Kristina Tsui

Kristina Tsui

Kristina Tsui


Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology
Ecological Land Management student technician

As a brief introduction of my college career, I entered Pasadena City College as a film major and took my first cinematography class in my 2nd year where I found out the film industry was not for me. I spent a quarter taking whatever classes I wanted and that was when I found out that I really wanted was mend the relationship between the environment and all those that live in it! I transferred into UC Davis in the middle of a pandemic but still decided to move to Davis with the hope of giving myself a more fulfilling college experience.

I spent the last quarter of my first year at Davis as a OneCreek intern at Putah Creek Council (PCC) and that was when I met my future mentor, Miles DaPrato. Through my connection with PCC, I got the year-long Student Technician position for the Learning by Leading™ Ecological Land Management (ELM) team and Miles became my mentor. During my first quarter as a Student Tech, the ELM team consisted of Miles, Sam (a fellow Student Tech), and I. We quickly learned that Miles is thoughtful, patient, and always explains his thought process behind his actions which made the lessons he taught very clear. He made us feel valued and always asked for our opinions even though we barely knew anything. He also gave us room to try newly learned skills independently, make mistakes, and guided us through our mistakes. He provided us a space where we could learn and grow with very little pressure placed upon our shoulders.

For the two other quarters as a Student Tech of the ELM Team, we incorporated interns to our team and I was able to grow as a leader. When it comes to interns, Miles gave us the chance to teach interns the skills that Sam and I learned during our first quarter. I felt like the way Miles taught us shaped the way I taught and interacted with interns. In a way, Sam and I became "mini-Miles." The leadership I hoped to achieve was one where everyone felt valued, engaged, and comfortable while we all grew together. As a leader, I tried my best to be as communicative as possible, offer as many opportunities to practice new skills, and remain attentive while trying not to apply too much pressure with my eyes. When Miles went on paternity leave in the middle of May, all responsibilities of the ELM team fell upon Sam and me. Through this experience, I was able to attain a wider scope of formulating diverse task plans for each intern group, coordinating interns, and managing multiple project sites.

I would like to thank the ELM team, the Arboretum and Public Garden, and many others for being a part of my college experience! I could not have done it without you all!

Primary Category