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5/10/2021 8:14 AMBarrie, Matthew5/10/20215/10/2021 4:15 PMWhether in-person or virtual, 2021 commencements will be a time to remember for CSU graduates.CommencementStory

A Time To Celebrate

Whether in-person or virtual, 2021 commencements will be a time to remember for CSU graduates.


 

In 2020, the pandemic forced campuses to celebrate commencements virtually. This year, celebrations will look a bit different, especially as California begins to loosen its COVID-19 restrictions. While the CSU will not see a full return to traditional ceremonies—some campuses will continue with virtual commencements—many have found creative ways to mark the milestone in person for both 2020 and 2021 graduates.

​Each CSU campus is following state and county guidelines to ensure any event maintains the safety of those in attendance, and many campuses will also provide livestreams of their events for those who can’t or choose not to attend.

“In this most extraordinary year, I offer my deep admiration, gratitude and sincere congratulations to a most extraordinary class of graduates,” Chancellor Joseph I. Castro wrote in a letter to this year’s graduates. “As numerous forces upended our world, you held your dreams steadily in sight and persisted in your studies through challenges none of us could have imagined.”

Take a look at how a few campuses plan to celebrate their graduates.

In-Person Ceremonies

With safety measures in place, such as mask wearing, social distancing and limits on guests in attendance, a number of CSU campuses have planned more traditional ceremonies.

Graduates at California State University San Marcos will be able to walk across the commencement stage during five in-person ceremonies organized by each college. They will be able to invite two guests to the viewing audience.

“My sisters are very important to me, and to have them attend my graduation ceremony was always something I pictured," says Gladys Guzman, '21, CSUSM graduate with a double major in sociology and criminology and justice studies. “However, even if I will not be allowed to have them physically present with me because of the two-guest limit due to CDC guidelines, I am grateful I will have the opportunity to walk across the stage and have my parents witness one of their daughters graduating. Not only is a graduation ceremony important for us as students, but as the first one in my family to graduate, it is also a way to honor and thank those who believed in and supported my journey."

Last year, CSU San Marcos hosted its first Graduates on Parade celebration as a substitute for a traditional commencement event. The parade was so beloved by students that it will become an annual tradition. This year, the event will not only give individuals another option if they are not yet comfortable attending the in-person ceremony, but it will allow graduates to celebrate alongside even more of the support system that helped them on their journey.

Moving its ceremony from the quad to Bodnar Field, California State University Maritime Academy has also planned for a traditional commencement with a two-guest limit.

“Commencement means everything I have worked night and day for over the last few years was worth it," says Connor Crutchfield, '21, Cal Maritime graduate and Corps of Cadets Commander. “With in-person commencement, I am grateful I get to spend the last couple moments as a student at Cal Maritime with those who have helped me get to this point in my life."

California State University, Chico announced an in-person ceremony for graduates only—but will also keep its virtual ceremonies for family, friends and graduates not attending in-person commencement.

“Celebrating commencement with an in-person ceremony means I will be able to experience that special feeling of accomplishment, while surrounded by the peers I've gotten to know in my department throughout my four years," says Kayley Parr, '21, Chico State graduate in communication design. “I am grateful I will be able to walk across the stage in person and gain a sense of closure as I move on to my next chapter!"

Car-mencement Ceremonies

From drive-in ceremonies to parades, campuses have also found ways for students to celebrate graduation with friends and family from the safety of their vehicles.

At California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, students and their guests will drive in to the commencement venue—similar to a drive-in movie—where large screens and a stage will be set up. The ceremony will include the elements of a traditional ceremony, and students will be able to exit their car and walk across the stage.

“Although it's not a normal commencement ceremony, I'm actually really excited we've been given the opportunity to have a drive-in commencement ceremony with approval to cross the stage after worrying we weren't going to be able to have anything," says CPP communication graduate, Courtnee Owens, '21. “I'm really grateful that Cal Poly Pomona is working hard to make sure 2020 and 2021 grads are recognized for our accomplishments."

CARme​ncement at California State University, Sacramento will likewise allow graduates to celebrate together from their cars. As students drive through campus, commencement speeches and videos will play along the route while faculty and staff cheer them on. Though graduates will not be able to walk across a stage, there will be two Recognition Zones where graduates will be individually honored.

“As a graduating senior, I completely sympathize with how difficult this has been for my fellow graduates," Noah Marty, '21, Sacramento State ASI president and political science graduate, says in a campus article. “This isn't how any of us imagined our graduation ceremony to be, but the university undertaking a completely new challenge to give our class a graduation experience is incredibly commendable."

Virtual Ceremonies

Several campuses have deemed virtual ceremonies the best option to maintain the safety of their faculty, staff, students and their families.

California State University, Northridge, for example, will hold campus-wide and college-based virtual commencements for its graduates featuring degree conferral, speeches and student recognition. William Watkins, Ph.D., CSUN vice president for student affairs and dean of students wrote on April 2​, 2​021, that even with fewer restrictions, the size of the campus's graduating class makes an in-person ceremony impossible, “even with no guests in attendance."

“Having a virtual commencement isn't my preference, but it tells me the staff of CSUN are doing their best to honor the efforts of the graduating classes while also trying to keep everyone safe and healthy," says Cyrus Shafii, '21, CSUN graduate in English.

However, CSUN will also host a series of commencement car parades following the virtual event and will add at least one commencement day in 2022 and 2023 for 2020 and 2021 graduates.

“The chance to drive through campus would give me the opportunity to say good-bye not just to CSUN's campus, but to this entire chapter of my life," Shafii says. “While it's a shame I won't be able to do this while walking across a stage surrounded by my peers, I do appreciate the symbolic gesture driving through campus offers. I'll be separated physically from my peers and CSUN's staff within the confines of the car, but I won't be alone. Even distanced, we're still together in a way."


Check your respective campus website for information and livestreams, and keep in mind campus plans may continue to change in the coming weeks.

A Time To Celebrate
CSU-vaccination-partnerships.aspx
  
5/5/2021 10:48 AMKelly, Hazel5/5/20215/5/2021 10:35 AMMany CSU campuses now offer even more options for students and employees to get their COVID-19 shots, thanks to unique partnerships with national pharmacies and local hospitals. CaliforniaStory

​​​In an effort to make the COVID-19 vaccine readily available to its campus communities, the CSU has partnered with national pharmacies and area hospitals to offer free local pop-up clinics specifically for CSU students and employees. While many CSU campuses already serve as vaccination sites for the broader community, these new clinics represent a unique public-private partnership between the university and pharmacies such as Rite Aid, Albertsons/Safeway, CVS and Walmart.  

“The CSU is thrilled to be able to partner with major national pharmacies to bring the COVID-19 vaccine directly to our campuses,” says Jenny Novak, director of systemwide emergency management and continuity at the CSU Chancellor’s Office. “We highly encourage all CSU students, staff and faculty to take advantage of these free and convenient vaccination days just for our communities. Through these partnerships, we are actively doing our part to help the state achieve its vaccination and immunity goals.” 

For example, both CSU Channel Islands and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo partnered with Rite Aid to offer first-dose COVID-19 vaccines on April 29 and will begin second-dose appointments on May 20. Chico State has also partnered with Rite Aid to offer a clinic on May 11, and Cal State Fullerton has partnered with Providence St. Jude Medical Center to make COVID-19 vaccinations available to all faculty, staff, students and their immediate family members living in Southern California.   

Interested students and employees should visit their CSU campus coronavirus information website or contact their office of student affairs or human resources department for information.   

On April 22, the CSU announced plans to implement a fall 2021 term COVID-19 vaccination requirement upon FDA approval of one or more of the vaccines. The proposed policy—still in development—would require all students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated before accessing any campus facilities. In addition, the American College Health Association urges college students to schedule their COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible and not to delay initiation until they reach their summer destination. 

As part of its commitment to safeguarding the health and safety of its students and employees, the CSU will continue to assess the needs of its campuses and may consider offering additional clinics closer to the start of the fall semester.  


