Title IX Student Interns

Greetings from the Title IX team of interns!

This year marks the third year that the UC Santa Cruz Title IX Office has student interns and the program is still growing. We are a team of undergraduate and graduate students from a variety of academic backgrounds.

The Title IX office is committed to fostering a campus climate in which members of our community are protected from all forms of sex discrimination. Having student interns provides the office peer-to-peer perspectives when creating and presenting training and workshops to students and campus partners.

Last year, our team welcomed over 3,500 incoming students through zoom webinars during the Undergraduate Student Orientation and Graduate Student Orientation. During the training, students learned about the reportable incidents, reporting options, campus resources and etc. 

Throughout the year, the interns work to promote and share relevant information through our social media and the Title IX website, in efforts to engage the UCSC  community and communication with our office. 

In addition, some interns lead the efforts to create workshops and activities to educate and empower the campus community in reducing SVSH related issues and to increase the awareness of affirmative consent.     

We encourage you to reach out with questions, interest in getting involved, and to provide feedback.

 

Learn more about the student interns

Connect with Us! Our contact information is listed below.

 


Meet the Interns

Graduate Interns

Brenda Gutierrez 

Brenda Bitmoji

Psychology, PhD

She/her/hers

I am a first-generation college student and currently am a Ph.D. candidate in my 5th year of the Developmental Psychology program. My research considers the development of sexist attitudes within cultural communities from an intersectional feminist perspective with the goal to promote gender egalitarian attitudes and positive ethnic identity development. I am committed to alleviating gender-based violence and the attitudes that contribute to a culture of gender-based violence. As a Title IX intern, I want to apply what I have learned through my research experiences towards creating a climate that rejects gender-based discrimination and violence. 

Currently, my projects include improving the accessibility of Title IX information, developing informational resources about Title IX, and developing educational programing about the attitudes that contribute towards campus climate. With Title IX intern, Natali Levin Schwartz, I am organizing the second Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment (SVSH) Symposium to bridge conversations between researchers, policymakers, and practitioners committed to addressing SVSH.

I enjoy relaxing with TV, my dogs, cooking, and embroidery.

Rafael Franco 

Rafael Bitmoji

Literature, PhD

They/them/theirs

My name is Rafael and I am a first year PhD student in Literature studying the relationships between monstrosity, happiness, and gender/sexuality in nineteenth century British literature. Through my studies, I have learned about the heteronormative structures which often lead to sex and gender discrimination on the basis of things such as stereotypes, social and cultural expectations, and a lack of education on these topics. Undoubtedly, the literature and theory that I study have incentivized me to make a difference through avenues like the Title IX office. 

My hope in working with the office is to undermine these heteronormative structures through the power of education in order to rid campus of any harmful stereotypes and heteronormative expectations. I look forward to connecting with students from all backgrounds in my time as an intern!

In my free time, I enjoy baking, watching films, and being entranced by the art of drag. 

 

 

 

Amanda Carbajal Amanda Bitmoji

Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology Track of the Program in Biomedical Sciences and Engineering, PhD

She/hers/ella 

Hello! I'm a first-generation, Latinx, immigrant background 4th year PhD Candidate. My research background and interests include Astrobiology (the study of life on Earth and the Universe) and Microbiology. I study how UTI causing E. coli harbor antibiotic resisting mutations that allow long-term health problems in hopes of leveraging these mutations as biomarkers and developing novel antibiotics. 

I was drawn to become a Title IX Graduate Student Intern because I wanted to be an active participant in the movement toward making our campus a more safe and inclusive place for all students. My role is to offer support to the bigger projects the other interns are managing, as well as managing the transfer of data into a new database in a clear and easily accessible manner, as well as use my background as a Spanish speaker to connect deeper with monolingual non-academic staff so that they may know their rights and feel more supported as well. 

When I'm not teaching, in lab working on my thesis research, or with my student colleagues, I love spending time with my dogs and traveling to places I have only read about (in a Pre-Covid world). To recharge, I love dancing and have done it for fun and competitively.  I mix several styles such as hip-hop, ballet and pole dance to create choreography that speaks to me and the experiences I've had. 

Natali Levin SchwartzNatali Bitmoji

Politics, PhD

She/her/hers

I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Politics department. My work is situated in the intersection between critical political theory, feminist studies, and law and society scholarship. My dissertation research focuses on women’s testimonies to sexual violence. It examines how victims/survivors utilize different kinds of testimonies in order to end sexual violence and generate a broader social, cultural, legal, and political change.

