student painting ladder

The Service Learning Institute is excited to have 12 Service Learning Student Leaders working in classrooms and with community partners this year!  Below is a short biography and picture for each of our wonderful leaders for the 2014-2015 year.

 

 

Elizabeth Medina

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Elizabeth is majoring in Psychology, with a minor in Service Learning Leadership. She joined the Service Learning program in Fall 2013 working with El Sausal Middle School as a community based Service Learning Student Leader. Elizabeth has worked closely with the AVID program in El Sausal Middle School since 2011. Elizabeth has a strong passion for her community, helping first generation students aim for higher education, exposing CSUMB students to the Salinas East Side community, and challenging stereotypes and misinformation.
 

 

 

Margarita Vidales

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Margarita is majoring in Collaborative Health & Human Services with an emphasis in Social Work and a minor in Service Learning Leadership. Margarita first entered the program in Fall 2013 working with the Central Coast Citizenship Project. This project was built to help the people in the community become citizens and to inform them about different government positions they could hold. The Citizenship Project also informs them of their rights before and after becoming a citizen. Margarita's hope is for her service learners to become more open minded about the community, and to be able to think critically about stereotypes that they may have.
 

 

 

 

Kristen O'Hare

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Kristen is a Cinematic Arts and Technology major with a Service Learning Leadership minor. She is currently in her fourth year and is expecting to graduate in May 2015. Her experience with Service Learning is a long one. Kristen began her freshman year in the fall of 2011 as a lower-division service learner at Peacock Acres, a Salinas organization that serves foster youth. Their therapeutic approach to mentoring and relationship building was inspiring to Kristen and allowed her to stay connected with them after her service was over. That connection led Kristen to the Student Leader position and she officially joined the Service Learning Student Leadership program in the Fall of 2013. As a past service learner at Peacock Acres, Kristen has insight into what it was like as a student and what things could be like as a leader. She hopes to bring both experiences into her work and help the service learners build strong relationships with the youth at Peacock Acres through mentorship, tutoring, and activities. As an aspiring filmmaker and storyteller, Kristen tries her hardest to incorporate creativity into the learning experiences that the service learners have. She is hoping that what they get out of their experience is similar to the love and connections that she gained from her experiences working with such an amazing organization.

 

Tyler Gidney

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Tyler is the Service Learning Student Leader for the Chinatown Community Learning Center in Salinas. Tyler is a Human Communication major with a concentration in Creative Writing and Social Action and a minor in Service Learning Leadership. With any luck (and maybe some Spanish tutoring) he'll be graduating in the Spring. This is Tyler's first year as a Service Learning Student Leader, but he has been in the Chinatown community for almost two years. Tyler started at Dorothy's Place as a service learner teaching Creative Writing classes. The following semester, he moved the Creative Writing class to the Learning Center as a volunteer and started enlisting the help of other Service Learning students to teach classes. Tyler's hope for service learners in the Chinatown community is that they are able to establish sincere relationships with people from the community so that both the students and the folks they serve can learn, grow and be changed by the experience. In the future, Tyler hopes to obtain a Ph.D. and return to the CSU system as a professor while he continues to work in under-served areas such as Chinatown.

 

Brigette Johnson

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Brigette is currently in her senior year and is majoring in Psychology. She is originally from Long Beach, California and chose to attend CSUMB based on the small class sizes and location. She completed her service learning at The Village Project two years ago and was inspired to go back and continue working with them. This year is her second year as a Service Learning Student Leader. Last year, she worked with Professor Deb Busman’s HCOM 307S Social Impact and Mass Media Service Learning class as a co-facilitator and with The Village Project. This year, she is co-facilitating with Dr. Pamela Motoike in the SL200S Educational Equity Class. Brigette has a strong passion for social justice and equality as well as working with youth. Brigette is hoping to go to graduate school and pursue a career in Marriage and Family Counseling. She would also like to work with foster youth and "at risk" teens.

