Student Life & Leadership Example

May 2021

Section 1

May 2021 - Nayeli Lopez

An image of Nayeli Lopez, May 2021 Spotlight winner.

Name: Nayeli Lopez

Year: 4th year

Major: Education Sciences and Social Policy & Public Service

Hometown: Boyle Heights

Hobbies: Reading poetry and going to the beach!

Involvements at UCI:

  • Tutor for Reading One-to-One Tutoring Project by Professor Farkas (October 2018 – March 2019)
  • Student Research Assistant for Individualizing Student Instruction Lab (April 2019 – June 2019)
  • Fundraising Co-chair for MEChA de UCI (October 2018 – March 2019 )
  • Mentor for Bridging Anteater Mentorship Program (October 2019-March 2020)
  • Volunteer for the Student Outreach and Retention Center (January 2019-March 2020)
  • Peer Academic Advisor for the School of Education Student Affairs Office (July 2020-present)
  • Pathfinder Peer Educator (August 2020-present)
  • SSARC Peer Consultant (September 2020-present)
  • GAPP Field Study Intern (January 2021-present)

What has been the most fulfilling experience you have had in a leadership role?

This is a tough question!I feel that all of my leadership experiences at UCI have been very fulfilling in their own unique way. However, if I have to choose one I think it would be being a Peer Academic Advisor because this role is very close to home in regard to my career goal. I’ve always wanted to become an academic counselor and this leadership role has allowed me to get some sense of this dream. I really enjoyed being able to help others get closer to achieving their goals by being able to advise and support them.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

The accomplishment I am most proud of is actually this one! I think ending my last year at UCI by being recognized for my achievements is very nice, I get to share my experiences with others even after I am gone.

Who is your role model at UCI? How have they impacted you?

I have many great role models at UCI, I’ve been very lucky to meet some amazing people who have given me unconditional support and guidance. However, I believe Dr. Espinoza has had the biggest impact on me. She has been the person who has really taught me a lot about following my dreams as a Latina, especially during the application process to graduate school.She was the first person to really introduce this to me and not only encouraged me to pursue it but supported me through it. She has always been someone I could ask questions or for help. She is a resilient and admirable woman, I really do look up to her and everything she has done as a professional.

Everyone experiences some form of failure in their life, how have you dealt with it?

I’ve failed many times before being successful, I remember my first year I was not involved at all because I was going through a hard time adjusting. However, I knew it was important to get engaged with the UCI community by becoming involved and so I applied to be a Peer Mentor at SSI for TRIO and Summer Bridge, I thought I had a good shot at getting  either of the positions because of high school involvements but I did not get it. I had relied one getting one of those positions and had not applied to anything else! I learned my lesson on always seeking more opportunities because you never know which one you may land. A no should give you more motivation and that’s what it did, I made sure to stay involved my remaining years through summer internships and school orgs/clubs. I wish I had started earlier though! There are definitely a lot of positions at UCI that I would’ve liked to be a part of.