A top official from President Barack Obama’s administration visited Mount St. Mary’s Doheny Campus in July, meeting with students and faculty to highlight the need for more women in federal service.
Katherine Archuleta, director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, serves as President Obama’s workforce ambassador, and focuses her efforts on creating a diverse, engaged and inclusive federal workforce.
At the Mount, Archuleta first met with members of the College’s faculty and staff to discuss opportunities for national service, including advice on how to better connect students with those openings.
“Director Archuleta pointed out the need for more women, and specifically women of color, in leadership positions in the federal government,” says Rosalyn Kempf, director of the Mount’s Office of Women’s Leadership. “She also highlighted opportunities tailored for those in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) and for veterans.”
Later in the day, Archuleta met directly with more than a dozen Athenian students, including those who are majoring in STEM disciplines and those who are U.S. military veterans. She spoke to the group about the importance of public service, and encouraged students to think about internships and careers in the federal government.
One of the students in attendance was recent alum and U.S. Air Force veteran Megan Rodriguez ’14, who was selected to shadow Archuleta for the day as part of the White House’s “A Day in the Life” initiative.
The “Day in the Life” program enables senior officials to meet with citizens who have been positively affected by federal policies. The Mount’s Rodriguez had the chance to talk privately with Archuleta, travel with the director during her L.A. visit, and attend a speech that Archuleta delivered to a local veterans group. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management also posted a video about Rodriguez's "Day in the Life" experience on its own website.
Archuleta is the first Latina to lead the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. She began her career as a school teacher before becoming involved in public policy. She previously served as chief of staff to U.S. Transportation Secretary Federico Pena and, more recently, filled the same role for former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.
Faculty and staff who met with Archuleta included Wendy McCredie, the Mount's provost and academic vice president; Lance Skidmore, co-chair of physical sciences and mathematics; Bernadette Robert, assistant vice president for Student Affairs and Community Engagement; Leticia Rodriguez, activity director for the Mount’s STEM Title III grant; Marlene Simon, director of Career Services and Internships; and Kempf.