Alumni Ambassadors

The Alumni Ambassadors are a group of School of Education alumni who want to share their experiences with you. They're willing to answer any questions about the University of San Francisco, the School of Education, and their respective program. Contact a School of Education Alumni Ambassador to find out more!

Credential MS and Teaching Program MA

Andrew Duong

Andrew DuongProgram: Teaching MA with Multiple Subjects Credential, San Jose Campus
Hometown: San Jose, California
Email: aduong9@dons.usfca.edu

Why USF?
It offered the best program and philosophy that fit what I was looking for in a school. The program advisor, Ruchi, was so welcoming and made the transition so smooth.

What was a highlight of your program?
Meeting new people and forming bonds with them and my community.

What advice do you have for prospective students? 
Don't worry too much about the future and focus on the now. Also, don't be afraid to ask for help or talk to someone about anything that is difficult in your life.

Carrissah Calvin

Carrissah CalvinProgram: Teaching MA with Multiple Subjects Credential, Sacramento Campus
Hometown: Sacramento
Email: crcalvin@dons.usfca.edu
Follow: LinkedIn

Why USF?
The University of San Francisco and I share a common value that supports and focuses on social justice. I watched my mom attend USF Sacramento's campus when I was in high school and the support she received from her professors and cohort made me fall in love with this school. Every time I visited I had such a great experience.

What was a highlight of your program?
My favorite class has been social justice and diversity. The cohort I am a part of has such a supportive and family feel to it. My brother is also in the same cohort and it has been great to be in this program with him.

What advice do you have for prospective students?
Advice that I would give to a prospective student is that you should build relationships with your professors and cohort. They will support you during and after the program. I have seen my mom and sister use their connections that they made at USF to get jobs and build friendships that they still have to this day. I also think that you should focus on your growth. You are coming to learn and with that comes challenge. Embrace these challenges and pursue your purpose.

Favorite Restaurant:
My favorite restaurant is House of Chicken and Ribs in Sacramento. 

Jonathan Chin

Jonathan ChinProgram: Single Subject, Science Credential
Hometown: San Francisco/Beijing
Email: jcchin@dons.usfca.edu
Follow: LinkedIn

Why USF?
I chose USF predominantly because I wanted to be closer to family in San Francisco. In addition, I desired to serve in a location and a school that has a wealth of experience teaching amongst diverse populations. Many teachers in the San Francisco area either are USF graduates or are strong advocates for the School of Education in San Francisco. This gave me immense confidence that this program would properly equip me to be the teacher I desire to be.

What was the highlight of your program?
I have loved the blend of learning about educational research and the practical experiences I have gotten so far. One of my highlights was getting to design curriculum alongside classmates in my science at the end of the course and giving/receiving constructive feedback. I definitely feel like I’ve learned so much in my time here.

What advice do you have for prospective students?
Ask a lot of questions when you're around educators of any kind regardless of where you end up, reconnect with your past educators who have helped you along the way, and reflect on what makes you want to be a teacher. The instructors here at USF encourage you to do all three and cultivate an environment for you to grow. The beautiful thing about the teaching profession is that there is so much collaboration unlike other positions. If you’re a hard-worker, a critical thinker, and a reflective person, you will thrive in this program.

Favorite Bay Area Restaurant:
That's a difficult choice, but as of right now I'll go with New England Lobster Market and Eatery located in Burlingame.

Jahana Kaliangara

Jahana KaliangaraHometown: San Jose, CA
Email: jskaliangara@dons.usfca.edu
Follow: LinkedIn

Why did you choose USF?
I chose USF because I loved the social justice emphasis in all of the programs and the accessibility to be able to work full time as an educator and go to school full time. The San Jose campus has been so awesome! I have had the opportunity to make lifelong friendships and connections with so many inspiring individuals here at USF.

What was the highlight of your program?
The highlight of my program has absolutely been the professors. I have been fortunate enough to have the most amazing mentors and professors who shine light on social justice in education and provide the most valuable advice and feedback. I have built amazing relationships with mentors and professors to which I hope will be life-long. They have taught me so much more than I could have ever imagined.

