Meet Our Staff

Academic Counseling Support

Liliana Iglesias | Program Director

Liliana graduated as a first generation college student from UC Berkeley and earned her Master’s degree in Educational Counseling from the University of Southern California. Liliana grew up in Los Angeles county, comes from a mixed status family, and has always held immigration issues close to her heart. In her role as Program Director for USP, she supports USP staff and students, and works with partners on and off campus to coordinate and develop strategies to further meet the needs of undocumented students and their families. Liliana aims to ensure that our students feel a sense of community and are empowered to take full advantage of the resources/opportunities available to them as UC Berkeley students.

Deisy Leanos Meza | Academic Counselor

Deisy was born in Mexico and came to the United States at a young age. She spent her childhood in the LA area and the Central Valley before moving to the Bay Area for undergrad. She graduated as a first-generation, undocumented student from UC Berkeley with a double major in Social Welfare and Chicano Studies. In her role as Intake Counselor, she supports USP student staff and professional staff to coordinate services for undocumented students. She is passionate about working with underrepresented students and finding solutions that empower curiosity for learning, develop strong critical thinking, and promote personal growth.

Fun Fact: Deisy enjoys hiking, weight lifting, traveling, and being surrounded by nature.

Jessica Mena Flores | Undocumented Graduate Student Specialist, Office for Graduate Diversity

Jesssica graduated as a first generation college student from Sonoma State University and earned her Master’s degree in Higher Education, Student Affairs from Iowa State University. In her role, as Undocumented Graduate Student Specialist, Jessica Facilitates the Marco Antonio Firebaugh Scholars Program and supports undocumented, low-income, first-generation college, and minoritized graduate students at UC Berkeley. As an undocumented professional, Jessica enjoys connecting with students and creating space for them to be their authentic selves. Jessica has lived in the bay area most of her life and loves going on walks with her fur baby Rocky Germán Flores. 

Fun Fact: Jessica enjoys hiking, going to concerts, and re-connecting with friends, family, and colleagues! 

Marcela Lacayo | USP Academic Counselor Apprentice

Marcela was born and raised in Nicaragua and migrated to the Bay Area at the age of 13. She recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Ethnic Studies and a minor in Education. She will be continuing her education this fall at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she will be working towards a Master of Education. Marcela worked with EOP and USP throughout her undergraduate career as a Peer Academic Counselor and is now working with USP as an Academic Counselor Apprentice. Through this role, she supports undocumented students navigate their higher education journey through programming and one-on-one support. Marcela is passionate about ensuring undocumented students have the tools and support they need to be successful, not only academically, but in all aspects of their lives.

Fun fact: In her free time, Marcela enjoys watching movies, trying new foods, and going to amusement parks, especially Disneyland!

Mental Health Support

Diana Peña, PhD. | Licensed Psychologist

Diana Peña (she/her/they/them), earned her PhD as a first-generation college student from the University of Oregon’s Counseling Psychology program. Diana coordinates the mental health program for undocumented students at UC Berkeley’s Undocumented Student Program, providing counseling support to students and consultation to the campus at large. As a licensed psychologist, her areas of focus include undocumented student mental health, resilience among queer and trans people of color, spirituality, and Latinx psychology. Diana stands on the shoulders of her Mexican immigrant parents and is committed to advocating for health equity for all undocumented communities.

Fun Fact: Diana is a bilingual English/Spanish therapist, and is very comfortable with the use of ‘Spanglish’ in therapy.

Bianca Barrios, PhD. | Licensed Psychologist

Bianca Barrios earned her PhD as a first-generation college student form Washington State University’s Counseling Psychology program. Bianca grew up in Los Angeles County with a mixed status extended family. As a licensed psychologist, her areas of focus include students of color and undocumented/immigrant student college adjustment and persistence, Latinx mental health, LGBTQ affirmative therapy, and women’s concerns. She possesses an unwavering commitment to social justice and advocacy. When working with students she aims to co-create a space built on trust and compassion where students can feel comfortable bringing in all parts of themselves to begin the process of exploration, learning, and healing.

Fun Fact: Bianca loves nature and outdoor adventures. She recently hiked 48 miles on a 4-day backpacking trip in Havasupai.

Immigration Legal Support

(Provided in collaboration with the East Bay Community Law Center)

Janely Mendoza | Staff Attorney / Clinical Supervisor, Immigration Practice

Theo Cuison | Co-director, Immigration Practice

Ramon Becerra Alcantar | Paralegal & DOJ Accredited Legal Representative, Immigration Practice

Rebecca Romero | Paralegal, Paralegal & DOJ Accredited Legal Representative, Immigration Practice