Kristin Oto
The Burst of Energy
Major Political Science
Minor Conflict Resolution
Age 21
Year 4th
Hometown Sacramento, CA
Find Kristin On

“Her passion drives her actions,” Calvin Sung reveals. Kristin Oto is a burst of energy with every little aspect of life she encounters. Through the countless activities she’s a part of, friends and colleagues recognize that she is a hard working individual who aspires to create the UCI community experience that is better than ever before. With whatever she sets her heart to, we all know that she will go far wherever life takes her.

ED: What is your motivation?
KO: People are my motivation! I am inspired daily by the people around me. I think people have so much to offer and I value every individual for their strengths. I thrive off the energy the people on this campus have. It just makes me want to contribute more.

ED: What have you accomplished?
KO: In my four years here, I’ve had the time of my life. I’ve met so many amazing people with diverse interests and talents. I couldn’t have asked for a better first year dorming experience (Whispering Wood 2006-2007!), best friends, or supportive family. I’ve served in several roles in ASUCI throughout these four years, culminating to my current position as ASUCI Vice President of Student Services after a successful three-week campaign. I also had the opportunity to start The ‘Vine, the ASUCI newsletter, after feeling like students wanted to be more informed about what their student government does for them. Summer 2008 was an extraordinary three months in Washington, DC, where I interned at the Diplomatic Courier (a global affairs magazine) and interviewed many ambassadors and diplomats from all over the world. I subsequently served as the Career Center Sacramento Internship Coordinator. I’ve also had the great pleasure of being part of UCI Greek Life, in Alpha Phi International Fraternity, an organization I am proud to say raised $40,000.00 this year for the American Heart Association. Academically, I am currently finishing up a Political Science Honors Thesis on multilateral military humanitarian interventions, as well as a minor in Conflict Resolution. I can truly say it’s been an absolute privilege to have had the opportunity to give back and contribute to UCI in so many ways. It’s been quite a trip!

ED: What is your passion?
KO: Leadership and Learning. To be able to inspire others and to enable them in their goals is my passion. With a good leader, there’s trust, respect, humbleness, and the belief that that person will not let you down. Along with leadership, is learning. I believe a good leader is someone who may not know all the right answers, but will do everything in their power to work to find it. That is what I strive for.

ED: What have you done for the Asian/Pacific Islander American community?
KO: Being an Asian American is an extremely rich experience. I hope to continue to give back to the community that has fostered such great networks and relationships. I grew up in a very tight Asian American community in Sacramento, where I did many community service projects as a Girl Scout with the Buddhist Church of Sacramento, earning the Girl Scout Gold and Silver Award. Beyond that, I hope I’ve had a positive influence on the Asian American community here at UCI. I hope to stay involved in the future, starting with my participation in the Japanese Exchange Teaching (JET) Program in July 2010 where I will teach English to the children in Japan for 1-5 years and representing their probable first glimpse of what it’s like being of Asian descent in America.

ED: What do you hope to accomplish?
KO: There’s this quote that’s really resonated with me ever since I heard it on NPR. A Virginia Tech professor said, “I go to work every day with humility in my heart and resolve on my mind.” I am not sure what I will decide to do after my JET experience. I am currently considering law school but I don’t close the opportunity for my future experiences and influences in my life to change that direction. I just know that whatever I do, I won’t ever forget where I’ve come from and that I hope to give back to the world in some significant way.

Interesting Facts
Kristin was one of “Peter’s People” in 2009. She did gymnastics for 11 years and became a Gymnastics coach for 6 months-9 year olds.
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