May 25, 2022
Vanessa Padilla

A transfer student, Vanessa Padilla made the most of her Stanislaus State experiences. 

She served as one of Associate Professor Jose Diaz-Garayua's research assistants at the Center for Applied Spatial Analysis (CASA), where she proved to be a leader and a team player. 

The geography major, who spent her final semester studying abroad in Ghana, also participated in an ecological restoration internship in the Central Valley and gained an appreciation for efforts to restore wildlife populations. 

The product of Manteca’s Sierra High School, Padilla said one of the great lessons she learned at Stan State was to ask for help. 

“Many times, I felt overwhelmed and that I was alone in having this feeling, but once I asked for help, I felt reassured and prepared to complete the task at hand,” Padilla said. “Even in matters that were not directly university related, I found asking for help proved to be a great way to think things through.” 

Padilla’s next venture is graduate school. 

#StanGrad File


Vanessa Padilla


Manteca, CA


Bachelor of Science in Geography 

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

“My favorite memories come from the great conversations that would go on for hours after lectures. There was so much great information shared and it was always interesting to take in new perspectives.” 

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

“Two amazing professors come to mind: Dr. Díaz and Dr. McNally. They are both very attentive with their students and will take the time to listen and advise as well as recommend resources for a wide variety of matters. I truly appreciate them and will forever be grateful to them for aiding me through my academic journey.” 

What advice would you give to current and future students?

“I would recommend they explore their curiosities and ask any and all questions they have in mind. Take advantage of all resources the university has to offer, because they are all there to support students. I would also highly encourage students to study abroad and to push themselves to face challenges.” 

Note: This article is part of the StanGrad series highlighting Stanislaus State students who are part of the Class of 2022. Read more StanGrad profiles.