Graduate Student Resource Center Staff

UCLA’s Graduate Student Resource Center office staff is comprised of professional full-time staff, graduate and professional school students, and undergraduate students, all who are motivated by providing a healthy and welcoming environment for graduate and professional school students.

Meet our Team


Annie Maxfield

Interim Director

Annie Maxfield serves as both Interim Director for the UCLA Graduate Student Resource Center and Associate Director of Graduate Student Relations and Services at the UCLA Career Center.

Sarah Valdovinos

Assistant Director

Fun Fact: I was on an episode of a reality TV cooking show!

Sarah Valdovinos manages programs, operations, and initiatives for the UCLA Graduate Student Resource Center. Though work with Graduate Student Orientation, Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Day, campus committees, and partnerships, she is dedicated to creating a welcoming environment for all graduate and professional students at UCLA. Sarah received a B.S. with credential in EC-4 Education from the University of North Texas and a M.Ed. in Student Affairs from UCLA.

Advice for Graduate Students: Get to know your resources and find time for yourself.  Your health and well-being is most important. 

Program Assistants & Coordinators

Picture of Kailey Anber 

Kailey Anber

Program Assistant

Program: Master's in Clinical Nursing, School of Nursing

Fun Fact: I spent a year living in Toulouse, France.

Hailing from Northern California's Bay Area, Kailey spent the last few years working on her pre-reqs to get into Nursing School. When she's not exploring LA by bike, she's memorizing nursing abbreviations and pathological processes. She loves-but-hates fancy, expensive coffee shops, and *just* loves scuba diving, traveling, seeing live music, and thrift stores. ISFJ; Hufflepuff.

Advice for Graduate Students: Get some fresh air. Seriously.

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Luis Gonzalez

Program Assistant

Major: B.A., Political Science

Fun Fact: Have spent a total of 8 months living in Europe. 

4th year 1st-generation undergraduate student majoring in political science. Plan to attend law school after completing my Bachelor's Degree.

Advice for Graduate Students: Know your resources!

Photo of Joe Bruin (placeholder) 

Wroocha Kadam

Program Assistant

Program: M.S., Oral Biology, UCLA Dentistry

Fun Fact: I love dancing.

I am a dentist from India. My current work is about bio markers in oral cancer. I aspire to be a clinical professor.

Advice for Graduate Students: Don't hesitate to ask questions.

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Amanda Hayes

Program Coordinator

Program: MSW, Social Welfare

Fun Fact: I was born on Friday the 13th ... so beware :) 

My name is Amanda Hayes. I'm a Los Angeles native and currently a graduate student at UCLA working towards my master's degree in social welfare in the Luskin School of Public Affairs. I received my B.A. in Psychology with a minor in English at Loyola Marymount University then completed my first master's degree in Clinical Psychology at Pepperdine University. Though I have many interestes, I am primarily interested in learning about social environments and their impact on individual well-being and performance in both micro and macro settings. I really enjoy having solo dance parties in the kitchen (not cooking simultaneously), collecting and listening to good music, going to the beach, watching movies, and perhaps learning how to skateboard. 

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Jennie Lee

Program Assistant

Program: Master of Library & Information Science

Fun Fact: I love lucid dreaming! Been at it since I was 10.

I am pursuing a career track position in UX design, where my UX areas of focus include interaction design, information architecture, and content strategy.

Advice for Graduate Students: Get involved and have fun because time will fly by!

Photo of Joe Bruin (no photo available) 

Amanda Marotto

Program Assistant

Program: M.S., Electrical & Computer Engineering

Fun Fact: I held a shark in the Caribbean! 

Second year Masters in Second year Master's student studying electromagnetic compatibility and interference. I enjoy exploring L.A. in my free time, especially the beaches in Santa Monica, live shows in Hollywood, and all the delicious food nearby!

Advice for Graduate Students: Go to as many events (GSA, departmental etc.) as possible!

Photo of Joe Bruin (no photo available) 

Dalila Ozier

Program Assistant

Program: Ph.D., Anthropology

Fun Fact: I make excellent mac and cheese.

Doctoral student studying media landscapes within the Los Angeles entertainment industry.

Advice for Graduate Students: Take plenty of naps.

Photo of Antwann Simpkins 

Antwann Simpkins

Program Coordinator

Program: Ph.D., Sociology

Fun Fact: Assassin's Creed is my favorite video game.

My research interests, broadly speaking, are race, gender, law, and carcerality. My work at the GSRC consist of coordinating the Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity Graduate Student Welcome Day and linking graduate students to appropriate resources within the UCLA community. 

Advice for Graduate Students: Keep a calendar, retain records, and get an official copy of your official transcript every quarter (do not open it).

Photo of Deja Thomas 

Deja Thomas

Program Assistant

Program: Master's in Urban & Regional Planning

Fun Fact: I've never broken a bone!

I'm here studying Urban Planning, to continue to develop skills that I have established, and work to help create agency and opportunity within low income populations and communities of color. In the midst of work I think it's important to have fun and live in your joy when you can.

Advice for Graduate Students: Lean on your community, and you can get through it!

Photo of Tiara Thompson 

Tiara Thompson

Program Assistant

Program: MFA, Theater, Film, & Television

Fun Fact: I shook hands with President Barack Obama.

Tiara previously worked as an academic advisor for almost six years, partly in her undergraduate program. Coming from a low socioeconomic home and being a first-generation student, she is passionate about education, learning, creating art, and equitable inclusion for all!

Advice for Graduate Students: Make contacts early and actually hang out with them!