CSUN adviser inspires students, staff to seek education

Cyro Duarte

Cedric Hackett, the son of a man who only had a third-grade education, said he has always encouraged his youngest son, 6-year-old Tyler, to get the best education possible.

Hackett, CSUN academic advisor and founder of Advancement to Graduate Education, is also a graduate student. He grew up in a family of eight children.

“My father only had an elementary school education;.However, he really wanted to provide for his family,” Hackett said. “Right now, I am trying to provide not only for my family, but also for my students, which I am serving.”

Hackett said he believes that education is key for people of color to succeed in the United States.

Last year, Hackett organized an annual A.G.E. conference where about 500 people, who wanted to go to graduate school, attended.

“I am one of a million interested in pursuing higher education, and I wanted to bring as many of us as possible together who have similar goals,” he said. “I had a lot of help in putting together this conference. The vice-president of Student Affairs wrote a letter to the students encouraging them to attend, and there were posters all over campus.”

Hackett said he believes everything he has accomplished has happened because he was well-coached by Debra Hammond, director of the University Student Union, who he worked for when he was a student.

“Debra is my mentor,” he said. “She taught me to think fast, but to work slowly and deliberately. I think about all the knowledge that education can give us. Education adds so much to our lives.”

Hackett is a co-author of a book, “African American Concerns: Survey Reveals Need for More Professional Support.”

Olivia Hackett said she has the greatest respect for her husband, Cedric.

“He puts everyone first before him,” she said. “Sometimes it is difficult to compete with his work.”

He said his mother, is responsible for cultivating his spirit and his father encourage him to go forward on his education.

“My mother kept me in the ground,” Hackett said.

In addition to his busy schedule at CSUN, Hackett and his wife Olivia, 30, are celebrating their first year of marriage while raising three children.

His children are Alex, 12, (Ace), Darren, 11, (Double D) and Tyler (Tyballer).

“He treats his stepsons, Darren and Tyballer, like his own,” Olivia said. “Alex is his son but he coaches all three of them.”

Hackett said one of his dreams is to become the best vice president of Student Affairs.

Dr. Gary Kleeman, former president of National Association of Student Personnel Administrators and director of e-learning at Arizona State University, said he sees a brilliant future for Hackett.

“I see him in a very responsible position in the future soon,” Kleeman said. “He is a very talented, energetic person.”

Hackett is inspirational to students and staff alike.

Dorna Basiratmand, CSUN political science major and PEER advisor-mentor, said he is an inspiration to people that meet him.

“He inspired me to be a counselor,” she said. “I think he’s always going to be a leader.”