MBEP Student Ambassadors

Student Ambassadors are college-level or graduate students enrolled at a higher education institution (Cabrillo College, CSU Monterey Bay, Hartnell College, Middlebury Institute of International Studies, Monterey Peninsula College, UC Santa Cruz) or reside in the Monterey Bay region (Monterey, San Benito or Santa Cruz Counties) who participate in work-based learning at the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP) with the opportunity to earn a stipend or academic credit.

Mila Colfer, Cabrillo College | July 2021 – Current | She/Her/HERS

Mila Colfer is currently a sophomore at Cabrillo College working on her A.A. in Political Science with plans to transfer in the fall of 2022. Growing up in Santa Cruz Mila has experienced and is passionate about local issues, such as affordable housing and protecting the environment. She is working with MBEP on the climate change and housing teams to support the development of a Climate Change ‘Green’ Paper that focuses on the relationship between affordable housing and the environment. Additionally, Mila is helping to develop content for MBEP’s Climate Change and Workforce Development Initiative’s social media platforms. She is looking forward to developing her skills of managing social media through many platforms which includes content creation and data collection and analytics, as well as gaining a deeper understanding of local and state government functions regarding how to create change within important issues. Similarly, she is excited to be directly involved in her community. In her free time, Mila enjoys surfing, hiking, camping, and anything that involves exploring the beautiful area in which she is fortunate to live.


Kiaya Moser, UC Santa Cruz | August 2021 – Current | They/Them/THEIR

Kiaya Moser is a current sophomore at UC Santa Cruz pursuing a B.A. in Environmental Studies/Economics and a B.A. in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies. In their first year, Kiaya has been able to intern at the UCSC Campus Natural Reserve and work with Gårdskapital, a Sweden-based company focusing on investing in sustainable agriculture. As a Student Ambassador, they are planning on supporting MBEP’s Campus Sustainability Planning project. They are excited to assist in MBEP’s climate and sustainability related initiatives and join their team. In their free time, Kiaya enjoys reading, painting, and collecting records.


Rachel kristen morpeth, massachusetts Institute of Technology | june 2021 – Current | SHE/HER/Hers

Rachel Morpeth is a second-year graduate student at MIT pursuing her Master’s in Business Administration. At MIT, she is exploring the intersection of many issues related to economic health – including fiscal policy, climate change, and public infrastructure – to understand how to create a stronger, more sustainable future. Most recently, she completed a summer research project with the California Department of Finance evaluating the fiscal health of California’s public school districts. Prior to MIT, she spent four years working in inclusive finance in the nonprofit and private sectors to improve access to high quality, affordable financial services for underserved communities. At MBEP she is developing resources for the housing element educational campaign and conducting research on the intersection of housing and climate change. She is a Santa Cruz native and has a BA in Environmental Studies from UCLA.


GRANT SIMMONS, Santa Cruz Resident | Jan 2021 – Current | He/Him/His

Grant Simmons is a native of Santa Cruz County and a recent graduate of Whitman College where he majored in English and minored in Computer Science. He is interested in pursuing graduate studies in public policy. Through MBEP, Grant is working on the City of Santa Cruz’s Climate Action Program by focusing on facets such as the Existing Building Decarbonization initiative. Grant hopes to gain an understanding of how green energy and sustainability policy can be pursued at the local levels and take that information forward to a greener future.


Pedro Hernandez, UC Santa Cruz | Fall 2021 – Current | HE/Him/His

Pedro Hernandez has his Associate’s degree in business from Cuesta college and is currently a senior at UC Santa Cruz (UCSC). He is working towards his Bachelor’s degree in Business Economics with a concentration in Accounting. He has worked in different industries which include teaching, management development training, and Recreational Protective Service. He intends to gain his CPA license after graduating from UCSC. With his CPA license, he aspires to work as an accountant full-time. At the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP), he will work in the Workforce Development Initiative on various projects. He believes MBEP will be a great stepping stone to his career and hopes to develop my leadership, resource management, and analytics skills. In his free time, he enjoys socializing, networking, and exercising.  


Past Student Ambassadors

Sarah Baghdadi | UC Santa Cruz | Fall 2019, Leah Baker | Monterey Peninsula College | Spring 2020, Sabra Carman | Cabrillo College | Spring 2021, Xuelian (Lotus) Chen | Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) | Summer 2020, Crystal Cheung | UC Santa Cruz | Spring 2021, Hazel Choi | San Jose State University | Spring 2021, Gabrielle Davila | CSU Monterey Bay | Summer – Fall 2019, Karina Guzman | Hartnell College | Spring 2021, Lisa Hood | Cabrillo College | Fall 2020 – Spring 2021, Mehul Kamran | UC Santa Cruz | Spring 2021, Yara Khamis | UC Santa Barbara | Spring 2021, Courtney Liang | UC Santa Cruz | Spring 2019, Kevin Manzano | UC Santa Cruz | Fall 2019 – Spring 2021, Kuhu Mathur | UC Irvine | Spring & Summer 2021 | Malena McKaba | UC Santa Cruz | Fall 2019 – Spring 2020, Yojna Prasad | CSU Monterey Bay | Spring 2021, Viviona Reveles | CSU Monterey Bay | Spring 2021, Ismael Rocha | CSU Monterey Bay | Spring 2019 – Summer 2020, Miranda Sampson | CSU Monterey Bay | Spring 2021, Justin Sharer | CalPoly San Luis Obispo | Spring 2021, Rebecca Shedd | UC Santa Cruz | Spring 2021, Julie Stasiuk | MIIS | Fall 2020 – Spring 2020, Nichol Veles | CSU Monterey Bay | Spring 2019 – Sping 2020, Ellen (Jingyu) Zhong | MIIS | Fall 2019