Nearly 100 USC Rossier alumni and other friends from throughout Orange County came together for the latest in the “Rossier on the Road” events on Feb. 7 at the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim.
The evening event featured welcome comments by Rossier Director of Alumni Engagement Kalim Rayburn EdD ’11 and by Associate Dean Anne Wicks. The keynote presentation was provided by Associate Professor Tatiana Melguizo, who discussed her research on minority students who major in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields and the salary benefits they derive from those courses of study.
Melguizo’s research, which was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and published in the June 2012 issue of Research in Higher Education, found that these students earn at least 25 percent more than their peers who study humanities or education, and those who took jobs related to their STEM degrees earned at least 50 percent more.
“It was refreshing to talk with Dr. Melguizo and others who have taken responsibility for actions and outcomes associated with increasing success and retention for at-risk and traditionally underrepresented students in STEM fields,” said Chris McDonald EdD ’12, dean of mathematics, science & engineering for Saddleback College. “This was a wonderful opportunity to reunite with Rossier alumni and discuss potential partnerships.”
Kathy Bihr ’05, a member of the USC Rossier Board of Councilors, said the presentation was a valuable resource for school leaders, and she looked forward to more opportunities for alumni to learn about Rossier faculty research at future events.
“Dr. Melguizo did a great job of providing relevant research to school district personnel. This should prove useful as they work to develop more intentional ways to expose students to the value of a career in STEM,” said Bihr, who is vice president and executive director of the Tiger Woods Learning Center, which hosted the gathering.
The presentation was followed by a reception where attendees networked and enjoyed a robust discussion on Dr. Melguizo’s presentation. Among them was Paul Sevillano, EdD ’02, assistant superintendent of Anaheim Union High School District, who brought his administrative team to the event.
The event was also an opportunity for Rossier classmates to reunite. Bihr was able to reconnect with five members of her Fullerton-based 2005 doctoral cohort – all of whom have gone on to significant leadership positions in education.
USC Rossier has hosted “Rossier on the Road” events throughout the U.S., with stops in Honolulu, San Francisco, New York, and Seattle in recent months. Future “Rossier on the Road” events will be scheduled soon.
This article was featured in the Spring 2013 issue of Rossier’s Futures in Urban Ed magazine.