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Entries in mario galicia (7)


From 'Broken' to 'New Beginning': Ph.D. Student Mario Galicia Reflects on His Beloved Tragedy-Stricken San Bernardino

Mario Galicia Jr. Credit: Patricia MarroquinExactly one week ago tragedy struck my hometown of San Bernardino. I wish to first send out my condolences to the families, loved ones, and all others affected by the recent disaster out of San Bernardino. Losing someone we know and love is never an easy thing. Having lost several family members and friends to various forms of gun violence, I am sensitive to what some of those grieving are going through.

I never thought that my experience with losing loved ones to gun violence would be relevant to my existence as a student at UC Santa Barbara, until we experienced our own mass shooting in Isla Vista in May 2014. At that time, I found myself consoling students in my classes – much as I had been consoled in my time of grief – by offering a space for these students to express their grief. As a university representative I also suggested additional resources available to help them through their process. Over the past year and a half I have tried to make peace with the fact that regardless of where my family and I choose to live in the U.S., we will more than likely have to deal with some type of gun violence affecting our community.

Last Wednesday while playing with my children, I couldn’t shake the thought of calling my mom. My mother and I speak regularly on the phone, and now that my children are old enough to communicate, they also get on the phone and chat with their "Nana" for a little while. So, as I strategized my day to figure out a good time to call mom, I began receiving text messages, emails, and social media alerts regarding a mass shooting that had occurred in my hometown of San Bernardino. My heart sank as my thoughts turned to the family members and friends who live in San Bernardino. I immediately called my mother but was unable to get through to her. I decided to try her back in a couple of minutes; I figured she might be on the line with someone else, checking in on her as well.

Mario Galicia Jr. in his senior year of high school in San Bernardino. Photo courtesy of Mario GaliciaSoon after, when various reports stated that the gunmen involved in the mass shooting were on the loose, my anxiety rose. I picked up my phone and kept dialing until I was finally able to get through to my mom. She explained to me that they were all OK. They were a little frightened, and confused, about what was going on, and why. My mother explained to me that all of the local government buildings and schools had been placed under "lockdown," including a school one of my nephews attends. I later spoke with him and he told me that nothing traumatic had occurred. Most people on campus, he said, were just following the news – online or through social media.

I’m relieved that my family is safe, but my heart still aches. It aches because as a human being, I can’t help but empathize with someone else who has experienced a loss of life. It seems that my whole life I have been dealing with death as well. Prior to moving to San Bernardino, my family and I lived in a southern section of the Rampart District in Los Angeles. All I can really remember about our neighborhood was the violence. I remember the violence, either associated with drugs, gangs, or police brutality. Matter of fact, one of the main reasons our family moved out of Los Angeles was due to this violence. As a result, I was raised in San Bernardino from the time I was in second grade.

Although once popularly known as the site of the first McDonald’s restaurant and where Taco Bell’s founder opened his first fast-food stand, in addition to being home to the Little League Western Regional tournament, San Bernardino today struggles to move past its 2012 bankruptcy. Its residents struggle to find hope, motivation, and inspiration – in anything – to help them get through the day.

Mario Galicia Jr. played in the Little League in San Bernardino in the 8th grade. Photo courtesy of Mario GaliciaOver the last 6 months, the Los Angeles Times has published three articles detailing some of these conditions: "Broken City," (June 14); "No Room at the Inn for Innocence," (July 22); and the latest, "San Bernardino: Broken" (November 6).

As someone who grew up in a working-class household, I understand the financial difficulties that many families face in San Bernardino today. Struggling to find where one might get their next meal, struggling to find stable housing, stable employment, stable relationships. Always struggling.