What advice do you have for prospective students? 
Get to know your teachers and mentor! They are here for us for a reason. Also, if you aren't already in the classroom, volunteer as much as you can in classrooms. You will be so much more connected to the content and material presented in your classes. Lastly, take advantage of opportunities to participate and volunteer in USF events. You'll network and meet inspiring educators. YOU GOT THIS!

What is your favorite San Francisco (or Bay Area) restaurant?
Jaliscos Taqueria for a quick bite & La Fondue if I am feeling fancy and have more time!

Higher Education & Student Affairs MA

Winnie BeeWinnie Bee

Email: wbee@dons.usfca.edu
Program: Higher Education & Student Affairs MA
Hometown: Palm Springs, CA
Follow: LinkedIn

Why USF?
I chose USF for the awesome faculty and the emphasis on social justice in our curriculum. Another deciding factor was the Student Affairs Internship Program (SAIP) that was offered. It is great to have the opportunity to learn about student development theory and then seeing it in action.

What was the highlight of your program?
My cohort! They've been an excellent resource and support system throughout my grad school experience. I have definitely leaned on my peers when processing readings, writing papers, and getting advice for my practicum/internship.

What advice do you have for prospective students?
Take advantage of your practicums and keep an open-mind when figuring out what functional area within student affairs you want to work in. I used my practicums (as well as my SAIP internship) to gain exposure to the different offices and figure out what it is exactly that I want to do.

Favorite Bay Area Restaurant:
The Italian Homemade Company

Jessica AlvaJessica Alva

Email: jealva@dons.usfca.edu
Program: Higher Education & Student Affairs MA
Hometown: Sunnyvale, CA
Follow: LinkedIn

Why USF?
I started by tenure at USF in 2014 as a first-year undergraduate student. During my four years at USF, I became involved and met various staff members who constantly pushed me to be better. These staff members were the ones who introduced me to student affairs as a career. During my fourth year as an undergraduate, I also connected with a graduate student in the cohort above mine. They talked to me about the kinds of material that were covered in classes and common topics of disagreement in class. The discussions being had were exactly the ones I wanted to be a part of. This reassured my decision to attend USF for another two years.

What was the highlight of your program?
The best part of the HESA program so far is the faculty. Never have I ever been so fortunate to have faculty that have taught with such passion, knowledge, and vision for a better world. Not only do they support all their students, but they constantly challenge us and tell us what we need to hear.

What advice do you have for prospective students?
It never hurts to sit in on a class or talk to a current student. Both will hopefully give you the information you need to make your decision.

Favorite Bay Area Restaurant:
Tarantino's Restaurant in San Francisco

Shaquilla Thomas

Shaquille Thomas's photoEmail: Sthomas11@dons.usfca.edu
Program: Higher Education & Student Affairs MA
Hometown: Miami, FL
Follow: LinkedIn

Why USF?
USF gave me the opportunity to explore a different side of the world coming from Florida, as well as being in community with minority groups all individuals with similar goals, different perspectives, cultures and interests but wanting to make the similar impact in our communities.

What was the highlight of your program?
The greatest highlight of my time in Higher Education & Student Affairs is the growth that I have experienced while attending classes and depth of knowledge I have been able to gain from peers to continue to push through the sometimes difficult work we partake in in Student Affairs.

What advice do you have for prospective students?
Some key advice I would give is stay authentic to you but be open minded about thoughts and perspectives. Listen & ask questions because sometimes it may spark a whole new perspective.

