Introducing Karina Valdez, Outreach and First Year Experience Specialist

Karina Valdez recently joined the UCLA Library as Outreach and First Year Experience Specialist. We asked Karina a few questions about herself and her aspirations for this position.Karina Valdez in a white shirt and standing in front of Powell Library

What goals/hopes do you have for this year as our new Outreach and First Year Experience Specialist?
As a professional, I have dedicated much of my career to early college students, so I am excited to be in this role with a specific focus on outreach and first-year students. I am committed to guiding more students toward the many resources the UCLA Library has to offer, and hope to build meaningful relationships with campus partners in the process. I am fiercely passionate about the educational access and success of institutionally marginalized students, and I hope to curate my outreach to be intentional in reaching students who can most benefit from library resources.

How has your prior experience prepared you for this role at the UCLA Library?
While earning a Master of Education in Student Affairs here at UCLA, I served as a graduate intern with the First Year Experience and First to Go offices. I was able to collaborate with students, faculty and staff to celebrate and uplift first-generation, commuter and transfer students. My experience with these offices reminded me of the importance of identifying barriers to access for specific groups of students and working collaboratively with colleagues across campus to meet those needs.

What projects will you be tackling first?
I am looking forward to True Bruin Welcome as my first major outreach project with the UCLA Library. Additionally, I hope to collaborate and be present at the many fabulous events that our campus partners have planned in order to connect with as many students and colleagues as possible.

What are you currently reading/watching/listening to? What do you like to do outside of work?
I am currently re-reading Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. Outside of work I spend most of my time with family, but I also love taking dance classes, harp lessons and enjoying the incredible variety of live music that Los Angeles has to offer. 

What is your preferred name and what are your preferred pronouns?
Karina Valdez, She/her

We are delighted to welcome Karina to UCLA Library! You can contact her at karinavaldez@library.ucla.edu.