New President Takes Over at Sonoma State

Sakaki becomes the first Asian-American woman to lead a four-year college or university

A new president began her tenure at Sonoma State University on Friday, according to school officials.

Judy Sakaki takes over for former President Ruben Arminana, who retired last month after leading the school for 24 years.

Sakaki is the university's second female president and is the nation's first Asian-American woman to lead a four-year college or university, school officials said.

"I am impressed with the dedication and excellence of the staff and faculty and the love that students have of Sonoma State," Sakaki said in a statement. "I am looking forward to listening, learning and working together with students, staff, faculty, alumni and the community."

Before becoming the university's president, Sakaki served as vice president of student affairs in the University of California Office of the President. There, Sakaki oversaw policies, services and initiatives relating to student access, affordability and success for all 238,000 UC students on 10 campuses, according to university officials.

Sakaki also served as vice chancellor of student affairs at UC Davis and as dean of student affairs at Fresno State.

Additionally, Sakaki has a Ph.D. in education from UC Berkeley and a master's degree in educational psychology as well as a bachelor's degree in human development from Cal State East Bay, school officials said.

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