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CSU-San-Marcos-Presidential-Search-Committee-to-Hold-First-Meeting.aspx
  
11/16/2018 6:22 PMUhlenkamp, Michael11/15/201811/15/2018 9:30 AMThe CSU Board of Trustees is beginning the search for a new president of California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) to succeed Dr. Karen Haynes, who is retiring in June 2019.LeadershipPress Release

The California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees is beginning the search for a new president of California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) to succeed Dr. Karen Haynes, who is retiring in June 2019.

The first meeting of the Trustees' Committee for the Selection of the President will be held in an open forum from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30, in the University Student Union Ballroom on the CSUSM campus. The open meeting will be followed by a closed meeting.

CSU Trustee Jean Picker Firstenberg will chair the committee. The other trustee members include:  Debra Farar, Juan García and Jack McGrory as well as Trustee Chairman Adam Day and CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White.

Board policy requires the chair of the CSU trustees to appoint an Advisory Committee to the Trustees' Committee. The Advisory Committee is composed of representatives from the faculty, staff, students, and alumni, as well as a member of a campus advisory board, all of whom are selected by the campus' constituency groups. Also on the Advisory Committee is a vice president or academic dean from the campus, and a president of another CSU campus - both selected by the chancellor.  Both committees function as one unified group.

Members of the Advisory Committee for the Selection of the President include:

  • CSUSM faculty members Mtafiti Imara, Ph.D., professor and chair, Music, and Jacqueline Trischman, Ph.D., professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Suzanne Moineau, Ph.D., chair, CSUSM Academic Senate
  • Christine Vaughan, creative communications officer, CSUSM Office of Communications (staff representative)
  • Savana Doudar, president and chief executive officer, CSUSM Associated Students, Inc. (student representative)
  • Jeremy Addis-Mills (alumni representative)
  • Jack Raymond, chair, CSUSM Foundation Board (campus advisory board representative)
  • Patricia Prado-Olmos, Ph.D., vice president, CSUSM Division of Community Engagement
  • Community representatives Major General Tony Jackson (retired) and Russell "Butch" Murphy
  • Ellen Junn, Ph.D., president of California State University, Stanislaus

The purpose of the meeting in an open forum is to: review the role of the committee, receive comments and input from the public and campus community, explain the search process and confidentiality, confirm the schedule of meetings, discuss preferred attributes of the next president, review the descriptions and needs of the campus and presidential position, and discuss any other business related to the search process.

Over the next several months, the committee will review candidates and conduct interviews.

#  #  #

About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 50,800 faculty and staff and 484,000 students. Half of the CSU's students transfer from California community colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity, and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards more than 110,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 3.4 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.


CSU San Marcos Presidential Search Committee to Hold First Meeting
meet-crew-7.aspx
  
11/16/2018 2:34 PMSalvador, Christianne11/15/201811/15/2018 9:00 AMGet to know 20 exceptional California wildland firefighters—many of whom are CSU students and alumni—working hard to stop wildfires and save communities. CaliforniaStory
Understanding Fire Hero Image

MEET CREW 7

Get to know 20 exceptional california wildland firefighters—many of whom are CSU students and alumni—working hard to stop wildfires and save communities.

Imagine carrying 50 pounds of gear up a mountain ridge in the scorching heat of the California summer. Thick smoke is everywhere as you wipe ash from your eyes. You're exhausted, hot, spent. As you turn to your right, your fellow crewmate gives you a smile. You and 19 others are in this together. Working as a team, you're going to help stop a wildfire from spreading.

This is what draws men and women into the world of wildland firefighting. Those who heed the call have an abiding passion for protecting forests and the communities that surround them and a drive to persevere even when the going gets incredibly tough.

Working side-by-side, hiking and camping in often remote backcountry for days at a time, firefighting handcrews do the demanding work of digging firelines around wildfires to contain them using tools like Pulaskis and chainsaws that clear away flammable vegetation.

Get to know the 20 men who worked during summer 2018 on Santa Lucia Crew 7, a Type II U.S. Forest Service handcrew based in Los Padres National Forest in southern and central California. Because Crew 7's schedule caters to seasonal employment, many California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (SLO) students studying forestry and natural resources (with a concentration in wildland fuels and fire management) have served on the team, gaining invaluable experience in fire management. 

(Editor's Note, November 2018:  Crew 7 is not currently on assignment. No members have been deployed to fight the current wildfires in northern and southern California. They will resume service after the spring 2019 semester. The images in this story were captured during the summer 2018 Holy Fire.)

Understanding Fire Hero Image

Alumnus, Cal Poly SLO (’18) 
Third Firefighting Season

Austin Lord, who earned his bachelor's in forestry and natural resources from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, says that the best days on the job are those he spends simply being in a beautiful place, doing challenging, meaningful work. 

Many students from Cal Poly and other colleges have joined Crew 7 to gain vital hands-on experience. After graduation, some go on to work in fire management positions in state or federal agencies such as CAL FIRE or the U.S. Forest Service. 


What motivates him: I want to be the best firefighter I can be. A person's ability to push through tough assignments is a big part of being good at this job.

Favorite tool: The chainsaw. Once you get in a good rhythm with your saw partner, cutting can be pretty fun. It's also really satisfying seeing the amount of work one saw team can put in. It makes a big difference in line construction.

Best day: The best days always end by "tying in," or completing a piece of fireline, after a long shift. Tying in is usually accompanied by fist bumps and a strong feeling of camaraderie and accomplishment.

Favorite meal: Any meal that gets flown in when the crew is "spiked out" away from camp. The relief of not having to eat another military ration (MRE) makes whatever is in the "hot bucket" taste pretty amazing.

Favorite way to relax: Surfing. I consider myself extremely lucky to be on a crew stationed near the ocean and I like to take advantage of that on days off. Plus, cold saltwater feels like therapy after two weeks of heat, dirt and sweat.

ZACHARY BARBER

Student, Cal Poly SLO
Second Firefighting Season

Best day: In September 2018, we were dispatched to a fire at a ranch located very deep in the Santa Barbara backcountry. We drove for 2.5 hours off Highway 154, down insanely sketchy dirt roads to access this fire. As we crested a ridge at about sunset, we had a ridgetop view of the Ogilvy Fire. Shortly after, we saw smokejumpers jumping out of their airplanes to parachute into the fire. That's how remote this fire was. We worked until 1 a.m. cutting direct line right behind the jumpers we had just seen fall from the sky.

REUBEN BRAND

Student, Cal Poly SLO
14th Firefighting Season

Best day: In 2010, my crew, Salmon Helitack, was called to Jackson, Wyoming, to assist with a prescribed burn designed to enhance the habitat for Rocky Mountain elk herds in parts of Grand Teton National Park. We used drip torches along a trail to create a black line for the helitorch to come in behind us. Our burn reduced the dense stands of lodgepole pine and subalpine fir to allow for quaking aspen to regenerate and provide forage for the elk. We covered several miles of fireline that day and the total acres burned was over 2,000.

BRIAN CLARK

Alumnus and graduate student, Cal Poly SLO (18)
Third Firefighting Season

Best day: My favorite day this season was on the Holy Fire when we were cutting a direct fireline. While making our way through the cut, my saw team got bumped down the line to mitigate some garden vegetation that was flaring up around a mobile home and our parked trucks. We cut some flaming brush and resumed cutting line with the others before we tied in the piece of line with the Breckenridge Hotshot Crew.

SPENCER KEMP

Student, Cal Poly SLO
Third Firefighting Season

What motivates him: Thinking about the people that I care about motivates me to be great. I always remember the purpose of a task we are doing and how it will better the environment and safety for the public.

Best day: Cutting hot line all day, then eating spaghetti and meatballs back at fire camp.

Understanding Fire Hero Image

Student, Cal Poly SLO
Second Firefighting Season

As the foot soldiers of wildland firefighting, handcrews must travel on foot for miles with heavy gear. Tremendous physical endurance is an essential part of the job.

Crews clear flammable brush and dig firelines, creating a border that will keep a fire from spreading. When this line is close to the actual fire, it's called a "hot line" or "direct line." 


Why he does it: I joined the crew to gain valuable hands-on experience and knowledge of fighting fires. It is also a stepping stone into a fire career full of many opportunities.

What motivates him: Knowing that 19 others are going through the same thing as me.

Favorite tool: Chingadera scraping tool

Best day: My favorite day of this last fire season was getting helicoptered to the Ogilvy Fire, cutting line at night, and "spiking out" (sleeping on the line) with the crew.

