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Meet the Village Staff

University Village Staff | Administrative Support | Community Advisors | Community Director

University Village Staff 


Wendy Ellison, Community Director for Family Services

510.559.3116 | w.ellison@berkeley.edu

Wendy Ellison

Wendy is from Seattle, Washington, and earned a Bachelors Degree in Human Services and a Masters in Social Work. Wendy enjoys working with children and coordinating after-school programs. Wendy recently completed the School Garden Teacher Training program at Occidental Arts and Ecology Center.





Claudia Hall,  Community Director

                       I claudia.hall@berkeley.edu

Hello! My name is Claudia Hall and I am the Community Director of University Village in Albany. I have a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Washington State University and a Master's degree in Higher Education Administration from Louisiana State University. My passion area is working with survivors of interpersonal violence and sexual assault. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, watching all the Shondaland shows, hiking, and spending time with my family. 



Zenaida Hernandez, Village Clinical Social Worker

510.520.7031 | zhernandez@berkeley.edu

Zenaida Hernandez

Hi UVA families! I am very excited to be back at the University Village serving individuals, couples, and families.  I am a bay area native and am familiar with the UVA community as I did my post-MSW fellowship here in 2012. I really enjoy working with Cal student parents, spouses and families. They have an energy, drive and resiliency that is inspirational. I especially enjoy the diversity at UVA and learning about the different cultures in the community.  Before coming back to UVA, I worked for San Mateo County doing prevention services in a community school. When I am not working, I enjoy cooking, listening to music, singing out loud, being in nature and spending quality time with my family. I speak English, Spanish and some conversational French and Japanese. Please come by and say “Hi!”.


Koko Mulder, Academic Center Coordinator

510.558.8006 | kmulder@berkeley.edu

Koko Mulder

I am a Bay Area native, born in San Francisco and raised in the East Bay. I love working here at UC Berkeley, and really enjoy the variety of challenges present in my current position as Academic Programming Coordinator in Student-Family Housing. I graduated from UC Berkeley myself, with a degree in sociology, and as both a parent of two teens and as a former UC Berkeley student, I particularly appreciate the diversity of needs among our residents in Student-Family Housing.



Josh Olson, Facilities Manager

510.528.5391 | jolson@berkeley.edu

Hey everyone! I was born and raised in Albany and spent a lot of my youth right here in the Village. I received my formal education from UC San Diego before returning home to begin my career with UC Berkeley. My goal is to make direct positive impacts on those around me and I'm excited to share this enthusiasm with the UVA community. If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or just want to share your thoughts, please don't hesitate to reach out!




Aura Lorena Robleto, Custodial Supervisor

510.524.1409 | robleto@berkeley.edu

Aura Lorena Robleto

I was born in Nicaragua, and came to the United States almost thirty years ago. I now have two college-age children of my own. I have worked for UC Berkeley for over twenty years, in Student-Family Housing. I really enjoy working with all our residents, their families, and our custodial staff from around the world, and being an integral part of this richly diverse community.




Michael Sanchez, Recreation and Bear Pantry Director

510.527.5651 | mikejames@berkeley.edu

Michael SanchezLos Angeles native, born and raised. I came to Cal as an undergrad while raising my sister and we found our home at University Village. The Village has been an invaluable space for our family and I'm proud to be a member of this diverse community. Come by the Community Center any time to say hello and learn about our programs!    



David Ruesch, Grounds Supervisor

510.772.1828 | druesch@berkeley.edu

Michael SanchezHello UVA residents. I am the grounds supervisor for RSSP and have worked for UC for 13 years. I started in Dec 2007 as a gardener caring for the landscape around the single student housing buildings. I have 33 years of experience in landscape construction and maintenance. Working at UC has been a formative experience for me and I am grateful for the opportunities it has provided my family. I have enjoyed working alongside some really great people, all who work very hard to provide service to the students and the UC community. I love time with my family, dogs, hockey (GO Sharks!) and really good BBQ!



Jen Siecienski, Associate Director of Family Housing

510.527.5354 | jen.s@berkeley.edu

Jen Siecienski

I really love working at Cal! I've worked in the field of residential student programs at UC Berkeley since 2007, first at the Clark Kerr Campus and now at UVA. I really enjoy and appreciate working with students and their families! I have also worked in Residence Life at Smith College, UC Santa Cruz, Lehigh University, and the University of Toledo. I love to spend time with my daughters, knit, bake, exercise and travel. I'm an avid Giants fan, and go to as many games as I can. Stop by my office – I love having visitors!



Jason Straussman, Social Work Fellow

510.561.8199 | jstraussman@berkeley.edu

HI! I'm originally from Miami, Florida and recently moved out here to do a fellowship at UC Berkeley. I'm excited to be a part of the village community and to serve the residents who are here. I have my degree in social work from  University of Chicago and I'm excited to work with families, couples, and individuals here at the village. I love cooking, traveling, and getting out in nature as much as possible. My previous work was with refugee families in Chicago. I'm excited to meet everyone and be a part of the team here. 



