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Provost Mary Beth Walker
September 2021

Message from the Provost, Mary Beth Walker

Provost’s Message

Hello Colleagues,


Welcome to Academic Year 21-22! I am so delighted to be back on campus and to experience a gradual return to normal. While Fall semester is a transitional term, it is terrific to support our students through a mix of virtual and in-person classes, services, events, and activities.  And it has been wonderful seeing many of you in person!  Health and safety remain our top priority, and as we slowly repopulate campus, we will continue to maintain caution in our safety protocols.  For more information, see


A lot happened over the summer!  We launched The Road Map to the Future, the strategy for the university that will build on the themes that emerged from President Beck’s 100-day listening tour. There was a lot of good discussion and input about the Road Map from university leaders at the summer retreat, and now a steering committee and working groups are being assembled.  We also made good progress on the Faculty Hiring Initiative, and you can learn more about that on the Provost's Office webpage.  In addition, below are highlights of some of the good news from Academic Affairs.  You’ll also find a fascinating interview with Jinah Kim, Associate Professor, Communication Studies.  I hope you enjoy this newsletter, and I look forward to seeing more of you on campus.


Mary Beth Walker, Ph.D.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs


Latest Academic News

Tasia Richardson

Update on Mentor Connect

CSUN’s Office of Student Success launched the Mentor Connect online program to reach students who might not normally sign up for a support program due to lack of time or social capital, and it proved to be another tool in closing equity gaps and achieving GI 2025 goals. 3800 students requested a mentor in June 2021, up from 2600 last year. CSUN Mentee Tasia Richardson, a transfer student, shared her thoughts on the program in this one-minute video.
Dani Brown

Doctoral Bootcamp Kicks Off 

Described by students as “super helpful and affirming” and “a valuable experience,” a 4-day, intensive bootcamp program for students interested in pursuing a doctorate was offered for the first time ever in June, with approximately 35 undergrads and graduate students attending.
Head of Matador Statue

Excellence Recognized

Congratulations to our colleagues in Academic Affairs who received CSUN Recognition of Excellence awards! 
Presidential Award: Geoff Stocker, Kinesiology; Michael Zeigler, Theatre
Merit Award: Kelly Riese, Elementary Education
Alumni Engagement Award: Sherry Sidick, Tseng College
EOP Movie

Commuter Bridge Students Explore Perspectives Through Film

Last month, nearly 150 students online and on campus viewed the movie, “Smoke Signals” as part of the Commuter Bridge Program. Selected films “are designed to encourage students to think critically about their experiences within the larger context of the college environment,” explained Shiva Parsa, Senior Director, EOP. Movies are shown every year as part of the Bridge Program, helping students to understand that individuals from different backgrounds often share similar experiences and perspectives.

Professor Jinah Kim

Faculty Interview: Jinah Kim

Provost Walker and Dr. Jinah Kim, Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies, recently enjoyed a Zoom chat about Dr. Kim's research and teaching.  Watch the full interview here>   


Student Success in the Community

CSUN Students Create Videos to Promote Vaccination

Drawing on their creativity and social media expertise, CSUN students in Department of Cinema and Television Arts (CTVA) recently produced a series of public service announcements (PSAs) designed to encourage COVID vaccination. 


Masked Matador in COVID PSA


Under the direction of CTVA Professor Elizabeth Leister, the six CTVA students worked very quickly and imaginatively to create social media videos for TikTok, Instagram and Facebook.  Julia Heinen, Interim Director of the Office of Community Engagement, explained, “The students coordinated all information with healthcare professionals at the Klotz Student Health Center, who kindly took the time to review and edit all scripts and videos.”

The CTVA Student COVID-19 PSA Team included: Michelle Castillo, Joshua Figueroa, Kristi Larsen, Noelle Nakamura, Lauren Rabuse, and Madeline Scott. Be sure to look for the PSA videos on CSUN social media accounts.




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