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Directed Research

New Centers Enrich Students, Diaspora Communities

Continuing a long and proud legacy of ethnic and social studies, San Francisco State University established the Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies following the generous gift of $5 million from Iranian-American philanthropist – and San Francisco State alumna – Neda Nobari. 

The Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies will greatly enrich the study of the contributions of the Iranian diaspora to host communities in the United States and abroad, explore new research and scholarship methods, and build on San Francisco State’s standing as a national leader for ethnic studies. 

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona recently established the Asian American Transnational Research Initiative, endowed by a $100,000 gift from philanthropist Julia Huang. The initiative is tasked with better understanding the impact of Asian American communities across the nation and around the world.

Boosting the STEM Education Pipeline 

Chevron Corporation provided continued support to California State University, Bakersfield through nearly $900,000 for campus initiatives, including the Research Experience Vitalizing Science (REVS-UP) program, which revitalizes K-12 science teachers and boosts high school students’ interest in STEM through hands-on research projects. 

The CSU Bakersfield School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering also acquired new equipment – critical to spurring innovation and discovery for students and faculty – through Chevron’s continued generosity. 

Emeritus Faculty Gift Strengthens Steinbeck Center 

The estate of professor emeritus of English and comparative literature, Martha Heasley Cox, will provide San José State University with a gift of $4.8 million to support a research center named in her honor, the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies.

The bequeast will also fund two more programs, the Martha Heasley Cox Lecture Series and the Cox-Manville Steinbeck Bibliography of Everything Steinbeck

Cox, who taught at San José State for 34 years, passed away in September 2015 at the age of 96. The bequest from Cox’s estate puts her total lifetime gifts to the university at $5.5 million, the largest total ever for a faculty member. 

Martha Cox began teaching at San José State – then known as San José State College – in 1955. She soon began building an extensive collection containing the works of author and Salinas native John Steinbeck, with her collection becoming so large that it was included in the plans for SJSU’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library, which opened in 2003, where the center is housed. 

Chico Campaign Builds Research-Focused Labs

In 2016, California State University, Chico celebrated the Transform Tomorrow campaign’s first renovation – a $600,000 project to expand the Concrete Lab in the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management. The lab is already serving more students from multiple disciplines and supporting faculty-student research projects. 

CSU Chico also received a capital gift to augment its new state-supported Arts and Humanities Building, which opened in Fall 2016, and has since identified two new capital projects – a new agricultural center for the University Farm and a new College of Business building. 

Science and Agriculture Teaching and Research Get Boost from Alumni Donors 

Longtime California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo supporters William and Linda Frost pledged $20 million for the planned Science & Agriculture Teaching and Research Complex

The Frosts’ generosity – William is a proud alumnus, graduating with a degree in biochemistry in 1972 – will help establish a new undergraduate research and technology complex in the heart of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s campus for the College of Science and Mathematics, the College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences, and the College of Liberal Arts. 

The gift from William and Linda Frost matches Peter and Mary Beth Oppenheimers’ 2015 commitment as the largest cash pledge in Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s history. In addition, the Frosts continue to fund scholarships for science and mathematics students, as well as summer research opportunities. 

Marine Construction Lab Gets Massive Lift from Long Beach Port 

The Port of Long Beach, a longtime partner of California State University, Long Beach and the second-busiest container port in the United States, donated $250,000 to the CSU Long Beach College of Engineering to help fund equipment for its Port of Long Beach Marine Construction Laboratory, a new state-of-the-art facility dedicated to the study of underwater structures, materials, and construction methods. 

As ports across the United States and the world expand to meet the demands of increased global trade – particularly across the Pacific – and extra-large, modern container ships, programs like the Port of Long Beach Marine Construction Laboratory at CSULB will provide opportunities for students and faculty to engage in hands-on, applicable research and scholarship.