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Made-in-the-CSU-2019.aspx
  
5/24/2019 10:46 AMKelly, Hazel5/24/20195/24/2019 11:00 AMCSU alumni are making a difference in every field throughout California, the nation and the world.AlumniStory

​​​​​Every year, the CSU graduates more than 100,000 students into California's workforce. In 2019, the system will surpass 3.8 million alumni from its 23 campuses. Our alumni are leading the way in every industry, from agriculture and engineering to hospitality and entertainment. Just as important, these professionals drive the state's economy, making California a leader around the world.

 

Meet some of the CSU's extraordinary alumni:

  • Phillip Boutté Jr. (CSU Long Beach) Concept Costume Artist, Entertainment Industry. Boutté has designed costume concepts for blockbuster films such as “Black Panther" and “A Wrinkle in Time," television shows including “Westworld" and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." and the Broadway musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch."
  • Gerald Freeny (Cal State LA) 2019 President, Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association. In his role as the 2019 President, Freeny provided leadership for the 130th Rose Parade and the 105th Rose Bowl Game.  
  • Jeff Huckaby (CSU Bakersfield) President, Grimmway Enterprises. Huckaby serves as president of Grimmway Enterprises, the world's largest grower, packer and shipper of carrots and the nation's largest grower of organic vegetables.
  • Erica Lockheimer (San José State) Vice President of Engineering, Learning, LinkedIn. Lockheimer serves as vice president of engineering, LinkedIn Learning, working to empower every member of the global workforce to develop the skills they need to realize economic opportunity and connect organizations and professionals with learning experiences that make them more productive and successful. 
  • Diane G. Miller (Cal Poly Pomona) Director of InfoSec Operations and Cyber Initiatives, Northrop Grumman Corporation. Miller serves as director of InfoSec Operations and Cyber Initiatives and director of Global Cyber Education & Workforce Program, where she is responsible for ensuring effective information security and works to develop the corporation's cybersecurity strategy. 
  • Julio Cesar Ortiz (CSUN), Television News Reporter, Univision Television Group. Ortiz has been awarded 20 Emmys, nine Associated Press Writer of the Year awards and several Edward R. Murrow and Golden Mike awards.

 Meet more outstanding alumni who were "Made in the CSU."​

Six CSU Alumni: Phillip Boutte Jr., Gerald Freeny, Jeff Huckaby, Erica Lockheimer, Diane G. Miller and Julio Cesar Ortiz.
Meet Six Industry Leaders ‘Made in the CSU’
Lynn-Mahoney-Appointed-President-of-San-Francisco-State-University.aspx
  
5/22/2019 10:51 AMSalvador, Christianne5/22/20195/22/2019 8:20 AM​​​The CSU Board of Trustees has appointed Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D., to serve as president of San Francisco State University. LeadershipPress Release

​​​​​​​​​​​​The California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees has appointed Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D., to serve as president of San Francisco State University (SFSU). Mahoney currently serves as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs for California State University, Los Angeles.​

“San Francisco State is the city's vibrant and diverse nexus for academics, culture and advocacy. The transformative education offered at SF State uplifts the lives of those who earn a degree, and graduates go on to become the community's next generation of leaders," said Mahoney. “I look forward to working with faculty, staff, students, community members and campus administrators to ensure a welcome and inclusive environment for our students as is befitting of one of the most socially conscious cities in the country."​

Mahoney becomes the 14th president of SFSU and the first woman appointed to serve in the role in a permanent ​capacity. She will join the campus in her new capacity in July​. Mahoney succeeds Leslie E. Wong who will be retiring in July 2019 after 46 years in higher education including service as SFSU president for the past seven years.

“Throughout her career, Dr. Mahoney has been dedicated to student success and has made a profoundly positive impact on the lives of tens of thousands of students across the CSU," said CSU Trustee Rebecca Eisen, chair of the SFSU search committee. “She is the type of bold thinking leader who will continue to elevate SFSU."

As the chief academic officer at Cal State LA, Mahoney's portfolio of responsibilities includes oversight of all eight of the campus' colleges as well as the library and all academic support units.

From 2008 through early 2015, Mahoney held various roles at California State University, Long Beach including associate vice president for undergraduate studies and interim vice provost and dean of undergraduate studies where she oversaw enrollment planning and institutional research among other areas. Her other professional experience in higher education includes leadership positions at Purchase College, State University of New York, where she was associate provost for integrative learning and vice president for students as well​ as a member of the faculty.

Mahoney earned a bachelor's degree in American studies from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in history from Rutgers University.

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About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 52,000 faculty and staff and 481,000 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 125,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 3.7 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.​

Lynn Mahoney Appointed President of San Francisco State University
Tom-Jackson-Jr-Appointed-President-of-Humboldt-State-University.aspx
  
5/22/2019 8:40 AMRuble, Alisia5/22/20195/22/2019 8:15 AMThe CSU Board of Trustees has appointed Tom Jackson, Jr., Ed.D., to serve as president of Humboldt State University. LeadershipPress Release

​​​​​​​The California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees has appointed Tom Jackson, Jr., Ed.D., to serve as president of Humboldt State University (HSU). Jackson currently serves as president of Black Hills State University (BHSU) in Spearfish, South Dakota.

“There are few institutions that are as closely tied to the success of their respective communities as HSU. A degree from HSU can lift the life of the person earning it as well as the lives of their family, and those degree holders drive the success of the entire North Coast," said Jackson. “I welcome the opportunity to work with HSU's talented faculty and staff, alongside community members, to ensure that those life-altering opportunities are expanded for current and future students."

Jackson becomes the eighth president of HSU and the first African American to serve in that role. He will join the campus in his new capacity in July. Jackson succeeds Lisa Rossbacher who will be retiring at the end of June 2019 after serving as HSU president since 2014.

“Dr. Jackson has been an inspirational leader who has demonstrable success at the highest levels of university administration," said CSU Trustee Peter Taylor, chair of the HSU search committee. “Throughout his career, he has been a champion for access, quality and student success, all hallmarks of the HSU mission."

Jackson has been president of BHSU since 2014. He has held other leadership roles within higher education including vice president for student affairs at both the University of Louisville and Texas A&M University-Kingsville. He has also held administrative positions and served on the faculty at McMurry University, California Polytechnic State University, ​San Luis Obispo, the University of Southern California and St. Mary's University.

Jackson earned an associate's degree from Highline Community College, a bachelor's degree in business management/personnel from Southwest State University, a master's in counseling/student personnel from Shippensburg University and a doctorate of education from the University of La Verne. A first-generation student, Jackson is also a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, Army National Guard, Texas State Guard and Indiana Guard Reserve.

# # #

About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 52,000 faculty and staff and 481,000 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 125,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 3.7 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter


Tom Jackson, Jr. Appointed President of Humboldt State University
CSU-Launches-Financial-Transparency-Portal.aspx
  
5/22/2019 8:34 AMSalvador, Christianne5/21/20195/21/2019 2:45 PMNew website provides additional access to financial information along with added context and user-friendly visualizations.TransparencyPress Release

​As part of ongoing efforts to provide the public and university stakeholders with additional access to financial information, the California State University has launched a new financial transparency portal.

“The CSU is committed to ensuring that Californians know how resources entrusted to the university are managed," said CSU Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer Steve Relyea. “To that end, the university strives to be transparent in all its dealings with students, faculty, staff, alumni, the community and businesses. This new portal will provide expanded access to financial information as well as additional context and detailed explanations."

