Meet the MCD Biology Undergraduate Advising Team!


Leanna (She/Her/Hers): MCD Biology Undergraduate Advising Program Manager and Lead Advisor

Hello! I am Leanna and I am the Undergraduate Advising Program Manager and Lead Advisor for MCD Biology. Prior to working at UCSC, I was an Advisor at San Jose State University working with Undeclared/Undecided students to find their major. I have a BA in English from Sacramento State University and a MA in Education, Counseling Student and Personnel from San Jose State University. 

Born and raised in Santa Cruz County, I am excited to be back after my years in Sacramento and San Jose. When not working, you can find me hanging out with my dog and husband, wandering the aisles of Bookshop Santa Cruz, traveling, camping, attending bay area sporting events, or visiting friends and family. 

I look forward to working with all our MCD students to complete your degree at UCSC! 

Kylie (She/Her/Hers): MCD Biology Student Academic Advisor
Hi everyone! My name is Kylie Gilpin and I am an undergraduate advisor in the MCD Biology department. I graduated from UCSC with a B.S. in Neuroscience, and I am excited to mentor students going through the same program I went through. Outside of work I enjoy making jewelry, hanging out with my friends, and taking care of my pets. I am looking forward to working with and mentoring all of the bright students pursuing their dreams.


Mariah: MCD Biology Student Academic Advisor

Hello! My name is Maiah and I’m one of the Undergraduate Advisors for the MCD Biology Department. I graduated from UC Santa Cruz as an Environmental Science major, so this is my 5th year back on campus! During my time as a student at UCSC, I was heavily involved with student organizations such as Bayanihan (the Filipino organization on campus), Pagkakaisa Dance Troupe, Kuya-Ate Mentorship Program and Alay (just to name a few!). Being involved in those organizations helped create my interest in mentorship and student advising.

When I’m not at work, I’m either on my couch with my dog and cat watching a cooking or baking show, traveling around the bay area to find good places to eat or at the beach!

I’m excited to be an MCD Biology advisor so I can continue to grow my skills in supporting students. I can’t wait to get to work with all of you and to best support you during your time at UCSC!


Jeannette (she/her/hers): MCD Biology Undergraduate Advisor

Hello! My name is Jeannette and I’m one of the Undergraduate Advisors for the MCD Biology Department. I graduated from UCSC with my BS in Marine Biology in 2020 and my MS in Ocean Sciences in 2021, so while I don’t have experience in this department, I have lots of experience at UCSC and am excited to help students get set up for their future. I’m happy to share my journey to get where I am today in order to help you figure out what you might want to do, because I’ve come to realize there’s a lot more out there than one might realize! 

Outside of work you’ll find me scuba diving, go-karting, hanging out at theme parks, sitting in front of the TV at 6 am supporting the Scuderia Ferrari F1 team, or taking care of my pet snakes.


Beth: Health Sciences Internship Coordinator

MCD Biology Undergraduate Peer Advisors

  • Pooja
  • Bailey


Former MCD Biology Undergraduate Advisors and Staff

We gratefully acknowledge the contribution of our MCDB department academic advisors and staff members that have contributed to the success of the MCDB Undergraduate Program over the years:

Brenna Candelaria

Dianne Brumbach

Ali Ulmen

Christine Megariotis

Amber Wyld 

Betty O’Donnell

Rebbeca Heuer

Stephanie Zakarian

Carrie Walker

Olivia Owens

Glenda Dixon

Giorgia Siriaco

Nicole Madrigal

Linnea Leopold

Vanessa Ackermann

CJ Fagundes

Catherine Chang

Natalie Keating

Sydney Okumura

Special thanks to Christina Navarro


MCDB Peer Adviser Alumni:

Sneh Patel

Baokhanh Nguyen

Kalin Nagle

Andrea Asher