An important question still exists: "What is going to be done to help San Bernardino move forward?" San Bernardino, like many other working-class cities, needs help. San Bernardino needs other communities to open their hearts and offer their support (emotional and fiscal). We need to rally behind San Bernardino, use this tragedy to bring some much-needed national attention to other social issues that have long plagued the residents of this once-thriving Inland Empire community. The residents of San Bernardino need more investment toward creating, and sustaining, permanent employment opportunities for its residents. They also need better funding for their public schools and after-school programs. Children need to feel like their communities believe in them and their futures. Parents need to feel like they can provide for their children.

One way to show our youth that we believe in them is by investing in their futures. Many civic leaders (Frederick Douglass, Ida B. Wells, Paolo Freire, Carter G. Woodson, Cesar Chavez, Malala Yousafzai, to name a few) have long argued that literacy is the key to freedom: physical or otherwise. I believe that much like the Phoenix, San Bernardino will rise from its ashes to forge a "new beginning." I believe it will do so because the people of San Bernardino have the heart and the resilience to do so. I send my love and warm wishes, from one SB to another SB.


Editor's Note: Teaching Assistant Mario Galicia Jr. is a Ph.D. candidate in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education. He was the 2015 Graduate Division Commencement student speaker and previously was the Graduate Division's Diversity and Outreach Peer Advisor.


Accomplishments and Hard Work Honored at 2015 Graduate Division Commencement Ceremony

More than 400 students received advanced degrees and certificates at UC Santa Barbara Graduate Division's Commencement. Credit: Patricia Marroquin

Empowerment, discovery, achievement, and humanitarianism were the predominant themes during UC Santa Barbara Graduate Division’s Commencement celebration Sunday on the Faculty Club Green.  An audience of enthusiastic family and friends cheered on the 420 graduates as they received their master’s degrees, doctoral degrees, and certificates.

Chancellor Henry T. Yang called the graduate students "indispensable partners." Credit: Patricia MarroquinChancellor Henry T. Yang acknowledged the hard work and sacrifices not only of the graduates but also of their families. “I know what it took to get you where you are today,” he told the students. “You have met the highest standards of our university and your professors,” he said.

“You as graduate students have been indispensable partners in our research and teaching work,” Chancellor Yang added. “In fact, when we recruit faculty, the excellence and diversity of our graduate students are key factors of attraction. Our undergraduates learn from you and see you as their inspirational role models. Our professors work with you and see you as our research collaborators.”

In her address, Graduate Division Dean Carol Genetti told the graduates that they have become authorities in their fields. “This is a moment to recognize your empowerment,” she said.

“Your power and authority,” she added, “have come from countless hours spent in study and concentration – from pushing yourself to grasp original concepts and formulate new ideas; from applying your creativity to complex problems; from bringing into the light that which was previously invisible.”

Graduate Division Dean Carol Genetti told the graduates it was their moment to recognize their empowerment. Credit: Patricia MarroquinAlong with that education comes a duty, Dean Genetti reminded the graduates. “Always remember that with the privilege of your advanced degree comes a profound responsibility to enable positive change.”

Commencement student speaker and Education doctoral candidate Mario Galicia Jr. had a similar message for his fellow graduates. He spoke about the faculty, colleagues, family, and friends who offered him guidance and support through the years and encouraged him to pursue his goals.

“They’ve taught me to believe in myself and trust in others, shifting my perspective in life from seeking what’s best for me to what’s best for us,” he said.

Student Speaker Mario Galicia Jr. led a Unity Clap for graduates. Credit: Patricia MarroquinHe encouraged graduates to “engage local youth organizations wherever you go from here. Reach out to them, tell them who you are, what you do. Ask how you can help. The way in which we treat our youth can make a huge difference with how our future will look. We can all begin by understanding the privilege that our degrees bestow upon us and finding a way to help others in a lesser situation.”

He ended his speech by leading the graduates in a rousing “communal moment”: the Unity Clap.

The keynote speaker, Executive Vice Chancellor David Marshall, spoke of the value of research, whether visible or not.

