CSU Voices and Views

Helping Others Move Forward

Monica R. Correale is one of 23 recipients of the 2014 CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement. As the top-scoring recipient of the CSU Trustees’ Award, Correale was selected as the Trustee Emeritus Ali C. Razi Scholar and will be receiving a $12,000 scholarship.

By Monica R. Correale
Graduate student at Humboldt State University
2014 Trustee Emeritus Ali C. Razi Scholar

Growing up, school was a safe place for me. Going to class was the best part of my day—not only because it challenged and excited me, but because it was a temporary relief from my home life.

Child abuse, domestic violence, and my parents’ struggles with mental illness and substance abuse were among the myriad of issues that I faced every day. Although I enjoyed school and dreamt of professional success, it was difficult to envision a future for myself that differed from that of my parents. For much of my childhood and adolescence, I struggled with self-doubt, anxiety, and depression. I eventually realized that there was a long legacy of trauma and dysfunction in my family. It was at this point that I truly embraced my responsibility to develop myself into a healthy, productive person, not only to break the cycle in my own family, but in order to affect social change in the world.
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Traveling Towards Graduation

By Laura Parada
San Francisco State Student

Laura Parada in Florence

Laura Parada in Florence

I boarded the plane to Italy fully aware that my life would be forever different. The decision to study abroad was quick, as I can imagine it is for most students. The hurdle was not the decision but actually transforming it into a reality.  My financial and academic plans needed to line up and I did not want my trip to prolong time to graduation.

After applying to study abroad, I waited for the letter that would tell me the fate of my third year at SFSU. Luckily, I was granted the opportunity to study in Florence, Italy, which was a location I had only dreamed of going to. With that I embarked on my first international trip and my first solitary travel experience. More …

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Connecting the Dots at CSU Summer Arts

By Ian James
Theatre Arts Student at Long Beach State


Students, faculty coordinators and guest artists share how
CSU Summer Arts has impacted their lives.

I came to Summer Arts expecting to learn the basics about musical theatre and stage combat, but I have taken away more than I could have ever imagined. As a transfer student to Long Beach State, I wasn’t able to develop the typical connections of students who dorm together or who met freshman year. Summer Arts allowed me to share that traditional college experience.

We all come here with one goal in mind: to become a better artist. We are immersed in art 24 hours a day, seven days a week and are constantly collaborating, sharing and pushing each other. More …

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Extended Ed: Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Amada Maggio
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Student
CSU San Marcos, Extended Learning at Temecula

Amanda Maggio visits members of the California Legislature to share how CSU Extended Education has enabled her success.

Amanda Maggio visits members of the California Legislature to share how CSU Extended Education has enabled her success.

Extended learning has offered me an invaluable educational experience. Not only has this been an exciting and fulfilling journey, but I have had outstanding opportunities that have allowed me to chart my future course for career success as well.

Initially, I was accepted to CSU San Marcos and attended the main campus for several years. Although I was enjoying my education, the classes were always so full and I felt like I was no different than any other student on campus.

Since I started attending CSU San Marcos at Temecula, I have become more than just a face in the crowd. The Temecula campus reminds me of the Cheers’ theme song: Where Everybody Knows Your Name. All of the faculty and staff know me and my fellow students by name, and consistently are willing to go above and beyond to help with any needs we may have. That extra personal touch has made a significant impacted in my education.
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CSU Stanislaus Reconnects With ‘Golden Grads’

By Lisa McMullen
Director of Alumni Relations
CSU Stanislaus

Lisa McMullen

Lisa McMullen

The memory of graduation day, walking across the stage to the sound of Pomp and Circumstance with family members in attendance, is one graduates hold close for years after commencement. The feeling that accompanies the great accomplishment of obtaining a college degree ranks high with other significant lifetime achievements.

At CSU Stanislaus, we are welcoming our esteemed alumni and their families back to our beautiful campus — for some, a campus that was not yet fully developed at the time of their graduation. This year, alumni from the Class of 1964 will remember their graduation day as our Golden Grads, with an invitation to be recognized by President Joseph F. Sheley at our commencement ceremonies.
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Inspiring Future Generations

Dr. Joely Proudfit (Luiseño)
Director, California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center
CSU San Marcos Director of Native American Academic Strategic Planning and Native Studies

Graduating students and tribal leaders with Proudfit (fourth from left) and CSUSM President Karen Haynes

Graduating students and tribal leaders with Proudfit (fourth from left) and CSUSM President Karen Haynes

This is my sixth year at Cal State San Marcos, both as a professor and as the coordinator of the American Indian Honoring Ceremony. This year’s ceremony was gratifying for me because I am proud to have seen the recruitment and retention levels of American Indian students increase over the last six years; but particularly special because I have come to advise and know well many of the graduates. More …

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Today We Make History

By Curtis Lee Ortega, Jr.
Vice President, United Student Pride
Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology, Class of 2014
Fresno State

Curtis Lee Ortega, Jr.

