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John Muir College Student Affairs Staff

The Student Affairs and Residential Life staff support student life and personal development outside the classroom.  They advise Muir student organizations, collaborate with students in planning special events such as the annual Muirstock concert and festival, and organize leadership training opportunities.

Location & Hours

2126 Humanities and
Social Science Building
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 12 Noon
1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.


Phone: (858) 534-3587

Professional Staff

  • Jason Thibodeaux, Ed.D.

    Jason Thibodeaux, Ed.D.

    Dean of Student Affairs 

    - Pronouns: He | Him | His
    - Hometown: Houston, Texas
    - Alma Maters: The University of Texas at Austin | University of Southern California
    - Degrees: BBA, Business Administration | MEd, Educational Psychology | EdD, Organizational Change and Leadership 


    Greetings,  Muirons! My name is Jason Thibodeaux, and I serve as your Dean of Student Affairs. That means that I work with this great team of people at Muir College to support your educational environment during your time at UC San Diego.  I grew up in Houston, Texas, and I graduated from The University of Texas at Austin where I received a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Education in Educational Psychology. I also attended the University of Southern California and received a Doctor of Education in Organizational Change and Leadership.  My dissertation research was on compassion fatigue in student employees, and supporting your health and wellbeing is very important to me.


    Outside of UC San Diego, you can find me taking my dog Ripley on a journey to Balboa Park, exploring a museum, or stand up paddle boarding. I also love traveling to new places and trying all the great food San Diego has to offer. I hope I get the chance to meet you during your time at UC San Diego, so please reach out if you need any support.

    Email: | Phone: (858) 534-3587
    At Muir College Since 2017
  • Raymond Vera Cruz

    Raymond Vera Cruz

    Executive Assistant to the Dean of Student Affairs 

    Pronouns: He | Him | His
    - Hometown: San Diego, California
    - Alma Mater: San Diego State University

    Raymond is a San Diego native and is a big fan of food and adventure. Ask him about great places to visit for amazing eats and breathtaking views. 

    You can find Raymond at the front desk in the Office of Student Affairs, where he supports the Dean of Student Affairs. Stop by or give Raymond a call if you have any questions about Muir College or getting involved!  When not working, Raymond enjoys speculating wildly about the Marvel Cinematic Multiverse, recreating his favorite restaurant dishes, being buried in a good book, or hiking up a mountain just because it's there.

    E-mail: | Phone: (858) 534-3587

    At Muir College Since 2016

  • Mario Garibay, Ed.D.

    Mario Garibay, Ed.D.

    Assistant Dean of Student Affairs 

     - Pronouns: He | Him | His
    - Hometown: La Puente, California
    - Alma Mater: University of San Diego (BA and MA) | UC San Diego/Cal State San Marcos (EdD)


    Mario is proud to serve you as the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs for Muir College. Prior to working at Muir, Mario worked in Warren College Student Affairs, the Office of Student Conduct at UC Irvine, and additional roles in Residential Life & Housing. He earned a BA in Sociology & Ethnic Studies from the University of San Diego, and recently earned a EdD from the UC San Diego/Cal State San Marcos joint doctoral program.

    In his free time, Mario enjoys spending time with his little two-year old and wife (she made me add this), reading Marvel comics, drinking coffee with friends and colleagues, frequent visits to Target, trips to Disneyland, or taking full advantage of his AMC A-List movie pass.

    While at Muir, Mario wants to ensure that you find your place in our community and is dedicated to ensuring your success at the college and at UC San Diego. Feel free to stop by his office or set up a coffee meeting with him at M.O.M. He'd love to get to know you too!

    Email: | Phone: (858) 534-3587 
    At Muir College Since 2020
  • Sonia Rosado, Ed.D.

    Sonia Rosado, Ed.D.

    Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Director of Residence Life

    - Pronouns: She | Her | Hers

    - Hometown: Los Angeles, California

    - Alma Maters: UC Santa Cruz | Indiana University-Bloomington | UC San Diego & CSU San Marcos

    - Degrees: BA, Sociology | MS, Higher Education & Student Affairs | EdD, Educational Leadership


    Hola I am Dra. Sonia Rosado, Associate Dean of Student Affairs/Director of Residence Life at UC San Diego. I have been in the field of Student Affairs for over 20 years working in areas such as Residence Life, Student Outreach, Recruitment, Training and Development, Community Organizing, Student Activities, Social Justice, and the First-Gen Experience. I am the founder and advisor of the LGBTQIA+ Living Learning Community at Muir College. I train the Muir community on equity, diversity, and inclusion. I promote the use of inclusive language and understanding of LGBTQIA+, racial/ethnic and multicultural identities. On my spare time, I enjoy learning and mentoring others. Originally from the Los Angeles area, I graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a B.A. in Sociology. I attended Indiana University-Bloomington, where I graduated with an M.S. in Higher Education and Student Affairs and received my Doctorate (Joint Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership from the University of California-San Diego and California State University-San Marcos. My publications include (2011 dissertation) titled Browning the Rainbow: The Academic Persistence and Multiple Identities of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Latino/a Students and (2015 article) titled Learning Applied Critical Leadership from Cultural Center Staff and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Latino/a Students in Applied Critical Leadership in Higher Education. My hobbies include bullet journaling, reading non-fiction books, playing board games, visiting various coffee shops, and traveling to tropical places.

    E-mail:  | Phone: (858) 534-4200

    At Muir College Since 2006

  • Daniel Clark

    Daniel Clark

    Assistant Director of Residence Life

    - Pronouns: He | Him | His


    Daniel has been working in higher education for over 6 years and has a passion for student development and success. Daniel believes in helping actualize the potential within the future movers and shakers of the world. He was born in Los Angeles, California, migrated north to Fresno, California and has made San Diego County his home for almost 4 years where he enjoys the abundance of sunshine and farmers markets. 

