Students and Staff after the Black Arm Band at the Mondavi Center



Staff meeting January 7th 2022
2021-2022 Staff


Michelle Villegas-Frazier

Michelle Villegas-Frazier

  • Director | Pomo, Pinoleville
  • Strategic Native American Retention Initiatives/Student Affairs

Michelle Villegas-Frazier, who previously worked for a decade in outreach programs on campus, returned to become the first director of Strategic Native American Retention Initiative in Student Affairs. She brings with her more than 20 years of experience in Native American outreach and retention services and programs.

Michelle will provide strategic leadership to identify opportunities for enhancing the persistence, achievement and graduation rates for Native American students. She will lead efforts to develop partnerships across the university and implement a plan to serve students from orientation through graduation.

You can schedule an in-person or virtual meeting with Michelle via Calendly:


Deserea Langley Headshot

Deserea Langley, Ph.D. (she/her)

  • Interim Associate Director

Deserea Langley, Ph.D.  (she/her) is an enrolled member of the Susanville Indian Rancheria. Deserea earned her Ph.D. in Native American Studies (NAS) from the University of California, Davis in 2021 and her master’s degree in NAS in 2016.  Her research explores the impact of the Dawes Allotment Act in northeastern California on her community, the Susanville Indian Rancheria, and the assertion of tribal sovereignty to reclaim tribal homelands in the region. Deserea has extensive experience in teaching and campus community service.  She served as a Teaching Assistant (TA) and Associate Instructor (AI) in the Native American Studies Program at UC Davis. As a TA and AI, she encouraged UC Davis students to understand the history and experience of California Indians by rooting her teaching philosophy in experiential knowledge and active learning.  Her passion is to promote the retention,  success, and access for Native American Students in higher education. Deserea served as a co-founder and co-chair for  the Native American and Indigenous Advisory Committee to the Chancellor. In her time as Chair, she actively worked to create sustainable relationships with university administration to uplift the voices of Native American students, faculty, and staff on campus.

You can schedule an in-person or virtual meeting with Deserea via Calendly:

Staff Adriana Martin

Adriana Martin

  • Office Coordinator
  • Native American Academic Student Services Center

Adriana Martin is a first generation Mexican-American college graduate and is one of five children. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Chicana/o Studies (minored in English) from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and her Master in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco. She understands first hand the investment of sacrifice, time, “ganas” and hustle it takes to enjoy the sweet payoff of achieving academic and professional goals. The win is for self, family, and community.

Her StrengthFinders top five themes are connectedness, relator, arranger, empathy, individualization. She is not deterred by constantly changing circumstances and is passionate about using her skillset to creatively support students, staff, and the community. She enjoys configuring and aligning synergies while looking for win-win solutions. She gently carves out tiny and big moments of joy for herself by listening to beautiful music, meditating, going for long walks, biking, exploring family-friendly activities, and connecting with friends. She can also be found lugging around her camera to capture moments in time. Favorite mantras: “I didn’t come this far to only come this far.” “If I can dream it, I can manifest it.”

Lynn, ICC advisor

Lynn Fowler

  • Senior Career Advisor
  • Internship and Career Center
Office Hours:
You can schedule a virtual appointment with Lynn Fowler at to connect. She is also available to meet virtually or in-person in The Native Nest every Thursday from 1:00-2:00 pm. Her virtual Zoom room is; meeting ID: 963 2076 1390.

For Spring Quarter, the ICC is providing services in a virtual format and once in-person campus services have resumed.

Lynn grew up with the Osage Nation in Oklahoma and is a proud alumnae of UC Davis.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and attended Bowling Green State University in Ohio, where she received a Master of Arts in College Student Personnel, with an emphasis in counseling.   She has over 15 years of experience at UCD in advising and administration in experiential education programs. Lynn hopes to use her knowledge of campus and the community resources to help support students in their career development process.  She especially enjoys connecting students and employers, the process of career exploration including clarifying strengths, and developing the tools to gain employment such resume and CV writing, interviewing, and networking. In her spare time she is passionate about mindfulness, yoga, and lifelong learning. 

