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Undocumented Student Services: Meet Our Staff

Photo of friendly faces at UC San Diego's Undocumented Student Services office



  • Daniel Arturo Alfaro Arellano

    Daniel Arturo Alfaro Arellano


    I was born in Queretaro, Mexico and came to the U.S. along with my family as a young child. Once in the U.S., my family and I settled in Escondido, California, where I lived most of my young-adult years.

    I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Counseling from California State University, San Marcos. After receiving my degree, I began organizing in my community, first through the National Latino Research Center and then at Alliance San Diego. Through my community work, I collaborated with various non-profit organizations on community outreach campaigns, providing immigration legal services to immigrants in hard-to-reach places, and sharing best practices among immigrant rights networks.

    In my role as the coordinator of the Undocumented Student Services Center, I seek to provide the undocumented students at UC San Diego a holistic space where they can find resources and support tailored for their needs.

    Email Daniel
    Book an appointment with Daniel

  • Saya Austin

    Saya Austin

    Immigration Attorney

    Saya Austin is an Attorney Fellow at the UC Immigrant Legal Services Center serving UC Riverside and UC San Diego. She is a 2015 graduate of Brooklyn Law School and holds a B.A. in International Studies -- Sociology and Communications from UC San Diego. Her legal experience includes working on asylum applications through law school clinic and on International Human Rights Fellowship, representing children in the New York City Family Court, and filing various humanitarian immigration petitions at the International Institute of the Bay Area.

  • Stephanie M. Estrada

    Stephanie M. Estrada

    Graduate Assistant

    I obtained my B.A. in Urban Studies from San Diego State University (SDSU) and am currently a masters student in the Postsecondary Educational Leadership with a specialization in Student Affairs program at SDSU.  I currently serve as the Graduate Assistant for the Undocumented Student Services Center and  have thoroughly enjoyed my time here thus far.  I strive to provide a welcoming and supportive environment that helps foster the success of all of our students.

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    Book an appointment with Stephanie

  • Maria E. Zuniga

    Maria E. Zuniga

    Program Specialist

    I am a UC San Diego alumni and obtained my B.A. in Human Development and a minor in Education Studies.  As a Program Specialist I help to support the Undocumented Student Services Center, Student Veterans Resource Center, and the Student Success Coaching Program.  I am very fortunate to be helping these three programs to better serve students and their needs. As a UC San Diego alum I understand how overwhelming this university can be in terms of size and information.  Seeking help and asking questions is the best way to obtain the support that is needed. 


  • Claudia Cheng

    Claudia Cheng

    Peer Mentor

    Hello everyone! I am a fourth year International Studies-Sociology major with a minor in Studio Art. I was born in Taiwan, and lived there for nine years before settling permanently in SoCal. I am also a second-time RA at John Muir College, which has been an integral part of my college experience. I love creating connections and relationships with other people, and really see the value of a good conversation. I believe strongly in student potential for success, and in the importance of finding communities in which you can feel included and supported. 

    As a peer mentor here at the center. I am here as a resource to help you find success academically, professionally, and personally. If you are looking for support from a fellow student, a helping hand, a referral service, or just somebody to talk to, feel free to contact me!

  • Luis Cruz Cardoso

    Luis Cruz Cardoso

    Legal Assistant

    It’s been an interesting journey navigating through UCSD. There used to be a time when the resources for undocumented students were very limited and difficult to find. I would be running across campus to different offices each referring me to the other offices, not really getting anywhere. The Undoc Center really helped bring these resources together and give students a place to connect with these resources. Being at the center and having the opportunity to help students connect with the resources that now exist is rewarding.

  • Lorenia Gutierrez

    Lorenia Gutierrez

    Outreach Coordinator

    I am a third year Physiology and Neuroscience major and CLAH minor at UCSD. I was born and raised in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. I came to the U.S. as a child and have lived in San Diego ever since. I aspire to attend medical school and become a Family Medicine / Preventive Medicine doctor. My goal is to serve minority, immigrant, and underserved communities that have been historically deprived from healthcare access. As an outreach coordinator at the Undocumented Student Services Center, I will work to provide undocumented students a safe space to grow academically, professionally, and socially by maximizing the awareness of programs and resource available at UCSD. I am here for support and help, just let me know!

  • Min Ju Kim

    Min Ju Kim

    Marketing / Social Media Assistant

    As a college student, I am realizing more and more that it is now my responsibility to be fully aware of my situation and do what I need to do, whether it is dealing with the financial aid or adjusting the study habits. This is where the Undocumented Student Services Center reached out to me, helping me to know where to start as a young, undocumented freshman. And now, it is my pleasure to return my gratitude by serving as a part of the Undoc Center. Through the promoting the events held by the Undoc Center, I hope that more people, undocumented or not, come to know the center and take advantage of what it provides. Let’s be a family of our own!