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Four New Hires Underscore Campus’s Commitment to Diversity

From left, Gerardo N. Arellano, director of the Raza Resource Centro; James Bond, coordinator of the Student Veterans Resource Center; John Jacinto Duca, director of development, campus initiatives/diversity; and Barney Wilson, director of strategic initiatives, admissions and enrollment services. Photo by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

The University of California, San Diego is deeply committed to making positive changes to improve our campus climate and increase the richness and diversity of our community and curriculum. The UC San Diego strategic plan emphasizes our commitment to ensure a welcoming and diverse campus. Through strategic recruiting—which helps the university realize its mission and vision for equity, diversity and inclusion—UC San Diego welcomes four new hires: Gerardo N. Arellano, director of the Raza Resource Centro; James Bond, coordinator of the Student Veterans Resource Center; John Jacinto Duca, director of development, campus initiatives/diversity; and Barney Wilson, director of strategic initiatives, admissions and enrollment services.

“Diversity is an integral part of UC San Diego’s goals and values,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “The recruitment of these four stellar individuals aligns with our efforts to enhance equity, diversity and inclusion on campus. Our work will continue until the culture on our campus is one of total inclusiveness.”

Added Carol Padden, interim vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion, “We offer many resources to support the recruitment and retention of historically underserved populations with the aim of increasing campus diversity and developing proactive leaders who advocate for inclusion. Gerardo Arellano, James Bond, John Jacinto Duca and Barney Wilson will all play a role in UC San Diego’s efforts to achieve our shared commitment to an open, welcoming and supportive campus.”

These new hires speak to the commitments made by UC San Diego:

Gerardo N. Arellano, Director of Raza Resource Centro

In an effort to enhance our campus climate and student life, UC San Diego added various student centers. The Black Resource Center was opened last summer, with Stacia Smith Solomon appointed to serve as the inaugural director. Now, we have a new director, and soon a new look, for the Raza Resource Centro.

Arellano is the newly appointed director of the Raza Resource Centro at UC San Diego. The first in his family to graduate from college, he went on to earn a doctorate, obtaining a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in Comparative Ethnic Studies. Arellano was previously a faculty member of American and Chicano studies as well as the graduate learning specialist coordinator of program research at California State University, Fullerton. In his role as a coordinator, he helped to create and successfully implement the academic component of the EPOCHS grant, which is a $2.8 million federal grant designed to increase the academic success, enrollment and retention rate of Latinos at CSU Fullerton’s graduate school.

“As the director, I will implement a ‘mi casa es tu casa’ policy which means that the Raza Resource Centro will welcome everyone regardless of one's identity, methodology, social status or beliefs,” said Arellano. “The Raza Resource Centro will support the idea that there are multiple leaders in our community and all of us play a critical role in connecting the different Latina/o communities to our research, teaching and programming.”

The Raza Resource Centro is one of the newest campus community centers at UC San Diego. Arellano, who has more than 15 years of experience working with underserved students of color, will help the Raza Resource Centro foster a sense of collectivity, communication and leadership. The goal is to emphasize and nurture the access, retention and graduation of our students as well as create strong connections with our surrounding community to deepen our commitment to the ideals of diversity, equity and inclusion. Arellano’s extensive experience advising and collaborating with graduate and undergraduate student organizations will assist expansion and further promote diversity on our campus.

James Bond, Coordinator of Student Veterans Resource Center

Many of our student veterans are from underrepresented population groups, and a vast majority are transfer students. Veterans not only add to the diversity of our student body, but they also bring a wealth of life experience to the campus. Inclusion is an important part of UC San Diego’s commitment to providing a welcoming environment for all students, regardless of background.

Bond has been appointed coordinator of UC San Diego’s new Student Veterans Resource Center (SVRC) to help build upon UC San Diego’s efforts to support student veterans. His responsibilities include serving as a point-of-contact for student veterans from the time they enter the university, throughout their academic program and beyond. Bond served in the Army for eight years. He moved to California in 1999 to attend San Diego State University, earning a degree in multicultural counseling in 2008. Although he has worked with veterans at several higher education institutes including Ashford University and National University, he is pleased to join UC San Diego, a prestigious research university that is ranked among the top 15 percent of the nation’s military-friendly schools by G.I. Jobs magazine. Bond is a board member of the San Diego Veterans Coalition as well as the Veterans Association- North County.

