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Title: Unveiling the Legacy of Cal State East Bay with President Cathy Sandeen by Jared Asch


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Cal State East Bay, a beacon of higher education nestled in the vibrant East Bay region of California, holds a rich legacy filled with stories of resilience, innovation, and transformation. In a recent insightful conversation with President Cathy Sandeen PhD, MBA, the esteemed leader of Cal State East Bay, the essence and journey of this esteemed institution came to life through her words. For more information, listen to the whole podcast episode hosted by Jared Asch of the Capstone Conversation.


A Journey Rooted in Community and Education


President Sandeen's journey mirrored the essence of Cal State East Bay - a story of roots deep-seated in the East Bay, a testament to the transformative power of education. Born and raised in the East Bay, President Sandeen's journey intertwined with the growth and evolution of the institution she leads today. Her trajectory from a first-generation college student to the helm of educational leadership embodies the ethos of empowerment and opportunity central to Cal State East Bay.


Navigating the Pathways of Education


President Sandeen's narrative highlights the profound impact of education, emphasizing the importance of equipping students with the tools for success. Through insightful discussions on preparing students for college readiness, fostering a culture of belonging, and creating spaces for diverse student success, Cal State East Bay is not just a place of learning but a nurturing ground for personal and academic growth.


Innovative Approaches to Higher Education


As the landscape of higher education undergoes dynamic shifts, Cal State East Bay stands at the forefront of innovation and adaptability. From rebranding campaigns to introducing a new mascot, the institution is reimagining its identity to reflect the multicultural vibrancy and spirit of the East Bay community. President Sandeen's vision for a future-oriented institution resonates with a commitment to excellence, inclusivity, and community engagement.


A Beacon of Belonging and Pride


At the heart of Cal State East Bay lies a deep commitment to fostering a sense of belonging and pride among its diverse student body. The establishment of affinity-based Student Success Centers underscores the institution's dedication to creating inclusive spaces where students can embrace their authentic selves and thrive academically. By prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion, Cal State East Bay is not just shaping minds but nurturing holistic growth and belonging.


Looking Towards the Future


As Cal State East Bay embarks on a journey of evolution and growth, President Cathy Sandeen's leadership illuminates a path guided by resilience, empowerment, and community collaboration. With a focus on career readiness, academic excellence, and community partnerships, the institution stands as a beacon of hope and opportunity for students across the East Bay region and beyond.


Closing Thoughts


In the tapestry of higher education, Cal State East Bay shines as a testament to the transformative power of education and the enduring spirit of community. Through President Cathy Sandeen's visionary leadership and the institution's unwavering commitment to student success, Cal State East Bay continues to pave the way for a brighter, more inclusive future in the dynamic landscape of higher education.



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This blog post reflects on the profound journey and enduring legacy of Cal State East Bay, as shared through the inspiring insights of President Cathy Sandeen.



See below for an AI-Generated transcript of the recording.

 

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Jared Asch: And today's guest is the President of Cal State East

 

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Jared Asch: Bay.

 

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Jared Asch: President Cathy Sandeen.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: Hey, Jared, pleasure to be talking with you today.

 

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Jared Asch: So you are a lifelong educator and learner yourself. Tell us a little bit more about your background, and how you ended up at East Bay.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: Well, it really is, somewhat of a miracle. I see it in a full circle moment, because I was born and raised in the East Bay. I was born in Oakland, and grew up as a child in Oakland, and San Leandro went to public schools.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: and I'm the first in my family to go to college. Like many of our students, and I did choose the California State University system, I did my undergrad at Humboldt State University. I went on to do a Master's degree at San Francisco State University. So coming back to the the system, you know the Cal State system, of which East Bay is a part, and coming back to the East Bay is really a wonderful way to kind of.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: you know, and my my career in higher education. But I went into the field of communication, and I got a Phd. And I I from the University of Utah. I really believed that I would become a professor. But through various circumstances I wound my way into the management of universities, and I found that I really loved it.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: I was connected to students and faculty and the academic enterprise. But throughout my whole career and I started in the Uc. System. In the nineties we were always had financial challenges, budget challenges. How do we deploy our resources in a way that optimizes our mission? And I found that I was good at it. And that's been my career ever since.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: So I spent 22 years in the University of California system, all in the management side Uc. San Francisco, Uc. Santa Cruz and Ucla.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: Then I spent a little time in WAschington, DC. At a higher Ed association, which was very great

 

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Cathy Sandeen: perspective for me. Looking at our field from a national level, all the diversity of different types of universities, how different States operate!

