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Convocation Address Resonates With Audience


President Mildred Garcia's Convocation 2012 address resonated with the more than 600 members of the greater Titan family who gathered in Meng Concert Hall on Tuesday, Sept. 11:        

• Alumna Diana Wright Guerin (M.S. psychology ’80), professor of child and adolescent studies, chair of the CSU Academic Senate: “I was exited to hear about her goals and that they were consistent with the WASC report. Clearly, she wants CSUF to be a high-quality institution, and her focus is on student success.”

• Alumnus Henry Mendoza (B.A. business administration ’81), managing partner of Mendoza & Berger, a certified public accounting firm, and a CSU trustee: “Very on point ... a well-thought-out plan that will make her accountable. I think people will jump on board. It’s what we need, especially in these tough times — a plan with warmth. She is a very warm lady.”

Claire C. Cavallaro, dean of the College of Education: “I thought Dr. García’s convocation was very inspiring. She clearly communicated the direction for our university for the coming year. The faculty really appreciates that she emphasizes student success. That’s what we’re all about.”

James D. Young, founding chair and emeritus professor of theatre: “She was superb! Really threw out the challenges. She recognized what we already have — properly recognizing those efforts  — and then said we can do more. Her speech was beautifully done.”

Alice Rodriguez, events coordinator, Mihaylo College of Business and Economics: “I was impressed and thrilled to know that President García is student focused and that her intentions are based on ensuring the success of students. She seems very engaged. I liked that she addressed us — the staff, faculty and students as partners. We’re all in this together.” 

• Alumna Norma Provencio Pichardo (B.A. criminal justice ’82), executive director of the Academy of Television Arts & Science Foundation: “I haven’t been back on campus in 20 years, and I’m so impressed and proud and to see a Latina as president. ... I saw her on the cover of Titan magazine and I was energized. I loved everything she talked about. She’s keeping people accountable. I’m just really impressed.”

Steven N. Murray, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs: “I think the president has vision and direction, and she will be a catalyst to take this campus to new heights. We should all look forward to various accomplishments in the next year and beyond.”

• University Police Chief Dennis DeMaio: “She was very energetic. Her way of talking about the budget transcends. ... Just like 9/11 brought the nation together for a common cause, she hit the budget in the same way. She is the leader to move us — the right leader for the time. She brings us together. I think she is the right person for the university. The best word to describe her: contagious.”  

Victor Delgado, assistant dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science: “I’m encouraged because the president outlined three goals that ultimately tie in to the success of our students. We’re here to serve students, and we’re here to help them on their academic journey. When we see the numbers of students that are not graduating, that are not progressing or fulfilling their dreams, that not only impacts the student, but also their family and their future. I also appreciated her directness and openness about the economic crisis. In spite of it, I’m encouraged that she is looking to make Fullerton an even better place for students and to improve the success rate of our students, by whatever means we need to do that, given the resources during these difficult times.”

• Joseph M. Cervantes, professor of counseling, president of CSUF’s Chicano Latino Faculty and Staff Association and a member of the provost search committee: “Dr. García is very committed to the university, very focused on doing exactly what she said, making this a premier institution in the nation. I have no doubt it will be. She has been and will continue to be a great asset for our campus.”

• Alumnus John Echeveste (B.A. communications ’73), co-founder of Valencia, Perez & Echeveste, a public relations firm: “Dr. García’s address was very inspiring and energizing. It’s a big challenge, but I think developing a strong strategic plan is a critical blueprint for where you want to go. Dr. García brings the energy and vitality that the university needs to move forward.”

Anil Puri, dean of the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics: “I thought she was terrific. She laid out the university’s challenges and presented her priorities in a very clean fashion. She is an effective speaker, a terrific leader and representative for the university. We're in good hands.”

• Alumna Lilia  M. Tanakeyowma (M.S. education ’86), Santa Ana College dean of student affairs: “Dr. García is dynamic, passionate and a true believer in Cal State Fullerton. I love her focus, detailing the strategic plan. So often we go through the steps and we write the plan, but she’s talking about making the plan a living document that will touch every corner of this university. It’s very inclusive. I love that she makes student learning and retention and graduation a priority. She is well respected nationwide and when she talks about making Cal State Fullerton a premier institution in the nation, that’s not wishful thinking. She can make it happen.”

• Alumnus Francisco J. Valle (M.B.A. ’85), founder and president of Valle Consulting: “She is taking this university to the next level.”

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