CSUB Alumni Hall of Fame - Celebrating 14 Years!

In 2006, the Alumni Association along with then-university President Horace Mitchell created the CSU Bakersfield Alumni Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame is intended to recognize alumni who have made significant contributions in their chosen field of endeavor and/or in their community, and whose accomplishments and careers have brought honor and distinction to the university. We recognize these outstanding alumni annually at a black-tie gala.

Congratulations to the 2020 Alumni Hall of Fame inductees!

Blanca Cavazos, Classes of 1980, 1987 and 1992

Blanca Cavazos

Bachelor's degree in liberal studies '80; master's degrees in bilingual cross-cultural education '87, and educational administration '92

Blanca Cavazos has been knocking down educational barriers like the ones she faced as a child during her nearly 40-year career as a teacher and administrator in schools throughout Kern County.

Blanca is superintendent of the Taft Union High School District, where she has not only navigated the traditional challenges of educating students but the ramifications of a tragic school shooting.

She’s come a long way from her days as a Mexican-born student in Arvin punished for speaking Spanish at school and often told she didn’t have much of a future.

Blanca earned three degrees from CSUB, including a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and two education-related master’s degrees, plus a doctorate in educational leadership from Fresno State.

Her career began in 1981 as a bilingual first-grade teacher in Arvin. After working as the college coordinator for the California Mini-Corps Program at CSUB, she returned to teach at her alma mater, Arvin High. 

Blanca was an assistant principal at Bakersfield Adult School and Foothill High before becoming the first female and minority principal at Arvin High.  Blanca was chief instructional officer at the Kern County Superintendent of Schools office before ascending to superintendent of the Taft Union High School District in 2013.

She was named administrator of the year by the Association of California School Administrators in 1995, 2004, 2015 and 2019; received the migrant alumni award from the California Department of Education in 2012; and was a finalist for national superintendent of the year honors this year.

At CSUB Blanca has supervised student teachers, taught education and Spanish courses, served as president of the Hispanic Excellence Scholarship Foundation, and been a member of several education advisory committees.  She currently serves on the President's Advisory Board.

Read a full profile of Blanca.

Alan Collatz, Class of 1985

Alan Collatz

Bachelor's degree in business administration '85

Athletes and coaches are often measured by their stats, and these are just a few of the astounding ones Alan Collatz has racked up at CSUB.

He’s produced 97 NCAA Division II All-Americans, 24 Division II national champions, and five Western Athletic Conference champions.

As an athlete, he holds the CSU record in the javelin and has qualified for two U.S. Olympic trials and five USA championships. He placed third at the 1985 NCAA Division II Championships, helping lead the `Runners to a fourth-place national showing.

But the numbers tell only part of the story of Alan’s contributions to CSUB athletics, colleagues say. He’s mentored student-athletes on to graduate school and coaching. He’s taken young coaches of all kinds under his wing. And despite “retiring” in 2012, Alan is still coaching Roadrunners.

Alan first came to CSUB in 1982 as a junior college All-American in the javelin and graduated with his bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1985.

He stayed in Bakersfield to train as a national class athlete while also volunteering to help the track and field team. CSUB hired him as a paid assistant in 1987 and then as head track and field coach in 2003.

He retired in 2012. Sort of.

Just a few months later, Alan was asked to come back and coach part-time, which he’s still doing as a “coach emeritus.”

Alan is a two-time western region coach of the year and a 2012 African American Student Union Cornerstone Award recipient. He is one of the most respected throws coaches in the country and often speaks at camps and clinics.

Alan and his wife, Maria, have two daughters, Alex and Tatum.

Read a full profile of Alan.

Colleen McGauley, Class of 2008

Collen McGauley

Master's degree in public administration '08

Colleen McGauley has been an outspoken advocate for abused and neglected children, first as longtime director of Court Appointed Special Advocates of Kern County and later through a groundbreaking, statewide CASA initiative.

Court Appointed Special Advocates trains volunteers to speak up for children in court so that judges can make well-informed decisions about their placement and care.

Colleen was a member of Kern County’s first class of CASA volunteers in 1994, joined the organization’s staff in 1996 and was its director from 2001 to 2018.

She’s led several advocacy projects in the juvenile dependency system, most notably ones that promote educational stability and mental health care for kids it serves and triage the needs of emancipating foster youth.

Colleen later joined the California CASA Association, managing the creation and roll-out of the first statewide training of child advocates. She’s now a nonprofit consultant with clients in Kern, San Luis Obispo and Sacramento counties.

A Whittier native, Colleen earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Loyola Marymount University in 1977 and her master’s degree in public administration from CSUB in 2008.

In 2012 she was the first to receive the Kegley Institute of Ethics’ Wendy Wayne Ethics Award.  She was named outstanding alumnus by the CSUB School of Business and Public Administration in 2010 and 34th Assembly District Woman of the Year by then-Bakersfield Assemblywoman Shannon Grove in 2012.

Colleen has guest-presented in CSUB master’s classes and is facilitating a class on nonprofit management.

She has 18 nieces and nephews and is a stained glass artist.

Louie Vega, Class of 1978

Louie Vega

Bachelor's degree in political science, teaching credential '78

Judge Louie Vega is best known for his contributions to the justice system, but he’s also served his community and his country as a journalist, teacher and decorated combat veteran.

Louie was not the only jurist nominated for the Hall of Fame this year. All were impressive, but Louie stood out.

The son of farmworkers with little education, Louie enlisted in the Army during the Vietnam War and promoted to helicopter crew chief. He was awarded a Purple Heart and other combat ribbons for his service.

Louie broke racial barriers as the first Latino television news reporter in Kern County, working for KERO in the 1970s. In 1978 he graduated from CSUB with a bachelor’s degree in political science and teaching credential, with which he taught social studies and coached soccer in the Kern High School District.

Louie earned a law degree from UCLA in 1983 before returning to Bakersfield to practice law. Working pro bono, he helped beat back a proposal to build a juvenile justice center at Heritage Park, preserving open space in east Bakersfield.

He was appointed a Kern County Superior Court commissioner in 1990 and a judge in 2008.

Louie helped launch Family Reunification Day in 2013, an annual celebration of the hard work that parents separated from their children put in to be reunited with them. He’s also devoted time to Homeless Court, Veterans Court and Court Appointed Special Advocates.

In 2018, Louie earned the Kern County Bar Association’s highest accolade, the Bench and Bar Award. UCLA’s La Raza Law Student Association honored Louie as alumnus of the year in 2013.

Louie and his wife, Gloria, have a daughter, Raquel.

 

Learn about our past Hall of Fame awardees

View photos from our 2019 Alumni Hall of Fame Awards Dinner.

See photos from past Hall of Fame ceremonies and other Alumni Events on our Facebook page.



SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE

Proceeds from the Hall of Fame Gala support the Alumni Association's scholarship and mentor programs.

You can help by sponsoring the event at one of these levels:

Diamond Presenting Sponsor: $10,000
Gold Sponsor: $5,000
Silver Sponsor: $2,500
Table Sponsor: $1,500

You can read more about our sponsorship opportunities.