 

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Cathy Sandeen: And then I became the chancellor or president of

 

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Cathy Sandeen: one of the University of Wisconsin

 

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Cathy Sandeen: institutions, and I was there for about 4 years, and then I did something really wild. I accepted a job as a chancellor or President of University of Alaska, Anchorage in Anchorage, Alaska. And so that was my last job before I came here. Back here to California and to the East Bay at Cal State, East Bay.

 

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Jared Asch: Where the winners are probably better than Wisconsin and Alaska.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: They are. But you know there, there's a saying in those 2 States there's no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear. So I came back with multiple puffy jackets and different types of boots, and you know I was fine. I was fine while I was there, but I'm happy to be back. That is the truth.

 

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Jared Asch: That's good. That's a a great career and you can even share with your students how sometimes it's

 

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Jared Asch: difficult to maintain a job. You just keep rotating, you know, around which is something funny. And I talked to people about like.

 

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Jared Asch: right, the the newer generation stays places 2 to 4 years, where older people are like worked at the one company at Ibm or Cisco for 30, 40 years. So the diverse experience that you have with the different types of people and students and programs, really shows how well rounded and the different perspective you could bring into the university realm.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: I think that's very true, and it also opens my eyes to the different subcultures in our country, which is, I think, important to understand. There's a common thread between all of those universities, and that is that they all were public.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: They all were high access, meaning they weren't selective. You know, we're we're serving the

 

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Cathy Sandeen: first generation, low income students of color, and all of them I had to really look at. How do we, as I said before, optimize our resources to meet the needs of the students in the mission. So there are some commonalities. But it it was great experience for me. I do think sometimes you need to move out, to move up. And my career is certainly a Testament to that.

 

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Jared Asch: Yeah. So I wanna pick up on 1 point you talked about is

 

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Jared Asch: first generation

 

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Jared Asch: college students which you were and a lot of the students at the university are. Talk a little bit more about that, and how important that is for our communities here in the east bed.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: Well, thanks for asking that. And it's true. At our university, Cal State East Bay, 60 to 70% of our students are the first in their families to earn a degree.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: And, in fact, I look forward to our various commencement celebrations coming up in May because it really is a family event. It's an achievement for the whole family.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: and it is important for our community, you know, in in the Bay Area, in the East Bay we have very sophisticated companies, knowledge that need knowledge workers highly trained, highly educated. In order to fuel our economy.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: and we need to make it an equitable opportunity for more people. And that's really the role that we play

 

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Cathy Sandeen: in many cases. But for Cal State East Bay our students will not have earned a 4 year degree, but they do it here. We graduate between 4,000 505,000 students a year, with a bachelor's degree or a master's degree, and 80% of them stay in the region and work in the region. So we really are.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: supplying the workforce for this dynamic area. And fortunately we have faculty who are very adept at working with industry and figuring out what they're looking for for their industries and adapting the curriculum, so that we are producing very career ready graduates.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: So it it. It's important for the individual. It's important for the region. But it's also important for these students families.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: you know they are setting the tone for their siblings, their brothers and sisters, their cousins, and they are are likely going to be helping with the financial support of their whole extended family. So this this is important, for you know, maintaining that that

 

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Cathy Sandeen: kind of middle class in in our area, so on many levels. The fact that we serve that we've figured out how to serve first generation students.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: It's it's really an important part of what we do and like. Why many of us are so committed to a place like Cal State, East Bay.

 

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Jared Asch: How does that compare to the rest of the Cal State system?