With the assistance of OpenGov, the leader in cloud-based government budgeting, performance, and communications solutions, the CSU has created the new portal featuring financial reports and interactive, easy-to-understand visualizations. Five years of actual revenues and expenses are available and can be viewed by year, campus and fund. The site also provides the public the opportunity to comment on the information presented, provide recommendations for improvement of user experience, or pose additional questions.​

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About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 52,000 faculty and staff and 481,000 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 125,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 3.7 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.​​

CSU Launches Financial Transparency Portal
Student-Run-PR-Agencies-Real-World-Practice-for-a-Digital-Future.aspx
  
5/16/2019 9:53 AMParch, Lorie5/15/20195/15/2019 9:55 AMAdvances in technology continue to evolve the work of public relations. Student-run agencies are preparing students to meet the business realities of the future by simultaneously building their digital and interpersonal skills.CareersStory

​​​​​Advances in technology continue to evolve the work of public relations (PR). While traditional PR skills, such as writing and public speaking, will always be valuable, today's PR practitioners must also flourish in the digital landscape. Tech-savviness, in addition to interpersonal skills, has become essential to effectively reach the modern audience.

To meet the increased expectations of PR professionals, CSU undergraduate students are gaining strong career preparation by working in student-run PR agencies. Currently available at 10 CSU campuses, the agencies are student-managed businesses that provide advertising, public relations and event planning services to real-world companies. The agencies are designed to benefit the clients while providing a robust hands-on learning experience for students.

Producing Real Results for Real-World Clients

When the Bob Hope USO in Orange County needed help with introducing their new military services center to the community, they called on California State University, Fullerton's agency, PRactical ADvantage, to increase their brand awareness.

To inform the public about the services that the USO offers, students hosted a mixer at the Bob Hope USO center at the John Wayne Airport, inviting members of the community and local Orange County businesses. As part of the process, students developed a marketing campaign to promote the event using the USO's social channels.

They also created a video that was posted on Facebook asking for donations during the holiday season. Between the video and the advertisement campaign, more than 77,000 people were reached and the organization's social media channels have generated more than 290,000 impressions.

“It was great to have a team of hardworking young students dedicate a semester to Bob Hope USO and seeing their perspectives on PR for the organization," says Allison Anderson, director of special projects and events at Bob Hope USO. “They familiarized us with social media advertising and helped us get our calls to action to reach more people. Soon after, we connected with an individual donor and a veteran who wants to help recruit volunteers."

Student-run PR agencies operate within an academic program, typically in the Communications or Business departments. Students can work at the agency for a semester or two to earn college credits, allowing them to gain valuable work experience without compromising their time to degree.

Chico State alumnus, Benjamin Liwanag, says the work he did at the campus' Tehama Group Communications (TGC) agency closely aligns with his job duties today, helping him land a job at Highwire PR in New York City.

“During my interview at Highwire, I talked about a successful social strategy that I had developed for a client, which helped me stand out from other applicants," says Liwanag. “They found my experience to be valuable with digital communication becoming a bigger part of today's PR practices."​

Strengthening Interpersonal Skills in the Age of Digital Communications

The future of PR is likely to be in digital communication media, according to Doug Swanson, professor of Communications at CSUF and author of the book “Real World Career Preparation: A Guide to Creating a University Student-Run Communications Agency." But despite the growing emphasis for digital communication, Swanson says interpersonal skills will be as important as ever.

“There are students who are hesitant to pick up the phone and pitch an idea; They're afraid of one-on-one presentations. As digital skills continue to grow, we must not forget about the interpersonal skills that are so important to business and personal success. Business is not done through text messages," says Swanson.

Agencies prepare students to meet the business realities of the future by balancing their use of hard and soft skills. Meeting clients' needs often involve blending hard skills, such as social media analytics, with well-developed soft skills, such as face-to-face communication and strong work ethic.

“While writing is an important skill in PR, so is building trust and relationships with clients," says Tawnya Bear, associate vice president at Finn Partners marketing agency and Chico State alumna. “When I worked at TGC, I learned how to work with different personalities. You don't get to choose your team, so you quickly realize what makes a person tick or how to best work with someone."

Swanson says many companies will continue to value soft skills in their employees more than they value the hard skills. “An employer told me just last week, 'I can train students to perform any task. But I cannot train them to have a sense of urgency, self-awareness, or values that align with my organization.'"​​ ​


To learn more about each of the CSU's student-run PR agencies, visit the following campus sites:



Student-Run PR Agencies: Real-World Practice for a Digital Future
golden-state-bees.aspx
  
5/21/2019 1:43 PMSua, Ricky5/13/20195/13/2019 9:00 AMHoneybees and other pollinators are critical to California’s fruit industry and the world’s food supply. Learn how campuses across the CSU are preparing the next generation of agricultural experts to protect these essential insects.CaliforniaStory
 
Beekeeper holding a honeyboard covered in bees

Golden State bees

Honeybees and other pollinators are critical to California’s fruit industry and the world’s food supply. Learn how campuses across the CSU are preparing the next generation of agricultural experts to protect these essential insects.

Skip to content  

​It's February, but the weather at Fresno State's Campus Orchard is mild. Fresh, cool air wafts through the almond trees as thousands of honeybees busily greet the trees' snow-white blossoms. The setting would make for a relaxing stroll through the fragrant orchard were it not for the fact that serious work is taking place here: Without the pollination from these bees, the blossoms would not set fruit and no nuts would grow. 

“There's been a push to help the public understand the vital role insect pollinators play in our production of food. We need safe places for beekeepers to keep bees and also promote native bees by planting native wildflowers." 

–Dr. Ruben Alarcón, associate professor of biology, CSU Channel Islands

Almonds are one of the fruit trees that rely primarily on insect pollinators—in this case, the domesticated honeybee. In fact, much of the state’s fruit and nut industry depends on the insects, which are trucked in annually from as far away as Florida for almond pollination season.

With more than one million acres of almond trees in California, that’s a lot of bees coming through the state. For its part, Fresno State has 100 acres of the trees on its thousand-acre campus farm, giving agriculture students hands-on experience with a crop that’s worth more than $5 billion​ to the state.

Click on the stories below to learn more about how CSU campuses are preparing studentsand even the publicto raise and care for honeybees in ways that ensure a healthy future for Californi​a agriculture.

Central Valley Gold

Discover how Fresno State is teaching agriculture students to be honeybee stewards.

learn About Fresno State's bee program

Show me the Honey

Learn how Cal Poly Pomona is educating students and the community to keep bees for honey and the greater good.

discover Cal Poly Pomona's apiary program

​By the Numbers


It takes nectar from
2 million
flowers to make 1 pound of honey

35​%
of the world’s food crops ​and one-quarter of the world’s flowering plants depend on animal pollinators* to reproduce

Honeybees pollinate approximately
$10 billion
worth of crops in the U.S. each year

*Animal pollinators include bees, butterflies, moths, birds, bats, beetles and other insects. Source: USDA

Golden State Bees: Essential Insects for Agriculture
May-Revision-Continues-Proposed-Increases-in-Funding-for-California-State-University.aspx
  
5/22/2019 8:33 AMSalvador, Christianne5/9/20195/9/2019 1:00 PM"With additional funding as outlined in the governor's proposal, the CSU can maintain the positive trajectory of student achievement through Graduation Initiative 2025 and provide even more opportunities for students," says Chancellor White.BudgetPress Release

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

“Governor Newsom continues to demonstrate his dedication to creating opportunity for Californians by increasing the level of investment in public higher education in his revised budget plan. We appreciate his commitment and his vision for creating a California for all.

With additional funding as outlined in the governor's proposal, the CSU can maintain the positive trajectory of student achievement through Graduation Initiative 2025 and provide even more opportunities for students. After earning high-quality degrees from a CSU campus, Californians become our state's next generation of civic and business leaders.

As the budget cycle moves into the final stages, we will continue to work with our partners to reinforce to the legislature the value of the CSU, in order to ensure that sufficient funding remains in the final budget so that we may properly serve California."

