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Nursing students get hands-on experience in the UnitedHealthcare Nursing Skills Lab on campus. One of the university's initiatives is raise funding for the 200 nursing students who will graduate over the next five years, a nursing education scholarship program and technology upgrades. Photo by Karen Tapia

University Initiatives

Cal State Fullerton's Philanthropic Foundation Tackles Key Projects

August 31, 2010

By Pam Hillman

Pam Hillman

Working collaboratively with University Advancement, the Cal State Fullerton Philanthropic Foundation Board of Governors has identified seven key initiatives it will focus on over the next year.

“More than a year ago, we engaged 150 stakeholders and other interested parties close to CSUF in an intensive exchange of ideas and perspectives about the university’s present challenges and near-term opportunities,” said Doug Simao, CEO of Narratus, Inc. and vice chair of the Cal State Fullerton Philanthropic Foundation Board of Governors and chair of its Strategic Planning Committee.

“Those conversations were invaluable in highlighting some of the common interests, shared needs and areas of readiness that will inform the Philanthropic Board’s fundraising efforts in the year ahead.”

These seven initiatives were selected for development, in part, because the infrastructure for the projects is already in place. They are:

Strategic Real Estate Acquisition

To meet current needs, fulfill its mission and ensure its future success, the university seeks to acquire additional land. The main campus has exhausted its available space for building so the university is looking outward. The foundation is working with the university to acquire property contiguous with the main campus. This would allow Cal State Fullerton to adequately prepare for the future and allow for greater creativity and innovation in shaping the institution of tomorrow. A Cal State Fullerton University District will strengthen community/university relations and increase the attractiveness of the campus to prospective students and employers, and provide new opportunities for members of the campus community.

Bringing the Past to Life

Meredith Rivin works on an artifact. The university is securing the support required to preserve, curate and display Orange County's archeological and paleontological collection. Photo by Karen Tapia

Two initiatives share a common interest in Orange County's past, the Center for Oral and Public History, and preserving Orange County's Archaeo-Paleo Collection.

For more than four decades, the Center for Oral and Public History has brought together the university and the community. Preserving our past with California’s largest collection of oral histories, the center is part of a vital historical narrative, empowering communities to gain a strong sense of history. Development plans include transitioning to an online archive, addressing the climate control challenges and space constraints of its current location in Pollak Library, an endowment and annual operating expenses.

When Orange County needed an institution to manage its Archaeo-Paleo Collection of extremely rare fossils spanning 90 million years, the county called on Cal State Fullerton. Working with the county, the university is securing the support required to preserve, curate and display these archeological and paleontological resources. Development plans include a mobile education “dig trailer” and programmatic funding to bring artifacts to area primary and secondary schools, and an endowment for ongoing collections, operations and curatorial expenses.

Meeting California’s Health Care Challenges

While California and the nation face a looming nursing shortage, enrollment constraints meant that last year we could only accept 46 of 1,300 qualified candidates for Cal State Fullerton's newest entry-level nursing program. And for every one we can accept, there is a significant gap between the actual cost of their nursing education and what the campus receives in state support and fee revenue. We seek to close that gap with supplemental funding for the 200 nursing students who will graduate over the next five years, a nursing education scholarship program and technology upgrades.

Addressing Senior Needs

California's population of those 65 and over will more than double over the next 15 years, thanks to the silver tsunami of retiring baby boomers. Most older adults prefer to stay at home, and assistive technology may help make that possible. The College of Engineering and Computer Science, the College of Health and Human Development, and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences are partnering in the development of the CATLab (California Assistive Technology Laboratory). This research, teaching and development center would be the first of its kind in California and would provide a center for gerontologists, sociologists and engineers to work together to develop devices and technologies that would aid older populations.

STEM and Titan Pride

The Cal State Fullerton Philanthropic Foundation Board also has designated two additional initiatives — Enhancing Education in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and Strengthening Titan Pride — as prospects warranting further development and planning in the coming year. STEM dovetails with the national agenda to increase support in science, technology, engineering and math. At Cal State Fullerton, faculty and staff work with students to educate and encourage them to pursue careers in the STEM disciplines. We also have programs to educate the educators so they can work with students at earlier ages, helping them better understand the STEM disciplines and encouraging them to consider these areas for possible careers.

Among the highlights of Strengthening Titan Pride are preparing students to assume roles of leadership, involvement and service in the community. Basically, it is about building a sense of pride — Titan Pride. To continue to build that pride, our CSUF community deserves first-rate resources to reach our full potential. The Strengthening Titan Pride campaign will address these important university needs: Titan Athletic Hall of Fame renovations, redesigning the Titan Gymnasium entry to provide a welcoming place for students and fans, building a VIP reception area, new concessions and a showcase for athletic and alumni accomplishments. In addition, the campaign hopes to address campus recreational field improvements and enhanced campus signage.

“Over the next year, our goal is to continue to work with the initiative task forces by lending our business acumen to the University as we shape the message to potential donors and partners and guide them in creating fundraising campaigns,” said Annette Feliciani, president of AEF Systems Consulting, Inc. and chair of the Cal State Fullerton Philanthropic Foundation board of governors and CSUF graduate (B.A., business administration-finance '80).

“As we sit and listen to key members of the university present their ideas, I feel truly blessed to be part of this,” she said. “It is impossible to hear these individuals tell their story without being inspired to help. We hope that what will happen to others as we begin sharing the stories of these exciting initiatives more widely. I really have to commend the men and women who have given so generously of their time and talent in their work as members of our very active Foundation Board. Their hard work has really enabled us to focus on priorities for the upcoming years, and we are very much in their debt.”

As the individual task forces responsible for each initiative begin their work in earnest, we will keep the Titan family updated on progress.

Pam Hillman is vice president for University Advancement.

Related Stories:

New School of Nursing
Spotlight: Digging the Past
Wanted: Tomorrow's Scientists
Learning the Work of Science
Science Matters

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