CSUN was a catapult for Cindy Chernow ’78 (Anthropology), M.A. ’91 (Counseling and Guidance) — the newest president of the Alumni Association Board of Directors — to develop into a public speaker, alumni relations star and entrepreneur.
Chernow and her husband, Dan, hold five CSUN degrees between them. Dan ’67 (History), M.A. ’89 (Foundations of Education), M.A. ’03 (History) is the former executive director of the UCLA School Management Program and was honored by CSUN in 2001 with a Distinguished Alumni Award. Her son Derek ’92 (Geography) and daughter-in-law Miriam ’99 M.A. (Educational Administration) are also CSUN alumni.
A major milestone brought Chernow, a consultant, career coach and president of Chernow Consulting, to CSUN in the first place. She attended UCLA first, but became a mother during her freshman year and had a second child a year later. With Dan teaching junior high school in the San Fernando Valley, the family moved closer to his work in 1970, and closer to CSUN. Cindy soon enrolled.
“CSUN prepared me for the diversity I would encounter throughout my career and life,” she said. “The flexibility of my undergraduate and graduate programs helped me achieve my goals.”
After working in human resources as the HR manager for Siemens Corporation and as a branch manager for United Personnel, she worked as a counselor in UCLA’s Career Center. From 1992-99, she worked for UCLA Alumni Relations and built its Career Services Program from scratch.
In 1999, she went into business for herself as a speaker, trainer and mentor. Her impressive list of clientele has included AT&T, H&R Block, NASA, Shell Oil Company, the U.S. Navy, Universal Studios and and several Universities of California and California State Universities, including CSUN.
Now she has taken on a greater role for her alma mater as one of its most prominent volunteers.
“I have strong convictions about what we can accomplish as a university and an Alumni Association, and I’m passionate about encouraging alumni to give back,” Chernow said.
Cindy’s goals for her two-year term are to secure more funding for Alumni Association scholarships, increase alumni membership and give to alumni initiatives and programs and to use social media to connect and engage CSUN alumni and students.
“My vision is to provide a meaningful experience and connection for CSUN students and alumni — both digitally and physically — that will result in more career opportunities and increased participation with the university, and increased membership and giving to the university and the Alumni Association,” she said.
Chernow officially took over as president on July 1 after a two-year term by Carlos Fuentes.
“Cindy will continue the momentum started by Carlos Fuentes and our board as we continue to engage, connect and inspire alumni to give their time, talent, energy and generosity back to CSUN,” said Shellie Hadvina, assistant vice president of Alumni Relations & Annual Giving. “When you first meet her you can’t help but be drawn in or inspired by her passion for CSUN and her ability to connect with people and motivate them.”
Chernow’s term will run two years from 2017-19.