Service Learning Institute

Updates and News

2024 Spotlight on Service: Shaped by Service

Each year, the Service Learning Institute honors CSUMB's commitment to service, social responsibility, civic action, and social justice by recognizing the contributions made by students, faculty, and community partners to the tri-county region. Spotlight on Service celebrates student achievement in service learning while recognizing innovative, socially relevant collaborative work involving service learning faculty, student leaders, and local community partner agencies.

2024 Service Learning Awards

  • B.A. Cinematic Arts & Technology

    Jacob Padilla

    Tulare, California

    Community Partner: CSU Monterey Bay University Police Department

    “I want to take the experience of producing a video like this into my professional career.”

    B.A. Global Studies

    Cydney Gaither

    Alta Loma, California

    Community Partner: Meals on Wheels 

    “Going forward I will take with me the kindness everyone has shown me and try to give it back to my community. I love seeing the smiles on people's faces when we come in and I hope I can be that comforting smile for others.”

    B.A., Humanities & Communication

    Gloria Salcido

    Salinas, California

    Community Partner: Victory Outreach Watsonville

    “I will carry the understanding that the digital world can be intimidating to some, but with knowledge and patience, one can learn to harness the online power of connection.”

    B.A., Japanese Language & Culture

    Carlos Rodriguez

    San Diego, California

    Community Partner: CPY (Community Partnerships for Youth)/MLK School of Arts

    I will always from this point forward view my work through a lens that nurtures increasing diversity, equity, and an emphasis on increasing resources to those who need them.

    B.A., Music

    Roxanne Ortiz

    Long Beach, California

    Community Partner: Alisal Center for the Fine Arts

    I will carry the open-mindedness and inclusivity that the Alisal Center for the Fine Arts represents in all situations. The way I was able to teach an instrument that I had no idea how to play, made me truly feel like I was able to connect with the girls I was teaching. Also being able to make them laugh and seeing them actually learn from me, made what we were doing so important. I will continue to connect with young and older people through music.

    B.A., Psychology

    Alo Wilson

    San Jose, California

    Community Partner: Salinas Union High School District

    Service learning has taught me empathy, deep listening, how to take initiative, and how to effectively work towards active systemic change. As I go through my life prioritizing liberation for all beings, I will carry with me the patience, humanity, determination, radical love, and unconditional accomplice-ship that I have learned from this experience.

    B.A., Social & Behavioral Sciences

    Brant Schuler

    Santa Cruz, California

    Community Partner: Monterey Bay Aquarium

    I will always from this point forward view my work through a lens that nurtures increasing diversity, equity, and an emphasis on increasing resources to those who need them.” 

    B.A., Spanish Language & Hispanic Cultures

    Susan Braga

    Aromas, California

    Community Partner: Monterey County Free Libraries

    I grew up in libraries, and now I feel like I’m coming home. I can’t wait to share library joy with learners and patrons alike.

    B.A., Visual & Public Art

    Stephanie Garcia Vega

    San Jose, California

    Community Partner: Public Space in Salinas’ Chinatown

    I will carry the lessons from this experience forward, knowing that even small impacts can lead to significant positive changes. I will continue making a difference in other communities by working with local organizations in my hometown, as the opportunity to serve and contribute never truly ends. As one never really stops serving the community. This experience has taught me the importance of community engagement, and I am committed to applying these lessons wherever I go.

  • B.S., Business Administration

    Mackenzie Brum

    Los Baños, California

    Community Partner: California State Parks - Monterey Natural Resources

    This experience has inspired me to approach service with a newfound perspective, valuing the significance of even the simplest acts of kindness and stewardship in fostering positive change within our communities.


  • B.S., Human Development & Family Studies

    Lizeth Patena Zarazua

    Salinas, California

    Community Partner: Community Health Engagement

    I made long lasting friendships that I'll carry with me forever.”

    B.A., Liberal Studies

    Jordan Armstrong

    Santa Cruz, California

    Community Partner: Montebella Elementary School

    I will apply everything I learned in my future job as a teacher. It was amazing seeing students grow as learners and seeing them smile."

  • B.A., Collaborative Health & Human Services

    Caitlyn Ferguson

    Laguna Nihuel, California

    Community Partner: Christine Marie Star Riders

    Star Riders will always hold a special place in my heart and be some of my favorite memories from CSUMB. My experience showed me the power of empathy and I am always trying to implement that into all aspects of my life. I will continue to advocate for greater accessibility in all aspects of life for the special needs population.

    B.S., Kinesiology

    Caitlyn Ferguson

    Laguna Niguel, California

    Community Partner: Christine Marie's STAR Riders

    “Star Riders will always hold a special place in my heart and will be some of my favorite memories from CSUMB. My experience showed me the power of empathy and I am always trying to implement that into all aspects of my life. I will continue to advocate for greater accessibility in all aspects of life for the special needs population."

    B.S., Nursing

    Loida Ferolino

    Salinas, California

    Community Partner: Interim, Inc.

    I plan to apply what I've learned from this experience by continuing to advocate for underrepresented populations, supporting health justice, and exhibiting cultural humility in my future activities. I will aim to adapt what I've learned in service to my job, always keeping the needs of the community in mind.


