Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Governing Board student trustees for 2014-15 sworn in

Jocelyn Estrada

Jocelyn Estrada, a business administration major, is the new Cuyamaca College student trustee on the Governing Board of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.

Governing Board President Bill Garrett swears in Zack Gianino
            Estrada took her oath office last night, joining Grossmont College Student Trustee Zack Gianino on the dais as a non-voting board member. She was elected by her fellow students for the yearlong term, replacing Elsa Hernandez, who will take on a new post in the fall as president of Cuyamaca College’s student government. Gianino, elected to his second term by Grossmont College students, was also sworn in at the start of Tuesday’s meeting by Governing Board President Bill Garrett.

The oldest of seven children, Estrada is the first in her family to attend college and said she wants to set an example for her siblings. The Spring Valley resident, who has lived in the Southern California region throughout her 19 years, has her eyes set on transferring to San Diego State University in fall 2015 to pursue a degree in accounting. She began taking classes at Cuyamaca College in fall 2012 after graduating from Mount Miguel High School in Spring Valley.

“I attend college because I believe that education is such an important part of life and I want to encourage my younger siblings to do the same,” Estrada said about her two brothers and four sisters.

President Mark Zacovic said he is delighted to see someone with Estrada’s enthusiasm and commitment to the college serve as a student trustee on the board.

“I am confident our Cuyamaca College students will be well represented,” he said.

Estrada calls her parents her biggest inspiration, saying their challenges raising a large family in an expensive region like Southern California has taught her lessons about perseverance and the importance of a strong work ethic.

“They are such hard-working people,” she said. “They inspire me to work hard on my goals and never give up. My parents support me tremendously with my education goals.”

Estrada said her interest in student government was launched while she was a participant in Cuyamaca College’s First Year Experience, a program providing guidance and assistance to freshmen to help them stay in school. She said FYE advisers encouraged her take an active role at the college. Estrada said she views the student trustee post as a valuable learning opportunity and a way to encourage students to become more engaged in campus activities and events.

“I joined ASGCC (Associated Student Government of Cuyamaca College) and I really liked it,” said Estrada, who will retain membership on the board as a senator concurrent to her one-year post as Governing Board student trustee. “I like that we can help students and make the campus more lively.”

By Estrada’s estimation, she has been involved in putting on some 25 events over the past year at the college.

Cuyamaca College Associate Dean of Student Affairs Lauren Vaknin said Estrada’s efforts helped increase student attendance at numerous events.

“Since her first year at Cuyamaca, Jocelyn has been an incredible student leader,” Vaknin said. “She has played an integral role in the success of many of the Student Government programs.”