Spotlight on Success



CSUF's Guardian Scholars Are the "Definition of Resilience and Courage"
March 22, 2021

The pandamic threatened resources for students in The Guardian Scholars program, but the program's director says the students are thriving. Read how they overcame a challenging year.


CSUF Communications Professor Teaches Students How to Use Mindfulness in the High-Stress World of Media 

March 16, 2021

CSUF Communications Professor Doug Swanson, Ed.D, APR, teaches his public relations and journalism students how to use mindfulness as a tool to use in their future careers.

From Zombie Themes to Zoom Writing Spas, Dr. Terri Patchen Finds Creative Ways to Teach her Fellow CSUF Colleagues at the Faculty Development Center

March 8, 2021

Dr. Terri Patchen has designed and taught a multitude of workshops at the FDC since 2013, and is now teaching Zoombie Wriing Apocolypse and the Zoom-a-Zoom-Zoom Writing Spa.

New CSUF Extension Class Teaches Educations How to Teach the "Gamer Generation"

March 1, 2021

CSUF's Extension and International Programs (EIP) has launched the Game-Based Learning Certificate Program, giving educators new skills to use during a year of virtual teaching. 

Teaching Political Science During a Year of Social Unrest, Political Division and a Global Pandemic

Feb. 22, 2021

For political science professor Dr. Scott Spitzer, his usual class agenda was to have students break into small groups and tackle political controversies, and develop their own solutions. But, he says, 2020 brought a new set of challenges.

College of Communications' Dr. Jessica Kamrath Set to Teach Happiness Course This Fall; Grabs Attention of Local Media

Feb. 16, 2021

Communication and the Art of Happiness as a special topics course at CSUF last year. It’s being offered again this fall, but she’s hoping it will become a class on the regular course rotation. The Department of Human Communications Studies has submitted her request.

CSUF Nursing Professor Who Grew Up in Foster Care Wins National Award for Her Work with Foster Youth

Feb. 8, 2021

Casey Family Programs recently awarded Dr. Sharrica Miller with the 2021 Casey Excellence Award, a national recognition for her work with foster youth in several organizations, including California Youth Connection.

The Pandemic Can’t Stop the Czech Republic’s Talich Quartet from Its Annual CSUF Residency

Feb. 1, 2021

This year, the pandemic put the annual Czech Republic’s Talich Quartet residency in jeopardy of being canceled. However, embedded in all performers' soul is the belief that "The show must go on!". So, Dr. Salem, Professor Kimo Furumoto, also a CSUF music professor, and the quartet's first violinist, Jan Talich, created a virtual residency to be held February 16-19th.

CSUF Graduate Students Get Real About How They're Handling the Pandemic

Jan. 26, 2021

“I believe our students have shown remarkable resilience during this very difficult time,” said Dr. Elaine Frey, assistant vice president for Graduate Studies. “Even despite tremendous hardships, our students are attending classes, working on research and creative activities, and finishing their degrees, all while following the safety protocols on our campus.”

CSUF Debate Coaches Hope a Partnership with Georgetown University Helps End the Racial Divise in Intercollegiate Debate

Dec. 21, 2020

When CSUF had a chance to team up with Georgetown University to co-host a virtual tournament on Jan. 2-6, 2021, it was a no-brainer. Georgetown's debate team is a majority white team that debates policy in a traditional style. CSUF's team, on the other hand, is one of the few from a Minority Serving Institution to compete using critical style. But how and why did a west coast school and east coast school form such a partnership?

CSUF College of Education Professors Reflect on 2020; A Year that Taught Their Students A Lesson in Resilience

Dec. 14, 2020

As 2020 comes to a close, we reached out to some of our faculty members who teach our future teachers. This year has brought many sudden changes and at the top of the list is virtual teaching. CSUF professors made the abrupt switch back in March and will continue through the spring semester. We wanted to know about their experiences and how 2020 prepared their education students for their futures, unlike any other year.

CSUF Librarians Create Contactless Pickup, Inspiring Other Cal State Universities

Dec. 7, 2020

In one of our previous Spotlights, Dr. Mohammad Reza Habibi said history had shown us that difficult times spark innovation. That’s evident in all of our Spotlight features, as CSUF faculty and staff swiftly transitioned from campus life to virtual life in March, never losing sight of our North Star: student success. So, it was no surprise when the team at Pollak Library put their heads together and came up with a safe way to check out books and needed materials.

CSUF Business Marketing Professor Teaches His Students How Their Future Businesses Can Survive a Pandemic: Persistence, Preparedness, Pricing

Nov. 30, 2020

“Like everything else, this shall also pass.” That’s what Dr. Chiranjeev Kohli, a CSUF College of Business and Economics marketing professor, tells his students when they worry about their immediate futures and long-term impact of the pandemic.

CSUF COMM Professors Give Students and Faculty Much Needed Break from Pandemic with Virtual Cooking Event

Nov. 23, 2020

There’s a well-known rumor among students about the College of Communications professor and department chair for Communication Sciences and Disorders, Dr. HyeKyeung Seung: she’s a great cook. As rumors go, this one spread all the way to the Fullerton chapter of the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NSSHLA). The organization’s president, Sheila Mathew, reached out to Dr. Seung to see if the rumor was true.

CSUF Business Professor Teaches His Students to Look at the Difficult Times of American's Past for Clues About Our Eonomic Future

Nov. 16, 2020

The year 2020 has been hard. Between the pandemic and social unrest, and a divisive election, the country is exhausted. Now, the holidays are around the corner, and large family gatherings, according to the CDC, should be literally and figuratively off the table. Difficult times usually have a silver lining, but is a silver lining even possible? Yes.

