When Paola Carbajal-Kerr says, “I’m proud to be a Toro,” she means it. The CSUDH alumna and current residential life coordinator for University Housing has been studying or working on campus for 15 years—she joined the Toro staff right after graduating from the university.
“I worked in Student Affairs as an undergraduate student programmer for the Multicultural Center (now Multicultural Affairs),” she says. “I had so many great mentors at the time that I decided to join their ranks in helping to support students!”
In her current position, Carbajal-Kerr leads the programmatic efforts for students living in the Residence Hall, as well as supervising the work of the student staff in the building. A huge music fan, her busy days are always accompanied by “the sounds of my diverse and random Spotify music library.” The best parts of her day are the interactions she has with her resident assistants and students.
“Being of service and mentorship to my students brings me so much joy,” she says. “I know that my attentiveness and guidance is helping them feel connected and rooted to CSUDH, which allows them to be successful students and leaders.”
For Carbajal-Kerr, “What makes DH so special is the love the employees have for this campus, and our diversity. Our community is unique and nothing like I have seen anywhere else. The campus is a great representation of the community we serve—students can see reflections of themselves in the employees and administration.”
Prior to her stint at CSUDH, Carbajal-Kerr’s most memorable job was as a costumer at a large costume shop. “I got to help people dress up in all sorts of costumes, all year round,” she remembers. “I had access to famous theme park costumes, historic period pieces, pop culture outfits, and awesome make-up. We used to dress up while on the job!”
When not on campus, Carbajal-Kerr enjoys spending time with her husband (fellow Toro student-turned-staffer Mark Kerr) and their two cats, and says that pre-COVID, comic conventions were among her favorite pastimes. She also creates and design resin art and nail art. “Recently, I’ve taken to building Gunpla, which are fun robot models from the Japanese amine brand Gundam,” she adds.
“I am so proud of being a Toro,” she says. “I was educated here and now work here during a time of great transformation on campus. I am proud to say that I helped establish and continue to grow our residential program.”
The Wedding Singer
The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice
“I have so many favorites, but one I will never skip is “Separate Ways” by Journey.”
First/best/last concert: N*Sync & Ricky Martin/Thrice/Lacuna Coil
Favorite place to spend time:
“On my couch with my cats and a blanket.”
Describe yourself in three words:
“Geek, hardworking, aspirational”