What kinds of Senior Fellow experiences are shared with students? Here are just a few...
We participated in meetings in which we discussed everything from career plans to women in leadership!!
I had a very fulfilling experience these past months with my Senior Fellow, Kathay Feng, Executive Director of California Common Cause. We shared many of the same areas of interests and I enjoyed the short time I spent around the Common Cause headquarters in Los Angeles. The discussions and conversations that took place during this program are things that I will remember my whole life.
We experienced a tour of Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, followed by a jambalaya dinner cooked by my Senior Fellow! Now we’re planning a tour of the new Martin Luther King Community Hospital.
For our day-on-the-job visit, we met with Derek Brinkerhoff, Distinguished Fellow, International Public Management at RTI international, for meetings with senior leaders at the World Bank, the Aspen Institute, and World Learning.
My student colleagues and I enjoyed meeting with Judge Michael Nash, Presiding Judge of the Los Angeles Juvenile Court, in his personal chambers at the children’s dependency court twice this year. Additionally, he has facilitated our participation in Delinquency/Dependency Crossover Youth meetings and gave us access to the body of work that is currently evolving surrounding issues specific to this unique population. Judge Nash also facilitated our visit to Judge Hill's courtroom, where the delinquency cases of children with special mental health considerations are heard, as well as our visit to the Central Juvenile Detention Facility downtown. Thanks to Judge Nash's efforts, we also visited the Dorothy Kirby Detention Center for children in the delinquency system with special mental health and emotional concerns as well as the Afflerbaugh Detention Center in La Verne to get an understanding of what the typical camp experience is like for children in the delinquency system.
During my day-on-the-job in Sacramento, I met Senator Kevin de Léon and leaders of the local Asian Pacific Islander community.
I met Mr. Johng Ho Song last Friday, along with two other mentees. He gave us an introduction about his agency and Korean town. Later, he showed us around his office and different agencies in Korean Town, such as clinics, student and children centers as well as affordable housing apartments. He told us why he was determined to work for a non-profit organization. His emphasis on the evaluation of efficiency and efficacy of NPO’s work impressed me a lot. I am looking forward to meet him again. Thank you for enrolling me in this program!
My Senior Fellow, Chief of Police for the City of Long Beach, arranged ride-alongs, a visit to the lock up facilities, and opportunities to join him at community events.
Eighteen of us spent a day at the Edmund D. Edelman Children’s Court that included a tour of the facilities, attendance at selected court proceedings and observing Adoption Day, all arranged by our Senior Fellow, Michael Nash, Presiding Judge of Los Angeles Juvenile Court.
Our Senior Fellow, Bill Simon, Co-Chairman of William E. Simon & Sons shared a day-on-the-job visit with Principal Clarence Miller at the Alliance Bill & Simon Technology Academy High School.
We toured the Korean Youth and Community Center, visited various KYCC sites, and had dinner in Koreatown where we talked about what it’s like to run a nonprofit and discussed the duties of an executive director.
I couldn't be more grateful to Patt Morrison for sharing with me days in the life of one of the smartest people in journalism. I've been able to see her wit and intellect in action, sitting in on her interview with Former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and watching her team at NPR produce a show. She has also given me invaluable insight and feedback on what it takes to be a journalist, exposing me to the ways that a non-journalist like me can translate my advocacy and public health work into meaningful health communication to the public.
My experience with Joan Ling was positive. I met with her and communicated on specific topics by email between those meetings. For me, Joan met my main goal of participating in the program by offering suggestions on how to think about potential careers. She also provided internship contacts who were very responsive to my inquiries.
Hasan Ikhrata, executive director of the Southern California Association of Governments, has been an excellent Senior Fellow for my first year in the department. He invited my fellow mentees and me to lunch, a tour of the SCAG offices, and hosted us as guests to the SCAG Regional Conference in the spring. This valuable experience allowed us to gain insight into the workings of the largest MPO in the nation and how they engage their constituents.
I'm one of Bill Watanabe's mentees and so far we have met twice at the Little Tokyo Center. Our first visit included a really great tour of LTC and of the Little Tokyo neighborhood. So far the program has been a great experience to see how our degrees translate in the “real world.”
Participating in the Senior Fellows Program allowed me to interact and learn from professionals who share similar interest as me. Their insight, knowledge, and advice are certainly invaluable given that they speak from experience; my mentors really made an effort to connect and serve as a resource to their mentees when needed.
Attending the Transportation Research Board (TRB) annual conference with Therese McMillan offered me tremendous opportunities to talk with transportation professionals and learn about innovation and policy from around the country and the world. I am proud to say we took the metro from the conference to the Department of Transportation (DOT) office building where we took pictures and asked questions during our 40 minutes with Secretary Ray LaHood! Being able to attend this conference, spend time with my Senior Fellow and experience all the great transportation opportunities of Washington, DC was really fantastic
I am Judge Amy Pellman’s mentee. I had the privilege of observing her courtroom for a half day, followed by lunch. She is so gracious and smart, and I feel very lucky to have been paired with her. Judge Pellman reminded me that it's not through luck, but through hard work and perseverance, that we finally find the thing we love.