​​​Vaccination Tips

  • Schedule your first vaccination appointment as soon as possible 
  • Make a plan for the second dose (if applicable) at the same time 

  • Protect and duplicate vaccine documentation cards 

​​


woman giving man an injection in his arm
CSU Expands Vaccine Availability with New Partnerships
Cheers-to-the-Class-of-4-Million.aspx
  
5/3/2021 8:33 AMSua, Ricky5/3/20215/3/2021 8:40 AMWith the graduation of the Class of 2021, the CSU will reach the astounding milestone of 4 million living alumni.AlumniStory
Cheers to the Class of 4 Million
CSU-COVID-Vax-Requirement-FDA-Approval.aspx
  
4/22/2021 1:18 PMKelly, Hazel4/22/20214/22/2021 1:00 PMRequirement would go into effect for the fall 2021 term contingent upon one or more vaccines receiving full approval.PolicyPress Release

​​​​​​In the interest of maintaining the health and safety of students, employees, guests and all members of campus communities, the California State University (CSU) joined the University of California (UC)​ today (April 22, 2021) in announcing that the universities intend to require faculty, staff and students who are accessing campus facilities at any university location to be immunized against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This requirement will be conditioned upon full approval of one or more vaccines by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as adequate availability of the fully approved vaccines. This requirement will become effective at the beginning of the fall 2021 term, or upon full FDA approval of the vaccine, whichever occurs later. 

“Together, the CSU and UC enroll and employ more than one million students and employees across 33 major university campuses, so this is the most comprehensive and consequential university plan for COVID-19 vaccines in the country," said CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro. “Consistent with previous CSU announcements related to the university's response to the pandemic, we are sharing this information now to give students, their families and our employees ample time to make plans to be vaccinated prior to the start of the fall term."

“Receiving a vaccine for the virus that causes COVID-19 is a key step people can take to protect themselves, their friends and family, and our campus communities while helping bring the pandemic to an end," said UC President Michael V. Drake, M.D.

Prior to the implementation of any changes to the CSU's existing immunization requirements, the CSU will engage the California State Student Association, the CSU Academic Senate and labor unions. The COVID-19 vaccination requirement would allow for students or employees to seek an exemption based on medical or religious grounds. The policy and related implementation details are under development and will be made available once the consultations have concluded.

“The state of California has been a leader in the administration of COVID-19 vaccines, and Californians receiving a vaccine has led to significantly reducing the transmission of COVID-19 in our state," added Castro. “Continued vigilance will further mitigate the spread of the disease that has radically altered our lives over the past year. We will continue to strongly encourage all members of our respective university communities to receive a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as it is available to them."

As announced in December 2020, the CSU plans for the majority of instruction and activities in fall 2021 to be in-person while acknowledging there will be variance across the campuses. The planned COVID-19 vaccine requirement will further enable the campuses to be repopulated.

Visit the UC Office of the President also issued a press release​ on April 22.



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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, 56,000 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 3.9 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter. 



woman administering vaccine in man's arm
CSU to Implement COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement Upon FDA Approval
race-against-climate-crisis.aspx
  
4/19/2021 11:49 AMBeall, Alex4/19/20214/19/2021 1:20 PMJust adapting to climate change is not something the world can afford to do. So, the CSU is exploring all options to thwart potentially disastrous consequences.ResearchStory

THE RACE AGAINST THE CLIMATE CRISIS

Just adapting to climate change is not something the world can afford to do. So, the CSU is exploring all options to thwart potentially disastrous consequences.

Smokestacks spewing black plumes. Car traffic inching along an eight-lane freeway. An ominous haze drifting from a blazing wildfire. These are common sights in California—and all major contributors to climate change.

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, humans have increased the amount of carbon in the atmosphere by 47 percent through activities like burning fossil fuels and deforestation. Along with other gases, concentrated carbon traps heat in the atmosphere, causing the earth to warm, commonly known as the “greenhouse effect.” As the planet heats up, it is experiencing myriad harmful effects, including extreme weather, droughts, wildfires and rising sea levels from melting glaciers and ice sheets.

Experts across the world, including at the CSU, engage in research to help people adapt to the resulting upheaval—from protecting the ocean to responding to wildfires. But to truly save the earth, efforts also need to mitigate climate change by addressing the cause of the problem: greenhouse gas emissions.

The global community has made strides to address its emissions, with 197 countries, including the United States, signing onto the Paris Agreement to reduce emissions; in fact, California itself has committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2045. According to new research published in Science magazine​, California already reduced its emissions by 78 percent between 1990 and 2014, the most of any state. But the world continues to find itself in the midst of a climate emergency and besieged by the catastrophic results of climate change.

To aid in the efforts to mitigate the climate crisis, CSU faculty and students are finding ways to further curtail emissions and extract carbon from the atmosphere.

The Race Against the Climate Crisis
earth-month.aspx
  
4/12/2021 8:01 AMRamos, Paulo4/12/20214/12/2021 8:00 AMThe beauty of Earth abounds at each of our 23 campus communities, from sunny San Diego to the Central Valley’s mesmerizing fields to the towering redwoods on the north coast.CaliforniaStory
60 YEARS OF EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE

EARTH MONTH

With its focus on renewable energy and low emissions, California is a leader in sustainability issues. The CSU is a proud partner in this commitment to finding solutions to the state’sand the world'smost pressing environmental challenges. Efforts include a university-wide sustainability policy​ and membership in We Are Still In​, an organization that supports climate action. 

The beauty of the earth abounds at each of our 23 campus communities, from sunny San Diego to the Central Valley’s lush fields and orchards to the towering redwoods along the north coast. These sights are constant reminders that we must protect our most valuable resource. Fun fact: Earth Month was founded by San José State​ alumnus Gaylord Nelson. Here are just a few of the steps our faculty, students, alumni and staff have taken toward a greener tomorrow.

From Tree Campus USA to Bee Campus USA to AASHE’s Gold Stars rating, sustainability is top of mind for students, faculty, staff and administration at CSU Channel Islands.

Channel Islands

From Tree Campus USA to Bee Campus USA to AASHE’s Gold Stars rating, sustainability is top of mind for students, faculty, staff and administration at CSU Channel Islands.

“We have a responsibility as an institution to have as little impact as we possibly can and to be good stewards of our resources,” says CSUCI Sustainability and Energy Manager Roxane Beigel-Coryell. “We have a really important role to be leaders in researching ways to climate change and to ensure a bright future for all of us.”  

“We have a responsibility as an institution to have as little impact as we possibly can and to be good stewards of our resources,” says CSUCI Sustainability and Energy Manager Roxane Beigel-Coryell (not pictured). “We have a really important role to be leaders in researching ways to combat climate change and to ensure a bright future for all of us.” (Photo predates COVID-19.)


“We have a responsibility as an institution to have as little impact as we possibly can and to be good stewards of our resources,” says CSUCI Sustainability and Energy Manager Roxane Beigel-Coryell. “We have a really important role to be leaders in researching ways to climate change and to ensure a bright future for all of us.”
In 2018, Chico State became the first CSU in the 23-campus system to eliminate the use of plastic straws. Alternatives are available and encouraged, and the university embraces an educational model regarding the impact of single-use plastics.

Chico

In 2018, Chico State became the first among the CSU's 23 campuses to eliminate the use of plastic straws. Alternatives are available and encouraged, and the university embraces an educational model regarding the impact of single-use plastics.

Biology graduate student Mitch Bamford (center) uses a drip torch to intentionally ignite fires at Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve (BCCER). The BCCER regularly partners with Terra Fuego, Firestorm and Cal Fire to conduct prescribed burns, which reduce fuels, mitigate fire risk on the property and provide a training opportunity for Chico State students and current and future fire professionals. The BCCER has been using prescribed burns as a way of reducing fire danger and teaching students about resilient ecosystems for more than a decade. (Jason Halley/University Photographer/CSU Chico)  

Biology graduate student Mitch Bamford uses a drip torch to intentionally ignite fires at Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve (BCCER). The BCCER regularly partners with Terra Fuego, Firestorm and Cal Fire to conduct prescribed burns, which reduce fuels, mitigate fire risk on the property and provide a training opportunity for Chico State students and current and future fire professionals. The BCCER has been using prescribed burns as a way of reducing fire danger and teaching students about resilient ecosystems for more than a decade. Photo: Jason Halley

Biology graduate student Mitch Bamford (center) uses a drip torch to intentionally ignite fires at Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve (BCCER). The BCCER regularly partners with Terra Fuego, Firestorm and Cal Fire to conduct prescribed burns, which reduce fuels, mitigate fire risk on the property and provide a training opportunity for Chico State students and current and future fire professionals. The BCCER has been using prescribed burns as a way of reducing fire danger and teaching students about resilient ecosystems for more than a decade. (Jason Halley/University Photographer/CSU Chico)
Chris Baysdorfer, Ph.D., professor of biological sciences, discusses plant specimens with his students. Cal State East Bay’s Green Biome Institute (GBI) preserves some of California’s most endangered plants, creating a world-leading genetic profile of each plant. All information will be published freely to the public and academic communities. The goal is to be a student-supported partner to plant societies and botanical gardens for endangered plant genomic analysis in the state. 

