“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.

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