Student Advisory Equipo

As a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), PCC recognizes the importance of centering Latine and minoritized student populations’ voices, ideas, perspectives, and insights to promote equity-minded practices prioritizing student-centered policies, practices, and proposals.

About The Student Advisory Equipo

Established in 2019 as part of Pasadena City College's Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Title V grant, Abriendo Caminos (2019-2024), the Student Advisory Equipo signifies a crucial step in the institution's commitment to empowering and fostering the representation and leadership of Latine students. Driven by the leadership of Dr. Michaela Mares-Tamayo and the vision of Dr. Desiree Zuniga, the Equipo emerged as a response to the need for increased involvement of Latine students in the planning and execution of initiatives.

Unlike traditional student panels or temporary student advisory boards, the HSI grant leaders, guided by Dr. Desiree Zuniga, a PCC alumna, student advocate, and faculty counselor, advocated integrating student leaders as paid collaborators within the HSI Abriendo Caminos grant team. Since its beginning, the Student Advisory Equipo has evolved through four cohorts of diverse Latine student leaders actively engaging in shared governance and campus-wide collaborations and partnerships.

Beyond contributing to student voice projects, Equipo now plays a pivotal role in shaping culturally relevant programs and conducting qualitative research and inquiry. Their focus extends beyond enrolling Latine students to genuinely serving and supporting them, as emphasized by Gracia (2019).

Today, the Student Advisory Equipo continues to be committed to adopting practices that "presumes [Latine and historically marginalized students] are competent and worthy, and that thinks [their/or] language and culture are beautiful assets to be enhanced, not subtracted" (Garcia, 2019, p.90). In addition, Equipo continues to advocate for a campus culture that embraces the perspectives, narratives, and cultural and experiential knowledge of its Latine students and other minoritized student populations. 

To explore partnership opportunities with the Student Advisory Equipo, please reach out to Dr. Desiree Zuniga at

Tune In and Learn More: Explore the Work of the Equipo

Learn more about the inspiring work of the Equipo leaders as they share their experiences in the latest episode of "¿Qué pasa, HSIs?" Season 3, Episode 7, titled "Spaces of Empowerment: HSI Student Equipos," with host and HSI scholar, Dr. Gina Ann Garcia.

This episode of ¿Qué pasa, HSIs? features Dra. Dez Zuniga, HSI faculty lead for the Abriendo Caminos project at Pasadena City College (PCC), along with four members of PCC’s Student Advisory Equipo. The Equipo is an HSI initiative with significant impact and influence at PCC, led by Latine student leaders who participate in committees and working groups to help build a campus culture for serving Latine students. Our guests share their many successes and challenges along the way, guided by the love of their femtor Dra Dez, who embodies servingness as an HSI advocate on campus and creator of the student advisory group. Each guest shares their path to HSI consciousness and their journeys into and through college, which are not linear. They also talk about working in solidarity to elevate the needs and voices of Latinx/a/o/e, Black/African American, and Asian Pacific Islander Desai American (APIDA) student populations at PCC. Listen to these students, who are fierce advocates for justice!

Also featured in the brief "The HSI Movement Will Not Be Televised:"

Meet the Equipo


Alfredo (he/him)

Major: Business Administration

In Equipo, I want to continue the work that has been already started. I want to be able to help uplift the voices of not just the Hispanic/Latine community but everyone who is involved around it.


Brianna (she/her/ella)

Major: Anthropology Minor: sociology

As an Equipo leader, I hope to acquire a deeper cultural understanding and responsibility to my Latine community. In learning about other Latine cultures and traditions, I hope to further grow my passion and understanding para la raza.


Catarina (she/her/ella)

Major: Communications

While serving as a student leader and scholar in EQUIPO, I hope to make other students feel comfortable and welcomed at PCC. I hope to create and work on activities, workshops, and spaces that will help our campus reach more equitable outcomes. 


Diego (he/him/el)

Major: Sociocultural Anthropology

As a student leader within the Equipo, I hope to enlighten fellow students about the influence they possess and the uniqueness of their individual journeys. I aspire to share our collective knowledge and insights with others within the institution, showcasing the outcomes we've achieved over time in our effort of centering student voices.


Erika (she/her/ella)

Major: Business

As a an Equipo student leader, I aim to help new or returning students to be able to achieve their goals in college by providing them with resources and assistance for whatever they may need. Whether they are first-generation students or parents, I would like to be a part of a team that can help students achieve their goals and help them along the way.


Feri (he/him/el)

Major: Studio Arts/Linguistics

As a Equipo student leader, I aim to be involved with my peers at PCC by providing students educational, as well as personal, resources and information through workshops and events where they can feel included. I'm proud of being Queer and Mexican. I believe that understanding and advocating for intersectionality is essential for a sense of unity since we might share similar struggles, identities, traditions, stories, ideas, or even be completely different. The diversity in the voices speaking up should be heard, so we can learn and form connections simultaneously. Lifting each other up enhances our experiences, I hope I can serve as a voice for, not only Latine students, but everyone too.


Gustavo (he/him/el)

Major: Computer Information Systems

As a student leader in Equipo, I aim to become a better leader in my community while also helping and supporting my peers, and educating others on who I am and what we bring to the table.


Juan (he/him/el)

Mexican - American
Major: Bioengineering

I hope to engage more students in their school community, encouraging them to actively participate in their education and confidently navigate the resources available to them. My ultimate goal is to see students succeed, particularly by inspiring more Hispanic/Latine students to pursue careers in STEM fields.


Stephany (she/her/ella)

MexicanMajor: American Business Administration

As a student leader, I aim to create a welcoming experience and safe place for students throughout the year. Whether it be through sharing resources or interacting with activities, I would like for PCC students to feel inspired.


Yosany (she/her/ella)

Mexican AmericanMajor: Nursing

As an Equipo leader, I want to help Latine students find a sense of belonging. It’s really important that when we focus on sense of belonging or representation, we view it in an intersectionality manner. As Latine, it’s important to recognize that we are extremely diverse. Unfortunately, because of racism and ignorance, we tend to focus on certain type of Latine, rather than others. In our culture we see aspects of colorism, homophobia, and sexism, and although we ourselves do consider these aspects as harmful, there are some things that we internalize. My hope for Equipo, is to be able to talk about the faults in our culture and be able to help dismantle these aspects that we have internalized.

Past Members

Follow Us: 
APA Citation:
Garcia, Gina A. 2019. Becoming Hispanic-Serving Institutions: Opportunities for Colleges & Universities. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Garcia, G.A. (Host). (2023, October 22). Spaces of Empowerment: HSI Student Equipos. (No.307) [Audio podcast episode]. In ¿Qué pasa, HSIs?. content