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My road to Fullerton College began in Chicago where I was born. Working hard to raise 5 children and sending us to parochial schools, Mom taught elementary school and Dad was a carpenter. We learned values, spirituality, and the importance of education and community through our parents’ example of service to others and love. A major family road-trip vacation took us to Long Beach, California in 1965. I was hooked! After graduating high school at age 17, I moved to Long Beach and attended CSULB, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Radio-Television/Speech Communication in 1976.
In 1980 I was hired by Long Beach City College to work in the Financial Aid Office. What a fabulous opportunity! Helping students find their way through the myriad of financial aid regulations so that they could attend college was very rewarding. From that initial experience I knew I wanted to make my career at a community college in service to students, so I enrolled again at CSULB and earned a Master of Science in Counseling degree in 1986.
As I continued to work with the students and staff at Long Beach City College I had many opportunities to work with committees on campus and with the professional financial aid associations in California and across the nation. I even had the opportunity to be a school trainer as a consultant with the US Department of Education which allowed me to travel across the United States from NYC to Alaska to Honolulu. Hired originally as a classified employee, I also had the chance to teach a few counseling courses and to work as an adjunct counselor. In 1990 I became the Director of Financial Aid, EOPS, and Veteran’s Services and in 2001 Dean over those areas.
In 2005, Dr. Terry O’Banion came to LBCC to talk about a fairly new program at Walden University offering a Ph.D. in Community College Leadership. The program was a wonderful combination of research and practical application so I enrolled in 2005 and graduated in 2008 with my Ph.D. The conferring of that degree coincided with an amazing opportunity. An opening was announced for a Vice President of Student Services at Fullerton College.
My parents, my education, and my experience had prepared me well for this new opportunity. I was thrilled to receive a telephone call from the College President offering me the position, which I accepted immediately. The reputation of Fullerton College, the community feeling, and the beauty of the campus which were so appealing to a candidate for a job were equally exciting to a new Vice President. I am honored to be a Hornet and a member of the FC family.
For the past five years there have been numerous changes in personnel and assignments, but the foundation of the College stands firm with a brilliant cadre of colleagues working diligently every day. I am truly blessed to be a part of Fullerton College as we celebrate the College Centennial.