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Meet the Career Staff


  • John W. Rawlins III

    John W. Rawlins III


    John (He/Him/His) is a Campus Diversity Officer and Director of the UC San Diego Black Resource Center. He is an EDI/Student Affairs professional with 16 years of experience as an administrator and advocate for students, more specifically students of color. John is a native of the Washington, DC Metropolitan area and earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University and his Master of Arts degree from The Johns Hopkins University. John comes to UCSD from  California State University San Marcos where he served as Director of the Black Student Center and Special Assistant to the Chief Diversity Officer in the Office of Inclusive Excellence. John's passion to support students of color began during his undergraduate career, where he served in many leadership roles in student organizations and campus advisory boards. John would begin a celebrated career at Ithaca College, continue at The Johns Hopkins University, and the international headquarters of his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., before heading West to CSUSM. John holds memberships with NASPA, ASCAP, and is a Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He serves as the 16th and current President/CEO of the Cornell Black Alumni Association and serves on several alumni boards for the institution. John is also a Gospel recording artists and vocalist who has performed on national and international stages alike. He has been honored to share the stage and sing with artists such as jazz icon Wynton Marsalis and Gospel legend Kirk Franklin.

  • Tori Bussey-Neal

    Tori Bussey-Neal

    Associate Director

    Tori Bussey-Neal (She/They) began as Associate Director during Black History Month 2022. In addition to supporting the day to day operations of the Center, Tori is responsible for the overall management of the BRC’s developmental high impact programs. Programs and services under her purview align with and advance UC San Diego’s Black Academic Excellence Initiative and are designed to facilitate the holistic development of Black identified undergraduate and graduate students. These programs will increase access to research, mentorship, and internships, and provide pro-Black graduate and professional school and career preparation.
    Tori started working at UC San Diego in Fall 2019 as a Success Coach for the Student Success Coaching Program (SSCP) where she supported first-generation college students through holistic and strength-affirming coaching practices. A San Diego native, she graduated from San Diego State University with a B.S. in Child Development and minor in Counseling & Social Change and received her Master’s in Education in Student Affairs from UCLA. She has already made an impact through various professional roles within GEAR UP and College Avenue Compact associated with San Diego Unified School District; EOP Summer Bridge Program at SDSU; and her service as Program Coordinator of the UCLA Transfer Student Center and Transfer Mentorship Program. Tori values the importance of identity and culturally conscious student support in areas of academic, preprofessional, and sociocultural transitions. She utilizes her expertise in coaching, strengths-based student support, and intentional identity-focused programming to center and serve the needs of current UCSD Black-identifying students.
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    Jasmine Henderson

    Assistant Director 


  • Fernando Brown

    Fernando Brown

    Facilities, Operations, & Events Coordinator 

    Fernando Brown (He/Him/His) began as Facilities, Events, and Operations coordinator in September 2023. He is responsible for administrative and programmatic support, which includes day-to-day operations, BRC infrastructure, facilities management, and event coordination.

    He has a rich history in operations and facility management. At California State University San Marcos, he served as the Assistant Athletic Director, Operations, where he managed the athletic facilities, game day operations, ticket sales, and equipment inventory for 13 NCAA DII teams. Fenando has also contributied to the day-to-day operations of two NFL organizations; Super Bowl XLV; and Student-Athlete Academic Success programs.

    A San Diego native, he graduated with a B.A. in Social Sciences from Cal State University San Marcos and a Master's in Educational Leadership - Student Affairs from San Diego State University. In his role as coordinator Brown emphasizes the importance of aligning the physical space with the center's mission and values. He values creating an inclusive environment that celebrates diversity and promotes equity, ensuring that Black-identifying students and the broader UC San Diego community feel represented, respected, and a sense of belonging in the BRC.

BRC Affiliate Staff

  • Danielle Simien, LCSW

    Danielle Simien, LCSW

    Danielle Simien (she/her) is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at CAPS. She is committed to providing culturally responsive mental health services to underrepresented students as the liaison for the BRC and PATHS Scholars Program. She has experience serving youth, families, and adults in school-based, inpatient, outpatient, and integrated behavioral health settings. She earned a Master’s in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley and Bachelor’s in Psychology from Gonzaga University.