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Meet our Humanities Scholars

Ernest ChanErnest Chan

I am a philosophy major with a minor in religious studies, which is sort of ironic, considering that I have been the opposite of religious all my life. My studies within ethics led me towards studying aspects of Confucianism under Professor Tanya Storch. Within this subject matter, I found a burning desire to understand religion at a more human level. I began to form deep inquiries about why religion is important to so many people, and the role of "belief" within society. Although most of my focus within religion was guided towards Buddhist and Confucian thoughts, I began to combine what I learned in regards to ethics and my newfound religious knowledge. Because of my studies within the humanities, I rediscovered a strong passion to understand my own heritage and culture. All of these ideas eventually culminated in my own undergraduate research paper, which has been one of my most formative experiences here at Pacific.


Kristina DavisKristina Davis

I have been interested in the humanities ever since I developed a love for art at a very young age. I chose to major in graphic design because of this early passion, and I am a business minor because of how well it complements the graphic design field. My goal is to eventually work for a design firm doing packaging and branding design. I was born and raised in the Santa Cruz mountains, where I live in a log cabin with lots of land and animals, and no cell service, which taught me from an early age to appreciate nature and the outdoors. Now more than ever I find myself recognizing the importance of the humanities, as I interact with art and literature on a daily basis. The humanities drive our creative world, and without creativity we would not have gotten as far as we have. At Pacific, I have gotten involved by becoming the current President of Tri Delta, and I am a brother of both Theta Alpha Phi and Phi Kappa Phi.


Alex GerberickAlex Gerberick

When I was applying to schools, I had no idea what I wanted to study. I eventually picked marketing, as it seemed like a good balance between structure and creativity, which is a pretty accurate representation of my personality. In the future, I want to be an in-house marketing director. The success of a marketing professional is deeply rooted in communication and the humanities. Growing up, my parents always read to me, took me to museums, did crafts with me, and encouraged me to play piano. Their appreciation for the humanities is really where it all began for me. In general, I think it is important to have a rich understanding of the humanities, as they tell the story of our history. Life's greatest moments are catalogued in art, film, music, and prose. Along with being a Humanities Scholar, I am an honors student, and I have an on-campus internship through Enrollment Management. I am also on a team called "Tiger Creative," which creates promotional material for the University and maintains its social media accounts.


Kelly ManlaibayarKelly Manlaibayar

I am a double major in theater arts and international affairs and commerce with a minor in film studies, and the human experience intrigues me. That's what attracts me to the humanities-- I find that they make me think introspectively about all of my experiences to see how they can relate to different aspects of culture and history. I have tried to make the most of my time at Pacific by getting involved with numerous on-campus organizations, including the professional theater arts fraternity Theta Alpha Phi, and the social sororities Alphi Phi and Delta Phi Epsilon. I am also a member of NSBE, the National Society of Black Engineers.



Adrien CohenAdrien Cohen

As an English major with a teaching professions minor, I can't imagine something that would make me happier than sharing my passion for English with future generations and (hopefully) inspiring similar feelings in them. I've also done what I can to make connections here at Pacific, getting involved with Pride Alliance, Gender Umbrella Club, Tigers Against Disableism (which I co-founded), and the United Cultural Council. Now more than ever, I feel the importance of the humanities; with the global political climate moving in a terrifying direction, we need to understand one another and talk to each other in a way that can be understood. I especially feel this as a non-binary individual. I identified as male when I started college but later realized that that wasn't quite right either, so now I'm just allowing myself to be comfortably neither a man nor a woman. I'm also left-handed, which is pretty nifty.


Ashley ColomboAshley Colombo

I decided I wanted to become a writer when I was in elementary school. The reasoning behind it? Neopets. I started writing Neopets fanfiction when I was in second grade, and I was so proud of it. That passion has never left me; if I'm not writing scenes or short stories, then I'm probably reading something. Writing is my biggest escape-- there's nothing quite like being able to step away from the world for a while and create an entirely new one instead. In fact, this has grown into a career goal for me, since I am now studying English with the goal of becoming a video game writer. Video games and creative writing are my two biggest passions, so why not combine them into one job? Already, writing plays a major role in my academic and professional life; I'm a mentor at Pacific's Student Writing Center, on the literary editing team for Calliope, the secretary of Sigma Tau Delta, the secretary of Omega Eta Epsilon, and a content creator and contributing editor for UOP's Odyssey team.

