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Seeking Help in Hard Times, a Student Reaches Out to President Fram Virjee

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Heather Paredez, a senior majoring in liberal studies and minoring in music, was in a bind. Scheduled to graduate this spring, she, like thousands of other CSUF students, was forced to transition from in-class instruction to virtual education. Challenging enough … but Paredez didn’t have a computer, let alone internet access.

“I thought I would have to take ‘incompletes’ in my classes,” she said. “I didn’t know how I was going to do my work online without the necessary tools.”

She decided to go to CSUF President Fram Virjee.

“I was so upset,” she recalled. “I wrote that I didn’t think I would be able to graduate because I didn’t have a computer or internet access. I had no idea that the president would actually read my email.”

But, he did, in fact, read it … and his office reached out to Paredez.

“I received an email from Matt Olson (deputy chief of staff and director of executive communications) in the president’s office, offering to loan me a laptop and describing how I could access the internet. I’m still a bit behind on my assignments but I’m catching up.”

Upon graduation, Paredez hopes to work in a job related to student services and continue her education in music.

Her advice to fellow students who find themselves in a similar situation?

“I would tell them that CSUF really does care about its students and help is out there,” she said. “All I had to do was keep my eye on the prize — in this case, graduation … and ask for help.”

Contact: Valerie Orleans,