Dalia Hernandez, director of Cal State San Bernardino’s Upward Bound program, has been selected president-elect of the Western Association of Educational Opportunity Personnel (WESTOP).

Hernandez, who joined CSUSB in 2015, will begin the appointment July 1, then serve as the organization’s president in 2024-25 and as past president in 2025-26.

WESTOP is one of 10 regional associations affiliated with the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE), which is dedicated to furthering educational opportunities for low-income, first-generation and students with disabilities. WESTOP’s mission is to enhance the skills and development of educational professionals who can advocate and provide educational opportunities for those who are underserved.

As a member of the WESTOP Board of Directors, Hernandez will guide the organization’s board and service council in advancing the association’s efforts to fulfill its mission and goals.

“The appointment as president-elect for WESTOP is another opportunity to pay it forward,” Hernandez said. “WESTOP’s mission and values align with my personal and professional efforts to create equitable educational systems for every student and develop professionals who can advocate and bridge the gaps in educational access and completion for first-generation, low-income, and underserved students.”

The association’s membership is comprised of educational personnel from Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and the Pacific Islands of American Samoa, Guam, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas. WESTOP consists of a network of more than 700 individuals representing more than 100 institutions and community-based programs.

“Since joining CSUSB’s Division of Student Affairs as director of the Upward Bound program in 2015, Dalia has consistently proven her remarkable leadership qualities, both on campus and off, as she continually seeks and creates opportunities for our students to grow academically and professionally,” said Paz Olivérez, vice president for Student Affairs. “As president-elect of WESTOP, she is particularly well-suited to advance the association’s mission to advocate and provide educational opportunities for those who are underserved. Both WESTOP and CSUSB are extremely fortunate to have Dalia Hernandez on their teams.”  

In June 2022, Hernandez was one of only 36 higher education professionals selected to participate in the Emerging Leaders Program, a premier leadership program of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.