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Meet the Team! UCEN Staff

University Centers staff members are dedicated professionals focused on creating a safe, welcoming, and lively student union for all Tritons. 

 

Executive Director

pcplaza.jpgSharon Van Bruggen
Director of University Centers at UC San Diego
Sharon Van Bruggen is the chief executive for the student union. She enjoys working with and learning from the student leaders who serve on the University Centers Advisory Board (UCAB). A few of her favorite projects include establishing the Graffiti Art Park at the Student Center and Y Más at  Price Center. Prior to joining University Centers, Sharon worked for Alumni Relations at UCLA, as well as Catholic Charities and the YWCA. She is a UCLA graduate and earned an MA in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the University of San Diego. She is an active member of the Association of College Unions International (ACUI), the National Association of College Auxiliary Services (NACAS), and National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). An artist at heart, Sharon loves to paint, travel, play banjo, and experience destinations both near and far.

   

Sophia V

Sophia Vokos
Executive Assistant

Sophia Vokos joined University Centers in 2018, supporting the Director, Associate Director, and University Centers as a whole. She is a graduate of Westmont College in Santa Barbara, where she studied Economics and Business, emphasizing Mathematics. In her free time, Sophia likes to eat good food, spend time with friends and family, and travel--especially exploring her roots in Greece.

Marketing

 

 armando.jpgArmando Abundis
 Senior Graphic Designer

Armando Abundis helps make University Centers look good. He is the creative force behind Price Center and Student Center signage, logos, posters, brochures, displays and reports.  He acts as a mentor to the student graphic design team, helping them refine their skills and build professional portfolios. He is a dedicated soccer fan and never misses a Raider’s game.

  

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Andrea Chatwood
Marketing Coordinator

Andrea has extensive knowledge of online marketing, writing and creative process solutions. She has worked in higher education at California Community College/Palomar College, National University and worked at Qualcomm. She is excited to work with students and share her marketing experience with them. She enjoys ocean breezes, making a good latte, and volunteering in the arts.

 

 

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Amanda Marples
Assistant Director of University Centers, Marketing

Amanda Marples joined University Centers in 2014 bringing her rich experiences in marketing consumer products and developing consumer research. Her wide range of responsibilities here at UC San Diego includes strategic communications, student life enhancement, facilities marketing, programs and events. She is grateful to be working with such talented students and is honored to be part of their learning experiences. Outside of work, her passions include trail running, her cat (Marley), thrifting, and nature.


 

Programs and Event Services

 

Albert A

Albert Agbayani
Event Manager/ Loft Curator

Albert Agbayani is a San Diego native and graduate of UCLA. He worked at Yale University for many years before returning home to the Southern California sunshine, and joining UC San Diego in 2018. His favorite thing about working for University Centers is mentoring student event managers, and helping them create memorable concerts and events. 

 

Rosalie

Rosalie Celestial
Event Services Coordinator

Rosalie Celestial earned a degree in theater before deciding to pursue a career in event management. In her role, she assists student organizations and campus departments  with scheduling, reservations, and planning for variety of events. Her favorite thing about working for UC San Diego is the daily interactions with amazing colleagues and students.

 

Brook FBrook Falkenstein 
Director of Technical Services

Brook Falkenstein has been with UC San Diego for more than 22 years, training and mentoring scores of intelligent, creative, and skilled student workers. He regularly attends professional conferences and training to stay updated on the latest industry developments. He loves traveling, watching movies, sailing, swimming, snowboarding, mountain biking, and attending concerts.

 

 Matt GMatthew Gradala
Production Manager

Matthew Gradala has been involved in the audio/visual industry for more than 12 years. He manages, plans, and coordinates professional-quality audio-visuals, projections, staging, lighting, rigging, and more for major events at the student union. Matt considers his time at UC San Diego to be the brightest of his career to date, as he gets daily inspiration from hardworking students. In his free time he enjoys creating visual art as well as writing, producing, and performing all types of music.

 

 Mark KinseyMark Kinsey
Assistant Director of Technical Services

Mark Kinsey joined University Centers in 2004 and has helped produce hundreds of events on campus and in the student union--everything from speed dating to high-profile political speakers. Before joining the team, he operated his own business and worked in technical services at SeaWorld San Diego. He enjoys all sorts of outdoor activities, and is a long-time volunteer with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Cave and Technical Rescue Team. He is a member of the 501st Legion, a Star Wars costuming group.

 

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Kia Neri
Commuter Events & Programs Manager

Kia Neri joined University Centers in 2016 with a focus on the needs of UC San Diego commuter students. She works closely with the All Campus Commuter Board (ACCB) and other campus partners to serve commuter students. She loves a good ghost story, salty popcorn, and collects cobalt glass.

