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Susan A. Bonilla, Undergraduate Commencement

Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla ’82 was first elected to the California State Assembly in November 2010, and is the first woman to represent California’s 14th Assembly District, which comprises the north and central portions of Contra Costa County and the southern portion of Solano County.

Bonilla serves as chair of the Assembly’s Business, Professions, and Consumer Protection Committee, and the Select Committee on Increasing the Integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math in California K–14 Schools. She is also a member of the Health Committee and the Utilities and Commerce Committee.

As a state legislator, Bonilla has led advocacy efforts to minimize budget cuts to the Cal Grant program, which makes attending college a reality for many California students, including 18 percent of Azusa Pacific students. Her efforts resulted in the passage of bills that saved transitional kindergarten from elimination, reformed student assessment methods at K–12 schools, expanded access to vital health services for women and children, protected young athletes from injury and criminals, and attracted new businesses and jobs for her constituents. Recently, the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU) named her Policy Maker of the Year for her work in strengthening higher education in California.

Before being elected to the Assembly, Bonilla served on the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, representing the county’s 4th district of Concord, Clayton, Pleasant Hill, and portions of Walnut Creek. She was elected to the board in 2006, and previously served on the Concord City Council and as mayor of Concord.

Prior to serving as a public official, Bonilla was a high school English teacher in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. She received a B.A. in English from Azusa Pacific, and a teaching credential from California State University, Los Angeles.

She and her husband, John, reside in Concord. They have four daughters and three grandchildren.

Robert Welsh, Graduate Commencement

Robert Welsh, Ph.D., ABPP, is dean of the School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences and a professor of psychology at Azusa Pacific University, where he has worked since 2002. Prior to that he worked as a psychologist for the state of California at Patton State Hospital.

He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Rosemead School of Psychology at Biola University, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in emergency psychology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Welsh is board-certified in forensic psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Psychology.

He co-authored Specialty Competencies in Couple and Family Psychology (with Mark Stanton, Ph.D., ABPP, Oxford University Press, 2011), and writes and conducts research in forensic psychology, couple and family psychology, and the integration of psychology and Christianity. For the last four years he has studied Christian peace and justice activists working with urban and ethnopolitical conflict.