Daria Brooks '22

Published January 17, 2023

My experiences go all the way back to Fall 1974 as a freshman. I made lifelong friendships with folks in both the Radio/TV department and with the Comparative Literature department, and I learned how much I loved the entertainment field. The Nugget was my favorite hangout; my friends and I were usually in there after classes to watch so many great New Wave and Punk bands, like X and Dave Alvin and The Blasters. I have returned to the campus over the years to attend the Spring Pow Wow, events which are cultural, spiritual, and enjoyable. A few years ago at pow wow, I was greeted by a former CSULB student who I had assisted back in the late 1970s; in the years since, she had become an instructor—a member of the American Indian Studies department. Her name is Georgiana Sanchez, and when she told me that I was the reason that she had completed her degree and had become an instructor, we both broke down in tears. SHE is the reason I became so determined to come back to complete MY degree!

Even though my initial major was Radio, TV and Film, I have always had a great love of folklore, Pop Culture and mythology. When my younger sister, Clare Brooks, joined me at CSULB, we often took classes together. Her major was Comparative Literature, so I amassed enough units in that subject to constitute a second major. Upon my return in 2022, I switched my major to Comparative World Literature and, thanks to Dr. Katherine Chew, I was able to complete my studies needing only an additional six units. My sister and I are proud to have both now graduated from the same department.

I live closer to CSUDH, but it was a very new and tiny campus in 1974, so I chose to attend CSULB instead.

I worked for Pacific Bell for nearly 30 years and have retired, so it is now time for my ‘second act.’ I spent this semester recrafting my Young Adult science fantasy novel, ‘A Legacy Of The Pacific,’ into a comic book for CWL 213, which I’ve written, illustrated, lettered and inked. I now plan to explore publishing it in 2023. As a Comic-Con International San Diego attendee for over 30 years, I would be excited to be one of those creative folks sitting in Artists Alley, drawing sketches and watching fans cosplay my characters...!

Both my sister and I are CSULB graduates (she was Class of 1982; I am now Class of 2022), so we have a soft spot for the students of our alma mater. I hope to become active in CSULB Alumni activities and to help younger students have a positive experience while gaining an education at the university. A good education is more important than ever these days, yet there are far too many students who become frustrated with their studies for want of accurate guidance and knowledgeable, caring counselors. I really missed having solid and capable counseling during my previous attempt at a degree at CSULB; therefore, I would find it very fulfilling to be able to assist students as they work their way through to graduation. Financial support from the alumni is important, obviously, but the mentorship of our undergraduates is key to their most successful experiences.