Favorite Bay Area Restaurant:
Citrus Club/Kaiju Eats

Emily Czarnik-Neimeyer '15

Emily Czarnik-NeimeyerEmail: eaczarnikneimeyer@usfca.edu
Employer: University of San Francisco, University Ministry
Title:
Assistant Director for Retreats

"I was born and raised in Wisconsin and graduated from St. Norbert College in De Pere, WI with a major in Sociology and a minor in Women's and Gender Studies. I am currently serving as the Assistant Director for Retreats in University Ministry at the University of San Francisco (USF). Prior to this role, I worked in University Ministry at USF as a Resident Minister for two years and as the Retreats Coordinator for two years, worked as a Programs Fellow at Women's Funding Network in San Francisco through Lutheran Volunteer Corps, and volunteered for a year with AmeriCorps State at a Runaway Outreach Program through the Boys & Girls Club of the Fox Valley in Wisconsin. I earned the Master of Arts in Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) from the USF School of Education. My appreciation for this program and the professors and administrators who invest in it runs deep and wide. Specifically, I appreciate that the HESA program taught me about the history of higher education in the United States, Critical Race Theory, engaged educational pedagogy in and out of the classroom, capitalism, and assessment. I also appreciate that I had the opportunity to live, work, and study in community right on the USF campus during my years in graduate school. My affinity for USF, the School of Education, and the HESA program stem out of the Jesuit mission and focus on community, faith, and justice. I am grateful to my students, colleagues, and HESA classmates and all that they have taught me and engaged in alongside me during my time in HESA. Presently, I am experienced in and passionate about the areas of student/young adult leadership and faith development, community outreach and engagement, Critical Race Theory, campus and outdoor ministry programming, and women's, gender, and sexuality programming and spirituality. I engage in - and work to invite others into - an engaged pedagogy that is centered on experiential and student-centered learning through a lens focused on justice and collaboration."

Norman Borgonia

Norman Borgonia, Higher Education and Student Affairs MAHometown: Fontana, CA
Email: nrborgonia@dons.usfca.edu
Follow: LinkedIn

Why did you choose USF?
It was difficult enough deciding to apply to graduate school since it has been a few years since I completed my undergraduate degree. However, it was the emphasis on potential, not strictly traditional indicators of success, in the application process that demonstrated to me that the HESA faculty lived the social justice values that they preached. From that moment, I knew I needed to learn how to be a better student affairs practitioner from these amazing professors who have advocated for my success from the beginning.

What was a highlight of your program?
In addition to the amazing faculty, I absolutely love the community between both cohorts in the program. The network of support that we intentionally build provides resources and support that makes me feel confident about my ability to persist through the coursework and obtain amazing opportunities in the field.

What advice do you have for prospective students?
USF's HESA program is an educational environment that truly values your authentic, genuine self. Your potential to change the lives of students comes from your personal intersectionalities of identity, struggle, and triumph — embrace it!

What is your favorite San Francisco (or Bay Area) restaurant?
Anything All You Can Eat.

Human Rights Education MA

Elena Rivera

Elena RiveraHometown: Long Beach, CA
Email: etrivera@usfca.edu
Follow: LinkedIn

Why did you choose USF?
I chose USF specifically for the Human Rights in Education program. I am a woman of color who teaches Special Education in Fruitvale, Oakland. When choosing a graduate program I had a difficult time deciding if I wanted to focus more on Special Education, or the experience of "others" (people of color, girls/women, LGBTQI+, english language learners etc.) in education. The Human Rights in Education program allowed me to choose all of the above. USF offers courses related to all my areas of interest, and I have found inspiration that translates directly to my work. With this program, I do not have to choose between studying one part of these interconnected groups, but can study the ways in which they overlap and combine, which to me is the embodiment of intersectionality.

What was a highlight of your program?
My USF highlight has definitely been a class I just finished, Transnational Feminism. The class size was small, so I had a unique opportunity to intimately know my classmates and instructor, as well as get to know what projects they were all working on (through USF or their careers). This level of engagement with my colleagues was an enlightening and inspiring experience. The final project was my favorite assignment. I was able to do a creative project where I filmed an interview with my mother, an immigrant from the Cook Islands, about her experience as a woman of color living and raising a family in Long Beach, California. I then reflected on my understandings of feminism through her. The experience was personal, reflective, and empowering, and I appreciated the freedom to express myself through a creative outlet.

