The impact of Rising in the East: The Campaign for Cal State East Bay
“Rising in the East: The Campaign for Cal State East Bay” was the most ambitious, comprehensive fundraising campaign in the university’s distinguished 60-year history. The capital raised is being used to modernize our campuses, further strengthen our faculty, reinforce existing programs and launch new ones, expand learning opportunities and enhance our diverse student population through scholarships. This endeavor helped drive innovation and made a visible, transformative impact on lives, not just at the university, but also in the communities we serve through educating tomorrow’s leaders.
Here are some of the top ways that your generous contributions have improved Cal State East Bay. Check back each week to see new people, places and purposes that have been impacted by your support.
The forthcoming CORE building will be a destination for “high impact” learning that connects our students’ aptitudes and abilities with the needs of employers and California. The space will also include traditional library services and learning support. When students arrive at CSUEB, they have already been challenged and proven to be resilient, driven and smart. The learning they’ll do in the CORE building will help them be successful and competitive in becoming the next generation’s workforce.
Each summer, Cal State East Bay hosts dozens of students from underrepresented communities in Contra Costa County for a weeklong engineering and construction management program called Discover Engineering! The camp, sponsored by Chevron and Marathon Petroleum, introduces students to engineering and the idea of pursuing college after high school. Throughout the week, campers stay at the university dorms, take field trips, and build and test model bridges and robots.
The university’s Institute for STEM Education is improving the way teachers and faculty teach science, technology, engineering, and math by focusing on the design and implementation of programs that increase access to STEM education and opportunities for students of all levels and backgrounds.
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Cal State East Bay’s Concord campus provides learning opportunities for “mature” students — those ages 50 and older — creating space for them to explore new topics and challenge themselves intellectually. The program is only $40 and offers courses and field trips in science, art and the humanities, all led by Cal State East Bay emeritus faculty or other distinguished educators.
HPNs is a collaborative partnership working to alleviate poverty and ensure educational success along with a safe, healthy, and thriving community for all Hayward residents. Part of the national Promise Neighborhood Initiative, HPN’s goal is to lift up two of Hayward’s most distressed neighborhoods — Jackson Triangle and South Hayward — so that all children, families and community members have access to equitable opportunities along the cradle-to-career continuum of services and supports.
Beginning with the Class of 2018, hundreds of graduates have contributed small donations prior to commencement to establish a class endowed scholarship fund. The Class of 2019 raised over $25,000 between 600 graduates to support student scholarships and research. Class gift donors receive an exclusive cord to wear at graduation.
Designed to support first-generation students who have committed to working with refugee and immigrant populations or promoting international peace, the $25,000 scholarship was first awarded in 2018-2019. With over 130 strong applicants, the amount was split into four scholarships, covering almost the entirety of the recipients’ tuition for the year.
After 40 years, the Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement has a proven track record transforming thousands of educationally disadvantaged students into math and science college graduates. Through its classes, hands-on competitions, counseling and transfer support for students from middle school through college, the MESA program is helping students grow their love and knowledge of math and science.
From tuition fee waivers to priority for residence halls and registration, Cal State East Bay’s Renaissance Scholars program gives current and former foster youth the tools and community they need to succeed in college. Renaissance Scholars aims to ensure that all participants successfully complete their degree and are prepared to embark successfully upon the next chapter of their lives — whether they are going on to a graduate degree, starting their career, or pursuing other dreams.
A newly designed 5,500 square-foot lab space complete with cutting-edge technology offers collaborative, hands-on learning opportunities in the College of Science — which has double the number of students majoring in STEM fields than it did a decade ago. Completed in 2018, the Molecular Research and Environmental Analysis Lab is the university’s newest and largest renovation of research and teaching space and will help faculty prepare undergraduate and graduate students for careers in science.
Students of all majors receive peer mentoring in writing, reading and math at the Student Center for Academic Achievement (known as SCAA). With more than 20,000 visits annually, the no-cost tutoring gives students resources to help them succeed in their classes. In fact, those who attend the SCAA writing “boot camp” course have a 27 percent higher passage rate on the university’s writing proficiency exam compared to their peers who do not attend.
This collaboration zone in CORE will be the nerve center for projects among students and faculty, drawing on the perspectives and expertise from multiple fields. A full-time resident innovation expert will bring together thought leaders and entrepreneurs from the region to help students explore original concepts and products, identify financing and patent opportunities and “launch” their ideas.
Gaining Access ‘N Academic Success is an innovative access and retention program that targets and serves newly arrived community college transfer students. The GANAS model offers integrated academic and cultural approaches that welcome and socialize students while increasing their confidence, engagement, resiliency, academic success and, ultimately, degree attainment rates. GANAS is open to all students, and provides a supportive environment that focuses on Latina/o and multicultural content.
Thanks to a $400,973 grant from the Stupski Foundation devoted to addressing hunger and creating opportunities for underserved students in the Bay Area, Cal State East Bay is going further than just meeting the urgent needs of the university’s food-insecure and homeless students. The campus is now also focusing on creating the long-term strategies at-risk students need to not only complete their degrees but become leaders in their communities.
Founded in 2010, The College Link Program is an ancillary student support services program designed to provide services beyond the typical accommodations provided through the Americans with Disabilities Act. Its goal is to assist students in leveraging their individual strengths to facilitate academic and social success. The CLP staff fosters student educational, career, social and independent living skills through creative and flexible approaches to individual needs.
After a study by the California State University Chancellor’s Office revealed that one in five CSU students do not have consistent access to food, Cal State East Bay took action by opening three free food pantries. Run by Pioneers for H.O.P.E., an intervention program for food and housing insecure students, the Hayward and Concord campuses are able to offer shelf-stable and fresh food for any student worried about their next meal.
