2018 Graduate Spotlights

Student Perspectives

CINDY GIANG

Vietnamese American Student Association

Cindy Giang (she/her/hers) is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Urban Ecology. Giang has been involved with the Asian American Student Association (AASA), Southwest Union Vietnamese Student Association (SWUVSA), and the Vietnamese American Student Association (VASA) during her time at the University of Utah. She has been extensively involved with VASA, a student group that has given her a support system and has taught her how to give back to her community. Giang plans to apply to the Master’s of Accounting program here at the University of Utah in Spring 2019. Her career goal is to become an accountant for an architecture firm and support the firm design in a sustainable and financially sound fashion. Giang’s advice to incoming and current students:

“Never give up, even when you don’t think you will make it, because the outcome will be satisfying. And if you do fail, try again! The biggest regret you will have is not trying.”


HOLLY ELMORE

Pacific Islander Student Association

Holly Elmore (she/her/hers) is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and a minor in Ethnic Studies. Elmore has been a Social Justice Advocate in Housing and Residential Education, a secretary for Pacific Islander Student Association (PISA), and currently an intern at the Center for Ethnic Student Affairs. Elmore credits PISA with finding herself and the meaningful friendships she has fostered during her undergraduate career. Elmore plans on being a high school advisor to support first generation college students and those with underrepresented identities. Having been a first-generation college student, she would like to provide her students guidance in applying to college, funding options, finding a place to live, etc. Elmore believes proper guidance and mentors can really change the entire direction of students and alleviate their financial stress. Elmore’s advice to incoming and current students:

“Try to have fun and not stress about the little things. Make sure to spend time with your friends and family, because it’s important to take time for yourself and not forget those who love and support you. It’s very therapeutic and essential to take time for yourself to succeed in school.”


CHAISE EDEBIRI

Black Student Union

Chaise Edebiri (she/her/hers) is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology. Edebiri has been involved with many organizations, such as Black Student Union (BSU), McNair Scholars, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc, NASPA NUFP Fellow, and Beacon Scholars during her time at the University of Utah. Edebiri has been involved with BSU all five years of her undergraduate career; she credits BSU for not dropping out and for her admittance to graduate school. Edebiri recently accepted her admission to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and will pursue a Master’s program in Higher Education in Fall 2018. Edebiri’s ultimate goal is to obtain her Ph.D., and work as a scholar/practitioner at historically Black colleges and institutions. Her passion in higher education stems from questioning the oppressive systems that disenfranchise students of color. Edebiri wants to use her future professorial status to decolonize academic rhetoric and make it more accessible to communities outside of academia. Edebiri’s advice to incoming and current students:

“You learn more from interactions with peers, student organizations, and observing the politics within academia than being in a classroom. A professor is not always right, nor do they know everything; question everything and everyone, no matter how high up the ranks they are. You do not pay thousands of dollars to conform to an institution’s status quo.”


MATTHEW WONG

Asian American Student Association

Matthew Wong (he/him/his) is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Ethnic Studies and an Asian Studies minor. Wong is a transfer student and has quickly become involved on campus; he is currently the Asian American Student Association’s (AASA) Social Justice Director, a role in which he designs an engaging Asian-American Awareness Week for the University of Utah campus community. Wong tries to ensure knowledge and discussions on social justice topics are accessible for all AASA members. He plans on starting his Master’s in Education with an emphasis in Student Affairs in the Educational Leadership and Policy department here at the University of Utah in Fall 2018. Wong’s ultimate career goal is to work within higher education to have a direct impact on the experiences of students. Wong’s advice to incoming and current students:

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it; there are people who genuinely want you to succeed.”


SAMBAT JERRY KIM

Crimson Transfer Honor Society

Sambat Jerry Kim (he/him/his) is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in International Studies and a minor in Communication. Kim is a transfer student and has been involved with the Crimson Transfer Honor Society(CTHS), Learning Abroad, and the Bennion Center. Kim is currently the Marketing Chair for the CTHS, a role in which he enjoys doing marketing and posting inspirational quotes to inspire and encourage CTHS members through social media. Kim plans to eventually pursue a graduate program and use his education to give back to the communities he is a part of. Kim’s advice to incoming and current students:

“Everyone can accomplish their dreams at the University of Utah – don’t let your obstacles and circumstances stop you from pursuing your dreams.”


SAM ROBERTS

Students for Choice

Sam Roberts (they/them/theirs) is graduating with a double major in Health Promotion and Gender Studies. Roberts is the co-founder of Tampon Allies, which is a student led campaign that provides accessible feminine hygiene products to students on campus. Roberts is also one of the outgoing Vice Presidents of Students for Choice, a Planned Parenthood based student group on campus. Roberts has been passionately involved in these organizations to provide proper reproductive and health education to the University of Campus community. Roberts is pursuing a dual Master’s Degree in Public Health and Public Administration in hopes to work in the public sector or a non-profit using their educational background. Roberts’ advice to incoming and current students:

“Find your community; find your support system. You’re here for a degree but finding people and groups that you really jive with will make your college experience less of an endless slog through classes and more of an enjoyable and engaged experience.”


GLENDA PALOMINO

Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlan

Glenda Palomino (she/her/hers) is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a K-6 Teaching License. Palomino has been involved with Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlan (M.E.Ch.A.), Asian American Student Association (AASA), SOMOS Dreamers, Venceremos Newspaper, Bennion Center, and the Honors College throughout her time at the University of Utah. She has had almost all the roles under the sun with M.E.Ch.A., a student group she credits for her social consciousness and for the inspiration in becoming a professional educator. Palomino’s advice to incoming and current students:

“Be it in college or in life, sometimes you can’t really lay out a path for yourself that is straight and easy to follow; life is full of twists and turns that will take you to places you didn’t anticipate. Don’t be afraid of new things that come up along the way; you never know where it might take you.”



Campus Climate, Experiences, Identity, Wellness