As of September 2021, all Ethnic & Gender (E&G) offices are open to support your student success and needs. Please check individual websites for specific, operational hours and contact info. Masks are required indoors at all times and proof of completion of Daily Wellness Survey is required to enter all E&G offices. In order to keep us all safe, we also ask that you please continue to wash your hands, maintain physical distance, and all other health measures to reduce risk. We look forward to connecting soon.

A group photo of staff of Chicano Student Programs, pictured from left to right: Alice Chavez, Arlene Cano Matute, and Estella Acuña

Nuestra familia es su familia

If you ask our students about Chicano Student Programs, the first thing they will tell you is that we are one big family. Our caring staff supports UCR’s Chicano/Latino community with incredible programs and resources. Our faculty’s research and experiences speak to issues about La Raza, and provide priceless networking and mentorship opportunities. Our shared goals and values make the Common Ground Collective a strong branch of our family tree. Our student organizations are some of our most inspirational family members. Contact us any time. You are part of our family, too.


Professional Staff

Department Information
Costo Hall

Chicano Student Programs

Office Hours:
Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Phone: (951) 827-3821
145 Costo Hall Riverside, CA 92521

Meet Our Staff

Estella Acuña, Director

Serving the campus since 1996
Phone: (951) 827-3822
Email: Estella Acuna

Staff photo of Estella Acuña, Director

I joined the Chicano Student Programs staff in 1996 and, in a span of seven years, went from being the student assistant to the program director.

After high school, I attended Riverside Community College, where I received my associate degree. I then transferred to UCR, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Chicano studies. I am the first in my family to attend college.

I truly enjoy my job; it is absolutely my dream job. I enjoy working with the students, faculty, and staff. My involvement, mentors, and studies have inspired me to give back to the community and try to make a difference. I grew up in a single-family household. My mom’s values, survival, and love for her children have also influenced my life. Tune in to KUCR 88.3 FM on Friday nights, and you might hear a familiar voice. ¡Adelante





Alice Chavez, Budget, Personnel & Program Assistant

Serving the campus since 2014
Phone: (951) 827-2216
Email: Alice Chavez 

Staff photo of Alice Chavez, Budget, Personnel & Program Assistant

I was raised in Bell Gardens, CA, a small predominantly Latino city. After graduating high school in 2010, I began my first year at UCR as a Pre-Business major.

While at UCR I worked as a Student Assistant with the CNAS Undergraduate Academic Advising Center and founded a dance club named R’Beat. In 2014, I graduated with a B.S in Business Administration. Upon graduating, I wanted to continue at UCR and give back to a campus that gave me so much. I have since worked at the CNAS Undergraduate Academic Advising Center, Harvest Shared Services, and Chicano Student Programs.

I am proud to be part of a UCR Familia at CSP. I find joy in working with amazing students and a great family with genuine hearts who provide support and encouragement every day.


Arlene Cano Matute, Assistant Director

Serving the campus since 2011
Phone: (951) 827-2215
Email: Arlene Cano Mutate

Staff photo of Arlene Cano Matute, Assistant Director

Arlene Cano Matute (she/her/ella) serves as the Assistant Director of Chicano Student Programs at the University of California, Riverside. She received her B.A. in both Ethnic Studies and Political Science: Law and Society and an M.Ed. in Higher Education, Administration, and Policy at UC Riverside. She is currently a doctoral student in Higher Education in the Graduate School of Education at UC Riverside. She is the founder of a teen reading program, Un Libro, Mil Mundos (One Book, A Thousand Worlds) through the Riverside County Library System which aims to develop a love and understanding of reading built upon the introduction of Chicano/Latino literature. She serves on various committees on her campus, is a member of community organizations, is a certified facilitator on civic reflection, and volunteers as an advisor to several Chicano/Latino student organizations at UC Riverside.

As a first-generation student, a parent, and the daughter of a system-impacted parent she is passionate about working alongside students and the community focusing on identity development, empowerment, social justice, community service, leadership, and equity in higher education. Her research examines the experiences of Chicano/Latino students at Hispanic Serving Institutions, specifically Hispanic Serving Research Institutions (HSIs) in the University of California. She is particularly interested in the ways in which Chicano/Latino students, and minoritized students overall, thrive in HSIs/HSRIs with an emphasis on access, retention, and persistence. Additionally, she is interested in historicizing the contributions of student and community activism in higher education, access, and equity. Through her work, she hopes to impact educational policy and practice grounded in transformative change.