training and fundraising for both the Susan G. Komen 3-Day and Avon walks for breast cancer. She is also a member of World ORT, an international not-for-profit promoter of education and training with more than 200,000 beneficiaries worldwide.

A graduate of San Diego State University, Franenberg holds a bachelor’s degree in theater. She is also a proud Bruin in spirit if not by degree and a life member of the UCLA Alumni Association.

Coordinator, Alumni Center Management

Byron Gonzalez

Email | Phone: 310-206-2793

Byron Gonzalez is the alumni center management coordinator for Alumni Affairs. He has more than 10 years of experience working for UCLA External Affairs.

Gonzalez’s areas of expertise include messenger services, building services and bulk mail distribution.

Gonzalez has been selected to participate in UCLA’s Staff Enrichment Program. He is a graduate of Culver City High School.

Assistant Director, Student Engagement

Zach Helsper

Email | Phone: 310-206-8968

As the assistant director for Student Engagement, Zach Helsper serves as one of the advisors for the Student Alumni Association and coordinates campus traditions such as the Beat 'SC Bonfire and Rally, and I Love UCLA Week. Although new to alumni affairs, he comes to UCLA with experience advising student groups and working in residential life at both Loyola Marymount University and Cornell University. Helsper was initiated into the Phi Kappa Tau National Fraternity and now assists with facilitating development conferences and retreats for local chapters.

Helsper attended the University of California, Santa Cruz where he received a B.A. in politics. While at UC Santa Cruz, he was involved with the college's student senate and student programs office, which led him to pursue a career in higher education. Helsper went on to receive a master's in education from the University of Southern California. His areas of expertise include training and facilitation, event management, student programming, and leadership and student development.

Coordinator, Alumni Career Programs

Diane Higgins

Email | Phone: 310-794-5202

Diane Higgins is the Alumni Career Programs Coordinator for Alumni Affairs. Previously, she was a program coordinator for the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics, a National Science Foundation conference center housed at UCLA. Before joining UCLA she worked at UC Santa Barbara as the assistant to the director of technology at the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies. Higgins’ areas of expertise include event management, program development, marketing and communications, client relations, and graphic design.

Higgins holds a B.A. in physical anthropology from UC Santa Barbara. Though not a UCLA alumna, she feels a close connection to the university as a fellow member of the UC family. In 2012, she participated in the UCLA Staff Enrichment Program which further solidified her love of and commitment to the UCLA community. Outside of work, she is a singer, songwriter, and DJ, and enjoys dancing, cooking and traveling.

She is a native of Sonoma, Calif.

Coordinator, Marketing

Michelle Horak ’11

Email | Phone: 310-794-5188

Michelle Horak is the Marketing Coordinator for Alumni Affairs. She previously worked with alumni services for four years as an undergraduate student worker.

From a family full of Bruins, Horak is the third to serve at Alumni Affairs. Both her sister and her uncle served the UCLA community at the James West Alumni Center as students and graduates, and she is proud to continue the tradition. Her areas of expertise include customer service, marketing and, as a recent graduate, general campus knowledge and involvement.

As a student, Horak worked to promote sustainability at UCLA with various campus organizations, including Education for a Sustainable Living Program. She currently volunteers as a member of the advisory board for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Los Angeles Chapter.

Horak earned her B.A. from UCLA in world arts and cultures, with a minor in film. She is a native of Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Director, Los Angeles Area Alumni Networks

Suzy Howell ’75

Email | Phone: 310-206-0691

Coordinator, Alumni Membership and Marketing

Liam Humble ’08

Email | Phone: 310-825-2308

Before joining Alumni Affairs, Liam Humble had a diverse professional career in the fields of brand strategy, media and legal services. While a design student at UCLA, Humble worked with brand strategist and UCLA professor Rebeca Méndez researching and writing the history of Denim Day in L.A., an anti-rape awareness event put on by Peace Over Violence, a sexual and domestic violence, stalking, child abuse and youth violence prevention center based in Los Angeles. At the same time, he was a valuable member of the UCLA advertising and marketing team.

