UCI Arts Ambassadors - Arts Stories

UCI Arts Ambassadors - Their Arts Stories

Kimberly Chin
Junior
Music Major

I knew I wanted to come to UC Irvine since I was a senior in high school, so I was overjoyed when I received my acceptance letter! I knew music was my passion, and going to UCI would let me have this opportunity in addition to exploring other academic areas. I am also currently pursuing a degree in Business Information Management and a minor in accounting. Within the Claire Trevor School of the Arts (CTSA), I am a student docent in the Beall Art Gallery and an active member of Mu Phi Epsilon, a co-ed professional music fraternity. I also hold the position of Arts Senator in ASUCI, UCI's student government.

I was drawn to the music program in UCI primarily because of the amazing faculty and multiple opportunities. I grew up piano and violin on a weekly basis and wanted to continue my passion throughout college. UC Irvine’s Music Department is unique because students are required to practice in orchestra and chamber music, as well as uphold the rigorous academic standards of the musicianship, theory, and history course. Additionally, I love the fact that UC Irvine’s program conservatory within a large research university. The program itself is quite small which makes it easier to develop a personal connection with other undergraduate students, graduate students, and even professors. 

I was motivated to become an Arts Ambassador because I want to make the school a better place for other students to flourish and develop their skills. I want to know the students needs and issues, so we can address them and provide the necessary tools to help students. I want to see the Arts department grow in a positive environment for the students, and let them realize their dreams, whether they are an student of CTSA, or a non-Art major that wants the opportunity to be creative.

Kristen Daniels
Senior
Drama Major

I'm Kristen Daniels and I am a fourth year undergraduate student here at UCI. I am a Drama major and since arriving at UCI, I have gotten to experience many opportunities to grow in my knowledge as an actor, but also have grown as a human being. I love the chance to express myself here in this uniquely designed department and within the Arts Ambassadors. The Ambassador program means a lot to me because before coming here, I was unaware of the fantastic program UCI had to offer, so as an Ambassador, I feel that it is my job to inform others about the possibilities presented here. There is a true community within the field of the arts, and the Claire Trevor School of the Arts helps cultivate that bond in a supportive educational environment that I am happy to share in.

Caroline Jones
Senior
Drama Major

Hi my name is Caroline Jones! I’m a fourth year double major in International Studies and Drama. I had just recently declared the Drama major after taking introductory classes to acting. I had always had an interest in acting and was finally able to pursue it here at UCI. The classes were highly interactive, creatively liberating, and mentally stimulating in a completely different manner than any class I’ve taken here. They have provided me with tools that are not only applicable to my other major, but have helped me grow as an actor and as a person. As an Arts Ambassador, I would love to help out fellow interested thespians (or any Art enthusiast!) who aren’t as exposed to the numerous opportunities the Arts has to offer them. Bridging that gap between interest and possibility is my goal as an Arts Ambassador.

Sydney Streightiff
Junior
Music Major

Hi! My name is Sydney Streightiff, and I am a third year Music Performance major getting my B.M. in Oboe Performance. I chose to study music because I have been playing and taking lessons my entire life, so I felt like it was the next logical step to study music because I could not picture myself living a life without playing music on a daily basis. I truly believe that music is the one thing that connects us all, and is something that no one can live without. I chose UC Irvine because it has a small music department which gives me more playing opportunities than at a larger music school, but still allows me to work with the world renowned faculty everyday. One of the biggest factors for me when I was making my decision was that my private teacher also works for UCLA, which has a much larger studio. When I started attending class here I really felt like I found my place in the art school. I went to high school 30 minutes away from where I lived. Because of this I did not have a close knit group of friends. When I moved here everything changed, everyone I met was extremely welcoming, and as I got more involved in the campus such as with Arts Ambassadors and with the Music Fraternity, Mu Phi Epsilon, I started developing a family away from home. Through Mu Phi I started going out into the community as well such as when I started teaching Da Capo music lessons. Through this program I gained invaluable teaching experience as well as two internships and a job. The Claire Trevor School of the Arts has given me so many opportunities to grow and experience different ways to express myself, which made me want to join the Arts Ambassador program to share that experience with other people, and give them the information to do so as well.


Olivia Stroud
Junior
Dance Major

Hello! My name is Olivia and this is my third year at UCI. Presently, I am a Dance major, working towards adding a double major in Business Administration. 

From having danced seriously throughout high school and with the support of my family, I decided to pursue a degree in the arts with the hopes of continuing to better my art in preparation for a professional dance career. Coming into the Dance department here, I knew very little beyond my desire to dance and that the program here was well known for its high caliber of training. What I found at CTSA was more than just a series of technique classes, but an entire community of hugely talented artists, passionate about the work they do and willing to use their art to reach beyond the community. I strongly believe that the arts in academia are necessary. The arts provoke reaction and can better connect students, raise awareness of current issues, and motivate people to take action.  

Being an Arts Ambassador, my aim is to create a more connected community within CTSA in the hopes of ultimately lessening the divide between CTSA and the other departments across the entire campus. Not only does CTSA have plenty to offer the greater student body, but there are many students out there who are interested in the arts and simply aren’t aware of the many opportunities available at CTSA. As an Arts Ambassador, I want to cultivate cross-department collaborations and bring the arts to a wider audience.

Victoria Zepeda
Senior
Drama Major

My name is Victoria Yvette Zepeda and I am a fourth year, first generation undergraduate student that is majoring in Drama and minoring in Spanish. My disciplines of focus include acting, directing, and producing. I am specifically interested in Latinx (Latino/a) theatre, as there is a lack of representation of the Latinx experience on the modern day American stage. Since beginning my theatrical career as a high school freshman, I fell in love with the theatre. I decided to pursue it through higher education because I could not see myself in any other field.

I find that theatre is a powerhouse for community engagement and change. It is here in college that I joined Brown Bag Theatre Company, UCI’s only Latinx theatre ensemble on campus. It was here that I found family and have had the opportunity to engage with local communities in Orange Country through performance. Through theatre, we are able to tackle political, social, and cultural issues that are at the forefront of our society. It has the ability to represent the underrepresented, and I feel that it is my personal passion and duty to lay out these foundations within theatrical representation for not only my personal community, but all Latinx communities at large.

As an Arts Ambassador, I hope to continue to actively engage with prospective students and become the catalyst that will spark their interest to pursue the Arts. CTSA has a wonderful program that will engage, push, and challenge students to meet their highest potential. I feel honored to be a part of a prestigious program that has the ability to focus on each individual within it.