Jamillah Moore '92 (Communication Studies), MA '95 (Intercultural Communication & Public Policy)
Leading the way for students
Sometimes the path through life takes you right back to where you began. For Jamillah Moore, it took her back to Los Angeles, the place where she grew up. Along the way it brought her through Sacramento and to Sac State.
Moore was the president of Los Angeles City College, part of the state’s largest community college district before being named Chancellor of the Ventura County Community College District.
The nine-campus Los Angeles Community College District has more than 130,000 students, and LACC has more than 17,000.
“My mother and father both attended LACC, and to have their daughter as the president is quite exciting for them,” she says, “but I just call it good karma and the universe opening back up.”
She enrolled at Sac State through the University’s Educational Opportunity Program, which provides support for students from historically underrepresented and economically disadvantaged groups.
“EOP showed me that access equals success,” Moore says. “I learned that the foundation for students was to give them the resources they needed, the tools to navigate the college process and the opportunity to succeed. As the president of a large urban college, I have a unique appreciation of students who have needs because I was one of those students. I had an economic need.”
Her early goals as a Sac State student were to move into broadcast journalism and “to have Katie Couric’s job.” But she ventured off that path when she began mixing journalism and politics.
“I had internships in television and radio then did an internship with a program (Sacramento Semester),” she says. “I became intrigued by the process of how the media work in tandem with policy and informing constituencies.”
After earning her bachelor’s degree, she accepted an internship with the state Senate and found that she enjoyed education policy even more than the media.
Since then, she has been a senior consultant for the California State Senate Select Committee on College and University Admissions and Outreach, director of governmental relations for the Los Angeles County Office of Education, and the senior vice chancellor for governmental and external relations for the California Community Colleges System Office. She was named president of Los Angeles City College in 2007.
“Getting an education opened the door for me,” she says.
This article was originally published in the Summer 2009 issue of Sac State Magazine.