 

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Cathy Sandeen: Well, there are 23 different universities in the Cal State system. So people probably know about the University of California system. They have 10 universities in their system. You think of Berkeley and Ucla? These are behemoths. They are big research universities.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: We are more of the teaching university. We're producing more bachelor's degrees and master's degrees. The teachers, the nurses, the social workers that's always been our role. And traditionally, the California State universities were more similar to each other. We were called comprehensive universities.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: And we served all the different disciplines. And and the majority of us are still regionally oriented. So most of the students come from the region. But there is some differentiation.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: So, for example, San Diego State University is huge. It has a much larger research profile than we do or other csus campuses do. they're more selective in terms of the students they admit similar to San Luis Obispo. We have some of our universities or more Ag schools.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: We even have California Maritime Academy as part of our system. So that's highly specialized. You look at San Francisco State. They're very focused on the performing arts and the arts

 

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Cathy Sandeen: San Jose State is more engineering and tech. So we are specializing a to a certain degree, but we are very strongly committed to being a high access institution. You know we do not. We have, we admit, a lot of students, and we want them to come here. We provide a lot of services to support them in completing their degrees.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: That's really been our focus at this university.

 

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Jared Asch: And a lot of your students

 

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Jared Asch: finish up at regional community colleges in the Bay area and then come over more than they start with you right.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: That's correct. 60% of our students at any given time are community college transfers. So we work very closely with the community colleges in our region, and Diablo Valley College is, you could tell I'm an old timer. I don't say Diablo, I say, Diablo Valley College is a big Feeder School for Cal State East Bay. A lot of students complete their first 2 years and then transfer to us.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: you know. Similar similarly, Chabot Lasitas is another big feeder school for Cal State East Bay, and we work closely with those counselors at those colleges, as well as the Presidents and the chancellors of those systems.

 

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Jared Asch: So is it a big commuter campus more than than some of the other csus. The more people tend to drive in each day versus live on campus? Or is it

 

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Jared Asch: relatively equal? Mix.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: In our case we've always been a commuter campus. That's been a a advantage, because students traditionally can live at home

 

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Cathy Sandeen: with their families, save money and finish their degree. So that's still a pattern that we see today.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: Even so, we have 1,300 beds, we call it. We have student housing on campus, so we can house up to 1,300 students. We also have about 8 to 900 international students who come to us from other countries, and many of them choose to live on campus. So we do have student housing. But it's about 10% of our total students right now we have about 12,000 students

 

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Cathy Sandeen: attending Cal State East Bay. It's a very healthy, vibrant community. It's changed a little, though. Jared

 

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Cathy Sandeen: following Covid.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: So during that time.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: you know, all of education had to shift

 

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Cathy Sandeen: during the pandemic to remote delivery. And we did, too, and we find that now that more of our faculty are comfortable. With that mode of teaching, more of our students can be successful in Cla in remote classes, that they're choosing a mixed schedule, so they'll they'll drive to campus fewer days, for in person classes, and they will complete many of their classes remotely.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: So it's a little bit of a different mix than we've than we saw before. The pandemic.

 

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Jared Asch: And are they doing as well in the outcome by doing the hybrid program

 

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Jared Asch: and the learning.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: Yeah, yes, they are. So I know what you're referring to. So during the pandemic.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: you know, we had other factors that were at play the isolation. You know the fact that students didn't necessarily know how to learn in that modality. But now students are self selecting, based on what they are comfortable, with what fits with their lives and what how they know they can learn. Similarly, our faculty are becoming more and more adept

 

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Cathy Sandeen: at teaching in that modality. So it is a whole different kettle of fish than we had during the early days of the pandemic.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: I I'll also point out that, in addition to our students, the majority of of whom are first generation low income students of color. We also refer to our students as ultra non traditional.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: You know, so few of our students are coming directly to us. Paid for by their parents directly to us. For 4 years from high school the majority of our students have complicated lives. They're working one or 2 or 3 jobs. Maybe they have family children they are taking care of, or older family members they're taking care of that might have a long commute.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: So you know, we need to add that flexibility into supporting them as they complete their degrees.

