Marsha Jaeger, assistant vice chancellor for educational partnerships at the campus Center for Educational Partnerships, or CEP, retired Sunday after more than 32 years of working on campus.
Jaeger devoted her career to educational equity and college access for low-income, first-generation and other underrepresented students, according to Oscar Dubón, campus vice chancellor for equity and inclusion. For the past 21 years, Jaeger led the CEP, which helps prepare these students for college.
“As someone who has been with our organization for a long time, she’s never stopped,” said Claudia Morales, interim CEP executive director. “After so many years, there’s no hint of her backing down or the fire diminishing. She’s just as passionate and works just as hard.”
Jaeger originally came to UC Berkeley to work as the director of the campus’s Young Musicians Program, a pre-professional program for low-income youth. In 1999, Jaeger became the interim director of CEP.
According to Jaeger, applying for the director position was a difficult decision, as she enjoyed working directly with students and music. Jaeger added that she applied after Proposition 209, which banned the use of affirmative action in California, was passed, and CEP had a compelling mission to reach out to students affected by Prop. 209.
“I appreciate Marsha’s leadership in making sure we continue to uphold our mission, that we continue to work with underrepresented students,” Morales said. “She challenged the narrative that we couldn’t work with students on the basis of ethnicity because of (Prop.) 209.”
According to Yvette Flores, interim CEP vice chancellor for educational partnerships, under Jaeger’s leadership, CEP has grown from five programs with about 35 staff members to 11 programs with more than 75 staff members and 51 college advisor fellows.
One of the programs Jaeger said she is most proud of is UC Berkeley’s Destination College Advising Corps, which is a fellowship for recent college graduates who are interested in exploring the field of college access.
“The power of the Destination College Advising Corp is that students in high school are able to work with advisers who have had many of the same experiences and can be role models for what’s really possible,” Jaeger said. “It makes their aspirations seem more real and more attainable.”
Jaeger was also a part of creating and building the Division of Equity and Inclusion at UC Berkeley and gained recognition and support from a wide range of local and national foundations.
According to Jaeger, her favorite memories involved working closely with “amazing” leaders and colleagues and “so many awesome” students.
“Most of my good memories are attached to overcoming challenges and brainstorming and working together with like-minded colleagues,” Jaeger said. “It’s been an incredible journey.”
Jaeger added that she is looking forward to spending more time with friends and family, reading and playing the oboe and English horn.