Meet CCS’ Newest Staff: A Glimpse into the Lives of our Dynamic Team

February 7, 2024

This past summer, the College welcomed four new staff members: Student Affairs Manager Heidi Dinnogen, Assistant Dean of Administration Eric Mills, Communications and Media Coordinator Jasmine Moreno, and CCS Undergraduate Advisor Nick Washington

CCS Staff at the 2023 CCS Halloween Bash
CCS Staff at the 2023 CCS Halloween Bash

Behind the scenes of the College of Creative Studies (CCS), a diverse group of dedicated professionals work diligently to support the passionate community. From seasoned administrators to enthusiastic advisors and creative coordinators, each person contributes to the unique culture that sets CCS apart. Over the past year and a half, the College welcomed four new staff members, including three this past summer: Student Affairs Manager Heidi Dinnogen, Assistant Dean of Administration Eric Mills, Communications and Media Coordinator Jasmine Moreno, and CCS Undergraduate Advisor Nick Washington. Learn more about their roles, motivations, and the interests that color their lives both within and beyond the iconic yellow walls of CCS.

Meet Heidi Dinnogen — Student Affairs Manager

Heidi Dinnogen, CCS Student Affairs Manager
Heidi Dinnogen, CCS Student Affairs Manager

CCS: What is your role at CCS?

Heidi Dinnogen (HD): I’m currently in my second year as the Student Affairs Manager for CCS. I love problem solving, so the most enjoyable aspect of my job is working with students to find a solution to whatever obstacle they are facing. Outside of academics, I love all the social events with the students. We had a lot of fun at Pi Day––seeing our students participate in pie eating contests, bunny-hopping tournaments, and pi digit recitals was a real treat. I also lived in the very hall that the CCS learning community is now housed. I recently learned that one of our student assistants lived in the room next to my old room—25 years later!

CCS: What brought you to CCS?

HD: Before joining CCS, I spent 5 years as the undergraduate advisor in the Music Department. Additionally, I graduated from UCSB in 2000 with majors in Geography and Anthropology. During my undergraduate years at UCSB, I had a friend who majored in Music Composition and always thought this college was a super cool opportunity for undergrad students. Professionally, I wanted to work at the college level, but I didn’t want to lose the one-on-one connection with students. CCS is about the only place on campus where you can have this type of community.  When the opportunity at CCS came up, I jumped on it!

CCS: What are your interests outside of CCS?

HD: Most of my time outside of work is spent with my husband and our two kids—aged 12 and 10—and our animals: 2 dogs, a cat, and 2 chickens, to be exact. On the weekends, you can find me rowing at Cachuma Lake or browsing the local thrift stores.

Meet Eric Mills — Assistant Dean of Administration

CCS: What is your role at CCS?

Eric Mills (EM): This summer, I began my journey as the Assistant Dean of Administration for the College. So far, I’ve enjoyed learning about CCS’ rich history and unique culture, as well as getting to know the amazing team of staff who contribute so much to our campus. CCS has given me the chance to take my knowledge of campus administration (over 20 years!) and use it to support an exciting array of programs, remarkable students and dedicated faculty. I am looking forward to being a part of the College’s evolution.

CCS: What brought you to CCS?

EM: I had always known that CCS offered a unique educational environment to CCS students, allowing them to expand their undergraduate experience in exciting ways. The enthusiasm of the CCS community is infectious!

Meet Jasmine Moreno — Communications and Media Coordinator

Jasmine Moreno, CCS Communications and Media Coordinator
Jasmine Moreno, CCS Communications and Media Coordinator

CCS: What is your role at CCS?

Jasmine Moreno (JM): In my role as the Communications and Media Coordinator, my days are spent developing and creating content for the CCS website, newsletter, and social media –– including reels and articles featuring our passionate students, staff, faculty, and alum. I aspire to capture the curious spirit and creative nature of the College through storytelling. Since I have your attention: I’m always on the hunt for a lead. Have an accomplishment or personal journey that you’d like to share with the community? I’d love to tell your story! Email me at jasminemoreno@ucsb.edu or send a message here. Aside from content production, I coordinate some of CCS’ most notable events, including All-College, RACA-CON, and Commencement (alongside other star staff members).

CCS: What brought you to CCS?

JM: I graduated from UCSB with a BA in Communication, which soon led me to a role in event planning and communications with the Computer Science Department (CS). While I loved my days spent in CS, I was drawn to CCS by its collaborative environment and vibrant energy—not to mention the cute cacti outside of the College building. Since joining this past July, I have been totally immersed in the passion and creativity of the College and its community.

CCS: What are your interests outside of CCS?

JM: Outside of the cheerful yellow walls of the CCS building, I can usually be found on the beach, in the gym, or chasing around my very energetic toddler. Aside from this, I’m involved with my community and enjoy creating newsletters, reels, and other content for my local business association. I love listening to music and investigative podcasts about American history, the paranormal, and business drama. My evenings are typically spent experimenting with vegan recipes or going on sunset walks with my Pomeranian, Coco.

Meet Nick Washington — Undergraduate Advisor

Nick Washington, CCS Undergraduate Advisor
Nick Washington, CCS Undergraduate Advisor

CCS: What is your role at CCS?

Nick Washington (NW): I am the Undergraduate Advisor here at CCS, which means I work with Student Affairs Manager Heidi Dinnogen and the Peer Advisors to ensure that our students have the necessary support and resources to excel academically and personally. I’m often placing and scheduling courses for faculty, advising students on their degree progress, giving prospective students and families tours of CCS, and just carrying out an eclectic handful of tasks here and there to support CCS and the bright minds that are a part of it everyday.

CCS: What brought you to CCS?

NW: I was a Basic Needs Outreach and Marketing Coordinator for UCSB’s Basic Needs office during my undergrad, which granted me a wealth of knowledge about the University and its basic needs resources. Having learned every possible detail I could about UCSB through this, I scoured far and wide to discover any piece of campus that I didn’t already know about. After months, I stumbled upon a small, golden nugget - or should I say, building - that had always stumped me. Despite having been on campus for four years, and at one point living two minutes away from it, I had never been able to unveil the mystery of what lies within Building 494’s walls. Meeting Heidi and my predecessor, Matt Herrera, I realized I had found a fountain of knowledge and excitement to be had - in the College of Creative Studies. That, or I just wanted to make advising my full-time job.

CCS: What are your interests outside of CCS?

NW: I actually don’t exist outside of the Advising Office! Without the collective imagination and willpower of the entire CCS student body, I fizzle away like an imaginary friend lost to the throes of growing up. I’m just kidding - I peruse comic book shops, act out the character of “Loud Soda Slurper” in the front rows of movie theaters, play video games in my pajamas, and overall just have fun until the heat-death of the universe. 


The College’s staff members are excited to connect with you in-person or online.