Keynote speaker Dr. David Marshall spoke of the value of all research. Credit: Patricia Marroquin“Whatever our disciplines or career paths, we must argue for the value of voyages of discovery, voyages that take us through history to the origins of the universe, voyages that take us to the future,” he said. “We must demonstrate the value of what we do. But we must not lose sight of the value that may not be visible. Unsuspected Nobel Prizes, untold strokes of genius. … And this is the work that makes our university worth defending.”

The Winifred and Louis Lancaster Dissertation Awards were presented to Kenneth Hough and Patrick Keeley. Kenneth (Ph.D., History, 2014) was recognized as the Lancaster recipient for the best dissertation in the field of Arts and Humanities for his dissertation on imagining a Japanese conquest of the United States, 1900-1945. Patrick (Ph.D., Molecular, Cellular and Marine Biology, 2013) was the recipient of the Lancaster award for the best dissertation in the field of Biological and Life Sciences for his brain research.

Roxanna Van Norman's message is clear: She's a Gaucho forever. Credit: Patricia MarroquinThe ceremony included beautiful renditions of the National Anthem and the University Song by Keith Colclough, D.M.A. in Music.

In closing her address, Dean Genetti challenged the graduates. “You leave this institution with remarkable skills: of reasoning, discernment, ethics, communication, collaboration, research, and leadership,” she said. “Keep in touch with the campus. Stay involved. We wish you the best of luck and great success in all that life offers you.”

You may view an album of photos, Graduate Division Commencement 2015, on the GradPost Facebook page.


Credit: Patricia Marroquin

Credit: Patricia Marroquin

Credit: Patricia Marroquin


Ph.D. Candidate Mario Galicia Jr.: Coming 'Full Circle' as UCSB Graduate Division's 2015 Commencement Student Speaker

Mario Galicia Jr. is UCSB Graduate Division's 2015 Commencement Student Speaker. Credit: Patricia MarroquinWhen Ph.D. candidate Mario Galicia Jr. steps up to the podium at the Graduate Division’s 2015 Commencement ceremony to deliver his address as this year’s student speaker, it will be “a coming full circle moment.” The San Bernardino-raised grad student we featured in a January 2013 GradPost Spotlight excelled as an honors student in high school despite being bullied in a gang-plagued community. But he was later expelled from two colleges for failing grades before managing to “get myself back on track” and transferring to UC Santa Barbara, which has been his happy home since 2006.

Mario earned his Associate of Arts degree in Humanities and Social Sciences from the Moreno Valley campus of Riverside Community College in 2005. Here at UCSB, he has earned two degrees: a BA in Chicana/Chicano Studies and Sociology (Magna Cum Laude) in 2008; and an MA in Education, Cultural Perspectives and Comparative Education, in 2013. He will receive his Ph.D. in Education, Cultural Perspectives and Comparative Education, this summer.

For Mario, UC Santa Barbara means home (he and his wife Maria married in the Faculty Club); family (their two children, Michelle and Mauricio, were born in Santa Barbara); community (of mentors, advisors, supporters, and friends who received him “with open arms”); and accomplishments (the former GSA president will be the first in his family to earn a Ph.D.).

“UC Santa Barbara has become special to me because it represents a different chapter in my life,” he told us. Mario took some time to discuss this UCSB chapter; the support he has received along the way; and the message he intends to impart on Commencement Day.

Please tell us what your education at UCSB has meant to you.

My education at UC Santa Barbara has meant a great deal to me. I actually arrived at UCSB as an undergraduate transfer, alongside my wife, girlfriend then, Maria, in the fall of 2006. I went on to graduate in 2008, with acceptance for the fall quarter to the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education. As the first in my family to attend a doctoral program I really had no reference point to ground myself off of, so I had to trust my department, my advisors, as well as other campus resource officials with their counseling. I was lucky enough to receive phenomenal guidance from a great many people willing to help me, even when I didn’t realize I needed the assistance. I learned that altruism does exist in the real world, and I am a fan of paying it forward as a result of my own educational experiences here at UCSB. I may be the first in my family to earn a Ph.D., but I don’t intend to be the last.

