Celia Barberena

Celia Barberena, Ph.D.

Destiny, the word, not the video game, is used to describe a predetermined course of events in our lives. Is there such a thing as destiny? Or is our life determined by intentional decisions that we make to build our destiny or destination. I cannot say that I knew where I would be now 50 years ago. Was my path determined then?

My parents provided the means, advice and support for me to get a valuable platform from where to propel myself in what would happen in the next 50 years. It was my mother that decided that I should attend a bilingual school and, by acting on this desire, she started to make decisions that propelled me to the next step and then the next.

She was born in 1915 in Granada, Nicaragua. She would had like to have a life like mine, maybe better, however, in her days, in her world, women did not attend college. The best they could do is marry well. In making the decision of who to marry maybe she propelled my destiny so that I could have the life that she wished for herself.

I learned so much from her, so much that I am just beginning to decipher where she ends and I begin. This Blog is intended to document that which was given to me and what I did with it.


Birth, family and the oldest city in the Americas

According to my father, a Nicaraguan historian, Granada, the city of my birth, is the oldest city in the Americas, founded in the first quarter of the 1,500’s.  Family folklore has it that I was born at 6:00 a.m. in my mother’s home. Early that morning my father went off in a horse drawn carriage, the public transportation of the time, to bring the midwife to assist in the delivery.  When they arrived, my mother was…

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Recent Professional Experience

Community Activist – Engagement with organizations that improve the educational advancement of the youth and the lives of residents of Monterey County. Here are some examples:

  • Present Member of the Board of Directors of the Blind and Visually Impaired Center in Pacific Grove and Member of the Executive Committee as Vice-President of the Board;
  • Present Member of the Board of Directors, Palenke Arts, Seaside;
  • Past Member and Past President of the Board of Directors, Chamber Music Monterey Bay;
  • Past Coordinator of Community Services at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital Medical Museum which presents a hands-on curriculum on the practice of medicine in the past 100 years to elementary schools children; promoting outreach to high schools to increase the number of high school students in nursing and science track academies;
  • Member of Pacific Grove Rotary Club;
  • Ambassador for the Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce.

2012 – Present President Emeritus/Chabot College

2008 – 2012 President, Chabot College, Hayward, CA, a community college with an enrollment of 15,000 students

1996 – 2007 Vice-President, Student Services, Hartnell College, Salinas, CA. a community college with an enrollment of around 10,000 full time equivalent students