Staff Directory


  • Shonté Thomas, M.Ed

    Shonté Thomas, M.Ed

    Greetings and Salutations!

    I am Shonte Thomas, the director of the African American Resource and Cultural Center. Our mission is to empower, support, strengthen and retain all students whom identify within the African diaspora. As well, I work collaboratively with my colleagues/peers to aid in outreach aimed at create a greater sense of visibility for the underrepresented communities at UCSC. Slug Life forever!

    Email:  Phone: (831) 459-3561

  • ABC Retention Specialist

  • Aaron Jones, M.Ed.

    Aaron Jones, M.Ed.



    I am excited to join the African American Resource & Cultural Center. I arrived at UCSC as a full time staff member in May of 2016 and I am charged with supporting the holistic success of African/Black/and/or Caribbean. Specifically, I am here to provide academic advising, counseling, and support to any and all students who identify as African/Black/and/or Caribbean. I am also working on a lot of great programs and projects and I look forward to the work I get to do with the ABC community! Come say hello, my office is located in the Career Center on the 3rd floor of the Bay Tree Building! 

    Drop-in Office Hours (Winter 19): Mondays in the Ethnic Resource Center Lounge, 1-4pm or by Appointment

    Contact:  Email:  Phone: (831) 459-2898

    Follow me on Twitter: @Aaron_Jones_Jr

  • Graduate Student Program Coordinator

  • Maya Iverson

    Maya Iverson

    My name is Maya Iverson and the graduate intern for the African American Resource and Cultural Center. My job is to create programs and workshops that support UCSC's African, Black, and Caribbean graduate student population. I am also a PhD Candidate in Sociology studying television, archives, and race. In my spare time I co-chair UCSC’s Black Experience Team, draw, read sci/fantasy/horror comics and books, and of course watch television. I'm usually in the Ethnic Resource Center Lounge between 9am-1pm.  Come say hi!

  • Student Program Coordinator

  • Alexandria McGill

    Alexandria McGiill

    What’s good y’all,

    My name is Alexandria Mercedes McGill, but I go by Alex or Public Enemy #1. Either is fine by me.  I’m a senior majoring in AGMP (Games and Playable Media) and minoring in Literature. I’m the biggest nerd when it comes to video games, Anime & Manga, and music.  I decided to work for the AARCC, because I wanted to be apart of creating a positive and supportive space for all kinds of ABC students. My goals are to work with ABC students who do not feel comfortable being apart of the Black community.  A lot of students here feel they do not belong, because they feel the community is either a group of cliques and/or only open to people similar to them. However this is not true because I’m walking proof. I met many people who think, talk, and act very different from me and became some of my closest friends. So I want to destroy this narrative that lives here at UCSC.  Nevertheless, feel free to wave and say “Hi” if you see me around campus. I might look scary at first, but I’m not… I’m just hungry 90% of the time because Santa Cruz lacks good food options.

  • Sareil Brookins

  • Amra Tilahun

    My name is Amra Tilahun (she/her/hers) and I am a 3rd year Cognitive Science major focusing on AI. This is my second year at the AARCC and my first year as SPC. I am also the publicist for African Student Union and an NA at Oakes College. My position at the AARCC aids my goal to highlight the diversity within the black community and support black students through a variety of programs. Once I graduate I plan on continuing my education and then to create technology to better support people with disabilities. Feel free to say hey if you see me around or if you want to talk about astrology, black hair, or music! Best of luck this school year!

  • Interns

  • Essence Spencer

    Essence Spencer

    Hey there beautiful human, welcome! My name is Essence Spencer and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I am a third year Linguistics and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies double major. My home and heart are in both Baltimore, Maryland and Vallejo, California. I am a salsera, bachatera, and dancer period, lol. I have been working at the AARCC since my freshmen year, and I would be more than happy to show you the campus or help you access your resources. Have a splendiferous day!! :)

  • Quarter 1 Interns

  • Zarria Coleman

    Zarria Coleman

    Hello all!
    My name is Zarria Coleman and I am one of the new AARCC interns for the 2018-2019 academic school year! I am a senior here at UCSC with a double major in Legal Studies and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, along with a minor in Education. I am thrilled to be a part of the amazing team that keeps the AARCC alive, as well as always helping the ABC students within the black community each year.
  • Zoe Corrella

    Zoe Corrella

    Hey everyone! 
    My name is Zoe Corella, and I am a second year Sociology major with a concentration in GISES. I call both San Diego and LA my homes. I proudly identify as Afro-Latina and I love to dance salsa, merengue, and bachata! I am also a painter, poet, and world renowned chef always serving y’all that Puerto Rican flavor. I am very exited to be a part of this team as a new intern this quarter. Please don’t hesitate to  say hi if you see me around, I am very excited to meet you all!

  • Quarter 2 Interns

  • Reed Asselbae

    Reed Asselbae

    My name is Reed Asselbaye, and I'm a second-year undergraduate student double majoring in Literature and Critical Race & Ethnic Studies. I'm at AARCC because I want to help shape positive experiences for ABC-identified students at UCSC, and I'm incredibly proud to be part of this team. You can catch me reading, journaling, or listening to some classic Mariah Carey.
  • Kennedy Peterson

    Kennedy Peterson

    Hey! My name is Kennedy Peterson and I am a second year studying Psychology and Education. It is essential that I stay involved with the Black community in whichever environment I may find myself in, so joining AARCC was the perfect opportunity for me. I love a good book just as much as a good TV show or movie. I also enjoy practicing yoga and various other forms of staying active :)

  • CUIP Interns

  • Paradyse Oakley

    Paradyse Oakley

    I am Paradyse Oakley, a CUIP Intern as the Race and Ethnicity Intern at the AARCC. I'm a Second -Year originally from South Central Los Angeles, California. My major is Politics with a concentration in International Relations & Community Studies. I am also affiliated with Stevenson College. I enjoy going to the gym, hiking and relaxing at the beach. I love being in nature and taking pictures of flowers and sunsets. I decided to become an AARCC Intern because for my first two quarters at UCSC, I was always in the Ethnic Resource Center. Through that time I was able to see how the Interns operated and their succession of planning programs for ABC identified folks at UCSC. I want to help with the retention of ABC identified folks on campus, help create a brave space for dialogue, and to be a resource for students.

    Stay Gold, Stay Humble and Blessed!

  • Gabrielle Magee