Jonathan Winters, Maintenance Supervisor

510.526.8493 | jjwintrs@berkeley.edu

Jonathan Winters

Hello, I am a bay area native, born and  raised on the peninsula and living some three decades in the east bay; with short stints in Oregon and Cape Town, South Africa. I'm a late Cal graduate (B.A. '12, History) and am inspired by our many returning and transfer students in family housing. I have 30 years experience in our department and in the rental housing industry. I have worked both in single student housing and family housing, charged with opening several new buildings for our department since 2004. I've served on several campus committees, including as chair of the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Sustainability (CACS) and the Chancellor's Staff Advisory Committee (CSAC.) Although I often have to interface with residents in solving their maintenance problems, I appreciate the sense of community fostered here by our diverse, international community of scholars..


Administrative Support

Estela Del Toro

510.526.2839 | esteladt@berkeley.edu

My name is Estela Del Toro, I was born in Mexico and came to the United States when I was 9 yrs old. I've worked for UC Berkeley since the Fall 2012. I enjoy walking around the village and admiring our residents' garden grows. Look forward to meeting you





Justine Erickson

510.701.9578 | jlerickson@berkeley.edu

Hi! I've been with UC Berkeley since 2006 and came to the Village in 2008. Over the years I've had the opportunity to be involved in many different areas here at the Village and love being part of this community. In my free time, I enjoy taking dance classes, seeing live music and making favorite song playlists! 




Lisa Hart

510.526.2839 | lhart@berkeley.edu

Lisa HartHello! Originally from Alaska, I grew up in the Bay Area and earned a BFA and teaching credential from the California College of the Arts, in Oakland. I joined the dedicated “family” of staff here at University Village in 2010. Never a dull moment in this vibrant, global microcosm, I love serving our multi-cultural community of students, post-docs, and their families! My working life at Cal began at the Hearst Museum of Anthropology, where for nine years I was privileged to experience another aspect of the richness, creativity, and diversity of the world’s cultures. Berkeley is truly an ever-amazing place!



Community Advisors

For urgent after-hours services such as lockouts, please call the Community Advisor on Call at 510-224-8298

CA 1 Bonnie Cherry

510.867.8631 | Neighborhood: Buildings 100-111

Hello! I am a PhD student in Jurisprudence and Social Policy at Berkeley Law, and have lived in the Village with my daughter Seva since my undergrad days. I enjoy baking and reading and planning treasure hunts! I have long benefitted from the support and love my fellow student parents have shown me in the UC Village community and hope to enthusiastically pay it forward in any way I can. 




CA 2  Megdi Abebe

510.867.8632 | Neighborhood: Buildings 116-123

I joined the Village community in spring 2019 with my partner and dog after living in the Bay for a couple years. Originally from Detroit, I enjoy all California has to ofer including hiking, finding new restaurants, and exploring coastal towns. I'm pursuing my MLIS at the University of Illinois and love chatting with other library lovers! I'm looking forward to meeting more people and supporting my community in anyway I can. 



CA 3  Mae Ramirez

510.867.8633 | Neighborhood: Buildings 124-134

Originally from Los Angeles, I have lived in the Bay since 2013. I am a writer, mother, and succulent gardener. I love visiting all the museums, libraries & bookstores, botanical gardens, and horticultural nurseries the Bay has to offer (there are so many!). I have had numerous experiences working as a social justice-based arts educator and incorporate my knowledge of community care into all I do here in the village. I am excited to connect families with resources and am committed to promoting an inclusive, safe, and vibrant Village.



CA 4 Karen Villegas

510.867.8634 | Neighborhood: Buildings 135-139, 147-150

Hello! I am a doctoral candidate in the Graduate School of Education. I moved into the University Village in August 2016, and I absolutely love it! I’ve built community here and met some of my closest friends. I enjoy watching movies and trying new restaurants. As a community advisor, I am looking forward to meeting new people and helping them adjust to the University Village.




CA 5 Derrika Hunt

510.867.8635 | Neighborhood: Buildings 140-146

Hello! My name is Derrika and if you see me around the village please free to chat with me. I enjoy meeting new people. My favorite things to do are traveling, reading, writing and taking pictures. I truly look forward to meeting you.





CA 6 Krista Cortes 

510.867.8649 | Neighborhood: Buildings 151-157

Krista Cortes

After four years living in California, I moved to University Village as an expectant mom in 2016.  My family and I love living in the village for the wonderful community it provides. I enjoy time outdoors, exploring all the bay area has to offer. As a community advisor, I am excited to meet more families and create opportunities to learn from one another through village events!




CA 7 Elle Henry

510.772.1636 | Neighborhood: Buildings 158-163

Hi! I’ve been here since 2018 and I have enjoyed being apart of the village community. As a Bay Area native, I am passionate about the culture, the nature and vibrancy it provides. From the local parks, beaches and trails to advocating and supporting the preservation of cultural spaces for local communities. During my free time I like a good pu erh tea, some abstract painting and curating playlist for any mood. Looking forward to see you around! 



CA 8 Esther Ramer

510.867.9695 | Neighborhood: Buildings 164-168

Hi! I have lived in University Village since 2015, and I can say it is one of the best places I have ever lived. My family and I have made so many friends here, and we love the wonderful community and amazing people from all over the world. In my free time, I enjoy taking care of plants, hiking, and raising caterpillars. I often walk around the village and admire the plants people are growing on their patios. I look forward to meeting you around the village or at a future event!



CA 9 Ying Lei

510.326.8391 | Neighborhood: Buildings 112-115, 169-170

Hi! My name is Ying. I have been living in our Village for many years, and my three sons were born here as well. I enjoy our community, people, and cultural diversity. It’s my pleasure to serve our residents. I hope that everyone will love UC Village just like how I love it.