Faces of UWest: Patrick Sario

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Name: Patrick Sario

Major/Program: BA International Business

Student at UWest since:  2013

What did you do this summer? 

I worked on campus assisting the PACE program and traveled to Taiwan for 28 days (attending the Life and Ch’an Seminar at Fo Guang Shan and touring the country).   I was fortunate to spend several days and nights at the Fo Guang Shan (FGS) monastery and the Buddha Memorial Center.   During the seminar, I formed lifelong bonds with other participants from Malaysia, Singapore, France, Philippines, South Africa, and China.   I attended a 2 hour heart-to-heart lecture from Ven. Master Hsing Yun and spent one night at Lanyang Temple in Yilan.  During my travels in Taiwan, I visited Fo Guang Universiy, Nanhua University, Wenzao Ursuline University, National Sun-Yat-Sen University, and Pumen Senior High School.  I stayed on the beautiful island of Xiao Liuqu and visited the night/day markets over 15 times. I was in a different city every 2-3 days.

Where can we find you when you’re not in class? 

In the newly renovated Fitness Center, doing service work on campus, or studying.  I am available to all students to provide them with support or mentoring.

What do you do in UWest Student Government? 

I am the UWSG President and I work with Officers, Senators, and Students as a liaison with the University Administration to advise on student needs and interests.

What does UWSG do? 

We are the collective voice of the UWest Student Body providing social, recreational, and educational services to the students.  We also try to work with University Administration to ensure they are aware of the issues and needs of the students, and we provide feedback regarding university policies, projects, and future plans.

Tell us about your UWSG team. 

I am very proud and excited to have such a diverse and motivated team of Officers and Senators.  Members of my team represent backgrounds from Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Mauritania, Mexico, China, and the United States.  Many of our members have been involved in leadership around campus and together we are connected to almost every university department.

What are some events our Student Government has planned this upcoming school year? 

This year we are planning to host several events on major US holidays such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, and a party at the end of the semester. We will collaborate closely with other clubs such as the Sustainable Investing Club, Kung-Fu Club, Japanese Club, and the Public Speaking Club for many of our events.  Also, we hope to collaborate with outside organizations for additional programing and provide a rewarding and rich growing environment for our constituents.

Can you tell us a little bit about Club Day? 

Club Day will be a fun event where club representatives can showcase and recruit members.  We will have presentations from clubs and wrap up with a bon fire for the community.

Describe yourself in three words. 

I’ll describe myself in three short phrases: Do Good Deeds, Speak Good Words, Think Good Thoughts.

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Faces of UWest: Dr. Keith Brown

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Name: Dr. Keith Brown

Role: Director of Student Success Center

Describe yourself in 3 words: Reserved. Knowledgeable. Humorous.

How does the Student Success Center work?

It is very simple. When students want help with an assignment or just help with study, they can go to the Success Center website and make an appointment or even just come to the center and ask one of the staff for assistance. When students come to the center they will get personalized help with the assignments they are working on.

What are some resources here at UWest that students may not be aware of?

The Success Center can also help students design presentation and projects. We do more than just help with essays.

What advice can you give to students who are afraid to seek academic assistance?

First, there really is no reason to be afraid. Everybody needs a little help from time to time.

Second, If you are struggling and do not ask for help, chances are your situation will not get any better.

Third, if you come to the Success Center, the staff will work with you to explore all the options you have to finish your assignments and meet your academic goals. We want to help you succeed.

What sets UWest apart from the other universities?

The level of personal attention UWest can give its students. The goal of having East and West meet with the purpose of learning about, from, and with each other.

What led you to becoming the Director of the Student Success Center?

It’s a bit of a long story, so instead I’ll tell you what I like best about working in the Success Center. Helping students with their academic difficulties may look easy but it actually is really hard, so when I am helping someone and I see the light come on in the student’s head, when they start to understand.

What is your favorite UWest community memory?

Seeing students I helped graduate. It is a memory that gets bigger every graduation.

Faces of UWest: Juan Tinoco

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Name: Juan Tinoco

Role: Director of Housing and Residential Life

Describe yourself in 3 words: Community. Compassion. Flexible.

What led to you becoming the Director of Housing and Residential Life at UWest?

Okay, so I’ll share a little about my background. I was born in Mexico and grew up in San Diego and other little towns.

