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CSUPERB-2021-Awards.aspx
  
1/15/2021 11:00 AMKelly, Hazel1/14/20211/14/2021 3:55 PMExemplary faculty and students from Cal State Fullerton, CSUN and Sacramento State were honored during the virtual university-wide symposium.ResearchStory

​Hundreds of CSU students, faculty, alumni, administrators and partners gathered virtually for the 33rd annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium on Jan. 7 – 10, 2021, to share how they are advancing innovation in the life sciences.

Organized by the CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB), the symposium showcases students and faculty who reflect the best of research, teaching and service in the biological sciences.

Along with multiple presentations and workshops from faculty, CSUPERB alumni and students over four days, the symposium honored a handful of exemplary people as part of its annual awards program. Congratulations to the 2021 award winners:

The Glenn Nagel Undergraduate Research Award

Shaina Nguyen | Cal State Fullerton

Poster Title: “Structure Activity Relationship Study of Indole-based Scaffolds for the Inhibition of the West Nile Virus NS2B-NS3"

Faculty Mentor: Nicholas Salzameda, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry & biochemistry

The award is named in honor of Dean Glenn Nagel, a biochemistry professor at Cal State Fullerton who later worked to promote high-quality undergraduate research as Dean of Natural Science and Mathematics at Cal State Long Beach. The Nagel Award fosters excellence in undergraduate student research.

​The Don Eden Graduate Student Research Award

Angelo Niosi | Sacramento State

Poster Title: “The Autism-Associated Chromatin Modifier, Chromodomain Helicase DNA Binding Protein 8, Affects Gastrointestinal Phenotypes in Drosophila melanogaster"

Faculty Mentor: Kimberly Mulligan, Ph.D., associate professor of biological sciences

​Named in honor of San Francisco State Professor Don Eden, a tireless participant in CSUPERB governance, the award celebrates the work of outstanding graduate student researchers.

​See the entire list of student research posters submitted for the 2021 symposium.


Crellin Pauling Student Teaching Awards​

​ ​screen capture of Zoom meeting with awardee

Dr. Deepali Bhandari of Cal State Long Beach, chair of 2021 Crellin Pauling Student Teaching Award Selection Committee (left) and David Pauling, Pauling Family representative with Awardee Rowen Jane Odango, CSUN graduate student 


​Rowen Jane Odango | CSUN

Graduate student researcher, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry 

Chloe Welch | Sacramento State

Graduate student researcher, Department of Biological Sciences

​Named in honor of San Francisco State Professor Crellin Pauling, a co-founder of CSUPERB who made extraordinary contributions to the training of teachers and scientists, the award acknowledges outstanding student teachers who inspire future science and engineering educators.

Both students exemplify the Pauling Award, demonstrating a deep awareness and appreciation of the importance of educating the future generation in making informed and fact-based decisions. Odango, who is also a 2020-21 CSU Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar, is recognized for combining her passion for teaching with her background as an underrepresented minority within STEM to help diverse students develop effective science communication skills. Welch is an excellent educator with experience teaching at different levels, mentoring and training students to help them reach their goals.


Screen capture of Zoom meeting with Awardee Dr. Deepali Bhandari (left) and David Pauling, Pauling Family representative with Awardee Chloe Welch, Sacramento State graduate student 

Andreoli Faculty Service Award

Katherine McReynolds, Ph.D. | Sacramento State

Professor, Department of Chemistry
College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics

Named in honor of Dr. Anthony Andreoli, a longtime chemistry professor at Cal State LA, the award celebrates CSU faculty members for outstanding contributions to the development of biotechnology programs. Dr. McReynolds, a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo alumna, is recognized for her more than 15 years of service developing and supporting biotechnology programs with CSUPERB, where she has supervised dozens of undergraduate and master's students in their research projects. Read more about McReynolds' achievements.

CSUPERB Faculty Research Award

Jonathan Kelber, Ph.D. | CSUN

Associate Professor, Department of Biology
College of Science and Mathematics

​The Faculty Research Award celebrates CSU instructors who have built outstanding biotechnology related research programs. Dr. Kelber, a Cal Poly Pomona alumnus, is recognized for his groundbreaking cancer research as the director of his National Institutes of Health (NIH) Developmental Oncogene Laboratory within CSUN's Department of Biology. Kelber is providing opportunities for meaningful, hands-on research experience to many undergraduate and graduate students through his lab, inspiring the next generation of scientists. Learn more about Kelber's achievements and see his 2017 profile on Calstate.edu

  ARCHIVE PHOTO: Dr. Jonathan Kelber works with a student in his CSUN cancer research lab. 


Learn more about CSUPERB and its important role in preparing highly skilled graduates for California's growing biotechnology workforce. 


biology students working in laboratory with professor
2021 CSUPERB Awards Honor the Best in Biological Sciences
the-seismic-zone.aspx
  
1/11/2021 8:36 AMBeall, Alex1/11/20211/11/2021 8:00 AMAs California braces itself, CSU faculty and students are in the fray helping the state prepare for earthquakes large and small.Research
The Seismic Zone
the-faults-in-our-earth.aspx
  
1/11/2021 8:36 AMBeall, Alex1/11/20211/11/2021 8:00 AMCSU geology experts study the active land California inhabits to better understand earthquakes and predict the location and intensity of future temblors.ResearchStory
The Faults on our Earth

THE FAULTS IN OUR EARTH

CSU geology experts study the active land California inhabits to better understand earthquakes and predict the location and intensity of future temblors.


 

“More than 70 percent of [California’s] population resides within 30 miles of a fault where high ground shaking could occur in the next 50 years.”
California Geo​logical Survey


We call it “The Big One.” No one knows exactly when and where it will hit. This hypothetical California earthquake—defined as a 7.8 or higher magnitude event along the southern section of the San Andreas Fault—could be 44 times stronger than the 1994 Northridge earthquake​.

In 2008, a group of scientists drew up The ShakeOut Scenario to describe what could happen after “The Big One” and its aftershocks hit Southern California. The consensus: 1,800 deaths, 50,000 injuries, $213 billion in losses, severed sewage and electricity lines that would take months to repair, disconnected and contaminated water sources, collapsed and unstable buildings, fires, landslides and damaged roads and transportation systems preventing aid and emergency services from reaching the area.

Following the 2019 earthquakes in Ridgecrest—a magnitude 6.4 followed by a magnitude 7.1—the likelihood of such an earthquake taking place increased. But as any California resident knows, the state will continue to experience any number of earthquakes before “The Big One” strikes. Just consider that California is second only to Alaska for the U.S. state with the most earthquakes and experiences the most earthquakes that cause damage in the country.

Dr. Sally McGill working with a student in the field.

Dr. Sally McGill works with a student in the field.


What's Shaking?

Earthquakes occur when energy in the form of seismic waves ripple the earth, causing the ground to shake. While this energy can come from volcanic activity or manmade triggers like an explosion, most often they emanate from fault lines where two sections of landmass called tectonic plates meet. About 15 kilometers (nine miles) below the earth’s surface, these massive plates can slowly creep past each other, both horizontally and vertically; but above that depth, they become stuck because of friction. As the lower part of the plates move, the upper part of the plates bend across the fault until energy builds up enough that a plate springs free, sending out seismic waves.

A major part of anticipating and preparing for tectonic earthquakes is understanding a region’s seismic hazard: the likelihood of earthquakes occurring in an area, their frequency and intensity in those areas and related effects like landslides and tsunamis.

“The primary goal is for people to be prepared for earthquakes,” says Sally McGill, Ph.D., a geologist and associate dean of California State University, San Bernardino’s College of Natural Sciences. “We know the San Andreas Fault is an active fault and it's going to continue to produce larger earthquakes that are going to impact large sections of Southern California and Central California. We want people to understand where the faults are and the level of shaking that could be expected from these earthquakes.”

