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CSUSB professor speaks at state professional association
By Vanessa Mejia– July 18, 2011

The executive director of Cal State San Bernardino’s Latino Education and Advocacy Days project, Enrique Murillo, will be one of the speakers at the California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators’ 10th Annual CALSA Summer Institute in Carlsbad.


Enrique Murillo will be one of the speakers at the California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators’ 10th Annual CALSA Summer Institute in Carlsbad.

Murillo, who is also a professor in CSUSB’s College of Education, will present the keynote address during the summer institute’s lunch today, Thursday, July 21.

In addition, he will facilitate a workshop on CSUSB’s two LEAD conferences held in 2010 and 2011 to share successes, solutions and strategies to ensure success for Latino student achievement.

Other CALSA workshop sessions will focus on the areas of advocacy, mentoring, community/parent engagement, equity, leadership and career enhancement.

Sessions will have a strong focus on learning and leadership, and will be beneficial to those working at the elementary, secondary and post-secondary levels.

For more information, visit the CALSA website.

For more information about LEAD, contact Murillo at or call (909) 537-5632

With great pleasure I wish to share some breaking news in relation to our Feria Educativa event, composed of a broad array of community stakeholders and organizations, coordinated by LEAD/CSUSB and jointly planned with the Partners of the IE Regional Collaborative;

Today we finished working through the viable details/elements of our strong working partnership with the CA Student Aid Commission. - that is, it's official! Our Feria Educativa kicks off a new regional initiative for our own Inland Empire Cash for College Campaign.

Cash for College - a program of the California Student Aid Commission, in partnership with high schools, community colleges, universities, and community groups - conducts workshops to encourage students with financial need to apply for the scholarship funding that is available to them. 

Cash for College offers workshops in hundreds of locations statewide to tens of thousands of students and family members. By attending the workshops and receiving one-on-one assistance to complete their financial aid forms, these students in past events have accessed between $20 and $40 million in state and federal financial aid.

Cash for college

Foundations and chambers of commerce come together as partners by offering 'incentive scholarships' to students who participate in the program. High school seniors who attend a workshop, submit a workshop evaluation, and apply for federal and state financial aid by the state's Cal Grant deadline are eligible for such a scholarship. In addition, the program evaluates progress, track workshop participants who enroll in college and those who don't, and develop additional strategies to serve this student population.

This is right in line with our goals of increasing the number of students finishing high school and enrolling in postsecondary institutions, through intensive educational enrichment. An IE Cash for College Campaign would offer many resources to help improve educational opportunities for students. Through these resources and our efforts, we would promote their success in secondary school and in college. Most of these programs would serve primarily students from low-income families or from environments with historically low college attendance rates. Cash for College also avails itself for AB540 students, which helps keep focus on higher education opportunities for immigrant and undocumented students as well.

A formal announcement and media release will be forthcoming. We will also add a 'Cash for College' planning team to our other event teams; and to be headed by Patricia Aguilera and myself.

Thank you - Gracias, EM

White House Community Leaders Briefing Series

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Every Friday this summer, through August 26th, the White House will open its doors to community leaders from around the country to take part in our Community Leaders Briefing Series.

The briefing series is a unique opportunity for grassroots leaders to come to Washington to hear directly from White House officials on the issues that are affecting communities across the country and learn more about the President's priorities and initiatives from the people that work on them every day. In return, Administration staff will get to hear what's going on in cities and towns across the country directly from the experts - the grassroots leaders.

Participants are local leaders who are currently involved in their cities and towns at the grassroots level - in their neighborhoods, schools, churches, non-profit organizations, environmental groups, activist and advocacy groups, etc. and who are continuously invested in improving their own communities. We're looking for those that can bring their successes, challenges, and ideas directly to the White House to help us improve the conversation between the grassroots and Washington.

  • Participants must be active community leaders (Ex: grassroots, constituency, and advocacy leaders).
  • Participants must be willing and able to make their own transportation arrangements to and from Washington DC.
  • Each briefing will be open to 150 people

LEAD Receives County Proclamation

March 16, 2011

The County Board of Supervisors today presented LEAD with a Resolution proclaiming the last week in March as Latino Education and Advocacy Week in all of San Bernardino County (and recognizing the magnitude and import of the upcoming Latino Education & Advocacy Days Summit).

LEAD conference at CSUSB will feature renowned scholars and experts

March 14, 2011

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - A powerful array of influential speakers that includes U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, White House representative Juan Sepulveda, and Daniel Hernandez, the young congressional aide who rushed to the aid of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords after she was seriously wounded by a gunman, will tackle critical education issues affecting Latinos at the Second Annual Latino Education and Advocacy Days summit.

