Meet the Staff

Staff

Photo of Dasha Sidenko

Dasha Sidenko (They/Them/Theirs)

  • Transfer Coordinator

Dasha holds Associate of Arts degrees from Santa Monica College, a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from UCLA, a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology and an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (AMFT) specialization from Antioch College. Prior to coming to UC Davis, Dasha was at UCLA where they most recently served as the Office and Intake Coordinator for the Campus Assault Resources & Education (CARE) program and the Program Coordinator for Case Management Services (CMS). 

Dasha's goal was always to one day end up working with a Center-based program, preferably at a university, so seeing that the Transfer & Reentry Center was hiring at UC Davis felt like the stars were aligning for exactly just that. They've been working with college students since 2015 and find it to be such a rewarding and celebratory experience being able to not only watch the students you work with achieve their student success stories, but also to be able to grow with them through those journeys.

Dasha was a transfer student (Santa Monica College to UCLA) so they understand how it can sometimes feel isolated and lonely on a big campus where it feels like most students have already found their footing and their communities. It can feel overwhelming trying to find where you belong, so Dasha hopes to collaborate closely with the transfer student community to help alleviate that stress and develop opportunities where students can feel more closely connected with the campus and each other.

Photo of Tracy Thomas

Tracy Thomas (She/They)

  • Community Counselor, UC Davis Student Health and Counseling Services (position shared with the TRC, VSC, and WRRC)
Office Hours:
To schedule a virtual or in-person appointment with Tracy, please email her at tthomas@ucdavis.edu. She is available Monday - Thursday and is accepting appointments starting at 8:00 a.m. with the last offering at 5:30 p.m.
Photo of Madeline Thompson

Madeline Thompson

  • CCAMPIS Student Parent Mentor
Office Hours:
Mondays and Wednesdays remote
Tuesdays in person at the TRC

Hello! My name is Madeline Thompson, I am a current MSW I student at California State University, Sacramento. I received my bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2016 and earned my AA in Social Sciences from Sacramento City College in 2013. As a former UCSC transfer student, I obtained a wealth of support and resources from the STARS Transfer and Reentry program to successfully navigate the first year of my undergraduate studies. I’m passionate about helping and guiding students along their educational journey and super excited to offer the same supports and mentorship I received during my undergraduate studies.

My journey into the field of Social Work began over ten years ago where I served in a variety of social service agencies and schools. In my previous role, I held an administrative position at Sacramento City College within the Counseling and Transfer Center and previously served as a Service Coordinator during the height of the COVID 19 pandemic at Alta California Regional Center. This organization aims to support individuals and their families with developmental and intellectual disabilities with community collaborations through a strength - based approach. Most recently, I joined the Sacramento City Unified School District at a local elementary school as an MSW I Intern to work with our K-6 scholars. Upon the completion of my graduate program, I plan to continue to advocate for our students from an equitable lens not only as a Social Worker, but as a Social Justice Worker, to break the barriers among disproportionally impacted students to foster and support an inclusive and educational environment.

During free moments, I enjoy dedicating time to my yoga practice, cooking delicious healthy food and tending to my community garden. I also love going to concerts, camping and hiking in Mendocino, California. I am excited to join this new community while getting to know and support all the new and existing Aggies!

Marissa Weiss

Marissa Weiss, Ph.D. (She/They)

  • Transfer Retention Specialist
Office Hours:
Marissa is on campus Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays; and is working remotely on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Marissa offers support and advocacy for reentry students (ages 25 and older, with children, married/partnered, returning from a break in school, caregiving for adult family members).  

Student Assistants

Picture of Ellah

Ellah Allen

  • Peer Advisor, 2023-2024

Hi, my name is Ellah Allen and I am a third year transfer student with a major in Psychology. I transferred from Solano Community College in Fairfield, CA. I am also a Pre-Med student and hope to pursue a career in the medical field after my time at UC Davis. My future goal is to become a person who can provide utmost care and diligence to my patients. I would love to work with women and children and further advocate for their rights and education.

Campus involvement: Currently I am involved in an on campus ministry called Davis Christian Fellowship. I also have had the opportunity to be involved in a student run clinic called Clínica Tepati that provides free healthcare for the underserved Latino communities in Sacramento. The global learning hub has become a frequent place for me as I plan to study abroad in the Summer of 2023 to Ghana. There I will volunteer at a local Pediatric hospital for 5 weeks learning about the increased rate of childhood morbidity. Along with the TRC, I hope to get more involved within campus this upcoming year.