    A graduate of Fresno City College, California State University, Fresno and University of the Pacific, Daniel is a product of the education system in the San Joaquin Valley. In 2017, he won the prestigious University of the Pacific 2017 Latino Graduate Student of the Year award. In 2020, he was awarded Advisor of the Year at Cal State San Marcos. 

    When he is not working on behalf of the college student, he can be found drinking an unhealthy amount of coffee and listening to podcasts about Professional Wrestling, Comic Books, or anything produced by NPR.

    E-mail: | Phone: (858) 534-4200

    At Muir College Since 2021

  • Michael Vallejo

    Interim Assistant Director of Residence Life

    - Pronouns: He | Him | His

    - Hometown: Los Angeles, California

    - Alma Maters: University of California, San Diego

  • Justin Glover

    Justin Glover

    Middle of Muir (M.O.M), Manager

    - Pronouns: he | him | his

    - Alma Mater: Arizona State University

    - Degrees: Marketing


    E-mail: | Phone: (858) 534-3587

    At Muir College Since 2013

  • Claudia Peña

    Claudia Peña

    Coordinator of Student Activities

    - Pronouns: She | Her | Hers
    - Hometown: Desert Hot Springs, California
    - Alma Maters: University of California San Diego | San Diego State University
    - Degrees: BA, Political Science & Global Health | MA, Student Affairs & Higher Education


    Hello! My name is Claudia Peña and I currently the Coordinator of Student Activities for Muir College and officially joined UC San Diego as a professional in September of 2017. I earned my Master’s Degree in Higher Education Student Affairs from San Diego State University. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Global Health – Pre Med from the one and only UCSD. I am originally from the Coachella Valley. I love spending time with my family , I have two young boys ages 3 and 1. I have a passion for student success and trying to create an equitable experience for all students.

    E-mail: | Phone: (858) 534-4965

    At Muir College Since 2020

  • Angelo Colon

    Senior New Student Programs Specialist

    Pronouns: He | Him | His


    Hailing from the Nutmeg State (CT), Angelo comes to Muir College with a wealth of knowledge from multiple universities on the east coast. In his 20+ years in higher education, he has walked the line of academic and student affairs serving in a variety of roles from housing and residence life to academic advising, and from first-year experience to sorority and fraternity life. He has a passion for helping new students transition to and be successful with university life, as well as justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. 

    Angelo embodies lifelong learning. He has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Connecticut, a Master of Education in Student Affairs Administration from Clemson University, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Lynchburg. The learning never ends! 

    In his spare time you might find him rooting for his alma maters on the athletic fields, reading a book, watching movies, visiting with friends over a delicious meal, or taking a trip - usually to any theme park with a great selection of coasters or Disneyland to be reminded of the magic all around us.


    E-mail:  | Phone: (858) 534-3587

    At Muir College Since 2021

  • Sarah Cook

    Sarah Cook

    Residential Life Program Assistant

    Pronouns: She | Her | Hers

    SaraCook attended the University of Illinois at Chicago and majored in Sociology. She is passionate about the success of Muir students and is dedicated to making them feel at home here on campus. She moved to San Diego in February of 2016 and has been awed by the city from day one. She enjoys performing, meditating, reading books, drinking caffeinated beverages, traveling, and experiencing all things creative!

    E-mail: | Phone: (858) 534-4200

    At Muir College Since 2020

  • Sonya Stepacheva

    Sonya Stepacheva

    Graduate Assistant 

    Pronouns: She | Her | Hers
    - Alma Maters: California State University San Marcos 


    Sonya Stepacheva is so excited to serve as the graduate assistant for John Muir College Orientation! She is currently a Graduate student at SDSU working towards her Master's in Postsecondary Educational Leadership with a Specialization in Student Affairs. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from CSUSM in the Spring of 2020 with a degree in Literature and Writing Studies with a Minor in Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies. During her time at CSUSM, she had numerous involvements including working with the New Student and Family Program's department for 3 years. She was also an active member of a Jewish Student Organization called Hillel and founding member of the Eta Chi chapter of the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority.

    Sonya was born and raised in San Diego and loves to explore new hidden gems in the city. In her free time, you can find her going down to the San Diego beaches, creating artwork, rewatching her favorite TV shows, or playing with her 14 year old dachshund named Chocolate. She’s very excited to get to know you all!



    At Muir College Since 2021

  • Tori Bussey-Neal

    Tori Bussey-Neal

    Student Success Coach

    - Pronouns: She | Her | Hers/They | Them | Theirs
    - Hometown: San Diego, California

    At Muir College Since 2019

  • Kimberly Knight

    Licensed Clinical Social Worker


    At Muir College Since 2021

  • Danielle Simien

    Licensed Clinical Social Worker


    At Muir College Since 2021

  • Jacqueline Tejada

    Student Affairs Case Manager

    Learn more about Student Affairs Case Management!


    E-mail:  | Phone: (858) 534-0639
    At Muir College Since 2019

Student Staff

  • Veronica Amaya
    Student Affairs Intern - Leadership and Transfer Programs

    Wyndi Valencia
    Student Affairs Intern - First-Gen, Latinx, and Black Student Initiatives

    Helen Duong
    Student Affairs Intern - Student Organization Consultant and Front Desk Management

    Luzia Ceballos Mendoza
    Student Affairs Intern - Student Activities and Online Engagement

    Matthew Morris
    Student Affairs Intern - Social Media

    Nickolet Smiggs
    Student Affairs Intern - Student Activities and Online Engagement

    Jade Coniglio
    Graphics Intern