Brent C. Dickerson, Mathematics and Statistics, recently donated to the Huntington Library’s archives an autographed letter of 1835 written by the Napoleonic soldier and influential horticulturist Jean-Pierre Vibert. No other such letter by Vibert is known to exist. Dickerson had owned the document since 2008.
Boak Ferris, English and Comparative World Literature and Classics, saw publication of his new textbook titled Write Immortal Fiction: Learn from Homer in August.
Martin Fiebert, Psychology, along with two undergraduate students, Azadeh Aliee and Hoda Yassami, published an article titled “The Life Span of a Facebook Post: Age and Gender Effects” in the July issue of an open access journal, The International Review of Social Sciences and Humanities.
The open enrollment period for any changes to health or dental benefits, flexcash, certain voluntary benefits and enrollment/re-enrollment in the Dependent Care and Health Care Reimbursement Account plans is Monday, Sept. 15 to Friday, Oct. 10.
The open enrollment fair will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 23, from noon to 2 p.m. at Brotman Hall on the third floor patio. On hand will be representatives from current medical, dental, vision and various voluntary benefits providers.
Because of CalPERS and other state restrictions, requests received after Oct. 10 will not be accepted. It’s important to note that the Dependent and Health Care Reimbursement Account plans require re-enrollment every year, even if an employee wishes to continue the same contribution amount. Current participants must complete a new enrollment form annually. The open enrollment period is also the time when employees can add dependent children under 26 years of age if they have not already done so.
Changes made during the open enrollment period become effective Jan. 1, 2015.
Please review your plans carefully as premium rates and co-payments are subject to change. If you did not receive information from CalPERS regarding open enrollment, information is available on the Benefits Services website.
As a reminder, a Social Security number and proof of the dependent is required for any individual enrolled in a CalPERS health plan, CSU dental and/or vision plan as the dependent of a benefits eligible employee. This policy is applicable to new hires and existing employees. If an employee selects coverage for his/her dependent(s) during open enrollment and does not provide a valid Social Security Number for the dependent(s), the open enrollment request will not be processed until proper documentation is provided. If the dependent is deemed ineligible to qualify for a Social Security Number, the employee must provide documentation of this information. You may also delete dependents during the open enrollment period.
History’s Dave Neumann and Tim Keirn received a $177,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) last fall to support a two-week workshop this summer for teachers from all over the country to explore the topic “Cold War Home Front in Southern California.”
Neumann, director of the History Project at CSULB, and Keirn, a full-time lecturer in history and the College of Education, as well as the director of the Yadunandan Center, were pleased at the level of funding they received from the NEH in support of the workshops’ focus on the role of aerospace in shaping the economy and culture of the region.
The NEH sponsors Landmarks in American History and Culture throughout the country during the summer that introduce teachers to historic locations with important connections to the American past. Keirn, who joined the Department of History in 1991, pointed to the CSULB workshops’ distinctive approach to the Cold War.
“Lots of teachers address the home front when they teach about World Wars I and II, but they don’t think of the Cold War as having a home front,” he said. “Southern California, with its concentration of defense contracting and aerospace manufacturing, was the major American home front of the Cold War.”
To take just one local example, the North American Rockwell plant in Downey in 1970 encompassed more than 200 acres and employed more than 30,000 people. At this site, the Apollo and Space Shuttle vehicles were designed and built. Now all vestiges of the plant are gone. Participants in the workshop attended a roundtable of retired North American Rockwell engineers who shared their Cold War experiences in aerospace design and manufacture as part of the Space Race and defense contracting.
Neumann, who has been a member of the university since 2005, explained, “Given the role of aerospace in Southern California, it made sense to make the Cold War the theme for our project.” Based on Keirn’s idea, Neumann wrote the grant which involved researching historical context, planning the week’s schedule, coordinating site visits, and arranging speakers. The twin workshops in the last week of July and the first week of August hosted 72 participants, which the NEH calls summer scholars, in 36-member cohorts.
As project director, Neumann’s goal for the workshops was to help summer scholars think through the idea of a Cold War home front through three key elements.
