Samantha Rushing currently serves as the Associate Director and Executive Assistant to the Board of the Executive Leadership Academy, under the Center for Studies in Higher Education, at the University of California, Berkeley. She also serves as Policy Coordinator of Berkeley Global Executive Education under the Goldman School of Public Policy.
In 2014, Ms. Rushing moved to Berkeley so that she could pursue a higher education and become the first in her family to obtain a college degree. While studying as a single parent at Berkeley City College (BCC), Ms. Rushing served as the front desk support for the Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) and CalWORKs office. Simultaneously, she served as an English composition tutor for both the English Department and the EOPS/CalWORKs office. She held this position for six years, continuing to serve Berkeley City College students after transferring to UC Berkeley in 2016. Ms. Rushing was chosen as the 2016 recipient of the President’s Medallion Award for Berkeley City College, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with 3 AA degrees. Later, she graduated Cum Laude from UC Berkeley where she earned a BA in English with a minor in Medieval Studies.
Samantha joined the Executive Leadership Academy as a student worker in early 2017 as the Executive Assistant. In this capacity, she worked closely with Founder and Executive Director, Josefina Baltodano, throughout the marketing, nomination, application, and acceptance process for ELA Fellows. Ms. Rushing quickly took on more responsibilities, and became the ELA Program Administrator in 2018. Ms. Rushing develops, designs, and edits the ELA Program Manuals, which are distributed to Fellows and Faculty during each program. She also researches relevant topics in higher education, and works with Dr. Baltodano and the ELA Advisory Board to create the program curriculum and identify new faculty members. In June 2020, Samantha assumed the role of Financial Analyst for the ELA program, working with Dr. Baltodano and the Goldman School of Public Policy CFO to plan, analyze, and maintain the ELA finance budget. In this role, Ms. Rushing is also responsible for processing reimbursements, honorariums, and invoices for all program vendors, faculty, fellows, and staff.
With the goal of increasing Indigenous participation in the ELA programs, Ms. Rushing spearheaded the first ELA Fundraiser in December 2021; the ELA Indigenous Scholarship Fundraiser has exceeded its goal for the past two years. She continues to serve as the Chair of the Indigenous Scholarship Selection Committee.