UCGPC is a non-profit organization that advocates for graduate and professional students at University of California.

10 campuses,

1 UC system.

UCGPC bridges each UC to stakeholders, decision-makers, and organizations:

UC Office of the President, UC Systemwide Committees, Grad Caucus in DC, National Association of Graduate and Professional Students, Federal and State Legislators and more.


UCGPC programming encourages the participation of graduate and professional students in key decision-making spaces for graduate education in the University of California.

Apply to the Student Advocates to the Regents (StARs) Program

Annual Grad Summit

Learn more about our Advocacy Days: Day on the Hill and Sacramento

Grad Summit
Advocacy Day

Read our legislative analyses, comment letters, and resolutions.

Get involved as student representative!

Watch the livestream

Grad Summit 2022

Last year, UCGPC convened passionate graduate student advocates for a day of coalition-building and agenda-setting. UCGPC leadership and staff will work towards the adopted campaigns by putting organizational resources for it.

Based on graduate and professional student representatives and attendee feedback, we adopted the following campaigns:

Permanent Campaigns:

Basic needs, such as housing, transit, mental health care, reproductive health care, and a safe work place

Civic engagement through awareness and advocacy

2022-2023 Campaigns:

Mental health: focus on solutions and systemic causes of poor mental health

Mentorship standards: focus on graduate student rights and better protections against workplace harassment

Grad Summit 2022

Missed us? Fret not. Catch the livestream on YouTube.

Be a StAR!

Student Advocates to the Regents voice graduate student issues at the UC Board of Regents meetings. Contact us to learn more about the program: info@ucgpc.org.

Learn more about the StARs program here.

Get to know the StARs this year.

Student Advocates to the Regents this year hailed from UC Davis and UC San Diego and talked about what matters to graduate students at their campuses.

Hayden Schill, UC San Diego

Hayden was the 2022-2023 UCGPC President. At the September 2022 Regents Meeting, she spoke about the need for clear and intentional mentorship standards for graduate students.

Victor Wang, UC San Diego

Victor is a PhD Candidate at UCSD and was the UCGPC council chair last academic year, 2021-2022. Victor is passionate about mentorship standards and putting a stop to workplace bullying between PIs and GSRs. Victor was a StAR at the September and November 2022 Board of Regents Meeting.

Paulina Rojas, UC Davis

Paulina is a PhD Student at UCD. Paulina addressed the UC Regents about Solano Park Family Housing at UC Davis. She is passionate about advocating for equitable treatment of graduate students who are parents or heads of households.

Executive Officers

The officers of the council are elected and appointed annually by ex officio council members. Each officer has an integral role in representing and leading the UCGPC in multiple spaces.


Ryan Manriquez, a first-year Master of Public Policy student at UC Berkeley, is the newly elected UCGPC President for 2023-24. He aims to prioritize graduate and professional student conditions and opportunities throughout the UC system and believes in the value they bring to UC's core missions. Ryan's collaborative approach to advocacy involves working with campus leaders, UCSA, and Council of Presidents to amplify student voices to UC administration and state and federal legislators. He is committed to centering the voices of historically underrepresented campuses in UC advocacy. Connect with him at president@ucgpc.org to learn more.


Tori Porter is a Ph.D. candidate at UC Riverside with over 10 years of experience supporting marginalized students at different UC campuses. They focus on Black transgender student experience and the history of higher education in America. Tori is an activist for Black Lives Matter, Black trans lives, and disability justice. As Chair, they prioritize and achieve goals within tight timelines while advocating for graduate and professional students' practical needs in the UC system. Connect with Tori at councilchair@ucgpc.org.


Mohit Saraswat, a third-year Ph.D. student at UC Merced, has experience in budget management and advocacy. He has held leadership roles advocating for international student affairs and graduate student needs. He currently serves as the graduate representative for UC Merced's student health advisory committee and UCGPC treasurer. Connect with him at treasurer@ucgpc.org.

Appointed Officers and Professional Staff

Directors are appointed each year by council members at the beginning of each academic year. Directors work collaborate with professional staff and executive officers to bring UCGPC closer to its mission.

Professional staff are the mainstay of UCGPC, ensuring its day-to-day functions and business success so that UCGPC can continue to serve the graduate community at the University of California.

Director of Legislative Affairs

As the appointed Director of Legislative Affairs, Yaritza is responsible for providing updates and recommendations to the Council regarding legislation and connect with legislators and university policy analysts to advance UCGPC’s mission.