CSUF Professors Launched Pilot Program That Reveals Promisng Results in Closing the Equity Gap

Nov. 9, 2020

It surprised Dr. Michelle Ramos, assistant professor, Department of Child & Adolescent Studies, when some of her students shared why they didn't talk to their professors. "They had never approached their instructor before about anything, let alone to let them know when they were struggling with the content," said Ramos. "They were either, too shy, too embarrassed, or did not really know they could or should talk to their professor.”

The Team at CSUF's Writing Center Stepped Up When the Campus Suddenly Went Virtual

Nov. 2, 2020

When the pandemic forced the campus to become virtual, Dr. Bonnie Williams-Farrier, associate professor and director of CSUF's Writing Center, thought first about the safety of the center's tutors. The tutors, after all, are students and were also adjusting to the sudden shift to virtual learning.

CSUF Dance Professors Say the Pandemic Closed their Studies, But it Opened Up the Word for Students

Oct. 26, 2020

"What if this was your last day to dance in the studio?" For years that is what associate professor Lisa Draskovich-Long would ask her dance students when they began to burnout during class. As a dancer herself, she knew that taking away a dancer's studio was equivalent to taking away a diver's oxygen tank. The mere thought was meant to motivate them to find their second wind. It usually worked. She had no idea, however, how that one question would take on a new meaning when Covid-19 struck, forcing the campus dance studios to shut down.

CSUF Engineering Professor Understood The Value of Virtual Teaching Long Before The Pandemic

Oct. 19, 2020

We all know the feeling of logging into Zoom to learn something when what we’d really like to do is meet up in the hall and chat, or trade ideas in the classroom, or sit down for coffee with friends to catch up. Sometimes virtual learning just doesn’t seem ideal. But, as one professor discovered, ideal is exactly what it is for some future engineers. Dr. Nina Robson from the College of Engineering knows the upside of virtual learning; it opens the door to the nation and the world. A wi-fi connection has the power to connect students and instructors from anywhere, creating a global classroom. Dr. Robson calls it IDEAL.

CSUF Geology Professors Dug Deep And Transformed An Outdoor Class Into a Virtual Experience

Oct. 12, 2020

For geology students, Geology Field Camp is a rite of passage. Students spend their summer working outside in rough terrain for weeks--an ideal classroom for those who love to study rocks.

College of Health and Human Development Professors Figure Out a Virtual Way to Help Struggling Parents and Children During the Pandemic

Oct. 5, 2020

Dr. Melanie Horn Mallers and her colleague, Dr. Kate Bono, chair for the University’s Department of Child and Adolescent Studies, lead a multi-disciplinary team that provides the Resilient Families Program (RFP) to the community. It's supported by a grant from the North Orange County Public Safety Task Force and through a contract from Orange County Head Start. Mallers and Bono implement the program in English and Spanish with multiple sites within Orange County Head Start, Fullerton School District, Fullerton College's Child Development Center, and recently, HIS House, a transitional homeless shelter in Placentia.

CSUF College of Education Professors Create Anti-Racist Teaching Webinar Series

Sept. 28, 2020

CSUF College of Education (COE) professor Dr. Antoinette Linton knows the damaging consequences of racist teaching. As an African American student, who spent her elementary school years in the early 1980s in Louisville, Kentucky, she encountered racism often. Some white teachers at her recently integrated school found cruel ways to let the black students know they didn't want them there. Linton's white third-grade teacher told her she should be in special education classes, even though she had high test scores. She also sent Linton to the corner so many times that she taught herself times tables from the poster she faced.

The Academic Affairs' Space Management Team Moved Its Way Through the Pandemic

Sept. 21, 2020

Typically, at this time of year, CSUF is buzzing with sounds of campus life and the chatter of busy students. But it's 2020. Last March, the pandemic forced Titans to push pause on academic life as we knew it. And although the campus has successfully transitioned to life online, some projects simply can't be done virtually, especially when they have hard deadlines. Enter CSUF's Academic Affairs' Space Management Team

Pollak Librarians Are Unsung Campus Heroes

Sept. 14, 2020

A university’s library is the center of campus life. It’s where lives change as students study their way to achieving their dreams. It’s a place of respite from loud roommates so students can hear themselves think. It’s where friends meet to offer each other support, many building lifelong friendships. But like so much in life right now, the pandemic changed that. The library doors closed, and Pollak’s faculty and staff scrambled to open virtually. It hasn’t been easy. How do you move a building of resources online and quickly? The Pollak faculty and staff found a way.

CSUF Deans Launch Academic Year Focused on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Sept. 8, 2020

The start of the new academic year looks and feels unlike any other in Cal State Fullerton's history. Woven into the usual excitement of new classes and new faces are the pandemic's uncertainty, social unrest, and a pending election. The Black Lives Matter movement brought to the forefront, once again, the ongoing social injustice in the black community, and the pandemic magnified the health inequities in minority groups. That's why when CSUF's deans recently met with their faculty and staff, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion were at the top of the list of discussion and goals. These are the action plans each college and Pollak Library are instituting this academic year.

CSUF Faculty Members Discover Real Possibilities in Virtual Teaching

Aug. 31, 2020

The traditional classroom abruptly transformed into a computer screen, and the word "zoom" became woven into our daily conversations. Economics professor, Dr. Kristin Kleinjans, worried about losing that personal connection with her students, but it turns out that not even a virus can infect the strong bond between teacher and student.