Dublin High School Alum Vivian Huang: Graduating San Diego State University and Entering the Real World
Dublin High School Class of 2011 and San Diego State University Class of 2014 alum Vivian Huang shares her story as the latest entry in OneDublin.org’s Life After College Series. Vivian managed to graduate early, land multiple internships and a job after graduating, while enjoying a full college experience.
OneDublin.org: What led you to select San Diego State University for college? What is life like going to school in San Diego?
Vivian Huang: “Originally, my plan was to go out of state for school. But at 18, despite wanting independence and freedom, I came to realize that I wasn’t completely ready to be thousands of miles away from family, specifically my younger sister, whom I’m very close with.
“Once I decided to stay in California for school, the decision was easy. San Diego was the perfect culmination of great weather, beaches and academics. Plus, it was far enough for me to embark on my journey of self-discovery but close enough for me to go home on a whim. Between UCSD and SDSU, I ended up choosing SDSU because they offered a broader range of studies and I wanted to have a fully immersive educational experience.”
OneDublin.org: There are many stories of students who struggle to complete their degrees in four years. What advice do you have to stay on track?
Huang: “Like most things in life, it’s important to go to college with a plan. I’m lucky, I guess, to have always been a little obsessive compulsive when it comes to organizing my life. I went into school determined to graduate in just 3 years so that I could have ample time getting some work experience in before applying to grad school. In order to achieve this goal, I mapped out my semesters over the course of 3 years and adjusted as needed.
“While it’s unrealistic for everyone to be that prepared, it’s still good to have a general idea of what classes you want to take and when they are offered. For students going in undeclared, you can still plan out your GE schedules and pre-rec’s. For students who have trouble getting the classes that they need, become an expert at crashing courses. Email the professor early or talk to them after class. Show up every day because people are guaranteed to drop courses within the first couples of weeks.
“Contrary to popular belief, it’s definitely possible to graduate early or on time and still have a thriving social life and college experience.”
The Center for the Performing Arts & Education was filled beyond capacity on Wednesday evening as the first annual 2015 Dublin High School Film Festival was screened before a wildly enthusiastic crowd. After the 500-seat theatre filled to capacity, additional moviegoers were re-directed to watch the production from the adjacent Green Room.
This is a tremendous accomplishment achieved by Video Production instructor Michael D’Ambrosio. This first-year program has generated a tremendous amount of momentum that will carry over into the 2015-16 academic year with the addition of an Advanced Video Production course. In addition to showing the “Best of the Video Bulletins” from this year, four original student directed films were screened to an enthusiastic audience.
The evening opening with a personal and moving perspective on depression through the first person stories of local teens and their battles with the disease. Two students followed with an uplifting film that provided their perspective on being kind – including surprising complete strangers with gifts and goodwill. A shift into fiction followed with the tale of a teen suffering from hallucinations that take him to harrowing climax. The final film was a moving documentary capturing Dublin teen Camille Chabot’s battle against Hodgkins Lymphoma, crafted by her sister Juliette.
by Grace Li (Dublin High School Class of 2015)
Earlier this year, juniors and seniors had the opportunity to apply to be freshman mentors for Dublin High School’s first ever, Freshman Mentor Program (FMP). For those of you who aren’t familiar with FMP, FMP is a 24-minute period at the beginning of lunch, during which freshmen head to their assigned teachers and engage in activities with their mentors, which consist of upperclassmen. FMP was started by Dublin High staff Ms. Angel-Diaz and Ms. Byrne, and is held Monday through Thursday.
According to the FMP website, “The Freshman Mentor Program provides each freshman with a supportive environment that helps ease their adjustment from middle school to high school.” Freshmen are placed in “an ongoing orientation that includes information about school policies, procedures and programs, academic and social counseling and relationship building through upperclassmen mentors.”
I really wanted to apply, but finally decided against it in fear that college applications plus FMP mentoring would make me too stressed. However, curiosity finally got the better of me. What went on in FMP? What were all my friends doing during the FMP period as I did homework in the library? Was FMP fun? Was it hard? What was FMP?
