Nikita Gupta, MPH
GRIT Coaching Program Director email@example.com
Hello! My name is Nikita Gupta. I am the Director of the GRIT Peer Coaching Pogram and a health and wellness educator on campus. I focus on developing and teaching programs that promote whole-person wellness, empowerment and success. Areas of focus include managing stress, understanding emotions, mindfulness, and navigating life transitions. I have been a professional health educator for nearly 10 years, and I have taught yoga for 12+ years in the Los Angeles community. I received my Master’s in Public Health from UCLA, and previous to that my Bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky. I am proud to fulfill a unique role here at the BRC, facilitating student development and personal growth. In my time away from the office, I enjoy friends, dancing and my kitty.
Rita Phetmixay, M.A., M.S.W.Intergroup Relations and GRIT Peer Coaching Programs CoordinatorDirect: (310) 825-8213|Fax: (310) 267-2053
Rita Phetmixay serves as the Program Coordinator for both the Intergroup Relations (IGR) and GRIT Peer Coaching Programs under the Bruin Resource Center. Her lived experiences growing up as a child of refugees from Laos and Thailand in rural, North Carolina guides her work and continuous passion for social justice and equity. Upon completing her B.A. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she came directly to UCLA to pursue her dual masters degrees in Asian American Studies and Social Welfare. She brings the intersections of ethnic studies and clinical mental health therapy and aspires to use both frameworks through intergroup dialogue and life-coaching. She has had the privilege of conducting psychotherapy at Long Beach API Family Mental Health Clinic, facilitating dialogue work through her MSW program, and revamping the youth wellness programs at Community Coalition in South Los Angeles. She hopes to create an environment where students feel empowered to obtain a new level of critical (self) consciousness and inspire others to become change agents as well.
Hi! I am Khalela, and I am an administrative assistant for the GRIT program. I am a second year Masters of Public Health student in the Community Health Sciences Department at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. I am interested in global health and, last summer, I had the opportunity to intern for an HIV and mobility study in Kenya! I enjoy making connections, traveling, trying new foods, and crafting.
About Me: When applying for colleges I honestly had no idea that I would end up at UCLA, but now two years later, I can say that I am a successful 3rd year Communications Major, with a minor in Music Industry.
Fun Fact: I am truly a flower-child, rejecting conventional society and advocating love, peace, and simple, idealistic values. I dream of the day when I get to pack up my bags and leave on a whirlwind adventure exploring all that the world has in store for me.
Self-Care: As often as I can during the week, I spend around an hour or so doing yoga. Yoga is a phenomenal self-care practice that I do to keep my mind clear, and my body healthy. I can truly attribute much of my personal evolution to my yoga practice.
GRIT Coach Tip: As a GRIT Coach I want students to know that they are capable of anything and everything they set their hearts' desires on. Bradley Whitford once said, "Infuse your life with action. Don't wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen...yourself, right now, right down here on Earth." This quote motivates me every single day to put effort and action into making my life everything that I know it can be. I am a limitless being and I know that the Universe is always on my side, so instead of allowing stress to overwhelm me, I take my power back by always choosing to see the positive in all situations, and this is what I hope to be able to share with others.
Hi! I’m Andrea and I’m a Senior and a Psychology major. Fun fact about me is that I am obsessed with free samples and enjoy activities like swimming or spending time with friends. I also love meeting new people and trying unique foods. To promote self-care, I try to focus on being in the present by listening to music. Sometimes, I also resort to Netflix as a form of a mental break. I manage stress by maintaining balance and keeping organized. As they are assigned, I immediately write down assignments in my planner. I also make an active effort to make time to spend with friends and record it in my planner. I am really excited to be a GRIT Peer Coach!
Hello there!! I am Avalon, a third year Psychology Major with hopes to pick up a theatre minor early next year. Interesting fact about me is that I have a couple removable teeth that I love to show strangers within minutes of meeting. For me, I absolutely need creative outlets to feel my healthiest and happiest, so every day I dedicate a bit of time to writing poetry, learning more guitar, or doing improv comedy! In order to best manage stressful tasks, I sit down every morning and jot down a quick to-do list while eating breakfast. I check the list throughout the day, and it prevents me from feeling behind or forgetting important commitments after long days of school!
Allyza Afable Peer Coach
Bio Coming soon!
I am a senior studying Communications and French. I grew up in San Francisco and transferred to UCLA from Cornell University so I know how hard it can be to come here and to get comfortable in a whole new environment.
I love animals, especially dogs, and I stop to pet them everywhere. A former member of the track team, I enjoy working out, meditation, yoga, and spending time in nature. I also volunteer at a dog shelter in Santa Monica and have worked with kids at a therapeutic horseback riding program. I try to find balance by making time to write down my thoughts every day and practicing mindfulness. I'm excited to share some thoughts about those and to be working as a GRIT coach!
Hi Bruins! My name is Heather Vaughan, and I'm a third year student studying education and public affairs. I'm absolutely stoked to get to work with my GRIT coachees this year and exchange strategies and best practices so we can all learn from each other. I'm passionate about advocacy and organizing, specifically around issues of racial equity, access to quality education, and sexual health and well-being, and I'm always reading articles about current events, so I'm always down for critical dialogue. On a typical day, you can find me asking people on campus if I can pet their dog, eating something with cheese in it, compulsively checking my Google calendar, and taking at least one power nap.
