By Daniel Muñoz
Southwestern Community College President Serafin Zasueta has announced the selection of Ms. Irma Alvarez to the position of Dean of Southwestern College School of Business and Information Systems. Ms Alvarez, a resident of Bonita announced that she is ready to assume her new position. “I want to help open the doors and offer more opportunities for all the business and vocational students at SWC.”
Irma Alvarez is a graduate of the School of Business at San Diego State University where she earned her secondary Level of Teaching Credential and immediately went to work administrating a Grant aimed at helping Hispanic women enter the workforce. At SWC, she instituted the Bilingual Office Procedures class, which is now the core of the bilingual classes, offered at Southwestern College. That bilingual component has become part of six programs in the School of Business and Information Systems including those in the medical field.
Ms Alvarez earned her Masters of Arts degree in linguistics at San Diego State University, and went on to become the Southwestern College Chair for Office Information Systems for two consecutive years. She became involved in writing numerous grants that resulted in SWC receiving numerous grants for the purpose of developing new programs and to equip computer labs. “I have had many challenges throughout my career that have given me the well rounded experiences to be able to carry out my new assignment as Dean of the School of Business,” stated Ms Alvarez.
As a Latina, Irma Alvarez is without question an important role model for the large Mexican -Latino American student body at SWC. She is a living example of the opportunities that are available to all who are motivated and seek to improve their lives through education. Alvarez has indicated that she will be seeking to expand existing programs throughout Southwestern College and Centers at San Ysidro and the Higher Education Center at National City. “I want to see new programs featuring Business, Travel and Telecommunications and to place emphasis on high tech programs at SWC. It is important that Southwestern College offer programs that will meet the changing needs of our communities and that will help our students grow and advance in their lives and careers,” she said.
Irma is no stranger in the boardroom of La Prensa Muñoz Inc., where she joined the founding team of La Prensa San Diego in the early ‘70’s and has been a supportive member of the Board and stakeholder from it’s inception.
Chairman of the Board, Daniel L. Muñoz Sr., expressed the opinion that Southwestern College could do no better than Irma Alvarez. “They have a Dean who has always been a consistent pusher for improving the lives of San Diego’s Minorities, especially the Mexican American. But that comes naturally in one whose family roots are imbedded in “Old Town” where her ancestors came during the formative years of “El Pueblo de San Diego“. Over the years, she has been a steadying influence on the Board and has become not only a valued member, but has become a loved member of the Muñoz family,” said Muñoz Sr.
“Over the decades, we have noticed her maturity and growth as she expanded to incorporate the web of concerns, the needs of the city, county and state. She learned from her youth the difficulties associated with having to live in a barrio and being poor. With the death of her father, life was not easy. But she persevered. Now, she seeks to educate all the students that come into her sphere of influence, be they young middle aged or seniors, education, to Irma, is never over with but can be a treasured companion throughout life.”