The event will take place at Cal State San Bernardino on Monday, March 28.

The free, all-day LEAD conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the university's Santos Manuel Student Union Events Center. The event is open to everyone, including educators, community and business leaders, school administrators, students and parents. To register online, visit the LEAD website.

Secretary Duncan will present 'Enhancing Education in America: The Economic Imperative and Civil Rights Issue of our Generation' via live webcam from Washington, D.C., to kick off the morning activities. Appointed to his present position in January 2009, Duncan has promised to collaborate with educators to 'enhance education in America, to lift our children and families out of poverty, to help our students learn to contribute to the civility of our great American democracy and to strengthen our economy by producing a workforce that can make us as competitive as possible.'

Louis Olivas, president of the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education and assistant vice president for academic affairs at Arizona State University, will lead the panel discussion 'Building Capacity and Ensuring the Next Generation of College Graduates.' The session will also include Michele Siqueiros, executive director of the non-profit organization The Campaign for College Opportunity in Los Angeles; Sarita E. Brown, president of Excelencia in Education; and Monte E. Perez, president of Moreno Valley College. Jorge Haynes, director of external relations at the California State University Chancellor's Office, will moderate the forum.

'Under Cultural Assault / Apartheid in Arizona,' a presentation scheduled for later in the morning, will consist of participants Salvador Reza, leader of the Puente Movement and Grassroots in Phoenix, and Roberto Cintli Rodriguez, assistant professor of Mexican American and Raza Studies at the University of Arizona.

Moderated by Carly Chavez, CSUSB doctoral candidate in the educational leadership program and Fontana High School teacher, the presentation will focus on SB 1070, Arizona's racial profiling bill; HB 2281, the anti-ethnic/raza studies bill; and nullification of the 14th amendment on birthright citizenship.

The afternoon session will begin at 1 p.m. with a video message from Hilda Solis, U.S. secretary of labor and formerly congresswoman of the 32nd Congressional District in California.

Special guest speaker Daniel Hernandez, student advocate and political activist at University of Arizona, Tucson, will present 'College Education for the Youth Development and Opportunity Pipeline' at 1:15 p.m.

Most remembered for his courageous act in rushing to the aid of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, (D-Ariz.), the congressional intern is credited with saving her life at the shooting at a Tucson grocery store in January.

Thelma Melendez de Santa Ana, assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education in the U.S. Department of Education, will be at Cal State San Bernardino to present the afternoon keynote address, 'Educational Leadership and Commitment: Addressing the Academic Challenges of Latino Students.' Prior to her appointment with the Department of Education, Melendez was superintendent of the Pomona (Calif.) Unified School District.

'STEM Workforce Development and Economic Vitality,' will feature Pamela S. Clute, assistant vice provost, academic partnerships at the University of California, Riverside. Joining the panel, which will focus on students in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines, is also Estela Mara Bensimon, professor at University of Southern California's Rossier School of Education and co-director of the Center for Urban Education; Ray Mellado, chair and CEO of Great Minds in STEM; and Joseph A. Scarcella, professor in the science, mathematics and technology department at CSUSB. The panel will be moderated by J. Michael Ortiz, president of Cal Poly Pomona.

Jacqueline E. Romano, assistant professor at the University of North Texas at Dallas, will moderate the next panel discussion, 'It Takes a Reform-Minded Learning Village: Meaningful Interaction among Parents, Teachers, Unions and Administrators.' Speakers will be Katherine Underwood, board member of National Education Association and teacher at La Jolla Elementary School in Moreno Valley; Marcelino (Chico) Garza, special assistant to the superintendent in San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools; and David Valladolid, president and CEO of the Parent Institute for Quality Education in San Diego.

Juan Sepulveda, executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics will moderate the summit's capstone address, 'From Capitol to Campus / Obama Officials' Call to Action.' Participants include Jose A. Rico, deputy director of the WHI. Other representatives from the U.S. Department of Education via live web cam will be: Martha J. Kanter, under secretary of education; Yvette Sanchez Fuentes, director, Office of Head Start; and Brenda Dann-Messier, assistant secretary for vocational and adult education. 

The free, all-day LEAD conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 28 n the university's Santos Manuel Student Union Events

LEAD Resolution presented at San Bernardino Community College District
Jan 13th, 2011



Second annual Latino education conference at CSUSB set for March 

Feb. 11, 2011

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - The second annual Latino Education and Advocacy Days summit will be held at Cal State San Bernardino on Monday, March 28, in the Santos Manuel Student Union Events Center from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Keynote speakers scheduled to present at this year's LEAD summit include U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who will deliver the morning keynote address from Washington, D.C., via live web cam.


