UC Merced students, recent graduates and soon-to-be Bobcats are spending the summer break in typical college fashion – traveling to sunny beaches, picking up part-time jobs and trying to further their education while helping others.
“I wasn’t behind in my classes – in fact I’m ahead – so I decided not to take any courses this summer,” said student Stella Yu.
Instead, Yu chose to take a job helping incoming freshmen. She’ll be part of a mentoring program that helps new students adapt to the campus. Having had to deal with the challenges of being a new student herself, she jumped at the chance when offered a spot in the program.
But it won’t be all work for Yu. In late summer she is traveling to the Florida Keys with her family to start a Caribbean cruise.
Recent graduate Nolan Noble will be also be jetting off to a far-flung location – Ireland – for a three-week tour. Before he goes, though, he’ll help economics professors Shawn Kantor and Alex Whalley with their research in higher education and locality development.
“(When I) return, I´ll begin some serious GRE prep and get ready to move to the United Kingdom, where I´ll be in an MSC-in-economics program next year,” he said.
While Noble wraps up his time in Merced, there are plenty of students eager to begin their tenure at the campus. One of them is Priya Sharma, a transfer student from Merced College’s Los Banos Campus.
Having just graduated from the local community college, Sharma plans to get a leg up on her biological studies major and take one or two classes during Summer Session. Sharma said she is looking into working as a student ambassador for the university, having held the same position at her old school.
“I would like to come back to Los Banos during the summer and let the high school and college students know about what the UC Merced campus offers, what courses they have to take and how to register,” she said. “It would have helped me a lot, having that information. I took a class that I didn’t even need.”
Michelle Comer, a UC Merced psychology major, plans to help students who were in Sharma’s position by answering questions over the phone at the Students First Center.
In addition to her job with Students First, Comer also has plans to assist professor William Shadish with research on meta-analysis in the field of psychotherapy.
“I just started about a week ago, so the details of the project are still being revealed to me,” Comer said. “I´m really excited about the opportunity.”