Dr. William Watkins, Vice President for Student Affairs, California State University, Northridge

Dear Prospective Matador,

Thank you for your interest in California State University, Northridge.

CSUN is vigorously reaching out to attract and enroll Black students, and we are so thrilled you’ve chosen to learn more about CSUN and the wealth of resources that await you at our university.

CSUN is place where you will matter, be seen and find space to belong. A space to further define your values, the things you believe in, and what you will stand up for as you craft your personal success story. As a member of our campus community, you will find your voice welcomed, heard and valued.

Since the late 1960s, CSUN has been committed to creating opportunities for Black, Indigenous and other People of Color (BIPOC) to gain access to the exceptional academic and co-curricular experiences offered by our dedicated faculty and staff. As a proud Matador, you’ll have the support you need to reach your goals.

Your dreams matter at CSUN, and we hope to get to know you. We welcome the privilege of becoming the academic home where, in community with fellow Black students, faculty and staff, as well as the entire CSUN community, your dreams will become realities. I can see it now… with your hard work and our support, you’re going to look great crossing the stage at graduation!

As you learn more about CSUN, our campus community and our Black student resources, please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions.

I look forward to meeting you on campus soon.


Dr. William Watkins, 
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Dr. Mechelle Best, Dean for the College of Health and Human Development

Dear Prospective Matador,

I wish you a very warm welcome to CSUN and our Black Matador Family. I am thrilled to be Dean of the college with the second largest number of Black students at CSUN, and my team and I are working hard to become number one.

It’s not only a matter of recruiting Black students — we must also help you flourish. Providing a solid support system is critical to ensuring that you find community and are successful during your time with us. This is my commitment to you, and I am assisted by a Dean’s Fellow for Racial Equity who works with students, faculty and staff to ensure we are well positioned to offer you an enhanced college experience.

I know that you can thrive and excel at CSUN. My team and I are here to help you to do so. I look forward to meeting and getting to know you. Please say hello when you see me, and let’s chat for a minute.


Dr. Mechelle N. Best
College of Health and Human Development

Yan Searcy, Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Thank you for your interest in California State University, Northridge.

As you explore all that CSUN has to offer, I encourage you to pay special attention to the people here. While it’s true our university offers an abundance of resources to help you not only succeed — but to thrive — what really sets us apart is our people. At CSUN, we are fortunate to have committed, inspired professionals who are genuinely interested in you, your success and community excellence.

People make the difference.

People teach. People support. People listen. People encourage. People inspire. The best of the university experience is conceptualized as a journey of discovery. We look forward to being your tour guides on your journey.

We are good people here.

Yan Dominic Searcy, Ph.D.
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Debra L. Hammond, Executive Director, University Student Union

Thank you for considering California State University, Northridge.

At CSUN, we welcome, encourage and value the unique background and perspective of every individual on our campus. And while we celebrate our diversities, we equally understand the importance of building strong personal connections based on our identities. Feeling connected to others can help ease the transition to a four-year university, create a sense of belonging and help you successfully navigate your path toward graduation.

Your success is truly our success! We’re here to provide support, mentoring and community as you pursue your goals. We treasure our unique cultural heritage and shared experiences, and I encourage you to check out the programs and offerings available to you as a proud Black Matador.

Your energy, talents, resilience and spirit will strengthen our CSUN community. We’d love to get to know you and share in your journey toward your college degree.

Debra L. Hammond
Co-Chair, Black Student Success Council (BSSC)
Executive Director, University Student Union
Adjunct Faculty, Michael D. Eisner College of Education

Dr. Marquita Gammage, Professor and Chair Africana Studies Department

Greetings Future Black Matadors,

It is an honor to invite you to join the CSUN community. I am Dr. Marquita Gammage, and I serve as Chair of one of the oldest and largest Black Studies departments in the nation. Here at CSUN, Black students have used their voices and agency to transform our university and all of higher education.

Through our degree programs, curriculum and programming, we aim to raise your critical race consciousness and cultural literacy to challenge systemic racism, anti-Blackness and inequities. We also offer a wealth of community engagement and empowerment opportunities. Consider taking a course with us. Also, explore the benefits of majoring or minoring in Africana Studies.

Know that we are here for you! We support your academic, professional and personal growth and development. Your goals can be met and your dreams can come true as a Matador at CSUN. A huge part of that is making sure you have a strong sense of belonging and community. We aim to enrich your experience through the Black House, clubs and organizations, Greek life and social and cultural experiences — including domestic exchange and study abroad opportunities.

Come get to us,

Dr. Marquita Gammage
Professor and Chair
Africana Studies Department

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