OURS Staff

Jessica Stevenson Stewart - Director, Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarships

Jessica Stevenson Stewart is the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarships (OURS). A former Haas Scholar, she received both her BA and PhD from the History of Art Department at UC Berkeley. Jessica specializes in the intellectual cultures of collecting in sixteenth-century Northern Europe. Her research, often focusing on the visual culture of international trade in the early modern world, has been supported by fellowships from the Center for the Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts (CASVA), the Kress Foundation, the Fulbright Administration, and the Belgian American Educational Foundation (BAEF). An advocate for interdisciplinary research as well as project- and object-based inquiry, Jessica has taught extensively from museum collections, first as a Kress Fellow for the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco and subsequently as the Associate Curator for Academic Engagement at Stanford University's Cantor Arts Center. She is currently working on articles on German mining and the invention of landscapes, on knowledge formation in Splendor Solis, an alchemical manuscript, and on the emergence of global art markets in the Netherlands.

Leah Carroll - Haas Scholars Program Manager and Advisor

Leah manages the Haas Scholars Program and advises the scholars and applicants. She also gives most of the research workshops for the office and organizes outreach events. Leah came to the OURS in 2001 after having worked as a liberal arts college professor for four years. She was program coordinator of the Haas Scholars Program for ten years, then was Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarships for almost four years before returning to her beloved Haas Scholars Program. Leah has degrees in sociology from Oberlin College and UC Berkeley. Her research, which holds great personal meaning for her, focuses on social movements, electoral politics, and political violence in Colombian war zones. Having engaged in life-changing research experiences, Leah is delighted to be in a position to expand such opportunities for UC Berkeley undergraduates.

Mary Crabb - Judith Lee Stronach Baccalaureate Prize Program and UCDC

Mary Crabb joined the Office of Undergraduate Research in 2009 as student advisor and program manager for the Judith Lee Stronach Baccalaureate Prize. In this capacity, she works with students interested in applying for the Prize as well as manages the selection and administration of the award. More recently, she has taken on management of Berkeley's UCDC program, which sends undergraduates to Washington, DC for a semester to intern and take classes.  She is also the staff advisor for the two major campus journals for the publication of undergraduate research: Berkeley Undergraduate Journal, for research in the humanities and social sciences, and Berkeley Scientific, for research in the sciences.

Prior to joining OURS, Mary worked in the publishing industry in New York City and taught ESL in Guangzhou and Beijing, China. Mary received her bachelor's degree in English from Duke University and did her graduate work at UC Berkeley in the Graduate School of Education. Her dissertation research examined educational privatization in China and the growth of the Chinese middle class. Mary continues to be inspired by the creative ideas and positive energy of Berkeley students!

Keila Diehl - Prestigious Scholarship Coordinator

Keila Diehl joined the Office of Undergraduate Research in March 2021 after 14 years working at UC Berkeley as an advisor, instructor, and editor. She continues to advise students in the Berkeley International Study Program and teach a course on "Cross-Cultural Learning" that uses anthropological concepts and approaches to help international students learn about American culture, reflect on their own cultural assumptions, and thrive at Cal and beyond. She most enjoys working face-to-face with young adults to help them articulate their interests, identify opportunities for growth, find their voices in writing and speech, and realize their goals.

Keila majored in French and Communications at Stanford, and then earned a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology/Ethnomusicology at the University of Texas-Austin. She conducted a year of fieldwork with Tibetan refugees in Northern India, an experience she wrote about in her book Echoes From Dharamsala: Music in the Life of a Tibetan Refugee Community (UC Press 2002). Keila's interest in refugees continues through her volunteer work as an English tutor for the International Rescue Society in Oakland.  

Stefanie Ebeling - URAP Program Manager and Advisor

Stefanie Ebeling joined the Office of Undergraduate Research in 2005 as the student advisor for the Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program. Since 2011, she functions as the liaison to both students and faculty mentors, and coordinates all aspects of the program. Stefanie first came to UC Berkeley in 1991 as a visiting student from the University of Hamburg, where she finished her graduate degree in Second Language Acquisition. Aside from enjoying her role of helping undergraduates and mentors connect, Stefanie is a bit of a nerd who loves to grapple with new technology.

Giselle Garcia - Student Assistant - URAP

    Giselle joined the OURS team in Fall of 2019 as a work-study staff member focused on the Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program. She is a first-generation student and a sophomore studying Political Economy. She looks forward to expanding the university's research program and being involved on campus. She loves to stay active, bake, and meet new people.

    Alicia Hayes - Prestigious Scholarships and Scholarship Connection

    Alicia Hayes has been an advisor in the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarships since 2001. In this role, she manages the scholarship selection processes for several prestigious and nationally competitive scholarship and fellowship competitions, in addition to maintaining the Scholarship Connection website. Alicia is also working to advance the professional growth of advisors as demonstrated through her work with the campus Advising Network Community. In addition, she is an active member in the National Association of Fellowship Advisors (NAFA) and has served on the NAFA Board of Directors and as the organization's Secretary. Alicia was the first in her family to graduate from college and holds graduate degrees in History and Public Administration. In her spare time she continues her involvement with students by serving as a mentor to first generation college students. Alicia is clearly passionate about making educational enrichment opportunities more accessible to every student she encounters.

    Carisma Leyva - Student Assistant - Haas Scholars

      Carisma joined OURS during fall 2018 as a work-study staff member. As a first generation first-year at UC Berkeley, Carisma is particularly interested in psychology and hopes to further her education in the field. In addition to her academic endeavors, Carisma finds herself interested in music, writing, and various forms of art. Originally from Southern California, her move to become a new member of the UC Berkeley community has excited her with numerous opportunities and experiences. 

      America Segura - Social Media and Communications Coordinator

        America joined OURS in Fall 2020 as the Social Media and Communications Coordinator. She is a first-generation student studying Political Science and Human Rights. America is committed to connecting other first-gen, transfer, re-entry, undocumented, underserved, and BIPOC students with research and scholarship opportunities. Academically, America is interested in human rights, migration, and reproductive justice. Outside of her academic endeavors, you can find America spending an afternoon at a beach or park, baking brownies, or at the movie theater.

        Michelle Soto-Melgar - UROC Social Science & Humanities Coordinator

        Michelle Soto is an undergraduate student majoring in legal studies and sociology. She is a 2019 Ronald E. McNair Scholar and a 2020 SURF fellow. Her research explores why governments invest taxpayer money and local resources on ineffective and unenforceable legislation, specifically on anti-immigrant day labor solicitation ordinances. As a non-traditional, DSP, and first-generation transfer student of color,  Michelle advocates for educational access, equity, decolonizing educational spaces, and helps students get started in research.

        Eilidh Stalker - Student Assistant - Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship

          Eilidh (she/her) is excited to join the OURS team at Berkeley as a work study staff member. She is a junior transfer majoring in Political Science with a minor in Public Policy. Coming from a small community college, Eilidh is excited to explore the many opportunities Berkeley has to offer and engage with a diverse student body, staff, and faculty. She is passionate about criminal justice reform and local and national politics. Eilidh likes to go on hikes, make bread, and travel whenever possible.

          Valerie Vargas-Zapata - UROC STEM Coordinator

            My name is Valerie (she/her) and I’m a graduate student in Molecular and Cell Biology. I do research in virology and immunology. I joined UROC in Fall 2019 as a STEM coordinator. Being a Latina in the sciences and the first scientist in my family comes with many struggles but also allows me to connect with other students that share similar experiences. I have found my voice in doing diversity, equity and inclusion work. I’m passionate about helping students access research and higher education and transforming academia into a more equitable and welcoming place for all.