UCSB Latin American and Iberian Studies Program

Interview with LAIS Graduate Program Assistant, Tyler McMullen

Tyler McMullen is the LAIS Graduate Program Assistant. He joined PASC in Summer 2019 after earning his MA degree in French and Francophone Studies from Cal State Long Beach, where he was awarded outstanding MA student. In 2014 he received his BA in Language Studies, with an emphasis in French, from UC Santa Cruz; in 2013-2014 he spent a year abroad at the University of Lyon II Louis Lumière. In 2015-16, he was an English Assistant in Agen, France. Tyler not only taught French, he also worked as Program Assistant for CSU Long Beach Study Abroad Program. Read our interview below interview to learn about how he has settled in to his position with LAIS over the past year 

What do you like most about your job? 

I must say that one aspect I like most about my job is that I am constantly learning and frequently humbled. It is also a pleasure interacting with such a diverse group of people whether they be staff, faculty, or students. On the other hand, I love being able to live and work in the Santa Barbara area. Between the chaparral and the Pacific Ocean, the natural beauty seems endless. 

What has been the most rewarding part so far?  

The most rewarding part of the job is being able to support students in any way possible. During my graduate studies, I was confronted with numerous personal problems while trying to perform academically, so I am highly aware of the challenges that students face on every level. If I can reduce stress for graduate students even through mundane tasks, it brings me joy to do my job. 

Is there anything you’ve learned in this position you’d like to share? 

I have learned greater compassion and understanding and that each individual may interpret an issue in a distinctive manner. Although we are often stuck in our own views, the world is fluid, plural and ever-changing. 

Do you have any interests or hobbies you’d like to share with the LAIS community? 

Having grown up near the coast, I love surfing and swimming in the ocean. During my studies, I especially enjoyed learning about second language acquisition. Although this was not the primary focus of my program, I look forward to exploring it further in the future. I also recently became interested in local wildlife rehabilitation as well. I spent last summer volunteering at the Ojai Raptor Center, and I was fortunate enough to release three rehabilitated great horned owls in the Santa Paula area.