Kat ElliottKat Elliott

I am passionate about finding ways in which history relates to today, and isn't just the one-dimensional study of the past. I love telling people about random little historical facts, like the history of cuss words, ancient Greek myths, or American folklore. Although I was initially interested in studying history, I am now doing a self-designed major that focuses on the interaction between culture and individual identity. I chose this major because identity functions in every aspect of how we perceive ourselves and each other. Ultimately, I hope to apply my interests within the communications and marketing field. I'm working two jobs involving these fields at Pacific, and they have quickly grown into a passion. In addition, I love to draw and paint, I'm involved in the professional language fraternity Omega Eta Epsilon as their Philanthropic Chair, and I am an editor for Pacific's literary magazine, Calliope.

Kat Harlan-GranKathryn Harlan-Gran

Ever since I first learned how to talk, I have been a storyteller. From the time I could first hold a pencil in my hands, I have been a writer. English language and literature has been a love and a passion my entire life, one which I am seeking to hone as an English major here at Pacific. However, I also saw college as an opportunity for me to branch out, leading me to triple minor in Spanish, gender studies, and writing. Ultimately, I want to make use of my interests as a university professor, allowing me to pursue my dream of writing while simultaneously inspiring the next generation of writers, readers, and creators. I hope to encourage people to see the incredible value of the humanities as a thread that ties together parts of our world. It is through them that we are truly able to understand ourselves and one another. I am already trying to put my beliefs into practice as the Editor-in-Chief of two publications (Odyssey and Calliope), the president of the professional language fraternity Omega Eta Epsilon, and a mentor at Pacific's Student Writing Center. 

Andrew RochaAndrew Rocha

I have always liked stories, and that is part of the reason I became an English major. Stories gave me an interest in literature, history, and culture that led me to learn more about the world and humanity, and I would like to contribute to that tradition of storytelling. Before I came to the University of the Pacific, I was determined to write comic books and graphic novels. Recently, I have considered becoming a self-published writer instead, but I am still figuring out how to go about that path. I like how stories not only are entertaining, but how they reflect society or the era that they were written in. I think the humanities keep society from making mistakes that societies in the past made, and they need to be treated with the same amount of respect as the STEM fields. Outside of the Humanities Scholars, I am currently the treasurer of Sigma Tau Delta, the copy editor for the Pacifican, a content creator for Odyssey, and a literary editor for Calliope.


Chain ShieldsChain Shields

With an English major and an education minor, I'm currently on track to get a single-subject secondary teaching credential, which would ideally set me up to teach English at a high school level. Teaching has never been so much of a "dream" for me as it has been a calling. I just really love education, awareness, and making an impact on people's lives. Through literature and language, we can explore humanity, power, history, emotion, culture, relationships, themes, and all sorts of important topics that will really change how people look at the world. If hard sciences are what lend logic and knowledge to our lives, humanities are what give us meaning. On one hand, they teach us to think critically about ideas and where they come from, but they also introduce us to cultures, perspectives, and narratives we may be unfamiliar with otherwise. I try to embody these ideas through my campus involvement: I'm currently the president and co-founder of Tigers Against Disableism (T.A.D.), an active member of Pride Alliance, an ally member of QPOC (Queer People of Color), and a recent pledge to Omega Eta Epsilon.

Clarissa FrankeClarissa Franke

I have always been interested in the humanities and being creative, and that led me to my computer science and studio art majors. Both art and computer science let me create things in different ways, and I want to combine my majors into a career, possibly developing my own video game or working as a graphic artist for a company like Google. From a young age, I loved reading and making up my own stories, and I was fascinated with history. To me, the humanities are important because they help people gain an understanding of others. Nobody experiences life the same way, and the easiest way to understand someone else's world view is through literature. At UOP, I am in the most recent pledge class of OHE, the language and literacy fraternity. I am also involved with the new TIES club, which is meant to bring together people from engineering, business, and art to develop projects and see them through from start to finish.


