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Sylvia Mendoza
M.A. Digital Journalism

Sylvia Mendoza teaches Intro to News and Feature Writing for UC San Diego Extension's Science Communication Certificate Program and American Literature: Stories of Immigration, Self-Editing and Publishing for the Web, The Writer's Art of Interviewing, and Developing Unforgettable Characters for UC San Diego Extension's Creative Writing Certificate Program

Sylvia is an award-winning author and journalist, professional editor and professor, who has six published books and more than 500 articles to her credit, as well as a dozen published editing clients. Her joy is writing inspirational stories about strong visionary women who are powerful examples of living with passion and purpose.

The daughter of Mexican American parents who taught her to value her heritage, Sylvia’s voice also celebrates the Latina spirit with stories of the heart that embrace tradition, yet shatter stereotypes. Since developing UC San Diego Extension’s Online Digital Journalism curriculum, her goal is to share her expertise to help students become better communicators and stronger writers, celebrating their own style and voice.

Why She Loves Teaching
A firm believer that good writing can help elevate skills in any field, Sylvia brings her love of the written word and passion for excellence in Journalism to each classroom experience. “I love teaching because I hear the voices of the next generation of writers and their stories need to be told. Many students come into my classes at different levels of writing experience. Many are so good, I get goosebumps reading their work. Many have lots of apprehension. In the end, once they learn the basics, get into their rhythm, trust themselves, and embrace the editing process, they see the value of their words.”

Professional Summary
After graduating from USC with a degree in print journalism, Sylvia opted to move to Puerto Rico where she was able to start her freelance writing career. It was a good move for the entrepreneurial spirit. With two other women, she also helped launch an all-woman, bilingual public relations company. When she returned to San Diego seven years later, after numerous rejections, she finally became an “official” freelancer for the San Diego Union-Tribune—and continued writing for a variety of magazines and other publications.  

Since then, she started her own writing and editing services company, Mendoza Communications, where she helps clients develop their non-fiction manuscripts and writing projects, as well as company publications and online content.

She also started writing books in different genres. Her classic collection of mini-biographies The Book of Latina Women: 150 Vidas of Passion, Strength and Success, was  selected for the California Collection for High Schools by the California Readers Association and won 1st place in the International Latino Book Awards “Best Women’s Issues” category. Sonia Sotomayor: A Biography launched Zest Books’ middle school “Living History” series to inspire young readers with the true story of the first Latina Supreme Court Justice. It earned first place as Best Educational Young Adult Book in the 2018 International Latino Book Awards. Serenade won the prestigious Latino Literary Award for Best Romance.

Recognized as an expert in her blended fields of journalism, women’s issues and Latina voices, Sylvia has been featured by the National Women’s History Project on C-Span Book-TV and as “1 of 25 Influential Latina Leaders” invited to a private forum with Ms. Mazal Renford, Israeli delegate to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

  • Master of Arts, Digital Journalism. With distinction; National University
  • Certificate, Copyediting; University of California, San Diego
  • Certificate, Women’s Studies; San Diego State University
  • Bachelor of Arts, Print Journalism. SDX Award: “Outstanding Graduate in Journalism.” University of Southern California
Highlights: Industry and Leadership Awards/ Recognition
  • Cited as 1 of 25 Influential Latina Leaders invited to Consulate General of Israel, Los Angeles, for private meeting with Ms. Mazal Renford, Israeli delegate to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women
  • Keynote/Featured Speaker: C-SPAN Book TV; The Latino Book & Family Festival, L.A. Times Festival of Books, Book Expo America; National Hispana Leadership Institute Conference; USC Latino Alumni Association
  • Excellence in Journalism—various awards, Magazine Writing/Profile, Feature, Education Categories
  • Recognized: “Woman of Distinction,” Cal State University San Marcos Women’s Center for work in gender and ethnic studies awareness.

What Students Are Saying


“Professor Mendoza is an incredible instructor. She was so knowledgeable; her PowerPoint presentations had great information and were entertaining and kept me engaged. She was so helpful and responsive to all my questions. She went out of her way to give me extra help. She was so understanding and made me feel like she really cared and was interested in my learning experience. Overall she is one of the best instructors I have had in my academic career."

Mendoza, Sylvia

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