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About Us

UC Merced Extension - panoramic shot of campus featuring the Beginnings sculpture.


UC Merced Extension is committed to offering access to quality academic, professional and personal enrichment opportunities in a variety of delivery methods to meet the needs of continuing students, professionals and modern learners. UC Merced Extension strives to make research and discovery real and applicable in the daily lives of people in the community and region.  

What is Extension?

Extension currently offers access to regular academic courses, noncredit, professional development courses and personal enrichment courses in a variety of formats including face to face, hybrid and fully online. 

Extension Support Team

Jill Orcutt

Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management

Dean of University Extension

Jill Orcutt oversees the Offices of Admissions, Registrar, Financial Aid, Students First Center, Summer Session, and Extension. She earned both her bachelor's degree in Administrative Management and Master's of Arts degree in Higher Education from Central Washington University.  Orcutt has worked in higher education for more than 30 years in a variety of roles.  Her professional experience includes serving as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management and Director of Admissions at the University of Washington Bothell as well as roles in the Offices of the President, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Internal Auditor, Admissions, Financial Aid, and academic departments at Central Washington University.  Orcutt is a technology consultant for the American Association of Collegiate Registrar and Admission Officers (AACRAO).  She is excited to build increased educational opportunities for the San Joaquin Valley through University Extension. | 209-228-4785

Tammy Johnson headshot

Tammy Johnson

Director of University Extension

Director of Summer Session 

Tammy Johnson was born and raised in Merced, and graduated from Merced High School, Merced College and the University of California, Santa Barbara.  After earning a bachelor's degree in history, she lived in Cairo, Egypt before beginning graduate school at UCLA.  Johnson worked for several years as a program manager at UCLA before joining the staff of the School of Natural Sciences at UC Merced in June 2005.  She transitioned to her position with Summer Session in the Division of Student Affairs in 2012 and to University Extension in 2015.  Having been a part of UC Merced since before the campus opened, Johnson is humbled to have seen and contributed to the progress that’s been made by the faculty, students and staff, who have worked so hard to make UC Merced what it is today.  She has enjoyed building Summer Session and now is committed to building educational opportunities through University Extension for the San Joaquin Valley that engage the public in scholarship and creativity and lead to career advancement. 


Marianna Harris, Ed.D.

Director of Education Programs, University Extension | 916-267-8283



Marissa Luna Lopez, MA

Associate Director, Teacher Preparation, University Extension | 209-386-3054


Steve Shackelton headshot headshot

Steve Shackelton

Academic Coordinator, University Extension 

Mr. Shackelton currently works on a split appointment at UC Merced, with half of his time on the development team for UC Merced’s Gallo School of Management and the other half in the Chancellor’s Office developing UC Sierra. He served as the Executive Director of the Sierra Nevada Research Institute and founding Director of the Merced Vernal Pools Grassland Reserve.

As an Associate Director of the National Park Service, he managed programs that included: fire management, wildlife protection, law enforcement, search and rescue, emergency medicine, aviation, wilderness, public health, safety, risk management, and critical infrastructure security.

Before Washington, he was the chief ranger in Yosemite National Park, superintendent of Pinnacles National Monument; legislative affairs in Washington, D.C., nine years in Alaska, and five years in Hawaii.  He began his park service career at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming as a park ranger and as a firefighter on the Sierra National Forest.

Mr. Shackelton has BS and MS degrees in Criminology from California State University and a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Alaska.  In 1990 he completed the FBI National Academy executive management program and served as a Congressional Fellow from 1997 through 1999.  He completed OPM’s Federal Senior Executive Candidate Development Program, including a detail assignment to the University of California and seminar experiences at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Executive Development Program.



Veronica Kemp headshot

Veronica Kemp

ILTI and Student Services Coordinator, University Extension 

Amy Lozano-Smith headshot

Amy K. Lozano-Smith

Director of Marketing & Communications for Enrollment Management

Amy brings more than 28 cumulative years of experience in marketing, advertising and design specifically around higher education, professional development and continuing education. Before joining UC Merced, she served as Vice President of inFocus Advertising and Marketing Director for Learning Tree University and Extension in Southern California. Amy received her bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design with an option in Graphic Arts from California State University, Fresno and returned to her native Mercedian roots in 2011. She joined UC Merced in 2012 as the Web Communications Manager where her team supported all campus websites, and development hosted on the Drupal platform. In early 2018 she joined UC Merced Extension and Summer Session as Creative Director, returning to her passion for marketing and creative for higher ed.

"It’s inspiring to work with an incredible team who works cohesively in creating and providing quality professional and continuing education opportunities to our community and region."



UC Merced is accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

Extension Assessment

Extension Assessment Cycle

Extension Governance and Organizational Chart

The Curriculum Advisory Board provides oversight of all academic Education Programs (see UC Merced Extension Organizational Chart below).

UC Merced Extension Organizational Chart

UC Merced Student Affairs Organizational Chart

UC Merced Senior Leadership and Office of the Chancellor Organizational Chart

Nondiscrimination Statement 

The University of California, in accordance with applicable federal and state laws and University policy, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, medical condition (cancer-related), ancestry, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation or status as a Vietnam-era veteran or special disabled veteran. The University also prohibits sexual harassment. This nondiscrimination policy covers admission, access and treatment in University programs and activities.

Inquiries regarding the University’s student-related nondiscrimination policies may be directed to Student Conduct staff in the Office of Student Life. 

Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action

UC Merced is committed to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action and compliance with all laws and regulations pertaining to both.

Our policy is to provide employment, training, compensation and other conditions or opportunities associated with employment without regard to race, color, religion, marital status, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, medical condition (cancer-related or genetic characteristics), pregnancy, age (over 40), genetic information (including family medical history), disability status, veteran status or any other basis protected by law.

UC Merced hires, assigns work, promotes, compensates and retains employees only on the basis of their qualifications, performance, and our business needs.