Zenllaze Gomez Merlo, or just Zen, is first-year student majoring in environmental engineering. She was born and raised in the beautiful and busy Mexico City. She enjoys traveling, enjoying a good cup of coffee, and spending time outdoors.​
Max Cordes Galbraith (he/they) is a second-year masters candidate in UVM’s Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration program and a graduate assistant facilitating the CEMS Study CATS program. Max is originally from north of Pittsburgh, PA and came to Vermont from Minneapolis, MN. He graduated from Hofstra University in New York with degrees in Computer Science and Linguistics. Max is a queer cyclist, plant lover, and kombucha brewer.
Janessa Green is a first-year student at UVM. She is currently undeclared within the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences. She is originally from a small town in the northwest corner of Connecticut. Her favorite things to do include watching the sunset, spending time with her friends, and eating! 
Maria Del Sol Nava is a first-generation Mexican-American originally from Los Angeles, CA. She was the first in her family to earn a Bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College in 2018 where she studied Mathematics and Italian. After graduation, Maria spent three years as College Admission Counselor, with a focus on promoting access and inclusion into higher education. Currently, Marias is a first-year graduate student in the Higher Education and Student Affairs Program at UVM. She works to support BIPOC students in STEM (you may have seen her emails!). Her passion for helping and connecting with students stems from her own experience as a first-generation student, Latina, and woman in STEM. In her spare time, she enjoys dancing, reading, swimming, and laughing at bad puns.
Malia Hodges (she/her) is a Mechanical Engineering major at UVM and was born and raised on an apple farm in Cornwall, Vermont. She enjoys film photography and cooking in her free time. She is a member of the Women's Society of Engineers at UVM and is excited for what is to come. 

KC Williams is the Assistant Dean of the Office of Equity, Belonging, and Student Engagement. She came to UVM from the University of Arizona, where she served as the Director of African American Student Affairs, building programs around belonging and equity, and establishing a cohort of students who were admitted to the B.L.A.C.K. program (Building Leaders and Creating Knowledge). A Stanford Sociology grad (for both a BA with Honors and an MA) her experience working in student advocacy includes having served as an advisor and mentor at Coastal Carolina Community College, where she taught for 12 years, and also advised the Male Minority Mentoring Program and the LGBTQIA Club. As an avid writer and presenter, KC has published numerous articles for Inside Higher Ed, an anthology for Third Woman Press, and has presented a paper at the National Psychological Association annual conference. She and her partner of 26 years have a Pyrenees puppy, Watson, who may make a visit to the office soon!



Practicum Student Bios

Kaia Palm-Leis is a first-year graduate student in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program. She is also involved at UVM in the Department of Student Life as the graduate assistant for Campus Programs. Kaia received her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Geography and Environmental Studies. She is excited to advise students and support programs geared toward student success.



Office Location: Votey 365B

Directions to the office from Innovation: Head to the second floor of Innovation Hall and take the bridge that connects the second floor of innovation to the third floor of Votey. At the end of the bridge take a left down the hall and once you reach the end of the hall take a right. The office is on your left halfway down where the big printer is located. UVM Map here.