Student Retention and Graduation Specialist
Bio: Born and raised in Indio,CA, Gabriela grew up in what is known as the Desert Empire of Southern California. The Coachella Valley is known for its rich agriculture, but also its large number of immigrant low-income families. As a first generation Mexican-American, her mother always emphasized the importance of receiving a higher education, thus instilling that drive to push forward and set goals. Gabriela attended San Jose State University and graduated in 2015 with her Bachelor of Science in Health Science with a minor in Psychology. She later returned to San Jose State University and graduated in 2019 with her Master of Arts in Education; Guidance and Counseling.
Prior to joining the ACCESS team, Gabriela was a part of numerous programs here at San Jose State University as a student, and now as a staff member at her alma mater. She was a Peer Advisor for the College of Science for two courses known as, “Success in Science (Science 2),” and “Success as Transfers (Science 90T).” She mentored incoming first-year students and transfer students, as well as students on Academic Probation. She worked with students on time management, getting to know the resources on campus, and learning how to build good study habits. She also worked as a student assistant for AARS, where she worked closely with academic advisors who guided undeclared students through the process of changing to majors of their choice. Gabriela enjoys working with students and helping them find their “why,” while also guiding them through their academic journey here.
Q and A
1. What was your favorite class in undergrad?
I had a couple of favorite classes, but if I could narrow them down to 2 only, I would say COMM 20 and PSYC 1. COMM 20 helped me develop the necessary skills I needed to be able to speak to the public. I really did not believe people when they told me this class would be such an asset in the long run, and believe me, it is! PSYC 1 is the basic foundation of all psychology material, and I was so intrigued on how the mind worked, theories, and how psychology became what it is today. It was because of this class I decided to minor in Psychology, which later helped me discover my passion for academic advising.
2. What are some of the places you have traveled to?
I have traveled to many different parts of the world, and hope to continue to do so! I have gone to Paris, Canada (Vancouver, Victoria, and Whistler), Hawaii (Maui and Oahu), New York, and Mexico (Colima, Guerrero, Jalisco, and Michoacan). One of my goals is that in 5 years, I will have travelled to most of the Hawaiian islands, as well as visited Japan and Chicago.
3. What is your piece of advice for incoming students?
Get to know your resources on campus, build an academic plan, and ASK questions. Getting to know your professors and academic advisors are a key component to not only building rapport, but also receiving the proper guidance while you’re here at SJSU. We are here to assist you and help guide you to the many different resources we offer here.