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November 23, 2019 |
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Alumna Uses MPA and JD Degrees to Serve the Public Good

An unexpected path led Bernadette Curry to law school and a successful career in public administration.

By Jenny McKeel
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In 1993, Master’s of Public Administration graduate Bernadette Curry was putting her GGU degree to good use, working for SCI Consulting, her father’s public finance consulting firm. When Prop 218 came on the ballot, Bernadette realized the so-called “Right to Vote on Taxes Act” would revolutionize local government finance in California. She would need a law degree to be effective amid the sweeping changes the proposition would introduce to public service. Undeterred by challenges on the horizon, Bernadette headed back to Golden Gate University.

“The convenience Golden Gate offered made all the difference,” she said. “I made the decision to go for the Juris Doctor in October and I started in January. It fit my work schedule and my need to get going quickly.”

A School for Working Professionals

Classes were filled with working professionals who, like Bernadette, had chosen a different path. She was enriched by professors who taught students how to juggle real-world priorities on-the-job and help solve clients’ urgent problems.

“The convenience Golden Gate offered made all the difference.”

In 2001, she was hired by the Solano County Counsel as a deputy. Since then, Bernadette has held just about every position in the Counsel’s office that provides legal advice for County departments, boards, commissions, districts, and other public entities. In June 2019, she was promoted to Solano County Counsel, making Bernadette the first woman to serve as the county’s top legal advisor.

“I’m the youngest of five girls in my family, so to be the first woman (county counsel) . . . it’s so inspiring,” Bernadette told the Daily Republic.

Two Golden Gate Degrees

Bernadette credits both Golden Gate degrees with preparing her for this exciting opportunity.

“The MPA gave me a good foundation in administration, allowing me to transition from deputy to chief counsel. And, law school teaches you to think critically. Together the two degrees provide a powerful set of tools I can bring to every problem I attempt to solve in a public administration setting.”

 

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Congrats to recent graduate Dorothea Tolliver, MS Human Resources Management 2020! 🎓 🎉

Dorothea came to GGU to pursue her passion: advocating for individuals like herself who are deaf.

“I wanted to earn a Master’s in Human Resources because I saw a lot of barriers preventing deaf and hard of hearing persons from working,” explained Dorothea. “As an individual who is deaf, I know the importance of an accessible workplace especially when it comes to communication. A lot of times deaf people will earn a degree and then learn that employers won’t hire them because they can’t answer the phone. I wanted to try and solve that problem.”

When Dorothea reached out to GGU’s Office of Disability Resources and Accommodations, she was impressed with the support that she received compared to the support available to persons with disabilities at other private schools.

“The provision of interpreters for deaf students at a small private university like Golden Gate University requires planning, budgeting and education,” ​reflected Peter DeHaas, Director of Disability Resources & Academic Accommodations. DeHaas was able to implement a sustainable plan to make sure that interpreters were provided to Dorothea. “Everyone at GGU rose to the occasion to make her integration into our community a success.”

Dorothea's dream is to one day found a large corporation for people with disabilities where their skills and talents are showcased alongside non-disabled coworkers. She wants to continue to advocate for individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing through supporting them and reducing the barriers that exist in the workplace and to serve as a bridge between the hearing and deaf world.

Read the story: ow.ly/eEfb50C4sg8
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Congrats to recent graduate Dorothea Tolliver, MS Human Resources Management 2020! 🎓   🎉

Dorothea came to GGU to pursue her passion: advocating for individuals like herself who are deaf.

“I wanted to earn a Master’s in Human Resources because I saw a lot of barriers preventing deaf and hard of hearing persons from working,” explained Dorothea. “As an individual who is deaf, I know the importance of an accessible workplace especially when it comes to communication. A lot of times deaf people will earn a degree and then learn that employers won’t hire them because they can’t answer the phone. I wanted to try and solve that problem.”

When Dorothea reached out to GGU’s Office of Disability Resources and Accommodations, she was impressed with the support that she received compared to the support available to persons with disabilities at other private schools.

