Wolfe finds new challenge at ULV

Campus Times
November 9, 2001

photo by Raúl Mena

Christy Wolfe, the new "Lambda" yearbook adviser, returns to La Verne after attending as an undergraduate in the late 1980s. Wolfe is now serving as the new yearbook adviser, commencement coordinator and the administrative assistant dean of student affairs.

by Jennifer Contreras
Editorial Director

Never has the Commencement and yearbook office in the Student Resource Center heard such a unique laughter.

Never has the office been adorned artwork straight from Venice Beach.

Never has the office housed a woman that, in 1995, was on the cutting edge of groundbreaking Internet development programs.

The new yearbook adviser, commencement coordinator and the administrative assistant to the associate dean of student affairs, Ruby Montaño-Cordova. Christy Wolfe, brings not only experience to ULV, but a deep interest in human beings along with an upbeat personality.

Wolfe took the job as a part-timer while she works on her Master's degree in Leadership and Management at ULV's MSLN program.

Wolfe attended ULV as an undergraduate and was a journalism major.

She participated on the Campus Times staff.

"I wanted an emphasis in graphic design. I enjoyed journalism but my passion was art so I transferred and finished my bachelor of arts degree in design at Cal Poly Pomona," Wolfe said.

In the time between attaining a BA, and now heading back to school, Wolfe's professional career has been quite a journey.

After college, Wolfe moved from La Verne to Santa Monica and worked as a designer doing production work, and in 1995 she started to pursue advertising in a small advertising "boutique" in Pasadena.

"The owner said 'you should be working with clients' so I then became an account representative and handled client services and produced CD-ROM projects.

This proved to me that that was in fact the place that I enjoyed," Wolfe said.

Soon after she learned the ropes of management, a contractor from Anamay CD-ROM projects recruited Wolfe to be a part of the company's software development project.

"It was like six guys in an apartment in Santa Monica doing Internet development programs. At the time people thought the Internet was a fad. I went to see a demo of Shockwave software, which is moving pictures and sound on the Internet. In 1995 this was not a reality.

"When I saw it I knew it would change everything and that it was not a fad but a thing that would affect all of us in a huge way. So I left my cushy job and went and worked for them for the next three years," Wolfe said.

To pay for their attempts at building business applications on Java platforms, Wolfe's team built websites for entertainment companies such as Sony Pictures, Columbia Tri-Star and Orion Pictures.

"There was no money in it whatsoever, but it was a tremendous learning opportunity. I had an opportunity to learn HTML, but also computer networking the conceptual foundation of software engineering. It was a really special learning time," Wolfe said.

In 1998 Wolfe joined another start-up team and worked with GOTO.com, now called Overture.com, which is an agency that provides paid advertising on the web.

"GOTO was an idea lab company, and I was employee number 20.

"By June 1999, there were over 300 employees. This was another really amazing learning opportunity that ended up being financially lucrative as well," Wolfe said.

She added that it was her experience at GOTO.com that really encouraged her to focus on management theory as a career.

"It was an environment of 20 people with goals, then with over 300 people the organization was challenged. It was a love-hate relationship. It was very stressful; we worked 12-hour days. It was human potential at its absolute best," Wolfe said.

Wolfe says that she never felt that it was too much for her to handle, she was just grateful to be able to be involved in such innovative projects.

"You ride off the high. The potential and innovation kept you going. Yeah, it was physically draining, but you take a two-day break and then go back; 18 hour days aren't sustainable as a lifestyle, but seeing human potential at its best is really inspiring," Wolfe said.

After she left GOTO.com in January 2000, Wolfe did a variety of jobs in the fields she had become accustomed to.

She worked for SoftAware.net, another Internet company, where she focused on marketing communication. She also worked for a mortgage banking company that used Internet technology.

Wolfe compares her initial ventures in college, which involved journalism, to the paths the courses she has found her life taking.

"Journalism is a constant exploration and journey. Marketing is a service, but you're the human component of management and developing each person's skills. I want it to be more about humans and less about bottom line stuff.

"I sort of perceive life as a life-long learning opportunity and I'm pretty committed to that," Wolfe said.

Now that she is back at ULV and in charge of "Lambda," the university yearbook, Wolfe says she is looking forward to bringing her experience to the community.

"It's a building year," she said.

"From what I observe, the yearbook has been on a windy road the last three-to-five years. I'm hoping to re-establish ties with the community, try to expand the coverage and increase the overall quality of the book," said Wolfe who sent out flyers recently to to recruit student staff members.

Wolfe, who says she is glad to be back in the ULV community and around all the memories of her time here, integrates foreign films into her life along with Eastern philosophy and Buddhist practices.

"When I moved to L.A., I was 26. It was an age when you go, 'what am I and what am I doing here? It's about committing yourself to being open," Wolfe said.

As for her future, Wolfe who is currently dating a senior editor for the television series "Malcolm in the Middle", says she is not thinking of marriage.

"We want to focus on our careers right now," said Wolfe.

"If you really take in the notion that life is a learning opportunity, it is pretty amazing what the universe brings to your doorstep."