Beti GirmaCalifornia Water Resource Control Board, Water Resource Control EngineerMore
Beti Girma is a Water Resource Control Engineer with the Division of Drinking Water at the State Water Resource Control Board. She is the program manager for the Lead Sampling in California Schools Program, a program created to implement the school lead sampling in drinking water regulations outlined in Assembly Bill 746. Prior to joining the Division of Drinking Water, Beti worked at the Division of Water Rights as well as at an engineering consulting firm in Davis.
Beti was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and spent her early years in Stuttgart, Germany before she and her family relocated to Davis, CA. After spending her childhood in the Sacramento region, Beti attended Stanford University to pursue a B.S. in Civil Engineering and a minor in African Studies. During her time at Stanford, Beti interned with the American Association for the Advancement of Science as well as with the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. She also studied abroad in Berlin and interned at the Technical University of Berlin’s Urban Water Management Department.
Currently, Beti volunteers with the International Rescue Committee and she also recently joined the Kenya East Kanyamamba project with Sacramento's Engineers Without Borders professional chapter. Beti is passionate about environmental health, water infrastructure, human rights, and international development. In her spare time, she enjoys playing violin in the American River College Orchestra, playing with her band Cloud Hats, reading, thrift shopping, and befriending neighborhood cats.Less
Carlos AguileraCalifornia Secretary of State’s Office, AnalystMore
Carlos is an Analyst with the California Secretary of State’s Office (SOS). He conducts organizational analyses to advise agency management in the application of governmental procedures. Carlos also reviews policies and operating processes to resolve varied matters and develop innovative practices. Prior to joining the SOS, Carlos was part of the Capital Fellows Program in 2016-2017. As an Executive Fellow with the California Government Operations Agency, he assisted in the development of statewide workforce, innovation, and management improvement policies and practices. Carlos led the coordination of multiple stakeholder agencies to develop an employee benefit encouraging bicycling as a means of active transportation in the state workforce.
He is currently an Executive Board member and Director of Digital and External Communications for NxtGov. NxtGov is a professional network of public servants looking to actively break down silos within government and partner with organizations to improve public services. Carlos previously served as the Director of Recruitment where he partnered with the local community to administer workshops and speaking engagements recruiting the next generation of civil servants. Carlos is invested in volunteering and actively seeks opportunities to learn and develop with local organizations.
Carlos is the oldest son in an immigrant family. Born and raised in the Inland Empire, his parents immigrated from Guanajuato, Mexico. As a first-generation college student, Carlos attended San Diego State University (SDSU). While at SDSU, he mentored at-risk high school students providing guidance about higher education and college. As an undergraduate, Carlos successfully organized efforts to distribute donations to the homeless population in downtown San Diego. He was also able to implement visits with other organizations to donate food and toys to local orphanages in Tijuana, Mexico. After double majoring in Sociology and Criminal Justice, Carlos began his career in public service with the City of Rialto helping over 1,000 children. Carlos was part of the local government’s task force focused on outreaching to low-income families in the community regarding nutrition, exercise, and healthy living.
Through his experiences, Carlos is dedicated to helping others and contributing to underserved communities. Carlos attributes his current success to having multiple mentors that continue to guide him. He is currently a graduate student pursuing a Master of Public Administration with the University of Southern California. In his free time, Carlos enjoys spending time with his parents and brothers, laughing with friends, listening to 90’s Hip Hop, and playing futbol.Less
Clarissa LaguardiaComplete Count CA (Census 2020), Language Access ManagerMore
Clarissa is a Latina immigrant millennial born and raised in El Salvador, Central America during the Salvadoran civil war. She has 15 years of experience in areas such as medical, community, and conference interpretation. As a linguist, she has completed translation coursework, earning certificates from UC San Diego and TMCC. She holds National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI), where she is also a Board Director. In the past, Clarissa worked at UC Davis Health System as a medical interpreter. She is the recipient of a merit scholarship from University of Arizona, National Center for Interpretation (NCI). At the NCI, she completed the Court Interpreting Training Institute (CITI) program. In addition, she holds a prestigious U.S. State Department interpreter certification. Clarissa graduated with honors and earned a B.A. degree in Communication Studies with emphasis on intercultural and international communication from CSU, Sacramento.
