Meet The Staff

Faustino Aguilar  | International Academic Advisor

Faustino Aguilar

Hey everyone! My name is Faustino Aguilar (he/him/his), and I am an Academic Advisor in the CA&ES Dean’s Office. I was raised in a little farming community in the Central Valley where I grew up raising cattle with my dad. I attended my local community college and transferred out to Fresno State, where I earned both my Undergraduate and Graduate degrees (Go Dogs!). Soon after completing my Graduate degree in College Counseling, I made my way to Long Beach and spent almost 6 years as an Academic Advisor at CSULB (Go Beach!). Now, I am super excited to be a part of the UC Davis community where I will get a chance to connect with another outstanding student population (Go Ags!). If there is one thing that I would want students to know about me, it would be this: “I love helping students just like you because I was a student just like you!” Please stop by the CA&ES Dean’s Office and say hi! When we’re not talking academics, we can chat about sports, video games, music, culture, and all of your interests as well (I love learning new things). Looking forward to meeting you!

 

Greg Anderson | Academic Advisor

Greg Anderson

Hi! My name is Greg Anderson (he/him/his) and I am an Academic Advisor in the CA&ES Dean’s Office. I grew up in San Jose, CA, did my undergrad at UC Irvine, and then was involved in K-12 education for 7 years as a teacher and college counselor in LA and SF. I spent my only year outside of California when I completed a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration at Harvard University. That year ended up being the snowiest winter in Boston history, so I feel like I earned some winter cred even though it was only one year. Most recently, I worked as an Advisor, Outreach, & Program Coordinator at UC Center Sacramento. I love helping students achieve their personal and academic goals and am passionate about the opportunity to use education to work towards a more equitable future. I live in Sacramento with my wife Hannah and our dog Mattie. I can often be found running in Sacramento in the early morning and on weekends and fill other spare time camping, cheering on the A’s and 49ers, going to concerts, and taking my pup to the dog park. Come by 150 Mrak – I look forward to meeting you!

 

Alina Bara | Academic Advisor

Alina BaraHi everyone, my name is Alina (she/her/hers) and I am one of the Academic Advisor in the Dean’s Office. I was born in Transylvania, Romania, and I immigrated to the United States about fifteen years ago. I am a proud first generation alumna from Sacramento State, where I double majored in Finance and Human Resources. Having to learn how to navigate the complicated US school system as an international student paved the way for me getting a job in advising. I love my job because I get to work with amazing students and support them to achieve their academic and personal goals. I love pandas, chocolate and Thai food. I love to travel and I love being outside. I am an avid soccer fan - over the weekend I religiously watch the Barclays Premier League and the Spanish La Liga soccer. I am a HUGE FC Barcelona fan and I consider myself lucky for seeing my favorite team, on multiple occasions, playing at the Camp Nou Stadium in Barcelona. Stop by 150 Mrak anytime, I’d love to meet you!

 

 

Erica Bender | Director

Erica Bender

Hi there, I’m Erica (she/her/hers). I am the Director of Undergraduate Academic Programs in the CA&ES Dean's Office and I joined the Aggie family in Summer 2021. I have spent most of my life in SoCal - I grew up in Joshua Tree (yes, people live there), did my undergrad at a small liberal arts university in Orange County, and earned a Ph.D in Sociology from UC San Diego in 2018. Since I’m new to NorCal, I love getting recommendations for places to see and experience. I really enjoy taking walks around campus and seeing all the different trees and wildlife that call our campus home (turkeys!?!?). Through working alongside your fabulous UAP team, my goal is to help make UC Davis an equitable and inclusive institution that enriches the lives of our students, reflects the diversity of our state, and brings justice and sustainability to the world. Outside of work, I like to spend time cooking new recipes with my loved ones, listening to podcasts, reading nonfiction, and planning road trips. I look forward to meeting you!

 

Lili Bynes | Academic Advisor

Lili BynesHello my name is Lili Bynes (she/her/they) – I’m an Academic Advisor in the Dean’s Office. I use she/her/hers pronouns. Before relocating to Northern Cali I grew up in San Diego county. A program called AVID, in high school, helped me get accepted to CSU Chico where I completed a B.S. in Health Science. As an undergraduate I was both an EOP peer advisor and an Orientation leader. Initially I went to work as a Health Educator focusing in HIV prevention and anti-tobacco work. THEN – I decided on a career change when a mentor presented an unexpected opportunity for me to get back to academic advising! In my time with the UC I have worked with students from the point of undergraduate admission all the way through graduation. Outside of work I love spending time with my family. We enjoy taking little adventures together which include our ongoing search for San Diego style Mexican food and we squeeze in a visit to the beach whenever we can. A couple tips I share with students and friends include #1 value the importance of self-care - physical and emotional health are equally important and #2 speak positive thoughts – my office has lots of positive sayings posted on the walls and I encourage students to post motivational messages around themselves too! Come visit me in the Dean’s Office – let’s talk about tacos and the beach! If we have time, we’ll talk about your grades too 

 

Vien Cantorna | Undergraduate Program Assistant  

Vien Cantorna

Hi, my name is Vien Cantorna and I am the Undergraduate Academic Programs Assistant in the Dean’s Office. When I was just seven years old, my family and I immigrated from Vietnam. I grew up in the Bay Area, but have now settled in Sacramento since graduating from UC Davis. Ever since the 5th grade, I knew I wanted to attend UC Davis, where I double majored in Sociology with an emphasis in Organizational Studies and Asian American Studies. There is nothing that I love more than spending time with my husband and our two energetic and very adorable boys. Please come by the Dean’s Office - I’ll be more than happy to assist you with your academic questions!

