“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.

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