“Academics is Soaring” – From Provost Zorn, Nov. 11, 2016

Faculty, staff, and students have been very productive in the past few weeks with many highlights to note.

Governor’s Award! A project nominated by the Walter W. Stiern Library at California State University, Bakersfield was selected by Governor Jerry Brown to receive the Governor’s Historic Preservation Award for 2016.

The project– Interpreting the Drawings and Career of Architect John P. Pederson— was described by the state office of Historic Preservation as “an exceptional example of historic preservation efforts on behalf of California’s cultural heritage.”  In accepting the award in Sacramento this week, Dean Curt Asher accompanied Historian John Edward Powell, student Bram Livingston, and donor Konstantine Shaw who undertook the complex project last year, which involved the discovery, inventory, description, and preservation of the Pederson papers.  Through extensive research, they established provenance of the items and pieced together the rich and varied history of Pederson’s career.  The Pederson papers are housed in the Walter Stiern Library and are among a number of important collections that archivist and curator Chris Livingston has obtained for the library’s Historical Research Center.

BPA Marketing Faculty Vince Carter and Jean West received the Corporate Vision’s 2016 Marketing, PR, and Communications Award:  Academic Recognition Award in Marketing-California.

The Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS) Chapter at CSUB in the School of Business and Public Administration attained recognition of High Honors by BGS International for the 2015-16 academic year!

Staff facilitating the sixth Summer Institute for Online Teaching:  Chris Shiery, Anthony Bolano, Anissa Fonteno, student assistants Kathy Arrios and Andreas Razo, and Director Charlene Hu developed and presented a great program for the faculty.

The California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) student center coordinators were selected to present their proposal “Decentralized Student Intervention: One Size Does Not Fit All” at the NACADA 2016 Annual Conference in Atlanta, GA on October 7, 2016.  The team of presenters, Dr. Anna Laven, Jennifer McCune, Yvette Morones, and Jaimi Paschal, explored the impacts of implementing a tiered advising model on retention at CSUB.

Dr. Kim Flachmann, English Department, was selected as the 2016 Jim Burke Light and Liberty Award recipient and was honored at the Kern High School District’s Principal Partners’ Day on October 13, 2016.

The CSU website hosts research highlights for each campus.  This particular entry highlights the NSME research activities. https://www2.calstate.edu/impact-of-the-csu/research/highlights/bakersfield

Our Alpha Chi Chapter has received Star Chapter status for our scholarly activities and member recruitment during the 2015-16 academic year.

Geologist Chris Krugh spoke about earthquake risk in Southern California in the local media.


AVP of Institutional Research Planning and Assessment Kris Krishnan has been selected to serve on the California Association for Institutional Research (CAIR) Board of Directors.

While I regret I could not attend this event, Cliona Murphy reported it was a great success:  Miriam Vivian, History Department organized a “splendid conference “Kern County at 150: Exploring our Region’s Past.”  There were six panels, a keynote speaker, a lunch at Wool Growers, and a walking tour downtown. 

All sessions were full, including the excellent keynote presentation in the Dezember Room.  Not only did our students (graduate and undergraduate), former students, and members of the public attend, they also presented. The presentations not only celebrated moments in our county’s history, but also honestly and starkly discussed social tensions and environmental mistakes as well. “

Congratulations to the Nursing Department!  Chair Phyllis Heintz reports, “We have accreditation of the MSN FNP Program by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.  So much work went into this achievement.  It is an important element to be in place for our graduating FNP students to achieve their certification.  Congratulations to Dr. Debbie Boschini, Dr. Heidi He, and the MSN faculty for all their contributions!”

And The Alzheimer’s Day Care Center, where the Nursing Department takes students for geriatric nursing, thanked our students for their nursing care on their Facebook page. ADAKC’s motto is “the heart never forgets.”

Jeff Moffit, Kinesiology Department led the student team that won the regional competition at the Southwest American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) conference.  We took two teams for the student Jeopardy competition and the team of Eryn Chang, Don Baylon, and Andrew Hudson won!  They will bring home a trophy and won free registration and $500 dollars to go to the national conference in Denver in June.  This is a big deal at this conference because the SW team typically wins the Jeopardy competition at nationals. No pressure though!

Mahmoud Suleiman is making contributions in his Fulbright residency at ANNU in the West Bank.  See these links for a look at his work.



I joined a delegation of CSUB women at the Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference where we participated in the workshop sessions, the plenary sessions, and the resources conference.  It was an inspiring day for all of us.

Tomas Martinez, Claudia Catota, and I accompanied 12 students to the Hispanic Association Colleges and Universities (HACU) national conference where they were inspired and made great connections for graduate schools, internships, and jobs.  Some appreciated the opportunity to attend because it was a “life changing” experience for them.

A delegation of six women attended the American Council on Education (ACE) Southern California Network Women’s Leadership Forum at CSU San Marcos where we were inspired by a panel of Women Presidents and Chancellors and the keynote speaker, Shelley Correll from The Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford who worked on Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In.

