TOP 30: Charlene Ip


Charlene Ip
Major: Psychology and Social Behavior
Minor: Biological Sciences, Civic and Community Engagement
Year: 4
Age: 21
Hometown:  San Mateo
In One Word: Enthusiastic

Charlene Ip is dedicated to making sure everyone is involved and finds their niche on campus. As an overly involved person on campus, she hopes to lead by example in her involvements and bring UCI’s spirit up, especially with each incoming freshman class.

For now, Charlene is willing to move anywhere, because now is the most opportunistic time. She doesn’t have definite plans, but she hopes to go where she can help with the live production of something that combines marketing and non-profits, like Stand Up to Cancer.

Now that Relay for Life is over, Charlene feels like she has gotten involved as much as she could, ranging from multiple sections of ASUCI to different campus organizations, athletics, greek life, DOS, and building relationships with staff and students. In a way, she doesn’t want to leave UCI, but she’s ready to leave as well.

Henry Wang describes Charlene as “the happiest and most prideful Anteater [he knows]. From the day she stepped into [their] dorm, she brought energy, positivity and more importantly, a lot of Anteater pride. Her Anteater pride has transformed the campus in so many ways…. although small in stature, Charlene has a lot of heart and love for the campus”.

KS: Tell us about yourself.

CI: I grew up in the bay area, went to private school until 6th grade, and then I went to public school. I got involved in leadership classes in middle school, and continued that in high school. I got involved in student government and clubs as well. I’ve always wanted to help people and get involved. I lived a typical life In the suburbs, and I originally wanted to be a doctor. I realized that I always wanted to help people as I worked for the Boys and Girls Club for a couple summers. When I came to UCI, I was always an overinvolved person, taking the maximum amount of units, and getting involved  with as much as I can, with ASUCI and being co-president of the club I’m in on campus. I got involved with greek life, and I also have two minors.

KS: What have you accomplished here on campus, and what do you hope to accomplish?

CI: I just always want to help people, and I feel like non-profit marketing is a good way to help non-profits grow, plus I’m a sucker for a good cause. I got really involved with Colleges Against Cancer – it’s basically the college affiliate of the American Cancer Society. Our main event is Relay for Life, but we also put on cancer awareness education events, because every month is dedicated to a type of cancer. We put on events for that specific cancer each month. That’s helped me a lot. There’s two things that have shaped where I want to go, which is the non-profit market, which is like colleges against cancer, because it had to do with non-profits and cancer runs in my family, which is why I started getting involved, but initially it was just a general interest. But the more I got involved, the more I got to meet a lot of people who have been more affected. I’ve been affected because people in my family have been affected, but they’ve all survived it, because it was detected early. Since we know it runs in our family, we can detect it early. Some of the people I’ve met along the way, like this one girl’s father passed away from it when she was younger, so it gives me more reason to keep fighting every year. The other thing that I think has changed my college experience is athletics marketing. I’ve been an intern for UCI Athletics Marketing since spring of my freshman year, so it’s been about 3 years straight since I’ve done it. That helped me a lot, because originally I just liked sports, I didn’t really like marketing. Both of them I’ve been doing since spring of my freshman year, and I got more and more involved with it.

Relay for Life is a 24 hour event, and we’ve raised $35,000-50,000 every single year that I’ve done it. I’m really proud of it, because it means a lot to me, and it means a lot to people that help, and there’s a lot of people who are affected by cancer that you only find out about at that event. A lot of my friends have been affected by cancer, but I didn’t even know until that event.

I got involved in ASUCI, I was on legislative council, and I’ve been in student services as an intern, and academic affairs as an intern. I was an at-large representative for legislative council. They definitely helped me, but I only did them for a year. I think everything in life has led me to where I need to be. With Colleges Against Cancer, I saw a flyer on my way out of chemistry lab, and so I went to a small event, called the survivor luncheon, and they told me they had relay for life, and so I went to that, and from there, I became involved with it. I became team recruitment coordinator, and the year after that I became co-president, and I did that for the next two years. I do have some stuff I want to accomplish, like things that I can only do in Southern California.

KS: Who or what has been the biggest influence on you?

CI: A lot of it goes back to Colleges Against Cancer, Relay for Life, and athletics marketing, because I’ve been doing them for 3 years. Part of it is because it’s there and you can learn skills from it, but also I am passionate about it. Sports make me happy. You know it’s a good game when you lose your voice after a match from screaming and standing non-stop for a 2 hour game. Career wise, if I hadn’t gotten involved with these, I don’t think my college experience would have been bad, but it definitely would have been different. With Colleges Against Cancer,  to me cancer doesn’t mean a death diagnosis, since no one in my family has died from it. So I see hope in it, and I think I’m so passionate about it because I know that it can be halted to a point. If it is detected early, it can be stopped. A lot of it is not not only comes from my story, but also other people’s stories motivate me to keep going.

I’m inspired by other people. I like hearing other people’s stories. Everybody has something important and unique to bring to the table and I like to bring that out of people, and listen to them. Even if I ‘m tired, I like to spend those extra moments listening to people.

KS: What are you most passionate about?

CI: I am most passionate about getting involved and getting the most out of what you do. My vision for UCI is that I want people to get more involved, and be more spirited. I would definitely tell freshmen to get involved. It helps to figure out what you do and don’t like, and it makes you more connected to the campus, and that in turn will build pride and spirit. I hope everyone can get involved with something and find a place for themselves.

KS: What is something interesting about yourself?

CI: I’m under 5 foot. I don’t think that’s stopped me. I’ve never actually looked at it as a handicap, but I guess in a way it helped me when I was younger, because it pushed me to prove people wrong. But now people don’t really underestimate me. When it came to sports, I loved proving people wrong. When I play tennis or basketball, it’s easier when you’re taller.

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    Asian Pacific-Islander Heritage Month (APIHM) is hosted by the Asian Pacific Student Association at UCI and features various programs, workshops, and events that celebrate the APIA culture and address pertinent issues in the APIA community.

    Please refer to the tabs above for more details regarding each event.

  • Contact Us

    Any inquiries regarding Asian Pacific-Islander Heritage Month can be directed to Programming Coordinators, Siamrath (Sam) Boonsakul and Alison Tominaga, at

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