Alvaro Gomez

Disability Specialist

Picture of Disability Specialist Alvaro GomezBorn and raised in the Bay Area, Alvaro Francisco Gomez has been working in the field of Disability and Higher Education for the past 25 years.

Julie Greene

Disability Specialist - Graduate Students

Photo of Disability Specialist Julie GreeneWelcome to my DSP page! I joined the Berkeley community in January 2018...

Brian Scholte

Disability Specialist

Brian is a first-generation American and United States Air Force Veteran whose academic and vocational passions center around the intersection of education, disability access, and mental health. Upon separating from the Air Force, he earned a Bachelor of Science with Distinction in Psychology from Nova Southeastern University and a Master of Arts in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness from New York University.

Brian is passionate about applying science and education for social good. As a Peer Disability Advocate for the American Association for People with Disabilities, he...

Matthew Alvarez

Disability Specialist

Hi everyone! My name is Matthew Alvarez and I’m originally from Oakland, California.

Courtney Castleman Bucher

Disability Specialist - Autism

Welcome to DSP! Compassion, integrity, and community are a few of my highest values.

Both inside and outside of my role as a Disability Specialist, I thrive in purposefully envisioning the future, and emboldening others in reaching their educational and personal aspirations. As a person with multiple disabilities, I was a first-generation college student grappling with the social and attitudinal barriers that can exist in the pursuit of a word-class degree at a competitive university. I bring these experiences to my role as a specialist.

I received my MA in Sociology from...

Juliana Chiarelli

Disability Specialist

Juliana has worked with students with disabilities for over four years, by coaching students one-on-one, connecting students to various on- and off-campus resources, partnering with faculty and staff, and leading academic success workshops and programming for gaining and maintaining study skills necessary for academic success. Prior to joining the Disability Specialist team, Juliana worked in TRiO DSP SSS as a Learning Specialist and an Academic Success Coach at the University of Rochester. She earned an M.Ed. in Counseling - Student Affairs at Northern Arizona University, where she...

Marilyn de la Cruz

Disability Specialist - Mental Health
Marilyn began serving students as a counselor in higher education within the Centers for Educational Equity and Excellence, Division of Equity & Inclusion at UC Berkeley. Marilyn is trained as a direct-practice social worker in community mental health, and for over a decade, worked within Bay Area county health care systems to provide mental health services to the most vulnerable members of the community living with severe and persistent mental illness.

Her passion for serving people with disabilities is guided by the social justice ethos that all members of society have a right to...

Navi Dhanota

Disability Specialist

Navi Dhanota, MA, PhD (c) (pronouns: she/her)

Navi (nah-vee) Dhanota's (de-no-ta) portfolio has been focused on supporting students with disabilities to succeed in post-secondary education, using an anti-oppressive and transnational disability/disablement perspective. Navi (she/her) joined the Disabled Student's Program in 2022, as a Disability Specialist. For five years, Navi held the role of an Accessibility Consultant at George Brown College in Toronto, Canada. Primarily, she worked with students in the health sciences; during this time she identified opportunities for building the...

Jason Keough

Disability Specialist


I’m Jason. I’m originally from Pacifica (yes, the place with Taco Bell on the beach), and I have been working in education since high school. I started by tutoring peers in academic and social skills. When I graduated, I went to San Francisco State University and received my B.A. in Creative Writing. Once out of undergrad, I started working as a paraprofessional and substitute teacher for Special Education classes in the high school setting in the Bay Area. I received my Master’s in Special Education and Teaching Credential from Notre...

Jessica Mangaccat

Assistant Disability Specialist

Jessica Mangaccat started as a disability specialist with DSP in 2023. Jessica is a first generation college student and a daughter of immigrants. She has an undergraduate degree in Legal Studies and previously worked in the legal field for 10 years as a paralegal before switching careers and getting her master’s degree in Occupational Therapy. Jessica was inspired to work with people with disabilities after her father developed a spinal cord injury. Jessica has experience working with people with disabilities across the lifespan, from children with physical, neurological,...