President Ochoa chronicles triumphs at Day of Welcome employee event

Photo: President Ochoa speaking at a podium during Day of Welcome employee event

August 19, 2021

The Employee Day of Welcome — which took place the morning of Aug. 19 — was one of the more prominent displays of the return-to-campus process. It represented a familiar return to normalcy, with recognition and commemoration of employees for their leadership and achievements. At the same time it acknowledged the current realities, with a larger audience viewing via livestream and in-person audiences wearing masks inside the ballroom of the new Otter Student Union.  

Sam Robinson, chair of the Academic Senate, opened the program, in part, by saying, "Welcome to all. It is a good time to be at Cal State Monterey Bay."

She introduced President Eduardo M. Ochoa, who delivered his 2021 State of the University address.

He began on a resilient note: "In the past year, we have demonstrated how Cal State Monterey Bay can triumph over adversity."

He chronicled some of those triumphs, highlighting efforts like the Vision 2020 comprehensive campaign, led by VP of University Advancement Barbara Zappas, which brought in a total of $100.8 million. He also referenced the university's healthy enrollment figures, campus improvements, rising graduation rates, and the successful switch to virtual modalities. 

He attributed those successes largely to the efforts of those employees in attendance as well as those watching online.

“Our faculty and staff are truly the heart and soul of this university,” he said. “I appreciate your flexibility and perseverance these past months. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to our students, our mission, and our university.”

Members of Extended Cabinet who were introduced

Dr. Katherine Kantardjieff – Provost and VP of Academic Affairs
Dr. John Fraire -- Interim VP of Student Affairs
Dr. Glen Nelson – VP of Administration and Finance
Ms. Barbara Zappas, VP of University Advancement
Dr. Lawrence Samuels – VP for Strategic Initiatives and Executive Director of the University Corporation
Ms. Natalie King – Associate Vice President for Human Resources
Dr. Brian Corpening – Assoc. VP of Inclusive Excellence and Chief Diversity Officer
Dr. Chip Lenno – Chief Information Officer
Ms. Hayley Azevedo – Executive Assistant to the President
Ms. Nicole Hollingsworth -Director of Governmental and External Relations
Dr. Harald Barkhoff – Dean, College of Health Sciences and Human Services
Mr. John Binkley - Dean, College of Extended Education and International Programs
Dr. Juanita Cole– Dean, College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
Ms. Jacqui Grallo – Interim Dean, Library
Dr. Edward Jadallah – Dean, College of Education
Dr. Andrew Lawson – Dean, College of Science

Dr. Marylou Shockley – Interim Dean, College of Business
Dr. Doug Smith - Interim Dean, Office of Graduate Studies and Research
Mr. Aaron Bryant– Director of Communications and Marketing
Dr. Andrew Drummond – Interim AVP for Student Success and Dean of University College
Mr. Marcel Forte – Associate Vice President for Facilities Management
Mr. Kirby Garry – Athletic Director
Ms. Cynthia Holmsky - Director, Bright Futures Education Partnership
Chief Earl Lawson – Chief of Police
Ms. Starr Lee - Associate Executive Director of University Corporation
Mr. Stephen Mackey – Associate Vice President for Finance and
Ms. Lacey Raak - Director of Sustainability
Dr. Sam Robinson– Chair, Academic Senate
Dr. Dan Shapiro – Interim AVP for Academic Planning and Institutional Effectiveness
Ms. Amy Thomas – Director of Risk Management and Environmental Health & Safety
Dr. Leslie Williams – Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Executive officer of this year's Associated Students who were introduced

President - Victoria “Tori” Bartindale-Guffey
Vice President for Finance Affairs – David Ledesma
Vice President of Internal Affairs – Christian Chan
Chair of the Sports Club Council – Lynda Munoz