Using that information empowers the state to predict which areas will experience the most damage during an earthquake and make decisions around where to construct commercial and residential buildings, which existing buildings need retrofitting, where to build infrastructure like roads and utility lines and how to ensure residents have access to services in the aftermath.

Research from CSU geologists and seismologists provides the state with critical information to help protect citizens and ensure industries survive “The Big One.”

CSUSB Master of Science students, Seth Clemen Saludez (left) and Andrew Suarez (right), performing a scan with mobile backpack LIDAR technology at Mill Creek Fault in Mill Creek, San Bernardino Mountains.

CSUSB Master of Science students, Seth Clemen Saludez (left) and Andrew Suarez (right), perform a scan with mobile backpack LIDAR technology at Mill Creek Fault in Mill Creek, San Bernardino Mountains.


A View from Above

For earthquake researchers, the first step in seismic hazard analysis is often mapping a region’s geological features, like faults and debris flows following wildfires—a key focus for Kerry Cato, Ph.D., a licensed engineering geologist and Cal State San Bernardino geology professor.

Employing drones and LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology, which measures distances using a laser light, Dr. Cato captures hundreds of images of an area that he then digitally stitches together into 3D models. When these areas are mapped at different points in time, he can then detect movement and changes in a landscape. “If it's a fault, we can tell which strands actually moved and ruptured the ground surface,” he says. “When we see this from the sky, we send geologists to look at it and provide the ground truth.”

With recent funding from benefactor Caroline Amplatz and a W.M. Keck Foundation grant, CSUSB’s geology department is acquiring more of this technology to continue mapping California’s seismic hazard zones, as well as give students an opportunity to practice digital mapping.

Following the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquakes, Cato began taking students ​to the locations where the ground ruptured to map the area. He is also working to map that region with graduate student Frank Jordan, who works as a geologist for San Bernardino County and is studying local faults, mountain forming and seismically induced landslides. The county can use Jordan’s maps (along with maps from the state) to develop its official seismic safety maps and building plans.

“Where the earthquakes are in California, that's a teaching moment,” Cato says. “It's good to [study their effects], because people forget about hazards. ... Earthquakes are years apart or decades apart. It's hard to keep that public mass consciousness up there, but earthquakes definitely would disrupt our way of life in a huge way.”

Under the direction of Dr. McGill, Bryan Castillo studies sediment layers of a 40-meter section of a trench dug along the San Andreas Fault.

Under the direction of Dr. McGill, Bryan Castillo studies sediment layers of a 40-meter section of a trench dug along the San Andreas Fault.


Grounded

Responding to Cato’s call, enter geologists like Dr. McGill, who studies the frequency at which faults rupture and the speed at which two plates move past each other along a fault line, called slip rates.

Currently, she’s looking at a series of three alluvial fans (a fan pattern formed when water deposits sediments at the mouth of a canyon) along the San Andreas Fault that have been offset over time by earthquakes. By dating sediment samples from the fans and measuring the distance by which they’re offset from the canyon using digital mapping, she can calculate the slip rate along that section of the fault. Her current graduate student, James Burns, is using the same method to map and date offset landforms along the Garlock Fault in the Mojave Desert.

“Most of the time, the fault is not moving at all; it's locked and only moves during the earthquake,” McGill explains. “But if you add up all those earthquakes over 5,000 years or 20,000 years, we can calculate, on average, how fast that fault [is moving], how many millimeters per year or how many meters per 1,000 years that fault is moving. And that's useful for a seismic hazard analysis because the faults that are moving faster are probably going to have more big earthquakes and generate more seismic hazards.”

Another tactic involves digging trenches across active faults and analyzing the sediment layers to determine which sections ruptured and when. McGill’s former graduate student and a current department lecturer, Bryan Castillo, led an excavation of a section of the San Andreas Fault near Palm Springs, where he documented eight prehistoric earthquakes—while another recent graduate student, Kyle Pena, did the same on a section of the Garlock Fault.

“We're able to tell, roughly, how frequently the fault produces earthquakes,” she says. “And that's also relevant for a seismic hazard to know [if it’s] every 200 years, every 500 years, every 1,000 years.” This shows how soon the fault may rupture again.

Dr. Kim Blisniuk collecting samples from a section of the San Andreas Fault in the Coachella Valley.

Dr. Kim Blisniuk collects samples from a section of the San Andreas Fault in the Coachella Valley.


Kimberly Blisniuk, Ph.D., geologist, geochronologist and San José State University associate professor of geology, is similarly collecting slip rate data from sites on Northern and Southern California sections of the San Andreas Fault, the San Gregorio Fault near Half Moon Bay and Mavericks and the Rogers Creek Fault in Sonoma County. “Not only are we understanding how the landscape is changing as the result of earthquakes, but slip rate data has a direct impact on society and people,” she says.

The data collected is added to the Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast, a model of seismic events in California that public and private entities can use to make decisions around earthquake preparation and mitigating earthquake damage. “This model basically compiles all published data we know about faults and their seismic activity—for example, how fast they move and where they're located—to estimate earthquake probabilities,” she explains. “All this information is then used by insurance companies or [Pacific Gas and Electric Company] or builders or whatnot to make informed decisions on how and where to build.”

CPP student James East swinging a hammer, which acts as a seismic source, for a refraction experiment to determine the width of the Ridgecrest fault zone during a field class

CPP student James East swings a hammer, which acts as a seismic source, for a refraction experiment to determine the width of the Ridgecrest fault zone during a field class.


A Quick Shake

While geologists can help locate where and when the next earthquake is likely to occur, seismologists can help determine how intense and destructive that earthquake’s shaking could be.

“This provides important information on the site effects that govern damage caused by local and regional earthquake activity,” says Jascha Polet, Ph.D., seismologist and professor of geophysics at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

Dr. Polet’s research in the San Gabriel, Chino and San Bernardino basins focuses on seismic site response: using ambient noise ground motion data (the persistent vibration of the ground not due to earthquakes) to study how various locations in an area react differently during an earthquake. This helps her determine the ground motion amplification and resonance frequency—that is, the intensity and duration of shaking that will occur during an earthquake—in these regions.

In addition, Polet analyzes ground motion and ground deformation data from earthquakes in near-real time to determine factors like depth and magnitude (called source characterization)—​​as well as finds faults and determines their subsurface geometry by measuring how their presence affects gravity, electrical currents or magnetic forces. By understanding past earthquakes, she can better predict what future earthquakes may look like.

“Better knowledge of where faults are located, how large the earthquakes may be that these faults can produce and how the ground will move when an earthquake happens can all help mitigate earthquake hazards,” she says.

ARE YOU READY FOR THE NEXT EARTHQUAKE?

While California is using research like that at the CSU to ensure it can endure a massive earthquake, all residents should also work to protect themselves, their families and their homes. Take these actions to make sure you’re prepared.

  • Participate in the Great ShakeOut to practice how to be safer during earthquakes. International ShakeOut Day happens on the third Thursday of October, but you can get resources and practice safety measures year-round.
  • Follow the Earthquake Country Alliance’s Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety guide to learn what to do before, during and after an earthquake.
  • Sign up for earthquake warnings and download the MyShake App through the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services’ Earthquake Warning California, the first statewide earthquake warning system in the U.S.
  • Check if you live in an earthquake hazard zone with the California Geologi​cal Survey’s California Earthquake Hazards Zone Application ("EQ Zapp").
<< BACK TO THE ZONE
The Faults in our Earth
2021-22-January-Budget-Proposal.aspx
  
1/8/2021 11:58 AMSalvador, Christianne1/8/20211/8/2021 11:40 AMGovernor Newsom unveiled his 2021-22 January budget proposal, which includes $144.5 million in recurring funding for the CSU, including $30 million to support students’ basic and essential needs. BudgetPress Release

​​​​​The following statement can be attributed to California State University Chancellor Joseph I. Castro:

“Governor​ Newsom's 2021-22 January b​udget proposal provides a welcome reinvestment in the California State University and demonstrates his continued belief in the power of public higher education in developing future leaders of our state and improving the lives of the residents of California.

