June 2018
May was a very busy and exciting month at CSUSB Palm Desert Campus. The amount of activity is a real indicator that we have become a university for the students!
The Palm Desert Campus celebrated Cinco de Mayo on May 3. This annual festivity is held to remember the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862. Students, faculty and staff appreciate this event because it celebrates a culture within our diverse community. Associated Students, Inc. and the Rancho Mirage Student Center, along with help from other campus partners, offered a wonderful program to more than 200 students and guests. Free tacos, a live band and traditional folkloric dancers were part of the main attraction. In addition, the PDC Dance Club offered a special performance. 
We held our annual Environmental and Sustainability Expo that brought 300 Coachella Valley school-aged children to the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus on May 4. The Expo kicked-off with keynote speaker, Deborah McGarrey, Public Affairs Manager at Southern California Gas Company, speaking on “The Future of Natural Gas.” Following the keynote speaker, representatives from local green industries, including Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District, SMaRT Education, Renova Energy and the CSUSB Water Resources Institute - Salton Sea Archives were on-hand to encourage students to learn more about working in green science fields. Students also participated in interactive presentations given by The Living Desert, AES Renewable Energy and local science teachers. Students were also given a tour of the campus’ Gold LEED Certified, Palm Desert Health Sciences Building. This year’s sponsors included Southern California Gas Company, Renova Energy, Palm Springs Air Museum, Coachella Valley Unified School District, Desert Sands Unified School District, Palm Springs Unified School District and Coachella Valley Water District. We are very appreciative of all the sponsors and speakers who participated this year.
On May 8, Palm Desert Campus student club, PDC Pride, hosted a fun and informative event entitled, “Fun Under the Rainbow.” Besides games, music, free food and prizes, there were activities to promote the visibility and acceptance of all students regardless of gender and sexual orientation identities. More than 175 students, staff and faculty participated. The program underscores PDC’s continuing commitment to acknowledge and celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of all our students!
The Cal State University Associates held their last event of the season on May 8 on the topic of geothermal power with guest speaker, James Turner of Controlled Thermal Resources. There are some very exciting developments for the Coachella Valley related to geothermal power! A special thank you to Rod Hendry, president, and this year’s Associates Board as they offered some very innovative programming this year. In addition, they awarded twelve $1,500 scholarships this year to very deserving students. Thank you Associates for all you do for the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus.
On May 10, Associate Dean Michael Salvador, Freshman Advisor Avi Rodriguez, Student Success Studio Coordinator Gina Hanson and Faculty Advisor Juan Delgado presented at the CSUSB GI 2025 Conference. They discussed the student success initiatives implemented at the Palm Desert Campus, and the positive outcomes associated with both retention and graduation rates. These initiatives include: A Proactive Advising Model whereby faculty and advisors collaborate on identifying potential at-risk students and designing intervention/support strategies; A cohort scheduling system that places students in common courses to facilitate learning communities; Peer Mentors who work with cohorts to socialize students and enhance their university-life experience; and The Student Success Studio, which utilizes course-specific and general tutoring and learning-support activities, and provides an interactive learning laboratory that facilitates active learning. The presentation was selected through a competitive process and the presenters did a fantastic job of discussing why our students are being retained at high rates and graduating in 4 years - faster than at out sister universities.
On May 11, fourteen students from the Palm Desert Campus and College of the Desert attended the annual Emerging Leaders program hosted by the Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce. The 2018 graduating class of Emerging Leaders held their completion ceremony at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in celebration of the eight-month program. The Emerging Leaders program allows participating students to tour Coachella Valley businesses and practice professional skills necessary to assume leadership roles in the community.