Hobbies: My hobbies include going on walks, painting, and watching movies. I consider myself a foodie and love to try different foods any chance I get. My favorite food is sushi and I love a good bagel. Reading and writing are some of my go to activities that I wish I could do more of, now with my busy schedule. But hanging out with friends and family also makes me the happiest.

Advice for Transfer/Reentry Students: A piece of advice I would like to share is to continue to be yourself and be open to new possibilities. Coming to a university with many different people and cultures will be eye opening within itself but in this you will find who you really are. You will be amazed at the growth you may see in yourself by meeting new people, making new friends, and creating new habits. You can accomplish big things with the person you are today and you don't have to change to do that. Embrace the challenges of being a new student and be open to new experiences and indifferences, it's what will make you a better you ;).

Picture of Brenda Chavarin

Brenda Chavarin

  • Peer Advisor 2023-2024
Hello my name is Brenda Chavarin and I am a third year majoring in International Relations with a minor in International Agricultural Development. I transferred from Cosumnes River College in Sacramento, California. I plan to further my education by pursing a master’s degree and hopefully a Ph.D. I hope to pursue a career involving NGO’s and refugee camps.
 
Campus Involvement: At my previous college I was involved in Agriculture Ambassadors which was an agricultural education leadership organization. Further more I was also involved in the Political Science journal (Globus Mundi) where I was able to publish and present my writing. Now that I am at UC Davis I plan to be involved in various things such as Hispanic/Latinx organizations, recreational team sports, and various clubs that relate to my interests. 
 
Hobbies: Some of my hobbies include reading, crocheting, gaming and painting. In the past few years I have become a big fan of Kpop and try my best to go to any nearby concerts. 
 
Advice for transfer students and reentry students: Advice I would give students would be that everyone is on their own educational path just because someone is doing different things compared to yours does not mean you are behind or on the wrong path. Finally I would say to use as many opportunities available as possible, opportunities like this may not always be easily available so make good use of them.
Picture of Kayla Gamit

Kayla Gamit

  • Peer Advisor 2023-2024
Hello all! My name is Kayla Gamit and I am a third-year transfer student from Chabot College in the Bay. I am a biological sciences major and am pre-health with plans to become a PA.
 
Campus involvement: At my previous college, I was involved with the MESA program which is geared towards STEM students. There I tutored for multiple biology and chemistry classes as well as did tours of the campus. I also had a job as a Peer Guide where I worked with students of various backgrounds in order to help guide them to the resources our campus offered. I loved both jobs and found that I learned so much. Here at Davis I hope to accomplish the same thing and want to get involved with a few clubs for pre-health and am excited that I am now a part of the TRC!
 
Hobbies: Whenever I have free time I enjoy baking and cooking as a way to relieve stress. I also have a dog and enjoy taking her out around the city to explore and go on hikes. 
 
Advice: Some advice I have is to just get out there! Don't be afraid to say "hi", join clubs, and be yourself. Introduce yourself whether you're on the bus, on a walk, or in class because you never know who you'll meet and the relationships you'll make all because you initiated a conversation. Explore the campus and use ALL the resources they offer because they'll benefit you in so many ways. And lastly, enjoy your time as a student and have fun!
Picture of Suba

Subhiksha (Suba) Kanchadapu

  • Peer Advisor, 2023-2024

I am Subhiksha (Suba) Kanchadapu. I am a senior majoring in Computer science and psychology at UC Davis. I transferred from Diablo Valley College in the Fall of 2021.

Campus involvement: My drive to attain a sense of belonging has enabled me to participate in several on-campus programs. I have been involved in the University Honors Program, Regents Scholars Society, AvenueE, Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society, and EQUIP. Previously, I was also a part of the Center for Leadership Learning and earned a leadership certificate in 2022. Recently, I finished my time as a mentor for the Global Ambassador Mentorship Program. Starting Fall, I will also work as the student outreach ambassador for the Transfer Opportunity Program at UC Davis.

Hobbies: I enjoy watching Korean dramas, listening to K-pop, spending time with family and friends, window shopping, and exploring food.

Advice for Transfer/Reentry Students: I advise students to ask questions and reach out to campus resources without hesitation! Also, I suggest getting involved in various campus programs as much as possible. The huge campus environment can be intimidating, so finding your community can help you gain a sense of belonging.