The afternoon keynote speaker will be announced at a later date.

Juan Sepulveda, director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, who was the 2010 summit keynote speaker, will again join LEAD this year as moderator of one of the summit's panels.

Among the other featured speakers will be California State University Chancellor Charles Reed via live web cam and University of California, Riverside Chancellor Timothy White. CSUSB President Albert K. Karnig will greet conference participants and give the welcome address.

Last October, President Obama signed the executive order to renew and enhance the White House Initiative to better serve communities across the country by engaging them in the process of improving the education of Latino students.

As a result of last year's summit and the collaborative efforts between CSUSB's LEAD conference and the White House Initiative, the Inland Empire has been selected by the initiative as one of 10 regions throughout the country that will participate in this project.

Under the LEAD umbrella, the new collaborative project, called the Inland Empire Regional Affiliate Network, and the local Federation for a Competitive Economy will work to engage educational and community leaders in discussions focused on the critical education issues affecting Latinos. FACE is a coalition of higher education institutions, K-12 education, government, media, healthcare institutions, labor, business, faith-based and community-based organizations partnering to help Inland Empire students succeed academically.

The executive director of LEAD is Enrique Murillo Jr., professor of education at CSUSB. He's joined by more than 35 volunteers from Cal State San Bernardino and community organizations who are serving on this year's LEAD planning committee.

'Our goal this year is to double the participation of last year's nearly 184,000 viewers,' said Murillo. 
'LEAD's purpose is to continue promoting awareness of the crisis in Latino education and to enhance the intellectual, cultural and personal development of our community's educators, administrators, leaders and students.'

The LEAD 2011 honorary chair, or la madrina de honor, is Judy Rodriguez Watson, co-president of Watson and Associates in Seal Beach. She and her husband, James Watson, were instrumental in their fundraising campaign to construct CSUSB's College of Education building. They also donated funds to create a new center, which has been named the Watson and Associates Literacy Center

This year's free summit is again hosted by CSUSB's College of Education. Online registration is now open at the LEAD website.

More than 150 participating universities throughout the country held town hall viewing events for last year's inaugural LEAD summit. 'This year, our goal is to reach 200 town hall viewings and already we have more than 165 participants registered,' said Rob Garcia, an information technology specialist at Cal State San Bernardino and a LEAD executive council member.

The LEAD 2011 summit will be webcast live to the town hall viewings courtesy of Some of the scheduled town hall locations include the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; University of California, Berkley; Brown University, Providence; Texas Tech University, Lubbock; Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago; University of New York, Buffalo, as well as 18 international universities in Spain, Brazil, Mexico and Cuba.

To date, the event has attracted more than 145 sponsors and partners, including the National Education Association-Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute, California Association for Bilingual Education, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and the National Institute for Latino Policy.

A list of participating partners and sponsors may be viewed online on the LEAD website sponsors page.

For more information and to register online for the conference, visit the LEAD website or contact Enrique Murillo Jr. at (909) 537-5632.

For more information about Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university's Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit its news website at

LEAD members from Cal State San Bernardino speak at Cuban symposium 

Feb. 8, 2011

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - Five representatives of the Latino Education and Advocacy Days organization at Cal State San Bernardino combined to deliver a keynote address to an international audience in Santiago de Cuba in mid-January about the educational crisis plaguing Latino students in the United States.

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CSUSB education professor and LEAD executive director, Enrique Murillo Jr., along with four doctoral students in the university's educational leadership program - Miguel Lopez of Coachella, Sussan Ortega of Riverside, Tomasz Stanek of Victorville and Henry Yzaguirre of Redlands - addressed hundreds of university professors, researchers and educators at the 12th Annual Simposio Internacional de Comunicación Social.

Hosted by the Cuban governmental agency Centro de Lingüística Aplicada and the Universidad de Oriente in Cuba, the event gave the LEAD panel the opportunity to inform the hundreds of delegates from more than 22 countries about the educational crisis among Latino students in the United States.

The LEAD representatives also took the opportunity in Cuba to promote the Second Annual Latino Education and Advocacy Days summit that will take place on March 28 at Cal State San Bernardino.

The CSUSB contingent recruited numerous international universities to serve as town hall viewing event sites for the LEAD summit. The participation of those institutions will utilize technological networks to help bring educational and community leaders together at regional, national and international levels.