Clarissa is now earning her master's in Public Policy and Administration at CSU, Sacramento. She has received highly specialized training at the Intercultural Development Research Institute (IDRI) in Milan, Italy. As part of her commitment to increasing equity and inclusion, she has developed and presented intercultural awareness and effectiveness training options statewide. She heads several boards and actively supports local and national organizations that promote cultural diversity, inclusion, civic engagement, social justice, language access and equity across sectors for all members of society.Less
Deepen GagnejaCalifornia State Assembly, Legislative Aide and Democratic Caucus ConsultantMore
Serving as the Senior Legislative Advocate for the California Immigrant Policy Center, Deepen Gagneja strives to impact policy that uplifts the vulnerable. He is a co-founder and Vice President of the Capitol LGBTQ Association—the first LGBTQ state policy staff association in the country. Furthermore, he is a Leadership Academy Fellow with Equality California, selected as one of 70 LGBTQ leaders across the state. He also serves as a Political Action Committee Member for Sacramento Stonewall Democrats, which helps to elect progressive LGBTQ people and allies.
Deepen served as a policy and budget consultant for Asm. Mike Gipson who represents communities in South Los Angeles. He worked on issues that impacted the root causes of poverty, healthcare disparities, inequities in educational attainment, and other forms of injustice. Before joining the State Assembly, he served as a California Senate Fellow managing numerous policy areas and legislation that impacted the residents of his hometown in the Inland Empire.
Prior to becoming a full-time policy wonk, Deepen worked at Point Foundation in Los Angeles where he spearheaded the first-of-its-kind and largest national community college scholarship program to support LGBTQ students from marginalized communities.
Deepen’s community shaped him into an advocate early on. In 2015, he led a successful advocacy campaign to demand UC Riverside adopt a “survivors bill of rights.” He was appointed as the first Sexual Violence Program Coordinator on campus and educated over 5,000 incoming students on bystander intervention and sexual violence prevention.
At the wise age of 20, Deepen was humbled to serve as a White House Intern for the Obama Administration. He researched leadership strategies which were used to create professional development programs for senior staff—and, inadvertently, served as a great tool in shaping his own management skills. His most memorable experience, though, was giving Michelle Obama a hug.
In his free time, Deepen often pretends to be Bobby Flay in the kitchen and develops new recipes to test out with friends.Less
Estevan GutierrezCentral Labor Council - Fresno, Madera, Tulare, Kings Counties, Campaign StaffMore
Estevan Gutierrez is a proud Chicano, born and raised in the fruit basket of the world, the San Joaquin Valley. He is profoundly committed to service, access, equity, and righteous political representation. He earned a Business Administration, Marketing degree at California State University, Fresno. During his college years he served on various student leadership organizations where he enhanced student life on campus and was a voice for student fee appropriation. Soon after graduation, he was relocated to Southwest Missouri to work in the corporate advertising office of one for the top auto part retailers in the nation where he became one of the youngest corporate supervisors in the 70,000 employee company.
