Skip to Content (Press Enter)
Titan Spotlight

Developing the Leader Within, Students Complete Certificate Program

Share This:

In a time when public agencies in Orange County must engineer innovative and strategic solutions to social and economic challenges, leaders with ingenuity and commitment are needed to rise to the challenge.

In order to prepare agencies to meet these challenges, Cal State Fullerton (CSUF) Extension & International Programs (EIP) offers the Leadership Development for Public Agencies certificate program. This program allows emerging leaders to further develop their skills and behaviors with the help of seasoned experts.

CSUF EIP works directly with O.C. agencies, which nominate and sponsor an employee to participate in the highly-coveted, semester-long leadership development program. 

“For Spring 2022, there were 33 graduates from 12 agencies in this cohort,” said CSUF EIP Program Manager Winnie Kang-Abreu. Reflecting on the program, she adds, “This is one of my favorite programs to talk about. I am proud that we have been partnering with over 30 public agencies in the region since 2007 and we have nearly 600 graduates! We constantly receive positive feedback from participants and agencies. It is so gratifying to see the meaningful impact of the program on our students’ educational and workforce experience.”

The virtual graduation was held Thursday, June 9 and included speakers, Debra Leahy, dean for Extension and AVP for International Programs; Clayton Chau, M.D., Ph.D., Orange County Health Care Agency director; and Eric Levitt, Fullerton city manager. 

Here is the list of agencies and graduate names. Congratulations to all who completed the program and some who have already promoted to a new position within their respective agencies!

  • City of Anaheim: Lauren Tarzjani, Ana Straabe
  • City of Costa Mesa: Jason Pyle, Kelly Dalton, Ramin Nikoui
  • County of Orange: Daniele Ogaz, Nicole LeMaire, Grace Lizardo
  • City of Fullerton: Jaime Cortes, Kent Baecker, Amanda Arbiso, Andrew Grajeda
  • City of Irvine: Isela Ruiz, Laurie Komatsu
  • Irvine Ranch Water District: Omid Rajaee, Jerry Whittaker
  • Lutheran Social Services SC: Luisa Sanchez, Christina Deaton, Sophia Encalada, Deniece Marshall
  • Municipal Water District of OC: Heather Baez, Melissa Baum-Haley
  • Orange County Fire Authority: Issai Ochoa
  • OC San: Bob Tran, Angel Hernandez
  • Orange County Transportation Authority: Gina Ramirez, Christina Blanco, Charvalen Alacar, Vicente Aldana
  • City of Tustin: Joe Cossack, Garrison DeVine, Randy Medina, Joann Wu

To learn more about the Leadership Development for Public Agencies, talk to your agency’s human resources department or visit

Debbie Vengco