'Cuban educational authorities and the many other international delegates in attendance (at the January symposium in Cuba) recognize that Latinos represent a significant portion of the current and future demographics of the United States,' said Murillo, 'Therefore, (Latinos) are a pool of linguistic and cultural talent that would serve to strengthen ties with many countries around the globe, but particularly Latin America.'

In line with the objectives of LEAD, the Cal State San Bernardino delegation toured several Cuban academic institutions to promote the message that, in order for the U.S. to create a positive future, it will require a Latino citizenry that is equipped to compete in a global economy and part of a literate and well-educated labor and consumer base, Murillo said.

The LEAD keynote address was timely, as the Obama administration announced its new regulations governing U.S. citizen travel to Cuba that week.

The new regulations will expand purposeful travel by providing general licenses for educational, academic and cultural travel to Cuba. This will further promote educational exchanges by allowing accredited institutions of higher education to sponsor travel to Cuba for course work for academic credit under a general license; allowing students to participate through academic institutions other than their own; and facilitating instructor support to include support from adjunct and part-time faculty.

The LEAD presentation was broadcast by Cuba's Emisora Nacional Radio Rebelde to tens of thousands of listeners across the island, and Radio Taino broadcasted it worldwide on shortwave radio.

Among the countries represented at the Simposio Internacional in Cuba were Algiers, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Russia and Venezuela.

For more information about the second annual LEAD summit, contact Enrique Murillo Jr. at (909) 537-5632 and visit the LEAD website to register for the free event.For more information about Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university's Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit

U.S. education secretary to speak to Inland conference

Feb. 1, 2011

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will deliver a keynote address at a March Latino education conference at Cal State San Bernardino.

Duncan, who will speak via webcam from Washington, D.C., is one of several educational leaders scheduled to address the second annual Latino Education and Advocacy Day, which last year brought more than 1,000 people to the Cal State campus and was webcast to 150 universities in the United States and Canada.

arne duncan

Juan Sepulveda, director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, said the fastgrowing Latino population -- Latinos are a majority of Inland schoolchildren -- is indispensable to realizing the Obama administration's goal of boosting the educational level and economic competitiveness of the United States.

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'When you just look at the numbers, we know that the future of the country is inextricably tied to the future of the Latino community,' said Sepulveda, who attended the conference last year and will do so again in March.

Latinos lag behind their non-Latino counterparts on achievement tests, have higher dropout rates and attend college in smaller numbers. As at last year's inaugural event, the free conference will include discussions of the roots of the problem and how to close the achievement gap.

'Our primary goal is to create a broad-based awareness of the crisis in Latino education, and to enhance the intellectual, cultural and personal development of our community's educators, administrators, leaders and students,' said Enrique Murillo, executive director of LEAD and an associate professor of education at Cal State San Bernardino. 'Who better than the top education official, in tandem with us, to make that happen?'

More than 165 universities have registered to hold town halls with webcasts of the conference, which is March 28 at Santos Manuel Student Union Events Center.

Reach David Olson at (951) 368-9462 or

LEAD organizers at CSUSB name honorary chair for 2011 summit

Jan. 31 2011

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - The Latino Education and Advocacy Days project at Cal State San Bernardino has named Judy Rodriguez Watson as the honorary chair of the 2011 all-day summit to be held Monday, March 28.


The event will take place on campus in the Santos Manuel Student Union Events Center.

Affectionately dubbed the 'madrina de honor,' or godmother, of this year's second annual conference, Rodriguez Watson is co-president of the Seal Beach-based Watson and Associates Development Corp. and an ardent supporter of education.

Along with her husband James Watson, Rodriguez Watson co-chaired Cal State San Bernardino's 'Tools for Education' fundraising campaign in 2006. The effort raised more than $3 million to equip the university's College of Education Building with technology labs, clinics, literacy and assessment centers that serve the students and the Inland Empire.

The Watsons also are committed to helping children become better students and ultimately productive citizens. Since 2003, they have contributed to and advocated for CSUSB's Literacy Center, which was established in the College of Education to provide tutorial assistance to students throughout the community. The center is now named the Watson and Associates Literacy Center.

In 2010, CSUSB named its four-year-old public art program the Judy Rodriguez Watson Public Art Project in honor of her passion and financial support for placing art in open spaces at CSUSB, the surrounding community and around the city of San Bernardino.

'I cannot express enough how this honor fills me with a tremendous sense of joy and appreciation especially with its connection to the Latino community,' said Rodriguez Watson.

Passionate about education, she attributes her zeal and dedication to Latino education to her father, Raymundo Rodriguez, who instilled in her an appreciation for the arts, encouraged her to travel and to be successful in whatever endeavor she chose, without forgetting where she came from.

