Soraya Fallah Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (ELPS)2017
Why did you choose CSUN? / What did you study? / What was your experience at CSUN?
I chose CSUN because I was looking for a valuable university that offered more than just traditional education. CSUN is known not only for its brand name in education but also for its modern research initiatives and the sense of belonging it provides to its constituents. I pursued a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at CSUN. My experience at CSUN was highly positive; I felt valued and belonged, especially while working at the Center for Teaching and Learning. The university's challenging academic standards and its combination of academia with activism were important factors that drew me to CSUN.
Additionally, I appreciated the support for linguistically diverse populations and the unique aspects of the campus, such as the squirrel mascot, planetarium, and even its own ringtone, which I think is so cool and attractive. In CSUN, I had wonderful professors that I became good friends, colleagues, and coauthors. This close relationship with professors enriched my academic experience and expanded my professional network.
Why do you think that CSUN’s work is important?
CSUN's work is crucial because it not only offers a high standard of education but also actively engages with the community and promotes a sense of belonging. The university's involvement with the community, its emphasis on research, and its history of activism demonstrate its commitment to making a positive impact on society. Moreover, CSUN's contributions to the region's economy, its support for students with childcare needs, and its recognition as a hub for linguistically diverse Deaf studies highlight its importance in fostering inclusivity and addressing the diverse needs of its constituents.
In addition to these commendable efforts, CSUN's dedication to immigrant students and undocumented students, its leadership in disability studies, and its annual conferences on special education, along with innovative devices for individuals with disabilities, make it a standout institution. Furthermore, the Gender Studies department's commitment to supporting global movements for women's rights, life, and freedom is truly admirable and aligns with CSUN's broader mission of social justice.
Why did you join the Alumni Chapter Board?
I joined the Alumni Chapter Board because I believe in the value that CSUN brings to its alumni and the community. My experience at the university was enriching, and I wanted to give back by actively participating in the alumni network. The Alumni Association, especially the Educational alumni group, places a strong emphasis on the importance of alumni input and engagement, and I wanted to be part of this effort to support and connect with fellow alumni.
What makes CSUN truly unique in this regard is the leadership style demonstrated by individuals like Dr. Shari Tarver Behring, the dean of the Michael D. Eisner College of Education. It's not common for a dean of a school to give alumni their time and energy on a personal level, but Dean Tarver Behring's leadership style is incredibly valuable. Her commitment to alumni engagement and her willingness to engage with us on a personal level is inspiring. This kind of leadership fosters a strong sense of connection and community among alumni, and I wanted to be part of a board that embraces and supports this approach. When they see value in you, they highlight you. I have had a good experience in that sense with being in the school sundial, and in fact, valuing us as alumni and spotlighting me speaks volumes.
In the Educational Alumni chapter that I am active in, not only do you have a space to take a lead on a program, but you are actively encouraged to do so. This culture of empowerment and encouragement is another reason why I chose to be a part of this dynamic alumni community.
So, by joining the Alumni Chapter Board, I aim to contribute to strengthening the alumni community's bonds and engagement with CSUN. I hope to facilitate meaningful connections among alumni and between alumni and the university itself. Additionally, I hope to work on initiatives that further enhance the reputation of CSUN and its alumni, fostering a sense of pride and accomplishment among those who have graduated from this institution.
What do you hope to accomplish on the board?
On the Alumni Chapter Board, I hope to contribute to strengthening the alumni community's bonds and engagement with CSUN. I aim to facilitate meaningful connections among alumni and between alumni and the university itself. Additionally, I hope to work on initiatives that further enhance the reputation of CSUN and its alumni, fostering a sense of pride and accomplishment among those who have graduated from this institution.
Through these efforts, I aspire to continue the tradition of supporting immigrants, individuals with disabilities, and advancing gender equality that CSUN holds dear. I also hope to promote the university's commitment to research, activism, and inclusivity in higher education.
Would you encourage others to join / why?
I would strongly encourage others to join the Alumni Chapter Board or become actively involved in the CSUN alumni network. CSUN is not just a place of education; it's a community that values its alumni and seeks their input. By joining the board or participating in alumni activities, individuals can stay connected with the university, network with fellow alumni, and contribute to the university's ongoing success. It's an opportunity to make a difference and continue being part of the CSUN family.
What else would you like to share?
I would like to highlight the remarkable support I personally received from CSUN during my time there. The university went above and beyond to nurture students' growth and development. In my case, CSUN supported me in participating in a statewide competition for the first time, an experience that was truly transformative for my academic and personal journey. This act underscores the fact that CSUN places a high value on the rise and success of its students. It's an institution that not only educates but also empowers individuals to explore their full potential. CSUN's commitment to providing opportunities and support for its students, whether through academic competitions, research endeavors, or community engagement, is a testament to its dedication to fostering future leaders and change-makers.
In essence, CSUN's support for its students' aspirations and endeavors, like my own, reflects its profound commitment to their growth and success, making it a university where not only your ideas matter but where your dreams are actively nurtured and encouraged
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