Alexis Atsilvsgi Zaragoza is an Indigenous and Chicana activist in California higher education, having served on multiple boards during the entirety of her college career. First in community college serving as a Board Member on the California Community College’s Board of Governors, appointed by Governor Brown to represent 2.1 million students across a system of 115 colleges, as well as serving on the Board of Trustees for Calbright College, the first-ever online community college in the world.
Since then, she has transferred from Modesto Junior College to UC Berkeley to pursue a degree in Geography and Political Science. She began serving on the Board of Admissions for the UC system in 2019 and currently serves as the 2021-22 Student Regent for the University of California Board of Regents.
“As an Indigenous and Chicana woman in higher education it is so important to use the space I have been given to push for equity in every way possible in both helping my communities and in helping all students across all of California’s systems,” she says.
Atsilvsgi Zaragoza is a McNair Scholar studying the Spatial Imagination of Rural California and the Implications of Physical Place in Access to Higher Education for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in California’s Central Valley. She is also a research partner at the University of Puget Sound, using computational topology to discover potential communities of interest not found in typical redistricting efforts across multiple states in order to make more equitable electoral districts.