Meet our Fellows

Cristian Vega Valadez


Cristian Vega Valadez is a fourth year Management and Business Economics major with a minor in Psychology. He was born and bred in Los Angeles and he just returned from his study abroad trip! Now that Cristian is back from journeying throughout Europe, he is excited to make an impact to all Transfer and Returning students. Cristian hopes to pursue a career in either marketing or public relations upon graduation.

Cydney Caradonna


Cydney Caradonna is a Spanish Major with a minor in Writing. She is a part of the UC Merced Women's Basketball Team along with being a DARTS Fellow. She is a transfer student herself from Gavilan College in Gilroy and Hawaii Pacific University, Her career goals include humanitarian advocacy and becoming a professor and author. 

Ernest (E.J.) Garcia


Ernest (E.J.) Garcia is a Chemical Sciences transfer student from Merced Junior College. He was born in Merced, CA and after moving around a bit, returned to Merced to finish high school at Golden Valley High followed by a stay at Merced Junior College. His hobbies include classical singing, music of any kind, specifically piano. He also enjoys cooking, and has competed in several competitions for cooking. He is also an avid cyclist and hiker. In terms of goals for the future, E.J. plans to graduate from UC Merced with a degree in Chemical Sciences with a Biological Emphasis. 

Spencer McDermott

Spencer McDermott grew up in of Elk Grove with his mom and brother. Spencer moved to Modesto to attend Modesto Junior College for 3 years and graduated with an Associate of Science degree in Mathematics and Physics before transferring to UC Merced to major in Environmental Engineering. His future goal after obtaining his degree is to continue on towards a Masters and PhD studying climate change and water resource. During Spencer's downtime, he enjoys hiking in Yosemite or Pinecrest along with playing pool, going bowling, and enjoying a good movie.

Javier Cano


Javier Cano is a fourth year transfer student majoring in Psychology. He transferred from Rio Hondo College and is planning to apply for graduate school in the field of Student Affairs. He is involved with leadership and environmental stewardship clubs and programs at UC Merced.