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Congratulations to our 2020 Graduates

  • Brycen Barron- Borden

    Brycen Barron- Borden

    Greetings! I ended up at UCSD after falling in love with campus during the Black Student Union’s Overnight Program. Being a first-generation college student who had interests but no real career passion, the community I felt during Overnight, and subsequently at OASIS’ Summer Bridge, helped me transition into college life. I found myself switching between majors because I didn’t love them and tutoring my friends in class and so I decided to check out tutoring in a more formal way and was introduced to the EDS department – and I didn’t look back. Each class more fun and engaging than the last, I found myself taking whatever EDS course I could fit in my schedule even though it didn’t fit into my major at the time. There was just something special about the faculty, the staff, and the students I would get to interact with through PAL courses that I didn’t get elsewhere on campus. By the time the EDS major was announced, I luckily had already completed the vast majority of requirements and decided to just finish them!

    To this day, my favorite memory from PAL and service learning comes from when I was assisting in one of Preuss’ remediating math classes. It was here that I was really able to internalize how important it is to actually know and listen to students. Seeing firsthand how relating course topics back to individual student interests was so much more effective in getting participation and engagement from them compared to simply giving them work set the foundation for how I view learning as a whole today. In the years that followed I worked with many more batches of wonderful students but that is one of the lessons I always carry with me: that students are more than just a body in a classroom.

    My next step will be starting a Taught Masters in International Education at the University of Leicester in England this fall. Until then, I will be working with OASIS and helping out with conducting research through EDS.For those coming after me, I implore you to take your classes with both an open mind and an open heart. Education is a field where people are constantly debating practically every theory, so unlike a field like Mathematics, you will need to ultimately make decisions on how you will proceed yourself. Revel in the intellectual freedom it brings, don’t be afraid of it. The wonderful faculty and staff at EDS are there to help you if any problems arise or if you ever feel overwhelmed. And finally, don’t forget to have fun along the way.

  • Dana Chung

    Dana Chung

    I am fortunate to be one of UCSD’s first EDS major graduates! Originally from Los Angeles, I began my college career at UCSD in 2016 at Thurgood Marshall College. I initially was a Cognitive Science major and picked up an EDS minor in my third year out of interest in the field of Education. Through the classes I took, I learned much about how students learn, successful teaching methods and policies, and the inequities that exist in the American school system. One thing that stood out to me about EDS classes was the thoughtfulness of the diverse teaching faculty in the department. In every single EDS class I could tell that professors were kind and understanding of their students, as well as highly knowledgeable and articulate about the course topics. I was immediately drawn into learning more about Education. During this past fall quarter I found out it was possible to double major and graduate in four years, so I decided to take the extra classes and pursue both majors. This last year was my most challenging one yet, but the classes I took, the people I met and the memories I made truly made it worth it. 

    Through the PAL program, I was able to mentor and tutor students in 3rd-7th grade. Being able to learn about something is entirely different when you experience it first hand. While I have volunteered and worked with K-12 students in the past, I was now able to do so through a new lense, one that was informed by knowledge about Education and teaching methods. During my time at my host school, I was able to help certain individual students and witness them grow not only academically, but also in confidence.

    After graduation, I plan to look into how to apply the design aspect of Cognitive Science to our Education system. Through the intersection of the knowledge I’ve gained from both majors, I hope to play a role in improving how students learn. Eventually, I would like to attend graduate school to further pursue my career in Education. To future EDS students, good luck! I’ve genuinely enjoyed every EDS class I’ve taken, and all the professors are wonderful! I am certain you will have a wonderful experience in the EDS program.

  • Jacqueline Guzman

    Jacqueline Guzman

    Hello everyone! My name is Jacqueline Guzman and I am graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science in Developmental Psychology and a Bachelor’s of Science in Education Sciences. As a first-generation college student, my journey through UCSD started off pretty rough. I didn’t know my way around college life and I didn’t have someone to look up to to ask for questions. However, by taking advantage of different opportunities that arose and meeting many wonderful people who helped me find my way around, I was able to feel empowered in managing my education. It was the various experiences throughout my four years that helped me find my way into learning more about my own self and finding out what was best for me. Through learning what my true passions were, I found my passion for Education I became an Education Sciences major because I wanted to learn more about the educational role in the development of children and the importance of support in an academic setting. Being an Education Sciences major helped me learn more about the resources to pursue becoming a School Psychologist in the near future. 

