Daphne Harley named CSUB alumna of the year

March 3, 2009
Kathy Miller, 661/654-2456, kmiller26@csub.edu or
Michele Newel, 661/654-2720, mnewell1@csub.edu
Daphne Harley Alumna Photo

Waste, garbage, debris; whatever you want to call it, none of it sounds glamorous. But for Daphne Harley, it is all in a day's work as the director of Kern County waste management. It was Harley's 34 years as a county employee and her commitment to the health of the community and CSUB that has earned her recognition as the 2008-09 CSUB alumna of the year. She will retire on March 13 from her county job and be honored March 14 during the CSUB Alumni Hall of Fame gala event at Seven Oaks Country Club.

A native of the Virgin Islands, Harley attended Hampton University (VA) earning her degree in biology. In 1975, she began her career as a Kern County health inspector. Harley advanced through the department and held various jobs that impacted the health of county citizens. In 1992, she was appointed director of Kern's waste management department, and six years later earned her master's degree in public administration from CSUB.

"My experience at CSUB was important because it allowed me to interact with students in similar fields who were experiencing similar issues," Harley said. "It gave me a better understanding of policy and programmatic issues that allowed me to structure my department and create an organization out of a group of people."

During her career Harley faced adversity time and time again, but rose above the challenges and continued to move toward her career goals. She has been able to share her drive to succeed as an adjunct faculty member at CSUB, but learns along with the students she teaches.

"I teach so I can continue to learn. If I could, I would probably be a professional student," Harley said. "I think it is important for working professionals to build a strong academic connection to their local university to improve their work and build a connection with the community. I really believe that higher learning is the lifeblood of any community."

Harley is extremely proud to have been selected as alumna of the year and hopes to continue her relationship with the university well into the future.

"I am happy to have contributed to the university on many levels," Harley said. "I participated in strategic planning and I am a member of the Council of 100. I hope to continue to teach since I can easily do that after I retire."

Hall of Fame event sponsorships and ticket are available. Tickets are $75 or $600 for a table of eight, and seating is limited. Social hour starts at 6 p.m. with dinner and the program beginning at 7 p.m. Proceeds from the black-tie event benefit the CSUB Alumni Scholarship Fund. For more information, please contact CSUB's Alumni Relations office at (661) 654-3211 or alumni@csub.edu.