CSUEB President Leroy M. Morishita leads a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Concord Campus Science Center. (Photo Stephanie Secrest)
Promising advanced research opportunities for students and future expansion of course offerings, Cal State East Bay recently celebrated the opening of the Concord Campus Science Center. The new 3,300-square-foot center, based on the second floor of Contra Costa Hall at the Concord Campus, is the largest organic chemistry laboratory at the university.
The new lab significantly benefits the development of academic programs at the Concord Campus by increasing the number of graduates available to meet the needs of the health care community, said President Leroy Morishita. Additionaly, the facility enables the annual addition of approximately 30 course sections in programs requiring associated lab work. Beyond the ability to enroll in new programs such as the post-baccalaureate Pre-Health Academic Program (PHAP), Concord students also will be able to conduct advanced research in chemistry, physics, biology and other disciplines.
"This new lab not only strengthens the quality of instruction,” President Morishita said, but also “the research experience which our graduates will take with them in their professional careers or future education."
President Morishita addressed approximately 40 guests at an Oct. 1 event marking the opening of the faciity, welcoming Concord Mayor Dan Helix and members of the Concord City Council. Representatives from the offices of state Senator Mark DeSaulnier, Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, and County Supervisor Karen Mitchoff attended the event. The offices of Senator DeSaulnier and Supervisor Mitchoff presented the campus with certificates honoring the successful completion of the project.
Following a celebration luncheon at the campus’ Redwood Room, guests were escorted to the upstairs entrance to the new science center. The President and his party were joined by Concord campus nursing students, who helped cut the ribbon. Guests then toured the complex, which includes a number of preparation and storage rooms. Professor Ann McPartland and other representatives from the Department of Chemistry were on hand to conduct demonstration experiments.
Construction of the lab, which began earlier this year, was based on a review of potential academic programs that will directly benefit the workforce needs of Contra Costa and Solano counties. The state-of-the-art facility advances the university’s increasing emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)-related programs, and reinforces the Concord Campus’s focus on the sciences, particularly in disciplines related to health care. As Dean Michael Leung of the College of Science pointed out: “Recent surveys have shown health care to be the fastest and biggest growing industry in the region. The establishment of the Science (Center) is an essential step in supporting the economy and work force needs of Contra Costa County.“
The Concord Campus will play an increasingly important role in the economic development of the region, said university leaders.
“We want our students to have an outstanding academic and educational experience,” said President Morishita. “The lab is proof of the university’s dedication to that commitment.“
For more on the Concord Campus, including its academic programs in pre-nursing, nursing and health sciences, visit the campus website.