Santa Clara University

Meet the 2014-2015 Unity Staff! 



Keiko Montenegro

McLaughlin 1st Floor CF

Major: Chemistry, Spanish Minor

Hometown: Redmond, WA

Hobbies: Playing ultimate, chilling with the floor, drawing, reading, working out, and eating delicious food.

Why you love Unity: Because of the inclusive an friendly atmosphere.




Tracey Acosta

McLaughlin 2nd Floor CF

Major: Computer Engineering, Communication Minor

Hometown: Oakland, CA

Hobbies: Snowboarding, cake decorating, playing sports, traveling, going on roller coasters, dancing, watching TV (Modern Family, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Big Bang Theory, SNL).

Why you love Unity: My freshman year I was lucky that I was placed into the Unity RLC by chance, but this is now my fourth year living in Unity and the reason I decided to return every year is the community. I love Unity because of the commitment both the staff and residents have to make Unity the best RLC every year. 




Sandhya Bodapati

McLaughlin 3rd Floor CF

Major: Biochemistry

Hometown: San Jose, CA

Hobbies: Oil painting, swimming, watching movies.

Why you love Unity: I love that Unity is a community based on accepting and understanding diversity. This is a fundamental belief which leads to greater social change. This RLC empowers students to really make a change in this world. I met my best friends in this community in my freshman year and loved my CFs, and feel honored to be working as a CF here.




Jennifer Gonzalez

Walsh 1st Floor CF

Major: Political Science, Communication, Ethnic Studies

Hometown: Morgan Hill, CA

Hobbies:  I love fashion, volunteering, hanging out with friends and family, working out, watching Criminal Minds, Pretty Little Liars, and Netflix series.

Why you love Unity: I absolutely love Unity for the passion that it represents in creating a home and a community for all residents. Unity unites different cultures, ethnicity, and individuals and strives to create n inclusive community by learning from one another and embracing the beauty of diversity. Unity is a home for all.




Matthew Salmanpour

Walsh 2nd Floor CF

Major: Electrical Engineering

Hometown: Sunnyvale, CA

Hobbies: Running, Watching How I Met Your Mother, Electronics.

Why you love Unity:  I lived here as a freshman and I was a CF here last year on 1st floor Walsh, and each year it gets better and better. AT my freshman year orientation Unity was described to me as a place that "people open doors for each other", both literally and figuratively. Unity has definitely opened the door for me to enjoy my time here at SCU, and so I love it for that. It is truly a genuine home like no other.




Alexander Golden

Walsh 3rd Floor CF

Major: Undeclared Business and German

Hometown: San Mateo, CA

Hobbies:  Soccer, climbing.

Why you love Unity: I love Unity because of the awesome staff and residents and because its my first home away from home




Yusuf Shaikh

Assistant Resident Director

Major: Finance/Economics

Hometown: Fremont, CA

Hobbies: Playing baseball, basketball, flag football, volleyball, watching TV shows on Netflix, spending time with family, working out.

Why you love Unity:I love Unity because it is like my second home.





Dr. Tamayo-Moraga

Faculty Director

Position at university: Academic Year Lecturer in Religious Studies and Faculty Director of Unity RLC

Hometown: Harlingen, TX

Hobbies: Collecting Atlases, Reading Novels and Mysteries, Writing Stories, and Cooking

Background: B.A. in Humanities from University of TX at Austin, M.A. in Religious Studies and Ph.D. in History of Christianity from University of Chicago

Specialty: Comparative Mysticism

Why you love Unity: I love Unity because it is warm and welcoming and open to learning about those who are different from us. We see exposure to other cultures, ways of thinking, religions, and worldviews as part of education. We open doors for each other both literally and figuratively, such as the doors of the mind. I love Unity because I think our themes of diversity and civic engagement are part of making the world a better place for everyone.



Karen Salas

Resident Minister

Hometown: San Leandro, CA

Major (earned): Psychology and French, History minor

Hobbies: Reading, journaling, watching "Friends" with my friends, thrifting, and listening to music.

Why you love Unity: As a former Unity resident, while I was an undergrad, I loved Unity because it's the community that raised me. It's a place that not only welcomes and celebrates all it's residents, but also encourages them to express their uniqueness and gifts across campus.



Brandon Brackett


Brandon Brackett

Resident Director

Hometown: Longview, WA

Hobbies: I collect and listen to music. I also play 14 different instruments, but focus on Saxophone, guitar, singing and harmonica. I also read, Sherlock Holmes is my favorite character in fiction ever. I also have a wife and 2 year old daughter who I spend time with as much as possible.

Background: I earned a bachelors in history with an emphasis in American Indian studies at Washington State University in 2005. I then worked for four years as a Residential Education Director at WSU and chipped away part time at my masters in higher education admin and earned that in 2008. I came to SCU in July and started serving as the Resident Director for Unity Residential Learning Community.

Reason you choose SCU: I worked at a state school and really wanted to work at a religious school. I also wanted a school different in size, location and just about any factor I could think of, and SCU was that. Also the RLC model with Leadership Teams was a unique experience that most schools don't have.

Reason you choose Unity: Much of my education was centered around issues of diversity and spirituality. Unity was really a community that appealed too many of my own personal values and interest! On top of that, Unity is made up of two very small halls with traditional accommodations that really make it a strong community. It's easy to learn everyone's name and feel a part of something bigger than yourself.