Preferred pronouns: she/her/hers

Ariel, Writing Specialist

Ariel Loring

  • Writing Specialist
  • Writing Support Center in the Academic Assistance and Tutoring Centers (AATC)
Office Hours:
AATC Writing Specialist Ariel Loring is holding hybrid drop-in writing support for Native Nest students every Thursday from 2:00-3:00 p.m. You can choose to attend virtually on Zoom or in the Native Nest. The Zoom link is You can bring a prompt, a draft, a reading, or we can just have a conversation. If you are sharing some writing, please be prepared to share a Google Doc with editing permission enabled.

Ariel started at UC Davis as a graduate student in 2008.  After earning her M.A. and PhD in linguistics, she started working as a writing specialist in the AATC.  As someone who didn’t particularly enjoy college writing or feel confident in it, she has since published multiple academic articles.  She is eager to help other writers feel confident and competent with their writing.

Ariel has been offering drop-in writing support in the Native Nest since 2017, and also facilitates a student book group that meets once a quarter:

Get help at any stage of the writing process:

  • Understanding the prompt and generating ideas
  • Developing, connecting and organizing ideas/arguments  
  • Identifying grammar error patterns and learning the rules to remedy them
  • Learning how to edit sentences to make them more concise

Session details/policies:

  • AATC Writing Specialist Ariel Loring is holding hybrid drop-in writing support for Native Nest students every Thursday from 2:00-3:00 p.m. You can choose to attend in-person in the Native Nest or virtually on Zoom. The Zoom link is If you’re doing any writing this quarter, either for your classes or if you’re applying for a scholarship or graduate school, I’d love to work with you. You don’t need to bring a finished draft to meet with me— I’m here to help support you at whatever stage you are at, even if you haven’t started writing yet. If you meet with me, I’ll ask what you want to go over and we’ll have a conversation about it. If I have feedback, I’ll phrase it as suggestions, but you are the writer and you make whatever choices you want based on that feedback.
  • If you need grammar support, please also visit the Aggie Grammar Guide:

Learn more about the services Ariel can provide: 

Photo of CAN Counselor Tracy Thomas

Tracy Thomas, LMFT

  • Community Counselor
  • UC Davis Student Health and Counseling Services (position housed at NAASSC)
Office Hours:
To schedule a virtual or in-person appointment with Tracy, please email her at She is available Monday - Thursday and is accepting appointments starting at 8:00 a.m. with the last offering at 5:30 p.m. 

Tracy Thomas is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) working as a Community Counselor for Student Health and Counseling Services.  She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Studies from University of California at Los Angeles and her Master of Arts Degree from Brandman University. 

Through her work in private practice and through non-profit community health centers throughout the Sacramento area, she has compassionately provided mental health care services to culturally and socio-economically diverse populations from marginalized, underrepresented, and underserved communities, including Native American and Indigenous populations. Tracy has specialized interest, training, and experience in treating symptoms of PTSD and trauma, including intergenerational trauma experienced by many oppressed people. She received EMDR training and consultation from an EMDRIA-approved school and uses EMDR as a primary tool to help clients heal from traumatic experiences. Additionally, through her work experience in a partial hospitalization program, she has specialized training in treating eating disorders and other co-occurring mental illnesses using ACT and DBT therapies. Her primary theoretical orientation is Humanistic.

Tracy’s personal philosophy in counseling is rooted in the belief that regardless of the complex emotional challenges that one might be facing, each person can experience emotional freedom and reach his or her maximum potential in life. This can be achieved through access to an empathic, culturally competent counselor who assists the client to reprocess traumatic events, to learn and practice mindfulness, make a commitment to acceptance of each experience, and to align thoughts and behaviors with his, her, or their core values to achieve their desired outcomes. Tracy enjoys helping students embrace their intersecting identities into a healthy, holistic, and integrated sense of self.  Tracy’s celebrates her multicultural ethnicity, including honoring and giving back to her Choctaw identity.  

