“Academics is Soaring” — From Provost Zorn, March 28, 2016

-A recent visit to campus from a 2015 graduate provided a testimonial to the great work we do here at CSUB.  She is completing her Masters degree at a UC this spring and has been offered an internship in Washington, DC.  She spoke with a CSUB administrator and reflected back on her years at CSUB and said it was a great education, far better than what she saw the undergraduates at the UC were receiving, saying most undergraduates there never get to see their professors, they are taught by graduate teaching assistants.  She spoke of how she valued all of the dedicated faculty who truly cared about her success and the staff who were supportive of her when she could easily have felt like she didn’t fit in.

-Attached is a listing of the winners of the California State University Bakersfield Student Research Competition which was held on Friday, March 4, 2016. Please join us in celebrating the wonderful work of our students done under the supervision of our faculty. Some of these winners will represent CSUB at the CSU Statewide research competition to be held on our campus on April 29 and 30, 2016.   Thanks to GRASP for organizing the event and competition.

Physical and Mathematical Sciences
1st Place – Nkiruka Oragwam (Chemistry)
2nd Place – David-Allen Alvarez (Geology)
1st Place – [Tie] Rachel Tiner (Geology)
Jordan Martin (Geology)
Engineering and Computer Sciences
1st Place – Sheriff Sadiqbatcha (Computer Engineering)
2nd Place – Alex Ramirez (Electrical Engineering)
Biological and Agricultural Sciences
1st Place – Rachel Oldfield (Chemistry)
1st Place – David Salisbury (Biology)
Behavioral and Social Sciences
1st Place – Andrew Suter (Psychology & Biology)
2nd Place – [Tie] Hala Alnajar (Sociology)
Samirah Hussein (Psychology)

-The College of Business and Public Administration began a new professional development initiative with community partners.  More than twenty community partners participated in mock interviews and mentoring of students to bring Dean Kalfayan’s vision to reality.

Sophia Adjaye from the English Department coordinated this quarter’s event, a talk in the The Warren Family Lectures in Language and Linguistics (L3) series on February 18. The guest lecturer was Sharese King (Ph.D. candidate) of Stanford University, and her topic was Rachel Jeantel on Trial in the Case of George Zimmerman.

– The School of Arts and Humanities advising team was selected to present their proposal “Do Minors Matter: Analysis and perceptions of requiring a minor” at the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Region 9 conference in Los Angeles March 15-16.  Led by Dr. Anna Laven and including advising staff Adriana Sixtos, Christina Chavez and Janine Cornelison, the team sought to better understand the positive and negative impacts of the minor requirement as the school began to consider making minors optional.  The research project contributes to the literature by bringing to the forefront another facet of curricular life that can impact retention and graduation rates beyond that of major selection.

Anna Laven, Ed.D., Advising Center Coordinator for the School of Arts and Humanities, has been invited to serve on the Government Relations Board for the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.  As a member of the Government Relations Committee, Dr. Laven will work to educate, advocate, and take policy positions on issues that affect its members and impact business in the communities of Kern County.  She will attend regular board meetings and focus on opportunities that may benefit our students.  Thank you for your willingness to serve and contribute!

-The Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies Professor Tim Vivian’s article “Wake the Devil” received The Historical Society of the Episcopal Church’s 2015 Nelson R. Burr Prize which honors “that which best exemplifies excellence and innovative scholarship in the field of Anglican and Episcopal history.”  Two of his reviews also were recently published:

Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence, by Karen Armstrong. Cistercian Studies Quarterly 51.1 (2016): 129-133.
The Ransom of the Soul: Afterlife and Wealth in Early Western Christianity, by Peter Brown. American Benedictine Review 67:1 (March 2016): 114-116.

-Congratulations to Dr. Debra Jackson (Philosophy) for the publication of her article, “Throwing Like a Slayer: A Phenomenology of Gender Hybridity and Female Resilience in Buffy the Vampire Slayer” in  Slayage: The Journal of Whedon Studies, 14.1 [43], Winter 2016.  