Ashley Pham

I was never one for numbers, so I took English seriously, and that led me to majoring in English with minors in teaching professions and ethnic studies. My end goal is to become a high school honors or AP English teacher. Pursuing education was actually a leap of faith for me, but I firmly believe teachers have a large influence on students and their character development. Coming from a city nicknamed "Little Saigon" in Southern California, attending UOP was a definite culture shock. I had never been in such a diverse community. Almost all my high school peers were interested in math and science, so I really stood out when I applied to colleges with an English major. As a society in general, I see a huge emphasis on STEM fields, when so much change happens in the humanities. I believe the humanities are the place for moving and shaking. Currently, I am the Lifestyles Editor at the Pacifican, on the literary editing team for Calliope, and a member of Sigma Tau Delta.

Victoria Rodriguez

My major is film studies, and my minors are ethnic studies and music management. I chose my major because I hope to enter either the film or television industry as a career after college, specifically within the writing or editing subsection. I've always had an interest in storytelling and a talent for writing, and I'm passionate about the type of creative learning and open-mindedness encompassed in the humanities. When I was younger, I wanted to write novels, but in high school I realized that I wanted to present stories in a different way. Films have always had a major impact on my life and the way I think, and I want to give people the same kind of experience I have when I see a good film. Aside from the Humanities Scholars program, I'm involved in OHE (Omega Eta Epsilon), I write for the Odyssey, and I am currently a videographer for PDS (Pacific Dental School).

Matthew SpainMatthew Spain

Since I was seven years old, I have wanted to become a lawyer. That is how I see myself both helping the world and supporting a future family. This aspiration drove me to become a first-generation college student, something that I take great pride in. The Humanities Scholars Program is actually what drew me to Pacific in the first place. When I was in high school, one of my teachers was a textbook example of someone who had succeeded thanks to an interest in the humanities, and that really inspired me. I then decided to major in philosophy, and during my time at Pacific, I have been involved with the Legal Scholars Program and the fraternity Beta Theta Pi. I am also the president of Hope Street, a philanthropic organization that helps connect underprivileged individuals with education, jobs, and healthcare.


Kaitlin Dollens

I have always been a person who feels very strongly. I've spent my life searching for a way to express the painful things happening inside me, which has made me an avid reader and writer. I'm an English major, and I plan to add minors in both writing and gender studies. Writing seemed like an obvious choice for me, but I also chose gender studies because I am a devout feminist and because I want to examine the ways in which gender categorizes people and organizes society. My dream is to be a poet and a novelist, but if that doesn't work out, I'll probably go into teaching or editing. No matter what, I want to stay involved with the humanities because I believe that they are essential in people's understandings of themselves. I think that, when we talk about the advancement of society, it's futile to talk about science and technology if we aren't also going to explore our own human nature.

Danielle Garrett

I'm majoring in English with a minor in gender studies. I've always loved reading, so I figured studying English would be the best way to incorporate that into my life. Art, music, and literature have always been a great source of joy to me and provide comfort during difficult times. I also love learning about social justice issues, and with my minor, I have been able to take that interest further. I think the humanities are important because they are an outlet for creativity and promote open-mindedness. Making the humanities a bigger part of school curriculum, even for younger students, would help create more interest and knowledge about them, and that would help preserve them. In addition to being in the Humanities Scholars Program, I'm also part of the Pacific swim team.

LJ Lombardo

Graphic design has always been my passion, so that was what I decided on for my major when I came to UOP. In the future, I hope to do something with interactive marketing. I like creating art, but I also love working with computers and making my art move. People can get more out of what I do when they can interact with it, too. I see media as something we absorb every day-- social media is the perfect platform for art, writing, and performance. Traditional museum attendance may be down, but we are exposed to more art than ever before. I believe the humanities are what make us human. They keep our souls alive. I think it's the job of younger generations to make sure the humanities are protected.

Courtney Mello

I grew up in a small town in Hawaii. I think being brought up in that environment, and heavily influenced by the Hawaiian culture, definitely impacted my values, beliefs, personality, and mannerisms. Out of that small town background grew an interest in law, specifically criminal law. I am double majoring in philosophy and psychology, which mesh well together and prepare me for a career as a behavioral analyst. Here at Pacific, I've already gotten involved with the Intramural Leagues on the Honors soccer team, and I hope to get even more involved as future opportunities present themselves. Through all of this, I find that the humanities are central to my life. They help me understand other people more and are present when I consider my actions and the consequences of those actions. More than that, they allow us to understand the people around us, how societies function, and other various pressing questions that could not be answered otherwise.