Graduation Initiative 2025 is the California State University's ambitious and successful initiative to enhance student success that includes increasing graduation rates for all CSU students while eliminating opportunity and achievement gaps. Through this initiative the CSU will ensure that all students have the opportunity to graduate in a timely manner according to their personal goals, positively impacting their future and producing the graduates needed to power California and the nation.

Governor Newsom's May Budget revision maintains a proposed ongoing increase of $300 million for the CSU to fund ongoing expenses as well as one-time allocations of $247 million to assist the university in addressing a growing backlog of maintenance for aging facilities across the 23 campuses, and $15 million to help support the basic needs of students.

Additionally, the May Revision proposes ongoing funding for rapid rehousing of housing insecure students and Project Rebound, a special admissions program on most CSU campuses that assists formerly incarcerated individuals who might not normally qualify for university acceptance because of application deadlines and minor academic deficiencies. 

# # #

About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 52,000 faculty and staff and 481,000 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 125,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 3.7 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.​

May Revision Continues Proposed Increases in Funding for California State University
Mental-Health-Month-2019.aspx
  
5/9/2019 3:04 PMParch, Lorie5/9/20195/9/2019 9:00 AMCollege isn’t easy. And for many students, classes and studying are just one part of their lives. Work, family and other obligations also claim time and energy. Here’s how some CSU campuses are helping them better manage stress, anxiety and other issues.WellnessStory

May is Mental Health Month, a good time for all of us to reflect on how we're coping with what life is throwing our way. College students in particular can struggle to find balance between the sometimes crushing demands of academics, work and family; too often, self-care is the first thing to be sacrificed.

The good news, though, is that more students are looking for help when they need it, says Armando Zaragoza, a graduating psychology major at California State University San Marcos. “I'm seeing more students, faculty and staff talking about mental health," says Zaragoza, who has spent five years working to raise awareness of mental health issues and improve access to both campus and community resources. He is also the campus's president of Active Minds, a national nonprofit that advocates for the mental health of young people.

Adds Zaragoza: “Greek organizations see the need for more education on mental health, there are more partnerships with community resources, and staff and faculty are recognizing when a student is in distress—I'm seeing this conversation starting in all aspects of campus."

“There's been a significant increase in students seeking mental health resources," agrees Karen Nicholson, M.D., director, Student Health and Counseling Services at CSU San Marcos. “We've had to expand our services and resources and we're trying to come together as a team to offer support." 

Putting a Stop to Stigma

That said, for some students there remains a stigma about seeking help for paralyzing anxiety, depression, an eating disorder, the stress of housing and/or food insecurity, sexual violence or other trauma, or a substance abuse problem. “For our underrepresented students, they may come from a culture where seeking services is discouraged or told that these services are not appropriate," notes Dr. Nicholson. “Some students may not have support from home to seek support. Some may also fear that information regarding a visit to a therapist would get back to their family, for example."

At California State University, Fresno, a three-year-old program with a straightforward two-word title—“Let's Talk"—has proved to be a success in breaking down some of these barriers, as well as a helpful complement to traditional counseling.

“Students meet a licensed counselor outside the health center, in a faculty office," explains Malia Sherman, Psy.D., Director of Counseling and Psychological Services at Fresno State. “It's more anonymous and students don't need to complete any forms or schedule a visit." Let's Talk is offered at Fresno State from Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. throughout the academic year, as well as at CSU Monterey Bay, CSUN, Sacramento State, San Diego State, San Francisco State and San Jose State.

At the March 2019 CSU Board of Trustees meeting, Chairman Adam Day spotlighted Asha Bhattacharya, a CSU Fullerton student who proposed a “mental fitness center" on campus that would offer peer mentoring, meditation, and art therapy.

“The idea is to encourage students to think about their mental health more proactively, just like we do about physical fitness and nutrition," explained Chairman​ Day. “Feedback and input from students like Asha are so important and critical to creating a support system that best meets their needs."

All 23 CSU campuses have a mental health and counseling services center, which is sometimes integrated into the campus's health center and sometimes separate. 

The Toughest Time of the Year

Unsurprisingly, visits by students spike at certain times, particularly the period between midterms and finals and graduation, says Dr. Sherman.

If you're a student who's having difficulty managing stress, depression, anxiety or another issue, don't hesitate to take advantage of what your campus has to offer, she adds. In addition to traditional one-on-one counseling and groups that offer support, “all CSU campuses are moving toward offering more holistic care," Sherman says. These include workshops on time management, good nutrition, healthy cooking, the benefits of exercise, meditation and mindfulness, and more.

That's the message Zaragoza wants to emphasize over all others, too: “You're not alone," he stresses. “Everyone deals with a mental health challenge and it's okay to seek help. Other students have benefitted from resources. Your campus community is there to support you."

Many CSU campuses also add more resources to support students during those periods of peak stress. Sacramento State, CSU Long Beach and CSU Dominguez Hills, among other campuses, have offered very cute and furry de-stressors (better known as dogs) during finals week, and CSU Northridge has its calming Oasis Wellness Center, with yoga, aromatherapy and guided meditation.

“There are a lot of great online resources, too," says Sherman. “There are more non-traditional ways to access counseling than ever before."

 

9 Problems Your Campus Mental Health Center Can Help With 

  • Anxiety
  • Academic stress
  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Insomnia

  • Substance abuse (including alcohol and prescription drugs)

  • Sexual trauma and other kinds of trauma/PTSD 

  • Housing insecurity, food insecurity or other financial problems

  • Relationship issues, including a break-up

If you are in crisis or considering suicide, immediately call 1-800-273-TALK (8255), call 911, or go to your nearest ER.



Mental Health Month 2019: 'You're Not Alone'
Mental Health Month: ‘You’re Not Alone’
CSU-Student-Research-Competition-Highlights-Novel-Approaches-to-Sustainability-Challenges.aspx
  
5/21/2019 2:13 PMRuble, Alisia5/7/20195/7/2019 4:30 PMCSU students showcased projects aimed at providing solutions for real-world sustainability challenges at the 33rd annual Student Research Competition.ResearchStory
​​​​The California State University held the 33rd annual CSU Student Research Competition on April 26 and 27 at California State University, Fullerton, where undergraduate and graduate students from each of the CSU’s 23 campuses gathered to showcase innovative research and creative activities.

Among the cutting-edge research presented during the two-day event were projects aimed at providing solutions for real-world sustainability problems, including renewable energy and water management.

Turning Waste into Energy

A group of students at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona took home first prize in the category of undergraduate engineering and computer science for their work to find a way to repurpose reverse osmosis concentrate to store energy. Reverse osmosis is used in various industries to separate dissolved solids from water for desalinating and purifying water.

“The Department of Energy is looking for a way to reduce the cost of solar energy so that people will move away from using fossil fuels,” says Reza Baghaei Lakeh, Ph.D, an assistant professor in the College of Engineering at Cal Poly Pomona and faculty advisor for the prize-winning team. “In order for that to happen, though, we need to develop a device to store energy. Without one, solar energy is still too expensive for customers.”

The project, funded by the Bureau of Reclamation of the U.S. Department of the Interior, aims to create a device that uses the salt content, or brine, in reverse osmosis concentrate as a medium to store energy like a battery. In addition to reducing the cost of solar energy, the completed device will provide a more environmentally-friendly mode of disposal.

“Current forms of disposal are costly and damaging to the environment, especially the use of pipelines to bring it to the ocean, which changes salinity levels and is potentially harmful to sea life,” says Dr. Lakeh. “Using brine to store energy can help reduce our impact on the environment.” 

Dr. Lakeh has divided the project into three segments, each of which is completed by a new group of senior undergraduate students each school year. The group of undergraduate students from the competition—the second of three cohorts—are graduating this spring and will train the next cohort of researchers to take over the project in fall 2019. 

