UC Merced Regional Admissions Advisors

Abraham Lopez

North Central Valley

Hometown: Merced, CA

Major in college: Social Sciences

Fun fact about me: In my spare time, I enjoy performing jazz and Latin music on my saxophone at local restaurants.

I love UC Merced because ... all of the academic, research and social opportunities it offers for students. I also enjoy cheering on the athletics teams. Go, Bobcats!

Phone: ​(559) 824-7481
Email: NorValleyAdmissions@ucmerced.edu
Facebook: facebook.com/NorValley
Twitter: @AbrahamUCMerced



Carolina Valero

Sacramento/Bay Area 

Hometown: Dinuba, CA

Major in college: Literature and Cultures

Fun fact about me: I am a UC Merced alumna! I graduated as part of the first graduating class - go class of '09!

I love UC Merced because ... the students, faculty and staff have a choice and a chance to create and make a difference at UC Merced instead of just being another face in the crowd.

Phone: (209) 500-9580
Email: cvalero@ucmerced.edu



Iona Nee

Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties

Hometown: Eagle Rock, CA

Major in college: Political Science

Fun fact about me: I was once on Nickelodeon and HBO shows.

I love UC Merced because ... UC Merced is GREEN from the ground up! Sustainability is the guiding principle in the campus' design, planning and operations.

Phone: (209) 761-6703
Email: SoCalAdmissions@ucmerced.edu
Twitter: @IonaUCMerced



Maria Martinez Madrigal

Fresno, Tulare, Kings and Kern counties

Hometown: Stockton, CA

Major in college: Communicative Disorders (B.A.), Higher Education Administrative and Leadership (M.A.)

Fun fact about me: I have watched the entire "Star Wars" series.

I love UC Merced because ... it is a place where a student's idea for a Bobcat Radio station becomes a reality. Our students are creating new clubs, assisting in the development of the campus, engaging with faculty and conducting research, and on weekends they explore Yosemite National Park.

Phone: (661) 578-3290
Email: ValleyAdmissions@ucmerced.edu



Matthew Schellenberg

San Diego, Imperial County, Orange County, LA Beach Cities

Hometown: Fresno, CA

Major in college: Sociology and African American Studies

Fun fact about me: I grew up in Germany!

I love UC Merced because ... it provides the best financial aid awards for our students!

Phone: (209) 201-7251
Email: mschellenberg@ucmerced.edu



Timothy Ford

Alameda, San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Contra Costa, Marin, Sonoma, Solano, Placer, Yolo and Sacramento counties

Hometown: Sunnyvale, CA

Major in college: Theatre with a Dance emphasis

Fun fact about me: I am actively involved in musical theatre when I'm not traveling for work.

I love UC Merced because ... it is committed to creating and fostering a community of students who define the demographic diversity that is California. These students have a unique opportunity to pioneer and shape the university to their own liking. There is a lot of pride in the institution and its anticipated growth from the community at large. 

Phone: (209) 761-9570
Email: SFBayAdmissions@ucmerced.edu



Michael Pierick

Central Valley (Northern)

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Major in college: Management, B.S.

Fun fact about me: I was a 4-year athlete at UC Merced and I own my own nonprofit that assists local students who aspire to attain a postsecondary education.

I love UC Merced because ... I graduated from UC Merced and I loved the close-knit culture and positive vibes from everyone. UC Merced made learning fun through hands-on experiences that allowed me to develop my passion and career.

Phone: (209) 201-8309
Email: mpierick@ucmerced.edu



Transfer Admissions Advisors


Sheila Xiong

Central Valley (Northern)

Hometown: Merced, CA

Major in college: Psychology

Fun fact about me: I am a food enthusiast and I love making pasta from scratch.

I love UC Merced because ... as an alumna and current Transfer Admissions Advisor for the Office of Admissions at UC Merced, UC Merced has been my home away from home since the day I walked through the 'Beginnings' sculpture. My experience as both a student and a staff member at UC Merced has shown me that UC Merced is a place with tremendous heart; our staff, faculty and students are some of the most compassionate and hardworking individuals. The amount of support and resources available to help individuals grow, dream, succeed and pursue the unknown is just incredible. You can feel the moment you step on campus that UC Merced is the start of something new, something extraordinary— and that’s what I love the most.

Phone: (209) 201-5583
Email: sxiong24@ucmerced.edu


Pa Vang

Central Valley (Southern)

Pa Vang

Hometown: Sacramento, CA

Major in college: Society and Environment

Fun fact about me: I like to cook, play chess, and crochet.

I love UC Merced because ... it is a young campus with so much potential for growth in all academic areas. The student demographics accurately represent the CA population.

Phone: (209) 313-7458
Email: pvang48@ucmerced.edu