“As demonstrated over the past several years, the state's investment in the CSU has led to greater access and record levels of achievement for students under Graduation Initiative 2025, which in turn produces career-ready graduates in a timely manner. We appreciate this thoughtful proposed investment that will undoubtedly lead to more Californians from all backgrounds earning high-quality, life-transforming degrees and furthering the Golden State's economic recovery."

Governor Newsom unveiled his 2021-22 January budget proposal, which includes $144.5 million in recurring funding for the CSU including $30 million to support students' basic and essential needs. Additionally, the proposal includes $225 million in one-time funding for the CSU of which $175 million would support the university's efforts to address deferred maintenance of aging infrastructure projects across the 23 campuses.

# # #

About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 53,000 faculty and staff and 486,000 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 nearly 129,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 3.8 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.

Statement on Governor’s 2021-22 January Budget Proposal
California-State-University-Receives-Donation-of-50,000-Protective-Masks-from--Magic-Ice-Cube-and-Imagen-SanGuard-.aspx
  
12/21/2020 10:29 AMSalvador, Christianne12/21/202012/21/2020 9:05 AMPPE equipment donation to benefit students, faculty and staff at CSU’s Hispanic-Serving Institutions.PhilanthropyPress Release

The California State University will receive a donation of 50,000 protective facemasks, a generous gift provided by a partnership of personal protective equipment providers (PPE) Magic Ice Cube and Imagen/SanGuard. The masks will be distributed to the CSU's 21 campuses that have been designated as Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI).

“Protecting the health and safety of our students and employees, while ensuring that students maintain progress toward degree completion have been our two university-wide priorities throughout the pandemic, and this gift will allow us to continue to accomplish both," said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. “On behalf of the entire CSU community, I offer my heartfelt gratitude to Imagen/SanGuard and Magic Ice Cube for their generous donation of this much-needed equipment." 

As the COVID-19 virus began to spread in California, Governor Gavin Newsom asked the state's business community for help, requesting that any company that could produce or secure PPE equipment come forward. Virginia Madueño, an alumna of California State University, Stanislaus, and her company Imagen/SanGuard, heeded that call, and leveraged its global supply chain to provide the California Department of Public Health with the much-needed safety equipment. Today, Madueño and her business partner Bud Evans, CEO of the SFI Financial Group, work with private and public health care providers across the country to make sure they have a reliable source for safe and high-quality PPE products in partnership with Magic Ice Cube.

“Magic Ice Cube Founder Rudy Rong and I are both immigrants and we had the opportunity to earn a quality education in California, and thus know how important higher education is, and the value of continued learning given this unusual time with COVID-19," said Madueño. “Our goal is to help provide yet another level of protection for some of the hardest-hit communities throughout California, served by the California State University and those campuses designated as HSIs."

Rong, Magic Ice Cube Founder and CEO, is an immigrant from China and entrepreneur who started his PPE business in early March 2020 to bring in highly sought-after quality PPE from China and other Asian countries. Rong has been featured in Forbes, the LA Times, MSNBC, Style Magazine and most recently on CBS' 60 Minutes. He is most notably recognized as the son of Chinese billionaires and has become a successful entrepreneur by launching MagicCube International Inc., a virtual gaming platform, among other business ventures.

“I was excited to help, given the situation," said Rong. “Magic Ice Cube has a strong business relationship with Virginia Madueño and Bud Evans and Imagen/SanGuard in providing PPE to public and private sector entities throughout the country and when they asked about donating masks to CSU and it's HSI campuses in California, I immediately said, 'Yes, let's do it!'"

Hispanic-Serving Institutions are defined under the Higher Education Act as colleges or universities where at least 25 percent of the undergraduate, full-time enrollment is Hispanic, and at least half of the institution's degree-seeking students must be low-income.

# # #

About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 53,000 faculty and staff and 486,000 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 nearly 129,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 3.8 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.

California State University Receives Donation of 50,000 Protective Masks from Magic Ice Cube and Imagen/SanGuard
A-Reflection-on-2020.aspx
  
12/17/2020 8:46 AMSua, Ricky12/17/202012/17/2020 8:25 AMAs we bid 2020 farewell—perhaps with a sigh of relief—we reflect on the year’s joys and accomplishments despite the challenges.​Student SuccessStory

A Reflection on 2020

When we entered 2020 with all the hope a new year brings, no one could have predicted the reality that was to come. Within a few months of New Years celebrations, we saw empty grocery store shelves and shortages on hand sanitizer. We learned to meet with friends and share milestones through computer screens, and we put many of our plans on hold. And yet we found hope as we came together with our communities to care for one another. And so, as we bid 2020 farewell—perhaps with a sigh of relief—we reflect on the year’s joys and accomplishments despite the challenges.​

Students at graduation in their caps and gowns.
 

JANUARY

Auspicious Beginnings: The CSU started off strong in 2020 after receiving record-breaking philanthropic support in 2019—$569 million in new gift commitments—and completing a 2019 research project to help close academic equity gaps.

The Olympic Statues at San José State University.
 

FEBRUARY

“Still I Rise": The accomplishments of African American students, faculty, alumni and staff of the CSU are too numerous to mention. Still, on the occasion of Black History Month, we recognized 29 exceptional people who helped to make the California State University what it is today: a place of academic rigor, exceptional achievement and pioneering inclusiveness.

A woman working on her laptop.
 

MARCH

Making the Switch: With the onset of COVID-19 in March, the CSU made an unprecedented transition to online instruction. But the switch didn't stop the university from offering a high-quality education, as many faculty members got creative with their curriculum and the university offered faculty professional development opportunities focused on virtual teaching. 

And, in response to the inequities CSU students faced during the pandemic, campuses banded together to provide them with the support they needed, including basic needs resources and reliable access to internet and technology.

During Women's History Month, we commemorated the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage with a look at 24 remarkable CSU women. 

Governor Pat Brown signing the Donahoe Higher Education Act, creating the California State University.
 

APRIL

Diamond Jubilee: April marked 60 years of educational excellence at the California State University. To celebrate, we kicked off a year-long reflection on the transformational experience of a CSU education, as captured by faculty, staff, alumni and friends over the past six decades. Continue to check back through April 2021 to see additional photos from the CSU throughout the years.

Student Alberto Smith and aerospace engineer Eric Gever working together to 3D print a face shield.
 

MAY

Combating COVID-19: As the novel coronavirus swept across the globe this spring, CSU faculty, staff and students offered their time, talents and knowledge to help California confront the pandemic. They stepped forward to tackle the challenge by proposing new medical devices, producing protective equipment, making facilities available and rallying resources.

But the effort went beyond the campuses, with many courageous CSU alumni serving on the front lines as well.

A man wearing a face mask and taking a photo of a CSU graduate.
 

JUNE

Still Worth Celebrating: While the COVID-19 pandemic meant 2020 commencement ceremonies were unavoidably postponed for more than 100,000 CSU graduates, they still found unique ways to honor this rite of passage.

We also took a look at how CSU campuses work with local industries to ensure their graduates are ready to enter careers and drive innovation in these regional sectors—as well as at CSU research shedding light on how California's offshore oil platforms support thriving marine ecosystems. 

Art exhibit at the Ronald H. Silverman Fine Arts Gallery at Cal State LA.
 

JULY

Hallowed Halls: Summer is usually the time when people can take a break from work or school and do a bit of exploring, whether close to home or further away. While COVID-19 canceled many summer plans, the CSU's cultural institutions took to virtual space to introduce their communities to cultures, history and people from around the world.

Fence at Lancaster State Prison.
 

AUGUST

Second Chances: The university's commitment to offering options to those touched by incarceration is evident in programs such as Project Rebound, which is active at multiple campuses, and the Prison BA Graduation Initiative at California State University, Los Angeles. Our “From Incarceration to Graduation" piece explored how the CSU provides an opportunity to break the cycle of recidivism.