Hey! My name is Maya, and I am a third year student majoring in Physiological Science. I love to spend time reading, running, hiking, and hanging out with my friends. During the school year, I do lab work, volunteer, and participate in community health projects. To cope with stress, I like to do relaxing exercise, like yoga. It helps me slow down and clear my mind. One fun fact about me is that I spent the summer studying abroad in Scotland! I had an amazing time, but I still haven't mastered the Scottish accent. I am thrilled to be a part of the BRC this year!
Hi, my name is Nolan Rea. I'm 20 years old and a 4th year Physiological Science student from Glendale, CA. I volunteer at both Ronald Reagan Hospital and the UCLA Santa Monica Hospital, and I also perform research in the UCLA School of Public Health. Two years ago, my family moved to Sao Paulo, Brazil!! I grew up playing year-round baseball, performing as a jazz trumpet-player, and watching A LOT of television. I love going to the gym regularly and planning my days and weeks out on a calendar. These two habits continue to cultivate my physical and mental strength everyday. A little fun fact about me is that I can quote from every single episode of Spongebob...ever.
I am a fourth year student here at UCLA pursuing a Human Biology and Society B.A. Broadly, I am interested in exploring the relationship between scientific advancements and the lens through which society interprets them. One thing I’ve enjoyed about my time at UCLA is the opportunity to take classes in many different fields of study. I am extremely excited about being a GRIT Coach because I will be helping students develop self-care skills that will allow them to take their well-being into their own hands. I am excited to give students access to a level of positivity and encouragement that will contribute to their growth. One strategy I currently use to stay on top of things at school is to always trust myself to do my best and nothing more. I accept as fact that I put 100% effort into the things that deserve it, and when I feel like my heart is not into something, I listen to my instinct and interpret it as a sign that that activity or field of study is not for me and that I should change direction. A fun fact about me is that I love to cook and try all sorts of recipes that I find online.
I am half Irish and half Japanese and I grew up in the Netherlands! Before moving to America, my family and I made a stop in Ireland and lived there for a few years. I love Los Angeles. I am a fourth year Psychology student and am also pursuing an Education Studies minor. Fun fact is that I am trilingual (Dutch, Japanese, and English -- and unfortunately I'm not fluent enough in Spanish to count myself as quadrilingual...)
Drinking a hot cup of tea is the way to relax for me! I love unwinding with my friends and family. Stress is a normal part of a student's life, but too much of it can be overwhelming. I try to always take a step back, breathe, figure out what I really want to achieve, make a checklist and order it in regards to importance and deadline, and face the challenge step by step. Trust me, once it's all broken down into smaller steps, it will seem much less stressful. Plus, checking off a box can be very satisfying!
About Me: I’m Selina and I’m a 4th year Anthropology major. I plan on pursuing graduate studies in Library and Information Sciences. I am interested in the ways that different cultures access, process, and interpret information.
Fun Fact: I am a transfer (from Moorpark College), a parenting student, and I commute to UCLA from Simi Valley. I love running, yoga, and Netflix. I was raised in both Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Self-Care: I try to spend some time alone at least once a week in order to take a step back and reflect on how I am feeling. If I am stressed, I do yoga. The endorphins that come from physical activity are like a re-set button that help me feel renewed. Meditation is also a great tool for relaxation that I enjoy.
GRIT Coach Tip: A valuable habit that I have developed is to always have my planner on-hand. I carefully picked it out, so that I can enjoy writing in it. I take at least a few minutes each day to plan out my days, weeks, and months, making sure to put in enough time for school work. This has greatly reduced my level of stress as a student/parent/commuter because the more I stick to my schedule, the more free time I have for the things that I love to do.
About Me: I am a third year at UCLA, majoring in neuroscience and **fingers crossed** currently a pre-med student.
Fun Fact: When I was two years old, I accidentally shoved a piece of mango up my nose. But I made it to UCLA, so things can definitely change!
Self-Care: I would like to say that I practice self-care every day, but being a college student definitely restricts the amount of time I have available to relax. I try to spend one morning out of the week by myself, so I can journal, make tea, paint my nails, and do other little things that make me happy.
GRIT Coach Tip: I think it's so important to respect your capacity. College culture seems to encourage unhealthy habits, especially running on only a few hours of sleep and overcommitting to extracurricular activities. Take time for yourself to recharge your batteries and know that it is okay to say no.
Hello! I’m Wendy, and I was born in El Salvador. I immigrated to the U.S. when I was 18 years old. I am a transfer student at UCLA majoring in psychology, and I’m also interested in cognitive psychology and neuroscience. I love reading, going to concerts, watching soccer games, Korean and Turkish dramas and hanging out with my friends. My main strategies to cope with stress are breaking down big tasks into small ones, so they are easier to manage, and I also prioritize deadlines and assignments base on length and the total amount of time I have to complete them. I cannot be more exited to meet and work with the students and together develop life skills that will help us achieve any goal we have in mind.
My name is Erika Aburto-Hernandez, I am a junior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Public Affairs. I immigrated to the United States from Mexico at the age of two and grew up in the San Fernando Valley. I love Los Angeles because it is a diverse space where one can learn about different cultures and traditions in harmony. My favorite hobbies for self-care include strength training, watching shows on netflix, poetry, and trying new foods! I love how coffee smells and tastes - it’s my comfort food (even though it's a drink). I also enjoy going home to spend time with my little brother Leo and my little sister Galilea, they’re my anchors! In the near future I would like to work with children and adolescents, I think this is an important time for development and I truly cherish the simplicity of life during this stage. My goals in life include cultivating happiness and peace and traveling the world.