  

 pcplaza.jpgMarcy Ramirez
Events Specialist

Marcy Ramirez discovered the importance of community building while earning her degree in Art. She has been involved in student events professionally for about 4 years in hopes that the students can find their success and celebrate with their community. In her role, Marcy assists, organizes and advises the planning process of various events planned by student organizations. She enjoys the interactions with the students and staff at UC San Diego.

 

Adam Weaverpcplaza.jpg
Assistant Director, Events & Programs

Adam Weaver joined University Centers in 2020 and leads a talented team to deliver a comprehensive slate of event services and programs to support a vibrant campus community. Outside of work, Adam enjoys spending time with his family and his dog (Fumble), traveling, and watching the Baltimore sports teams.

 

Jim ZadaiJim Zadai
Production Manager 
Jim Zadai has been with University Centers for a little more than a year and has already found his place as a mentor. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and working with the student staff who are employed by Technical Services. He finds it gratifying to know that his work helps students achieve their own successes. 

 

 

Facilities & Operations

PriceCenterEast.jpgJoe Arcia
Facilities Superintendent

Joe Arcia is responsible for supervising all maintenance activities, operations and programs associated with the University Centers and Student Center buildings. He has served UC San Diego for more than 25 years.

 

 

PriceCenterEast.jpgJulio Ariosa
Senior Custodian

Julio Ariosa has served UC San Diego for more than two years. He grew up in Cuba and in his free time he follows Cuban Baseball League games and players.

 

 

triton-fountain-at-price-center.jpgPaul Correia
Custodial Supervisor

Paul Correia has been with UC San Diego for more than 10 years. He is a true blue Padres and Chargers fan.

 

 

Duarte Rose.jpgDuarte Da Rosa
Maintenance Mechanic

Duarte Da Rosa is a skilled tradesman with 16+ years of experience working for UC San Diego. His favorite thing about his job is the great people he works with. At home, he enjoys tending to his abundant vegetable garden, and enjoys sailing as often as he can.

 

triton-fountain-at-price-center.jpgKarla De Julio
Lead Custodian

Karla De Julio has been with UC San Diego for more than 5 years; she works cheerfully to maintain the various student union spaces for everyone who visits daily. In her free time, she enjoys relaxing with family and friends and traveling to her favorite vacation spots.

 

pcplaza.jpgManuel Hernandez
Senior Custodian

Manuel Hernandez came to UC San Diego from the hotel industry and has been here for more than 5 years. When he is not at work, he enjoys relaxing with friends and family, sharing a good meal and having good laugh.

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Darren Hugie
Senior Custodian
Darren Hugie has been with UC San Diego for more than 7 years. He enjoys the campus environment and all the great people he works with; He grew up North Carolina and is a Dallas Cowboys fan.

 

 

 

Chris LadwigChris Ladwig
Assistant Maintenance Supervisor

Chris Ladwig has been with UC San Diego for more than 10 years, helping with improvement and repair projects throughout Price Center and Student Center. He enjoys being part of a creative team, tackling a wide variety of challenging projects. On his days off, he spends time building gasoline-powered remote controlled boats.

 

 pcplaza.jpgRaven Lewis
 Lead Custodian
Raven Lewis has served UC San Diego for more than 15 years, working to keep Price Center and Student Center at its best. He is a big fan of the Dallas Cowboys, and does his best to never miss a game.

Monica LlamasPriceCenterEast.jpg
Senior Custodian

 Monica Llamas joined University Centers in 2019 as part of the night crew, making sure the student union facilities are clean, safe and ready for guests each day. She came to UC San Diego from the hospitality industry, and is a dedicate member of the team.

 

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Fausto Lopez
Senior Facility Services Manager

Fausto Lopez has worked for UC San Diego for more than 25 years. He was born in Mexicali, Mexico and went to school in Calexico, California. Fausto’s passion for customer service is contagious and he is happy to share his extensive knowledge and skills with students eager to learn. In the past, he worked as a farmer in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Washington, Nevada, and even stood with Cesar Chavez during numerous strikes.

 

 

Danny MesaDanny Mesa
Maintenance Mechanic
Danny Mesa has worked for UC San Diego for 30 years. His favorite thing about working for University Centers is meeting new people every year.  In his free time, you will find him playing golf and enjoying the outdoors.

 

triton-fountain-at-price-center.jpgEvarist Nyibigira
Bussing Custodian
Evarist Nyibigira has served UC San Diego for more than 5 years. He and his team keep Price Center clean and safe for all visitors. He is originally from Central Africa, and regularly keeps in touch with family and friends there.

