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Political Science Major Takes on Statewide Role

Kelsey Brewer Appointed to CSU Board of Trustees

June 18, 2014

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Kelsey Brewer

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Cal State Fullerton student Kelsey Brewer will be putting her education, experience and passion to work as the newest member of the California State University Board of Trustees. On Tuesday, June 17, state Gov. Jerry Brown announced her appointment to a two-year term as student trustee.

Brewer, a junior majoring in political science with a minor in liberal studies, serves as chief governmental officer for Cal State Fullerton's Associated Students Inc. Previously, she was advocacy coordinator for the ASI Lobby Corps, a member of the search committee for the dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, treasurer for the University's Student Alumni Ambassadors and a campus liaison to the Resident Student Association.

"I am very excited to be chosen for this role," she said. "I have always wanted to be in leadership positions so I could help others. That's what led me to advocacy work.

"When I learned about the possibility of serving as a student trustee, I realized what a truly unique situation it was. I would increase my understanding of what it's like to be a student on 22 other campuses. The CSU represents such a diverse group of students, and I'm looking forward to helping develop a consensus to fix some of the problems they face. This is a huge responsibility, and I intend to be responsive to the needs of the CSU and its students."

Brewer, a resident of Fullerton, arrived on campus following her graduation from Centennial High School in Bakersfield. Her original intention was to become a physician. But a high school chemistry class convinced her that if she went through with her initial profession, "I'd likely kill someone." She was, however, always interested in public service.

"My grandmother was always very civically engaged and encouraged me," she said. "When I came to Cal State Fullerton, I was drawn to political science. It just seemed like the right place for me, and I developed a real passion for politics. Liberal studies came later, and I just loved it. I like the idea of serving in a leadership position so I could help others. As a student trustee, I can be of service to the students of the CSU."

"I have worked with Kelsey for almost a year in her capacity as part of ASI Lobby Corps and through her involvement in the University's Student Success Initiative," said Tonantzin Oseguera, dean of students. "I also worked with Kelsey on her application for student trustee, and I have been honored to be part of her journey. She is a great student, very passionate about the CSU and the student experience in higher education. I think she will be a powerful and positive representative of the best we have to offer."

"I can only know so much being on the outside," Brewer said. "Now, I'll have a better understanding of how the board works. I don't want to go in with an agenda, but I do want to be responsive to student needs.

"That said, one of my priorities will be increasing graduation rates. When students and taxpayers invest in education, they expect a return. I can understand why the public might be critical if students don't graduate in six years. However, as a board member, I'll have an opportunity to view these issues from many levels. For instance, does the CSU have the budget, faculty, enough classes, the infrastructure to support such a high enrollment? These are real problems we are facing, and I intend to give my best effort to resolving some of these issues."

Brewer will be the fourth Cal State Fullerton student to serve on the CSU Board of Trustees. Curtis Schlaufman '09 (B.A. political science), was appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2009; M. Alexander Lopez '04 (B.A. business administration) served from 2002-04 as an appointee of Gov. Gray Davis; and Christopher Lowe '95 (B.A. political science, named by Gov. Pete Wilson, served from 1994-95 and later was elected mayor of Placentia. All three were student body presidents.

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