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CSU Bakersfield President's Monthly Campus Update

Spring 2011 marks a milestone for two venerable CSUB institutions and one upstart. It announces the beginning of campus celebrations as we look toward Spring commencement and the recognition and celebration of our faculty, staff, and students. It also brings new partnerships and possibilities for CSUB and the Bakersfield community.

Kegley Institute of Ethics Celebrates 25th Year
The 25th Annual Charles W. Kegley Memorial Lecture witnessed overflow attendance as Paul Rusesabagina, a Hutu manager of a luxury Rwandan hotel, recalled the harrowing events of the 1994 genocide in his home country. His lecture, "Hotel Rwanda: A Lesson Yet to be Learned," chronicled his two-month ordeal during which he sheltered and saved the lives of more than 1,200 people as more than 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were massacred in a 100-day span. Prior to the lecture, Mr. Rusesabagina spent the day on campus speaking to classes and engaging students in discussions of ethics. On my behalf, Provost Soraya Coley awarded Dr. Jacqueline Kegley, co-founder of the Kegley Institute of Ethics, department chair and professor of philosophy and religious studies, the President's Award in recognition of the Institute's twenty-five years of excellence. I congratulate Dr. Kegley and Dr. Christopher Meyers, Executive Director of the Kegley Institute, and professor of philosophy. In addition, I want to thank all of our community supporters whose contributions have sustained the Institute over those 25 years.

Celebrate CSUB! Turns Five
Our upstart tradition, Celebrate CSUB!, now in year five, will be held on Saturday, April 30th. The annual event was designed to offer faculty, staff, and students a unified event to showcase our programs and services to our community. The event built upon the annual spring Freshman Day, Parent Orientation, and Student Union Spring Carnival, and expanded it to a campus-wide open house. It is an occasion for us all to show our pride in who we are, what we do, and what we bring to our community. This year boats a record number of participants. In addition to our own faculty, staff, and students, I want to give special recognition to Sierra Middle School's Kids for Solar Energy who participate each year with a solar energy demonstration project, and to the Mojave Unified School District which brings an ever-increasing number of students each year. Let's give a hand to Evelyn Young, Executive Assistant to the President, Toni Jacobs, Student Teaching and Placement Coordinator for Elementary Education, and Susan Hopkins, Director of University Advancement Events, for bringing us an excellent CSUB tradition. See the schedule of events at

25 Years of Jazz at the Bakersfield Jazz Festival
CSUB's signature two-night jazz fest marks its 25th year this spring. Music will fill the air and fireworks will light up the night as Doug Davis, professor of music and event founder and organizer, brings jazz greats to campus. Local bands also will take to the stage. Doug performs this year as Dr. D's Debris, featuring current and former CSUB and Bakersfield College music students. The Kern County Honors Jazz Band and Soulajar round out our local performers. Headlining the festival on Friday evening is jazz legend Pete Escovedo along with contemporary artist, Eric Darius. The Kris Tiner Quintet and Rick Braun close out the show on Saturday. The full schedule and artist line-up is available on-line at The event is yet another excellent CSUB tradition that showcases the University and the city. Proceeds of the jazz festival benefit CSUB scholarships in music and many other areas. Hats off to Doug and Adele Davis.

Party in the Park
Leading into the first night of jazz at the Bakersfield Jazz Festival, CSUB alumni welcome to campus several of California's top wineries. Party in the Park is a regularly sold-out event which signals spring and the start of the jazz fest. I invite you to don your spring attire, and enjoy a night with friends on the CSUB campus. Event proceeds benefit CSUB scholarships. For ticket information, please come by or call the Alumni Office at 654-3211, or click our website at

The President's Associates Recognizes Faculty and Student Achievement
Faculty Awards
We are extremely pleased to acknowledge this year's faculty award recipients. These awards represent the University's top teaching honors, and this year they recognize the achievements of three of our most outstanding educators. They are educators who consistently provide our students with the critical components necessary to achieve a high quality education. Not only do they contribute to the overall mission of CSU Bakersfield, they also contribute greatly to their individual fields - elevating the prestige of a degree obtained from our institution and the reputation of our University in the local community and beyond.

As steadfast supporters of academic excellence, The President's Associates make these awards possible through their enduring gifts.

The Faculty Research Award recognizes outstanding contributions to the principle and practice of research. The 2010-2011 award recipient is Dr. Dirk Baron. Dr. Baron has been a professor of geology at CSUB since 1997.

The Faculty Leadership and Service Award recognizes outstanding contributions to the principle and practice of shared governance and service to the campus and larger community. The 2010-2011 Faculty Leadership and Service Award recipient is Dr. Robert Provencio, Chair of the Music Department, who has been a member of the faculty since 1988.

