The Graduate Student Resource Center (GSRC) is part of the Graduate Division and is located in the Student Resource Building (Room 1215). In collaboration with Student Affairs, the GSRC houses 3 career staff members and 7 graduate student peer advisors who serve UCSB's graduate students and postdocs in a variety of areas.


Shawn Warner-Garcia, Director of Professional Development & GradPost Editor

Shawn is a linguist by trade who has worked for many years in job training and program management. As the Director, she oversees the development, implementation, and assessment of the career and professional development programming and services for the Graduate Division. She also serves as the GradPost Editor and coordinates all communications about graduate-related programming on campus. Shawn currently is a Ph.D. candidate in the Linguistics Department at UCSB and conducts research on the discourses of sexual ethics among Baptists in ​the United States.

Lana Smith-Hale, Graduate Student Career Counselor

Lana is very pleased to be working as a career counselor with graduate students through a partnership with ​UCSB's Graduate Division and Career Services. Lana received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and her Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California. Lana’s career began in the nonprofit world and involved direct service to a variety of populations for the past 9 years. Lana’s passions and interest have culminated in a desire to work with UCSB graduate students to help them find a career that is fulfilling and fits their needs. Lana is available to discuss anything career-related with graduate students, including career exploration, the job search process, CV/resume help, interviewing, and negotiation strategies. Lana cares deeply about making sure students can find happiness in their work and is excited to be a part of the Graduate Division’s efforts to support students. To make an appointment with Lana, call Career Services at 805‑893‑4412.


To make an appointment with a peer advisor, please email them directly

Noreen Balos, Funding Peer Advisor

Noreen is a graduate student in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, with a research focus in STEM education. As the Graduate Division's Funding Peer​, she helps fellow grad students search for funding opportunities and improve their financial literacy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in ​Meteorology and a Masters ​in Business Administration, both from Arizona State University. ​She enjoys photography, collecting basketball cards, and watching poetry slams or open mic.

Kyle Crocco, Writing Peer Advisor

Kyle is a Ph.D. student in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education with an emphasis in Writing Studies. In his spare time, he likes to research international communication and organizational identity in University publications. He also earned a B.A. in History from Penn State and an M.A. in Foreign Languages and Pedagogy from the University of Delaware, where he sometimes spoke and even understood French. Over the past few years, he has taught in the English Department at the University of Caen in France, the Modern Languages Department of Cal State Fullerton, and the International Business College at Shenyang Normal University in China. When not working in the Graduate Student Resource Center, he can often be found performing at open mics in downtown Santa Barbara.

Ana Romero, Diversity & Outreach Peer Advisor

Ana is a doctoral student in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology with an emphasis in Counseling Psychology. When she is not at the Graduate Student Resource Center, she can be found at coffee shops researching mental health outcomes in the undocumented community. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Santa Clara University and a Masters degree in Guidance and Counseling from Loyola Marymount University. In her spare time, Ana enjoys watching Netflix with her roommates, rock climbing, and salsa dancing. As the Diversity & Outreach Peer, Ana works with the Graduate Division and Graduate Student Resource Center to assist current and prospective graduate students through recruitment programs, workshops, and programming that promotes and supports diversity.

Danny Meza, Diversity & Outreach Peer Advisor

Danny is a third-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology, emphasizing in Counseling. His research is on Chicana/o/x identity development and social and political activism among undergraduate students. Before enrolling as a graduate student at UCSB, Danny was part of the New York City Teaching Fellows program, teaching English at public high schools in Queens and Manhattan while also earning an M.A. in secondary education at The City College of New York. He is excited to be working as ​a Diversity & Outreach Peer, which will involve assisting current and prospective graduate students in areas of admission and acclimation to graduate life at UCSB. Danny will also help in cultivating community among UCSB's diverse graduate student population. When not teaching, studying, researching, training, or working as a graduate peer, he also listens to vintage records, watches Manchester United Football Club, and rides his bike.

Daina Tagavi, Professional Development Peer Advisor

Daina is doctoral student in the Clinical Counseling program whose research interests lie in early identification and intervention for youth with autism spectrum disorders. She earned a BA in psychology and conflict resolution from Pepperdine University and received an MA in research-focused psychology. Outside of work or school, you can find ​Daina doing yoga, dancing, obsessing over the latest Broadway musical, or caring for ​her French Bulldog Churro. She is excited to work closely with the staff and students of the G​SRC to support programming and initiatives that help our campus' graduate students.

Ida Taghavi, Career Peer Advisor

Ida is a native Californian who is currently a ​PhD student in ​Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology at UCSB. Her research interests include understanding the role of mindfulness and mindfulness-based interventions in promoting resilience and well-being. As the Career Peer, she provides workshops, presentations, and one-on-one meetings with graduate students to review their resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn pages, and CVs to help them prepare for their career of choice. When not in school or working, Ida is usually doing yoga (or teaching yoga), running or biking outdoors, singing and playing music, traveling, or finding good coffee and food with people.

Simeng (Karen) Li, ​International Peer Advisor

Karen is a Ph.D. candidate in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education with an emphasis in special education and learning technology. As the International Peer, Karen works with the Graduate Division and the Division of Student Affairs to develop and implement programs and resources of interest to UCSB’s international students. She also provides workshops, presentations, articles, and one-on-one meetings for faculty, students, and staff on the best practices for international student success. Karen received ​a B.A. in Journalism and an M.S. in Instructional Technology from Jilin University, China. Prior to ​attending UC Santa Barbara, she worked for a non-governmental organization in New Delhi, India, to develop teaching programs for underprivileged school children. In her spare time, Karen likes to learn Hindi, listens to Chopin’s nocturnes, and admires traditional Chinese poetry. She also enjoys swimming, skiing, belly dancing, and playing outdoors with her four Labrador Retrievers.