Mario Galicia Jr. poses with his family, from left, son Mauricio, wife Maria, and daughter Michelle, after trying on his new regalia.

Who all have been a big support to you as you’ve gone through the higher education process?

I have had a lot of great people support me through my higher education process. Of course there’s my wife and children, who provide me the energy and motivation that I need to get through the tough times of grad school. There are many individuals, from local community programs and organizations, such as the Santa Barbara School District, Casa de la Raza, and Ismael Huerta, that have all helped support me through my studies. I also spent a couple of years at the community college prior to transferring to UCSB so I met some wonderful people during my time there. These individuals were representatives from various departments: Student Services, Associated Students, Title V, and Puente program. I learned that I needed to deal with my past so that I could move forward in my future. They taught me to believe in myself, but also in others. These lessons were important to me because of the negative educational experiences I confronted while in middle school and high school. I’d especially like to thank Dr. Daria Burnett, Jonell Guzman, Dr. Edward Bush, Dr. Valarie Zapata, Salvador Soto, Maria Pacheco, Anna Marie Amezquita, and Donna Plunk for the faith, love, and trust that they’ve demonstrated to me from the beginning of my college career. The same can be said of my friends here at UCSB. Early on we met Bill and Arliene Shelor, Christian Villasenor, Walter Boggan, Mischa Lopez, Elroy Pinks, the Rios family, Michael Young, Stephen Jones, Harold Salas-Kennedy, and last but not least, my committee. I wish that I had the space to include every person who made a difference in my life. These individuals taught me about the core values we hold at UCSB: “Scholarship, Leadership and Citizenship.” Without their advice, referrals, shoulders to cry on, and words of encouragement, I would not have been able to accomplish my goals. 

Why is UCSB a special place for you?

To any outsider, UC Santa Barbara might have a great aesthetic appeal, but to me what attracted me to UCSB was the people. From the very first time I set foot on this campus I was received with open arms. Since then, UC Santa Barbara has become special to me because it represents a different chapter in my life. When Maria and I arrived at UCSB, we were undergraduates and had no idea what it would be like changing from a semester system at RCC to a quarter system at UCSB. We also had no idea what it would be like living with each other. On top of that, I also felt sad to be away from my family and friends. It took me a little while to allow myself to open up to others and let them into my world. Once I did, though, I was met with plenty of friendly faces to offer me a space to vent, listen or learn, while being surrounded by others that were going through similar struggles. I still do miss my family and friends back in San Bernardino, and I visit them as often as possible, but I do feel as though we have made Santa Barbara into our new home. My wife and I were married at the Faculty Club here at UCSB; both of our children were born here, and we hope to raise them here.

Please tell us what kind of message you hope to impart to our graduating grad students at Commencement next month.

Without giving too much away, my speech will address the following: resilience, altruism, and using education as a means to reach our personal goals. We have all faced challenges, whether big or small, and we have also learned a great deal from those experiences; in some cases we learned about the kindness in others’ hearts, and other times we have learned about our own tenacity. What we do with those experiences as we move forward is what’s important. Do we use our education to only benefit ourselves, or is there opportunity for all of us to create change for others; here at UCSB; in our respective communities; maybe even at the state and federal level?

'To any outsider, UC Santa Barbara might have a great aesthetic appeal, but to me what attracted me to UCSB was the people. From the very first time I set foot on this campus I was received with open arms. Since then, UC Santa Barbara has become special to me because it represents a different chapter in my life.' – Mario Galicia Jr.

What are your plans after graduation?

My immediate plan after graduation is to finish my writing so that I can defend my dissertation before the end of summer. I am also on the job market so I am, and will continue to be, applying for employment and post-doctoral appointments. My family and I are also looking for a new residence so we will be apartment hunting as well. Despite the many transitions we are facing this summer I also intend on spending plenty of time with my wife and the kids enjoying the local venues. Long term, though, I know that we would love to be able to find employment in Santa Barbara so we may continue to raise our children in this beautiful community.

