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Dr. Donald R. Culton Founder of Study Abroad in California Community Colleges Since 1973

Don CultonMay 18, 1940 - April 2, 2015 Dr. Donald R. Culton came to Los Angeles from Omaha, Nebraska at the age of three months. He attended Long Beach City College, earned a B.A. at Whittier College, M.A at the University of California, Santa Barbara and Ph.D. at the University of Southern California. He taught at Shasta College in Redding California for two years, and then began his teaching in the Los Angeles Community College District in 1966 at Los Angeles City College. He later became dean of Off-campus Education at Los Angeles Harbor College. Dr. Culton began his work in study abroad in 1973 when he initiated one of the first community college study-abroad programs in the nation to Mexico. In the next few years, Don pioneered several semester study abroad programs and became the first full-time administrator of an international program for California community colleges. He retired as Director of International Education for the LACCD in 1998 and then devoted his time to volunteer work, consulting. There is no question that Dr. Donald Culton was the founder of study abroad in California community colleges. His leadership, intelligence, knowledge and willingness to share inspired the development of generations of international educators. Don formed the non-profit consortia California Colleges for International Education (CCIE) which continues to serve community college internationalization advocacy needs today. Don supported the concept and outreach provided by community colleges and believed that education in general, and international education in particular should be experienced by all students-not just the wealthy. Don was an avid cyclist and runner and was a member of the Team USA National Duathlon squad at three World Championships. Don received the All American Honorable mention in 2011 by USA Triathlon. Donald also was a longtime member of Rotary International, an organization that provides humanitarian service and helps build goodwill and peace in the world. Don's constant traveling and leadership of international programs made him Rotary's Ambassador to the world. Recently, his relationship with the Ajijic Club in Mexico created a sister club relationship that resulted in the furnishing of a volunteer fire department, including fire fighting equipment, training, and a fully stocked ambulance. Don's passion for youth and education inspired the Playa Venice Sunrise club to sponsor its first Interact Club at Animo Venice Charter High School. The relationship was so successful that his Rotary club now sponsors an Interact Club at Venice High School and a Rotaract Club at Otis College. Don served numerous terms throughout his Rotary career as either International or Youth Service director and as club president in the 2008 - 2009 year. The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International named him a Paul Harris Fellow, joining others such as US president Jimmy Carter. Don was the consummate Rotarian, a Rotarian that all aspire to be. He lived the motto "Service above self" in everything that he thought, said and did. Don is survived by his wife of 31 years, Josefina Culton, and his two sons Ryan, and Christian Culton.

Why Study Abroad? By Dr. Don Culton


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