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Breanna Bell, Lead Fellow


Breanna Bell is a third-year, Political Science Major. She hopes to pursue career in Criminal Law as a defense attorney. Breanna was raised in Los Angles, California; however, she was born here in the Central Valley. She believes that it was her destiny to come back to the Central Valley and attend UC Merced. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to music, singing, and composing songs. She is also involved with campus relations such as the Black Student Union, Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity, and serves as a campus Tour Guide! If you ever have any question or concerns, feel free to contact her or walk in during her office hours.

Office Hours (KL222)

MW (9am - 12pm & 3pm - 5pm)  |  Th (3pm - 4pm)  |  F (1pm - 5pm)

Annie Nhung Nguyen, Fellow


Annie Nhung Nguyen was born and raised in Stockton, California and is currently a fourth year Human Biology major. Annie has participated in research on campus with the CCH lab, worked as a high school tutor and ER medical scribe, and is an active member of her organization, Delta Gamma. She is a first generation college student in her family and has high hopes of becoming a nurse practitioner in the future. If you ever have any questions about the STEP program or just simply need someone to talk to, she is all ears!

Office Hours (KL222)

M (10am - 12pm / 1pm - 2:30pm / 3:30pm - 4:30pm)  |  TW (1:30pm - 5pm)  |  Th (9am - 10:30am)  |  F (9am - 11:30am) 

Hy Nguyen, Fellow


Hy is a 4th year Human Biology major from Stockton, CA. Along with being a STEP Fellow, Hy is also a brother of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity here on campus. After graduation Hy plans on applying to PA school to pursue his dream of becoming a Physician Assistant. On his free time Hy loves going to the gym and hanging out with his brothers. Some of his hobbies include photography and video editing. His favorite thing to do is to travel and loves going on spontaneous adventures.

Office Hours (KL222)

M (1pm - 3pm)  |  T (9am - 4pm)  |  W (2pm - 3pm)  |  Th (10am - 4pm)  


Ger Xiong, Program CoordinatorMelissa Macias-Flores, Fellow

Melissa is a second-year Sociology major from Riverdale, California. She hopes to become a social worker with an emphasis on children. After graduating, she hopes to complete her Masters in Social Work and thereafter settle in the Central Valley. Melissa is passionate about volunteering off campus as she is currently an Ombudsman for Merced County. She also participates as a research assistant on campus. During her spare time, Melissa loves to volunteer and spend time with her family and friends. Melissa is passionate about helping others and is delighted to help you with your needs!

Office Hours (KL 222)

M (1pm - 3:30 pm)  |  T (9am- 12 pm & 3pm - 5pm)  |  W (11:30am - 5pm)  |  Th ( 9am - 12pm)  

Retention Coordinator

Alexandra Chavez


Alex is the newest member of our STEP team. Raised in Firebaugh, CA, Alex was inspired by her rural upbringing and college involvement to pursue a career in higher education. Prior to coming to UC Merced, Alex was active as a student and staff member in a number of TRiO and state funded educational programs. She hopes to implement practical and engaging programming that will support scholars meet their academic and professional goals.

Alex will be a double alumnus from Fresno State as she is completing her Master’s in Counseling this spring. She enjoys spending time with friends, going outdoors and sits on the Alumni board of her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta.

Office Hours by Appointment:

Program Coordinator

Ger Xiong, Program CoordinatorGer Xiong, M.A.

Ger joined the Bright Success Center in January 2016 to implement the STEP Scholars Program, the first TRiO  Student Support Services (SSS) at UC Merced. She is invested in developing and enhancing support services that are distinctive to student needs and capabilities. She is a proud alumnus of the TRiO Upward Bound Program and is excited to serve STEP to enhance educational resources for traditionally underrepresented individuals.

Before joining UC Merced, she taught as a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Ger received her M.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles and B.A. from the University of California, Davis.

Office Hours by Appointment Only: