All posts by Office of Public Affairs

Tracy Martin Brings Message of Hope and Faith to CSUB


By now, many know the story of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was stopped on his way home from a local convenience store by neighborhood watchman, George Zimmerman, for “looking suspicious.” Zimmerman phoned 911 to report the young man, and despite being told not to leave his vehicle by the police dispatcher, Zimmerman approached Martin, which led to an altercation and eventually led to Trayvon’s death.

On Tuesday evening, approximately 1,400 attendees gathered in the Icardo Center on the CSUB campus for 30th Annual Charles W. Kegley Memorial Lecture. The event drew the largest crowd in its history as Trayvon Martin’s father, Tracy Martin, brought his message to the University.

Martin stated early on in his remarks how “God works in mysterious ways,” and how his mission now is to stop instances like these shootings from happening.

It would seem that many would expect Mr. Martin to speak about his dislike for law enforcement or how upset he is with how his son’s life was taken; but instead, he showed grace and humility.

He didn’t focus on the incident that led to Trayvon’s death, nor did he point fingers of who was to blame. Instead, his message of “We are all Trayvon” focused on the tragedy that can come from prejudging; the need to build trust between law enforcement and the community it serves; the importance of family, how each person is responsible for his/her own actions, and that starts with family involvement. You get respect by giving respect.

“Do black lives matter?” Tracy asked the crowd rhetorically. “Of course. All lives matter,” was his response.

Tracy Martin’s talk raised many questions about family and community. We are all Trayvon. We all have been pre-judged and we all pre-judge others. It’s a vicious cycle that we break by building relationships, building trust, building community.  “We have to get ourselves together as a people, as a community,” he said.

Mr. Martin said that at the end of his life, he wants to be able to say the he’s touched, saved, impacted and walked amongst people from all walks of life. In the four years since Trayvon’s death, he feels blessed that he has been able to be a “voice for the voiceless.” It’s easy to see that Mr. Martin is a man of faith and while this wasn’t an ideal situation, he is using this platform as a chance to help see we are all one community – we are unified.

After speaking, Mr. Martin took questions, where people inquired further about law enforcement, forgiveness, retribution, and simply remembering Trayvon.

The conversation will continue with a panel discussion to take place next Thursday evening, April 21, at 7 p.m. in the new Student Housing Multi-Purpose Room (off Kroll Way and Gosford), hosted by the Kegley Institute of Ethics. The event is open to the public. For more information about this event and others like it, please visit or contact Dr. Christopher Meyers at 661-654-2072.

An Interview with CSUB’s Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management on Water Conservation

On April 1, Gov. Brown issued Executive Order B-29-15 mandating a statewide 25% reduction in the use of potable water through February 2016. This reduction is to be measured against a 2013 baseline.

At California State University, Bakersfield, we have already enacted numerous measures to reduce our water use. CSUB’s Public Affairs and Communications Office recently sat down with Patrick Jacobs, Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management, to discuss the water crisis and CSUB’s ongoing efforts to meet the Governor’s mandate.

What is the status of water use at CSU Bakersfield?

Through the first three months of 2015, CSUB has already cut water use by 25.5%, meaning we are already in compliance with the Governor’s executive order issued April 1. Through the first quarter of the calendar year, we have cut water use by 25.5% when compared against the first quarter of 2013, which is the baseline year for comparison.

What about reports that CSUB is the largest consumer of water in the city?

csub drought friendly
CSUB’s new Student Housing Complex features drought-friendly landscaping. Photo by Lisa Kerr/PAC.

That is not true. Of course, CSUB is a large consumer of water. That should be understood. We comprise almost 400 acres, and we have almost 10,000 people coming through campus on any given weekday. We have to use a lot of water. However, the city itself has more property and more facilities. It uses more water than we do. Again, that should be understood. What is more important is what we have been doing to conserve water. We are on the leading edge of water conservation in the city of Bakersfield, and that seems to have been overlooked in some of the early conversations.

How has the University met the Governor’s mandate so quickly?

The Governor declared a State of Emergency related to the drought in January 2014, and issued subsequent executive orders that same year. As a result, CSUB, and the CSU system as a whole, has been working on water conservation for quite some time. When the most recent executive order was issued, and the subsequent city ordinance in response to it, we had already been aggressively cutting back on water use for more than a calendar year. That is why we have already managed to meet the 25% reduction mandate, and we expect the cut water consumption by even more as the spring and summer progress.

What are some of the measures the University has taken?

