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CSUB president hires two women for cabinet



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Dec. 8--For the first time in Cal State Bakersfield's history, two women will sit on the president's cabinet.

Shelley Ruelas has been hired as vice president for student affairs, President Horace Mitchell announced in a memo sent to all faculty and staff on Friday.

Soraya Coley, who began work as provost and vice president of academic affairs in August, is the first woman to ever hold the No. 2 position at CSUB.

Ruelas, who was born and raised in Fresno, will officially take her position on Feb. 1. Mitchell said Ruelas' Central Valley background was definitely a plus in hiring her.

"She has an appreciation of many of the issues confronting the students in the Central Valley," Mitchell said.

Ruelas, who speaks Spanish and has spent time traveling in Mexico, also has a strong background in student development, Mitchell said.

She is currently working as a licensed psychologist and residential life coordinator at Arizona State University. Ruelas said she is interested in integrating academics and student life, something the campus already seems to be working toward.

"It seems to be an incredibly exciting, dynamic time at the university right now," Ruelas said.

Ruelas earned her doctorate in psychology from UC Santa Barbara in 2000. She placed multiculturalism as a top priority when she takes her post. Mitchell said he was pleased his cabinet reflects the diversity of the campus community.

"I think that it's certainly a strength that there's such a diversity on campus already," Ruelas said.

"I really believe that excellence in higher education is defined by student's preparedness to navigate and contribute in society."

With Ruelas taking the final cabinet position, Mitchell said his main goals for the campus will now move more quickly toward completion.

"We will have the cabinet complete, which also means that I can spend less time doing searches," Mitchell said, laughing.

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