MENTORING and leadership blog
I figured that in the current digital age we are living in, where everyone posts about the flavor of ice cream they got after eating a teriyaki chicken bowl from Panda Express or about every time they finally stuck to their new year’s resolution for more than half a fortnight, that this would be a great space to talk about what my crazy self has been up to lately. It looks boastful, but it’s 2021 (at the time of writing), so everything and anything is all about “owning it.” I own this website, so that’s exactly what I’ll do.
Public service has been a strong passion of mine. I am simply terrible at standing still when I am in the company of an incredible community. I was that kid who became involved in student government right at the beginning of high school, and I believe I also took on leadership positions in many of the organizations I joined as an undergraduate and graduate student, even when it didn’t make sense (which is most of the time) because I end up overextending myself to my own detriment.
Success Coaching and Learning Strategies is part of the Transitional and Enrichment Programs and Services unit in the Office of Educational Opportunity and Enrichment Services. I started success coaching around the time the COVID pandemic was beginning. As success coaches, we meet with undergraduate students to help them take control of their academic, personal, and professional success. Our main goal is to facilitate student reflection and realization by asking questions, so they arrive at a solution to the barriers that keep them from their personal idea of success. We also share time-management tips, studying strategies, and organizational resources.
As for my personal coaching style, I leverage the use of technology — such as text-to-speech, transcription services, and browser efficiency tools, among others — to help students adapt to university demands in a way that works with their unique learning styles. I also like leaving each coachee with university/life hacks at the end of coaching sessions that may one day be helpful to them both in and beyond UC Davis.
Undergraduates can set appointments through the UC Davis Advising Appointment System
Transfer Edge Instructor
In 2021, I had the amazing opportunity to teach the transfer seminar course for UC Davis’s Transfer Edge program. Transfer Edge is a 6-week UC Davis summer program designed to introduce incoming first-generation, low-income transfer students to UC Davis before the fall quarter begins. The 6-unit program offers participants the opportunity to fulfill two courses: a first-year seminar and an upper-division writing course. The program provides students with added exposure to UC Davis student support services to ease the transition from a community college to a research university.
Professors for the Future Fellow 2020-2021
In order to make meaningful connections, I integrate a teacher-as-mentor identity whenever I am inside the classroom to cultivate meaningful and trusting classroom relationships. Building connections with students results in increased engagement, even when confronted with rigorous tasks (Rogers, 1969). In addition, mentoring better prepares educators to be leaders, whether it be in higher education or beyond (DeJong, 2016; Beck and Grohowski, 2016).
The approach also provides the necessary tools that could help instructors:
1. learn from students
2. advocate for their well-being
3. create accessible and inclusive classrooms
4. align our goals to our students’ needs
5. empower students to be leaders and mentors
6. relate class content to the world
7. build camaraderie while maintaining boundaries
I am honored to be one of the 15 doctoral and post-doctoral scholars chosen for the UC Davis Professors for The Future Fellowship 2020-2021. This opportunity provides me with the resources needed to hold a workshop series called “Teaching-as-mentoring: Professional development through purposeful teaching.” The goal of this project is to help graduate students and postdoctoral scholars unlock the inspiring aspects of being a leader and an instructor.
Teaching Assistant Consulting Fellow
I am also a Teaching Assistant Consulting (TAC) fellow under the UC Davis Center for Educational Effectiveness. TAC aims to improve undergraduate education by working closely with graduate students Teaching Assistants (TAs) and Associate Instructors (AIs) in strengthening their teaching practices. To do this, the TACs design workshops aimed at improving instruction, engagement, and student learning. We are also involved in the planning and facilitation of the annual TA orientation. Lastly, TACs conduct one-on-one consultations to discuss teaching and learning, as well as various types of classroom observations. Check out some of TAC’s workshops on the video page.
First Generation Graduate Student Initiative
Having gone through the stress of starting graduate school and having no one to answer my questions, I decided to take on a mentoring role for the UC Davis First Generation Graduate Initiative. Thanks to a friend a fellow TAC fellow, Slande Erole, for getting me involved in this meaningful opportunity.
Center for Community College Partnerships
As an undergraduate at UCLA, I also had the privilege of working for the Center for Community College Partnership (CCCP) as a peer mentor to a cohort of transfer applicants from underrepresented communities. I know first hand the difficulties of navigating the application process, being the first in my family to apply to an American university. This opportunity exposed me to the many inequalities encountered by those with limited resources. Perhaps my most significant mentoring accomplishment was witnessing my cohort live up to their potential and receive admission to universities such as UCLA, UC-Berkeley, and Columbia. After a year as a mentor, I took on the role of scholars program assistant, in charge of putting together the quarterly Saturday academies— where our cohort of around 300 students from different community colleges attend a day of workshops, panels, and talks at the UCLA campus. CCCP was pretty much my second home when I was an undergraduate. Until now, I think about how much I enjoyed the company of the other peer mentors and the staff.
VU University, Black Europe Summer School, Echo, and New Urban Collective
UCLA’s Academic Advancement Program annually picks four students to send in an exchange program with Vrije Universitet, Amsterdam, to discuss diversity and inclusion policies implemented by both schools. The students were chosen based on their ability to address these inclusivity issues through their own area of study. I was lucky to be one of those undergraduates chosen in the Summer of 2014.
We were able to participate in the Black Europe Summer School, a seminar class that discusses the African Diaspora in Europe. We also engaged in dialogues concerning various Dutch cultural issues and policy planning with the student body and various young leaders. We also collaborated with service organizations such as Echo and New Urban Collective. One of the highlights of the trip is discussing the state of the Red Light District with the former alderman-central. It’s a great thing that Facebook already existed at the time as I was able to continuously connect with the friends I made when I was in the Netherlands.
Cluster on Language Research and Linguistic Graduate Student Association
While at UC Davis, I served as both supporting and lead chair for the Linguistic Graduate Student Association. In 2019, I was also elected as a co-chair for the Cluster on Language Research an interdepartmental organization run by graduate students from both the Linguistics and the Spanish and Portuguese departments. We draw our diverse membership from a handful of UC Davis departments, including Education, Psychology, Computer Science, Native American Studies, Mathematics, as well as various language departments like French, German, and Japanese, among others. My co-chair, Daniela Cerbino, and I were responsible for planning and organizing the annual language symposium. For our biweekly meetings, we invited speakers and panelists who conduct language-related research to give presentations as well as invite faculty members to lead professional development workshops for our members.
2019 Linguistic Institute Publicity Director
During the 2019 Linguistic Society of America (LSA) Institute, I was in charge of everything involving publicity, which includes leading an amazing group of volunteers known as the publicity committee. I worked on event videography, photography, designing graphics, merchandise and poster, website, promotional materials, social media content, and volunteer training. I also coordinated with the United Nations since the Institute takes place in the Year of Indigenous Languages.
Pilipino Transfer Student Partnership
I met a lot of great friends while serving as the Financial Coordinator of the Pilipino Transfer Student Partnership (PTSP) during my undergraduate years. It was a great opportunity for me to be a part of an organization that fosters a sense of community for Filipinx transfer students at UCLA.