Cougar of the Week: Q&A with CSUSM student Synthia Ayala


Photo courtesy of Synthia Ayala

CSUSM student Synthia Ayala hopes to use her art and technology skills to help people that are struggling by working with non-profit organizations.

Carolyn Cheng, Staff Writer

Synthia Ayala is a fourth year CSUSM student majoring in arts and technology and minoring in video production. Currently she is on a semester-long hiatus. Read this Q&A to learn more about her interests and plans for after graduation.

What sparked your interest in arts and technology, and why did you decide to pursue this path?

I think it comes from my childhood, I was always interested in TV and movies. I grew up saturated in internet culture, and always wanted to be a part of that. In high school, I had a video class that I found to be really fascinating and I just fell in love with editing.

What are your current plans for your future?

I’d like to work for a non-profit organization or a helping sector in the media. I want to use the media as a way to communicate with people who need help; I want to connect more people.

What inspired you to move in this direction for your future?

I think I always wanted to help people. I never really wanted to move straight into the film industry, but when I did, I only wanted to do stories that I was interested in, not just what was popular. What pushed me to be interested in non-profits and the helping sector of the media would be what happened in 2020 with George Floyd and all the other Black and brown people who died in the police shootings. That really opened my eyes, and I wanted to do more for people in and outside of my community.

What are you most proud of in your accomplishments?

I think I am proud of everything that I have done. I struggle with my mental health and several mental illnesses, so it is hard for me to do one project, let alone many. Every project that I work on allows me to overcome my mental illness and create something beautiful. I always feel proud of myself, and I can’t think of one specific project because they all mean something to me.

How would you describe your experience at CSUSM, and what is one thing you wish you could tell your first year self?

My experience at CSUSM has been a good one. I tend to keep my head down, but my professors always help me to enhance my skills, especially professors like Luke Bisagna. I find that although I am a very shy person, there are enough people who share these interests with me that I excel in every class and am sure to be working my hardest. Professors respond in kind, so I think that it has been worthwhile to come to this school. Something I would tell my first year self would be to try more and to put myself out there more often, so to focus on what I truly enjoy.

Carolyn Cheng is a graphic design intern for The Cougar Chronicle.  She is currently a third year student at CSUSM and is majoring in arts and technology with a double minor in video/film production and film studies.  Post graduation, Carolyn hopes to pursue a career in film or video game editing.  In her free time, she enjoys watching Survivor, playing tabletop rpgs, and playing video games.