Student Stories

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James Craft
Aerospace Engineer Discovers Passion for Teaching...
James Craft is not your typical TESOL student. A 30-year veteran of the aerospace industry, Craft rekindled his interest in teaching in the summer of 2012 when, after a series of company layoffs, he received NOVA funding to pursue a certificate at UCSC Extension. After reviewing his options he...
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Vicki Vozza
ESL Teacher Puts TESOL Practices to Good Use in the...
Vicki Vozza has a picture of Senator Leland Yee standing with her and two of her students at San Mateo Union High School's Adult School. The politician, who represents San Francisco and San Mateo counties, came to her classroom because her students wrote to him, asking him to voice his...
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Sharon Pan
Preschool Teacher Starts After-School Program After...
Sharon Pan is good with kids. She worked as the head teacher at a Palo Alto Montessori preschool for eight years. In 2007, she heard that the school was thinking of expanding—and that they might need a site director. She enrolled in UCSC Extension’s Early Childhood Education:...
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Vidhya Natarajan
IT Professional Discovers Passion for Early Childhood...
Vidhya Natarajan worked in IT before having her son. After he was born, she became fascinated with the way young children learn. One of her friends recommended that she take a class at UCSC Extension, where she enrolled in an Early Childhood Education child development course—a decision...
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Sejal Mehta
Training Specialist Expands Her Instructional Design...
Sejal Mehta’s journey to instructional design reflects the evolution of this expanding field. Originally from India, Mehta moved to the United States in the 1990s to study business management, though it wasn’t long before she shifted gears into school counseling, eventually earning...
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April Raj
Regulatory Affairs Professional Expands Skillset at...
After completing her undergraduate degree in biology, April Raj worked in a lab before transitioning into a regulatory affairs role. Soon after starting her new position, she discovered UCSC Extension’s Regulatory Affairs program to expand her understanding of the industry and her place in...
shashank-kolhe
Shashank Kolhe
Business Analyst Discovers Passion for Personal...
A senior business analyst and experienced IT professional, Shashank Kolhe was interested in expanding his understanding of personal financial planning and its association with a family’s or individual’s well-being. He discovered UCSC Extension’s Personal Financial Planning...
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John Irving
Molecular Biologist Brings Key Bioinformatics Skills...
John Irving can’t get enough of UCSC Extension’s Bioinformatics courses. Irving, a bioinformatician with a Ph.D. in molecular biology, completed the Bioinformatics certificate in 2012, and keeps coming back for more. “I work at a nonprofit now, where we do a lot of...
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John Hubbard
Software Programmer Discovers the Power of Hardware at...
When John Hubbard completed his electrical engineering degree in 1987, the Silicon Valley tech explosion was just beginning. After graduating from college, he became an unrestricted line officer in the U.S. Navy, serving on submarines for eight years before transitioning into a career in system...
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Victoria Millward
Clinical Trials Professional Pursues Two Certificates...
Victoria Millward had been working as lab bench scientist and quality control supervisor for a few years when she decided to shift gears and pursue a certificate in Clinical Trials and Management at UCSC Extension in early 2010. “I knew that it was going to be a career path...
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Suresh Pillai
Software Architect Explores the World of IT at UCSC...
Suresh Pillai was working in software and network architecture at Applied Materials for a few years when he first noticed UCSC Extension’s catalogs. An accomplished engineer with a bachelor’s in electrical engineering and a master’s in computer science already underneath his...
susan-carino
Susan Carino
Project Manager Combines Passion for Science and...
Susan Carino had been working as a project management consultant for Integrated Project Management Company, Inc. (IPM) for five years when she began taking courses in Regulatory Affairs in July 2011. “Many of the projects I manage are regulatory submissions and involve...
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Travis Summers
Print Journalist Lands First Career Marketing Job...
Travis Summers is a triple threat communicator: he knows broadcasting, print journalism, and Web writing. When he earned his bachelor’s degree in mass communications in the mid-2000s, focusing on print journalism, the job landscape for his chosen field had already begun to shift. He quickly...
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Gabriela Zelaya
International Trade Specialist Develops Biotech...
Gabriela Zelaya had been working for the U.S. Commercial Service as an international trade specialist focusing on healthcare and education when she started taking classes at UCSC Extension in 2009. A communications expert with experience in international affairs and marketing, her professional...
eleonora-migliore
Eleonora Migliore
Italian Doctor Applies New Biotech Skills at Bay Area...
When Eleonora Migliore moved from Italy to California, she had already earned a degree as a medical doctor (clinical pathology) and a master’s degree in biological sciences. She realized, though, that she would not be able to practice medicine without attending an American medical school,...

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