Sociology Peer Advisor Program


The Sociology Department Peer Advisors are an excellent resource for students, in addition to the undergraduate advisor and faculty advisors. 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 experiences. If you are interesting in meeting with a Peer Advisor, they are available Fall, Winter, and Spring. Please refer to the drop-in advising information for availability. You may also reach a Peer Advisor at 


Meet Our 2022-23 Peer Advisors!

Valerie Garcia

Valerie Garcia

Lead Peer Advisor


Hi, my name is Valerie Garcia, and I am a 4th-year Sociology major and Latin American and Latino Studies minor. I am a first-generation, low-income, queer, Latinx student, so I can share knowledge of the resource centers on campus and services from free printing to academic support. I have two years of experience as a research assistant and absolutely love research! I am more than happy to discuss research, how someone can get involved, or your research interests! I will be completing a senior thesis as my senior exit requirement so I can share my experience for the senior thesis process! I also know of many on-campus internship opportunities and enjoy supporting students so feel free to ask for interview advice, resume feedback etc. My goal is to be a resource for students of all backgrounds and help them navigate higher education and make the most of their college experience! I have been very fortunate to cultivate my niche on campus and my goal is to support students so that they can feel supported and create their community too!

Fun facts: I am a huge movie buff (action is my favorite genre) and I binge watch a new show every week. I love trying new foods, studying at the beach, going to concerts, and watching stand-up comedy.



tamara.jpgTamara Caselin Avila


Hello everyone! (^∀^*)/

My name is Tamara Caselin Avila, but I also go by ☆Tammy☆; I am a 3rd-year double majoring in Sociology with a concentration in GISES ( Global Information and Social Enterprise Studies) and Latin American and Latino Studies. Fun Fact: I was a Business major until the winter quarter of my second year; if you ever feel out of place and like you’re running out of time to switch majors, talk to me because you are not alone! I am also doing one of the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Internships, so if you are interested, I would love to share my experience and guide you through the application process.  I grew up in South Central LA, so I am deeply interested in learning and researching education in marginalized communities, especially Black and Brown communities. And as a first-generation Latina student, I aim to create a welcoming environment for all students to prevent isolation and imposter syndrome. I'm excited to see and meet you, can't wait to talk to you all! ☆

More Fun Facts about me: I love to roller skate and crochet; for Christmas, I made Pochita from Chainsaw Man for my brother! I work as a News Director for KZSC (the radio station on campus). I usually wear bright colors and big makeup, so if you see a pink blob in the distance, it is most likely me! I love love love movies, so you can always count on me being at the theater whenever they offer discounts! I am the middle child in my family, and I have seven pets ( three dogs, three cats /ᐠ。ꞈ。ᐟ\, and a bearded dragon)  back home, which always makes me sad to leave them behind when I go to Santa Cruz.


diana.jpgDiana Castaneda


My name is Diana Castaneda. I am a second-year Sociology major and Latin American Studies minor. I was admitted to UCSC as a legal studies major, then changed to a history major, and finally the summer before starting at UCSC I took an Introduction to Sociology course and became highly passionate about the subject. I love how broad sociology is and the overlap it has with other subjects. For some background about me, I’m a first-generation Latina college student planning to pursue graduate school post-grad (J.D. or Ph.D. program). I’m also interested in getting involved in research during my undergraduate career, and some of my research interests include law and criminal justice. College can be very difficult on all levels, and I’ve found support and support systems extremely important to get through challenges. I’d love to be a resource and support you in any way I can whether it is giving insight, advice, listening, or providing optimism during your college journey when you need it!

Fun facts: I love journaling, watching/rewatching shows, music, crocheting, and second-hand shopping of any sort (love antiques and thrifting). Speaking of my love for music, I am also a DJ/staff member at KZSC at UCSC. I’m also the New Media Director at KZSC, where I help manage KZSC’s social media and blog. Here at UCSC, I am also a part of the women’s club rugby team! 


adelinaAdelina Rocha

(She/Her, They/Them)

Hi, my name is Adelina Rocha, and I am a second-year Sociology major. I came in undeclared with many interests, and upon taking a few sociology classes in my first year, I found my place. If you are still deciding about your major or want to know more about what being a sociology major may require or include, feel free to ask me! I did a lot of research upon deciding on Sociology, and I am familiar with the confusion and academic journey it takes to find what makes you passionate. Speaking of research, I am interested in doing undergraduate research during my time here at UCSC and have worked hard on creating a balanced but purposeful plan to get me there. If you need help choosing which classes to prioritize or how to avoid an over-packed schedule, stop by, and we can work through it together! Being a full-time student, learning about ourselves, and challenging adulthood can make for a distressing experience. I'm your person if you need someone to vent to or empathize with. I am a queer, ethnically mixed student with a cultural background of a Mexican and Chicano family. I can share my experience with you about how I overcome any challenges I face and how you can too! And if I can't, I know about the resources here on campus and will gladly point you in their direction.

Fun Facts: I regularly throw clothing swaps around campus. I LOVE music (particularly Funk, Rock, Indie, and Hip Hop), come and exchange song suggestions with me, I believe in its healing and motivational powers. I like to sing and dance and used to do theatre which I am trying to get into again. I love a good hike and you can often find me boogie-ing through the woods to my classes :)