After the 2016 election, his career path shifted to civic engagement and electoral change. He was eventually positioned as a progressive change agent from various volunteer progress grass root groups in the blood red state of Missouri. He eventually moved back to Madera, CA where he became a Field Team Manager of DREAMers and student community organizers at Valley Forward and Central Labor Council of Fresno, Madera, Tulare, and Kings Counties. Estevan was pivotal to ensure the voter contact program was a productive and an enjoyable experience for student organizers as they advocated for working class champions to hold offices at local, county, state, and federal levels. He plans to continue serving his community and fighting for social and economic justice that the Central Valley is ripe to benefit from. He plans to continue his role serving as a board of director for Madera Coalition for Community Justice where low-income, underserved families of Madera receive opportunities and access to a quality living standard. Estevan enjoys traveling, cooking, eating, drinking craft beer, attending art museums and music shows, and spending quality time with his family.Less
Ian LeeSEIU Local 1021, External OrganizerMore
Ian Lee is an External Organizer with SEIU Local 1021. He has been employed with the labor movement for more than five years. His organizing career has taken him all across California, from organizing hospital workers in Los Angeles county to organizing college classified staff in rural Mendocino County. For Ian, organizing is more than a job; it is a lifestyle about continuously, meticulously having one-on-one conversations every day, recruiting leaders, and building a real grassroots movement from the bottom up. In his time as a union organizer, he has had the privilege of helping organize thousands of previously unorganized workers into the union.
Ian grew up in Temple City, California, a small suburb of Los Angeles. He attended the University of California, Davis, where he was actively engaged in the student movement and eventually started his organizing career as an Organizing Intern with the campus' service worker union AFSCME Local 3299.
Ian is a proud member of the Democratic Socialists of America. He is active with the Sacramento chapter, which he helped re-start in 2014. Outside of organizing and politics, Ian spends a large portion of his free time appreciating and creating art, particularly music. He currently sings and plays bass in a pop punk band.Less
Jake BrymnerThe Campaign for College Opportunity, State & Federal Policy DirectorMore
Jake Brymner currently serves as State & Federal Policy Director for the Campaign for College Opportunity. Jake’s work at the Campaign is focused on promoting college access and student success by engaging policymakers and community allies in crafting budgetary and legislative solutions to address inequity in education. In addition to supporting the Campaign’s legislative agenda, Jake led the policy efforts of the California Undocumented Higher Education Coalition and a successful campaign to secure income-based repayment options for the Dream Loans available to undocumented students.
Prior to joining the Campaign, Jake worked as Constituent Services Manager in the office of U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell. While serving in Representative Swalwell’s office, he helped launch and develop the office’s constituent services operation, as well engage community stakeholders on a range of policy issues. Jake’s experience also includes a variety of roles in political campaigns, ranging from local measures to state elections. Jake was awarded the 2011 Matsui Local Government Fellowship, which granted him the opportunity to work as a legislative intern for then-San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener. Jake holds Bachelor’s degrees in History and Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
Jake continues to volunteer for causes that help promote stronger and more equitable communities. Jake is the Co-Chair of the East Bay Leadership Council Workforce Development & Education Task Force and is an Advisory Board Member for the Davitto Leadership Academy, which helps Sacramento area youth find their passion and become advocates for their community.
Jake is from the East Bay and currently resides in the Midtown neighborhood of Sacramento. In his free time, Jake enjoys books, the Golden State Warriors, and exploring food and places.Less
Lucero SerranoCalifornia Family Fitness, ManagementMore
Lucero Serrano was born and grew up in the city of Guadalajara Jalisco, Mexico. At the age of eleven, Lucero and her family became first-generation immigrants in Sacramento CA. She is the first in her family to attend College at Sacramento State University and continues to focus her growth on higher education achievement.
Lucero’s interest and passion in the empowerment of the Hispanic community, especially first generations immigrant like herself, led her to Co-found Young Latinas Aspire, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting higher education, professional growth and networking opportunities among millennials in our region. She continues her work with for-profit companies, on employee training and cultural literacy workshops, where she can bring awareness of diversity in the workplace.
Her involvement and keen integration with the multicultural and bilingual community in the Sacramento region have given Lucero the tools to become an active advocate for education, equal opportunity and philanthropy in the community. In the past Lucero served as Political and
Cultural affairs organizer at the Consulate General of Mexico in Sacramento, She participated in the development and execution of Consular events such as Steps to College; Northern California's biggest bilingual University fair, the 6th and 7th annual California - Mexico Advocacy Day and various cultural events that promote her roots; which she described as the most essential part of who she is.