I was a presenter at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) Joint Conference on International Education in Beijing, China where I spoke about international opportunities on the CSUB campus for student and faculty exchanges, degree programs, and English language training.  We have established many relationships that we help us in our efforts to internationalize the campus.

Vice Provost David Schecter spoke at the campus Brown Bag Series the week prior to the election.  His talk “How the President Really Gets Elected” focused on the electoral college.  His presentation clearly was relevant for this presidential election.

Last week the Asian Faculty and Staff Network worked with the students to organize the First ever celebration of Diwali, the Festival of Lights in India.  More than 160 people attended the event to learn about the cultural history of Diwali, enjoy musical and dance performances, enjoy wonderful foods, and participate in activities.  It was a grand success for the inaugural event.

The CSUB Small Business Development Center hosted a conference in Ridgecrest in conjunction with opening their new branch center there.  Director Kelly Reardon worked with the local small businesses and the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station to coordinate the event.  It was a beautiful drive out to that part of the county through the Red Rock Canyon area which inspired me to return for the hiking trails there.

Last week we hosted a delegation from Bucheon, South Korea thanks to the relationships established through the Sister City program with Bucheon and Bakersfield.  Eun Ja Park, retired faculty member in Advanced Education has led delegations to Bucheon, including one a couple of years ago with Mrs. Mitchell leading the delegation.  We hosted a student program on campus last year in Extended University and Dean Mark Novak is working to broadening those programs and the relationship.

The visit also included fabulous choral performances by the Bucheon City Chorale and the Bakersfield Master Chorale led by Music Director Robert Provencio from our Music and Theatre Department.  The performances at the Welcome Dinner and then the following evening at the “East Meets West:  A Choral Exchange” were amazingly delightful and soulful.


“Academics is Soaring” — From Provost Zorn, June 12, 2016

We graduated our highest number of students during our commencement ceremonies with more than 2,500 students receiving degrees.  Well, provided they pass their exams!

Last night I attended the Nursing Pinning Ceremony and it was a meaningful celebration with each of California’s new nurses taking The Florence Nightingale Pledge by candlelight.

We celebrated cultural ceremonies of the Black Recognition Ceremony and the Chicano/a Celebration in the week leading up to the commencements.

The Antelope Valley Center celebrated its outstanding students and alumnus at a beautiful celebration last weekend.  I declare it to have had won the best balloon display of all of the celebrations!

The last of the four School Honors and Awards Receptions was for the School of Social Sciences and Education.  The many accomplishments of the students were an impressive array that exemplified the mentorship of the faculty.

On June 3 we celebrated the Groundbreaking for the Arts and Humanities office building and the classroom building.  This summer you will start to see the digging begin and over the coming year the buildings will materialize.

During the January-March 2016 quarter on behalf of 9 faculty/staff GRASP processed and submitted 10 proposals requesting a total of $5.2M from three federal agencies, one CSU organization, one professional association, and one state agency.

Graduate students Kenneth Lekim, Cheritha Hewakandamby, and Sarai Espinoza from the Master of Science, Health Care Administration (MS-HCA) program, who work with California Children’s Services (CCS) as Student Research Assistants, presented their initial findings for their current research at the CCS Annual Conference on May 7, 2016. The goal of the research is to assess the readiness of CCS patients transitioning to adulthood with the final goal of being to self-manage and self-advocate for their medical needs. To date, only a small fraction of their target participation has been assessed, but their initial findings show a need to increase and improve educational transitioning services.

Congratulations to Dr. Richard Gearhart, Economics Department, who received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) Chapter at their annual induction ceremony on Wednesday, May 25, 2016. NSLS members were asked to nominate a professor who teaches with heart and passion and has motivated them in their pursuit of higher education.

Dr. Di Wu, Department of Accounting and Finance, was awarded Certified Management Accountant (CMA) by Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) in May of 2016. CMA’s assess competency of internally focused accounting skills and is appropriate for professionals working in large, small, publicly traded and privately held enterprises, not-for-profit organizations, academia, and government. More than 37,000 professionals in the U.S. and around the world have earned the CMA since the program was introduced in 1972.

The 2015-16 academic year is nearly in the books as faculty finalize grading this week.  I was pleased to see the joyful faces of all of the faculty, staff, and administrators as we congratulated our students on their graduation day.  Thanks to all of you for making their CSUB academic careers possible!


“Academics is Soaring” — From Provost Zorn, June 2, 2016

We are in the home stretch!  It has been an event-filled few weeks and it isn’t slowing down yet!

Tonight the School of Arts and Humanities honored students in the Dezember Room with a variety of Project, Paper, Thesis, and Department Awards and Outstanding Graduate Awards.  Faculty and staff were visibly proud of their students and their success.  CSUB Alumna Jacqui Kitchen, the 2016 Alumni Rising Runner for A&H inspired the room with her meaningful Honors Address.

Last night was the raucous and celebratory “The Rowdy’s Late Night”  Starring CSUB Athletics in the Fox Theatre downtown.  A variety of awards were presented including academic awards for the Golden Circle and Best Academic Performance.  Overall student athletes have earned a record high 3.06 gpa.

