Eastern Michigan University

Alicia Aguirre '80Alicia Aguirre

by Lisa McNulty, Published March 15, 2015

"Don't limit yourself. Go after your goals and dreams because they are reachable. Give as much as you can along the way. Life always gives you back. Take others with you as you move up. If you are in a position of leadership or power, bring others up with you. Enjoy the journey and look UP from your phones" - Former Redwood City, CA Mayor, Alicia Aguirre

Alicia Aguirre was the first in her family to receive a Bachelor of Arts and then a Master of Arts degree. She graduated with her MA from Eastern in 1980 and did so by taking mostly night classes, off campus with a cohort.

Alicia has certainly done outstanding things since graduation. She is a current Council Member for Redwood City, CA and a professor. She teaches ESL, Spanish and Latino Literature at Canada College. She credits Administrator Dr. Raymond Padilla who wrote grants at EMU, for the inspiration and motivation to pursue her Ph.D. She said, "I already thought I had reached more than expected."

Her biggest career achievements consist of becoming Mayor of a major city in Northern California, a Professor in California, Washington and Mexico and a Fulbright Professor in Argentina. She also had the honor of introducing President Obama in Redwood City, CA and received the OHTLI Award from the Mexican President.

She lists supportive professors and staff, along with the availability of classes and programs for working professionals to get an MA, as some of the best things about EMU. She is most proud of her two sons, Pablo and Eric, her husband Pete and being a part of her very large immediate and extended family.

Alicia said, "Being a mother, wife, aunt, cousin, daughter and soon to be grandmother, as well as serving on numerous boards that help the community, are my greatest accomplishments." Alicia is currently serving on nine non-profit boards, and said, "It is a lot of work, but very much needed and rewarding." She is proud to have been the first Latina Mayor of Redwood City and said, "I have had many firsts in my career and I hope to inspire others to take the lead."

When Alicia has time to relax, she likes to garden (especially cacti), go hiking or read a book, embroider or challenge herself with a little Sudoku.

If you would like to connect with Alicia please visit her website at www.aliciaaguirre.com.