Leadership Studies Student Spotlight: Claudine Bibeau-Parks

Claudine Bibeau-Parks

Please tell us about yourself.

My name is Claudine Bibeau-Parks and I'm a degree completion student who's planning on graduating this coming spring with my BA in Leadership Studies with Cohort 15. It's important for me to stay on track for graduation because my son will be graduating around the same time from UCLA so it's a point of family pride! While I work at University of San Francisco, I can also be found at a museum in San Francisco with my cousins or enjoying an SF Giants baseball game with my partner, Jake. I'm also a lifelong artist and teacher, an adult ballet dancer, and a writer. 
What motivated you to enroll in the Leadership Studies program? 

I transferred to Cal Poly Humboldt as the private university I attended and worked at in Oakland was scheduled to close with only my senior year left, and I needed a collegiate home. Upon searching for a suitable program to complete my degree, I found the Leadership Studies Program. Interestingly enough, the program was the missing piece for me in my professional trajectory and included everything that I felt I was missing in my business career.

Thinking about the overall program, what has been your most significant course, or signature assignment? What impact did it have on you personally and/or professionally?

The Leadership Studies program has so many amazing projects and courses that we're introduced to as the primary author which is exciting! I can't choose one course as a favorite because they all are interconnected and build upon each other. Finally being able to author my own Strategic Plan Report and present it to my cohort gave me a sense of my own leadership style and abilities. Utilizing my report within my department at work to enact real change already speaks volumes about the Leadership Studies program. Skills you learn that you can immediately put to good use and see results -- not years later.

How have you grown as a leader since starting this program? 

I feel that my confidence is being shown to me as I complete each semester, and that is the foundation for me to be brave and venture out into new territory, personally and professionally. Being aware of my abilities and how I can incorporate them into my new leadership skill set has been eye-opening and surprising at times. Learning how to be a competent and compassionate leader who lifts as she climbs, is important to my future success.

What are your goals after completing your bachelor’s degree? 

Goals after I celebrate earning my BA are two-fold. I expect to launch into a masters program focusing on student affairs in higher education and earn a certificate in grant writing for not for profit educational groups to advance their program funds. I don't think I'll ever take a break from education, for there's always something new to learn!

What advice would you give to incoming students? 

To expect the unexpected and to enter with an open mind and heart. To allow the difficult spots in the process to change you and expose you to true leadership. Leaders are not born, they learn and put in the work with service, gratitude and above all, love.