Jennifer Morrow

I've always loved reading and writing, and because of that, I chose to be an English major and am considering adding a writing minor. I haven't decided on my career yet, but I am interested in writing fiction and/or non-fiction, and possibly teaching high school English. I am endlessly fascinated by how stories connect people and help us find common ground despite our differences. Majoring in English allows me to continue to feed my curiosity and foster creativity, as well as find ways to use my talents to contribute to society and humanity. Something I take pride in is my ability as a songwriter and performer; this past summer, I finally completed a six-song EP called Memoirs of a Daydreamer and released the project as a live performance with a band. I strongly believe schools should devote more time and money to theater, visual arts, music, creative writing, and other humanities fields because they allow young people to grow as empathetic, passionate, diverse individuals. The humanities are important because people are important. We all have a story, and it deserves to be told.

Matthew Oldfather

I've always loved reading comic books, and I've had the chance to meet many comic writers in the past. I want to write comics myself, so I'm majoring in English because it relates to the career path I'm interested in. I've enjoyed English and history since I was very young, mostly out of spite for math and science. At a basic level, the humanities play a role in my everyday life because I'm always reading and writing. I think the humanities are important because they teach us critical thinking skills and make us more well-rounded in our education. Besides being involved with the Humanities Scholars Program, I am email pen-pals with two comic writers who help me with my writing and brainstorming. I am also a member of the RPG club on campus.

Sam Solorzano

I have a strong passion for the arts, and I've always wanted to share my stories to a larger audience on the big screen. I am a Film Studies major, soon to be Media X, with a Theatre Arts Minor, and my dream career is to be a screenwriter for Disney, Pixar, or the CW. During my interview for this program, Dr. Lehmann and Dr. Rennard mentioned that the Scholars program ties with so many different career paths and offers so much help to its students in getting there. Through the connections I've made and everything I've covered in classes so far, I've learned how important it is to appreciate the story behind everything and everyone. At Pacific, I'm already involved in Servility Urban Dance Team, the Pacific Ambassador Program, and I plan to rush for Pacific's professional theatre fraternity, Theta Alpha Phi. Last but not least, the Humanities Scholars Program has been a big part of my Pacific experience so far. It has really connected me with students I otherwise never would have met and given me the chance to experience such cool things outside of the classroom. I am so proud to be a part of this program!

Trevor Trinity-Rees

I chose to major in philosophy because I really want to learn more about the subject, and the classes seem really interesting. On top of that, I am going to be adding a second major in music education because I want to teach and play music when I am older. I believe more and more people need to be exposed to music because it is such a beautiful and rewarding activity. Like music, the humanities in general are part of everyday life and can help improve society and culture. We should make an effort to preserve them by donating money to the arts, and by helping younger kids understand how important they are to our lives. Being part of the Humanities Scholars has meant that I am constantly introduced to new and interesting things that relate to the humanities. In addition to being a scholar, I am part of Hall Government, I work at SLTech, and I am deeply involved with the Conservatory.

Arianna Visscher

Because I love the natural sciences but art has always been a significant part of my life, I decided to major in biology with a minor in art. I eventually hope to synthesize these passions into a career in scientific illustration, which has seemed like the perfect combination of the two ever since I first learned of its existence. Remaining involved in the arts in college was something very important to me. I've always been interested in the varied ways that humans try to understand our collective condition and derive meaning from it. Since the humanities deal with the way we interpret the human condition, it is imperative that we protect them and allow them to change according to the way the world changes, while still ensuring that they remain accessible for generations to come. In addition to art and science, one of my biggest passions is figure skating, an art form in itself, which has been an important part of my life for the last 13 years.

Ericka Wong

I've been interested in the humanities for as long as I can remember. My third grade teacher especially emphasized the importance of reading and writing; ever since then, I have taken note of the way that the humanities help me think critically about everyday situations so I can get the most out of readings, conversations, and other experiences. I'm majoring in English because it has been my favorite subject since I learned how to read. That interest also dates back to third grade, when I first started reading the Harry Potter series. I remember creating a Harry Potter book club with my friends, which is what really sparked my passion for reading. I think the humanities are important because they teach us about who we are as a society through history, culture, and philosophy, and I am so excited to be a part of that tradition. Here at Pacific, I am already starting to get involved by becoming the vice president of my hall government on campus.