“The provision of interpreters for deaf students at a small private university like Golden Gate University requires planning, budgeting and education,” ​reflected Peter DeHaas, Director of Disability Resources & Academic Accommodations. DeHaas was able to implement a sustainable plan to make sure that interpreters were provided to Dorothea. “Everyone at GGU rose to the occasion to make her integration into our community a success.”

Dorotheas dream is to one day found a large corporation for people with disabilities where their skills and talents are showcased alongside non-disabled coworkers. She wants to continue to advocate for individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing through supporting them and reducing the barriers that exist in the workplace and to serve as a bridge between the hearing and deaf world.

Read the story:  http://ow.ly/eEfb50C4sg8

This summer, the Bay Area program of Genesys Works, a national nonprofit that provides pathways to college and career success for underserved students, teamed up with Salesforce and GGU to offer a unique training program. GGU provided students with training in business and data analytics, while Genesys Works provided training in soft skills needed to navigate a corporate office environment—all offered online and a large portion sponsored by Salesforce. Students who successfully completed the course gained college credits and a certificate that they can embed in their LinkedIn profiles.

GGU is proud to partner with Genesys Works to #employchange in America, by opening our doors to diverse, talented students. Join us at genesysworks.org/employ-change.
... See MoreSee Less

This summer, the Bay Area program of  Genesys Works, a national nonprofit that provides pathways to college and career success for underserved students, teamed up with Salesforce and GGU to offer a unique training program. GGU provided students with training in business and data analytics, while Genesys Works provided training in soft skills needed to navigate a corporate office environment—all offered online and a large portion sponsored by Salesforce. Students who successfully completed the course gained college credits and a certificate that they can embed in their LinkedIn profiles.

GGU is proud to partner with Genesys Works to #EmployChange in America, by opening our doors to diverse, talented students. Join us at genesysworks.org/employ-change.

GGU's Race and Justice Task Force is thrilled to welcome Adam Foss, the founder and executive director of Prosecutor Impact, for an engaging online talk and Q&A. PI develops innovative curriculum & training for prosecutors across the country to reduce the use of incarceration. It trains criminal prosecutors to employ data-informed, sustainable & safety-focused interventions to foster more equitable outcomes for the communities they serve.

Adam Foss is a former Assistant D.A. in the Juvenile Division of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in Boston, and a fierce advocate for criminal justice reform and the importance of the role of the prosecutor in ending mass incarceration. Adam believes that the profession of prosecution is ripe for a reinvention that requires better incentives and more measurable metrics for success beyond, simply, “cases won.” This led him to create Prosecutor Impact, a non-profit that develops training and curriculum for prosecutors to reframe their role in the criminal justice system. Most recently, Mr. Foss appeared in the critically-acclaimed CNN feature-length documentary “American Jail.”

Welcoming Remarks: GGU Law Dean Eric Christiansen
Speaker Introduction: Law Professor Jyoti Nanda
Following Q&A led by:

Amye Osakue, President, BLSA, Co-Chair of RJTF Subcommittee
Alexis Pickins, BLSA Member, Co-Chair of RJTF Subcommittee

THURSDAY, October 29, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Free tickets here: ow.ly/kckp50C1jSZ
... See MoreSee Less

GGUs Race and Justice Task Force is thrilled to welcome Adam Foss, the founder and executive director of Prosecutor Impact, for an engaging online talk and Q&A. PI develops innovative curriculum & training for prosecutors across the country to reduce the use of incarceration. It trains criminal prosecutors to employ data-informed, sustainable & safety-focused interventions to foster more equitable outcomes for the communities they serve.

Adam Foss is a former Assistant D.A. in the Juvenile Division of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in Boston, and a fierce advocate for criminal justice reform and the importance of the role of the prosecutor in ending mass incarceration. Adam believes that the profession of prosecution is ripe for a reinvention that requires better incentives and more measurable metrics for success beyond, simply, “cases won.” This led him to create Prosecutor Impact, a non-profit that develops training and curriculum for prosecutors to reframe their role in the criminal justice system. Most recently, Mr. Foss appeared in the critically-acclaimed CNN feature-length documentary “American Jail.”

