CSU Alumni

July 23, 2013 Board of Trustees Report

President Kristin Crellin reports on behalf of the Alumni Council and alumna Dr. Jamillah Moore shares how her education at CSU Sacramento prepared her for her career in higher education and her current role as chancellor of the Ventura County Community College District.


The transcript below is a slightly edited version of the live captioning that accompanied the Board of Trustees meeting. Due to the nature of live captioning, this does not serve as an exact transcript of the report.

Chair Linscheid:
Now for the report of the CSU Alumni Council, President Kristin Crellin. Kristin...

Kristin Crellin:
Thank you, Chair Linscheid.

It’s my pleasure to address you as the new president of the Alumni Council and to carry on and grow the relationship with the Board of Trustees and campus presidents that my predecessors have built.  My day job is as executive director of school and community relations at SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, a position that allows me meet with educational leaders from throughout the region and have my ear to the ground on key educational issues from K-12 districts, community colleges and our university systems.  I’m a proud graduate of Cal State Fullerton and also attended San Diego State.  I very much look forward to working with you in our shared mission.

That mission for the Alumni Council is one of service to the university and its students.  As beneficiaries of the CSU, alumni are charged to be stewards of the institution’s future and partners in ensuring student success.  When today’s students succeed, alumni succeed as the value of our degrees rise.

It’s important to the Alumni Council to ensure that our efforts to serve the campuses and the system are productive and effective.  We devote much of our time to promoting best practices and shared efficiencies between the campuses that help connect the resources and interests of our alumni with the needs of the university.  Next week our Executive Committee will be meeting to take a detailed look at our strategic plan to ensure that we are meeting our key goal of supporting the university in ways that will meet its future needs.  I look forward to sharing highlights of our strategic plan with you at a future meeting.

Growing student experiences into lifelong relationships with the university is at the heart of what we do.  We’ve been happy to share with you the personal stories of several alumni over the last year that have found success as leaders in their industries—entrepreneurs, teachers and civic leaders.  I’m especially proud today to introduce you to an alumna that has devoted her career back to California’s higher education system and worked tirelessly on behalf of students, especially those who traditionally have not had access to college.

Dr. Jamillah Moore is a graduate of Sacramento State with a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and a master’s degree in intercultural communication and public policy.  Her experience extends from the Los Angeles County Office of Education where she served as the Director of Governmental Relations to the Chancellor’s Office of the California Community Colleges as senior vice chancellor for governmental and external relations.  She was then tapped to lead the state recovery team at Compton College as interim president helping to ensure that the college’s valuable educational opportunities were not lost to the community.  She later served as president of Los Angeles City College before assuming her current position as chancellor of the Ventura County Community College District.

Throughout Dr. Moore’s career, she has focused on the mission of California’s Community Colleges—an inclusive and effective learning environment for all—a mission that clearly resonates at the CSU as well.  I’m very pleased to welcome Dr. Moore today and to invite her to share her CSU story with us.  Dr. Moore…

Jamillah Moore:
Hello. Thank you. Chancellor White, Chair Linscheid, Vice Chair Monville and trustees—thank you for the  opportunity to be here today. I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised to get the request to come down and greet you and have an opportunity to share part of my story as an alumni. And I have to start out by giving a quick shout out to CSU Sacramento, my home campus.  Go Hornets!

Thank you for the opportunity to be here today, and I wanted to share that as the chancellor of the Ventura County Community College District, when I assumed that position, I was pleasantly surprised to have the opportunity to work with 34,000 students and faculty and staff. But when I came into the position, I had what I would call a “unicorn moment.” And in 2013 I didn't think there would be too many firsts left. But as the first African-American female to assume the role of chancellor of that community college district, I found that in telling my story, it resonated with many individuals throughout the county.

But also in telling my story, I found a common theme that I probably should have picked up on sooner and that is that I realize that I would not have been able to accomplish what I have accomplished and be where I’m at today had it not been for the California State University system. Being raised by a single parent, the youngest of six, all girls, I really didn't anticipate or think that I was going to be successful in going off to college.