The first major component of the workshops was field trips to relevant sites. The group visited Long Beach Airport where Douglas Aircraft played a key role during the Cold War, toured the California Science Center to see the artifacts from the space program including the space shuttle Endeavour and also toured the Jet Propulsion Laboratory which pioneered in missile and spacecraft experimentation, and continues to supervise the Mars rovers.
The workshops’ second component consisted of speakers as several scholars addressed technical aspects of aerospace.
“This is an area in which most educators do not have much background,” said Keirn. “There is a new emphasis at the K-12 level on STEM instruction. For teachers more used to instructing English, social studies and history, these workshops offer a technological connection.” Other scholars presented on the ways that the Cold War intersected with popular culture in Southern California.
Speakers also included people with first-hand experience of the aerospace industry, such as Elinor Otto, a 94-year-old World War II riveter who still works at Boeing and met participants at Long Beach’s Rosie the Riveter Park. At Downey’s Columbia Memorial Space Center, located on the grounds of North American Aviation’s former plant, participants also interacted with a panel of aerospace engineers.
The series’ third component was scholarly readings.
“These teachers from all over the U.S. are particularly high quality and enthusiastic educators,” said Neumann. “They really got into the reading and discussion. The biggest problem we had was time. There always were more questions and comments.”
Neumann’s experience with organizing workshops comes from his work with the California History-Social Science Project, a K-16 collaborative effort headquartered at UC Davis and dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in history and social science education.
“The History Project is committed to improving the teaching and learning of History-Social Science through partnerships between K-12 teachers and university faculty that strengthen disciplinary content knowledge for all students as outlined in the History-Social Science Content Standards,” he said.
“What we were doing in this NEH workshop is unique in the sense that we are researching landmarks and home fronts that are not traditional and disappearing,” said Keirn. Some of the central historical questions addressed by the workshop were: If the United States won the Cold War, then why do so few landmarks remain? Where are the American monuments to the Cold War? Given that much of the work done in the Cold War was performed behind a wall of security, how does a nation memorialize things it doesn’t officially know about? In this sense, how was Southern California also a center of the security state?
Neumann believes the double workshops reflect well on CSULB.
“This university exists because of the Cold War boom that followed World War II, and these workshops place the campus in that context,” he concluded. “Rising standards of living and the emergence of a new type of economy drove the demand for increased access to higher education, a role primarily fulfilled by CSU schools like Long Beach State. Thanks to the CSU, education has been further democratized and given a mission of outreach to the community.”
All 10 candidates from CSULB were selected as 2014-15 participants in the Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program (CDIP), a loan program aimed at increasing the number of individuals completing doctoral programs, especially those interested in applying and competing for future California State University (CSU) faculty positions.
The largest program of its kind in the nation, CDIP had 67 applications submitted for consideration to its selection committee, and based on the committee’s deliberations, the chancellor approved the names of 53 candidates for 2014-15 funding.
This year’s selections from CSULB (as well as their chosen doctoral discipline of study) include Raisa Fernanda Alvarado (Communication Studies/Critical Culture Studies); Nasima Farzana Bhuiyan (Engineering and Industrial Applied Mathematics/Transportation Engineering); Maria Carreras (History/Modern Europe); Jake Campbell (Political Science -American Politics/ Public Policy); Jun Y. Kim (Nursing/Doctor of Nursing Practice), Hero Ozagho (Engineering and Applied Mathematics/Aerospace and Mechanical and Applied Mathematics); Sue Hyunmi Park (Sociology/labor, race, class, gender); Rusty Marilee Rust (English/Critical Theory, Gender and Sexuality and American Literatures); Nicole Smith (Education /Special Education); and Kacie Wills (English/18th and 19th Century in Literature Literary Theory).
Now it its 26th year, CDIP provides graduates, lecturers and others with a strong interest in teaching at the CSU loans to support their doctoral study. The program works by lowering initial financial barriers, forging connections to current CSU faculty and offering loan forgiveness to those who obtain teaching positions in the CSU.
