This academic year of 2012-2013, Las Positas College faces a budget cut of $1.5 million. The deficit reduces class availability, staff employment, student services and materials available. New Dean of Arts, Communications, Letters, and Sciences at Las Positas College Dr. Marilyn Flores arrives at LPC this year prepared to manage the lone dean position for her academic grouping—despite the fact that in previous semesters, three deans shared the burden of her title. The impingement of resources at Las Positas College seems to place students at a notable disadvantage to succeed, however as both the empowering philosophy and the promising resume of Dr. Flores clearly illustrate, the future of Las Positas could not be in better hands.
The composition of a successful leader is a controversial topic, open to endless speculation and subject to countless variables. Undoubtedly, a great leader has toiled relentlessly along a difficult path to achieve qualification. Flores has traveled an awesome distance to reach her current position, and for her journey, she has a great story to tell.
A first generation American of pure Mexican descent, Flores’ parents raised her in the mainland, and in doing so, taught her a lifelong lesson in work ethic and devotion to purpose. The first in her family to complete college—to receive a doctorate degree—Flores humbly attributes her success not to any intrinsic or developed personal genius. Rather, she holds a combination of her parents’ example, a careful attention to the “system,” and every teacher and administrator who guided her student career responsible for her commendable distinction. Dr. Flores began her lengthy resume in the field of community education at the green age of 19. Reportedly, Dr. Flores became interested in a career in education when she was 19—her interest instantly became action—a clear indication of both a proactive nature and positive attitude she has carefully refined over the course of two decades of work as an educator.
The latest feat of Flores advanced philosophical inclination is, in fact, her application and acceptance to Las Positas College. Flores arrives at LPC in a voluntary defect from her previous institution—a southern California college institution that could have offered her a comparatively greater luxury and more lucrative career had she stayed. However, once Flores realized that the institution did not put the students’ interests first when adapting to the California state budget deficits, she began looking for an institution that would utilize both her talents as educational administrator as well as her selfless moral obligation to serve the community.
“Where I was previously, I felt that even though we have a heavy emphasis on completion we we were starting to deny access to students which is not part of my philosophy. At that point I started looking for different positions and I wanted to make sure I found an institution where I could be true to myself and I felt there was a culture of acceptance and belief in the community,” Flores said. Flores believes no student should be denied access to education, and will do all in her power to assist the community at LPC. “I can help students achieve academic success, connect them to counselors or mentors, guide them to participate in their field, if they come to me … I am glad to be here. I look forward to entering the trenches with my students. I urge students to invite me to events around the college,” Flores emphasizes. It seems the faculty reciprocates Flores’ gratitude—such a motivational community leader and outstanding role model is a blessing among the reduced staff presence at Las Positas College.
“I appreciate [Flores’s] willingness to ask questions … she is willing ask and meet with the faculty to find out how things are going, what she needs to know to help them provide education to our students, and what the faculty needs from her. I know she has met with most of the faculty so far,” Janice Noble said. Dr. Flores has already become part of the LPC community.
Nothing worthwhile in life is simple and student life at Las Positas College is no exception. It is more important now than it ever has been to turn to our leaders for guidance, and pay their wisdom forward. Today the leader is the educator—the teacher—and if opportunity arises, each one has a fantastic story tell.