On May 17, the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus celebrated Armed Forces Day. Dr. Michael Salvador introduced retired Navy Senior Chief Jack Macfarlane (our campus operations director) to kick-off the festivities, which were coordinated by the CSUSB Veterans Success Center. The Marines from the base at Twentynine Palms brought a K-9 unit and a Humvee light truck for display. Field representatives from the offices of Congressman Raul Ruiz and Assembly member Eduardo Garcia were in attendance to present certificates of appreciation to our keynote speaker, CSUSB student and former Marine Corporal, Luis Castaneira. The celebration ended with twelve departments and organizations tying yellow ribbons and decorating trees around campus.
On May 24, we honored fallen service members during the Veterans Success Center’s “Remembering the Sacrifice” Memorial Day ceremony. Jack Macfarlane emceed the event and I delivered the welcome address. The Desert Hot Springs Marine Corps JROTC presented colors and the Rancho Mirage High School Chamber Choir sang the National Anthem beautifully. Keynote speaker, Commander Stroud, Chaplain at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, delivered a powerful speech about the true significance of Memorial Day. Desert Hot Springs High School Marine Corps JROTC performed a flawless flag folding ceremony while Joel Daniel, Gunnery Sergeant (Ret.), USMC, played Amazing Grace on the bagpipes. The ceremony culminated with field representatives for Congressman Raul Ruiz and Assembly member Eduardo Garcia presenting certificates to the Veterans Success Center and to Commander Stroud. Kudos to the Veterans Success Center for organizing such moving and well-choreographed events!
Members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute recently returned from a wildly- successful tour of Broadway and Beyond. The trip quickly sold out and 48 travelers were off to New York City, escorted by OLLI instructor Dennis Gilmore. Highlights of the trip included accommodations at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square, three Broadway shows, an amazing city tour, a Broadway Close-Up workshop with actors from “Hamilton” and “Hello Dolly!”, three museum passes, a full-day tour to Kykuit (the Rockefeller estate) and the beautiful Union Church, and a wonderful group dinner at the world-famous Sardi’s restaurant. Not even the bus breakdown in the Lincoln Tunnel could dampen the spirits of this fun group – it just added to the adventure. The trip was not only a great educational experience, but it was a wonderful opportunity to make many new friends. OLLI is now in the process of planning several trips for the coming year.
On May 31, we held our Student Commencement Reception at Desert Willow Golf Resort, which is an end-of-the-year celebration honoring our Palm Desert Campus graduates. Two special awards were presented that evening: The Student Leadership and Community Service Award to students who had attained the required qualifications, and the Graduate of Distinction Award. These awards are presented to students that have demonstrated academic, leadership and civic responsibility. At the end of the reception, graduates wrote advice to incoming freshmen about how to have a successful college career.
I was honored to be asked to be the keynote speaker at the Copper Mountain College Commencement ceremonies this year. They have a record number of graduates and the commencement was a very touching tribute to those students who have worked hard to earn their degrees. I hope many of them will come to the Palm Desert Campus to continue their educational pathway on to a bachelor’s degree!
Lastly, I am pleased to announce the Dr. Bruce Shepard has been named Interim Dean at the Palm Desert Campus beginning August 1. Dr. Shepard has held numerous senior level positions in higher education and recently retired as the President of Western Washington University. He and his wife Cyndie have been active in our university community since they arrived here in the Coachella Valley, and I know he will continue the wonderful work happening on this campus. A national search for the permanent dean is underway and will hopefully be appointed before the end of the year.

Preparations are in full-swing for our commencement – more on that next month - stay tuned!
Dr. Sharon Brown-Welty
Dean, CSUSB Palm Desert Campus
Congratulations to our 2018 Outstanding Graduates!
Kaela A. Bonafede
Outstanding Undergraduate Student
Timothy Castro
Outstanding Graduate Student
Upcoming Events
Lessons from Leaders
Susan Stein
Executive Director,
Fashion Week El Paseo

Monday, June 4
4 p.m.
Indian Wells Theater
An advanced RSVP is not required and everyone is welcome!
Recent Events
PDC Soccer Club trip to StubHub Center in LA
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute trip to NYC