San Diego City Councilmember Todd Gloria was re-elected to represent District Three on June 5, 2012. His colleagues elected him to be the City Council President on December 3, 2012. As a third generation resident of District Three, his roots in the community are deep and his commitment to the community is strong. His colleagues elected him to be the City Council President on December 3, 2012. In Todd’s first term as a Councilmember, he championed increased infrastructure investment, resulting in miles of smoother roads and the term “sexy streets.” He also led the way for San Diego’s first permanent year-round homeless service center, was a leading advocate for transportation options including a stronger public transit system and pedestrian and bicycle projects, and authored Proposition C, which updated the City’s veterans hiring policy. And, as Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee in 2011 and 2012, Councilmember Gloria oversaw the development and approval of budgets that stabilized the City’s finances after years of cuts, and restored critical services like library hours. Todd's lifelong dedication to public service stems from the lesson of his parents that if you care about something, you should leave it better than you found it. Prior to his election in 2008, Todd served as District Director to U.S. Congresswoman Susan A. Davis and worked for the County of San Diego's Health and Human Services Agency. Todd's volunteer efforts to improve the community include his work as a San Diego Housing Commissioner from 2005 until his election, and as a member of the Mid-City Prostitution Impact Panel. As a Councilmember, Todd remains committed to community service and regularly volunteers with his staff on neighborhood projects.Todd was named San Diego’s Best Elected Official by the readers of CityBeat in 2011 and 2012. His work has also been recognized by numerous organizations, including the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, Save Our Heritage Organization, the Greater San Diego Business Association, and the HIV Consumer Council.
Todd is a graduate of the University of San Diego and an enrolled member of the Tlingit Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. He lives in Hillcrest.
Dr. Rudy Guevarra Jr., is currently Assistant Professor in the Asian Pacific American Studies Program and Faculty Affiliate in the Department of Transborder Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies at Arizona State University. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in history from the University of Santa Barbara. His research and teaching interests include Asian American and Pacific Islander history, Chicana/o and Latina/o history, comparative Ethnic Studies, multiracial and multiethnic identity, race and ethnicity, immigration and transnational migration, and labor history. He is co-author of Filipinos in San Diego (Arcadia Publishing, 2010), and co-editor and contributing author of Crossing Lines: Race and Mixed Race Across the Geohistorical Divide (Alta Mira Press, 2005). His other writings have been featured in The Journal of San Diego History, Mavin Magazine, and Urban Mozaik Magazine. Dr. Guevarra is currently completing his book, manuscript, “Mexipino: Mexicans, Filipinos, and the Forging of Multiethnic Identities and Communities.” His next book project, “Aloha Compadre: Transpacific Latina/o Migrations to the Hawaiian Islands” examines the historical and contemporary Latina/o diaspora to Hawai’i, within the context of changing labor, immigration and ethnic relations. In addition to his research and teaching, Dr. Guevarra serves on several national and international boards, including the Association of Asian American Studies (AAAS), Multiracial Americans of Southern California (MASC), the MAVIN Foundation, and Conducive Magazine Online. He is currently Vice President of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS), San Diego Chapter.
Growing up in Anaheim, California, at an early age I knew that the study of history was in my future, which prompted me to choose it as my major while at UC Irvine, focusing primarily on Latin American history. The year between graduation from UC Irvine in June 2007 and my first semester at the University of San Diego was spent continuing what I had been accustomed to doing since high school: working with low-income, largely immigrant and first-generation American children. My own experiences, coupled with my observances in the classroom and the community, compelled me to continue studying the role of Latin American migrants in the United States. Although my thesis at USD did not address this matter – choosing instead to investigate British interests in North America from 1815-1845 – it was a topic that continued to draw my attention. For this reason I opted to enter into Cornell’s Ph.D. History Program, expressing my desire to examine the experiences of Latino migrants in the American Southwest from the 1980s to the present. In studying this subject I will explore the interactions between these migrants and the native populations and institutions. By engaging in this process I will be able to better understand how it is that we arrived at the current state of immigrant/native relations, for that is ultimately one of history’s goals: to determine how our past has shaped our present. History can tell us where we have been and, possibly, how we have progressed.
"USD is a rising star that continues to grow in quality and prominence thanks to its alumni, students and faculty."
Why did you choose to attend USD?
It was (and remains to me) the perfect convergence of attributes: a smaller, liberal arts-based school, Catholic values, location and beauty of the campus…and it was a relatively new school that gave me the chance to be part of something new and on the rise.
How have you used your liberal arts education in your career?
It gave me an incredible foundation in conducting international business: working with people in different cultures, understanding consumers in these different markets and understanding the evolving role of the United States in the world. It also helped me develop as an analyst, writer, and public speaker.
Please share your greatest accomplishment in your professional life.
Helping build our family business J.D. Power and Associates into a global business that affected markets (and consumers) on nearly every continent.
Why are alumni important?
A relatively young school like USD is continuing to develop. In the last 60 years it has developed magnificently in terms of her facilities, her faculty and her programs. One of the next steps for this school to achieve the next level of greatness is to build and enhance the alumni experience. If you think about it, the alumni are incredibly important to USD (and each other) because the USD brand is shaped by the success and impact that her alumni have on society. And, to add even more emphasis, think about why alumni are important to USD:
What advice would you give to a prospective student?
Not only does USD provide the same things that I was looking for, but also it has grown in quality, prominence, and facilities. It is unbeatable if you are looking for this type of education.
Describe your favorite memory from USD.
I graduated from USD with a double major in History and International Relations in May 2012. I spent the summer working overtime as a waiter, which gave me some financial independence and the ability to enter a Master’s Program in Chinese Business Law at Fudan University in Shanghai, China. Fudan University is one of the top five universities in the country. Dr Yi Sun and Dr Abraham Stoll each wrote me a letter of recommendation, which were extremely helpful in getting me admitted. At the end of August I took a one-way flight to China’s biggest and most prosperous city, looking forward to my new adventure and determined to succeed.
A month later, I got a highly competitive internship in the Government Relations Department of the American Chamber of Commerce, where I witness and grapple with first-hand the complexities of doing business in China. Once again, Professor Sun's recommendation carried a lot of weight in getting me this position. I plan on graduating in June 2014, equipped with abundant knowledge about the Chinese business laws and regulations, fluent in Mandarin, and intent on securing a full-time position with an international consulting agency.
I can’t say enough about my education at USD. Its emphasis on the study-abroad experience and the never-ending help from my professors in the history department, even after graduation, have made it possible for me to embark on the next phase of my exciting academic journey.
Nicholas Vega ('04) is the Director of Exhibitions for the San Diego Historical Society.