Meet the Staff
Student Housing Team
Our caring Student Housing and Residential Life team is made up of both student (resident advisors, front desk assistants, and summer housing assistants) and full-time professional staff. Together, we work closely with on and off-campus partners to support the students and guests we serve in Hunter Hall. From 24-hour safety and crisis response to connecting students to their campus community, we are here to help ensure our students are able to Live, Learn, and Engage at UHCL.
Associate Dean of Students, Director of Student Housing
(Pronouns: He, Him, His)
Matthew transitioned to UHCL from the University of Toledo. His education and background includes an M.S.E. in Higher Education: Administration from the University of Dayton and a B.A. in Spanish from Wilmington College, with a wealth of knowledge and experience surrounding student housing operations, crisis management, residential life, and student conduct. Matthew is responsible for implementing a fair and educational student conduct process for students, with specific focuses on student rights and responsibilities as well as case management. He is also responsible for a comprehensive student housing residential life program that provides students with a safe and high-impact living environment. His interests include exercising, traveling, and playing board games.
Residential Hall Director
Dontae transitioned to UHCL from Stephen F. Austin State University. His education and background includes an Master of Education in Educational Administration with a concentration on Hugher Education from Tarleton State University, a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science from Lamar University, and an Associate of Applied Science in Computer Networking and Troubleshooting Technology from Lamar Institute of Technology. His knowledge base includes crisis management, residential life, RHA advising, student engagement, and student success. In addition, his passions include playing PlayStation, listening to rap and R&B music, and attending sporting events.
Department Assistant III
(Pronouns: She, Her, Hers)
Shirley began her journey at UHCL in 2017, earning her Bachelor's degree in Biology. She is currently pursuing her passion for helping others by working on a degree in Social Work. With a strong foundation in science and a growing expertise in social welfare, Shirley is dedicated to making a meaningful impact in the lives of individuals and communities.
Danna Almazan (Front Desk Assistant)
Danna is a junior, a Biology major, and Orientation Leader on campus. She has served as the President of the Hawk Spirit & Traditions Council (HSTC) and an active member of L.I.S.T.A., First Gen, and S.A.C.N.A.S. clubs here on campus. She also enjoys spending time at Campus Rec.
"I decided to work at the front desk because I want to help students feel welcome and a part of our Hawk family." -Danna Almazan
Emir Fernandez (Resident Advisor)
Emir is a junior, enjoys music and spending lots of time bodybuilding at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. When not hanging around Hunter Hall, catch him at Campus Rec.
"I became an RA because I wanted the leadership experience. I want to better improve myself and take on the challenges that come along with this job." - Emir Fernandez
Gina Morataya (Front Desk Assistant)
Gina is a junior majoring in Criminal Justice. When not studying, she is an active member with HSTC and enjoys reading, drawing, and listening to music.
"I became a front desk assistant to offer support to students living on campus and
to build a closer connection to the community."
- Gina Morataya
Jocelyn Smith (Graduate Assistant Hall Director)
(Pronouns: She, Her, Hers)
Jocelyn has worked in Hunter Hall since the Fall 2019 opening, as a Resident Advisor. She is now serving as our first-ever Graduate Assistant Hall Director. This allows her to focus on student care, leadership growth, and her overall career in Higher Education. Her education includes a B.S. in Psychology, with the current pursuit of an M.A. in Cross-Cultural and Global Studies here on campus. Jocelyn enjoys cultivating student engagement opportunities, connecting residents to resources, and advocating for student success. Her hobbies and interests include reading, cooking, traveling, and volunteering.
Joe Contreras (Resident Advisor)
Joe is a Biology major with a trajectory to teach 7th to 12th grade students. He has served as Student Government President and Campus Activities Board President. Joe has also been an active member of several student organizations, such as HSTC, Hawks 4 Community, and the Future Educators in STEM. His hobbies include building Legos, watching shows and movies, and trying new restaurants/foods.
"I became an RA because I love working with students on campus and helping them transition into the UHCL community." - Joe Contreras
Lisset Fernandez (Resident Advisor)
Lisset (Lis) is a senior and first generation college student majoring in Psychology. She is a member of the Latinx and Indigenous Students Taking Action (L.I.S.T.A.), the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), and the Psychology Club.
"I am excited to work first hand with residents and be both a leader and role model for our team." - Lis Fernandez
Nheyiri Parrish (Resident Advisor)
Nheyiri is a sophomore majoring in Legal Studies, with a minor in Art History. Nheyiri
enjoys being a member of Hawks 4 Communities, with hobbies that include watching movies,
anime, Hello Kitty, and listening to music.
"I applied for the RA position because I wanted to help build communities in Hunter Hall and to gain leadership experience." - Nheyiri Parrish
Nicholas Eisen (Front Desk Assistant)
Nicholas (Nick) is a sophomore majoring in Psychology, with involvement with the Environmental Justice Association (EJA) as well as Physics & Astronomy. Nick's hobbies include playing games, cooking, and traveling/learning about the world around him.
"After serving as a Summer Housing Assistant, I continued on with the Student Housing team to connect with more students and be that friendly face they see around Hunter Hall and campus." - Nick Eisen
Rachel Martinez (Front Desk Assistant)
Rachel is a sophomore majoring in Marketing. Rachel is involved in several student organizations and areas of campus, including the Residence Hall Association, the Hawk Leadership Institute, and the Office of Student Involvement & Leadership.
"I had a great experience serving as a Summer Housing Assistant! I stayed because the environment in Hunter Hall is great and I wanted to be able to make friends through resident interactions." - Rachel Martinez
Yasmin Banda (Graduate Assistant)
Yasmin is a graduate assistant and student pursuing an M.A. in Cross-Cultural and Global Studies here on campus. She enjoys dance, listening to music, making puzzles, and collecting Funko Pop.
"I am excited to meet new residents and make new friendships this year."
- Yasmin Banda