Providing Fresh Water to Rural Communities

Spencer McLintock, a master’s student in Humboldt State University’s Environmental Engineering Resources Program, presented his research on the development of a small-scale water treatment method using ultraviolet lights that is affordable and easy to use. 

The project, conducted under the guidance of assistant professor of environmental engineering Margarita Otero-Diaz, Ph.D., aims to help supply fresh water to people, especially to people in rural areas, who are not on a community water grid and rely on surface water for drinking.

 “Increasingly longer droughts are forcing us to divert more water out of rivers and streams, and the water coming back in is very nutrient-rich,” says McLintock. “This is the perfect storm for harmful algal blooms, which produce cyanotoxins that make people and animals who drink the water sick.” 

Other methods of treating surface water for cyanotoxins—like using activated carbon or adding chlorine—are expensive and require specialized training. McLintock’s device will be affordable and require little to no training to use. 

McLintock is currently working as an intern with CalTrans and after defending his thesis in fall 2019, plans to pursue a career in water management, helping communities make equitable water distribution plans for changing landscapes. 

Boosting Student Success

Research, scholarship and creative activities are essential components of a CSU education. Through these activities, the CSU advances student success, enhances faculty excellence and addresses challenges facing California and beyond.

Participation in research also contributes to higher retention rates—especially among undergraduate students and students from underserved communities—a key goal of the CSU’s Graduation Initiative 2025, which is making progress toward improving completion rates and eliminating equity gaps.

Visit Calstate.edu Research to learn more about how CSU faculty and students at each campus are impacting local communities and preparing for the jobs of the future. 

For a full list of 2019 CSU Student Research Competition winners, visit http://www.fullerton.edu/src2019/winner.php




CSU Student Research Competition Highlights Novel Approaches to Sustainability Challenges
Classof2019CommencementDates.aspx
  
5/3/2019 9:35 AMRawls, Aaron5/3/20195/3/2019 9:00 AMGraduation season is here! Find dates and more information for ceremonies being held at every CSU campus.CommencementStory

​​​It’s not only students and their families who love commencement. Talk to faculty or a staff member at any of the California State University's 23 campuses this time of year and you’ll witness the pride and joy they feel for their students (along with some sadness to see them leave, of course).

Here’s the lineup for this year's commencement ceremonies for every campus, kicking off this weekend with Cal Maritime's graduation events ​on Saturday, May 4. 

Congratulations, Class of 2019! 


May 22 & May 24
May 18
May 16-19
May 17-18
May 17-19
May 18
May 17-19
May 18
May 21-24

May 20-24

May 4

May 17-18

CSUN
May 17-20

May 17-19

May 17-19

June 13 (Palm Desert campus), June 15 (San Bernardino campus)

May 16-19


May 22-24

June 15-16

May 17-19

May 18-19

May 23-24


Current as of Friday, May 3, 2019



Commencement Dates for Class of 2019
Commencement Dates for the CSU's Class of 2019
Affordability-and-Academic-Quality-Land-CSU-Campuses-on-Forbes-Best-Value-List.aspx
  
5/6/2019 2:39 PMRuble, Alisia5/1/20195/1/2019 4:00 PMSeventeen California State University campuses are included in Forbes magazine's annual ranking of the nation’s top schools with the highest quality and best financial outcomes. AffordabilityStory
​​​Seventeen California State University campuses are included in Forbes magazine's annual ranking of the nation’s top schools with the highest quality and best financial outcomes. 

The CSU campuses included in Forbes' Best Value Colleges 2019 rankings released April 24 are listed in order of ranking: San Diego, Long Beach, San José, Fullerton, Pomona, San Luis Obispo, Chico, Fresno, Northridge, Sacramento, East Bay, Stanislaus, San Francisco, Maritime Academy, Los Angeles, Sonoma and San Bernardino. 

Using data from the U.S. Department of Education's College Scorecard and PayScale, Forbes evaluated 300 U.S. colleges and universities based on net price, alumni earnings, academic quality, graduation rates and the number of Pell Grant recipients. 

Forbes revised its methodology in 2018 to focus more on a school’s societal contribution, putting greater emphasis on affordability and economic benefits, which contribute to better rates of upward mobility.

“Most students and their families are interested in value over prestige,” Forbes writer Caroline Howard says. “This is the definitive guide for those looking for an excellent return on one of the most important investments of their lives.”

The CSU as an Engine of Upward Mobility

The CSU is the nation’s largest and most affordable public four-year university system, opening the door to educational opportunities for nearly half a million students and awarding more than 125,000 degrees each year.

Through a robust financial aid program, the California State University is able to provide access to a high-quality education while maintaining affordability. In fact, 81 percent of CSU students receive some form of financial aid and more than half of students who earn bachelor’s degrees graduate with zero education loan debt.

In January 2019, CSU Chancellor Timothy White indicated that tuition— among the lowest in the nation—would remain the same for the 2019-20 academic year in response to Governor Newsom’s generous support in the January budget proposal.  

Already lauded for the quality of its educational offerings, the CSU continues university-wide efforts to improve student success and foster upward mobility through Graduation Initiative 2025. Since its launch in 2016, equity gaps between underrepresented students and their peers have begun to narrow and completion rates are at all-time highs for all students. 

This progress ensures that thousands of additional students graduate in a timely manner—more than half of which are the first in their families to earn a degree—positively impacting their future and producing the graduates needed to power California and the nation.

Learn more about how the CSU is working to ensure all students have access to the economic and social benefits of higher education by visiting our Graduation Initiative 2025 page. 

CSU campuses consistently rank highly for academic excellence, value, sustainability and opportunity. Visit the CSU’s rankings page to find recent recognitions.
Affordability and Academic Quality Land CSU Campuses on Forbes Best Value List
Lifelong-Learning.aspx
  
5/21/2019 1:44 PMSua, Ricky5/1/20195/1/2019 12:00 AMMeet six soon-to-be CSU graduates, each of whom forged a unique path to commencement in their 50s and beyond.​​​AlumniStory
Lifelong Learning

A Degree at Last

Meet six soon-to-be CSU graduates, each of whom forged a unique path to commencement in their 50s and beyond.​​​


 

When the Class of 2019 graduates this spring, hundreds of CSU students might stick out a bit in the vast crowd of revelers across our 23 campuses. They're the ones likely to be flashing bigger smiles than anyone else.

That's because sometimes life's achievements are sweeter when you have to wait for them: And for these graduates—all of whom will be over the age of 50 when they cross the stage to receive their diploma—the waiting, and the hard work of earning their degree, is over.

Even though the conventional image of a college student remains a young adult, the truth is that the face (and age) of the student body is changing as more people are starting or finishing their degree later in life. In fact, more than 4,500 students age 50 and older enrolled at the CSU for the fall 2018 semester.


Photo of Ingrid  

Ingrid El Idrissi, 56
Chico State | B.S., Nursing

“I actually enjoyed going back. I learned I'm stronger than I think I am and I can accomplish this dream."

“I had family obligations. I'm the main breadwinner and work as an RN. I finally just started kind of plugging away at all the preliminary courses I had to have, but I had setbacks. I had to be out of work for a year due to surgeries. When I went back, my father ended up being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, so I took time off to work with my dad. Then he passed.

"I live in Humboldt but chose Chico State because it's my father's alma mater. It's just a great way to be able to honor my dad and get a degree.

"The need to learn how to use your computer to submit assignments and get your assignments was quite a shock. The whole electronic thing was a nightmare for me to begin with. Once I got used to that, I was like, OK, I can do this."


 

Jesse Carmona, 59
CSU Long Beach | B.A., Theatre Arts

“I was determined to make an impression that I'm no different than any student here and I'm going to do my best."

“Growing up in the barrio of East Los Angeles in the '60s and '70s, higher education opportunities were seldom. Educators in my high school were vague about my chances after graduating.