Irrigation comprises the largest portion of our water use, so that is where are biggest reductions have been; however, we have a long list of measures we have undertaken:

  • Installation of a computerized central irrigation control system (Maxicom) with smart sprinklers that cut water use at least 30 percent by automatically adjusting water usage based on weather conditions, soil moisture or broken pipes. The system also allows us to manage the irrigation during events to make sure the sprinklers are turned off.

    artificial turf installation
    Artificial turf installation near parking lot I. Photo by Lisa Kerr/PAC.
  • Landscape areas watered with a standalone irrigation system are being converted so that they can be managed by the centralized system and can be programmed remotely.
  • Stopped filling decorative fountains and stopped filling most ponds on campus. At Alumni Park, we have stopped the flow of the creek and will only be maintaining water in the koi pond.
  • Installation of artificial turf in areas near walkways along Roadrunner Drive.
  • Installation of sustainable low water use landscaping in new construction projects including Student Housing East and the Visual Arts Building as well as a commitment to do so on future projects.
  • Removal of approximately 63,000 square feet of turf grass from small areas where it was not being used for recreation and replacing with only inert ground covers, such as mulch or gravel, or drought-tolerant native or non-thirsty plants. This project is ongoing and additional areas will be converted as time permits.
  • Installation of waterless urinals, low-flow toilets and low-flow lavatory faucets in restrooms across campus.
  • We are currently designing a project that will convert approximately 2.5 acres of turf grass to low-water-use planting on drip irrigation. This project is being funded by the state and should be complete later this summer.

What can students do?

Students can report flooded areas if they see them. We will be taking reports of overwatering, broken sprinklers and other areas of concern on our Facilities Management Facebook page.

Also, to report these issues by phone, students can call Facilities Management directly at (661) 654-2211. However, keep in mind that office lines are manned during weekdays only. If you need to report a broken water line after hours, call University Police at (661) 654-2111.

And University faculty and staff who see broken sprinklers can submit a work order.

What about the city ordinance limiting the schedule for irrigation?

We did not have any communication with the city until more than a week after that ordinance was passed. As a result of the ordinance, we are not irrigating on Mondays, which is a non-watering day for the entire city.

While we have an odd address, there is no way for us to irrigate almost 400 acres in three days. The City’s Water Resources Department acknowledged that, and we are working with them to limit the instances of irrigation per sprinkler in an effort to comply with the watering schedule included in the ordinance.

Can you explain that a little more? Why can’t CSUB just schedule the irrigation at set times?

Because that would likely result in us using more water. The intent here is to reduce water consumption. Our smart irrigation system allows for more efficient watering based on environmental and soil conditions. Moving to an irrigation schedule based simply on time, day and duration would be counter-productive. The Water Resources Department recognizes that and they want us to use our smart irrigation system to best comply with the overall intent – cutting water use by 25% or more.

What else should students and the general public know about water conservation at CSUB?

We just want people to know how seriously we take this. We have been working on this for more than a year already, and we are one of the leaders in water conservation in the city. We are monitoring our water consumption and will be making adjustments to assure that we continue to meet the Governor’s mandate. We fully expect to cut even more water use through the spring and summer. With almost 400 acres of land and close to 10,000 people on campus each day, we have to use water, but are doing all that we can to be good citizens with regard to water stewardship.

Chicano movement leaves lasting effects on Kern County

Story and photos by Anthony Hazelwood Public Affairs Intern

It has been over 40 years since the Chicano movement led by students, professors, and the community, helped reshape the academic landscape we see in Kern county today. Some of its participants shared their experiences with students at September’s Brown Bag Luncheon, “The Chicano Movement Era: the Case of Artemio Cruz at Bakersfield College.”

Dr. Oliver Rosales, a current BC history professor, opened the discussion by briefly explaining the importance of the Chicano Movement and his research into its impact on Kern County. He then handed the floor to the Gilbert Gia, a local historian and participant of the Chicano movement. Gia discussed a controversy that started in the early 1970’s surrounding the book titled The Death of Artemio Cruz by Carlos Fuentes. Because of its use of profanity, the book stirred debate when it was made required reading in a Hispanic Culture class at BC. Gia, present at the controversial BC board of trustees meetings about the fate of this book, outlined the public outcry towards the book and the subsequent proceedings trying to ban it. After several weeks of deliberation and a huge push from the Chicano population to allow students to have access to the book, the BC board of trustees agreed unanimously to not impose a ban. Gia noted that the board did this in an effort to preserve academic freedom and maintain the right of Hispanic students to learn about their heritage.