East Bay

Chris Baysdorfer, Ph.D., professor of biological sciences, discusses plant specimens with his students. Cal State East Bay’s Green Biome Institute (GBI) preserves some of California’s most endangered plants, creating a world-leading genetic profile of each plant. All information will be published freely to the public and academic communities. The goal is to be a student-supported partner to plant societies and botanical gardens for endangered plant genomic analysis in California. (Photo predates COVID-19.)

The GBI provides great educational opportunities for several hundred undergraduate and graduate students each year. Part of GBI’s work is to rank and select plants based on their endangered priority and traits that can potentially improve agriculture and human lives. The program is free to partnering institutions. The institute has established relationships with six of the premier botanical gardens in California.  

The GBI provides great educational opportunities for several hundred undergraduate and graduate students each year. Part of GBI’s work is to rank and select plants based on their endangered priority and traits that can potentially improve agriculture and human lives. The program is free to partnering organizations. The institute has established relationships with six of the premier botanical gardens in California.

The GBI provides great educational opportunities for several hundred undergraduate and graduate students each year. Part of GBI’s work is to rank and select plants based on their endangered priority and traits that can potentially improve agriculture and human lives. The program is free to partnering institutions. The institute has established relationships with six of the premier botanical gardens in California.  
Cal State Long Beach’s Erika Holland, Ph.D., professor of marine biology, researches aquatic toxicology, specifically the impact of pollutants on aquatic organisms using receptor, cellular and whole animal endpoints. Her research interests span numerous pollutant classes with a particular focus on chemicals that alter calcium signaling pathways essential to such processes as neurodevelopment and striated muscle function. Dr. Holland uses zebrafish as research tools because they share about 70 percent of their genetic makeup with humans. (Photo predates COVID-19.)  

Long Beach

Cal State Long Beach’s Erika Holland, Ph.D., professor of marine biology, researches aquatic toxicology, specifically the impact of pollutants on aquatic organisms using receptor, cellular and whole animal endpoints. Her research interests span numerous pollutant classes with a particular focus on chemicals that alter calcium signaling pathways essential to such processes as neurodevelopment and striated muscle function. Dr. Holland uses zebrafish as research tools because they share about 70 percent of their genetic makeup with humans. (Photo predates COVID-19.)

Photo: Sean DuFrene

Professor Christine Whitcraft (center) and CSULB students Elishabah Tate-Pulliam (left) and Cody Fees (right) partner with Cal State Fullerton and Orange County Coastkeeper to restore native oysters, in conjunction with restoring eelgrass habitat, November 26, 2019. Olympia oysters were once an important food source for native Californians. Oysters also provide habitat and refuge for organisms, such as octopi, crabs and juvenile fishes, who take shelter on the structure oyster beds provide. Oysters are filter feeders, so they improve water clarity and help stabilize mudflats.  

Professor Christine Whitcraft (center) and CSULB students Elishabah Tate-Pulliam (left) and Cody Fees (right) partner with Cal State Fullerton and Orange County Coastkeeper to restore native oysters, in conjunction with restoring eelgrass habitat, November 26, 2019. Olympia oysters were once an important food source for native Californians. Oysters also provide habitat and refuge for organisms, such as octopi, crabs and juvenile fishes, who take shelter on the structure oyster beds provide. Oysters are filter feeders, so they improve water clarity and help stabilize mudflats.

Photo: Sean DuFrene

Professor Christine Whitcraft (center) and CSULB students Elishabah Tate-Pulliam (left) and Cody Fees (right) partner with Cal State Fullerton and Orange County Coastkeeper to restore native oysters, in conjunction with restoring eelgrass habitat, November 26, 2019. Olympia oysters were once an important food source for native Californians. Oysters also provide habitat and refuge for organisms, such as octopi, crabs and juvenile fishes, who take shelter on the structure oyster beds provide. Oysters are filter feeders, so they improve water clarity and help stabilize mudflats.  
Projects pursuing LEED certification earn points for various green building strategies across several categories. Based on the number of points achieved, a project earns one of four LEED rating levels: Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum. CSU Monterey Bay’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences building has achieved LEED Platinum, the highest certification awarded by the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council.

MONTEREY BAY

Projects pursuing LEED certification earn points for various green building strategies across several categories. Based on the number of points achieved, a project earns one of four LEED rating levels: Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum. CSU Monterey Bay’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences building has achieved LEED Platinum, the highest certification awarded by the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council.

This Laundry to Landscape model system installed in Pinnacles Residential Hall collects, filters and irrigates adjacent landscaping with water from eight washing machines. Combined with low-water plumbing fixtures throughout campus, the system decreased potable water use by 26 percent from 2011 to 2019.  

This Laundry to Landscape model system installed in Pinnacles Residential Hall collects, filters and irrigates adjacent landscaping with water from eight washing machines. Combined with low-water plumbing fixtures throughout campus, the system decreased potable water use by 26 percent from 2011 to 2019.

This Laundry to Landscape model system installed in Pinnacles Residential Hall collects, filters and irrigates adjacent landscaping with water from eight washing machines. Combined with low-water plumbing fixtures throughout campus, the system decreased potable water use by 26 percent from 2011 to 2019. 
Second graders from Emmerson Elementary School in Riverside learn about artichokes at the Discovery Garden at Agriscapes at CPP, May 11, 2017. 

POMONA

Second graders from Emmerson Elementary School in Riverside learn about artichokes at the Discovery Garden at Agriscapes at Cal Poly Pomona, May 11, 2017.

Cal Poly Pomona electrical engineering majors Johnny Bautista (center) and Sean McClanahan (left) assist Grid Alternative worker Miguel Rodarte, March 20, 2018. The students volunteered to set up solar panels for low-income families during spring break.  

Cal Poly Pomona electrical engineering majors Johnny Bautista (center) and Sean McClanahan (left) assist Grid Alternative worker Miguel Rodarte, March 20, 2018. The students volunteered to set up solar panels for low-income families during spring break.

Cal Poly Pomona electrical engineering majors Johnny Bautista (center) and Sean McClanahan (left) assist Grid Alternative worker Miguel Rodarte, March 20, 2018. The students volunteered to set up solar panels for low-income families during spring break. 
Cal State San Bernardino geology alumnus Bryan Castillo (MS, Earth and Environmental Sciences, ’19) was among several geologists, students, researchers, and others who traveled from near and far to investigate the damage wrought by the July 4 and 5 quakes near Ridgecrest. 

San Bernardino

Cal State San Bernardino geology alumnus Bryan Castillo was among several geologists, students, researchers, and others who traveled from near and far to investigate the damage wrought by the July 4 and 5 quakes near Ridgecrest in 2019.

Joan E. Fryxell, a Cal State San Bernardino geology professor, led a hike to the San Andreas Fault behind the university campus as part of the annual “Great California ShakeOut” simulated earthquake drill on Oct. 19, 2019  

Joan E. Fryxell, a Cal State San Bernardino geology professor, leads a hike to the San Andreas Fault behind the university campus as part of the annual “Great California ShakeOut” simulated earthquake drill, October 19, 2019.

Joan E. Fryxell, a Cal State San Bernardino geology professor, led a hike to the San Andreas Fault behind the university campus as part of the annual “Great California ShakeOut” simulated earthquake drill on Oct. 19, 2019 
Engineering professor Alicia Kinoshita, Ph.D., and San Diego State students collect environmental samples to assess wildfire damage.  

San Diego

Engineering professor Alicia Kinoshita, Ph.D., (center) and San Diego State students collect environmental samples to assess wildfire damage.

