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President's Monthly Campus Update

There is a flurry of activity on campus as we near the end of summer and prepare for the beginning of the 2008-09 academic year. New faculty will arrive on campus during the first week of September to begin orientation. Returning faculty will arrive the following week. From there, it's all hands on deck for New Student Convocation and a Week of Welcome, with classes beginning on September 15th. I hope everyone is enjoying the final days of summer and is looking forward to a great '08-'09.

CSUB Alumnus Donates $1 Million
More than 33,000 alumni proudly call CSUB their university. Tom Hardt is among this growing group. A member of the class of 1973, CSUB's second graduating class, Tom recently returned to campus to fulfill a long-standing desire to give back to the university. On August 5, 2008, Tom and Barbara Hardt donated $1 million to support CSUB and our athletics program. Specifically, their generous donation will support the construction of our baseball training and playing facility, a critical component of the athletics program's move to NCAA Division I. Tom has been a builder of residential homes in Bakersfield for 40 years. He views his education at CSUB as a cornerstone of his professional success and sees athletics as a vital part of the student learning environment, teaching "core values of discipline, teamwork, competitiveness, and sacrifice" to student-athletes. The baseball facility will be an asset not only to the athletics program, but also will serve the campus community at large as well as the greater Bakersfield community as a venue for campus and community engagement. We sincerely thank Tom and Barbara for their support of CSUB and our vision for excellence.

Sister City Visit
Associate Dean of Humanities & Social Sciences and Political Science Professor Stanley Clark was among a Bakersfield delegation that traveled to Santiago de Querétaro in the state of Querétaro, Mexico at the end of July as part of Bakersfield's Sister City Project. Dr. Clark presented four lectures on social and political issues at the Universidad Contemporánea, one of two sister universities in Querétaro. These included: "The Global Politics of Food" for an audience of international business students; "U.S. Presidential Elections" and "The Presidency Won in Electoral College, not Popular Vote" to social science and law students; and "Alliance Against Violence and Sexual Assault," a special presentation of a Bakersfield non-profit model for the university's Contemporánea Foundation. CSUB senior political science major Hillary Taylor is an exchange student at the university. Dr. Clark is anticipating a faculty exchange in international business beginning in the Spring. Mayor Harvey Hall and the delegation met with city and county officials and staff regarding job programs, tourism, and a possible laboratories conference in 2009 regarding Valley Fever testing. Mayor Hall presented a $3,000 donation from the City of Bakersfield to a Queretaro orphanage, $2500 to a new senior center, and arranged Emergency Medical Services (EMS) training to emergency response personnel. Congratulations to Dr. Clark and the entire Bakersfield delegation on a successful academic and cultural exchange. For more information on the Sister City Project, please contact Dr. Clark at 654-2475.

Student Concern Leads to Textbook Revision
The hijab is a head covering worn by many Muslim women, including CSUB Communications student Zainab Shurbaji. In her Spring "Gender and Communications" class taught by Judith Pratt, Professor of Communications, Zainab expressed that the class's textbook presented only a Western perspective of the hijab as forced silence upon women. Zainab contacted Julia Woods, author of Gendered Lives, 7th edition, presented the significance of the hijab to Muslim women, and asked the author to include this perspective in the new edition of the text. Not only did the author include the new perspective in the 8th edition, but she also included a photo of Zainab wearing the hijab. Zainab's assertiveness, resolve, and communication skills are exemplary of the mark of a CSUB student. Her act demonstrates the difference that a single individual can make in social and political issues. Congratulations to Judith and to Zainab.

New Faculty
We welcome the following new faculty to CSUB:

Management and Marketing
Janice A. Black received her Ph.D. from Texas Tech University and most recently served on the faculty of New Mexico State University.

School of Education
Natalie Tran joins the Department of Teacher Education as an Assistant Professor. Ms. Tran has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychobiology and a Master's in Education from UCLA. She will soon receive a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

School of Humanities & Social Sciences
Deanna Heikkinen joins the Department of Art as a Lecturer. Ms. Heikkinen expects to complete her MA in History in August, 2008. She completed her MA in Anthropology from CSUB in 2007.

Lia Schraeder joins the Department of History as a Lecturer. Ms. Schraeder expects to complete her Ph.D. in History of Latin American in the Summer 2008 from University of California, Davis.

Yi-Chiu "Rachel" Chao joins the Department of Music as a Lecturer. Dr. Chao received a Ph.D. in Music in Piano Performance from Northwestern University in 2008.

School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Miriam S. A. Buschhaus joins the Chemistry Department as a full time lecturer after recently completing her Ph.D. degree in Chemistry at University of British Columbia.

Norman L. Keltner is Professor and Chair in the Department of Nursing. He has degrees from Delta College, Fresno State, and the University of San Francisco.

Jie Yu is currently an Assistant Professor at the Department of Nursing at California State University, Bakersfield. She joined CSUB in 2008 after completing her PhD in Nursing at University of Missouri. Dr. Yu earned a B.S. in Nursing from Peking University Health Sciences Center, China in 2000.