Humble’s areas of expertise include copywriting, brand strategy and graphic design. His lifelong passion for the written word and the arts has driven his educational path and professional aspirations.

A graduate of UCLA, Humble holds a B.A. in design and media arts. He is fortunate to have studied under such world renowned designers and professors as Méndez, Willem Henri Lucas, Vasa Mihich, Erkki Huhtamo, Christian Moeller, Casey Reas, Drew Schnurr and Victoria Vesna.

A native of Santa Rosa, Calif., in the heart of the California wine country, Humble comes from a long line of passionate public educators. His family’s commitment to education in the public sector is part of the reason he is honored to work at UCLA.

Assistant Director, Alumni Events

Amy Hurwitz ’09

Email | Phone: 310-206-0659

As the assistant director of alumni events for Alumni Affairs, Amy Hurwitz supports the marketing and communications team and stewards vendor relations with many internal and external partners.

Hurwitz is a life member of the UCLA Alumni Association and a lifelong Bruin. She attended Bruin Woods for many years, beginning at age two, and has been 8-clapping ever since. Though she is a product of a mixed marriage – a Trojan father and a Bruin mother – her commitment to UCLA has never wavered. As an undergraduate at UCLA, she held volunteer roles with the Student Alumni Association, the Senior Class Giving Committee and Dance Marathon. She was also involved in research through the sociology and anthropology departments and interned at Planned Parenthood, Los Angeles.

Hurwitz holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and sociology, and is currently pursuing an M.A. in interpersonal communication studies. She is a native of Tarzana, Calif. and loves the Southern California sun.

Director, Alumni Center Management

Isgouhi Kassakhian M.A. ’72

Email | Phone: 310-206-0538

Isgouhi Kassakhian is responsible for management, operations and reservations of the James West Alumni Center. A focal point for high-profile events, the facility requires extensive maintenance and improvements on an ongoing basis to keep it up to standard.

Additionally, Kassakhian’s duties include budget administration and fiscal management; hiring, training and supervising; facility management and event coordination. She also manages building enhancement projects.

Kassakhian is involved with the Armenian General Benevolent Union, the largest Armenian philanthropic organization in the world, and the Gomidas Institute, which is an independent academic organization that promotes and disseminates research, scholarship and analysis related to the modern Armenian experience. Her passion is to see the recognition and affirmation of the Armenian Genocide.

An alumna of UCLA, Kassakhian studied in Germany, England, Leba­non and Jerusalem before coming to the United States. She is multi-lingual and holds degrees in history and political science, with special emphasis on Middle Eastern and Armenian history.

Kassakhian was born in Jerusalem.

Director, Young Alumni Programs

Gloria Ko ’06, M.Ed. ’07

Email | Phone: 310-206-0523

Gloria Ko is the young alumni programs director at Alumni Affairs. Previously, she was an assistant resident director in the UCLA Office of Residential Life. At Alumni Affairs, Ko administers career-oriented events such as Interview with a Bruin and Entertainment Networking Night, as well as Spring Sing – UCLA’s oldest and greatest musical tradition. She advises three student committees within the Student Alumni Association, and also collaborates with campus partners to coordinate engagement opportunities for graduate students.

Ko currently serves on the executive board of the UCLA Prytanean Alumni Association as second vice president for membership.

Ko’s areas of expertise are event planning and coordination, counseling, and career and student development. She received a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and a master’s in education from UCLA.

Coordinator, Diversity Programs

Ashley Love-Smith

Email | Phone: 310-825-6533

Ashley Love-Smith serves as the coordinator for Diversity Programs. Before joining the team, she worked as a development coordinator for UCLA Gift and Data Processing, and prior to that she served as a development assistant for the UCLA College of Letters and Science. Love-Smith is also an avid volunteer and has led service projects with various organizations including the UCLA Volunteer Center. On the weekends, she serves as a volunteer site coordinator with a local educational non-profit organization called Reading to Kids.