"As a low-income Mexican American, I was not encouraged to pursue college but to find work to support my family. Everyone was a laborer in my family. I worked on the train tracks, loading carts.

"Now, at CSU Long Beach, I have a grade point average of 4.0. It was kind of frightening at first, because very few people my age come back to college and are in a room with a bunch of 20-year-olds. I'd make a joke to break the ice in class and say, 'What's my father doing here?' Now I'm part of the gang."

 

 

Marc Schillinger, 68
CSU Channel Islands | Teaching Credential

“I'd been out of high school for 50 years. You're never too old for school. You should keep learning your whole life."

“I worked for 41 years in the environmental industry. At my 30th high school reunion in 1998, they asked us to put down what we thought we'd be doing in 10 years and I wrote down 'teacher.' But I just wasn't able to quit my job because of financial responsibilities. In 2017, I retired and started coursework at Channel Islands.

"School was a lot different than what I remembered. I wasn't used to working in groups, but I liked the interaction with the students. They really treated me like a fellow student. Sometimes the teacher might ask a question and I'd have a different view of it because I was there in the '60s. (I'd often clarify, not the 1860s).  

"Technology was the biggest struggle for me because, back in the day, we used slide rulers in the engineering department. And abstract algebra​I'd never heard of it before. 

"It's something I've wanted to do for such a long time and I'm really thankful I've had the opportunity to do this. I encourage people to go for it."


Rod 1 Rod 2

Slide the divider from left to right to see Rod and Melissa in 2003 and in 2019

Rod St. Amant, 55
CSU Fullerton | B.A., Geography

“My daughter Melissa is the amazing one. I'm just an old guy taking one class at a time."

“Nobody in my family had ever gone to college. I ended up going to work as a mechanic. Around 35, I got my associate's degree and transferred to Cal State Fullerton. Seeing my dad pass had me thinking about my kids a lot. I was putting a lot of time in with school. So I put college on the back burner to be a dad and raise a family.

"Fast forward to my daughter Melissa being in college. She transferred to Fullerton and said, 'Hey Dad, you should go back to school with me.' I kind of just laughed at it, but the next thing I know, she's got me signed up.

"Our first semester, we carpooled. She'd pick me up, we would drive to campus together and have dinner. It was just neat being on campus with her at the same time. We'd talk about classes and study together for midterms. We teased each other and said, 'OK, whoever gets the better grade in the midterm, the other one has to buy dinner that night.' I'll be graduating on May 18 and she'll be graduating on May 19. She's super proud of me."

Rod 1 Rod 2

Slide the divider from left to right to see Rod and Melissa at Newport Beach in 2003 and in 2019.


Photo of Tina Howell 

Tina Howell, 54
CSU San Marcos | Multiple-subject Teaching Credential

“I didn't feel like I belonged in college. But I met some wonderful professors along the way who took me aside and, at my lowest points, kept reminding me the fight wasn't inside the classroom, it wasn't outside the classroom. The biggest fight was within myself."

“As a child, I went to 18 different schools, so it wasn't easy. I dropped out of high school when I was 16 and didn't think college was for me. I had two kids and kept telling them they had to go to college. They turned the tables around and said, 'Well, you didn't go to college, Mom, so why should we?' So to show my kids the right path, I began, with the help of my husband, the process of going to school.

"My first day of school, I thought I was totally in the wrong place. When I looked around, the people in the classroom were 20 to 30 years younger than me. Even the professor was younger than me. It was very awkward. I remember thinking, If I make it through this class, I'm gonna get in my car and go home because I don't belong here.

"I'm graduating magna cum laude in May. I've learned not to give up and that even when the road is difficult, you can forge a path through the difficulties and keep moving forward."


 

Joshua Gordon, 54
CSUN | B.A., Psychology

“I was able to receive a much richer experience as a direct result of my age."

“I had undiagnosed ADHD, depression and anxiety when I was younger and found the school environment difficult. I went on to be a professional musician for 10 years. I took classes here and there at community college and decided to just jump in and pursue it full-time.

"In 2016, I was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer and had to take the spring semester off to undergo chemo and radiation. I re-enrolled in the fall of 2017; I'm in remission right now.

"Ninety-five percent of the time, I was the oldest person in my classroom by a great margin. Sometimes I felt like I was the weird old guy. Like I was the cautionary tale: 'Study hard now, kids. You don't want to be here in 30 years, do you?'

"I'm glad I didn't go to college when I was younger because I couldn't have appreciated it like I do at this age. Every day I parked my car and walked out into the open campus, I'd take it all in and really be in the moment and feel like I'm getting to participate in something special. The greatest thing I learned is if I could move from being someone who's 'not a math person' to someone who likes math, then my identity of myself isn't necessarily true. And that means anything is possible."

 

Never Stop Learning

To ease the transition back to college, the CSU provides options ranging from adult reentry programs to online and hybrid courses to Professional and Continuing Education (PaCE)​. According to Sheila Thomas, Ed.D., assistant vice chancellor and dean of PaCe, lifelong learning is now more important than ever. “Those who are creative, good problem-solvers and good team players will always be in demand, regardless of how drastically the workforce landscape changes,"  notes Dr. Thomas. "And the CSU is helping to prepare its students, no matter what age, to become just that."

Visit the CSU's​ PaCE site to find information about degrees, certificate programs, Open University and online courses.


​​
A Degree at Last
Funding-for-Research-Helps-Advance-CSU-Student-Success.aspx
  
5/21/2019 1:44 PMSua, Ricky4/26/20194/26/2019 12:00 AMFunding for research continues to grow at the CSU, advancing student success, enhancing faculty excellence and addressing challenged facing California and beyond.ResearchStory
Research in the CSU Hero Image

Funding for Research Helps Advance CSU Student ​Success

Research, scholarship and creative activities are essential components of a Californ​ia State University education. Through these activities, the CSU advances student success, enhances faculty excellence and addresses challenges facing California and beyond.


 


​​At a time when external research funding for higher education is decreasing nationally, funding for the CSU has increased steadily over the past several years. In 2017-18, the CSU received nearly $648 million in external funding for faculty-led research, which is an increase from the previous year's $590 million in funding.

Unlike state funds that are used exclusively for basic university operations, faculty compete for these external funds, which are used for innovative projects that benefit local communities and prepare students for the careers of the future.

Faculty Mentor Next Generation of Scientists

Manny Flores Research Presentation

Emmanuel Flores presenting his undergraduate research project at the Emerging Researchers National Conference, which helps prepare students for science careers in a global workforce.

Faculty research benefits students, particularly as faculty weave their research into curricula and include students in the process.

Emmanuel Flores, a master's student studying biology at California State University, Fresno, says it was the guidance of his faculty mentor Tricia Van Laar, Ph.D. that first piqued his interest in research as an undergraduate student.

“I was drawn to Dr. Van Laar's lab because she was doing some pretty innovative work in biology," says Flores. “I hadn't even thought about doing research before that, but I became fascinated by the work and have developed a passion for it because of her mentorship."

While working in the Van Laar Lab as an undergraduate student, Flores conducted his own research project for the Fresno Chaffee Zoo and was encouraged by Dr. Van Laar to participate in several opportunities to present his research, including at the Emerging Researchers National Conference in Washington D.C. 

“The conference was for student researchers from underserved communities—students from Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) like Fresno State," says Flores. “It was really eye-opening to participate in workshops and career networking events with fellow emerging scientists."

As the CSU works toward achieving Graduation Initiative 2025 goals of reducing time to degree, increasing graduation rates and closing equity gaps, undergraduate involvement in research plays a key role in reaching these goals.

This high-impact practice fosters skills needed to be prepared for future careers and provides significant faculty-student interactions, building relationships and resulting in better retention rates.

Learn more about how student involvement in research at the CSU benefits both students and communities by visiting the CSU's page for research, scholarship and creative activity.


