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Meet our Humanities Scholars

John GutierrezJohn Gutierrez

Major: Political Science; Philosophy and pre-law minors
Graduation Year: 2020
Hometown: Sacramento, California 
Interesting Fact: I am vice president of the Associated Students of University of the Pacific!
Why Humanities?:  Studying the humanities is how we learn from the past and critique the present. The humanities demand that we uphold empathy as well as cultural awareness for those who have struggled and continue to struggle around us. My involvement in the Humanities Scholars program has taught me that I should strive to be an agent of transformative justice, a fact that I will keep close in mind as I pursue a career in law and, eventually, the judiciary.

LJ Lombardo

LJ Lombardo

Major: Computer Science; Graphic Design minor 
Graduation Year: 2020 
Hometown: San Jose, California 
Interesting Fact:  I’m a proud member of Pi Kappa Alpha and have served on both its executive board and the executive board of the Interfraternity Council which oversees all social fraternities at Pacific.
Why Humanities?:  I believe the humanities are what keep our souls alive, and it's the job of younger generations to make sure the humanities are protected.


Matthew Oldfather

Matthew Oldfather

Major: Media X; Writing minor
Graduation Year: 2020
Hometown: Danville, California
Interesting Fact:  I'm doing a production internship with a nonprofit called the Singleton Foundation and their game development partner HitPoint Studios to help them develop a mobile game and a strategy guide to go along with it.
Why Humanities?:  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.

Trevor Trinity-ReesTrevor Trinity-Rees

Major: Music Education; Computer Science minor
Graduation Year: 2020
Hometown: Elk Grove, California
Interesting Fact: I have a full-time position with Pacific Technology as a Technology Support Specialist, and I'm in two fraternities!
Why Humanities?:  Like music, the humanities are significant to everyday life and can help improve society and culture. Helping younger kids understand how important these subjects are to our lives is an important step in preserving them for the future. Being part of the Humanities Scholars has meant that I am constantly introduced to new and interesting topics that reveal how the humanities interact with the world around me.

Arianna VisscherArianna Visscher

Major: Biological Sciences; Studio Art minor 
Graduation Year: 2020
Hometown: Seattle, Washington
Interesting Fact:  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 my two passions ever since I first learned of its existence.
Why Humanities?:  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.

Armando Borrego Armando Borrego

Major: Philosophy; English minor
Graduation Year: 2021
Hometown: Salinas, California 
Interesting Fact: I have s elf-published two books: a collection of short stories and a collection of poems.
Why Humanities?: I think that my lifelong involvement in the humanities has inspired me to understand the world from different points of view based on the different lenses available to me. For example, poems by Robert Frost, Walt Whitman, and Edgar Allen Poe have had a substantial effect on me and how I view the world.

Hannah EdwardsHannah Edwards

Major: English and Math
Graduation Year: 2021
Hometown: Redding, California 
Interesting Fact: In addition to being a Humanities Scholar,  I am also a Pacific Legal Scholar. After graduation, I plan to either go to school to become a teacher, go to law school to become involved in the criminal law field, or both.
Why Humanities?:  When I think about how the humanities influenced my life, I immediately think about how reading and writing have helped me cope and deal with intense or difficult situations. I learned how to read in order to escape into a different reality for a while, which later evolved into wanting to write and create my own reality. One of the best parts about the Humanities Scholars are the debates we have in class as well as the debates we have outside of class. The people I've met thanks to this program are amazing, and I love having this connected group of people who can get inspired by a variety of different things in life and create something extraordinary.

Carolyn LeeCarolyn Lee

Major: English; Psychology and Business Management Minors
Graduation Year: 2020
Hometown: Los Angeles, California 
Interesting Fact:  Over the course of my years at UoP, I have been extensively involved in the NEST, Phi Alpha Delta, Sigma Tau Delta, and the Legal Scholars Program in addition to the Humanities Program. Also, I love doing Chinese calligraphy! 
Why Humanities?:  "I hate writing; I love having written." Honestly, I did not grow up reading ​Harry Potter​ or ​Percy Jackson​-- or really anything. I did not find myself getting lost in a book, or staying up late hours writing a novel. What really struck my heart about the Humanities, therefore, was the power of words-- namely spoken word poetry. I would replay artists like Shane Koyczan and Harry Baker and listen to convicting sermons that turned out to shape what I believe and who I live for. 

