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School of Engineering

Engineering Service Learning Staff


Chris Butler


Engineering Service Learning


Chris Butler is the Director of Engineering Service Learning at UC Merced. Butler graduated with a B.S. in Environmental Engineering and an M.S. in Environmental Systems from the University of California, Merced.  Since 2016, he developed and increased the Engineering Service Learning program at UC Merced to serve as a cornerstone design course. Over this period, he has led over 35 real-world projects that delivered functional solutions for the local and regional non-profit service sector.  Butler enjoys developing new partnerships with both non-profit and industry partners to help UC Merced students gain the necessary professional and technical experience to start their professional careers upon graduation. 

Zeriyn Araneta

Event Coordinator Assistant

Zeriyn Araneta is a third-year Political Science major here at UC Merced. She joined the Engineering Service Learning team in the fall of 2020 as the Event Coordinator Assistant. In her role, Araneta coordinates the Skill Sessions workshop series taught by industry professionals that help develop students' technical and professional skills. After graduation, she hopes to explore new cities, continue to learn, and eventually work for herself.

Grace Garnica

Photojournalism Assistant 

Grace Garnica is a third-year Global Art Studies student and the Photojournalism Assistant for Engineering Service Learning at UC Merced. Her position includes photographing events and helping to provide professional headshots for students. Between photography and schoolwork, Garnica spends her time getting involved on campus through her club, Young Artist’s Movement. After she graduates, Garnica hopes to pursue a post-graduate education in Art History to become a museum director. 

Esther Quintanilla 

Journalism Assitant 

Esther Quintanilla is a third-year English and Writing student at the University of California, Merced. She joined Engineering Service Learning as a Journalism Assistant in the Fall of 2019. As an assistant, Esther hopes to write captivating, accurate stories to promote the EngSL projects to the students and faculty of UC Merced. After completing her undergraduate degree, Esther wants to attend graduate school to obtain a Masters in Journalism to become a journalist for online media.  

Joseph Barrera 

Assessment Assitant 

Joseph Barrera is a first-year Mechanical Engineering student at the University of California, Merced. Barrera joined the Engineering Service Learning team in the fall of 2020 as the Assessment Assistant where he manages the Engineering Service Learning website and data analysis. After graduation, Barrera plans to attend graduate school to become an electrical engineer.