Her future goals are to join the USC Price School of Public Policy, in their MPA program, continue her work hands-on with her local community. In her free time, Lucero enjoys traveling, spending time outdoors and with her loving family and her pets.Less
Michael LemusSacramento State, Serna Center Program CoordinatorMore
Michael serves as the Sacramento State Serna Center Program Coordinator. His gender pronouns are he/him/his and he identifies as a scholar practitioner and a lifelong learner. He is proud to be #MADEINTHECSU, having graduated from Cal Poly Pomona and Cal State Fullerton. Michael has served in various leadership positions across his career in higher education, including through the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). He is passionate about social justice, holistic wellness, and of course education! He strives to learn a new thing everyday and believes in the power of transformational leadership. He also loves hiking, kickboxing, and running.Less
Miles HortonCalifornia Senate, Legislative AideMore
Miles Horton currently serves as a legislative aide in the office of State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), where he focuses on energy and utility issues as well as labor, banking, insurance, pensions, and other topics. A San Francisco native, Miles helps his boss navigate the complex politics of the city he represents and works to ensure that the Senator is able to advance a strong progressive agenda in the realms of community choice aggregation, distributed energy resources, the expansion of energy storage capabilities, water conservation, and more. He also serves as the Senator’s liaison to California’s labor unions and helps ensure successful partnerships in the effort for fair pay and working conditions.
Before beginning his job with the Senator in early 2017, Miles worked as a legal assistant on the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign at national headquarters in Oakland. There, he helped a small team of attorneys sue coal-using utilities in the Midwest and force them to replace their dirtiest power plants with clean energy. He also served on the employee union’s six-member bargaining team twice, helping to secure two progressive contracts for the Club’s hundreds of staff and ensuring equity for the lowest-paid employees. Prior to joining Sierra Club, Miles worked on political campaigns in Contra Costa County and Boston, MA. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Political Economy from Williams College in Massachusetts.
When not at work, Miles is active in an effort to ban expanded polystyrene (Styrofoam) food packaging in Sacramento and enjoys travelling around northern California campaigning for progressive State Senate and Assembly candidates. In his free time, you can likely find him hiking, biking around town, or cooking new and delicious recipes.Less
Nailah Pope HardenSelf-employed, Community OrganizerMore
Nailah Pope Harden is a community organizer in south Sacramento with a focus on environmental justice and community development. Over that last 10 years she has participated in over 30 social justice campaigns locally, statewide, nationally and internationally. Of all the work she has been involved in, she gets the most gratification out of the work she does with her neighborhood association. Nailah believes that people are moved to action by building relationship and creating a shared vision. She enjoys meeting one on one with people in hopes to find commonalities. She received her degree from CSU, Sacramento and serves on the board of various environmental organizations but none of that is how she would like to be defined. The most important thing to know about Nailah is she believes in the power of community. Her desire is change the dominant narrative around the who and what is progressive. She believes that in order for more progressive ideas to be brought to the forefront, the progressive community have to become more inclusive.Less
Nathalie NguyenBusiness, Consumer Services and Housing Agency - Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council, Council SpecialistMore
Nathalie currently serves as a Council Specialist with the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency in the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council. In this role, she is responsible for supporting the Council’s initiatives and policies revolving around homelessness.
Nathalie has held a variety of positions in local and state entities, non-profit organizations, advocacy groups, and various law firms. Most recently, Nathalie was a Policy Consultant with the Department of Social Services advocating for foster youth. While working with the department, she discovered her passion in advocating for at-risk and homeless foster youth.
Outside of work, she mentors foster youth in all aspects of their life. Additionally, she hosts various workshops to assist young adults in their college applications. She has also worked with nonprofits and lobbying firms throughout Washington D.C., San Francisco and Sacramento in many roles ranging from campaign strategies, communications, research and data, and policy development with issues surrounding education, law enforcement, and domestic violence. Her experience also includes having worked with the British-Consulate on foreign policy issues.
