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CSUCI’s New Dean of Education Brings Global Perspective | School zone

Posted on June 27, 2022
| 3:05 p.m.

Elisabeth Orozco Reilly

As the daughter of an immigrant, Elizabeth Orozco Reilly, new dean of the CSU Channel Islands School of Education (CSUCI), brings the perspective of an international scholar who got her start in rural, urban and suburban classrooms. by teaching other children of immigrants.

Orozco Reilly credits his father, whose parents immigrated from Italy, and his mother, an immigrant from Mexico, with his own commitment to making education available to all, especially those who are the first in their families to attend university.

“I saw what my mother went through as an immigrant,” Orozco Reilly said. “The humiliation of being a second language learner in an environment that does not welcome ‘the other’. My commitment comes from both my parents who believed that education creates opportunities and opens doors for us.

Orozco Reilly, who started at CSUCI on June 1, comes to the campus of the School of Education at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where she served as president and professor of educational leadership and administration.

“Dean Reilly is exceptionally qualified for this position,” Provost Mitch Avila said. “She is passionate about education, brings years of experience and is committed to advancing the region by working collaboratively with our P-12 partners. I couldn’t be happier to see her join our decanal ranks and look forward to supporting her leadership in the School of Education.

Orozco Reilly’s youth was spent on a working horse ranch in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Auburn with his parents, a brother and a sister.

“I learned to drive a tractor when I was around 12,” she said. “And I know how to catch sea bass for dinner. I had cowboy boots and dirt bikes, and of course there were rattlesnakes.

Orozco Reilly’s paternal grandparents immigrated to California from Italy in the 1800s because the land most closely resembled their native Tuscany.

“My dad experienced a lot of the same discrimination, just not to the same degree as my mom, but it was always a teacher who took them to the next level,” Orozco Reilly said. “They knew the only way out of poverty was through education.”

Orozco Reilly’s father went to college after being accepted to UC Berkeley in the 1940s.

Orozco Reilly attended the University of the Pacific (UOP) in Stockton where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in teaching. She earned a doctorate in organization and leadership from the University of San Francisco and established a joint doctoral program in leadership for educational equity at UC Berkeley.

Orozco Reilly began her education in Linden, just outside of Stockton in the San Joaquin Valley and later taught at the Hayward Unified School District in the Bay Area, where she was asked for a leadership position.

Orozco Reilly has seen this same thread of determination in women in leadership positions in countries where women have fewer rights, such as Afghanistan and Rwanda. Her most recent work concerns women in Pakistan and soon the Philippines, but she has worked on five continents, in countries such as Costa Rica, China and India.

Since troops left Afghanistan and the Taliban are back in charge there, Orozco Reilly has worried about the women she has worked with, many of whom have fled and others of whom she has yet to hear. talk.

Having seen the profound difference an education can make across the world, Orozco Reilly is committed to ensuring that each student’s differences are accommodated and celebrated at CSUCI.

“Our responsibility is to interrupt generational poverty,” she said. “For us to work with care and depth in our communities and create a place where families know they have choices.”

Orozco Reilly is currently transforming her office into a mini-museum, displaying artifacts she has collected and received from around the world. “The idea of ​​the museum is to inspire people to recognize that there is a world much bigger than us,” she said.