Joe Radding (EdD ‘10) hasn’t always worked in the field of education, but once he made the switch, he knew it was the right choice. “About halfway through my 35-year career in state government, I moved to the California Department of Education (CDE) from a non-education entity,” he said. “I had always had an interest in education, and this was a pivotal move for me because I found a home. I never wanted to leave the field of education. I believe that education is the most powerful game changer when it comes to breaking cycles of poverty and advancing our society.
Lorena Ruedas Jauregui (’06, EdD ’16) is building her career in education around two ideas that have been important to her since the early years of her own education: inclusion and mentorship. “As a granddaughter of Mexican immigrants and a daughter of educators, I’m passionate about being an advocate for students from historically underserved populations,” she said.
Sheri Atkinson (EdD ’14) realized early in her career that working in higher education was the best way to make a meaningful contribution to the world. “I have a passion for social justice, and that type of work can take place in a number of different contexts,” she said. “The college environment is a special place for doing this type of work because you’re impacting the lives of students who are full of energy and the potential for growth. For me, it’s about making space to give back to the field of education that helped support me in my own growth.”
Two things have been especially important to Thomas Whitcher (EdD ’18) throughout his career: education and interpersonal networks. “In all the various roles I’ve served at universities, I’ve always been fascinated by how teams operate and how to leverage people’s strengths to best support a team,” he said.
Mikael Villalobos (BA ‘93, EdD ‘14) has dedicated his career to diversity and inclusion within the field of higher education. In his current role at UC Davis as Associate Chief Diversity Officer with the Office of Campus Community Relations in the Office of the Chancellor, he strives to play an active role in building a more diverse and inclusive campus community. “Through education, this institution has the premise and promise for changing lives,” he said. “I firmly believe that it truly serves as the great equalizer.”