In addition, Nathalie was a Graduate Fellow at the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research in 2012 where she completed her thesis analyzing the California High Speed Rail and the project’s impact on the land as well as the social and economic injustices, which include displacement and gentrification.
Nathalie graduated from the University of San Francisco with a Masters in Public Affairs and Practical Politics and from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She is currently a J.D. Candidate at Lincoln Law School of Sacramento and is expected to graduate in 2020.
Nathalie was born in San Francisco, California and grew up in the East Bay. She is the daughter of Vietnamese refugees and the first in her family to graduate from college. During her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and dog as well as discovering new places to eat, and traveling.Less
Nick RomoCA State Senate, Policy ConsultantMore
Nick Romo currently serves as a Policy Consultant to California State Senator Connie M. Leyva where he primarily focuses on state environmental, education, and housing policies. Prior, Nick was a Legislative Policy Analyst at the League of California Cities, advising mayors and council members on housing, economic development, and emerging technologies. He got his start interning for current Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti and former Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa. He graduated from Pitzer College, a member of the Claremont Colleges, with degrees in Political Studies and Sociology where he also served as student body president.
Nick was born and raised in Northeast Los Angeles. From a family of public school teachers, he learned the value of public service and education. Raised by a single mother who, along with his siblings, have physical disabilities, Nick strongly believes in expanding access, equity and empathy across many sectors. He keeps close the famous Dr. Seuss line, “A person is a person no matter how small.”
From growing up in a working-class community in Los Angeles and attending college in the Inland Empire, Nick knows firsthand the negative impacts of poor air and water quality amplified by the pervasive history of discriminatory land use policies. Through his academic and professional career, he has worked to advance environmental justice. He focused his undergraduate thesis on the successful local political advocacy of Latino led environmental justice groups across the Inland Empire. His research sheds light on the growing political force of Latino communities mobilizing around local environmental and health issues. Nick’s studies and policy work have shaped recently enacted environmental laws intended to reverse inequitable land uses and equip low-income communities with the tools to fight climate change and implement innovative solutions locally.
Nick spends his free time playing guitar, exploring food, watching baseball and volunteering in local elementary schools with his partner, a first grade teacher for Natomas Unified.Less
Nikki ChanNorthgate Commercial Real Estate, Creative Service SpecialistsMore
Nikki Chan is a community advocate, graphic designer, and journalist from Stockton, CA. She graduated from Dominican University of California with a BA in Communication and Media Studies. As a community advocate, she uses her skills in design and journalism to help ignite and raise voices of people who are marginalized. She has helped her hometown City of Stockton in numerous health initiatives like the Healthy Beverage Ordinance, Greenlining the Hood, and issues affecting Asian American Pacific Islanders.
Petula Celeste BurksGreater Sacramento Economic Council, Director of Public RelationsMore
Petula Celeste Burks is a public relations and communications executive with over 20 years of experience impacting organizations’ presence and performance nationally. Before joining the Greater Sacramento Economic Council, she served as the Director of the Center for Public Affairs with Washington State Department of Health. Petula was responsible for convening collaborative project circles for in-depth discussion around policy, community relations, health equity, and communication regarding health issues affecting the lives of Washingtonians.
Before moving to Washington State, she served as the Public Affairs Director for the City of Miami Gardens where she handled media relations, grew social media presence, standardized marketing and messaging, and worked closely with the administration.
Additionally, she was the Public Affairs Officer for the City of Fort Lauderdale for almost nine years, with the responsibility for pitching ideas to the media, planning, coordinating and marketing events, researching and gathering information, facilitating public meetings, creating/writing policies and procedures and speaking on behalf of the city.
