CSU Voices and Views

Posts tagged with Educational Quality

It’s Good to Be Home: An American Indian Professor’s Journey

Dr. Proudfit (far left) and CSUSM President Dr. Karen Haynes (far right) stands alongside  graduates at the 2015 American Indian Honoring Ceremony.

Dr. Proudfit (far left) and CSUSM President Dr. Karen Haynes (far right) stand alongside graduates at the 2015 American Indian Honoring Ceremony.

By Joely Proudfit, Ph.D.
Director, California Indian Culture & Sovereignty Center
Department Chair, American Indian Studies

My first exposure to the CSU was in 1987, when a CSU Long Beach (CSULB) college counselor came to my high school to speak with students who were preparing to attend college. For the sole purpose of skipping class, I accompanied my best friend to his scheduled one-on-one visit with the counselor. That same counselor ended up changing my life that day. She asked me what my plans were after graduation and I told her that I would probably be joining the military because I would need a place to live, since my aunt was only willing to house me until graduation. She then told me about dorms and recommended that I apply for college.  When I became the first member of my family to graduate high school, I decided to take the counselor’s advice and applied to CSULB. I was the last person to move into the campus dorms in fall 1987. From there, I was led by wonderful CSU professors who told me about the CSU Forgivable Loan, and the rest, as they say, is history.

I am so humbled today by the opportunities that the CSU has provided me – I now look to serve, mentor and educate at every occasion. More …

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Identifying Those Left Behind, a Search for Closure

Kristyna Pfluger conducting the first part of her thesis for Humboldt State’;s Master’s in Applied Anthropology program.

Kristyna Pfluger conducting the first part of her thesis for Humboldt State’;s Master’s in Applied Anthropology program.

By Kristyna Pfluger
Student, Humboldt State
Alumna, Chico State

I was in seventh grade when I found out one of my closest friends was murdered. To this day, I’m still bothered that her family and friends don’t have closure. This experience is what initially inspired my drive to pursue a career that helps give people closure when they suffer the loss of those they love.

When you think of biology, I don’t think anthropology and forensics are usually the first two words that come to mind. But they do for me. I graduated from Chico State with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, minor in biology and certificate in forensics identification, and in July of 2014 I started the master’s in applied anthropology program at Humboldt State.

When I receive my degree from Humboldt State, I want to be able to help identify the remains of people who have died at war so that they can be returned home to their families. My goal is to give closure to our heroes’ families and friends. The type of closure that I wish I would have gotten with the passing of my friend. More …

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My CSU Success Story


By Edgar Barillas
Student, CSU Northridge

CSU Northridge created a platform for several opportunities I was able to take to really push myself. I wanted to learn inside and outside of the classroom from as many people as possible by becoming involved on campus and giving back to the community. All of these experiences have guided me on my career journey and allowed me to figure out who I want to become.

I chose two majors—Communication Studies and Biology—so I could get an education in both the humanities and the sciences. I chose the unlikely combination because it gave me the advantage of multiple perspectives. The breadth of my education is one of the things that has helped me stand out and add value in the professional world.
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Three Generations of CSU

By Tony Kawashima
Alumnus, CSU Long Beach

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From left: Tony Kawashima, son Matt, wife Ellen, and son Doug

My mom and I both graduated from CSU Long Beach. My wife went to CSU Fullerton. Our sons Doug and Matt went to Fullerton and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

I think it’s safe to say we are a CSU family!

It all started with my mom, Elsie. She married young and was a mother of three by the time she was 22. Of course this isn’t common anymore, but in the 1950s it was the norm. For many years, raising three kids was her full-time job.

But I remember sometime in the mid 60s she declared she was going to go get a college education. Our family was surprised by this sudden announcement, but we were supportive—after years of devoting her life to our family, she was able to “get out” and be exposed to a whole new world of people and ideas. And let me tell you, there was no better place for this than a college campus in the late 60s. More …

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One Hour, One Day, Once a Year

By Dia S. Poole
Alumna, CSU San Bernardino ‘90
President, CSU Alumni Council

(left to right) Dia Poole with fellow CSU San Bernardino alumni Erik Fallis and Liza Wilson.

(L to R) Dia Poole with fellow CSU San Bernardino alumni Erik Fallis and Liza Wilson.

