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Congratulations on making it to the end of another eventful, challenging and productive academic year. It’s been a busy year for Community Engagement and I’m pleased to share our latest updates as we close out the 17-18 academic year. Community Engagement continues to make strides in developing and refining programs that support student, faculty and staff engagement with our regional community. In this end-of-year newsletter, you’ll find details about our work and the ways in which we continue to extend CSUSM’s educational footprint. If you have any questions, feel free to drop in our offices on the 6th floor of Craven Hall.

Dr. Patricia Prado-Olmos,
Vice President of Community Engagement




To support continued growth and development of high-impact student learning opportunities, the division of Community Engagement has brought the Internships and Service Learning programs together, under one umbrella. The consolidation of support services allows students and community partners to leverage multiple opportunities.

The new office is led by Jill Litschewski as its Director. Aiding Jill are two coordinators, Elvia Sedano and Lynn Wellborn. We encourage you to reach out to the Faculty Directors, Dr. Cynthia Chávez Metoyer (Internships) and Dr. Verónica Añover (Service Learning) if you are interested in developing an internship partnership or if you'd like to inquire about adding a Service Learning component to a course.

Should you have any questions about Internships & Service Learning, please contact:

  • Internships: Elvia Sedano, Administrative Support Coordinator, x7007 or 


 Over the course of 18 months, the Office of Internships and Service Learning observed a pattern of student inquiries that could not be ignored. Time and time again, students were prepared to complete an internship, but their major did not offer an internship course for credit. This was significant as these students would complete an internship and receive no credit or be forced to forgo the opportunity altogether if it required that the student receive academic credit for their time.

With the launch of UNIV 495 this summer, the Office of Internships and Service Learning will bridge the gap between a student’s academic coursework and a meaningful internship for credit, particularly for students from majors that do not offer an internship course.

"A student was recently offered a summer internship that required her to be enrolled in a credit-bearing internship course. The student came to us because her department was not offering an internship course and she was a bit panicked. Because of UNIV 495, she will not miss out on an opportunity with a company she aspires to work for. The student left relieved and thankful that she did not have to forfeit the summer internship opportunity," said Dr. Cynthia Chávez Metoyer, Faculty Director, Internships.

This is a win-win for Cal State San Marcos students and our community partners, as it places students in critical internship positions, helps to reduce time to graduation and provides a way for all students to take part in internship opportunities (including international students).

For additional information or questions on this course offering, please contact Dr. Cynthia Chávez Metoyer, Faculty Director, Internships, & Instructor for UNIV 495,

*Students are encouraged to inquire with their department chair or faculty advisor about whether these units can be approved to count toward their major. Units earned through UNIV 495 are applied toward the university’s upper-division unit requirement.


On Thursday, April 24, the Office of Internships and Service Learning held its annual Service Learning Celebration at The McMahan House. This event recognized the outstanding work of students, faculty, and community partners. The event featured a Service Learning Showcase, which provided an opportunity for attendees to explore the work accomplished during the 17-18 academic year. During the showcase, teams of presenters included students, faculty and community partners, joined together to share stories and successes of their Service Learning experience. The awards ceremony recognized the following achievements:

  • Outstanding Community Partner: Edwina William, Project LIKE
  • Outstanding Faculty: Dr. Emily Merryweather, Lecturer - Psychology
  • Outstanding Student Group: Positive Psychology: Student Leadership Curriculum Development Team (Martin Mohammad, Kali Campbell, Elaine Cuento, & Karina Soli)
  • Outstanding Students: Jaclyn Bailey & Emily Juliano 



Cal State San Marcos' Democracy in Action (DIA) partnership with the City of San Marcos, which addressed real-world local issues within the community through a civic learning model, was recently featured in Western City Magazine. Western City Magazine is a monthly publication provided by the League of California Cities to elected city officials and city staff throughout the state. The magazine is also mailed to California state legislators, key policy-makers and opinion leaders.

Through DIA, Cal State San Marcos students partnered with a faculty member over the course of a semester to research specific city issues and worked to develop viable solutions. At the conclusion of the semester, students presented their findings in a report submitted to the City. The DIA projects were invaluable as they inspired students to think critically about how to tackle tangible issues within their own community while gaining experience in problem-solving for our local government. Semester topics included:

Spring 2018

  • Entrepreneurial Center Project – Dr. Sam Clarke, ENTR 320, Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship
  • Senior Center Project – Dr. Eliza Bigham, HD 497, Applied Research in Human Development

Fall 2017

  • Parking Study Project – Dr. Jill Weigt, SOC 361, Qualitative Methods in Sociology
  • Website and Social Media Analytics Project – Dr. Rebeca Perren, MKTG 484, Marketing Analytics

Spring 2017

  • Emergency Medical Services Project – Dr. Matt Atherton, SSCI 495, Capstone in the Social Sciences
  • Sports Tournament Project – Dr. Vassilis Dalakas, MKTG 452, Sports Marketing and Sponsorship
  • Storm Water Project – Dr. Robert Brown, ECON 421, The Public Economy
  • San Marcos Video Project – Jonathan Berman, VSAR 328, Video Art History and Theory

"Our partnership with the City of San Marcos was extremely productive. Cal State San Marcos students were given the opportunity to put their skills to work on city issues ranging from stormwater, webpage use and parking. Students were able to engage with local government officials and staff and learn that they can make a difference in their local community. The City received valuable information that they can use to address pressing issues for local communities while also enhancing the partnership between the City and the University," said Dr. Elizabeth Matthews, Faculty Director, Civic Learning


One of the most anticipated annual events at Cal State San Marcos is César Chávez Day of Service. Each year, the campus community takes part in the day of service through volunteerism to honor the life and legacy of civil rights activist César Chávez. With two new partners this year, MiraCosta College and Mt. San Jacinto College, the collective group set out to increase its regional impact. 

