CSU Voices and Views

Posts tagged with Advocacy

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 …


Today We Make History

By Curtis Lee Ortega, Jr.
Vice President, United Student Pride
Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology, Class of 2014
Fresno State

Curtis Lee Ortega, Jr.

Curtis Lee Ortega, Jr.

Today, 17 Fresno State students will make history with our university’s inaugural Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) Commencement Celebration.

I am the chairperson of the committee that made this event a reality. I am honored and proud to be among those first 17 participating in our celebration.

This milestone represents a major step in our personal lives and the broader community. Fresno State prides itself on discovery, diversity and distinction and the presence of an LGBTQ graduation ceremony fittingly underscores that.

This celebration is a dream I pursued based on my own personal history. With poor grades and delinquent behavior, I was almost a high school dropout. Fortunately, I was accepted to a school that offered independent studies and was able to graduate even though I was heckled throughout my high school years for being openly gay. There was even heckling when they announced my name at the graduation ceremony. More …

1 Comment

A Solid Foundation

By Nancy Yoho
VP of Geographic Information Systems, Rand McNally (retired)
Alumna of CSU Long Beach

Commencement 2013 at CSU Long Beach – from left to right: Steve, Nancy, Alison and Dan Yoho

Commencement 2013 at CSU Long Beach – from left to right: Steve, Nancy, Alison and Dan Yoho

The view from the commencement platform is extraordinary. A sea of black bachelor’s robes with gold lined stoles stretches out for the length of a sports field. In the front are the faculty and master’s graduates with their colorful hoods. Punctuating the view of square mortar boards is the occasional splash of neon and glitter. The messages on the caps are always positive – a celebration of effort, family, mentors and friends mixed with aspirations for the future. Surrounding this core of faculty and graduates are thousands of supporters here to cheer on their grad.
More …

No Comments

Life’s Transitions

By Ian Ruddell
Chico State 2013 Graduate
CSU Student Trustee, 2011-2013
Hearst/CSU Trustees’ Scholar, 2010

Commencement at Chico State – from left to right: CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White, CSU Student Trustee Ian Ruddell and CSU Board of Trustees Chair Bob Linscheid

Commencement at Chico State – from left to right: CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White, CSU Student Trustee Ian Ruddell and CSU Board of Trustees Chair Bob Linscheid

Embracing Tim White and Bob Linscheid after receiving my bachelor’s degree, it hit me that this commencement at Chico State was my last official event as a California State University student and as a trustee. This was the end of an extraordinary experience and the beginning of a new journey.

Transitions always involve emotional reflection on growth, change, relationships lost and friends gained. My time at Chico State and in the CSU captured a period of personal realization, growth and change. I am leaving a lot of who I once was behind, including an identity and name.

Coming out to the CSU Board of Trustees as transgender, undergoing transition from female to male, was nerve-racking. In retrospect, their embracing support was a natural extension of the welcome they had extended me since my appointment. I also knew I had an ally in Chancellor White.

As an activist advocating for gender and sexual equity at Chico State and in systemwide student government, publicly sharing this life-changing moment was the logical decision as well as an educational opportunity for those around me. More …


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.
More …


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 …

1 Comment

Called to Serve

Rear Admiral Thomas A. Cropper
President, California State University Maritime Academy

President Cropper and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood during LaHood's recent visit to The California Maritime Academy

President Cropper and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood during LaHood’s recent visit to The California Maritime Academy

Great organizations lead with best-in-the-world attributes.  The California State University Maritime Academy is a world leader in “pracademics” — the practical reinforcement of academics by real world application.  Cadets seamlessly go from learning metallurgical concepts in the classroom to creating functioning parts on the Training Ship Golden Bear.  Intellectual learning is tested throughout summer training cruises under the guidance of strong faculty and proven maritime professionals.  Cal Maritime is exemplary of a devotion to hands-on learning that one encounters on all Cal State campuses.  I know the power of this type of education — I have personally witnessed the tremendous benefits of the CSU approach as the proud father of a son who completed his Cal Maritime degree and a daughter who is finishing at San Diego State. More …


Serving the Community

By Jamillah Moore
Chancellor, Ventura County Community College District
Sacramento State Alumna

Dr. Moore speaking with Ventura County Community College District faculty.

I take to heart the fact that community colleges exist to serve the community. Building and strengthening the neighborhoods surrounding the 112-campus California Community College system is a shared mission, central focus and key identifier. This mission involves extending a welcoming hand to high school students and giving our college students a supportive boost into their next phase of life.

The California Masterplan for Higher Education also envisioned a public system that would allow any student to work their way to the highest levels of education. Open access community colleges play a critical role in that plan. Some high school graduates’ grades or family finances are not ready for the university. For them, the community college system is the transfer pathway to success. The CSU and community colleges have been working especially hard over the last two years to make that process smoother as more and more students embrace the community college route to a four-year degree.

As the youngest of six girls, I can relate to family financial pressure. Still, my mother early on laid out “the choice” for her children. We could get a job and support ourselves or go to college and my parents would provide all the support they could. My mother was never very subtle about the option she preferred. A woman who experienced the segregation of the Deep South, she knew that education was the path to empowerment.
More …


Working Together for Reinvestment

Featuring CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed
with Greg Washington, CSU Fullerton Alumnus and
2011-2012 California State Student Association President

On April 10, 2012, CSU Chancellor Reed and CSSA President Washington went to Sacramento to advocate for students. Watch how their joint advocacy efforts are encouraging reinvestment in the CSU.

No Comments

The Hope of a Better World

By Punya Droz
Alumna of Sonoma State

Punya Droz

Punya Droz

It was the darkest chapter of Cambodia’s history.  The country of my birth was tearing itself apart and my family was caught in the middle.  I lost both parents to the Khmer Rouge genocide of professionals with education and government connections – my mother, who served with the American Red Cross, and father, a member of the military.

As I came to live with my grandmother and aunt, my family continued to be up heaved by war, famine and separation.

Dark times test character and values.  It is difficult to describe a world in which a person is targeted and killed because they hold a degree.  Yet, my family stayed true to its commitment to education – a value I inherited and passed on to my daughter.

My husband, a U.S. Vietnam veteran, and daughter attended my Sonoma State graduation this May.  My daughter and I have spent many evenings sitting together doing homework.  She is my inspiration, just as I hope to inspire her. More …


Students, alumni, faculty and friends lend us your voices and views.

Share Your Story Idea

  • RSS

Search Posts