I wanted to join the Title IX office to better understand the processes and mechanisms responsible for addressing sexual violence and sexual harassment on college campuses. The work in Title IX allows me to examine the problems of SVSH from a policy-oriented perspective and contribute to advancing different preventative measures and the other essential goals of the office. For instance, I contribute to the advancement of awareness about issues of SVSH by developing trainings and workshops and presenting them to different groups of students, staff, and faculty across the campus.  

I am currently working on several projects. I am organizing the second SVSH symposium with Title IX Intern Brenda Gutierrez to foster a conversation between researchers, policymakers, and practitioners. I also work on developing a new workshop for teaching assistants where they can dialogue on issues related to SVSH. My other interests include alternative resolution as a form of restorative justice and a literature survey on the effectiveness of preventative programs.

During my free time, I love to cook Mediterranean and Russian food. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Undergraduate Interns

Kasey ZatarainKasey Bitmoji

Legal Studies

She/her/hers

Coming from a Latinx family and community, I’ve seen the effects of victim-blaming and how internalizing this narrative can be incredibly damaging to a survivor. Oftentimes this fear of being shamed prevents many people from accessing resources that can help us better ourselves. People of color are less likely to report an incident and it is important for me as a woman of color to educate others about sexual violence and normalize reporting despite what our communities may have taught us.

I am passionate about working to diminish deterring factors that prevent students from reporting. When sex-based incidents happen it is important that students feel empowered and supported to report.  Many students do not realize just how helpful Title IX can be and I want to make this resource more accessible. This is why I wanted to work on improving our social media and remodeling our website to make Title IX more approachable for all members of our UCSC community.

In my free time, I love going hiking with family and friends, taking dance classes, and crafting.

 

 

 

Anna Wong

Anna Bitmoji

Robotics Engineering

She/her/hers

I'm a fourth year undergraduate student at UCSC studying Robotics Engineering. I really hope to get into the human-computer interaction side of the robotics field. I think it's fascinating how robots and humans interact and figuring out how to best integrate robots and robotics into our everyday lives.

I joined Title IX because I am interested in expanding Title IX's inclusivity of the LGBTQIA+ community in workshops, presentations, and on the website. I am also very passionate about supporting the student body on campus and helping everyone feel as safe as possible while at UCSC. I think everyone deserves to feel safe in their community and aware of resources that can support them, so I hope the work I do supports that.
I'm currently running the Student Consent Workgroup. It is a very new project and I hope to have an ongoing collaboration with student groups and the UCSC community including workshops, flyers, student involvement, and maybe even a working website up and running by the end of this school year. So if you're interested in getting involved, please feel free to reach out to me at anewong@ucsc.edu. I also work on creating and designing presentations for Title IX, and I run the social media accounts with Kasey.
During my free time, I really like to experiment with different types of crafts such as crocheting or embroidering. I also really like getting outside and exploring campus.

Olivia Wilms olivia-bitmoji

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

She/her/hers

I'm 4th-year undergraduate studying biology and I'm interested in contributing to a cultural climate in science that is inclusive and safe. Currently, I am working on the Building A Better Fieldwork Future program with CAMINO (the Center to Advance Mentored, Inquiry-Based Opportunities), a program oriented towards providing training for preventing sexual harassment and assault in scientific fieldwork settings. 


Initial experiences with fieldwork can be inspiring and memorable for early-career scientists. However, sexual harassment in fieldwork settings can deter early-career scientists from continuing scientific careers. I am interested in research being done on sexual harassment in fieldwork settings and how these settings’ unique properties -- remote location, blurry boundaries, and hierarchical nature -- all can amplify the damaging effects of sexual harassment and assault. I am also interested in how survivors are impacted by physical and emotional distance from safety, feelings of helplessness, fear of consequences to their careers, and not being believed by their peers or scientific community. 

Through my work with the Building a Better Fieldwork Future program, I have trained highly motivated leaders in a variety of scientific fields and at different academic and research institutions to promote positive organizational climates within their teams. 

In my free time, I like to hike and have been learning how to bake cakes.