Chancellor-Select Joseph I. Castro.
 

SEPTEMBER

Welcome Chancellor Joseph I. Castro: On September 23, the Board of Trustees appointed Joseph I. Castro, Ph.D., as the eighth chancellor of the California State University. Dr. Castro served as the eighth president of California State University, Fresno since 2013 and is the first California native and first Mexican American to oversee the 23-campus university.

“I am truly grateful for and excited about this unique and wonderful opportunity, and I look forward to working with the talented faculty, staff and presidents of the 23 campuses as well the Board of Trustees and executives and staff at the Chancellor's Office to further increase achievement for our 482,000 students," he said.

Woman and a young girl in a pool at CSUN.
 

OCTOBER

Overcoming Obstacles, Together: To acknowledge National Disability Employment Awareness Month and the 30th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act, we highlighted ways the university trains faculty and students who use their skills to address everyday challenges facing those with disabilities. 

In a tumultuous year, marked by Black Lives Matter protests, a major Supreme Court decision on the status of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and a rise in harassment of Asian Americans amid COVID-19, the CSU reaffirmed its commitment to diversity and inclusion

A person dropping their ballot in a ballot box.
 

NOVEMBER

Be the Change: November saw a critically important election take place, with individualsespecially young people​coming out to vote in record numbers. For the March primaries, CSU campuses opened voting centers and implemented additional efforts to help students vote—and preparation for the November 3 election was no different. Campuses mobilized to get student voters registered, though that's not the only way they've been helping students make a difference in their communities this year.

Chancellor Timothy P. White with two students.
 

DECEMBER

Time of Transition: Chancellor Timothy P. White's last year at the helm of the California State University was anything but “normal." While he demonstrated his unwavering commitment to the students of the CSU throughout his tenure, that dedication was undeniable as he postponed his retirement in March to navigate the university through the pandemic. Through it all, we continued to rank among the top U.S. universities for value and upward mobility, and graduation rates and student achievement reached an all-time high under Graduation Initiative 2025, placing the university in a strong position as Chancellor-Select Castro takes on his duties on January 4, 2021. 

Forward Facing

If 2020 has taught us anything, it's that we can't know what next year will bring. But whether it's smooth sailing or rough seas, one thing remains constant: the CSU's dedication to providing a l​ife-changing education and experience for all its students.

Goodbye, 2020; hello, 2021!


A Reflection on 2020
Breaking-the-Cycle.aspx
  
12/14/2020 8:22 AMSalvador, Christianne12/14/202012/14/2020 3:10 PMThe College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) gives students from migrant and seasonal farmworker backgrounds opportunities beyond the fields.Student SuccessStory

​​​​​​​​First-generation college student Briseida Vasquez-Vasquez always knew she would go to college.

The Fresno State freshman comes from a multigenerational family of farmworkers—her parents and grandparents all worked in agriculture—setting her fate of working in the fields. Growing up, she watched her parents leave at dawn every morning and come home in the evenings physically exhausted. In high school, she got her first experience in the industry, working alongside her aunt picking tomatoes, blueberries and grapes in California's Central Valley.

“I wanted to change my career path," says Vasquez. “I want to do something that I truly love, where I can achieve more and live financially stable."

Supportive of her ambitions, her father urged her to attend college to find a future off the fields, to land opportunities where she could thrive. “He would tell me, 'you don't want to do this type of work every day, you don't want to be doing what we're doing. You deserve something better.'"

Upon arriving at Fresno State, Vasquez found support in the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), which aims to help students from migrant and seasonal farmworker backgrounds succeed in a university setting. The program helps students transition from high school to college and offers first-year support services to develop the skills necessary to persist and graduate with a degree. Services include academic and career counseling, mentorship, peer advising, tutoring and leadership development opportunities. Participating students are also encouraged to study together, socialize and engage in campus activities—now all virtual during the pandemic.

Connecting through shared struggles​

The goal of camp is to help students gain more career options and to break the generational cycle of having to work in agriculture.

“What's unique about CAMP is that it is designed to be an extension of their families, a home away from home, to fully embrace their farming backgrounds and connect with others who have faced the same obstacles and challenges," says Viridiana Diaz, Ed.D., associate vice president for Strategic Student Support Programs at Sacramento State. “CAMP creates a sense of belonging where students learn to navigate their unique identities and appreciate their struggles."​

Many students in CAMP came to the United States as children or grew up in migrant camps. Diaz says that 95 percent are of Latinx background, with English as their second language, and their parents have worked in agriculture for most of their lives. Oftentimes the students themselves have also worked in the fields or have had to migrate, causing interruptions in their education. These students are commonly from low-income households and the first in their families to attend college.

“The goal of CAMP is to help students gain more career options in life and to break the generational cycle of having to work in agriculture," explains Diaz. “Many students become influenced by the very nature of the program—which is to uplift the community—and they decide to go into careers where they can help others reach their potential, such as social work, teaching and public service."​

Reducing ​students' time to degree

The program has existed at the CSU for more than 35 years and is instrumental in the CSU's ongoing success of meeting Graduation Initiative 2025 goals of closing achievement gaps and increasing graduation rates. Currently, five CSU campuses located in close proximity to California's large farm communities (Fresno, Sacramento and Monterey Bay in the Central Valley; Bakersfield in the San Joaquin Valley; and San Marcos in the south) have been chosen to receive a competitive, five-year, multi-million dollar federal grant based on their previous stellar perfor​mance rates.

CAMP students have significantly higher retention and graduation rates compared to non-CAMP participants from first generation, English as a second language (ESL) and Latinx populations. At Sacramento State, for example, Diaz discusses a recent 2014-2018 report that shows an average of 96 percent of CAMP students completed their first year of college and 100 percent continued their post-secondary education. Performance rates of CAMP students are higher than non-CAMP students on all levels: retention (92 percent vs 85 percent), persistence to graduation (90 percent vs 73 percent) and graduation (42 percent vs 34 percent). Sac State CAMP's 2011 cohort of students excelled with 85 percent of them graduating with a bachelor's degree in comparison to 55 percent of non-CAMP participants. These accomplishments are noteworthy considering that 90 percent of Sac State CAMP students enter the university with greater needs and lower standardized test scores than the campus average.

Increased support during the pandemic

Support provided by CAMP is especially helpful during the pandemic, as farm and agricultural employees are designated essential critical workers. The CSU's CAMP administrators are increasing their efforts to serve the specific needs of their students. With courses being offered virtually this school year, students are facing unique challenges balancing school and home life. For Vasquez, that means meeting expectations to help at home and work part-time while her father leaves for work every day.

“My parents don't understand the demands of college and it's been difficult having to work a job and helping maintain the house while taking college courses," says Vasquez.

“It's comforting to hear from other students who are in the same boat as me. Although we don't meet in person, my peer advisor reaches out to help me with my weekly schedule so I can manage my time. Thanks to CAMP, I have been keeping up with the demands of my life."​


Breaking the Cycle
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12/14/2020 10:33 AMKelly, Hazel12/14/202012/14/2020 9:50 AMLearn how the CSU partners with Small Business Development Centers to help California entrepreneurs navigate uncertain times.CaliforniaStory

Big Help for Small Businesses

How the CSU partners with Small Business Development Centers to help California entrepreneurs navigate uncertain times.


jump to main content  

2020 has been one of the most daunting years for California businesses. But as small business owners continue to push forward through economic challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, several allies across the state are there to help—many anchored at California State University campuses in the form of Small Business Development Centers (SBDC).

Funded in part through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and a Grant with the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz)​, along with local and regional dollars, the network of California's SBDCs have been called upon to offer extra support to organizations facing the uncertainty of the current business landscape. As partners in their communities and regions, several CSU campuses host Small Business Development Centers, and two campuses host lead centers for their entire regions.

