Back to the Bay

  • BY Cal State East Bay
  • August 19, 2019

Cal State East Bay’s new and returning faculty kicked off the 2019-20 school year last week with the university’s annual Back to the Bay event. 

This year’s keynote speaker was Mildred Garcia, president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. Garcia, the first Latina to lead one of the six presidentially-based higher education associations in Washington, D.C., previously served as the president of California State University, Fullerton and CSU Dominguez Hills.

She spoke about the critical role faculty play in inspiring the next generation of leaders and shared her own story of being the first in her family to pursue higher education.

“Dr. Garcia brings a unique perspective as someone who started as a first-generation college student herself, and who knows the type of mentoring and encouragement first-generation students need to succeed in college and in life,”said Linda Dobb, the university’s associate provost. 

Dobb added Garcia also serves as a role model for faculty to demonstrate what is possible when students are inspired by their professors. In Garcia’s remarks, she highlighted four things faculty members can do to support student success including pouring their talents and care into students; understanding students and showing them how to learn and fall in love with education; empowering them with innovative and inspiring teaching; and seeing them as contributors and new creators of knowledge.

“Her message is that anything is possible for all students when colleges really care about student success,” Dobb said.