Ex-Student Leader Still Making a Difference at CSUSM
By Brian Hiro
Jocelyn Wyndham’s deep affection for Cal State San Marcos was hardly love at first sight. During her first year at the university in 1998, she battled dissatisfaction so acute that she cried every day on the drive back to her family’s home in Temecula.
“I absolutely hated it,” Wyndham recalled. “I seriously thought about transferring to San Diego State or Long Beach State.”
Everything felt wrong. She was separated from her high school friends, her biology classes were rigorous, and her parents (who hadn’t gone to college) couldn’t relate to what she was going through. The overarching theme was disconnection.
The dark veil began to lift when Wyndham (who then went by Jocelyn Brown) joined Associated Students, Inc., as an undergraduate representative at the start of her sophomore year. As her courage and confidence grew, so did her standing in ASI – corporate secretary in her third year, followed by vice president of external relations and, finally, president for the 2002-03 school year.
Terrified of public speaking, Wyndham forced herself to go through the Toastmasters program in preparation for the ASI election process.
“I really found a passion for service,” she said. “The calling was greater than my fear and my shyness.”
The calling continues. Wyndham returned to her alma mater as an employee a decade after she graduated, and she has risen to become associate vice president of philanthropy. She leads CSUSM’s development team, which builds and cultivates relationships with donors, particularly people and organizations who have the capacity to give at a high level.
“I love that every day I feel like I'm making a difference to the campus,” Wyndham said. “I love being out in the community and meeting people and acting as that facilitator between people and their passions and what the campus is doing, bringing those two together to make change for the region. It's fulfilling work.”
During her year as ASI president, Wyndham also did fulfilling work as a facilitator, between the administration and student body of a still-young university. She remembers priorities that centered on increasing communication and connection at CSUSM. She accomplished the former by instituting the first “state of the campus” address by then-President Alexander Gonzalez to the students; the latter by creating a masquerade ball that she was pleased to see still existed when she came back as a staff member in 2013.
Wyndham also led advocacy around tuition and campus fees, which included a bus trip to Long Beach to take part in a demonstration in front of the CSU chancellor’s office.
Sticking it out at CSUSM had rewards she never could have imagined – as a student, she even met her future husband, fellow alumnus Pete Wyndham (the couple has two young daughters together).
“The environment that I ended up thriving in here and everything that I came to love about Cal State San Marcos,” she said, "that same feeling is what exists today.”
Brian Hiro, Communications Specialist
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