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Student Highlights

Outstanding GEW Student of the Month

December 2014 - Alejandra Zafra

Picture of Alejandra Zafra

Professor Shannon Wales: Hi, Alejandra, it’s nice to meet you. Congratulations on being nominated the GEW student of the month.

Alejandra: Thank you. I was so surprised when Professor Kessler told me.

Prof. Wales: So tell us about yourself.

Alejandra: I’m from Vista, California. I’m from a small family, and I never imagined myself going to a university or being here. I am so happy to be here! There were so many people who inspired me and encouraged me to go to college. My high school counselors really helped me apply for college, and my family encouraged me to go to college and have better opportunities than they had. I really want to be successful and grow in my education.

Prof. Wales: That is a great attitude to have, Alejandra.

Alejandra: Thank you.

Prof. Wales: So why did you choose CSUSM as the college to attend?

Alejandra: It is close to home and I took trips here when I was in high school. I visited other colleges like CSU Long Beach, but I didn’t feel the same about those colleges. Mainly I chose CSUSM because it was close to home.

Prof. Wales: Being close to home and family is nice. So how has your experience in college been so far? What do you like about life at the University and your GEW class?

Alejandra: College is not like high school at all! It is so different. In high school, I didn’t really like writing at all. I am doing way more writing than I ever did in all the years in high school, and I really like it. Writing six pages is nothing for me, and I’m doing really well in GEW.

Prof. Wales: Wow, so are really enjoying GEW with Professor Kessler then? What do you like about her class?

Alejandra: Yes! What I like about Professor Kessler and the class is she is always willing to help me. She is always available and helpful. I’ve learned so many strategies for writing, revising, and researching–like good scholarly research. In high school, writing wasn’t a main concern. In GEW we really go in-depth, which is very different from high school. Like I said before, I never imagined myself here because I didn’t think I had the skills to make it this far. Now I am learning the skills.

Prof. Wales: It sounds like you are learning a lot in Professor Kessler’s class. What has been challenging about college?

Alejandra: My challenge has been that I have too much going on. I have two jobs, college, and my family, so balancing everything has been really challenging.

Prof. Wales: How do you manage to balance everything?

Alejandra: Both jobs are flexible with my school schedule. I do my homework whenever I get a chance. That is my priority. I do it before school, after school, and on my breaks.

Prof. Wales: Time management is so important when you are busy, right? So, tell us, where do you see yourself in ten years? What do you see yourself doing and what have you accomplished by then?

Alejandra: I see myself with my degree and having a career. I want to have a career in criminology, so I see myself doing that.

Prof. Wales: Interesting! Tell us about criminology.

Alejandra: I want to be a special agent and do investigations. Writing is one of the skills needed in that field.

Prof. Wales: Interesting. So tell us why you chose criminology as your major.

Alejandra: I’m just interested in research and investigation. I like to help people, too. If I get into this field, I will be able to find ways to stop crime and give relief to families that are fighting for justice. I can bring families their justice.

Prof. Wales: That’s great, Alejandra.

Alejandra: Thank you.

Prof. Wales: Last question and then you can rush off to GEW. What advice can you offer high school seniors about your experiences in GEW?

Alejandra: I was scared at first. I didn’t think I was ready for college writing, and now I just feel so confident with my writing. I would tell them that no matter what, they have to find a way to succeed. If their mind is in it, they will accomplish their goals. It doesn’t matter where they came from. They can learn those skills. GEW will help them learn the skills to succeed.

Prof. Wales: Those are some great tips. So what advice would you give those same high school seniors about this university?

Alejandra: Well, I expected college to be scary, hard, and I thought that everyone was on their own and had to do it all by themselves. It’s not like that. There are so many ways to get help like at the Writing Center and through the SSS program that helps first years students like me. There are so many places to go for help.

Prof. Wales: Great advice, Alejandra. Well thank you for this interview and good luck in all you do.

Alejandra: Thank you very much!