Slug Support Program

Serving UCSC students in need through preventative outreach, collaboration, and care.

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.  UCSC's Slug Support Program is a two-part, comprised of both an individual Slug Support Coordinator and the Slug Support Team. 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 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.

This site has been established to make the UCSC Slug Support Program and available resources more accessible to students, faculty, staff and community members. If you have questions or would like more information on the Slug Support Program, please contact the Dean of Students Office at 831-459-4446 or you may send us an email at

Reach out to a Slug Support Manager if:

  • You are concerned about a student
  • You do not know where else to get help
  • 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. Along with working directly with students, Slug Support Managers facilitate the Slug Support Team, which is a group of key stakeholders across campus who meet to work on complex student issues.

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. A manager may request assistance from the Slug Support Team when additional collaboration would be in the best interest of that student and/or there is an impact on the community at UCSC.

Contacting Slug Support:

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

  • Calling the Dean of Students office at 831-459-4446
  • Emailing the Dean of Students office at

2) If you are faculty or staff, you may make a referral directly to a Slug Support Manager by:

  • Calling the Dean of Students office at 831-459-4446
  • Emailing the Dean of Students office at
**Please note that Slug Support Managers are not available for immediate crises. If you are a student or are working with a student experiencing a mental health crisis, please call our 24 hour crisis line at 831-459-2628. If you are or are working with someone experiencing a life-threatening emergency, please call the Police by dialing 911.**

Slug Support Managers


Mariah Lyons
Assistant Dean of Students for Student Support Programs
Pronouns: she/her/hers
(831) 459-3456



Sarah Cupps
Slug Support Manager
Pronouns: she/her/hers
(831) 502-7031


Betty Desta
Slug Support Manager
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Amy Zamara
Slug Support Intern
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Actions Slug Support Managers may take:

  • As needed, call upon other campus entities such as Counseling and Psychological Services, Financial Aid Office, Disability Resource Center, Academic Advising, Student Conduct, Campus Police and many others
  • Assist the student in accessing the most appropriate campus and community support services to address the presenting problems
  • Provide financial resources such as funding for food, emergency housing, and other essential needs.
  • Follow-up with students to reinforce utilization of services provided and notify referring party of significant outcomes as appropriate

Slug Support Team

The Slug Support Team is a cross-divisional, multi-functional team that meets on a regular basis to review problems presented by UCSC students working with our program related to social, mental health, physical, financial, academic and/or a combination of these issues. Through collaboration and the coordination of resources, the Slug Support Team aims to retain  enrolled students to move them toward graduation. The Slug Support Team serves ALL UCSC Students including both undergraduate and graduate, as well as on and off-campus students.  The Slug Support Team provides a forum in which information gathered from multiple sources is reviewed in order to produce a comprehensive understanding of a student’s level of functioning.  

Slug Support Team Members:

  • Mariah Lyons, Assistant Dean of Students for Student Support Programs
  • Betty Desta, Slug Support Case Manager
  • Sarah Cupps, Slug Support Case Manager
  • Rick Gubash, Director of the Disability Resource Center
  • Alex Belisario, Interim Executive Director for College Student Life and Senior Director for Crown and Merrill Colleges
  • Gary Dunn, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Health & Wellness
  • Maryjan Murphy, Interim Director Counseling and Psychological Services
  • Jenner Rosgen, Counseling and Psychological Services Case Manager Supervisor
  • Celeste Lopez, Financial Aid Basic Needs Analyst
  • UCSC Police Department Representative
  • Academic Advising Representative
  • Cliff Golz, Assistant Director, Community Standards and Restorative Practices
  • Ross Maxwell, Assistant Director - Student Conduct
  • Kelsey Hoie Ferrell- CARE Director
  • Brian Arao, Assistant Dean of Students and Chief of Staff
  • Garrett Naiman, Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students

Students of concern may be referred by any member of the campus community to the Slug Support Team through the following methods:

1) Referral to the Slug Support Program via email at or by phone at 831-459-4446

2) Submitting an online referral form by clicking on a link below and sending it to

Submit an online referral form here.

3) If you are familiar or are working with the Slug Support Team's member listed above, you may make a referral directly to that person

**Please note that the Slug Support Team is not available for immediate crises.  If you are working with a student or are a student experiencing a mental health crisis, please contact the 24 hour crisis line at 831-459-2628.  If you are or are working with someone in a life-threatening emergency, please contact the Police by dialing 911.**