Curtis Lee Ortega, Jr.

Today, 17 Fresno State students will make history with our university’s inaugural Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) Commencement Celebration.

I am the chairperson of the committee that made this event a reality. I am honored and proud to be among those first 17 participating in our celebration.

This milestone represents a major step in our personal lives and the broader community. Fresno State prides itself on discovery, diversity and distinction and the presence of an LGBTQ graduation ceremony fittingly underscores that.

This celebration is a dream I pursued based on my own personal history. With poor grades and delinquent behavior, I was almost a high school dropout. Fortunately, I was accepted to a school that offered independent studies and was able to graduate even though I was heckled throughout my high school years for being openly gay. There was even heckling when they announced my name at the graduation ceremony. More …

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The CSU Is Our University

By Deacon John Wilson, III
West Angeles Church

Outreach professionals from Cal State L.A. prepare to answer questions following CSU Super Saturday at West Angeles Church

Outreach professionals from Cal State L.A. prepare to answer questions following CSU Super Saturday at West Angeles Church

California State University’s Super Sunday is an incredible partnership program where the CSU is invited into churches to talk about reaching and graduating from college. As important as this program is, it is simply the beginning of an effort that continues far beyond February.

Here at West Angeles Church we have the West Angeles Education & Enrichment Program – with increasing affordable college access for youth in the church and surrounding community as one of the goals. We mold this program in the educational vision of our Pastor and Bishop by matching youth and families to colleges of all types across the country. Every year, 45-55% of these youth place in a CSU. This year, nearly all our 12th grade students applied to CSU campuses. More …

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An Inspiring Month of Education

Throughout February, the California State University partnered with African American churches to deliver a message of access. That message was simple: a college degree is in reach. CSU outreach staff handed out roadmaps of classes to take. Speakers addressed overcoming obstacles in English and math. Questions about financial aid were answered.

This CSU Super Sunday provides a kick-off and renewal of year-round activities that constitute the CSU African American Initiative. These services are meant to inspire California’s students – and equally inspire those who represent the CSU by reminding us of our mission.

Below is a selection of photos from the CSU Super Sunday of February 2014.

CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White gets inspired at Saints Rest Missionary Baptist Church in Fresno.
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Super Sunday: Our Collective Stories

By William A. Covino
President, Cal State L.A.

Bishop Charles Blake welcomes President Covino to the pulpit at West Angeles Cathedral on Sunday, Feb. 23

Bishop Charles Blake welcomes President Covino to the pulpit at West Angeles Cathedral on Sunday, Feb. 23

Last Sunday was my first “Super Sunday” as the President of Cal State L.A. and I looked forward to joining with our community to discuss the importance of a college education – and help our young people identify pathways to success and a degree.

Super Sunday at the historic West Angeles Church was one of over 100 events that took place throughout California. This critical day of outreach represented the “kick-off” of many partnership efforts between the CSU African American Initiative and African American churches during the year. Since 2005, CSU Super Sunday efforts have more than quadrupled in size as CSU presidents, trustees, faculty and professional staff spend a day engaging with their communities. We are now reaching well over 100,000 African American students and families.

There is still much work to do in the African American community to reach out to students and families. That is why the CSU continues to be dedicated to providing access, financial aid, and an opportunity for a quality education for students from underserved populations. Super Sunday is one way we underscore this dedication. Especially as we’re reminded that the CSU’s outreach to the African-American community is not only about numbers on a page, or how many diplomas are awarded – although these are important benchmarks.

It’s about the sum of stories. Stories of students like:

Darnell Cates – a TV, Film and Media Studies major at Cal State L.A. who made it out of the foster care system and into college. Darnell grew up in a gang-infested neighborhood of Los Angeles and missed school a lot. Over a two-year period he bounced through six or seven foster homes. Eventually, he was adopted by Mary and Arthur Cates who helped Darnell realize his potential. And, from the first day he stepped onto the Cal State L.A. campus, Darnell knew he had already beaten the odds.
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