I decided to visit two FMPs to find out exactly what happened. And after spending over a week in these sessions, I really regret not signing up to be a mentor when I still had the chance.
OneDublin.org: When sparked your interest in computer science?
Kaylee Moser: “My interest started in college. I was really into filmmaking in high school and was actually a film major for my first year and a half of college. I decided to switch into computer science when I started doing a lot of editing, 3D animation and visual effects. I realized how much I missed math when I began using the software that editors use, and learning more about the math behind the software. Even though I thought I hated math in high school, I really missed math in college! I left the 4-year college I was attending and enrolled in Chabot Community College for one semester where I took a Python course, and loved it – the logic that was involved, the challenging fun of the course, and the feeling of making things with code. And from that point out I was a computer science major and ultimately graduated from Santa Clara University.”
Another available course will be Advanced Video Production led by Michael D’Ambrosio. It will be available to students that have successfully completed the introductory Video Production class taught in this current year. We share this nugget as Dublin High School will host its first Film Festival – A Night on the Red Carpet on Wednesday, May 27th at 7:00 PM in the Center for Performing Arts & Education.
OneDublin.org previously posted a story on this first year program. The progress of this initiative was largely due to the efforts of Mr. D’Ambrosio. In turn, his students have responded with great enthusiasm. At the start of the academic year, he challenged his students with the prospect of completing a project that was worthy of screening at a DHS film festival. Throughout the year, they have been tasked with certain timelines/deliverables. Approximately 15 completed video pieces that involved about 40 students were submitted for consideration. Ultimately, the end result will be a representation of all of the students’ efforts and a celebration of this burgeoning program.
Throughout this series, it has been our goal to shine a light on a myriad of adult volunteers that have made significant contributions at their respective schools and to the efforts of the Dublin Unified School District. As we move this project towards its conclusion, we are pleased to devote a post that will focus on a singular force of nature, Michelle McDonald.
All of our featured Difference Makers are making significant and relevant contributions to their respective school sites. However, it is somewhat unusual to meet an individual that has virtually “done it all” throughout her 15 year tenure as a parent volunteer. She and her husband, Jerry, have raised two children that have traversed through the DUSD ladder – Annie is presently matriculating through Santa Clara University (and was featured in a Life in College article) and Matthew is a current Dublin High School senior that will advance to Linfield College in Oregon. For those that may be unfamiliar, their family’s contributions to the advancement of this school district cannot be completely summarized or simply articulated.
Ms. McDonald attained a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications from San Jose State University. Subsequently, she was able to match her passion for sports and journalism and over time has worked as a Writer for the Oakland Tribune, the San Francisco Examiner and the San Francisco Chronicle. The latter assignment featured a focus on the Stanford Women’s Basketball beat that followed the Lady Cardinal through much of their NCAA successes. Since 2011, she has been a Contributing Writer to espnW.com – frequently reporting on global women’s sports. Read more…
Dublin High School’s annual Senior Awards Night filled the Dublin High Student Union with students, parents, educators and members of the community. Over $2.3 million in scholarships and awards were presented to Dublin High School Class of 2015 students for their academic achievements, including over 45 merit scholarships for colleges nationwide and a U.S. Air Force ROTC Scholarship awarded to senior Calvin Loebrich valued at $180,000.
Included in the event was the traditional passing of the gavel ceremony where outgoing senior and student body president Tatiana Bouri (attending UCLA) introduced incoming student body president Nicholas Padnos.
Students were recognized for academic achievements across a wide variety of subjects and interests (full list below) and two students, seniors Frankie Lin and Sahithi Narla, received the Best Attendance Award for not missing a single day of school throughout all four years of high school. The Dublin High School Class of 2015 also featured seven National Merit Scholarship finalists.
OneDublin.org prepared the sixth annual edition of the popular “I am Dublin High” video (see below) featuring over 130 Dublin High School Class of 2015 seniors sharing their post-high school plans.