Individuals selected to participate may borrow up to $10,000 annually to a limit of $30,000 over a five-year period while enrolled in full-time doctoral study. If a participant obtains a full-time instructional faculty position in the CSU, the loan principal and interest are “forgiven” at the rate of 20 percent for each year of service. After five years of full-time CSU faculty service, the entire loan amount can be forgiven. Part-time teaching in the CSU may also be considered for partial loan forgiveness, if the participant teaches at least half-time and has successfully completed the doctorate degree.
“I’m very thankful and honored to have been selected for the CDIP. I’m looking forward to continue working with my CSULB faculty advisor, Marquita Grenot-Scheyer as she has been an instrumental mentor to me,” said Smith, who is an autism services coordinator in Disabled Student Services at CSULB. “Even before I received notice that I had been selected, she was already working with me by guiding me through the process of becoming a faculty member.
“I also have had much support from my director, David Sanfilippo in applying for CDIP and becoming interested in becoming a professional in higher education,” she added. “I am very grateful to those individuals and many more who have mentored me and guided me in my positions as an Autism Services Coordinator through Disabled Student Services as well as instructional faculty in the departments of education and family and consumer sciences.”
CSULB has approximately 50 current faculty members who were CDIP recipients, according to Cecile Lindsay, vice provost and dean for graduate studies, a clear sign that the program is achieving its goal of preparing future CSU faculty.
Among those individuals are Tina Arora, Educational Psychology; Lee Blecher, Family and Consumer Sciences; Emma Daugherty, Journalism; Larese Hubbard, Africana Studies; Kristina Lopez, Social Work; Carolyn Madding, Communicative Disorders; Linda Maram, Asian and Asian American Studies; Carlos Piar, Religious Studies; Jason Whitehead, Political Science; and Carol Zitzer-Comfort, English.
Established in 1987, the CSU CDIP is the largest program of its kind in the United States. As of June the program has loaned $46 million to 2,069 doctoral students enrolled in universities throughout the nation, and 1,201 of these participants have successfully earned doctoral degrees. Among participants who have earned their doctoral degrees, 646 (56 percent) have subsequently obtained employment in CSU instructional faculty positions.
The CSU Doctoral Incentive Program gives primary consideration to candidates in fields where CSU campuses anticipate the greatest difficulty in filling potential future instructional faculty positions. Applicants are not required to have attended the CSU, but all must have a CSU faculty advisor. The purpose of this advisory relationship is to support the student in his/her doctoral program and to help the student understand the workings of higher education institutions and the faculty labor market specific to particular disciplines.
Civil Engineering and Construction Management’s Jin-Lee “Jin” Kim is a director of the College of Engineering’s Green Building Information Modeling lab. According to Kim, “green building” refers not to the physical structure as much as to the environmentally aware thought that goes into the structure.
“It is the way we design, build, operate and maintain a modern building in an energy and environmentally friendly way,” said Kim, a member of the university since 2009. “Energy and environmental design are part of the project from the beginning. This is great, not only for the owners, but for the project managers and general contractors. This is a great moment in the national history of construction. Our campus’ new Recreation and Wellness Center is an example of a green building. The center is certified by LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) and offers many technological advances, such as biometric hand scanners for entry, filtered water fountains and flat screens with touch technology.”
“Green building is a way of enhancing our environment as well as being a part of the larger concept of sustainable development,” said Kim. “Green building is not just an assembly of environmental components nor a modification of an already designed standard building, but a holistic approach to programming, planning, designing and the construction of buildings and sites. In order to deliver sustainable design and construction in a built environment, my research focuses on utilizing a computer technology such as Building Information Modeling (BIM).”
BIM is a comprehensive, integrated graphic and alphanumeric database.
“This is a great design tool,” he explained. “It is no longer CAD or merely a 3D computer model. BIM is generally defined as a modeling technology and an associated set of processes to produce, communicate and analyze building models. In terms of scheduling, BIM can help construction planners use 4D CAD which requires linking a construction plan to the 3D objects in a design to simulate the construction process and see what the building and site look like at any point in time. This graphic simulation provides considerable insight into how the building will be built on a daily basis. For cost estimation, BIM can extract an accurate bill of quantities and spaces for cost estimation in the early design stage, in the design development state and in the final design stage. BIM and green building are two big driving forces in the construction industry.”
