Community engagement is among CSUB’s foremost goals. That’s a primary reason that the Center for Community Engagement and Career Education (CECE) was formed last year to help provide CSUB students with service learning opportunities, volunteer experiences, internships and, ultimately, jobs within the community. The center currently works with more than 600 local businesses and nonprofit agencies.
Just a year after its launch, the CECE has been awarded with a Gold Award from Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education as part of its annual NASPA Excellence Awards competition.
“Winning the Gold Category is clearly an affirmation nationally that we have created something at CSUB that is unique and relevant within higher education,” said CECE Director Jane Evarian. “The formation of CECE has created a one-stop shop for students to explore, identify and engage in internships, service learning and community focused activities. And, participation in applied experience is one of the best career and community investments a student can make.”
CSUB alumna Estrella Marie Sistual knows this first hand. She served as an intern for CECE’s predecessor — the Career Development Center on campus — which later led to a part-time position which she currently holds with CECE.
Estrella had the unique opportunity to travel to Philadelphia last month to represent CECE at the national conference where the award was handed out. It’s an experience she described as “amazing.”
As a first-year professional, Estrella attributes much of her early career success to what she learned through CECE and sees the center as key in bridging the gap between CSUB students and the general community.