– A partnership between Cal State Bakersfield and a Los Angeles water treatment company is giving local engineering students real-life experience with one of Kern County’s most intractable challenges: how to divert wastewater for economical reuse in agriculture.  Luis Cabrales, an assistant engineering professor at CSUB, said the program is great because the nine students, all in their senior year, not only receive training from the company but also receive “hands-on experience on real problems.”

-The Department of Physical Education and Kinesiology led by Kris Grappendorf partnered with Buttonwillow Elementary School and Kaiser Permanente on a Runner Read and Ride Program.  The middle school students ride on stationary bicycles while reading and the PEAK faculty and students are measuring their fitness levels. The research is focused on childhood obesity while motivating students to read while they pedal away. Kaiser Permanente funded the bicycles and fitbits.  During the kickoff event I spoke with students who were enthusiastic about the books they were reading and the fun they were having riding the bicycles. I rode 1.5 miles and burnt 58.1 calories during the open house!

-Five student athletes qualified for the NCAA wrestling championships in Madison Square Gardens in New York City.  Congratulations to Adam Fierro, Reuben Franklin, Ian Nickell, Bryce Hammond, and Coleman Hammond! Nickell, Hammond, and Hammond all made it to the quarterfinals before being eliminated today. Great Season, Runners!

-The Basketball team won the WAC championships on a buzzer beater to qualify for their first time in the NCAA Championships in just their sixth season of eligibility to compete.  They played a great game against number 2 seed Oklahoma (who are still in it, making it to the final four) in front a hometown crowd in Oklahoma City with a few hundred loyal Runner fans supporting them through the final minutes.  All of this during finals week where they took exams during their down time in Oklahoma.

“Academics is Soaring” — From Provost Zorn, March 16, 2016

-The Ethics Bowl, in its first appearance, won the regional competition.  This weekend they traveled to Washington, DC and brought home more hardware!  They made it to the quarterfinals where one of the students reported that they faced a formidable US Naval Academy who sunk J their chances to move on to the semifinals!   Faculty member Debra Jackson, Philosophy, was the team advisor.  Congratulations to all and thanks for representing us so well!

-CSUB hosted the 24th Annual Kern County Regional Science Bowl on February 13 with 31 teams competing with 160 students, 74 volunteers, and nearly 60 friends and family on campus.  Thanks to Chemistry Professor Roy LaFever who is the faculty coordinator for this event.

-The Department of Teacher Education hosted more than 200 K-12 teachers for a workshop “ Choose Your Own Edventure: Technology in the Classroom” as part of their Residency Program for K-12 teachers.  The workshops I attended were lively and informative for the teachers.  These are the types of programs that serve our educational community and build on our partnerships.

-The Nursing Department hosted a successful site visit and received a positive review by the visiting team.  The Masters in Nursing is now accredited by CCNE!!!!

-A record number of graduation checks are being processed for over 1700 students!  All of your work to help those students complete their degrees during the quarter system has paid off and we will see a record number walk across the stage this June!

-A student art and creative writing project “Writing into Color.  Color into Writing” was a collaboration of Matthew Woodman, English Department and Matthew Rich, Art Department.  The painting class painted colored squares and the creative writing students then wrote poems from their interpretation of the colors.  And other creative writing students wrote poems that other painters interpreted in colored squares.  I was impressed with this interdisciplinary classroom concept and the poetry was especially moving.

-The History Department and the Library continue to collaborate on academic talks in the Dezember Reading Room.  The latest was Mustafah Dhada, History Department and his talk on his research in Mozambique where I learned a great deal about the country and its history.

-The Geology Department hosted a fascinating talk by Geologist Jerome DeGraff  “Fire, Earth & Rain:  Emergency response for Wildfire-Induced Landslide Hazards”  that was specific to our region and personal to me as I experienced the mudslide on Highway 58 back in October.

-The Music and Theatre Departments have produced some entertaining shows this fall and the latest I was able to enjoy was the Opera Theatre.

Dean Richard Collins was selected to serve on the Executive Board of California Humanities and  recently was named to the Executive Committee, serving as Chair of the Audit Committee.  This 40 year old organization supports the humanities in our state with the mission “To connect Californians to ideas and one another in order to understand our shared heritage and diverse cultures, inspire civic participation, and shape our future.”

