As a child growing up in Corona, all Shefali Mistry wanted to do was draw, paint and dance. Her dream was to be an artist. Today, at 24, Mistry will see her dream come alive when she graduates from CSULB with a bachelor’s in fine arts. Although her passion for the arts has always been palpable, it was her educational journey that introduced her to a world beyond art.
In high school, Mistry was involved in a few clubs, but her main focus was as a three-year cross country athlete. Later, at Riverside Community College, she switched focus from running to dance, joined the Art Club and later became president. As her involvement in student activities increased, she served as director for the Inter Club Council. These positions paved the way for her campus involvement when she continued her education at CSULB.
Eager to get involved at CSULB, Mistry found her niche in several places. She ran for senator of the College of the Arts and was elected for the 2005-06 academic year. She also joined the Bachelor of Fine Arts club. As the daughter of Indian-born parents, Mistry has a rich cultural heritage that prompted her to join the Indian Students Association where she performed traditional dances at their cultural events. The following year, she was elected to the position of president of the Associated Students, Inc. for the 2006-07 academic year.
In fall 2006, this first-generation college student took on the task of student body president. She dove head first into the intricacies of the political world. As president, she had a down to earth approach that made students respond positively. She fostered great relationships with university officials, was a voting member speaking on behalf of students on numerous university committees and helped institutionalize shared governance through a policy in the Academic Senate.
Outside of her position at the Associated Students, Mistry fills her personal time with dancing and traveling. She enjoyed ballet classes for years but also explored jazz, tap, hip hop and African dance. Her love for travel has taken her to England, Jamaica, the Canary Islands, Italy and New York City. In summer 2006, she was able to combine her love for travel and art when she was selected as one of the painting finalists to study abroad through the CSU Summer Arts Program in Florence, Italy. Most recently, in April, Mistry traveled to Lake Charles, Louisiana, for Student Life and Development’s “Alternate Spring Break” where she and a group of students helped with home rebuilding for Hurricane Rita survivors.
Now that her year as ASI president is complete, Mistry looks forward to painting and spending free time with her friends, family and pets. Her future goals include obtaining a master’s in art and museum administration.