 

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Jared Asch: Yeah, I think all of us who work across the entire Bay area are even happy to. If if you're in San Francisco, avoid a meeting in San Jose, if if you could do it on zoom. But then, once a quarter, maybe meet in person versus every other week, or something so that flexibility is is good, that you guys have included that.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: Yeah, we have also on on the staff and administrator side as well. We implemented a telecommute program that depending on the job and with supervisor approval. Staff and administrators can work remotely up to 2 days a week, and we have about 70% of our staff and administrative employees who are choosing to do that faculty always had that sort of flexibility, and they continue to have that flexibility.

 

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Jared Asch: That's that's great cause. In in a competitive workforce we see that in the whole bay areas how do people strive to find that balance of come in and and have that flexibility of staying home.

 

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Jared Asch: Talk about I wanna come back to the business side of the equation. You talked about how your professors partner with businesses in the community. To make sure we're evolving. You know.

 

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Jared Asch: students who are ready to go into different sectors. What are some of the leading sectors that your students are coming out

 

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Jared Asch: with.

 

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Jared Asch: I know it's it's you have lots of different programs. But where do you see your you being leaders. Where do you see yourselves working eloquently with the business community? Here.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: Well, it's really

 

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Cathy Sandeen: focus more, I would say, on on the stem field. So science, technic, technology, engineering, and mathematics as well as healthcare and so some of our our bigger programs where our students, you know, 100% of them have jobs

 

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Cathy Sandeen: before they even graduate a big winner in that area is construction management. So we have a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in construction management, and we're just launching a

 

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Cathy Sandeen: bachelor's degree in civil engineering. So the construction industry in the Bay area really takes a big interest in our students, and our faculty over in that department have longstanding relationships with the large construction firms and engineering firms. And we have a career day each semester where the employers are, you know, clamoring

 

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Cathy Sandeen: to get in and to be able to meet with our students. So that's one example.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: Of course, in the life sciences, you know, we see more biotech and life, science and drug development companies in the East Bay. That's really a strength for us. And so that's another area where we're building those relationships. Healthcare has always been strong, because.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: say, a nursing program we have to build in a clinical practicum as part of the training of a nurse. So that requires us to have a very close relationship with hospitals and health systems in the Bay Area, and that continues. But I'm proud to say that we have launched a

 

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Cathy Sandeen: enhanced career Center at Cal State East Bay.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: and part of that is recognizing that if you, if most of your students are the first in their families to earn degrees. They're going to be the first in their families to enter a professional level job, and they may not have that support at home. You know. How do you handle yourself in an interview? What do you wear? How do you write a cover letter? What are you saying? An inner in a resume that will get it through this you know

 

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Cathy Sandeen: a AI scanning system that most companies are using for Hr these days. So we do have points of excellence in different departments. But what I wanted is for every student at Cal State, East Bay, regardless of their Major, to start thinking of career early on.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: and so we are fortunate that we have a very generous donor.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: a couple from Silicon Valley, who have given us over a million dollars so that we can hire a couple of directors for 5 years to really seed money to get this started. And we call it the Career Empowerment Center.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: And we are going to be infusing career information into our regular classes. That's considered what we call in higher Ed, speak a high impact practice.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: It will keep students engaged and retain them as students. Because if a student, regardless of career, if you're in digital design or history, you know, that's a research program. Really, if they can see where they'll be in the future, they're more more likely to stick with it and get to that endpoint. So I'm really excited about the Career Empowerment Center, and one of our directors is charged with building

 

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Cathy Sandeen: deep relationships with, say, 20 of our, you know, the employers that really work with our students, so that we want to make sure that they consider Cal State, East Base students. So that's exciting. We we cannot be this ivory tower on a hill. We have to be really

 

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Cathy Sandeen: closely engaged and connected with our surrounding community to help the community and to help our students and graduates.

