Meet our Team

Meet our team

The Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD) team is made up of individuals with a wide range of talents, skills, academic training, professional experience, and personal backgrounds. This diversity is crucial to our successful team approach to the complexities of civil rights work. We pride ourselves on constantly striving to integrate this richness into our approach to working with our campus constituents, case-related problem solving, and meta-analysis of the campus climate. We stress collaboration, continuous learning, and collegial respect in our day to day work, and search explicitly for those qualities and competencies when we search for new team members.

Org Chart (link)

This page contains brief background information about each team member, including the pronouns that they use. 

Alicia Dixon (she/her/hers)

Executive Analyst of Civil Rights & Whistleblower Compliance(ah-LEE-shah) Hear My Name

Alicia joined UC Berkeley and OPHD in March 2021. Alicia has over 10 years of executive level analytical support in higher education, and healthcare.  Alicia will be responsible for providing executive level analytical support, consultative services for OPHD and direct support to the Executive Director of Civil Rights & Whistleblower Compliance. Alicia earned her B.A in Human Development - Women's Studies from California State University, East Bay, and is currently pursuing a M.A. in Women and Gender Studies from San Francisco State University. 

Alvaro Soria (he/him/his)

(AHL-vah-ro SO-reeya) Hear My Name

Senior Complaint Resolution Officer

Alvaro has been with OPHD since 2017.  Before coming to UC Berkeley, he was an attorney with the San Francisco Office of the US Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, resolving complaints of discrimination based on race, color, national origin, gender, disability, and age against primary, secondary, and post-secondary educational institutions.  Alvaro has also worked as a staff attorney at Centro Legal de la Raza and Legal Services for Children.  Alvaro received his B.A. and J.D. from Stanford University. 

Ashok Rau (he/him/his)

(Uh-shoke Ra-uw) Hear My Name

Complaint Resolution Officer

Ashok joined UC Berkeley as an investigator in February 2020. Prior to joining the team, he worked as an investigator for five years at the World Bank Group's Ethics office reviewing allegations of harassment, discrimination, retaliation and other misconduct claims. Before his time at the World Bank Group, Ashok worked extensively for groups providing free legal services to lower income communities, as well as in local government. Ashok is a proud Golden Bear, having earned his B.A. in History from Cal, and after that he earned his J.D. from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles.

Ava Blustein (she/her/hers)

(Ay-vah Blue-steen) Hear My Name

Special Projects Analyst and Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Civil Rights Program

Ava joined the team in December 2022. Prior to her current position, she served as the Special Projects Analyst in the Office of the Special Faculty Advisor to the Chancellor on Campus Welfare. Her previous work experiences include the PATH to Care Center and Know Your IX. She received her B.A. in Creative Writing and Film, Television, and Media Studies from Brandeis University and her MSW from UC Berkeley (Go Bears!). Ava is also the part-time Project Manager for the SEA Change initiative, led by the Office for Faculty Equity and Welfare, and involved in the leadership of the UC Berkeley Asian Pacific American Systemwide Alliance (APASA) staff organization.

Charlotte Russell (she/her/hers)

(SHAR-let) Hear My Name

Deputy Title IX Coordinator & Associate Director

Charlotte joined OPHD in January 2020 with extensive Title IX experience. Prior to joining the team, Charlotte served as the Title IX Coordinator for the University of Nebraska, Omaha. During her tenure there, Charlotte conducted and oversaw countless investigations, created the curriculum for and facilitated hundreds of trainings, and worked with numerous campus partners to develop programming with the ultimate goal of achieving an educational environment free of harassment and discrimination. Charlotte is a proud graduate of UC Davis and is currently pursing a Master's in Law degree from UC Hastings. 

Christian Bucey (He/Him/His)

(Chris-chin Bue-cee) Hear My Name

Complaint Resolution Officer

Christian joined OPHD in June 2023. Prior to joining the team, he worked as an attorney for Greenfire Law, PC in Berkeley, California, where he litigated environmental and animal law cases in state and federal court. Christian has also previously served as a Conduct Coordinator in the Center for Student Conduct at UC Berkeley. He earned his B.B.A. in Management & Strategic Leadership/Business Pre-Law and his B.S.Sp.S. in Sports Management from Ohio University and his J.D. from Michigan State University College of Law.

Elizabeth Rome (she/her/hers)

(Ee-liz-ah-beth Rah-oh-m) Hear My Name

Associate Director of Investigations and Deputy Title IX Officer

Elizabeth joined the OPHD office in 2015. Prior to joining the team, she worked as an investigator for the Minnesota Department of Education, conducting investigations of alleged harm against Pre-K-12 students occurring in the public school system throughout the state. Elizabeth also spent several years as a judicial clerk working on criminal, civil, child protection and juvenile delinquency matters at the trial court level. Elizabeth earned her B.A. in English from Macalester College and her J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School. 

Elliot Yancor (he/him/his)

(Eh-lee-it Yan-kor) Hear My Name

Civil Rights and Whistleblower Project Analyst

Elliot joined OPHD in May 2017. Elliot has over 7 years of experience working in the public sector. Prior to joining the team, Elliot worked at the Continuing Education for the Bar assisting the Estate Planning and Business groups along with overseeing several records/data projects. Elliot has also worked at the PRA office at the UC Office of the President where he reviewed and evaluated sensitive information pertaining to the regulations of the California Public Records Act.  Elliot received his B.A. in Business Management Economics from UC Santa Cruz and his M.P.A . with an emphasis in Policy Analysis from California State University, East Bay.

