Community Profile: Leah Carroll (February 2022)

Headshot of a smiling person with short hair and a green turtleneck sweater.

Leah Carroll (she/her), Haas Scholars Program Manager/Advisor

What does your program, unit, or division do on campus?

Provides opportunities and guidance for undergraduates to engage in research, public service, and prestigious scholarship experiences. By doing so, imparts skills, confidence, and self-awareness.  

Describe your job in five words:

Intense, exhausting, rewarding, moving, inspiring

Why Berkeley?

I worked at a private liberal arts college for four years, and the students there tended towards entitlement and expected a lot of handholding. In contrast, Berkeley is the best place in the US, possibly in the world, to find high achieving, motivated students from an incredible diversity of backgrounds who have overcome all manner of disadvantages and are really passionate about learning.  With a little bit of guidance and encouragement, they can go so far!

Over your career, what are some of the things that have helped you move to the next level and to new opportunities?

It has always been the encouragement of a trusted mentor who made me see that I was ready to take on a new challenge, such as taking the Haas Scholars Program Manager/Advisor position or publishing my doctoral dissertation as a book (once in English and once in Spanish),

What is the best advice a mentor has given you in work, life, or beyond?

At moments of deep discouragement, I have had the good fortune to hear from a mentor who has reminded me how important my work is and not to give up.

What motivates you to do your best work?

Seeing a student who was once struggling begin to thrive is incredibly rewarding and inspires me to try harder.

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

Being a nice collections agent for a leg prosthesis maker in San Francisco. (I was supposed to gently remind them that their payments were due, but not be mean about it!). 

What is an interesting or little-known fact about you?

I lived in Colombia for four years, and met my husband during my junior year abroad there. Also, I have competed the 1650 butterfly on a number of occasions (a mile of butterfly).  

What are you most looking forward to this year?

Taking more baby steps towards a post-pandemic normality, less Zoom, and more in-person interactions.