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Angelica is the first in her family lineage to attend university. Her parents immigrated from Mexico and encouraged her to seek a better life than theirs.  While attending CSUSM she worked at the Faculty Center to support faculty inquiries and facilitate activities, a role she held for three years that opened many doors for future opportunities.  While at the Faculty Center, she also served as a protégé to gain applied experience in professional development, plus learn how to improve programming at the Center. As part of her curricular goals in the Human Development Department, Angelica studied abroad in the Mediterranean and helped the YMCA Center in Malta with workshops on leadership, cooked meals at a homeless shelter, and looked after children at a domestic violence center. She credits her family and the Human Development Department faculty as a core part of her intellectual and emotional development:

“My family and the faculty in the Human Development Department helped me understand that I must stay true to my values and commit myself to helping those who are less fortunate than ourselves. I have a clearer path.”

After graduating with a B.A. in Human Development she became a behavioral therapist, and begins the MSW Program at CSUSM in Fall 2018. She will also return to her former role at the CSUSM Faculty Center.

Junko Miyoshi Sweeney

J. Sweeney

Junko Miyoshi Sweeney graduated from the Human Development Department in 2006 as an international student from Japan with an emphasis in Counseling.  After graduation, she obtained H-1B visa and served as an advisor for Japanese international students with a Japanese agency.  Soon after her B.A. degree in HD, she earned a Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.) in Student Affairs and Administration (SAA) in Higher Education at University of Wisconsin, La Cross.  Both degree experiences helped her gain a deeper understanding of the U.S. higher education system and methods for providing better services to incoming Japanese students.  In 2014, she established International Study Abroad Connection, Inc. with the passion to connect Japanese students with CSUSM.  Along the way, she also developed a side business in skincare products and credits her entrepreneurial skills to her education.
“Coming from Japan as an international student, I struggled with mastering practical English language and assimilating to American culture.  The HD professors and advisors at the Office of Global Education were my greatest guidance and supporters. Through the HD program, I learned to be humble and caring, and most importantly, understand what “Si, se puede (It can be done)” really means.  I never dreamt of obtaining a professional role or starting a family in San Diego, but my training made it possible.  Coming to this diversified, friendly, goal-oriented CSUSM was the best decision I’ve ever made. Running my agency and Rodan and Fields Consulting business are my passion to help others and my way of paying it forward by guiding Japanese students in the ways to find themselves in a global world, understand how to balance between cultures and languages, and purse a future with confidence.  I know I can do whatever I set my mind to.”

Angelica de Luna

A. de Luna

Angelica de Luna graduated from the Human Development Department in 2016 and is now the Operations Technician for Family Service Association in Riverside, CA. She is responsible for staff supervision, team building, training and administrative support.

“As a first generation college student, I had to overcome many obstacles to earn my degree, plus being a mother and a wife while studying full time. Anything is possible with the right attitude. I am grateful for the opportunity to become a professional with a career in human development.”

Dalia & Jasmin Leon

D & J Leon

Dalia and Jasmin Leon completed their BA degree in Human Development in 2016 and are now enrolled in the Master of Public Health program at CSUSM. 

"Growing up in an immigrant Latino household, health education and resources were limited, and access to healthcare was challenging.  My career goal is to work with Latino families to provide health information and resources.  I am grateful for my training in the Human Development Department; it gave me foundational information about health and lifespan development, and I developed valuable skills.  Now, I look forward to learning more at CSUSM in the Master of Public Health program."   

-Dalia Leon

"What I really liked about the HD program is that it helped me build skills for a professional career in health.  In particular, I learned about effective communication, problem solving, critical thinking and teamwork. It is unfortunate that many people still don’t have the resources they need for illness prevention and health promotion.   While doing my HD internship at two nursing homes, I realized that the elderly, minorities, and people with disabilities are especially vulnerable.  I want to do my part to improve public health and make a difference. That is why I chose a degree in Human Development and to pursue a Master of Public Health degree."   

-Jasmin Leon

Belinda Pedraza

B. Pedraza

Belinda Pedraza graduated from the Human Development Department in 2015 and is now a Primary Resource teacher for the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, NV. She is responsible for educating students with mild learning disabilities at an elementary school and will soon be graduating with a Master’s degree in Special Education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

“Pursuing a teaching career was an unexpected blessing. I initially became an Instructional Assistant to gain more experience working with children with learning disabilities. I enjoyed working in special education so much that I decided to pursue a teaching career. I am very grateful for the support I was given by my CSUSM professors about exploring opportunities around me and pursing my passion for wanting to help others. I am proud to say I graduated with a Human Development degree.”