CSU Voices and Views

Using Education to Rise from Poverty to Prosperity

Honorable Paul Lo at CSU “Journey to Success,” hosted at Fresno State on May 2.

Honorable Paul Lo at CSU “Journey to Success,” hosted at Fresno State on May 2.

By Paul Lo
Judge, Merced County Superior Court

I was seven years old when my country fell. It was 1975 and communists had just taken over Laos. My family along with thousands of other Hmong families fled to refugee camps in Thailand, which is where we lived until I was eleven.

In 1979, my family and I were admitted into the United States, and it was about that time when education became one of the most important things in my life. We settled in Denver, Colorado and I was placed into the fifth grade not knowing a word of English. I was doing kindergarten-level work in a fifth grade class. Needless to say, the experience of coming here and adjusting was incredibly difficult. I was working from the ground up and needed something to help me rise from poverty to prosperity. Education was and still is my ticket to success.
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A Lifetime of Supporting Education

Bob and Barbara Ellis proudly showing their resolution from the CSU Board of Trustees designating that  Eductaion -1 building at CSULB be named in their honor.

Bob and Barbara Ellis proudly showing their resolution from the CSU Board of Trustees designating that the Education-1 building at CSULB be named in their honor.

Bob and Barbara Ellis have dedicated a total of 73.5 years of their lives to teaching the next generation. Now, with $1.4 million bequest to create a scholarship endowment for credential students at CSU Long Beach (CSULB), Bob and Barbara are helping future educators shape the lives of California’s children.

After graduating from CSULB in 1964, Barbara went on to teach English 22 years at Hughes Middle School and 14 years at Lakewood High School.

Bob earned his credential and master’s degree from CSULB in 1958 and began his career as a teacher and counselor in 1950 at Jordan High School, and concluded it as Jordan’s principal in 1987.  In between, he was principal of six different schools:  Avalon School in Catalina, Freemont Elementary, Newcomb K-8, Hughes Junior High, Wilson and Poly High Schools.

Their commitment to education doesn’t end there.
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Supporting SDSU from Beginning to End

By Kathy Brown
Associate Director of Buying, SDSU Bookstore
Aztec Shops, San Diego State University

The SDSU Bookstore staff

The SDSU Bookstore staff.
(left to right) Ambre Dorsett, Laura White, Kathy Brown, Meghan Smith, Nancy Stevens, Kelly Morlock, Ben Compton

Commencement season is here! As seniors prepare for graduation and underclassmen wrap up their spring semester classes, my staff and I at The SDSU Bookstore are eager to assist with everyone’s end of the school year needs. Commencement season may be one of the busiest times of the year at San Diego State University, but in the heart of the chaos, the bookstore remains the rock of the campus.

Many people think of the campus bookstore as just that – a store on campus that sells and rents books. While that may be the core of its existence, The SDSU Bookstore takes pride in serving the entire campus community on various needs throughout the school year, including graduation. More …

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Trailblazing Beyond Gender for a Stronger California

On April 27, CSU San Marcos President Karen Haynes received the Trailblazer Award from Leadership California alongside her five fellow CSU women presidents. (left to right) Lisa Rossbacher, Humboldt State; Dianne Harrison, CSUN; Mildred García, Cal State Fullerton; Karen Haynes, CSU San Marcos; Soraya Coley, Cal Poly Pomona; and Jane Conoley, Cal State Long Beach.

On April 27, CSU San Marcos President Karen Haynes received the Trailblazer Award from Leadership California alongside her five fellow CSU women presidents. (left to right) Lisa Rossbacher, Humboldt State; Dianne Harrison, CSUN; Mildred García, Cal State Fullerton; Karen Haynes, CSU San Marcos; Soraya Coley, Cal Poly Pomona; and Jane Conoley, Cal State Long Beach.

By Dr. Karen S. Haynes
President, CSU San Marcos

I never intended to become a university president but in 1995, after serving as the only female dean at the University of Houston for ten years, I was provided with the unexpected challenge and opportunity to become the president of the system’s Victoria campus. Today I have served as a university president for 20 years—over 11 of those at Cal State San Marcos—and I am the senior woman president in the 23-campus California State University system.

