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Military-Connected Student Spotlights

We have some amazing military-connected students here at UC San Diego! Check out these student spotlights to learn more about their stories.

If you are interested in connecting with one of our students spotlighted below, please email the SVRC team at

  • Langley Barth

    Langley Barth

    Langley (He/Him/His) is a US Navy veteran originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is a current MBA graduate student in the Rady School of Management and he hopes to one day work for a Life Sciences company in order to help advance the availability of medical solutions. During his time at UC San Diego he has found great support from the Student Veterans Resource Center and the Grad Pal program. In his free time, Langley enjoys cooking, reading, watching the Pittsburgh Steelers, and playing with his dog, Biscuit, and cat, Luna. 

    For people wishing to become an ally to military-connected students, Langley recommends, “A lot of your veteran classmates are going to be very routine oriented, do your best to push them out of their comfort zones by inviting them to participate in some activities that they've never tried before.”

  • Rummer Bershtein

    Rummer Bershtein

    Please welcome our next student spotlight Rummer Bershtein (She/Her/Hers). Rummer is a US Marine Corps Intelligence Officer originally from Washington, DC. She is a current UC San Diego International Affairs student with a focus in Asia-Pacific and a regional specialization in China. Rummer hopes to work in either the public or private national security field in the future, and she was greatly influenced by her time in the service as she worked in the defense field and she is extremely passionate about protecting her country in her professional career. 

    In her spare time Rummer enjoys traveling, hiking, and photography. In her time at UC San Diego a major highlight has been briefing Vice Admiral Robert Thomas about North Korea for a class assignment and her in-depth research on China. Rummer has also found that keeping in touch with her program coordinator, utilizing professor office hours, and utilizing the military benefits coordinator to be especially beneficial. She has some recommendations for those wishing to be military allies, “Some veterans struggle to feel comfortable in a civilian academic or work environment after being so accustomed to the military. No need to bring up the military service, just treat them like you would any other classmate. They'll appreciate it.”
  • Angelica Bradley

    Angelica Bradley

    Angelica (She/Her/Hers) is a US Air Force veteran originally from Hardin, Missouri. She transferred from San Diego Mesa College and is currently a 4th year Marine Biology major in Muir College at UC San Diego. She hopes to one day work at the Marine Biology Lab at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, something that she has been determined to do since she first visited San Diego. She is extremely passionate about learning more regarding ocean conservation efforts, mitigating climate change, and finding solutions to the growing plastic problem. 

    When Angelica transitioned out of the military, she had to adapt quickly as she was used to being in the close-knit military unit and had recently moved to a new city where she did not know anyone. So, she has some advice for those wishing to become military allies, “It goes without saying, just kindness and respect. The experiences we’ve had in the service are unique to each and every one of us.”

  • Bella Cobarruvias

    Bella Cobarruvias

    Bella (She/Her/Hers) is a Navy ROTC originally from Oakdale, California. She is currently a Marine Biology major in Thurgood Marshall college. Bella was recently commissioned as a Surface Warfare Officer in the US Navy. She hopes to one day go onto her masters and work in the marine conservation field. In her free time, Bella enjoys surfing, snorkeling, and scuba diving. She also enjoys playing rugby, volleyball, and soccer. During her time in NROTC she has learned to manage her time well and take pride in her work. She also found in-center support to be the most beneficial to her during her time at UC San Diego. 

    Bella has some advice for those who wish to be military-connected students, “The Student Veteran Resource Center and its services are open to all military-connected students and allies. We will never shut the door on anyone, especially those who would like to learn more, have a conversation, and develop meaningful relationships.” She also has some advice for anyone wishing to know more, “I encourage anyone to connect with me if they would like to talk about anything - life, the military, UCSD, rugby, your identity, etc. I understand it is hard to connect with folks when everything is online so do not hesitate to reach out to me if you too, miss meeting new people and having conversations.”
  • Mark Lee

    Mark Lee

    Mark (He/Him/His) is a US Navy veteran originally from Westamptom, New Jersey and is an alumnus of the Student Veterans Resource Center.  He came to UCSD in the Thurgood Marshall College as a Cognitive Science Major and specialized in Neuroscience. Before coming to UCSD, he attended San Diego Mesa College. He plans to one day become a commissioned officer in the US Navy and enjoys helping others with any issues that might arise, which he did quite often as Peer Navigator at the Student Veterans Resource Center. He recommends that any allies should be open to learning military culture to help their military connected and veteran students.