Gilbert Gia

Dr. Raymond Gonzales, who taught at BC prior to the events of the book controversy and also a prolific Hispanic activist in Bakersfield, was the main speaker of the discussion. He contributed several inspiring experiences of the Chicano movement he was involved with. He shared how he fought for the rights of any minority that was treated unfairly, saying it best himself “I never wanted to be the leader of the Mexican community, I was just trying to bring people together.”

Dr. Raymond Gonzales

Gonzales ended the discussion by recalling an experience in his youth. He was getting off a train to go to the bathroom and rushed to the nearest one only to find signs that read “white or colored.” Raymond in tears said, “But which bathroom is for me?” alluding to his confusion as to where Hispanics who were neither white or colored belonged. The impact of his story was evident as many in attendance rushed over to thank him for all he had done for the community.

Like father, like son

Personality Profile - FatherSon

Daniel (far right) and his son David (just to his right) Musick, with Daniel’s two other sons on the balcony overlooking the Washington DC Mall, during a road trip across the country last summer.

By Mary Landucci, CSUB Public Affairs Intern

Fellow CSUB students and father and son, Daniel and David Musick are achieving a life goal alongside one another. In 2014 Daniel and David will graduate from CSUB with double majors, Daniel with his double Bachelor of Arts in English, emphasis in Literature and Language, and David with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Science and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, emphasis in management. Their educational journey has been a challenging but satisfying experience, topped off with the unique opportunity to receive their diplomas side by side.

Daniel returned to education after nearly 20 years to fulfill a promise to his grandfather. For 15 plus years, Daniel worked as a master plumber and in 2005 retired from the business. It was then that he remembered the promise he had made to his grandfather that he would finish his education. In 2008, Daniel came to CSUB to begin the process of obtaining his Bachelor’s Degree. Here, his love of the English language and teaching blossomed and has now led him to pursue his teaching credential in the fall and eventually his Master’s and Doctorate Degrees. When asked about the importance of an education, Daniel said, “I would tell someone how important getting an education is to his or her success in life. The value of a college degree cannot only be measured in the financial benefits you will receive, but more importantly in the value of the interpersonal relationships and the life experience you obtain in the process. Most importantly, it is never too late, and never give up.”

About the same time that Daniel started at CSUB, his son David began his education as well. David spent two years at Taft College and then transferred to CSUB to finish his Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Information Science with a minor in Business. Once he started his business classes, David decided to pursue a double major in Business Administration. Currently, David is in training for a managerial career with a supermarket chain store in Cheyenne, WY. In a few years, he would like to return to CSUB to pursue his Master’s Degree. “My educational experience was well worth the time it took. My best advice to incoming students would be; never quit; never give up; it’s all worth it in the end,” said David.

Though it was never the plan, both father and son see graduating with one another as a unique privilege. David says, “It’s funny. We never planned to graduate at the same time. It just happened. I am very proud of my dad and eternally grateful we can share this experience together.” With similar sentiments, Daniel said, “I cannot express with words the joy and honor it will be to walk with my son through the graduation ceremonies. I am beaming with pride knowing he and I will receive our diplomas together. It will be one of the greatest events in my life.” Daniel and David are following in the footsteps of David’s sister Kandi, a graduate of the CSUB Nursing Program. Both father and son hope to see the rest of David’s siblings continue the family trend in becoming Roadrunner alums.


Stephanie Webster – two degrees earned, and the learning continues

Personality Profile - StephanieBy Mary Landucci, CSUB Public Affairs Intern

Stephanie Webster, a 2014 graduate of the CSUB Nursing Program, is a veteran student. Already possessing a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Science in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Webster returned to school to take her education further. Webster came to CSUB in to complete her degree in nursing, fulfilling her passion to work with patients.

While in school for her Bachelor’s Degree, Webster volunteered in hospitals assisting registered nurses and participated in research with her professors. At this point, Webster solidified her love of science and the process of interacting with patients. Webster went on to earn her Master’s but still had a desire to work closely with patients. “I quickly realized that while research is fascinating and crucial to the advancement of science, I missed the personal aspect of interacting with patients. I recognized that my true passion was for direct patient care, and I soon returned to school to enter the field of nursing,” said Webster

Through a desire to positively impact her community, Webster chose the CSUB Nursing Program to earn her Registered Nursing Degree. During her time at CSUB, Webster has achieved many notable accomplishments. In summer of 2013, Webster assisted CSUB Professor Amy Hedden in the completion of the research and writing of an article, “Recurrent Guttate Psoriasis: A Complicated Course in an 18 Year Old Girl,” which has been accepted for publication in May 2014 in a peer-reviewed journal, Advance for NPs and PAs. For the past two academic years, Webster has served as Treasurer for California Student Nursing Association (CNSA), participating in community service activities such as Relay For Life, March of Dimes, Fight for Air Walk, and many others.

