Black Student Union leader Annette Brasher left lasting impact at CSUB

Autumn Layton, Podcaster

From left: Fitzgerald Graves, Donna Polk, and Annette Brasher. Photo provided by Fitzgerald Graves

Annette Brasher was a woman who could put a smile on anyone’s face when she entered the room, tell a joke that everyone laughed at, and even push you to become the best version of yourself. On Dec. 11 she was called home while in her sleep. Family, staff members, and friends were extremely hurt upon hearing this news. She had a huge impact on and off campus. The 54-year-old psychology student worked for the CSUB office of Student Financial Services, which was perfect for her helpful personality.   

“She was loyal, respectful and an excellent friend. She wanted to help everyone,” said Donna Polk, a fall 202l CSUB graduate.   

Polk had known Brasher for about three years and despite their difficulties Brasher remained a great friend. They met at Bakersfield College and continued their friendship from then on. No matter the time or day, Brasher was the person that you could call on for anything.   

Another person that was impacted by her friendly nature was Fitzgerald Graves. They first met at a Health Fair at BC, and from then on, their friendship grew. When asked how she impacted his life he said, “She sees more in me than I see in myself. She would make you feel like you were much better than you felt yourself.”   

Not only were friends inspired by who she was, but so were staff members. One of her professors, Allison Evans, had known Brasher for about a year and wrote, “Annette was a motivated student; she was insightful, dedicated, reflective, and encouraging. She was inspirational.”  

Even in the slightest moments in an interview or when meeting someone new, Brasher made you feel like the two of you had known each other for a long time. Her openness and willingness to talk to people made it easier to form bonds with her.  

“She had a tough upbringing and many difficult experiences at a young age. Yet, she had such hope and optimism for her future. She inspired me and I admired her courage. I am glad that someone like Annette was part of the CSUB community,” said Tiffany Tsantsoulas after interviewing Brasher.    

I personally met Brasher at a Black Student Union meeting, and she instantly brought a sense of comfort and welcoming nature to the meetings. Throughout the couple of months that I have known her, she taught me to go the extra mile to leave a smile on someone’s face, as she did for me. I will carry that on with me until I have the same impact on others.   

“Ultimately I would say about Annette is no matter what barriers lay before her, she had the mentality that if she put in the work, she could overcome them and no matter what the past was that did not determine her future, only she had that ability, and it was through her hard work and dedication to her education that she got a chance to see what her future would potentially be,” Graves said.