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Staff Snapshot: Yesenia Curiel, Frida Kahlo enthusiast

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In her position as director of the Campus Advocacy, Resources and Education (CARE) office at UC Merced, Yesenia Curiel manages a team that prevents violence on campus and helps survivors of violence in their recovery.

CARE’s work includes education around violence prevention and intervention; advocacy for those affected by sexual violence, dating/domestic violence and stalking; and an array of supportive resources. These crucial services play a pivotal role in helping ensure that students, faculty and staff of all genders, ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds feel safe and supported on campus.

On any given day, you will see Yesenia walking to meetings wearing her favorite dangling Frida Kahlo earrings. In addition to promoting CARE everywhere she goes, Yesenia is a co-founder of two professional affinity organizations — the Staff and Faculty of Color Association and the Language Accessibility Committee, which promotes language and cultural humility on campus. At the heart of these activities is a passion for building community, which she’s also calling upon this year as vice president of the UC Merced Staff Assembly.

Meet Yesenia!

Name: Yesenia Curiel

Title: Director

Department/Unit: CARE Office

Location: UC Merced

When I started working at UC: June 2016

What I do for UC in five words or less: I empower folks to be active bystanders.

Why I love working at UC: Working at UC gives me the opportunity to change attitudes and behaviors for future professionals who live in many communities and who will impact many lives.

One person (living or dead) who I’d love to have dinner with: I am a big fan of Frida Kahlo and I would love to have dinner and drinks with her.

Something people don’t know about me: I have a tattoo of Frida Kahlo’s artwork on my back.

The best career advice I’ve ever received: Empower your team to be successful, and you will gain success too.


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