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Academic Leadership

Administrative Leadership

Administrative Staff

  • Melanie Ridenour

    Melanie Ridenour

    Senior Academic Personnel Analyst


    Serves as academic personnel point of contact for the division; reviews and analyzes all academic personnel actions; provides counsel to the Dean, Section Chairs, faculty and staff regarding current, proposed and new academic personnel policies, procedures and practices. Melanie also coordinates endowed chair appointments and works on various special projects.

  • Cheyenne Cross

    Cheyenne Cross

    Assistant Academic Personnel Analyst


    Cheyenne assists the Senior Personnel Analyst in the review and analysis of academic personnel actions, and provides support with various special projects.

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    Joanna Wallace

    Executive Assistant



  • Mario Aguilera

    Mario Aguilera

    Director of Communications


    As the Communications Director for Biological Sciences, Mario coordinates communication strategies and publicizes research and other features through news releases, articles, interviews, videos and social media. He also serves as co-leader of the campus' Research Communications Program, which trains scientists to clearly and effectively communicate their research to public audiences.

Alumni Relations

  • Augie Garibay

    Augie Garibay

    Director of Alumni Relations


    As the Director Alumni Relations for Biological Sciences, Augie strives to cultivate and maintain a strong affinity among alumni with UC San Diego and the School of Biological Sciences. With 24 years of experience working in higher education in a variety of roles, Augie aims to authentically and effectively engage with alumni to facilitate connections with current students, faculty, and staff.


  • Julie Paolillo

    Julie Paolillo

    Executive Director of Development


    Julie serves as the lead philanthropic gift officer for Biological Sciences, providing leadership, management, and overall program strategy in planning, coordinating, and implementing fundraising activities for the Dean, Faculty Members, volunteers, and other key collaborative partners for the Division. Her mission is to build a comprehensive development program that will engage local, regional, national, and international donors and alumni to actively participate in personalized partnerships that will further the mission and strategic goals of the Division to best serve our students and maximize our broad impact in society.

Corporate Relations and Professional Development

  • Melissa Hoon

    Melissa Hoon

    Director of Corporate Relations and Professional Development


    Melissa supports the Division's Co-Op Program and Corporate Affiliates Program (BioCAP) by engaging students, alumni, and industry partners in an effort to expand a diverse and robust talent pipeline. She also assists with career exploratory and communications courses that focus on soft skills to support students' professional development and career success.

Diversity Initiatives

  • Torrell Foree

    Torrell Foree

    Director of Diversity Initiatives

    As the Director of Diversity Initiatives at UC San Diego's School of Biological Sciences, Torrell Foree is integral in guiding diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. He provides strategic planning, mediation, and EDI expertise to our entire BioSci community.