Allie NorfleetAllie Norfleet

Major: Sociology, Gender Studies minor
Graduation Year: 2020
Hometown:  Mount Pleasant, Texas
Interesting Fact:  I spent my winter break studying for the LSAT and am going to law school in the fall!
Why Humanities?:  I've been interested in the humanities for as long as I can remember. As a child, my mother would take me to musicals like Cats and The Lion King, which eventually grew into me being an avid lover of theatre and seeing musicals such as Phantom of the Opera (which is my favorite) and Les Misérables over the past summer. When I was young, I remember being fascinated by the way that people could slip into being someone else. In light of that interest, I decided to study Sociology at Pacific. I've always considered the angles of any situation from a perspective that focuses on human interaction and human emotion.

 Kendra SananikoneKendra Sananikone

Major: Media X; Chinese minor
Graduation Year: 2021
Hometown: Alamo, California 
Interesting FactI interned with Pacific Tiger Broadcasting in the past as a video producer. I got to produce a few of the web shows (including the Groovy Grove Review and the Ambush) that got put out on the PTB website and YouTube channel!
Why Humanities?:  Ever since I was a little kid, I have always been interested in all kinds of art. I began playing in my school's concert band in elementary school and played until high school. When I got to high school, I decided to explore other art electives that were offered and discovered that I really enjoyed film and photography. From then on, I focused on pursuing my passion for photography which led me to the Media X program here at Pacific. I appreciate being a part of the Pacific Humanities Scholars Program because it has introduced me to people with similar passions but from different perspectives.

Jordan ShihJordan Shih

Major: English and Chinese, Ethnic Studies minor
Graduation Year: 2020
Hometown: Bakersfield, California 
Interesting Fact:  I'm a student yield representative for the Modern Languages and Literature department!
Why Humanities?: T he moment I decided the humanities were for me was one that many book-lovers can likely relate to--it was in elementary school, when I began reading the Harry Potter series. It was a time when the fan base was beginning to flourish with the development of fan art and fanfiction, and I was fascinated by the way that a book could transcend boundaries into film, art, and reinterpretation. Fantasy series like JK Rowling's bestseller, as well as the Belgariad and the Inheritance Cycle, inspired me to become a high school teacher of either English or Chinese, while writing fiction on the side. Knowing how to read and write well is essential to any job or career, and a skill I want to impart to every student possible.

Jonathan SosidkaJonathan Sosidka

Major: Media X
Graduation Year: 2020
Hometown: Clinton, New Jersey 
Interesting Fact: I am c urrently working on a short film with fellow Humanities Scholar Armando Borrego that will be submitted to film festivals this summer. In the future , I hope to start a multimedia production company. The goal of this business would be to create entertainment across multiple electronic platforms and utilize all kinds of new media.
Why Humanities?:  Storytelling has been a huge aspect of my life for as long as I can remember, and I'm always seeking methods and mediums to express my creativity. I started acting in theater in kindergarten, moved on to acting for film and television, and eventually found my strongest passion behind the camera, directing and filming productions.

Mackenzie WielandMackenzie Wieland

Major: Media X and Graphic Design
Graduation Year: 2021
Hometown: Brentwood, California 
Interesting Fact: I recently worked for United Way of San Joaquin County as the marketing and communications intern, where I created videos and graphics to help tell the United Way story. On campus, I work as a graphic designer for ASUOP. In the future,  I'm interested in becoming either a storyboard artist or a movie poster designer.
Why Humanities?:  I have always loved art, whether it be creating or viewing. It was my senior year of high school that I realized I wanted to make art an enduring part of my life. This ultimately led me here to Pacific to pursue my interest in the Humanities and learn what I can do to expand my knowledge and help my community.

Mike CamachoMike Camacho

Major: Media X
Hometown: Lakeport, California  
Graduation Year: 2021
Interesting Fact:  I am the treasurer for the Punk and Metal club and the current outreach manager for the Pacific Heavy Ensemble. I’m also a resident assistant and an honors peer for the Freshman Honors program. A project I am proud of is my Documentary I made last semester on the flaws in higher education.
Why Humanities?:  Since I was young, I had always had an interest in drawing, often creating comic sketches in my free time. Cartoons, of course, became ingrained into my daily life. I was always fascinated at the universes presented to me through my television, finding joy in these shows. Just as they had brought me happiness, I hoped to do the same with my audiences, so with a creative mind, and open to new ideas, I set off for University of the Pacific to study Media X and join the Humanities Scholars Program and make my dream a reality.