With free business consulting, expert advice and helpful resources, the CSU's SBDCs are doing their part to help California recover, while providing real-world experience for CSU student interns.

CENTRAL CALIFORNIA

The Central California SBDC Network includes seven centers across the region, with two hosted by CSU campuses—CSU Bakersfield and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Since 2010 the CSU Bakersfield SBDC has provided free one-on-one consulting, training and resources to small businesses throughout the Kern County region. “We use our resources best for the community, and that is for the creation of jobs, the expansion of business. And of course, more so this year—the retention of small businesses that are so impacted by the pandemic," says Kelly Bearden, director.

Bearden says that prior to the pandemic, about half of the center's clients were new or startup businesses and the other half existing firms. But since March 2020, the demand has shifted to mostly existing business owners. Key services include access to pandemic relief programs like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) from the Small Business Administration (SBA), as well as local CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) act funds from the initial stimulus, says Bearden.

The center's “Webinar Wednesdays" training sessions saw record attendance in the early stages of the pandemic, with more than 700 attendees during their biggest week. It has offered this key resource on a weekly basis since March and is on track to complete its 40th consecutive webinar by the end of 2020.

“I'm really most proud of what our response to the pandemic has been," Bearden says, explaining that they received about a hundred questions per webinar during the peak. “And that lasted for quite a while, but we were able to answer them all."


“The CSU Bakersfield SBDC has been a great resource for the community and great visibility for the university and for people to see what we can do.”

—Kelly Bearden, CSUB Small Business Development Center director


Nestled in the San Joaquin Valley, the center helps support small enterprises in some of the region's key industries, including agriculture, energy and technology. There are a lot of unique activities taking place in the region, Bearden says, adding that Kern County is by far the largest generator of alternative energy in the state. There are also expanding opportunities around value-added agricultural production, he says.

“It's been a great resource for the community and great visibility for the university and for people to see what we can do," he says.

Although hampered by the pandemic in 2020, CSUB student interns typically play an important role at the center as associate consultants, working alongside the senior consultants and gaining real-world experience to augment what they're learning in the classroom, Bearden says. “They work with clients on business plans, assisting with financial packages, and with accounting."

Further west in the Central California SBDC Network is the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) and Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which offers small business support, as well as an incubator for both student and community-based entrepreneurs with innovative ventures.

Entrepreneurs behind the startup Bridge hold up their $10,000 check

The Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) helps local businesses through its SBDC, as well as budding entrepreneurs, like  this alumni-owned startup, Imperium which benefitted from CIE's accelerator and now its incubator programs.  Photo courtesy of Miranda Knight 

While typically focused on its incubating companies and innovative startups, the Cal Poly SBDC has also shifted its support to help existing businesses stay afloat since the start of the pandemic, says Judy Mahan, Cal Poly CIE economic development director.  

“When COVID hit, we definitely took on a whole new target market that we didn't typically work with—more main street type businesses," including those in the hospitality and health and wellness sectors, as well as retail and restaurants.

Mahan says that in 2019, the Cal Poly SBDC worked with about 350 businesses throughout the region. This year, they are expecting to hit about 600 for 2020—resulting in nearly $30 million in capital funding. “We've practically doubled our activity, and the key reason is that we became somewhat 'first responders' for helping local businesses navigate the PPP and EIDL loan process at the start of the pandemic."

Mahan explains that COVID has accelerated the need to tap into technologies and leverage them more quickly. To that end, the center has been helping local retailers get up to speed on delivery services and online ordering systems.  

“It's exciting to help businesses become more current with available technology," she says, describing this as a silver lining of the pandemic cloud. “Out of crises comes great innovation and we're certainly starting to see some of that bubble up. And we're seeing these technologies getting adopted in a much faster way than they would have, had COVID not hit."

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

The Orange County Inland Empire (OCIE) SBDC Network serves businesses throughout Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties with seven service centers throughout the region. The OCIE lead center is hosted by Cal State Fullerton and the Inland Empire SBDC is hosted by Cal State San Bernardino, in conjunction with CSUSB's Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE).

Since March, the OCIE has helped more than 10,500 small businesses obtain more than $290 million in relief, which translates into 57,000 local jobs, says Mike Daniel, regional director and CSUF alumnus. Daniel explains that when the pandemic hit, the center dropped everything and only focused on COVID-related relief, investing in a 1-800 number for increased call capacity and hosting daily conference calls to keep businesses up to date on the latest developments.

In fact, the tri-county network hired additional staff to handle the increased call load. “Since March, we've helped 20,000 callers and provided 25,000 hours of one-on-one business consulting compared to 10,000 hours the year before." 

The Orange County Inland Empire SBDC team is made up of dedicated staff and experienced business consultant

The Orange County Inland Empire SBDC team is made up of dedicated staff and experienced business consultants who are committed to assisting entrepreneurs throughout the region. 

In addition to assisting with funding and helping businesses transition online, Daniels says the CSUF-based lead center also plans to help businesses with record-keeping when the health crisis ends. He and his colleagues discovered that some entrepreneurs were challenged with obtaining COVID-19 funding relief due to lack of record-keeping—particularly in underserved communities. “We plan to engage CSUF accounting and finance students to consult with these firms and establish bookkeeping systems," he says.

CSU campuses are also supporting small businesses beyond SBDCs. The Small Business Consulting Program at CSUN's David Nazarian College of Business and Economics offers free assistance to San Fernando Valley-based small businesses dealing with the economic fallout from the pandemic. With support from a Wells Fargo Foundation grant, the program increased its consulting capacity in 2020 to help even more clients, while providing crucial experiential learning for business students.

And at CSU San Marcos, the College of Business Administration launched its Business Response, Recovery and Resource Program this summer to help local businesses impacted by the pandemic.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

Like its regional counterparts, the Northern California Regional SBDC also expanded its services due to increased demand during the pandemic.

In June, the regional network received federal emergency funding to help meet that demand. Administered by the Humboldt State University-hosted lead center, the grant is helping the country's third largest SBDC network add more staff to handle the surge in call volume, revamp its training workshops to push content online, expand its Finance Center and launch an outreach program for business communities in which English is a second language.

SBDC Northern California store front

The Northern California Regional SBDC , hosted by Humboldt State, is the country's third largest SBDC network. In 2019, it relocated its expanded lead center off the HSU campus and into to the city of Eureka to better serve the community.

Regional Director Kristin Johnson explains that the 20 centers of the NorCal SBDC network cover 36 counties comprising an incredibly diverse business region from innovative tech firms to small-town main street shops. When the SBA declared an economic crisis in March, the network became an even more critical resource for thousands of organizations.

For the 2019-20 federal fiscal year, the NorCal network helped businesses access nearly half a billion dollars in capital, drew more than 40,000 workshop attendees and served more than 19,000 clients with one-on-one consulting—the most of any SBDC network in the country. These services—offered at no cost to small businesses—serve as a lifeline for entrepreneurs during one of the most unstable economic climates in history. 

“Across our region, we've seen demand increase from two to six times the normal business activity," Johnson says. And although her staff is now assisting businesses from their homes through Zoom and cell phones, she says their shared passion to serve the community brings them closer together. “When we can help an entrepreneur secure a loan, keep their doors open, or maintain their workforce, it's very rewarding."

Beyond the state's SBDC networks, CSU campuses continue to support small businesses. The Sacramento State College of Business Administration collaborated with the U.S. Small Business Administration this summer on a series of free webinars for companies and nonprofit groups upended by the COVID-19 crisis. The seven-part series offered practical insights from Sacramento State business professors, SBA specialists and others on topics such as data and network security, tax implications of COVID, marketing lessons from the pandemic, and tools for planning for the next crisis.

