Isela Peña-Rager

College Adviser

Joined the L&S Office of Undergraduate Advising in:
September 2017

What is your approach to advising?
Every interaction with a student is an opportunity to instill and build authentic hope and confidence. I aim to be as candid, respectful, and helpful as possible as you navigate the world within and beyond the classroom, this campus, and your communities. If I don't have the answers to all your questions, I promise to work tirelessly to connect you with the appropriate resources.

Ed.D., Educational Leadership, University of California, Davis (in progress)

M.A., Spanish, concentration in Applied Linguistics, ESL Teaching Certificate, Purdue University

B.A., Art, concentration in Photography, University of La Verne

How did you get here?
Such an existential question for a self-described artist! I have very many interests. Throughout a lifetime of diving into my passions headfirst, with a healthy dose of elbow grease, I've learned that I am in love with exploration and discovery, particularly when it comes to folks' dreams and aspirations. I've lived, studied, and worked abroad, in Mexico and in Spain, and I've been a higher education professional at five US campuses thus far, partly as a language instructor and, for a longer stint, as an international student advisor and group facilitator. I am grateful to be able to now serve the most phenomenal undergraduate student body in my role as an academic advisor.

About me:
First generation college student. Latina. Daughter of Mexican immigrants. Mental health advocate.

My writer-musician-former-educator husband, adorable son, and I are SoCal natives who have made Oakland home since 2013. I love art, reading, cooking, baking, connecting with folks, organizing fun gatherings, cuddling with my kid, and laughing. Laughter is everything to me. 

What advice do you have for L&S students in general?
Find and foster your communities of support, embrace your identities, explore the comfortable and the not-so-comfortable academic and involvement opportunities, and don't be afraid to make your mark in a way that is uniquely your own. 

Note: Trained in Harm & Violence Prevention and Intercultural/Multicultural Facilitation.