Love-Smith’s areas of expertise include project management, volunteer leadership and event coordination. She attended Tulane University where she majored in marketing and minored in French. In 2013, Love-Smith received her master’s degree in organizational management from Antioch University.

Love-Smith is a San Fernando Valley native. In her spare time she enjoys watching ’90s sitcoms, reading informational blogs, taking spin classes with friends, running in the park, trying new restaurants and exploring new cities.

Coordinator, UCLA Alumni Association Board
Coordinator, Northern California Networks and International Outreach

Jenny Manriquez ’85

Email | Phone: 310-206-0556

Jenny Manriquez serves as the coordinator for the alumni association board, Northern California networks and international outreach. Previously, she was the development coordinator for the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television (TFT) development office, where she managed gift processing, stewardship, budget reports, and worked with the TFT development and academic support staff to administer the online student award process.

Before coming to UCLA, Manriquez worked in the entertainment industry in script development and production on various studio and independent feature films. She also free-lanced as an event consultant at Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television (SFTV), where she managed Film Outside The Frame, SFTV's annual student awards and film festival; Summer Creative Workshop, a film and animation summer camp for inner city youth; and the Steed Symposium, a day-long panel where business, law and films students learned the “business of the business” from entertainment leaders.

Manriquez has been a long-time volunteer for Inner Kids, an organization that teaches mindfulness to children, parents, teachers and administrators. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English from UCLA and loves to go on silent retreats, watch movies with her family (when they can decide on one) and travel.

Senior Director, Athletic Partnership and Strategic Initiatives

Karen M. McClain ’85

Email | Phone: 310-825-4853

Karen McClain came to Alumni Affairs with more than 27 years of previous experience in accounting and finance. Her strengths include the ability to apply accounting, finance and business information to analyze administrative and financial operations, and skill assessing organizational efficiency and effectiveness.

Previously, McClain was a credit union examiner for the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). Prior to joining NCUA, she held various positions in the credit union industry including controller, vice president of finance and chief executive officer.

A graduate of UCLA, McClain holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics. She also earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern California.

In her spare time, McClain loves to travel and to cheer on the Bruins at the Rose Bowl and Pauley Pavilion. She is a native of Los Angeles, Calif.

Coordinator, Alumni Networks

Katie Moran

Email | Phone: 310-206-4478

Senior Director, Diversity Programs

Patricia Châu Nguyễn

Email | Phone: 310-825-9225

Patricia Châu Nguyễn serves as the Senior Director of Diversity Programs. For the past ten years, she has served in multiple roles in multicultural affairs, and diversity and inclusion work in higher education – ranging from intercultural living and learning communities, multicultural Greek life, summer bridge programs, multicultural centers, and social justice education. Most recently, Nguyễn served as the first assistant dean of students and founding director of the Asian and Asian American Center at Cornell University. She has presented at conferences such as the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education, NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, and ACPA College Student Educator International. Nguyễn also consults nationally on issues related to interfaith conversations, ethics, meaning-making and intersectionality in practice. She serves as a founding member of Racial Aikido, an affinity-based identity retreat that equips students of color at predominantly white institutions.

Nguyễn received her Master of Education in higher education and student affairs administration from the University of Vermont, and her Bachelor of Science in cellular and developmental biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Nguyễn’s experiences working with college students has fueled a commitment and passion to push institutions of higher education to build capacity towards diversity. She hopes to engage all members of the university, including alumni, to build inclusive campus communities.

Assistant Director, Young Alumni Engagement

Sandy Nguyen ’10

Email | Phone: 310-794-3437

Sandy Nguyen began her tenure as the assistant director of Young Alumni Engagement in September 2013. She strives to provide each young alumnus with supportive services and a customized experience.

