LPM Staff

ASU’s face in the community

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Sandy Ferniza

Position: Executive Director for Community Development, Arizona State University

Job description: Connecting ASU to communities of interest and business and community leaders through private and public partnerships, collaborations, programs, events and activities to make the learning environment open and available to all.

Time on the job: Joined the ASU Foundation in January 2003; moved to ASU Vice President’s Office of Public Affairs in January 2004.

Education: BA in 1974 in Political Science from ASU

Résumé highlights: Director, Governor’s Office of Excellence (Jane D. Hull) 1998-2002; President and Director of REVIVE AZ, AZ Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, 1991-1998; Director and Program Officer, Phoenix Office, National Council of La Raza, 1977-1983; Bilingual Resource Teacher, Roosevelt School District, 1974-1977.

Life lessons learned on the job: “The importance of lifelong learning.”

Proudest accomplishment:Hispanic Convocation at ASU – watching graduates and their families celebrate an incredible achievement that many thought was unattainable, particularly for those who are first in their family to earn a college degree.”

Best career advice you have received: “Keep an open mind; you are never too old to learn new skills and explore different points of view.”

Most important skills to possess in your field: “The ability and willingness to listen.”

Mentors: “Raul Yzaguirre, Jack Pfister, Nancy Jordan, Yolanda Kizer.”

Person you admire the most in your field: “Nancy Jordan, she is a master of the art of collaboration, discretion and multi-tasking while never losing sight of her priorities both personal and professional.”

Why did you select this field: “I love the variety of challenges and engaging with all aspects of the community.”

If you had to recareer: “Back to the classroom. I miss the joy of young and eager faces with a great sense of curiosity and hope for their future.”

Memorable learning moment: “Many, but I valued the energy and optimism of the interns who worked with me during my tenure at the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Their work ethic and the keen observation skills they applied to meet the needs of our membership was invaluable.”

What do you like the most about your career: “The variety of challenges, never a dull moment and the unexpected pleasure of unheralded accomplishment.”

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