Photo: Kellie Woodhouse

At SDSU's Coastal and Marine Institute Laboratory, students explore the ecology of coastal fishes and other organisms, working in kelp forest, estuarine and salt marsh ecosystems. Photo: Jeffrey Lamont Brown  

At SDSU's Coastal and Marine Institute Laboratory, students explore the ecology of coastal fishes and other organisms, working in kelp forest, estuarine and salt marsh ecosystems.

Photo: Jeffrey Lamont Brown

At SDSU's Coastal and Marine Institute Laboratory, students explore the ecology of coastal fishes and other organisms, working in kelp forest, estuarine and salt marsh ecosystems. Photo: Jeffrey Lamont Brown 
A team of Spartans pedal hundreds of miles along the California coast to raise awareness about climate change and support SJSU’s environmental outreach program during the California Climate Ride, May 17-21, 2015. The Green Ninja Team—a diverse group of SJSU students, alumni, faculty and staff members—biked 320 miles in five days from Eureka to San Francisco and supported environmental nonprofit organizations like the Green Ninja project. 

San José

A team of Spartans pedals hundreds of miles along the California coast to raise awareness about climate change and support SJSU’s environmental outreach program during the California Climate Ride, May 17-21, 2015. The Green Ninja Team—a diverse group of SJSU students, alumni, faculty and staff members—biked 320 miles in five days from Eureka to San Francisco and supported environmental nonprofit organizations like the Green Ninja project.

Meteorology Professor Alison Bridger demonstrates her department's “map wall” weather monitors and interacts with her students in the classroom, February 29, 2016. Photo: Neal Waters  

Meteorology Professor Alison Bridger demonstrates her department's “map wall” weather monitors and interacts with her students in the classroom, Februar​y 29, 2016.

Photo: Neal Waters

Meteorology Professor Alison Bridger demonstrates her department's “map wall” weather monitors and interacts with her students in the classroom, February 29, 2016. Photo: Neal Waters  
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo chemistry professor Emily Bockmon, Ph.D., (right) and student Sara Gray (left) test water samples as part of their study of ocean acidification, January 24, 2020. By measuring the pH of the water around the Cal Poly Pier in Avila Beach and the estuary in Morro Bay, Dr. Bockmon and her team hope to better understand the long-term effects of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems. 

San L​uis Obispo

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo chemistry professor Emily Bockmon, Ph.D., (right) and student Sara Gray test water samples as part of their study of ocean acidification, January 24, 2020. By measuring the pH of the water around the Cal Poly Pier in Avila Beach and the estuary in Morro Bay, Dr. Bockmon and her team hope to better understand the long-term effects of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems.

Photo: Joe Johnston

At Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Swanton Pacific Ranch, agricultural management specialist Aaron Lee conducts research on reducing greenhouse gasses through soil-based carbon sequestration, December 21, 2020. Last year, portions of the ranch were destroyed when a massive wildfire swept through Santa Cruz County—just the type of disaster that better climate science might help mitigate in the future.  

At Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Swanton Pacific Ranch, agricultural management specialist Aaron Lee conducts research on reducing greenhouse gasses through soil-based carbon sequestra​tion, December 21, 2020. Last year, portions of the ranch were destroyed when a massive wildfire swept through Santa Cruz County—just the type of disaster that better climate science might help mitigate in the future.

Photo: Joe Johnston

At Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Swanton Pacific Ranch, agricultural management specialist Aaron Lee conducts research on reducing greenhouse gasses through soil-based carbon sequestration, December 21, 2020. Last year, portions of the ranch were destroyed when a massive wildfire swept through Santa Cruz County—just the type of disaster that better climate science might help mitigate in the future.  
At SSU’s Center for Environmental Inquiry's Galbreath Wildlands Preserve, students inspect the low-cost, intelligent sensor they designed to aid in the trapping of invasive feral pigs without harming other species. The center mobilizes faculty, students and the community to solve complex environmental challenges, turning education into action. 

Sonoma

At Sonoma State​’s Center for Environmental Inquiry's Galbreath Wildlands Preserve, students inspect the low-cost, intelligent sensor they designed to aid in the trapping of invasive feral pigs without harming other species. The center mobilizes faculty, students and the community to solve complex environmental challenges, turning education into action. (Photo predates COVID-19.)

SHARE YOUR EARTH MONTH PHOTO

Do you have a great Earth Month photo? Email a JPG or TIFF to precord@calstate.edu​ and it wi​ll be submitted to CSU Dominguez Hills' Digital Collection Database for archiving.​

60 Years of Educational Excellence: Earth Month
reopening-california-2021.aspx
  
4/6/2021 6:05 PMKelly, Hazel4/6/20214/6/2021 4:50 PMCalifornia State University Chancellor Joseph I. Castro today released the following statement on Governor Gavin Newsom’s outline of next step in state’s pandemic recovery.CaliforniaPress Release
​California State University Chancellor Joseph I. Castro today released the following statement on Governor Gavin Newsom's outline of the next step in the state's pandemic recovery: 
 
“I am encouraged by Governor Newsom's announcement that California has administered 20 million vaccinations—and outlining steps for our state's continued recovery from the global pandemic. 
 
“As regions throughout California continue to make significant progress in our collective effort to defeat COVID-19, I am increasingly optimistic about the California State University's ability to return to delivering a majority of classes and activities in person in the fall.  
 
“We are certainly on the right path, both as a state and as the nation's largest four-year public university. We must keep doing our part by wearing a mask and getting vaccinated when it's our turn. 
 
“I am grateful to California's leadership—in both the public and private sectors—and to those on the front lines whose hard work has helped our state reach 20 million vaccinations—a truly remarkable milestone." 


About the California State University
The  California State University  is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 56,000 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 3.9 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the  CSU NewsCenter

building with text overlay: CSU Chancellor Statement
CSU Statement on California’s Milestone of 20 Million COVID Vaccinations
CSU-Campus-Construction-Projects-and-Practices-Lauded-for-Safety-and-Sustainability.aspx
  
4/7/2021 3:11 PMKelly, Hazel4/6/20214/6/2021 1:40 PMAnnual CSU Facilities Management Conference honored three campuses for sustainable practices and five for safety in construction.SustainabilityStory

​​​Several CSU campuses were recognized for excellence in Safety in Construction and Sustainable Campus Practices during the February 2021 Facilities Management Virtual Forum, a systemwide conference facilitated by the Capital Planning, Design and Construction (CPDC) department of the CSU Chancellor's Office.

The awards reflect a remarkable array of campus projects honored for their model efforts. Through a spirit of continuous improvement, these campus teams highlight the effective stewardship of the facilities across the 23 CSU campuses—collectively one of the state's most important assets.

​Sustainable Campus Practices 

Sustainable campus practices have been a part of the CSU's culture for decades, and the current focus is on reducing carbon emissions and equitably managing the impacts of climate change.

“While every campus has exemplary sustainability stories to tell, three were selected for their model efforts in 2020," says Aaron Klemm, Chief of Energy, Sustainability and Transportation at the CSU Chancellor's Office.

  • Energy Usage Reductions: CSU Dominguez Hills was recognized for its energy usage reductions—measured in BTUs per square foot—between March and August 2020 as compared to the same timeframe in 2019. In response to changes in the on-campus population due to COVID, the CSUDH team leveraged their building monitoring technologies to optimize service for the reduced occupancy levels, including customizing their HVAC and lighting schedules. These innovative practices delivered much-needed cost savings to support the university during these difficult times.

  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions: Sacramento State reduced their greenhouse gas emissions—measured in metric tons per square foot—between fiscal year 2017-18 and 2019-20. The campus' emissions strategy focused on lighting retrofits and improved central plant efficiency. In addition, all of  Sacramento State's new construction meets the highest environmental standards, such as the LEED Gold certified science building and all-electric Welcome Center.

  • Highest STARS Score: CSUN received the highest STARS rating in 2020, achieving a score of 74.33 points, just 10 points shy of Platinum status. This recognition highlights CSUN's commitment to sustainability and its holistic approach to meaningful climate action initiatives. The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS) platform from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) uses a common set of measurements for campuses to benchmark their sustainability progress across four main categories: academics, engagement, operations, and planning and administration. All 23 CSU campuses now use the STARS framework to self-report and draw meaningful comparisons.

  • Most Improved STARS Score: CSU Dominguez Hills had the greatest improvement between their previous and current STARS scores. Now at 54.16 STARS points, the campus rating has moved from Bronze to Silver, serving as an example of what's possible when an institution embraces sustainability as a core value.