Born and raised in Southern California, Nguyen joined the Bruin family as a freshman in 2006. As a student, she was involved with the Academic Advancement Program, the Office of Residential Life, Bruin Belles, Mighty Mic and the Student Giving Committee. Nguyen graduated from UCLA in 2010 with a degree in cultural anthropology.

Prior to joining the Young Alumni and Student Engagement team, Nguyen worked for three years as the program coordinator for UCLA Parent and Family Programs.

Nguyen is a proud Bruin and loves attending events and learning new things.

Director, Alumni Travel

Christel Pailet

Email | Phone: 310-206-0613

Christel Pailet joined UCLA Alumni Travel in 1994 and became the director of alumni travel in 2000. She has more than 20 years of experience in the travel industry.

Pailet strongly believes in lifelong learning through travel, and is persistently searching for ways to make the offerings more educational, unique, and a good fit for UCLA’s nearly 380,000 living alumni.

Recommitting to the Association’s continuing education mission, Pailet has been instrumental in establishing a new strategic direction for the program by featuring UCLA faculty on most tour offerings.

Pailet was born in Stockholm, Sweden.

Coordinator, Alumni Travel

Suz Park ’10

Email | Phone: 310-206-0613

As the Alumni Travel coordinator for Alumni Affairs, Suz Park helps process and coordinate travel for more than 50 different tours around the world. Previously, she was a teacher with Teach for America, serving in the South Central community of Los Angeles.

Park is a graduate of UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in education. As a student, she was involved with the Student Alumni Association and the Alumni Scholars Club. She is a life member of the UCLA Alumni Association and a proud Bruin.

Park lives and breathes the Bruin community and stays connected by hosting for Dinners for 12 Strangers and participating in mentoring programs. In her spare time, she loves to play basketball at the John Wooden Center and cheer on the Bruins at the new Pauley Pavilion. She is a true Bruin who loves to give back to the community that continues to shape her life today.

Assistant Director, Affinity Programs

Tracy Patton

Email | Phone: 310-825-9661

Tracy Patton graduated from University of the Pacific in 2003, majoring in international studies. She continued with her education, earning an M.A. in education administration-leadership and student affairs in 2005. Since that time, Patton has been engaged in student affairs in numerous capacities including residential life, academic affairs and TRIO – a U.S. Department of Education grant-funded program that works specifically with the recruitment and retention of underrepresented students.

In between her tenure in student affairs, Patton served with the U.S. Peace Corps in Africa for two and a half years. Her volunteer interests include Habitat for Humanity, Family to Family and the St. Thomas food pantry. Patton grew up in Ventura County, Calif.

Associate Director, Alumni Membership and Marketing

Paul Phootrakul

Email | Phone: 310-795-3045

Paul Phootrakul is the associate director, alumni membership and marketing. Most recently, he was responsible for working closely with corporate and campus clients to create and implement new business development initiatives that meet the Alumni Association’s and university’s changing needs and priorities. Phootrakul has also served as the senior administrative analyst of alumni relations and events at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, where he developed and implemented comprehensive alumni relations programming for more than 6,000 graduates. In addition to his experience in academia, he brings great vision and creativity to Alumni Affairs from his work at the ESPN X Games and the Tiger Woods Foundation.

A graduate of the University of California, Irvine, Phootrakul holds a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences. He also earned a master’s degree in sport management from the University of San Francisco.

Coordinator, Professional Schools

Hunnan Pope

Email | Phone: 310-206-0643

Before joining Alumni Affairs as program coordinator for professional schools, Hunnan Pope already had six years of experience in higher education administrative and student affairs. His most recent position was as program/office coordinator for the Center for Public Service at Portland State University.

Pope’s areas of expertise include event planning, student affairs, leadership development, targeted and constituency-based marketing and communication, and higher education management.

A graduate of Oregon State University, Pope holds a B.S. in business administration with a focus on management. He is a native of Elko, Nev., but he has called Oregon home for the majority of his life.

