Delta Professor Appointed to State Commission
Delta College political science professor, Cirian Villavicencio, has been appointed to the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. Villavicencio, 34, has been an associate professor at San Joaquin Delta College since 2012, and previously an adjunct professor at American River College and Folsom Lake College. He received his BA in history and political science (with honors) from UC Davis, his master’s in Public Administration from the University of Southern California, and is currently pursuing his doctorate from the University of Wyoming in Adult Post-Secondary Education.
Established in 2004, the mission of the 13 member California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs (CAPIAA) is to elevate the political, economic, and social issues of Asians and Pacific Islanders by contributing to and strengthening how state governments addresses the needs, issues, and concerns of the divers and complex Asian and Pacific Islander American communities.
“I’m humbled and grateful for this opportunity to serve the people of the state of California and San Joaquin Delta College in this capacity,” said Villavicencio. “I believe this will give me unique opportunities to have the governor’s ear on Asian and Pacific Islander American issues - and make important political connections.”
Cirian Villavicencio was born in the Philippines, then immigrated with his family to California when he was five years old. Villavicencio emphasizes, “I’ve never left this great state, and consider California my home!” As a first-generation immigrant, Villavicencio says he always encouraged members of his community to become more politically active. “Rather than preach, I decided to be an example.”
Villavicencio has been politically active since age 16, interning for the late Congressman Tom Lantos. “I had a wonderful history teacher who encouraged me to think critically. From a very young age, I discovered that only through actively participating in the political process can one truly affect change. I continue to pass along this same wisdom to my students today.”
After grad school, Villavicencio worked as a staffer for the California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, representing the interest of Asian Pacific Islander community. As his teaching career blossomed, Villavicencio continued to stay active politically in campaigns, and as a member of the Sacramento County Democratic Central Committee. He was elected as a delegate to the California Democratic State Conventions in 2009 and 2010. Not done yet, Cirian was elected twice as a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 2008 and 2012.
Villavicencio, who is also co-adviser of Delta’s Politics & Law Club, and faculty adviser to Delta’s Political Perspective magazine, doesn’t believe his political experience was the key in obtaining Governor Brown’s appointment. “I believe Governor Brown selected me for my experience teaching at the community college level. As we seek to maintain access in our great institutions, I believe I was brought in to provide my experience in helping under-served communities in the area of education.”
With his busy schedule as a Delta College instructor and forthcoming duties as a member of the CAPIAA, would Cirian Villavicencio consider further political ambitions? “It would be very difficult to leave the classroom. That decision would also depend on the support of my wife and family. However, if there is an opportunity to serve and my background and experience will enable me to make a positive difference in my community, then I would seriously consider it.”