CSU Voices and Views

Posts tagged with Student

Transforming Lives through Education

Speech by Marilyn Thomas, San Francisco State student
and Maija Glasier-Lawson, Chico State student

The 2012 William Randolph Hearst/CSU Trustees' Award for Outstanding Achievement recipients

The 2012 William Randolph Hearst/CSU Trustees' Award for Outstanding Achievement recipients

Before an audience of alumni, faculty, administrators, CSU trustees, CSU Foundation governors, peers, friends and family, two students present themselves and their fellow recipients of the Hearst/CSU Trustees’ Award

As the 2012 Razi Scholar, Marilyn Thomas best exemplifies the principles of the award — financial need, personal hardships, and attributes of merit, including superior academic performance, exemplary community service, and significant personal achievements.  As the 2012 Galinson Scholar, Maija Glasier-Lawson best exemplifies extraordinary public service to her home, university or global community.

These remarks are as prepared prior to delivery on Sept. 18. More …

No Comments

Building the Door

By Marilyn Thomas
2012 Trustee Emeritus Ali C. Razi Scholar
SFSU Alumna, Master’s Student

Marilyn Thomas and her son at graduation.

Marilyn Thomas and her son at graduation

Milton Berle, of TV’s golden age, said “if opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” 

It was hard to hear opportunity knocking as I grew up in San Francisco’s most marginalized neighborhoods, dealt with the fall out of my parents’ substance abuse and became homeless at 15.  The closest thing to a golden age for my childhood came in the brief time my mother, brother and I lived in the middle–class suburb of Millbrae.  It was a struggle to meet the academic challenges of Mills High, but I discovered the joy of learning in my freshman and sophomore years of high school — that was until my family fell apart. More …

No Comments

A Little Otter than Before

Photos and captions by
Brad Polzin and Erik Fallis

Throughout the month of July, CSU Monterey Bay hosts hundreds of young and aspiring artists, university faculty and accomplished art professionals from throughout the state.  The campus becomes a setting for exploration of students’ talents, artistic risk-taking, sharing of experiences, peer collaboration and professional constructive criticism.  All of this excitement occurs under the banner of CSU Summer Arts, the university system’s intensive and immersive arts program.

CSU Summer Arts is truly a little otter than before.  The program fully embraces their new home campus and its rather adorable mascot.  Several otter appearances punctuate the summer, including a costume for Zac — the son of CSU Summer Arts Office Manager Kelley Lansing-Moreno.

CSU Summer Arts is truly a little otter than before. The program fully embraces their new home campus and its rather adorable mascot. Several otter appearances punctuate the summer, including a costume for Zac — the son of CSU Summer Arts Office Manager Kelley Lansing-Moreno.

More …

No Comments

The Conversation

By Sharon A. Castellanos
Perinatal Nurse Practitioner
San José State Alumna
Incoming Doctor of Nursing Practice Student


Sharon's son Brandon

The conversation about my son’s car accident, in 2006 when he was only 18, often leads to this question: Did my work as a nurse help me cope with the loss?  As a parent, when you hear the words “I’m sorry” nothing in your background matters.  That loss is devastating and you are no longer a nurse — you are entirely a grieving mother.  What helped in coming to terms with Brandon’s death was not a career in healthcare or even a life dedicated to patients and families.  I found my solace in the conversation my son and I had about organ and tissue donation.  It was his last wish that I was able to honor, and his generosity gave the gift of life and quality of life for others. More …

1 Comment

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 …


Team Work Makes the Dream Work

CSSA officers meet with Marty Block, chairman of the Assembly Higher Education Committee.

Collaboration, commitment and communication were the underlining themes throughout the 2012 California Higher Education Student Summit. Student leaders from 22 CSU campuses came together to work as one in hopes of achieving a common goal: saving higher education.

From April 20-22, members of the California State Student Association (CSSA) participated in workshops at Sacramento State University where they learned how to effectively disseminate key messages, picked up vital leadership techniques and shared ideas of how to lobby.

