Inspired by fellow student and artist Erika Kodama and her work in Little Tokyo at its Changing Tides exhibit, Quan Nguyen writes to express the impact that art, joining the Nikkei Student Union, and sharing the Asian American experience have had on his life.
“Stanford. Harvard. Yale. Berkeley.
These were just a few of the universities that my classmates from the second-ranked school on the list of Best College Preparatory Public High Schools in California went to. Going to community college was seen as failure in the Bay Area, a stigma that I could feel from the gaze of everyone who asked me where I was going.”
In a candid and inspiring piece, Esther Ho reflects on attitudes toward community college, and how she pushed past them to succeed academically and financially, ultimately landing at UC Santa Barbara.
As a transfer student spending his first year at UC Santa Barbara Omar Reyes is still figuring what he wants to do during his time at college. Through a project in the English Department’s Arnhold Undergraduate Research Fellow Program, Reyes has learned to balance his individual work with finding community and seeking knowledge from his colleagues.
“I consider that evening in May 2018 and the months of work leading up to it to be some of the most memorable and impactful experiences of my life,” says Giovanna Vicini, a graduating Film & Media Studies and Communication double major at UCSB, of hosting the 27th Annual Reel Loud Film & Arts Festival onstage at Campbell Hall. “My teammates and I led the organization toward record-breaking growth, achieving Reel Loud’s most competitive year to date.”
While Olivia Saunders isn’t majoring in Linguistics, her major in Communication has provoked many questions from others about whether she wants to pursue speech therapy. That led her on a search to learn more about Linguistics, the major that is most closely linked to speech therapy. She found that its career options and students’ pursuits go much further, as she explains in this article.
“Jesus’s words and deeds made him one of the most impactful historical figures in the world,” writes student Yasmeen Faris, in a personal reflection on the intersection between her secular studies and her own faith.
In this piece, Faris talks about how a course in the Religious Studies department at UCSB changed her outlook on Jesus Christ, expanding her understanding of his impact on her personal life and religion and the effect that he had on the history of the world.
“‘You won’t make any money.’ It’s a myth all creatives hear constantly and one that up until my second year of college I believed to be true.”
In her piece, Tatiana [LAST NAME] discovers through the Humanities and Fine Arts, and specifically a Film and Media Studies course on media criticism, that her creativity not only applies to the hobbies that fill up her free time, but is also a viable skill that could contribute to a future career path.
“Inspired by my family roots in Italy and my obsession with spaghetti, I decided to dip my toes into the culture, society, and entertainment of the country. As a Communication major, I would never have thought that a course in Humanities and Fine Arts would play such a huge part in enriching my time at UCSB.”
Mia Sheffield describes how an Italian Cinema class changed how she felt about General Education courses.
“Remember that you’re not trying to prove that you know more than your parents. Instead, you’re allowing yourself to grow and discuss things,” writes author and escapee from South Vietnam Thi Bui. In this piece, Communication and Music Studies student Esther Liu draws connections from the writer’s experiences into her own life as an Asian American.
“All voices were hushed and eyes were drawn toward the stage at UC Santa Barbara’s Studio Theater. The lights dimmed and black silhouette-like dolls walked out onto the stage. I looked on in awe at the undergraduate UCSB dance majors performing in a student-choreographed modern dance recital. I was then a sophomore but butterflies struck my stomach, reminding me of the nervousness I had felt years earlier before a dance competition. Then I realized I was no longer the one who was looking out from the stage into the black sea of an audience, but rather the one spectating a university dance student performance.”
Here, Katie Orr recalls the jarring moment in a UCSB Humanities course in which she realized that dancing on a stage was still calling to her years after she had stopped her practice.
“Groupthink” occurs when a group of individuals feel pressure to agree, abandoning critical thinking and conforming to group values. It’s also a psychology concept that Justine Betti never imagined would intersect with a field that she had considered entirely separate: history. But when an example of groupthink appeared in her social psychology course, referencing the Kennedy administration, she decided to explore the History department as an avenue to expand her views on psychology.
It’s not an everyday occurrence that we look for hints of high philosophy in our mundane, everyday lives. Felipe Silveira seeks to change that headspace, zooming into the single, seemingly trivial moment of brushing one’s teeth to highlight the ways in which philosophy intersects with and influences our lives.
“A lot of people gravitate towards different musical genres,” Mallory Alvarez said. “Punk music gave me a feeling of freedom where I can express myself freely.”
Alvarez identifies as transfemme Chicanx. They came out as queer their freshman year at UC Santa Barbara and began their trans journey in their sophomore year. Punk music became an innovative way for Alvarez to channel their anger towards a system that they believe was not built for them. So, when they learned of an art exhibit titled “Vexed: The East L.A. Chicano Punk Scene” displaying in the Multicultural Center, they enthusiastically showed interest in attending.
Drum Corps International, or DCI, is essentially the major league equivalent of marching band. Thousands of marching arts enthusiasts under the age of 21 join one of the 44 active drum corps and go on a nationwide tour, performing at high schools, colleges, and even NFL stadiums for thousands of fans across the country.
Michael Hall, one of those many drum corps members, recalls the elation that he felt when his team won the title of “World Champion” at the 2018 Drum Corps International World Championships and how he has sought to recapture the joy that he found through music in the music and film departments at UCSB.
“Although I enjoyed experiencing the diverse culture and people on campus, a sense of homesickness would always strike me when I talked to my parents on the phone. I felt lost and disconnected from my own culture,” says Au Yu Hsiao of what led him to try to rediscover his home country, Taiwan, in a literature course in the East Asian Cultural Studies department.
How many college students have been lucky enough to be within two feet of actor Hugh Jackman at a black-tie gala to cover the event on social media?
Taylon Faltas interns at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) headquarters and had the incredible opportunity to attend the 2019 festival as a member of the press. The festival’s mission includes film education to the community, ranging from bringing local elementary school students to free movie screenings to the comprehensive internship experience offered to college students like Taylon.
“Like many students, I did not anticipate picking up a minor,” Hannah Lewry writes. Then she stumbled upon the Professional Writing Minor after taking a course that she thought would merely fulfilling a UC Santa Barbara writing requirement. Instead, she found a niche for herself and a stepping stone for a future career.
The manner in which two different musicians compose and perform can be just as distinct as their personalities. “Individuality of expression is the beginning and end of all art,” wrote the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Cory Fildes and Will Stout, both undergraduate music composition majors at UC Santa Barbara’s Music Department, are a perfect example of this individuality. Both students write sheets of music every week. But although these two room together, their personal journeys differ completely and these variations become strikingly apparent in their music.
“The news that I was one of the 20 accepted could not have come at a better time in my life,” said college journalist Alondra Sierra of her acceptance into the Chronicle of Higher Education’s journalism workshop.
The Chronicle is the largest newspaper in the nation to cover higher education. This past summer, Sierra was among 20 college journalists from across the U.S to attend its two-day reporting workshop, all expenses paid. Now, back at UC Santa Barbara, Sierra is continuing to take journalism course through the Writing Program as part of the new Journalism Certificate program.
The “Asian bubble” of Communication major Eric Lee’s hometown of San Gabriel kept him immersed in Taiwanese culture all his life. That bubble burst the instant he left home for UC Santa Barbara.
“I found myself at one of the most racially diverse campuses in the United States, a far cry from my hometown,” he said of the transition. “Without a boba café on every corner and friends and family, I felt lost. I felt like I had been disconnected from my racial identity and was unsure if I should downplay my heritage and culture to fit in better, or cling to it tighter than ever before.”