For Avisha Chugani in for the Admissions Office at UC Merced, reaching out to students and seeing their pioneering spirits first-hand is what makes her job rewarding.
In her current position as Admissions Officer, Chugani applies experience she gained working with current and incoming transfer students at UCLA through their Center for Community College Partnerships and STOMP—the Student Transfer Outreach and Mentor Program.
Each year, UC Merced admissions staffers visit more than 100 high schools and junior colleges throughout the Central Valley. They also hold UC Application Workshops and make presentations throughout the state including Northern and Southern California areas.
A good portion of Chugani’s time is spent driving all over California, informing students and educators and distributing brochures, catalogs and more. She estimates she travels about three months during the fall and two months in the spring, with about 40% of her time spent on the road helping students prepare for UC Merced.
The UC Applications period for Fall 2006 closed on November 30, but that doesn’t mean Chugani and her colleagues get to relax. During the rest of the year, the admissions group evaluates applications, organizes events for admitted students and prepares for the next year.
Since classes started at UC Merced, Chugani has enjoyed the opportunity to sit down for coffee with a few of the students she met during last year’s application process.
“It’s beautiful to watch a student grow right before my eyes. It is also wonderful to hear how they’re enjoying their classes, despite how challenging they are,” she says.
“Seeing students that I met at application workshops and yield events last year now on campus is one of the most exciting and humbling moments of my UC Merced experience so far. I look forward to watching and helping the students I am visiting now, work with our current students to help create their campus.”
For students thinking about coming to UC Merced next fall, Chugani’s best suggestion is, “Come with a positive attitude and be prepared to establish traditions and make the most out of this most significant time of your lives!”