According to Kim, there is nothing new about green building because for the last 15 years, architects have taken into account energy efficiency.
“Nowadays, it is important for the engineer to contribute to society,” he said. “Wasting energy and water do not do this. Using BIM allows us to evaluate energy use during the early design phases because of its capability to link the building model to various analysis tools for better quality.”
There are misconceptions about green building, however. Generally, there is a large original investment, but with an eye toward a building’s lifelong cycle.
“Green building saves lots of money in terms of energy,” said Kim. “It brings tax incentives both locally and in the state. Plus, green building encourages better productivity in the workplaces. The basic idea is to give the building’s occupant the ability to control the indoor environment. With better productivity comes a better product.”
The use of information technology in scheduling also represents a great leap forward in the ability of engineers to plan.
“How could I use planning to optimize the resources available for building?” he asked. “Say the plan is to use a pair of cranes. Two cranes for one job site may be deemed too expensive. How can the engineer decide which crane is best? Artificial intelligence techniques can allocate resources for various construction activities.”
New software can improve project scheduling as every single building element, from walls to slab, from beams to windows, can be measured for dimension, materials and even color.
“Today’s software packs information into each building element,” said Kim. “If the designer changes one thing, everything changes with it. It is a great tool with which to implement building schedules.”
Kim received his BE and first ME degrees in architectural engineering from Chungbuk National University in Korea as well as his second ME and Ph.D. in civil engineering from University of Florida, majoring in construction engineering management and minoring in statistics.
A big reason for his use of BIM is its ability to better prepare CSULB students for the job market.
“It is the responsibility of the faculty to stay current with the industry. That means a CSULB civil engineering and construction management major must have a skill set that includes BIM,” he explained. “The department is offering its first class in BIM technology this fall. This is a computer-friendly generation. I remember teaching BIM technology to a class of juniors several years ago. Two students eventually got jobs in a large construction company because they knew how to use BIM. Industry needs expertise like that. Our students are ready to hit the ground running the minute they graduate.”
The University Art Museum (UAM)at CSULB, in partnership with the Goethe-Institut, presents “Barbara Klemm: Light and Dark,” an exhibition by the ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen), featuring 124 iconic black-and-white photographs by one of Germany’s most distinguished photojournalists.
Taken while on assignment for newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Klemm’s photos capture 40 years of cultural, social and political history in the formerly divided nation, creating icons of contemporary European history. The opening reception is Saturday, Sept. 6, from 6-8 p.m., and will be preceded by a gallery talk with co-curator Ursula Zeller, which will begin at 5 p.m.
Curated by German art historians Matthias Flügge and Zeller, both of whom worked closely with Klemm, the exhibition chronicles some of the most decisive events in German history, perhaps most memorably during the 1989 reunification of East and West Germany. Though the majority of photographs, which Klemm herself calls “action in condensed form,” were taken on assignment, she created a body of photographs which combines the documentary and the artistic in a manner seldom encountered in German press photography.
The exhibition will be on view from Sept. 6 to Dec. 14, the UAM hosting the exhibition on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall (Nov. 9, 1989). As a supplement to the exhibition, the UAM will display artifacts and ephemera from the archive of Tom Frazier, a CSULB Geography professor and post-reunification Berlin scholar. Multidisciplinary programming will be offered throughout the semester in collaboration with CSULB faculty, scholars renowned in their respective fields.
The staff and board of the UAM gratefully acknowledge the generous contributions from the Instructionally Related Activities Fund, the Constance W. Glenn Fund for Exhibition and Education Programs, the Charles and Elizabeth Brooks Endowment for Exhibition and Education Programs and the Bess Hodges Foundation.
Educational programming for “Barbara Klemm: Light and Dark” is organized in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles and the CSULB departments of English, Film and Electronic Arts, Geography and German Studies, and will include lectures and a film series. All events are free and open to the public. For additional information and a full list of upcoming events, visit the University Art Museum website.