What advice do you have for prospective students?
I definitely recommend linking up with other students who are interested in the same focus areas as you are, to study with, but also just to bond with outside of school (over drinks and food, preferably). It is also nice to have friends to read and edit your work! The program is challenging, especially if you are teaching full time, and my support group at USF has made the experience much more enjoyable and manageable.

What is your favorite San Francisco (or Bay Area) restaurant?
Belly for Korean Tacos (Oakland), Burma Superstar (Oakland, SF, Alameda) and Wally's for falafels (Emeryville).

International & Multicultural Education EdD

Malihe Eshghavi

Malihe Eshgavi, International & Multicultural Education EdDProgram: International & Multicultural Education EdD with a concentration in Second Language Acquisition
Hometown: Shahrood, Iran
Email: meshghavi@dons.usfca.edu

Why did you choose USF?
At USF I am able to combine my interests in International and Multicultural Education as a major with a focus on Second Language Acquisition for my doctoral study program. This combination also has the best overlap with my previous background as a language instructor. In addition, a very significant factor in choosing USF has been the faculty and professors, who have all been extremely supportive and inspiring for me. While initially reviewing the various professors’ biographies, I could readily see how close my research interests are with theirs. Both the practical as well as the rigorous methods of instruction at the school is superb.

What was the highlight of your program or USF?
The range of research interests among professors is breathtaking. The teaching approaches with which the professors engage the class has provided great encouragement to students while concentrating on studies. The USF faculty is all so very friendly and positive that one very quickly feels like a member of an intimate family. Moreover, in my particular program, International and Multicultural Education, there are two concentrations: Human Rights and Second Language Acquisition. Whenever I attend program events and engage myself among the students and professors, the environment’s ambiance invokes a particular poem, written in the 13th century by the Iranian poet Sa'adi, which has become a motto decorating the entrance to the Headquarters of the United Nations:

Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.
If you've no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you cannot retain!
-- Sa’adi

What advice do you have for prospective students?
I would advise prospective domestic students to come visit our beautiful campus and discuss their interests with both the faculty and students, and for prospective international students I would suggest that they also browse the school’s internet site in order to further contact faculty with regard to any more specific questions about the programs.

Favorite Bay Area Restaurant:
While I really enjoy the great diversity of the many, many restaurants in San Francisco, I have lately enjoyed Gallardo’s Mexican Restaurant in the Mission for its variety of cuisine. I especially love the soups (caldos) such as birria, as well as the dishes such as sopes and chiles rellenos. I would delight in discussing the many culinary and other adventures which new students will have in scenic San Francisco.

Yi Guan '14

Yi Guan Email: yguan@usfca.edu
Employer: California State University East Bay; College of Alameda
Title:
Instructor

"I have been working as a language teacher for nearly 10 years. Prior to studying in the United States, I taught Mandarin to international students in China and gradually developed interests in language teaching. Since 2007, I have been actively working with children and adult ESL and Mandarin learners in a variety of settings in the San Francisco Bay Area: elementary after-school programs, private dual language immersion schools, community colleges, and universities.

After earning my master's degree in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL), I have been given the opportunity to pursue a more prestigious level in academia. I have received my Ed.D. degree in May 2014 from the International & Multicultural Education (IME) Department. My favorite thing about the IME program and the School of Education is the amazing group of faculty. They are the type of professors who are always there for you, especially when you are going through rough times, and they are willing to sacrifice their personal time to help you with your studies. They are the perfect role models, and working with them made me realize what qualities a good teacher should have: belief, patience, and encouragement."

Andrea McEvoy Spero '12

Andrea McEvoy SperoEmail: aspero@usfca.edu
Employer: The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University
Title:
Director of Education

"I have always been passionate about human rights and critical pedagogy. When I began my search for a doctoral program, USF was the only school in the nation that offered a program in Human Rights Education. I met Dr. Susan Katz to discuss the program and that sealed the deal! I knew USF would be the place for me to grow and deepen my learning. In my time at USF, I was challenged and inspired to grow personally and academically not just by my professors, but also by my colleagues. My best advice for someone considering the program would be to sit in on a few classes and meet with professors. It's the people that make USF special."