CSU Faculty ​Addressing Califor​nia's Most Challenging Issues

Cutting-edge faculty-led research can be found on all 23 CSU campuses and focuses on addressing the needs of local ​communities, California and beyond. Here are just a few examples:

 

Understanding Fire

San José State University's Craig Clements, Ph.D., and his team with the campus' Fire Weather Research Lab are transforming wildfire research​, using meteorological techniques to study fire behavior in an effort to help battle future blazes.

Learn More
 

Defending Coastlines

California State University, Long Beach's Christine Whitcraft, Ph.D., is researching how human activities and climate change impact wetlands through the Wetlands Ecology Lab in an effort to combat rising sea levels.

Learn More
 

Building Better Roads​

Chico State's DingXin Chen, Ph.D., is working to find ways to preserve roadways and develop sustainable alternatives to traditional roadway materials through the California Pavement Preservation Center.

Learn More
​​
Funding for Research Helps Advance CSU Student Success
CSU-STEM-VISTA-Helps-Improve-Graduation-Rates-Through-Community-Engagement-.aspx
  
4/26/2019 8:27 AMSalvador, Christianne4/23/20194/23/2019 10:00 AMSTEM students at the CSU are reaping the benefits of service learning, thanks to the stellar members of the CSU STEM VISTA program.STEMStory

STEM students at the CSU are reaping the benefits of service learning, thanks to the stellar members of the CSU STEM VISTA program.

Service learning, as a high impact practice, increases students' chances of staying in school and graduating in a timely manner. To get more underrepresented STEM students involved in service learning, the CSU STEM VISTA programs at several campuses are partnering with their campus service-learning centers to offer opportunities that combine STEM and community engagement.

As part of AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), CSU STEM VISTA is comprised of professionals tasked with applying their skills and knowledge to meet the needs of STEM students. VISTA members are often recent college graduates or are working to advance their careers in STEM or education, and are participating in a one-year, full-time national service opportunity to eliminate race, class and gender disparities in STEM fields.

CSU STEM VISTA supports the Graduation Initiative 2025 goal of closing equity gaps by creating programs aimed at enhancing learning experiences for students of color, students from low-income communities and first generation students.

CSU STEM VISTA was established in 2014 and its 67 alumni and current members have since enriched the education of 15,000 STEM students through workshops, internships and research opportunities at 17 campuses.

“CSU STEM VISTA members are dedicated to providing innovative equity-based solutions to empower and inspire CSU STEM students," says Kristina Barger, VISTA Program Manager. “By supporting service-learning centers, and other on-campus departments, VISTA members create programs that nurture individual students' talents and strengths while tapping into their passions."

VISTA's collaboration with campus service-learning centers are helping students excel by allowing them to apply their STEM knowledge and interests while serving their local communities.

One example is Stanislaus State's Science in Our Community program, in which Stan State students present hands-on STEM education to local K-12 students. In 2018, its STEM Ambassadors program, developed by CSU STEM VISTAs, received the university's Student Leadership Greatest Achievement award for leading activities such as Science Saturday (a day of learning for K-12 students and their families) and Science Camp (multiple days of studying science in the wild).

At San José State, VISTA members developed curriculum on cybersecurity that STEM students are deploying at a local elementary school. Called the Cyber Spartans Program, SJSU students are hosting after-school workshops in topics such as cryptography, hacking and malware. The program is intended to mentor third to sixth graders, and every SJSU student-mentor has received training from the VISTA member prior to entering the after-school classroom.

In the last five years, students at the CSU have provided nearly 33,000 hours of hands-on STEM activities and have reached more than 20,000 K-12 students. Students who participated in CSU STEM VISTA activities have a higher rate of student success: according to a recent three-year impact report of the VISTA program, the retention equity gap between underrepresented minority students (URM) who participated in the program's activities and non-URM students was eliminated.

CSU STEM VISTA members continue to diligently ensure that all students have the opportunity to graduate on time while positively impacting their lives, families and communities. For more information on CSU STEM VISTA, visit https://www2.calstate.edu/impact-of-the-csu/community/stem-vista/Pages/default.aspx.

CSU STEM VISTA Helps Improve Graduation Rates Through Community Engagement
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5/21/2019 1:44 PMSua, Ricky4/22/20194/22/2019 12:00 AMMeet the remarkable entrepreneurs whose innovative products are helping to meet California’s most urgent environmental challenges.SustainabilityStory

For These ​CSU Alumni,
Every Day Is Earth Day

Meet the remarkable entrepreneurs whose innovative products are helping to meet California’s most urgent environmental challenges.

 

With each passing year, Chico State alumnus Matt Petersen saw the pollution in California's Central Valley get worse. His hometown of Modesto routinely appeared on lists of U.S. cities with the worst air quality.

So h​e decided to do something. Now president and CEO of Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), Petersen assists clean technology startups in creating a green economy that doesn’t leave behind underrepresented communities.

“In California, there is an urgency around the undeniable science of climate change and how to accelerate the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions,” says Petersen, who served as the first-ever chief sustainability officer for Los Angeles under Mayor Eric Garcetti. “For me, it's about, how do we show we can grow the economy while protecting the environment?”

The Golden State stands on the front lines of climate leadership in the U.S., giving California State University students unparalleled preparation for thriving careers in green economy jobs. Indeed, the spirit of sustainability permeates their lives on campus. Meet six more exceptional CSU alumni working on solutions to California’s most pressing environmental challenges.


Pathwater

Alumnus: Amer Orabi, chief operating officer 
Campus: CSU East Bay (Business Administration, 2015)
Environmental Issue: Ocean pollution 
Company: Pathwater, purified water in a refillable aluminum bottle

 

“Every day, we are reducing the number of plastic bottles going into California’s oceans by offering a true alternative to single-use plastic.”

— Amer Orabi, COO, Pathwater

Amer Orabi, CSUEB alumnus and co-founder and COO of Pathwater, isn’t one to think small. He knew the seemingly overwhelming problem of plastics polluting the planet’s oceans was the issue he wanted to tackle.

“We encourage our consumers to refill, not landfill,” he explains. “For every refill we inspire, we’re taking a plastic bottle out of the ocean.”

After researching the properties of aluminum, Orabi knew he’d found the perfect material. One of the most abundant metals on earth, aluminum takes five times less energy to recycle than plastic, and 70 percent of aluminum products are already recycled in the U.S., compared to a dismal 30 percent for plastic bottles.

The company’s mission goes beyond adopting a more eco-friendly hydration habit; they want to educate consumers about the global plastic pollution epidemic and make sustainability something everyone can do, every day. “I grew up in the Middle East, where people don't recycle,” Orabi says. “I've always envisioned myself being part of the solution. I’m truly inspired by the CSU’s initiatives to eliminate single-use plastics by 2023. I believe a sustainable business can be a platform for real impact.”

Play Video

It's estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Every plastic bottle that isn't recycled takes 700 years to decompose.

ZON POWERSOL

Alumna: Sarah Akin, founder and chief compliance officer
Campus: CSU Long Beach (Fine Arts, 2001)
Environmental Issue: Greenhouse gas emissions
Company: ZON Powersol, a solar-powered umbrella and USB charging station

 

“Anytime you can use solar instead of traditionally generated electricity, it’s a benefit to the environment.”

— Sarah Akin, founder and CCO, ZON Powersol

When it comes to solar technology, California ranks number one. In 2017, it topped the list for number of solar-power companies; number of residences powered by solar; percentage of electricity produced; and total investment in the sector. Starting in 2020, all new homes built in the state will be required to include solar rooftop panels, the first mandate of its kind in the U.S.

California State University, Long Beach alumna and entrepreneur Sarah Akin is part of the solar wave. “I realized there was a need for outdoor charging of mobile devices while I was sitting outside working on my iPad,” she says. “I wondered why there wasn’t a solution for people who wanted to enjoy the outdoors instead of having to be tethered to a wall inside.”

