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The Commencement Speaker Committee members have recently compiled a list of 11 nominees and have passed over their list for the Board of Trustees to deliberate. They will make their final decision at their next meeting held on Wednesday, March 4 in the Circadian.

As of now, the list of nominees are…

  1. Sandy Banks – Banks has worked as a reporter, editor, editorial writer and internship director for the Los Angeles Times. Banks is best known for her subjective columns on private lives, public policy, the homeless, healthcare, and other social issues.
  2. Father Greg Boyle – Author and founder and Director of Homeboy Industries. Boyle is a mentor to youth service and governmental agencies, policy-makers and employers, and serves on the National Gang Center Advisory Board.
  3. Bertrice Berry, Ph.D – Berry taught sociology and statistics at Kent University. He graduated magna cum laude from Jacksonville University where she was also awarded the President’s Cup in leadership.
  4. Chad Crittenden – A University of California at Davis graduate who majored in International Relations with an emphasis on world resources, the environment, and Spanish. Crittenden is a cancer survivor and amputee who has successfully completed many triathlons, the New York City marathon and reached the summit of Kilimanjaro as part of the CAFrica expedition.
  5. Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Ph.D – An author and an associate professor of Raza studies, education administration, and interdisciplinary studies, Duncan-Andrade was an English teacher at Mandela High School in East Oakland for over 18 years. Andrade has lectured around the world on elements of effective teaching in schools serving poor and working class children.
  6. James Franco – An actor, writer, producer, director and teacher, Franco teaches a class at New York University in feature filmmaking, a short film production class at the University of Southern California, and a course in screenwriting at the University of California, Los Angeles.
  7. Susan Komives, Ed.D – A professor of College Student Affairs at the University of Maryland. Komives is lead author of the Leadership Identity Development model research and is co-principal investigator of the Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership project, a 100 campus study of college student leadership outcomes and campus practices that contribute to those outcomes.
  8. Cara Lane – Lane has a degree in education and a former kindergarten teacher. She produced an audio for Skillpath Seminars.
  9. Senator Ricardo Lara – Lara was elected in November 2012 to represent the Southeast Los Angeles County cities in the California Senate. He has authored several first in the nation laws that recognize and invest in immigrant communities such as the California DREAM Loan Program, which helps undocumented students apply for loans to complete higher education goals.
  10. Luis J. Rodriguez – An author of award winning autobiographies about his experiences as a young gang member and drug user, Rodriguez has received several awards for his writing and community work and was recently appointed poet laureate of Los Angeles.
  11. Philip Wang – Wang is a co-owner of Wong Fu Productions. He studied filmmaking at University of San Diego and started Wong Fu Productions with two fellow classmates where they film and release original shorts on their YouTube channel.


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