Dean’s Undergraduate Advisory Board

The College of Education Dean’s Undergraduate Advisory Board represents the voices, concerns, and interests of the diverse undergraduate student body and serves as a direct line of communication between students and College of Education administration in an effort to improve the undergraduate student experience.

The board meets monthly with the dean to lend advice and support on matters of importance to the student body. The board also serves as a representative voice in sharing the hopes and concerns of the students with the dean. Each board member serves as an outreach source to gather student voices and bring them to the table for discussion. The job of the board is to provide a voice for all undergraduate students in the College of Education.

For more information or to get in touch with a board member, please email the board directly or you may also contact the board advisor, Sara Knepper via email as well.

Don Kitch
Don Sanchez Kitch is a Literacy, Learning, and Leadership major with an expected graduation of 2020. He chose education after spending a semester in Project SOAR and decided that his degree should be of benefit, both personally, and to his community. He is passionate about community building, community education, and equity access programs. He is both a full-time staff member and full-time student at the university and is proud to serve as Chair of the Board. His hope is that this process will provide insightful steps forward as the college develops plans for future growth. He can be reached at
Rena Mendoza My name is Rena Mendoza, I am a Literacy, Learning, and Leadership in Education major and my perspective graduation date is this December 2019. My journey into going into education has been a great and interesting story. I have been working at the high school I graduated from for many years (I graduated high school in 2010). I have always had a response from the students and parents. Being able to have students rely on me or parents to help them on their educational journey is the best satisfaction. In being part of this Advisory board, especially as the Vice Chair means that I can bring my own identities into the view of the College of Education. Some type of light into the non-traditional student. The College of Education has been a different experience for me in being part of the University of Arizona. Since I am a Second Start student, and my second experience is in this College. The advisors and directors have been great, very welcoming. They go over and beyond for their students and provide the very best for you. I want to be available for students that I can relate but do not have to, to support them and bring their voice to sight. I can be reached at
Brennen Feder Brennen Feder is a dual-degree in Leadership, Literacy, Learning and business. He currently serves as the ASUA senator for the College of Education, member of the Student Service Fee Advisory Board, and as an Arizona Ambassador. He can be reached at
  Siena Garcia, my major is Elementary Education with an ESL endorsement and I will be graduating in May of 2020. I was originally drawn to education due to my love of math and wanting to give students confidence in the subject. Once I begun volunteering in classroom and working with students, I knew it was exactly what I wanted to do. Being part of the Dean's Advisory Board has given me a voice in the college. Not only can I give input on my experiences, but can also help share those of my classmates to the head of our college. I believe that the UA's College of Education has been extremely supportive in helping me plan and prepare for my future. As a member of the Dean's Advisory Board, I hope to provide positive change to our college, that will continue to support all COE students. I can be reached at
Natalie Larez Hello everyone! My name is Natalie Aileen Larez and I am currently a Literacy, Learning, and Leadership (L3) major, as well as, Family Studies and Human Development. I will be graduating in May 2019 and pursuing a doctoral degree beginning in the fall. The College of Education has given me the platform to continue my own education but also be an advocate for underserved communities. My research experiences working with Dr. Perfect, in the Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies, and other fellow students is something I believe is unique to this college. I chose education because I believe that it serves as a pipeline to other services such as, access to mental health and community services that support the healthy development of youth. The Dean’s advisory board has allowed me to speak on behalf my fellow classmates and advocate for the all students, especially students of color and first-generation college students.  Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about research and/or grad school. We are here to help. I can be reached at
Jaden Mickens Jaden Mickens, L3 and English, Graduating in May 2019. I decided to major in Education to inspire the next generation to reach their fullest potential. I felt a pull towards teaching high school because I wanted to be that role model and voice for students in need. The Dean's Advisory Board has given me the opportunity to bring attention issues that the general student body is facing. I wanted to join the board so I could create a better environment for students in the college of education and provide them with confidence to continue pursuing this degree. The college of education made me feel like I belonged at this university from the moment I started. Originally I was very nervous and uncomfortable in the college setting but this college accepts all differences and enhanced my desire to be a teacher. Through the wide range of course, I was able to absorb information on topics I didn't have any prior knowledge on. I can be reached at
