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Sandivel Torres

Sandivel Torres was a 15 year-old high school sophomore when she first visited Dominican and fell in love with the campus. “It’s where I saw myself,” she recalls.

Sandivel made her mark during her undergraduate years. She was a member of Reform Immigration for America and participated in the Bay Area Social Justice Forum for Campus Ministries. She traveled to El Salvador as part of the Seeds of Learning and to Uganda for an Engaged Learning service experience.

Sandivel, who worked for three years as a research assistant, presented her research at four different regional and national conferences. Her research article was published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Sandivel was also an intern at Sunny Hills Services of Sonoma, where she mentored middle school and high school students with behavioral issues on better decision-making skills. Her work has touched a great number of people.

“I’ve always taken education seriously, and I see it as a great thing to be able to help others,” Sandivel says. “I am the first in my family to graduate, and I am graduating with honors. It’s nice to be recognized.”

Sandivel values the friendships she developed and the learning experiences she gained at Dominican, particularly during her trip to Uganda. The trip inspired her to become founder and president of United Immigrants of California at Dominican, a club that works with the Latino Cultural Club to raise awareness about issues facing immigrants. Sandivel also started an after-school mentorship program with students in the Canal Alliance District of San Rafael.

A psychology major with a minor in studio art, Sandivel, with the assistance of her psychology professor and mentor Dr. William Phillips, combined her two scholastic interests at Dominican into her senior thesis titled, “The Effects of Women’s Clothing Choices on Body Image.”

“I wanted to do something about women and decided that clothing is something measurable that represents the struggles that women go through,” she says.

This is typical of Sandivel, according to her mentor.

“Sandy has been a work-study in the Psychology Department since her freshman year. The passion she holds for learning and her ideals is a model for everyone,” Dr. Phillips says. “She is simply one of the most kind-hearted, smart, and hard-working individuals with whom I have had the pleasure of working. Her positive attitude and smile made the department a better place.”

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