New-Look Academic Year Kicks Off
By Eric Breier
Cal State San Marcos expects to welcome more than 16,000 students Monday as it kicks off a fall semester that sees students, faculty and staff largely returning to campus after a year spent learning and working primarily virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With protocols in place to ensure the health and safety of the campus community, President Ellen Neufeldt expressed excitement and optimism during her annual convocation address to faculty and staff on Thursday.
“When I look back on March 2020, I’m still amazed by all the ways we were able to pivot,” Neufeldt said. “And this semester, not only did we meet our enrollment goals with over 16,000 students, but about 11,000 of them will be on campus to take at least one in-person course.
“I know making all of this a reality was no small feat. Nor were we perfect every step of the way. But together we learned, we adjusted and we forged ahead on a path built on the Cougar spirit of care, collaboration and innovation.”
Among the changes this fall is a requirement that all students and employees who come to campus be vaccinated against COVID-19 or provide a medical or religious exemption. Proof of vaccination is required by Sept. 30. Before the deadline, anyone who is unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated must participate in a weekly testing program. After Sept. 30, unvaccinated individuals with an approved exemption will be required to continue weekly testing.
All students and employees who are accessing campus and have yet to verify their vaccination status also are required to participate in weekly COVID-19 testing on campus. On-campus COVID-19 testing is free of charge. Please visit the CSUSM app or the mandatory testing website to view testing locations and hours and make an appointment.
‘Fresh’ dining option
All on-campus eateries are open as of Aug. 30, including Get Fresh, which is offering more vegetarian and vegan options.
Get Fresh will offer seasonal specials using local produce. Customers will have the opportunity to customize their own creations with sauces, dressings, proteins and grains.
- Aswad Allen was named the university’s new chief diversity officer, joining CSUSM after serving as the inaugural chief diversity officer at Emporia State University in Emporia, Kan.
- Jessica Berger began her role as the vice president of University Advancement and executive director of the CSUSM Foundation in July.
- Jennifer Ostergren began her tenure as the new dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Services on July 1.
- Professor Joely Proudfit was appointed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom to the Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, becoming the first Indigenous woman named to the organization.
- Leon Wyden began his appointment as vice president of Finance and Administrative Services on June 1.
Weeks of Welcome
The annual Weeks of Welcome started Aug. 27 and runs through Sept. 26. It includes dozens of in-person and virtual events for students to meet new people and kick off the new academic year.
Visit the Weeks of Welcome calendar for a complete schedule.
- CSUSM is one of eight CSUs participating in the first phase of the new CSUCCESS program, which is providing an iPad Air, Apple Pencil and Apple Smart Keyboard Folio to all incoming first-year and new transfer students who register to participate.
- CSUSM was selected to receive the 2021 AASCU Excellence and Innovation Award for Student Success for the innovative student coaching program that it launched last year, partly in response to the pandemic.
- The public health program was approved to become a department within the College of Education, Health and Human Services, effective July 1.
- Social work professor Madeline Lee, ACE Scholars Services counselors Laurie Orr and Leigh Quijada, and ACE founding director Jim Mickelson had a paper published in the National Association of Social Workers Press journal “Social Work.”
- The electrical engineering program was among 17 teams from colleges and universities across the country selected to participate in the 2022 Marine Energy Collegiate Competition: Powering the Blue Economy.
Eric Breier, Public Affairs Specialist
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