Why did you apply to be the student Commencement speaker? What motivated you to do so?

I applied to be Commencement speaker because I felt like it would be a coming “full circle” moment for me. You see, at one point in my college career I was kicked out of two colleges because I failed all of my classes. I managed to get myself back on track and eventually transferred to UCSB. I was fortunate enough to then get hired as a transfer student intern for Admissions, and later as outreach peer for Graduate Division, where I helped provide thousands of students with campus tours. Additionally, as GSA president I also had the privilege of meeting, listening, and conversing with a great deal of our graduate students; I even managed to befriend some of them along the way. I guess when I applied to be Commencement speaker I just wanted the opportunity to be able to send all of us off onto the next stage of our lives, whether it be our careers, or more education.


You can hear Mario’s message on Commencement Day, June 14, beginning at 4 p.m. on the Faculty Club Green. For those unable to attend, the ceremony will be live-streamed at the UCSB Commencement Live Webcast page. More information about Commencement may be found on the Graduate Division’s Commencement page.


4 UCSB Graduate Students Win 2014-2015 Academic Senate Outstanding Teaching Assistant Awards

Winners of the 2014-2015 Academic Senate Outstanding Teaching Assistant Awards are, from left, Mario Galicia Jr., Keith Avery, Selvi Ersoy, and Jeremy Chow. Photos by: Patricia Marroquin

Four UCSB graduate student teaching assistants who are passionate about what they do were honored on Thursday, April 23, for their efforts in the classroom and beyond.

Chancellor Henry Yang and Academic Senate Chair Kum-Kum Bhavnani present Mario Galicia Jr. with the award.The Academic Senate annually recognizes the vital role that teaching assistants play to the teaching mission of the university. The Senate's awards honor the contributions of graduate student TA’s to the teaching and learning process of UC Santa Barbara.

This year’s recipients are: Keith Avery (master’s student, Computer Science); Jeremy Chow (Ph.D. student, English); Selvi Ersoy (Ph.D. student, Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology); and Mario Galicia Jr. (Ph.D. student, Education).

At a reception in the winners’ honor before the awards presentation, Mario Galicia – who will receive his Ph.D. this year – told the GradPost that since his doctoral studies are coming to an end, this award is “like coming full circle.”

Selvi Ersoy with Chancellor Yang.“It’s really nice to get validated for your work,” added Mario, who spoke about his research in Preliminary Round 6 of the Grad Slam earlier this month. “It’s practicing what you preach, putting it into the actual classroom, and then having somebody say, ‘Hey, you’re doing a good job,’” he said. Mario called it “the greatest honor we can get as a graduate student” to have the award come from the Academic Senate, knowing that the faculty were the ones looking at the applications. “It’s always nice to know that what you’re doing is right.”

Selvi Ersoy, who was a finalist in this year’s Grad Slam, was excited and “extremely happy” to learn she had won this award. “I feel like I always try really hard for my students,” she said at the reception. She said her dedication to teaching is not dependent upon an award. “But I think it was a nice validation of how much I do try to be an effective teacher.”

Keith Avery, who is in his sixth quarter of TAing, said it has been “an Keith Avery with Chancellor Yang and Chair Bhavnani.extremely rewarding experience for me the whole time I’ve been doing it.” He is thankful, he said, “for everyone who’s helped me here – my students, my advisor, other people involved in my life.”

He likes the one-on-one approach of working with students during office hours. “I really enjoy connecting with the students. It’s important to me for them to understand what I’m trying to get across. I make that a priority when I’m doing my teaching and also in personal meetings.”

Jeremy Chow jokingly told his students and others offering him congratulations that this award had to be some sort of a hoax, since he’s only in the second year of his Ph.D. program. Although he was surprised, he said the honor is “unbelievably rewarding.”

The award shouldn’t have been much of a surprise to Jeremy, who had taught high school before coming to UCSB; and taught at the graduate level while pursuing his master’s degree.

