Alumni Success Stories Featured in 50th Anniversary Speaker Series
On April 14, four successful alumni returned to California State University, Dominguez Hills for a panel titled “Searching for Career Success: An Alumni Story.” The event was part of the 50th Anniversary Speaker Series. Panelists included Toni Bock (Class of ’89, B.S., business administration), director of community relations for Virco and chair of Torrance Chamber of Commerce executive board; Dr. Cheryl Browne, M.D. (Class of ’82, B.S., medical technology) physician-in-charge at Kaiser Permanente, South Bay; Don Manning (Class of ’08, B.S., business administration), assistant store director at Saks Off Fifth; and Todd Rogers (Class of ’84, B.A., history; M.A., sociology), mayor of Lakewood and commander with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Manning, who serves on the Alumni Advisory Council, came up with the idea for a group of successful alumni to speak to students at CSU Dominguez Hills.
“When I was a student here, I really didn’t know who my alumni were,” he recalled. “We have some heavy hitters [from] this campus and we need to make sure that they’re known.”
The panel, which was moderated by Carol Bosman-Anderson, interim director in the Office of Student Development on campus, covered topics ranging from personal appearance to moving up the professional ladder after achieving the desired job.
Manning said that he hopes that stories of alumni and their own struggles as college students will “help [students] get to where they want to go or inspire them.”
Bock, who returned to college as a single mother, said she would like students to know that “everyone’s success story is different.”
“[I]t doesn’t have to be the traditional way, where you find a job on monster.com and you apply for it – that’s not necessarily the way you get your foot in the door,” she says. “I [want to] let them know that there are other avenues out there.”
Rogers spoke on his experiences as an undergraduate and how he decided against a career in teaching to go into law enforcement and eventually, public service. He underscored the value of a college education and pursuing advanced degrees, especially in the arena of local government.
“Civil service, being an elected official is different from traditional business,” he said. “There are a lot of similarities in terms of advancement and the need for networking and the importance of education in getting promoted. My degree has really helped with credibility. When you put your name on a ballot, it helps if you have a master’s degree.”
Browne chose CSU Dominguez Hills for its proximity to her home and its small, intimate learning environment. She said that an event like “Searching for Career Success” is indicative of the university’s focus on helping students succeed academically and beyond.
“I think this is a wonderful opportunity for the students to have alumni give them information on how to be successful in today’s job market, especially in the current economy,” she said. “That’s one of the things that makes Cal State Dominguez Hills so wonderful, because it does give that type of personalized care and attention to its students.”
For more information on alumni programs at CSU Dominguez Hills, click here.
For more information on the 50th Anniversary Celebration at CSU Dominguez Hills, click here.
- Joanie Harmon
Photo above: Alumni success stories were featured as part of the 50th Anniversary Speaker Series. L-R: Porsche Gordon,
director, Alumni Programs; Don Manning (Class of ’08, B.S., business administration),
assistant store director at Saks Off Fifth; Dr. Cheryl Browne, M.D. (Class of ’82, B.S., medical technology)
physician-in-charge at Kaiser Permanente, South Bay; Toni Bock (Class of ’89, B.S., business administration),
director of community relations for Virco and chair of Torrance Chamber of Commerce executive board; Todd Rogers
(Class of ’84, B.A., history; M.A., sociology), mayor of Lakewood and commander with the Los Angeles County
Sheriff’s Department; and Carol Bosman-Anderson, interim director, Office of Student Development
Photo by Joanie Harmon