Michele Prichard and I have met I think three times, and have also exchanged emails. She is LOVELY, and has advised me both in things to look into in school as well as things in LA I should get involved in. She invited me to join her at a really interesting political event that I felt really gratified to be involved with. She is also incredibly accommodating and offered to have 2 of our 3 meetings here on campus!
It was a great opportunity to meet with Dr. David Carlisle to tour Charles Drew University. The best time was lunch at UCLA. It allowed me to get a really good understanding of how a President navigates the political and non-profit sector. He gave us a lot of insight on the different expectations he has to manage. He was very generous with his time and I really feel like I got a chance to get to know him.
I have had such a wonderful experience through my encounters with Tanya Tull, the executive director of Partnering for Change. In addition to several meetings every quarter where we would discuss current issues of homelessness including policy issues and project initiatives, the absolute highlight has been being introduced to Dora Gallo, the CEO of A Community of Friends, who personally gave me a tour of a housing facility that they operate in Hollywood. I was simply amazed at how massive of a scale housing needs are being addressed all across the county; however, what struck me most was the dedication in not only providing a place to live for those who would otherwise be homeless or at risk of homelessness, but in creating a beautiful space that residents cherish and feel a personal sense of ownership over. The buildings are beautifully designed with stylish architectural elements and well-kept in a direct contrast to what might have otherwise been a stereotyped portrayal of low-income housing.
Erroll Southers is a man whose opinion carries great weight in the national security and counter-terrorism realms. For him to share a meaningful portion of his valuable time with a small group of graduate students over the last academic year was extraordinary. He made the schlep across town on more than one occasion to join us on UCLA's north campus for sit downs. He also welcomed us down to USC a couple of times to hear important speakers or just to walk around his workplace - USC's Homeland Security Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events - to better understand the work he was doing. He was always first concerned with our academic and career paths. After that he would share reports some of the cutting-edge security areas he was doing work in. Beyond that he made himself available and was free with his contacts that he thought could be valuable to us. His history with the FBI, law enforcement, government, academia, and consulting has provided for a wide range of experience from which to draw. And he shared that experience without reservation. It was a great year and I leave with a profound first-hand experience, a greater understanding of the world (really), and a broader network from which to draw from over the coming years! Thank you for making this opportunity available to me!
Participating in the Senior Fellows program has certainly been one of the highlights of my time at Luskin. I was able to attend the Insure the Uninsured Project Annual Conference with my mentor, Tom Epstein. We have also had a few phone chats in which he has provided me with a lot of insight into possible career paths and opportunities. I would highly recommend that Tom Epstein continue to be a part of the Senior Fellows program - he has been an extraordinary help and mentor throughout this past year and students would truly benefit from being able to connect with such a dedicated and outstanding individual.
My Senior Fellow experience is going wonderfully! Gregory McGinity, from the Broad Foundation, has been incredibly helpful already. We met once for lunch and he called me prior to an interview with the Broad Residency to let me know what I should prepare-- that was his initiative, I didn't ask him to do that. I know he is very busy, so I am very appreciative that he takes the time to connect with me. He has been very intentional and proactive about giving me career advice and making sure the mentorship is valuable to me. I really appreciate that. We plan to meet before school starts again when he is a little less busy.
Dr. Jonathan Fielding, the former Director/Health Officer of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, was wonderful and encouraging from our first meeting. He helped me when I needed a public health resource to advise me on an appropriate public policy approach to addressing a community concern and helped me prepare for a first-time retreat for a group of 71 medical students. It's wonderful to know that someone who is able make such a generous contribution makes the time to mentor and truly ACTIVELY mentor. That really impressed me. I have been privileged to be able to share my life plans and goals with Dr. Fielding and I have had the opportunity to receive feedback and guidance. I appreciate him for this and I thank him dearly for being willing.
It was a great experience to have been Tony Salazar's mentee. He has a unique perspective of what it means to be a real estate developer with an emphasis on social justice issues. He was always very welcoming and open with his thoughts and advice. Tony gave us the opportunity to form part of his presentation for the school--he took the time to meet with us individually and work on our presentation. It was a great opportunity to work on an issue of our interest and gain Tony's perspective on the issue. I am lucky to have been able to be paired up with him! Thanks!
In regards to my experience with my fellow, I felt very fortunate to have Mr. Fred Ali. When I met with him during the fall quarter for lunch, he was very warm and easy to talk to. He provided a book about the history of Ben Weingart and the Weingart Foundation. He also provided documentation from a fairly recent study funded by the Weingart Foundation that explored strengths and weaknesses and organizational capacities among nonprofits in the county. It was in part because of my experiences with Mr. Ali and the Senior Fellows program that I decided to switch my concentration in the social welfare program. Over the winter break, Mr. Ali contacted me and provided the contact information for a professional colleague of his, Andrew Bridge, Executive Director at the Child Welfare Initiative. From this, I was able to arrange a meeting with Mr. Bridge and learned a great deal about the important work he is doing and his experience in the field. Mr. Ali's actions really meant a lot to me because it showed he was really listening when I shared my interest in the area of child welfare.