Webster has always striven for academic excellence. Lauded by her professors for her exemplary academic presence and contribution to the CSUB Nursing Program, Webster was inducted into Xi Epsilon chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, the National Honor Society of Nursing, a chapter that only accepts the top 1/3 of nursing classes, in April 2013. She received the award for Outstanding Graduation Nursing Student, 2014 and in March was named the Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges for 2014. Webster said, “I have worked very hard throughout my academic career and have received several recognitions and scholarships. I truly never expected to receive any of them, and I feel extremely fortunate, proud, and grateful for each and every one of the honors that I have received.”

After graduation Webster hopes to begin her nursing career as a critical care nurse at one of Bakersfield’s local hospitals. In a few years, Webster plans to return to school to pursue her graduate degree in nursing. When asking Webster for advice for incoming CSUB students, she said, “Be ready to work hard, but find your balance. Don’t get so caught up in a busy class schedule that let you make time to do things that you enjoy. Get involved; find a club or a group on campus with a purpose or a message that you believe in. You’ll meet some great people and make some lasting memories. The relationships that I have built with my classmates and the nursing faculty are what I will treasure most about my time at CSUB.”


CSUB’s Runner Dance Marathon, For the Kids

Story by Mary Landucci, CSUB Public Affairs Intern

Photos by Adrienne Villanueva, CSUB Public Affairs Intern

The roar of 100 plus CSUB students chanting “for the kids,” and the glow of neon orange shirts sporting the ‘Runner DM’ logo were the introduction to the third Annual dance marathon in benefit of The Lauren Small Children’s Medical Center at Bakersfield’s Memorial Hospital. The event was held on Friday, April 18th from 7PM to 7AM in the CSUB Student Union. The challenge; to stay on their feet 12- hours, the mission; to help save the lives of children in Kern County.

IMG_3818From the start it was clear that the Runner Dance Marathon was one of passion and not obligation. “I don’t think of it as being a hassle, we have live music, an awesome DJ and you’re surrounded by great company, and super heroes, the kids!” said CSUB student Shannon Smith. Smith became involved with the event through her Sorority Phi Sigma Sigma when they decided to make the Dance Marathon their annual campus community service event.

IMG_3828The dance marathon is a nation wide movement that was brought to CSUB by ASI President and founding member of Runner DM, Hilda Nieblas. “We plan for 8, 12 months at a time and it’s hard, it’s tiring. If we can help the children that are around us, that is what really encourages me to continue to keep doing this. Students look forward to the dance marathon, they look forward to wearing the Runner DM shirts, they understand the meaning behind this 12-hour event. I think that’s when I realized that when you see people come back you’ve touched them in some way. The dance marathon is something that they go to because they truly feel that they’re making a difference in their community.”

IMG_3909The emotion in the room was palpable, as tears formed in the eyes of students and faculty alike as families told the harrowing stories of their children who have been helped by the money raised at the dance marathon. Another round of chanting of “for the kids” started as mother of two Amy Whittington, her family, and many others were honored on stage as a Miracle Family treated at the Lauren Small Children’s Medical Center.


Both of Whittington’s sons have been patients of the NICU at the Lauren Small Children’s Medical Center due to complications during her pregnancies resulting from Whittington’s Type One Diabetes. “This event and others like it, is what saved my kids lives. They were able to provide the medication and the equipment and all of the stuff that the NICU had that were able to keep them alive. This event is very personal for me, “ stated Whittington.

IMG_4731Runner DM is an important event and it matters not only for the families that it touches but also for CSUB and the students that put heart and hard work into making this event a success. CSUB President, Dr. Horace Mitchell stated, “The dance marathon is just an outstanding collaboration among many of our student organizations. These students, they’re engaging the community by supporting these young children who are at the Lauren Small Children’s Medical Center and who have a variety of very serious conditions and I think it was great that ‘the kids’ were recognized as the real heroes for enduring and managing and handling what’s been presented to them which would be challenges for any of us. I just congratulate these students, they’re outstanding, they are very clearly doing this for the kids, and I’m very proud to be their president.”


