B.A. in English, 2006; Undergraduate Counselor
School of Education
March 1, 2009
DoE’s Undergraduate Counselor Works to Extend Opportunities to Others
I am a compilation of my family, my culture, and the series of life experiences that I have encountered thus far. I am particularly proud to say that I am a product of the Santa Ana Unified School District. After graduating from Santa Ana Valley High School, I attended Santa Ana College; but not long after, I decided to join the work force full time and start a family. Little did I know that six years later I would l return to Santa Ana College to finish what I had started fresh out of high school.
I initiated my work life in accounting for a charming company in Santa Ana. My education-focused work experience, however, began at Chapman University when I was employed as the Executive Assistant for the Dean and Associate Dean of the Thurmond Clarke Library. A major part of my job responsibilities included event planning, and I had the distinct honor of coordinating visits for luminaries such as Margaret Thatcher and President Ford. I also had the opportunity to assist in the Chapman University fundraising campaign for the current Leatherby Libraries.
My experiences at Chapman University with fundraising and event planning awakened an interest in me that I did not know existed, and I found it personally rewarding to see successful conclusions to my work efforts. Before long, I realized that the single most important aspect of my work at Chapman was that the mission and vision of the university, to help students, was in everything I did. It was my understanding of that mission that led me back to Santa Ana College. I knew that if I wanted to be in the front line of helping students, I had to return to college and complete my degree. With the support of my wonderful husband and my family I completed my Associate of Arts degree and transferred to the University of California, Irvine, where I obtained my BA in English.
While I took classes at UC Irvine, I initiated my journey with the Department of Education as the Credential Program Assistant, where I was able to build upon my event planning skills and also had the opportunity to work closely with program directors and coordinators in the Credential Program. Once I obtained my BA degree, I remained in the Department and assumed the position of Communications and External Relations Coordinator. In communications, I worked closely with faculty and staff to promote the Department. After two years, I was given another wonderful opportunity and the chance to fulfill my original goal of working closely with students: I became the Undergraduate Academic Counselor in the Department’s Student Affairs Office.
As the Undergraduate Counselor for the Department of Education, I feel a sense of responsibility to address student needs to help them achieve their educational goals. Each day brings new students to my office, and I thoroughly enjoy helping them negotiate coursework and identify opportunities.
There are three joy factors that motivate me to work with students. First are my children. Not only do they help me question the world around me but also they inspire me to always react in a positive manner. Second is my exciting experience as a University of California, Irvine student. I would like the students I counsel to receive the same level of patience and expertise that my academic counselors offered me when I was an undergraduate. And my third joy is the fulfillment that I receive while helping others negotiate the pathway to success that the Department of Education offers to future teachers and educational researchers.