The catalogue, Barbara Klemm: Light and Dark, Photographs from Germany, with Flügge’s insightful interview with Klemm, will be available for purchase in the UAM bookstore.
Carrie Hessler-Radelet, who was confirmed as director of the Peace Corps on June 5, will visit the California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) campus on Friday, Sept. 5. Hessler-Radelet, along with CSULB President Jane Close Conoley and U.S. Congressman Alan Lowenthal, whose 47th District includes Long Beach, will speak at the event held in the University Student Union’s Beach Auditorium from 11 a.m.-noon, with a reception scheduled to follow.
All three will discuss the importance of public service and how individuals can make a difference around the world with the Peace Corps. In addition, there will be a Q&A session and Peace Corps volunteer Danica Campos of Garden Grove is scheduled to Skype in and share her experiences of living and working in Costa Rica.
Prior to the event, a Memorandum of Understanding signing is scheduled to take place. The agreement will establish a partnership between CSULB and the Peace Corps for a Master’s International Program. Graduate students accepted into the program study in either the M.A. in Geography or the M.A. in Linguistics (TESOL option). After finishing their primary coursework, participants will take a leave for a two-year assignment as a Peace Corps volunteer. Upon their return, they complete a community internship and finish their culminating thesis or project. Head up the effort of this partnership is Department of Geography chair/professor Paul Laris.
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to visit Peace Corps’ No. 2 volunteer-producing Hispanic-Serving Institution alongside U.S. Congressman Lowenthal,” Hessler-Radelet said. “Partnerships with institutions like CSULB help us ensure Americans from all backgrounds know about service opportunities with the Peace Corps.”
Hessler-Radelet, who served as acting director since August 2012, was nominated for her post by President Obama, and became the 19th director of the Peace Corps, which began on March 1, 1961.
“Beach staff and faculty work closely with students and the Peace Corps to encourage our graduating students and alums to volunteer for the amazing learning and service opportunities offered through the Peace Corps,” said Conoley. “Consistent with our long and distinctive history of community service, hundreds of 49ers have served. In fact, among Hispanic-Serving Institutions, we rank No. 2 in the nation with 31 alums serving in the Peace Corps. We are so proud of these alums who carry the message of compassion and the worth of every human being across the globe.”
Earlier this year, the Peace Corps released its 2014 rankings of the nation’s top volunteer-producing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), and s Conoley noted, CSULB ranked No. 2 with 31 alumni currently serving in the Peace Corps. Among the top10 institutions ranked, seven came from the state of California.
Since the Peace Corps was established, 777 alumni from CSULB have traveled abroad to serve as volunteers. California produces more Peace Corps volunteers than any other state nationwide with more than 28,000 California residents having served overseas as volunteers and approximately 1,000 currently serving.
This summer, the Peace Corps announced historic changes to its recruitment, application and selection process to make applying to the organization simpler, faster and more personalized than ever before. The agency is revitalizing its recruitment and outreach and partnering with diverse institutions like CSULB so Americans from all backgrounds know about service opportunities with the Peace Corps.
During just this past year the Peace Corps also announced it is expanding its staff to include diversity recruiters in each of its eight regional offices to field a broader volunteer force that represents the very best of the United States. The agency also has an Office of Diversity and National Outreach that aims to recruit a diverse pool of volunteers and build an inclusive culture that welcomes applicants and volunteers from all backgrounds.
The Peace Corps has eight regional recruitment offices across the country that work closely with prospective volunteers. Interested students and community members can contact the Peace Corps’ Los Angeles Regional Office at email@example.com for more information.
ABOUT THE PEACE CORPS: As the preeminent international service organization of the United States, the Peace Corps sends Americans abroad to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Peace Corps volunteers work at the grassroots level with local governments, schools, communities, small businesses and entrepreneurs to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. When they return home, volunteers bring their knowledge and experiences–and a global outlook–back to the United States that enriches the lives of those around them. President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961 to foster a better understanding among Americans and people of other countries. Since then, more than 215,000 Americans of all ages have served in 139 countries worldwide.
