Employee Graduate Spotlight

Tips from a Titan Employee Graduate


Helen Dolbin Picture


Helen Dolbin

Administrative Analyst/Specialist, Academic Affairs


Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration, California State University, Fullerton


Helen is a first-generation graduate who has served the University as a CSUF employee for 19 years.



What is your favorite CSUF memory?

It’s a compilation of memories of watching our student workers evolve, grow, graduate, and move on in their lives.  It’s encouraging to know how many quality individuals are out there trying to make a positive impact on the world.


What tips do you have for Titan students pursuing their degree?

Keep at it and enjoy the experience. Whether you finish in four years right out of high school or take a more circuitous route as I did, enjoy your educational and life experiences as they come along. As it's happening, you don't always realize the memories you're creating until after the fact when you look back and say, "I am really glad I did that."


What tips do you have for Titan employees considering going back to school?

If you're considering going back to school - Do it. Once you start, you'll realize there are more re-entry students than you probably expected. As a re-entry student, I've been asked several times if I'm a first-generation college student and the question actually stumps me. No generation ahead of me in my family completed a college/university education. However, both of my children had already completed not only undergrad but also graduate degrees by the time I completed my degree. The most important factor in all this is that we all completed our education goals. If you are considering going back to school, you will find yourself in good company - Do it.


What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome while pursuing your degree?

Family, work, and school time balance is the biggest challenge. I often had to complete assignments early in order participate in family activities. Fortunately, much of my classwork could be done online. Several times, I was able to complete and submit class assignments electronically while traveling with my family. Working at the CSUF Library, I have always been surrounded by supportive and encouraging students, co-workers, and supervisors while pursuing my degree. I cannot overstate how much being surrounded by those who support you in your goals helps when navigating family, work, and school priorities.


What are you most proud of during your most recent school year?     

My final school year included my first completely on-line class. Having begun my university educational journey well before the age of personal computers, I am quite proud of how I was able to keep up with technology and adapt my learning style to accommodate using new means of receiving instruction and of submitting assignments.