 

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Jared Asch: That that program sounds innovative. And I like how you're talking about weaving it all the way through, both with the employers, with the students over years. So it's it's not something they're coming to at the end. It's something that's embracing them and becoming part of the culture.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: And I, I would say that many of our alumni and other people who work in these industries want to engage in students want to give back, so part of that will provide opportunities for people to come in and be guest speakers in classes, or to serve as mentors to students, or to allow students to shadow them in their jobs.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: And perhaps, even, you know, supervise an internship for a student. So there are multiple ways that

 

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Cathy Sandeen: people in the East Bay community can give back to the next generation and to their field by engaging with us. We're excited about what's what the future holds.

 

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Jared Asch: Well, and in that future you have a new Allied Health College.

 

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Jared Asch: Can you tell us a little bit more about that?

 

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Cathy Sandeen: Yeah, that's correct. So

 

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Cathy Sandeen: my previous university University of Alaska Anchorage. We had a College of health, and I saw with my own eyes the benefits of having all those healthcare related departments affiliated with each other. There were opportunities for increase funding from the Federal Government.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: and so forth, so we do not have a college of health or allied health here at Cal State, East Bay, but we do have healthcare related departments spread among other colleges. So, for example, we have an existing department of nursing that I've mentioned before, we have an existing Department of Public Health

 

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Cathy Sandeen: Kinesiology, which is very research based and a precursor to physical therapy. We have a robust social work program which is frontline, you know, healthcare, mental health counseling. And we have a speech language and hearing Sciences Department. And they're in. They're scattered throughout the university. So the idea is through a reorganization. We're not creating this from scratch through a reorganization. We're gonna bring those departments together

 

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Cathy Sandeen: in one entity, and I know that we'll be able to leverage off of each other and really amplify what we're doing. I did some focus groups with employers. So the health systems, big insurers hospitals

 

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Cathy Sandeen: to to kind of pitch this idea. And they loved it because they are looking ahead. 10 years and the aging of the population and what they're going to need in the healthcare workforce of the future. So we can structure and a whole thematic

 

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Cathy Sandeen: approach within our new College of Health or Allied health that will really focus on me meeting those needs. And I know our faculty are excited. We've been planning this for 2 years, and we're planning to launch it in the fall of 2025, after we hire a new dean and raise some seed money to get it going.

 

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Jared Asch: You know, it's when we talk about partnering with

 

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Jared Asch: businesses in the community and planning ahead to what the community needs. This just fits into that right? It's planning ahead to where our population is growing.

 

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Jared Asch: What is, what is the needs of the community, and what are the opportunity for students in the workforce, and I think you're right on the money, and we're building a a startup for the shavelins which I run that property business improvement district in Walnut Creek. We have every major medical in the Bay area there now, and we'd love to be partners, because

 

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Jared Asch: I think the companies who we could recruit out. Here are innovation and healthcare companies, right? Innovation in in sports tech with our sports Mall. And so I look forward to a collaborative partnership with your your group out here, because I think there's a good translation between students graduating who have great new ideas and partnering them with that. Those medical providers out here.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: Well, absolutely, and I think we're already working on a on a meeting to talk about that Bob Lynchide. You know the president of the Walnut Creek Chamber. Yeah. And he was a former trustee of the California State University system. So I know that we're we're going to start seriously talking about what we can do out there.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: and we look forward to it is just down the street from our Concord Center. So Cal State, East Bay has a whole center physical location in Concord.

 

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Jared Asch: Yeah, you knew exactly where I was going. So talk about what is the Concord campus? It's over an hour from the main campus.

 

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Jared Asch: What's offered there? What is its goals? Does it serve a different

 

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Jared Asch: population? Educate us a little bit about that.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: Yeah, that A. A property was developed in the 19 nineties, and this was at a time when Contra Costa County said, Well, why don't we have a California State University campus in our county? And so the idea was we would start small, and we would see how how it grow. How it grew now that location never really developed into a full blown, comprehensive

 

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Cathy Sandeen: university campus. There are many factors that

 

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Cathy Sandeen: kind of created that situation. So it's it's located out Ignatio Valley Road at base amount. Diablo, it's a little bit transit challenged, if you will. At the same time the community college system really grew and was attracting students for the first 2 year curriculum. And then we saw the advent of online education all around that same time. So what we're realizing is that particular location

