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Introducing the 2018 NISTS Transfer Student Ambassadors

The National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students is pleased to announce our 2018 Transfer Student Ambassadors. These individuals were selected through a national competition intended to recognize outstanding students who represent the heart of our work.

Nominees were asked to submit a letter of recommendation, resume, and a written and video response describing their transfer journey, advocacy efforts on behalf of transfers, and how their personal interests match this opportunity. All four of winners demonstrated excellence in leadership, public speaking, and their potential for sharing meaningful information with higher education transfer professionals. These students will play an integral role in the 16th Annual Conference and through the next year as NISTS seeks to educate and empower transfer professionals so that transfer students thrive.

Allow us to introduce you to Diana, Brandon, Veronica, and Luis:

Diana Castro profile pic

Diana Castro Diana is a senior political science major at the University of California, Berkeley. As a first generation college student, Diana was challenged to navigate the transition to Irvine Valley College on her own. It wasn’t until she joined the Model United Nations team during her second year that she realized the importance of getting involved. Since transferring to UC Berkeley, Diana has continued to forge connections by studying abroad in Paris, joining a sorority, and working as a Peer Advocate Lead (PAL) at the UC Berkeley Transfer Student Center.

Diana’s Advice for Transfer Students: It is crucial to look for and accept resources when planning to transfer. Once you transfer, you have a whole new set of resources and opportunities to take advantage of to help you achieve what you want and did not think was possible.


Brandon Cheatham profile pic

Brandon Cheatham

Brandon is a senior health science major at Stockton University in southeast New Jersey. Although Brandon’s college journey began at Rutgers University, it wasn’t until he transferred that he took full ownership of his co-curricular involvement, assuming leadership positions in several organizations and serving as an intern in the office of New Student and Family Programs. Brandon is passionate about helping new transfer students acclimate to Stockton and has channeled that energy and enthusiasm into implementing “Transfer-mation,” an orientation leadership retreat specifically designed for transfer students.

Brandon’s Advice for Transfer Students: Do not let your past experiences define your future journey. Pave your own path, find your happiness, and be the you that you want to be.


Veronica Sanders profile pic

Veronica Sanders

Veronica is a senior interior design major at the University of Texas at Arlington. She has attended both the Art Institute of Dallas and El Centro Community College and is acutely aware of the perils of the transfer credit articulation process. Having lost numerous credits each time she transferred, her determination has allowed her to successfully juggle the responsibilities of family, finances, and school. She is committed to using her experience to smooth the transfer pathway for other non-traditional students. Since transferring to UT Arlington, Veronica has won multiple design awards, and her work has been featured in several design publications.

Veronica’s Advice for Transfer Students: Being prepared is key. When choosing an educational path, map out exactly how you plan to pursue your degree. Having a plan will help reduce stress and guide you around unwanted surprises.


Luis Veloz profile pic

Luis Veloz

Luis is a senior government major and Jack Kent Cooke Scholar at the University of Texas at Austin. When a family emergency interrupted his initial college plans, Luis selflessly left a full-ride scholarship to help support his family. He later enrolled at El Centro Community College in Dallas, Texas, taking a full load of classes and working full-time. As a representative of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, Luis works with the Student Success Initiative to provide resources and advocate for transfer student success. He has raised thousands of dollars for local charities and previously interned at the White House and the Office of the Mayor of Dallas. Luis plans to go into consulting after graduation and wants to continue to advocate for community college students. Luis’s Advice for Transfer Students: When life closes a door, grab a hammer and bust the door open.

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