Scout Cooper-WilsonScout Cooper-Wilson

Major: Critical and Cultural Studies (self-designed major)
Hometown: Tacoma, Washington 
Graduation Year: 2022
Interesting Fact: Here on campus, I started Feminism Club. Additionally, I am Chief External Affairs Officer for Kappa Alpha Theta, a Powell Scholar, and a resident assistant.  In my life, I hope to have a career helping others through international development, providing opportunities especially for women who haven't been as lucky as I have.
Why Humanities?:  I've always loved the humanities, before I had even heard the term. Growing up I played make believe, entertaining myself with stories in my head that explored people and their relationships. Eventually that translated to a love of reading and film. However, I soon realized I wasn't as interested in writing stories as I was in studying the stories that others had created and seeing what I could learn about people and how we interact with one another and our world.

Caitlin JimenezCaitlin Jimenez

Major: Media X
Hometown: Morgan Hill, California
Graduation Year: 2022
Interesting Fact:  Whenever I'm walking around campus, I'm usually listening to a showtune on my extremely long Spotify playlist. I'm also (not surprisingly) a die-hard fan of Disney. If you give me the chance, I'll tell you every random fact I know about the various Disney parks around the world or why I think "Hunchback of Notre Dame" is the most underrated Disney movie.
Why Humanities?:  When I first heard about the Humanities Scholars Program, I was interested to say the least. I mean, who would refuse a free trip to the Oregon Shakespeare festival? However, I got even more out of this program than I anticipated. I got to talk to my peers about current problems with the world and how the humanities are more important than people realize. I have a better understanding of the world we live in and how the arts influence that world.

Maddie Tawa

Maddie Tawa

Major: English and Japanese, Writing and Teaching Professions minors 
Hometown: Thousand Oaks, California
Graduation Year: 2022
Interesting Fact:  I am  Vice President of Recognition for National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH). In the future, I hope to become an English teacher at the secondary level.

Isabel AcevedoIsabel Acevedo

Major: English, Writing minor 
Hometown: Turlock, California
Graduation Year: 2023 
Interesting Fact: I’m a writer and I am working on a novel. My future goal is to write scripts for movies and TV and publish some of my own books.

Tormod Anderson

Tormod Anderson

Major: Media X 
Hometown: Redondo Beach, California
Graduation Year: 2023 
Interesting Fact: I am currently doing an internship for PTB on campus, learning how to work in a broadcast station and hosting segments.

Shea Bishop

Shea Bishop

Major: Applied Mathematics and Mathematical Economics  
Hometown: Modesto, California
Graduation Year: 2023 
Interesting Fact: I’m looking forward to taking my future actuarial exams as well as submitting an abstract to the National Conference for Undergraduate Research next year to discuss topics about my favorite author, Cormac McCarthy.

Liliana Lopez

Major: English and History, Religious Studies minor 
Hometown: Sacramento, California
Graduation Year: 2023 
Interesting Fact: I want to be a historian of medieval church history, and I wrote a book! I am also the opinions editor for The Pacifican. 

Kelly Murphy

Kelly Murphy

Major: Civil Engineering, Art minor 
Hometown: Peoria, Arizona
Graduation Year: 2023 
Interesting Fact: I’m a member of the Pacific Women's Swim Team.

Benjamin TaylorBenjamin Taylor

Major: History, Jazz Studies minor 
Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona
Graduation Year: 2023 
Interesting Fact: I recently wrote a paper on Christianity's impact on African slaves. I enjoyed looking at history from perspectives that are not usually discussed. 

Brooke TranBrooke Tran

Major: English and Media X, Teaching Professions minor 
Hometown: Westminster, California
Graduation Year: 2023 
Interesting Fact: On campus, I am a  Tiger Team Ambassador at the Office of Admissions, a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, a Resident Assistant, and I am involved with SUCCESS TRiO and Freshman Honors Program. Also, I am super stoked to finish my research paper on auteur theory with Professor Lessard, our resident film studies professor!

Angel ZhongAngel Zhong

Major: English and Psychology, Writing minor 
Hometown: Walnut Creek, California
Graduation Year: 2023 
Interesting Fact: I’m attempting to revitalize the English Club on campus! I’m also an Associate Supreme Court Justice on ASUOP.