The Attallah College Undergraduate Newsletter interviewed Nicole Williams ’20 and Cala Gin ’20, two graduating leadership chairs of the Attallah College Undergraduate Leadership Council. As the 2019-2020 academic year comes to a close, we asked about their thoughts and reflections, their goals and aspirations for the future, as well as some words of advice for Attallah College undergraduates.

Nicole WilliamsNicole Williams

IES (Community Emphasis) and Psychology Major
Spanish Minor
Attallah Undergraduate Leadership Council Internal Affairs Committee Chair

Nicole is a first-generation student and values the IES program for its community-oriented philosophy. Through the program, she was challenged to transform her understanding of education and the educational system, resulting in a more acute awareness of topics such as privilege and the hidden curriculum. Some of her favorite classes include IES 102 (Social Construction of Difference), IES 206 (Schools and Society), and IES 303 (Education Through Life Transitions). Some memorable Attallah College events that Nicole attended are the Ethnic Studies Summit, IES INC. (formally known as Conclave), the Women’s Leadership Forum, and the IES Senior Symposium.

Nicole encourages current IES students to be brave and reach out to their professors because they are rich sources of knowledge and exceptional mentors. Additionally, she recommends taking advantage of class assignments and fieldwork opportunities to explore different professional contexts, passions, or career goals.

After graduating, Nicole will be participating in Chapman’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program in the summer. During her gap year, she is applying to a program called City Year that seeks to offer more educational support to underserved communities. She hopes to work at a dual immersion school and pursue a Master’s in Sociolinguistics, followed by a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology.

Cala GinCala Gin

IES Major (Community Emphasis)
Japanese and University Honors Program Double Minors
Attallah Undergraduate Leadership Council Newsletter/Marketing Committee Chair

Two words come to Cala’s mind when she reflects on her undergraduate career: growth and gratitude.  The constant support and mentorship she has received from her IES professors and peers have helped her to develop and thrive academically, socially, and professionally. The IES program has inspired her to continue staying in the field of education to serve and empower future generations of students. Some of her favorite classes include IES 206 (Schools and Society), IES 301 (Organizations, Ethics, and Society), and IES 317 (Disability, Families, and Society). She is grateful for having been able to serve Attallah College and work alongside a group of driven and dedicated scholars in the college, both through the Attallah Undergraduate Leadership Council and Chapman’s Kappa Delta Pi Education Honor Society.

Cala has committed to a Chapman graduate program on a fellowship to pursue her Master of Arts in School Counseling with a Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credential and will concurrently work toward obtaining her License in Professional Clinical Counseling (LPCC).

Some valuable advice that Cala would give to rising seniors is to invest time in activities and projects that spark your passion, and to cherish the relationships you have made – whether with your fellow classmates, professors, mentors, and co-workers. For Attallah College students who are interested in pursuing graduate school, Cala encourages students to not be afraid to reach out and contact current and past students in your programs of interest, seek guidance from your professors, and talk to professionals who are already in your field of interest. This will help to provide a more personalized understanding of what each program entails, as well as the realities of your profession of interest. Being the first in her family to pursue a master’s degree, she is excited to be able to continue her academic journey as a Panther and begin a new chapter in her life.