Supervisor, Alumni Services

Gil Ramirez ’06

Email | Phone: 310-794-5204

After working for several years in member services for the YMCA and in promotions for a major Southern California radio station, Gil Ramirez decided to apply his skills in service to his alma mater, UCLA.

When not working at Alumni Affairs, Ramirez enjoys spending his free time exploring Los Angeles, the city in which he was born and raised. Whether spending the day exploring the hiking trails of the Santa Monica Mountains or enjoying a musical at the Pantages Theatre, he is always looking for different adventures. The luxury of traveling the world throughout his life has helped him understand that his hometown has a lot to improve, but he also sees the many advantages available in this small part of the world.

Ramirez can be the life of the party one day, then a quiet onlooker the next. He enjoys going to rock concerts as well as the L.A. Philharmonic. His double-sided personality makes him a true Gemini. But make sure not to mention this to him because he doesn’t believe in astrology.

Executive Assistant

Kelly Ann Ryan

Email | Phone: 310-206-8962

Kelly Ann Ryan is executive assistant to the assistant vice chancellor of Alumni Affairs. Previously, she was the executive as­sistant at the Oregon Health & Science University and The Center for Medically Fragile Children at Providence Hospital in Portland, Oregon. She has 10 years of experience as an executive assistant in the medical, legal, insurance and banking fields. In addition, she worked more than 20 years in the hospitality industry and has managed locations on vari­ous film productions.

Ryan has volunteered for organizations such as American Red Cross, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Epileptic Society, Salvation Army, St. John’s Senior Resident Home, F.A.I.T.H. and the Audubon Society.

Ryan is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a bachelor of arts degree in film production and a minor in psychology.

Ryan is a native of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin.

Senior Director, Young Alumni and Student Engagement

Angela Scales ’03

Email | Phone: 310-206-2426

Angela Scales is the senior director, young alumni and student engagement, at Alumni Affairs. She is the advisor to the Student Alumni Association (SAA) board of directors, and she oversees the planning and execution of large-scale campus traditions such as Blue and Gold Week, Spring Sing and Dinners for 12 Strangers.

Prior to her current role, Scales worked for two years as a project coordi­nator for the student relations team, assisting with all SAA and Alumni Scholarships programs and events.

Before joining Alumni Affairs, Scales worked as a junior account executive with Laufer Green Isaac, a strategic marketing and communications firm.

Scales’ areas of expertise include event planning, leadership development and campus partnerships.

A graduate of UCLA, Scales holds a bachelor’s degree in communication studies. She is a native of San Diego.

Assistant Director, Alumni Travel

Kit Spikings ’94

Email | Phone: 310-206-0613

Kit Spikings has been employed at UCLA since 1976, working in the School of Education, School of Engineering, Financial Aid Office and at Alumni Affairs since 1994.

Currently assistant director of alumni travel, Spikings’s previous assignments at Alumni Affairs included working with Alumni Scholarships, community service and as Spirit Squad advisor.

Spikings is the volunteer coordinator for the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center Emergency Department’s Patient Liaison program, which provides emergency rooms with 50 volunteers. She also volunteers in UCLA’s Spiritual Care Office as a Eucharistic minister in the hospital as well as at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Westwood. In addition, she volunteers at Brotman Memorial Hospital’s Acute Rehab Division.

Spikings loves creating connections with people and travel, most recently to India.

Spikings holds an associate’s degree in child development from Valley Junior College. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history from UCLA, graduating as a non-traditional student in 1994 at the age of 48.

Senior Director, Alumni Career Programs

Nick Theodorou ’98

Email | Phone: 310-206-1995

Before joining Alumni Affairs as senior director of alumni career programs, Nick Theodorou served as associate director of major gifts for the UCLA Athletic Department, where he amassed nearly four years of fundraising experience. In addition, he has two years experience in career coaching and career placement, including marketing, membership, design and marketing communications.