Learn more about how the CSU is ​​aiding California's economic recovery by preparing the next generation of innovative entrepreneurs, providing students with real-world business experience, while also supporting the community.

man standing outdoors holding plants for sale
Big Help for Small Businesses
Help-Slow-the-Spread.aspx
  
12/10/2020 11:17 AMSalvador, Christianne12/10/202012/10/2020 9:05 AMCalifornia announces new contact-tracing app in the fight against COVID-19.CaliforniaStory

​​​Throughout the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CSU has continuously stepped up as a leader in California. The university has provided invaluable guidance and assistance to those in need, whether it was the switch to virtual instruction, providing mental health resources, supplying medical equipment to essential workers or heroes showing up on the front lines.  

The CSU community now has the opportunity to continue to be part of the solution to reduce the transmission by participating in California's new contact-tracing app, CA Notify, which launched on December 10.

CA Notify will help slow the spread [of COVID-19] by alerting those who opt in to receive an alert if they've come into contact with someone who has tested positive," Governor Gavin Newsom announced. “The process is private, anonymous and secure, and is one of the many tools in the state's data-driven approach to help reduce the spread."

​Californians who choose to use the tool should enable CA Notify in their iPhone settings (turn on exposure notifications); Android users can download the app from the Google Play Store. They will receive a text on their smartphone informing them if they have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for the virus. With that knowledge, the proper steps can be taken: get tested, seek medical advice or quarantine if necessary.​

For more information, visit the CA Notify site.​


Help Slow the Spread
California-State-University-Anticipates-Return-to-In-Person-Coursework-for-Fall-2021-Term.aspx
  
1/12/2021 2:26 PMRuble, Alisia12/9/202012/9/2020 2:00 PMThe CSU has announced that it is planning for an anticipated return to delivering courses primarily in-person starting with the fall 2021 term.ApplyPress Release

​​​​In keeping with previous efforts to provide current and prospective students and families with information, clarity and time to plan, the California State University (CSU) has announced that it is planning for an anticipated return to delivering courses primarily in-person starting with the fall 2021 term.

“It's critical that we provide as much advance notice as possible to students and their families, as we have done previously in announcing our moves toward primarily virtual instruction," said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. “While we are currently going through a very difficult surge in the pandemic, there is light at the end of the tunnel with the promising progress on vaccines."

“We are approaching planning for the 2021 fall term with the goal of having the majority of our on-campus experiences returning," said CSU Chancellor-select Joseph I. Castro. “This decision comes at a good time as high school and transfer students have until December 15 to complete their applications for fall admission. I urge eligible students across the Golden State to apply for admission to one or more CSU campuses."

Prospective students apply to CSU campuses online through the Cal State Apply website. Application fee waivers are available, and there are robust financial aid programs for eligible students with need.

The CSU remains steadfast in its commitment to ensuring the health and safety of all members of its 23 campus communities throughout California. This is why CSU necessarily is conducting the current 2020-21 academic year primarily in the virtual space. The emerging evidence provides optimism that the upcoming 2021-22 academic year can be conducted much more in person. It is too soon to determine what the science will allow for the 2021 summer term. That determination will be made closer to the deadlines for summer 2021 student registration.

# # #

About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 53,000 faculty and staff and 486,000 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 nearly 129,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 3.8 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.​

California State University Anticipates Return to In-Person Coursework for Fall 2021 Term
CSU-Named-College-of-the-Year-by-Higher-Ed-Dive.aspx
  
12/17/2020 9:26 AMRuble, Alisia12/9/202012/9/2020 9:30 AMThe CSU has been recognized for exceptional leadership while navigating the unprecendented challenges of 2020.LeadershipStory
The California State University has been named “College of the Year” by Higher Ed Dive for exceptional leadership during the current pandemic.

Since 2016, Higher Ed Dive has selected the most impactful achievements, people and organizations across higher education to receive a Dive Award. With the coronavirus pandemic, economic and workplace shifts, racial upheaval and a deep political divide in a presidential election year, the editorial team said they focused on recognizing leadership in a time of crisis.

"With its quick and thoughtful decision to hold classes mostly online, the California State University brought clarity to its community early,” said Jeremy Bauer-Wolf, a reporter for Higher Ed Dive. “The university was able to prioritize the health of its students, faculty and staff while building out its digital operations.” 

This spring, the CSU became one of the very first higher education institutions to announce plans to continue virtual instruction in the fall. That early decision gave faculty the time and opportunity to expand their skills and prepare for a productive virtual experience, armed with the latest technology and best practices for online teaching.

Thousands of CSU faculty members engaged in professional development over the summer and fall to provide vibrant and high-quality virtual learning experiences for students. The university also invested more than $18 million to provide students with digital equipment and services to ensure success in their courses and expanded basic needs outreach efforts to better support their well-being.

Despite the pandemic, the CSU welcomed its largest-ever student body this fall, bucking national downward trends, and reported record retention rates of first-time students. Student achievement continues to rise to all-times highs under Graduation Initiative 2025, and the CSU celebrated the largest graduating class in its 60-year history in the spring of 2020.

CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White, who postponed his retirement earlier this year to continue leading the 23-campus university, has been instrumental in making these bold decisions to safeguard the health, safety and well-being of those in the CSU community. Learn more about the enduring legacy of Dr. White. ​
Several young people walking in front of a building with a University Union sign on it.
CSU Named ‘College of the Year’ by Higher Ed Dive
Deeper-Learning-through-Pandemic.aspx
  
12/9/2020 4:27 PMKelly, Hazel12/8/202012/8/2020 9:35 AMWhile the COVID-19 pandemic reshapes our lives in countless ways, innovative CSU faculty have nimbly shifted to provide real-time relevancy in their coursework. CaliforniaStory

​​​​For some, the pandemic has brought on the challenge of coping and growing through traumatic stress. For others, it's a chance to gain a deeper understanding of the human experience in times of crisis. Here are just a few innovative ways that CSU faculty have nimbly shifted to provide real-time relevancy in their coursework.

​​Growing through Trauma | CSU Monterey Bay

This summer in the earlier stages of the pandemic, CSU Monterey Bay students in a special topics course learned the academic theory of trauma psychology—as well as the social, emotional aspects of trauma on a more personal level.

Christine Valdez, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology at CSUMB, instructed the four-week, upper-level course—titled “Trauma, Loss and Growth During COVID-19"—to provide an in-depth exploration of the nature of individual and collective trauma and stress as it applies to the pandemic.

Dr. Valdez—also a licensed clinical psychologist—observed a lot of anxiety, stress and uncertainty among her students during the early days of the pandemic. “I saw the course as an opportunity to teach them trauma coping skills during a time when they could use it the most," she says.

As students gain a better understanding of trauma from a personal perspective, they may be better equipped to identify trauma in others—such as their future patients or clients. “This will prepare you if you're going into the field of psychology, and also will prepare you for how to handle your own stress and trauma," Valdez says.

The course was an opportunity to teach them trauma coping skills during a time When they could use them the most."  ​—Dr. Christine Valdez, CSU Monterey Bay 

Valdez explains that psychology students are in a unique position because they may be on the frontlines after graduation, dealing with the long-term impacts of the pandemic. “They need to be prepared for how to deal with this and how to help people get through it."

And while we are still in the midst of the pandemic and its mental health impacts, “I don't think we quite understand what the aftershock is going to be in terms of the extended social isolation, the extended job loss or financial strain on people, the extended working from home while caring for kids," Valdez says.

But with support, positive aspects can result from adversity—a concept known as post-traumatic growth. Trauma can shake the foundation of your life, but post-traumatic growth can help you build a stronger foundation, Valdez explains. 

“Individuals who experience post-traumatic growth will be able to recover more quickly from future trauma or stress because they have built a stronger foundation that's grounded in new priorities, greater connections with people, and maybe spiritual faith in some cases."

While Valdez says she was struck by her students' overall resiliency during a very challenging time, she noticed that some were still in a state of anxiety and not yet at the point of developing post-traumatic growth, she explains.

This spring, Valdez plans to teach two sections of the course again. “I'm curious to see in this springtime course, whether there will be more post-traumatic growth because it's been almost a year."

