CSU Voices and Views

Posts tagged with Access for Students

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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Public Policy, Here I Come

Upward Bound student Thais  Rodriguez finds her love for public policy while interning at the CSU Advocacy and State Relations Office in Sacramento.

Upward Bound student Thais Rodriguez finds her love for public policy while interning at the CSU Advocacy and State Relations Office in Sacramento.

By Thais Rodriguez
Junior, Garey High School in Pomona

Upward Bound has brought me to great heights—and my internship at the CSU Advocacy and State Relations Office has brought me even higher.

I first joined Upward Bound after seeing all the opportunities that my older brother received through the program. We come from a low-income family and are grateful to participate in a program that encourages us to go to college and helps us find our ideal career path. The program placed me in real-life work experiences that tailored to my strengths. It was suggested that public policy might be the right industry for me because I’m better at English-type subjects as opposed to math. After spending five weeks at the CSU office in Sacramento this summer, I realized that it truly was the right career for me. 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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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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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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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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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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Passing on a Message of Inspiration

Devon Graves

By Devon Graves
Student, Cal Poly Pomona
Chair, California State Student Association

My family inspired me to get a college education, and now I have the opportunity to pay it forward and inspire others.

This is my second year speaking at churches throughout the state during CSU Super Sunday about the opportunities college has provided me. For me, Super Sunday is not just speaking about the importance of college; it’s about rekindling the fire for those who have already attended college, and inspiring them to speak to the next generation about going to college.
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Education Bringing Me to Great Heights

Chinonyerem Kamalu attended Sac State after hearing Sac State President Alexander Gonzalez speak about the importance of college during CSU Super Sunday. She received the President’s Awards, an honored bestowed by President Gonzalez during commencement, in recognition of her academic excellence and commitment to service.

Chinonyerem Kamalu attended Sac State after hearing Sac State President Alexander Gonzalez speak about the importance of college during CSU Super Sunday. She received the President’s Awards, an honored bestowed by President Gonzalez during commencement, in recognition of her academic excellence and commitment to service.

By Chinonyerem “Nonye” Kamalu
Sacramento State Alumna

After migrating here from Nigeria in 2004, going to college was on my bucket list but it wasn’t my number one priority because I wanted to save up some money before going back to school. My father always told me that receiving a higher education would take me to great heights and most importantly it is an asset that no one can take away from me. I didn’t quite understand until I enrolled at Sac State.

When I first got to the U.S., I started working at an elderly home for people with developmental disability to earn money to pay for college. Years went by and I still hadn’t enrolled in school. As a caregiver, we attended church with everyone in the home and that’s when things changed. One Sunday, at St. Paul’s Baptist Church, the pastor stopped the service to introduce the president of Sac State, Alexander Gonzalez. He was speaking about how concerned he was about the low number of black Americans attending college and how important it was to get a higher education. At the time, I thought it was so cool for a president of a university to take time out of his weekend on a Sunday to speak about college.
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Serving Student Veterans

(Left to right) Director of Veterans Services Marshall Thomas, Student Veteran Mike Wang, President Jane Close Conoley, and Student Veterans Wendy Lewis and Andrew Meats at Cal State Long Beach’s Veterans Day Ceremony on November 7, 2014. {photo credit: David Nelson}

By Marshall Thomas
Director of Veterans Services
Cal State Long Beach

I’m often asked how many veterans we have on campus. An accurate number is hard to come up with because some veterans prefer to “fly under the radar” and not disclose their veteran status. With just over 500 self-identified student veterans, we have a community of students small enough to be overlooked. One of my missions is to make sure that doesn’t happen.

These days we hear a lot about veterans. News stories and academic articles focus so much on the mental health and overall wellness of veterans, it’s easy to get the impression that most are struggling with PTSD and traumatic injuries of the brain, body or spirit. Most of the research suggests that between 20 and 30 percent of veterans who deployed to a combat area experience one or more of these, and the results can have profound impacts on academic performance and social integration. Having services in place to provide support for affected student veterans should be a central part of every campus’s mission.
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