To honor her dedication and support of the University, the CSUB Foundation Board of Directors pays tribute to Millie Ablin with an annual endowment-funded award in her name. This award honors excellence in teaching, contributions made to students, academic disciplines and campus communities. This year's recipient of the Millie Ablin Excellence in Teaching Award is Dr. Steven Suter. Dr. Suter and two other east coast psychologists came to Bakersfield to found the CSUB Psychology Department in 1970.

Please join me congratulating our faculty awards recipients.

Student Awards
I am always impressed at the President's Associates Dinner to see and hear our student research scholars describe their research projects. I am proud of their personal and academic growth and transformation as they confidently discuss their research, thank their faculty mentors, and express their appreciation to The President's Associates for making their research experience possible. As I watch their faculty mentors stand proudly beside them, I am reminded that this is the reason we are educators and are so strongly committed to advancing higher education in this region.

The President's Associates funds the $2000 research stipend awarded to each competitively selected student researcher and his or her faculty sponsor. I am pleased to announce this year's student research scholars and their faculty mentors:

Student Research Scholars and Faculty Mentors
Aldo Amaya and Dr. Matt Leon, Asst. Professor of Psychology
Alejandro Castañeda and Dr. Carl Kloock, Assoc. Professor of Biology
Amber Barton and Dr. Robert M. Yohe II, Professor of Anthropology
Andrew Robertson and Dr. David Saiki, Asst. Professor of Chemistry
Brock Genter and Dr. Todd McBride, Dept. Chair and Professor of Biology
Dillon Giblin and Dr. Yaugsuk Ko, Assoc. Professor of Mathematics
Dirk Horn and Dr. Michael Ault, Dept. Chair, Assoc. Professor of Political Science
Jeanette O'Neill and Dr. Andrew Troup, Assoc. Professor of English
Jeremy Clark and Dr. David Saiki, Asst. Professor of Chemistry
Karissa Tonoli and Dr. David Saiki, Asst. Professor of Chemistry
Kevin Velado and Dr. Charles Lam, Assoc. Professor of Mathematics
Lauren Dowell and Dr. Antje Lauer, Asst. Professor of Biology
Melissa Marchand and Dr. Charles Lam, Assoc. Professor of Mathematics
Michael Walley III and Dr. Andreas Gebauer, Dept. Chair, Assoc. Professor of Chemistry
Patrick O'Neill and Dr. Brian E. Hemphill, Professor of Anthropology
Renee Penalver and Dr. Isabel C. Sumaya, Assoc. Professor of Psychology
Vianey Leos and Dr. Eduardo Montoya, Asst. Professor of Mathematics
Elizabeth King and Dr. S. Aaron Hegde, Director, Assoc. Professor of Economics, Environmental & Global Studies

Five of our student researchers have been accepted to Ph.D. programs for the fall. Aldo Amaya will attend the University of Illinois in behavioral neuroscience. Alejandro Castañeda will enroll at UC Davis to study immunology. Vianey Leos has been accepted at Iowa State University and will study statistics. Melissa Marchand will study applied and computational mathematics at Florida State University, and Renee Penalver will study cognitive psychology at the University of Texas. Congratulations to all of our scholars. Our June Update will highlight more of our students who have been accepted to graduate programs.

CSUB Hosts Academic and Community Medical Conference
I am pleased to announce that CSUB will host Kern Medical Center and UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine in a three-day academic and community medical conference this week, April 28-30. Each day of the conference targets a specific audience. Research will be presented to current medical professionals and students on Thursday night in the Student Union Multipurpose Room. The Friday medical careers conference in the Dore Theatre targets high school and college students. The Saturday continuing medical education conference, also in the Dore Theatre, will present current medical issues to medical professionals and students. A complete medical conference program is available at For conference registration and information, please contact Debbie Pershadsingh at Kern Medical Center, 661-326-2214.

Rapid Bus Routes Proposed for CSUB
For some time now, our University has been engaged in dialogue with Golden Empire Transit (GET) regarding the public transit service needs of our faculty, staff, and students. Transportation demand management and our commitment to environmental sustainability have moved us closer to possible short- and long-range transportation solutions. Foremost among those solutions are rapid routes to CSUB, more frequent bus schedules, and later bus service to the University. GET, along with Blue Sky Partners, Kern Commuter Connection, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, Bike Bakersfield, and BARC, will join us this Saturday at Celebrate CSUB! I invite you to visit the GET booth located in Runner Park to view and comment on the proposed new rapid routes and schedules.

University Council
The last University Council meeting of the academic year will take place on May 20, 2011 from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the Albertson Room.

I look forward to seeing you around campus, at Celebrate CSUB! on Saturday, or at another upcoming University or community event. Take care.

Horace Mitchell, Ph.D.