Students and staff after meeting the Black Arm Band at the Mondavi Center
Students and staff after meeting the Black Arm Band at the Mondavi Center


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 develop and implement a plan to serve students from orientation through graduation.

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Erienne Ramos

  • Office Coordinator | Citizen Band Potawatomi
  • Strategic Native American Retention Initiatives/Student Affairs

Bozho, my name is Erienne Ramos and my pronouns are she/her. I am the Office Coordinator for the Native American Retention Initiative. I am Citizen Band Potawatomi. As a UC Davis student I majored in Women and Gender Studies, emphasis in Law, and minor in Native American Studies. After gradation I worked at a Sacramento nonprofit that supports survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. I’m honored to return to UC Davis as a staff member to support the persistence, achievement, and graduation rates for Native American students. In my free time I enjoy cooking healthy meals, being physically active, and reading about ways to transform intergenerational trauma.

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Tracy Thomas, LMFT

  • Community Counselor
  • UC Davis Student Health and Counseling Services (position housed at NAASSC)

Student Assistants

Photo of student assistant Dani in blue shirt.

Dani C.

  • Student Assistant, 2019-20
  • 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.


Sheridan F.

  • Student Assistant, 2019-20
  • Pit River and Wintu

My name is Sheridan Foster. I am from Redding, CA. I am Pit River and Wintu. I am a second year at UC Davis. I am studying Psychology with a Biology emphasis as well as minor in Studio Art. After receiving my degree I plan on doing research in art therapy.

Danielle G.

  • Student Assistant, 2019-20
  • Diné (Navajo) and Mexican heritage

Yá'át'ééh, shí éí Danielle yinishyé.
Hello, my name is Danielle Rospide-Sandoval (Giagnoli). I am Diné of the Navajo Reservation in Arizona and of Mexican heritage from Zacatecas, Mexico. I am a first year transfer student at UC Davis where I am majoring in Native American Studies and Indigenous Rights, and Socio-Cultural Anthropology. I am also working towards a teaching credential where I’ll be an Elementary school teacher on the Navajo Reservation. I have a passion for knowledge and education, and teaching the next generation of Native Scholars. Together, We Will Rise Up.

Photo of student assistant Norma in blue shirt.

Norma J.

  • Student Assistant, 2019-20

Hello, my name is Norma, I am from Oxnard and Oceanside, California. I am a senior studying Spanish and Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior. My mom is my major motivation for getting my degrees, she is a single parent who has worked very hard her whole life as a campesina. Her strength is something I admire and I want to make her proud by giving us a better life because she has given me everything she can. My mom is Zapotec, and when she came to the US she not only spoke no English but she only spoke some Spanish since her first language was Zapoteco. Being around my family and friends is my favorite thing and I also love to watch sports, especially football! 

Student assistant Annika in blue shirt

Annika S.

  • Student Assistant, 2019-20

My name is Annika Shije and I am from Santo Domingo Pueblo and Santa Clara Pueblo. Currently, I am a first year majoring in Biological Systems Engineering. I hope to give back to my native community by pursuing water studies to research ways to purify large masses of water at once. I am also Aztec and Mexican on my mother’s side, and practice those beliefs in Los Angeles through dance. Since my background is very diverse I know how to perform an array of dances from traditional dances to fancy shawl, Danza Azteca, and even some salsa and Bachata. Here’s the catch though, I am terrible at dancing, I just enjoy doing it very much.

Student assistant V'Santi in blue shirt

V'Santi T.

  • Student Assistant, 2019-20
  • Mashpee Wampanoag and Tieno Indian

My name is V'Santi Tobey and I'm a 2nd year Theater/ Dance and Studio art Double Major. I was born in Cape Cod Massachusetts but I've lived in LA since the age of 10. I'm from the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and I'm also Tieno Indian.  Not only am I Native American but I'm also Puerto Rican and Cape Verdean and very proud of my heritage. In my free time I enjoy drawing, painting, dancing, beeding, and all things art related.