    Now that I am graduating, I would like to pass along some words of encouragement for future EDS majors: Education is just as important as any other major out there. If it wasn’t for our parents/guardians being our first teachers, we wouldn’t have learned to do the things we do today or be who weare today. Teaching is an important aspect in many careers. For example, therapists teach others how to manage their mental health, doctors teach patients how to keep track of their physical health, and even computer science engineers teach computers how to act! So, if you are ever discouraged about your Education major, always remember how Education impacts us all in the real world. If you hope to be an educator yourself, think about your personal experiences of how you were taught and find ways to revolutionize future education systems and eliminate education barriers that currently exist. Future EDS students, I hope this helps you feel more confident and best of luck in the completion of your major!

  • Cathy Huynh

    Cathy Huynh

    I am proud to be a first generation college student! I came into UCSD knowing that I wanted to pursue a career as a teacher. During my first year of college, I was trying to figure out whether I wanted to teach elementary or high school. I decided to take EDS 130 during spring quarter of my freshman year and this was when I realized that I wanted to become an elementary school teacher. I was placed at Florence Elementary and mentored two fifth-graders. This was where my first classroom experience started. My mentoring experience wasn’t only about supporting my mentees academically, but also building a positive bond with them just like if they were your siblings. We laughed over movies and even shared lunches together. I enjoyed my mentoring experience at Florence so much that I decided to be a PAL tutor. Some of the things I learned were classroom management, how to communicate with students, and even how to approach their needs.

    I’m so thankful that EDS gave me the opportunity to work with my host teacher and her students in the last three years of my undergrad. My host teacher at Florence has been a support system for me in helping me navigate my career and build confidence in my teaching. Thank you Mrs. Miller! I also want to thank Professor Caren Holtzman for guiding me through my EDS journey as well. Thank you so much for supporting me when I was going through tough times. I also had the chance to participate in Art Produce project “Mapping Home: Land/Water/Place”, where I got to interview refugees from the Karen Organization. This experience was phenomenal and I highly recommend incoming EDS majors to take “Newcomers in San Diego”. You will learn so much about the community and others cultural stories. During my last two quarter of undergrad, I was a classroom teaching assistant at Baker Elementary in a third grade class. This experience was so meaningful to me. I learned so much about “Morning Meetings” and how to create an inclusive community in the classroom. Thank you Mrs. Han, Mrs. Stephenson, and Ms. Angela! 

    My plans after graduation is to take a gap year to become a substitute teacher in San Diego or continue working at a Before/After School program. I am planning on applying for the Master’s program at UCSD and hopefully attend in Fall 2021! To incoming EDS majors, take as many field practicum courses as you can and get the experience in the classroom. Build positive relationships with your host teacher. Don’t let anyone doubt your career choice as a teacher because in the end, you will make a huge impact on so many students! Take care of your well-being too and always have some time for yourself!

  • Minju Kim

    Minju Kim

    To be honest, I didn’t think I would be able to make it this far. Facing college, I realized that I barely knew myself—let alone what I wanted to do in life. In fact, I dare say that many of us can relate and nod in agreement. But for one thing, I always knew that I wanted to be a positive influence to my community. And that is one reason why I came to join EDS, where I was able to dedicate 100+ hours at school as a mentor/CTA. As a student of minority, I know what it’s like to wrestle with self-concept and identity development, addressing questions like “Who am I?” and “What will I become?” in terms of religion, politics, gender, occupations, etc. As someone who frequently transitioned from one school to another, I know what it’s like to struggle academically and socially. Although it’s impossible for me to reach every student who is going through these dilemmas, I’ve been able to get a glimpse of fellowship, encouragement, and growth throughout my time at EDS. My future is still uncertain, but I will continue to move forward and do my best with what I can do at the moment and I hope you all do too with the best of luck!
  • Alyssa Sanchez

    Alyssa Sanchez

    I am a first generation college student from Anaheim, California. I originally came to UCSD with a major in International Business. However, my whole path changed when I enrolled in EDS 130/139 the spring quarter of my freshman year to complete a general education requirement. Before the major was released, I was pursuing the minor. After I had completed the minor, I was simply taking more education studies courses because I enjoyed them so much. Now, I have completed a double major degree with a Bachelor of Arts in International Business and a Bachelor of Science in Education Sciences. 