I did my undergrad at UC Santa Barbara, and in my third year I became an RA as a way to help me pay for my school. When you’re an RA, [the school] pays for your housing and meal plan so that was really helpful to me. That allowed me to save a lot of money, not to take out loans.

After graduating, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. Not sure if I wanted to go directly to grad school or find a job. So they had an opportunity at UC Santa Barbara to become an assistant resident director. I got my masters from USC and then my first job out of USC I went to Cal State Fullerton.

After one year I started looking around, saw UWest, and applied here. It looked like a great opportunity to go there and help them out and grow. Came, interviewed, and met some of the students; they shared what they wanted and what kind of staff member they wanted. I talked to administration and my supervisor. It just seemed like the right fit.

I came here as the Residential Life Coordinator; then as my responsibilities grew here, you know we’re a small place here, we kind of fill the gaps wherever we need them… I got promoted or my title got changed to Director of Housing which kind of encompasses more what I actually do, which is all around housing and other stuff on campus. So that’s how I became the Director of Housing here at UWest.

Now besides the Director of Housing and Residential Life, what other roles do you hold on this campus?

Here UWest has given me opportunities to grow my experience and try out different things on campus. I think a lot of us try to help out wherever we can.  Here at UWest, other than the Director of Housing and Residential Life, I am the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, I am a conduct officer, and I chair a couple committees here on campus. I chair the Facilities and Beautification Committee, the Green Committee, the Campus Safety Response Committee, and I think that’s that. I’m also part of other committees, but those are the ones I chair.

For me to be successful, I have to make sure that all of these other components of our campus are also successful, so I think it is sort of an extension on my job in a weird way. So for example, being the chair in the Facilities and Beautification Committee as Director of Housing, I have to make sure that my students feel that this place offers the amenities so they feel at home. So part of it is making the spaces beautiful and comfortable for them. In order to be successful in my director position, I have to make sure our facilities look good. In order to make my residents feel safe, I have to make sure our emergency response is efficient. A lot of the expenses that happen [on campus] are because of our residence halls. The residents are a big chunk of those bills because they are here 24/7. So being green is also part of being educational to our students, you know, being more mindful of the impact that we have on our environment.  So part of being a director is somewhat being an educator.

How is UWest different from the other campuses you’ve worked at?

I think it’s more homey. You know one thing that every visitor that comes here kind of notices is that there’s this tranquil energy that surrounds this campus. It’s very calming when you’re here on campus if you come and just take time to relax. If you’re just visiting you feel that. When I first came here I felt that.

Also, it would be rare if you don’t know or don’t recognize somebody walking in this campus. I always try to smile even if I don’t know you… to show that I recognize that you’re there. I know, by at least their American name, all my residents. Here in both buildings, my residents are around 110-120. So it’s more personalized attention that I am able to give here on this campus. That’s how it’s different.

Do you have a favorite UWest community memory?

I think the goodbye party for Glenn was beautiful… You know, I hope that when I leave this place that I could get half the people that showed up to his to show up to mine. I would say that even though we all miss Glenn, I think that was really nice. It just shows our community, how close we are with each other and how much we care about each other.

How can you help incoming freshman succeed at UWest?

I can help them in their transition. A big population coming in is Latinos. So as myself, a first generation Latino college student, I hope that they can find me as somebody that they can relate to and can come to for advice. I’ll do my best to be as helpful as possible.

What are some resources here at UWest that some students may not be aware of?

You know what? I think every staff member here is a resource. You can probably go to every office here and ask them questions about something, and if they don’t know [the answer] they’ll go find somebody that knows. I think the thing we are getting better at, and do very well, is that we try to help everybody out.

Do you have any advice for freshmen who will be living on campus?

So one thing I would tell freshmen living on campus is, leave your door open. That’s the easiest way, especially for introverts that maybe have a hard time reaching out to people. You make it easier for people to reach out to you by just leaving your door open. Well, be in your room when you leave your door open. [Laughs] Just prop your door open so people can see you’re in there, and some other people might take the initiative and say hi.

Are you always on campus?

I try to be on campus as much as possible. I have to take some personal days, but there’s always somebody on campus to help out; we have RAs on duty 24/7. I’ll be visible and you’ll know that I’m on campus.