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Circle of Change Conference 2011 Interviews

Conducted by Theresa Eugene


An interview with Deborah Golden
U. S. Department of Commerce, Export Administration Specialist

THERESA: Tell me a little about your professional career
DEBORAH: I recently changed careers from working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to working for the United States Department of Commerce as an Export Administration Specialist

THERESA: Why did you choose to attend the Circle of Change Conference?
DEBORAH: I heard about the Circle of Change Conference on a local radio station and it said that the first few people to register would get free registration. When I heard of the conference I felt that it would help me to further develop my leadership skills especially since I’m transitioning into a new job position. I also have a daughter who is a junior in high school and I wanted to take back information for her.

THERESA: Did you know that most of the attendees would be college students?
DEBORAH: I did not know that most of the attendees would be college students and when I first got here, I considered not coming back for the second day. I really enjoyed myself the first day and learned a lot and decided I would return for the second day despite the age difference.

THERESA: What made you want to be a leader?
DEBORAH: I like working independently. I like doing a job where I can make things work. I like challenging tasks and I like working without constant supervision.

THERESA: As a professional, what advice would you give to students based on your experience in leadership?
DEBORAH: Be someone that can be trusted and that can influence your peers and others.

THERESA: What would you look for in college students or graduates as far as hiring them?
DEBORAH: I would look for someone that is motivated and who have potential and want to enhance their education while working. I had the opportunity to work with the FAA part time while I was a student going to school and they saw the motivation I had. They knew that they were going to hire me full time once I graduated so they used the potential that I had and trained me to be the worker they wanted me to be. I would look for the same thing in students.

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An interview with Mark Hartley
Circle of Change Conference, CEO
California State University San Bernardino, Director of Student Leadership & Development

THERESA: What is your role in the Circle of Change Conference?
MARK: I partnered with Joshua Fredenburg as a CEO of the conference and I am also the MC (Master of Ceremony) for the 2012 Circle of Change Conference.

THERESA: What work do you do in your professional career and why did you choose this career path?
MARK: I am the Director of Student Leadership and Development at California State University San Bernardino. I felt a calling to be a leader because I felt that other people can gain access to a better life if I live up to my potential.

THERESA: Did you have an opportunity to attend a leadership conference as college student?
MARK: No, I didn’t have such opportunities. I didn’t know that they existed and I was upset at first that I didn’t have a chance to do these things.

THERESA: Why are leadership conferences important?
MARK: Leadership conferences are important because it stretches people’s vision for themselves and help them to believe in themselves.

THERESA: What advice would you give to college students who may not have had the opportunity to attend the Circle of Change Conference?
MARK: Be here next year! It is truly a life changing experience and write down your goals, if you don’t write them down it’s only a wish.

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An interview with Nancy Ramirez
California State University Long Beach Graduate Student

THERESA: What school do you attend and what academic year are you in?
NANCY: I am currently a graduate student at California State University Long Beach and I am an advisor as well for students of Business.

THERESA: What is your role at the Circle of Change Conference?
NANCY: I am a talent coordinator intern. I am the main contact person for all of the guest, panelist, judges, speakers, etc.

THERESA: What are some of the initiatives that are taking place at your school for ALANA students?
NANCY: We have a cultural resource center for each cultural group and we have RSOs as well. As an advisor, I am working with a new program that target African American and Latino students who are on academic probation and/or are taking remedial classes. This is mostly geared towards the business students. We provide them with academic support, advising, course planning, time management, and leadership workshops.

THERESA: Why did you choose to participate in the Circle of Change Conference?
NANCY: I have been in leadership for many years now. I met Joshua Fredenburg while developing on the program for business students and I asked him for his help. In return he asked me to participate in the Circle of Change conference.

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An interview with Victoria Marsh
California State University Long Beach, Senior

THERESA: What school do you currently attend and what academic year are you in?
VICTORIA: I am currently a 5th year senior studying Applied Mathematics & Economics at California State University Long Beach

THERESA: What are you involved in at your school and what initiatives are available for ALANA student at your school?
VICTORIA: I am the president of the Math & Statistics Student Association and the president of the Economics Honors Society. Each of the cultural groups on campus have their own cultural centers and there’s a program called McNairs Scholars that help underrepresented students go to graduate school and get their Doctorate degree.

THERESA: Why did you choose to attend the Circle of Change conference this year?
VICTORIA: I had a chance to attend the conference last year and it was a life changing opportunity. After the conference I started becoming very involved on my campus and decided to return this year as a student volunteer at the conference.

Conducted by Kenny Francis


An interview with Ashley Armstrong
Director of Student Athlete Development at UCLA

KENNY: What is your definition of success?
ASHLEY: I believe success is grounded in creativity and continuing to improve and progress in everything you do. If you are dedicated to your work and happy in the position you work in I find it hard to believe that you will not eventually attain success one day.

KENNY: What is the biggest challenge in trying to reach your goals?
ASHLEY: The biggest challenge I faced in trying to reach my goal was balancing everything I was involved in while still pursuing a professional career. It is certainly not easy to try and get your dream job while remaining on top of academics and extra-curricular but that’s what makes it all worth it. There are many different ways to get involved in your field of interest without going directly into the work force.

KENNY: What do you think is the number one issue facing today’s youth?
ASHLEY: Today’s youth are having a hard time setting goals and with all the distractions they have in front of them already to not be goal orientated can be very costly. I believe the ease of technology is part to blame but the truth is so much progression can be made with technology and today’s younger generation’s need to able to capitalize on it.
Todd Ramasard, Professional Sports Agent

KENNY: What is your definition of success?
ASHLEY: Success is whatever you make it, not just making it but continuing to build on it and never resting until you get it.

KENNY: What is the biggest challenge in trying to reach your goals?
ASHLEY: Having to be able to talk in situations where I have no idea what to say. The key is to remain confident and understand that when everything is over you will have learned a better way to go about achieving your goal.

KENNY: What do you think is the number one issue facing today’s youth?
ASHLEY: Faith. Besides systematic challenges that face them they are in dire need of faith. Nothing is being handed out in today’s society and it takes a determined vision to get where you want to be. We cannot let our circumstance determine our outcome.