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Read more of what students had to say about attending CSUN
Guadalupe "Lupe" Covarrubias was a successful accountant with an accounting firm when she began to lose her vision due to a rare condition called retinitis pigmentosa. With a family to support, she realized she would need to find a field that did not require as much computer work. Family members and friends recommended teaching, noting Lupe's warm personality, high energy, and love of learning. Lupe had always excelled in English, so she decided that becoming a high school English teacher would be a good choice. After doing some research, Lupe learned that special assistive technology exists that would enable her to read and grade papers auditorily, rather than visually. She earned her A.A. degree in English, then came to CSUN, where she's pursuing a B.A. in English and her teaching credential simultaneously and has already made the Dean's List. Lupe has enjoyed the academic experience CSUN offers, as well as the many resources and support services of the Center on Disabilities.
1. Why did you choose CSUN?
I chose it because it was close to home, and transportation is a problem for me because I can no longer drive. I usually get to CSUN by carpooling with my husband or by bus when there are conflicts in our schedules.
2. How has CSUN supported you in your efforts?
Everyone at the Center on Disabilities has been very helpful, from resume preparation to testing. Karen Castillo (English Department) in particular has always gone above and beyond-I would not be nearly as successful without her support and guidance. Also, the technology that's available is amazing. Some rooms at the Oviatt Library are equipped with assistive technology, so that's where I often go to do my work.
3. Do you have a favorite professor?
Dr. Patricia Watkins (English) has been very inspirational and brings a personal touch to class. She elaborates on the historical context of the literature we're reading which gives it added meaning and brings it even more to life. Professor Fran Goldman (English) has been inspirational, mentoring me as I pursue my career goals. Dr. Cynthia Hagstrom (Linguistics) has provided me with a better understanding of differing grammar rules across various languages, which will be a tremendous asset in working with ESL students as well as in my personal goal to learn at least two more languages.
4. Are you involved in other activities outside your schoolwork and career?
I run a tutoring lab at the Santa Clarita Community Center for immigrants preparing to take the U.S. Citizenship Exam, helping adults there practice their grammar, writing skills, reading comprehension, and civics questions. This semester I will also start tutoring both at Monroe High School in the Gear Up/Project LASSO college readiness program and at CSUN as a tutor in a Supplemental Instruction Freshman Composition class.
5. What are some of the challenges of being a mid-career student?
I think the biggest challenge is time management. The hours that I attend class, work, and volunteer are set. As a parent, I set aside time to help my kids with their homework, shop for materials for their school projects, meetings and conferences at their schools, cheering them on at games and applauding them in music recitals, as well as visits to pediatricians, orthodontists, etc. Then we also have social, church, and family events. These come up when they come up, and I need to schedule my research and homework time around these activities and events in order to meet my deadlines. Knowing the Franklin Covey Time Management System has been very helpful.
6. What's the best thing about being a student at CSUN?
The people are the best thing about CSUN. It's a very caring atmosphere, and there's always someone there to help you and guide you. Even if the person you first approach doesn't have the answers, they'll point you in the right direction.