Student services staff biographies

Jerlena Griffin-Desta

Jerlena has over 20 years experience within Student Affairs at UC. Prior to joining UCOP Student Affairs in 2009, Jerlena spent six years at UCLA in residential education, and 13 years at UC Berkeley in charge of Student Development (residence life, campus orientation, first year experience programs, academic support services), and served on a host of campus committees including Chair of the Chancellor’s Staff Advisory Committee, Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women, and as staff designate to the Police Review Board and the Committee on Honors. Jerlena is a national consultant on student dialogues across differences and has participated in higher education policy discussions at universities in China and South Africa.

Jerlena is currently completing her PhD in Education Policy at UC Berkeley.

Eric Heng

Eric Heng joined UCOP Student Affairs in 2007. Eric’s past experience includes working as an Area Coordinator in the Office of Residential Life at Wesleyan University; as well as in Student Affairs roles at UC Santa Barbara and UC Los Angeles. Eric holds a BA in Psychology from UCSB and a Masters of Education in Counseling in Student Affairs from UCLA.

Belinda Vea, PhD

Belinda Vea joined UCOP Student Affairs in 2009. Belinda holds a Masters in Interdisciplinary Humanities from Arizona State University, and a Doctorate in higher education and public policy from Claremont Graduate University, School of Educational Studies. She has consulted on issues related to higher education policies and programs that assist diverse populations in higher education, and their access to, retention in, and success through higher education.

Jenné Vargas

Jenné Vargas began working with UCOP in June 2009 providing programmatic support to the Eligibility in the Local Context program in Admissions, Student Affairs. A recent addition to the Student Services team, Jenné’s previous experience is an eclectic blend which includes work in Academic Advising at Naropa University, coordination in Learning and Development at Genentech, and managing Member Programs and Services for the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. Jenné holds a BA from Naropa’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and a Masters of Library and Information Science from CSU, San Jose.