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New VP of student affairs at CSUB
  December 8, 2005
Mike Stepanovich, 661/654-2456,,
or Jaclyn Loveless, 661/654-2138,

Shelley Ruelas, a psychologist and residential life coordinator at Arizona State University, has been named the new vice president for student affairs at California State University, Bakersfield. Her appointment is effective Feb. 1.

Ruelas will succeed George Hibbard, a founding faculty member at CSUB who retired after 38 years at the university.

“Dr. Ruelas brings a strong background in the areas of student development, student life and organizational change, as well as outreach, retention, and diversity issues in higher education,” said CSUB President Horace Mitchell. “She has the experience to help CSUB achieve its vision of excellence.”

Ruelas is currently in the counseling and consultation department at ASU where she has been since she received her doctorate in counseling psychology from the University California, Santa Barbara in 2000. She also received her master’s in the same discipline from UCSB in 1996, and earned her bachelor’s in psychology and education from UC San Diego in 1993.

In addition to her duties in the counseling department at ASU, Ruelas became the residential life coordinator in 2003. From 1998 to 1999 she was the recruitment coordinator for Project ABRE or Avenues of Bilingual Resources in Education at UCSB. She was the assistant director for the Partners in Learning/Summerbridge San Diego Collaborative at UCSD from 1993 to 1994.

Her professional service and affiliations include the American Counseling Association, the Minority Undergraduate fellowship Program at ASU, the Maroon and Gold Student Achievement Program at ASU, and the Chicano Faculty and Staff Association at ASU.

Ruelas said, “During my visit I was really struck by the dedication and the motivation of the faculty and staff in making the student experience at CSUB a positive one. I plan to capitalize and contribute to that energy.

“One of my first priorities before I assume my official position is to know what is happening right now and become aware of the existing strengths in student affairs,” she continued. “We can then look to new avenues to enhance the quality of the student experience. My passion is focused on student engagement, the student’s personal developments, their cultural engagement and civic responsibility. I want to sit back and get a sense of what’s working well. We can then ask, what do we want the students to experience while they’re here? What can we do to improve their experience?”

Ruelas is looking forward to working with CSUB’s faculty and staff and believes the overall vision for the campus is an “integrated effort.” She said, “There is a motivation to do it there and I’m motivated in many of the same ways.” Ruelas grew up in the Fresno area and is looking forward to returning to the Central Valley. “It’s like coming home for me,” she added. “I can’t wait to be on board.”

The vice president for student affairs reports directly to the president and has responsibility for campus programs, services and activities that support the educational mission of the university by promoting student development, and enhancing the quality of the student experience and campus life. Areas reporting to the vice president for student affairs include: the Student Union, student activities, the Associated Students, Inc., and the bookstore.



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