These Dynamic Pacific Grads Ready for the Future

Jessica Nguyen, Communications with an Ethnic Studies minor ‘18

Originally a Biology student, Jessica Nguyen recognized her own passion for public speaking and instead became a Communication student.

“Now I can look back and I know that that was the best decision that I could have made, because I really love my classes, I love speeches, and I love writing that kind of academic stuff, outside of math and science,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen currently has an internship creating web content for United Way, a group that funds nonprofit community organizations. She is also the president of Pacific’s chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, the communications honor society. As president, Nguyen reached out to professors from San Joaquin Delta College and local high school teachers to present on information on the Communications major and reasons to come to the University of the Pacific.

Nguyen is also one of the student commencement speakers for the College of the Pacific commencement ceremony. Jessica said that her speech is about opportunity and she will talk about pursuing passions.

“I thought it was something that people could relate to…and it was something that I really wanted to share.”

Katie Ram, Applied Mathematics, Physics, and Spanish ‘18

An impressive triple major, Ram has been at Pacific for five years. She is currently working on a couple different projects, one being her senior thesis on the transfer function on a circular membrane, and the other an independent study on transit timing variations of exoplanets.

Ram got involved with the Pacific Education Abroad Office after she spent her third year studying abroad in Santiago, Chile. She is currently serving as a student advisor with the organization; she is also a TA for Modern Physics.

After graduation, Ram plans to take a gap year and apply to graduate school for Applied Mathematics. “I hope to eventually teach at the university level,” she said.

Aaron Romero, Sociology with an Ethnic Studies minor ‘18

Also starting out as a Biology student, Aaron Romero was alway interested in Sociology, but decided to major in the subject after taking an introduction course at Delta College. Romero wants to go to graduate school after taking a gap year, enter a Socio-Cultural Anthropology program at UC Berkeley, and one day teach at a university. During his gap year, Romero plans to do some volunteering and working.

“I’m looking into volunteer opportunities. I really hope to find some opportunities in Puerto Rico, especially after the hurricane, I know that they are really needing that right now. Also, last week, I started the application process for a job with the California State Auditor’s office, and I met one the reps for that at the career fair awhile back.”

Romero commutes to campus and has not had a lot of time to work with many of the on-campus organizations, but has spent some time with the Sociology club on campus and done some volunteering with St. Mary’s Dining Room. For incoming students, Romero advises,

“Try to get involved as much as you can on campus, because I was a transfer student so the two years went by really quick for me, and four years definitely goes by fast too. Just take advantage of it and enjoy it.”

Danielle Pacrem, Sociology and Psychology with an Ethnic Studies minor ‘18

Growing up with family struggles, Danielle Pacrem took an interest in Psychology and considered a career in drug rehabilitation and counseling, but after discovering a passion for sociology, she decided to double major in both Psychology and Sociology. Though Pacific was not her first choice, Pacrem fell in love with the campus and made the decision to become a Tiger.

In the past, Pacrem has been involved with Kilusan and is currently a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. However, Pacrem is especially proud of her work with the Martin Gipson Socialization Center.

“It’s an outpatient facility for adults with mental health issues, so a lot of our clients are schizophrenic or have bipolar disorder…I go to the center and teach them independent living skills classes and now I work for the board and care home that’s connected to the center. So, that takes up a lot of my time and I love it. I learn from my clients and I teach my clients, so it’s really cool.”

Pacrem will be taking a gap year before going to graduate school, traveling to Korea with her church over the summer. While there, she will be teaching English and participating in a camp. However, Pacrem is not dead set on one path and is open to going on a mission trip after her summer break.

“I’m all over the place, which is kind of scary for me. I’ve always been the type who needs to know every step they’ll take…right now it’s like ‘I can do this’ or ‘I can do that’, but I’m starting to enjoy it more.”

Ashley Pham, English with an Ethnic Studies and Teaching Profession minor ‘18

Ashley Pham is a Pacific Humanities Scholar with a passion for teaching. She is actually teaching Pre-AP English at Bear Creek High School right here in Stockton.

Teaching at such a young age has been an interesting experience for Pham.

“Since I have honors students they don’t give me any behavioral problems, so the biggest challenge is making learning intellectually stimulating for them, because they’re smart and I have to try and be smarter than them. But it’s like they learn from me and I learn from them.”

Pham is the Director of Sisterhood for Pacific’s chapter of Alpha Phi, Sigma Tau Delta, the English honors society, an editor for Calliope, the Pacific’s literary and visual arts magazine, and was previously an editor for the Pacifican.

For current undergraduates and incoming freshman, Pham has some notable advice.

“Take advantage of how small this school is. There are a lot of opportunities to get involved and faculty who will support you.”

Some of the faculty who had a large impact on Pham’s education include English professors, Dr. Xiaojing Zhou, Dr. Courtney Lehmann, and Dr. Cynthia Dobbs.

Victoria Rodriguez, English with an Ethnic Studies minor ‘18

Also a Humanities Scholar, Victoria Rodriguez wasn’t always an English major. Before becoming an English student, Victoria was a Film Studies student with an interest in the entertainment industry. However, she took an interest in law, and when deciding to go to law school, Rodriguez decided to study English and is going to the McGeorge School of Law in the fall.

On campus, Rodriguez used to be involved with the Center for Community Involvement in her freshman year, and is currently a member Pacific’s chapter of Omega Eta Epsilon, the professional literacy and readiness fraternity, and the National Society of Leadership and Success. She also did work with Pacific Dental Services and St. Mary’s Dining Hall, and currently works with Pacific’s Women’s Resource Center as an Inclusion Coordinator.

Rodriguez is a student who has worked hard to earn her degree, and advises that students take their education seriously. “I look at a lot of students who blow off their classes and just do enough to get by, and that’s fine and it might get you passing grades, but you pay a lot of money to go here, so you should utilize your experience in any way you can.”

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Andrew Rocha

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