Meet the CAA Alumni Scholarships Team

Director, Alumni Scholars Program
Anh Tran ’06 | 510.900.8234

As the Director of the Alumni Scholars Program, Anh oversees over $2 million in scholarships, direct engagement, and supportive services to nearly 800 undergraduate students. She received the Leadership Award as a Cal student, and is delighted to give back to the Cal community. Prior to joining CAA, Anh worked in communities around the US in nonprofit management, education, and community building. In her free time, she enjoys practicing yoga, cooking, and traveling.

Anh graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Economics and Mass Communications and a minor in Education, and received her Masters in Public Administration from USC. At Cal, she was involved with REACH! Asian & Pacific Islander Recruitment and Retention Center, UC Berkeley Public Service Center, Cal Student Leadership Symposium, and Prytanean Women’s Honor Society.

Program Manager, Volunteer Engagement, Alumni Scholars Program
Vanessa Diaz ’09 | 510.900.8184

Vanessa Diaz leads recruitment, training, and management of alumni volunteers and works to expand the role of alumni volunteers in helping current scholars. She is a Cal grad and former recipient of both the The Leadership Award and the Mildred Jordan Sharp Scholarship, and is passionate about public service and education.

At UC Berkeley, Vanessa was involved with The Public Service Center and ran multiple after-school and summer programs for underserved students in the Bay Area through the BUILD program. She was also a founding member of Cal’s chapter of Lambda Theta Alpha Sorority, Inc., an academic organization with service, community activism, and political awareness at its core. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A in Peace and Conflict Studies and a minor in Education and received her Master’s degree in Human Rights with her thesis focusing on the American education system.

Project Manager, Marketing & Operations, Alumni Scholars Program
Ashley Miller ’15 | 510.900.8232

While a student at Cal, Ashley was an Achievement Award (TAAP) and Leadership Award (TLA) scholar. She experienced first-hand the impact CAA scholarship programs have on students’ experiences—both in terms of financial support and the building of life-long friendships. As the Selections Coordinator, Ashley brings her experience with CAA full-circle, coordinating with alumni volunteers to read applications and serve on interview panels, communicating with prospective students, and collaborating with staff on marketing initiatives and strategic planning. During her time at UC Berkeley, Ashley was involved in the Public Service Center’s Magnolia Project program, a 10+ year solidarity initiative with New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina; she also co-founded Maji Yaje Kwanza, a multilateral initiative expanding water pipelines and hygiene infrastructure to primary schools and communities in the coastal province of Kenya, which evolved after her time studying abroad in Kenya in 2013. She also worked as a writing tutor for the Cal student-athletes through the Athletic Study Center, and served as the maintenance manager of her co-op.

Ashley received her B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from UC Berkeley, focusing on education reform and water infrastructure, to learn how infrastructural investment can holistically support justice-based community development, domestically and abroad.

Program Manager, Student Support, Alumni Scholars Program
Valeska Castaneda-Puerto ’16 | 510.900.8236

Valeska is a queer Xicana immigrant who came here under asylum as a child, single mother, and a first-generation underrepresented transfer college student. Valeska received her B.A. in American Studies with a concentration in race, class, gender and immigration policy, and was a CAA Leadership Award scholar. Valeska experienced the impact not just financially but personally that CAA has within our Berkeley community.

During her time at UC Berkeley, Valeska was involved with several organizations that aligned with her passion for social equity, such as The Student Parent Association for Recruitment and Retention and The Public Service Center. While at Cal, Valeska organized A Trail for Humanity, which raised awareness regarding the violence occurring alongside the U.S. and Mexico border for undocumented migrants. As the founder of the movement, the Trail involved organizing community members and collaborating with more than 180 immigration human rights organizations to walk for 26 days and over 350 miles from Merced, California to the U.S.–Mexico border. As KASP’s Coordinator of Student Engagement for the Alumni Scholars Program, Valeska will fuse together her organizing experience along with her CAA involvement to provide professional, academic, and personal advising to build a network for KASP scholarship recipients.