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Alumni Spotlight

 

 

Adam K., Class of 2011

Adam K. Class of 2011

How has obtaining this degree and/or credential positively affected your employment experiences and life overall?

Obtaining my MA in Educational Technology allowed me to dive into Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education well before the term was known.  As a result of the program, I started providing computer programming experiences for my students, eventually expanding to the experiences of the entire school.  I began using online platforms for teaching, allowing my students to collaborate after school hours.  All of these led to my colleagues voting me to represent our district in Orange County’s 2015 Teacher of the Year program.  The next year, I was made a Title I specialist at my school, tasked with working with each grade level to implement STEM experiences for students.

 

Where are you currently working and what is your title/position? 

I currently work for Cypress School District as a STEM Teacher on Special Assignment.  I design and implement my district’s rollout of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  Four years ago, I worked on a team composed of administrators and an architect.  We were tasked with designing the STEM learning spaces that have since been built at each of the six schools.  I write my district’s NGSS curriculum, provide professional development to all teachers with that curriculum, and perform in-class coaching.  I am also responsible for working with community partners and neighboring school districts to enhance Cypress’ STEM program.  I also oversee other district STEM programs like CyberPatriots, Trout in the Classroom, and STARBASE.  The most current project I am working on is a professional development virtual reality platform utilizing the e-learning principles that I obtained while in the ETEC program.  This platform, done through a grant with the Samueli Foundation, would allow teachers to view material related to a STEM area they are currently teaching at a time and place convenient for them. 

 

What advice do you have for a prospective student to your program?

My advice for current and future Educational Technology students is to work hard while in the program.  It is too easy to get busy with life, resulting in cutting corners to get readings and assignments done for the program.  However, carving out adequate time to really do all the reading and reflections can set someone up for success later.  Second, take the courses that you know will be a challenge.  There is a lot of folklore with which classes to avoid because of their difficulty; however, those are the classes you must take because they will also enable you to do something amazing.  Lastly, embrace the collaboration with peers.  I was fortunate enough to find a terrific group of people who worked really well together, and each one of us provided some asset to the team because we all came from different areas of education.  The program would not have been the same if I did not maintain those partnerships and friendships. 

 

What was your favorite/most memorable part of being a graduate student at CSULB?

My favorite part of the ETEC program was the constant back and forth dialogue that I had with Dr. Stephen Adams, who was the chair on my master’s project.  He would continuously push me to be more clear with my ideas and make stronger connections to my research and project design.  My confidence would be high as I would send him each successive draft of my project write-up, but each time I found out there was more work to do.  Looking back at that time, I really enjoyed having to persevere through what I initially perceived as an impossible and never-ending struggle.  As a result, I am a stronger writer, which I use in my current position every day. 

 

Marvin M., Class of 2013

Photo of Marvin M

How has obtaining this degree and/or credential positively affected your employment experiences and life overall?

The Master’s degree in Educational Technology and Media Leadership definitely provided me a solid framework of knowledge that I continue to share with my team and colleagues across campus. The graduate degree opened up doors to help me advance in my career and also provided me teaching opportunities to give back to the department and University.

 

Where are you currently working and what is your title/position? 

I am currently the Interim Director of Instructional Technology and Support Services for the Academic Technology Services Department at CSU, Long Beach. My team provides support for the learning management system, instructional design of online/hybrid courses, and multimedia production services. I also teach part-time as a lecturer for the ASEC Department in the College of Education at CSULB.

 

What advice do you have for a prospective student to your program?

Technology as a focus for your graduate studies will not only enhance your perspective in education, but it will prepare you to embrace innovation and the challenges that come with it. Do not limit your learning to the classroom. Learn from your peers and keep an open mind.

 

What was your favorite/most memorable part of being a graduate student at CSULB?

I was able to obtain both my undergraduate and graduate degrees at CSULB. I felt that the welcoming vibe of the campus, fellow students, faculty and support staff made me enjoy calling “The Beach” my 2nd home.  

 

Javier D., Class of 2014

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Rob B., Class of 2016

Rob B. Class of 2016

How has obtaining this degree and/or credential positively affected your employment experiences and life overall?

It was an incredible journey of self-discovery. Earning my Masters from CSULB enabled me to have the skills necessary to be a committed teacher and school administrator. I could not have done it without the support of the faculty and program directors at CSULB’s CED, for giving me the confidence and conviction to go out and make an impact in our school system.

 

Where are you currently working and what is your title/position? 

I currently work at Bishop Mora Salesian High School in Los Angeles, and serve the school community as the Director of Guidance and Instructional Technology. In my role, I oversee the guidance and counseling department, where we focus on academic advising, career planning, college guidance, and social/emotional support. I am also responsible for the school's technology department, serving as the lead technology specialist in educational and technology professional development. Our school is one of five private schools in the Los Angeles Archdiocese that has a one-to-one iPad program through a fully funded grant through the Department of Catholic School and Sprint.

 

What advice do you have for a prospective student to your program?

Listen to your professors and seek them out for advice. They’re interested in your professional and personal growth. Make sure you take time to yourself and spend time with your loved ones. They will be the ones to embrace you with open arms and give that motivation to keep going.

 

What was your favorite/most memorable part of being a graduate student at CSULB?

One of my favorite memories was spending time with members of my cohort and professors on and off-campus. Our mixers and occasional group dinners were always the best, because of relationships that were formed.   

Khaoi M., Class of 2016

How has obtaining this degree and/or credential positively affected your employment experiences and life overall?

Obtaining the MA has been one of the most satisfying accomplishments of my life and achieving the degree has given me a boost of confidence, both personally and professionally, that I use every day as I navigate within the world of academic technology.

 

Where are you currently working and what is your title/position? 

I’m currently the Director of Academic Technology for California State University, Maritime Academy. I’m responsible for providing the vision and leadership for the campus as it relates to effectively leveraging technology for education. I’m constantly looking for innovative and practical technology solutions that’ll impact teaching and learning experiences for our students, faculty, and staff. I’m not perusing a degree or certificate at the moment but would like to continue my education in the future.

 

What advice do you have for a prospective student to your program?

I have two. One, if you’re thinking about doing it, just do it, and don’t wait for the right time. Time passes by no matter what, and the right time is when you start. Two, take advantage of the short-term study abroad program if possible. It was the most memorable experience that I had during my time as an undergraduate and graduate student.

 

What was your favorite/most memorable part of being a graduate student at CSULB?

My favorite part about being a graduate student at CSULB was knowing that there was always support for me. I never once felt like I was doing it alone. The graduate program that I was a part of felt like a family of fantastic faculty members, amazing administrators, and wonderful students. Maybe it’s just a Long Beach thing!