CSU Voices and Views

The Campus at Its Best

By Toby A. Bushee
Director, Events and Donor Stewardship
CSU Dominguez Hills

Toby Bushee with Public Administration graduates Samantha Hernandez (left) and Felicia Hernandez (right)

Bushee with Public Administration graduates Samantha Hernandez (left) and Felicia Hernandez (right)

Commencement at CSU Dominguez Hills is not one event. It isn’t even the five distinct culmination ceremonies with more than 3,000 graduates in cap and gown crossing the platform to shake the president’s hand and the nearly 30,000 guests who cheer them on as their names are called. Commencement is 37 events in 30 days – a hive of activity that covers the entire campus.

And it takes nearly the entire campus to pull it off each year. Staff members keep order in the midst of that activity, many committing countless hours of their own time because they understand the importance of this occasion for our graduates. From cleaning buildings and grounds to setting up rooms and arranging chairs, from managing technology and printing programs to directing traffic and redirecting lost guests, and making sure graduates know exactly what they need to do when they enter the stadium, they ensure a perfect experience, because while this is each graduate’s big moment, it is our big moment too. It is our chance to show the campus at its best and to provide a send-off for our graduates that is positive and meaningful, a memory held for a lifetime. More …

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Student Voices Echo Through the Halls of Government

By Erik Fallis
CSU Public Affairs

In April, the California State Student Association filled the halls of government in Sacramento with hundreds of student voices. The California Higher Education Student Summit is dedicated to equipping students with the tools to be strong leaders and advocates for their peers. Last month’s CHESS was the 18th time students gathered in the state capitol for this purpose.
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Learn by Doing

By Rebecca Mieliwocki
Seventh Grade English Teacher
at Luther Burbank Middle School
National Teacher of the Year, 2012
Alumna of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and CSU Northridge

Mieliwocki is honored by the CSU Alumni Council and Board of Trustees on March 20, 2013. From left to right: Alumni Council President Guy Heston, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo President Jeffrey D. Armstrong, CSU Northridge President Dianne F. Harrison, Rebecca Mieliwocki and CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White.

Mieliwocki is honored by the CSU Alumni Council and Board of Trustees on March 20, 2013. From left to right: Alumni Council President Guy Heston, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo President Jeffrey D. Armstrong, CSU Northridge President Dianne F. Harrison, Rebecca Mieliwocki and CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White.

The central premise of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is “learn by doing.” This principle permeates every academic course and every student activity. It has also become my motto in life.

In high school, I wanted to attend Cal Poly to become an architect. That program was highly impacted, so I went into Speech Communication instead. It turns out that was a perfect major for me and I loved the program. I went from earning a Speech Communication bachelor’s degree at Cal Poly to completing a credential program at CSU Northridge.

As many do, I found a different path forward in life than what I planned as a child. I am thankful that the education I received in those early years and at the university prepared me to go in many different directions. I try to keep that in mind when I’m preparing my own students. More …

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Student Power (Save)

By Erik Fallis
CSU Public Affairs

Student power is leading the way on saving power on California State University campuses. CSU Chico, CSU Fullerton, Humboldt State, CSU Long Beach, Cal Poly Pomona, CSU San Bernardino, San Diego State and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo each host PowerSave Green Campus Programs dedicated to student-driven energy efficiency education. The programs are supported by the Alliance to Save Energy – a nonprofit organization that promotes energy efficiency worldwide through research, education and advocacy. Currently, PowerSave Green Campus Programs employ more than 100 interns each year.

Joining the League

A little friendly competition goes a long way. Two CSU Chico residence halls (Shasta and Lassen) competed against each other in Wildcat Sustainability Showdown – an effort to reduce energy use. Simultaneously, the halls advanced their campus bid in a competition against ten other campuses as a league in the Campus Conservation Nationals. PowerSave Green Campus interns and their network of volunteers informed and encouraged their peers throughout the competition. CSU Chico residence halls cut energy consumption by nearly 13 percent and walked away as league champions.

“Competing in Campus Conservation Nationals was a great learning experience. We feel very lucky to have been able to compete in such an amazing project,” said PowerSave Green Campus team manager Kayla Mahoney. “Our team learned valuable lessons regarding student behavior, outreach tools, and incentives. We built a foundation for the future competitions on our campus and we hope to win again next year.”

Shasta Hall residents celebrate their win in the Wildcat Sustainability Showdown. Students gather in the sustainability photo booth to take photos with the green competition trophy and reaffirm their sustainability commitments. More …

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This Way for a Healthier Planet

By Erik Fallis
CSU Public Affairs

Chico State students are thinking through the consequences of collective human actions. Much of the evidence is that our species is making poor decisions, utilizing record levels of the earth’s productive capacity while choking that productive pipeline for future generations.

