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Nelson Pham

High School: Milpitas High School 

Mission College '14
AA – T Political Science, May 2014 
Certificate of Achievement – Transfer Studies (CSU GE-B), May 2014  

Cal State University, Long Beach 
BA – Political Science emphasis in law, politics and policy, May 2016 

University of Pennsylvania 
MS.Ed – Higher Education/Higher Education Administration, May 2017 

I had a good experience at Mission College.  I was able to find like-minded friends who had helped me academically and personally throughout my time at community college. 

University life is very different from life at a community college.  Students have to actively seek out help and guidance (especially for historically marginalized students).  Mission did expose me to different student services offices and informed me that these offices are also available at the university.  I believe students need this information and colleges can do a better job in informing transfer students about the available resources at different universities. 

My advice to current students, make the best of your time at Mission College.  Demand the support and opportunities because the resources are there.  Build connections with faculty, administrators, staff, and other students so you can have a support group that you can go to for help.  If I could do it over again, I would make sure that I demand more academic and career opportunities.  I would build even more connections with faculty that can help me move beyond what I learn in class. 

While at Mission I found my calling.  Through being involved and working on campus, I fell in love with education.  Mission College gave me the stepping stone within the field of higher education.  Currently, I work as the Assistant Director, Diversity Programs at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.  Starting in January I will be serving as the Multicultural Program Director at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  

Fun Fact: "I am passionate about making education more equitable and accessible for students of color.  I do this through academic programs, admission recruiting, advising, and exposing students of color to research/career opportunities.  I also opened my own publishing company to help authors of color share their story.  In my free time, I love to travel, try new food, relax at the beach, and go on hikes."