UCLA Title IX/ Sexual Harassment Office

Team Lead

Mohammed Cato

Sexual Harassment Prevention Officer and Title IX Coordinator
Email: mcato@equity.ucla.edu
Phone: (310) 206-3417

Raised in southern California, Mr. Cato received his bachelor’s degree from U.C. Irvine before obtaining a J.D. and Master’s in Urban Planning here at UCLA. From 2014-2017, Mr. Cato served as the Assistant Director of the Equal Opportunity Office and Deputy Title IX Coordinator at Western Washington University. Prior to this post, Mr. Cato spent multiple years working directly with students in Western Washington University’s Department of Residence Life.

Team Members

Anne Busacca-Ryan

Associate Investigator
Email: abusaccaryan@conet.ucla.edu
Phone: (310) 206-5039

Ms. Busacca-Ryan joined the Title IX Office in 2017 as a Legal Fellow. Prior to joining the Title IX team, Ms. Busacca-Ryan served as an intern with the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C. along with multiple civil rights and legal service organizations. Ms. Busacca-Ryan also taught high school history and held multiple school leadership positions in the Los Angeles and Berkeley Unified School Districts. Ms. Busacca-Ryan earned her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Occidental College, her Master of Education from UCLA, and her Juris Doctorate from UCLA School of Law. While attending law school, Ms. Busacca-Ryan served as a Teaching Assistant for the Youth and Justice Clinic, Co-Chaired the Education and the Law Society, and was a Staff Member of the Women’s Law Journal.

 

 

 

 

 


Dennis DePalma

Special Assistant
Email: ddepalma@conet.ucla.edu

Phone: (310) 825-0974

Mr. DePalma joined the Title IX Office in 2017 as a Special Assistant. Prior to joining the Title IX Office, Mr. DePalma spent seventeen years as an employment law specialist at a variety of firms, including the firms of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and Ogletree Deakins LLP. As an employment litigator, he conducted investigations into discrimination and harassment matters, trained supervisors and other personnel about anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws and policies, developed anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies and practices, and mediated and resolved discrimination and harassment disputes, in addition to other matters.  Mr. DePalma earned bachelor’s degrees in English and Political Science from Bradley University and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Southern California.

Sonia Shakoori

Investigator
Emailsshakoori@conet.ucla.edu
Phone: (310) 825-1433

Ms. Shakoori returned to UCLA in 2017 to join the Title IX Office. Before joining the Title IX team, Ms. Shakoori was an associate at a civil litigation firm in Santa Monica. Ms. Shakoori also served as a pro bono attorney with Public Counsel’s Consumer Law Project and a volunteer attorney with the Domestic Violence Clinic at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse. Ms. Shakoori earned her bachelor’s degree with honors in Sociology and English from UCLA and her J.D. from Loyola Law School, where she served as a research editor of the International and Comparative Law Review. While attending law school, Ms. Shakoori also externed for the Honorable R. Gary Klausner of the United States District Court.

Cathy Bell

Administrative Analyst
Email: cbell@conet.ucla.edu
Phone: (310) 206-3476

Ms. Bell came to UCLA in 1998 working in the Division of Geriatrics. In 2000 she started working in the Title IX/Sexual Harassment Prevention Office. Cathy is the first contact person for the university community and outside entities doing business with the Title IX office. She manages highly sensitive, confidential information, directs calls and requests to the appropriate Title IX staff members, manages the Title IX Coordinator's calendar, researches data and coordinates responses with the Title IX Coordinator, Complaint Resolution Officer and Response Team Coordinator. 

 


Jessica Corona

Associate Response Team Coordinator
Email: jcorona@conet.ucla.edu
Phone: (310) 903-8060

Ms. Corona is the Title IX Office's Associate Response Team Coordinator. Ms. Corona graduated from the University of California, Irvine (UCI) where she majored in Sociology and double minored in English and Business Management. Upon graduation, Ms. Corona interned with the Legal Aid Society of Orange County's Fund Development department, and shortly thereafter, attended and graduated from Notre Dame Law School, receiving her JD. Upon graduation, Ms. Corona had a fellowship with the California Charter School Association, researching education law matters and the growing demographic of charter schools and their role in education. Ms. Corona has worked with different nonprofits throughout Southern California, always aspiring to find a way to make a difference and contribute to those in need. In her last role as the Program Assistant with Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), Ms. Corona managed data, conducted client intakes, ran the intern program, assisted with office management, and served as the first contact for families looking for immigration assistance.

 

 

Anel Herrera

Special Assistant
Emailaherrera@conet.ucla.edu
Phone: (310) 825-0974

Ms. Herrera is a Special Assistant in the Title IX Office. Her core projects include analyzing sexual violence and sexual harassment trends across campus to formulate preventive projects, co-facilitating the Case Management Team that collaborates on responses to reports of student sexual misconduct, and support for lactating and pregnant members of the UCLA community.  Anel graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor’s in Sociology and holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources from Keller Graduate School of Management. Most recently Anel served as the Response Team Coordinator in the Title IX Office, where she successfully led efforts to streamline the office’s data management system.  Ms. Herrera has worked in the fields of education, human resources, information technology, and research. As a Bruin, Anel continually strives to live by the True Bruin core values of Integrity, Excellence, Accountability, Respect and Service.