CSU Voices and Views

Posts tagged with Service

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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A New Perspective

By Erin Enguero
CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement
Trustee William Hauck Scholar
Kinesiology Student at San José State

Erin Enguero at the Salzburg Global Seminar

Erin Enguero at the Salzburg Global Seminar

Every time one embarks upon a new adventure, the world changes: one’s perspective, knowledge, and most poignantly, identity. Whether a particular experience is a celebrated success, or the latest challenge overcome, every moment in our lives teaches a valuable lesson that will affect our future choices and decisions, especially in the quest for a higher education. After becoming the CSU trustees’ first hard of hearing awardee in 2012, I met many peers that helped me realize that human beings have an incredible capacity for resilience. Despite the drawbacks we must overcome, we still have the courage to move forward and go beyond expected boundaries to find meaning in our lives by making a difference.  More …

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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 …


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 …


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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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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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.
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