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CSUF in 2013: Year in Review

Jan. 3, 2014

As a new year begins, here is a look back at some of Cal State Fullerton's noteworthy events and milestones in 2013. Images of these and other highlights of the year are available online.

President García Highlights

Cal State Fullerton President Mildred García was inaugurated as CSUF's fifth president Feb. 1 in Meng Concert Hall of the Clayes Performing Arts Center. 

García's honors through the year included her inclusion in the Orange County Business Journal's 2013 Book of Lists, which recognizes "the most influential individuals in Orange County Business." She also was elected to lead the Association of American Colleges and Universities as chair of the national organization's board of directors and was named a Woman of the Year, an extraordinary woman leader in Orange County and among 25 "influential Latinos You've Probably Never Heard Of." 

Strategic Plan Completed

Cal State Fullerton's new strategic plan was unveiled before at a University forum April 12. The plan establishes the blueprint for the campus's priorities for the next five years. 

Chancellor White Visits CSUF

California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White visited campus May 16 as part of his statewide tour of the 23-campus system. He answered questions from the campus community, attended an Academic Senate meeting and witnessed the surprise announcement of the university's top honors for three members of the faculty. 

Outstanding Professors Recognized

Cal State Fullerton's top honors for faculty members included Sora Park Tanjasiri, professor of health science, named the University's 2013 Outstanding Professor Award recipient; Maria Linder, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, winner of the inaugural L. Donald Shields Excellence in Scholarship and Creativity Award; Sean E. Walker, associate professor of biological science, recipient of the Carol Barnes Excellence in Teaching Award; and Kari A. Knutson Miller, chair and professor of child and adolescent studies,was recognized with the Faculty Leadership in Collegial Governance Award.

New Faculty Named in Fall and Spring

President Mildred García welcomed 32 new tenure-track faculty members during convocation and at a dinner held in their honor in the fall. Joining Cal State Fullerton's in the spring were four additional new faculty members on the tenure track and one full-time lecturer. 

New Administrative and Staff Appointments

Peter Nwosu was named the new associate vice president for academic programs, effective Jan. 14. Danny C. Kim will become the University's vice president for administration and finance/chief financial officer in mid-January. Shari McMahan, dean of the College of Health and Human Development, was named interim associate vice president for research, creative activities and technology transfer. 

In January 2013, Gregory J. Saks assumed his new responsibilities as vice president for university advancement. Lori S. Gentles, was appointed vice president for human resources/diversity and inclusion and began her new role, leading a new division in summer 2013. 

Sheryl I. Fontaine, associate dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, was appointed interim dean of the college. Tonantzin Oseguera, assistant dean of students at UC Riverside, was selected as the new dean of students for California State Fullerton. David D. Bowman, professor of geological sciences, was appointed interim dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, effective Jan. 13 and extends through December 2015.


More than 8,000 Cal State Fullerton graduates moved the tassels on their mortarboards from right to left to the enthusiastic cheers of family and friends at May 25-26 commencement ceremonies, which drew more than 50,000. 

National Rankings

Cal State Fullerton continued to score highly in many national rankings. U.S. News & World Report named CSUF as one of the nation's 40 most efficient colleges and universities and fourth in the West, when assessed on higher quality and lower costs expended per student. The University remains first in the state and among the top 10 in the nation for awarding degrees to Hispanic students, as reported in the May 13 issue of Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education . Washington Monthly ranked CSUF highly on economic value and public good. Diverse Issues in Higher Education listed Cal State Fullerton among the top 50 colleges and universities nationwide for the total number of master's degrees awarded to underrepresented students. 

Cal State Fullerton retained its perch among the "Top Public Regional Universities (West)" by U.S. News & World Report and was No. 7 in the annual ranking, ahead of four other CSUs in the top 10. 