And when I got to CSU Sacramento, it was an EOP program and great faculty and staff that helped me become successful there and learn how to be a college student. And it was while I was at CSU Sacramento that I learned about the Senate fellowship program. I actually applied to the Senate fellowship program and became a senate fellow. And when I became a Senate fellow and received nine graduate units to go towards a masters and found out about the graduate equity scholarship at CSU Sacramento, I got the opportunity to go forward and get my masters. It was also while I was a Senate fellow that I had the great opportunity to meet some individuals who were actually in this room, from Karen Zamarripa, to Margaret Fortune, to Dr. James Rosser who, ironically, today is his last day as the president of CSU Los Angeles, but it was Dr. Rosser who also informed me about the CSU forgivable loan.

And as I was wrapping up my masters at CSU Sacramento and heard about the CSU forgivable loan, I applied to one campus, USF. At the time it was the only campus that had a graduate program for people who were working full time, which is what I was doing. And had it not been for the doctoral forgivable loan, I would not have had the funds to go to USF. Those rates obviously don't apply today because I could not have afforded it. I would not have been able to enter that program without this support.  And had it not been for the CSU forgivable loan, I would not have had the opportunity to go back to Sac State and work side-by-side with some of my colleagues but also with some great faculty members and administrators at the time when I was a graduate student at CSU Sacramento.  Dr. Jolene Koester, one of your colleagues was in administration there. Had I not had that opportunity, I would not have been able to obtain a teaching position.

It was that experience that really led me to recognize that at every level in my career the CSU has been there. Whether it's opening a door or building a bridge or providing an opportunity for me to be successful. And, so, really I felt that in telling my story, my “unicorn story” so to speak, because I’m not supposed to be where I’m at at this level in my career and being a first. I realized it was my responsibility to say thank you.

I put pen to paper just to write a quick note because I’m sure you get interesting fan mail. But I wanted to send a note to say thank you, because had it not been for the California State University system, I would not be where I’m at today. And, so, I feel it is my responsibility not only to say thank you, but to lift as I climb, to help other students and other individuals open the door to have access to education and access to opportunities in honoring the master plan for higher education.

So, I want to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to come and share not only my story, but to say thank you in person because really all of the hard work that you've done, especially over the last five or six years, all of us in this room with numerous budget cuts and the challenges, I just want to say that while it was extremely challenging, keep moving forward because there are so many students that need us to continue to get up and do what we do every day, no matter how difficult it is, no matter how challenging it is.

And hopefully one day there will be many more students who will come forward, such as myself, and my story will not be that unique. But I wanted to say thank you.


Vice Chair Monville:
Well, it’s always nice to see my friend, Dr. Moore. For my colleague's benefit, I had the privilege of serving with Jamillah at the state community college and got to see her fine work and heavy lifting on behalf of the students in Compton. So, I know her commitment to student access and student success and student learning. We're very lucky to call you one of our own and we know you're going to do great things up there in Ventura. So, keep up the good work, Jamillah.

Trustee Fortune:
Dr. Moore, it's really an honor to call you chancellor. And I was so excited to receive your announcement and I just look forward to continuing to see your star rise. And I congratulate you on all of your success and am so glad to have you back here to give your greetings and share your story with the board. Congratulations.

Chair Linscheid:
I think your greatest challenge is watching over President Rush in Camarillo. [Laughter] You know I, too, received your warm announcement and contacted Aaron saying we need to further delve into our alumni to tell our story. And you told our story well. Thank you for doing that.

Trustee Morales:
I just wanted to congratulate you. Wow, what a story. Thank you.

Jamillah Moore:
On a final note, I want to say thank you for sending my half-brother Aaron Moore out to greet me. We just found out we both graduated from high school in Modesto. So, thank you, thank you. [Laughter]

Chair Linscheid:
You're welcome. Kristin, does that conclude your report?

Kristin Crellin:
Yes, thank you. That concludes my report.