 

Brittney Aubin

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Brittney is the Service Learning Student Leader with Dorothy's Place. She is a Psychology major completing her senior year and plans to continue on to graduate school in pursuit of a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. Brittney would like to work with veterans who return home with PTSD and/or work with inmates in the prison system. She was inspired to join the Service Learning Leadership Program after her experience with service learning at Dorothy's Place last spring. In addition to providing service to the guests of Dorothy’s Place, Brittney hopes to support service learning students in experiencing all of the wonders of service in the hopes of fostering future advocates for social justice.

 

 

 

Nate Pardini

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Nate is a fourth year Business major with a Service Learning Leadership minor who has been with the Service Learning Student Leadership program since August of 2014. He is currently serving as a liaison between students and service learning faculty, and at Tiburcio Vásquez Elementary School, where he had completed both his upper and lower division service learning. In working with the kids at Tiburcio Vásquez, he hopes to accomplish a growing understanding of the complexities of educational equity, and all that it entails. Nate hopes to pursue a career as a non-profit analyst after he graduates from CSUMB.

 

 

Aidan Shands

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Aidan is a third year Biology major expecting to graduate in Fall of 2016 with aspirations of becoming an ecologist. He joined the Service Learning Student Leadership program in the Summer of 2014 and serves at the educational non-profit MEarth in Carmel Valley. Aidan discovered MEarth when he was a service learner in his Spring semester of 2013. Aidan absolutely fell in love with the site and continued to volunteer there for the next year. Aidan's goal as a Service Learning Student Leader is to share the importance of non-profits such as MEarth, their mission, and how it can bring positive change to the way we educate youth and the community.

 

 

 

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Austin Smith

Austin is a Business major with either a Marketing or Entrepreneurship concentration. Austin joined the Service Learning Student Leadership program in the Fall of 2013 and is expected to graduate in spring of 2016. Austin works with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey Bay (both the Salinas and Seaside clubhouses). His future career goal is to start his own business with his twin brother.

 

 

 

 

Nicole Suther

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Nicole is a Human Communication major with a concentration in Practical and Professional Ethics. Nicole joined the program in Fall of 2014 and plans to graduate in Spring 2015. Nicole works with Everyone's Harvest, recruiting service learners for both the Farmer's Markets and the Shoreline Community Garden. Nicole hopes to bring awareness to the issue of food justice and to motivate service learners to be aware of the foods they buy and consume. Eventually, Nicole hopes to go to graduate school in Marketing.

 

 

Angel Morris

Angel is a Business Administration major with a minor in Service Learning Leadership. Angel is currently a junior and is expected to graduate in Spring 2016. She joined the Service Learning Student Leadership program in the Fall semester of 2013 and has loved it ever since. Angel works in the Service Learning Institute and creates collaborations with other organizations on campus such as the Catalyst Center. This semester, Angel wants to create a space where students without a Service Learning Student Leader at their site can access opportunities for reflection. She also wants to create events that benefit students in choosing and signing up for sites. She was a service learning student once so she knows how tough that process can be! Angel loves business, and wants to eventually manage a corporation. She plans to use her social justice background to implement corporate social responsibility by seeking to help corporations become a support system for the community.

 

David Nixon

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David is in the process of receiving a degree in Human Communication with a concentration in Creative Writing and Social Action, and minors in Service Learning Leadership, Spanish, and Visual and Public Art. He is expected to graduate in the Spring semester of 2015. He first joined the Service Learning Student Leadership program in 2012 as a sophomore, and was involved, side by side with Dr. Pamela Motoike, in a Building Healthy Communities course available to incoming freshmen. After leaving briefly to study abroad in Chile, David returned to the program as a course-based student leader in Dr. Rina Benmayor’s Service Learning Oral Histories and Community Memory course. It is his goal to make connections between the fields of oral storytelling, language, and social justice work, and to make these devices and this knowledge available to his service learners. After graduating, David plans to continue his social justice work by establishing programs that provide free American Sign Language workshops and courses to marginalized and under-resourced communities, and to communities that do not speak English as a primary language. He hopes to bridge the gaps between the Deaf cultural community (in which he grew up) and other cultural and ethnic communities. David also hopes to participate in language revitalization and decolonization efforts, as well as immigration activism, and social justice-focused creative literature.

 

 

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