30 Grads in 30 Days: Christopher Gauk-Roger

Christopher Gauk-Roger (photo by Carolyn Lagattuta)

Name: Christopher Gauk-Roger

Age: 22

Major: Film and Digital Media

Hometown: Los Angeles

UCSC college: Oakes

Favorite class or professor and why?

My favorite course was Broadcast Journalism, which is offered through Community Studies and KZSC. I took the class during my first year and it helped shape my college plans. I came to UCSC wanting to do broadcast journalism, but wasn't sure how I could make that happen. This class served as my segue into KZSC and, more specifically, KZSC News. It helped to put my interests into action and taught me that UCSC has millions of opportunities that one just has to search for. I am now instructing the course, and hope to assure students each quarter that they, too, can find an outlet for their passions on this campus.

Most memorable experience at UCSC?

My most memorable experiences at UCSC are always the final Gospel Choir concerts I partake in every winter and spring quarter. Gospel Choir has served as an inspiring and necessary experience while I've been at UCSC. Each concert is a different experience, but I am always amazed by the amount of people who attend and how involved they get with the songs we perform.

That, and being on the air at KZSC for the first time. There's no greater rush than getting through your first live news broadcast.

Favorite spot on campus and why?

The KZSC station, because of the opportunities it has provided me and due to the amazing people I am always meeting there. It's a wonderful place to spend time on campus, and I encourage everyone to stop by to find out more about the station. When I need to be alone, though, the Oakes Lawn is incredible. It's the perfect place to lay out and get homework done without interruption. It also happens to host one of the most picturesque views on this campus.

How has UCSC shaped you?

UCSC has been instrumental in helping me discover both where I want to go after college and what I want to do. I wouldn't say my time at UCSC has changed me, but it certainly has helped me grow. I was an introverted and passive individual when I first arrived here four years ago, confused about what to study or what to do with my life. I have since become someone who is unafraid to get what he wants and make every moment count.

What are your future plans?

I am currently applying for summer internships within various news media outlets. I'm certain that something will come of that, but if not, I will be applying again in the fall. I will be giving the real world a chance for four to five months and, if nothing pans out, I will be applying for graduate school in the fall to work toward a master's in broadcast journalism. Graduate school was my initial plan, but I have come to realize that the amount of experience I gained working at KZSC may make further schooling unnecessary for my intended career path.

How did you choose your college, and how has your college affected your education?

Oakes wasn't my initial choice, but I did add it to my list because it features one of the most open-ended themes. Despite my doubts, Oakes proved to be the ideal college. It houses great people, an amazing staff, and a fantastic core course. I was so impressed by Oakes that I took the neighborhood assistant position for my second year. It was my goal then, and still is, to assist others in realizing just how incredible Oakes is. It became home for me, and I wouldn't have changed my experience there for anything.


I've done a lot with my time at UCSC, but nothing stands out more than my accomplishments at KZSC. I was able to learn how to create news stories, as well as how to run an entire news broadcast. I've now learned how to instruct a course, including developing a syllabus and reader, promotion, creating two lectures a week, and inspiring students to become as interested in journalism as I am. More than that, though, I think my greatest accomplishment derives from the fact that I made my time at UCSC as worthwhile as possible. I didn't let the fact that the school did not offer my ideal major slow me down. Instead, I sought out ways to make my experience work for my interests. I hope this inspires others to do the same; it may take a lot of work, but you can reach any of your goals while at UCSC. Through my position as a campus tour guide, I have not only developed my public speaking skills, but I have also been able to assure numerous students that college is a realistic dream and that Santa Cruz may just be the perfect spot for them. Working at Oakes, I was able to make new students' transition to college as easy as it was for me, and served as a peer for those who needed it.