Main Content for Tab Navigation.

STUDENT LEADER SPOTLIGHT


Qais Azizi

Portrait of Qais Aziz

2021-2022 ASO President
Major: Biology

What are your transfer goals?
I plan to applying/transfer to UC schools such as UCSD, UCLA, UC Berkeley, and various Ivy League institutions where I can study Biology and tackle some research opportunities!

What is your favorite experience at Pierce?
My favorite experience at Pierce College was being member of Alpha Gamma Sigma Honors Society club. As an executive member, I collaborated with my colleagues to coordinate events such as movie/trivia nights, LAPC resource-related workshops, as well as the annual AGS statewide convention. Being a part of a club on campus helped introduce me to the social part of college and left me with great memories of those I met!

What advice would you give a new student about getting involved and/or succeeding academically at Pierce?
Sound advice that I would give to new students seeking involvement at Pierce College would be to allow themselves to become ‘comfortable with being uncomfortable.’ Jumping into the pool of uncertainty and taking on challenges that others refuse to take on is the distinguishing difference between being complacent and leaving an impactful legacy behind. My advice for academic success would be to practice and develop strong time management skills. Balancing your time between your academic and social life is essential in being more productive as the academic year goes on.

What academic accomplishment are you most proud of?
At the start of my Pre-Med journey, I challenged myself to stay dedicated and persevere each semester. Knowing this path was not easy, I decided to go forward with my decision and take on the rigorous courses, including calculus, general/organic chemistry, and physics that were required for my major. Looking back on how far I have come, I feel proud to know that I was able to overcome many academic challenges by staying organized, dedicated, and committed to my original plan of becoming a physician.

What is/was your favorite class at Pierce, and why?
My favorite class I took at Pierce College is undoubtedly Sociology 1! This class not only taught me about the science behind human interaction, but also about being conscious of certain biases or societal norms that we may have or be following without carefully analyzing what we are perceiving/believing.

Gabi Morris

Portrait of Gabi Morris

2021-2022 ASO Vice President
Major: Business Administration

My favorite experience so far at Pierce has been meeting with staff members in the Cranium Café.

The best piece of advice I could offer other students would be to invest in a planner, they are so helpful for organizing school and personal work!

The academic accomplishment I am most proud of was passing an AP test my first year of high school.

My favorite class at Pierce has been Philosophy 001 because I loved all our readings and the discussions we had virtually were very engaging.

My transfer goal is to attend either UMass or UNC.

Delia Ortega

Portrait of of Delia Ortega

2021-2022 ASO Club Council President
Major: Business major

I plan on transferring to CSUN during the fall 2022 semester. My proudest accomplishment so far is being the first person in my family to go to college and being a full-time student maintaining a 3.8 GPA while working full-time. I have been online since I started Pierce, but one of my favorite moments was when my entire chemistry class got together and surprised our professor with thank you signs at the end of the semester. He was so happy and surprised! My favorite class at pierce was Cinema 107 with Professor Kline. Best professor and class I've taken!

I would encourage ALL new students to get involved! Try joining a club or talking to classmates. I know it was hard before to meet fellow classmates because of the pandemic, but what I did was create group chats with my classmates and I made many friends like that just by simply reaching out.

The best advice to succeed academically is just make sure you are organized and use a planner! Have your notifications on for updates on your classes and meet with your professors during office hours if you need more help. I am here for you!

Maria Mohammad

Portrait of Maria Mohammad

2021-2022 ASO Treasurer
Major: Business Administration

What are your transfer goals?
I hope to transfer to UC Berkeley as a business major.

What is your favorite experience at Pierce?
My favorite experience at Pierce is having discussions with my professors and peers, allowing me to learn more.

What advice would you give a new student about getting involved and/or succeeding academically at Pierce?
The advice I would give a new student about getting involved at Pierce is to go for it and make the best of it. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there as Pierce’s community is strong, and you’ll surely learn from the experience.

What academic accomplishment are you most proud of?
An academic accomplishment I am most proud of is maintaining a 4.0 GPA while being a full-time student.

