Name: Brandy A. Hyatt
VISTA Host Site: CSU East Bay Institute for STEM Education
Alma Mater: Augsburg College, Minneapolis, MN
Major: Film Production
My Background: I graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Film Production, but I actually started off as a computer science major. Like many students entering their freshmen year, I thought I had an idea of what I wanted to do in the future. I wanted to become a web developer/designer. I was also minoring in film production to fulfill a scholarship requirement but quickly realized I enjoyed film production exponentially more than I enjoyed computer science. At the end of the year I changed my major to Film Production.
Still interested in computer technology, I got a job as an IT student staff member. During my undergrad I was able to explore my interests and discover my passions by getting involved on campus. I worked for the IT department, participated in a number of student organizations, served as a film teaching assistant, worked in residence life, was an officer for Pan-Afrikan Student Union, and a representative for Augsburg Day Student Government. Through all of these experiences, I even picked up a religion and literature minor. Being involved in so many things gave me an opportunity to try different things in and out of class. My undergraduate experience taught me that having diverse interests are normal and beneficial to my future.
Why I Serve: I serve because everyone deserves access to opportunities that can enhance their lives.
Ah-ha moment: I recently had an Ah-ha moment on my way to a meeting. A co-worker and I were talking about what type of impact CSU East Bay’s Institute for STEM Education makes. My co-worker really enjoys the work we are doing, but started talking about the limitations – programs need funding, resources, and people power. This brief conversation confirmed that I want to help on a larger scale, touch as many lives as possible, and work to impact on a national and international level.
My Future Goals: Following my year as a CSU STEM VISTA, I plan to be enrolled in a master’s program in public policy with an emphasis on education policy, ultimately working in education reform. The CSU STEM VISTA program is a great stepping stone to reach my goals and is providing me with hands on experience, opportunities to interacting with policy makers, enhancing my writing skills, and numerous networking opportunities.