Also last night we celebrated the credential students as more than 300 new teachers received their final credentials for teaching in our K-12 community.  Bakersfield is a better place because of these new teachers who have been guided and educated by our outstanding faculty!  The room was full of excitement and anticipation of future impact for the next generation.

The student Art Show was an eclectic collection of creativity and energy!  I always enjoy seeing the students’ creations and this show did not disappoint.

I enjoyed the show!  La Gringa was another entertaining performance by the Theatre Department. The story of a Puerto Rican from New York who is trying to find her identity. It will be entered in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Great job, again!

The Honors Recognition for the School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering was an impressive array of student research and academic excellence.  I was pleased to see the family and faculty supporting their students with deep pride.

At Commencement look for the red, white, and blue cords that our veterans will wear and thank them for their service and congratulate them on their accomplishment!  They received their cords at the Veterans Recognition Program.  We heard from several as they thanked their supporters who helped them continue moving forward to their degrees.  Many faculty and staff gave extra attention to these students as they transitioned back into civilian life.  It is always moving to hear the sorts of assistance they needed and appreciated from us.

I enjoyed the breakfast Initiation for the International Honor Society for Economics, Omicron Delta Epsilon.  The Economics faculty are so supportive of their students and happy to recognize them for their academic success.

I was honored to attend the Initiation for Beta Gamma Sigma, the International Honor Society for Business.  Once again it was clear to see the impact our faculty have on these students.  The students appreciated their mentors and the roles they have played in their academic careers at CSUB.

The Eighth Annual Gender Matters Symposium was once again hosted by Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and ClubGEN (Gender Equality Now!).  We heard research presentations by our students and a keynote presentation “Glitter. Power. Love:  A (Re)Introduction to Gender” by national GenderQueer Advocate Jacob Tobia.  I found the talk to be academic, fact-based and an honest and open discussion of gender and a personal journey.  Jacob certainly resonated with the students.

The 20th Annual Psi Chi Research Conference provided opportunities for faculty/student collaborative research projects to be presented.  The projects were in various stages of development and the conference provided a comfortable environment for the students to receive input and feedback as they develop their research agendas.  I was able to attend a presentation on “Thug” a Code Word for a Racial Epithet? that was a socially relevant research project for our current understandings of race.

I spent a couple of hours listening to faculty presentations in the Reading and Writing Across the Curriculum program.  Each of the faculty in the program gave brief presentations on the innovative teaching project they introduced in their courses.  This is a genuine learning community where the faculty learned from each other in critiquing what worked and what didn’t, adapting techniques from others, and creating different learning environments.  It was intriguing to see how divergent disciplines were able to adopt similar techniques.

Alicia Rodriquez, History Department, has been accepted to a second summer institute, this one at the Institute for Constitutional Studies/Stanford University Constitutional Law Center:  “The Reconstruction Amendments:  Freedom, Equality, and The American Constitution.”  Congratulations Alicia!

For five weeks we hosted a visiting sculptor from Japan Sachiko Miki.  She worked diligently to create an amazing sculpture for our campus that deals with Water and the Body.  This amazing sculpture is placed near Dr. Thomas Wallace’s office.  It is an intriguing sculpture that will catch your imagination.  I encourage you to stop by and experience it.

We toasted the newly retired and emeritus faculty and invited them to join with the rejuvenated retired faculty association.  The history in that room filled the air with stories and a collective wisdom of years upon years of academic advancement here at CSUB.  Thousands of students have been inspired, guided, and challenged by these faculty over the decades.  We will miss long-time friends and colleagues and hope they continue to stay engaged with us.

I enjoyed some honest discussions with the Faculty Fellows in the TLC program as we discussed professional issues and career paths.

We have launched several affinity groups as we work to build community here at CSUB:  Black Faculty and Staff Association, Latino/a Affinity Group, Asian Affinity Group, Women Leaders at CSUB, and international faculty are working on establishing a Phi Beta Delta International Scholars Society at CSUB.

As a part of the 2015 Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$) grant,  the CSUB AL$ team organized a luncheon to recognize faculty who have participated in the CSUB Affordable Learning Solutions Initiative, along with faculty who have been certified via Quality Matters and faculty doing course redesign.  Librarian Sandra Bozarth serves as the Lead for the AL$ grant.

I attended my first Roadrunner Society Induction Ceremony.  This is a fantastic way to celebrate the academic success of students as they balance numerous demands on their time while maintaining high gpas!

I also attended my first staff recognition ceremony where we recognize years of service to the university.  I am always amazed at these events when I see how many people are so dedicated to the university and love working here!  It’s great to be a Runner!

I learned about the internship program established by Dr. Wallace with President Mitchell when I joined the celebration of the Graduate Student Leader Cohort.  This program develops leadership in our graduate students and provides opportunities for some of our operations to benefit from their work on projects.

About a dozen students have been selected to attend the national HACU (Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities) conference in October.  We held an orientation meeting with the students and are preparing them to gain the most from this opportunity.

So many more celebrations to attend in the coming days!  I’m looking forward to them all!