Joe Gutierrez Office of Strategic Communication (909) 537-5007 firstname.lastname@example.org
The College of Education at Cal State San Bernardino will recognize two exceptional individuals at its graduation ceremony at 8 p.m., Saturday, June 15, at Toyota Arena (formerly known as Citizens Business Bank Arena) in Ontario: Quinton Bemiller as the Outstanding Doctorate Student and Genesis Guardado as the Outstanding Graduate Student. Bemiller, who lives in Riverside, is graduating with a doctorate in educational leadership, a major he chose in order to learn how to better manage leadership roles. “I chose this major in order to learn more about higher education governance and be better prepared for leadership roles I already have, and for new roles I might have in the future,” he said. Bemiller is an associate professor of art and the gallery director at Norco College, Riverside Community College District. Since 2016, he has served as the chair for the college’s Department of Art, Humanities, Philosophy, and World Languages. In addition to teaching studio art and art history courses, Bemiller is the chair of the Teaching & Learning Committee, co-advisor of the Student Art Club, mentor in the Puente Program, and is the academic senate liaison for Guided Pathways. He is the Academic Senate president-elect, and will serve a three-year term, 2019-2022. “I have been a department chair for the last three years. I continue to teach as well. My goal is to gain all of the experience I can and to know every facet of the community college,” he said. “I am open to serving in a dean position or some other administration position if I feel I am prepared and can bring something positive to faculty, staff and students by doing so. But as tenured faculty, I am not in a hurry to do this – any change in my position will be organic.” Bemiller says his inspiration comes from his dissertation committee chair at CSUSB, Edna Martinez, assistant professor in the CSUSB College of Education and co-director of the Doctorate in Educational Leadership Program,whose strength he admires as a teacher, researcher and leader in the Ed.D. program. “I wanted to be in a program with other higher education professionals, along with K-12 professionals from our region. I feel it is important that we all work together to make the education pipeline from preschool to graduate school as seamless as possible,” he said. “The CSUSB Ed.D. program has helped to define my future by sharpening my awareness of the issues we all face in education, and empowering me to have more agency in solving the problems we face. For me, this is an issue that greatly affects society – it is not merely a career choice on my part. I am interested in spending my time making a difference in society, by increasing opportunities for people through education. I feel I will be able to do that on a greater level because of what I have learned in the Ed.D. program at CSUSB.” Bemiller is also an accomplished artist. He has exhibited his artwork at galleries and museums nationally. His works are included in over 50 private collections, and in the permanent collection of the Boston Public Library. He is the recipient of Individual Artist Grants from the city of Los Angeles and the city of Pasadena. Bemiller is an author of art criticism, and his most recent article on the work of Iraqi artist, Hayv Kahraman was published in Fabrik this past January. Since 2006, Bemiller has led private educational gallery tours in Los Angeles, and has led art tours in San Francisco, San Diego, Denver and New York. Guardado, who lives in Fontana, is graduating with a master of science in counseling and guidance, a major she chose from her interest in mental health and counseling after acquiring her first degree in psychology from the University of California, Riverside.Over the past three years at CSUSB, she has dedicated her time and effort toward becoming a better counselor. She has served as the director of communications and as a member for the Counseling Graduate Student Association. She has also served as a counseling intern at local schools where she has helped foster socioemotional wellbeing and academic success in our future leaders. “CSUSB helped me define my future by preparing me for a career I love. I found so much support at this school and I am so grateful for my experiences here,” she said. But her college experience wasn’t always easy, especially since she was the first in her family to pursue higher education. “One of the hardest things about college was being a first-generation student. Nobody warns you about the cultural dilemmas you face and how to deal with it. I was finding myself arguing with family about topics I was covering and my ethics, as well as just the time commitments that school required. My family did not understand what college entailed, much less graduate school,” she said. “The tensions have become better over time as I have educated my family more, but it is definitely a unique struggle.” Despite her hardships, Guardado has found her academic experiences rewarding. “I am proud of myself for being the first in my family to go to college and to get my master’s degree,” she said. “I’m proud of being able to push myself and get straight A’s in graduate school.” Guardado hopes to work as a school counselor and is considering obtaining a doctorate in psychology someday. For more information about the June 2019 Commencement ceremonies, visit the Commencement website. Visit the College of Education website to learn more about its programs. All of the ceremonies at Toyota Arena will be livestreamed.