    For his fellow transfers he has a strong piece of advice, “For new transfer students, always do your best to power through your academic goals. Always fight the good fight and never give up! When things get rough, take a breather from life. Don’t over work yourself!” He also has advice for his fellow veterans regarding their academics, “...prepare yourself for all your classes. Ensure you read up on syllabuses to plan out your schedule! Lastly, utilize all educational resources provided to you in order to be successful (I.e. tutoring services and office hours)”. 

  • Brandon Mariano

    Brandon Mariano

    Brandon (He/Him/His) was born in Dallas, Texas, but grew up in Lake Forest, California. He is a Marine Corps veteran and transferred from Irvine Valley College. He is currently a junior in Marshall College and is majoring in International Relations. He is also serving as a Peer Navigator for the Student Veterans Resource Center, something he is very passionate about. He would like to eventually pursue his Ph.D., work in international journalism, and go into higher education as an educator. In his free time he is passionate about music, playing guitar, reading, and good coffee. 

    For his fellow military-connected students, “My advice to others is to not be afraid of change and don’t be afraid to go with that change. Change is good, and usually it’s for the better. In addition, make the adjustments needed to succeed in an academic environment.” He also recommends for anyone who wishes to become a military-connected ally, “Treat us as you would others, we’re all different but we don’t want to be treated differently. We don’t particularly like talking about our experiences much unless it’s with other fellow vets. We’re students and we’re fun people, you just got to get to know us.”

  • Zachary Young

    Zachary Young

    Zach (He/Him/His) is a United States Coast Guard veteran originally from Tucson, Arizona. He transferred from San Diego Mesa College to UC San Diego, where he graduated from Eleanor Roosevelt College as a Philosophy major with a minor in Literature/Writing. During his time at UC San Diego he helped pilot the Peer Navigator Program at the SVRC and was the 2020 Veteran of the Year. Zach is currently headed to grad school, after which he hopes to write a mixture of literary fiction, social critique, and philosophy. In his free time he enjoys coffee, writing, and riding motorcycles. 

    Zach has three suggestions for incoming students, “ out and take advantage of any and all opportunities for which you qualify, be flexible, and always try to keep your goals in mind.” He also has recommendations for those who wish to become military allies, “There is an antiquated, yet prevalent social conception about those who have served in the military. Veterans and their families are as diverse as the citizenry from which it draws. Keep an open mind and give each veteran that you meet the space to be themselves.”

  • James Yu

    James Yu

    James (He/Him/His) is an Army Reserve Office originally from Wyckoff, NJ. He is currently a third year PhD student in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program at UC San Diego. He graduated from Duke University in 2016. In his time in the military, he has been a medevac pilot and has learned to fly UH-792 Lakotas and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. Due to his training, he had to leave science for two years, and was hesitant about coming back when going into his PhD program, but once he returned he utilized his time management skills and grace under pressure that he learned in the military to excel in his PhD program. 

    In his future career, James hopes to become a Principal Investigator in his own research lab. Through his time at UC San Diego, he has had the opportunity to join the incredible Simonson Lab, which has included opportunities to conduct fieldwork research in the Andes and Himalayas. In his spare time, he enjoys rock climbing, surfing, and powerlifting. 

    According to James, his military experience prepared him. “An effective military leader and aviator must be a great communicator. As scientific research becomes more and more collaborative, I have relied on my communication skills to work well in small teams and across different research groups.”