Board Members

The REAL Journey Academies (RJA) Board of Directors consists of four (4) board members and features a diverse group of professionals with expertise in secondary and higher education, international relations, and public administration/finance. Many of the members have served on the board for over six years and are long-time residents of San Bernardino County. Below are brief biographies of each board member.


Diana Z. Rodriguez – Chair

(3 Year Term beginning 7/1/2021)

Diana Z. Rodriguez is the 16th chancellor of the San Bernardino Community College District ⁠— a system that serves 20,000 students through Crafton Hills College, San Bernardino Valley College, a workforce training facility, and KVCR public radio and television station. Ms. Rodriguez received a BA in Marketing from California State University, San Bernardino, an MBA in Marketing from California State University, San Bernardino, and an MA in Education/Counseling from California State University, San Bernardino.

Javier Hernandez – Vice Chair

(3 Year Term beginning 7/1/2022)

Mr. Hernandez has been an educator, administrator, and college outreach specialist for the past 36 years. He has held such academic positions as Director for Immediate Outreach for the University of California, Riverside, and Early Academic Outreach Coordinator for the University of California, San Diego. Mr. Hernandez has presented on topics of college readiness, minority student outreach, and student intervention/remediation at numerous conferences and workshops throughout his career including the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and the UC Board of Regents. He has a BA in Sociology from the University of California, Riverside, and an MA in Educational Counseling from the University of San Diego.

Jack D. Ruebensaal – Secretary

(3 Year Term beginning 7/1/2023)

Mr. Ruebensaal has served as a university professor and expert in international relations over the past 41 years. He is currently a Professor of Political Science and Asian American Studies and serves as Vice-Chair of the Behavioral and Social Sciences Division for West Los Angeles College (part of the Los Angeles Community College District). Mr. Ruebensaal has held leadership positions in many academic organizations, including the California State Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (1997–2002), Chapter President for the American Federation of Teachers (2000–2004), and Board of Directors for the California Center for Public Policy (1987–1992). He has a BA in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University, an MA in Political Science/Asian Studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and an M.Phil. in Politics/International Relations from the London School of Economics.


Van Trischelle Baysden – Treasurer 

(3 Year Term beginning 5/1/2020)

Ms. Baysden has served in the Rail Transportation industry in both freight and commuter service for over 27 years. She is currently the Director of Rail Operations at Omnitrans. Previously, she held various Operations positions with Metrolink, Southern California's Regional Rail Authority, and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad. Ms. Baysden received a BS in Business from the University of Phoenix, Long Beach, and an MBS in Transportation Management from Mineta Transportation Institute - San Jose State University. At present, she serves as the California Chapter President for the National Association of Railway Business Women as well as a SoCal Chapter member of the Construction Management Association of America. 

Joseph Chavez – Board Member

(Term beginning 11/1/2023)