Jeremy Chow with Chancellor Yang and Chair Bhavnani.“Teaching is a passion of mine,” Jeremy said at the reception. “That’s what I want to do for the rest of my career, as I imagine so many of us do. We so rarely in our teaching fields get some sort of commendation or understanding of the efforts and energies that we put into our teaching. This is a wonderful opportunity for the university to recognize educators who are invested in educating our students.”

The Academic Senate also honored six professors with Distinguished Teaching Awards; and three other professors won Outstanding Graduate Mentor Awards.

For a list of all the winners, and to read comments made about them, go to the Academic Senate’s webpage on the 2014-2015 winners. Also, read the Office of Public Affairs and Communications news release and view its photo slide show.

Congratulations to everyone!


Graduate Student in the Spotlight: Mario Galicia Jr.

Mario Galicia Jr.Mario Galicia Jr., son of a San Bernardino demolition company owner, took a wrecking ball to his unproductive past long ago, and is proud of the life he has been building over the years.

For Mario, a 5th-year Ph.D. student in UCSB’s Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, the journey through graduate student life has been all about “creating a family and career while taking some time to become acculturated to a world outside of the surroundings I grew up knowing.”

Those surroundings – the rough Rampart District of Los Angeles where he was born and the Inland Empire city of San Bernardino where he was raised – were populated with youth street gangs, violence, and poor economic conditions.

A self-described “chunky asthmatic kid” in elementary school, Mario endured teasing, bullying, and beatings from other kids as a youngster. But he persevered, excelling in his high school classes. As an honors student in a gang-infested area, Mario felt he had to live a double life just to survive.

Mario could not have envisioned graduate school, let alone a college education of any kind, back in those days. But he says that with the help of a few good friends, the support of a wife who encourages him to pursue his dreams, and his own realization that he wanted more out of life than gang activity and manual labor, he mustered the courage to find himself through education.

Mario with his wife, Maria, and their children, Michelle and Mauricio.Today, Mario has three college degrees under his educational tool belt and is pursuing his fourth. He is president of the Graduate Students Association, and serves as Graduate Division’s Diversity and Outreach Peer Advisor. He has not forgotten those who have helped him on his journey, and gives back now through his work with undergraduates, grad students, and the community.

Mario – married and the father of two children, including a son, Mauricio, who was born just two months ago – took some time out of his busy family and school schedule to speak with the GradPost.

Learn about the pivotal moment when Mario realized education was his best option for a better life; what he wished he had known before starting grad school; the accomplishment he’s most proud of; how his past has influenced his current research; and more. Read on. …

Click to read more ...


17 ARC/Sally Casanova Scholars Participate in a Successful 8-Week Summer Program

Some of the 17 ARC/Sally Casanova scholars pose with Graduate Division staff: Walter Boggan, top right; Roxanna Quach, lower right; and Mario Galicia, center foreground. Photo credit: Dr. Anna Everett

Seventeen undergraduate students from across the country had the unique opportunity this summer to explore their disciplines through mentored research experiences and receive graduate school preparation as scholars in the Academic Research Consortium/Sally Casanova Scholar Program.

The eight-week program, organized by the Graduate Division, brought together undergrads with the potential to succeed in graduate study, but who have experienced situations or conditions that have hindered advancement in their fields of study. These talented and motivated students benefited from the encouragement, scholarly research support, and mentorship available through the program.

The students came from such states as Michigan, South Carolina, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Texas, Washington, New Jersey, and New York. And several of them were from UC Santa Barbara and elsewhere in California.

Besides the pursuit of research under the guidance of UCSB faculty and grad student mentors, the scholars also attended weekly professional development workshops on such topics as GRE preparation, “outside the box” Ph.D. careers, and building a digital reputation.

Walter Boggan, Graduate Division’s Director of Admissions & Outreach, proclaimed the summer program “a huge success,” for both the student participants and UCSB.