'To be a part of CSUSB, the literacy center and, particularly the LEAD conference, my hope is that my story may well assist, move or encourage, particularly the Latino youth, in some small way,' said Rodriguez Watson.

'There is a need for more Latinos/Latinas who are positive and motivating role models and who 'think outside the box' in all areas - the arts, education, parenting, workforce, politics and more,' she added.

Rodriguez Watson was born and raised in Los Angeles, but her connection to the Latino culture was nurtured early in her childhood.

Her father, who was born in Veracruz, Mexico, would take her mother, three sisters and her on a two-week visit each summer to cities in Mexico such as Acapulco, La Capital, Guadalajara, Cuernavaca, and of course, his beloved Veracruz.

'Those two-week explorations were the highlight of my summers,' says Rodriguez Watson. 'They instilled in me a pride in my heritage and a connection to my ancestry.'

Although her family's financial means were modest, she reminisced that they had a lot of love and encouragement from their parents and will never forget the pride they had in their children.

Rodriguez Watson remembers that her father worked three jobs when she and her sisters were young, but that Sunday mornings were reserved for la familia and they celebrated with a huge Latino breakfast.

'My father's dynamics and drive were the early seeds of my lifelong work ethic and compassion for those who have had less opportunity,' she says. 'By watching him, it ingrained in me the importance of hard work, perseverance and no-nonsense manner.'

Rodriguez Watson, who has a bachelor's in psychology and social behavior from University of California, Irvine, said the road to a college degree was not easy due to a learning disability. She wasn't diagnosed with dyslexia until she was an adult, because learning disability assessments were unheard of during her elementary school days. She said that being dyslexic caused her much consternation, as reading was a very slow process.

'When one is dyslexic, one must have a certain amount of tenacity,' she said. 'Observing my father's drive inspired me to push myself to the limits and helped craft my infinite persistence.'

'It is our early childhood experiences, culture, upbringing and afflictions that makes or breaks a person.'

For more information, visit the LEAD website or call (909) 537-5632.

For more information about Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university's Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit

CSUSB 'LEAD' team awarded for its volunteer work 

Dec. 17, 2010

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -- Fifteen members of the Latino Education and Advocacy Day organizing committee at Cal State San Bernardino were recognized with the Presidential Volunteer Service Award issued by President Obama's Council on Service and Civic Participation on Dec. 13.

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More than 50 guests joined the 15 honorees at the awards dinner, which opened with a surprise performance by the youth mariachi group, Aguilas del Oro of San Bernardino.

Co-hosted by Enrique Murillo Jr., professor in CSUSB's College of Education and LEAD executive director and College of Education Dean Jay Fiene, the event also featured presentations by CSUSB President Albert Karnig and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Andrew Bodman.

The honorees each received a certificate, a congratulatory letter signed by President Obama and a gold-level pin for their dedication in bringing together the inaugural LEAD summit at Cal State San Bernardino last spring.

The recipients of the awards, all from Cal State San Bernardino, are:

  • Patricia Aguilera, Devore, financial aid department 
  • Julian Alcazar, Hemet, alumni, now staff with U.S. Department of Education 
  • Jesse Felix, Yucaipa, Santos Manuel Student Union 
  • Robert Garcia, Victorville, College of Education 
  • Miguel Lopez, La Quinta, College of Education doctoral student 
  • Carmen Murillo-Moyeda, Redlands, Office of Public Affairs 
  • Enrique Murillo Jr., San Bernardino, College of Education 
  • Susan Ortega, Riverside, College of Education doctoral student 
  • Louie Rodriguez, San Bernardino, College of Education 
  • Yvonne Salmon, Riverside, College of Education 
  • Nori Sogomonian-Mejia, Grand Terrace, College of Education doctoral student 
  • Rigoberto Solorio, Perris, information, resources and technology 
  • Sheila Torres, San Bernardino, College of Extended Learning 
  • Valentina Watson, San Bernardino, CoyoteCareers 
  • Henry Yzaguirre, Redlands, College of Education doctoral student

The President's Volunteer Service Award recognizes individuals, families and groups that have achieved a certain standard, measured by the number of hours of service over a 12-month period or cumulative hours earned over the course of a lifetime.

Murillo reiterated that the success of last spring's LEAD summit was largely due to the key organizers who willingly gave many hours of their time and talent.

'It's always important to pause and recognize such progress,' said Louie Rodriguez, CSUSB professor of education. 'However, it's also critical to recognize that there is much work ahead in our community that is going to require collaboration, persistence, and purpose.'

Frances Vasquez, representative for Josie Gonzales, vice chair of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, made an unexpected appearance to present certificates of recognition to each recipient from the county's Fifth District Supervisor's office. She said that the group would be invited to a special recognition at a board meeting in the near future.