NICK HENDRICKS

Student, Cal Poly SLO
First Firefighting Season

Why he does it: Growing up in Southern California, I have memories of wildland fires affecting me and my community from a young age. This job seemed like a way where I could take an active role rather than just be a bystander. There was also a sense of thrill knowing I could combine a job and my love for the outdoors together. It's exciting going to work knowing you could end up sleeping in some national forest you've always wanted to visit.

TYLER O’BRIEN

Alumnus, Cal Poly SLO (’17)
First Firefighting Season

Best day: The first day of cutting hot line along the fire’s edge. I am a puller so I was swamping the brush as it was being cut and throwing it out of the way. I love the feeling you get after a hard shift of work knowing you pushed yourself right up to the edge of your breaking point.

Favorite meal: My favorite meal at a fire is scarfing beef fritters with gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad, chocolate milk and apple pie.

CHARLES WATKINS

Student, Cal Poly SLO
Second Firefighting Season

Best day: On a fire in the Klamath National Forest, the crew and I worked all day keeping it from crossing over into a valley filled with homes.

Favorite meal: Whenever fire camp has spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. And don’t forget the chocolate milk!

CALEB KATCHES

Student, Cal Poly SLO
Second Firefighting season

Why he does it: To gain fire experience and to learn more about wildland fire as it pertains to my major.

What motivates him: The difficult parts of the job build character and can always be used as personal learning experiences.

Best day: Hanging out with the crew after a long, strenuous shift, all of us being exhausted but proud of our efforts.

Understanding Fire Hero Image

Alumnus, Cal Poly SLO ('17)
Second season firefighting

The crew uses several different types of handtools. The chainsaw is by far their favorite, thanks to its power and ability to swiftly cut away brush. 

To suppress a large wildfire, Crew 7 often works in tandem with other crews and agencies, from engine crews to more advanced hot shot handcrews.


Why he does it: I joined Crew 7 my second-to-last year of college as I transitioned out of baseball and into a new walk of life. I remember seeing my roommate Clark coming back dirty and full of good stories and I asked him right then how I could get on the crew. I think all the guys on the crew embody hard work, dedication, perseverance, humility, and loyalty and those are all qualities I want to be a part of.

What motivates him: I was humbled as a teenager by an accident that really changed my outlook on physical and mental pain. I feel lucky to be where I am at today, so when things get tough I try to just remember that at any moment my ability to attempt a physically or mentally tough assignment may be lost. In the moment, however, I like to break things down into small moments and put all my focus into each moment. That usually helps me from stressing on the whole situation.

Best day: The initial attack on the Whittier Fire behind Santa Barbara in 2017. Being the first or second crew to show up on the scene, we were thrown right into the mix. We got to cut hot line and direct line all night and ended up working into the next afternoon for a 23-hour shift. I learned so much and it was an amazing experience to suffer through one of the hardest shifts of my life with my brothers.

What he carries: I carry a quartz crystal that was gifted to me by my girlfriend. She told me to keep it in my "man purse" to bring the crew good luck and keep us safe.

SHANE SCANLAN

Alumnus, Cal Poly SLO (’18)
Second Firefighting Season

What motivates him: Just knowing that there are other people in the same situation or often worse situations/conditions. In our case, there are probably other crews who have been on the fire longer, cut more line and had more difficult assignments.

Best day: Our first day on the Ogilvy Fire. We drove in for three hours on a Jeep trail and got to start work as the sun went down. It was a great experience for me to get to work with some smokejumpers out of Redding.

CHRIS SEYLE

Alumnus, Humboldt State (15)
First Firefighting Season

Why he joined: I truly enjoy hard work and the outdoors, so this seemed like the right path to take to get involved with firefighting.

Best day: A full day’s work, soaked in sweat, dirt on our faces, and everyone is still laughing.


MORGAN MOORE

Alumnus, Cal Poly SLO (’18)
First Firefighting Season

Best day: I wake up without poison oak and after breakfast we get a nice mile hike in to work. Work is hard but we get a nice lunch break where I enjoy a roast beef sandwich with cream cheese and pepperoncini. We finish working and there is no hike out. Dinner is delicious with some ice cream to boot, and we’re done by 8 p.m.

Favorite meal: Honestly, I love when we get to crack an MRE (meal, ready-to-eat). Just the thought of opening food that could have been packaged a decade ago makes it taste better.

CODY PETERSON

Student, Cal Poly SLO
First Firefighting Season

Why he joined: I am pursuing a career in the fire service and this crew was a great way to obtain fire experience while also finishing my bachelor’s degree.

What motivates him: Thinking about my current and future family keeps me motivated to keep going.

Best day: The first day on the Holy Fire where we had the opportunity to cut hot line and tie in with a hotshot crew.

Understanding Fire Hero Image

Student, Cal Poly SLO
First Firefighting Season

Why he joined: Firefighting is a respectable and demanding job. Crew 7 gave me an opportunity to gain my first official experience working as a firefighter.

What motivates him: Knowing that I’m doing what I love and I’ve prepared for this situation and I can handle it alongside my crew members.

Favorite class: Wildfire Suppression. It is taught by an old crew boss of Crew 7, and he taught us everything we need to know for the fire crew. It was all directly applicable.

 

JASON MITCHELL
Crew 7 Supervisor

I enjoy seeing my new firefighters accomplish something they didn’t think was possible. It could be something as simple as hiking to the top of a ridge or receiving a promotion. Their success reflects on me.

 

JOEY GONZALES
First Firefighting Season

I wanted to be a part of something that is bigger than myself. I enjoy the physical and mental challenges that come with this career.                           

 

MICHAEL GARRETT
Second Firefighting Season

A friend used to say, ‘You will always think you could have pushed harder once you reach the top of the hill.’

 

COLE WILSON
Second Firefighting Season

My best day was showing up to the Holy Fire and spending the day cutting hot line in rough terrain.                           


This article is the second in a series on the California State University's role in understanding, preventing and fighting California's devastating wildfires. Read our previous coverage on the CSU’s role in understanding fire to better predict and prevent it. 

The next story in our series coming later this month, will introduce you to Tenaya Wood, a Humboldt State student who grew up in a firefighting family.

Story: Hazel Kelly

photoGRAPHY: PATRICK RECORD

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Wildland Firefighters and the CSU: Meet Crew 7
CSU-Will-Accommodate-Applicants-Affected-by-California-Wildfires.aspx
  
11/13/2018 12:01 PMRuble, Alisia11/13/201811/13/2018 11:30 AMThe CSU has announced accommodations for applicants affected by recent wildfires who are applying for admission to CSU campuses for the fall 2019 term. Press Release

The California State University (CSU) has announced accommodations for applicants affected by recent wildfires who are applying for admission to CSU campuses for the fall 2019 term. 

Currently, through the Cal State Apply website, all 23 CSU campuses are accepting applications for admission to the fall 2019 term. The priority application period will close on November 30, 2018, and all students are encouraged to apply before the priority deadline. 

Students who are experiencing hardship and are unable to meet the deadline may request an application deadline extension.  All requests for an extension must be made prior to the November 30 application deadline. Upon successful completion of the steps below, the application deadline for the specified programs will be extended to December 15, 2018.  In addition, applicants will also be granted a Coupon Code, which will waive the application fee for up to four campuses.

Before requesting an extension, students should complete the following steps:

  • Create an application profile on the Cal State Apply website – Calstate.edu/apply
  • Add the desired programs to their application – Only the programs added will be granted the deadline extension.
Requests can be made via email at calstateapply@calstate.edu with the following subject line: "Extension Request – Fire Event." 
  • The request must include the student's full name and unique CAS ID number. (The CAS ID number may be located in the upper right hand corner of any page of the application.) 
  • Incomplete requests will be returned to the student, and may delay the process.
After November 30, students will need to make their request for further extensions directly to CSU campuses.   

The Cal State Apply website is the best place for prospective students and their parents to learn about the degree offerings at each of the 23 CSU campuses, as it includes a comprehensive database detailing undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered at each campus, as well as information about the campus community, student housing and campus life.  

After applying to the CSU through Cal State Apply, students should visit the university's financial aid website and apply for financial aid or learn more about financial aid options. Eighty percent of CSU students receive some type of financial aid, and more than half of all CSU undergraduates receive enough financial aid to cover the full cost of tuition.

# # #

About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 50,800 faculty and staff and 484,000 students. Half of the CSU's students transfer from California community colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity, and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards more than 110,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 3.4 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.