Gabrielle Rivas Hello there! My name is Gabrielle Rivas and I am a junior majoring in Literacy, Learning, and Leadership with a double minor in English and Educational Psychology. I am set to graduate in May 2020 which seems like it is right around the corner! Coming into college I was set on majoring in Education because I wanted to impact students and individuals in general. I was passionate about the education field all throughout high school but as college continued, my interests have switched from wanting to teach high school, to becoming a college professor and wanting research experience in education. Joining the Dean’s Advisory Board connected to my ever-changing college journey as the College of Education (COE) was right by my side all throughout. Being part of the board was a way to give back to the incredible college I am in but also allows me to support other COE students. I envision this board leaving a lasting impact within the COE and being a strong force of advocacy for students. Please reach out to anyone on the board if you have any questions, concerns, and positive feedback about the always awesome COE! I can be reached at
Colleen Osborne Hi, my name is Colleen Osborne. I am a sophomore in the College of Education. My major is Special Education: Mild to Moderate with a minor in Psychology. My expected graduation is in May 2021 and then I plan on pursuing my Masters in Special Education and expect to graduate with that in May 2022. I chose Education because I have always wanted to become a teacher, ever since I was little. With that being said, I want to help teach children with disabilities. Being on the Dean’s Advisory Board is important to me because I feel like I am helping the students in CoE and making difference within. Being a student in the College of Education is amazing. The advisors are the best, no matter what advisor you go to they are there to help you succeed. They are always there for you and are willing to help with everything! I can be reached at
  My name is Kayla Moore and I am currently working towards my degree in Early Childhood Education. I chose education because I live by the motto of loving what you do and doing what you love and teaching definitely fulfills that for me. My passion for children has always been very present in my life and I truly believe it is a gift to have the opportunity to make an impact on every child that I interact with. I feel that the Dean’s Advisory Board is the perfect way to mold the University of Arizona’s education programs to be the best they can be for future educators. From my very first orientation, I felt that the College of Education was where I belonged because of its focus on professional development and inclusion of hands-on classroom experience. I am very grateful to have been a student here for the last three years and am looking forward to using my position to provide the same positive experience for future College of Education students. I can be reached at
Joseph Sturm Joseph Sturm is currently in his Junior year pursuing a dual-degree in Literacy, Learning, and Leadership and Creative Writing. Stemming from his past experiences, he has decided upon a degree in education due to his passion for challenging educational inequities in his community. He enjoys serving on the Dean's Advisory Board as it allows him to create a deeper connection with faculty, while ensuring that the needs of the students in the College of Education are being addressed. Joseph also serves as the President of the College of Education Student Council and enjoys being a voice for student engagement within the college.  He can be reached at
Laura Kroll My name is Laura Kroll and I am a senior at the University of Arizona. In May I will be earning a degree in Elementary Education, and am currently student teaching in a first-grade classroom. Throughout my years here, I have been an active member of the education department both in and out of the classroom. I chose the path of education for various reasons, including my love of working with children, and empowering them to become intelligent and kind members of society. The Dean’s Advisory Board has strongly impacted my experience at the UofA. We have been striving to unite the education student body in order to strengthen our department as a whole. I am proud to be a University of Arizona student, and soon to be alumni. The UofA has provided me with endless opportunities to prosper academically, and socially. The experiences I have had here will be memories that I look back on for the rest of my life, and for that, I am eternally grateful. I can be reached at
Wanda Becker Wanda Becker is a student majoring in Elementary Education K-8 with an ESL endorsement with a graduation date in May 2020.  As a professional teacher, she wants to make a difference in children’s lives.  She believes each and every child has the potential to bring something unique and special into this world. She is honored to be a student at the University of Arizona with the College of Education. She feels fortunate to have been asked to be a part of the COE “voices to the Dean of education”. She believes the COE is out to seek the premier education programs for future teachers and educational leaders. As a nontraditional, transfer student out to share and encourage others interested in the COE. She chose the COE main campus because of referrals that she received from prior students. The junior and senior semester at the COE for elementary education has superior distinctive programs that connect methods of teaching with field experience. She can be reached at