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From the Dean's Desk

A letter from Interim Dean Rider

May 12, 2016

Dear CHABSS Community,

On behalf of the faculty and staff of the College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral and Social Sciences, I am honored to congratulate the graduating Class of 2016. I know that your family, friends, faculty and interim dean are very proud of your accomplishments. Your dedication to your education, the work expended and sacrifices made are coming to fruition. Your successes, though, are just beginning.

Each of you has a unique and special story to tell in how you achieved success; a story for which you should be very proud. There is a diverse set of paths to success. Your cohort is a rich blend of these wonderful success stories.

Stories such as our Dean’s Award Winner of 2016, Petrona Gregorio, whose inspiring story begins in a small town in Guatemala herding goats and sheep, where her own education would have been very limited. After supporting her family, she pursued her education in Psychology, and is currently involved in significant research on the motivations for decreased sugar-sweetened beverage consumption.

Or “Redd” Driver, a former Marine who served in Afghanistan after a shortened enrollment at Auburn University, given a second chance at Cal State San Marcos, where he has been setting the curve in his courses and is also involved in cutting-edge psychological research under the supervision of Professor Heike Mahler. The CSU is all about opportunity and second chances.

Or Tiffany Boyd, our out-going ASI President and CEO, a real leader on the campus and a first-generation graduate, who asked a simple and subtle question when opportunities presented themselves to her – why not me?

Or Kaitlin Sweeney, whose work as Editor-in-Chief on the Cougar Chroniclehas transformed your student newspaper, incorporating “themed editions” which have enabled our value of diversity to become institutionalized in the paper.

Or Noha Khalil, whose personal experiences on Tahir Square during the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 left her intrigued and led to “deeply perceptive” academic work in Political Science.

And there are so many more. Each of you has an inspiring and compelling story.

This year’s graduation is only the first of many successes that you will realize throughout your lives. Take from us not only the knowledge and skills that we have taught you but also the life lessons on what are required to be successful. Dedication. Discipline. Never giving up your pursuit of joy and principle even in the face of adversity. Above all learning from your mistakes. I always tell my students that the difference between those individuals who are successful in life and those who are not, is not the absence of error or loss but the presence of mind to learn from mistakes, adapt and grow. I wish you all continued success for the rest of your lives.

I also want to thank the faculty and staff for all of your dedication to our students, without whose efforts these success stories would not happen. You are an amazing College.

We are losing three of our valued colleagues to retirement: Professor Vivienne Bennett from Liberal Studies, Lecturer Margaret Crowdes from Sociology and Lecturer Karin Filijan from School of Arts. We thank you both for your valued service and wish you well in your future journeys.

The College continues to achieve success through the various Strategic Initiatives including the Global Commitment Initiative, which had the largest attended Community Service & Volunteer Fair this spring, and the Career Readiness Initiative. The Arts & Lectures series provided the University with thought-provoking and entertaining performances, the most recent of which was No I Am Not A Terrorist.

I also thank the members of the Dean’s Council for their continued support for the College and University during this transition period in administrative leadership.

As your interim dean, I have enjoyed serving all of you for this short period of time.

Bob Rider,
Robert Rider signature
Interim Dean, College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral & Social Sciences.