CSU Will Accommodate Applicants Affected by California Wildfires
Chancellor-White-Releases-Statement-on-Thousand-Oaks-Shooting.aspx
  
11/8/2018 3:12 PMRuble, Alisia11/8/201811/8/2018 3:05 PM“All of us in the California State University extend our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those whose loved ones were lost or injured at the Borderline Bar and Grill on Wednesday evening."Press Release
The following statement can be attributed to California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White:

“All of us in the California State University extend our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those whose loved ones were lost or injured at the Borderline Bar and Grill on Wednesday evening. Such tragic and senseless violence breaks our hearts and calls us to redouble our resolve and effort to work together for a real solution. And at the same time, we thank and commend the courage and skill of the first responders. 

Many CSU campuses are providing counseling services for students, faculty and staff; in addition, I am asking all members of the CSU family to reach out to those in need – both those who are affected by this tragedy and those who are struggling with issues that demand our attention. We can and must be the beacon of hope and help during this tragic time.”

# # #
About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 50,800 faculty and staff and 484,000 students. Half of the CSU's students transfer from California community colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity, and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards more than 110,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 3.4 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.


Statement from CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White on Thousand Oaks Shooting
veterans-to-energy-careers.aspx
  
11/7/2018 2:42 PMKelly, Hazel11/7/201811/7/2018 8:40 AMVTEC, a three-year-old program out of CSU San Marcos, matches student veterans across CSU campuses to internships in STEM-related fields, then helps them find employment once they graduate. VeteransStory

More than 7,500 veterans or active-duty service members are currently enrolled at the California State University, plus 13,000 military dependents (family of veterans or service members).

"Veterans often have different needs than other students, both during college and after graduation," says Marshall Thomas, Ed.D., director of Active Duty and Veterans Affairs at the CSU's Chancellor's Office. "At the CSU, we prioritize their success, which means guiding them into a successful career once they earn their diploma."

At California State University San Marcos—a campus with more military-connected students per capita than any other in the CSU—one program in particular is excelling in creating opportunities for vets who want to go into engineering or science. This workforce development program, Veterans To Energy Careers (VTEC), is funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and aims to secure a signed job offer for every enrolled veteran, even before graduation. VTEC gives veterans paid internships at private sector aerospace, gas and electric companies, along with professional development and one-on-one mentorship

To date, the program has had a 100-percent job-placement rate with the 80 students who have gone through it, says Patricia Reily, Ed.D., director of Veterans Services at CSU San Marcos and a former senior officer in the U.S. Navy.

Meeting a Workforce Need

VTEC evolved from a National Science Foundation-funded program called Troops to Engineers started by Dr. Reily in 2011 at San Diego State University. Reily, who was director of the SDSU program, says it was designed to meet a specific and increasing need: "We get a lot of wonderful engineers from countries around the world, but for whatever reason, in the U.S., we're not producing enough engineers to meet the demand for those industries," she says. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that over 139,000 new engineers will be needed in the U.S. between 2016 and 2026.

One of the advantages for defense-industry companies and government agencies who employ U.S. veterans is that the vets have already had a security clearance, so they can start work more quickly. "Oftentimes, it takes a while for an international student or graduate to get those clearances," explains Reily.

vtec is a real fast track for veterans into sustainable energy careers. 
—Dr. Patricia Reily, director of veterans services, csu San Marcos

In 2015 Richard Carlin, Ph.D., head of the Sea Warfare and Weapons Department at ONR, established the Energy System Technology Evaluation Program (ESTEP) at CSU San Marcos, which got veterans into internships with the Department of Defense for energy sustainability projects on military bases. Then, in 2018, VTEC was launched with a broader focus on STEM workforce development.

"We looked to expand the program and it just really took off," says Reily. "It's a real fast track into sustainable energy careers—and California is a great place to do this because we have had the leading edge in sustainable energy for a long time."

To date, the program has included students from San Diego State, CSU Northridge and Sacramento State, as well as two outside institutions. The program is open to any CSU system veteran student in a STEM field, Reily notes. In addition, for students wanting to continue their education beyond a bachelor's degree, VTEC provides resources and connections to another ONR program, NEPTUNE, for graduate and doctoral studies. 

The Importance of Internships

Part of the success of the VTEC program is the emphasis it places on interning.

"Internships are really important because for someone transitioning out of the military, they don't know yet what it's like to work in the civilian sector," Reily says, noting that many veterans entered the military right out of high school.

In addition, paid internships help to bridge the financial gap some students face if their GI Bill funding is paused during a summer or winter break when they're not enrolled full-time in school. "Many veteran students are non-traditional; half of them are married and many have children," says Reily, making this type of support essential.

U.S. Army veteran Bashar Ameen had two internships through ESTEP, with the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR) in San Diego, before earning his bachelor's in electrical engineering from San Diego State in 2017.

"The internships gave me a great idea of what engineers deal with on a daily basis," Ameen says, adding that during his SPAWAR internship, a few colleagues were also alumni of the ESTEP program and served as mentors to him. 

Ameen accepted a full-time position at SPAWAR after graduating, turning down offers from private sector companies, including Northrop Grumman; he now works on research projects to help the U.S. Navy save energy.

His brother, Ammar Ameen, also a U.S. Army veteran and 2017 SDSU graduate, followed a similar path with NAVFAC and SPAWAR internships and now works full-time for SPAWAR. "I have gained so much experience from these internships, so much technical experience. I've also gained so much confidence," Ammar says.

Why Veterans Make Good Scientists & Engineers

"The military is so high-tech now," Reily says, citing examples such as nuclear-powered ships and high-tech sonar equipment. Men and women serving in the armed forces are getting real-world, hands-on technical experience with these advanced technologies.

When service members come to the CSU, they bring into the classroom their rich experience, then they can learn the theory behind what they did in the field; that makes their coursework so relevant, notes Reily.

Arthur Rubio, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and  an alumnus of the ESTEP program, earned his bachelor's in electrical engineering from San Diego State in 2016 and now works in R&D for energy innovation at SPAWAR in San Diego, where he also interned.

"[The program] was life-changing for me," says Rubio, who is currently pursuing a master's degree in engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles. "I found it challenging at times and it allowed me to open up to various possibilities of current and future technologies." 


Veterans to Energy Careers (VTEC)
Vets Make Good Scientists and Engineers. This CSU Program Helps Them Get a Job.
understanding-fire.aspx
  
11/13/2018 1:29 PMKelly, Hazel10/29/201810/29/2018 8:00 AMThere's a new urgency to find better ways to fight and prevent wildfires in California. Discover how CSU faculty and students are doing just that.CaliforniaStory
Understanding Fire Hero Image

Understanding Fire

Wildfires in California aren’t what they used to be. 

there's a new urgency to find better ways to fight and prevent fires.

discover how CSU faculty and students are doing just that.

UPDATE 11/13/2018: Several CSU campuses are currently affected by poor air quality due to nearby wildfires. Please check with your campus regarding possible closures and emergency alerts. 

Is California on fire?
  We already know that wildfires in the West are worsening every year. They are bigger, hotter and more deadly and destructive. Fires now start sooner and last well beyond the traditional “season,” which once ran from June to October. An extended, if not a year-round, fire season is now the new normal.

In this first article in a new series on California's wildfires, we ask CSU faculty experts and researchers to explain how fires are different now; what we’re learning about fire behavior; and better ways California can manage fires in the future. 

NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold captured this image of California wildfires on August 3, 2018 from his vantage point on the International Space Station. Photo courtesy of NASA


why are CALIFORNIA FIRES SO EXTREME?

1. FOREST “FUEL LOADS” ARE HIGH.

The forest floor grows dense with flammable dead branches and brush when it’s not cleared out, either manually or when burned. In many parts of California’s wildlands, these forest "fuels" have not burned or been cleared for decades, due in part to fire suppression policies by state and federal agencies.

"One of the reasons we're observing more fires is because of 100 years of poor Forest Service policy where we didn't allow prescribed fire or wildfires to burn," says Craig Clements, Ph.D., director of the San José State University's Fire Weather Research Laboratory and associate professor of meteorology and climate science.

To understand the history and context of wildfire suppression in the U.S., you have to go back to the Great Fires of 1910. After these enormous wildfires ravaged three million acres across Idaho, Montana and Washington, the then-young U.S. Forest Service made it their singular policy to stop fires whenever possible.

