Fullerton College President Cynthia Olivo
Cynthia Olivo, Fullerton College’s new president who will officially begin in 2023, made her FCTV studio debut alongside The Hornet’s Editor-In-Chief Gerardo Chagolla and her presence was felt throughout. Her effortless charm kept the room engaged as she answered each and every query with great clarity.
She excels at leading innovative approaches to improving student outcomes and building consensus to foster equity-mindedness. Additionally, she serves on the Chief Student Services Officers Association board and founded California community college Latinx organization COLEGAS.
Early Life and Education
Cynthia Olivo currently serves as Vice President of Student Services for Pasadena City College and its 30,000 diverse student population. A veteran in higher education since 1995, Cynthia Olivo has held roles such as Dean, Associate Vice President and Vice President.
She is a member of Harvard Institute for Management & Leadership in Education and American Council on Education’s Advancing to the Presidency Program. Additionally, she has led many initiatives aimed at supporting student success, retention and access for marginalized populations such as Latinos, Undocumented Students, First Generation College Students and Low Income Students.
Cyn’s approach to life is characteristically simplistic and almost naive, as evidenced in her attempts at mediating and dissolving conflicts within her family, particularly dealing with Marco’s disparaging remarks about Naomi or manipulating Filip to dislike his mother.
Cynthia Olivo is an exceptionally accomplished, results-oriented leader with extensive experience navigating complex environments. A team player and decisive leader, Cynthia has extensive knowledge in intelligence gathering and special operations.
She currently holds the title of Vice President of Student Services at Pasadena City College and brings over 27 years of higher education administration experience, such as housing and residential life administration, counseling services, student services administration and more.
Her grandparents immigrated to the US through the Bracero Program and worked tirelessly in Southern California fields to build a better life for themselves and their family. Her upbringing served as an important source of motivation in her own work ethic and drive to succeed; Gerardo Chagolla of The Hornet was impressed with how readily she answered his questions during our conversation.
Achievement and Honors
No matter if you are currently studying or recently graduated, receiving recognition for academic or work-related achievements should not be overlooked. Such recognition serves as an official affirmation of your value by third-parties and can set you apart from candidates with similar skills, experience and qualifications.
Academic honors may not have the same glitz and glamour of plaques and medals, but they remain important achievements to include on your CV. For instance, if you were among the top 10% of your graduating class or were presented Latin Honors – be sure to mention this achievement within your education section of your CV or work experience section; just be sure to clearly explain its significance.
Cynthia Olivo, president of Fullerton College, is a passionate reader who delights in music. When not reading or listening to it, she loves spending time with her children and grandchildren as well as reading herself. Cynthia Olivo strongly believes in helping others realize their goals – she credits her grandparents’ presence through the bracero program and as migrant farm workers with instilling strong work ethic values as well as the belief that anything is possible in her upbringing.
Gerardo Chagolla, Editor-in-Chief for The Hornet, interviewed Olivo for an interview in 2023 and she was forthright and open with everything ranging from her goals for Fullerton College to what was streaming on Spotify playlists. Her answers never appeared rushed or flustered by his questions; making this encounter particularly remarkable.