Crown College

Crown Elective Faculty


Lisa Berkley

With more than 30 years teaching, meditation, well-being, and holistic healthcare, and working in human rights, equity and social justice, Dr. Lisa Berkley’s life’s work is dedicated to how we thrive, as individuals and society. She is the Founder and President of the Institute for Inner Economy, a non-partisan think tank dedicated to operationalizing positive peace and establishing healthy governance at the local, national, and international level. At UCSC, in addition to teaching Core, Lisa Berkley has developed a resilience program and co-founded the Center for Applied Ethics in Advancing Technologies (CAVEAT)

Dr. Berkley holds a B.A. in Environmental Science and Economics, an M.A. in International Policy, focusing on Counterterrorism and Transitional Justice, and both an M.A. and PhD in Leadership and Change. She is the co-author of the book chapter “Female Leadership for Peace and Human Security: A Case Study of Israel/Palestine,” which can be found in Women and Leadership Around the World, Vol. III (Information Age Publishing, 2015). She is currently co-editing the forthcoming book: Leadership at the Spiritual Edge: Emerging and Non-Western Concepts of Leadership and Spirituality (Routledge, 2024).

Lisa resides in Marina, California where she is a former elected official.

Carolina Gonzalez

Carolina is a performer, theater director, producer, and educator. Her research of interest includes the relationship between theater and armed conflicts, politics, women in playwright, and social justice. She is a co-founder of RET – Red de escuelas de teatro in Colombia, an active member of ITI – UNESCO.

She has performed and directed with various companies, including notable plays by Aesquilous, Moliere, Bertolt Brecht, and Carlo Goldoni. Being a part of the company Teatro Libre, toured as part of various festivals: Festival Cervantino de Guanajuato, Mexico; Festivals de Teatro Clásico de Chinchilla; Festival de Teatro Clásico de Almagro, Spain; Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro de Bogotá. Carolina is a lecturer at Crown College, teaching the Crown’s College 1 course since 2020. Currently, she is working in partnership with Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas in Bogotá, Colombia, teaching a version of the Global Classroom of Crown 1 course. Carolina holds a B.A. in Performing Arts from Universidad Central and a M.A. in Theater Arts from UCSC. 

Rachel Goodman

Rachel Anne Goodman is a UCSC Continuing Lecturer in Community Studies and College One at John R. Lewis College. She has worked as a writer and radio producer for much of her career, earning a Peabody award for her work as Managing Editor for NPR’s The DNA Files radio series. Her most recent radio documentary was the four-part series, Pastures of Plenty: A History of California’s Farmworkers, which aired across the U.S. and Canada. She has hosted live radio interview shows in Virginia, Kentucky, and California. Her academic interests are media studies, social movements, and social justice. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from UCSC.


Katie Greaney

Kati Greaney came to UC Santa Cruz from St. Louis, MO as an undergraduate in the Community Studies department and then returned as a graduate student in the Social Documentation program. Her interest and passion for humanity and storytelling led her to work as a photographer and documentary filmmaker on projects across the US, throughout Southern India, Cuba and Brazil. She is currently teaching the college one course at Crown College and John R Lewis College, in addition to courses in Digital Storytelling and Entrepreneurship.

Peter Koht 

Peter Koht joins CIED after a career that focused on the digital delivery of local government services. He was the founder of a successful govtech firm that went public in 2019. Prior to that he worked on broadband, parking and permitting policy for local government. Long ago, he graduated from UCSC with a dual major in music and history.


Deborah Lindsay

Deborah Lindsay has her BA in Culture, Ecology, and Sustainable Communities at New College of California and her MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. 

She’s the Executive Director of the non-profit, Environmental Volunteers based in Palo Alto, CA that brings science and nature education to children in the Bay Area, throughout CA and NY, and she has a long career as an operations executive for startups, small businesses, and non-profit organizations. 

Once a daily talk radio show producer and host of Tomorrow Matters, dedicated to solutions of today for a better world tomorrow, an elected city councilperson in Pacific Grove, CA who ran on the first carbon-neutral campaign, and a co-founder of a long-standing non-profit, Communities for a Sustainable Monterey County, Deborah is committed to multidisciplinary solutions for regenerative living. 

Deborah also has a passion for mentoring women in leadership, public speaking, and entrepreneurship. She resides in Santa Cruz, CA, and enjoys this beautiful, dynamic central coast town she’s called home for 30+ years.  

Alexa Loken

Alexa Loken’s passion is helping people. In 2014, she started Loken Careers, her third company. Since then, she’s been inspired every day by the clients she speaks with that want to make a difference in their lives and move forward in their career path. A serial entrepreneur and do-gooder, Alexa’s career has had many twists and turns. She worked at as a certified career coach for software engineers in both the U.S. and Europe, started a cause-based marketing firm, co-founded a recruiting firm for women in tech, and began her career while working for environmental nonprofits.

