Public Affairs

Working for California: The Voices of CSU Alumni

July 21, 2011
By Stephanie Thara

Working for California: The Voices of CSU Alumni

CSU alumni have distinguished themselves in all areas of California’s workforce and culture. Graduating more than 95,000 students annually, the CSU has more than 2.6 million alumni that have become leaders in the high-impact fields that drive the state’s economy. In fact, one in 10 employees in California is a CSU graduate.

With in-depth programs that arm students with the hands-on education they need to excel in their desired industry, the CSU graduates alumni that go on to become superior court judges, movie producers, state superintendents, authors, fire chiefs, restaurant corporation chairmen, hybrid flying car inventors and healthcare enterprise presidents, among others.

Working for California: The Voices of CSU AlumniThe CSU takes pride in providing students with the resources and instruction needed to gain real-world experience before graduation. Programs such as the Hospitality Management Education Initiative, CSU Summer Arts, DreamCrits and the CSU Entertainment Industry Initiative serve as a gateway for students to meet industry professionals and gain internships at world-renowned companies. Furthermore, the CSU has established a number of Professional Science Master's programs and the Bridges to Stem Cell Research Awards, which place students directly into active labs and worksites to learn science skills fundamental to the health care industry. Additionally, maintaining programs that mentor and support up-and-coming teachers, such as Cal State L.A’s L.A. Urban Teacher Residency Program and Cal State Fullerton’s Intel Teach to the Future Curriculum Program, are one of the main reasons why more of California’s teachers come from the CSU than all other institutions in the state combined.

Through programs and initiatives that provide efficient real-world teaching tools, the CSU has graduated numerous alumni that have made lasting impressions in the state, nation and world. Some alumni testimonies include the following:

Annette Bening“I knew I loved acting, but at San Francisco State I got the chance to develop that love. I am grateful for the safe, challenging environment I had in which to educate myself, develop my aspiration and, most importantly, a place where I could practice and learn to trust and value my own individual creative instincts.” Annette Bening, Actress and Academy Award nominee

“I took a course in biological oceanography at Humboldt and that really changed my life. I was looking for what I wanted to do with my life and that course sent me in the right direction.” Francisco P. Chavez, Senior Scientist, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Ralph Rubio“My decision to attend San Diego State was a defining event in my life. The education I received became the foundation for my business career, and one of the amazing experiences I had there became the inspiration for Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill.” Ralph Rubio, Founder/CEO, Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill

“Leadership development is the cornerstone of Cal Maritime’s education process. Students learn how to think out of the box and to understand what’s necessary to be successful. For me, that’s been an invaluable life experience.” Marc Winocur, Senior Operations Manager, Target Corporation

“Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo built on my passion and let me continue to explore and do new things. The hands-on experience culminated in a senior project that allowed me, and my classmates, to explore any aeronautical engineering problem and Jim Kardachdevelop our own solutions.” Burt Rutan, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Scaled Composites (Designer of SpaceShipOne)

“I have to credit my Fresno State education for giving me a broad view of engineering that allowed me to bring together novel ideas with the technology and experts who could help connect the dots.” Jim Kardach, Senior Principal Engineer, Chief Power Architect, Intel Corporation