It wasn’t until the 1970s that policy shifted from fire control to fire management, with the recognition that some fire—including prescribed burns—is a necessary part of the wildland ecosystem. But decades of still-unburned forest means today’s wildlands are dense with vegetation that’s ready to spark. Drought conditions have only intensified the impending threat in many parts of the state. (See below for more on this.)

In a 2009 report, Chris Dicus, Ph.D., professor of wildland fire and fuels management at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, wrote that before the Gold Rush, there were approximately 50 to 70 trees per acre in California’s forestlands. Today, there are more than 400 trees per acre.

Another contributing factor to the growing forest fuel load is the increasing number of dead or dying trees caused by bark beetle infestations. These insects, along with the drought, are responsible for killing 129 million trees across California since 2010, quite literally adding fuel to the fire.


2. CLIMATE CHANGE IS DRYING THE FUEL FIRES NEED.

Studies show that climate change contributes to our droughts, Dr. Clements says. Less water means drier, more combustible vegetation. Add to that record-breaking heat waves, and you’ve got even drier fuels.

Warmer climates may also increase bark beetle activity and population growth, which creates more dead trees that are ready to burn.

California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment found that, if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, the frequency of extreme wildfires will increase, and the average area burned statewide would grow by 77 percent by 2100.

3. MORE PEOPLE ARE LIVING IN FIRE-PRONE WILDLAND.

Where there are people, there is fire. Ninety-five percent of wildfires in California are caused by humans, whether by accident or deliberately.

What makes matters perhaps worse in California than many other Western states is the ever-growing number of people and homes encroaching on the wildland-urban interface (WUI), a technical name for the transition between wildlands and established municipal areas. Homes in these fire-prone areas are more vulnerable to fire, and fire agencies have to spend more to protect them.

Between 1990 and 2000, 60 percent of all new housing units built in the U.S. were located in the WUI, with major development along the West Coast.

Jacquelyn Chase, Ph.D., a professor in geography and planning at California State University, Chico and a Butte County planning commissioner, believes we shouldn't build new homes in these areas.

“It seems like we're really out-of-step with what we know about the risk of fire now compared to flooding, for example,” Dr. Chase says. “Some people are saying we should just treat fire like we treat floods. You wouldn't build on a floodplain. But people build all the time in high-risk [fire] areas.”

She points to several subdivision communities in California’s WUI that were destroyed by wildfires in the last decade: Keswick Estates (Redding), The Trails (San Diego County) and Coffey Park (Santa Rosa). Fires likely spread to these communities through burning embers carried by the wind—a phenomenon known as spotting. Santa Rosa residents affected by the Tubbs Fire, which destroyed 5,000 homes, “were deep inside a suburb, but they were burned by embers coming from the hills not too far away,” Chase explains, adding that she hopes future city planners and developers will stop building in the WUI. 

Homes situated in or near wildlands are at greater risk for burning. While fire-safe landscaping and removing brush helps, it may not be enough to protect houses from fires spread by embers.  

Wade Martin, Ph.D., professor of economics at California State University, Long Beach and co-author of the book, “Wildfire Risk: Human Perceptions and Natural Implications,” asks, “When people are moving into these areas, do they have information on the risk they’re buying into?”

“Generally, we find that people [overestimate] being in nature as a positive and undervalue the risk from wildfire. The risk of having your home destroyed is really pretty small, but it is catastrophic when it happens,” says Dr. Martin, who is currently conducting research in Australia on homes in at-risk fire areas to better understand how homeowners weigh the benefits and risks of living close to nature.

Homeowners who already reside in the WUI should do everything they can to make their home more resilient to the threat of wildfire, Chase says. One of the most important steps is to remove all the vegetation or dried fuels at least 30 feet around the house—what’s called creating a defensible space. But Chase cautions that sometimes even “firewise” landscaping like this isn't enough, as shown by the destruction of buildings in Santa Rosa and Redding.


THE 21ST-CENTURY FIRE: WHAT WE’RE LEARNING

When humans learned to control fire, we changed the course of evolution forever. But that definitely doesn’t mean we understand everything about this unbelievably powerful natural phenomenon. Here are three things we're getting smarter about:

WE’RE LEARNING MORE ABOUT THE FIRE-WEATHER CONNECTION.

Weather is the least predictable part of fire management, so understanding weather conditions can go a long way in helping firefighters determine exactly how a fire will spread. 


THE FIRE BEHAVIOR TRIANGLE

Fire Behavior Triangle: Firefighters learn about the 3 major factors that affect a fire's behavior-weather, fuel & topography

The Fire Behavior Triangle: Firefighters learn about the three major factors that affect a fire's behavior—weather, fuel and topography—in this diagram. Weather conditions, such as low relative humidity, warm temperatures and high winds, make a perfect environment for fire to thrive. The topography, or the slope and natural features of the earth's surface, can influence the direction and speed of a fire. For example, fire tends to travel uphill faster than downhill.

It’s not just external weather conditions that affect a fire’s behavior. Fires actually create their own weather patterns, too. One example is a fire whirl, or fire “tornado,” like the one seen at the Carr Fire in Redding during the summer of 2018. San José State's Dr. Craig Clements explains that, while fire whirls are not rare, the sheer size of the Carr tornado—1,000 feet wide—was unusual. And devastating.

So how do fires create their own weather? To explain, Clements compares wildfires to a typical campfire: A thermal column of hot gasses rises from the top of the fire. At the fire's base, air rushes in, providing oxygen so the fire can continue to burn. As the fire continues to suck in air, it modifies the wind and thereby creates its own weather pattern.

Dr. Chris Dicus, a wildland fuels and fire management professor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, demonstrates unique fire behavior in his fire ecology lab. 

In his fire ecology course, Dr. Dicus teaches students about fuels and other variables that can affect a fire's behavior.


It’s these fire-created winds that leading researchers like Clements are currently working to learn more about. “We don't know exactly how far they extend out, or how they affect the fire behavior in terms of pushing the fire in different directions," he says.

“Fires can also produce their own clouds—we call those pyrocumulus clouds,” and they’re not just smoke plumes but actual clouds made up of water droplets. “And if they’re really deep, they’re called pyrocumulonimbus, because they’re almost like a thunderstorm,” Clements explains. Some fires even create their own thunderstorms and lightning.

Play Adam's Profile Video

Watch a fire "tornado" demonstration at Dr. Chris Dicus's fire ecology lab at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.


WE’RE LEARNING WHAT REALLY HAPPENS INSIDE A FIRE.

Simply put, Craig Clements at San José State has transformed wildfire research. His meteorological techniques to study fire behavior, such as using special instruments to measure wind turbulence during a fire, have been pioneering.

“Nobody had done this before,” Clements says, adding that data from his initial doctoral research at the University of Houston are now used as the international standard for fire simulation models using atmospheric data.   

At SJSU, Clements’s Fire Weather Research Lab also broke new ground in its use of mobile atmospheric measuring systems to study wildfire winds. One of the lab’s trucks is equipped with a Doppler LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), which uses a pulsed laser to measure distances and collect smoke data from within fire plumes. A second truck will soon have a mobile Doppler radar unit, allowing the scientists to collect data on clouds created by fire.

The SJSU Fire Weather Research Lab's mobile team has trucks equipped with radar and LiDAR technology to collect data about how weather and fire interact.

With more sophisticated wildfire-weather data, scientists will get better at predicting what a fire will do, in turn allowing firefighters to manage wildfires faster and more safely.


Clements's research team currently includes six graduate and four undergraduate students, all of whom get hands-on field experience measuring wildland fuel and weather data. Three students also serve on the mobile fire deployment team that goes to active wildfires to collect data on fire spread, smoke plumes and other weather-related fire behaviors.

“We are the only team that has made these kind of observations of active wildfires,” he notes. In fact, they are the only meteorological team in the U.S. trained as firefighters and listed as a national resource so they can be requested to any fire incident. “And that’s not easy to do,” says Clements, explaining that he and his students can be requested by a fire agency’s incident management team and assigned to a fire. (His mobile deployment team members become trained firefighters and are issued an incident qualification card—aka "red card"—so they are permitted access to fire locations.)

With the combination of LiDAR and radar tools, Clements and his team hope to be able to detect the rotation of a fire column in real time at a distance and to detect downdrafts that could change the direction of the fire spread. He also hopes the new radar tool will help shed some light on the process of spotting, or how volatile embers travel and start new fires, a perplexing problem. Currently, he says, “we have no idea how to forecast ember transport and spot fires.”


“you CAN see hurricanes coming for days. you can measure storms. we can forecast severe weather, but we're not really doing that on wildfires yet."