What is/was your favorite class at Pierce, and why?
Microeconomics was my favorite class at Pierce because it was the most interesting to me, and I liked how the professor taught despite it being online.

Einna Marie Macavinta

Portrait of Einna Marie Macavinta

Former ASO Vice President and Senator
Major: Political Science

What was your favorite experience at Pierce?
Honestly, joining ASO was my most favorite experience at Pierce. When COVID hit, I honestly was sad about how everything had to go online. My school life during the pandemic was not as enjoyable, but because of ASO, I felt as if my school life became more proactive and it was honestly one of the big motivators to keep me going with school.

What advice would you give a new student about getting involved and/or succeeding academically at Pierce?
Look out for organizations/clubs that you feel like most fits you! I think the very idea of genuinely enjoying a club or group helps a lot mentally, especially when you get to meet people who have the same ideals, goals, and passions as you do!

What academic accomplishment are you most proud of?
My initial thought was getting my AA in Political Science, but I think joining ASO and serving as VP during the pandemic was a feat that I will be thankful and proud of.

What is/was your favorite class at Pierce, and why?
My favorite class at Pierce was most definitely my Communications 101 class as it did help develop my public speaking skills. I still get anxious to speak or present to a lot of people, but this class really helped me not just prepare for my other classes that require presentations, but also in real life events too!

Valeria Barrientos

Portrait of Valeria Barrientos

Former Undocu-Brahmas President
Major: AS in Biology - BS in Microbiology

What is your favorite experience at Pierce?
One of my favorite experiences at Pierce was studying with my friends in the study rooms in the library with the view of the school during rainy days! My absolute favorite experience was getting the iced caramel macchiato from the cafeteria! I also enjoyed hanging out in the ASO/Dream Resource Center in between my classes.

What advice would you give a new student about getting involved and/or succeeding academically at Pierce?

  1. The best way to make friends during college is getting involved in clubs and extracurriculars. This will make your college experience more enjoyable!
  2. Get involved in internships related to your major. Even if you are not sure what you would want to do in the future, internships will help you gain professional experience as well as more job opportunities once you graduate and it will give you the clarity if you are in the right career.
  3. Personally, active recall and practice tests are more efficient study techniques than re-watching lectures.

What academic accomplishment are you most proud of?
Passing Organic Chemistry 1 and 2! It was a challenging experience taking classes online specially because I am more of a hands-on type of person and I learn the most through labs, but I ended up getting a B in both classes. YAY!

What is your favorite class at Pierce, and why?
I absolutely loved Physics 6 and 7, specifically for the labs! Visualizing electric forces and quantum mechanics gave me a better perspective of mechanism in organic chemistry.

I transferred to UC Riverside!

Sofia Celeste Zaragoza

Portrait of Sofia Celeste Zaragoza

Former ASO Club Council President, ASO Chair of Community Welfare, and ASO Senator
Major: English Literature

I am transferring to UC Berkeley as and English Major in Fall 2021!

My favorite experience at Pierce was getting to spend time with my amazing fellow senators in the Student Engagement Center.

My advice to new students about getting involved and succeeding academically at Pierce would be: throw yourself out there and always try, you will always miss 100% of the shots you don't take!

The academic accomplishment I am most proud of is getting into UC Berkeley because all of the work that I have put into that has paid off and I am now able to have that opportunity to further my education even more.

My favorite class at Pierce was definitely English 205. I took it during a time where I really needed reassurance that I was on the right path, and working with Professor Johnson was an amazing experience. Her class was invigorating, exciting and incredibly educational!

Angelina Castillejo

Portrait of Angelina Castillejo

Former Peer Mentor
Major: Communication Studies

My transfer goal was to attend CSUN Fall 2021 after finishing my double major at Pierce. And...I achieved that goal!! I am officially a Matador now! I am most excited to begin my Communication classes! I always meet the most outgoing people in them, which is awesome!

My favorite experience at Pierce was being a part of the Peer-to-Peer Mentor Program. It taught me so much and helped me stay motivated throughout my last year at Pierce because I became a motivating factor for my mentees. Not to mention being a family with the awesome staff and fellow mentees in the program. It was nice to know you always had a team behind you to look towards for help, advice, or just a fun time.

