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


Fall 2020 Native Nest Staff Meet via Zoom
Fall 2020 Native Nest Staff meet via Zoom.



Michelle Villegas-Frazier

Michelle Villegas-Frazier

  • Director | Pomo, Pinoleville
  • Strategic Native American Retention Initiatives/Student Affairs
All meetings will be virtual. Please email to set up a virtual appointment.

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.

Deserea Langley Headshot

Deserea Langley, Ph.D.

  • 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.

Lynn, ICC advisor

Lynn Fowler

  • Senior Career Advisor
  • Internship and Career Center
All meetings will be virtual. Please email to set up a virtual appointment.

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)
Writing support from the AATC will be completely online for Spring Quarter. Sign up for 30 minute one-on-one appointments on Zoom. You can book between 3-72 hours in advance:

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:

Writing support from the AATC will be completely online for Spring 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:

  • Sign up for 30 minute one-on-one appointments on Zoom
  • You can book between 3-72 hours in advance
  • If you select the drop-down menu, you can choose to work with Ariel Loring, the Writing Specialist who normally holds drop-in hours in the Native Nest.
  • Because our Writing Studio and other drop-in locations are currently closed, you can book an appointment for any type of writing (coursework, scholarship letters, personal statements, etc.) 
  • If you need grammar support, please also visit the Aggie Grammar Guide:
Staff Adriana Martin

Adriana Martin

  • Office Coordinator
  • Native American Academic Student Services Center

Adriana Martin is a proud 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.”

Photo of CAN Counselor Tracy Thomas

Tracy Thomas, LMFT

  • Community Counselor
  • UC Davis Student Health and Counseling Services (position housed at NAASSC)
All meetings will be virtual. Please email to set up a virtual appointment.

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, 2020-21
  • 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, 2020-21
  • 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.