José Luis Cruz: Titans Come Home

Jose Luis Cruz

José Luis Cruz is provost and vice president for academic affairs.

When Merri Lynn Casem joined Cal State Fullerton as an assistant professor of biological science in 2000, her new office sparked old memories. She’d spent many hours in the very same room – on the other side of the desk.

The office previously belonged to Marvin Rosenberg – an influential faculty mentor to Casem when she was an undergraduate student at Cal State Fullerton. She jokes that before she came to CSUF, “I didn’t like science, and I didn’t want to be a teacher.”

But when she took her first biology course, something clicked into place. She was hooked. A few semesters later, she was asked to assist as a peer mentor in the lab for a botany course, where her love of teaching was ignited.

“My career was completely guided by my experiences here,” she says.

Casem, now a full professor as well as a member of the Academic Senate Executive Committee, is one of about 250 Cal State Fullerton faculty members who also received an undergraduate or graduate degree from our university, then went on to earn doctorates at other institutions, from the University of Nevada to Virginia Tech.

This unique group of faculty members is represented in every college on campus, as well as University Extended Education and Athletics, and ranges from newly hired lecturers to professors who have taught here for more than four decades.

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