Theodorou is a life member of the UCLA Alumni Association, member of the Bruin Varsity Club and his church, as well as a voting member of the College Baseball Hall of Fame.

Relationship building is among Theodorou’s areas of expertise as a result of the many years he spent as a player on professional baseball teams, his experience as a career coach and his extensive interaction with donors to the UCLA Athletic Department. His other areas of expertise include team building, leadership development, strategic planning, targeted and constituency-based marketing and communication.

A graduate of UCLA, Theodorou earned a bachelor’s degree in history in 1998. He is a native of Rialto, Calif.

Coordinator, Bruin Recruitment

Kim Truong ’07

Email | Phone: 310-206-8907

Before joining as coordinator of Bruin Recruitment for UCLA Alumni Affairs, Kim Truong worked as an associate content analyst in UCLA Information Technology Services. In this role, she served as the lead campus website editor in the Portal Migration Project. Prior to that position, Truong served as the manager of admissions operations for the UCLA School of Law. She served as a liaison between admitted students and current students for recruitment purposes, assisted in organizing admissions events and supported recruiting efforts both on- and off-campus.

As a student, Truong served as a peer counselor with the UCLA Student Retention Center, advising students on issues regarding academics, finances, community, as well as students’ social, professional and personal life. In her spare time, she is actively involved in the Reading to Kids program as a new volunteer training coordinator.

Truong is a two-time recipient of the UCLA Staff Achievement Award and is currently a participant in the Professional Development Program. She is a Bruin with a degree in psychobiology and is a native of Fresno, Calif.

Senior Director, International Outreach

Lily Chia Tsau ’81

Email | Phone: 310-206-0609

In her role as senior director of international outreach, Lily Tsau oversees engagement of alumni and the broad Bruin community, and develops previously unengaged regions across the globe. Tsau is no stranger to the international community as she is a transplant from Taipei, Taiwan.

Prior to returning to her alma mater to work in alumni affairs in 2005, Tsau was owner and president of Professional Assessment for Gainful Employment, providing career development to the disabled and disadvantaged. As an entrepreneur her role led to numerous experiences with volunteer management, including her previous role as president of the Asian Business Association, a nonprofit professional organization for owners of small- to medium-size businesses. Tsau was also a recipient of the Los Angeles Business Woman of the Year award from the National Association of Women Business Owners.

Tsau is committed to community service, having participated in outreach activities through Christmas in April/Rebuilding L.A.; Fred Jordan Mission Los Angeles; Citizens’ Oversight Committee for Los Angeles Southwest College; board member and newsletter editor for her homeowners association; 20 years as a Sunday school teacher, and member of the Children’s Commission of Rolling Hills Covenant Church.

Director, Nursing Alumni Affairs

Teresa Valenzuela ’94

Email | Phone: 310-206-9380

Teresa Valenzuela is the director of nursing for alumni affairs and outreach for the UCLA School of Nursing. Previously, she was the student services coordinator for the nursing’s Bachelor of Science program. Valenzuela has 17 years of experience in higher education administration, specifically in the offices of Student Affairs and Residential Life.

Valenzuela has participated in the UCLA Professional Development Program and the UC-wide Management Skills Assessment Program. She is also a member of the UCLA Staff Assembly and is former president of the Latino Staff and Faculty Association at UCLA.

Valenzuela’s areas of expertise include academic advising, admissions processing, team building, event planning, leadership development, communications and higher education management.

Valenzuela earned her Bachelor of Arts degrees in English literature and Spanish literature from UCLA, a Master of Arts in human development from Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena. She also has a certificate in print journalism from UCLA Extension. A native of Mexico, she has resided in Los Angeles most of her life.

Director, Spirit Squad

Mollie Q. Vehling ’99

Email | Phone: 310-206-0565

Mollie Vehling is the spirit squad director of Alumni Affairs. She has been Spirit Squad director since 1999. As a student, she was a member of the UCLA Dance Team for two years.

