Wednesday April 10, 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Dreams to Degrees: Magnifying Student Success

What does it look like to be laser-focused on students and outcomes with no other priorities or distractions?

ARC2019 launches Provocative Questions and Courageous Answers with an opening plenary featuring two magnetic CEOs from innovative, nationally-recognized student success organizations: Alexandra Bernadotte of Beyond 12 and Kim Mazucca of 10,000 Degrees.

Through a blend of storytelling and data analytics, these passionate advocates will showcase how their students execute a vision for academic achievement and leadership. They will also confront the question “is college really necessary?” and challenge us to learn alongside our students and close the equity gap. The opening plenary will also feature Dr. James Minor, who leads California State University’s Graduation Initiative 2025 to increase graduation rates and eliminate equity gaps between low-income and underserved students and their peers. Dr. Minor will offer insight into how institutions can better utilize data to drive change.



Alex Bernadotte
Founder and CEO
Beyond 12

Alex Bernadotte is the founder and CEO of Beyond 12, a nonprofit that integrates personalized coaching with intelligent technology to increase the number of low-income students who graduate from college. She has more than 20 years of executive management and strategic development experience in both the nonprofit and private sectors. Before creating Beyond 12, she was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at NewSchools Venture Fund where she developed the business plan for Beyond 12. Alex received her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth and a master's with a concentration in policy and organizational leadership from Stanford. She is an Ashoka Fellow and a 2012 Jefferson Award for Public Service recipient.  


Kim Mazzuca
President and CEO
10,000 Degrees

Kim Mazzuca has served as the President and CEO of 10,000 Degrees since 1999. A Bay Area native and first generation college graduate, Ms. Mazzuca has dedicated her life to helping create a more just and equitable society.  As a staunch advocate for youth and their families, Ms. Mazzuca has devoted her career to creating equitable opportunities for people who have been traditionally underrepresented and marginalized in society.  She brings more than twenty-five years of executive years in executive leadership in nonprofit management, philanthropy and social justice.   

She holds a bachelor’s and master’s degrees from San Francisco State University, is a graduate of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Program for Nonprofit Leaders--where she was named a fellow in 2001, and has completed doctoral studies at the University of San Francisco in Organization and Leadership.  

In 2017, Kim Mazzuca received the San Francisco State University’s Alumna Medal of Honor for Distinguished Service, she was awarded the Executive Leadership Award of Excellence by the National College Access Network in 2015 and the Legislative Woman of the Year for California’s 10th Assembly District.  In 2014, Ms. Mazzuca received the Nonprofit Leader of Year by the North Bay Business Journal and was named a 2016 Game Changer by Northbay BIZ. In 2012, Ms. Mazzuca was awarded the Social Impact Business Competition Award by the Growth Philanthropy Network in New York. 

Mazzuca has served on numerous community boards, including the National College Access Network Board of Directors, where she completed a three-year term as Board president. 


James T. Minor
Assistant Vice Chancellor & Senior Strategist
California State University (CSU), Office of the Chancellor

James T. Minor, Ph.D. serves as Assistant Vice Chancellor and Senior Strategist at the California State University, Office of the Chancellor. He was appointed to provide leadership and strategy to advance the CSU's Graduation Initiative 2025 focused on dramatically increasing graduation rates while eliminating equity gaps between low income and underserved students and their peers. Dr. Minor previously served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Postsecondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education. He was appointed by the Obama Administration to provide overall leadership and administration for federal programs designed to expand access to higher education, strengthen institutional capacity, and promote postsecondary innovation. Under his leadership, the Higher Education Program office was responsible for more than $7.5 billion in active programming across the nation and U.S. territories. He has served as Director of Higher Education Programs at the Southern Education Foundation, faculty member at the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia, associate professor of higher education policy at Michigan State University, and a research associate in the Pullias Center for Higher Education at the University of Southern California. Dr. Minor’s scholarly work has focused on academic governance, higher education policy, and improving institutional performance. He is also a recognized thought leader on Minority-Serving Institutions, higher education policy development, and issues related to improving degree completion nationally. His published articles have appeared in the Review of Higher Education, Educational Researcher, Thought & Action, Academe, New Directions for Higher Education, and the American Educational Research Journal.