For expert tips on coping with disappointment and loss due to COVID-19, read Learning to Cope, Finding Hope.​

Reflecting on Societal Impacts | Chico State

At the Chico State Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology​, museum curation students in the fall Anthropology 467 course have been planning, researching and designing a virtual exhibition that explores how the current pandemic and past epidemics have impacted us, from both a scientific and social perspective.

“The exhibit aims to explore how epidemics are more than contagious diseases that infect our bodies," says William Nitzky, Ph.D., instructor of the course and assistant professor and museum co-director. “Epidemics are also social, mediated by class, ethnicity and race, that shape and expose the injustices and inequalities of our society." 

Set to launch in February 2021, the “Epidemics of Injustice" exhibition will feature two virtual galleries that highlight the constructive and destructive aspects of epidemics and pandemics, says Dr. Nitzky. The first gallery, titled “Epidemics," will look more at the scientific and historic side of viruses and diseases—from the bubonic plague to COVID-19. The second gallery, titled “Injustice," will focus on personal narratives and experiences during times of crises from our society and others around the world.

Each student curates a part of the exhibit with themes covering a wide breadth of historical, scientific and societal issues. For the “Injustice" gallery, one student is focusing on how social media is not only bringing people together during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also creating an avenue for social movements and protests. Another student is focusing their exhibit on psychological stress and its toll on the body, and what people need to cope with the impacts of the pandemic.

One of the key themes of the exhibition is social injustice, as it pertains to the pandemic. In addition to exposing some of the systemic issues that perpetuate inequalities in our communities, Nitzky says some students' exhibits also seek to show the visitor that it's not just infectious diseases that are contagious—ideas, specifically racist ideas, can be, too.

The project is notable because it marks the museum's first-ever completely virtual exhibition, guided through completely virtual instruction—and during its 50th anniversary, no less. “I've never created an online exhibition in my life, and I can be honest about that," Nitzky says, adding that he, along with his students, are learning through the process. “It's actually really exciting." 

​"For many students, this exhibit is helping them reflect on the social impact of the pandemic that they and others around the world are experiencing first-hand," Nitzky explains. Some are using this exhibition as a platform to engage people and expose the social injustices and systemic problems in our society, he says, adding that that museums must be relevant and timely. 


​​​Support Through the Pandemic

Since 2014 the Long Beach Trauma Recovery Center (LBTRC), a program through the Cal State Long Beach College of Education, has been offering free mental health treatment to underserved survivors of violence and other traumas, in addition to outreach and education services for the community. But since the pandemic, the center has shifted the focus of its services, says director Bita Ghafoori, Ph.D., who is also a professor in advanced studies in education and counseling at CSULB.

The pandemic presents the potential for trauma and acute stress to underserved individuals in particular, who may have to work in higher-risk jobs, live in tight quarters and have limited access to healthcare, Dr. Ghafoori says. “They're exposing themselves to a virus that could potentially kill them," she says. “You could see how that could be traumatic."

A select number of CSULB counseling psychology and social work master's students receive clinical training as therapists at the off-campus LBTRC. “There is no other CSU that offers this and there's such high demand for trauma therapists that most of our students get jobs before they graduate," Ghafoori says. While the pandemic has forced all therapy sessions to go virtual, the services remain an important part of the LBTRC's role in the community. In fact, the center became the second of its kind to open in California, thanks to state funding in 2014.

In addition to clinical therapyDr. Ghafoori says the LBTRC has been called upon more and more to develop trainings and workshops on how to cope with trauma and pandemic-related stress. At the CSULB campus for example, Ghafoori and her colleagues have provided virtual workshops to the College of Education, as well as other campus-based organizations.

The LBTRC also offers a virtual coffeehouse for CSULB College of Education students to drop in monthly to receive support and resources on how to manage stress from LBTRC therapists. “We focus on educating students on how trauma—including the pandemic—may be contributing to psychological stress and provide support strategies," Dr. Ghafoori says.

​Visit the Mental Health Services website to learn more about support available for CSU students.​



Woman working on computer at home
Deeper Learning Through the Pandemic
Cal-State-Apply-Deadline-Extended-to-December-15.aspx
  
12/21/2020 4:04 PMSalvador, Christianne12/1/202012/1/2020 9:00 AMProspective CSU students may file by December 15 to meet the priority application window for fall 2021.ApplyPress Release

​​​​​​​To better serve high school and community college students facing university admissions challenges caused by COVID-19, the California State University (CSU) will extend its fall 2021 priority application deadline to December 15, 2020. Students interested in attending any CSU campus can apply at the university's application portal, Cal State Apply. (Refer to the Applicant Help Center for additional information and answers to application questions.)

After applying, prospective students should visit the university's financial aid website to learn more about financial aid options. If a student and their family have experienced a change in their financial situation, students should complete and submit their financial aid application and then follow-up with their campus financial aid office. The financial aid office can assist with determining if a change in their financial circumstances could result in additional aid.

The CSU represents the best value of all comparable institutions with one of the lowest tuition fees in the nation and robust financial aid totaling more than $4.5 billion per year. In fact, 80 percent of all CSU students receive some type of financial aid, and 60 percent of undergraduates receive sufficient grant and scholarship financial aid to cover the full cost of tuition.

The CSU is working to ensure all students are successful in college, especially first-generation students and those from underrepresented communities. As part of Graduation Initiative 2025, CSU campuses continue to remove barriers to student achievement and provide students with additional support inside and outside the classroom, resulting in record graduation rates. ​

Learn more at the Cal State Apply website​.

# # #

About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 53,000 faculty and staff and 486,000 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 nearly 129,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 3.8 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.

Cal State Apply Deadline Extended to December 15
CSU-Campuses-Dominate-Top-of-Social-Mobility-Index-Rankings.aspx
  
12/1/2020 8:33 AMRuble, Alisia11/30/202011/30/2020 2:10 PMThe CSU once again received some of the highest possible ratings in CollegeNET’s 2020 “Social Mobility Index” (SMI).Social MobilityStory
​The California State University once again received some of the highest possible ratings in CollegeNET’s 2020 “Social Mobility Index” (SMI), which ranks nearly 1,500 colleges and universities in the United States according to their contribution to economic mobility. 

While all 22 ranked CSU campuses are in the top 16% of the SMI, CSU campuses claim 70% of the top 20 spots, and four of those campuses—Fresno, Long Beach, Pomona and Stanislaus—have ranked in the top 20 for seven consecutive years.

The campuses included in the top 20 of the SMI are: Los Angeles (2), Fresno (3), Northridge (4), Long Beach (5), Pomona (6), San Bernardino (7), Dominguez Hills (10), Fullerton (12), Sacramento (13), Bakersfield (14), San José (16), Stanislaus (17), San Francisco ( 19) and Channel Islands (20).

The SMI measures to what extent a higher education institution accepts students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and graduates them into well-paying jobs, based on factors like cost of attendance, economic background of the student body, graduation rates and early career salaries. CollegeNET says a high SMI ranking means a school is contributing in a responsible way to solving the problem of declining economic mobility in the U.S.

The CSU is the nation’s largest public four-year university, opening doors to educational opportunities for nearly half a million students each year. In fact, the university welcomed its largest-ever student body for the fall 2020 term and reported record high retention rates, bucking higher education trends across the country during the pandemic.

Nearly half  of the CSU’s students are from traditionally underrepresented groups and about 45% of students are Pell-eligible, which means they have demonstrated an exceptional financial need. A CSU education offers an unparalleled value with one of the most affordable tuition costs in the nation and robust financial aid packages, ensuring a college education is possible for all Californians.

The CSU is also key to California’s economic recovery as the university awards more than half of the state’s bachelor’s degrees. In spring 2020, the university awarded a record number of degrees, sending 128,925 graduates into the workforce. And the CSU is meeting goals for Graduation Initiative 2025, bringing student achievement to an all-time high and keeping California on track to meet its need for 1.1 million more degreed workers by 2030.

