Gain Experience in Education and Human Services: Student Spotlights

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Each and every one of you have unique and common interests, backgrounds and experiences that lead you to develop an interest in the helping professions – whether it is working directly with individuals with specific needs, educating the next generation, or addressing a major societal issue – YOU seek to make a difference.

You may have noticed that there are many ways to get involved on-campus but perhaps you’re not sure what those experiences are about or how those experiences can help you build skills and qualifications for your next internship, job, or graduate school.

I believe in the power of peer learning so I am honored to introduce you to our 6 student panelists and moderator who will talk to you about how to make the most of your UCSB journey and to tell you about how their experiences are helping them get to where they want to go next.

Join us at the upcoming Gain Experience in Education & Human Services: Student Panel on Thursday, January 17th, 5-6:15pm in Career Services Building, Room 1109. 

Meet our Panelists

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Alan Soto was born in Mexico City and raised in East Los Angeles (Lincoln Heights/Boyle Heights/Echo Park) since he was 6 years old. He was involved in multiple things, such as soccer, baseball, boxing, and track and field in his childhood and high school years. During his community college (C.C.) years he was part of the Associate Student Union, John Delloro, Puente, American Federation of Teachers Local 1521, and other organizations. He has a strong passion that drives him to advocate for the working class and the immigrant communities. In addition, Soto transferred from East Los Angeles College in 2017 with a Political Science major and two Associate degrees. Last quarter he enrolled into two minors, Applied Psychology and Education. Therefore, Soto is aiming to become the best community college counselor after completing law school or obtaining a master in higher education counseling. He also has a strong interest in helping improve the criminal justice system and those communities impacted by it. These passions have led him to also see a future career in legislation and start a non-profit organization to empower disadvantaged communities.

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Aynsley Lemon has been involved as an intern in departments on campus including Health & Wellness, Orientation Programs, and Undergraduate Peer Mentors. In each program she has guided new students in navigating and making the most out of their college experience surrounding academics, social wellbeing, and mental health. In her position as Advocate Coordinator, Aynsley leads workshops and weekly meetings for students interested in improving life skills in areas such as positive psychology, body image, alcohol and drugs, and healthy relationships. As an Orientation Staff Leader, Aynsley has helped connect students to beneficial resources and volunteer opportunities on campus. She also participates as an undergraduate researcher within the Gevirtz Graduate Education Department. She works in the Curie-osity Project which inspires young girls to pursue science through facilitating activities and interviewing UCSB professors. She aspires to continue spreading positive life skills, gratitude, and self-awareness for students in the field of student affairs. Aside from academics, Aynsley enjoys mindfulness and our beautiful sunsets! She looks forward to expanding your knowledge on opportunities at UCSB. 

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Cheryl Hsiao is a 4th year, majoring in sociology, double minoring in education and linguistics with an emphasis in speech language sciences and disorders. Right now, she is working as a tutor for first to eighth graders at the McEnroe Reading Clinic. She is the head course grader for Professor John Baldwin and a research assistant for Professor Ingham in the Speech and Hearing Sciences department. She helps him analyze pauses in stuttering speech. She also volunteered at Adams Elementary school through Partners in Education. She previously worked at the Children Center on campus for a year and a half, and worked for Ucen Dining at the unit Root 217 as a supervisor for a year. She is part of Alpha Phi Omega, the co-ed service fraternity on campus, and had held a few leadership positions in the fraternity such as historian and serving as a “big bro.” She aspires to become a speech pathologist and is currently applying to graduate school.

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Kate McKee is a second year double majoring in English & Philosophy. She is currently a Mental Health Peer at CAPS, Research Assistant on STELLER Project at Gevirtz Graduate Education School, Reading Tutor at McEnroe Reading & Language Arts Clinic, participated in Sprout Up. Her off-campus experience includes being an AmeriCorps Member with City Year Los Angeles, Program Tutor for The Petey Green Program, and Girl Scouts Troop Leader & Camp Counselor. She hopes to work for Teach For America following college and then eventually transition to work in the Education Policy field, specifically looking at ways to support underserved students and schools.

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Kevin Braza is a third-year undergraduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He is one of the peer mentors at the ONDAS Student Center (OSC). The ONDAS Student Center at UCSB promotes the success and retention of first-generation college students with an emphasis on the first year transition and underrepresented student experience. We provide mentoring and academic support in a learning-centered space for students to connect with faculty, staff, and peers in order to grow personally and excel academically. Outside of ONDAS, he is also a general chemistry tutor on campus with Campus Learning Assistance Services (CLAS).  He is also one of the lead team members of SciTrek, an outreach program that partners with local elementary and middle schools to help students experience the scientific process first hand. Kevin is currently exploring his career options post-college. Right now with SciTrek, he is developing a biochemistry exploration lesson for high school biology students and hopes to continue to be involved in science education after he graduates be it in K-12 or at the college level.

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Monica Mendieta is a 5th year transfer student majoring in Sociology & Chicanx Studies. She is currently the Lead Student Mentor for the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and a Peer Educator at the Transfer Student Center (TSC). She has had a multitude of experiences at UCSB including: Promise Scholar, Creator and Facilitator of the first UCSB Promise Scholar Transfer Student Orientation Program, UCSB School Kids Investigating Language in Life and Society (SKILLS) Program, Peer Advisor on Food Security through the UCSB Sustainability program, and Research Assistant for “Tri-Lingual Community-Based Early Literacy and Pre-School Education for Indigenous Children in California.” She aspires to become an Academic advisor or Academic Counselor in higher education in an equity based program.

Chellsy (Moderator)

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Chellsy Atilano is a 4th year Sociology Major with a Minor in Education. She is currently a Career Peer with UCSB’s Career Services. She is also a Peer Advisor with Hermas Unidas, a Promise Scholar, and a NUFP Fellow. She wants to become a counselor dedicated to working with first-generation, underrepresented students. She is excited to moderate the student panel!

RSVP HERE to let us know you’re coming. We hope to see you there!

Written and edited by Carol Huang, Career Counselor/Coordinator (Note: Bios were contributed by each student.)

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Carol Huang is a Career Counselor and works with students interested in the fields of Education & Human Services. She obtained my master’s degree in Student Affairs Administration from Michigan State University and bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology from…UC Santa Barbara! She loved UCSB so much that she came back to support our Gaucho family.