Pathways to the Professoriate Initiative

Feizal Waffarn, PhD


Dr. Waffarn began his faculty appointment in the Department of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine in 1980 and retired as the Chairman of Pediatrics in 2011. His research focuses on the effects of perinatal stress: effects on growth and outcomes of the fetus; global health initiatives in pediatrics, and non-invasive monitoring techniques. In addition, Dr. Waffarn also earned his M.B.A. from UCI’s Paul Merage School of Business.

In addition to his work with Graduate Division, Dr. Waffarn also serves on the Dean’s Cabinet in the UCI Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing and provides scholarship support for underrepresented minorities in honor of his late wife Dorothy Janice Waffarn.

Kayleigh Anderson-Natale, PhD

Co-Chair - Postdoctoral & Professional Development Manager

Manages the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and provides fellowship advising for the NSF GRFP, Ford and Fulbright Programs. Administers the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Researches and publicizes funding and professional development opportunities for postdoctoral scholars. Develops and implements professional development workshops and events for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.

Celina Mojica, PhD

Member - Director of Academic Initiatives

Oversees the Outreach, Retention, Academic Services and Policy area; and coordinates the Graduate Division’s review process for new graduate programs. Also serves as the Graduate Division staff liaison to the Graduate Council, conducts research on programs and academic policy, and provides information to deans, faculty, senior staff and students regarding academic program parameters, graduate program planning, development, and administration.

Turner Dahl

Member - Operations & Fellowships Manager

Provides oversight over Graduate Division managed fellowships and office business operations.

Mariela Menendez, MPA

Member - Manager, Recruitment

Implements strategic graduate recruitment planning. Oversees all entering student diversity fellowships and graduate application fee waivers. Provides operations leadership for special recruitment and retention project implementation. Primary contact for the Summer Undergraduate Research Program and continuing student diversity fellowships.

Sean Collins

Member - Communications Coordinator

Collaborates with the Director of Communications to capture and share the story of graduate education, develops multimedia assets for events, advertises programs, develops content calendars and strategic marketing plans, while implementing UCI Graduate Division’s overall marketing strategy.