The morning of Monday, September 24th, CSU East Bay’s Faculty Convocation welcomed 20 new tenure track professors. The convocation, which was held in the university theater, is an annual tradition where staff, faculty and the administration reflect on last year’s accomplishments, talk about the challenges ahead and discuss critical initiatives for the upcoming school year.
“The learning environment at Cal State East Bay is solid and I believe that working together we can accomplish so much in the future,” said CSUEB’s President Leroy Morishta. “I look back one year, and I am amazed by how fast the year has passed, and the steps we have taken to move forward.”
The morning began with a singing of “The Star Spangled Banner” and an introduction of Academic Senate Chair Dr. Mitchell Watnik, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. James L.J. Houpis and President of Associated Students, Inc. Jerry Chang. President Morishta, who was the Convocation’s keynote speaker, invited everyone to collectively welcome the new tenure track professors.
“It was a very ceremonial event, took my breath away,” said Paulina Van, the new Chair of the Nursing and Health Sciences Department for both the Hayward and Concord campuses. “The speeches were very inspiring and motivating.”
Van, who came from Samuel Merritt University’s School of Nursing, explained what makes CSUEB different for her is the fact that there are so many different kinds of departments available to students, which makes for a much more diverse student body.
Brand new tenure track engineering professor Cristian Gaedicke, who previously taught at Texas State University, says he is also very excited for the upcoming school year. Gaedicke will be teaching a building codes class as well as a class on construction safety this fall.
“I believe in engaging students by combining labs with field activities as well as projects within their community, so they can think and analyze concepts on their own,” said Gaedicke. “When my students leave every quarter, I want them to be ethical professionals that are aware of safety precautions and technically proficient so that they can one day be managers.”
Another tenure track professor eager to start at CSUEB is Ken Chung, who after teaching business policy and strategies at Rutgers’s University, and is now teaching business as it relates to government and society. Both Gaedicke and Chung have not only found a professional home at CSUEB, but are also enjoying exploring some outdoor hobbies and interests of their own.
“I love to hike, go camping and bike around the Bay Area. With its climate and the natural surrounds, the bay area is such a nice place to be,” said Gaedicke.
Like Gaedicke, Chung also enjoys the natural outdoors the Bay Area has to offer.
“I have a kayak that I take out to the Oakland estuary,” said Chung.
Joining Gaedicke and Chung this school year, will be Brian Du, Ardella Dailey, Diane Mukerjee, Jenny O, Maria Cho, Tyler Evans, Chrandrakala Ganesh, Mavis Braxton, Elena Dukhovny, Kai Green, Rachel Stryker, Rose Wong, Mary Cardenas and Katherine Bell.
“Our collective success will depend greatly on our ability to work effectively together and our commitment to open communication and shared governance,” said Morishta after giving a warm welcome to the professors.
Morishta also explained last year he along with Houpis stressed to the department chairs the importance of attracting and hiring top scholars to join the faculty because it would advance the university’s academic excellence and institutional distinction.
“I am most pleased with the knowledge, academic excellence, talent and global awareness each of you brings to the University,” said Morishta. “I am also very pleased with the diversity of this cohort of faculty, which is about 60 percent individuals of color, and about 70 percent women.”
The university is still searching for 30 more tenure track professors for the 2012-13 school year.
“You join a proud and distinguished faculty who have brought great honor and recognition to the University through their teaching, scholarship, creative activities and service,” added Morishta.
This entry was published in The Pioneer Online on Thursday, September 27th, 2012 at 5:33 pm.