This week I was proud to join my five fellow CSU women presidents in collectively receiving the Leadership California Trailblazer Award. We all have traveled our unique paths to leadership, bumping up against – and putting some cracks in – what has been called the highest, hardest glass ceiling in America. But my pride is dampened by a sobering reality. As I thought about the award, I was struck by the notion that being a female university president is still considered trailblazing.
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My CSU Path from Military to Success

By Mark Scott
CSU Channel Islands Alumnus

When I graduated with an associate’s degree at Ventura Community College in 2008, I had no idea where to go next. Furthering my education at a four-year university crossed my mind, but affording it made obtaining a bachelor’s degree a far-fetched goal. In search of direction, I decided to join the Marine Corps the following year, which led to my discovery of funding options – such as the GI Bill – that made attending a CSU a reality. Through resourceful faculty and campus services available for veterans and active duty students alike, CSU Channel Islands provided a quality educational bridge that connected the military to my career success.
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PEEPS: Not Only About Marshmallows

By Jeffrey Cabanez
2014-15 CSU STEM VISTA Member
Alumnus, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Jeffrey Cabanez—a CSU STEM VISTA member—ignites passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics in high school students as the CSU Program for Engineering Excellence for Partner Schools Coordinator.

Jeffrey Cabanez—a CSU STEM VISTA member—ignites passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics in high school students as the CSU Program for Engineering Excellence for Partner Schools Coordinator.

When you hear the word PEEPS, what comes to mind? Probably five yellow marshmallows shaped as tiny chickens, or five pink marshmallows shaped as tiny bunnies, placed in a box wrapped in plastic that you eat during Easter. When I hear the word PEEPS, I think academic learning communities, STEM, professional development opportunities, and financial aid.

At Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, I am working with a brand new scholarship program called the Program for Engineering Excellence for Partner Schools, cleverly shortened to PEEPS. PEEPS aims to recruit, retain, and graduate engineering students from underrepresented backgrounds.
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Connecting CSU Students to Art

Dr. John Mayer
CSU Summer Arts Coordinator, CSU Stanislaus Theatre Professor

CSU Summer Arts is the best educational arts program I’ve ever been involved with, and my track record proves it, as I’ve been working in the program for the past 14 years. With my PhD in Theatre History and a previous professional career as an actor and director in and around Chicago’s famed theatres – Steppenwolf and Second City – I’ve been exposed to various arts programs throughout my life. But CSU Summer Arts has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my career, both as a CSU professor and Summer Arts Coordinator. More …

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Creating a Community of “Cal State Locals”—in New York!

By Cristina Rosales
Alumna, California State University Northridge

Cristina Rosales, CSU volunteer and a member of CSU’s Class of 3 Million, with Aaron Moore, CSU’s director of alumni relations, during the 2011 Cal State Tri-State Alumni reception.

Cristina Rosales, CSU volunteer and a member of CSU’s Class of 3 Million, with Aaron Moore, CSU’s director of alumni relations, during the 2011 Cal State Tri-State Alumni reception.

I moved to New York City ten years ago to take on a job opportunity to work for a well-known investment bank, a chance I considered was a huge stepping stone for my professional career. I’ve always lived in Southern California and was looking for a dramatic change – so I jumped at the chance and moved across country to take on the job and most importantly the Big Apple. After five years working for the investment bank I, along with the numerous financial professionals, fell victim to the 2007-2008 market crash and had to scramble to land a new job. During my job search and after months of attending several networking events, whether it was through another university’s alumni or an industry-specific event, I realized that my own alumni university did not have a regional chapter in the city. How could this be?
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A Mission to Advocate

By Taylor Herren
Associated Students President, CSU Chico

As a grad student at Chico State and serving my second term as Associated Students (AS) president, it may seem that I have my plate full. But as a matter of fact, I couldn’t be any more grateful to be in a position to serve my peers and providing a voice for the student body is really what keeps me going.

Chico State is a big part of me, and my education here has been instrumental in my growth to becoming a student leader. More …

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My “Giving Back” Philosophy

By Kevin McCarthy
U.S. Congressman and Majority Leader
CSU Bakersfield Alumnus

(left to right) CSUB President Horace Mitchell, Congressman Kevin McCarthy, and CSU Vice Chancellor of University Relations and Advancement Garrett Ashley during CSU Hill Day, an annual day of advocacy in Washington, D.C.

(left to right) CSUB President Horace Mitchell, Congressman Kevin McCarthy, and CSU Vice Chancellor of University Relations and Advancement Garrett Ashley during CSU Hill Day, an annual day of advocacy in Washington, D.C., in 2014.

I can’t say it enough—I love education.

Education is the key to upward mobility. Education allows you to give and learn at the same time. Education provides you with the strong foundation needed to move forward—and that’s what my education at CSUB helped me do.

From a young age, my parents instilled in me the importance of going to college. Through their support and encouragement, I started a small business to help pay for school and when I was ready, I applied to CSUB. I am proud to say that I was the first in my family to pursue a bachelor’s degree.
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