 

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Cathy Sandeen: will not develop into a comprehensive campus. But it is still a very robust educational center. So number one. We have a cohort of nursing students out there

 

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Cathy Sandeen: in Contra Costa County, studying at our Concord Center, and they do their clinical placements at hospitals in contra county. And then they get jobs in those those hospitals. So we are producing the nursing workforce specifically for that area.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: In addition, we have a very robust learning and retirement program. It's a national program funded by a local foundation, the Bernard Osher Foundation, and it's called the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and these are short courses for people non credit for people who are retired, but maybe they want to learn more about history. Maybe they want to learn more about science. They're taught by university faculty.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: and either in person at the Concord Center or online, which people have learned to do during the pandemic. And that's been going for oh, 20 years or more, and it's one of the biggest in the State of California. In addition, we have a partnership with the Aloni Indian tribe specifically Louis Trevino and Vincent Medina, who run the Aloni Cafe restaurant

 

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Cathy Sandeen: out in Berkeley and we got a grant we have planted with their collaboration, native herbs and native plants that eventually they will harvest for use in their restaurants. So we're we're doing some very interesting educational activities out there that are unique to the region, and we have more flexibility because it's not a regular campus. It's a center.

 

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Jared Asch: And

 

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Jared Asch: you have a a document that's

 

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Jared Asch: year and a half old that talks about reimagining the Concord campus. You talked about increasing the the senior programs. You talked about the the garden for the with the Aloni tribes.

 

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Jared Asch: What else? How do you think that campus will evolve is part of this reimagined program?

 

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Cathy Sandeen: Well, we do have beautiful land out there, and I know that every city is under pressure to increase housing, especially affordable housing. So one thing that we're hoping to do is talk with developers and see if we can put together a public private partnership

 

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Cathy Sandeen: for some lovely affordable housing out there. Possibly given that, we have the learning and retirement community. Maybe a

 

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Cathy Sandeen: you know, independent living, housing develop map development out. There might be a good fit. But but we're open to looking at other ways that we can within the bounds, you know, maintaining the beautiful environment, but also meeting other needs that we have in the local community, and housing is certainly one of them. So we'll see fingers crossed that we can get a good project going that we all can be proud of.

 

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Jared Asch: Yeah. Well, let us know how the the business community and and the local governments out here can help, I think, like you said, we just all know there's a need for it, and affordable senior housing, even particularly in the area, would be great.

 

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Jared Asch: The the college is also going through a Rebrand campaign that includes a new mascot. Can you catch us up on that opportunity?

 

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Cathy Sandeen: Yeah, Jared, I when I first got here, I even though IE. Everything was remote. I started in January of 2021. So this was right in the middle of the pandemic before vaccines were widely available. And I did my listening session. So it's kinda just open hearing what people have to say, and and really the College of Health emerged from those conversations.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: But the other thing I heard again and again was that Cal State East Bay is a hidden gem. Cal state east Bay is the best kept secret.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: and you know we don't. Wanna. Those are positive terms. Get don't get me wrong, but I want us to be known. I want people have more awareness of who we are and what's special about us. We had been kind of generic university generic branding. But we are very special. If you look at the students we serve, you. Look at the region we serve. Let's really lean into that.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: So I found some, you know, funding that I could use to. We did an Rfp and hired a

 

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Cathy Sandeen: branding company. Vision point. They're doing a wonderful job. It's very research based. They started with a lot of, you know, qualitative focus groups, quantitative surveys. So everything we're doing is based on the research and our main audience, our students, prospective students and current students. But what we're learning also applies to our employees implies to our alumni. It applies to our partners, friends, and supporters.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: and so, starting in the fall, you'll see more of this, and it really will be much more edgy.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: It will pick up on the multiculturalism of the East Bay the energy of the East Bay. We want to stand out from other universities in our area. Yeah, we're in Berkeley Shadow. But hey, we're we do something different and special. And we we deserve that recognition as well. We changed our branding. If you fly in and out of the Oakland airport you probably seen you know, our our banner ads