Organization & Leadership MA

Steven Delgado

Steven Delgado's photoProgram: Organization & Leadership MA
Hometown: San Jose, CA
Email: sdelgado@dons.usfca.edu

Why USF?
I enjoy the social justice aspect USF offers and I really love the beautiful campus. Plus, you can find plenty of things to do after class in the city.

What has been the highlight of your program thus far?
Getting the opportunity to network with great classmates and professors. Also, we have great discussions in class that prepare you to think critically about the issues that you may face as a future leader.

What advice do you have for prospective students?
Make connections with everyone around you. You aren't going to be in school forever so take the time to build your networks. Oh, and ask a lot of questions!

Favorite Restaurant:
In-N-Out Burger!

Kristine Lee '15

Kristine LeeEmail: kylee2@dons.usfca.edu
Employer: University of California, Berkeley
Title:
Associate Director, Office of Undergraduate Admissions

"I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Irvine in Sociology with a minor in Women's Studies. I was involved in leadership through high school and began finding my own leadership style. Through my involvements in various student organizations at UC Irvine, I developed a passion for student affairs. As I have grown in my career and offered opportunities for advancement, I found my passion for staff development and constantly improving my role as a supervisor and mentor. I chose USF because it was the first graduate program I found really interesting. I am glad that O&L offers a variety of courses where I can take courses around higher education and 21st century leadership. I also value USF's mission of social justice and it has been clear in all my classes and the programs at the School of Education. I am thankful for the friendships I have made in this program and having friends who I can turn to when life gets stressful. Being surrounded by active individuals who share similar interests and are open to engaging in an honest dialogue have added so much value to this program for me. I am also grateful for the amazing faculty and staff at the School of Education who are so responsive to our needs as grad students and I can clearly see the passion in their work. If you choose this program, keep an open mind and get ready to have your assumptions questioned. If you take advantage of the courses and programs offered at USF, then you will graduate with so much more than another degree."

Organizational & Leadership EdD

Demerris R. Brooks-Immel '14

Demerris Brooks-Immel, Organization & Leadership EdD AlumnaEmail: demerrisb@gmail.com
Employer: California State University San Jose
Title:
University Ombudsperson

"I am a native of the California Bay Area where I completed an undergraduate degree in English literature at UC Berkeley; a master's degree in Education and teaching credential at Stanford University; and a second master's degree in Educational Administration at Santa Clara University. Trained as a secondary teacher, I began a career as a high school English teacher before being recruited into K-12 administration. I spent 13 years serving in various administrative capacities, from Assistant Principal to Director of Student Services, in a traditional district and in a charter-school management organization, before leaving secondary for a career in higher education. Although initially hired as a project specialist at San Jose State University, I've served as University Ombudsperson for the past several years.

I chose USF after visiting an Open House and meeting Dr. Mitchell. The size and structure of the program were appealing to me, a working professional and parent, and I was intrigued by the opportunities that existed to form strong bonds and work closely with my peers and instructors. I can confidently say that my greatest expectations were fulfilled. I had the opportunity to travel abroad, participate in experiential learning, establish close relationships, and work with dedicated and phenomenally talented professors and incredibly motivated scholars."

Marilys deLong Taylor '09

Marilys deLong Taylor, Organization & Leadership EdD AlumnaEmail: marilys.taylor@waldenu.edu
Employer: Walden University
Title:
Contributing Faculty in the School of Management

What is your background and education?
My background was in K-12 education (teacher, school site administrator at elementary and high school levels, and district office Director of Instruction) for 35 years and also in higher education for the last 17 years. I received my Bachlor of Arts degree from John F. Kennedy University, my Master of Arts degree from St. Mary's College, and my Doctorate of Education from the University of San Francisco.

