|January 6, 2003|
USC EDUCATOR NAMED
Dr. Martha Soto began her new
duties at the Sylmar community college campus on January 6, 2003. She
comes to Mission College from the University of Southern California, where
she has served as associate director of the Center for Urban Education
and as an adjunct professor in the Rossier School of Education.
"Dr. Soto brings a unique
perspective to Mission College," said Farmer. "One of her research
projects at USC helped to identify inequities in educational outcomes
among under-represented community college students. Her knowledge in this
area will benefit us tremendously."
Soto's duties in Academic Affairs
will include working with the Academic Senate Curriculum Committee, assisting
faculty department chairs in managing their areas, and overseeing preparation
of the college catalogue and class schedules, said Farmer.
"Community colleges play a very critical role in both higher education and society at large," said Soto. "Given the changing social and economic landscape in California and the nation, their purpose will become even more significant. I look forward to working with the faculty and staff of Mission College to meet the educational needs of our students and Mission's surrounding community."
From 2000-02, Soto served
as associate director of USC's Center for Urban Education, an institution
that conducts research and carries out projects designed to close the
gap in educational outcomes for historically underrepresented students.
Soto's responsibilities included managing the center's projects, overseeing
a staff of professional research associates and graduate student research
assistants, collaborating with faculty and senior administrators, and
developing budget and funding sources.
In addition to her duties at
the Center, Soto also taught (and continues to teach) a required course
for master's and doctoral students in the foundations of higher and professional
Dr. Soto's publications and
presentations, either as sole or co-author, number more than 20 on many
issues affecting higher education, including tenure, evaluation of faculty,
first generation college students, women in academia, and strategic planning
for post-secondary institutions.
During her six years at USC,
Soto also held positions as project manager and special assistant to the
associate dean. Previously, she was a bilingual teacher with two local
school districts and, from 1990-93, Soto was a director for El Rescate,
Inc., a non-profit organization which provides legal, educational and
other social services to Central American refugees.
Soto holds a Ph.D. in Educational
Policy, Planning and Administration in Higher Education from USC. She
earned her Bachelor's degree in political science from UCLA.
Soto is the daughter of Mexican immigrant parents who each possessed a 3rd grade education. She is a first generation college student who was raised in the San Fernando Valley. Soto and her five siblings attended Cantara Street Elementary School, Northridge Junior High School, and Cleveland High School. Like Soto, four of her siblings went on to earn Bachelor's degrees from UCLA.
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