CSU Voices and Views

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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From Clarinet to College

By Rudy Silva
CSU Long Beach student

Silva shares his story with the CSU Board of Trustees during their January meeting. His speech acknowledges Bob Cole, whose generosity continues to support music instruction and student scholarships at CSU Long Beach.

Silva shares his story with the CSU Board of Trustees during their January meeting. His speech acknowledges Bob Cole, whose generosity continues to support music instruction and student scholarships at CSU Long Beach.

As a kid from Indio, it was impossible to realize that the clarinet would be my path to Cal State Long Beach.

At the urging of a church friend, I somewhat reluctantly decided to explore the band program in middle school.  The clarinet was my choice for a simple reason: I was able to get a decent sound out of it on the first try.  With no musicians in the family, that note – if it could be called an actual note – opened up an entire world.  I went from dancing with the radio to quickly advancing through music books.  In fact, my teacher would not believe me at first when I told her I was ready for new material.

I continued making music throughout high school with the marching band, jazz band, district honor band, and community orchestra.  I even found myself as drum major in my junior year of high school.  With all that, I never thought of my future in music until my band teacher asked me, “Are you going to be an artist or a band director?” as we worked on a prop for a performance.  The potential that he saw in me made the next step seem possible. More …

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Partnering for Our Children’s Future

By Nicole Trimble
Parent of CSUN Students
Member of Glory Christian Fellowship
Volunteer at Morningside High School

I met California State University, Chico’s President Paul Zingg at Glory Christian Fellowship in February, 2010. He was participating in a program called CSU Super Sunday, a partnership between the Cal State system and African American churches across the state. From the pulpit, President Zingg shared the message that college is an attainable dream, a catapult for success and he personally wants our students to be successful at his campus. I took the president at his word and, after talking to the president myself, passed on contact information for the assistant principal of my children’s high school, Morningside. The Assistant Principal was a little apprehensive because she had never heard of such a partnership, but took the information anyway. The next day, President Zingg called Morningside’s assistant principal and now Chico State administrators are in continuous contact with a high school 500 miles away in Inglewood.
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The Point Sur Arrives

Congratulations to the crew of the R/V Point Sur for their Jan. 26 arrival at Palmer Station on Anvers Island, Antarctica.  Their journey has already spanned nearly two months since departing from home – Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in the Monterey Bay area. More …

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Higher Education for All

James M. Rosser
President
California State University, Los Angeles

Cal State L.A. President James M. Rosser greets prospective CSU students from the congregation of the New Covenant Baptist Church in Norwalk.

Cal State L.A. President James M. Rosser greets prospective CSU students from the congregation of the New Covenant Baptist Church in Norwalk.

Like many of the thousands of CSU employees, alumni, students, and, of course, our partners in church congregations across the state, I placed high hopes on the Super Sunday effort and our collective aspirations of encouraging more young African Americans to enroll in college.

From those very first town hall meetings that inspired the CSU African American Initiative, to now our eighth year in this effort, our success is more than apparent; it is applauded and serves as a model for educational outreach and change across the nation.

Next month, when I again stand in front of a congregation to discuss the Road to College and the life-enriching benefits of a college degree, I look forward to making meaningful connections with the young people and those for whom this information is so critical. For some, shedding a little more light on the path is all that is needed. For others, the information is a call to action.
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