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Engineering Dean Advocates for STEM Education, Workforce Development

Faculty Members to Present Research at Spring Conferences
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Susan Barua, dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science, was among seven engineering deans from California State University campuses who traveled to Washington D.C. Feb. 4-6 to discuss with science and education committees STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and workforce development.

During the Capitol Hill visit, the deans met with congressional members and staffers, including those from the offices of Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Sen. Kamala Harris, Barua said. CSUF priorities include restoring the annual cost of living increases for Pell Grants and the importance of fostering STEM degree completion for California’s diverse population.

The visit was important because STEM jobs are projected to grow over the next decade, mostly driven by engineering and computing jobs, Barua noted. “Advocacy from our congressional members can facilitate increased support and funding levels that are needed at the undergraduate and graduate levels to ensure workforce readiness,” she added.

The deans’ visit was part of the National Engineering Deans Council Public Policy Colloquium, organized by the American Society of Engineering Education.

In other recent faculty professional activities, Thomas Fujita-Rony, associate professor of Asian American studies, participated in a Jan. 30 panel discussion on “Japanese Internment and America’s History of Family Detention” presented by UCI’s School of Law.

Faculty and staff members giving presentations at conferences this spring are:

Brittney Hofer Swanson and Connie Moreno Yamashiro, assistant deans in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, will present workshops at the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Institution Educators’ 11th annual Best Practices Conference April 14-17 in Riverside. Their presentations are titled “Beyond a Traditional Peer Mentor Role: Peer Instruction for First-time Freshmen” and “Holistically Supporting Student Success: Academic and Student Affairs Collaborations.” 

Kenneth Alan, lecturer in kinesiology, will give presentations on adapting line dancing for cardio training, and progressive relaxation and stretching techniques for managing stress at the May 4-5 California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance 37th annual Southwest Dance, Movement and Acro-Sports Workshop in Palm Springs. It is his 19th year presenting at the event. He will lead a Welcome to SoCal: Coastal Hike and an Outdoor Walking Escape during the June 26-30 IDEA World Fitness convention in Anaheim.

Alissa R. Ackerman, assistant professor of criminal justice, will deliver a presentation on “Sexual Violence Prevention: Accountability and Responsibility in the Post #MeToo Era” at the 2019 Continuum Conference in Ontario, Canada. The May 6-7 event is hosted by Radius Child and Youth Services.

Last fall, Ackerman presented a TEDx Talk on “The Importance of Connection” at Cal State Long Beach. The talk offers new perspectives on restorative justice and how it can help those who have suffered from sexual assault.