Mandy Mekhail

Mandy Mekhail
Phone: (619) 260-4618

Graduate Assistant, MA in Higher Education Leadership Ambassador


Encino, California

Expected Graduation Date

Spring 2019

What do you hope to do with your degree, and why?

Following my degree, I hope to work at a university in a role that allows me to further my passion for mental health advocacy. While I am not entirely sure of which functional area in Student Affairs or Higher Education, I wish to pursue, I am optimistic that mental health and wellness can and should be at the forefront of any position in a university setting.

How did you hear about SOLES, and why did you choose to enroll? 

I first came across SOLES when I was doing a general search of universities that offered a master’s in Student Affairs or Higher Education. I had been infatuated with the city of San Diego since my first visit at the age of 7 so when I saw that USD had a master’s program, I immediately jumped to learn more. Upon further research, I found myself compelled by SOLES’ focus on leadership development in addition to student development. Moreover, visiting SOLES for the first time in February following my acceptance, I was stuck by the warmth and support that radiated from just about every student, faculty, and staff that I had the pleasure of meeting. In short, SOLES provides its students with the resources and support to development themselves so that they can help foster that development in others; I couldn’t ask for more.

Are you currently working? If so, do you work full-time, part-time, and what do you do?

I currently work as a Graduate Assistant at USD’s Center for Health and Wellness Promotion. In this role, I plan a variety of programming on campus to promote wellness in fun, inclusive, and engaging ways. The campus favorite: Therapy Dogs! In addition to implementing my office’s events and initiatives, I also advise Campus Connections, a group of undergraduate student leaders who organize educational programming and social activities based on various dimensions of wellness. Having the opportunity to work with them has been the absolute highlight of time here.

Is there anything specific you would like to share with prospective students?

For both incoming and even current students, I would recommend being intentional with your time and purpose. Despite going to a quarter system school for my undergraduate education, the semesters of this program fly by so quickly. USD and SOLES are especially wonderful because of the level of support that you get from faculty and staff. While there are a number opportunities with which to get involved, my biggest suggestion would be to become your own advocate. Seek out connections, speak your passions, and discover how to make the most of your time here at USD.