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Provost Message - May 31, 2017

Looking back on last week, I must tell you that I thought commencement was an absolutely incredible event. I was awed by the scale of it all…the number of students; the logistical precision with which each ceremony occurred; the live band that played at all 11 ceremonies so beautifully; the faculty and staff who came and volunteered their time; and the facilities people who made each ceremony new and fresh. It was truly remarkable.

Coming from Cal Poly Pomona, there were fewer ceremonies--only one for each of its six colleges, but the largest ceremony had about 800 students. Here, there were eight ceremonies that each had nearly 900 graduates, including a couple with more than 1,000. So this was certainly eye-opening for me, and I was proud to be able to stand and present thousands of students to President Conoley for the conferral of their degrees.

Let me take a moment to give special thanks to Cecile Lindsay for her efforts in making Commencement 2017 a success. In fact, Dr. Lindsay has been heading up the university's commencement exercises for the last 12 years, but this year’s graduation ceremonies were her last. She is retiring as the campus' vice provost for academic affairs and dean of graduate studies after 12 years at The Beach and 25 years with the CSU.

I also want to thank Dr. Lindsay’s staff, led by Marvel Strunk Preece, and the staff members from each college who played such a large role in making each ceremony beautiful and seamless and such a happy occasion for the students, their families and friends. In particular, I appreciate the work of the college coordinators—Bethany Price (Arts), Margaret Williams (Business), Kristina Hancock and Jessica Troncoso (Education), Kim Truesdelle (Engineering), Sharon Cruz (Health and Human Services), Lynne Bowman and Jo Overton (Liberal Arts) and Margaret Karteron and Lane Olsen-Cooper (Natural Sciences and Mathematics). Thank you all for your efforts in this endeavor.

There is one other item of Academic Affairs business I wanted to share. The Chancellor’s Office is looking for input as it works to amend current CSU policy regarding competency in English and mathematics (remedial education) as well as developmental education, assessment and placement and the Early Start Program. Those interested can review a draft executive order and send any comments to me at by Wednesday, June 14. I will be forwarding any input to the Chancellor’s Office by its deadline, which is June 16.

Now that the summer we have all been waiting for has arrived, I wish everyone a happy, productive and peaceful summer and hope that you spend it well with family, friends and colleagues. I will be having quite a busy summer, which begins next week when I head out on vacation to spend some time with my family in Sydney, Australia. Shortly thereafter, I will travel with President Conoley to Italy, where we are looking at an exciting opportunity for a permanent place for our students.

Please do check your emails for the messages I will be issuing during the summer that will include information on the Italy trip as well as other Academic Affairs efforts taking place while you are enjoying some well-deserved time off.

CSULB Ranked Among Top U.S. Universities
in Producing Latino Doctorates in the Sciences

Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) is one of the top ranked universities in the United States for graduating Latino students who go on to earn a Ph.D. in the sciences, according to data recently compiled by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The NSF report lists CSULB among the nation’s top 55 bachelor’s and master’s granting institutions for producing Latino doctorates in areas such as chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer sciences and biological sciences.

The findings were published in the NSF's “Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering: 2017.” The biennial report provides statistics about the participation of women, minorities and persons with disabilities in science and engineering. The findings for this year's report cover the four-year period from 2010-14.

The CSU, including CSULB, has been working to meet the state's workforce needs by strengthening efforts to increase completion rates and close the achievement gap for underserved students through Graduation Initiative 2025. Through the initiative, campuses are developing innovative ways to support student success.

2 CSULB Undergraduate Students Receive
2017 NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Two undergraduate students, Annabelle Cantu and Dany Atallah, have been selected to receive a 2017 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Fellowship.

Cantu and Atallah are among 2,000 award winners chosen from all fields of study, following a highly competitive process that included a pool of more than 13,000 applications. The fellowship provides three years of support ($138,000) and is portable, which means the students can use it for the graduate program of their choice.

According to Gisele Muller-Parker, lead program director for GRFP, being selected for a GRFP award as an undergraduate is a significant accomplishment, and Cantu and Atallah “have outstanding potential to contribute to strengthening the vitality of the U.S. science and engineering enterprise.”

GRFP is a critical program in NSF’s overall strategy to develop the globally-engaged workforce necessary to ensure the nation’s leadership in advancing science and engineering research and innovation. Its fellowship is meant to recruit and retain high-potential students to U.S. graduate programs early in their STEM training.

Pacific Standard Time to Open Jazz Festival;
Group Excursion Planned by College of the Arts

CSULB’s award-winning vocal jazz ensemble Pacific Standard Time will be the opening act for the 2017 Playboy Jazz Festival, kicking off Day 1 of the festival with a 20-minute set at 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 10.

The College of the Arts, led by Dean Cyrus Parker-Jeannette, is putting together a group excursion from CSULB to the Hollywood Bowl to show its support, enjoy an afternoon/evening of good jazz, and share the event with alumni, supporters and friends of the university.