What are some favorite/notable things about your program at USF?
It changed my life. It really did. There is so much more to the field of leadership than just leading others. It's about who you are as a person and how you can serve others in your community and/or organization in creating positive social changes that inspire and motivate others.

Why did you choose USF?
I loved the reputation of the program and worked with many who had previously graduated from the University.

What advice would you give to someone entering the program?
The USF Organization & Leadership program is a wonderful opportunity to develop your own leadership skills and abilities as well as peers/faculty with whom you interact throughout your time at the University.

How are you using your degree?
I am a contributing faculty instructor for Walden University in the Master of Science in Leadership degree program. I teach adults from all over the world online and have been doing so ever since I graduated from USF.

Emerald Templeton

Emerald Templeton, Organization & Leadership EdD StudentHometown: Los Angeles, CA
Email: etempleton@dons.usfca.edu

Why did you choose USF?
I chose USF because of its social justice mission and values for creating just institutions. I was also drawn to the scholar-practitioner model and flexible teaching weekends.

What has been a highlight of your program or USF so far?
The relationships and the learning!

What advice do you have for prospective students?
"The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The work of life is to develop it. The meaning of life is to give your gift away." -David Viscott

What is your favorite San Francisco (or Bay Area) restaurant?
Angeline's in Berkeley is so yum!

School Counseling MA

Kristie Pedrozo

Kristie PedrozoProgram: School Counseling
Hometown: Salinas, CA
Email Address: kpedrozo@dons.usfca.edu
LinkedIn Profile

Why USF?
I chose USF due to the social justice focus, cohort model, and the location. I hope to work and serve in the Bay Area and USF is the perfect place to gain experience. Now that I am in the program, I am so incredibly thankful for the professors and SCP staff that support us along the way. I have never felt so much support from a school or program before.

What was the highlight of your program?
The cohort model and class discussions with professors has been the highlight of the school counseling program for me. We heave learned so much from each other, while also supporting and encouraging each other. The professors and SCP staff are incredibly supportive.

What advice do you have for prospective students?
The advice I have for prospective students is to find a program in which the mission resonates with you, this will be reflected within the program. Also, learn and experience as much as you can in your program and establish healthy self-care activities for yourself.

Favorite Bay Area Restaurant:
Italian Homemade Company

Nicole Farley '15

Nicole Farley, School Counseling MA AlumnaPrograms: Counseling Psychology MA with the Concentration in School Counseling and Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credential; Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) Certificate
Email:
nmfarley@dons.usfca.edu
Employer: Jefferson Elementary School District
Title:
School Counselor

"As an undergraduate student, I studied Criminal Justice and decided that I wanted to keep kids out of the system. I realized that many youth were lacking a positive adult figure, and I wanted to become one. I spent a few years dabbling in Early Childhood Education, and worked as a preschool teacher. I loved my job, but wanted something more. I attended a USF Open House, and the rest is history. What stuck out about USF was the inherent commitment to social justice. It was clear that being a student here would mean that I would make a difference in a huge way.

As an alumna, I have learned about my power as an individual. I always thought that I couldn't make a change, but I've found that anyone can with the right amount of support. Everyone on the School of Education has been nothing short of amazing, and I am so grateful! To new and prospective students, I advise you to stop letting fear hinder you and take a risk! I'm proud that I've accomplished a goal that I was so certain that I never would. And I am honored to say that I am now officially a school counselor!"

Marriage & Family Therapy MA

Zasharah Araujoz

Zasharah Araujo, Marriage & Family Therapy MA StudentEmail: zaaraujo@dons.usfca.edu

Why did you choose USF?
I chose to attend USF because I felt that the school mission aligned with my values and it was the best school in the Bay Area that could best prepare me to be a Marriage and Family Therapist in my multicultural and diverse community.

What has been a highlight of your program or USF so far?
The biggest highlight for me has been the support from my professors in my own personal growth as a student and a woman. I have been challenged on various levels to think critically and to approach this program and my studies feeling confident with my current abilities, so that I can continue to grow and develop.

