External Relations


Clara Potes-Fellow
Marisela Cervantes
Director, Community Partnerships
The California State University

Marisela Cervantes is the Director of Community Partnerships at the California State University Office of the Chancellor.

As Director of Community Partnerships she leads and supports the efforts of the CSU Office of the Chancellor’s External Relations department that focus on improving the college preparation, retention, and graduation rates of students from underserved communities. Marisela also supports the communication between the CSU Office of the Chancellor and its community partners, including managing CSU’s External Relations social media.

Marisela has more than a decade of experience fostering partnerships between educational institutions and the communities they serve. She began her career in the Office of Outreach and Recruitment at Cal State L.A. where she helped students, their families, and community groups access the university. She later worked on education policy in the California State Legislature, where she became district director; a senior positon she held for three different members, serving both the Senate and Assembly. In 2008 she was awarded the Winston Crouch Award for Innovation in Government by the Los Angeles Metro Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration, for pioneering efforts that helped cities successfully leverage the state’s Joint Powers Authority statutes to collaboratively focus on improving educational outcomes within the Los Angeles Unified School District.  

Prior to joining the CSU Office of the Chancellor, Marisela spent three years working for the Los Angeles Unified School District, assisting school leaders to engage external stakeholders in support of school transformation initiatives. In 2012, she helped shape and negotiate a model Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that improved the partnerships between the district and the non-profit organizations that jointly operate some district schools.

Marisela earned a BA in political science from Cal State L.A. and an MPA from CSU Long Beach. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Cal State L.A. Alumni Association.