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Merced College Student of the Month

November 2002

Mónika Villaseñor


Major:                            Psychology

Interests:                       Attending fully to her two children; life counseling; 
                                        motivational speaking

Future Goals:                 Transfer to CSU Stanislaus in order to obtain a BA
                                       degree in Sociology or Social Science, and then a MA
                                        in Social Work

Nominating Instructor:  Debi Swarts


     Mónika Villaseñor was selected as outstanding student for November 2002.  Ms. Villaseñor has been attending both the Los Banos and Merced campus of Merced College and has been accumulating an impressive scholastic record.  She will graduate this fall with honors with an A.A. degree in psychology, and then transfer to CSU Stanislaus in January 2003, where she will pursue a bachelor's degree in either Sociology or Social Science, and then a master's degree in social work.

     Ms. Villaseñor is a multi-facetted human being who has had a long history of overcoming personal hurdles and struggling with personal issued that were created by both mental and physical obstacles.  She has achieved clarity and a singular purpose for her life, as is evidenced by her philosophy of life which she summarizes through a quote of the poet Goethe: "The first step in change is acknowledging the desperation-realization that the choices we make on a daily level are about living and dying and making the choice to live."  Ms. Villaseñor adds assertively that she chose to live!  Yet her positive choice does not end here; as Debi Swarts, her counselor, puts it, "Her desire to make a difference in her own life enabled her to reach a goal extending her life experiences and knowledge of the social work framework to others."

     That Ms. Villaseñor is walking the talk to the fullest extent possible becomes evident when one looks at her multiple obligations beyond the college.  She is the mother of two young children through whom she is very involved in volunteering in their schools and extracurricular activities.  Furthermore, she is the owner of a company called "Iridescent Self" for which she facilitates women's groups.  Ms. Villaseñor also has done some inspirational speaking in the San Joaquín Valley.  In her self-described role as "layperson counselor" and "healer", she summarizes her purpose in the following way: "I support people in the discovery of who they truly are and help guide them so they may also see their true iridescence."


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Last updated on 5-30-04 by Caroline Kreide