—Dr. Craig Clements, San José State UNIVERSITY Fire Weather Research Laboratory


WE’RE STUDYING WHAT HAPPENS AFTER A DEVASTATING FIRE.

At California State University Channel Islands, Sean Anderson, Ph.D., and his team of mostly undergraduates at the PIRatE Lab (short for the Pacific Institute for Restoration Ecology) use drones to monitor and manage land affected by wildfire and other disasters.

Dr. Anderson, who is chair and professor at the Environmental Science and Resources Management (ESRM) program, loves giving students hands-on experience in collecting environmental data, such as aerial drone maps of burn areas after a wildfire, pollutants in the ocean after an oil spill, or measuring ecosystem impacts after a hurricane

By moving in immediately after a disaster, Anderson and his students learn about the large-scale impact of these events on the environment.

“When disasters strike, we strike right back," says Anderson. "Our students are capable field professionals who know how to work with fire, police, incident command, and bring with them the technological tools to collect time-critical environmental data." 

And thanks to the flexibility and applied-research focus of the CSU and the Channel Islands campus, his team can deploy quickly to collect data before it disappears. So, when the Thomas Fire broke out in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties in December 2017, they were ideally positioned to respond with drones that mapped burn areas, for example. 

Anderson and his ESRM students then shared that information immediately with the community. During and after a fire, the first thing evacuated residents want to know, of course, is whether their home is okay. Local agencies often aren’t able to answer those questions quickly, says Anderson, because they’re busy fighting the fire. During the Thomas Fire, his students responded by creating a popup website to provide real-time information about where the fire had and had not traveled.

After the 2017 Thomas Fire, Dr. Anderson's CSUCI students used drones and GIS mapping to observe and report on burned and unaffected areas. In the process, they made an architectural discovery.   

Anderson’s students also used drones and GIS (geographical information systems) to create a detailed 3D map of the burned Ventura Botanical Gardens. The map revealed previously undiscovered 100-year-old rock walls that had been covered with vegetation prior to the Thomas Fire. His next drone project will be a mapping initiative to reveal naturally occurring oil seeps that are still burning underground with the help of new thermal imaging-equipped drones that can detect harmful fumes.

Further south, students at California State University San Marcos recently partnered with a local drone manufacturer and local fire agencies to research how the machines could help first responders to deliver supplies such as hoses and other firefighting gear.

The Holy Fire shot from Lake Elsinore in August 2018.  

FORECASTING FIRE

There's still much to be learned about fire-induced weather and how to better predict wildfire behavior.

With ongoing research, Dr. Clements sees a future where we’ll be able to forecast a fire’s direction and spread, like meteorologists already do with severe weather patterns.

“You see hurricanes coming for days ... measuring storms with the radar network around the U.S. So we can forecast or 'now-cast' severe weather, but we’re not really doing that on wildfires,” Clements notes.

Imagine a near-future in which a wildland firefighter gets the call to head to a fire. Before she's even suited up, the detection tools on her truck are automatically collecting smoke plume and cloud data from hundreds of miles away and sending it to a satellite that feeds information to a mobile app for fire management and forecasting. The firefighter can then predict the fire spread via her mobile phone. 

Next-generation firefighting tools like these aren't so far off, thanks in part to Clements and his modeling data research, and other researchers at the CSU and beyond.

“I want to see this technology placed on all the fire suppression vehicles," says Clements. "So when the vehicles are out in the field, they’re collecting wind profiles and firefighters don’t have to worry about it because it’s all automated. It’s just a little laser beam coming out of the truck.

“Hopefully those models can be put into the hands of fire managers," he continues. "Then you can really get a handle on what a fire is doing, where it’s going and you can forecast it better.”



This article is the first in a series on the California State University's role in understanding, preventing and fighting California's devastating wildfires. Check back for more stories in the coming weeks.

Story: Hazel Kelly

photoGRAPHY: PATRICK RECORD, nasa, San José State University, CSU Channel Islands

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Understanding Wildfire in California: What the CSU is Learning
Celebrating-200-Years-of-Frankenstein.aspx
  
11/9/2018 1:43 PMRawls, Aaron10/26/201810/26/2018 2:35 PMThe creature brought to life by Dr. Victor Frankenstein is as relevant now as when Mary Shelley created him in 1818.  CommunityStory

He's alive! Two centuries on, the monster brought to life by Victor Frankenstein in Mary Shelley's novel is still very much alive. Even more so this year, which marks 200 years since the publication of "Frankenstein" on January 1, 1818.

First published anonymously in London as "Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus," the author was just 20 when the work appeared. Even after two centuries, Shelley's work remains one of the best-selling Gothic novels of all time, by one measure, only exceeded in sales by "Jane Eyre," "Dracula" and "Wuthering Heights."

Campuses around the CSU are taking the opportunity of "Frankenstein"'s bicentennial to celebrate Shelley and the universality and relevance of her best-known novel. 

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo: Frankenfall

Cal Poly SLO will host a marathon reading of "Frankenstein," starting at 8 a.m. on Halloween. Come hear the masterpiece of Gothic fiction read by 125 students, along with faculty and staff, at the Kennedy Library, 2nd floor Exhibit Commons. Students, faculty, staff and the public can also attend a November 14 screening of the UK National Theatre Live's "Frankenstein" in the Chumash Auditorium at 6 p.m.; and on December 6 Gillen D'Arcy Wood will give a talk entitled "Frankenstein and Climate Change." All events are free and open to the public.   

CSU Fullerton: The Frankenstein Meme

This new program series debuts on October 27 and runs through Halloween. Events include a talk on Mary Shelley's literary influence; readings; a writing workshop; and other lectures. On October 31, the entirety of "Frankenstein" will be read aloud by guest readers, including CSUF president Fram Virjee. The series will be held in conjunction with the Frankenstein Meme exhibit located in the Salz-Pollak Atrium Gallery of the Pollak Library on the CSU Fullerton campus. The exhibit will remain on display until December 2018. 

CSU Northridge: Frankenweek

CSUN's Frankenweek kicks off on October 29 with "Suturing Sentences: an interactive event stitching together sentences from Frankenstein," at the Oviatt Library Lobby from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. On October 31, an all-day read-a-thon of the novel starts at 9:30 a.m. at the library's ASRS Viewing Room. And you can join conversations about "Frankenstein" and other monsters on November 1 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Jack & Florence Ferman Presentation Room. All events are free. 

San Diego State: Frankenweek Celebration

On October 31, San Diego State's Love Library Room 430 will host a free screening of the 1931 film "Frankenstein" from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 

San José State: 200 Years of Frankenstein

Organized at SJSU by associate professor of English Dr. Katherine D. Harris, this year-long celebration is part of a collaboration with Santa Clara University and the University of San Francisco. You can see physical and digital exhibits related to the book on all three campuses; listen to a live radio play on October 26 (the play will be re-aired on Halloween) at the Hammer Theatre in San Jose; or join in a live reading of the book at UCSF starting at 9 a.m. on October 31. If you prefer Edgar Allan Poe's brand of the macabre to Shelley's, on November 2, San José State will host its Annual Poe Fest starting at 7 p.m. at the Spartan Memorial.


To learn about other celebrations of the bicentennial of the publication of "Frankenstein" around Halloween 2018, visit FrankenReads.org.


Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Turns 200
It's Still Alive! ‘Frankenstein’ Turns 200
Celebrating-CSUs-Women-Leaders.aspx
  
11/9/2018 1:43 PMRawls, Aaron10/25/201810/25/2018 2:00 PMHigher education leaders gathered at Cal State San Marcos Oct. 18 to celebrate the CSU's women presidents who now make up more than half of campus leadership.LeadershipStory
Shortly after announcing that graduation rates have reached all-time highs, the California State University celebrated another significant milestone: for the first time in the CSU system’s nearly six decade history, a majority of women currently lead as campus presidents. 

CSU presidents, trustees, students, employees and other higher education leaders gathered to celebrate the CSU’s female leaders at a special reception at Cal State San Marcos on October 18. 

The event—part of the American Council on Education’s (ACE) Women’s Leadership Forum held at the campus October 18-19—provided an opportunity to acknowledge the diverse leadership of the CSU and the achievements of its women presidents. 

“With women leading 12 of the 23 campuses, the CSU has set a new ceiling,” said CSU Trustee Wenda Fong. “Thanks to the leadership of Chancellor White and the Board, we have remarkable, qualified and inspirational leaders. It is so gratifying because they are not only the leaders of their campuses, but they are role models for everyone that sees them.” 