Vehling is certified by the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators and is frequently a judge for competitions and auditions throughout the nation. She has worked with Champion­ship Productions, helping produce a series of instructional cheer and dance DVDs. She has more than 25 years of experience and training in dance, choreography, producing and directing, and is thrilled to be working with the UCLA program.

Vehling has traveled with the program to Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai. She choreographed and coordinated the productions for each of these international trips.

Vehling earned her bachelor of arts in dance from the UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures. She was raised in Southern California and currently resides in Woodland Hills.

Director, Medical Alumni Association

Valerie Walker

Email | Phone: 310-794-4025

Valerie Walker is the director of the UCLA Medical Alumni Association. Previously, she was the outreach programs and volunteer coordinator for UCLA’s Jules Stein Eye Institute. Combining professional and personal experience, Walker has more than 15 years of experience in volunteer and board management, and program development.

Her areas of expertise include collaborating with peer institutions and campus departments, creating philanthropic and outreach opportunities, and designing programs that connect alumni to the university and fellow alumni.

A graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, Walker holds a bachelor’s degree in communications. She has also earned a professional clear multiple subject CLAD teaching credential from California State University, Northridge.

Walker is a native of Los Angeles.

Senior Director, UCLA Alumni Association Board
Senior Director, Northern California

Marci Weisblatt ’90

Email | Phone: 818-621-7926

As senior director of the alumni association board, Marci Weisblatt is responsible for providing support and service to the organization’s board of directors. She also serves as the senior director, Northern California, overseeing alumni engagement efforts throughout the region.

Prior to assuming her current role, Weisblatt was senior director of advancement for Northern California for two years and associate executive director of the UCLA Alumni Association for six years. She also served one year as interim assistant vice chancellor of alumni relations and interim executive director.

After graduating from UCLA with a degree in communications studies, Weisblatt joined the professional staff of the Associated Students UCLA. She then joined Levy, Pazanti and Associates, a prominent fundraising event firm in Los Angeles. In 1994, she moved to the American Heart Association, where she rose to vice president of corporate events and was recognized with two national awards: the Newcomer’s Award and the Award of Excellence for a Community Organization.

Weisblatt has served on the Commission for Alumni Relations, an international advisory group for the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). A native of Ohio, Weisblatt currently resides in San Jose, Calif.

Senior Director, Alumni Networks

Kristine Werlinich

Email | Phone: 310-825-4676

Director, Strategic Business Partnerships

Samantha J. West

Email | Phone: 310-825-0945

Samantha West is the Director of Strategic Business Partnerships where she is creating a business development unit within the UCLA Alumni Association that is pursuing new and thoughtful business partnerships that help meet revenue goals, provide value to alumni and are in line with the Alumni Association’s mission. She is also responsible for managing existing affinity, sponsor and advertising partnerships and coming up with additional assets and opportunities for partner integration.

Previously she led the Association’s membership acquisition program, building multi-channel campaigns that generated $1.4 million annually. Before coming to UCLA, Samantha worked as a Senior Communications Specialist for a large nonprofit organization located in Washington, D. C.

She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and while a student helped negotiate a code of conduct to ensure fair working conditions for workers who produce university logo apparel. In 2009, Samantha attended the UCLA Anderson School of Management’s Executive Program, earning a certificate in general management.

Senior Director, Bruin Recruitment

Ashli Wolf

Email | Phone: 310-825-5188

Ashli Wolf is the director of Bruin recruitment at Alumni Affairs. She is thrilled to lead this new and exciting initiative, selecting exceptional UCLA alumni to recruit future Bruins.

Wolf studied at The University of Texas at Arlington and The University of Alabama while building her professional career as an entrepreneur, owning and operating multiple businesses. This experience afforded her the opportunity to join many local, state and national organizations and accept a leadership role with many.

A true “southern girl,” Wolf is originally from Louisiana. She and her family are proud to be part of the Bruin family.

 
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