Senior Spotlight May 2012
Describe your personality in three words:
Compassionate. Assertive. Honest.
What is your best quality? Give an experience when you have put this quality to use.
It’s hard to put into words, but I guess you could call it tenacity. If there is something that needs to happen, I make it happen. If there’s something I want, I figure out a way. This has always served me well in my work life (for example, the time that I was asked if I thought that I could write a patent, so I researched it and did it. Or rewired a home theater system. Or learned human resource law, or graphic design, or html code. Etc.) It has also served me really well in pursuing my education, especially as a transfer student.
What are your interests?
I really enjoy going on adventures with my dog, and reading books not related to school. I bake and make jewelry, I am a former aspiring professional snowboarder, and am obsessed with both classic cars and outrageous high heels.
What do you like about UCLA?
I love the gorgeous campus, the incredible faculty that I have studied with, and all of the amazing people that I have met (with a special shout out to my incredible family in UCLA Sex Squad). So, pretty much everything?
What is one thing you would like to change at UCLA?
I wish that there were more integration of commuter, transfer, and reentry students into campus life. I had to be very proactive about finding my own way into organizations and activities on campus, and really seek out and build my own community. It can be daunting to come to a school so large as a transfer, living off campus, and it would be great if there were more resources devoted to building a community for such students, as well.
What has been your biggest learning experience?
Coming back to school after working for several years, it was interesting for me to relearn how to study again. I have used my brain in ways that I forgot it was capable of!
Name two movies you could watch over and over again? Why?
Cry Baby. It’s hard to beat John Waters’ rockabilly musical: young Johnny Depp, classic cars, outrageous costumes…
Live Free or Die Hard. I can’t really explain it…you just killed a helicopter with a car.
What is your favorite book and why?
I have a longstanding literary love affair with anything and everything by Joyce Carol Oates. But to pick just one? I don’t think I can. There’s something about her writing style that draws me in, and keeps me in the story until the bitter end.
If you could meet anyone in history who would it be and why?
My maternal grandparents. I never had the chance to meet them, but my mother is an amazing woman, and I would love to know more of the family that she came from.
If you could go anywhere in the world for a day where would you go and why?
My favorite city in the world is Paris. I could happily spend a day just walking there…a quick visit to the Picasso museum, a fresh croissant, reading a book in a garden…
What career would you like to pursue after graduation? Why?
I have just accepted an offer of admission to UC Hastings law school, where I will focus on public interest law. After I earn my JD, I hope to work in gender and reproductive rights policy.
What characteristics does it take to become a great leader?
Charisma. Honestly, a person can have great ideas and strong skills, but if they cannot earn the respect and admiration of others, they will lead no one but themselves.
Name one person you admire? Why?
I have great admiration for my best friend, Kelly, who currently works as an oncology R.N. in New York. I have known her since junior high, and she consistently surprises and impresses me with her strength and compassion. She worked her way through community college and nursing school on her own, and graduated at the top of her class. She knows what she wants to achieve, and is never afraid to strive for it (or if she is afraid, she does it anyway). Against all odds, she has shaped an incredibly successful life for herself. She is intelligent, hardworking, hilarious, and deeply caring. If there is one person who has set the bar for what I hope to accomplish, it is Kelly.
Who has been your most influential professor and why?
Again, how can I pick just one?? At UCLA, Professor Mark Jepson in the Sociology department has inspired me to always question the status quo, and was always available for deep debates. Bobby Gordon & Dr. David Gere in World Arts & Cultures have shown me the power of art to change lives, as well as reminded me that I hold that power myself. Dr. Hannah Landecker and Professor Sandra Harding helped me define the work that I wish to do, with reproductive rights and women’s technologies. Credit for most influential, though, has to go to Jackie Logg and Teresa Macedo, in the Sociology department at Cabrillo College in Aptos, CA. They are the two who really pushed my to be the best student I could be, who introduced me to sociology and gender studies, and really did inspire me not only to strive for the best academically, but to believe that I could achieve it.
Which is the one television character that you simply adore?
Detective Stabler. Law & Order SVU is not the same without him.
What are the three most played songs on your iPod?
If I had to guess,
You & I, Lady Gaga
White Blank Page, Mumford & Sons
If given a choice, which animal would you want to be and why?
A cormorant. Being able to both swim and fly would be amazing!
Have you traveled outside of the United States? If so, where?
I have had the good fortune to travel through France, Greece, England, Mexico, and Australia.
What is the funniest prank played by you or on you?
I don’t really like the idea of most pranks, because they can get mean fast. I suppose my favorite is that I had my best friends believing for about 3 days that the plural of moose is moosen. When I give an answer to a question, people tend to believe it…it’s a power I need to be careful with!
What does being a member of Mortar Board mean to you?
Mortar Board, to me, has been an amazing community of intelligent, considerate people. I like to joke that we are a whole room full of overachievers...but it’s true! Every time I feel overwhelmed by how many things I try to juggle, I think about all of my fellow Mortar Boarders, and it seems less un-achievable. I am constantly moved by the people in Mortar Board, their commitments, and achievements; each of them is an inspiration!