“The Academic Research Consortium program was a great recruiting and outreach tool to promote graduate studies here at UC Santa Barbara,” Boggan said. “Seventeen rising seniors with diverse backgrounds from across the nation were given an opportunity to perform scholarly research across many disciplines at one of the top academic institutions in the U.S., if not the world. I’m sure our location between the Santa Ynez Mountains and Pacific Ocean left a positive impression on our scholars as well.”

Boggan said the scholars “were provided with a wonderful research experience to prepare them for graduate school while UC Santa Barbara faculty and graduate student mentors honed their skills in providing guidance to these scholars.”

The program also stressed work-life balance, which meant getting out of the classroom, library, or lab every now and then for some fun, relaxation, and bonding.

“As important as their research is, everyone deserves some time to get out and breathe some fresh air,” said Mario Galicia, Diversity & Outreach Peer Advisor for the Graduate Division who worked with the ARC scholars. “The idea was to provide the ARC/Sally Casanova scholars with a physical experience of how to approach a healthy and balanced graduate student career,” he said.

Galicia said some of the students had never been to the West Coast and some had never seen the ocean. One student had never eaten a burrito. A trip to Los Angeles gave the scholars a chance to put their research aside for a day. One benefit of the trip, Galicia said, was that it “allowed the scholars to bond in a more personal manner. They began to see themselves as peers and allies instead of competition in their career.”

The summer program concluded with a two-day research symposium in which the scholars presented their work and spoke about their experiences at UCSB. Their research, conducted with the assistance of UCSB grad student mentors, ran the gamut, from politics and media to diversity and domestic violence. A future GradPost article will highlight the important role that graduate student mentors play at the university and beyond.

One of the ARC scholars, Cyrell Roberson from Xavier University in Louisiana, had this to say about his experience in the summer program:

“This past summer was by far the best summer of my life. Participating in UCSB's Academic Research Consortium provided me the opportunity to conduct interesting research in my field with a prominent social psychologist, Dr. Brenda Major, in the beautiful city of Santa Barbara. I gained extensive knowledge in research that definitely made me more competent and confident in conducting independent research. I was lucky enough to participate in a group with other individuals from across the country who have overcome similar adversities but are just as determined and capable of reaching their academic and professional goals. These talented individuals have become some of my closest friends, lifelong friends who I will be able to share incredible memories with – from learning how to surf to skydiving from thousands of feet in the air. Because of the amazing ARC staff, my research mentor and grad student mentor, and my fellow ARC participants, UCSB will always be a place that I call home. After participating in ARC, I now feel prepared to take on the challenges of applying to and successfully completing graduate school and reaching my full potential as a scholar.” 

ARC scholars with some of their faculty and grad student mentors. Photo credit: Patricia Marroquin


Graduate Peers Are Here for You

The graduate peers are here to help you successfully navigate graduate student life at UCSB.

Drop by the Graduate Student Resource Center (1st Floor of the Student Resource Building) to meet with the peers during office hours (spring schedule). If the hours on the schedule do not work for you, contact the peers directly to set up a meeting that fits your schedule.

Here is a list of the graduate peers, their specialties, and contact information:


Courtney Gosnell

Title: Funding Peer


Specialties: Finding funding, Funding search tools, Fellowship Proposal Library (Application Samples), Department Specific Funding Opportunities and Presentations, Post-Doc Preparations


Mario Galicia

Title: Diversity Peer


Specialties: Around Campus/Town, School/Work-Life Balance, Intra- and Extra-Mural Research Opportunities, Graduate School Application Preparation and Strategy, Career Planning and Strategy, Research, Family Student Life & Resources (Campus and Extended Community)


Torrey Trust

Title: Academic Peer


Specialties: Academics, Networking, Wellness, Technology (designing presentations, using social media to find jobs, building personal learning networks, teaching with technology, Web 2.0 tools, search strategies)


We look forward to helping you excel at UCSB.