President's Message: New ideas about sustainability take root at CSUEB
BOLD VISIONS — like Cal State East Bay’s plans to become a regional demonstration site for sustainability and green enterprise — begin by asking difficult questions. At CSUEB, the quest for solutions to critical societal needs has begun, as students, faculty, staff, and alumni together seek answers to one of today’s most critical and vexing conundrums: What is sustainable?
Typically, the term “sustainable” is associated with land use, natural resources, and recycling. But at Cal State East Bay, we believe it applies to far more. The cover story in this issue of Cal State East Bay Magazine illustrates our uniquely multidisciplinary approach to teaching and learning about sustainability — from geography and environmental science to business, economics, and philosophy.
You’ll see how our students are finding creative new ways of thinking and raising awareness about sustainability, as well as bringing new earth-friendly services to the University. And our story about physics Assistant Professor Erik Helgren’s work to improve solar energy cells in collaboration with a small team of undergraduate student research assistants demonstrates the practical application of theory and technology that is a CSUEB hallmark.
Beyond the classroom, the University continues to make progress in its quest to model and teach sustainability. CSUEB already has one of the largest solar installations in Northern California, supplying the regional grid with enough energy to power 1,000 homes. As you’ll read in this issue’s “Looking Ahead” story, we now have plans to add a demonstration fuel cell — one of the first at any U.S. university.
Of course, no issue would be complete without stories about alumni contributions. In this issue, that includes Jennifer Wolch ’75, ’76, the dean of the College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley, and Mindy Kimball ’05, a major in the U.S. Army, who is also an environmental crusader.
I hope you’ll join me in reading this issue cover to cover. You’ll be both intrigued and proud to see the level of thought, commitment, and creativity at CSUEB focused on sustainability. We are truly becoming a university where all of our students major in solutions for tomorrow.Mohammad “Mo” Qayoumi