February 2021
As we continue to monitor and meet established safety guidelines in response to COVID-19, our offices are still open and operating in a virtual format. You can reach us via email and we will respond as quickly as possible. Please visit CSUSB’s dedicated COVID-19/Coronavirus information webpage for all things COVID-related at CSUSB. Thank you and stay safe!
Message from the dean
I recently participated as a panelist in an informative webinar titled, “The New Realities in Higher Education – A Conversation with Our College and University Leaders” with CSUSB President Dr. Tomás D. Morales, UC Riverside Chancellor Dr. Kim Wilcox, and College of the Desert Superintendent/President Dr. Joel Kinnamon, where we provided insights into how our colleges and universities are contributing to local talent development and supporting future leaders in the midst of global health, economic and civic disruption.

The event was co-hosted by OneFuture Coachella Valley and the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce, and was sponsored by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. My major takeaway from the event was: it's all about access.

When we talked about admission, enrollment, online delivery and the digital divide, we were talking about access. Our institutions all want to make sure that we have space on our campuses for every local student who wants to obtain a college degree, and they can do so virtually or near their home. Colleges and universities must ensure that not one person, or any group of people, is left behind, and the quality of our online classes is as good as in-person classes, if not better. For those students who are not rich in digital resources, are we giving them what they need in order for them to be successful with online learning.

When cost and value of education was discussed, our community continues to let us know that a meaningful higher education and college degree is still, for many, the only way to gain upward social mobility. The value of a college degree is always high in my world view. As a first-generation college graduate, I know how my education has always benefited me in living my life and pursuing a career. However, economically, the perception of the value of a college degree could go down when cost of attendance becomes more expensive. This raises the question of affordability vs. access. It is not a surprise that all panelists praised the valley for its continued philanthropic support of higher education here in the Coachella Valley.

As much as we say that higher education infuses economic prosperity in the region where an institution is located, I believe that our local employers are our partners on the continuum of the access scale for our students. The flexible workforce expectation from our local employers and workforce development reminds us to continue to refine our educational processes and product design. Traditionally, this would mean academic quality, new course design and program revision. In order for our students to be able to access their future workforce and have a meaningful career, we need to understand what the community wants.

The Coachella Valley is a place for higher education. I would not have understood what that meant if I had not worked at the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus for nearly two years, if I had not had numerous conversations with our local leaders on higher education and economic development, and if I had not participated in many of the valley’s events and meetings on a better educated workforce. It is not only money people donate, it is not only talk, but action. People care about this beautiful place we call home and they care about the generations of people who live here. There is a collective and powerful vision for the economic, social and cultural prosperity of the region.

I know that our region will continue to thrive, which gives me confidence that the PDC will continue to grow. We are poised to play a vital role in the valley as our graduates lead and contribute to the post-pandemic business recovery and future prosperity of the region.

At CSUSB, We Define the Future!

Jake Zhu, Ph.D.
Dean, CSUSB Palm Desert Campus
Campus Happenings
CSUSB celebrates Black History Month
In celebration of Black History Month, Cal State San Bernardino will hold virtual events throughout the month of February to honor the culture, accomplishments, contributions and legacy of African Americans.
Online hospitality management certificate offered this spring
Are you interested in earning an online hospitality management certificate? If so, be sure to attend a virtual information session on Feb. 25 or March 25 to learn more about the program, which will run from May 3-Oct. 29.
Members of the CSUSB community come together to help historic houses of worship
Lacey Kendall, a communication studies faculty member at the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus, is working with a team of CSUSB students, staff, faculty and administrators to help historic houses of worship stream their services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

See how their Black Church Media Project is working to help members of our community.
CSUSB Palm Desert Campus professor co-authors paper
Pablo Gomez, an associate professor of psychology at the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus, was one of the authors of a paper that explored “the temporal dynamics of the flanker effect in the tactile modality and compare it with findings in the visual modality,” which appeared in the official journal of the Psychonomic Society.
Hospitality management students awarded scholarships
Good news! Twelve students studying hospitality management at the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus have each been awarded a $500 scholarship, which will help them remain successful while in the program.
Student veterans receive printers
Three student veterans at the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus, as well as two student veterans at the San Bernardino campus, were recently provided with a free printer, paper and ink by the San Bernardino Elks Lodge #836 in order to allow them to remain successful while taking their classes virtually at home. Many student veterans have reported that they are struggling with printing at home, so these items will reinstate a vital service that is normally provided to student veterans on campus at no charge, and help eliminate servicemembers from dropping out of school. The CSUSB Veterans Success Center is grateful to the San Bernardino BPO Elks Lodge 836 for their generous support of our students!