 

Leslie Charlton | Associate Director

Leslie CharltonHi, my name is Leslie Charlton (she/her/hers) and I am passionate about college student success and identity development, as well as social justice in higher education. I am a Bay Area Native, and earned my BA in English Literature in 1991 from the University of California, Berkeley.  I earned a Master’s (1997) and PhD in Education (2003) from the University of California, Berkeley as well.   Over the span of my career, I have served as an academic advisor, faculty member, and researcher and love working with students.  In my spare time, I enjoy hiking and watching football with my partner Mike and our two young children.

 

 

Hong Dao | Academic Advisor 

Hong DaoHi everyone! My name is Hong Dao (she/her/hers) and I am one of the Advisors in the Dean’s Office. I was born and raised in Sacramento, CA and am still living in Sacramento! I graduated from UC Davis in June 2010 with Bachelor of Science in Clinical Nutrition (Go Aggies!) and got my Master of Arts in Higher Education Leadership at CSUS in May 2016 (Go Hornets!). During my free time, I enjoy going to the gym, being outdoors, and hanging out with my family and friends. One of my bucket list items is to travel to a new place each year! Don't be stranger--please stop by the Dean's Office and say hello.

 

 

Tracy Diesslin | Academic Advisor 

Tracy Diesslin

Hello! My name is Tracy (she/her/hers) and I am one of the Academic Advisors in the CA&ES Dean’s Office. I was born and raised in Boston (forever a Red Sox fan!) and I have loved being a part of the UC Davis community for many years.  I graduated from a small, liberal arts college in New Hampshire (Saint Anselm College) with a BA in English and a Minor in both Spanish and Communications. Right after college, I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in a remote community on the Nicaraguan Caribbean coast, and that experience led me to teaching. I attended graduate school at Salem State University where I earned a Master’s in Education and I was involved in K-12 as a teacher for 8 years. My passion is getting to know students, what brought them to UC Davis, and what kinds of goals they have for their future.  As a first-generation student myself, I know that the road to graduation is not always an easy path. I take a collaborative approach in my advising, and strive to empower students to make the best decisions for themselves. In my free time, I love spending time at the coast, hiking, swimming, enjoying great food, and traveling with my husband and our young kiddos.

 

Sue Ebeler | Associate Dean

Sue EbelerHi! My name is Sue Ebeler. I am a Professor in the Department of Viticulture and Enology and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Programs (UAP) in CA&ES. My research involves flavor chemistry and analytical chemistry and I study the compounds in foods and beverages that impact flavor perception. I teach several classes—including VEN 3—so maybe I will see you in class sometime! As Associate Dean the best part of my job is that I get to work with amazing students, faculty, and staff—I learn something new from them every day and they inspire me to always want to do more to support the success of all our students. In my free time I like to read, travel, hike, and spend time with my family and our new dog, Kira.

 

Corrine "Co" Hawes | Student Leadership Program Coordinator 

Corrine "Co" HawesSalutations! My name is Corrine Hawes (she/her/hers) and I am the Student Leadership Program Coordinator in the Dean’s Office. I go by “Co” and like to put myself in the same category as Adele, Cher, Madonna, etc. I am originally from Connecticut, did my undergrad at the University of Rhode Island (Go Rams) where I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Leadership, my master’s degree at UConn (Go Huskies) in Higher Education and Student Affairs, and was most recently living in South Carolina working at the University of South Carolina (Go Gamecocks). Super pumped to be at UC Davis (Go Ags!) and appreciate the chance to connect with students through leadership skills and occasionally prank my coworkers. I am the advisor of the Aggie Ambassadors and if you’re not involved with Aggie Ambassadors then you’re missing out. Just kidding…kind of. When I’m not at work, I am usually cuddling with my cat, Flomar, singing karaoke, eating pizza, or watching reality tv.
 

Jennifer Jackson | Institutional Research Analyst 

Jennifer JacksonMy name is Jennifer Jackson, and I am the Academic Program Analyst for the CA&ES Dean’s Office. I am from Paradise, California, a small town in Northern California near Chico. I came to UC Davis as an undergrad and played Club Volleyball and completed a B.S. in Exercise Biology with a minor in Psychology. As a student I also worked for UC Davis Orientation and helped to welcome brand new students to campus. One of my favorite parts of campus is the Dairy Research and Teaching Facility and I enjoy visiting the cows. As the Academic Program Analyst in our office, I assist our Associate Dean of Undergraduate Academic Programs, Sue Ebeler, and examine data about our college and majors. I am also frequently at the events that the CA&ES Dean’s Office puts on for our students to help out and meet students. Outside of the office, I spend my time playing volleyball, hiking, and I also enjoy going to the movies. 

