In the final First Things First video exchange of the year,  Professor Anita Casavantes Bradford and Professor Pavan Kadandale answer the prompt: “What do you suggest that students do over summer break? Should they use it as a break or try different things to be a more well-rounded individual? What do you plan to do this summer?” 

Both professors advise students to use summer break to de-stress and recharge after such a challenging year. However, they also encourage students to take advantage of opportunities to work on their personal and professional skills. Responding to their mentors, Gretta Ozuna and Leon Masuda share their plans for summer and how they will be balancing relaxation with development.

Professor Anita Casavantes Bradford

Looking forward to the summer, Professor Casavantes Bradford advises that students treat summers as part of their education. While it’s good to take a break and relax, she explains that the rest of summer is a great opportunity to build skills and seek out professional internship opportunities. Prof. Casavantes Bradford also shares that this summer, she will finish up several book projects and take a road trip with her family.

Gretta Ozuna Responds to Professor Casavantes Bradford

In her response to Professor Casavantes Bradford, Gretta explains that she plans to take a bit of a break this summer before embarking on a 10-week trip to Colorado Springs to develop her faith.


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Professor Pavan Kadandale

As UCI students and faculty both look forward to summer, Professor Kadandale reminds students that it’s important to take a break to decompress from the school year. Once you feel more rested, he suggests taking advantage of personal and professional development opportunities. Professor Kadandale also shares that this summer he plans to take his own advice by balancing travel with some of his ongoing professional projects.

Leon Masuda Responds to Professor Kadandale

In response to Professor Kadandale, Leon shares her excitement for summer break. In addition to taking Summer Session courses and working, Leon also says she will be taking time to relax and spend some time with her mother.


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The First Things First project is an evolution of UCI’s First-Generation Faculty Initiative, designed to help first-gen students overcome the challenges brought about by the pandemic. This new “virtual” mentorship program pairs two incoming UCI first-gen students with first-gen faculty members for a year-long, social-media-distributed conversation about the transition to university life. The goal of First Things First is to help UCI’s entire first-gen population, as well as first-gen students throughout higher education, build a sense of community—even in this remote college environment. To further this project, we invite you to share this article on your social media channels and with your network.