USU

The University Student Union Presents

What’s Your Story?

Featuring the Student Assistant Employees of the USU

The University Student Union’s “What’s Your Story?” is a fun monthly series of quick Q&As that focus on the interesting lives and work experiences of its dynamic and diverse student employees. Without these talented student workers, the USU simply could not provide all of the events and programs it offers CSUN students every year. And since we have more than 300 student employees working together, you just know they’ll have a lot of stories to tell. Let’s go meet some!

October 2019

Gabriel Hernandez, VRC Student Assistant

USU: What do you do within the USU?

Gabriel: You can usually find me at the front desk of the VRC. But I’m also responsible for the Joining Forces program which brings awareness to the Student Veteran community. I hope to continue innovating the program and making it more interactive.

USU: What is your favorite part about working at the USU?

Gabriel: My favorite part of working here is hanging out with the students that visit the VRC. Every semester I meet so many new faces coming from different origins.

USU: What attracted you to working at the VRC?

Gabriel: Being a vet myself, I enjoy working with the Student Veterans and learning the experiences of the other branches. It feels good to still share that comradery of being in the service.

USU: What is something you are looking forward to at the moment?

Gabriel: This coming December or early January, we’re expecting a new baby girl. I’m very excited to meet her!

USU: Who is someone you aspire to be like?

Gabriel: It’s kind of cheesy, but my dad. He truly puts family first and I want to do the same for my family.

USU: Favorite ice cream flavor?

Gabriel: I like Chocolate Malted Crunch from Rite Aid. It’s very different and one of a kind.

 

  • October 2019 What's Your Story — Gabriel Hernandez
  • October 2019 What's Your Story — Gabriel Hernandez

Mary Caithlin Capati

USU: What do you do at the USU?

Mary: I oversee the allocated budget for each Pride Center event and make sure we don’t go over it. I also facilitate at Tuesday Talks to give a safe space for students to express themselves.

USU: What attracted you to working at the Pride Center?

Mary: Being a part of LGBTQIA+, I want to help others in the community and be a part of the support system the Pride Center provides. When a friend told me there was an opening, I thought the job was perfect. I felt like it was calling me.

USU: What is your favorite place or event on campus?

Mary: I like the Pride Center because they have a microwave and it’s very hard to find a convenient one on campus. They also have very comfy couches and blankets. So, that’s my spot!

USU: What is something you are looking forward to at the moment?

Mary: It’s actually my birthday today! I am looking forward to getting dinner with my friends. But I also have to study for a midterm.

USU: Who is someone you aspire to be like?

Mary: I aspire to be like my grandfather. He was a very generous, loving and kind man. I want to embody what he’s done throughout his life and be naturally kind like him.

USU: What’s your favorite movie genre? Why?

Mary: Horror movies! I like the jump scares. They’re very funny because you can always see them coming. That’s the best part!

  • October 2019 What's Your Story — Mary Capati
  • October 2019 What's Your Story — Mary Capati

September 2019

Kanchan Ranatunga, Student Marketing Assistant

USU: How has working at the USU changed you?
Kanchan: It has changed everything in a positive way. All my friends are here, and it has given me so much work experience for my future endeavors, especially within marketing.
USU: What is your favorite spot or event on campus?
Kanchan: Definitely the USU! I find myself going to the Oasis all the time to study, decompress, and relax — I love it there! My favorite event is Matador Nights, and this year I get to work on it which is exciting!
USU: When not in classes or work, what do you love to do?
I love hiking and enjoy riding horses in Kings Canyon.
USU: After graduating, what career piques your interest?
Kanchan: I have a second job in real estate and am working on getting my real estate license. So, after graduation I hope to be a successful LA realtor.
USU: If you could invite any two dinner guests, who would they be?
Kanchan: Angelina Jolie and Calum Scott
USU: Pancakes or waffles?
Kanchan: Oh that’s hard...but pancakes!

 

  • September 2019 What's Your Story: Kanchan Ranatunga 1
  • September 2019 What's Your Story: Kanchan Ranatunga 2

Leanna Merza, Student Events Assistant

USU: How has working at the USU changed you?
Leanna: It defined the path I wanted to pursue and how much I loved the production side of things.
USU: What is your favorite spot or event on campus?
Leanna: USU Night Market is my favorite. We created that from scratch, and it gave us a lot of freedom.
USU: When not in classes or work, what do you love to do?
I love movies — event the cheesy Hallmark ones!
USU: What attracted you to working at the USU?
Leanna: I got more involved with clubs and on-campus events. Before I just came and went for classes, and now I take advantage of all we offer at the USU.
USU: How would your friends describe you in 3 words?
Leanna: Honest, caring, and loyal.
USU: If you could be a part of any event, what would it be?
Leanna: I would love to plan the 626 Market — anything to do with food and entertainment!
USU: Pancakes or waffles?
Leanna: Waffles! It’s so good for toppings!

  • September 2019 What's Your Story: Leanna Merza 1
  • September 2019 What's Your Story: Leanna Merza 2