CSU Voices and Views

Posts tagged with Alumni

Identifying Those Left Behind, a Search for Closure

Kristyna Pfluger conducting the first part of her thesis for Humboldt State’;s Master’s in Applied Anthropology program.

Kristyna Pfluger conducting the first part of her thesis for Humboldt State’;s Master’s in Applied Anthropology program.

By Kristyna Pfluger
Student, Humboldt State
Alumna, Chico State

I was in seventh grade when I found out one of my closest friends was murdered. To this day, I’m still bothered that her family and friends don’t have closure. This experience is what initially inspired my drive to pursue a career that helps give people closure when they suffer the loss of those they love.

When you think of biology, I don’t think anthropology and forensics are usually the first two words that come to mind. But they do for me. I graduated from Chico State with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, minor in biology and certificate in forensics identification, and in July of 2014 I started the master’s in applied anthropology program at Humboldt State.

When I receive my degree from Humboldt State, I want to be able to help identify the remains of people who have died at war so that they can be returned home to their families. My goal is to give closure to our heroes’ families and friends. The type of closure that I wish I would have gotten with the passing of my friend. More …

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One Hour, One Day, Once a Year

By Dia S. Poole
Alumna, CSU San Bernardino ‘90
President, CSU Alumni Council

(left to right) Dia Poole with fellow CSU San Bernardino alumni Erik Fallis and Liza Wilson.

(L to R) Dia Poole with fellow CSU San Bernardino alumni Erik Fallis and Liza Wilson.

My CSU journey starts more than 25 years ago when I decided to attend CSU San Bernardino—I was a mid-career, returning adult student. After working a long, full day at the County of San Bernardino, I would go to school at night. It was tiring but I knew how important it was for me to get a higher education, and my experience as a student was absolutely invaluable. Everything from the insight each of my professors brought to the classroom to the network I built among my classmates helped me build the skills and talent I needed to advance my career.

Subsequent to my studies at CSUSB, I was accepted into the Capital Fellows Program at Sacramento State. There, I worked in the legislature for nearly a year and followed in the footsteps of some of our nation’s greatest government and community leaders. The Fellows program led to my next twenty years in the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. Yes, that’s right. My degree and experience as a CSU student was directly responsible for giving me the opportunity to work in the highest level of public service for 20 years. More …

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A Lifetime of Supporting Education

Bob and Barbara Ellis proudly showing their resolution from the CSU Board of Trustees designating that  Eductaion -1 building at CSULB be named in their honor.

Bob and Barbara Ellis proudly showing their resolution from the CSU Board of Trustees designating that the Education-1 building at CSULB be named in their honor.

Bob and Barbara Ellis have dedicated a total of 73.5 years of their lives to teaching the next generation. Now, with $1.4 million bequest to create a scholarship endowment for credential students at CSU Long Beach (CSULB), Bob and Barbara are helping future educators shape the lives of California’s children.

After graduating from CSULB in 1964, Barbara went on to teach English 22 years at Hughes Middle School and 14 years at Lakewood High School.

Bob earned his credential and master’s degree from CSULB in 1958 and began his career as a teacher and counselor in 1950 at Jordan High School, and concluded it as Jordan’s principal in 1987.  In between, he was principal of six different schools:  Avalon School in Catalina, Freemont Elementary, Newcomb K-8, Hughes Junior High, Wilson and Poly High Schools.

Their commitment to education doesn’t end there.
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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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PEEPS: Not Only About Marshmallows

By Jeffrey Cabanez
2014-15 CSU STEM VISTA Member
Alumnus, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Jeffrey Cabanez—a CSU STEM VISTA member—ignites passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics in high school students as the CSU Program for Engineering Excellence for Partner Schools Coordinator.

Jeffrey Cabanez—a CSU STEM VISTA member—ignites passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics in high school students as the CSU Program for Engineering Excellence for Partner Schools Coordinator.

When you hear the word PEEPS, what comes to mind? Probably five yellow marshmallows shaped as tiny chickens, or five pink marshmallows shaped as tiny bunnies, placed in a box wrapped in plastic that you eat during Easter. When I hear the word PEEPS, I think academic learning communities, STEM, professional development opportunities, and financial aid.

At Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, I am working with a brand new scholarship program called the Program for Engineering Excellence for Partner Schools, cleverly shortened to PEEPS. PEEPS aims to recruit, retain, and graduate engineering students from underrepresented backgrounds.
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Creating a Community of “Cal State Locals”—in New York!

By Cristina Rosales
Alumna, California State University Northridge

Cristina Rosales, CSU volunteer and a member of CSU’s Class of 3 Million, with Aaron Moore, CSU’s director of alumni relations, during the 2011 Cal State Tri-State Alumni reception.

Cristina Rosales, CSU volunteer and a member of CSU’s Class of 3 Million, with Aaron Moore, CSU’s director of alumni relations, during the 2011 Cal State Tri-State Alumni reception.

I moved to New York City ten years ago to take on a job opportunity to work for a well-known investment bank, a chance I considered was a huge stepping stone for my professional career. I’ve always lived in Southern California and was looking for a dramatic change – so I jumped at the chance and moved across country to take on the job and most importantly the Big Apple. After five years working for the investment bank I, along with the numerous financial professionals, fell victim to the 2007-2008 market crash and had to scramble to land a new job. During my job search and after months of attending several networking events, whether it was through another university’s alumni or an industry-specific event, I realized that my own alumni university did not have a regional chapter in the city. How could this be?
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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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My “Giving Back” Philosophy

By Kevin McCarthy
U.S. Congressman and Majority Leader
CSU Bakersfield Alumnus

(left to right) CSUB President Horace Mitchell, Congressman Kevin McCarthy, and CSU Vice Chancellor of University Relations and Advancement Garrett Ashley during CSU Hill Day, an annual day of advocacy in Washington, D.C.

(left to right) CSUB President Horace Mitchell, Congressman Kevin McCarthy, and CSU Vice Chancellor of University Relations and Advancement Garrett Ashley during CSU Hill Day, an annual day of advocacy in Washington, D.C., in 2014.

I can’t say it enough—I love education.

Education is the key to upward mobility. Education allows you to give and learn at the same time. Education provides you with the strong foundation needed to move forward—and that’s what my education at CSUB helped me do.

From a young age, my parents instilled in me the importance of going to college. Through their support and encouragement, I started a small business to help pay for school and when I was ready, I applied to CSUB. I am proud to say that I was the first in my family to pursue a bachelor’s degree.
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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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Thank You, Professor Emmitt Clark.

 Christopher Schivley—captain of the Cal State Long Beach Police Department and Cal State Long Beach alumnus—with his son Emmitt, who was named after Professor Emmitt Clark.

Christopher Schivley—captain of the Cal State Long Beach Police Department and Cal State Long Beach alumnus—with his son Emmitt, who was named after Professor Emmitt Clark.

Dear Professor Emmitt Clark,

It only takes a split second to have your life change forever. One of those moments for me was the day I met you.

You were an inspiration to me while I was a student at Cal State Long Beach. Actually, you were much more than that. You were my support, my friend, my counselor and my mentor.

As you probably remember, I came from a tough background and my journey to college was not easy. Needless to say, my first semester was incredibly difficult. Luckily, you were not just a typical professor. To make the curriculum come to life, you always used examples from your own life…and each and every story was nothing less than remarkable. Your stories about overcoming obstacles and adversity really hit home with me and through them, I felt inspired to be more like you—a self-made man.

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