May 14, 2024
Olivia Gil

As an education specialist credential candidate, Olivia Gil is focused on becoming a special education teacher for students with mild to moderate support needs. 

Gil is known for her kindness and empathy for her classmates. Her faculty mentors have observed not only her endearing personality, but how she also works well in team settings, easily establishing trust and rapport. These are characteristics they said will serve her well in the classroom and allow her to make a positive difference for her future students. 

As a member of the Catholic Student Association (CSA), Gil experienced the impact of long-lasting friendships and opportunities for community engagement. Participating with groups like CSA, in addition to interactions with University staff, faculty and students grounded her and “gave me purpose, and I have loved every minute of it.” 

As a College Corps fellow, Gil had the opportunity to work in the Basic Needs program, which taught her about food insecurity and the importance of giving back. Because of this experience, she realized she would fit right in as a special education teacher in the Central Valley. 

“I can support students with diverse learning needs within our community, and I plan to use my Stan State degree to become a special education teacher to support students with various learning needs,” she said. 

Assistant Professor of Teacher Education Brittany Desnoyer was Gil’s instructor for several courses within the Education Specialist Credential Program (ESCP). She described Gil as an active participant in critical discourse who worked collaboratively with peers to foster conversations surrounding current trends in special education.

While enrolled in the credential program, Gil participated in its residency program, an exclusive opportunity reserved for highly motivated and passionate teacher candidates. In addition to her rigorous course schedule, she worked alongside a highly qualified educator, gaining extensive experience in the planning and implementing evidence-based lessons. 

“I am confident that Olivia will continue to do great things in the future,” Desnoyer said. “She is motivated, caring, intuitive, dedicated and focused on her pursuits. Her passion for instruction, with specific regard to students with disabilities, positions her as an asset to any school.” 

#StanGrad File


Olivia Gil


Ceres, CA


Education Specialist Credential: Mild/Moderate Support Needs

What memories stand out most from your time at Stanislaus State?

“As a Rogers Scholar, I was fortunate to meet the Rogers family and see how much they believe in me and my ability to become an educator. Whenever I find myself struggling with my studies, I think back to the award luncheon and all the support I felt from the Rogers family. This memory encourages and helps me to persevere in my pursuit of becoming a special education teacher.”

Which faculty or staff member had the greatest impact on you, and why?

“Throughout my time at Stan State, I have felt the support of many of my professors, but Dr. Desnoyer has supported me in pursuing a career in special education. He has left an imprint on my educational journey by encouraging me to apply for the Stan State Warriors Teach! Residency Program. This program helped build my confidence to become an education specialist by allowing me to work with students in Ceres with diverse learning needs while working towards my teaching credential. I am so grateful for all the support given to me.”

What advice would you give to current and future students?

“Build connections with faculty and your classmates, because they will make your college experience feel more complete and help you build a support system for times when things feel overwhelming. Having been a member of the Catholic Student Association, I have experienced the impact of long-lasting friendships and opportunities for community engagement. Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone and get involved!”

Note: This article is part of the StanGrad series highlighting Stanislaus State students who are part of the Class of 2024. Read more StanGrad profiles.