Student Life & Leadership Example

February 2020

Section 1

February 2020 - Constance Lin

An image of Constance Lin, February 2020 Spotlight winner.

Name: Constance Lin
“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.” - Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Year: 4th
Major: Criminology, Law and Society
Hometown: San Jose, California

Involvements at UCI:

Commissioner, Campus Climate Commission, Office of the President, ASUCI (2020), Intern, Legal Clinic Commission, Office of the Internal Vice President, ASUCI (2019), Intern, UCI Police Department (2020), Mentor, Chinese Association Mentorship Program (2018-2020), President, Tau Sigma National Honor Society (2018-2020), Student Conduct Caseworker, Office of the Student Advocate General, ASUCI (2018-2019), Treasurer, Archery at UCI (2018-2020)

How have you grown as a leader during your time at UCI?

My various positions on campus, primarily my service as the President of Tau Sigma and the Treasurer of the Archery team, have helped me define my leadership style. I am compassionate and offer support in all areas that I can, but remain firm in the organization’s goals and needs. I have strong moral values that I extend to my own behavior and the board’s interactions with general members to serve the UCI undergraduate student population. In almost all of my commitments, I’ve also implemented anonymous feedback surveys to better myself. Before UCI, I thought good leaders were organized, knew how to delegate, and just worked very, very hard. Today, my leadership style has evolved to include sensitivity and self-reflection, which has allowed me to serve my peers in a more holistic way.

Who or what has motivated you during college?

My dad is definitely my biggest motivation. I am incredibly privileged to have him help me pay for my tuition while at UCI, so I want to make him proud by getting good grades and achieving a lot during my time here. His story has also served as motivation for me--he immigrated to the United States in his mid-twenties after serving in the military in Taiwan, and then worked two or three jobs during his time in school to support himself. After learning English in a few short years, he got accepted into a top Electrical Engineering program and has worked nonstop to support his family ever since.

What are you passionate about? Do you see yourself doing something with this passion in the future?

I am passionate about making resources accessible to people. In the past, I’ve achieved this by serving as a Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Human Trafficking Advocate. I was able to provide free groceries, clothing, victim resources, emergency housing, and much more to survivors of intimate partner violence. At UCI, I’ve achieved this by serving as the campus’ first ever Student Conduct Caseworker to provide students accused of violating the Code of Student Conduct with resources to guide them through the sanctions process. Currently, I work with my team of amazing interns in the Campus Climate Commission to provide educational workshops and events to uplift marginalized communities. In the future, I hope to continue to volunteer at a family justice center or women’s shelter in my free time.

Tell us about a time that you failed. How did you deal with this failure?

During my senior year of high school, I got rejected from UC Irvine. My mother wouldn’t allow me to attend any other universities I got into, and I ended up attending the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) for one semester when my mother moved to Nevada. I thought that the small name meant I failed--I saw no future for myself, lost a lot of motivation, and felt like my efforts in high school were for nothing. Luckily, I moved back to California to live with my dad, completed the requirements to transfer, and was offered admission to UCI. Since then, I deal with failure by recognizing that almost everything is under my control. If I get a bad grade, I know it’s because I didn’t study hard enough. If I don’t get an internship or job I was applying for, it’s because I didn’t prepare enough for the interview or personal statement. Although I started off with rough circumstances, my difficult journey getting to UCI is a constant driving factor in pushing me to do my best academically and in my other commitments.

What is your favorite memory during your time at UCI?

Some of my favorite memories are hanging out and getting food with the UCI Archery team. I’ve definitely found my closest friends and biggest support in the team members, and I’m very grateful to be a part of such a successful and kind group of people. This year, I’m also lucky to have my younger sister be at UCI with me as a freshman; I love giving her advice on her homework, running into her on campus, and cooking for her in exchange for swipes into the dining hall!

What is the greatest piece of advice that you have been given?

Communicate your feelings and be receptive of how other people treat you. It’s really important to surround yourself with people who respect your priorities, are emotionally mature, and will support you in your endeavors. It’s one thing to have a team of hardworking and successful individuals, but make sure to also solidify friendships and relationships with people who genuinely care for you. Ideally, the people you work with can be your friends too!

What is something that you have learned in college that you would like to share the other students at UCI?

Your mental and physical health is just as important, if not more important, than academic and professional success. Don’t be afraid to ask for a day off, take time for yourself, and spend time doing things you enjoy even if they may not seem conventionally productive. I’m so grateful that the Archery team board lets me skip one practice a week; after all, practices start at 6:00am, and having some time in the morning once a week on my busiest day helps me not burn out.