“I want to help others like me to transition out of the military life and into higher education smoothly by teaching them the lessons I have learned from my personal journey” said Bond.

The SVRC supports the campus’s growing student veteran population by providing opportunities for veteran and active duty students to connect with groups and resources to encourage academic success and enhance their student experience. Bond will bring his expertise to help teach veteran students the skillsets needed for success in higher education, and in life. Because of his military background, he hopes to use his connections within the campus and San Diego community to benefit student veterans. Ultimately, Bond’s goal is to continue expanding resources to support the every need of our student veterans.

John Duca, Director of Development, Campus Initiatives/Diversity

Diversity giving at UC San Diego is focused on securing private philanthropic support for initiatives that enhance our campus and welcome a diverse community—including scholarships to help make a college education more accessible and affordable.

UC San Diego welcomes Duca as director of development, campus initiatives and diversity to carry on the progress the campus has made in further enhancing the diversity of our community. Diversity is an institutional priority, and Duca will be at the hub of coordinating the development efforts. A native to San Diego, Duca received his B.A in political science at UCLA and his Masters in Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, Massachusetts. He has received a certificate in Fund Raising Management from Indiana University and is currently pursuing designations as a Certified Specialist in Planned Giving from California State University, Long Beach and a Certified Fundraising Executive from Association of Fundraising Professionals.

“I strongly believe in the mission of UC San Diego that diversity, equity and inclusion are essential ingredients for excellence in academics and life,” said Duca. “My job is not about what I, by myself, can achieve. It is a team effort with my colleagues, and I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish to promote programs that address access and representation, strengthen intergroup relations and prepare UC San Diego students for a global society.”

His experience in engaging a broad-range donor base and staffing foundation boards and philanthropic committees for The San Diego Foundation will be a valuable asset for UC San Diego. Duca is committed to making UC San Diego a great place to learn, and an environment where individuals can be heard.

Barney Wilson, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Admissions and Enrollment Services

For years, UC San Diego has embraced enhanced yield initiatives—programs that encourage students to accept their admittance to UC San Diego—along with existing programs. Now, the campus has hired a strategic director who will employ additional efforts to increase yield.

Wilson, the newly appointed director of UC San Diego’s strategic initiatives and community engagement on behalf of admissions and enrollment services, will be responsible for helping to enhance yield initiatives for historically underserved populations. Wilson received his undergraduate B.A and B.S in electrical engineering, economics and mathematics, and a master’s degree in business administration from Carnegie Mellon University, Pa. He later obtained a doctoral degree in educational leadership at Morgan State University, Md.

He has more than a decade of experience working with students in Maryland, including a variety of leadership positions such as high school principal, campus administrator and dean. Having worked with students from high school to college, he is pleased to be able to assist students on their journey to higher education at UC San Diego.

“On our campus, underrepresented students need to see more people like themselves” said Wilson. “However, the need for more diversity on the UC San Diego campus is not only for students, but also in the faculty and administration.”

When the collective talents of our students, faculty and staff at UC San Diego are united together in an environment that is open and inclusive, creativity and innovation prospers. Wilson plans to use his expertise to help educate our community’s underserved populations about affordable, accessible higher education, and the ways to get there. In his short tenure on our campus, Wilson has already visited three local high schools to address the college planning process including academic preparations needed to fulfill the high requirements. Wilson looks forward to helping to call UC San Diego’s diverse students in March to encourage them to attend our campus.

The University of California strives to create and promote healthy climates across its campuses, where all community members, including students (graduate, undergraduate and professional), staff and faculty feel welcomed, supported, included and valued. Diversity and inclusion are extremely important aspects of campus climate. According to the UC Regents' Study Group on University Diversity, "diversity and inclusion efforts are not complete unless they also address climate [and] addressing campus climate is an important and necessary component in any comprehensive plan for diversity."

For more information about UC San Diego’s diversity resources, efforts and news, please visit: diversity.ucsd.edu.