Safety in Construction

Seven CSU construction projects across five CSU campuses were recognized for stellar safety performance between 2018 and 2020, demonstrating that achieving better safety does not compromise productivity or quality. Winning projects had no recordable injuries and zero lost time injuries, resulting in cost savings and improved schedule performance. The honored projects were:

  • Chico State: central plant modifications; completed January 2018
  • Cal State Long Beach: College of Continuing and Professional Education (CCPE) classroom building; completed February 2019
  • Sacramento State: Parking Structure V; completed October 2018
  • Cal State San Bernardino: utility infrastructure upgrades; completed December 2018
  • San Diego State: Engineering & Interdisciplinary Sciences Building; completed April 2019
  • San Diego State: New Student Residence Hall; completed July 2020
  • San Diego State: Tula Conference Center; completed May 2019

​ 

Learn more about the CSU's commitment to sustainable practices on the Capital Planning, Design and Construction website


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CSU Campus Construction Projects and Practices Lauded for Safety and Sustainability
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4/7/2021 1:40 PMRuble, Alisia4/5/20214/5/2021 1:15 PMUniversity-wide federal legislative priorities include support for Dreamers and increasing the maximum Pell Grant award.PolicyStory
​​​Monday, April 5 kicked off a week of virtual visits between California State University leaders and federal legislators for CSU District Week. Chancellor Joseph I. Castro convened a virtual meeting Monday morning to rally trustees, campus presidents, faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends.

During the meeting, Chancellor Castro reinforced key messages for the delegations to convey to legislators during meetings throughout the week including the need for legislative action to protect and support Dreamers, as well as the provision of a clear pathway to citizenship and access to federal aid, and advocating to double the maximum Pell Grant and reinstate the annual cost-of-living increase.

“It’s only with the support of our federal leaders that we can fully realize our potential as a force for healing, recovery, prosperity and understanding for our students, their families and their communities—and as a powerful driver of our state’s and nation’s recovery and sustained economic vitality,” said Dr. Castro.

Additionally, delegates were encouraged to take the opportunity to express gratitude and appreciation for the significant COVID-19 relief the CSU and its students have received from the federal government.

Chancellor Castro highlighted some of the ways campuses have used the relief funds to support student achievement, such as helping students bridge the digital divide with new laptops and wireless hotspots, expanding basic needs outreach and providing hundreds of thousands of hours in professional development for faculty and staff to ensure they were equipped to provide a robust teaching and learning experience.

The CSU delegation also welcomed special guest U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona for a Q&A session, during which he addressed federal priorities for the Biden administration and stressed the importance of providing support and guidance for underrepresented and first-generation students, especially coming out of a pandemic. 

“Higher education is the greatest investment to end cycles of poverty,” said Dr. Cardona. “We are in a unique postion to make better opportunities for our learners and I'm excited about partnering with CSU to make sure we get it right.”

Throughout the week, CSU representatives will meet with federal legislators and staff members to advocate on behalf of the university, including a joint meeting with staff from the offices of U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla.

To learn more about the CSU’s federal priorities for the 2021-22 academic year, visit the Federal Relations website​.
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A smiling man wearing a suit jacket and glasses.
CSU Delegations "Visit" the Nation's Capital in Support of Students During District Week
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4/5/2021 8:54 AMRawls, Aaron4/5/20214/5/2021 11:20 AMThe CSU invests in the education of potential Cal State students.Student SuccessStory

Courses for Kids

The CSU invests in the education of potential Cal State students.


 

While the CSU supports its students through educational programs, it also seeks to serve the communities around its campuses—with a particular eye for those children and young adults who will hopefully go to college themselves.

The university's How to Get to Cal State initiative is aimed at helping students from sixth to 12th grade explore the possibility of earning a college education and accessing the resources they need to get there. In addition, all 23 CSU campuses implement their own programs to support students from preschool to high school. Learn about some of them here.

SCIENCE FOR ALL

Founded by Humboldt State University students Christian Trujillo, Diana Martinez and Odalis Avalos in 2019, Ciencia Para Todos (Science for All) provides educational resources in Spanish for elementary, middle and high school students. The ultimate goal is increasing Latinx representation among college students and professionals in the scientific field.

“In a lot of our classes, we never really talked about working with individuals who spoke other languages,” says Trujillo, an environmental science and management senior. “But in our own experiences and identities, when we go back home to our families and our communities, it's very different. We wanted to figure out how we could include our science and cultural identity at the same time.”

With an initial focus on dual immersion schools, the student team developed and led Spanish-language activities, especially around environmental science, for elementary classrooms. One taught the water cycle through dance while another taught pollination by having students act as bees “pollinating” flowers with pipettes.

They also developed partnerships with organizations—working on a wetlands education project with Latino Outdoors and the Northcoast Regional Land Trust and translating children’s resources on rainbow trout into Spanish for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services.

“We want to change the narrative,” Trujillo says. “We want to show students they can be scientists, and they can be bilingual in their higher-educational selves and futures.”

Now, the team is assembling an elementary-level environmental science book featuring two learning sections and two activity sections using these resources. They hope to hand out the books to local students as well as to children in Spanish-speaking countries.

“We want to empathize and organize so we can help kids who don't have iPads, who don't have access to Wi-Fi on a daily basis, whose schools are not providing these resources,” says José Juan Rodríguez Gutiérrez, a wildlife biology management and conservation junior who recently joined the group. “They can view this information as something much more applicable to their personal surroundings, because these children are living in less-than-suitable environments—environments that are toxic from the pollution in the air, the trash around them and the lack of access to clean water.”

Going forward, they also want to introduce the in-person activities into more schools throughout California, include more languages and scientific topics and expand to other CSU campuses.

“We hear over and over and over, ‘You're the future,’ and these kids are hearing that,” Rodríguez Gutiérrez says. “But when you don't hear that in your language, you don't know if you're going to be part of that future. I believe letting these children know they can be whatever they want to be is the most valuable thing Ciencia Para Todos is trying to do—to encourage, empower and motivate.”

Stem Growth

The Center for Innovation in STEM Education (CISE) at California State University, Dominguez Hills promotes STEM education through teacher pathways and programs designed for K-12 students. For example, CISE hosts a day-long STEM in Action conference for 1,000 local students and STEEAM (science, technology, engineering, English language development, art, mathematics) Week, during which the campus’s mobile fabrication labs (fab labs) visit local schools to conduct nontraditional STEM activities in the classroom.

With the onset of COVID-19, CISE introduced new health education programs in partnership with Apple’s Taking Action on Racial Equity and Justice Learning Challenge Series specifically for vulnerable populations of students, like those experiencing homelessness or under foster care. This included redesigning STEEAM Week.

“The main purpose [of STEEAM Week] has always been to engage K-12 students in fun STEM activities to get them closer to the STEM fields, to feel an excitement about STEM and to be inspired to pursue STEM as a major at a CSU and maybe as a viable career choice,” says Kamal Hamdan, Ed.D., director of CISE. “But [this year, it was] rather to serve the purpose of helping our fellow human beings. That was what was powerful about this project.”

In conjunction with local schools, CISE worked with middle school students to design and 3D-print protective face shields using the mobile fab labs, develop public service announcements concerning the pandemic and write letters of encouragement to older adults living in the community. They then distributed packages consisting of face shields, hygiene kits and the letters to these adults.

“There was a big plan to offer support to the older adults who live in the city of Carson and have been experiencing isolation as a result of the pandemic,” Dr. Hamdan says. “We heard stories about how older adults have been living in isolation, and they don't have the means to break down these barriers and be connected to the outside world.”

In addition, his team is recruiting 50 CSUDH students enrolled in CISE to provide online tutoring for K-12 students identified as potentially vulnerable at three elementary schools and one high school in Carson. Some CISE students will also provide technology support to the city’s older adults.

Hamdan hopes to recruit more CSUDH students outside CISE to be part of the tutoring program and expand the program to other CSU campuses.

“It's a life-long worth of hurt, meaning it takes a lifetime for someone to recover from the impact of the pandemic on learning,” Hamdan says. “This program is a perfect match with the CSU spirit, and I see this continuing for a long time. As long as there are communities that are underserved, as long as there are students in these underserved communities not receiving high-quality instructional experience, I see this continuing. This should not end with the end of the pandemic.”