  • B.S., Agricultural Plant & Soil Sciences

    Carson Craig

    Prunedale, California

    Community Partner: Habitat Stewardship Project

    “I will carry the things that I learned from this experience by feeling proud of myself for helping others out."

    B.S., Biology

    Cali Garcia

    Dixie, California

    Community Partner: The Magic Toothbus

    “I will forever carry the knowledge of the people that I surveyed and how they represented everyone in Monterey County. If it were not for the people surveyed I would not have the information I needed to provide future mobile dental clinics in Monterey County.”

    B.S., Communication Design

    Gabriella Lazarcheff

    Oakhurst, California

    Community Partner: Community Tech Network

    B.S., Environmental Science, Technology & Policy

    Eric Reid

    Rialto, California

    Community Partner: Bureau of Land Management, Central Coast Office

    “I'll carry what I learned from this experience with positive energy going forward. Like many parts of our chemistry and lives, a small catalyst is all it takes to get things going in the face of what seems to be a daunting challenge.”

    B.A., Environmental Studies

    Kris Rose

    Livermore, California

    Community Partner: Monterey Regional Park District

    “My biggest takeaway from this experience was how to communicate scientific ideas to a variety of audiences with different levels of scientific understanding, which is now a skill I use on a daily basis at work. This experience gave me the foundations I needed for working to make science accessible and helping empower people to work together in their community to make positive change.”

    B.S., Marine Science

    Kaitlyn Hutcheson

    San Carlos, California

    Community Partner: Elkhorn Slough Visitors Center

    “I will continue to try and help divide the gaps between kids of different communities, to ensure all children get to learn and experience nature.”

    B.S., Mathematics

    Jessica Naranjo

    Pomona, California

    Community Partner: Sol Treasures

    I will always be thinking about how I can use the knowledge and skills I have to better help the communities I am part of. I will continue to further my education to enhance my expertise and improve the communities I am part of.

    B.S., Statistics

    Samantha Barnes

    Morgan Hill, California

    Community Partner: Gathering for Women

    “I always think about the work they are doing and how statistics and data has helped them achieve their goals. I continue to see how data helps other grow and contribute to their communities.”

  • The Civic Action Award recognizes the outstanding work of a partnership between a CSUMB faculty member or student and a community group that seeks to improve the quality of life through public or civic engagement.

    2024 Civic Action Awards goes to the planning committee, workshop presenters, mentors, and Ethnic Studies teachers and the superintendent of Salinas Union High School District - for the 2023 Ethnic Studies Curriculum Conference, May 10, 2023.

    Photo of the planning committee members of the Ethnic Studies Conference at CSUMB on May 10, 2023


    CSUMB Students and Faculty

    • Aja Whittaker; CSUMB Alum
    • Rosa Acevedo Duran; CSUMB Alum
    • Sydney Utley; CSUMB Alum
    • Uriah Toussant; Service Learning Student
    • Anthony Chun Lorenzo; Service Learning Student
    • Alo Wilson; Service Learning Student
    • Jissel Antonio; CSUMB Alumn
    • Dr. Chrissy Hernandez; CSUMB Faculty
    • Dr. Sriya Shretha; CSUMB Faculty
    • Mark Gómez; CSUMB Faculty

    SUHSD Superintendent and Teachers from Alisal High, Rancho San Juan High, and Salinas High 

    • Dan Burns; Superintendent
    • Alexander Kajioka; Teacher
    • Chris Brabant; Teacher
    • Jensen Kile; Teacher
    • Mario Delgado; Teacher
    • Fatima Patino; Teacher
    • Clayton Frederick; Teacher
    • Gloria Estrada; Teacher
    • Hernan Gutierrez; Teacher 


    • Luis "Xago" Juarez

    Partners / Workshop Presenters

    • Karina Moreno; MILPA
    • Bernie Gomez; MILPA
    • Maria Perez; Regeneracion Pajaro Valley 
  • Since 2000, the Marian Penn Partnership Award has been presented annually to one faculty & community organization team that reflects the values of the Service Learning Institute and has made an exceptional contribution through service learning.

    Partnership between Elkhorn Slough Foundation, Hall District Elementary School (PVUSD), & CSUMB

    Outdoor Classroom (YouTube video, 5 minutes)

    Photo of staff members of Elkhorn Slough, Hall District Elementary, and CSUMB in front of a tree.

    • Dr. Victoria Derr; Applied Environmental Science Professor
    • Juan Ramirez; Elkhorn Slough Foundation 
    • Kenton Parker; Elkhorn Slough Foundation 
    • Alice Miller; Hall District Elementary School
    • Cynthia Torres; Hall District Elementary School


    Partnership between Monterey Peninsula College's Student Health Services & CSUMB's Nursing Program

    Photo of members of Monterey Peninsula College, Blue Zones Project, & CSUMB Nursing celebrating MPC's designation as a Blue Zone site
    • Zofia Chciuk; Nursing Professor
    • Ann Lurati; Nursing Professor
    • LeAnn Contapay; Monterey Peninsula College Student Health Center