Viewpoint: How UCLA Graduate Students Shaped My Education

UCLA undergraduate student Jennifer Brice considers her place in regards to graduate school, students and how they impact the overall UCLA student body.

Viewpoint by UCLA undergraduate student Jennifer Brice

In less than three months, I’ll be graduating from college. When I was graduating from high school, the inevitable question was, “Where are you going?” Now, as a graduating college senior I get asked, “What are you going to do?”

To me, that is the interminable question we all must answer. Though I have not come up with a definite answer, I have gotten better at how to approach this question. Some soon-to-be graduates will enter the workforce, while some will start graduate school. As for me, I hope to do both.

Before attending UCLA, I did not know too much about graduate school. It wasn’t until I started college and had graduate students explain the landscape of academia, their research, and their role as teaching assistants during discussion sections, that I understood how graduate school works. From them, I have learned that it is not where you are going next that matters, but what you are doing with your education that counts.

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Graduate students push for funding in Sacramento

The UCLA coalition for UC Graduate Research Advocacy Day. (photos by Jennifer Brice)

UCLA contingent was there as part of the annual UC Graduate Research Advocacy Day

To help ensure that UCLA can continue turning its research into positive impacts throughout Los Angeles County, four graduate students recently traveled to Sacramento to lobby state legislators for more funding so they can continue that kind of difference-making work.

“The nice thing about graduate students is you sort of get two for one. You have them supporting the undergraduate population, and then, in addition to that, doing the research that is also an important part of the university’s mission,” said Leslie Rith-Najarian, who is a fifth-year doctoral student studying clinical psychology at UCLA.

Rith-Najarian, and three other grad students, along with Robin Garrell, dean of the graduate division, and associate dean of the graduate division Susan Ettner traveled to Sacramento for UC Graduate Research Advocacy Day.

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Senator Dianne Feinstein Convenes Gun Violence Prevention Roundtable Including City Attorney Mike Feuer, UCLA Experts

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer speaks with U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein during a gun violence prevention roundtable. (photos by Jonathan Van Dyke)

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein visited the UCLA campus March 27 to convene a roundtable on gun violence prevention with Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, academic experts, medical professionals and community members.

Feinstein sought the expertise of a number of people, including UCLA physicians, victims of gun violence and advocacy groups.

“That’s the job in front of us, to do something about it,” she announced to the group of about 15 as the meeting convened. “We thought it would be good to pull people together and have this roundtable.”

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VIDEO: Help Keep the University of California Affordable

Please join us in calling on Sacramento to strengthen its investment in the University of California and UCLA.

To help continue to promote the work and need of advocates, UCOP is developing a video series to explain the need for additional state funds and to mobilize more people to join the UC Advocacy Network and engage in budget advocacy on behalf of UC.

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A lesson on homelessness for UCLA Luskin students

UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs students listen to Gita O’Neill, left, director of homeless policies and strategies in the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office. (photos by Stan Paul)

Students and city leaders weigh policy options regarding homelessness during annual UCLA Luskin Day at L.A. City Hall

Article by Stan Paul of UCLA Luskin.

Just how complex the problem of homelessness is in Los Angeles — and how to combat it — was the focus of a recent daylong program that brought students from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs together with community leaders and providers of homeless services from throughout the region at Los Angeles City Hall.

Homelessness in Los Angeles is a problem with a long history. It’s also a growing and complex issue, with no easy fix for the estimated 50,000-plus people living on streets of the city and throughout greater Los Angeles County.

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UCLA Advocate In Action: U.S. Rep. Nanette Barragán Looks To Lead By Example

At a recent visit to UCLA, Rep. Nanette Barragán stopped to talk with community members and students during a special public discussion event. (photos by Jonathan Van Dyke)

Last June, Nanette Barragán ’00, U.S. Representative for the 44th Congressional District and a huge Dodgers fan, received an invite of a lifetime — throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at Dodger Stadium. Asking for advice ahead of time, she was told, “I advise you to throw from the front of the grass, not from the mound. You have certain challenges.”

“I wonder how many men he said that to? I was shocked, but it happens all the time,” she told a rapt crowd at UCLA’s James West Alumni Center, as part of a special discussion hosted by UCLA Government and Community Relations and the UCLA Latino Alumni Association.

As a lawyer and now Congresswoman, Barragán (D-San Pedro) is looking to inspire the next generation of women, and especially women of color, to break barriers and feel at home in male-dominated arenas, including law, Congress, and even the White House.

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