University Library
Sarah F. Philips is a Senior Assistant Librarian at the Walter W. Stiern Library where she has been working since last August as an Assistant Librarian. She holds an undergraduate degree in History from the University of California, Davis and a Master's in Library Science from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Kristen M. Dowling joins the Athletic Department an assistant Women's basketball coach. She comes to Bakersfield after spending the last two seasons at Pepperdine University as an assistant coach and academic coordinator. Dowling played collegiately at the University of Redlands and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Spanish. She earned her master's in educational technology at Pepperdine University.

Jody Robinson joins the Roadrunner athletic staff as the head assistant baseball coach. He was an assistant coach at Cal State Fullerton from 1975-81, when the team earned five NCAA Tournament appearances, and a national championship title. He has also held head coaching positions at Loyola Marymount and Long Beach City College. Robinson earned his bachelor of science degree in physical education from Cal State Fullerton in 1981.

Christopher Hansen joins the Athletic Department as the Men's Swimming & Diving Head Coach. A 15-year veteran of coaching at the NCAA Division I level, Hansen has produced Olympians, USA National Team members, Olympic Trials qualifiers, USA Swimming Association national qualifiers and NCAA Championship qualifiers. Hansen, who was most recently the men's and women's head assistant coach at UNC, obtained his B.A. from Rowan University and his M.A. from East Carolina.

New Staff
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Soraya Coley and I are pleased to announce the appointments of Dr. Laura Hecht to the position of Assistant Vice President for Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment; Dr. Steve Herndon to the position of Common Management System (CMS) Campus Director; Mr. Ron Radney to the position of Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships; and Dr. Carl Kemnitz as the Interim Associate Dean for the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Since these positions had been filled on an interim basis, except that of Interim Assistant Dean in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, no additional positions are being created by these appointments. In addition, Vice President for Student Affairs Shelley Ruelas and I are pleased to announce the appointment of Crystal Becks as Director of Housing and Residence Life.

University Day
Each Fall at University Day, we welcome new faculty and staff to the University and call returning faculty and staff home for the beginning of the academic year. The day provides sustenance for the mind and body. We begin the academic year with the gathering of faculty and staff for a continental breakfast at the Doré Theatre. The morning program introduces new faculty, administrators, and staff, and presents faculty and staff awards. I encourage and anticipate attendance by all faculty and staff. Following tradition, I will present my University Day Address visioning the future for CSUB. We are pleased to have as our luncheon speaker, Dr. Stephen Campagna-Pinto whose address is entitled, "From Generation Me to Generation We." Afternoon workshops for faculty and staff will follow lunch. A University Day program can be accessed at the University Day link on the home page at or by contacting Linda Mikita, Assistant to the Provost, at 654-2544.

New Student Convocation
On Friday, September 12, 2008, we will welcome a new class of entering students to CSUB at our New Student Convocation. Some students arrive at the University with strong family traditions of college attendance and educational achievement. Other students are first-in-family or first-generation to attend college. All come filled with the promise of a future made brighter by a university education. Initiated in Fall 2006, Convocation presents a unique opportunity for the University to welcome new students into the learning community, express our expectations for student learning, and demonstrate our collective commitment to facilitating their success and our belief in their potential to graduate from the University.

The New Student Convocation is part of our First Year Experience Program which was initiated in Fall, 2005 to support students' transition into college life and promote continuous student enrollment and success. Research has documented the significant impact of the first year of college on student persistence, retention, and degree attainment. This year's convocation features an academic processional in regalia to formally mark the entrance of our new students into the academic community. The ceremony is scheduled from 10:00 a.m. to 10:40 a.m. on Friday, September 12, 2008 in the Dore Theatre.

Immediately following the convocation is new student advising and registration, a club and resource faire, a meet and greet luncheon with faculty, administrators, staff, and students, and ice cream social for parents. Programs for parents are offered in English and Spanish. I invite all faculty and staff to join me at Convocation to welcome our new students. You may find additional information and the opportunity to RSVP at

John Brock Dinner
Bernie Herman, Executive Director of the Bakersfield Museum of Art, will be honored with the John Brock Community Service Award on Thursday, September 4, 2008 at the annual John Brock Dinner held at the Seven Oaks Country Club. The award is given to a member of the Bakersfield community who demonstrates exemplary leadership and community service. Proceeds from the $150.00 dinner provide scholarships to students in the School of Business and Public Administration. This year, four students will receive $2,500 each: Marco Gomez, a senior accounting major who is the first in his family to attend college; Jason McGuire, also a senior accounting major and a community college transfer student; Maria Ramirez, an accounting major who will be the first in her family to graduate from a university; and accounting major Raul Rodriguez, the son of farm laborers who carries a 4.0 grade point average. For additional information regarding the awards and dinner, please contact event chairman Keith Brice at (661) 322-4241.

University Council
The first University Council meeting of the academic year is scheduled for October 17, 2008 from 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. in the Albertson Room.

I look forward to seeing you around campus or at an upcoming community event.