CSU campuses are frequently recognized for academic excellence and contributions to the public good. View more of the CSU's "best of" rankings​
A large group of people wearing graduation caps and gowns cheering and smiling.
CSU Campuses Dominate Top of Social Mobility Index Rankings
cultivating-campus-community.aspx
  
11/30/2020 8:13 AMBarrie, Matthew11/30/202011/30/2020 8:05 AMSee how the CSU is fostering virtual campus life amid the pandemic.CommunityStory

Cultivating Campus Community

See how the CSU is fostering virtual campus life amid the pandemic.


jump to main content  

For college students everywhere, building a new community of friends and colleagues is every bit as valuable as the learning and career opportunities college provides. But doing so during COVID-19 comes with its own set of unique challenges. How do you create the campus experience when social distancing is the new norm? To combat that loss, staff and student leaders across all CSU campuses have been working to create spaces, largely online, where students can effectively and safely connect and regain that sense of campus life.

Warm Welcomes

Community building starts the moment students step on their campus for the first time. But this year, the usual freshman orientations and welcome weeks went virtual, with many students getting their introduction to college life over Zoom. While these virtual sessions let students learn about campus services, student centers, Greek life, clubs and more, they left staff with the challenge of providing extra opportunities for students to engage with each other.

“It's important now more th​an ever for students to make these connections, so they don't feel like they're alone in what's going on and what they're feeling—even just having one other person they can lean on who has a similar experience," says Allee Garry, Humboldt State University residence life coordinator.

To this end, HSU's Office of Student Life hosted a series of events to get its incoming students acquainted with each other, including trivia nights, a pen pal program that connects students on social media and a speed “friending" event over Zoom. To help students get involved, these events—along with club activities, faculty lectures and performances—were listed on the Humboldt State Virtual Quad, an aggregated calendar to which anyone can add an event, explains Molly Kresl, student life coordinator.

Garry also organized the campus's Get Your Stuff Together (GYST) Week as an introduction to living on campus. Student leaders led several of the week's activities, like Laundry 101, cooking demonstrations and a talk on cleaning with non-toxic supplies.

 



Humboldt State RHA Vice President of Administration Jeremiah Plata demonstrates how to make vegan fried rice during GYST Week.

In addition, she facilitated a GYST Coffee and Conversations event aimed at giving student leaders and new residents time to discuss current events—but it ended up being a chance for new residents to ask student leaders about life on and around campus. “It wasn't exactly what we envisioned, but the students who attended got a lot out of it because they wound up hearing about [things] like, there's some hiking trails I can go for a walk on," Garry says. “… It turned into basically asking questions about campus. So, the students wound up answering questions and starting to build those relationships."

Learning Together

Similarly, the Office of Student Life at California State University, Dominguez Hills has put on virtual programs continuously since March, from a virtual pizza party to a talent show.

One of its biggest feats, though, was hosting a virtual leadership retreat and conference for student leaders from across California's three higher education institutions: CSU, University of California and California Community Colleges.

First, the September LEAD Retreat—usually a three-day/two-night getaway for CSUDH students—included small breakout discussions and culminated in a mixer for 200 student attendees. “Where the magic happens is when [students] can talk and engage, and we're not talking at them, but we're talking with them and understanding their current experience," says Assistant Dean of Students Anna Liza Garcia.

Then the office held its inaugural two-day virtual California Student Leadership Conference in October, themed RISE UP!, which featured keynote speeches from Alicia Garza, Black Lives Matter co-founder, and Dellara Gorjian, the student declarant of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Supreme Court case, as well as sessions on social justice, advocacy and professional development.

“It's important to find opportunities to affirm, support and inspire students during this difficult time," Garcia says. “This conference was a collective effort of student leaders, faculty presenters, community organizers and multiple campuses, with CSUDH, Stanislaus State, CSUN and UC Davis leading the effort. This conference was more than what we could have done on our individual campuses, and we were united in our effort to create something amazing."

Meeting Place

Campus resource centers, whose missions concentrate on community building, have particularly missed the opportunities to bring students together in person, especially during a year with a pandemic, unrest and a politically tense election.

As one creative alternative, the Warrior Cross Cultural Center at California State University, Stanislaus is hosting discussion series on Instagram Live and Zoom where students can ask questions and share their thoughts. “It was a way for us to build community, continuing to foster that sense of belonging," says Center Director Carolina Alfaro. “We were trying to create that space and say, 'We're still here … we see you, we hear you and we want to be able to connect with you, even if it's just for a few minutes."

A few of the topics the series includes:

  • Unlearning racial biases
  • Environmental justice in the Central Valley
  • Health inequities in communities of color
  • Effects of COVID-19 on undocumented students and students of color
  • Post-election reflections
Social Justice Artist Favianna Rodriguez leads Stanislaus State students in a poster-making session via Zoom.

Social justice artist Favianna Rodriguez leads Stanislaus State students in a poster-making session via Zoom.

Two highly attended sessions featured a discussion on Radical Love: liberation and dismantling systems of oppression with feminist group O.V.A.S. and a social justice poster-making night with Bay Area artist Favianna Rodriguez.

“Each of the sessions is an opportunity to talk about current events or issues that are pressing on a local or national level," Alfaro explains. “So, we were trying to bring in conversations that impact our diverse communities."

Many of the events incorporated diverse voices with the help of community guest speakers and student groups, like the Stan State Eco-Warriors and Black Student Union. “We're looking at ways we can connect students to not only others on campus, but connect them with the community," Alfaro says. “We are inviting the grassroots organizers and community activists to be part of these conversations, and trying to build a stronger relationship within our campus and community."

While the Women's Resource Center at CSU Dominguez Hills also tried to create virtual spaces for students—by hosting activities like quarantine glam (an evening of beauty and chat on Zoom) or a feminism talk after watching a Powerpuff Girls episode—their main undertaking was the reworking of their internship program.

Called Growth and Leadership Opportunities for Women (GLOW), the expanded cohort program brought together 14 interns who would work on a project related to social justice, women's issues and feminism. Interns would rotate meeting with each other and would meet each week with Center Director Megan Tagle Adams and Program Coordinator Alyeska Gutierrez to discuss leadership styles and leading as a woman.

“The hope [is] after a couple of weeks they're not thinking about it in terms of 'I'm meeting these set obligations for my internship,' but it becomes a more organic sense of community," Tagle Adams says. “But I think having that accountability and investment, in terms of they've made a commitment, … will keep them connected, especially when they are dealing with Zoom burnout."

Time to Join

Lastly, new students didn't want to just learn about campus organizations through virtual events—they were ready to jump in and get involved. At California State University, Long Beach, the Interfraternity Council (IFC), Panhellenic Council (PHC), Cultural Greek Council and National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) made that possible with virtual recruitments, under the guidance of Fraternity and Sorority Life Coordinator Monica Schnapp.

Each organization planned a blend of online formal meetings and informal get-togethers—ranging from the IFC fraternities' Netflix Watch parties and video game nights to PHC's fully structured recruitment held via Zoom breakout rooms.

“I'm really proud of our community," Schnapp says. “We had four chapters from Cultural Greek Council who recruited, and Panhellenic had 280 women join a chapter so far, as well as another 72 men from IFC. That's 350-plus new members in our community."

Cal State Long Beach’s Zeta Tau Alpha sorority chapter prepares for virtual recruitment.

Cal State Long Beach’s Zeta Tau Alpha sorority chapter prepares for virtual recruitment.

In addition to adding new members, chapters are still planning events to strengthen their community. One sorority passed around their Zoom password so members could lead different activities like yoga or cooking classes—while another held a 5K for the March of Dimes in which the sisters raised money while completing the walk in their respective neighborhoods.

Learn more about the CSU's solutions for students during the pivot to online instruction.

Cultivating Campus Community
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