ART OF LEARNING

With a new five-year grant, a team from California State University, Monterey Bay is launching a program to teach the children of Salinas farmworkers about environmental health using art and to inspire them to enter careers that address the health impacts of environmental challenges.

It’s based on the longitudinal Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS) study out of University of California, Berkley, created by epidemiological researchers Brenda Eskenazi and Asa Bradman, on the effects of pesticides and other environmental factors on farmworker families.

“We're looking at how we can better educate and provide experiences that will enhance the opportunities of the young people growing up in this area, who may want to consider jobs that address environmental health, medicine or other STEM-related fields,” says Daniel Fernandez, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Applied Environmental Science.

The program will cycle each year through three areas of study—plastic pollution, climate change and agriculture—incorporating different forms of visual, media and theater arts.

“One of the opportunities of engaging students in hands-on project-based learning is they'll have the opportunity to practice and think about effective ways to communicate to an exter​nal audience,” says Corin Slown, assistant professor of science education. “The goal is the students themselves will be agents of change as they both engage with the material and learn about and inform their communities.”

Currently, the team is recruiting 30 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade teachers who will be trained to introduce the educational materials into their classrooms. They’ll then work with art organizations Baktun 12—known for documentary theater—and Artists Ink, as well as students recruited through CHAMACOS, to develop the art curriculum, with Artists Ink developing a mobile application for the program. In addition, the Monterey Bay Aquarium will host a summer institute and winter and spring summits that reinforce the learnings.

“We have a diverse community here in Monterey County, and we have a growing Latinx population,” says Enid Baxter Ryce, professor of cinematic arts and technology. “We want to see that increase reflected in the fields of the sciences, to have more and more young folks feeling like the sciences are for them.”

The aim is also to create a lasting change in these schools’ curriculum. “The hope is this grant builds the teachers’ capacity so, as students generate ideas for continuing this work, that would be something that could be sustained well beyond the life of the grant,” Baxter Ryce says. “The hope is the teachers who participate become leaders in their own school districts or at their own school sites and are able to share the practices they develop in their own classroom with other teachers.”

START YOUNG​

Some CSU programs focus on students even younger than kindergarten age. The Associated Students Children’s Center at California State University, Northridge offers child development services for children between the ages of 18 months and five years. Open to children of faculty, staff, students and the community, the program usually offers full-day, year-round care. But when the center closed for COVID-19 in March 2020, it switched to distance learning activities on Zoom, o​ffering free 30-minute sessions in the morning and evening.

“It's extremely important because we promote and foster the kids’ development holistically—math, language, science and even movement,” Center Director Klara Pakozdi says. “The kids are very lively, they interact, they participate, they ask questions, they are growing very confident very quickly—not only with the technology but interacting with their peers and their teachers.”

Implementing the Creative Curriculum Cloud for online learning, the center’s teachers are providing age-appropriate activities in math, science, storytelling, art and English language development, including English as a second language. Parents are also encouraged to participate. “Our goal is to make it very interactive and creative,” Pakozdi says.

Since going virtual, the program has attracted some new families. Pakozdi hopes the distance learning program will encourage parents to bring their kids to the in-person services once that’s again an option, as well as prepare the children for that return.

“We hope, when some of the children participating in our comprehensive distance learning activities return to face-to-face services, they will transition well with a good foundation,” she says.


Learn more about other programs for children and young adults at California State University Channel Islands, California State University, Dominguez Hills, Humboldt State University, California State University, Los Angeles, California State University, San Bernardino, San Diego State University and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Courses For Kids
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4/8/2021 3:02 PMKelly, Hazel4/1/20214/1/2021 8:50 AMNew economic impact study quantifies the CSU’s economic contributions to the state including supporting the creation of 209,400 jobs annually throughout California.ImpactPress Release

​​​​A new economic impact study​ illustrates the California State University's significant and varied economic contributions to the state's economy including a return of nearly seven dollars for every dollar invested in the university by California. Some of the other notable examples of the CSU's annual statewide economic impact include: 

  • $26.9 billion in industry activity throughout the state 
  • $10.3 billion in labor income 
  • $1.6 billion in state and local tax revenue 
  • The creation of 209,400 jobs

​“The California State University has long been recognized for the quality of its educational offerings and as an economic engine powering California, and this new report helps to further illustrate and quantify the consequential impact of the CSU on the Golden State," said CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro. “A return of nearly seven dollars for every dollar invested in the university demonstrates the wisdom of continued bold investment in the university." 

The study utilizes data from 2018-19 and was conducted by global advisory and digital services provider ICF. As a state supported institution, the CSU is reliant on the state's General Fund allocation to fund the university's operating budget. California's increased investment in the CSU over the past several years has resulted in growth in student success with annual increases in graduation rates which have reached all-time highs under the university's Graduation Initiative 2025.  

CSU Provides Ample Return on California's Investment 
The economic impact study provides an even more comprehensive look at the return on California's investment in the CSU. For every dollar invested by the state in the CSU, $6.98 of positive economic activity is generated in the state. When the impact of the enhanced earnings of CSU alumni is factored in, the figure is even greater—$29.90 in total economic activity for every dollar invested. This figure demonstrates the ripple effect that each dollar of spending by the CSU and its students has on the state. 

 The study also points to the return on investment into CSU campuses in regions throughout the state. ​

  • For every dollar the state invested in the Bay Area CSU campuses, $7.24 in statewide spending is generated. 
  • For every dollar the state invested in Central Coast CSU campuses, $7.94 in statewide spending is generated. 
  • For every dollar the state invested in Los Angeles area CSU campuses, $5.97 in statewide spending is generated. 
  • For every dollar the state invested in Inland Empire CSU campuses, $6.72 in statewide spending is generated. 
  • For every dollar the state invested in Humboldt State University, $6.08 in statewide spending is generated. 
  • For every dollar the state invested in CSU campuses in the Sacramento Valley region, $8.07 in statewide spending is generated. 
  • For every dollar the state invested in CSU campuses in the San Diego region, $8.64 in statewide spending is generated. 
  • For every dollar the state invested in CSU campuses in the San Joaquin Valley region, $7.23 in statewide spending is generated. 

The report also examines the CSU's impact on several of California's most essential industries as well as those positioned for growth, including agriculture, water research, biotechnology and healthcare, and energy and environment, among others. 


About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 56,000 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 3.9 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter. 


woman in graduation clothing
The CSU Provides Sevenfold Return on State’s Investment
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5/3/2021 9:31 AMMcCarthy, Michelle3/31/20213/31/2021 9:00 AMThe CSU pays homage to Dolores Huerta, guardian of the farmworkers’ rights movement.   AgricultureStory

​​​​​​​As Californians pause today to acknowledge the revolutionary efforts of labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez, it's also worth remembering his steadfast partner in the movement, Dolores Huerta—​a woman Chavez called "totally fearless, both mentally and physically." Together, they dedicated their lives to La Causa (the cause) of farmworkers, shedding light on the dire working conditions they endured and demanding change.

Huerta cofounded the National Farm Workers Association, later known as United Farm Workers (UFW). She was a tireless advocate for the underdog, lending a voice to the voiceless. Often on the frontline of protests across the state, megaphone in hand, Huerta is credited with coining the battle cry Si se puede! (Yes, you can!) years before President Barack Obama adopted it as his campaign slogan. Huerta organized boycotts, led strikes and placed persistent pressure on the agricultural industry in California. The result was the first of its kind—a sea change in public policy that guaranteed farmworkers basic rights and union contracts. Her impact would eventually spread across the nation.

The California State University has maintained a relationship with this fearless leader for decades. In 2018, California State University, Bakersfield​ President Horace Mitchel​l (now retired) presented the campus's President's Medal to Huerta, describing her as “a living legend … an icon whose name is synonymous with civil rights." 

California State University, Northridge, in particular, has benefited from Huerta's 30-year commitment to public education. CSUN students have worked as interns at the UFW and with “la escuelita," the small school in Delano, California, that educated the children of farmworkers in the region.​ CSUN proudly conferred upon Huerta the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters in 2002 for her lifetime of service to the state of California and to the students of the CSU. 