For more information, visit the Peace Corps website.
Preparing the CSULB campus for an emergency is Jon Rosene’s main job.
To help with that mission, a new emergency management advisory committee has been created. That committee, which currently includes 33 individuals from across campus, will meet on a quarterly basis and oversee the creation and implementation of a strategic five-year emergency preparedness plan.
“We have a three-year set of goals for emergency preparedness for the campus that were set in 2013,” said Rosene, the Emergency Management and Preparedness Coordinator at CSULB. “One of those goals was to create this emergency management advisory committee that would create a five-year strategic plan for the university, specifically for emergency preparedness. We’ve gone through many phases of seeing how the committee is going to be represented in an effort to make sure every area of campus is covered.”
As for any head of an organization, safety should be a top priority, and for CSULB President Jane Close Conoley, it’s no different.
“Our very first priority is the safety of our students, staff and faculty,” said Conoley. “The campus has a comprehensive plan to deal with natural and person-made disasters and threats. Our police, student services, academic leadership and health professionals are closely aligned to coordinate services. Our primary focus is, of course, prevention. We practice regularly to be sure we are ready to react to any threat and review the safety of our built environment regularly.”
Under University Police, the committee will serve as an overall university function in an effort to get more people involved and keep them informed.
“This committee is a crucial part of our emergency preparedness planning for this campus,” said CSULB Police Chief Fernando Solorzano, who serves as committee chair. “This cannot be a one department effort. The more individuals from across campus we get involved, the better it will be for everyone if and when we ever have an incident of some kind.”
Rosene will be spearheading much of the effort, collaborating with different individuals and having side meetings to get everyone up to speed. Every building on campus has a unique set of circumstances, whether it contains chemicals, is a child center, has 10 floors, is an office or contains classrooms, so coordination among all parties is key.
“Everyone knows what their piece of the puzzle is, but they may not see the whole picture,” said Rosene. “The idea of this committee is to create a baseline for saying, ‘This is where we are and this is where we’d like to go.’ It’s an effort to get everyone on the same page, so to speak. It is a large venture to do this, but I think it’s the right step.”
He also noted the incredible wealth of faculty members who are experts in their field, a group he wants the committee to tap into.
“They have done incredible research in their fields, so why wouldn’t we want to take advantage of those researchers, those faculty and the experience they have to assist us in our operations?” he said. “In order for us to get better we really have to bridge the academic side so one of the goals of this committee is to utilize the experts we have here at the university.”
According to Rosene, a lot of areas of emergency management requirements are already defined by local, state and federal governments in regards to how institutions become prepared.
“In order to fulfill those various requirements, we need all the stakeholders involved,” he said. “For us, it ranges from our facilities management people to housing, to Information Technology Services, our police department, our student health center, the counseling and psychological services and human resources, budgeting and finance and public affairs. We want faculty and student representation and there are others whose voices need to be heard so they need to be part of the planning.”
One of the first goals is to complete a threat and hazard identification and risk assessment which will be done by identifying the threats and hazards which have historically been experienced and have the most likelihood of occurring at CSULB and surrounding areas. Once that venture is complete, then strategic plans, including the planning and training aspects, will be developed.
“We have to trust the people with their training and experience and the tools they have in an emergency or disaster,” said Rosene. “I strongly believe that the leaders in management and those who are responsible for responding to disasters on campus are fully prepared today, but I think this committee is going to allow us to have a more efficient effort, particularly in the recovery process.
“We need the policy support for something like this to get done and we have it,” he added. “The university is fortunate to have an administration that is for emergency preparedness and pushing this forward.”
Steve Jensen and Shirley Feldmann-Jensen fully realize they can’t prevent disasters from occurring. What they can do, however, is help train what they refer to as the “new generation” of emergency preparedness professionals.