Seats are still available on the bus, and the cost is $100, which covers the bus to and from the Hollywood Bowl, a ticket for Day 1 of the festival, and a fun-filled celebration and conversation (and music) all the way up and back. For those who prefer to drive themselves, tickets in the area of the CSULB group are available for $40 each.

For more information, call Bethany Price at ext. 5-4326 or email her at

Center for Community Engagement Invites
Faculty to Take Part in Curriculum Design Series

The Center for Community Engagement (CCE) is inviting tenured, tenure-track faculty and full-time lecturers to participate in its 2017 Summer Service Learning Curriculum Design Workshop Series.

These hands-on workshops are for faculty seeking to develop and/or strengthen service learning (a high-impact practice) courses across the curriculum. The application deadline is June 16.

The workshop series will consist of four, three-hour sessions to be held during the weeks of July 17-21 and July 24-28, on either a Monday/Wednesday schedule or a Tuesday/Thursday schedule (specific days to be determined). A $750 award of Lottery Funds will be given on the successful completion of the workshop and course development or redesign (i.e., meeting service learning best practices). An additional $250 of Lottery Funds will be provided the first time the course is taught.

To apply, please provide a letter of application by Friday, June 16, that includes the following:

  • Name, Department, and Status;
  • Summer contact information;
  • Course name and number (e.g., “PSY 375, Community Psychology”), or proposed title if course does not currently exist;
  • How often course or similar course has been taught;
  • Level of experience with service learning;
  • Course description, along with course learning objectives or proposed learning objectives;
  • A clear statement on how applicant envisions tying service learning into the course learning objectives and how he/she believes service learning could enhance student learning in the course;
  • A letter of support from department chair, including a commitment to offering the course within two semesters after the redesign;
  • Workshop participants must be able to commit to attending all four sessions and agree to follow university guidelines and procedures, including use of the S4 @ The Beach database and adhering to university risk management policies.


For more information, stop by the CCE in AS-127 or contact the center at or at campus ext. 5-7131.

Library Opens Family Friendly Study Area
to Accommodate Students with Children

In direct response to concerns and needs expressed by CSULB students with children, the University Library opened a Family Friendly Study Area, located in the Children’s Collection Room on the second floor, during the spring semester.

According to project organizers, the impetus behind the new study area were stories from students about studying in other areas on campus with their children and being asked to leave by their peers. Those stories, along with research on best practices at other campuses, sparked the idea for a family friendly area.

University Library Dean Roman Kochan, who helped lead the effort, says the Family Friendly Study Area has been well-received since it opened in April. Organizers also note the location in the Children’s Collection is extremely fitting as it is filled with children’s books and has child-sized tables and chairs.

The study area is part of a larger effort led by Jeff Klaus, associate vice president and dean of students, to support pregnant and parenting students on campus. This last academic year the Dean of Students Office collaborated with Student Health Services to host several “Parenting Scholars” events aimed at providing a space for community and support among pregnant and parenting students.

Engineering Graduate Student Named
2016-17 TRB Minority Student Fellow

Jose Jimenez, a graduate student in engineering, was named a 2016-17 TRB Minority Student Fellow by the Transportation Research Board (TRB) at its 96th Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. earlier this year.

Jimenez, who completed his B.S. in civil engineering in 2016, is a current M.S. student under the mentorship of Assistant Professor Shailesh Chandra of the Department of Civil Engineering and Construction Management. He has worked on two projects under Chandra over the past year, one of which—titled “Nighttime Walking and Bicycling Accessibility Evaluation for Low-Income Shift Workers”—he presented at the TRB Annual Meeting.

Jimenez plans to focus his research on transportation issues that particularly affect urban, low-income communities, which often lack adequate transportation options.

The TRB Minority Student Fellows program, which targets minority students doing research in transportation, recognized 21 students from 13 schools across the nation. It provides funding for minority students to attend the annual meeting and present their research.

New Parking Services and Program Changes

The campus community will soon experience a number of on-campus upgraded parking services and program enhancements. Here is a brief summary of what is to come:

  • Lot 5 will open for general parking at 5:30 p.m.;
  • Remaining parking gates will be removed;
  • New parking website with upgraded navigation and appearance;
  • More solar panels and electrical vehicle (EV) chargers in Lots 7 and 14;
  • New Transit Access Pass (TAP) sticker;
  • New parking mobile application;
  • Parking signage and Wayfinding Project (Jan. 1, 2018);
  • Shuttle ID requirement;
  • Parking fee adjustment;
  • Vehicles per virtual permit update.


Additional information about all the program changes above can be found on the Parking Program Changes FY 2017/18 website. More information about all parking projects will be released closer to the fall 2017 semester. Those interested can always get the latest information regarding any CSULB parking changes by following @CSULB_Parking on Twitter and soon on Instagram (fall 2017).

Next Message

The next Provost’s Message will be published on Wednesday, June 14. Items for the upcoming message should be submitted by Friday, June 9, to