'Tonight I have heard words like humbled, honored, proud, determined and, in some cases, relentless,' Vasquez said with a chuckle. 'We feel so proud of this group that has brought honor to the inland region and national attention to Latino education issues.'

In addition, William Martinez, representative for U.S. Rep. Joe Baca (D-Rialto) also congratulated the recipients. 'Congressman Baca sends his hearty congratulations to each of you for the honorable recognition you've received from President Obama's Council of Service and Civic Participation,' said Martinez. 'Your efforts in bringing about the LEAD summit have not gone unnoticed.'

The inaugural LEAD summit held this past spring was primarily organized by this team, now referred to as the LEAD Organization. Some of these same awardees now serve on the LEAD executive advisory board.

In preparation of the second annual Latino Education and Advocacy Days summit to be held March 28, 2011, the LEAD Organization has already recruited more than 40 new volunteers from the CSUSB campus and the community. Several high-profile keynote speakers have already been scheduled for next spring's LEAD summit.

For more information about LEAD, contact Enrique Murillo Jr. at (909) 537-5632 or e-mail, and visit the LEAD website.

For more information about Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university's Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit

CSUSB graduate's internship in D.C. leads to staff position with federal government 

Dec. 10, 2010

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - Growing up in Compton, Calif., Julian Alcazar never imagined himself graduating from Cal State San Bernardino, much less getting a summer internship with the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C.

CSUSB internship

Now the Hemet, Calif., resident is not just completing the internship, but has landed a full-time position pursuing his dream of working in higher education policy.

After receiving a bachelor's degree in sociology from CSUSB, Alcazar planned to go straight into the master's degree program at the university, which was already familiar to him and a place he considered 'home.'

But all that changed in what seemed like a whirlwind of events between his last term of college and graduation. Through a combination of volunteerism, hard work and fate, Alcazar landed an unpaid summer internship with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans.

'The constant support and encouragement that I received from professors and friends at CSUSB is what has helped me get where I am today,' Alcazar said.

Subsequently, the summer internship was extended through the end of 2010 and became a paid internship. Recently, he accepted a full-time, paid staff position in the Office of Innovation and Improvement as management and programming analyst. He assumes his new duties this month.

The road to college and D.C. has not been smooth. While Alcazar's mother was struggling to raise two children on one income, Julian offered to quit high school and work full time to help support the family. But his mother would not hear of it. Instead, she moved her family to Hemet to avoid the long commute to her employer in Riverside County.

Until then, Alcazar says he had not considered going to college, because no one had ever mentioned nor encouraged it. When he saw how challenging it was for his mother to support a family of three, he started thinking about furthering his education with his mother's encouragement.

He graduated from West Valley High School in Hemet in 2005, attended Mt. San Jacinto Community College and received an associate of science degree in math and science. In 2008, Alcazar transferred to CSUSB to complete his undergraduate degree.

Besides his commitment to his academic studies, Alcazar has been involved in volunteer service on campus and in his Hemet community.

As an active member of campus student groups such as Latino Business Students Association, MEChA and Delta Sigma Chi fraternity, he has logged hundreds of hours of community service through fundraising, philanthropic activities, freeway beautification and tutoring younger students in math, science, English and Spanish in the Hemet area.

Alcazar was also an active member of CSUSB's Association of Latino Faculty, Staff and Students and served on the planning committee for the inaugural Latino Education and Advocacy Day summit at CSUSB this past spring.

He worked tirelessly promoting and marketing the LEAD event at area educational conferences, and assisted with logistics, technology and social media. It was at the summit that he met keynote speaker Juan Sepulveda, director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. They quickly formed a bond and remained in touch.

As graduation neared, Alcazar was busy applying for graduate school and deciding which career path to follow. He said Sepulveda's guidance was instrumental in helping him choose a career path.

By the time graduation day came, Alcazar had been offered an internship in Sepulveda's Washington, D.C., office, which would arrange housing at George Washington University - at his own expense. That presented an economic challenge since the internship was unpaid.

'But I couldn't pass up the opportunity,' said Alcazar. 'I would figure it all out when I got there.'

During his internship, he assisted with outreach to Hispanic-serving institutions across the nation, gathering and analyzing data to determine which schools produce the most Latinos in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs.

Alcazar's new duties will entail reviewing and managing grants issued to non-profit agencies and kindergarten-through-12th grade school districts. 'Part of my job will be to ensure compliance that funds are being used properly for the purpose intended,' he said.