Campuswide News of Note

Legless lizards, bison, dolphins and oarfish are some of the subjects being studied by Cal State Fullerton faculty members and their students. Biology graduate student Calvin Duncan is researching the use of a contraceptive vaccine to find an economical and effective solution to manage the herd of bison on Catalina Island. Marine scientist Misty Paig-Tran is studying the remains of the 14-foot, roughly 250-pound sea serpent-like oarfish, examining the mechanical properties of the bony skeleton that washed up on the beach last month in Oceanside. Scientist James Parham, who with a colleague discovered four new species of legless lizards from California, is researching the genetically distinct reptiles. Psychologist Kayla Causey and her students are investigating the behavior of bottlenose dolphins in Orange County harbors and coasts.

Campus property was expanded by 12.35 acres with the acquisition of the Banting Corporate Center in Irvine, which houses the CSUF Irvine Campus. 

More than 3,500 supporters of Cal State Fullerton turned out Sept. 21 for the University's signature community outreach and fundraising event, "Concert Under the Stars." Dining al fresco "under the stars" while supporting student scholarships and programs has been a Cal State Fullerton tradition for more than 25 years.

The Orange County Register launched new weekly publications covering the college communities of Cal State Fullerton, Chapman University and UC Irvine. 

On Aug. 1, Cal State Fullerton officially became a smoke-free campus, making it the first within the CSU system. 

The University received a $463,698 National Institutes of Health grant to increase the effectiveness and productivity of research endeavors on campus. 

More than $12.8 million in private financial support was raised by CSUF in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, through gifts from individuals, corporations, foundations and other organizations, which represents a 29 percent increase over 2012 giving totals.

Focusing on Student Success

In her 2013 convocation address, President García stressed, "enhancing student success was and will remain the top priority for the entire institution as is indicated by the goals of our strategic plan." Experiential learning, a practice touted by García for its high impact on student success, is on the rise. "High-impact practices include learning communities, writing-intensive courses, engaging undergraduate students in faculty research, service learning and internships in the major," García said, challenging the campus to "enhance successful, high-impact practices for student success."

Counting, in part, on six proposals from Titan faculty members for the redesign and enhancement of 10 courses, California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White hopes to meet the challenge posed by high demand and/or high failure-rate courses. Ten faculty members have received funding in support of their efforts to eliminate such bottleneck courses.

CSUF will receive more than $800,000 from the California State University this academic year as part of a systemwide effort to ensure student success, as well as increase student access to courses needed to progress toward a degree. 

The U.S. Department of Education awarded CSUF two grants totaling $2.2 million in support of its GEAR-UP Program. In addition, the Division of Student Affairs launched a pilot program, Male Success Initiative, in an effort to raise the graduation rates of male students. Initiative Aims to Raise Graduation Rates

Committed to Sustainability

The University's student housing was honored by the Concrete Masonry Association of California and Nevada. Five charging stations for electric vehicles, previously located on the top floor of the Eastside Parking Structure, are now conveniently located on the north side of the College Park Building. Members of the campus community received a concrete example of the importance and value of the University's lighting retrofit project – the savings began coming in. And the University has been honored with two Higher Education Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Best Practice Awards

Titan Athletics In The News

Cal State Fullerton's athletics programs in 2013 captured championships, hosted a nationally recognized basketball tournament and began upgrading facilities.

The Titans hosted the first two days of the DIRECTV Wooden Legacy, an all-new, multiteam collegiate basketball tournament that took place over the Thanksgiving weekend and was broadcast nationally by ESPN. 

A pioneering basketball coach, the men's soccer program's all-time leading scorer, an All-American gymnast, and a squad widely-regarded as the "greatest college baseball team of all time," were the 2013 inductees into the University's fifth biennial Athletics Hall of Fame

The Titan baseball team finished 2013 with 51 wins, a Big West Championship and an NCAA regional title. Individual players were honored with national awards and several were drafted by professional teams. 

The women's soccer team reached the NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament for the first time since 2007 after capturing the Big West Tournament Championship. 

Cal State Fullerton athletes are benefiting from a new state-of-the-art weight room in the Kinesiology and Health Sciences Building. 

Tags:  Campus UpdatesTitan Pride