UCI Dream Center

Meet the DREAM Center Staff

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Student Staff

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Allie Jeronimo

Marketing Coordinator

4th year, Anthropology and Criminology, Law and Society Double Major

Bucket List: Do a Color Run and see the Northern Lights

Favorite Holiday: Halloween. There is so much history behind Halloween, plus all the fun music, and candy.

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Elisabet Barrios Mateo

Graduate Fellow

2nd year, Sociology Doctoral Student

Bucket List: Ride a hot air balloon and visit Japan.

Favorite Holiday: Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Due to its historical significance and because it grants me a 3 day weekend close to my birthday.

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Luis Moreno

2nd year, Undeclared

Bucket List: Learn to swim

Favorite Holiday: My favorite holiday is Halloween because I can be whoever I want for a day.

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Luis Fuentes

Assistant Program Coordinator

4th year, Education Major

Bucket List: To travel the world and talk to different people.

Favorite Holiday:  My favorite holiday is Christmas because of the food and my family coming together.

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Marco Ortiz Sanchez

3rd year, Business Administration Major- Emphasis in Finance, Digital Information Systems Minor 

Bucket List: Go skydiving

Favorite Holiday: My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving because of all the food and then Black Friday.

Scholars in Residence: Graduate Mentors

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Martha Morales Hernandez

3rd year Sociology PhD Student (main research areas are in mental health and immigration)

Bucket List: I want to see Frank Ocean live. I want to open my own coffee shop.

Favorite Holiday: I do not do holidays, I do not see the logic behind celebrating them.
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Joseph Christian Labagnao Ligunas

2nd year, Comparative Literature (main research area would be Philippine Literature and Film)

Bucket List: Living my truth, so: Meet Mariah Carey and open a bed and breakfast inn.

Favorite Holiday: Probably Thanksgiving because (1) tons of delicious food and (2) it means I can listen to cheesy Christmas music without being judged too much.

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L. Diana Carreño

2nd year Pharmaceutical Sciences PhD Student

Bucket List: I would love to complete a 100-mile trail running race.

Favorite Holiday:Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because I get to spend time with my familia.

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Barbara Martinez Neda

1st year Computer Science PhD Student

Bucket List: Visit every Disney Park! Learn to bake pastries and cakes.
Favorite Holiday: Christmas; it’s nice to spend time with family, and I love the cold weather.
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Jose Mendez

1st year Education PhD Student

Bucket List: Go skydiving.
Favorite Holiday: My favorite holiday is Christmas because I get to spend time with family.

Professional Staff

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Angela Chuan-Ru Chen, Ph.D.

Interim Director

angelacc@uci.edu | (949) 824-6390

Having been undocumented herself for 16 years, her experiences as an undocumented student throughout her undergraduate career has been an influence for her passion to support the undocumented student community. Angela most recently worked as the Director of the Undocumented Student Program at UCLA which served over 500 undocumented students, launched new programming, and built resources across campus departments to better serve undocumented students.

Additionally, Angela's institutional advocacy includes leading University of California system-wide efforts to increase awareness about policies that impact undocumented students and guiding universities across the nation to develop support programs for undocumented youth. Moreover, Angela also completed academic training in UCLA's Graduate School of Education.

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Yadira K. Hernandez

Program Coordinator

yadirakh@uci.edu

Yadira is a native of Puebla, Mexico. Since she immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 15, she has advocated for undocumented immigrant rights in higher education and the community. She has managed and organized anti-deportation campaigns supporting families impacted by incarceration and deportation in Nevada and California. Previous to her current appointment, Yadira worked as the Undocumented Student Program Coordinator at UCLA, where she supported undocumented students and their families. To extend the support to undocumented individuals after graduation, she founded the first of its kind, Undocumented Alumni Association of UCLA, where she advocates and provides professional and career opportunities to undocumented alumni. She aspires to become an immigration lawyer to combat racial inequality and offer legal services to the immigrant community who are unable to afford an attorney. She is excited to work at the UCI family and support the undocumented student community and their families.

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Laura Enriquez, Ph.D.

Faculty in Residence

Dr. Laura E. Enriquez holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles. She earned her undergraduate degree in Sociology and History from Pomona College. During her time there she began working closely with undocumented immigrant students. Building on this work, she has researched, presented, and published on a range of issues related to the educational, economic, political, and social experiences of undocumented young adults who immigrated to the United States as children. She has published multiple articles on the complex role that immigration status plays in the everyday lives of undocumented young adults.  Currently she is working on a book manuscript tentatively titled, Of Love and Papers: Forming Families in the Shadows of Immigration Policy. 

She is faculty chair of UCI’s Committee for Equity and Inclusion of Undocumented Students and currently serves as the faculty advisor for UCI’s Marco A. Firebaugh House, an on-campus housing community for undocumented students and allies.