 

   

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Lead Custodian 
Maclovia Orozco is a dedicated team member, using her skills and knowledge of facility maintenance to keep the student union clean, safe, and welcoming for all visitors.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family.

 

 

Doug ParrDoug Parr
Facility Services Manager

Doug Parr joined UC San Diego in 2009 and enjoys assisting the variety of events at University Centers. He is a graduate of San Diego State University, and has directed custodial, operations, and transportation departments in the public sector. Doug grew up in San Diego and enjoys exploring local neighborhoods like Normal Heights and North Park.

 

John PayneJohn Payne
Associate Director of University Centers

John Payne leads and directs daily operations of University Centers, which includes Price Center, Student Center, and Che Café, serving 20,000+ people daily. He works closely with the Director of University Centers to create and execute strategic plans for University Centers and their various business units. In his free time he enjoys all types of sports, including baseball, football, and skiing. 

 

Raphiair.jpgRaphiair Poindexter
Bussing Custodian 
Raphiair Poindexter is originally from Wisconsin and enjoys being part of the University Centers team. He has worked for UC San Diego for more than 5 years. He enjoys visiting with friends and family, watching good movies, and sleeping late.

 

 

triton-fountain-at-price-center.jpgGilbert Ramos
Senior Facility Services Manager

Gilbert Ramos is a dedicated team member who helps ensure Price Center and Student Center are at their best every day. He hires, trains, and mentors student staff interested in facility operations, with a focus on customer service that will exceed expectations. He is a proud father who never says no to a doughnut. 

 

Mirian.jpgMirian Rios
Senior Custodian 
Mirian Rios has been with UC San Diego for more than 10 years,  helping to keep the student union at its best. She enjoys spending time with family and stays healthy by attending her weekly yoga class.

 

 

Russ Shotwell.jpgRussell Shotwell
Senior Building Maintenance
Russell Shotwell enjoys taking on special projects and problem-solving for the student union. He finds it satisfying to use his skills to build, repair, and refresh spaces throughout Price Center and Student Center.  He loves the Christmas season and always orders mint-chip at the ice cream parlor. 

 

nick Vacchio.jpgNick Vacchio
Facility Services Manager

Nick Vacchio worked as a House Manager for nearly three years at University Centers before being promoted to a managerial position. He has a degree in Communications from UC San Diego and enjoys working with the eclectic variety of events at the student union. Outside of work, Nick enjoys experimenting in the kitchen and playing in San Diego’s Floor Hockey League.

 

Lamar WilliamsPricecenter.jpg
Senior Custodian
Lamar Williams has served UC San Diego for more than 15 years. He provides a variety of services that help keep the student union, clean, safe and enjoyable for all visitors. He is happiest during football season and is a long-time Chargers fan.

 

 

Retail & Auxiliaries

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Jessica Castaneda 
Supervisor, Starbucks 
Jessica Castaneda enjoys helping people get through the day with a cup of coffee! She has been with University Centers Starbucks for about 4 years. In her free time she likes checking out food and music festivals with family and friends. 

 

Kristian Cebreros
Assistant Manager, Starbucks 
Kristian Cebreros has been helping the student union Starbucks deliver supreme service for about 3 years. He loves meeting new people each week. When he's not at work, you can find him relaxing with friends and eating tacos. 

 

 

SBUX_Supers-2.jpgJenny Le
Supervisor, Starbucks 
Jenny Le joined the student union Starbucks family in 2019 and considers her team to be the best in the business! She is a busy mom who still finds time to work on arts and crafts projects and put together enviable home décor. 

  

 

maria OMaria Orozco
Starbucks General Manager

Maria Orozco manages the campus Starbucks and all its operations, ensuring an authentic Starbucks experience for all Tritons. Maria loves the work-life balance she has at University Centers and strives to be an example for student employees as they too manage school, work, and life. Maria loves coffee, her pet husky, running, and working with students.


antonio.JPGAntonio Ortiz
Supervisor, Starbucks  

Antonio Ortiz joined the University Centers Starbucks team in 2017. What he likes most about  his role is getting to know students and staff members and mentoring new baristas. He unwinds from busy days with videogames and is an aspiring photographer. 

 

 

 

 

Cindy PenningCindy Penning.jpg
Lease Admin 
Cindy Penning joined University Centers in 2018 working with Retail Lease Administration. She has a postive attitude toward her work and feels she learns something new everyday. In her free time, she likes to spend time with family and friends and claims chocolate peanut butter as the best ice-cream flavor ever created.   

 

Kriswells.jpgKris Wells
Manager, Campus Bike & Skate

Kris Wells is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the UCSD's Campus Bike & Skate Shop. He loves sharing his interest in cycling with UC San Diego students and staff, and is always happy to recommend great places to ride.