In 2012, Akin created the ZON Powersol, an umbrella that uses solar panels and a lithium battery to charge USB devices such as smartphones and tablets as quickly as an outlet.

“Our core conviction [as a company] is to keep mobile devices charged while reducing our carbon footprint,” says Akin, ZON's chief compliance officer.

The Powersol is now being used at a number of CSU campuses, including Bakersfield​, Channel Islands, Dominguez Hills, East Bay​, Long Beach, Northridge, Pomona​, San Bernardino and San Luis Obispo“The Powersol serves a dual purpose of providing much-needed shade and a charging station for students’ devices,” says Melissa Soto, campus planner at CSULB. “An additional benefit is it makes sustainability visible so users can make the connection for themselves instead of us telling them about it.”

In 2017, 15 percent of all electricity generated in California came from solar power.

BARNANA

Alumni: Matt Clifford, co-founder and chief operating officer, and Nik Ingersoll, co-founder and chief marketing officer
Campus: San Diego State (Finance/Business, 2009 & 2012)
Environmental Issue: Food waste
Company: Barnana, organic snacks made from upcycled bananas

The average U.S. family of four wastes 1,000 pounds of food every year. Pictured, from left to right, are Barnana co-founders Nik Ingersoll, Caue Suplicy and Matt Clifford.

“The beauty of conscious capitalism is the ability to do good while simultaneously creating economic prosperity.”

— Nik Ingersoll, CMO, Barnana

What’s the difference between a beautiful banana and an ugly one? Absolutely nothing, say Nik Ingersoll and Matt Clifford, alumni of San Diego State University. Even so, half of all bananas worldwide are thrown away simply because they have scuffs, are too ripe or aren’t the right size. “On our quest to end food waste, we use unsalable ‘ugly’ bananas to make our products,” explains Ingersoll, co-founder and CMO of Barnana, a brand of sustainably sourced, organic banana-based snacks.

Together with their partner, Caue Suplicy, founder and CEO of Barnana, Ingersoll and Clifford have saved more than 30 million bananas from the trash bin in just nine years. While most people don’t think twice about throwing out food that’s biodegradable, the truth is that discarded produce still releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas, as it breaks down in the soil.

“The problems in the food industry were simply too big to ignore,” Clifford says. “We discovered that approximately 1.4 billion tons of food are wasted each year, enough to feed 45 percent of the entire world’s population. With 723 million people classified as food insecure, this is a modern tragedy.”

Barnana is not only good for the environment, it’s good for California. To date, the company has created more than 50 jobs, generated more than $70 million in taxable sales and manufactures 85 percent of its goods within the state.

“During my time at SDSU, my strong passion for environmental stewardship and responsible consumption formed,” says Clifford, COO. “To this day, I have business mentors and close friends who were professors at SDSU. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.”


PEDEGO

Alumni: Don DiCostanzo, co-founder and chief executive officer, and Terry Sherry, co-founder and chief financial officer
Campus: CSU Fullerton (Business/Finance, 1979 & 1980)
Environmental Issue: Greenhouse gas emissions
Company: Pedego Electric Bikes

The transportation sector is the single largest source of greenhouse emissions in California. Pictured, from left to right, are Pedego co-founders Don DiCostanzo and Terry Sherry.

“I believe the future of all transportation is going to be electric.”

— Don DiCostanzo, CEO, Pedego

Don DiCostanzo and Terry Sherry met while pledging a fraternity at California State University, Fullerton. They were later college roommates, best men at each other’s weddings and now serve as CEO and CFO, respectively, of Pedego Electric Bikes, a company they founded in 2008.

“I use the marketing, finance and accounting tools I learned at Cal State Fullerton in my business every day,” DiCostanzo says.

Pedego offers 14 different types of zero-emissions electric bikes that can travel up to 60 miles on a single charge from a 110-volt outlet. “They're simply bicycles, but we added a motor and a battery to help people ride farther and faster and get up hills,” DiCostanzo explains. "There are no emissions with an electric bike. It's about as green a form of transportation as there is.”

After working in the automotive business for almost 30 years, he became a true believer in renewable energy in 2006 when he purchased his first electric bike. “The only way we're going to get people to be environmentally friendly is if we offer products that make economic sense,” notes DiCostanzo, whose home is nearly 100 percent solar-powered.

“California residents [now] have another alternative for getting around to help combat traffic emissions.”


Green Career Pathways

Here are a few ways to learn your way to a green economy job, says Tom Abram, energy and sustainability officer at San Diego State:

Ecology and Conservation: Studying and protecting natural spaces
Potential majors: biology, ecology, environmental science

Government and Policy: Developing and implementing policy that promotes environmental and social sustainability
Potential majors: political science, public administration, sustainability, urban planning

Green Building Design and Construction: Creating buildings that minimize environmental impact as an engineer, architect, contractor or sustainability consultant
Potential majors: architecture, construction management, engineering, sustainability

Sustainable Food: Growing and promoting healthy and local food 
Potential majors: agriculture, biology, public health, sustainability

Sustainability Management: Working to advance sustainable practices within an organization
Potential majors: business, engineering, environmental science, sustainability 

Find Y​our Major

Search CSU Degrees


Sustainability at the CSU

The California State University is working hard to make our campuses greener and more efficient. The CSU Sustainability Report, released in 2018, examined the university’s progress against its 2014 sustainability goals, including building partnerships with communities and nonprofits to take action on global climate change; increasing opportunities for directed research; and adopting vital best practices to facilitate broader adoption. The CSU continues to encourage greater integration of sustainability into university-wide strategic goals. 

Learn more about each​ CSU campus’s commitment to sustainability.

Story: Michelle McCarthy

Photography & Videography: Patrick Record; courtesy of companies

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Lynn-Mahoney-Appointed-President-of-San-Francisco-State-University.aspx
  
5/22/20195/22/2019 8:20 AM​​​The CSU Board of Trustees has appointed Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D., to serve as president of San Francisco State University.
Lynn Mahoney Appointed President of San Francisco State UniversityLeadershipPress Release
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5/22/20195/22/2019 8:15 AMThe CSU Board of Trustees has appointed Tom Jackson, Jr., Ed.D., to serve as president of Humboldt State University.
Tom Jackson, Jr. Appointed President of Humboldt State UniversityLeadershipPress Release
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5/21/20195/21/2019 2:45 PMNew website provides additional access to financial information along with added context and user-friendly visualizations.New website provides additional access to financial information along with added context and user-friendly visualizations.
CSU Launches Financial Transparency PortalTransparencyPress Release
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5/9/20195/9/2019 1:00 PM"With additional funding as outlined in the governor's proposal, the CSU can maintain the positive trajectory of student achievement through Graduation Initiative 2025 and provide even more opportunities for students," says Chancellor White.
May Revision Continues Proposed Increases in Funding for California State UniversityBudgetPress Release
Ellen-J-Neufeldt-Appointed-President-of-Cal-State-San-Marcos.aspx
  
3/20/20193/20/2019 8:05 AMThe CSU Board of Trustees has appointed Ellen J. Neufeldt, Ed.D., to serve as president of California State University San Marcos.
Ellen J. Neufeldt Appointed President of California State University San MarcosLeadershipPress Release
Framroze-Virjee-Appointed-President-of-Cal-State-Fullerton.aspx
  