    My host school was an elementary school in National City. This was a considerable distance for a freshman without a car. After visiting my site for the first time, I knew I did not want to opt out for a closer one. I fell in love with all of the students and staff at my site. It felt like home. One of my favorite memories is when I got the opportunity to share my college journey with my 5th grade host class. In elementary school, college seemed so distant for me. My school did not have college mentors to give us an idea of what college is. I took it upon myself to be what I needed when I was a young student. In the presentation, I briefly shared all of my educational phases starting with a picture of my humble beginnings as a 5th grader. Throughout the presentation, I answered some questions and comments students had. I was glad to see that I was able to use my position as a PAL mentor/tutor to promote conversations centered on higher education. Aside from that, some of the best memories I had with the students were shared at the lunch benches and on the playground. During these times the students shared their music, jokes, and stories with me. 

    Before interacting with the department, I thought that EDS was for people who want to be teachers. Although I tremendously value the teaching profession, the Education Studies department taught me that there are plenty of different careers in education that I could pursue. Considering that problems in schools are systemic, I would like to explore the policy arena of education. One day, I would like to contribute to the fiscal policies that impact public schools in California. I am deeply grateful for the Education Studies Department. The EDS department helped me to thrive as an undergraduate. I have had the opportunity to interact with some of the most talented scholars in the education field on a personal and professional level. With this in mind, I would encourage all EDS majors to meet with the faculty and pick at their magnificent brains! Tell them about your ideas and they will try their best to help you bring them into fruition. The faculty here truly cares about the success and well-being of their students.

  • Marco-Landon Siu

    Marco-Landon Siu

    Hello everyone, my name is Marco-Landon and I am a proud first-generation college student. I am graduating with a double major in Ethnic Studies and Education Sciences with a minor in History. My journey to UCSD has been difficult, but worthwhile because my degree has readily equipped me to support high school students like myself. I put the theories in action through the major's service-learning program where I volunteered at schools that emulated my personal experience. In these service-learning programs, I met one of the most incredible history teachers and had the privilege to tutor and support so many dynamic students. It was this practical side of Education Sciences that made me declare a double major with the department. It was the amount of support, caring faculty, and empowering courses combined with actually putting it all into practice that made me fall in love with Education further.

    After graduation, I am happy to say that I am going to attend UCLA for a Masters in Education with a Single Subject Social Sciences credential. In the future, I plan to become a teacher in predominantly schools where Black students and students of color are. Coming from a background where many of my peers were unable to complete high school, I intend to close that gap through effective teaching styles that actually cater to our non-White students. A word of encouragement for future EDS majors: Thank you for what you do. Thank you for choosing this path. Thank you for caring about young students because, in turn, it means you care about the world. It means you care about our queer students, Indigenous students, Black students, Latinx students, female students- you care about the students who are oftentimes marginalized within a system that claims to care about them. At least now, I am confident that you will be an educator that truly cares for these students.

  • Marcella Torres-Sanchez

    Marcella Torres-Sanchez

    Marcella Torres-Sánchez hails from Tijuana, México, throughout her education she received a certification in Contemporary Dance and Scenic Production by Lux Boreal Dance Company, as well as her Associate in Visual and Performing Arts at San Diego City College. She is double majoring with her B.A in Dance and her B.S. in Education Sciences, where she was awarded the Chancellor's Associate Scholarship and the Patricia Rincon Diversity Award. As being part of the service-learning program, a rewarding experience she will always remember as a mentor was the satisfaction of helping Emergent Bilingual Students minorities in their academics as well as finding resources for their success. 

    After graduating, she plans to search for a career in Educational Policy and her Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies. Dear incoming EDS majors, as educators, we are the hope, force, and voice for our future generations. Do not be afraid of what the future holds; be afraid of what the future may look like if we do not make an educational, political, and social change, it depends on us.