The expanded diversity among presidents has been a key goal of Chancellor Timothy P. White. During his tenure, the CSU has appointed 17 presidents, of whom 10 are women.

Currently, 52.2 percent of CSU campus presidents are women—nearly double the national average for U.S. colleges and universities. Twelve campuses—Bakersfield, Channel Islands, Chico, Humboldt, Long Beach, Northridge, Pomona, San Diego, San José, San Marcos, Sonoma and Stanislaus—are currently led by women.

“Possibilities for leadership in young women in higher education are brighter tomorrow than they were yesterday. So this is a real crowning achievement, something to be really proud of,” said CSU Channel Islands President Erika Beck. 

Beck also offered a piece of advice for women interested in pursuing a university leadership role: “No is never no, it’s just ‘not yet.’ Higher education will be better for your leadership. The more diverse voices we have at the table, the better off we’ll be moving forward.” 


Learn more about what inspires the CSU’s women presidents and how their leadership is changing lives in our “Women & Leadership” series, profiling the 12 female campus presidents of the CSU.
Celebrating CSU's Women Leaders
Cal-State-Fullerton-Presidential-Search-Committee-to-Hold-First-Meeting.aspx
  
11/9/2018 1:44 PMRawls, Aaron10/25/201810/25/2018 10:00 AMThe first meeting of the Trustees' Committee for the Selection of the President will be held in an open forum from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9, in Meng Hall in the Clayes Performing Arts Center on the CSUF campus.LeadershipPress Release

The California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees is beginning the search for a new permanent president of California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) to succeed Mildred García, who was appointed president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) in November, 2017. Framroze Virjee was subsequently chosen to serve as president of CSUF, and he serves in that capacity until the next permanent president is appointed by CSU Trustees.

The first meeting of the Trustees' Committee for the Selection of the President will be held in an open forum from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9, in Meng Hall in the Clayes Performing Arts Center on the CSUF campus. The open meeting will be followed by a closed meeting at 3:15 p.m.

CSU Trustee Silas Abrego will chair the committee. The other trustee members include:  Douglas Faigin, Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana and Christopher Steinhauser as well as Trustee Chairman Adam Day and CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White.

Board policy requires the chair of the CSU Trustees to appoint an Advisory Committee to the Trustees' Committee. The Advisory Committee is composed of representatives from the faculty, staff, students, and alumni, as well as a member of a campus advisory board, all of whom are selected by the campus' constituency groups. Also on the Advisory Committee is a vice president or academic dean from the campus, and a president of another CSU campus - both selected by the chancellor.  Both committees function as one unified group.

Members of the Advisory Committee for the Selection of the President include:

  • CSUF faculty members Irene Matz, Ph.D., professor, Human Communication Studies and Sean Walker, Ph.D., professor and chair, Biological Science
  • Mark Hoven Stohs, Ph.D., chair, CSUF Academic Senate
  • Emeline Yong, assistant dean, student affairs, Mihaylo College of Business and Economics (staff representative)
  • Josh Borjas, president and chief executive officer, CSUF Associated Students, Inc. (student representative)
  • Adam Koyanagi (alumni representative)
  • Kerri Ruppert Schiller, chair CSUF Philanthropic Foundation (campus advisory board representative)
  • Danny Kim, vice president and chief financial officer, CSUF Division of Administration and Finance
  • Community representatives Judge Elizabeth Macias and Ingrid Otero-Smart
  • Soraya M. Coley, Ph.D., president of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

The purpose of the meeting in an open forum is to: review the role of the committee, receive comments and input from the public and campus community, explain the search process and confidentiality, confirm the schedule of meetings, discuss preferred attributes of the next president, review the descriptions and needs of the campus and presidential position, and discuss any other business related to the search process.

Over the next several months, the committee will review candidates and conduct interviews.

# # #

About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 50,800 faculty and staff and 484,000 students. Half of the CSU's students transfer from California community colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity, and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards more than 110,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 3.4 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.

Cal State Fullerton Presidential Search Committee to Hold First Meeting
CSU-Campuses-Among-the-Best-in-the-Nation-for-Upward-Mobility.aspx
  
11/9/2018 1:44 PMRawls, Aaron10/24/201810/24/2018 1:00 PM​All 23 CSU campuses are recognized once again as being among the top universities in the nation for creating opportunities for students to improve their lives and the lives of their families, according to a recent ranking.Social MobilityStory

All 23 California State University campuses are recognized once again as being among the top universities in the nation for creating opportunities for students to improve their lives and the lives of their families, according to a recent ranking.

The "Social Mobility Index" (SMI) developed by PayScale and CollegeNET measures the extent to which a college or university educates more economically-disadvantaged students at lower tuition.

The SMI aims to help redirect the attribution of prestige in higher education to colleges that are addressing the major civic problems of our time.

"The SMI helps families and policymakers determine which colleges are addressing the national problem of economic mobility," said Jim Wolfston, CEO of CollegeNET. "Administrators have a better chance to help strengthen U.S. economic mobility and the promise of the 'American Dream' if they can identify and learn from colleges that are skilled at doing this."

All CSU campuses rank in the top quartile of the index with eleven campuses among the top 20: Chico (2), Pomona (3), Fresno (4), San José (5), Long Beach (6), East Bay (9), San Francisco (12), Northridge (13), Los Angeles (14), San Bernardino (17) and Stanislaus (19).

Four campuses—Pomona, Fresno, Long Beach and Stanislaus—have ranked in the SMI Top 20 for five consecutive years.

The CSU educates the most ethnically, economically and academically diverse student body in the nation and the university's Graduation Initiative 2025 is helping to close equity gaps between underserved students and their peers. Recently announced figures show progress toward that goal:

  • The graduation rate gap between underrepresented students of color and their peers narrowed two percentage points from 12.2 percent in 2017 to 10.5 percent in 2018, a 14 percent decrease.
  • The graduation rate gap between Pell-eligible students and their peers narrowed one percentage point from 10.6 percent in 2017 to 9.5 percent in 2018, a 10 percent decrease. 

CSU campuses are frequently recognized as engines of social mobility. Several CSU campuses were highlighted in a 2017 study conducted by the Equality of Opportunity Project in which the group of academics identified the nation's universities with the highest mobility rates. Cal State L.A. ranks number one on the list, and Cal Poly Pomona ranks number nine.

CSU campuses consistently rank highly for academic excellence, value, sustainability and opportunity. For a listing of recent rankings, visit our website


CSU Campuses Among the Best in the Nation for Upward Mobility
Student-Success-at-the-California-State-University-Reaches-All-time-Highs.aspx
  
10/31/2018 10:32 AMRuble, Alisia10/17/201810/17/2018 8:55 AMUniversity-wide efforts to support students through the Graduation Initiative 2025 lead to record levels of student achievement.Graduation InitiativePress Release

Data released today demonstrates that California State University (CSU) campuses continue to make strides in improving student achievement through the Graduation Initiative 2025.  Graduation rates for first-time freshmen and transfer students reached all-time highs and equity gaps between students from historically underserved communities and other students narrowed.

"Ensuring the success of every student continues to be foundational to the work underway at every California State University campus," said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. "I am extremely proud of the remarkable efforts and commitment from students, faculty and staff to achieve these gains. The CSU continues to be the key to a bright future for California and for those who earn high-quality college degrees here. These data demonstrate that sustained investment in the CSU is producing good results, and with additional financial support from the state, we can maintain this positive trajectory for students."

The preliminary data released today show that since the launch of Graduation Initiative 2025:

  • The four-year graduation rate for first-time freshmen has increased 6 percentage points from 19.2 percent in 2015 to 25.4 percent in 2018 (a 32 percent increase).
  • The six-year graduation rate for first-time freshmen has increased 4 percentage points from 57 percent in 2015 to 61.1 percent in 2018 (a 7 percent increase).
  • The two-year graduation rate for transfer students has increased 7 percentage points from 30.5 percent in 2015 to 37.6 percent in 2018 (a 23 percent increase).
  • The four-year graduation rate for transfer students has increased 4 percentage points from 72.9 percent in 2015 to 77 percent in 2018 (a 6 percent increase).

Additionally, the 2018 graduation rates indicate that the CSU has begun to close persistent equity gaps:

  • The graduation rate gap between underrepresented students of color and their peers narrowed two percentage points from 12.2 percent in 2017 to 10.5 percent in 2018 (a 14 percent decrease).
  • The graduation rate gap between Pell-eligible students and their peers narrowed one percentage point from 10.6 percent in 2017 to 9.5 percent in 2018 (a 10 percent decrease). 

