25 for the First 25: Staff
When CSUMB opened its doors to students in 1995, CSU Chancellor Barry Munitz praised the university as “a campus with unlimited potential” employing “one of the finest faculties and staffs in the country.” These four are among those who have left an indelible mark on the university.
By Sophia Huang McKenzie
Published Dec. 20, 2019
Associate Vice President for Public Safety/Chief of Police
Just about everything at CSUMB has changed in 25 years, Police Chief Earl Lawson says. He arrived on campus on Christmas Day 1994 after starting his law enforcement career a few years earlier at Cal Poly Pomona. He became CSUMB’s police chief in 2010.
In the beginning, the buildings were “pretty much boarded up, locked up, locked down,” he said. “It was literally the way the military had left it. Most of the internal doors had the keys hanging in the locks.”
The police spent much of their time early on dealing with “Ording,” people scavenging for military souvenirs and anything of value, Lawson said. A bowling alley at what is now Parking Lot 903 was a prime target. He would spot students wearing bowling shoes with “FOB” on the toe for “Fort Ord Bowl.”
Lawson is known for collaborating with other agencies and taking on leadership roles. He has served as president of the Monterey County Chief Law Enforcement Officers Association and first chair of the California State University’s Chiefs’ Group.
He’s proudest of his people (many of his young officers are CSUMB alumni), the sense of community they foster, and the police department’s role on campus.
“(We) incorporate what we called ‘Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design’ to eliminate criminal opportunities from capital construction projects, from small renovation projects, even the landscape on campus,” Lawson said.
The department works closely with its campus partners to make the university as safe as possible, he said. “It’s now built into the culture of the campus.”
Senior Director for Health and Wellness Services
Caroline Haskell left big shoes to fill when she retired in June 2019 after 23 years. The founding director of the Personal Growth and Counseling Center (PGCC), she oversaw Health and Wellness Services which grew to include the Campus Health Center, Campus Chaplaincy, Health Promotion & Education, Student Disability Resources, the Campus Sexual Assault Advocate and the campus affiliate of the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI).
“We practice an integrated model of wellness, utilizing complementary and alternative forms of treatment,” Haskell wrote in 2017. “Intrinsic to our approach is the focus on student development, emphasizing personal responsibility, learning, growth and empowerment.”
A board-certified, licensed clinical social worker, Haskell provided direct counseling and psychological services and was a key developer of CSUMB’s master of social work program. She launched and chaired campus and community committees related to social justice and health, and served in leadership roles for local, state and national organizations. In 2013 she co-authored an award-winning book, “Combined Destinies: Whites Sharing Grief About Racism.”
Her many accolades include the 2015 Social Worker of the Year for the California chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, and the 2019 Welcoming Diversity Anti-Racism Award from NCBI.
Richard E. Hank Hendrickson
CSUMB’s First Full-Time Employee
Richard E. “Hank” Hendrickson seemed the ideal choice for CSUMB’s first full-time employee. He had history at Fort Ord as garrison commander from 1985 to 1989, and had already been working on the new university project for a year while employed at San Jose State University. Hendrickson shared his experiences in the CSUMB History written in 2004.
“It wasn't that big of a change,” Hendrickson said about switching to academia from the military in the CSUMB History written in 2004. “At Fort Ord, I was in charge of churches, grounds, schools — anything other than troops. The same type of work is done at a university. There's a chain of command in the military, and there's a chain of command in the university."
CSUMB hired Hendrickson as Executive Dean in 1992. Thinking of an official name arose as one of his earliest duties. Hendrickson and CSUMB’s two other full-time employees considered the possibilities — UFO, the University of Fort Ord, was one of the rejects — and polled the tenants of 915 Hilby Ave. in Seaside, the university’s first office. At the end of that year, the CSU approved the name submitted: California State University, Monterey Bay.
Work on campus accelerated after the federal government awarded $15 million to CSUMB in July 1994. Many higher ed experts said adequately founding a university would take three to four years. Hendrickson and his team had 13 months.
CSUMB opened its doors on schedule in Fall 1995. Hendrickson retired six years later as Vice President for Administrative Services.
Director of Intercollegiate Athletics
Bobbi Bonace returned to CSUMB in February 2019 as one of the first 12 inductees to the new Otter Athletics Hall of Fame. The university has come a long way from “recruiting people off the bike trails,” she told The Lutrinae student newspaper.
Bonace joined the staff in 1996 as CSUMB’s first athletic director. She brought 30 years of experience from UC Santa Barbara and Washington State University (WSU), where she was director of WSU’s gay and lesbian program.
At CSUMB she founded the athletics program, started 10 Otter athletic teams, helped build the kinesiology program, chaired the department, and advocated for social justice and equality. When Bonace retired in 2007, friends and colleagues created a Bobbi Bonace Scholarship for female students pursuing sports-related careers.
“I think we do things differently than other universities,” Bonace said of CSUMB. “We open doors for people to be who they actually are and create a climate here where that’s actually possible.”
In celebration of our 25th anniversary, CSUMB is recognizing a company, a foundation and 23 individuals and couples for helping to make the university what it is today. This story is Part 3 of 6 in "25 for the First 25: Honoring Our Past." Go to "Faculty" to read Part 4.