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Student Highlights

Outstanding GEW Student of the Month

November 2015 - Tate Oligney

tate student image

This month’s GEW student spotlight is Tate Oligney, a sophomore in Jayne Braman’s GEW 101 class. Before attending CSUSM, Tate was actually a “desert rat,” and spent most of his life in Palm Desert. However, his very early years were spent in Wisconsin, where he was born and raised a Packers and Badgers fan. He and his family left the Midwest when he was six years old, but he still fondly remembers snow days.

Tate is enjoying CSUSM and college life in general, primarily the focus on learning and the freedom to focus his education on his interests. In particular, he has thrived in his GEW class because of his ability to connect to the material. His GEW section has readings focused on humor and the elements that play a role in making something funny. He stays engaged in the class because his instructor, Jayne Braman, “promotes creativity and allows her students to be open-minded.” Tate says that GEW is valuable because he is learning how “to formulate points, argue, analyze, prove and disprove.” He added, “writing is an important skill for any profession.”

He attributes his success in the class to starting assignments early and prioritizing:“In high school, you could go to a party and still manage to get your work done afterward. In college, you need to get the academic work done first before having fun.” Tate emphasizes that college is about balance, “Extracurricular activities are important, too, for well-being.”

Tate is a Criminology and Justice Studies major and is also pursuing a minor in Psychology. He took sociology and psychology courses last year that led him to changing his major and minor. He said, “Those classes were the most work, but made me the happiest. It just made sense to switch.” With his degree, Tate eventually wants to become a Homicide Detective.

Congratulations on being selected as the Outstanding GEW Student of the Month, Tate!