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

We have officially transitioned to semesters!  This past weekend dozens of staff worked around the clock and converted all of the student records, registration, and course curriculum to semesters in preparation for the upcoming advising and registration.

And you thought it was just about basketball….Miriam Vivian was quoted extensively on the connection between Bakersfield and Oklahoma on the front page article in the Oklahoman Friday March 18, 2016 for the CSUB basketball team’s game against Oklahoma in the NCAA championship tournament. http://newsok.com/article/5485832

I served as a panelist at the opening presidential plenary at the Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting.  The topic was  “Thriving in a Time of Disruption in Higher Education.”

The Latina Youth Conference was hosted on campus again this year.  I was pleased to welcome them and give them encouragement to follow their educational dreams.

Isabel Sumaya, Psychology received the exciting news that the $2.5 million NIH MARC U STAR Grant: Preparing Students for a Future in Biomedical Research, has been funded!

Jacqueline Mimms reports that CSUB is partnering with SFSU and other campuses on a $500,000 Prison Initiative Grant “Project Rebound”  to increase the number of justice-involved students who persist to a four-year degree.

In Psychology Isabel Sumaya, Dee Bailey and Susan Catlett’s article “Differential effects of a short-term high-fat diet in an animal model of depression in rats treated with the 5-HT3 receptor antagonist, ondansetron, the 5-HT3 receptor agonist, 2-methyl-5-HT, and the SSRI, fluoxetine”  was published in Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior.

Alicia Rodriquez, History Department, was invited to participate in the NEH Summer Institute on “Westward Expansion and the Constitution in the Early Republic,” to be held in Norman, Oklahoma, this June.

A White House invitation:  Alumnus Megan Mawson (BA English, 2007) of The East High School Health Careers Academy was invited to the White House to attend an event that supported the First Lady’s “Beating the Odds” Initiative.  The Health Careers Academy, as part of the California Partnership Academies, in addition to five other schools from around the country, was chosen to speak on behalf of programs with long track records of helping at-risk, impoverished students succeed despite the hardships they face on a daily basis.  Megan, a Health Careers teacher, elaborated on the structure and operation of the academy, offered firsthand accounts of what students’ lives were like before, during, and after participating in the program, and presented feedback on how governmental agencies could improve policy to help such programs flourish.

Christopher Meyers, Philosophy, and The Kegley Institute brought Tracy Martin, father of Treyvon Martin to campus to talk about his vision of positive change.  It was an emotional and powerful evening with more than 2,000 campus and community members in attendance.

The President’s Speaker Series brought David Cote, CEO of Honeywell to campus for a discussion with students in class and a presentation to the campus and community.  It was a lively discussion of visionary leadership and perseverance to reach goals.

 Geology students Nick Mitchell, Richard McGuire, Charlie Gomes and Christopher Cook placed third in the IBA competition.  Jan Gillespie, Geology along with her outside consultant local geophysicist Don Greenfield are advisors for the team.  IBA is the Imperial Barrel Award, a competition put on each year by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.  Teams receive a real world subsurface dataset consisting of seismic and well data from somewhere in the world (we had offshore New Zealand).  The students have 8 weeks to learn about the geology and petroleum systems of the area and then develop and defend a series of drillable oil/gas prospects to a team of judges.  We competed in the Pacific Coast Division which included Portland State, CSU Northridge, CSU Long Beach, San Diego State, UC Santa Barbara and the Univ. of Alaska.  Local oil companies are very attuned to the results of the competition and tend to look favorably on students who participate when it comes to hiring.  It has been good to have them see that CSUB can be a contender even against much larger schools like UCSB.

I was able to attend the showcase of the RIAP program of our faculty and our high school, BC, and Taft colleagues.  I was impressed with the thoughtful and innovative material they have created for their classes and the visions that have for their schools.  This is a cross-curricular program for high school, community college, and university faculty; we have 64 participants this year.  Kim Flachman, English is our campus lead.

At the Alpha Chi convention, Nursing student, Robyn Musick, was elected student rep. to the National Council from Region VII and Jackie Kegley, Philosophy was elected Vice President of Region VII.

We hosted the 2016 Chevron Engineering Design Challenge (CDC) Bakersfield Regionals. Local high school students enrolled in the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Pathways to Engineering Program put their design skills to the test by responding to real-life scenarios and designing products at the annual CDC.

Professor of Economics, Abbas P. Grammy, recently published the Economic and Fiscal Impact report for CSUB. The report quantified the economic enhancement the university makes to the local economy in the form of community engagement, earnings increments, and productivity improvement by measuring the impacts of spending by the university, students, alumni, visitors, and active and retired employees.

Dr. Grammy was also commissioned by the Hospital Council of Northern and Central California to provide an economic and fiscal impact analysis of hospitals operating in Kern County. The analysis included ten hospitals operating in Kern County and highlights their impact to our communities and emphasizes the necessity to invest in and protect our regional health care safety-net.

The Kern Economic Summit is an annual event that provides a forum for economists and business leaders to discuss international, national, regional, and local economies. Economics Department faculty members Dr. Mark Evans, Dr. Richard Gearhart, and Dr. Nyakundi Michieka were guest speakers. Dr. Michieka discussed the relationship between oil prices and local unemployment rates, Dr. Gearhart discussed local trends related to the health care industry, and Dr. Evans discussed local economic policy.

The office of Grant, Research and Sponsored Programs held a Student Poster Competition on Friday, April 8, 2016 as part of the activities for the Research Excellence Day at CSUB.  Please join use to congratulate the students  for winning the Poster competition in their respective categories.  Winners are listed in: 2016 Winners List for Distribution with Majors.

The Research Excellence Day was a fabulous example of the dynamic research that are faculty conduct.  I thoroughly enjoyed the presentations and the posters by faculty and students.

Robert M. Yohe II, Anthropology has published an article in California Archaeology “Recently Discovered Clovis Points in Indian Wells Valley on the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, Southeastern Alta California.”

Hawk Honors student, Omar Samara won Second Place in the STEM Poster session at the Western Regional Honors Conference at UC, Riverside for his poster “Development of Autonomous Unmanned Ariel Vehicle for Pesticide Application in Agriculture.”

And that doesn’t even cover the first half of April!  More to come….


Best Regards,


Jenny Zorn, PhD

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

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