Helena Blankenhaushelena-bitmoji

Undeclared Social Science

She/her/hers 

I am a first-year undergraduate student soon to be majoring in Feminist studies and minoring in Politics. I grew up with a passion for advocating for human rights. Throughout high school, I was engaged in a multitude of student-led organizations demanding a Title IX coordinator for the safety of our school. After multiple protests, I saw the difference it made within my community. Reflecting on the positives of having a Title IX coordinator within my hometown, I became inspired to be a part of Title IX in dealing with sexual assault/violence. In the past, I was part of an organization called She’s the First, where we spent weekends fundraising spreading awareness on the lack of education given to girls. We devoted our time to giving girls the resources to complete their education. Through this experience, I once again was able to see the impact I could make within my community and globally. 

 As a Title IX intern, I will continue to have my community's best interest at heart.  I aim to support all members of my community by increasing Title IX's presence on campus. I am currently working on a series of videos emphasizing the importance of raising awareness about  sex-based discrimination on campus. Additionally, giving examples of next steps to take when faced with sexual assault.

In my free time, I like to cook dinners with friends while watching comedy movies, and read books such as White Women's Rights: The Racial Origins of Feminism in the United States by Louise Michele Newman!

 

Zyon McMahonzyon-bitmoji

Legal Studies/Politics

He/They

As a third year transfer and EOP student at UCSC, I'm eager about reaching out to other students about the resources at Title IX that they may not be aware of yet! University life has a lot of moving parts; between classes, clubs, and work, it can be hard for those struggling because of an incident to find resources they need on their own. Additionally, other groups like LGBTQ students may find it uniquely challenging to find support due to diverse family and community circumstances. I joined the Title IX intern team to help find ways to connect to these students and make our campus a safer place for all.

One of my initial projects as an intern is developing guidance for students to connect with others they're interested in safely online. Especially during the pandemic, many of us have seen how important online spaces have been as a tool to allow people to connect with others safely. However, use of these spaces like dating apps can be dangerous without consideration for your own privacy and personal safety. My goal with this project is to research and share tips through different venues to spread awareness of ways students can protect themselves while still having enjoyable experiences online and eventually in person.

As for what I do outside of being an intern, I've been a member of the Cowell Student Senate since the fall and enjoy learning about the different student clubs and events I can help be a part of through their funding requests. Recently, I've also been busy finalizing my study abroad application for a summer in Korea, and I'm studying Korean to prepare for the trip. I also like to play volleyball and tennis casually depending on what my friends want to practice!

Emily Bravoemily

History

She/They

I am a 2nd year undergraduate from Bakersfield, CA studying history with an emphasis on the Americas and Africa. In my free time, I like to play tennis and coach other various sports in my homeworn.
Growing up, I saw many of my loved ones fall victim to SA and violence with many questions unanswered. Being a surviror myself, I never understood what had happened to me until years later. The training offered to me by the UCSC Title IX office opened my eyes and I discovered that what had happened to me, and what happened to my close friends and family, was not okay. I want to take this internship and my role as a peer in this community to offer clarity for those in domestic abuse without knowing, and what defines consent. I hope that vitcims can learn that the Title IX office is not so intimidating, but resourceful and is there to take care of all students. I hope that I can act as a bridge between my peers and Title IX to bring safety throughout our community.
As a part of the LGBTQ+ community, I know there is always hesitancy with bringing cases or concerns. Though the Title IX office is a safe space for all communities, there are confidential resources such as CARE and CAPS that will embrace you with welcome arms just as Title IX will.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ramon GomezRamon Bitmoji

Electrical Engineering

He/Him/His

Hello! My name is Ramon J. Gomez and I am an undergraduate student pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering. I hope to use this degree to secure a career that works to further develop renewable energy technology. Scientists and engineers around the world continue to make new discoveries and advancements in modern technology everyday and I want to play my part in that development to benefit our earth and its inhabitants.

 

I am here to provide my support in creating a bridge between UCSC Greek life and Title IX. I am a member of Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity Incorportated, a Latino based fraternity here at UCSC. Contrary to the negative stigma about university Greek life, I want to establish a better connection with Title IX in order to implement crucial preventative measures that ensure student safety when hosting events. I want to do everything in my power to spread more awareness of Title IX resources throughout Greek life to create a safer environment for all students.

 

Contact Information

 Check out the post about the first group of interns

 

Email: t9intern@ucsc.edu

Social Media:

 

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