At its Feb. 7-9 conference this week, the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students will honor UC Berkeley senior and transfer student Diana Castro, 22, as one its four transfer student ambassadors for 2017-18. A first-generation college student from Orange County, Castro’s transfer journey, leadership, public speaking, advocacy efforts and potential to share meaningful information with higher education transfer professionals led the judges to choose her to help the institute improve transfer students’ lives.
What does it mean to you to be honored with this award?
It shows that transfer students at UC Berkeley are a key part of the campus, which is really important. It’s a very big campus, and sometimes it’s easy to feel forgotten. Thankfully, those involved in programs that support transfer students are passionate about what they do and help create a sense of community. It is important for students to find a community that will provide support and guidance. I found mine at the Transfer Student Center, where I’ve been involved since my first semester here.
I’m proud to be a resource for other transfer students, someone who will give honest advice, share personal anecdotes and provide resources and opportunities they can take advantage of. I’m proudest that I’m able to be someone who transfer students can speak with about any of their struggles or achievements.
As a 2018 national ambassador, what will be your role?
As an ambassador, I’ll be active in dialogue during workshops and presentations at the conference about how to better serve the transfer community. Most of the conference attendees will be professionals who provide programs and services for transfer students, and I feel it’s important for them to have the input of an actual transfer student when thinking about future implementation of programs. I’ll also be interacting at the conference with other transfer students from around the country. I’m excited that I’ll gain knowledge that will help better transfer students’ journeys on the Berkeley campus.