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Announcements from the BUILD Trainee Learning Communities

  • The BUILD Scholars Program will begin training a new cohort of 45 students this month. Scholars are expected to have made arrangements with their BUILD research mentor by now to begin their research training in their mentor’s lab/project.  If you have not heard from your mentee(s), please contact them ASAP to schedule your first meeting to discuss their summer research activities.  Scholars need to begin their research training no later than the first week of June.  Scholars have also been advised to inquire with their mentors about safety training that is particular to their lab 

  • All incoming BUILD Scholars will participate in the Summer Undergraduate Research Gateway to Excellence (SURGE). SURGE is an 8-week training program from June 7 to July 29. It will meet weekly on Tuesday and Thursday from 9am – 12pm in PH1-140. Please keep their SURGE Learning Community schedule in mind as you schedule your mentee(s)’s activities in the lab/project. As part of SURGE, Scholars will also take a field trip to USC on Tuesday June 21st. This will be an all day trip, and they will not be available for lab/project work until later in the evening (if needed).

  • Second year BUILD Scholars who stay to work on campus this summer will be participating in SURGE 2 during the same weeks as SURGE for the incoming trainees (6/6-7/29). SURGE2 will meet weekly on Mondays from noon to 2pm. This is a required participation designed to help continuing Scholars maintain good progress with their research, graduate school application preparation, and studying for the GRE. Interested 2nd year Scholars can join the new Scholars in the USC Field Trip on 6/21.  

  • SURGE and SURGE 2 Scholars will be required to present a poster on their research at the Summer Research Symposium on 7/29. In preparation for the symposium, we will work with the Scholars during SURGE by providing them with a poster template, guidelines, and feedback.  We will also be counting on you to help the Scholars with the content of their posters.  The posters can be on work accomplished, preliminary results, literature review for a future project, or research proposal.  More information on the poster presentation will be shared with you when SURGE begins.

  • Summer school is permitted for Scholars ONLY IF the course they are taking does not interfere with SURGE/SURGE 2 AND their participation in their BUILD mentor’s lab/project.  Before enrolling in a class they must clear it with you and the Director of Student Training Core, Dr. Chi-Ah Chun.  Please contact Chi-Ah Chun at with any questions about SURGE or SURGE2.

  • The BUILD Associates will begin in your research groups in Fall Semester, but will participate in the Preparing for Research Excellence Program (PREP) from July 18th-29th.  Stay tuned for more information in the July Newsletter for more detailed information about this program.

  • Finally, for all faculty who have a new BUILD Associate or Scholar (UD1), if you have not already done so, please return your signed Faculty MOU to the BUILD Center in PH1 or via email as soon as possible (the MOU was attached to the mentor orientation invitation email sent by Enri’que Flores on May 27th).


Farewell to Interim Provost David Dowell

The entire BUILD leadership team, students, and faculty mentors extend our congratulations to Provost David Dowell on his up-coming retirement at the end of this month.  Provost Dowell has been a great supporter and proponent of student success and, through his leadership, CSULB has made great gains in retention and graduation rates.  His vision for the Highly Valued Degree Initiatives drove this process (beginning in 2005) and over the past several years, we have seen an increase in the 6-year graduation rate of 26% after the budget crisis of the 1990’s to 65% in 2014, a rate that is well above the national average for large public master’s institutions and it is still going up.  He recently published an article in The Magazine of Higher Learningfor those who would like to review this progress and how it was accomplished.  This success required a multi-pronged approach including a commitment to fully fund the schedule of classes each year, increased support services for students (partly funded by a new Student Excellence Fee), emphasis on high impact practices, mandatory orientation and advising, enrollment management, stream-lined curriculum, new tenue-track faculty, etc.  It required buy-in, participation, and leadership from various constituencies all across campus, but Provost Dowell was a major force in directing this change.

Thus, it was really no surprise that he was so supportive of us trying to acquire an NIH BUILD award for this campus.  He quickly saw what this type of initiative would do for students in health-related fields and, especially, for students who are underrepresented in those fields.  Knowing it would take considerable effort to get a BUILD proposal developed and written, he provided assigned time for faculty from four colleges to work on it.  He also provided an extremely strong letter of institutional commitment that weighed heavily in the outstanding reviews we received, leading to an award with full funding of $24 million.  He has continued to be supportive of us as we’ve developed the infrastructure for the BUILD program and then put it into action.  He serves as a member of our Internal Advisory Board and has helped us with any needs as they have arisen.  Now, at the end of our second year and with students in the program, we are seeing great progress and successes.

All of us associated with BUILD are very grateful for his on-going support for the success of our students and faculty.  We wish Provost Dowell the very best in his retirement and thank him for his leadership and unfailing support for student success. 

Thank You Provost Dowell!          

 CSULB President Jane Conoley, Provost David Dowell, Dr. Laura Kingsford (Dean of College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics)
From left to right:
CSULB President Jane Conoley, Provost David Dowell, Dr. Laura Kingsford (Dean of College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics)













Mark Your Calendars:

Remember to spend out the additional $1800 in carryover BUILD funds by June 15, 2016. Please contact Marie Reed if you have any questions.

SURGE will culminate on the evening of Friday 7/29 with the Summer Research Symposium where Scholars will give poster presentations on the work that they accomplished during the summer.  Family members of the Scholars will be invited to learn about the BUILD Program and the work that the Scholars have done in BUILD during the summer. We hope that you will attend the symposium to support your Scholar(s) and mingle with their family members that will be eager to meet you.


Upcoming Faculty Workshops

  • June 14th-15th: Dr. Martin Lee will present on statistical “Sample Size and Power Calculations.” Location: TBD


Research Curriculum Course Instructors Still Needed

The BUILD Initiative helped develop a series of courses for CSULB to provide a research-focused curriculum for the entire campus.  All of these courses will be offered in the next year and we are looking for instructors interested in teaching the courses.  If you have not already let us know you are interested in teaching any of the following courses, please let us know by e-mailing us at  For those who are available to teach in Spring 2017 you can suggest meeting times for your class.  Please do so as soon as possible since the spring 2017 scheduling process will begin in a few weeks.


Communicating with BUILD

We invite your news about your BUILD Trainee and any comments, concerns, or suggestions about BUILD.  If you have any of these, in relation to being a BUILD Mentor, or concerns about your BUILD Student, please contact us at  Be sure to keep an eye out for the July newsletter.  If you have any suggestions on any additional topics you’d like to see covered in the newsletter, then please contact us with your feedback.