2019-2020 Student Leaders

headshot of ClaireClaire Jacobs

Major: Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Expected Graduation: Fall 2021

Hometown: Huntington Beach, CA

Immersion Leading: World of Hope for Street Children.

Why Immersions matter: Immersions matter to me personally because they are learning experiences you can't get in the classroom. Immersions encourage me to think first with observation and empathy instead of trying to immediately solve problems like we are expected to in the classroom. The bonds I made with my cohort and with the community members I met remind me to cherish interpersonal relationships.


Astha Guragainheadshot of astha

Major: International Studies 

Expected Graduation: Spring 2020

Hometown: Kathmandu, Nepal and Cerritos, California. 

Immersion Leading: World of Hope for Street Children.

Why Immersions matter: Immersions matter to me because they serve as a lens for USF students into aspects of the world that are new to them. It helps us contextualize our education while focusing on personal growth and community building as inherent parts of the academic process. By allowing students to understand the full scope of a foreign location's history, politics and current societies, immersions help students grow more knowledgeable and examine their place in the world. 
 


Alondra smiling in the parkAlondra Ramos

Major: Politics with a minor in Chicanx-Latinx studies

Expected Graduation: December 2020.

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois.

Immersion Leading: Migration and Transnational Communities

Why immersions matter: "My immersion trip to Mexico in my freshman year was an experience that has meant so much to me, and it is one of the most memorable moments that I have had at USF. Immersions matter because they allow us the opportunity to make deep and genuine connections not just to physical places around the world, but also with the people in those communities."


Bustos Smiling to the cameraHector Bustos

Major and Minor: Politics, Minor: Public Service & Community Engagement

Graduation year: May 2021

Hometown: Santa Ana, CA

Immersion Leading: Coal Mining and Environmental Justice. 

Why Arrupe immersion Matter:  As a politics major, I learn a lot about the issues communities in these areas face. Arrupe Immersions allow me to fully immerse myself in these communities and bring back information and personal experiences to the classroom.


Headshot of BonillaYesenia Bonilla-Cardenas

Major: Latin American Studies major

Graduation year:  May 2021

Hometown: Denver, CO, and Maravillas, Zacatecas (Mex)

Immersion Leading: Restorative Justice and Migration. 

Why Immersions Matter: Immersions offer the opportunity to see the issues of the world through the lens of personal stories, seeing people work together and it’s an experience that supersedes studying from afar (while that is important as well).


Melissa Castañeda

Hometown: North Hollywood, CA

Expected Graduation: May 2020

Major: Sociology; Pre-Med Track

Immersion Leading: Migration and Transnational Communities

Why Immersions Matter: Immersion trips matter because they offer an opportunity to delve deeply outside of your comfort zone, an opportunity to be taught outside the borders of a classroom. By taking an immersive approach towards learning about cultures outside of our own, we gain perspective not just on why fighting for social justice is important, but how we contribute to the lack of it. These trips offer insight on the privilege we have and in turn encourages us to deconstruct the issues we encounter when we return from the trip. Immersion trips are so important because they build bridges across borders by forming relationships and memories like no other.