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CSUN College of Humanties Newsletter
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"The skills that I was fortunate to receive and retain from the College of Humanities are instinctive, and a part of my everyday life, whether at meetings with large financial institutions, or meetings with community members seeking political asylum."

 

ALUMNI CORNER
“What my humanities courses contributed to who I am and what I am doing with my life.”

Six years after I graduated from CSUN, and I still maintain my love and connection to the CSUN community. I graduated from CSUN in Spring 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies and Political Science. I acknowledge my alma mater, and notably the College of Humanities for providing a solid foundation for me to purs ue higher education, and for paving the way toward a bright career path full of diverse opportunities. With the support of my mentors and professors, I’m currently an Attorney/Manager for a large financial institution, and remain active as a pro bono Attorney at Neighborhood Legal Services. I stay in close contact with our CSUN community to identify current students who I can mentor.

When I enrolled at CSUN, my Dad encouraged me to major in a practical field which was versatile no matter the geographical location where I would reside- I declared a Child Development major, at his direction, thinking that I’d become a teacher. My initial instinct was to major in English, as I loved reading different types of literature, and was passionate about writing. When I was in elementary school, I knew that I wanted to provide a voice to disadvantaged communities, and eventually become an attorney. However, once I entered college, becoming an attorney seemed like such as far-fetched dream, puzzling as to how I would get there, and as a woman, if I could achieve this goal.

Ritzel Ngo
Ritzel Ngo in the Honorable Leslie E. Brown's chambers, Los Angeles Superior Court: Pasadena Branch.

During the Spring of 1999, my freshman year in college, I met Dean Say, then a Professor of Women’s Studies. During my Introduction to Women’s Studies course, my life was totally transformed. For the first time I studied experiences of women from an economic, social and political perspective. From this experience, I picked Women’s Studies as a major and found my voice, built my confidence, started my own support network, formed the courage to pursue higher education and ultimately travel the road to being an attorney.

The Women’s Studies Department was the first venue that taught me the importance of building social and professional networks which would eventually turn into my social and professional community today. Dean Say encouraged me to seek community funds and networks to support my dreams. As a Women’s Studies major, I learned to think critically, to fully develop my writing skills, and communicate a precise message with no limitations and within certain boundaries as well. Courses which I took in the College of Humanities, including Race, Racism, and Critical Thinking, taught me the essential skills needed for my future.

My awareness was opened to issues affecting women, including in the economy, globally and sexually by taking several courses including Women as Agents of Change and Women and Globalization. I’m a globally aware person, what my colleagues label a "humanitarian." The skills that I was fortunate to receive and retain from the College of Humanities are instinctive, and a part of my everyday life, whether at meetings with large financial institutions, or meetings with community members seeking political asylum. CSUN taught me to have compassion for people from all walks of life.

My college professors and mentors include Professor Breny Mendoza, Professor Sheena Malhotra, Professor Marta Lopez-Garza, Professor Teresa Williams-Leon, Professor Jane Bayes, Professor Slyvia Snowiss, Dean Elizabeth Say, and the late Elizabeth Drexelius. They are important figures who shaped my life ethics and professional career. I look forward to participating in CSUN campus wide events where I can contribute back to the community which opened so many unimaginable doors.

Submitted by Ritzel Ngo Supervisor/Attorney for the Federal Reserve Bank of Los Angeles

The content expressed in this article are the sole views of Ritzel Ngo, and are not in any form associated with the Federal Reserve Bank.

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