The event took place on the day the campus observed César Chávez Day, a state holiday held in remembrance of the late founder of the United Farm Workers Union and pioneer in the struggles for fair wages and humane working conditions for farm workers and their families. Chávez is revered as one of the greatest American civil rights leaders.

This year, Community Engagement analyzed and summarized registration and evaluation data from volunteers and community partners who participated in the 2018 César Chávez Day of Service activities. 

 According to the results:

  • The 2018 volunteer profile included a higher percentage of female and Latinx students than the general CSUSM student population.
  • 96% of participants who responded to the survey indicated that they were more likely to participate in community service in the future as a result of this day of service.
  • 95% of participants indicated that they were better able to recognize the value of equity and a shared responsibility to and for one another as a result of this experience.
  • 92% of participants indicated they believe that they have a responsibility to use the knowledge they have gained at CSUSM to serve others.
  • Respondents listed the following as some of the most valuable experiences they had on this day of service: connecting with others, teamwork, learning about the organization they served and serving the community.



The Alliance to Accelerate Excellence in Education (The Alliance) at Cal State San Marcos is a regionally focused initiative designed to improve the college attendance and completion rates of students within North County. Guided by principles of partnership, collaboration and academic excellence, The Alliance serves as the oversight and support office for Guaranteed Admission agreements with ten area school districts.

The Alliance is proud to offer a scholarship program in which selected students serve as Ambassadors appointed to work in The Alliance office on various education programs. Ambassadors gain valuable work experience and leadership skills.

This year, The Alliance will have their first Alliance Ambassador graduate in May. Joselyn Perez (pictured wearing green in photos above), is graduating with a B.A. in Psychology. Joselyn was recently accepted to Purdue University where she will continue her studies in Psychology. Congratulations, Joselyn!

Additional Ambassador achievements include:

Cohort 1

  • Jesus Perez will attend the Summer 2018 National Institute of Standards & Technology as a Research Intern.

Cohort 2

  • Melody Paulus has been accepted to attend the 2018 Summer Health Professional Education Program (SHPEP) Dental Program at the University of Washington.
  • Sally Tsai received an internship with Hunter Industries beginning the end of May 2018 through Summer 2018.
  • Courtney Ouellette will be working with the Department of Agriculture starting Summer 2018.



On Thursday, April 12, President Karen Haynes hosted her annual Report to Tribal Nations at the All Tribes American Indian Charter School Inc. on the Rincon Indian Reservation.

The charter school is a notable venue as it highlights Cal State San Marcos' deeply integrated relationships with the tribes in the region and is a gathering place that exemplifies the importance of education within the tribal community.

The event was well-attended by members of Cal State San Marcos' Native Advisory Council and leaders from regional tribal governments.

Photo left to right: Deborah Morton (Asst. Professor, CSUSM), Dr. Patricia Prado-Olmos (Vice President, CSUSM), Tishmall Turner (Rincon Vice Chairwoman & Tribal Liaison, CSUSM), Orvin Hanson (Interim CEO & COO, Indian Health Council, Inc.), Karen Haynes (President, CSUSM), Jacob Dunlap (Nursing Student, CSUSM), and Esther Calac (Foundation Board, CSUSM)



To strengthen Cal State San Marcos' connection with regional partners, the division of Community Engagement began an initiative to visit community partner sites to gain a better understanding of these organizations and to strategize on how we can continue to collaborate collectively through meaningful work, academic outcomes, and common goals. Last year, the division visited North County Health Services in San Marcos.

Earlier this month, the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians, a sovereign tribal government, welcomed the division of Community Engagement for an educational and edifying daylong visit at the Rincon Indian Reservation.

In addition to exploring the history of the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians, a story of courage and survival with ancestors dating back over 10,000 years, the Community Engagement team learned about the rights and responsibilities of a modern sovereign tribal government and how the tribe upholds their traditions and culture today. The visit included a tour with stops at Rincon Fire Station, the construction site of a new government building, Rincon Indian Cemetery, Indian Health Council, Inc., Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians Museum and Harrah's Resort Southern California.

The memorable visit concluded with a luncheon at SR76 Brewery with members of the Rincon government: Attorney General Denise Turner Walsh, Chairman Bo Mazzetti, Vice Chairwoman Tishmall Turner (also CSUSM's Tribal Liaison), Councilman Steve Stallings and Councilwoman Laurie Gonzalez.