-Our Iota chapter of Alpha Chi, the National College Honor Scholarship Society, has been named a Star Chapter for 2014‐15, a recognition achieved by fewer than one‐fifth of the chapters across the nation.  Philosophy Department Professor, Jackie Kegley serves as their advisor.

“Academics is Soaring” — From Provost Zorn, March 7, 2016

Becky Larson and the Mathematics Department hosted Fifteen junior high and middle schools brought 132 students from Bakersfield, Ridgecrest, McFarland, and Bishop to compete in the 2016 Kern County MATHCOUNTS chapter competition on Friday, Feb. 19.  In the afternoon, they gathered in the BDC to compete in 3 rounds (2 individually and 1 in teams), where they worked on challenging problem sets.  In the evening, the top 10 students from the afternoon competed head-to-head on the stage in the Dore’ Theater and in front of an audience.

Our chapter is sending our 2 top teams and 3 top individual students (called “independents”) to compete in the Southern California state competition on Saturday, March 12, at UC Irvine.

And the high school Leland Webb Math Field Day competition will compete on campus Saturday, March 12.

-Congratulations to The Runner for receiving several awards!  Jennifer Burger, the adviser for The Runner newspaper, and 10 staff members attended the Associated Collegiate Press convention and California College Media Association banquet.  Under the leadership of Editor-in-Chief Esteban Ramirez, The Runner won seven awards!

California College Media Association:
1st Place, Best Sports Photo:  AJ Alvarado
3rd Place, Best Photo Series:  AJ Alvarado
3rd Place, Best Sports Story:  Esteban Ramirez
Honorable Mention, Best A&E Story:  Shelby Parker
3rd Place, Best Special Issue 40th Anniversary Issue
Honorable Mention, Best Website, The Runner Online
Best of Show contest, Associated Collegiate Press:
7th Place, Best Website – Small School for The Runner Online

-The Department of Economics hosted a student simulation of a Federal Open Market Committee meeting.  Dr. Margaret Malixi organized the event that included experts in the Federal Reserve System.

-The Office of Grants, Research, and Sponsored Programs hosted the Seventeenth Annual Student Research Competition.  I was able to observe presentations by students in Biology, Chemistry, Sociology, and Engineering.  I was impressed with the quality of the research and presentations.  The faculty have clearly mentored the students very well and I look forward to the system-wide research conference that we will host next month!

Judy Pedro and Phyllis Heintz from Nursing were awarded grants totaling nearly $270,000 from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.  The award process includes a review of the written proposals and a day of oral presentations that can either enhance or harm their point scores from the written proposal.

Kris Grappendorf, Chair of the Kinesiology Department is leading the a Physical Education and Kinesiology Department program with Kaiser Permanente.  The Runner Read and Ride Program is a partnership with Buttonwillow Union School District combining reading and riding.  Since the program launched students acquired more than 10,000 minutes of reading and riding at the same time over the course of five weeks and it has driven the students to a greater desire to read.

The Kegley Institute sponsored a presentation: “Race, Religion and U.S. Politics: Issues on Immigration,” featuring Miguel De La Torre, Iliff Professor of Social Ethics and Latino/a Studies at Iliff School of Theology.  The discussion was thought provoking on timely and important issues of our times.

-I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion and interaction with the Philosophy Department at a research colloquium with Philosophy Professor, Jackie Kegley who presented her latest research.  I was impressed with the student and faculty open debate and insights as we all wrestled with the concepts Dr. Kegley introduced.

-“Theatre of New Voices,” a series of One-Act Plays Written and Directed by Theatre Arts and Music Students in the Dore’ Arena Theatre were a delightful mixture of intrigue, suspense, deep-thoughts, and comedy. They were completely written, directed, acted, and produced by students, including the musical compositions too.

Emerson Case from the English Department announced, “with a big splash,” the 2016-17 One Book selection for Kern County high school, community college, and CSUB “The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water” by Charles Fishman.

-The English Department also hosted the “Unmasking Best Practices.” Building Bridges Conference, the 26th year of collaboration with Kern County High Schools, Community Colleges, and CSUB. The conference was expertly organized again by Kim Flachman and was focused on writing and reading, general education, and English education.