HSI SEMILLA Initiative Welcomes New Team Members

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Dr. Vidalino Raatior, Ole Kupsch, and Edgar MartinezThe Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) initiatives team welcomes three new colleagues. Dr. Vidalino Raatior, Ole Kupsch, and Edgar Martinez have joined the HSI SEMILLA (Science Education & Mentorship In Latino Lives in Academia) project, providing leadership and data analysis. Collectively they bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the effort.

SEMILLA (pdf) is a multi-year Department of Education funded effort designed to challenge and overcome institutional barriers and increase rates of transfer, persistence, and degree attainment for STEM-intended Latina/o and low-income students. As these students begin their STEM foundational course work in mathematics, chemistry, biology, and computer programming, notable disparities in achievement exist, resulting in attrition and fewer students declaring STEM majors. Through a variety of innovations, the SEMILLA project is designed to interrupt STEM attrition patterns and improve low-income and Latina/o student retention.

Dr. Vidalino Staley Raatior, SEMILLA Project Director, comes to UC Santa Cruz from the University of Hawai’i at Hilo where he served as Project Coordinator of the NIH-funded Students of Hawai’i Advanced Research Program (SHARP), the NSF-funded Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program, and Director of the USDOE-funded AANAPISI programs and the Pacific Islander Student Center. Dr. Raatior previously worked for 10 years at Santa Clara University as Assistant Director for International Programs and Associate Director of the Center for Multicultural Learning. Originally from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Dr. Raatior is a graduate of the University of Guam, University of San Francisco, and received a doctorate in Education at the University of Hawai’i. His dissertation research focused on strength-based approach to student support services in higher education. Dr. Raatior can be reached at vraatior@ucsc.edu

Ole Kupsch, Equity Data Analyst, joins the SEMILLA team from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands where he received his Master's degree, focusing on social and environmental sustainability and how it can be combined with a successful business model. He completed his undergraduate work at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich where he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a focus on electronic commerce, network economics, and team psychology and leadership. Ole has worked in different sectors and different positions, most recently with the Amsterdam Business School and in the German headquarters of Amazon in Munich. Ole can be reached at okupsch@ucsc.edu

Edgar Martinez, SEMILLA Data Analyst, is a second year PhD student in the Department of Education at UC Santa Cruz. His research interests include higher education retention and persistence; STEM self-efficacy; school belonging; and the intersections of ethnic minority/first-generation/low-socioeconomic student identities. In addition, he is also currently a GSR in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department with the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program as an external program evaluator. Edgar holds a MA in Counseling & Student Personnel from San Jose State University where he worked as a GSR for the federally funded GEAR UP program, a graduate student instructor for EOP, an assistant residential life coordinator for University Housing Services, and a graduate student assistant for the Athletic Department. He also holds a BA in Women’s Studies with a concentration in LGBT Studies and a minor in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles. Edgar can be reached at edgar@ucsc.edu.

All three will be located at the HSI Bungalow at Cowell (near the Cowell Provost House, above the East Field).