Meet Mallory Shulkin, Undergraduate Assistant


Growing up, the ocean has always been a large part of my life. I was born on the coast of Los Angeles and then raised in San Diego by two parents whose love for the beach brought them together, even though they were from two different parts of the country. When my sisters and I were just young girls, our mother would wake us up early in the mornings to walk on the beaches of Oceanside to look for shells. Whenever we would walk the beach with our mother, she encouraged us to pick up trash, thus planting a seed in our minds to always love, appreciate, and take care of the environment we love so much.

My family’s love for the beach kept us living no more than a five minute drive away, enabling us to create our own fun, memories, and adventures on the coast. I picked up surfing when I was fourteen years old and ever since, I have kept surfing as one of my main hobbies. Not only has surfing remained a fun activity to take part in, but as time went on, it became a type of meditation.

When I was just a junior in high school, my mother passed away from pancreatic cancer after a painful year of treatment. My father, sisters, and I have learned a lot after this traumatic experience, but the one thing that remains close to my heart after all of this is my attraction to the coast. Although my mother’s physical presence is no longer with me, her spirit lives on, and for me, the beach is when I feel closest to her. I know that no matter where I go in life or challenges I will face, the beach will always be there, full of memories and the spirit of my mother.

That being said, the ocean, the waves, the surf, and everything in between are of much importance to me, and therefor I feel that it is not only a desire of mine but a responsibility to make sure the environment is being taken care of. More specifically, sustainable surfing is a way I can actively participate in sustaining a healthy, stable surf environment for fellow beach lovers and future generations to come.

Today, I am currently enrolled at San Diego State University gaining as much knowledge as I can so that one day I can make a positive impact on the world, encouraging sustainability as a whole– mindfully, physically, and environmentally. I am also happily employed at South Coast Surf Shop in Pacific Beach. In my free time, I enjoy going to the beach to surf, take pictures, and run.  If home is where the heart is, then my home will always be by the beach!

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