Yaritza A. Gonzalez Rodriguez (she/her/ella) was born and raised in Inglewood, CA to Mexican immigrants from Guadalajara, Jalisco, and is a proud role model to her two younger sisters. In 2016, Yaritza earned her B.A. in Geography with a minor in Public Policy from Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. Over the past five years, she worked as a Paralegal in the Community College Legal Services at the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) in Los Angeles, CA. Currently, Yaritza is pursuing her M.A. in Public Policy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and working as a Policy Fellow for the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative. She ultimately plans on becoming a licensed attorney to help eradicate the systemic injustices that hinder underrepresented communities like hers from thriving in society. Yaritza is also the Co-Founder and Co-Director of an organization called ING Fellowship, whose goal is to inspire, nurture and guide young people in Inglewood, CA, to organize, mobilize and address different issues that affect the Inglewood community. In her free time, Yaritza enjoys mentoring and volunteering for college access programs, in addition to hiking throughout Los Angeles with her huskie: Oreo.

Director of Organizing

As the appointed Director of Organizing, Adam is responsible for developing and implementing the goals and strategies for campaign agendas, organizing campus-wide implementation of policy priorities, and strategizing with grassroots activism and advocacy groups. In this position, he is dedicated to connecting and amplifying issue-based grassroots organizations fighting for a better UC system.

Adam Cooper is a PhD candidate in Chemistry at UC San Diego. His research concerns the ocean to air transfer of emerging pollutants and subsequent atmospheric lifetimes and chemical transformations. Previously, he served as the Legislative Liaison for State Affairs for the UCSD Graduate and Professional Student Association and its Legislative Advocacy Committee. He is an active member of the Sunrise Movement & University of California Green New Deal Coalition and organizes for climate justice, clean energy & fair labor practices. Outside of advocacy & activism, Adam enjoys live music, lifting weights and traveling around California & beyond.

Executive Director

As the Executive Director, Patriccia directs and controls all of UCGPC’s business operations and ensures its success through strategic planning, cost-based thinking, and a creative vision. Patriccia is the sole full-time staff at UCGPC.

Patriccia Ordonez-Kim (she/her) is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Riverside’s School of Education. She earned a Master of Arts degree in Educational Administration in Higher Education and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from California State University, Northridge. She served as the Interim President and Vice President of External Affairs of the Graduate Student Association at the University of California, Riverside from 2021-2022 and was an invited guest in Bill Gate’s inaugural session of Gates Notes Deep Dive on May 2021.

Council Members

Council members (or Board Directors) provide oversight, insight, and foresight to UCGPC as an organization. There are 9 council members who represent each active Graduate Student Association in each University of California campus. At this time, the following campuses have recognized associations: UC Berkeley, UC Los Angeles, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC San Francisco, UC Merced, UC San Diego, UC Davis, and UC Santa Barbara. The council consists of ex officio directors who serve as external vice president or executive vice president of each graduate student association. Associations with more than one external vice president will identify who will serve as a UCGPC voting director.

For more information, read our governing documents.


Mckalee Steen - eavp@ga.berkeley.edu


Kiley Barton currently is a 2nd year Master of Public Policy candidate at UC Irvine. Her focus areas include education policy and early childhood policy. This year she will be serving as the Vice President of External Affairs for UC Irvine's Associated Graduate Students. Previously, Kiley served as the Legislative Director for the External team for AGS, a time during which she represented UC Irvine for UCGPC. She is also the Social Chair for UC Irvine's Public Policy Student Association. Kiley is passionate about public service and advocating for social justice. She is dedicated to uplifting graduate student voices as Council Chair, as well as helping to further UCGPC's continued growth as an organization. Outside of academics and work, Kiley lives in Long Beach with her partner and their two cats. You can find her reading for pleasure, particularly LGBTQ+ fiction, trying new brunch places, and taking day trips around SoCal.

Email: vpexternal@ags.uci.edu

Los Angeles

Ernesto Arciniega is a PhD candidate in Hispanic Literatures at UCLA. Ernesto’s research interests are Contemporary Latin American, Mexican, and Chicanx literatures and cultures, immigration law in the U.S., border studies, and protest art. Ernesto is a strong advocate for social justice and immigrants’ rights. He is the founder and former President of UCLA Hispanic Latinx Graduate Students Association (2017-2019), was the inaugural GSA Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement at UCLA (2018-2019), has served on the ASUCLA Board of Directors (2019-2020), and was a National Fellow at the UC National Center for Free Speech (2020-2021). He currently serves as the UCLA GSA Director of Organizing under the Office of the GSA VP of External Affairs. Today, Ernesto is an elected Councilmember for the North Westwood Neighborhood Council in the 5th District of the City of Los Angeles, where he advocates for building student affordable housing, improving public transportation, and fighting for Westwood’s disfranchised. During his free time, Ernesto loves watching queer-themed films and series, practicing world languages, and hanging out with his friends in West Hollywood.

