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Meet the Team!

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


 

  • Armando Abundis

    Armando 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.

  • Joe Arcia

    Joe 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.

  • Julio Ariosa

    Julio 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.

  • Rosalie Celestial

    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.

  • Paul Correia

    Paul Correia

    Senior Custodian

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

  • Karla De Julio

    Karla 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.

  • Brook Falkenstein

    Brook 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.

  • Sheny Garcia

    Sheny Garcia

    Supervisor, Starbucks

    Sheny Garcia has been with UC San Diego since 2019 and enjoys cooking, listening to music, and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in organizational management. She finds that directing and coaching students in their work responsibilities is the most rewarding aspect of her job, as she can be a part of their journey to success.

  • Belinda Go-Oco

    Belinda Go-Oco

    Supervisor, Starbucks

    Belinda Go-Oco is originally from the Philippines.  Belinda migrated to the United States 21 years ago and has lived in San Diego for two years. She enjoys playing the guitar and spending time at the beach. Her career goal is to be an entrepreneur and open her own coffee shop one day.

  • Matthew Gradala

    Matthew 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.

  • Manuel Hernandez

    Manuel 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.

  • Darren Hugie

    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.

  • Alex Jung

    Alex Jung

    Executive Assistant

    Alex Jung (she/her) supports Executive Director, Sharon Van Bruggen, for department wide administration. During her undergraduate, Alex served as a Student Involvement Leadership Consultant (formally known as the One Stop Desk) where she learned more about event services and administrative support. Alex has been in administration for over 3+ years and enjoys the fast-paced environment this role brings. Outside of work, Alex volunteers at the Jacob's Medical Center for the Speech Language Pathology department and enjoys spending time with her dog (Ellie) at the beach.

  • Mark Kinsey

    Mark 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.

  • Chris Ladwig

    Chris 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.

  • Raven Lewis

    Raven 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 Llamas

    Monica Llamas

    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.

  • Fausto Lopez

    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.

  • Amanda Marples

    Amanda Marples

    Assistant Director of University Centers, Marketing & Assessment

    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, and assessment. She enjoys working with such talented students and is honored to be part of their learning experiences. Outside of work, her passions include trail running, and her cats Marley and Joy.

  • Martha Martinez-Acosta

    Martha Martinez-Acosta

    Event Specialist

    Martha Martinez graduated from UCSD in 2021 earning a degree in Communication Studies. Much of her work experience revolved around non-profits organizations, as well as programs at UCSD focused on advocating for marginalized communities. She decided to hone her skills by supporting students of various backgrounds on campus through University Center. In her free time, she loves watching movies, hanging out with family and friends, and tasting San Diego’s culinary life.

  • Danny Mesa

    Danny 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.

  • Kia Neri

    Kia Neri

    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.

  • Evarist Nyibigira

    Evarist 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.

  • Maria Orozco

    Maria Orozco

    Auxiliary Operation Manager

    Maria Orozco manages the campus Starbucks and Campus Bike & Skate and all its operations. 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.

  • John Payne

    John 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.

  • Cindy Penning

    Cindy Penning

    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.

  • Raphiair Poindexter

    Raphiair 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.

  • Mirian Rios

    Mirian 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.

  • Russell Shotwell

    Russell 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.

  • Micaela Stone

    Micaela Stone

    Marketing Specialist

    Micaela Stone graduated from UC San Diego in 2017 and was also a student Marketing Assistant for University Centers during undergrad. She joined the University Centers team as their Marketing Specialist in 2022. She helps manage the student marketing team and oversees the University Centers social media accounts, the Student Event Insider newsletter,  and various marketing initiatives. Micaela enjoys taking care of her many plants, reading, trying out new coffee shops, thrifting, and going on hikes.

  • Nick Vacchio

    Nick 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.

  • Sharon Van Bruggen (she/her)

    Sharon Van Bruggen (she/her)

    Executive Director of University Centers at UC San Diego

    Sharon Van Bruggen leads and directs the vision, mission, and strategic direction of the student union facilities at UC San Diego. More than 20,000 visitors a day enjoy the restaurants, study lounges, outdoor spaces, and meeting and event venues that contribute to a vibrant campus life at UC San Diego. Sharon 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 holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from UCLA and an MA in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the University of San Diego. She is a 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, and experience destinations both near and far.

  • Adam Weaver

    Adam Weaver

    Assistant Director, Event Services & 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.

  • Kris Wells

    Kris 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.

  • Lamar Williams

    Lamar Williams

    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.

  • Jim Zadai

    Jim 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.