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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Tasha Alexander: inspiring educator, alumna

Tasha Alexander believes that compassion is the most important thing in life, emphasizing its power to conquer any challenge
Tasha Alexander gardening. Photo Courtesy of Tasha Alexander.

Even though her official title is “Student Support Services Professional,” Tasha Alexander embodies the essence of an educator. She provides support and helps students navigate the complexities of higher education by giving them the tools they need to be successful.

Alexander has been working at Chico State since 2001, in two fields, first-generation student support and international student support; her prior job was as the study abroad coordinator. 

Her first job after graduating was as a nutritionist, where she helped people achieve their weight loss goals and eat healthy by organizing meal plans for them.

Alexander has lived and studied in Mexico and Spain. She has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish, and she also taught migrant education. 

Tasha Alexander and Srinivas Murthy for Halloween 2024. Photo Courtesy of Tasha Alexander.

She experienced difficulty with the dialect in Spain beginning with the taxi driver at the airport, describing it as one of the most difficult times of her life. She felt like she wasn’t going to survive in Spain, but she did not give up and ended up turning it around and enjoying her experience there. 

Alexander said she became an educator by accident. While getting her master’s at Chico State, the study abroad coordinator had to go on maternity leave, so the dean of the unit asked Alexander to step into the professional position. Then after graduation, she applied for the job and was hired.

She expressed that what she wants to teach should be relevant and engaging for the students, she said.

She sees students as individuals, making sure everyone gets the information they need while caring about and respecting every one of them, she said. 

What she dislikes about being an educator is money scarcity which limits the activities that can be done in class.

Alexander said her motivation is expressed by the connection she makes with the students but also by the feeling that she’s making a difference. Not harming anyone, but also the opportunity to learn every day are some things that make her feel motivated. 

“There’s a sense of family,” Alexander said, describing the International Office as a place where a strong sense of belonging is present, both among colleagues and especially with the students she interacts with. 

She believes that compassion is the most important thing in life, emphasizing its power to conquer any challenge. 

Early Life and Childhood

Tasha Alexander posing as a child. Photo Courtesy of Tasha Alexander.

Alexander was born in Santa Cruz and spent the first years of her childhood in Truckee, Kings Beach and Incline. Her family moved around a lot. 

They eventually moved back to Santa Cruz when she was 13 and resided there until she graduated high school.

As a child, Alexander had a passion for ice skating, her inspiration being her favorite ice skater, Dorothy Hamill. She viewed ice skating as a beautiful art form; at some point she even got her hair cut like Hamill. In addition, she enjoyed arts and crafts in general but especially coloring and drawing. 

Alexander and a friend would dress up in costumes and perform plays and concerts, showcasing creativity at an early age. She generally enjoyed school and found an interest in learning.

One of her fondest childhood memories was having a TV dinner, a treat she would have when her parents went out and a babysitter looked after her. 

Alexander’s most memorable childhood experience was around the age of 10 in 1982. It snowed much more than usual and she put on her snowsuit and started swimming in it.

Something she would tell her childhood self is, “You’re gonna love being a grown-up.”

“From here you can achieve whatever professional dream you have”. Her message to all students is that attending Chico State does not limit one from achieving their goals. She also encourages everyone to have a positive impact on others.

She expressed the desire to attend a meditation retreat, being something on her bucket list; describing it as a way for her to grow as a person, and disconnect from all stress factors. 

Alexander’s life anthem would be Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive”.

Fabian Marian can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Fabian Marian
Fabian Marian, Reporter
Fabian Marian is a first year journalism and public and relations student at Chico State. This is his first semester on The Orion and he is very thrilled to be a part of the team. In his free time he enjoys reading, listening to music and watching video essays.

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