College of Liberal Arts Students Lead the Way

ASI Pic - James & Jameson

James Ahumada and Jameson Nyeholt may seem like any other college students, hanging out at the Nugget or studying in the library, but these College of Liberal Arts majors are committed to making a positive impact on “The Beach.” As political science majors, Ahumada and Nyeholt have held a wide variety of leadership roles during their four years at CSULB, and they are proud to serve as our current Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) leaders.

Coming to CSULB as a freshman, Ahumada admits that he felt like the “small fish” in the ocean of students, faculty, and staff, but his experiences as a part of the College of Liberal Arts learning community and ASI Student Government have enhanced his confidence in himself and his fellow students. Now, as President and CEO of ASI, Ahumada finds that he has grown personally and professionally since his first year on campus. While maintaining a high GPA each semester, he has worked diligently to attain leadership positions in his fraternity and ASI, ranging from Director of Philanthropy and Community Service to Senator at Large. One of his most rewarding accomplishments, according to Ahumada, has been authoring the legislation for the new U-PASS program, which offers all members of the CSULB community free transportation on any Long Beach Transit bus or Passport shuttle. He considers his experiences as a campus leader to be his “inspir[ation] . . . to live a life dedicated towards service of others.”

Nyeholt, too, has made his mark on the campus community in his role as ASI Treasurer and prior involvement in the University Honors Program, the Law Society, Phi Gamma Delta, and the JusticeCorps. His liberal arts education and campus involvement “have provided [him] with an expanded world view . . . [and] an appreciation for the diversity of the world” that he believes have been integral to his success in college. These experiences have shaped Nyeholt into “a more social and charismatic person” while giving him “ample opportunity to work with a diverse and interesting group of people,” including fellow students, faculty, members of the Long Beach community, and University Administration. Like Ahumada, Nyeholt deems these positions of service to be his greatest accomplishments as a college student.

What’s next for these exceptional student leaders? With graduation just around the bend, both Ahumada and Nyeholt have big plans for their future. Recently selected to participate in the Panetta Institute’s highly competitive Congressional Internship Program, Ahumada will be spending his final semester in Washington D.C. while also applying to the Peace Corps. Ahumada has decided to “assess [his] goals in terms of fulfillment,” not simply “in terms of careers, jobs or checkpoints,” and he intends to continue to serve his community and further his personal development as “a well-rounded individual.” Before applying to law school or a graduate program in higher education, Nyeholt hopes to participate in a fellowship program through the JusticeCorps, the AmeriCorps, or the Capital Fellowship Program. Both Ahumada and Nyeholt credit the College of Liberal Arts for broadening their perspectives and providing them with the knowledge and skills to better serve their campus community and beyond. Now, far from feeling like a “small fish,” Ahumada says, “At the end of the day we are all big fish, and we can make our own mark in whichever community we dedicate ourselves to.” Shaped by their academic and extra-curricular involvement, Ahumada and Nyeholt will no doubt continue to thrive as leaders and positively represent CSULB’s College of Liberal Arts.

Christina Waken