What advice do you have for prospective students?
My advice to prospective students is to do the research and to find the best program that fits their educational goals, visions and passions. I would also recommend to speak to as many people available about their thoughts and concerns regarding each program their interested in.

What is your favorite San Francisco (or Bay Area) restaurant?
My favorite San Francisco restaurant is La Taqueria on 25th and Mission. I've been going to this restaurant since I was a little girl and it always awakens my senses! It reminds of my family, my Mexican-American roots and the neighborhood my grandparents settled in the 1950's.

SS Credential/English plus MA in Educational Technology

Kim Saccio-Kent '16

Kim Saccio-KentPrograms: SS Credential/English plus MA in Educational Technology
Email:
sacciokentk@smccd.edu
Employer: Skyline College
Title:
Assistive Technology Specialist, Disability Resource Center

"I graduated from UC Berkeley in 1988 with a degree in English literature and a strong desire to go into education. Shortly after graduation, however, I was offered a job at a small press. Fast forward about 20 years, and I’m in my late 40s, bored to tears by my high-tech publishing job, and getting depressed. I made a career switch back to teaching and chose USF for its Single Subject English / MA in Educational Technology program.

I did my student teaching at a K-8 school and continued on as an 8th-grade Humanities teacher. I moved to Skyline College in 2016 to teach a 12th-grade College and Career Readiness Class (a part-time adjunct faculty position). At the end of one year a tenure-track position at Skyline’s Disability Resource Center opened and I was encouraged to apply. My new job takes advantage of my expertise in computer technology as well as my teaching experience. My education at USF was key to getting this position: I was able to speak to the field of special education and assistive technology thanks to my classes at USF and my MA thesis on technologies for differentiation.

In addition, while an MA is required to teach at the community college level, and a teaching credential is not required, the fact that I hold a credential was a plus. Many college instructors are experts in their fields, but they were not trained as teachers (and this shows). My education at USF helped me to become a teacher, and I will always be grateful for that."

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) MA

Koi Tungkaburana

Koi TungkaburanaHometown: Bangkok, Thailand
Email: ctungkaburana@dons.usfca.edu

Why did you choose USF?
It is an absolutely fine school that commits to promote diversity and equal justice. Most importantly, as an international student myself, I have been impressed with extra care this school offers.

What was a highlight of your program?
My professors, classmates and helpful faculty staff.

What advice do you have for prospective students?
An investment you will not regret.

What is your favorite San Francisco (or Bay Area) restaurant?
Nopa, San Francisco

Urban Education and Social Justice MA

Ruby Rodriguez

Ruby Rodriguez, Urban Education and Social Justice MAProgram: Urban Education and Social Justice
Hometown: South San Francisco
Email: rkrodriguez@dons.usfca.edu

Why did you choose USF?
I chose USF specifically because of the Urban Education and Social Justice program. When visiting and meeting with professors, alumni, and current students I could see the genuine passion in wanting to make a difference in urban education while focusing and learning about Social Justice matters. Since I had researched other options wanting to make sure that I was making the right decision I chose to audit a class, emphasis on ONE class, long story short I left certain that USF was where I was meant to be—the rest is history!

What was a highlight of your program?
There are so many highlights: meeting amazing people, having dope professors, having such interesting classes. But the greatest highlight of it all would have to be the amount of growth I see in myself. My program has only made me more passionate and has reassured me of how meaningful this work is. This program pushes you outside of your comfort zone and challenges you to be the best YOU you can be.

What advice do you have for prospective students?
First, ask yourself why you want to be a teacher, and as you begin to research every program you are interested in, see if your “why” matches and aligns with what the program embodies. Don’t just read about the program—make the effort to meet with pillars of the program, professors, current students, alumni: people who make the program what it is.

What is your favorite San Francisco (or Bay Area) restaurant?
One of the benefits of living in the bay is that there are so many awesome restaurants, there is no need to have a favorite!