UCLA Title IX/ Sexual Harassment Office

All Reports, Inquiries and Questions should be directed to:

The Title IX Office either by email at titleix@conet.ucla.edu, by phone at (310) 206-3417, or in person at our office -2255 Murphy Hall. 

Team Lead

Mohammed Cato

Sexual Harassment Prevention Officer and Title IX Director
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

Candi Smiley 

Deputy Title IX Director 
Email: csmiley@equity.ucla.edu
Phone: (310) 206-9595

Bio to come 

 

 

Special Assistant
Email
Phone

 


Dennis DePalma

Investigator
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.

Agustin Corral

Investigator
Email: acorral@equity.ucla.edu
Phone: (310) 206-3417

Mr. Corral joined the Title IX Office in 2019 with extensive labor relations and investigatory experience. Most recently, while employed with the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE), Mr. Corral led efforts to revamp LACOE’s Title IX practices, rewriting LACOE’s Title IX and Sexual Harassment policies, training LACOE school administrators on conducting prompt and equitable Title IX investigations, and providing Title IX technical assistance to county districts. Mr. Corral previously worked as a Labor Relations Advocate for a public sector union, in homelessness prevention programs at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, and in a litigation project for higher education access at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, where he investigated K-12 pipeline inequities and supported litigation aimed at removing boundaries to higher education for low-income and minority students. Mr. Corral graduated from the California State University, Long Beach, with a degree in English Literature.


 

 

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 Director's calendar, researches data and coordinates responses with the Title IX Director, Complaint Resolution Officer and Response Team Coordinator. 

 


Jessica Corona

Response Team Coordinator
Email: jcorona@conet.ucla.edu
Phone: (310) 206-5925

Ms. Corona is the Title IX Office's 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.

 

 

Aaron Lopez

Associate Response Team Coordinator 
Email: alopez@equity.ucla.edu
Phone: (310) 206-5039

Mr. Lopez is the Associate Response Team Coordinator for UCLA’s Title IX office. In his role, he’s the lead educator for the office, coordinates training compliance, and also supports with case management. Before joining the Title IX team, Mr. Lopez was a Fulbright scholar, working as an educator in rural Mexico. He was also part of the Teach for America program in Philadelphia where he taught in secondary public schools. A former Gates Millennium Scholar, Mr. Lopez graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA and an M.S.Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to his work in education, Mr. Lopez has worked in legal offices as a researcher and community advocate. Mr. Lopez is driven to make UCLA a safe and equitable campus so that Bruins continue to thrive. 

 


Sharon Dvoretzky

Investigator
Email: sdvoretzky@equity.ucla.edu
Phone: (310) 206-3417

Ms. Dvoretzky joined the Title IX Office in 2017 with extensive experience in litigation and investigation. With a background in foreign intelligence, her career encompasses criminal prosecution and defense, civil litigation, alternative dispute resolution, and investigations. Ms. Dvoretzky graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Houston with an undergraduate degree in psychology, and earned a JD from University of Houston Law. She is a licensed attorney, licensed private investigator, and certified mediator. Prior to joining UCLA, she was a partner in a law firm and owner of a private investigations firm. In the course of her work, she has consulted upon and conducted a multitude of investigations covering an array of subject matter, including criminal cases, complex insurance fraud and white-collar crimes, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and a host of business, family, and interpersonal concerns. In recent years her work has focused almost exclusively on investigations.

 

 

Media Inquiries should be directed to: 

Ricardo Vazquez, Associate Director of Media Relations  

Strategic Communications/ Media Relations  
Email: rvazquez@stratcomm.ucla.edu
Phone: (310) 206-3986