Although at first it was difficult to move so far away from his family, he says he's adjusted well and is amazed at all there is to discover in Washington.

Alcazar attributes his determination for success to the mentors he encountered at CSUSB, such as EOP counselor Mario Baeza and education professor Enrique Murillo, who took him under their wing and encouraged him to stay on track.

'I owe a lot to CSUSB and will always remember that there is where I began my journey into higher education.'

Alcazar plans to pursue a master's degree in higher education with an emphasis on policy analysis, and has already applied to Georgetown University, George Washington University, George Mason University and University of Maryland.

For more information about Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university's Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (909) 537-5007 end_of_the_skype_highlighting and visit 

CSUSB president, faculty attend White House signing ceremony

Oct. 28, 2010

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - Cal State San Bernardino President Albert Karnig, along with several university representatives, was among the people invited to the East Room of the White House on Oct. 19 to witness President Barack Obama sign an executive order reauthorizing the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans.


The signing of the executive order followed the Oct. 18 National Education Summit and Call to Action event. In that meeting with education, community and other leaders from across the United States, key personnel from the U.S. Department of Education and the Obama administration shared information on federal resources that could assist in improving education outcomes for Hispanic students.

Cal State San Bernardino College of Education faculty members Enrique Murillo Jr. and Barbara Flores joined Karnig in attendance for President Obama's signing of the executive order. In addition, CSUSB professor Louie Rodriguez and staff member Felix Zuniga participated with the other three in the Oct. 18 summit.

'The signing was moving and meaningful, especially with many college students seated in the front rows,' Karnig said. 'President Obama was very firm and enthusiastic in his commitment to improving educational outcomes in the United States broadly and to once again making us the top nation for college graduates.'

Along with the activities in Washington, D.C., the university's Latino Education and Advocacy Day organization hosted a 'Watch Party' viewing of the activities, which were seen by thousands nationwide.

As the largest and fastest growing minority group in the country and in the education system, the future of the nation's competitiveness is critically linked to improving the education of Hispanics.

'Given the increasing size of Latino enrollments in K-12 education, the nation's overall success in raising its college graduation rates cannot be achieved unless there is considerable improvement in the education of Latino youngsters,' Karnig said.

Karnig also praised the energetic and thoughtful work undertaken by Juan Sepulveda, the current director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. During the past 18 months, Sepulveda has visited more than 90 communities across 20 states to meet with citizens concerned with improving the lives of Latinos.

Sepulveda, who was also the keynote speaker at the inaugural LEAD summit in March at CSUSB, and his White House staff have already visited the Inland Empire, specifically Cal State San Bernardino, three times in the past six months.

'Cal State San Bernardino was one of two campuses that was asked to make a presentation at the summit concerning the initiatives that we are undertaking in the region - such as LEAD - to boost the educational success of Hispanics and other students,' Karnig said.

Murillo, Rodriguez and Zuniga are involved with LEAD. Murillo is its executive director, while Rodriguez serves on LEAD's executive council. Zuniga was a founding member of the LEAD committee. And Flores is both a CSUSB faculty member and vice president of the San Bernardino City Unified School District Board of Education.

The signing of the executive order marked the next step in connecting communities nationwide with information, resources and people to help improve the academic achievement of Latino students.

Cal State San Bernardino is recognized as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the federal government, reflective of its Hispanic enrollment of 40 percent from a total student body of nearly 18,000.

For more information about the university, contact the CSUSB Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit

See also the White House blog entry on the signing at 'President Obama Signs Executive Order on Education and Hispanics.'

A delegation from CSUSB was among those on Oct. 19 to witness President Barack Obama sign an executive order reauthorizing the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic 

Excelencia in Education recognizes Cal State San Bernardino's LEAD organization

Oct. 8. 2010

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - The Latino Education and Advocacy Day summit at California State University, San Bernardino was recognized for its commitment and creativity in building community, leadership and momentum among Latino students at the 2010 Celebración de Excelencia in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 29.


The mission of Excelencia in Education, a non-profit organization in Washington, D.C., is to accelerate Latino student success in higher education. The organization hosted this fifth annual event, which featured Hilda Solis, U.S. Department of Labor secretary, as the keynote speaker. The national initiative identifies and recognizes proven programs that accelerate Latino student success at the associate, baccalaureate and graduate levels.

LEAD was nominated for an Examples of Excelencia award for its innovative programs with 'outside the box' strategies to accelerate Latino student success.

Last spring, CSUSB's College of Education hosted the inaugural LEAD summit held on campus. It attracted 1,000 educators and interested community members in person and drew nearly 200,000 viewers at town hall events held at participating universities across the country, Mexico and Central America via live webcast.