Emily Suran (she/her/hers)

(Em-i-lee Sur-Ann) Hear My Name

Senior Complaint Resolution Officer

Emily joined UC Berkeley and OPHD in August 2019.  Emily grew up in New York, and received her B.A. from Yale University and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.  She worked as an associate at Milbank LLP in New York City before moving to California for a federal judicial clerkship.  Throughout her career, Emily has provided hundreds of hours of pro bono legal services, working on behalf of organizations such as Sanctuary for Families, Advocates for Children of New York, and the ACLU.  Her interest in Title IX work began as a college student, when she served as a Communication and Consent Educator for Yale University.

Kellie Brennan (she/her/hers)

Assistant Vice Chancellor of Civil Rights, Whistleblower & Clery Compliance; Title IX Officer and Director of OPHD

Kellie joined OPHD in July 2020. She has over 16 years of experience that includes oversight of sexual misconduct investigations, management of federal audits, and adjudication of student conduct matters. Brennan most recently served as the Compliance Director and Title IX/ Clery Coordinator at The Ohio State University, where she managed the university’s investigation and response to incidents of harassment and discrimination and engaged in policy development, comprehensive prevention education, climate assessment and culture change initiatives.Brennan is a graduate of Indiana University, with a dual B.A. degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice. She has a law degree from the University of Cincinnati.

Kelsey Straw (she/her/hers)

Intake Coordinator

Kelsey joined UC Berkeley and OPHD in July 2023. Prior to joining the team, she served as the Title IX/DHR Case Coordinator at San Francisco State University’s Office of Equity Programs and Compliance. Her previous work experience includes 10+ years of supporting crime victims as a victim advocate for the District Attorney’s Office and various community non-profits. Kelsey received a B.A. in Women’s Studies from San Diego State University.

mari matthews (they/them)

Intake Coordinate {INFP-T} | Input / Responsible / Arranger / Adaptability / Restorative

mariana joined OPHD in 2023. They have over 10 years experience with developing and leading prevention education, compliance and advocacy programs. mariana most recently served as the Primary Prevention Manager for Undergraduate Programs, where they were promoted to Interim Associate Director of Violence Prevention. Prior to their time at UC Berkeley, they were the Assistant Director of Equity Assurance with West Virginia University. Their volunteer service includes immediate crisis intervention, suicide prevention, LGBTQ+ events, and being a caretaker with the NICU. mariana received their Masters of Public Administration and Healthcare Administration from West Virginia University.

Martha Phillips (she/her/hers)

Complaint Resolution Officer

Martha joined UC Berkeley in July 2021.  Before coming to UC Berkeley, Martha worked for The Ohio State University’s Office of Institutional Equity where she investigated harassment, discrimination, and sexual misconduct complaints.  Previously, Martha worked as a criminal defense investigator and mitigation specialist for the Office of the Ohio Public Defender and in private practice and as a civil defense investigator the the Ohio Attorney General. Martha received a B.A. in English from James Madison University. 

Robert Hamilton (He/Him/His)

(R-AA-Bert Hah-mul-ton) Hear My Name

Complaint Resolution Officer

Rob joined OPHD in 2023. Rob comes to UC Berkeley from St. Paul, Minnesota, where he spent the past six years with the Ramsey County Attorney's Office prosecuting child protection cases. Rob attended college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and taught middle school in New Orleans before moving to Minnesota for law school. Following law school, Rob spent three years as a judicial clerk working on criminal and civil cases in trial court.

Sandy Garcia (she/her/hers)

(San-dee Gar-see-ya) Hear My Name

Complaint Resolution Officer

Sandy joined UC Berkeley OPHD in July 2021. Prior to joining the team, Sandy worked for the UC Davis Office of Compliance and Policy where she investigated possible violations of university policy, including allegations of sexual misconduct, discrimination, improper governmental activities, and whistleblower retaliation. Sandy has also worked with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), the UC Davis Civil Rights Clinic, and Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County. Sandy earned her bachelor’s degree from UC San Diego and her law degree from UC Davis School of Law.   

Shaomay Vong (she/they)

(Sh-ow-may V-ong) Hear My Name

Complaint Resolution Coordinator

Shaomay is responsible for the assessment of incoming discrimination and harassment complaints and formulation of initial responses based on allegations and other preliminary information gathering. Prior to joining the team, Shaomay worked with the impact litigation and policy advocacy teams at the ACLU of Northern California. Shaomay also spent time as an advocate at a domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking shelter agency and as a mental health worker at a mental health clinic. Shaomay earned two bachelor's degrees at UC Irvine, one in Psychology and Social Behavior and the other in Asian American Studies.

Zoe Garlick (She/They)

(Zoh-ee Gahr-lik) Hear My Name

Complaint Resolution Officer

Zoe joined the OPHD investigations team in 2024, bringing with her nearly two decades of investigative experience. With a background encompassing 17 years in law enforcement, including extensive service as a police officer and detective at UC Berkeley Police Department, Zoe has worked on a large variety of complex cases. Prior to her current role, she spent sixteen months at the UC Davis Office of Compliance and Policy, where she investigated potential violations of university policy, including allegations of sexual misconduct, discrimination, and improper governmental activities. Additionally, Zoe has experience conducting Police Accountability Board investigations. Her return to Berkeley signifies her strong connection to the Cal campus, and she is delighted to once again serve the community.