Email: vpex@gsa.asucla.ucla.edu


Arabi Seshappan - evp.gsa@ucmerced.edu


Fernando David Márquez Duarte is a Mexican decolonial and Marxist activist and thinker from the Abya Yala. He has a BA in International Relations with Honorific Mention from UABC, as well as a MSc in Regional Development from El Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF) with a CONACYT scholarship. He is currently enrolled in the PhD Political Science program at the University of California Riverside (UCR) with a Fulbright García Robles scholarship and the Dean’s Fellowship. He has more than 5 years of teaching experience in different universities in México and the USA. Currently he teaches at UCR.

Advocacy interests

international students’ rights, disability rights, housing justice, and cost of living adjustment

Why should the UC graduate community participate in UCGPC programs like StARs and Day on the Hill?

I recommend everyone to participate in these programs because it gives you the chance to talk face to face to legislators, and let them know about your needs and suffering as a graduate student and demand actions directly to them.

Email: vpea.gsa@gmail.com

San Diego

Mackenna Rawlins - vpexternal@gsa.ucsd.edu

San Francisco (graduate)

David Asakitogum is a Ph.D. student, UCSF SON scholar, Global Cancer Fellow, and Women’s Reproductive Health Advocate. He holds a diploma in nursing from Bolgatanga NTC, a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Ghana, and a certificate in leadership and management in health from the University of Washington. David’s research interest is in cancer care and prevention with an emphasis on gynecological cancers. He loves nature and likes to socialize with friends.

Advocacy Interests

student health, women’s reproductive health, and community services

What do you hope to accomplish as a UCGPC council member?

Abolishing the non-resident supplementary tuition

Why should the UC graduate community participate in UCGPC programs like StARs and Day on the Hill?

Issues affecting students would be brought to the attention of UC authorities. It is a way of also grooming young leaders!

Email: gpsa.externalaffairs@ucsf.edu

Santa Barbara

Anne Berry - aberry@ucsb.edu

2022-23 Board Committees

The Board of Directors may, by resolution adopted by a majority of the directors then in office, create any number of committees, each consisting of two or more directors, and only of directors, to serve at the pleasure of the Board (each, a “Board Committee”). Appointments to any Board Committee shall be by a majority vote of the directors then in office. Board Committees may be given all the authority of the Board, except [certain decisions]. (Article IV, Section 1)

Board Committee on Conferences

Board Committee on Budget and Fundraising

Board Committee on Bylaws and Legal Compliance

2022-2023 Advisory Committeess

The Board of Directors may establish one or more advisory committees to the Board (“Advisory Committees”). The members of any Advisory Committee may consist of directors or non-directors and may be appointed as the Board of Directors determines. On matters requiring Board authority, Advisory Committees may not make decisions on behalf of this corporation, but shall be restricted to making recommendations to the Board of Directors or Board Committees, and implementing Board of Directors or Board Committee decisions and policies under the supervision and control of the Board of Directors or Board Committee. (Article IV, Section 2)

  1. Advisory Committee on Mentorship Experience: design survey, collect data, present and/or publish findings, collaborate with relevant stakeholders, and conduct general outreach regarding graduate student mentorship

  2. Advisory Committee on Student Mental Health: maintain stream of communication with and attend SMHOC UCOP meetings, in addition to maintaining partnership with Engaging the Academy Taskforce, increase access to long-term mental healthcare, formulate and recommend accessible, safe, and protective rather than reactive approaches to student mental health.

  3. Advisory Committee on Basic Needs, Housing, and Healthcare: collaborate with UCOP Basic Needs committee, outreach to legislation and UCOP, CalFresh education/advocacy, secure direct services/basic needs grants, research an

  4. Advisory Committee on Civic Engagement, Sustainability, and Legislative Advocacy: legislative research and analysis for elections and advocacy days. Organize Sacramento Advocacy Day and Day on the Hill. Voter education and registration. Systemwide policy education. Draft resolutions in support or against issues. Research UC sustainability efforts. Engage with systemwide sustainability committees. Outreach to campus sustainability groups.

  5. UCGPC Alumni Advisory Committee


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