Managing Fears and Anxiety Around Coronavirus

Student Assistants

Photo of Student assistant Dani.

Dani C.

  • Student Assistant, 2021-22
  • Chiricahua Apache

My name is Dani Contreras and I am a transfer student from Southern California. I am currently a senior Chemistry Major (American Chemical Society certification track) as well as the External Co-President of Native American Student Union (NASU) and the Treasurer for the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES). My great-grandpa was full-blooded Chiricahua Apache but I also have strong Mexican and Spanish heritage. Outside of schoolwork and clubs, I like to draw, paint, play musical instruments, listen to music, and play video games.

Check out Dani's feature in Aggie Voices.

Jazmin Chavez

Jazmin Chavez

  • Student Assistant, 2021-22
  • Chippewa Cree

My name is Jazmin Chavez and I am from Southern California. I am a 3rd-year Psychology and Native American Studies major. I am Native American and Chicana; I am an enrolled member of the Chippewa Cree Tribe on the Rocky Boy Reservation in Montana. In my free time, I like spending time with my friends, talking to family, and watching movies/ tv series, listening to music, and glass painting.

Rene Chavez

Rene Chavez

  • Student Assistant, 2021-22
  • Cherokee 

Hello my name is Rene Chavez, I am currently a second year biology major here at UC Davis. My goal is to go to medical school, and become a doctor in family practice to work for a Native clinic. I am of Latino, and Native American Heritage. My father is from El Salvador, and my mother is Cherokee. For the past six years I have been a part of a military youth program called the United States Naval Sea Cadets. Through this program I have had numerous leadership opportunities. I have been in charge of drills, leading divisions, and various trainings. Furthermore I have also participated in many acts of community service like, toys-4-tots, memorial day ceremonies, beach/lake cleanups, and covid vaccination clinics. In addition to my studies, I also hope to learn more about Native culture and be able to help Native Students with their own education and help them strive for success!

Student Desirae Morales

Desirae Morales

  • Student Assistant, 2021-22
  • Coastal Band of Chumash Nation

Desirae Morales is a first generation, third year, Psychology and Native American Studies double major at the University of California, Davis. She is from Santa Barbara, CA and is a member of Coastal Band of the Chumash Nation. Desirae has a passion for helping others and revitalizing her culture. Desirae’s goal is to become a behavioral therapist and/or to specifically help children with autism. She hopes to become a resource for her community and especially her younger sister. Lastly her interests consist of media editing, dancing, and spending time with her family and community.

Student Nora Perez

Nora Liz Perez

  • Student Assistant, 2021-22
  • Zapotec

Hello, my name is Nora Liz Perez and I am an Indigenous Zapotec from Los Angeles CA. I am a fourth year studying Native American Studies & Animal Science at the University of California Davis. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a community where I was able to be connected to my culture and peoples. Throughout my time at UC Davis, I have been able to help organize events such as the Native Youth Empowerment Conference at UC Davis, been a part of organizations such as the Native American Student Union (NASU) and been a student board member of the Chancellor's Undergraduate Advisory Board (CUAB) to help uplift student voices on campus. During my free time I like to stop by & say hi to the cows on campus and spend time outdoors in nature!

Student Kayley Walker

Kayley Walker

  • Student Assistant, 2021-22
  • Chukchansi

Hello, my name is Kayley Walker, and I am an undergraduate student studying Communications and Native American Studies at the University of California, Davis. I am an enrolled member of the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians. I am interested in advocacy work, social and environmental equity, and the revitalization of my tribe's language. My passion is to engage with communities and promote activism and awareness of civil rights. I am also on the UC Davis Track and Field team.

Student Nora Zade

Nora Zade

  • Student Assistant, 2021-22
  • Pomo, Konkow, Yuki, Wailaki, Hopi, Pawnee, Tsalagi

I am a fourth year Psychology and Native American Studies major. I hope to continue my education by obtaining my Master's and PhD in the Native American Studies program. I aspire to provide guidance, resources, and support to Native youth, particularly in regards to education.