Huerta's recognitions also include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, award by President Barack Obama in 2012. Just last year, on the occasion of her 90th birthday, the Board of Trustees of the California State University resolved that each of the 23 CSU campuses would pay tribute to Huerta's legacy for generations to come by planting a tree— rooted in the same earth tended by many thousands of California farmworkers, including Dolores Huerta herself—or by taking other appropriate commemorative action to honor her lifelong work in service to California and Californians.

​Read more about Dolores Huerta in our celebration of Women's History Month.​​​

Celebrating Her-Story
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4/21/2021 11:07 AMRuble, Alisia3/29/20213/29/2021 9:30 AMA new $600,000 grant from Microsoft will be used to increase the number of scholarships available to mathematics and science teacher education candidates. Teacher PreparationStory

​​The demand for highly trained CSU teacher education candidates specializing in mathematics and science has never been greater. As the largest teacher preparation program in the state and among the largest in the nation, the CSU produces more than 6,000 teachers annually. That's nearly half of California's newest cohort of highly-trained teachers. On average, 1,000 CSU-trained teachers begin their careers in high-demand STEM fields each year.

A new $600,000 grant from Microsoft will be used to increase the number of scholarships available to mathematics and science teacher education candidates.

According to CSU's Assistant Vice Chancellor of Educator Preparation and Public School Programs Marquita Grenot-Scheyer, Ph.D., the scholarships could not have come at a better time.  “Microsoft's generous gift will enable us to provide an additional $5,000 to support the academic endeavors of 120 aspiring teacher candidates. The added financial support ensures candidates are able to focus on sharpening their teaching skills and expanding their knowledge of high-impact teaching techniques during their student teaching period by reducing the number of hours they need to work outside of their classrooms."

This isn't the first time CSU and Microsoft have teamed up. Most recently during the 2020-21 academic year, Microsoft funded two grants totaling $930,000 to support teacher education candidates specializing in mathematics, science and computer science, as well as to expand the design of computer science courses and mathematics training curriculum for teachers.

A student who was awarded a 2020-21 scholarship shared her appreciation and impact of the scholarship:

"I am truly blessed to have financial assistance through the CSU Microsoft Scholarship to support me as I work toward my goals," said Chelsea McFadyen, who recently completed her secondary teaching credential in biology at Cal State Long Beach.  "I lost both my college student aide and substitute teaching jobs as schools shut down during the pandemic, and, as I am currently student teaching, I am not 'working.' This award has provided financial relief to me and will enable me to better focus on my student teaching experience."  

Each of the CSU's 22 campuses with secondary mathematics and science credential programs will receive scholarship funding. Awardees must commit to teach in high-needs schools for two years following completion of their credential program. Scholarship-seekers should contact their respective campus College of Education dean's office to apply.

To learn more about how CSU campuses prepare California's new teachers, visit our Teacher and Educator Preparation website. ​


man with children in a school setting
man with children in a school setting
Calling all Science and Math Teacher Candidates: 120 New Scholarships Available for Aspiring Teachers
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3/25/2021 4:40 PMRuble, Alisia3/25/20213/25/2021 9:55 AMSeeking to provide access to high-quality medical education, Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) and the CSU are creating a pipeline for qualified CSU graduates to enter the KGI Pathway Program at the School of Medicine.CareersPress Release

​​​Seeking to provide access to high-quality medical education, Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) and the California State University (CSU) are creating a pipeline for qualified CSU graduates to enter the KGI Pathway Program at the School of Medicine that leads to a medical degree.

“This is an exciting new partnership that will both provide CSU's brilliant and diverse students additional avenues to pursue careers in medicine as well as help to alleviate one of the nation's biggest challenges," said Fred E. Wood, CSU's interim executive vice chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs.

This pipeline will address the healthcare crisis and shortages in physicians and other healthcare workers in California and the United States.

The CSU is the largest and most diverse university in the nation, with a high portion of the student body who are first generation college students from underserved or underrepresented communities.

“KGI and the CSU recognize the importance of diversity in the medical professions," said Dr. David Lawrence, dean of the KGI School of Medicine. “It is critical that we provide access to top-notch medical education, regardless of income and connections."

The KGI School of Medicine will tailor its admissions process to recruit local students who come from the communities with the greatest needs.

Lawrence said: “Who we recruit, where we recruit them from, and how and where we train them is critical in encouraging doctors to practice in the communities that need them the most."

KGI, a leader in biotechnology and healthcare education, is launching a Master of Science in Community Medicine (MSCM) program in fall 2021. The first cohort will receive full tuition waivers.

The two-year online MSCM program will prepare students as skilled community medicine practitioners to work in the safety net community clinics, federally qualified health centers, public health departments, Native American healthcare systems, private healthcare systems, non-governmental organizations and industries that serve those communities.

When the KGI School of Medicine opens, there will be significant opportunities for its graduates to positively impact the Los Angeles County safety net—those practices and clinics that offer care regardless of a patient's ability to pay.

According to a UC San Francisco study in 2017, California is projected to face a shortfall of more than 4,100 primary care physicians within the next 10 years.

The first class of medical students to the KGI School of Medicine will be admitted once fundraising and accreditation requirements are met.

 

About the California State University

The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 56,000 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 3.9 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.

 

About the Keck Graduate Institute (KGI)

KGI was founded in 1997 as the first higher education institution in the United States dedicated exclusively to education and research related to the applied life sciences. KGI offers innovative postgraduate degrees and certificates that integrate life and health sciences, business, pharmacy, engineering, and genetics, with a focus on industry projects, hands-on industry experiences, and team collaboration.

A member of The Claremont Colleges, KGI employs an entrepreneurial approach and industry connections that provide pathways for students to become leaders within healthcare and the applied life sciences. KGI consists of four schools: Henry E. Riggs School of Applied Life Sciences, School of Medicine, School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and the Minerva Schools at KGI. For more information, follow KGI on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram


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CSU Establishes Admissions Pipeline with the KGI School of Medicine
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3/22/2021 8:04 AMBarrie, Matthew3/22/20213/22/2021 8:10 AMTsunamis pose a real threat to the California coast, even if the triggering earthquakes occur elsewhere. CSU researchers are helping ensure coastal cities are ready.ResearchStory
It Comes In Waves

it comes in waves

Tsunamis pose a real threat to the California coast, even if the triggering earthquakes occur elsewhere. CSU researchers are helping ensure coastal cities are ready.


 

“The Northern California coast is the most tsunami-prone area of the continental United States … In the past 70 years, 34 tsunamis have been recorded on the north coast. Five caused damage.”
Living on Shaky Grou​nd Magazine, Humboldt State University


“Tsunami magnet": that's what Lori Dengler, Ph.D., professor emeritus from Humboldt State University Department of Geology, has called Crescent City. This port city just north of the Humboldt County campus has been hit by tsunamis after earthquakes in Japan, Alaska and South America.

But it doesn't take a 50-foot tsunami out of a science-fiction film to inflict severe damage. In fact, the Crescent City Harbor was partially destroyed by a five- to six-foot tsunami in 2006 following an 8.3-magnitude earthquake in Japan, and completely destroyed by an eight-foot tsunami in 2011 following a 9.1-magnitude earthquake in Japan. “It was simply the really strong currents coming in and coming out that ripped apart the docks, that ripped the boats away from their mooring," Dr. Dengler says.

WHAT IS A TSUNAMI?

Tsunami Graphic 

A tsunami occurs when there is a sudden, large-scale movement of the sea floor that displaces the water above it. While earthquakes are the most common cause, volcanoes and landslides can also trigger such an event (#1 in the illustration). Tsunamis move the entire column of water from surface to sea floor—unlike storm waves, in which wind only moves the water's surface. Multiple waves or surges then ripple out in all directions, moving at speeds of 500 miles per hour or more in deep water (#2).

As the tsunami approaches the coast, it slows down significantly to about 25 to 30 miles per hour, causing the water behind it to build up and the tsunami to grow higher (#3). Because the tsunami carries more water at higher speeds than storm waves, the water penetrates the landscape further inland with greater force, resulting in more flooding, property damage and other destructive effects. Tidal height, coastal topography and sea floor depth may further amplify its effects (#4).

“A really large tsunami looks like a sudden increase in the height of the tide, because the water keeps coming in," Dengler explains. “It comes in for 15 minutes, for 20 minutes, for 30 minutes, rather than seven seconds or 14 seconds [like normal wind-driven waves]."

