University 100

  • Students and projects at the 2015 Freshman Celebration

The Freshman Celebration

Welcome to the Freshman Celebration 2015!

The Freshman Celebration is an annual event that showcases work created by first-time freshmen enrolled in University 100 at Cal State Northridge.

This fall we hosted our tenth Celebration, in the USU Northridge Center, on Monday and Tuesday, November 23 and 24, 2015.  Approximately 1100 members of the CSUN community viewed (and commented on) the projects.  Many of this year's projects invited audience members to participate by filling out a pencil-and-paper survey, placing paper clips in a glass jar, writing (and posting) sticky-notes, or creating paper leaves to place on a tree. 

Projects from thirty-eight U100 classes were on display in the USU Northridge Center.  Fourteen U100 classes submitted projects (videos, slideshows, and more) to the Virtual Celebration on Moodle. To view the 2015 virtual projects, log in to Moodle and search the courses. for VFC 2015 (Virtual Freshman Celebration 2015). Not part of U100? Log in to Moodle as an "external user" and then search the courses for VFC 2015 (Virtual Freshman Celebration 2015).

The 2015 projects: on Moodle and on Tumblr

Welcome to the Virtual Freshman Celebration!Projects from thirty-eight U100 classes were on display in the USU Northridge Center.  Fourteen U100 classes submitted projects (videos, slideshows, and more) to the Virtual Celebration on Moodle. To view the 2015 virtual projects, log in to Moodle and search the courses. for VFC 2015 (Virtual Freshman Celebration 2015). Not part of U100? Log in to Moodle as an "external user" and then search the courses for VFC 2015 (Virtual Freshman Celebration 2015).

On-site projects were on display in the USU Northridge Center on Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 23 & 24, 2015.  Photos of these projects have been posted to the 2015 Freshman Celebration photo gallery on Tumblr. Is your project's photo missing? Submit it via email to (and please do so from your own CSUN email account).

The 2015 Grand Prize Winners

People's Choice Award: Walking a Day in Our Shoes (Prof. Tina Bertacchi-Love's U100 class)

Each pair of shoes has a story to tell about its owner in this project.

Project description: Our external selves do not always reveal our internal dreams, desires and identity.  Each pair of shoes identifies an individual who is so much more than others might see. Please read our stories.

On-Site Project Award: Grit Expectations: Anticipating and Capitalizing on Mistakes (Prof. Heidi Schumacher's U100 classes)

Predicted and actual mistakes students made this fall with lessons learned. 

Project description: “A” faced a new world every day. Members of our two classes faced many new experiences this semester as CSUN freshmen. Along the way, we made mistakes, but persevered with grit, seeing mistakes as part of the learning process and drawing as much value as possible from the situations we encountered.

Virtual Celebration Project Award: Love Is Love, Beat the Binge, All You Need Is Love (Prof. Lisa Riccomini's U100 class)

Blog post pages from "Love Is Love" and "Beat the Binge"

Project description: Inspired by Every Day and The More Your Know campaign, students created projects with the goal of raising awareness and urging change. Our class voted and decided that three class projects represented our goals best. These projects focus on helping us understand binge eating and promoting social acceptance of same-sex marriage. The more we know, the better we are as a community.

Thank-you notes

In addition to the creative and hard-working faculty and students whose works dazzled us at this year's Freshman Celebration, there are a few other individuals and groups who deserve special mention for making it all possible:

  • The judges: Susanna Eng-Ziskin, Kim Henige, Jamie Johnson, Hillary Kaplowitz, Greg Mena, and Ellen Stohl
  • Theresa L. Hadden, who provided essential storage space (in her office, no less) for two large carts loaded with pre-Celebration supplies
  • Kelly Kroeker, who managed nearly every detail of the on-site event from signs to food to fence delivery to room rental to balloon-wrangling....
  • Ellyn Lerner, whose vision accounts for the orderly and beautiful arrangement of exhibits in the USU Northridge Center
  • Debbi Mercado and her U100 class, who created the photo opportunity exhibit at the front of the hall
  • Lisa Riccomini, who single-handedly ran the Virtual Freshman Celebration
  • A. S. Recycling, whose stalwart crews speedily dispatched with cans, bottles, and cardboard each day
  • The Instructionally Related Activities (IRA) Grant, which helped defray some of the costs of the event
  • Volunteers: all those students who volunteered to help with set-up, to greet attendees, to close the exhibit hall doors, to hand out refreshments, to collect reflections, and to help us clean up and clear out at the end of the second day.  You each have your signed volunteer receipt and my gratitude!

About the Freshman Celebration

Welcome to the 2015 Freshman Celebration!

Each fall, freshmen taking University 100 are invited to participate in a campus celebration of their first-semester academic achievements. This showcase, the Freshman Celebration, is modeled on CSUN's Undergraduate and Graduate Student Research and Creative Works Symposium. It usually includes several projects created in response to the current year's Freshman Common ReadingEvery Day, a novel by David Levithan, who was the keynote speaker at the 2015 Freshman Convocation on September 10, 2015.

Students who attended 2015 Celebration were invited to cast their votes for the 2015 People's Choice Award. Additional projects are posted in the Virtual Celebration 2015 (online in Moodle). A panel of judges (CSUN faculty and staff) selected the 2015 Grand Prize winners: one on-site project and one virtual project.  

The first Freshman Celebration at CSUN took place in 2006 with participation limited to Freshman Connection students. In 2007 the Celebration was opened to all students enrolled in a fall U100 class. As enrollment has continued to grow, so has the Celebration. 

You can read more about the 2015 Celebration in CSUN Today (7 Dec. 2015): http://csunshinetoday.csun.edu/university-news/csun-freshmen-present-projects-at-annual-celebration/