Sociology@UCSantaCruz announces 2018-2019 Undergraduate Peer Advisors

October 12, 2018

The Sociology Department Welcomes Melissa, Alyssa, Dana and Jocelin as its new Undergraduate Peer Advisors!

Now in its fourth year, the Sociology Undergraduate Peer Advisor Program welcomes newly assigned peer advisors, Melissa, Alyssa, Dana and Jocelin! You may also recognize Alyssa who is returning as a peer advisor for her last quarter before graduating.

Peer advisors are available and drop-in advising hours have begun! The most up to date drop-in advising times are posted on our website

Peer advisors can be reached in-person in the Sociology Department, Rachel Carson College Rm 226, by phone (831) 459-4888 or email at

Please join us in welcoming our peer advisors!

Peer Advisor Program

Advising is an important part of undergraduate education. In addition to the undergraduate advisor and faculty advisors who play a vital role in advising on all aspects of our majors and minors, peer advisors are an excellent resource for current and prospective students. Peer Advisors can assist with major and minor questions, course substitution information, creating academic plans, referring to campus resources, and can speak to you about their own student experiences.

The Sociology Undergraduate Peer Advisor Program offers junior and senior sociology majors a year-long in-field experience while assisting students in their major or minor - a great opportunity for students who are interested in a future career in advising, counseling, student services or higher education. The position is year long (Fall, Winter and Spring) and students earn five units of individual study each quarter.

Melissa Cortez (She/Her/Hers) 

Hi! My name is Melissa Cortez and I am a fourth year majoring in sociology and minoring in education. I started at UCSC in the Fall of 2015 and I am super excited to be a peer advisor this year. I hope to help my peers with any questions that they have or challenges that they are facing. I have been involved in education my whole life being that two of my older sisters are teachers and have taken me to their classrooms to observe and help them out. I want to be a high school counselor in the future and I feel like being a peer advisor is a great way to start. I plan to obtain a Masters of Science in Counseling or a Masters in Social Work in addition to a pupil personnel services credential.
Fun Facts: I love Winnie the Pooh and I am obsessed with golden retrievers!

Alyssa Garcia (She/Her/Hers) 

My name is Alyssa Celeste Garcia I am a Senior majoring in Sociology, graduating this Fall quarter. I transferred to UCSC fall of 2016 from De Anza college in Cupertino, CA. I am a first generation student and also belong to the Smith Renaissance Society at UCSC. I have experience mentoring homeless and foster youth. I plan to continue helping my community by going on to Law school where I will earn my JD degree to work as a Criminal Defense attorney in Santa Clara county. I am also aspiring to simultaneously earn my PhD in Sociology so that I may have the privilege to educate the under served and underrepresented communities in which I come from. My goal as a Sociology Peer Advisor is to ensure that I can assist with allocating resources and guidance to declaring a major within the Sociology department.

Fun Facts: I love nature, hikes, animals, singing, dancing and snowboarding.

Dana Padilla (She/Her/Hers)

My name is Dana Padilla, and I'm a fourth year senior, College Ten affiliate double majoring in Sociology and Legal Studies. I'm originally from the greater Los Angeles area, the city of Carson near Long Beach and Torrance. The idea of being a student resource for students really excites me, it's a great opportunity to be able to hear first hand experiences from students still in the program! Having experience as a College 9/10 peer adviser, and a campus tour guide, I am relatively well versed in general education requirements, academic planning, basic knowledge of other majors (if you're still exploring), as well as referrals to other resources on campus. I heavily encourage all students regardless of year to utilize both peer advising and advising as often as they can, even for the little things! I wish I had visited advising more than I actually did during my time here. My academic interests include juvenile justice, youth civic engagement, youth activism, and the social implications of a failing justice system, particularly affecting marginalized communities. I am currently exploring graduate schools to pursue a Masters of Social Work after graduating (hopefully) after winter quarter, and hope to pursue a career in Child & Family Social Work. 
Fun Facts: I am embarrassingly obsessed with all things Disney; I'm an unofficial coffee enthusiast, and I religiously believe in laughter as the best medicine. Also, can we talk about Newsies, the Musical

Jocelin Petatan (She/Her/Hers)

My name is Jocelin Petatan and I’m a fourth-year sociology major and education minor. I started my college experience at Santa Barbara City College. During my two years there, I played on the women’s basketball team. I transferred to UC Santa Cruz Fall 2017. Now, I am a Modified Supplemental Instruction (MSI) tutor, and an active member in my sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta. Throughout my college experience, I have been fortunate enough to have great and knowledgeable academic advisors who have assisted me, a first-generation college student, here at UC Santa Cruz. I aspire to do the same work as those advisors, giving students the encouragement and confidence to pursue higher education. My ultimate goal is to be an academic advisor in a high school or city college.

Fun Facts: I never wear matching socks, I like to play basketball but not watch it, and I’m obsessed with avocados and peppermint!


Please join us in welcoming our wonderful new peer advisors! 

Interested in becoming a peer advisor? 

Find the application process on our website.

See Also