Our Staff

DRC Service Coordinators are available to offer you advising and support regarding your disability related needs. This might include:
    • discussing tips for self-advocacy
    • explaining how to utilize DRC services
    • referring you to other campus resources
    • consulting with faculty about accommodations
    • assisting you in managing disability-related concerns
    • Academic Success Strategies Appointment (ASSA)

    Rick Gubash, M.S.

  • Director

    E-mail: rgubash@ucsc.edu

    Pronouns: He/Him/His

    I joined the Disability Resource Center in fall 2013 as a Learning Specialist and Service Coordinator. Prior to moving to UC Santa Cruz from Minnesota, I worked for eight years with the Center for Adaptive (now Accessible) Student Services (CLASS) and taught Critical Thinking, a first year study skills course, at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. 

    As a person with a learning disability, I really enjoy seeing students find their strengths and a personal enjoyment of learning. I am excited to be part of the amazing resources that they can access at the university. I am truly honored to be part of an amazing team of colleagues at the DRC. My bachelor’s degree in Psychology is from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus and my Master’s degree is in Rehabilitation Counseling is from Minnesota State University in Mankato. 

    In my spare time, I enjoy kayaking, gardening, cooking and hiking. Santa Cruz is an amazing place for all of these activities. My wife and I have two adult children who live in Minneapolis and we look forward to each visit they make to Santa Cruz. UCSC is an amazing place to live and work.

  • Angela Holleman, M.S.

  • Assistant Director

    angela holleman smiling and wearing a burgandy shirt in front of blurry forrestry 

    E-mail: adhollem@ucsc.edu 

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Seeing students succeed is the most rewarding part of my job. As a DRC Service Coordinator, I meet with students with all disability types including deaf and hard of hearing students to assess appropriate accommodations. I also work closely with campus partners in advising, academic and student affairs, and faculty to enhance the services that the DRC provides to students.

    My education and experience includes a B.A. in Human Services, as well as a M.S. in Clinical Psychology with a focus in counseling. Underlying the work I do, is a desire to support students and encourage them toward independence and self-advocacy.

    Outside of work, I love to garden, travel with my friends and family, and pursue interests in counseling psychology and neuroscience.


  • Vacant

  • Service Coordinator

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    Vacant
    E-mail: 


  • Vanessa Molina, M.A.

  • Service Coordinator

    vanessa

    Email: vamolina@ucsc.edu

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    My identity as a first-generation Deaf Latina helped me develop a sense of self-advocacy that was essential in navigating my studies. During my undergraduate career, I quickly realized the importance of owning my identities that gave me the purpose of my life-long passion. My groundwork is based on social justice, equity, inclusion, and diversity. My goals cannot be achieved alone, I strongly believe in community collaboration to build a foundation where students can thrive. I truly look forward to meeting and working with students to empower them to realize they possess valuable potential and help them find the path to prosperity. 

    My educational background includes a B.A. in Sociology from CSU Northridge and a M.A. in Higher Education from the University of Denver. 

    Outside of work my interests include exploring new places, hiking, going to the beach, checking out museums, painting, and reading with my dog, Champ. Champ also likes all of the above along with belly rubs and snacks.  


  • Karen Ross

  • Service Coordinator

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    Pronouns: She/Her/Ella

    ¡Hola! Mi nombre es Karen (Kah-ren), I use she/ella pronouns. I am a Service Coordinator here at the DRC. I mainly work with estudiantes in 1:1 settings to explore environments of learning and access, and hopefully explore options together that would work best for them and their needs to set them up for success. It is SO important to me that students know how important it is that they’re here at UCSC and for them to take up space!

    I also enjoy being involved in programming and trainings to students, sus familias, and staff. I am a queer Latina immigrant from Baja California, México. I am passionate about radical social justice, dismantling systems of oppression, and queer resistance. I like to question todo! To me it is muy importante that we all have equal access to services that support us holistically and help us thrive individually and as a community.

    I have a B.S. in Psychology and multiple trainings in Feminist and Gender Studies. Outside of work, I love to spend time with my bunny pet Manu, listen to music, and because I am the epitome of a Virgo, color code ALL my stuff. Did I mention overthinking?



  • Lisa Benitez, M.A.

  • Service Coordinator

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    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
    As a Service Coordinator, I’m honored to have the opportunity to support student’s working to achieve their academic goals. I have always found education an opportunity for empowerment, and my passion for helping others find their way through education comes from my own struggles. I found school challenging, dealing with learning disabilities that went undiagnosed. I overcame various challenges to become the first woman in my family to receive an advanced degree. I understand how important critical supports and resources can be in reaching one’s educational goals.

    Raised by a single mother, I grew up attuned to women’s rights and issues. I am a proud feminist and have worked for many years in women’s health. At San Jose State, I earned a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Women’s Studies and received a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from John F. Kennedy University. I have spent my career thus far supporting people with various types of disabilities access resources and build upon their strengths in order to create their own unique pathways to success, spending the last six years working at the Regional Center in Sonoma County.

    Outside of work, I enjoy being in nature, going on hikes, and pursuing my interests in expressive arts, crystal and energy healing (Reiki).

  • Auxiliary Staff

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    Juan Castanon
    Interim Accessible Media Coordinator
    E-mail: altmedia@ucsc.edu

    Pronouns: He/Him/His

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    Alex Mazzeo, M.Ed.

    Email: drcexams@ucsc.edu

    Pronouns: He/Him/His

    I find myself drawn to spaces where student development, educational equity, and social justice are centered. I am excited to serve as the Exam Accommodations Coordinator and look forward to collaborating with instructors, staff, and students to provide exam accommodations to ensure equal access. As a white queer educator, I am committed to interrogating how my beliefs and practices are influenced by systems of power and inequity. My hope is to help bring disability justice into the political consciousness of our campus and create more accessible environments for all.

    My educational background includes a B.S. in Psychology and an M.Ed. in Student Personnel in Higher Education, both from the University of Florida.

    When I’m not at work, I enjoy listening to music, reading books, going on walks, and checking out local coffee shops. I have a huge passion for all things film and television, so if you’re ever in need of a recommendation, don’t hesitate to ask me.
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    Vacant
    Classroom Accommodations Coordinator
    E-mail: drcnotes@ucsc.edu


  • Administrative Staff

  • andrea

    Andrea Soria
    Business Office Manager
    E-mail: asoria@ucsc.edu

    Pronouns: She/Her/Ella

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    Jessica Shingu
    Department Assistant
    E-mail: drc@ucsc.edu

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    My Name is Jessica Shingu, but I prefer to go by Jess. My pronouns are she/her/hers. I started working in June 2020 as the Disability Resource Center Department Assistant. I am so happy to be a part of the DRC team and advocate for our students. I have lived in Santa Cruz for the last 9 years and I love my community and the nature surrounding it.

    When I am not working, I love reading, trying out new recipes, going to state parks and working in my garden.

     

    "I speak not for myself but for those without voice... those who have fought for their rights... their right
    to live in peace, their right to be treated with dignity, their right to equality of opportunity, their right to
    be educated." – Malala Yousafzai