We are continually inspired by the ongoing dedication demonstrated by our students and alumni, whether they are enrolled in professional development courses, learning English, pursuing innovative training methods or fulfilling the lifelong dream of earning a college degree.
These stories are living examples of how the support we provide can make a positive impact on people’s professional development and academic career.
Daniel Watts had been working in education for years when his teaching career reached a plateau, with some jobs out of reach because he hadn’t finished college. So he decided to go back to school in his 40s and get “that piece of paper,” he says, enrolling in the Bachelor of Science in Career and Technical Studies degree completion program.
“I landed my dream career with Sacramento City Fire as a firefighter/paramedic! It has always been the department I truly wanted to work at, and even more so after I got to work with my instructors we had at school!
I even ran a code with Derek Parker and got to see Jeff Cooke, Jason Hemler, Ernie Partridge, and Dan Kolb in the firehouses and on calls. I was hired on my 25th birthday, and I am now in my 7th month on probation, life is great!
I will continue to promote the Sac State Paramedic Program to anybody I know who is interested in medic school!”
Bob Kerr is the type of student the late Bill Harris had in mind when he hatched the idea for Sac State’s career and technical studies program.
Kerr’s bachelor’s degree did not come easy. He commuted from Vallejo for the weekend classes after working stressful graveyard shifts at the Vallejo Police Department. He also hadn’t attended college full-time since 1995.
“It was definitely challenging, but if it was easy, everybody would be doing it,” says Kerr, who graduated in May 2013 and earned the Dean’s Award for the College of Education.
Jennifer Ratcliff moved a step closer to her dream job as a speech pathologist, becoming the first class at Sacramento State to earn the Second Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology and Audiology in 2014. “Thankfully, this program finally came about and made it possible for students, like me, to keep going and achieve that dream of going to graduate school.”
Maydel Uzcategui made a bold move from Venezuela to the United States, all on her own, in pursuit of twin goals. She wanted to improve her English skills and become a civil engineer. A graduate of the English Language Institute, she’s now working on her master’s degree in engineering at Sacramento State. ”Hopefully I can work for a transnational company focused on geotechnical engineering.”
“I was fortunate in the strength of my instructors,” says Alexandra Strout, who is in the top of her class at Sacramento State’s Paramedic Program. “They’re in the field as firefighters and paramedics, and they’ve been there and done the work. It makes a difference in the knowledge they provide you. It’s one of the strong points of the program.”
As chief deputy director for the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), Karen Johnson is one of the highest-ranking health care officials in California.
She enrolled in Sacramento State’s Leadership for the Government Executive (LGE) program to challenge herself and advance as a leader to make a difference. “I have a strong work ethic and I’m a results-oriented person so I needed the tools that could help me lead change successfully in a large organization,” she says.
Russell Williams constantly looks for ways to become a more competitive candidate for jobs after graduation. A student of Sacramento State’s Paramedic Program, Williams is on a direct path toward his lifelong dream of becoming a California fire fighter and every bit of training counts.