Welcoming Remarks: GGU Law Dean Eric Christiansen
Speaker Introduction: Law Professor Jyoti Nanda
Following Q&A led by:

Amye Osakue, President, BLSA, Co-Chair of RJTF Subcommittee
Alexis Pickins, BLSA Member, Co-Chair of RJTF Subcommittee

THURSDAY, October 29, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Free tickets here: http://ow.ly/kckp50C1jSZ

View of GGU from the back. Remember walking through the back door off Jessie Street? The world looks pretty different depending on our vantage point.

"Sometimes a change of perspective is all it takes to see the light." - Dan Brown

Happy Friday, everyone.

Photo: Ana Carolina Almeida
... See MoreSee Less

View of GGU from the back.  Remember walking through the back door off Jessie Street? The world looks pretty different depending on our vantage point.

Sometimes a change of perspective is all it takes to see the light. - Dan Brown

Happy Friday, everyone.

Photo: Ana Carolina Almeida

Meet Alika Publico, BA ’19

What are you studying?

Organizational Leadership and Human Skills Development in the School of Undergraduate Studies.

What is your profession?

I work full-time as a fire prevention officer for the city of Monterey with the U.S. Army.

Why did you choose GGU?

As military service members, we face trials and tribulations. For 19 years I tried to complete my bachelor’s degree at other schools, but every time I hit a wall that would halt my progress. I chose GGU because here I don’t feel like a number. My enrollment counselor walked me through everything until I completed my application, and my tutors and professors are always available through emails and phone calls. My advisor is always in touch with me and has helped streamline the process so I get to that next step.

How are you balancing work and school during COVID-19?

The pandemic hit during my second semester, but thankfully GGU immediately transitioned to Zoom and my academic progress continued uninterrupted. I like Zoom classes because all the information is provided in an accessible way. As long as you communicate with your instructors when issues come up, they are always accommodating and flexible. During my first week, I was affected by the Dolan fire, which we could see from my office. My instructor understood and helped me get through the course while juggling that stressful situation.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

I believe it’s up to the student to put in the time and effort to learn. Take advantage of the instruction videos and all of the readings assigned. Make sure you plan out when you will write your posts for online discussion forums. And if you have any questions or issues, post them to the discussion thread or ask your instructors. They will find a way to help you succeed.

What’s next for you?

I’m graduating this fall and plan to apply for a master’s program in the spring.
... See MoreSee Less

Meet Alika Publico, BA  ’19 

What are you studying? 

Organizational Leadership and Human Skills Development in the School of Undergraduate Studies.
 
What is your profession?
 
I work full-time as a fire prevention officer for the city of Monterey with the U.S. Army. 
 
Why did you choose GGU?
 
As military service members, we face trials and tribulations. For 19 years I tried to complete my bachelor’s degree at other schools, but every time I hit a wall that would halt my progress. I chose GGU because here I don’t feel like a number. My enrollment counselor walked me through everything until I completed my application, and my tutors and professors are always available through emails and phone calls. My advisor is always in touch with me and has helped streamline the process so I get to that next step.
 
How are you balancing work and school during COVID-19?
 
The pandemic hit during my second semester, but thankfully GGU immediately transitioned to Zoom and my academic progress continued uninterrupted. I like Zoom classes because all the information is provided in an accessible way. As long as you communicate with your instructors when issues come up, they are always accommodating and flexible. During my first week, I was affected by the Dolan fire, which we could see from my office. My instructor understood and helped me get through the course while juggling that stressful situation.
 
What advice do you have for prospective students?
 
I believe it’s up to the student to put in the time and effort to learn. Take advantage of the instruction videos and all of the readings assigned. Make sure you plan out when you will write your posts for online discussion forums. And if you have any questions or issues, post them to the discussion thread or ask your instructors.  They will find a way to help you succeed.
 
What’s next for you?
 
I’m graduating this fall and plan to apply for a master’s program in the spring.
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