When the workshop trainings were completed, the students gathered together for an inspirational awards banquet where stories about the positive effects of advocacy were shared, the need for investment in affordable education was expressed, and recognition of campus and individual student accomplishments were lauded. CSSA President Greg Washington concluded the banquet with one simple phrase that incited a roaring round of applause from his peers: “Team work makes the dream work.” More …

No Comments

A Passion for Composting

By Kaitlin Zitelli
Communications Major
Sonoma State University

Zitelli works as a student assistant in the SSU University Affairs office.  Below is her profile of a peer – originally posted on Sonoma State’s News Center.

Tubb advises other students on composting

Tubb advises other students on composting

Less than five minutes into talking about compostable eating utensils with Diedre Tubb, the SSU senior jumps up and walks purposefully toward the dining hall.  It is closed for business, but that doesn’t stop her.

Diedre continues talking about the new composting program she has helped launch on campus as she walks around the Zinfandel cafeteria. To fully explain just what she means, she incorporates a lot of visuals, whether they be picking up the actual compostable utensils she is talking about or using her hands and facial expressions.

This is largely due to the fact that Diedre is deaf, with almost no hearing ability. But that hasn’t stopped the Environmental Studies and Planning student from accomplishing more on campus during her last semester than most students do in four years.

Signing the names of certain items as she speaks, she seamlessly informs while at the same time asking very pertinent questions. It’s as if her brain is ten steps ahead of the average person’s. More …

No Comments

Building a Better Future

By Sergio S. Pineda
Jumpstart Site Manager
CSU Dominguez Hills

Over many weekends and holidays, including most recently Cesar Chavez Service Day, Jumpstart volunteers at Cal State Dominguez Hills have been building a better future for an extraordinary family. Below is the description of the family that we received from Habitat for Humanity.

Jordan, Eric and ShemikaEric and Shemika live with his mother in Long Beach.  The family of three share a 100 square foot room in the deteriorating home.  Their 16-month old son Jordan is growing up fast and Shemika dreams of the day that he has his own room and space to play.  The family struggles with the overcrowding but were forced to make the best of the small space when Eric lost his job more than three years ago.  
More …

No Comments

Connecting Identity, Place and Community

By Rose Vasquez-Galimov
ACE Scholar and CSU San Marcos Student

Foster and adopted youth often feel particular urgency in the question: Who am I?  It took several difficult years for me to come to an answer.  I grew up on the San Pasqual Reservation.  After I turned eighteen, I returned to connect with lost family and community after more than a decade away from the Santa Ysabel Reservation of my birth father.

I have learned my identity.  I am a Kumeyaay woman of the Santa Ysabel Tribe.  I am also a student at Cal State San Marcos.  I am a person who dances to preserve a rare tradition of history, family, life and prophecy while studying to advance my tribe’s future.

The reservation and campus create two focal points for my life.  The reservation is a place of spiritual fulfillment, comfort and familiarity.  The campus is a place of opportunity, challenge and diversity.  Both of these places are crucial to shape the person I am and hope to become.

I consider myself very lucky.  Through the American Indian Recruitment Program, I had the support and encouragement of college students during high school.  Christy, a Cal State master’s student, stuck with me and helped me complete college applications.  She still occasionally helps with a little moral support.

My fortune continues at Cal State.  I find myself at a campus where I am accepted as a former foster youth and Native American woman.  I am part of the ACE Scholars program and the American Indian Student Alliance, with a safe refuge in the new campus cultural center.  I also mentor high school students as Christy once mentored me.

At Cal State, I am laying a foundation for bringing my two realities together.  I persevere in my education out of a desire to serve native people.  My goal is to finish my bachelor’s and go on to a Master’s in Social Work at San Diego State.  I believe that my experience will allow me to relate to Native American students and foster youth currently in the system. 

Ultimately, my goal is to help others create bridges between their current reality and the world of opportunity that comes with an education.

Note: Below is a video documenting Rose’s journey.

WORLDS APART from Brendan Nahmias on Vimeo.

1 Comment

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

Share Your Story Idea

  • RSS

Search Posts