A s I near the end of my first year at CSULB, I am repeatedly struck by the many ways in which CSULB does not fit the model of a large, urban campus, but rather resembles a much smaller community built upon relationships and a shared enthusiasm for learning. I see this in the research that students are engaged in with faculty, in the mentorship that results in the competitions and performances that bring our students local and national recognition and in the growing opportunities that our students have to travel abroad with our faculty. The faculty and staff at CSULB work tirelessly to engage students and to help them make this campus their home for the years that they spend here.
No program better exemplifies this attention to students and to one another than Partners for Success. I have enjoyed getting to know some of the mentors and mentees over the past few months. The mixer was a lot of fun! As a former student (for more years than I care to remember!), I know the importance of the mentoring I received. From casual mentoring by a faculty member who took the time to ask me how things were going and showed an interest in my life outside the classroom, to the graduate mentor who helped me find a balance between graduate school and family and put me on the path to completing my doctorate—they were all key to the path that led me to CSULB.
As a faculty member, I also enjoy the opportunities that mentoring programs provide me. I look forward to hearing how my former students are doing. Just last week I heard from a former mentee (now a social studies teacher) who wrote to say that he was enjoying teaching and was the married father of two little girls. I appreciate that he took the time to update me about his life. In doing so, he reminded me how valuable the time we spent together was to both of us.
To the students and faculty who participate in Partners for Success, I say congratulations on being part of such a great community and I thank you for the opportunity to participate alongside you.