Together with his wife, Susan, technology executive Jack Acosta (B.S. '75, Business Administration; MBA '78), Cal State East Bay Educational Foundation trustee, endowed two professorships in the College of Business and Economics. This has allowed professors such as Sinan Goktan to continue producing high impact research and mentoring students.
The Solar Suitcase project, led by Cal State East Bay, provides local teachers and university students with deep training in solar energy. They then mentor middle school students to build solar energy systems (We Share Solar Suitcases) that provide light and power for schools, orphanages and refugee centers in the developing world.
The Cal State East Bay simulation labs are hands-on, collaborative learning spaces that serve as a training ground for the regions’ nurses of tomorrow. In addition to technical skills, the nursing program’s curriculum requires professors to teach the latest technology and best practices of the profession, which they are able to do thanks to the labs. The two programs at Cal State East Bay are highly competitive, with more than 950 students vying for 126 spots each year.
In spring 2018, Professor Emerita Joan Sieber and the university announced her $1.5 million planned gift dedicated to creating an endowment for the College of Science Collaborative Research Program. The gift provides small grants for those faculty — both new and tenured — who are working on projects involving students and industry experts. Money can be used to pay a stipend to student researchers, purchase materials, and if needed, travel to a professional meeting or conference.
The number of Science Technology and Mathematics majors at Cal State East Bay has increased by more than 50 percent since 2010. The Applied Sciences Center will provide a purpose-designed space to foster student and faculty collaborations. Its will feature state of the art, interdisciplinary space for student and faculty research projects; innovation space to explore new methods and technologies; and well-equipped labs to support more students working on research projects with their professors.
The Save Our Students (SOS) Scholarship is a university-wide scholarship for students who have a financial need and are at risk of dropping out due to tuition increases. It was started by two alumni with their own money in 2011 after they saw how budget cuts and tuition increases affected students.
Cal State East Bay’s commitment to our global community expanded this spring to include a new minor in Japanese Language and Culture. The program, announced in April, launched with a special presentation by the Consul General of Japan in San Francisco and the Japan Foundation of Los Angeles. Hayward is a sister city with Funabashi, west of Tokyo, and each year the community sends up to three students to attend Cal State East Bay for a year of study.
The Aphasia Tones were developed in 2009 as a way to offer the therapeutic and social benefits of singing in a group to members of the Aphasia Treatment Program. Aphasia can affect one’s ability to speak and understand others, and can lead to difficulties with reading and writing. Some individuals with aphasia can sing familiar songs, and the program at CSUEB focuses on getting patients to find their voice through music.
To address the need for improved communication skills, the College of Business and Economics hosts a two-day intensive workshop twice a year in professional leadership communications. CBE’s Jumpstart workshop is designed to develop the ability to listen, communicate and connect with others. Students who attend the entirety of the workshop receive certificates of their participation signed by the Lead Facilitator of the workshop, as well as the Dean of the College of Business and Economics.
Ruth Bley (B.S. ’82; M.S. ’88, Geology), president of Bleyco, Inc., a Castro Valley-based electrical construction company, purchased two vans for the College of Science. Professors use them for field trips and off campus research. Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences Patty Oikawa uses the vans weekly to bring students and equipment to her two research sites. Oikawa and her students are collecting collect data on how to use wetlands and ranchland to fight climate change.
Children in marginalized communities often enter kindergarten behind their more privileged peers when it comes to math skills. The gap widens as the young students get older, making it less likely that they will master the skills needed to succeed in college and science-based professions. Funded by a $1 million Excellence in Early STEM Education endowment from the Malavalli Family Foundation, Cal State East Bay is seeking to break through this long-standing problem by working with families.
Through a $95,000 gift from his company Systems Biosciences, former CSU Trustee Kenneth Fong created the Kenneth Fong SBI Research Award, which established an industrial research opportunity for a tenure-track faculty member. Through the program, biology Professor Claudia Uhde-Stone spent several days a week working at SBI on research alongside two students, including Amierali Afshari, who now works full time at SBI as an assistant manager and researcher.
Housed in the university’s new BioCore Facility, Cal State East Bay’s Green Biome Institute is dedicated to endangered plant conservation and genomic research. Its mission is to create and make freely available, complete molecular profiles of several native California plants. Supported by faculty and lab staff, students are the backbone of the work being done at GBI, and in the first year of the institute, more than 60 undergraduate and graduate students were involved with GBI-related projects.
The Center for Community Engagement (CCE) supports a variety of community-engaged learning that happens within academic courses (also known as Service-Learning), as well as several other programs including Pioneers for Change, Make a Difference Week, Freshman Day of Service and more. CCE’s mission is to enhance learning, inspire engagement, and improve community well-being.
Hundreds of nursing graduates throughout Northern California can trace their expertise back to emerita faculty Bette Felton. Although she is no longer teaching, her influence as the former dean is indelibly part of the Concord Campus and she made a gift through her estate plans supporting the campus in perpetuity. Members of the Emeritus and Retired Faculty Association (ERFA) often choose programs that have been meaningful throughout their careers.
For the student-athletes who play in CSUEB’s 15 intercollegiate sports, the word “student” comes before “athlete” for a reason: they are here to obtain a college degree. Yet balancing the intense schedule of sports and schoolwork leaves little time for them to have part-time jobs to fund their education. In support of his studies, sophomore Michael Francisco Ajoleza received the Frank and Kristy Fudenna Scholarship in Soccer, helping this criminal justice major solve the cost of college.
Students often cite “access to professors” as a deciding factor to attend Cal State East Bay. While Anita Flores knew that she would have an opportunity to do undergraduate research, she was surprised at the invitation to serve as a research assistant to an experienced professor. The Will L. Johnson Endowed Professorship in Sociology gives faculty funds to engage students in their research projects, thus elevating students’ research practice.