In 2018, CSU students earned a total of 105,431 bachelor's degrees representing an all-time high. The equity gaps are smaller than the previous year while enrolling a greater percentage of underrepresented and Pell eligible students.

The CSU has prioritized student success, investing in additional faculty, advisors and course sections, and allocating resources to proven student and academic support programs. Last year, CSU campuses added 4,300 new course sections opening 90,000 additional seats for students.

Graduation Initiative 2025 is a university-wide initiative to ensure that all students have the opportunity to be successful and graduate according to their personal goals, positively impacting their future and producing additional graduates to power California and the nation.

# # #

About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 50,800 faculty and staff and 484,000 students. Half of the CSU's students transfer from California community colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity, and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards more than 110,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 3.4 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.

Student Success at the California State University Reaches All-time Highs
Teacher-Credentialing-Program.aspx
  
10/16/2018 12:13 PMParch, Lorie10/16/201810/16/2018 9:00 AMThe California Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program is making it easier for teaching assistants, after-school workers, bus drivers and others to achieve their dream of teaching.Teacher PreparationStory

The California State University prepares more than half of the state's K-12 educatorsmore than any other institution. But it's still not enough.

To help address the ongoing teacher shortage, the CSU is now participating in an innovative state program that gives employees who are already working at schools the chance to become a credentialed teacher.

Called the California Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program, adults who work in an after-school program, school cafeteria, or who work as teaching assistants and bus drivers, among other roles, can apply for a grant that will enable them to complete their undergraduate education and prepare them to become a credentialed teacher in California.

Wanted: More Diverse Teachers

"What's really important about this program is that it may result in teachers who reflect the diversity of people who live in their community," says Marquita Grenot-Scheyer, Ph.D., assistant vice chancellor of Educator Preparation and Public Schools Programs at the CSU Chancellor's Office, in Long Beach. "There's much research that shows the importance of having a diverse teacher workforce that reflects a school's community." 

For example, a 2017 study from Johns Hopkins University of under-resourced black students in North Carolina showed that children who had at least one black teacher in third through fifth grades were less likely to drop out of school and were more likely to express interest in going to college.

The lack of educators is a significant problem. In a survey of 25 California school districts, 80 percent reported a shortage of qualified teachers, according to 2017 findings from the Learning Policy Institute. "Bilingual education, special education, and math and science teachers—these are all high shortage areas," notes Dr. Grenot-Scheyer. 

A Dream No Longer Delayed

The state legislature approved $20 million for the credentialing program in 2016 and another $25 million in 2017. The money goes to school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools, who then coordinate applications from their employees. 

Grants cover $4,000 per person for books, fees and tuition for up to five years and classes are scheduled at hours that accommodate working adults and are held at local school district buildings. They are taught by professors from CSU campuses and other universities around the state.

Most of the first group of 968 classified employees who enrolled in the program won't graduate until 2019. (The second round of funding supports another 1,250 employees.) But among these adult students enthusiasm is high for a future that has suddenly opened up.

An August 2018 story in the Sacramento Bee featured Amy Dunzweiler, a California State University, Sacramento graduate who worked in the Elk Grove Unified School District as an after-school worker, but could not afford to continue her education.

Duzweiler jumped at the opportunity to reach her dream of becoming a credentialed teacher and was accepted into the program. She's now on track to becoming a special education teacher. "I don't have to take out a student loan," she told The Sacramento Bee. "That was the biggest hurdle to going back to school. I couldn't afford to do that on my own." 

Learn more about Classified School Employee Pathways to becoming a teacher.

California Teacher Credentialing Program
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this-way-to-better-roads.aspx
  
11/7/2018 1:53 PMBarrie, Matthew10/9/201810/9/2018 8:00 AMFaculty and students of the CSU are building, repairing and reinventing California's streets and highways.CaliforniaStory
Gridlock in LA

This way to better roads

faculty and students of the CSU are building, repairing and
reinventing california's streets and highways.

The 5. The 99. The 101. The 15. California is almost as well-known for its highways as its movie studios, Silicon Valley tech firms and beaches. With nearly 400,000 miles of road, California has the second-most of any U.S. state.

As an early adopter of freeways in the 1940s, innovative infrastructure was a source of pride for the Golden State. Over 70 years later, our aging transportation has been tested—by the double whammy of an exploding population and extreme weather—and now lags behind most of the rest of the country. California currently ranks as the 42nd-worst U.S. state for road conditions.

More than 50 percent of the state's roads and highways are considered to be in disrepair, and 89 percent of California's counties are affected by these poor roads. Streets with potholes, poor signage and markings, and crumbling pavement don't only make for an uncomfortable ride, though: Driving on them costs Californians a lot.

$843

Amount each Californian pays due to poor roads, for a total of $61 billion Annually

$9.8 Billion

Annual cost of car accidents in California in which poor roads likely played a role

source: TripNet.org

Help is on the way: Faculty and students at campuses across the California State University are finding solutions and researching ways to improve transportation infrastructure; discovering road materials that are longer-lasting and sustainable; and developing the skilled transportation workforce the state needs to keep our roads in good repair for decades to come.

Road Warriors of Research
MINETA TRANSPORTATION INSTITUTE + CSU Transportation Consortium

It's hard to imagine a think tank that could have a greater impact on the average Californian than one focused on transportation.

That's exactly what the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) at San José State University does in leading the California State University Transportation Consortium (CSUTC).

While MTI also concentrates on national transportation issues, the consortium brings together the strengths of the CSU system to focus squarely on the state's significant transportation issues.

The campus organizations that make up the CSUTC—San José State's MTI, the California Pavement Preservation Center (CP2C) at California State University, Chico; the Fresno State Transportation Institute; and the Center for International Trade and Transportation/College of Engineering at California State University, Long Beach—collaborate on a wide range of potential solutions for the state's infrastructure, traffic and other transportation challenges.

The CSUTC acts as a steward of state funds, engaging researchers from across the CSU in an objective selection process, and is currently managing 26 research projects at 10 campuses. Any individual faculty researcher at any campus has the opportunity to apply for funding, too.

"The CSUTC's focus on providing access to equitable, affordable and sustainable transportation through the highest-quality research helps advance transportation policy and generate solutions that truly improve the mobility of people and goods in California," says Karen Philbrick, Ph.D., director of the MTI.

What is the CSU Transportation consortium working on?

Here are just three highlights of many research projects in progress:


For professionals

NEW ROAD Materials

A team at CSU Bakersfield will develop novel asphalt-paving materials with ingredients such as ground tire rubber particles, as well as new design approaches for roads and bridges.             

Learn More
 
h2>

Green Up!


Researchers at Cal Poly Pomona are creating a tool to help designers choose the method of road repair that best meets the needs of the job, while reducing environmental impact.             

Learn More
 
For the community

recycled roads


Faculty at Fresno State are researching sustainable methods to make new asphalt paving materials using recycled, crushed concrete for the aggregate.             

Learn More
 

greener, stronger, better
California pavement Preservation Center, Chico State University

What do drivers like most in a road? According to the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), it's a smooth ride. Potholes, rough road, debrisall can impair safety, comfort and fuel efficiency.

Research at the California Pavement Preservation Center (CP2C) at Chico State is focused on finding ways to preserve existing roadways so they'll last longer and not need to undergo costly major repairs. One possible solution: using recycled tires as a sustainable material in roads.

More than 40 million tires are generated in California each year.
We can greatly reduce the number sent to landfills by using recycled tire rubber in our roads.

Dr. DingXin Cheng,
Director, California Pavement Preservation Center

The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) contracted with CP2C to study the performance and cost benefits of paving streets with Rubberized Asphalt Concrete (RAC), which is made by blending ground tire rubber with an asphalt binder. The mixture is then mixed with conventional aggregate materials like gravel to create a new road surface.

The method is cost-effective because it is possible to be paved in thinner layers (so less material is needed) and lasts longer than traditional materials. It's also more skid-resistant and helps reduce road noise.

"Over 40 million [used] tires per year are generated in California, and some of them may be sent to landfills, but RAC greatly reduces that number," says Professor DingXin Cheng, Ph.D., CP2C's director. "It's also a better binding material; regular asphalt can crack due to extreme temperatures and high traffic, but RAC enhances the road, increasing both the binder's elasticity and stiffness."

