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Four CED Alumni Hired as Full-time Counselors at Irvine Valley College

Published November 26, 2018

Irvine Valley College welcomed four College of Education alumni to the School of Guidance & Counseling as full-time Counselors. Graduates of the College of Education’s Masters degree programs in Student Development in Higher Education and Marriage and Family Therapy, Marianne Wolfe, Judith Benavidez, Jasmine Dieu, and Lizett Bobadilla began their new roles at Irvine Valley College this fall semester. Learn more about each alum below, their experience in the College of Education, and their goals as counselors.

Judith Benavidez

Why did you choose the College of Education for your graduate degree?

I did my research prior to applying to graduate programs and selected the College of Education because it offered a graduate degree that focused on two of my passions, counseling and higher education. I attended the informational session for the M.S. in Counseling, Student Development in Higher Education and felt the strong connection between the faculty and students. After, I left the informational session I knew that the SDHE program would best prepare me to be a strong counselor and advocate for students who are underrepresented in post-secondary institutions. As an alum, I still keep contact with the faculty and they are very supportive in providing mentorship and professional advice.

What do you hope to accomplish as a Counselor?

The community college is an open access institution, everything that the student has going on in their life comes with them. As a community college counselor, I like to inspire my students and teach them how to empower themselves. I help them understand that they are not defined by their environment or situation. Regardless of what they may be experiencing in their personal life, there’s a place for them at the community college and we are here to support them! There are a lot of changes coming to the community colleges in California. As a counselor, it’s my role to advocate that these changes will include support and environments that are inclusive for students who are marginalized in post-secondary institutions to increase retention and degree completion. This profession gives me a platform to give HOPE and provide a pathway to improve the quality of life for students.

Lizett Bobadilla

Why did you choose the College of Education for your graduate degree?

I chose CSULB’s College of Education because it incorporated social justice into the curriculum as well as being highly respected among student affairs professionals.

What do you hope to accomplish as a Counselor?

As a counselor,  I hope to encourage a strong sense of self in the students I meet with so that they can achieve their academic and career goals.  I am grateful to the faculty members in the SDHE program for providing this to me.

Jasmine Dieu

Why did you choose the College of Education for your graduate degree?
 
I chose the College of Education for my graduate degree because I wanted to inspire the next generation to pursue their dreams and change the world. Education has enriched and enhanced my life in meaningful ways, it has allowed me to see the world around me with a new and different perspective, which has enabled me to better understand different challenges, people and situations which has enhanced my ability to overcome barriers to achieve happiness and success. It excites me that the idea of applying knowledge to enhance and change someone’s way of thinking and thus can change his or her life. This is exceptionally meaningful to me.
 
What do you hope to accomplish as a Counselor?
 
My hope as a Counselor is to connect with students on a genuine, authentic and meaningful level to build a connection that will enable me to help them holistically with academic, career and personal needs which will set them up for a lifetime of success. This is my humble opinion can be a small part in making a big difference in the world. This is my drive to my passion as a Counselor.  
 

Marianne Wolfe

Why did you choose the College of Education for your graduate degree?

I actually applied to the Student Development in Higher Education program twice. The first time I applied, I was still completing my undergraduate degree at CSUF. I remember feeling very lost at the time, not really sure if I wanted to work in the field I was completing my undergraduate degree (public relations). I spoke with some of my campus supervisors and many of them had done their graduate program through CSULB’s College of Education. They suggested I explore working in student affairs/student services because of my career interests and personal values. When I applied to SDHE the first time I made it to the interview and was rightfully denied. I had no idea what I was really looking for or even what careers I wanted to pursue. After I graduated, spent time working in public relations, and doing a year of service through AmeriCorps, I really had time to explore what my values, beliefs, morals, wants, goals, expectations were and felt that working in higher education was the field I felt most passionate about. I reapplied to SDHE and to other similar programs at APU, SDSU, Seattle U to see which would be the best fit for my interests and my needs. I was accepted to all the schools I applied to but after interviews, college visits, graduate assistantship interviews and placements, I felt that CSULB’s College of Education program really spoke to what I wanted to learn and would lead me into the career direction I wanted to take. It was the longest program of all the schools I was considering but it did help that I was able to qualify for financial aid to assist with the cost of tuition! And, it was the best decision I could have made. My cohort (the “love cohort”), the faculty, and the program content really challenged and supported me through my time in SDHE and continue to guide me along my journey to self-authorship...

What do you hope to accomplish as a Counselor?

It’s funny… When I first started SDHE I didn’t know I was going to end up as a community college counselor. It actually was not at all on my radar. I wanted to work at a 4-year institution in an office of community engagement and service learning. I really enjoyed the connection piece – having the ability to find unique connections where students, the larger campus community, and the surrounding off-campus community could interact and have mutual beneficial relationships. I feel that, though my specific career position shifted, this still is a large component and focus for me in my role as a Counselor. I thrive on finding ways to address inequality and inequities of different populations on campus through interdisciplinary collaboration.

At one of my previous community colleges I started an Asian American and Pacific Islander student equity program to address the needs in the AAPI community that are historically underrepresented in higher education. In my current position I am currently working on creating a program to address the needs of the Latinx/Chicanx population on the campus – who make up a significant percentage of the school and yet have very limited to no programming embracing, acknowledging, and celebrating the rich culture, history, traditions that community has within the area. I feel there is a need to address the social, emotional, political, navigational capital issues they face in order to better serve the population.

I hope to accomplish creating safe, inviting community space for others and to encourage an optimistic, supportive perspective along their academic and/or personal journey. I also would like to continue to find ways to use my privilege to be an advocate for others.