Folsom Lake College president getting into the swing of things

By: Laura Newell, Telegraph staff writer
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With the Folsom Lake College fall semester officially beginning Aug. 25, students and staff are welcoming new president Rachel Rosenthal. She said she is ready to start the new school year. “It feels exciting, inspiring, and at times, like coming home,” Rosenthal said. “I worked for the Los Rios District from 1994 to 2007 so it’s been a delight to meet new faculty and staff and reconnect with old friends and colleagues. The college has grown extensively over the last few years and it’s a joy to walk the campus and admire the extraordinary facilities that now exist where, only a few short years ago, was a collection of portable buildings.” Rosenthal said in her first year, she plans to listen to her employees and find out what’s needed at the college. “My plans for the first semester are to meet as many of the faculty and staff as possible, hear their perspectives and visions for the college, and familiarize myself with the college’s culture and organizational structure,” she said. “By mid-fall I will begin visiting area businesses, Folsom area Rotary clubs and Chambers of Commerce.” She said her goals are to build and strengthen connections between, and among, the college, the community, and local businesses and industry. She said her main questions would be to ask where the college can contribute to the community, what programs and services are needed and how the community can assist in those efforts. When asked about her plans for the future of the college, she said Folsom Lake College has the “potential” to become a premier comprehensive community college, that draws students from throughout the region and the state. “Passionate faculty and staff, state of the art facilities, and a growing contingent of programs and services are now in place, poised and ready for the college’s next chapter,” she said. “Our next steps will be to further broaden and deepen our programs, warranting the college as ‘first choice’ for students wishing to transfer to a four-year college or university, train for a career in the workforce, or build their skills in developmental math and English courses.” According to Scott Crow, Folsom Lake College’s public information officer, staff members can’t wait for the community to meet Rosenthal. “We are very excited to have Rachel on board,” Crow said. “She has an infectious enthusiasm, a passion for student excellence, and a heart for serving the community. We are optimistic and energized about this ‘next chapter’ in the young life of Folsom Lake College. I can’t wait for the community to meet Rachel — I think people will quickly discover her dedication and commitment to service.” Rosenthal said being the president of a college is more than a job; it’s a passion. “What I love most is that this job represents the opportunity to serve,” she said. “I began my career in engineering and have had experience in the oil fields and designing seismic retrofits for highway overpasses. Through these experiences, I ultimately found that my greatest rewards were through service to others.” As the president, she said she is essentially serving to students and the community. “It has the potential to enhance the lives of students and provide them with opportunities that they may never have considered or thought possible,” Rosenthal said. “At Folsom Lake College, we give students the chance to challenge themselves and reach their dreams, and our society and communities benefit from their success. How lucky am I?” For more information, e-mail Rosenthal at