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Miguel “Mikey” Arana


Major: Psychology & Chicana/o/x Studies

Hometown: Thousand Oaks, California

Graduation Date: Spring 2020

Career Plans: Clinical Psychologist and Professor.

My name is Miguel Arana but I prefer to go by Mikey. I grew up in Thousand Oaks, California and I am a first- generation high school graduate and a first-generation college student. I am currently a student at CSU Channel Islands double majoring in Chicana/o/x Studies & Psychology. I transferred from Moorpark College to CSUCI in order to stay close to home and commute. In my free time I like to read, listen to music, play soccer and skateboard. I also enjoy volunteering and helping others whenever I can.

I chose to major in psychology because I have always been passionate about mental health and Chicana/o/x studies major because it is interdisciplinary and allows me to learn about multiple subjects through a cultural and personal lens. I have found a way to combine both disciplines by researching alterNative ways of healing and Latina/o/x, Chicana/o/x mental health. Another reason I was drawn to this major is because I am very interested in the hidden stories and struggles of Chicana/o/xs and Latina/o/xs in education as well as the student testimonials of academic success. I am inspired by the faculty mentorship I have received through the Chicana/o/x Studies program and hope to empower fellow students the way my professors have for me.

Some challenges in my academic career have been learning how to learn. I was a terrible student in high school. I barely graduated and even attempted to drop out my Junior year. I graduated with a 1.7 GPA and in my first years of college I knew I had to change my mindset. I was always capable of being a great student but what I lacked were the tools and resources to do so. Through hard work and the support of student services, I began to learn how to succeed as a student. Some of those important student support services I would like to highlight are the EOPS center at Moorpark College and the TRIO SSS program at CSUCI.

After graduating I plan to attend graduate school and complete a MA/PhD in Clinical Psychology. I want to work with Latina/o/x communities and other underserved communities. In addition to being a licensed psychologist I also want to teach and pursue a career in academia teaching cross listed Psychology & Chicana/o Studies courses. I am also interested in research and furthering the literature in Chicana/o/x Psychology, and Latina/o/x Psychology.

Being a first-generation student I know how overwhelming the college experience can be. As a Moorpark College EOPS peer advisor, I really enjoyed helping students and seeing them succeed in furthering in their academic career. I hope to carry that same passion and motivation to see others succeed as part of the University Culture team. Lastly, I want students to know that they are not alone in their academic success and to reach out to faculty, staff, mentors and fellow students. There are a lot of resources available and there are a ton of folks wanting to help you succeed.