She’s also an Entrepreneurship Professor (virtually) in the business schools at CU Boulder and UCSC, and previously taught at St. Edward’s University in Austin. She very recently took on an additional role as a half-time Executive Director for a nonprofit, and is a Board member at Social Venture Partners, Boulder County. She received her undergraduate degree from American University in Washington, D.C. and her Master’s in Media, Culture & Communications from New York University.

She grew up in the Bay Area, and has lived in DC, NYC, Hawaii, Austin and Boulder county. She and her family relocated at the end of 2021 to beautiful San Luis Obispo, CA where they walk and play along the beach and tide pools as often as possible. While she’s happy to coach anyone on “what they want to do when they grow up”, she particularly loves helping clients who are transitioning to a new industry, working with aspiring entrepreneurs, and people who are looking for a cause-based career to make a positive impact on the world.

Shavit Melamed

Shavit Melamed is a Crown Lecturer whose experience in college radio production and management led her to teach Crown 70, the training class for new staff members at UCSC’s radio station. Having graduated from UCSC in 2023 with degrees in Sociology and Literature and a minor in Education, she values interdisciplinary studies that merge diverse fields of study and thought. 

During her time as a student, she pursued education through the execution of a self-designed Student Directed Seminar in the Literature department. Concurrently, she developed and refined coordination and radio production skills as the Station Manager and, previously, Class Instructor at KZSC Radio. At the end of her student career, Shavit completed an honors thesis in the Sociology department surveying students at each college radio station in the UC system about the relationship between college radio involvement and academic and professional outcomes. As an educator, she strives to cultivate and forever improve an inclusive, accommodating, and student-centered environment in her classrooms. 

Nada Miljkovic                                                                   

Nada Miljkovic is a UCSC Crown College Continuing Lecturer who has helped developed many of the Crown I&E classes as well as co-curricular programing such as the Lean Startup Bootcamp. She is CEO and co-founder of GetVirtual, a student run Project Management Internship Program, the Board Chair of United Services Agency, a non profit, and founder of the podcast  Artist on Art. She comes to teaching after a career in construction project management and getting her Master’s Fine Arts in Digital Arts and New Media at UCSC in 2009.

Yuliya Monastyrska

Yuliya Monastyrska is a UCSC Crown College Lecturer of entrepreneurial and business courses. She is a co-founder and wears many executive hats at GetVirtual, a nonprofit organization providing free services to help small businesses grow their virtual presence. She was a lecturer of the Sustainability and Entrepreneurship Program in partnership between Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development (CIED) at UCSC and Fulbright COMEXUS Bicentennial Ambassador’s Grant Program. She is also contributing to the creation of the CIED Crown Innovation and Entrepreneurship certificate program. Interested in both art and business, she holds degrees from UC Santa Cruz in Economics and Literature, and is working on creative writing and film passion projects. While she is a young educator, she has found success and joy in guiding students in their entrepreneurial paths.

Pedro Morales-Almazan

Pedro Morales-Almazan, originally from Guatemala, is a Teaching Professor in the Mathematics Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His fascination with mathematics began during high school math competitions, which sparked his enduring interest in mathematical puzzles and brain teasers. This passion led him to study mathematics and engineering in college, recognizing math’s dual nature as a source of both theoretical creativity and practical application. He holds a Ph.D. in Mathematical Physics and has worked as a professor at The University of Texas at Austin and now at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Pedro firmly believes that mathematics is a guiding force for intuition and reasoning, with the capacity to discover and describe our world. His teaching interests include Inquiry-Based Learning, technology-enhanced teaching, and improving student engagement, while his mathematical research focuses on Zeta Functions in Number Theory and Quantum Field Theory. Additionally, his outreach efforts encompass Math Circles and Math Teachers’ Circles

Jeremy Neuner

Jeremy Neuner is a UCSC Crown College Lecturer in entrepreneurship. He currently works at Google where he helps run a global series of startup accelerator programs. Jeremy was also the co-founder and CEO of NextSpace, a startup founded here in Santa Cruz that scaled throughout California and the Midwest. A long time ago, Jeremy was a pilot in the U.S. Navy. He’s the co-author of “The Rise of the Naked Economy: How To Benefit from the Changing Workplace” (Macmillan, 2013). Jeremy holds degrees from Georgetown and Harvard but has learned the most from playing LEGOs with his kids. Fun fact: Jeremy can juggle flaming torches.

Peter Rothman


Richard Vargas

Creative director with over thirty years of experience. Created his own advertising and design firm, worked for one of the most decorated Advertising agencies in the world, Hal Riney & Partners San Francisco and later helped Apple computer build one of the most respected and profitable companies in the world.