Ms. Burks has also been a sixth-grade language arts instructor at Haymon-Morris Middle School in Winder, Ga.; a public relations information specialist for the Georgia Department of Transportation; the public affairs manager for Miami-Dade County Commissioner Dennis C. Moss; the campaign office manager for Florida State gubernatorial candidate Bill McBride; and a public relations information specialist for the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism/communication from Brenau University. She is a member of PRSA, 3CMA, GAE and NEA, and the National Association of Professional Women. She was selected as one of Broward County’s 40 Under 40 Most Influential African Americans by Legacy Magazine, was named a Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women and was selected as one of Miami-Dade County’s Most Powerful Leaders by MIA Magazine.Less
Rachael VallerReading Partners, National Community Engagement ManagerMore
Rachael Valler is the National Community Engagement Manager for Reading Partners. She serves as liaison between national departments and fourteen regions throughout the country. She supports regional managers in various aspects of the volunteer program but is focused on managing background check compliance, developing training resources, best practice sharing, systems management and data analysis. This work supports the onboarding and engagement of approximately 13,000 volunteers and the support of 200+ AmeriCorps members nationally.
Prior to her role as the National Community Engagement Manager , Rachael served two years as an AmeriCorps Volunteer Coordinator for Reading Partners in Sacramento where she managed regional partnerships, volunteer recruitment and engagement. She transitioned into a staff position where she continued to manage regional community engagement and support two cohorts of AmeriCorps members.
Rachael is a UC Davis alumni and graduated with honors in Women and Gender Studies. During her years at UC Davis, she was the president of the Students for Reproductive Justice, volunteered at various organizations focused on reproductive health care and was honored with a volunteer service award. This focus on equity and social justice continues to drive her work towards increasing access to high quality reading intervention. In her spare time, she can be found reading, cooking for friends and leading a local feminist discussion group.Less
Rachelanne Vander WerfState of California, Environmental ScientistMore
Rae has lived all over the Sacramento Valley and she has always seen it as her home. She has always worked to better the quality of the Sacramento area her whole life. Rae is currently an environmental scientist with the State Water Board working in drinking water. She was also recently elected to the American River Flood Control District. As Rae grew up caring about the environment, recycling, cleaning up trails and helping others. As a young adult, she would volunteer with local animal rescues, and when she went to college Rae was involved with the local community from search and rescue, food banks as well as local church and community events for the holidays for the community. When Rae came back to the Sacramento area after college, she became an AmeriCorp VISTA, serving in a non-profit affordable housing corporation. The VISTA experience allowed her to give back to my community and work in low-income and rapid re-housing. This internship helped open new outlooks to her and drive her to find new ways to serve because as someone who cares deeply about the environment, she understood that others could not have the ability to care for the environment as they might want when they have so many other challenges affecting them daily. She volunteered, in community activities and groups that included helping the homeless, Big Brother Big Sister, judging for STEM at the local stem fair, political clubs, various campaigns, and many other community events.Less
Robert BoykinCalifornia State Assembly, Senior Legislative AideMore
Robert Boykin is currently a Senior Legislative Aide with more than six years of service in the California State Assembly. Starting his career as an Assembly Sergeant-At-Arms, Boykin worked hard to ultimately position himself to become a legislative staffer in the office of Assemblymember Jose Medina. In his current position, Boykin works on transportation, environmental protection, environmental justice, and worker protection policies. He is passionate about crafting policies that protect the environment and vulnerable communities. Boykin uses strategic planning, knowledge of the legislative process, managing of professional relationships, and focus on constituent concerns to advance legislative priorities.
Boykin attended San Jose State University as a first generation college student and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management. In college, he joined Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. to build upon his natural inclinations to give back and serve his community through mentorship, brotherhood, and community building.