“I’d been told that in the first third of your career, you learn what you are doing, the second third you are out there practicing and the last third you want to be giving back, so that’s what we’re doing now,” said Jensen, who was a firefighter and emergency manager for 30 years before moving into academia. “We’ve transitioned out of field work and now we are training people to deal with the problems we are likely to encounter in the future. We need to do this more effectively.”
The couple head up the Master of Science in Emergency Services Administration (EMER) program at CSULB. Under the College of Health and Human Services, the graduate program is run through the College of Continuing and Professional Education and is interdisciplinary by design, meaning it’s developed by faculty experts from departments across campus.
Conducted entirely online, the EMER program is able to draw individuals from all over the world, most being professionals already in the field and looking to improve their skills.
“Our students come from a wide range of places, but most are from California,” said Feldmann-Jensen, who has spent her career as a public health professional. “It enables people who are leaders in emergency management in other jurisdictions to advance their education and become even better leaders. Most are mid-career professionals already in the field and they want to move up to that next step.”
Another plus of the online course is that it allows students the schedule flexibility many need to juggle careers and/or family while pursuing their degree.
“We can take a student farther in an online environment than in a classroom,” added Feldmann-Jensen. “Nobody can hide online. Everybody has to respond and that forces them to participate. It’s the way the students interact that really makes a difference and creates better learning.”
This fall, 10 faculty members are set to teach the 60 students who have been admitted to the program, way up from last year’s enrollment. Jensen’s goal is to eventually have 1,000 students, with half of those being international.
“This material is needed out there and it’s really needed internationally,” he said. “If we can get half our growth internationally, that would be fantastic, but we want slow and measured growth. The things we teach are so important to where our world is moving that we need to get a deeper understanding of disasters out there.”
The EMER program has two major purposes—to provide an understanding of the management of emergency services with an emphasis on the roles and job expectations of public safety professionals and emergency managers; and to prepare students for leadership roles in emergencies and disasters by stressing independent research, exposure to experts, practical experiences, communications and writing skills.
Jensen himself has worked in refugee camps in Southeast Asia for the United Nations, and later moved to New Zealand to develop programs that guide emergency management and disaster work. Feldmann-Jensen has worked on many public health projects over the years, including the Ministry of Health in New Zealand. Both feel the crossover in their expertise is beneficial to not only one another, but to students as well.
“Things he may understand from earthquakes and the responses to earthquakes have a lot of information that affect other things that I’m interested in,” said Feldmann-Jensen, “especially at the policy level. And I bring a lot of things from the public health side that may have a lot of influence on where the new field of emergency management goes.”
Now focusing on the academic side of their careers more than ever, each is excited about the opportunity to pass along their knowledge to the new generation.
“We’re getting younger people who are interested in this as a profession and are trying to understand the nuts and bolts of how all this works,” said Jensen. “Our job is to develop a new generation of leaders who understand how to make good policy and, when something does happen, they are able to jump in and get things done.”
The program requires the satisfactory completion of 33 units of approved graduate courses, including a couple titled “Risk, Crisis, and Inter-Agency Communications” and “Emergency Management Leadership Across the Megacommunity.” Those courses in particular touch on the importance of working and coordinating with outside organizations, which may be the single most important factor to assure success.
“As a university we should see ourselves as assets that need to be ready to help the other agencies if something happens,” said Jensen. “It doesn’t matter what our profession is, there are ways we can get out there and help the city. We should be able to do that as fast as we can. That means having an extra level of preparedness and seeing ourselves as a responder.
“As a university, we’re committed to community service,” he added, “so we need to think about how we can make the most of the assets we have on campus, particularly the rich intellectual capital that can help the wider community make sense out of the complex circumstances that can conspire to create a disaster.”
The California State University Class of 3 Million Yearbook is coming, with hopes of becoming the largest yearbook in the world.
Are you a graduate of any of the 23 CSU campuses? If so, beginning Monday, Sept. 22, you can signup online to connect with other alums and you will be entered to win one of three $10,000 scholarships.
For more information, go to the CSULB alumni website on the Class of 3 Million or sign up at the related CSU website, which will be live beginning Sept. 22 at http://www.classof3million.calstate.edu/.