The all-day summit featured keynote speaker Juan Sepulveda, director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, who addressed the crisis in Latino education.

Other speakers included activist Dolores Huerta, president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation and co-founder of the Farm Labor Workers' Union, and Sylvia Mendez, civil rights activist whose U.S. Supreme Court case, Mendez vs. Westminster, successfully challenged segregation in public schools in the 1940s.

At the Excelencia in Education ceremony, three educational programs were recognized for their outstanding efforts in increasing access to higher education for Latino students. Those included:

•California State University, San Marcos for the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) at the baccalaureate level; 
•Carreras en Salud (Careers in Health) at Wilbur Wright College, Humboldt Park
Vocational Education Center, Chicago, IL, at the associate level; 
•Hispanic Theological Initiative at Princeton Theological Seminary at the graduate level.
Each program received $5,000 and is profiled in Excelencia in Education's 2010 edition of 'What Works for Latino Students in Higher Education.' The publication showcases a list of promising practices that are laying the foundation for more Latino students to attend and graduate from college.

'We are pleased to add these three programs and the finalists to the growing list of promising practices advancing college completion for Latino students at their institutions,' says Sarita Brown, president of Excelencia in Education. '(Our) goal is to facilitate their use by other academic institutions and grow the numbers of colleges and universities across the country increasing Latino success in higher education, and thus contributing to the nation's workforce and civic leadership.'

For more information, visit the Examples of Excelencia website.

For more information about LEAD at Cal State San Bernardino, contact Enrique Murillo at (909) 537-5632 or e-mail at

White House officials meet with local leaders regarding educational crisis facing the Inland Empire

Sept. 20, 2010

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - The continuing educational crisis facing the Inland Empire was the focus of a series of discussions on Sept. 7-8 at Cal State San Bernardino between White House officials and local leaders.

white house officials

The meetings, held on the university campus, stem from discussions in March during the highly successful inaugural Latino Education and Advocacy Day Summit at Cal State San Bernardino that focused on educational issues facing K-12 Latino students.

In attendance at the September meetings were Juan Sepulveda, executive director of the White House Initiative for Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, Jose Rico, his deputy director and Greg Darnieder, senior adviser to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, along with leaders from across the Inland Empire to talk about ways to develop a collaborative effort on how to deal with the educational crisis affecting the region.

Local leaders included elected officials, K-12 district and county school leadership, community college and university presidents, non-profits and community organizers, and business leaders from the fields of health, youth development, housing, business and employment.

Enrique Murillo Jr., professor of Language, Literacy and Culture at CSUSB and executive director of the LEAD summit, gave a historical perspective involving accomplishments that had developed as a result of collaborative efforts from the university's College of Education. These accomplishments included The Journal of Latinos of Education, the National Latino Education Network, the Handbook of Latinos in Education, and the LEAD conference, where Sepulveda served as the keynote speaker.

The LEAD conference had 1,000 participants at CSUSB and had nearly 200,000 participants through radio and the Internet, including town hall viewing events at more than 150 universities across the country.

To set the stage for dialogue, Louie F. Rodriguez, assistant professor of education at Cal State San Bernardino, gave an overview of key realities facing African American, Latinos and other low-income children and youth across the inland region. Among the key facts was a discussion of the 50 percent dropout rate among local students of color, disproportionately low college eligibility rates for African American and Latino students, and vital disparities in health, business representation and political power.

Rodriguez challenged the leaders to work together to create a cross-institutional education plan for the Inland Empire.

The collaboration of White House officials and local leaders to address the educational crisis nationally and more specifically for our region was a needed and welcome effort led by CSUSB, said Linda Miranda, special assistant to the superintendent for San Bernardino County Schools.

'Identifying, refining and streamlining regional initiatives, combined with the federal information and resources will go a long way as next steps are developed for working together to develop successful educational models and outcomes,' she said.

Assembly member Wilmer Amina Carter (D-Rialto) also announced the passage of resolution ACR 137 proclaiming the last week of March in California as 'Latino Education and Advocacy Week.' Carter led the effort resulting in dozens of elected officials supporting the resolution, which LEAD organizers say bolsters the significance of the many projects already underway at CSUSB and the region.

CSUSB LEAD organizers and community leaders have begun planning next steps and are developing a productive process with those regional leaders committed to systemic, measureable change that transforms the life chances for children, youth and families across the region.

For more information, contact Louie F. Rodriguez, at, (909) 537-5643 or Enrique Murillo Jr. at, (909) 537-5632.

For more information about Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university's Office of Public Relations at (909) 537-5007 and visit