Mr. Robin Toma has been a caring, supportive and accessible mentor throughout the year. Despite his busy schedule, he has been surprisingly approachable for us, and we were encouraged to interact with him via phone, email or face-to-face conversation. The program has provided me with a great opportunity to have a professional senior mentor to turn to when I was faced with confusion about my academic choices; what's more, I have been offered important information regarding internship hunting, cultural adaptation and professional development from the program, which I believe will be a long-term help to me.
My experience with Mr. Gary Bagley was very positive. He provided me interesting insight into the Foreign Service during the Senior Fellows Breakfast as well as during a lunch I had with him. Mr. Bagley also graciously moderated the International Policy Panel at the L.A. Policy Symposium and I had time to chat with him afterwards. Upon Mr. Bagley’s recommendation, I applied for a State Department summer internship. Though I was aware of the internship program, I had not planned on applying for it until it was suggested to me by Mr. Bagley. Subsequently, I was offered a paid internship in Jakarta, Indonesia and I am excited to say that I will be leaving for Jakarta shortly after this quarter ends. After I informed Mr. Bagley of this internship opportunity he provided me with contact information for friends of his at the Embassy and made an attempt to obtain the other Jakarta interns contact information. I would certainly recommend that Mr. Bagley be included in next year's Senior Fellows program. It is a rare opportunity to interact with a Senior Foreign Service Officer--it is my understanding that only a small percentage of Foreign Service Officers make it to this level. Mr. Bagley helped me better understand a career with the State Department and gave me the necessary nudge to apply for an internship which will likely have a significant impact on my career.
My experience with my Fellow has been truly exceptional. Katherine Perez made herself available to meeting with me and sharing stories and advice about school, career and life. I appreciate her candor, intelligence and sense of humor. She allowed me to "shadow" her during a few meetings at ELP Advisors, where I got a better sense of her work and her firm. These meetings eventually led to short-term project work, and as of January 2012, I started interning at her firm, ELP Advisors. Meeting Katherine has truly enriched my graduate experience here at UCLA. It wouldn't have been the same without her! I truly do consider her a mentor in every sense of the word, and am positive our mentorship will last beyond the Senior Fellows program.
I have really enjoyed getting to know Gisselle Acevedo. My fellow mentees and I were fortunate enough to get a personal tour of the facilities of the organization, Para Los Niños, where Gisselle was executive director. What really struck me as we walked through the halls of the charter school was the fact that all of the children knew Gisselle, and she knew many, if not most of them by name. It was inspiring to see a woman who has clearly achieved so much in her career and made Para Los Niños an exceptionally successful organization be so warm and down-to-earth. She is truly an example of what our leaders in all sectors of society should be.
Having Sushma Rahman as a Senior Fellow this year was a wonderful experience. Not only did she make herself available to answer questions about career paths and offer advice but she opened the door to several Southern California Grantmakers’ events for us. One such event, held in January at the Sony Pictures lot in Culver City, brought Assemblymember Holly Mitchell to speak on the ramifications of the current budget crisis for the human services sector. As a macro MSW student, I was excited for the opportunity to listen and learn about an issue that will affect all of us, as well as the chance to network with representatives from some of the largest private foundations in the state. It was an exciting opportunity to learn and grow outside of my formal education at UCLA and I’m sure it, as part and parcel of my entire Senior Fellow experience, will inform my practice as a professional.
I can’t put into words how much I have grown to admire Sushma Raman as my mentor. I view her position as the CEO of Southern California Grantmakers (SCG) to be quite powerful, yet she is quite humble. I have realized how priceless the opportunity to be part of the program is to me and Sushma’s professionalism has only furthered my appreciation of her. To top it off, I was offered an internship position with the Mayor’s office this summer! Apparently, she put in a good word for me, and I was deliberately told of this during my interview with the Mayor’s office. How could I not adore her?
Mona Pasquil, Appointments Secretary for Governor Jerry Brown arranged our day-on-the-job in Sacramento. We sat in the back galleries of both assembly and senate chambers and observed floor sessions, where our legislators passed some resolutions and approved several boards and commissions appointments, we met with Senator Holly Mitchell, who She talked to us about some challenges she has faced as one of the few women of color legislators. We met with Carla Peterman, a California Public Utilities Commissioner, State Controller Betty Yee, met with Nancy Kirschner-Rodriguez, the Executive Director of California’s Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, and Karen Nelson, one of the members of the Commission. We also met with Arsenio Mataka from CalEPA, who is in charge of environmental justice efforts. He has collaborated with the Luskin Center on several occasions, and told us about the environmental reporting tool that his department is working to develop to improve communities’ ability to report and track the complaints they have made about pollution. Our last visit was with various people at GoBiz, the Governor’s Economic and Business Development Department. We learned a lot about siting, permitting, international trade, and different tax credits and incentives they are working on to entice businesses to come and stay in California. This trip helped me learn a lot about different state agencies and departments, and have broadened my job search effort. I learned a lot about living and working in Sacramento, a city that has evolved a lot since I started graduate school. I was also reminded why I decided to attend the public affairs school—there are so many ways that the government can help improve economic, social, and environmental conditions on a large scale. I feel very committed to pursue a career in public service after this trip.