3/20/20193/20/2019 8:00 AMThe CSU Board of Trustees has appointed Framroze “Fram" Virjee to serve as president of California State University, Fullerton.
Framroze Virjee Appointed President of California State University, FullertonLeadershipPress Release
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1/30/20191/30/2019 10:35 AMChancellor Timothy P. White will be presented the 2019 Leadership Champion Award by Leadership California, whose mission is to increase the representation and influence of diverse women leaders across the state.
CSU Chancellor White to Receive Leadership Champion Award from Leadership CaliforniaLeadershipPress Release
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1/23/20191/23/2019 1:00 PMThe CSU Board of Trustees is beginning the search for a new president of San Francisco State University to succeed Dr. Leslie E. Wong, who is retiring in July 2019.
San Francisco State University Presidential Search Committee to Hold First MeetingLeadershipPress Release
HSU-Presidential-Search-Committee-to-Hold-First-Meeting.aspx
  
1/23/20191/23/2019 1:00 PMThe CSU Board of Trustees is beginning the search for a new president of Humboldt State University to succeed Dr. Lisa Rossbacher, who is retiring in June 2019.
Humboldt State University Presidential Search Committee to Hold First MeetingLeadershipPress Release
CSU-Faculty-Staff-Honored-for-Outstanding-Contributions-to-Student-Success-.aspx
  
1/18/20191/18/2019 10:50 AMThe CSU will honor four faculty and one staff member with the prestigious Wang Family Excellence Awards for their extraordinary commitment to student achievement and exemplary contributions in their respective fields.
CSU Faculty, Staff Honored for Outstanding Contributions to Student Success FacultyPress Release
CSU-Funding-Priorities-Supported-in-Governors-2019-20-Budget-Proposal.aspx
  
1/10/20191/10/2019 11:15 AM​The $300 million in funding for the CSU proposed by Governor Newsom will allow CSU to provide increased access to a high-quality education to more qualified students, continue to improve student achievement and reduce equity gaps.
CSU Funding Priorities Supported in Governor's 2019-20 Budget ProposalBudgetPress Release
CSU-San-Marcos-Presidential-Search-Committee-to-Hold-First-Meeting.aspx
  
11/15/201811/15/2018 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.
CSU San Marcos Presidential Search Committee to Hold First MeetingLeadershipPress Release
CSU-to-Extend-Fall-2019-Application-Period-to-December-15.aspx
  
11/9/201811/9/2018 12:25 PMWith many prospective students, their families and communities facing hardship due to wildfires affecting the entire state, the CSU is extending the priority application deadline for fall 2019 admission to December 15.
CSU to Extend Fall 2019 Application Period to December 15ApplyPress Release
Chancellor-White-Releases-Statement-on-Thousand-Oaks-Shooting.aspx
  
11/8/201811/8/2018 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."
Statement from CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White on Thousand Oaks ShootingPress Release
Cal-State-Fullerton-Presidential-Search-Committee-to-Hold-First-Meeting.aspx
  
10/25/201810/25/2018 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.
Cal State Fullerton Presidential Search Committee to Hold First MeetingLeadershipPress Release
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Made-in-the-CSU-2019.aspx
  
5/24/20195/24/2019 11:00 AMCSU alumni are making a difference in every field throughout California, the nation and the world.AlumniStory
Six CSU Alumni: Phillip Boutte Jr., Gerald Freeny, Jeff Huckaby, Erica Lockheimer, Diane G. Miller and Julio Cesar Ortiz.
Meet Six Industry Leaders ‘Made in the CSU’
Student-Run-PR-Agencies-Real-World-Practice-for-a-Digital-Future.aspx
  
5/15/20195/15/2019 9:55 AMAdvances in technology continue to evolve the work of public relations. Student-run agencies are preparing students to meet the business realities of the future by simultaneously building their digital and interpersonal skills.CareersStory
Student-Run PR Agencies: Real-World Practice for a Digital Future
golden-state-bees.aspx
  
5/13/20195/13/2019 9:00 AMHoneybees and other pollinators are critical to California’s fruit industry and the world’s food supply. Learn how campuses across the CSU are preparing the next generation of agricultural experts to protect these essential insects.CaliforniaStory
Golden State Bees: Essential Insects for Agriculture
Mental-Health-Month-2019.aspx
  
5/9/20195/9/2019 9:00 AMCollege isn’t easy. And for many students, classes and studying are just one part of their lives. Work, family and other obligations also claim time and energy. Here’s how some CSU campuses are helping them better manage stress, anxiety and other issues.WellnessStory
Mental Health Month 2019: 'You're Not Alone'
Mental Health Month: ‘You’re Not Alone’
CSU-Student-Research-Competition-Highlights-Novel-Approaches-to-Sustainability-Challenges.aspx
  
5/7/20195/7/2019 4:30 PMCSU students showcased projects aimed at providing solutions for real-world sustainability challenges at the 33rd annual Student Research Competition.ResearchStory
CSU Student Research Competition Highlights Novel Approaches to Sustainability Challenges
Classof2019CommencementDates.aspx
  
5/3/20195/3/2019 9:00 AMGraduation season is here! Find dates and more information for ceremonies being held at every CSU campus.CommencementStory
Commencement Dates for Class of 2019
Commencement Dates for the CSU's Class of 2019
Affordability-and-Academic-Quality-Land-CSU-Campuses-on-Forbes-Best-Value-List.aspx
  
5/1/20195/1/2019 4:00 PMSeventeen California State University campuses are included in Forbes magazine's annual ranking of the nation’s top schools with the highest quality and best financial outcomes. AffordabilityStory
Affordability and Academic Quality Land CSU Campuses on Forbes Best Value List
Lifelong-Learning.aspx
  
5/1/20195/1/2019 12:00 AMMeet six soon-to-be CSU graduates, each of whom forged a unique path to commencement in their 50s and beyond.​​​AlumniStory
A Degree at Last
Funding-for-Research-Helps-Advance-CSU-Student-Success.aspx
  
4/26/20194/26/2019 12:00 AMFunding for research continues to grow at the CSU, advancing student success, enhancing faculty excellence and addressing challenged facing California and beyond.ResearchStory
Funding for Research Helps Advance CSU Student Success
CSU-STEM-VISTA-Helps-Improve-Graduation-Rates-Through-Community-Engagement-.aspx
  
4/23/20194/23/2019 10:00 AMSTEM students at the CSU are reaping the benefits of service learning, thanks to the stellar members of the CSU STEM VISTA program.STEMStory
CSU STEM VISTA Helps Improve Graduation Rates Through Community Engagement
eco-entrepreneurs.aspx
  
4/22/20194/22/2019 12:00 AMMeet the remarkable entrepreneurs whose innovative products are helping to meet California’s most urgent environmental challenges.SustainabilityStory
For These CSU Alumni, Every Day Is Earth Day
CSU-Space-2019.aspx
  
4/17/20194/17/2019 9:00 AMBuilding mini satellites. Designing next-level rockets. Witnessing a Mars landing. It's all in a day's work for these talented CSU students.TechnologyStory
The Sky's Not the Limit
CSU-Awards-Inaugural-Grants-to-Support-Student-Well-Being-.aspx
  
4/4/20194/4/2019 9:35 AMThe CSU Chancellor’s Office has awarded inaugural mini-grants to CSU faculty, staff and students in support of basic needs and student well-being. Basic Needs InitiativeStory
Students with fresh fruits and vegetables
CSU Awards Grants to Support Student Well-Being
CSU-Summer-Arts-Polishes-Students-Talents-for-Future-Careers-in-Art.aspx
  
3/27/20193/27/2019 9:20 AMCalling all artists, dancers, writers and actors! CSU Summer Arts is back and is currently accepting applications for summer 2019. EducationStory
Students performing on stage
CSU Summer Arts Polishes Students' Talents for Future Careers in Art
To-the-Ends-of-the-Earth.aspx
  
3/26/20193/26/2019 9:00 AMAntarctica is among the best places in the world to see the effects of climate change in action. Meet four women of the CSU whose work is taking them here on an urgent quest to find solutions.ResearchStory
Antarctica
CSU Women in Antarctica: To the Ends of the Earth
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