CSU Voices and Views

Posts tagged with Alumni

CSU Stanislaus Reconnects With ‘Golden Grads’

By Lisa McMullen
Director of Alumni Relations
CSU Stanislaus

Lisa McMullen

Lisa McMullen

The memory of graduation day, walking across the stage to the sound of Pomp and Circumstance with family members in attendance, is one graduates hold close for years after commencement. The feeling that accompanies the great accomplishment of obtaining a college degree ranks high with other significant lifetime achievements.

At CSU Stanislaus, we are welcoming our esteemed alumni and their families back to our beautiful campus — for some, a campus that was not yet fully developed at the time of their graduation. This year, alumni from the Class of 1964 will remember their graduation day as our Golden Grads, with an invitation to be recognized by President Joseph F. Sheley at our commencement ceremonies.
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Inspiring Future Generations

Dr. Joely Proudfit (Luiseño)
Director, California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center
CSU San Marcos Director of Native American Academic Strategic Planning and Native Studies

Graduating students and tribal leaders with Proudfit (fourth from left) and CSUSM President Karen Haynes

Graduating students and tribal leaders with Proudfit (fourth from left) and CSUSM President Karen Haynes

This is my sixth year at Cal State San Marcos, both as a professor and as the coordinator of the American Indian Honoring Ceremony. This year’s ceremony was gratifying for me because I am proud to have seen the recruitment and retention levels of American Indian students increase over the last six years; but particularly special because I have come to advise and know well many of the graduates. More …

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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 …

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An Inspiring Month of Education

Throughout February, the California State University partnered with African American churches to deliver a message of access. That message was simple: a college degree is in reach. CSU outreach staff handed out roadmaps of classes to take. Speakers addressed overcoming obstacles in English and math. Questions about financial aid were answered.

This CSU Super Sunday provides a kick-off and renewal of year-round activities that constitute the CSU African American Initiative. These services are meant to inspire California’s students – and equally inspire those who represent the CSU by reminding us of our mission.

Below is a selection of photos from the CSU Super Sunday of February 2014.

CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White gets inspired at Saints Rest Missionary Baptist Church in Fresno.
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Hear My Song

By Madeline Dow
Alumna of San Francisco State
Mother of Humboldt State and CSU East Bay Alumni
 

Update: Travis McKinley Dow Memorial Scholarship information and application available through the Humboldt Area Foundation. The scholarship supports students bound for Humboldt State University pursuing Theatre, Film, Art or Dance.

Travis Dow playing the guitar.

Travis Dow

On some level, as parents we hope our child’s life will reflect the values and interests we share with them. Losing a child reverses this desire. The parent now carries the legacy, building on the passions of the child. In my case, after losing my son, Travis, to cancer on his 41st birthday, I‘ve been left with the golden legacy of his music. 

In the midst of my grief, I have come to believe that he would want me to keep his great life passions alive: his love of music, performance, nature and adventure. Humboldt State embodied these passions. More …

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We’ll miss you, Dr. Mehas

By Dr. Joseph I. Castro
President, Fresno State

President Castro looks on as Trustee Mehas addresses a Fresno State gathering

President Castro looks on as Trustee Mehas addresses a Fresno State gathering

We here at Fresno State are mourning the loss of one of our most distinguished alums, Dr. Peter G. Mehas, who dedicated his life to education at all levels. Pete was just days from his 74th birthday when he passed away unexpectedly on Sept. 27.

Pete was a loyal Bulldogs supporter throughout his life. After transferring from Fresno City College, he was a member of the undefeated 1961 Fresno State football team. Pete started his career as a teacher in Fresno and worked in various educational positions on the local, state and national levels. Since 2007, he served as a member of the California State University Board of Trustees.
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From Baseball Camp to College

By Carol Kiliany
IT Project Manager, CSU Chancellor’s Office
CSU Fullerton Alumna

Carol Kiliany’s son, David Garcia, with Dirtbag Camp coach Juan Favela (Cal State Long Beach graduate and former baseball player) whom David and the other kids call Big Bird

Carol Kiliany’s son, David Garcia, with Dirtbag Camp coach Juan Favela (Cal State Long Beach graduate and former baseball player) whom David and the other kids call Big Bird

My son, David, is getting a major boost toward college from current and former Cal State Long Beach student athletes who serve as coaches for youth learning the fundamentals of baseball. His love of the sport provides a gateway to developing connections and skills that will help him succeed in life.

Out on the field with David and others participating in the university’s Dirtbag Camp, the student athletes (coaches) often engage as peers. Yet, they are more than peers in critical ways. They are an example of what a young adult should be – someone who sets goals and seeks accomplishments on and off the field. They teach patience, discipline and teamwork in ways that few classroom exercises ever could. More …

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Knowing the Signs

By Marny Fern
Director, Patient Care Services
Doctors Medical Center, Modesto
Alumna of CSU Stanislaus (BSN and MSN)

Marny Fern (right) helped create a simple checklist to more quickly recognize sepsis

Marny Fern (right) helped create a simple checklist to more quickly recognize sepsis

As with many people who go into health professions, my inspiration to become a nurse came from witnessing the care that others provided a loved one. I saw good things and bad things in my grandmother’s care when she was hospitalized. I learned by watching the nurses and putting those early lessons into practice as a portion of my grandmother’s home care became my responsibility.

Years later, a 42-year-old woman came into the emergency room during my shift as a staff nurse. Her vague and obscure symptoms were not immediately identified as sepsis – a serious condition resulting from the body’s immune response to a bloodstream infection. This patient is among the condition’s casualties. More …

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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.
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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 …

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