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Tuesday, December 15, 2020

COE Salutes Retiring Mainstays Ludvik, Booth and Hernandez

Ludvik, Hernandez and Booth
Clockwise from top: Ludvik, Hernandez and Booth

As the semester draws to a close, the San Diego State University College of Education bids a fond farewell to three longtime members of the COE family. Dr. Marilee Bresciani Ludvik, professor of postsecondary educational leadership; Dr. Jacki Booth, lecturer and study abroad coordinator in the Department of Child and Family Development (CFD); and Sylvia Hernandez, credential analyst in the Office of Student Success (OSS); will be retiring from SDSU at the end of the year. 

Marilee Bresciani Ludvik 

Since joining the Administration, Rehabilitation and Postsecondary Education (ARPE) faculty more than 14 years ago, Ludvik has built a lasting legacy. 

She reinvented the MA in Postsecondary Educational Leadership in Student Affairs (PELSA) and contributed to the development of the independent Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Community College concentration — the California State University’s first independent Ed.D. Ludvik said she is particularly proud of the recruitment and retention of diverse full-time faculty members within the PELSA program who are representative of the SDSU student population. 

“When we hired Marilee in 2006, she took over our MA in Postsecondary Leadership and raised the level of expectations, bringing new structure to the program,” said Dr. Caren Sax, professor and chair of ARPE. “Her expertise in higher education and more specifically, student affairs, built the foundation for the degree as it stands today. She then set to work on our newly formed doctoral program, preparing us for the initial WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) review. 

“But more than her programmatic expertise, Marilee brought a sense of joy, mindfulness, strategic thinking, and total dedication to her colleagues and students. We'll miss her laughter, thoughtfulness and compassion; our Department is better from her influence.” 

Through the years, Ludvik has supported untenured faculty members formally and informally through the promotion, review and tenure process. She has also served as a faculty fellow within the Office of Educational Effectiveness, working with faculty and staff members from across the university to instill learning and development science aimed at closing achievement gaps and improving career readiness skills. 

After retiring from SDSU, Ludvik will start a new position as professor and chair of the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Department at UT-Arlington. 

“I will remember the people — the SDSU faculty, staff and students,” Ludvik said. “My love and admiration for them is what I will remember.” 

Jacki Booth 

Booth has been a CFD faculty member for more than 25 years, teaching undergraduate courses in family studies, human development, family relationships, family violence and conflict resolution. She has also been a champion of lecturers and the important role they play in their departments, serving as a Lecturer's Representative for the California Faculty Association, member of the Faculty Grievance Committee and Student Grievance Committee and a Lecturer's Representative on SDSU Senate. 

“As a lecturer in CFD, Dr. Booth has shared her deep understanding of family dynamic and adolescent development with our students and used innovative pedagogies to help students connect with course content,” said Dr. Sarah Garrity, associate professor and chair of CFD. “Jacki is very student-centered, and oftentimes, when I find myself grappling with an issue, I think to myself ‘how would Jacki Booth handle this situation?’” 

Booth has also been an advisor to CFD’s student organization and served on the department undergraduate curriculum and policy committees. She also spearheaded international education in CFD, coordinating the department’s study abroad programs and guiding students through their global experiences. 

“Dr. Booth has wrapped her arms around our students as they travel the world,” Garrity added. 

Booth said she plans to now spend her time hiking, traveling internationally and volunteering. She is particularly passionate about animal rescue and veterans causes — the latter in honor of her son, stepfather and father. 

“My fondest memories have been sharing in my students' academic and personal successes post-graduation,” Booth said. “It has been such a joy to hear about their graduate school adventures, marriages, babies and careers. Likewise, I will also cherish the opportunities I had to share international experiences with them, many of whom had never traveled before.” 

Sylvia Hernandez 

With the exception of a brief interlude working at Cal State San Marcos, Hernandez has been a mainstay in OSS since 1992. During her career, she has filled multiple roles in student services, but eventually found a calling in the credentialing process and credential program advising. 

“My own understanding of why we do much of what we do in support of our credential candidates is due to Sylvia’s institutional knowledge,” said Dr. Lisa McCully, director of OSS. “I considered it to be one of my most valuable accomplishments when I was able to convince Sylvia to return to SDSU — and our college — from CSU San Marcos because the importance that she places on serving our students is exemplary. 

“She will be missed by our faculty, staff and students alike. We are losing a treasure as she retires but she deserves every happy moment the future holds.” 

Hernandez said she will most miss seeing her OSS co-workers as well as the many faculty members she works closely with — many of whom she has known since the 1990s. As for what’s next? 

“My hopes for retirement before COVID were to travel, garden and try new hobbies like painting or tai-chi — but most of all, to spend more quality time with family and friends,” Hernandez said. “For now, I guess I'll have to settle for lots of gardening, board games and reading.”