Stanislaus State student Maggie White isn’t your average scholar. After graduating from the university with a degree in Communication Studies just a few weeks ago, White is now pursuing her Masters of Public Administration, all while serving the last year of her two-year term as Student Trustee on the California State University Board of Trustees – a position handpicked by the governor to represent students of the CSU system in its highest governing body.
Deciding to go to school in California, and at Stanislaus State, specifically, is “one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” said White. While there, she has participated in student government, written for the school newspaper, and become a member of the Lambda Pi Eta.
As a Student Trustee, White travels frequently to other campuses within the CSU system and gathers student input about policy, working with other stakeholder groups to focus on student success, whatever it may look like for each individual student. Through her travels, White has seen much of California.
“I love the friendly people, the diversity, the beauty of our Central Valley and being able to easily drive to the beach one day and to the mountains the next,” said White. “I don’t think there’s anywhere else quite like California, and of course, our public education system is a huge plus.”
Working so closely with the state has changed her views of California for the better, said White.
“I’ve been given such a close look at how things work and gained an understanding of the system,”
she said. “It’s so interesting to meet politicians and put a face to the name that you hear on the news.”
Her life is filled with surreal moments, such as times where Speaker of the Assembly Anthony Rendon or Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom have walked into the same meetings as herself.
“Everyone I’ve met has been so deeply interested in helping students thrive so that California can be even greater,” said White.”I love our state even more now because of everything I’ve learned about our commitment to diversity, equality and education.”
Q: Favorite California city besides your hometown?
I love Turlock! I was born and raised in Modesto, but I feel like I did a lot of my growing up once I started college in Turlock a few years ago. I love shopping downtown at all of the cute stores, getting a delicious lunch at La Mo and watching the ducks waddle around campus. As exciting as it can be to go to big cities for work, this is home for me.
Q: Favorite season in California?
The fall is so beautiful here, when the leaves are just starting to change colors.
Q: Favorite place for a California weekend getaway?
Chico is one of my very favorite places. It’s perfect for a weekend getaway because it’s small and quaint but has great restaurants and fun things to do. If you’re ever there, you have to go to Tres Hombres for dinner at least once!
Q: Favorite quirk about California?
We think that a sprinkle of rain is a storm, and we all pull out our boots and lug around our umbrellas at the slightest hint of dark clouds. People from rainier states must think that we’re crazy!
Q: The misconception about California that irks you the most?
That the entire state is a beach...people only think about the coast, but we have so much to offer besides our beaches! The Central Valley and Northern California are really underrated. I like driving through the countryside even more than having a view of the ocean.
Q: Favorite natural wonder in California?
I love the giant redwood trees. When I think about the times they’ve lived through, it completely awes me. Calaveras Big Trees State Park is one of my favorite places to visit.
Q: Least favorite thing about California?
The traffic. Oh my gosh, definitely the traffic. Whenever I go to Sacramento, or the Bay Area, or Southern California... I just can’t stand it! LA area is the worst. I’m too nice of a driver to get anywhere on time there.