 

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Cathy Sandeen: that in in that case we're it's we are East Bay, and it really showcases our our students and their grit and their determination and their strength. And so we're just gonna play off of that.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: The other thing is Cal. State. East Bay has been our nickname has been the Pioneers. Our athletic teams are the pioneers, and back in 1957, when when we started. Our mascot was an astronaut, because, remember, it was the space race. But, Nick, all of that. So that's kind of where the pioneers came from

 

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Cathy Sandeen: over time it evolved into more of the.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: you know.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: colonizer identity. So our mascot was

 

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Cathy Sandeen: what we call 6 gun P, you know. And and

 

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Cathy Sandeen: there came a point in time where that was had a negative connotation, that it wasn't

 

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Cathy Sandeen: really empowering for our students or for our campus. So my predecessor President Leori Maurisha retired 6 gun, Pete as the mascot, and they didn't develop another mascot. So we're still the pioneers. But what we're what we're looking at is a local bird or animal. And we had some students do the research. What are some local regional birds or animals

 

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Cathy Sandeen: that aren't used by another California State University campus that aren't used as the mascot of a local university or community college in our in our region, and we came up with 3 possibilities.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: So one was the jackal.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: so it's an animal like a coyote. But Cal state San Bernardino are the coyote. So you know, Jackal.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: the second was the Spotted owl.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: and the third is a peregrine falcon.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: and this semester we did a survey where our students were able to weigh in, and I'm not gonna reveal the the results on this this call. I'm saving that for a big reveal. But we will have a a bird or an animal as our mascot. We'll get the costume that will, you know, be at our athletic events, or if we're out and at a community farmers, market or community celebration. You know, the kids can have their picture taken with the

 

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Cathy Sandeen: the Cal State East Bay mascot. So I am very grateful, because how many Presidents

 

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Cathy Sandeen: get to preside over a university when they're choosing a mascot. I feel really lucky in that way, and I think this will stand the test of time, and it'll be just a fun, a fun figure to associate with with our University.

 

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Jared Asch: Can you? Can you tell us a timeline of when that announcement may come.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: In the fall in the fall, so by then we'll have the kind of a logo designed also, so we could do a little bit of a splAsch so, and I think the the bird or animal will either be named Pio Pio, to tie into pioneer or Eb. EB. Ee. To tie into East Bay. So Eb, the Jackal, or Pio the Falcon. And so it's really fun how it's all coming together.

 

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Jared Asch: Yeah, that does sound like a lot of fun to get to

 

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Jared Asch: to be there and and choose that

 

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Jared Asch: I

 

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Jared Asch: and how you're redeveloping your reputation in the community, and how you talk about that's important for

 

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Jared Asch: for the for you, the university, and the students to really feel like they are a part of the East Bay.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: Absolutely like. I said I was born and raised here, and coming back, you really feel the I would I would call it deep down working class roots, you know, people who roll up their sleeves and get things done.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: We're we're different than San Francisco. We're different than Silicon Valley, and and we have a lot going for us. And I want that to come through. It's a source of pride. We want our our students to be proud of who they are, where they're from, and to be empowered

 

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Cathy Sandeen: about their future. And I think that will reflect on the whole community in a positive way. So I'm I'm excited to get it out there.

 

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Jared Asch: And I gotta ask as a a dad of 3 girls, 9 and under. And I think I've asked you this before when we've met in person. But even for those parents out there who in high school.

 

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Jared Asch: what what advice do you want to give them in educating their kids and getting them college ready.