A San Diego native, Boykin has built a life in Northern California with his college sweetheart, Malenda, and his two children, Lorenzo and Laila. While in Sacramento, he continues to volunteer for after school programs and looks forward to giving back to the local community with progressive ideas that will help propel Sacramento forward. When not attending to his daily daddy duties, Boykin enjoys listening to podcasts, playing video games, reading, and watching movies.Less
Sam FleischerUC Davis, Teaching Assistant, Associate Instructor, TA ConsultantMore
Sam Fleischer is a Teaching Assistant, Associate Instructor, and PhD candidate in Applied Mathematics at UC Davis. His research is in the intersection of theoretical ecology, evolution, and parasitology, where he studies how parasites move through food webs and affect the ecosystem in which they reside, and how changing ecosystems can affect evolutionary trajectories of their parasites. He also interns over summers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he has improved the software testing process for the Cassini Ground-based systems software team and assisted in developing general mission planning software for a variety of spacecrafts.
Sam is a founding officer for the UC Davis chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM), where he has organized mathematics department graduate students, postdocs, staff members, and faculty to participate in outreach and workshops related to underrepresented minorities' issues in STEM. He is an officer of the UC Davis chapter of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, where he has hosted a diverse array of professionals to share their experiences with graduate students from a variety of STEM fields. He is a Teaching Assistant Consulting Fellow at the UC Davis Center for Educational Effectiveness, where he has helped lead campus-wide TA orientations and workshops for a diverse array of graduate students and postdocs to improve their effectiveness in the classroom and office hours. In this role, he holds one-on-one consultations with graduate students and post-docs looking to improve their teaching or job application materials, such as teaching statements and diversity statements. He is also the Program Improvement and Research Lead for the TAC Fellows program, where he is leading an effort to make their application process more inclusive.
Sam volunteers as a tutor for the UC Davis Women's Resources and Research Center's STEM Cafe, which is an inclusive space for womxn, trans, nonbinary, and gender expansive scholars to receive support in Math, Sciences and Coding. He is also a mentor through the UC Davis AWM mentorship program, where he assists undergraduate women math majors prepare various application materials and connect to professionals.
In his spare time, you can find Sam hanging out with his dogs, enjoying wine and cheese with his wife and friends, and avidly cheering for Los Angeles sports teams.Less
Tara ZimonjicDepartment of Health Care Services, Associate Governmental Program AnalystMore
Tara currently serves as an Associate Governmental Program Analyst for the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) where she is responsible for Medi-Cal related policy analysis and development as well as managing various special projects within the DHCS Director’s Office. As of January 1, 2018, she will be transitioning to a new role at the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development where she will be serving as the Review Committee Coordinator for the development of California’s first All Payers Claim Database.
Prior to joining DHCS, Tara came into state government as an Executive Fellow at the California Health and Human Services Agency. This was her first exposure the health policy as well as California State government. Though healthy policy was a new area for her and a 180-degree shift from her prior role as a middle school classroom teacher, Tara became very interested in how health policy impacts children and in turn their education. Specifically, during her fellowship, she did work with social determinants of health and Adverse Childhood Experiences as well as working with the Child Welfare Council. Through her experience as a fellow, she discovered her passion to break down silos between health and education in order to holistically help improve outcomes for students.
Tara graduated from UCLA, earning her Bachelors of Arts in Economics. After graduating she joined Teach for America in Providence, Rhode Island. There she spent 5 years teaching 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade math. While teaching she also earned her Masters in Urban Education Policy from Brown University. As a teacher, Tara was dedicated to developing programs that improved outcomes for her students. She created the school’s first high – school entrance exam preparation program, a program that has subsequently not only improved her student’s acceptance rates to competitive high schools but spread to other middle schools in the district.
Tara was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and moved to Los Angeles in the early 90s where she grew up. Outside of work, Tara is passionate about yoga. She found yoga during her second year of classroom teaching as a way to manage stress. Over the last 7 years, this practice has transformed her life. She has completed two 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training programs and currently teaches two public classes at a local studio. When she is not teaching or at work you can find her hiking, running or trying her hand at gluten-free/dairy-free baking.Less
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- Catia Saraiva
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