State Senator Roth to address La Sierra grads. Criminal Justice celebrates first graduating class.
June 6, 2013
By Darla Martin Tucker
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – (www.lasierra.edu) Approximately 350 La Sierra University graduates will obtain their diplomas on June 16, and receive words of inspiration from one of California’s newest legislators before heading down different paths.
La Sierra’s graduation activities will begin on Fri., June 14 at 8 p.m. with a consecration service at La Sierra University Church. Events continue with a baccalaureate service at the university church on Sat., June 15 at 12 p.m., featuring an address by Monterey County Superior Court Judge Marla Osborn Anderson, a La Sierra alumna.
The weekend will culminate with commencement on Sun., June 16 at 8 a.m. on the university’s Founders’ Green. California State Senator Richard D. Roth will serve as the university’s commencement speaker.
Roth, a Riverside resident, attorney and former high-ranking member of the U.S. Air Force, was elected last November to represent California Senate District 31. His numerous committee appointments include chairing the Senate Budget Subcommittee on State Administration and General Government as well as the Senate Legislative Ethics Committee. He also serves on the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, the Joint Committee on Emergency Management, the Banking and Financial Institutions policy committee as well as several other policy committees. Through an appointment by Gov. Jerry Brown, he also serves on the newly created Governor’s Council on California Military Future.
Roth’s extensive civic service in the Riverside area includes serving as current president of The Monday Morning Group and as a past board chairman for the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce. He is a member of the La Sierra University Foundation Board, the Raincross Club, the Riverside Community Hospital Advisory Board, the Riverside County Bar Association Board of Directors, the Air Force Judge Advocate General’s School Foundation Board and other groups.
Before retiring in 2007, Roth served 32 years in both active and reserve duty with the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps. His numerous awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal. His military tenure included serving as a reserve judge advocate at bases in Georgia, California and Illinois, and at Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command in the U.S. Pentagon. By 2004, he had risen to the rank of major general and served in the Pentagon as mobilization assistant to the judge advocate general of the U.S. Air Force where he oversaw more than 900 reserve judge advocates and paralegals.
Roth also has been engaged in the practice of labor and employment law with Riverside-based firms for over 30 years. Prior to establishing his law practice, Roth worked as an attorney with the National Labor Relations Board.
La Sierra’s commencement this year will also celebrate the first Criminal Justice graduating class. The Bachelor of Science degree program is finishing its third year and has 136 students enrolled. Five graduates will march on June 16 -- Kristell Lopez, Jason Ross, Kacia Gist, Andrew Gutman, and Evelyn Felix who is graduating Summa Cum Laude.
Criminal Justice majors study in state-of-the-art classrooms and a crime lab in Corona where they learn fingerprinting, ballistics, crime scene processing, court evidence rules and other skills from current and former criminal justice and legal industry professionals.
The first graduating class members transferred to the Criminal Justice program from other institutions or other La Sierra programs. La Sierra’s Criminal Justice Bachelor of Science degree program, which began in 2010 with 38 students, expects to grow its Corona campus to 180 students next year and add a Rancho Cucamonga campus with upwards of 20 students enrolled.
“We are excited to send off our first group of graduates from this new program, and look forward to bringing the expertise of our faculty and adjunct professionals to the Rancho Cucamonga area next year,” said Cindy Parkhurst, on site director. “The field is growing, demand is high for this type of degree, and we are happy to meet the need.”