My advice to a new student coming to Pierce would be to join a club, a program, something new and out of your comfort zone. Because that is when you will get a chance to meet all new people and get involved in all sorts of ways you would not have thought before. I never thought of myself as a "school spirited" type of person. But I took a chance and joined the Peer-to-Peer Mentor Program, and it changed my life for the best. At Pierce, there are all sorts of clubs and programs! There is really something for everyone.

I am most proud of achieving an AA in Psychology and an AA/T in Communication Studies while still looking towards my goal of graduating and transferring to a CSU in 2 years, and still finishing strong despite a global pandemic.

My favorite class at Pierce, easily, was Intercultural Communication with Prof. Rosenberg. It was such a fun time and I learned so much about all diverse types of cultures and people and how they interact with one another. Prof. Rosenberg was so amazing! I was excited to come to a 9am class!!

Lorenzo Mangantulao

Portrait of Lorenzo Mangantulao

Current Peer Mentor
Major: Civil Engineering

My favorite experience in Pierce is being a Peer Mentor.

What advice would you give a new student about getting involved and/or succeeding academically at Pierce?
I would encourage new student or continuing students to be involved in campus as it helps you succeed in your college journey. And academically, maximize your academic resources such as attending office hours and going to the tutoring center.

What academic accomplishment are you most proud of?
Being consistently named to the Dean’s List and having great connections with my professors.

What is your favorite class at Pierce, and why?
I love my Physics and Chem classes because they have labs where we perform experiments based on the materials we learned.

After Pierce, I hope to transfer to Cal Poly SLO or Pomona.

Claudia Patricia Ortiz

Portrait of Claudia Patricia Ortiz

Student Worker in Financial Aid
Major: General Business

What are your transfer goals?
CSUN or UCLA.

What is your favorite experience at Pierce?
My favorite experience so far was having a Thai Professor. She is so smart, and I learned math so quickly with her. Pierce College has awesome Professors and they come from diverse backgrounds. Diversity within the College makes me happy cause I can learn about different perspectives and even cultures.

What advice would you give a new student about getting involved and/or succeeding academically at Pierce?
It is quite easy to succeed in whatever you do; you just need to put your mind and soul into it. It is important to stay focused and even though things do not go as planned, do not give up. If plan A, B, or C did not work, there will still be plenty of other opportunities that will come your way. What has helped me to succeed in school is creativity; and with creativity I am not talking about art but finding extraordinary ways to achieve my educational goals. So always welcome every situation with a positive attitude, and I am sure you will be able to succeed in everything.

What academic accomplishment are you most proud of?
I am proud of having a 4.0 GPA. I have worked and studied so hard to be a student of excellence at my school. Last semester was hard for me, I was very depressed and had anxiety and panic attacks at night. I managed to not give up and I put so much effort into getting good grades and learning as much as I could. When I saw my grades at the end of the last Spring, I was incredibly happy because I was able to get only A's, even though I was going through an extremely challenging time.

What is your favorite class at Pierce, and why?
My favorite class is Finance. My professor was very committed to teaching students even though the class was online. Also, the class needed a lot of time and dedication to get a good grade, so it was a whole challenge for me, but I really enjoyed it. I studied so hard the whole semester; there were moments when I was exhausted and very depressed, so it was a little more difficult to study but I made it, I was still able to get an awesome A and the whole challenge made me like the class so much.

Ryan Davis

Portrait of Ryan Davis

Veteran
Major: Nursing

What are your transfer goals?
I would like to transfer to an accredited 4-year Nursing program.

What is your favorite experience at Pierce?
Attending the Veteran’s Resource Center to connect with peers.

What advice would you give a new student about getting involved and/or succeeding academically at Pierce?
I would advise students to take advance of the existing resources available on campus. The Center for Academic Success [tutoring center] was a factor in helping me overcome some academic challenges at Pierce College, I have improved my grades to a 3.0 GPA.

What academic accomplishment are you most proud of?
I have improved my writing skills and my grades on papers have improved.

What is your favorite class at Pierce, and why?
My favorite class at Pierce College is Humanities because we discussed current and past cultural diversity.