Captain’s Log. Star Date: 5-21-2020
Last week was a very busy one for the State of California, the California State University System, and Cal State LA. Chancellor Tim White  announced  to the CSU Board of Trustees that system will deliver classes through virtual modalities for fall 2020. Governor Gavin Newsom also presented the budget deficit that we face in California. Whether you take his budget or that of the Legislative Analyst's Office, we will have significant deficit that we will need to think anew.  

I will not presume to tell you how you feel or what you are thinking. I can tell you where I am. I keep hoping that I will wake up from this deep sleep or if we must be in the same dream, we continue to show our resilience and innovation in working together. As I listen to the many questions, read numerous letters of concerns, and listen to more zoom meetings than I can count, I hear your comments and the need to support your students and each other. I understand how difficult it is for all to adjust to the new normal, particularly as it relates to returning to campus and in your respective classrooms. I assure you that I am working with University administration, other CSU deans, and colleagues across the country to address your pressing concerns. Below are conversations already happening: 

  • how faculty can reimagine their courses to meet the remote requirements, facilitate student learning objectives, and encourage student to continue with their education;  
  • how to retain our current students, while reimagining how we implement new strategies for student learning;  
  • how to implement safety measures in our classrooms, offices, hall ways, elevators, stairwells, walk ways, parking lots;
  • how we reimagine educational experiences for students that put them closer to 21st workforce needs;
  • how to migrate back into the labs, first for those with research grants and external funding;
  • how to utilize spaces anew.

As always, our collective goal is to work together to meet the needs of our students. I also view these times as an opportunity to reimagine our outcomes, strengthen our resolve, and recommit to our students’ futures. 
 
As we wrap up this unprecedented semester, I’d like to thank you for your commitment to our students, your flexibility, and resourcefulness. Your hard work shone through and I hope that you are proud of how you and your students rose to the occasion. I’d also like to offer a hearty congratulations to faculty mentors whose students will be graduating this semester. Though we are not yet able to celebrate this academic milestone in person, I am heartened to see the joy of our students through department celebrations. If you have not already done so, please visit the  Class of 2020 Recognition website  and share with your students. As we forge on, let’s continue to support one another, our community, and our ultimate charges, our students. The summer will be busy with our preparing for the fall. Enjoy your summer. Stay safe. Stay well. Thank you. 

P.S. - Please visit the Cal State LA Health Watch page for up-to-date COVID-19 information and resources available to students.
Class of 2020 Recognition

To celebrate the graduating class, visit the Class of 2020 Recognition website which includes a message from President Covino and congratulatory remarks from Dean Scott-Johnson . Read on for student success stories of NSS students Beatriz Aguirre (biological sciences) and Robert Tejada (physics). Commemorative graphics including printable signs, digital photo frames, and social media graphics are also available to download. 
CSU Student Research Competition

Congratulations to all who participated in the 2020 CSU Student Research Competition. Tatev Sarkissyan was awarded first place in behavioral and social sciences and Arielle Steimer-Barragan placed second in humanities and letters.
Faculty Focus
Professor Christopher Endy (history), Bridget Ford, Katherine Chilton, Michael Henderson and Brad A. Jones published the article “Beyond Big Data: Teaching Introductory U.S. History in the Age of Student Success” in the Journal of American History .

Professor Christine Lee’s (anthropology) research on nomadic women warriors who lived of the Great Wall of China thousands of years ago was explored in Science News and Ars Technica .

Latino Community Stage recognized Professor Cecilia Zurita-Lopez (chemistry and biochemistry) as a role model for Latino and Latina students exploring academic and career interests particularly in STEM. 

Seeking opportunities to get involved in the college? Please contact Dean Scott-Johnson, Associate Dean Ye, or Associate Dean Subrahmanyam for more information. 
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