“Academics is Soaring” — From Provost Zorn, September 26, 2016

Part I

We are fully a semester campus now!  Once again, I will congratulate each and every one of you who worked hard to get us to this point.

Already the year has begun with many achievements to celebrate.

-CSUB has been ranked 12th in the nation by the Washington Monthly of all Top 100 Master’s Universities!  Of all the CSUs, only CSU San Bernardino and CSU Stanislaus outranked us.

Check out the detailed postings at:  http://wmf.washingtonmonthly.com/college_guide/2016/WM_2016_Embargoed_Rankings.pdf

-A delegation of ten from CSUB attended the CSU Student Success Conference last week.  It was an engaging and inspiring conference of best practices across the system.  Vernon Harper, Kris Krishnan, and Vikash Lakhani joined me and the President in presenting how CSUB made the change to semesters while keeping our goals focused on student success.

-The retired faculty have established an official chapter of the CSU Emeritus Retired Faculty and Staff Association.  Last week they met for a beginning of the year dinner and the room was filled with warm conversations and reconnecting with their colleagues.  It was a real pleasure for me to see their excitement to be engaged with the university and each other.

-An example of our outstanding students:  Logan Lirette, a gifted English major/Comm-Digital Media minor, was accepted to the prestigious Loyola Marymount Film School for this fall. Immaculate De Silva, one of our Alpha Chi graduates has received a $1000 Alpha Chi Region VII graduate scholarship.  She will be attending Columbia University for a MPH for Cancer Epidemiology.  Geology student Sade Haake received the GSA/Exxonmobil Field Camp Scholarships Award

-The Australian International Academic Center (AIAC) announced its selection of J.J. Wang, Advanced Studies Department, as a member of its Advisory Board along with colleagues from Vanderbilt and University of South Florida.   According to http://aiac.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=183&Itemid=690,

“AIAC advisory board members are distinguished scholars from various scientific and academic fields. AIAC Advisors’ professional and technical guidance is sought in supervising scientific quality of publications published in AIAC journals, evaluating journal proposals and research grants proposals, and giving financial aids and scholarship applications related to their area of expertise.”

-Study abroad opportunities are there for our students.  For example, four Helen Hawk Honors students attended a summer program July 4-29 at The Hague University of Applied Sciences in Holland to study “Water, a Global Challenge.”  And  Brian De Anda a History major who spent 2014-2015 in Italy, spent the last academic year in Sweden.  Extended University organized a summer program at HYOGO University in Kakogawa, Japan, making the local news there.

-The Runner Reader program is even more expansive this year beyond the One Book, One Kern book The Big Thirst.  Under the leadership of Emerson Case, English Department, CSUB purchased 420 copies of A Long Walk To Water (a “junior” Runner Reader) for seventh and eighth graders at Sequoia and Downtown schools (parts of the Bakersfield City School District). In addition, BCSD will be buying all K-3 students a book called All the Water and all 4-6 grade students a book called One Well: The Story of Water.  Emerson purchased 630 copies of One Well for the Kern Rural Teacher Residency Program, 37 different books for Buttonwillow for the Runner Read and Ride program, 200 copies of A Long Walk To Water for seventh and eighth grade students at Rio Bravo-Greeley school, and 700 copies of A Long Walk To Water for students at Actis Junior High in the Panama-Buena Vista SD.

Dr. Isabel Sumaya, Psychology Department was recognized by the Girl Scouts of Central California with their Women Inspiring Girls Award for 2016.  The awards recognize award recipients for blazing trails in community and career fields.   She will receive the award next week at their annual luncheon.

-The first Advanced Summer Institute at CSU was held in June at the Faculty Teaching and Learning Center. The institute focused on online teaching/hybrid pedagogy, student engagement and interaction in the online/hybrid instructional environment. Participants included Denise Johnson Dawkins, Allison Evans, Di Wu, Jianjun Wang, Michael Ault, Melanie Reed, Jean West, Adam Pennell, Charles MacQuarrie, Rose McCleary, BJ Moore and Dianne Turner. The Community of Inquiry Model and its three components (teaching presence, social presence and cognitive presence) were the center of discussion. Participants were encouraged to share activities and strategies that were successful in achieving these elements of pedagogy as well as what they found most challenging. In addition to the theory and research presented relative to the Community of Inquiry Model, numerous tools were introduced to support the three levels of presence.

-The sixth Summer Institute for Online Teaching took place in June with twenty faculty attendees. This institute focused on providing support to faculty in designing their online courses in a manner that adheres to the Quality Matters standards. TLC staff and Dr. Bob Carlisle, conducted hands-on experiences for the participants to design/redesign their online/hybrid courses. Dr. Phyllis Heintz, Dr. Michael Ault and Shan He also presented and assisted in facilitating the sessions. In August, the faculty presented their plan to submit their courses for an internal peer review.

Economics Professor Richard Gearhart was featured in a WalletHub piece about the best and worst cities for first-time home buyers.  You can find it here:  https://wallethub.com/edu/best-and-worst-cities-for-first-time-home-buyers/5564/#richard-gearhart

-Our first fall semester financial aid disbursement disbursed a total of $31,190,630.96 to a total of 5,893 students.  The Financial Aid offices worked hard to process all of these files for students.  Thanks to all!

