President’s Message: Thinking differently at CSUEB
When I joined Cal State East Bay, four years ago this summer, I asked the University community to join me in imagining new possibilities for CSUEB. Since then, our culture of thinking differently — about our role and opportunities — has grown even stronger.
Today, the University has new strategic and academic plans driving a bold vision for tomorrow. Our goal is to transform Cal State East Bay by 2020 into a regional university of choice and a wellspring of ideas and solutions to meet the changing economic, workforce, and social needs of our region.
I am proud of this culture and the independent thinkers that characterize CSUEB today — the focus of this issue of Cal State East Bay Magazine. The stories you’ll read here highlight a small sample of alumni, faculty, and students who have stepped outside the bounds of convention to explore new ideas, forge new theories, and propose unexpected solutions.
These include Associate Professor Rebecca Beal, whose research into surfing and skateboarding lifestyles challenges conventional ideas about extreme sports, marketing, and gender barriers. And the story of J.R. Havlan ’87, an Emmy Award-winning writer, illustrates the serious role of satire in American political discourse, as well as the rewards of an unconventional career.
You’ll see how independent thinking by CSUEB faculty is producing an influx of research grants to the University, including awards from the National Science Foundation and NASA. And as you’ll read, while one assistant professor challenges Einstein’s theory of gravity, a study by an earth and environmental sciences professor in a nearby lab questions what we know about the origins of life itself.
Read on to discover how our students are finding new outlets for expression through student-led publications focused on literature, political science, and philosophy. And, of course, there are stories of the remarkable achievements and contributions of our graduates. These include our outstanding alumni of the year, Patrick Devine ’87, MBA ’91, an innovator in high tech compensation, and Robert Litton ’00, ’02, a rising film composer. We also recognize Jack Acosta ’75, MBA ’78 and his wife, Susan, whose support over the years has distinguished them as the University’s most generous alumni donors.
While this issue presents a side of Cal State East Bay that may surprise you, it reminds us that the Pioneer spirit is truly alive in our classrooms, on our campuses, and in our community — continuing to inspire us to think differently about our future and the exciting possibilities ahead.
Mohammad “Mo” Qayoumi