 

Florence “Flora” Jathanna | Student Activities and Engagement Coordinator

Florence “Flora” Jathanna

Hey there! My name is Florence Jathanna (she/her/hers) and I am the Student Activities and Engagement Coordinator for the CA&ES Dean’s Office. I moved from Mumbai, India to Colorado Springs, CO when I was nine, and recently relocated to Berkeley, CA. I was a concurrently enrolled high school student and earned an Associate Degree when I was 17 years old, and later attended the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs for both my B.A. in Psychology and my M.A. in Leadership with a concentration in Student Affairs and Higher Education (go Mountain Lions!) Working with students is one of my favorite things to do, and I’m deeply passionate about education policy, specifically pertaining to diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice. I’m a self-proclaimed food snob, and you can catch me browsing furniture catalogs at any given time. I look forward to getting to know you!

 

Honora | Academic Advisor

Honora KnoppI (she/her) earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from California Polytechnic State University, Pomona, and a Master of Science in Leadership and Management from the University of La Verne. My background includes student affairs, residence life, orientation, first-year experience, and academic advising. I am passionate about centering our students' experiences and engaging in collaborative work towards connection, belonging, and equity-based learning environments. As a life-long learner, I enjoy researchand dialogue on amplifying creating meaningful connections, wholehearted organizational cultures, and spiritual practices. Serving as a founding academic advisor for our Aggie Jumpstart community brings so much joy!

 

 

Joe Lee | Academic Advisor

Joe LeeMy name is Joe and I am one of the Academic Advisors in the CA&ES Dean’s Office.  I was born in Santa Cruz, California and raised in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  I was a first generation college student and I am a proud alum of UC Davis, graduating with a B.A. in History and a Minor in Education.  As an advisor, I hope to mentor students as they consider their interests and prepare for life after graduation.  I recognize that graduation is an important milestone, but the goals that students develop incorporate what they hope to become after they graduate.  I appreciate the opportunity to hear student’s goals and aspirations and enjoy working collaboratively alongside students to help them achieve their goals.  When I’m outside my office, I enjoy spending time with the Aggie Ambassadors, our college student leadership and outreach organization and meeting future UC Davis Aggies at various recruitment events.  I am also a liaison between our college and the California Agricultural Teachers’ Association and have the pleasure to work with tremendous high school teachers and community college faculty helping Future Farmers of America (FFA) students transition and navigate life at UC Davis.  Outside of work, my wife Marie and I enjoy going camping and visiting national parks, vacationing with friends, and spending time with family.  I am an avid Bay Area sports fan and try to catch as many games as I can.

 

John Lee | Academic Advisor

John Lee

Howdy howdy howdy! My name is John (he/him), and I am one of the Academic Advisors for the CA&ES Dean's Office!  I am born and raised in the Bay Area, transferred to UC Berkeley where I received my bachelor's in Sociology, and received my Master's in Career Counseling from Sac State. Prior to joining this team, I've worked in mobile gaming in San Francisco, and overseas in Asia as an English teacher. Identifying as first-generation, I have a strong passion working with many different diverse populations of students and always strive to be a social justice ally for students by providing equitable and holistic advising. I love sneakers, building gunpla, and watching sports (Go Giants!). Going on hikes with my furbaby, eating yummy food, and binging anime are a few ways I practice self-care. Hope to see you at 150 Mrak!

 

Clarissa Mark | First-Year Academic Advisor

Clarissa Mark

My name is Clarissa Mark and I'm very excited to join the UAP team! I did my undergraduate work at UC San Diego as a Psychology major and earned my master's degree in Organization & Leadership from the University of San Francisco. I was born and raised in the Bay Area, which means I am a huge Bay Area sports fan - Niners, Warriors, and the Giants! In my spare time I enjoy working out either in the gym or going for a run outdoors, admiring cute dogs on the internet, trying new ramen restaurants, and watching HGTV shows. I worked at UC Berkeley in various roles within the College of Letters and Science for 6 years but now I can't wait to return to UC Davis, where I started my higher education career back in 2012. 

 

 

Vanessa Talavera | Student Outreach Coordinator

Vanessa Talavera

Hi! Nice to e-meet you, my name is Vanessa Talavera (she/hers) and I am the Student Outreach Coordinator. I was born and raised in Sacramento, CA and graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. in Human Development and a minor in Education. In addition to studying, I enjoyed working as a peer advisor, Aggie Stadium assistant, and conducting research as a Ronald E. McNair scholar. I was also actively involved Mujeres Ayudando la Raza and the NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program. After undergrad, I obtained my master's in Educational Studies with an emphasis in Educational Leadership & Policy from the University of Michigan. Although the Midwest winters were fun, I returned home and to UC Davis. Being back in Sac, I enjoy relaxing with my maltipoo, DaVinci, baking, and going on new adventures.

More information about our staff can be found on the college directory.