Criminal Justice Department Professor Anthony Flores work is on the topic of racial bias within the criminal justice system.   Last month he was interviewed by The Washington Post.  Here is the link to the article.   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/08/18/why-a-computer-program-that-judges-rely-on-around-the-country-was-accused-of-racism/

-The Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS) Chapter at CSUB BPA has attained recognition of High Honors by BGS International for the 2015-2016 academic year! A BGS Chapter attains High Honor status through a high level of engagement by members and the Business School (BPA) values the recognition BGS provides members.  BGS International only recognized 24% of chapters out of 500 collegiate schools in the U.S. as attaining High Honors.  Congratulations to Faculty Advisors Dr. Ji Li and Dr. Di Wu and the student leadership team for their hard work and dedication to CSUB BPA’s Beta Gamma Sigma Chapter.

The University Accounting Association (U.A.A.) held their annual Welcome Back Social on Wednesday, August 31. Students networked with U.A.A. members, BPA faculty, and local professionals over pizza and trivia games. Information was provided on how to join U.A.A. and about the opportunities U.A.A. has to offer a student member.

-BPA’s John Brock Scholarship Banquet was an enjoyable evening of celebrating the four students who were selected to receive scholarships: Jesus Orozco- MBA student, David Pacheco- Business Administration major with a concentration in Supply Chain Logistics, Katie Verhoef- Business Administration major with a concentration in Agricultural Business and Marketing, and from the AV campus:  Milton Goddard- Business Administration major with a concentration in Marketing.  The Dinner honored Joe Macllvaine, this year’s community service recipient.

-On Friday we celebrated with an Opening Reception and Ribbon Cutting for the Peter Harbach Study Area at the Walter Stiern Library. Mr. Harbach was a humble man who lived a life dedicated to education and reaching out to create opportunities for learning for others.  We are grateful for his generosity to our students.

Part II

-I urge you to visit “The Winner Takes All:  The Race to the White House” exhibit on display in the Historical Research Center on the second floor of the library through December 15.   I found it to be so interesting that I just couldn’t view it all in one visit!  The exhibit displays how U.S. presidential elections have evolved over the years and have shaped today’s campaign methods.  Students created the display under the direction of curator and archivist Chris Livingston, CSUB Librarian.  Founding faculty member, Dr. Charles McCall generously donated a substantial amount of political items, some of which comprise the bulk of this exhibit.

-For the opening of the exhibit the Dezember Reading Room hosted a fascinating and thought provoking panel discussion:  Walter Presents – Election 2016 Panel, “The Election, Politics, and God” with Dr. David Schecter, Dr. Jeanine Kraybill, and Dr. Mark Martinez exploring the intersection of religion, politics, and how the president really gets elected.

-Last week’s 12th Annual Kegley Institute of Ethics lecture was perfect for CSUB.  John Quinones of ABC’s “What Would You Do?”  spoke about his childhood in a poor family of migrant workers and some of his favorite stories of his investigative reporting work that has landed him seven Emmys.

-And this week as I walked past the Engineering Complex and Science Building I was remembering this summer’s Chevron REVS-UP Program.  Along with the Chevron Executive and Dean Madden, I visited a few of the student projects as directed by Dr. Dayanand Saini, Karim Salehpoor, Maureen Rush, and Alberto Cruz.  I was impressed with what these high school students were able to learn and accomplish in just four weeks.  Each project group was a collection of students from different high schools, so they weren’t from just one or two outstanding high school teachers’ classes.  I was also proud of the faculty and how engaged they were in the projects and their obvious enjoyment in working with the students.  I was also pleased to hear the Chevron Executive engage the students in discussion about real world applications of their projects.  Andrea Medina directs the REVS-UP Program and its partner for middle school students REVS-PUPS.

-This weekend CSUB hosted the Tejon Tribe Pow Wow.  It is a fun couple of days to sit and enjoy the Grand Entry of dancing and amazing and colorful regalia. My personal favorite part of the days was the Tiny Tot dancing competition.  They dance better than me, for sure!

-The kickoff to Hispanic Heritage Month was a tasty lunch of tacos, spirited mariachis, and historical readings all organized by the students.

-I am looking forward to tomorrow night.  The Hispanic Heritage Month Committee and Campus Programming partnered with the Walter Stiern Library and Walter Presents to bring Moctesuma Esparza to campus to discuss his life journey and the importance of celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. Please join us if you are able!

Moctesuma Esparza, an award-winning filmmaker, producer, entrepreneur and activist, is revered for his contributions to the movie industry and commitment to Latinos. Esparza established Maya Cinemas, a chain of modern movie theatre complexes with the focus on providing main stream entertainment in Latino centric underserved communities. A few of his production credits include: Selena, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (HBO), The Milagro Beanfield War, Gettysburg, The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez, and Walkout (HBO). Esparza founded the Los Angeles Academy of Arts and Enterprise Charter School, is Co-Founder of NALIP, Co-Founder and former Chair of the NAA, and is a Founding Board Member of the Sundance Institute. He has served the City of Los Angeles as a Commissioner to the Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System and was also appointed by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to the planning commission of the National Museum of the American Latino. He is also a trustee of the American Film Institute. He has been nominated for an Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy and has been awarded over 200 honors and awards including an Emmy, Clio, John F. Kennedy Journalism Award, Ohio State Award, Cine Golden Eagle and The EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Los Angeles Region as well as being listed as one the most influential Latinos in the US consistently for over three decades.


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