Dr. Cheng and his students make all their research findings and training materials available to industry professionals and government agencies at no cost, aligning with one of CP2C's goals: advocating for more environmentally-friendly and cost-effective pavement preservation strategies.


Undergraduate research assistants at Chico State's California Pavement Preservation Center gain real-world field experience on Caltrans projects.

In the lab, research assistants learn about the adhesion properties of rubberized asphalt from California Pavement Preservation Center Director Dr. DingXin Cheng.

KINGS & QUEENS OF THE ROAD
Joint Training & Certification Program: CSU Long Beach + San José State with Caltrans

The need for a skilled workforce in road engineering and construction continues to grow with California's population. To ensure that this workforce is building highways that will stand the test of time and weather, Caltrans established the Joint Training and Certification Program (JTCP) in partnership with CSU Long Beach and San José State, using training materials developed by CSULB's College of Engineering, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and the University of Nevada, Reno.

The program provides compulsory training for technicians who sample or test road materials on any Caltrans project, as well as other industry professionals. Since its inaugural classes in February 2018, the JTCP has certified nearly 800 Caltrans and industry personnel and continues to administer the three-day classes at CSULB and SJSU.

"Industry professionals have been looking forward to establishing a program like this for more than 20 years," says Shadi Saadeh, Ph.D., program manager for the JTCP and director for the National Center for Transportation, Green Technology, and Education (TransGET) at CSULB. Skilled technicians are key to building roads that will meet the highest standards for quality, durability and safety, adds Dr. Saadeh.

So what are they testing for, exactly? In order for California's highways to stand up to wear and tear, they must be made with materials that meet industry standards, from the sands, soils and gravels (known as aggregates) to the asphalt and cement binders used in paving.

Technicians perform a variety of tests to determine the strength and moisture levels of the aggregate, whether the asphalt is binding the way it's supposed to, and the density of the paving and how it behaves at different temperatures. Correctly made roads with the right materials not only save the state money on future repairs, they prevent drivers from road condition-related accidents.

During a road construction project, both the contractor and Caltrans may test the same materials. If they come up with different results, Caltrans can stop work and more tests can be conducted. These steps can add further delay to a project and escalate costs, says Russell Snyder, executive director for the California Asphalt Pavement Association (CalAPA), a nonprofit trade association representing the asphalt pavement industry.

The JTCP seeks to reduce these types of conflicts by training Caltrans and private industry personnel together to establish consistent testing methods across California. More efficient and high-quality road construction ultimately benefits taxpayers, of course.

"The JTCP is a perfect example of a successful public-private collaboration," says Snyder. "It was a natural fit for Caltrans and the construction industry to leverage the expertise of the CSU to develop an educational program that ensures all technicians are competent and consistent, which is essential to helping maintain a modern transportation system in the most efficient and effective manner possible."

A Joint Training and Certification Program instructor at CSU Long Beach demonstrates how to properly measure a soil sample for testing.

Aggregates are mineral materials such as sand, gravel and crushed stone that, along with a binding material, form pavement like asphalt or concrete. Coarse aggregate, shown here, helps to strengthen the pavement, while fine aggregate particles are used to fill voids within the pavement.

JTCP technicians use a riffle splitter to divide aggregate into two equal sample sizes. Consistent measurement methods help to ensure correct test results for road materials.

JTCP trainees learn how to perform specific gravity tests on asphalt pavement core samples from actual roads to determine how porous the material is. An optimum level of density needs to be achieved to prevent distresses including rutting and cracking.


STUDYING AT THE CSU

The CSU offers many degree programs that can lead to a career supporting the state's transportation infrastructure, including civil engineering, construction management and urban planning.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the future is bright if you’re looking for a job in construction management in California. In 2016, there were about 53,000 people in the field; that’s expected to grow to 62,600 by 2026—an increase of 18 percent and significantly faster than the predicted growth for construction managers across the U.S. as a whole.

 


This article is the second in a series on California's transportation problems and the ways in which the campuses of the California State University are working to solve them. Please read our previous coverage on the CSU's role in finding solutions to California's gridlock, and check back for future articles on finding new and better sources of fuel and improving the logistics of the air and sea transportation that serves not just California but the planet.

Story: Alisia Ruble

PHOTOGRAPHY & Videography: PATRICK RECORD


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This Way to Better Roads
Fall-2019-Application-Changes.aspx
  
10/3/2018 9:56 AMMcCarthy, Michelle10/3/201810/3/2018 9:00 AMNow’s the time to apply to the CSU! Learn about improvements designed to make the application process simpler for every student.ApplyStory

In 2017, the California State University introduced Cal State Apply, a brand-new way to apply to all 23 campuses. Over the past year we've listened to feedback—both positive and negative—from prospective students, counselors and others.

"We worked with the third-party creator of Cal State Apply to make significant improvements that we believe will make the applicant experience smoother, faster and more intuitive," says April Grommo, Ed.D., director of enrollment management services at the CSU Chancellor's Office in Long Beach.

The Fall 2019 priority application cycle opened on October 1, 2018 and will end on November 30, 2018

Remember: It's always best to apply early. "Students may need to reach out to a counselor or their parent or guardian for information to complete their application," explains Dr. Grommo. "Doing so early will ensure they get their application in on time and avoid any last-minute issues." 

Applying early is especially important if you want to attend a CSU campus or degree program that is "impacted," meaning it has more qualified applicants than can be accommodated. Impacted campuses cannot accept applications after November 30, 2018.

Here are some of the changes you can expect for the application as you prepare to apply to a CSU campus for the Fall 2019 semester:

  • Profile questions have been streamlined, allowing many applicants to complete their application more quickly.
  • If you enter the city where your high school is located, you can more easily choose the name of your school.
  • The process for entering the name of your high school and the courses you completed is simpler.
  • If you've used the CaliforniaColleges.edu planner to enter the name of your high school and high school coursework, you can import that information into Cal State Apply—there's no need to re-enter it.  (CaliforniaColleges.edu is the official high school planner of the CSU.)
  • When entering your high school graduation status, you now have the option to choose "I didn't graduate from high school."
  • After you complete all sections of the application, you can see whether or not you're eligible for a fee waiver.
  • Transfer students can now preview their transferable GPA based on their self-reported course information.
  • ASSIST.org, which allows applicants to see how credits earned at one California college or university can be used when transferring to another school, now includes more courses that transfer to the CSU.

In addition, checks have been added to prevent errors that could delay applying and the application process has been simplified for international students, adds Grommo.

If you encounter technical problems with your application, visit the Cal State Apply Applicant Help Center (which includes a live chat feature) or check out the Cal State Apply FAQ.

Picture of student at computer
8 Changes to Cal State Apply You Should Know About
Statement-from-CSU-Chancellor-Timothy-P-White-on-the-Pending-Retirement-of-HSU-President-Lisa-A-Rossbacher.aspx
  
10/15/2018 9:41 AMRuble, Alisia10/1/201810/1/2018 11:05 AM“While working in one of the CSU’s most unique environments, President Rossbacher’s long-standing commitment to improving student success was always apparent."LeadershipPress Release

The following statement can be attributed to California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White:

“While working in one of the CSU’s most unique environments, President Rossbacher’s long-standing commitment to improving student success was always apparent. She has led the campus to steady growth in graduation rates, and I am pleased to say that Humboldt State is graduating students at record numbers. Her leadership of a campus-wide collaborative effort also resulted in recent reaccreditation from the WASC Senior College and University Commission. To eliminate a persistent structural deficit in the campus budget, she made difficult but necessary decisions in order to put HSU on a solid path.
 
I commend and thank President Rossbacher for her leadership at HSU, her previous service as a member of the faculty and administration at Cal Poly Pomona, and her dedication to the CSU mission.”

On October 1, 2018, Humboldt State University President Lisa A. Rossbacher announced her decision to retire as campus president effective at the end of the 2018-19 academic year.

The CSU will soon launch a national search for Rossbacher’s successor. Under university policy, the chairman of the CSU Trustees, Adam Day, and Chancellor Timothy White will select a committee made up of various campus stakeholders who will be publicly announced at a later date. Campus and community input will be sought in an open forum held on campus. 


# # #

About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 50,800 faculty and staff and 484,000 students. Half of the CSU's students transfer from California community colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity, and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards more than 110,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 3.4 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.

Statement from CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White on Pending Retirement of HSU President Lisa A. Rossbacher
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Nearly 1,000 California School Employees On Their Way to Becoming Teachers Through the CSU
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