Welcome to new Cantú staff!

November 12, 2019

It is an exciting time as we welcome two new members the Lionel Cantú Queer Resource Center. Ky Borunda joins as new full-time staff in the Trans Education Specialist role, and Ivy Sokol joins part-time as the new Graduate Education Coordinator (GA). 

This summer, a national search took place to identify top candidates for the Trans Education Specialist position. Thank you to the many folks from the UCSC community- students, faculty and staff- who attended public forums and other opportunities to give feedback and inform the process. Many thanks and much appreciation especially to the fantastic members of the search committee for their time, efforts and contributions: Molly Segale (search Co-Chair), Janine Silvis and student representative Jamie Veasley, without whom the aggressive timeline for this search could not have been executed successfully. THANK YOU!!!
Please join me in welcoming Ky and Ivy to the Cantú and greater UCSC community! We are truly lucky to have them both. You can reach Ky at kborunda@ucsc.edu, Ivy at isokol@ucsc.edu and both can also be reached by contacting the Cantú front desk at (831) 459-2468. 

New Cantú staff Bios:
Ky Borunda 
Trans Education Specialist 

Ky Valentín Borunda is the Trans Education Specialist at the Lionel Cantú Center. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor's Degree in Comparative Ethnic Studies and during his time there worked on building transformative community spaces for Queer and Trans Students of Color. Ky served as the QTPOC Conference 2016 Financial Director and is a recipient of the Peter E. Hass Public Service Leader Award where he received funding to create the blueprint for a Queer and Trans Student of Color Recruitment and Retention Center.  In addition to this, he is a proud alumn of NorCal T-Camp, the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Research Program and the Public Policy International Affairs Institute (PPIA) at the Goldman School of Public Policy. 

Prior to joining the Cantú, Ky worked with One Medical Group, the leading medical tech company in the U.S., where he developed and implemented best practices for supporting Nonbinary and Transgender patients. Ky is excited to bring knowledge from all his previous roles to the Cantú Center. As he embarks on this new life chapter as the Trans Education Specialist his vision for the position is to support transgender students by establishing stronger student-faculty mentorship, creating trans-inclusive career development resources, and increasing understandings of trans issues among the UC Santa Cruz community. 

Outside of his working life, Ky is a father to a 2 year old Labrador-Chow pup named Luna. He is learning how to surf and watches way too much Youtube because he refuses to pay for a Hulu or Netflix subscription. And most importantly, if you are ever in the mood for a Dad Joke™, just ask him because he knows too many.
Ivy Sokol
Graduate Education Coordinator

Ivy Sokol works at the Cantú as the Graduate Education Coordinator and is a first-year PhD student in the sociology department. They grew up in Miami, Florida and, as a result, require constant access to bodies of water to feel happy. As an undergraduate, they attended Brown University, where they studied racial inequality in education and spent time working in Rhode Island high schools as a debate coach and environmental justice organizer. These experiences led Ivy to become a high school English teacher at public schools in Providence and New Orleans. After spending three years as a classroom teacher, Ivy left to pursue a Masters in Education at Harvard, where they could support the success of queer and trans students from a different angle. There, they worked on a team doing participatory action research examining the impact of gender and sexuality alliances (GSAs) on high school students’ well-being and success. Ivy is currently pursuing a doctorate in sociology to continue researching the experiences of queer and trans young people in educational institutions, and the lessons schools (implicitly and explicitly) teach about gender. At the Cantú, Ivy works to support the undergraduate interns and create programming to build community among queer and trans graduate students. They are an Aries sun, 9w8 on the enneagram, and can generally be found crafting, snacking, or singing karaoke.