Alumni Profile: Wilken, Deanna

Name: Deanna Wilken

Graduation year: 2010

Major: Sociology (BA)


Current occupation and field of work:

Deanna currently works at the Los Angeles Parks Foundation as their Communications Associate. She, as well as the Los Angeles Parks Foundation, aims to raise money for the creation of city parks, particularly in lower income neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles.

Additionally, she recently founded Project Trafficked, a non-profit that aims to help victims of human trafficking through their readjustment process.


Work experience:

Upon graduating from UCLA in 2010, Deanna worked at Fox Home Entertainment in digital advertising. As an Assistant Media Planner, she worked on numerous campaigns for Fox Home Entertainment. After leaving that position, she taught English abroad before getting a Masters degree in International Relations in the United Kingdom, before beginning her work with the Los Angeles Parks Foundation.


Major responsibilities:

With the Los Angeles Parks Foundation, she wears a lot of hats. As it is a small non-profit organization, it is organized similarly to a start-up, with only five employees. Thus, as Communications Associate, Deanna is in charge of social media and web development, while also overseeing donations to the foundation and their accounting.


Long-term goals:

Deanna’s long-term goals with the Los Angeles Parks Foundation include raising awareness and gaining traction for their Wellness Walks program, which aims to get members within lower income neighborhoods out and active, using fitness equipment spread throughout walking paths. She also wants to hold more events with the Los Angeles Parks Foundation, such as their Griffith Park Runs, both to raise awareness and to get people moving.


How has Sociology helped you and shaped your experience?

“Sociology has given me the tools and perspective of how people behave in different environments”. In addition, Sociology helped Deanna understand people’s interactions with one another, and how their environments can impact them, both in the short and long terms.

Deanna is willing to be a mentor, answer questions about her industry and more. Connect with her via UCLA ONE [hyperlink:], UCLA’s online gateway for mentorship, professional networking, peer driven career advice and exclusive job leads.


Conducted by Maggie Pa

UCLA Sociology Class of 2017