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Bruin Stories

Read about some of our most noteworthy alumni
and be inspired to recommend a Bruin for a UCLA story.
Together, we won’t only share stories, we’ll live them.

Yinuo Li, Ph.D. ’05

When Yinuo Li, Ph.D. ’05 speaks of cross-cultural competencies, she’s not only discussing the needs of development work but also telling her own story, having moved between two major cultures since arriving at UCLA. Born in China, Li knew very little about the United States and nothing about the school itself except the ranking of […]

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Venu Kotamraju ’95, M.B.A. ’99

Venu Kotamraju’s story is a testament to the ability to find and create communities across cultures and borders. Born in Hyderabad, India, he came to the U.S. at age two so that his mother could pursue a medical residency in Baltimore, MD. Though Venu does not remember his time living in India, he does recall […]

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Christine Wilson, Ph.D. ’03

The UCLA Career Center has a new interim director and a new core program which promises to increase the number and geographic breadth of job postings available to Bruins. Christine Wilson, Ph.D. ’03, previously director of the Graduate Student Resource Center, has been at UCLA since the early 90s; first as a graduate student (earning […]

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Todd Abrahamson ’92

I was enjoying the experience right up to the point where I blacked out and began having minor convulsions. This was the ultimate joy ride – the backseat of a US Navy FA-18 fighter jet, and not just any jet, but one of the jets flown by the Blue Angels. The Blue Angels represent the […]

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Shane Acker M.Arch ’98, M.F.A. ’04

It’s difficult to tell where a student project might take a person. Take Shane Acker M.Arch ’98, M.F.A. ’04, whose animated short film 9 won a 2005 Student Academy Award, landed him a production deal and earned him a 2006 Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Short Film. “That’s right,” Acker says, “my dreams have […]

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Val Ackerman ’85

Val Ackerman ’85 is a recognized and highly respected leader in the sports industry.  She has devoted her career to the sport of basketball and is best known as the founding President of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the first woman to serve as President of USA Basketball, which oversees the U.S. men’s […]

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Liz Aguilar-Tarchi ’79

As the daughter of parents who immigrated from Guatemala, I was the first in my family to attend college. I could not have attended a better University than UCLA. I spent my junior year (1977-78) abroad in Padova, Italy, where I met the man who would become my husband years later. I went on to […]

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Farooq Ahmed ’03

As a UCLA undergrad, Farooq Ahmed’s eyes were set on building a career in real estate. What steps did he take to get to his current position as a Home Mortgage Consultant for Wells Fargo? What advice does he have for those interested in the real estate profession? Additionally, a primary component of Farooq’s job […]

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Sefa Aina ’97

Throughout his undergraduate career, Sefa Aina ’97 demonstrated a unique commitment to honoring his heritage by advancing educational opportunity for Asian American and Pacific Islander groups across Southern California. This commitment not only opened multiple avenues of work for Aina after graduation, but it gave him the wherewithal and focus to affect change on a […]

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Hassan Akmal ’01, M.P.H. ’04

Professional tennis player Hassan Akmal ’01, M.P.H. ’04 has used his talent and influence to extend a helping hand to many. Akmal reached out to disadvantaged children from Pakistan as an international ambassador of Right to Play, an athlete-driven international humanitarian organization that uses sport as a tool for the development of youth in disadvantaged […]

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Anthony Allman ’08

In a relatively short period of time, Anthony Allman ’08 has done a lot to make us proud to be an American and a Bruin. After serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom, he attended UCLA and became a strong advocate for veterans’ causes. He helped established the Military Veterans Organization at UCLA, led an effort to […]

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