A Wave of support

Outside of Dengler's research and teaching roles, much of her work has centered on outreach—particularly after the 1992 7.2-magnitude Cape Mendocino earthquake, its large aftershocks, a three-foot tsunami and the resulting $66 million in damages.

Following that event, California ramped up its efforts to understand tsunamis—especially those generated by earthquakes in California—and prepare its coastal cities. Dengler, already a professor at Humboldt State since 1979, was one of the experts who made this happen.

“The outreach came very naturally because we are the most seismically active part of California," she says. “In fact, we're the most seismically active part of the contiguous 48 states. You have to go to Alaska to find an area with more earthquakes."

Dr. Lori Dengler and Amy Uyeki, artist, animator and HSU research associate, tell the story of the Japanese tsunami boat.

Dr. Lori Dengler (left) and Amy Uyeki (right), artist, animator and HSU research associate, tell the story of the Japanese tsunami boat, Kamome, to second graders at Jacoby Creek Elementary School.


In 1993, Humboldt State published the first edition of the Living on Shaky Ground magazine, in which Dengler first published the then-controversial advice: If you feel an earthquake on the coast, head for high ground. That is now a standard coastal earthquake response.

In addition, these efforts resulted in the 1996 creation of the Redwood Coast Tsunami Work Group (RCTWG)—an outreach and education alliance between government agencies, organizations and Humboldt State's Humboldt Earthquake Education Center (which manages grants for the group)—and the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)-led collaboration to mitigate the effects of tsunamis on U.S. coastal cities. Funds secured by the Humboldt Earthquake Education Center also helped develop the science behind the U.S. Geological Survey's Did You Feel It? website.

Then in 1999, the RCTWG started participating in the Humboldt County Fair to educate the public on tsunami preparedness. The organization's display usually features a tsunami wave tank and a special exhibit. In 2014, it included a small boat carried out to sea by the 2011 Japan tsunami that beached near Humboldt State three years later. During COVID-19, however, the group set up a virtual tsunami fair.

“You have to have a support base among your decision-makers, and to get a support base among decision-makers, you better have the public behind you," Dengler says. “Earthquakes are rare enough that we tend to forget about the last one just about the time the next one hits. So, it really is important to have everyone on board."

The Humboldt State Geology Department, students and RCTWG also work with middle and high schools to develop tsunami education resources, like those about Kamome, a second Japanese boat that washed up in Crescent City and was later returned.

“We can't control many of these natural hazards that are around us, but we can control how we respond to them," says Humboldt State lecturer Amanda Admire. “The more we can provide people with the knowledge and skills to be safe, the better off the community is going to be when these natural events occur."

Former geology undergraduate student Katie Bojorquez demonstrates the Earthquake Tsunami Room's tsunami wave tank.

Former geology undergraduate student Katie Bojorquez demonstrates the Earthquake Tsunami Room's tsunami wave tank—built by the HSU Engineering Department—during the 2012 Humboldt County Fair.


Current Events

In addition to educating the public, Humboldt State is studying tsunami activity in coastal areas, including Crescent City and Humboldt Bay.

Admire serves as the local project coordinator at Humboldt Bay for NOAA's Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS), a national program designed to increase maritime safety by monitoring the coastal environment. Working with the Humboldt Bay Harbor District and Chevron Corporation, she and her colleagues contribute to this program through the campus's Tsunami Monitoring Project, which she originally established while working with Dengler as an HSU graduate student.

The main component of this project is the placement and maintenance of equipment called Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCP) in Humboldt Bay that use sound waves to measure the speed of currents moving past the instruments. The data is posted in real-time on the PORTS website and helps experts understand the typical dynamics of currents in the bay, observe tsunami behavior and effects, monitor potential oil spills or contamination and warn mariners of other safety hazards.

Amanda Admire performs a site maintenance check and cleaning at one of the PORTS stations.

Amanda Admire performs a site maintenance check and cleaning at one of the PORTS stations.


Bennett Hosselkus, oceanography/physics undergraduate student and PORTS technician, inspects a newly installed ADCP.

Bennett Hosselkus, oceanography/physics undergraduate student and PORTS technician, inspects a newly installed ADCP before deploying it in Humboldt Bay.


Jose Montoya (bottom), former PORTS technician, and Jacob Partida (top), former oceanography/math undergraduate student and PORT

Jose Montoya (bottom), former PORTS technician, and Jacob Partida (top), former oceanography/math undergraduate student and PORTS technician, install equipment on Buoy 9 within the channel in Humboldt Bay.


“A tsunami could arrive at high tide or low tide, but it's an event that rides on top of typical conditions—and [the currents] can influence the hazard itself," Admire says. “So the currents are important because they help us understand how we need to reinforce structures within a bay or a river to minimize any type of failure that could occur. They also help us understand where vessels would need to be to navigate or not get caught by those currents."

For example, engineers were able to use similar data collected in Crescent City following the 2011 tsunami to determine how best to rebuild the harbor to withstand the force of future tsunamis.

“We can collect the data, analyze the data, interpret how fast these currents were moving based on where they came from and understand the relationship between the earthquake and the tsunami," Admire says. “Then we use that information and that evidence to help reinforce either new building designs they're doing in that location or be able to identify areas that are potential weaknesses."

past, present, future

To prepare for future tsunamis, HSU research associate Eileen Hemphill-Haley, Ph.D., looks to the past. Her focus is identifying the fossils of a marine species of diatoms, or microscopic algae, in cores collected from estuaries along the coast in California, namely Humboldt Bay, and Oregon—though her past research has also looked at the Washington coast and Vancouver Island. Depending on the area, the cores she collects can be about four to six meters long and encompass thousands of years of geological history.

Based on the presence of marine diatoms in cores collected in non-coastal areas, she can reconstruct abrupt changes in the environment due to past earthquakes and tsunamis. “If you find a core record and you have a saltier, sandy deposit that's full of marine diatoms in a place where they should not be, that can be very strong supporting evidence you're looking at a tsunami deposit," Dr. Hemphill-Haley explains.

Jose Montoya (bottom), former PORTS technician, and Jacob Partida (top), former oceanography/math undergraduate student and PORT

Former students Brandon Crawford, Jessica Vermeer, Casey Loofbourrow and Dylan Caldwell (from left to right) collect cores from a freshwater marsh near Crescent City in 2017, searching for evidence of past tsunami deposits.​


The location of marine diatoms in a core can reveal when and where a past tsunami occurred, while the width of that strata can demonstrate how large it was. By matching earthquake records to the existence of tsunami deposits, she can help coastal cities understand which earthquakes are likely to trigger a tsunami based on their location, how immense the resulting tsunami could be and where the tsunami would likely hit.

For example, a 1964 tsunami caused by the great​​ Alaska earthquake (which killed 14 people and inflicted $15 million in damage in California) left a thin deposit layer while a 1700 tsunami caused by a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake left a much thicker deposit layer. By comparing the two deposits, Hemphill-Haley demonstrates a tsunami following an earthquake along this subduction zone, a fault line running from Northern California to British Columbia, could inflict much greater damage than the 1964 tsunami.

“[Understanding] a tsunami threat if there's an earthquake in the Cascadia Subduction Zone is a big thing for driving coastal hazard planning, community training and exercises for tsunami evacuation drills," she says.

Lastly, Dengler, Hemphill-Haley and Admire also worked together to gather data from all tsunami-related studies conducted in California into a single database for the California Geological Survey.

“It's important for us to look into the past at what has happened and how we can use that to help us better understand the potential [of future events]," Admire says. “But [it's also important to] monitor the current events that are taking place so as they happen in real time, we can interpret that information and use it to better prepare our communities for the future. And, the first step is raising awareness and letting people know we actively live with these hazards."

Vermeer, Loofbourrow and Crawford examine a core from the marsh in 2017, pointing to a gray sand layer deposited by the 1700 tsu

Vermeer, Loofbourrow and Crawford (from left to right) examine a core from the marsh in 2017, pointing to a gray sand layer deposited by the 1700 tsunami in otherwise thick sections of freshwater peat.


 

ARE YOU READY FOR THE NEXT EARTHQUAKE​?

With the help of the CSU's research and efforts, Californians have been able to better understand tsunamis and prepare coastal cities should one occur. All residents should take the following steps to protect themselves, their families and their homes.

It Comes in Waves
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