Native Staff

Read through the profiles of the Native staff members currently working at UCSC.

    Brenna Candelaria

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    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    My family is Karuk Indian! I inherited about 6.5 acres of sacred land from our tribe when my father passed. It is off a road called “Ishi Pishi” in Siskiyou County. My grandfather is Oak Bottom Mack who first inherited the land when his brother Oak Bottom Jack died (who is my uncle). When my father’s mother was 12 years old, her mother drowned in the American River, it was then that my grandmother was forced to enroll in a residential school.
    I am a UCSC Alum! I am a first-generation college student and I transferred from De Anza Community college. I majored in Community Studies with a focus on social justice in academia. My research focus for my senior thesis and field study was on education equity and how access to academic resources impact student retention. When I was an undergrad at UCSC I was an intern at the Ethnic Resource Center maintaining an internship database and providing peer advising for undergraduate students. I also worked at the UCSC Women's Center, providing peer resource advising, and reading and writing support to re-entry students. I have been on campus for 18 years, 8 of those years was in the School of Engineering coordinating undergrad research programs. Over the past 7 years, I have provided academic advising for the Division of Physical and Biological Sciences in Math, Physics, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Earth Science and I am now the Undergraduate Academic Advising Program Coordinator and Lead Student Academic Adviser for Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology department. 
    One of my favorite things to do is to be of service in the community I live in! I have volunteered all over the Santa Cruz community, in crisis intervention services, in community centers providing academic support to high school students applying to college and also mentoring community college students preparing to transfer, and with LIFETIME: Low-Income Families Empowerment through Education in the Bay Area (supporting student parents to complete 4-year degrees).  
    I value the philosophy of being a partner with students, assessing and identifying the barrier or challenge a student is experiencing, and working together to develop realistic solutions that students can easily access. My experience as a transfer student, a first-generation college student, and an alum at UCSC gives me a unique perspective on undergraduate advising. I understand from personal experience that quality advising offered to students directly impacts student retention and success." 

  • Ganga Harrison

  • Tribal Affiliation: Mescalero Apache​

    Ganga Harrison is an MSW Intern at Slug Support in the Dean of Students' office for the 2019-2020 academic year. She has a combined 6 years of experience on campus as an Academic Adviser for Crown College, Accessible Technology and Service Coordinator at the Disability Resource Center and the Financial Aid Office. Ganga is currently attending San Jose State and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Hawaii at Hilo in 2013. She has experience navigating higher education and resources as a first-generation college student. She enjoys working with the diverse student population at UC Santa Cruz to address barriers in their environments, promoting inclusive values across campus and providing advocacy to address ongoing barriers for students with multiple intersecting needs and identities Her passion to support others to get resources to support basic needs and be able to pursue their highest goals and aspirations is what led me to pursue a Master in Social Work. 

  • Maya Woolfe

  • Tribal Affiliation: Yaqui


    Maya Woolfe is the Graduate Programs Coordinator & Advisor for the Politics Ph.D. Program and the Latin American & Latino/a Studies Ph.D. program. They received their M.Ed in Counseling in Higher Education and is committed to creating a more inclusive and equitable campus by supporting students holistically. In their free time, they practice yoga, hike, and travel.