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Meet President Sylvia Alva

Dr. Sylvia A. Alva began her appointment as president of California State University, Fullerton Aug. 1, 2023.

Alva joins CSUF from the California State University Chancellor’s Office, where she has served as executive vice chancellor of academic and student affairs since 2021. In this role, Alva has focused on providing a high-quality educational experience for California’s diverse student body. Among the activities led by the division was the systemwide Graduation Initiative 2025, which led to all-time high graduation rates for students while narrowing equity gaps in degree completion.

Alva’s appointment at CSUF is a homecoming for her. She began her career in higher education at CSUF as an assistant professor of child and adolescent development before being promoted to associate professor and professor. While at CSUF, she served in a number of administrative roles, starting as the educational equity coordinator for the College of Health and Human Development and culminating as associate vice president for undergraduate programs.

She continued her career at California State University, Northridge, where she served as dean of the College of Health and Human Development. In 2015, she joined California State Polytechnic University, Pomona as provost and vice president for academic affairs, providing strategic and academic direction for the campus. She also held a faculty appointment in the psychology department.

Alva is a first-generation college graduate and a product of the CSU, having earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from California State University, Los Angeles. She earned a master's and Ph.D., both in psychology, from the University of California, Los Angeles.