Highlights of the past academic year

  • Our MSW program received accreditation through the Council of Social Work through 2026. MSW was also awarded the HRSA SDS Scholarship for Disadvantaged Students of $637,024 for 4 years, providing up to 32 scholarships per year.
  • The inaugural cohort of MSPA students graduated in May, took the national board exam, and applied for jobs.  This cohort achieved a 97% first-time PANCE pass rate, which is higher than many prestigious universities in California. All of the graduates have employment offers and about 50% of them will be practicing in the local area.
  • Our BS in Sustainable Hospitality Management program was ranked by in the top 15% (at #37) in the nation on their list of "2021 Best Bachelor's Degrees in Hospitality Management.” This is the third year that the 6-year-old program has ranked among the top on's annual list.
  • A candidacy site visit was successfully conducted as a part of the process required in the evaluation of the Application for Candidacy to the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) for the master’s program in speech-language pathology. This program will greatly meet the community and nationwide shortage of speech language pathologists. 
  • Our Cinematic Arts and Music departments teamed up and assisted Professor Enid Ryce in creating the environmental film War and Water, which had an East Coast premiere at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Fifteen students and alumni worked on the film. Assistant Professor Orme created the animations and Dr. Sammons edited the music by Philip Glass. Staff member Chris Carpenter designed the film’s poster in addition to serving as a producer on the film. A CSUMB Faculty Support Grant was used to create the film. 
  • The library's Archives and Special Collections department (Robin Guthrie and Jade Takahashi) has digitized materials from the Japanese American Citizens League of Monterey, and contributed them to the California State University Japanese American Digitization Project, which won the 2021 Philip M. Hamer--Elizabeth Hamer Kegan award from the Society of American Archivists.
  • TLA has continued to work closely with CAT to ensure faculty have the support available to improve their ability to facilitate student learning virtual modalities in a supportive and culturally responsive manner. Over 250 faculty signed up this year's summer institute that included courses on Designing Equitable Learning Environments, Resilient Teaching, Mindfulness and Meditation for You and Your Students, Teaching in a Concurrent Classroom, and our effective use of Canvas, our new Learning Management System. 
  • The campus has new recruiting software which will enhance and improve the experience for all of our applicants.  Some of the advantages include dashboards for the hiring manager and search committee chair, new streamlined processes, and an onboarding portal to keep new employees up to date with expectations and to feel welcomed to CSUMB.
  • CSUMB has earned inclusion into the 2021-22 First-gen Forward cohort of higher education institutions by the Center for First-generation Student Success. Selected institutions receive professional development, community-building experiences, and a first look at the Center’s research and resources
  • UPD and Emergency Management operated the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and Incident Management Team (IMT) at Level I for the entire year.  The helped coordinate our campus pandemic response with local and state authorities.
  • The facilities department completed numerous capital improvement and deferred maintenance projects which extended the service life of the buildings/physical plant property, fire/life safety, and seismic structural strengthening.
  • The finance department helped administer over $8M in CARES funding to support our students during the pandemic. 

Faculty members who have earned recognition

  • Mathematics Professor Judith Canner received the 2021 Outstanding Faculty Teaching Wang Award for her implementation of  innovative practices and demonstrated leadership in improving student success.
  • Dr. Vanessa Lopez-Littleton was awarded faculty of the year 2020-2021 by California State Student Association (CSSA). The student-led CSSA is a nonprofit that was founded in 1959 and represents more than 482,000 students in the CSU system.
  • Dr. Babita Gupta, Professor of Information Systems in the College of Business has been elected President of the College of Academic Leadership (CAL) for a three-year term, from 2021-24
  • Stephanie D’Costa of School Psychology was named a Contemporary Asian American/Pacific Islander leader in Psychology by Trainers of School Psychologists’ Social Justice Committee, alongside other notable AAPI practitioners including the co-founders of the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA).
  • We held our first drive thru Commencement parade to celebrate one of our largest graduating classes, with more than 2,300 graduates. I greatly appreciate the planning and hard work that went into this event. 
  • We will continue the tradition of celebrating the extraordinary work of our faculty, staff and MPPs due with the President’s Medal Awards. Nominations will open September 1st and close September 30th. Recipients will be announced at our spring Staff & Faculty Appreciation Breakfast event.


Ochoa ended his address by saying,"Let’s prepare this year to emerge as a transformed institution, stronger and more effective in delivering on our educational mission.  I am excited at that prospect and I look forward to working with you in making it happen."

Next on the podium was Provost Katherine Kantardjieff.

"The Day of Welcome is our annual opportunity to gather as a university community, reconnect and prepare for the year ahead," she told the in-person and virtual audiences. "We welcome new colleagues, catch up with old friends, and recognize the important role that each of us plays in promoting the success of our students."

Then she introduced members of her faculty for distinction.

Faculty members who were promoted to full professor or librarian

Dr. Leslie Boni, College of Business
Dr. Luis Camara, Cinematic Arts and Technology
Dr. Arlene Haffa, Biology and Chemistry
Ms. Sarah Dahlen, Library
Dr. Jeffrey Jones, Music and Performing Arts
Dr. Lisa Leininger, Kinesiology
Dr. Aparna Sreenivasan, Biology and Chemistry

Faculty members who received tenure and were promoted to associate professor

Dr. Glen Bruns, Computing and Design
Dr. Kimberly Crossman, Education and Leadership
Dr. Jennifer Duggan, Applied Environmental Science
Dr. Ondine Gage, Liberal Studies
Dr. Alison Haupt, Marine Science
Dr. Nate Jue, Biology and Chemistry
Dr. Jenny Lin, College of Business
Dr. Jennifer Lovell, Psychology
Dr. Mridula Mascarenhas, Humanities and Communication
Dr. Angeline Nariswari, College of Business
Ms. Meghan O’Hara, Cinematic Arts and Technology
Dr. Amanda Pullum, Social, Behavioral and Global Studies
Dr. Erin Ramirez, Education and Leadership
Dr. Lanier Sammons, Music and Performing Arts
Dr. Corin Slown, Biology and Chemistry
Dr. Shannon Snapp, Psychology
Dr. Megan Sulsberger, Education and Leadership
Ms. Silvia Turchin, Cinematic Arts and Technology
Dr. Christine Valdez, Psychology

She also noted several large grants that members of the faculty had procured, as well as graduate student symposiums. 

John Fraire, Interim VP of Student Affairs, ended the program, recognizing fellow new employees and welcoming the audience to the Welcome BBQ on Sunday and the OSU grand opening on Tuesday, before getting the last word:

"I would like to thank you all for joining us today both in person and virtually. Have a wonderful day and Fall semester."