My CSU journey starts more than 25 years ago when I decided to attend CSU San Bernardino—I was a mid-career, returning adult student. After working a long, full day at the County of San Bernardino, I would go to school at night. It was tiring but I knew how important it was for me to get a higher education, and my experience as a student was absolutely invaluable. Everything from the insight each of my professors brought to the classroom to the network I built among my classmates helped me build the skills and talent I needed to advance my career.

Subsequent to my studies at CSUSB, I was accepted into the Capital Fellows Program at Sacramento State. There, I worked in the legislature for nearly a year and followed in the footsteps of some of our nation’s greatest government and community leaders. The Fellows program led to my next twenty years in the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. Yes, that’s right. My degree and experience as a CSU student was directly responsible for giving me the opportunity to work in the highest level of public service for 20 years. More …


Sparking a Love for Learning

Richard Torres (far right) at the Better Together: California Teachers Summit. Also pictured: (L to R) Joan Bissell, CSU's Director of Teacher Education and Public School and teachers summit speakers Desiree Olivas and Leland Melvin.

Richard Torres, far right, pictured with (L to R): Joan Bissell, CSU’s Director of Teacher Education and Public School Programs; teachers summit speakers Desiree Olivas and Leland Melvin. Better Together: California Teachers Summit at CSUF on July 31, 2015.

By Richard Torres
Student Assessment and Educational Measurement, Orange Unified School District

I was never much of a student. The “one teacher who sparked a love for learning” never entered my life. However, when my parents gave me an ultimatum and a choice between work or school, I chose to attend college as a way of delaying the inevitable reality of adulthood. Books seemed so much more inviting than getting a job.

Once I completed my general education at Cypress College, I found myself transferring to Cal State Fullerton (CSUF) still uncertain of what my future had in store. With a knack for writing and an interest in literature, I decided to focus my studies on English. I’m not quite sure when it happened, maybe between the pages of Milton or Shakespeare, but a love for learning was ignited once I became a student at CSUF. The discussions in class opened up my mind to differing views. It was evident that my professors truly loved their curriculum. For the first time, school and learning was fun. More …

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A Conversation with CSSA Leadership

2015-16 CSSA Executive Officers
Pictured from left to right: Alfredo Barcenas, Lauren Lombardo, Agatha Gucyski, Taylor Herren, and Edgar Garcia 

Since 1958, the California State Student Association (CSSA) has been at the forefront of providing student advocacy at the university and legislative levels. The CSSA consists of two student leaders from each of the system’s 23 campuses – the Associated Students president and a designated CSSA representative. As the collective voice of the CSU student body, the CSSA works with both the university administration and state legislatures to advocate for or against university policy.

In fall 2015, the Student Involvement and Representation Fee (SIRF) will go into effect – a $2 per-term voluntary fee assessed to each CSU student – a proposal adopted by the CSU Board of Trustees on January 28, 2014. As the CSSA was previously funded by Associated Students membership dues, fundraising, and Chancellor’s Office grants, SIRF will allow each CSU student to financially support the association advocating on its behalf. The implementation of SIRF will aim to create a more stable, independent, and expanded statewide student association.

With SIRF in place and preparation for the upcoming school year underway, the newly elected 2015-16 CSSA Executive Officers discuss their roles and vision for the next year: More …

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Translating Research into Textbooks

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

(L to R) CSUSB Provost/VP Academic Affairs Andrew Bodman, CSUSB Professor in Public Administration Montgomery (Monty) Van Wart, and CSUSB President Tomás D. Morales at the university’s 3rd Annual Student Research Symposium on May 27, 2014 where Dr. Monty Van Wart was awarded CSUSB’s inaugural Outstanding Scholar award for his extensive research in Public Administration. Photo courtesy of CSU San Bernardino

By Montgomery Van Wart, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Public Administration
CSU San Bernardino

Beyond my passion for teaching, scholarly research is a close second. A misconception about non-science faculty members is that our sole expertise lies in teaching. What people don’t realize is that we too conduct research and engage in scholarly activity.

Whether teaching public administration, history, communications or any other subject, professors all conduct research to help our respective universities become the best institutions possible. At CSU San Bernardino, we’ve created an environment where research endeavors thrive. I’m able to bring the research I conduct in the field into the classroom to help give students a well-rounded understanding of public administration topics. More …

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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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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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