A coalition of students, faculty, staff, entrepreneurs and activists are striving for a better path, a healthier path. This Way to Sustainability is an enormous undertaking – a student-run conference that hosts more than 100 speakers and 1,400 participants. This conference brings together those who dare to question the decisions we make today. In so doing, they find many answers about how we might move toward a sustainable future.

Decked out in an elaborate dress of plastic bags, Health Education major Alexandria Gipson (center) quizzes and informs students with trivia about the impact of plastics in the environment. More …

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Lifting Up Communities

By Timothy P. White
California State University Chancellor
Alumnus of Fresno State and CSU East Bay

At West Angeles Cathedral, CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White meets with the actors who portrayed the story of Autherine Lucy, the first African American student to enroll at the University of Alabama.

At West Angeles Cathedral, CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White (right) meets with the actors who portrayed the story of Autherine Lucy, the first African American student to enroll at the University of Alabama.

It is an amazing thing to be welcomed into someone’s home, treated as a member of the family and given a place of honor.  More amazing is to know that the visit preludes a long future of close partnership, that we have formed a family of common interest with shared plans for the future and hopes for our children.  This is how I feel along every step of the journey that we call CSU Super Sunday and the CSU African American Initiative.

Pastor Antonio Alfred of St. John Missionary Baptist Church used the apt analogy of rising up on the wings of eagles.  It is true that the church and university working together can create lift for our youth to fly.  It is right that we support each other in lifting our communities out of poverty and despair.  It is profound that we have all recognized that it takes a village to love, support and guide our children every day to a better future. More …

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Voices Unite for Access, Part 2

Throughout the months of February and March, many voices will carry the CSU Super Sunday message of college access.  Below are just a few images from Feb. 24.  CSU Super Sunday events continue with the schedule available online.

CSU Trustee Hugo N. Morales rejoins the Saints Community Church of God in Christ congregation after his remarks.  The trustee and Harvard graduate, who grew up in a Central Valley family of farm workers, related the struggles of his own educational journey to those barriers faced by many youth.

Between services at West Angeles Cathedral, CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White (left) and Bishop Charles E. Blake (right) share thoughts on equipping students with the tools to achieve a college education. More …

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All Things to All People

By La Roya V. Jordan
Pastor of Christian Education and Children’s Discipleship
Faithful Central Bible Church

Pastor La Roya V. Jordan

Pastor La Roya V. Jordan

Paul writes to the Corinthians, “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.”  

I love that verse and it is so true about the partnership between the California State University and churches like mine.  The brilliance of CSU Chancellor Emeritus Charles Reed was that he realized the university alone could not reach all children, schools alone could not reach all children, parents alone could not reach all children and churches alone could not reach all children.  Yet, we together as the CSU African American Initiative strive to become all things so that we might save our children from poverty, frustration and the worst curse of all – failure to achieve their potential.

This month our efforts took shape as CSU Super Sunday.  This clarion call from the pulpit focuses our efforts throughout the year, reminding both the university and church about our common mission. More …

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Voices Unite for Access, Part 1

Throughout the months of February and March, many voices will carry the CSU Super Sunday message of college access.  Below are just a few images from Feb. 17.  CSU Super Sunday events continue with the schedule available online.

CSU Bakersfield President Horace Mitchell (left), CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White (center) and CSU Chief of Staff Lars Walton (right) sit in the pews of Saint John Missionary Baptist Church as the chancellor prepares to speak to a Super Sunday congregation for the first time. More …

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Super Sunday – Creative Democracy in Action

Rev. Tommy E. Smith Jr.
Pastor, Palma Ceia Baptist Church
Hayward, CA

Pastor Tommy Smith

Pastor Tommy Smith

Our democracy, despite its historical inequities and sometimes slow response, is nevertheless a masterpiece of human socio-political engagement.  One of the keys and requirements of its ongoing success is the need to be innovative and creative in crafting solutions to needs that, for a variety of reasons, may not lend themselves to being solved by a specific governmental entity.  The California State University Super Sunday program is a highly successful example of one such program.  Super Sunday is a collaboration between the Cal State system and the African American faith community.  This unique paring is based on two important realizations; the fact that African American participation in post secondary education needs to improve, and the fact that churches and other houses of worship are a very effective means of reaching out to African American students. Super Sunday is a creative and effective way to address educational under-participation by using African American churches to help “Spread the word!”  More …

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