Santa Clara University

Meet the 2011-2012 Unity Staff! 

Fernando Mesa-Gutierrez

Assistant Resident Director


Status: Graduate

Major: Biology and French

Hometown: L.A.

Hobbies: Dancing, dressing up and applying to grad schools

Reason You Came to SCU: Beautiful campus, amazingly inclusive community and great academics/programs

Reason You Chose Unity RLC: I choose Unity because I believe deeply in fostering a diverse and inclusive community and in using our roles and collective powers to confront social/political issues




Maile Pujalet

Walsh 1st Floor CF


Status: Undergraduate

Major: Biology and Environmental Science

Hometown: Kailua Hawaii

Hobbies: Hiking, surfing, anything outdoors and visual arts.

Reason You Came to SCU: There is a strong biology program here. The environment is friendly and it's a great location.  Once I came to visit I knew it was right for me! 

Reason You Chose Unity RLC: I like the Theme of Diversity which I believe is important to recognize and support, especially in a residence hall.




Juan Romo

Walsh 2nd Floor CF


Status: Undergraduate

Major: Finance

Hometown: San Jose

Hobbies: Athletics, MMA, Videogames, Weight Training 

Reason You Came to SCU: I have attended private Jesuit schools since middle school and I wanted to continue studying under a Jesuit institution.

Reason You Chose Unity RLC: I chose Unity because I really believed in the Diversity theme




Katherine Edgecumbe

Walsh 3rd Floor CF


Status: Undergraduate

Major: History and Spanish

Hometown: Los Altos CA

Hobbies: Running, listening to music, reading, community service, spending time with family and friends. 

Reasons You Came to SCU: I wanted a small school where I could get to know my professors in small classes.  I also chose SCU to be close to my little brother. 

Reasons You Chose Unity RLC: I've been lucky enough to have attended diverse schools and thing diversity is key to a positive learning environment.  I also have a passion for social justice issues.




Desbelet Berhe

McLaughlin 1st Floor CF


Status: Undergraduate

Major: Biology

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Hobbies: Reading, Dancing, Listening to music, hanging out with friends and family

Reasons You Came to SCU:  I decided to come to SCU because of the smaller class sizes and the accessibility of my professors and counselors. I like how SCU provides an intimate academic environment where I can get to know and form a relationship with my professors.

Reasons You Chose Unity RLC:  I like Unity because I get to meet so many people of diverse backgrounds and it's so interesting to see how we all relate!




Nicholas Miller

McLaughlin 2nd Floor CF


Status: Undergraduate

Major: Political Science and Philosophy

Hometown: Indianapolis, IN

Hobbies: Watching the Colts win, reading, playing soccer, beating people in FIFA and running 

Reasons I Came to SCU: I went to a Jesuit High School, wanted to go somewhere warm and I liked the curriculum so I chose SCU. 

Reasons You Chose Unity RLC: The residence and the layout.




Sydney Tracy

McLaughlin 3rd Floor CF


Status: Undergraduate

Major: Psychology

Hometown: Fairfield, CA

Hobbies: Volleyball, spending time with family and friends, watching movies and sleeping. 

Reasons I Came to SCU: It was a fluke.  I had never heard of this school, but was vising San Jose State University and decided to stop off here.  I absolutely fell in love with the campus and people. 

Reasons I Chose Unity RLC: I liked what it stood for.  Being a person who likes to get to know everyone, especially people form difference backgrounds, diversity was essential to me.  Plus I didn't have to write an extra essay!




Dr. Tamayo-Moraga

Faculty Director

Dr. Tamayo

Position at university: Academic Year Lecturer in Religious Studies and Faculty Director of Unity RLC

Hometown: Harlingen, TX

Hobbies: Meditating, Reading Novels, Writing Stories, and Cooking

Background: B.A. in Humanities from University of TX at Austin, M.A. in Religious Studies and Ph.D. in History of Christianity from University of Chicago

Specialty: Comparative Mysticism

Reason you choose SCU: Wanted a school that had a Jesuit focus on engaged learning, solidarity, critical thinking and social justice

Reason you choose Unity: Unity has a family feeling, the student are kind and respectful, and the theme of the RLC is centered on Diversity. The community is also very strong.




Carolina Cervantes

Resident Minister


Hometown: Menlo Park, CA

Major (earned): BA in Psychology from Notre Dame De Namur University, MA in Coundeling Psychology from SCU 

Hobbies: Running, playing soccer, spending time with family and friends

Why did you choose to come to SCU?  I came to earn my Master's at SCU because they had a Latino emphasis which helped me learn how to integrate culture into my work as a clinician.

Why did you choose Unity?  I chose to live in Unity RLC because I value Unity's theme of building community across cultures and for valuing diversity.




Brandon Brackett

Resident Director

Brandon Brackett

Hometown: Longview, WA

Hobbies: I collect and listen to music. I also play 14 different instruments, but focus on Saxophone, guitar, singing and harmonica. I also read, Sherlock Holmes is my favorite character in fiction ever. I also have a wife and 2 year old daughter who I spend time with as much as possible.

Background: I earned a bachelors in history with an emphasis in American Indian studies at Washington State University in 2005. I then worked for four years as a Residential Education Director at WSU and chipped away part time at my masters in higher education admin and earned that in 2008. I came to SCU in July and started serving as the Resident Director for Unity Residential Learning Community.

Reason you choose SCU: I worked at a state school and really wanted to work at a religious school. I also wanted a school different in size, location and just about any factor I could think of, and SCU was that. Also the RLC model with Leadership Teams was a unique experience that most schools don't have.

Reason you choose Unity: Much of my education was centered around issues of diversity and spirituality. Unity was really a community that appealed too many of my own personal values and interest! On top of that, Unity is made up of two very small halls with traditional accommodations that really make it a strong community. It's easy to learn everyone's name and feel a part of something bigger than yourself.