Valerie Mendoza pushes students to keep striving

Valerie Mendoza, project director for the department of academic affairs, helps students adjust to college life. Mendoza encourages students to keep working hard and striving to meet their goals. (courtesy of Valerie Mendoza)

Valerie Mendoza, project director for the department of academic affairs and a WU 101 instructor, advises students to never give up when under stress.

Mendoza is originally from Topeka but has lived in Maryland, California and Ohio. She believes in helping and comforting students as they adapt to the campus environment, as well as inspiring and educating other people.

Mendoza elaborated that she likes the idea of helping students who are from different communities and helping students to adjust in college.

“Everybody comes to college excited with lots of ambition and wants to do big things. Thus, watching people grow and letting them know about university really gives me peace. “I’m still trying to figure out my dream job, but what I do now is pretty close because I like helping students achieve their dreams. I’ve always been fascinated with buffalo. I think it has to do with a combination of living on the prairie and traveling in herds,” Mendoza said.

Pratikshya Pokharel, a freshman majoring in nursing, is taking one of Mendoza’s classes. He believes that Mendoza is supportive of her students.

“She’s kind hearted and really helpful. She is always very flexible as well as friendly and added that she’s also a good professor and her teaching style is really good,” Pokharel said.

Mendoza graduated from local high school and then went away to college in Maryland majoring in history. After getting the undergraduate degree, she went to California and got a master’s degree and doctorate in history.

“In my spare time I read mysteries, historical fiction and young adult, my go-to genres, walk my dog, or practice yoga. My favorite TV show of all time is ‘Gilmore Girls’ although I’m also a fan of ‘Yellowstone,’ ‘Succession’ and ‘Wednesday’,” Mendoza said.

She likes historical fiction books. One of her favorite books is a memoir titled “Enrique’s Journey” written by Sonya Nazario. The memoir is about a teenager from Central America who immigrated to the United States all by himself to find his mother and tells a narrative of hardships and peril.

Mendoza also enjoys Chinese food. She used to live in San Francisco where there was a huge ChinaTown and that is where she got the real Chinese spirit from. She enjoys her mom’s cooking a lot which is mostly Mexican food.

Edited by Simran Shrestha and Glorianna Noland