Alumni Spotlight: Q&A with Jose Bernal, CALS Alumni Council President

Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Jose Bernal, our Alumni Council President, earned his BS in animal science in 1976 and BS in agricultural education in 1978.

Jose Bernal, our Alumni Council President, earned his BS in animal science in 1976 and BS in agricultural education in 1978. He belonged to the Brock and Bridle Club, Alpha Tau Alpha Honorary Fraternity, and was Chairman of the Alpha Zeta Honorary Fraternity. Jose’s favorite classes were in the Animal Sciences department, and his favorite professor was Dr. Marvin Selke, who helped him get his first job after graduation.

“Belonging to the CALS family as both a student and proud alumnus has had a huge impact on my life,” Jose says. “CALS has allowed me to grow and develop my leadership skills, build relationships, and have a positive impact on other people. The Agricultural Education Department prepared me to become a teacher, and I have taught for 42 years. Because of my preparation and the way my professors and peers supported me, my teaching career was and has been a major success.”

Q: Why do you continue to be active with CALS?

A: I firmly believe that just making a living is a very myopic view of life. Thus, my best return on investment personally has been to pay it forward and do all I can to support the future by getting involved in the present. My work and contribution today will make a difference tomorrow not for credit, but because our society depends on it.

Q: Why are you the president of the Alumni Council Board of Directors, and what made you want to be on this board?

A: I am president because I was nominated and elected, and I take this opportunity very seriously. It provides me with the opportunity to lead a group of volunteers, to help our CALS students, and to support CALS by providing opportunities to promote the College. I believe that we are all responsible to contribute to the future of our country and the future of our children. We also have a responsibility to make sure the mission of our land grant university remains alive and well.

Q: What do you enjoy most about serving the college in this way?

A: The most exciting part of being intricately involved is seeing first-hand the education and employment opportunities that our CALS is busy creating.

Q: What message do you have for other alumni about becoming engaged with CALS in some way?

A: I invite and challenge you to take a leap of faith and get involved to embrace the mission of our CALS Alumni Council to promote and engage, to pay it forward, to invest in the future. It is not all about money. We need to provide opportunities, support, modeling, and most of all, create a network so that the agricultural industry and those interested in agriculture can benefit and succeed!

Throughout the years, Jose has been honored with awards recognizing his excellence as a teacher and his dedication to agriculture students and the field of agriculture. Most recently, Jose was named by Arizona FFA Association and Arizona FFA Foundation as the 2019 Arizona Agribusinessman of the Year. In addition to his service on the CALS Alumni Council Board of Directors, Jose has been a dedicated volunteer and served on various boards continuously for more than 30 years.


If you’d like to follow his lead by getting involved with CALS, please contact us at 520-621-7190, or write us here.

Sonia Burnett
Program Coordinator, Alumni Relations