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California State University, Long Beach
Alumni Association

Sierra Patheal

Sierra Patheal

Name: Sierra Patheal
Grad Term: Spring 2014
Hometowns: Sierra City, CA
High Schools: Downieville High School
Age: 21
Major: English Literature, English Rhetoric and Composition
Minor: German, Math, Certificate in Technical and Professional Communication
Sierra Patheal

Sierra Patheal


Sierra Patheal


Sierra Patheal


Sierra Patheal


My Beach Experience:

My name is Sierra Patheal and this is myBeach Experience:


My Path to CSULB:

My path to CSULB was a pure coincidence. My parents own a restaurant in Downieville, and two of the employees that worked for my mom and dad were former President’s Scholars at CSULB, so we were first introduced to the university that way. I was the top of my class; a valedictorian amongst a whole eight people. I applied and was accepted to UC Berkeley, UC Merced, and few other colleges; however, I qualified for the President’s Scholars Program and when I visited the campus, I was really drawn to it. I really can’t see myself having gone anywhere else.


Where I come from, a select amount of classes were offered, so coming here and being able to take courses in a variety of disciplines like marine biology and psychology has just been great.


My Beach and Beyond:

During my time at CSULB, I have served as an editor for the Union Weekly and was also able to study abroad during my junior year at Heidelberg University in Germany.

One of my favorite experiences was completing my undergrad thesis as part of my requirements in the Honors Program. I created a choose-your-own adventure novel, then formatted it as an e-book so that readers could jump between different areas of the text, and composed a methodology to explain the theoretical background. I will be presenting my thesis at the Student Research Competition on campus.


I have recently been accepted into Stanford's MA program, and will be getting my single subject teaching credential in English. After that, I want to go back to Downieville or another rural area to begin my teaching career. I have done the big city thing, and I am grateful to have experienced it in my life, but a part of me knows that who I am today has been greatly influenced by the town in which I came from.



Favorite Professor: There are so many that are worthy to choose, but the three most influential have been Dr. Nele Hempel Lamer, Professor of German and Director of the Honors Program Dr. Tim Caron, Professor of English and my Thesis Advisor; and Dr. LeeAnne Langton, also a Professor of English, who has been a friend and mentor since my freshman year.

Favorite Class:
Personality Psychology with Dr. James Amirkhan. He was a great teacher because he not only taught theory, but applied it with personal anecdotes. It showed me the world in a different way, which helped with my writing by allowing me develop the characters in my stories, which lead to deeper story telling.

Favorite Spot on Campus: The upper Quad, on the grass. I’ve taken naps there and is has been a great place to hang out. The atmosphere up there is one of the things that attracted me to CSULB, with what I call the “Big Arm trees,” that hang like giant umbrellas.

Favorite Quote: “This is how you read a novel: you inhale the experience. So start breathing.”-Azar Nafisi, Reading Lolita in Tehran.

Activities and Organizations: Campus Scouts, Golden Key International Honor Society, University Honors Program, Campus Editor for the Union Weekly. Volunteer in Urban Community Outreach Drop-In center. Leadership Academy.

- Sierra Patheal
Go Beach!