 

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Jared Asch: What should parents be thinking about? So their kids are college ready, as they're going to start to do their applications or before then, so they're ready for it.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: Well, I think it's really important to educate yourself on what those requirements are. If you want your student, your child, to start at a 4 year university. There's certain classes that they need to complete in high school in order to be admitted. So educate yourself early on starting with algebra in the eighth grade. So really supporting your your students. With that

 

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Cathy Sandeen: more challenging coursework, I think visiting different campuses. So we do. Different community events

 

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Cathy Sandeen: at our our campuses just exposing your children to what? How cool a a university or college campus is that? It's not like high school. It's not, you know. It's not like middle school. It is a a much you know, bigger dynamic. It's not a scary environment. A lot's going on there. You have a lot of different choices.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: So I think those are things that parents can do early on, and just supporting the education of the students, reading to your children, you know, bringing up them to museums that love of learning new things. I think that's important. I

 

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Cathy Sandeen: I know there is a public perception right now that higher education is too expensive or it's not worth it. But the data do not support that

 

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Cathy Sandeen: it. It coming to a place like Cal State East Bay.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: Our tuition and fees for a whole year are about $7,000.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: Now, if you start at a community college where it's even more affordable than that and transfer. You're saving money.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: 80% of our students. And we have 12,000 students, remember, get some form of financial aid or discount.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: and 60% of our students do not pay any tuition or fees, so it is affordable. It it definitely is, and the the salary differential of someone with a bachelor's degree versus someone with a high school diploma on average is huge.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: In addition, periods of unemployment are shorter. You're more likely to be healthier, and your family's more likely to be healthier because you have employer paid insurance. There are so many benefits to completing that degree. So parents need to counteract this static and kind of perception and narrative out there in society that it's not worth it. It is worth it.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: and it can be fun, you know. Where else are you exposed to people from all different wa walks of life? Where else can you go to a play one day and a baseball watch, you know a baseball game the next day.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: Where else can you? You have to pay for that stuff after you graduate while you're in college. It's available to you. So it is a wonderful opportunity still, to this day. And we need to counteract what's coming through on social media to students. What's you know what they're hearing from their friends, because it is absolutely a benefit to them personally, to their families, to society, to complete that bachelor's degree or beyond.

 

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Jared Asch: Yeah, I really appreciate how

 

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Jared Asch: you didn't just answer on college ready. But you painted a bigger picture there of college life, right? And taking the tour. And

 

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Jared Asch: my kids know my, I I went to Florida State University, and I went during the the first set of good years, and my kids know on Saturdays in the fall. My religion is Florida State football

 

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Jared Asch: so I know that's not for everybody, and everybody's different experiences. But it just shows the pride that I have and others can have in wherever they go to school.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: Absolutely. And and that's a big message. When you look at those games. And you see people in, you know, painted up and cheering it. It does show the fun side, the social side of of higher education. And that's an important piece of it, too.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: Right?

 

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Jared Asch: Anything that I haven't asked you any anything else you want to leave us with before we head out today.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: Well, one big push for us here at Cal State East Bay, because our students are so diverse. They come from different communities. Maybe marginalized communities is, we want to make sure that we are focused on belonging.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: that a student can come here to Cal. State East Bay, be themselves.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: find people with similar lived experiences

 

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Cathy Sandeen: feel comfortable so that they can focus on their studies. And we'll help them discover who they want to become. So we're not gonna change you. If you come to Cal State East Bay, we want you to come as you are and feel you belong and find what's next. So we have developed a number of what we call

 

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Cathy Sandeen: affinity based student success center. So our black student Success center Latinx Student Success Center, Asian Asian Pacific Islander, and this month.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: which we celebrate pride month in April, at universities, because students are still here, we're we'll we'll be opening up a pride center. So making sure we have spaces for students to feel comfortable and that they belong. That's something that we have really focused on here at Cal State, East Bay, and we've made a lot of progress, and we're proud of that.

 

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Jared Asch: Yeah, you should be proud of that. That's a great a great accomplishment to your student body and everything there.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: Well, thank you, Jared. You know the fact to be on your podcast I know your listeners. Many are employers, people who are really dedicated to, you know, supporting and improving the East Bay and I'm grateful to have the opportunity to show them that we're part of that conversation, and that we wanna just be even more engaged, involved, interwoven with life in the East Bay.

 

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Jared Asch: Great. Thank you. President Cathy Sandeen, from Cal. State, East Bay. I appreciate you being here with us today.

 

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Cathy Sandeen: My pleasure.

 

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