Slug Support Program

College can be a challenging time for students and during times of stress it is not always easy to find the help you need.  The UCSC Slug Support Program was created to promote early intervention with students of concern to prevent culminating problems from escalating into a crisis.  The goal of the Slug Support Program is to identify students of concern and develop an action plan focusing on retention through provision of support and resources. While the Slug Support Program does not provide counseling directly to students, we work very closely with Counseling and Psychological Services to get students the emotional and psychological support they need.

Referrals to the Slug Support Program can be made both by the student and/or someone in the UCSC campus community.  If you are a student or know a student who is need of support and/or resources, you can start by navigating to the referral page for instructions on making a referral for our services.

Reach out to a Slug Support Manager if

  • There is a student who needs support with basic needs such as homelessness, food, financial support or getting connected to campus resources
  • There is concern about a student’s ability to adjust to the college environment
  • Have questions about support networks and organizations here on UCSC Campus
  • Student may not be in crisis, but would benefit from additional support and resources

Slug Support Managers are available to assist students facing a wide variety of issues to include difficulty acclimating to college, need for additional resources, and assistance with navigating campus operations.

Slug Support Managers serve as a direct point of contact for students, staff, faculty and parents if they are unsure of how to help a student who is struggling at school or are generally concerned about a student. The managers will gather information regarding the student’s presenting issue, develop an action plan utilizing campus and community resources, and coordinate appropriate services.

Contacting Slug Support

If you are a student needing assistance, you may contact Slug Support directly by:

  • Calling the Dean of Students Office: (831) 459-4446
    • Please note that our team is working remotely. Calling this number will direct you to a voicemail that is checked several times a week. For any immediate needs, please email us or refer to our crisis schedule.
  • Emailing the Dean of Students Office:
  • If this is a crisis (e.g., immediate food or housing insecurity or major distress), contact the Slug Support Case Manager on-call to be assisted right away: (831) 459 -7003
    • Available for phone and Zoom appointments during normal business hours: Monday-Friday 9AM-5PM

Slug Support Managers

Mariah Lyons
Assistant Dean of Students for Student Support Programs
Pronouns: She/Her
(831) 459-3456

Betty Desta
Graduate Student Slug Support Manager
Pronouns: She/Her
(831) 459-5356

Emilee Pakele 
Slug Support Case Manager, MSW Intern Coordinator 
Pronouns: She/They

Adam Lovell 
Slug Support Case Manager
Pronouns: They/He
(831) 346-2279 

Zion Tunstall
Slug Support Case Manager, Resource Center Specialist
Pronouns: She/They