Paradise police lieutenant graduates from Simpson University with honors

For Immediate Release


Gabriela Tazzari

REDDING, Calif. – Paradise police Lt. Gabriela Tazzari has never been afraid of a challenge. She passed her latest one with straight As, graduating from Simpson University with honors and a bachelor's degree in organizational leadership.

Tazzari was one of 103 ASPIRE students who graduated Jan. 22 during Simpson's winter commencement in Redding. ASPIRE is a degree-completion program designed for working adults. Classes meet on weeknights or weekends, and a degree can be earned in 16 months.

Born in Argentina, Tazzari, 42, moved to the U.S. with her family in 1978. One of her earliest challenges was overcoming the language barrier in high school.

"People who aren't confident about their language should know that you can do it," she said. "Hard work really does pay off."

That work ethic helped her get a job in law enforcement in 1994. After several years in law enforcement she went back to school and graduated from Golden West College in Southern California with an AA with honors. After promoting at work, and later relocating to Northern California, she looked to get her bachelor's degree; however, most schools were not a good fit for her busy schedule.

"School was always my goal, but my career put that on hold," she said. "Every time I was promoted, I would have more responsibilities."

Tazzari was working for the Mount Shasta Police Department in Siskiyou County, when she learned that Simpson has an ASPIRE cohort that meets at College of the Siskiyous in Weed.

She applied and decided to major in organizational leadership. ASPIRE also offers degrees in business management; liberal studies; and psychology.

"Organizational Leadership is great for law enforcement because it breaks down areas of business," Tazzari said. "The degree gives you a lot of different perspectives of an organization."

As a police officer, Tazzari never knows what a day will bring. "You can't predict emergencies," she noted. "ASPIRE is high-paced but not so much that it's not manageable."

When Tazzari moved to Paradise midway through her studies, Simpson University worked with her so that she could take classes at the main Redding campus, shortening her commute.

"It's been challenging at times," she said. "This is a very demanding job."

But Tazzari persisted and earned a 4.0 grade-point average, qualifying for Alpha Sigma Lambda, a national honor society for continuing education students. Her family cheered her on as she walked across the stage at Simpson University to receive her diploma.

The success she's had in this challenge is inspiring her to think further – possibly about earning a master's degree.

"I feel that earning my degree really helped with my career and my future," she said.

Simpson University is a Christian university offering undergraduate, graduate and teaching credential programs. Simpson's academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults in the north state. Simpson's recent curriculum expansion includes degrees in biology, nursing, outdoor leadership, and a master's degree in counseling psychology. For more information about the university, or to arrange a personalized visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit


Contact: SU Public Relations
(530) 226-4737