This year the dance marathon raised $8,000 in support of The Lauren Small Children’s Medical Center and Children’s Miracle Network exceeding last year’s $7,300. To get involved with the Runner Dance Marathon, send a message to the Runner DM board on their Facebook page at Dance Marathon at California State University, Bakersfield.

CSUB Gamer Education Day a 1UP for Gamers and Charity

Story and Photos by Adrienne Villanueva, CSUB Public Affairs Intern05The third annual CSUB Gamer Education Day was held on Friday, April 4th. Open to CSUB students and the community, the event serves as a way for Campus Gamers to share insight into the world of video games by having industry insiders as guest speakers. This year they welcomed actor Charles Martinet, voice of some of the most beloved video game characters of all time, including Super Mario, Luigi, and Wario. Also speaking at the event was award-winning composer Jason Hayes, who has contributed to such titles as World of Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo for video game developing giant Blizzard Entertainment.

03With a filmography that includes films starring Michael Douglas and Hugh Grant, television shows, and video game voice-overs, finally getting to host Martinet as one of this year’s guest speakers was huge accomplishment for Campus Gamers and CSUB. Club founder Ed Webb met him at a convention some years ago, and was someone he’d been eager to have as a guest speaker since the first CSUB Gamer Education Day. Super Mario has millions of fans, and Martinet, who’s been the voice of the character since 1991, is one of them. In fact, when asked which of the many characters he’s voiced is his favorite, he immediately responded, “Of course, it’s Mario.” Like many of Super Mario’s fans, Martinet sees the character as someone one should aspire to be. “I want to be that person who’s optimistic and loyal and fun-loving and faces challenges like, ‘Here we go!’ as opposed to, ‘Oh no. Ah!’”

02 When he took the Doré Theatre stage, Martinet was just as animated as the famous characters he lends his voice to. Having achieved such notoriety as an actor, it’s hard to believe that he didn’t always aspire to be one. Martinet told the audience, “I was going to be a lawyer and a diplomat.” After following a fellow UC Berkley student’s advice that he should take an acting class, he was hooked. In 1990, Martinet received a call from a friend urging him to crash an audition for the role of an Italian plumber from Brooklyn. Drawing inspiration from a role he previously played, Gremio in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, Martinet improvised the now famous voice of Super Mario. He was given the part, and twenty-three years later is still playing that Italian plumber from Brooklyn. Martinet hoped his audience would take away from the evening what he considered to be his greatest piece of his advice: “Find out what you love to do in life, and pursue it.”

04 Hayes’ original experience with composing was way outside the video game industry. He got involved writing jingles for radio ads for local companies. But as an avid fan of action video games himself, he aimed to get a job creating music in the industry. Addressing the audience, Hayes shared a story of true inspiration to any aspiring composer about how he came to work with Blizzard Entertainment. In the 90’s, he attended a Computer Game Developers Conference equipped with a Walkman, a CD of his music, and headphones. He went up to the Blizzard booth, met producer Matt Householder, and played him his music. Not long after, Hayes was hired on as a composer in the Blizzard sound department. He described scoring the gig as “the Super Lotto.” A highlight of his presentation was when Hayes played a video of his cover band, Critical Hit, performing the theme song from game Angry Birds. The video can be seen here: In addition to Hayes’ musical presentation, the audience was treated to the Bakersfield Video Game Choir and Orchestra’s performance of the Halo and Tetris themes.06 Attendees were invited to dress up as their favorite video game characters and compete in the event’s “Cosplay” (costume playing) contest. A whole cast of film and video game characters showed up to compete, including a little Captain America and an Elsa from Disney’s Frozen. Student AJ Medina dressed up as Dead Bill, a character from the Xbox video game Left 4 Dead. When asked why he chose Dead Bill, Medina said, “He’s a cool character who ends up sacrificing himself for his friends, despite being an old man.” Also in attendance, teens Bobby Guyton, fourteen, and Benjamin Rodgers, thirteen, dressed as Link from the Nintendo video game The Legend of Zelda. Both were asked why they chose to dress as Link. Guyton said, “Link is my favorite Nintendo character and I have nostalgic memories of him.” Rodgers said, “Link was like a brother to me. He’s my all-time favorite.”01 Founded in 2011, CSUB’s Campus Gamers organization is one that brings gamers together for community service and charitable efforts. Those charitable efforts include their annual Extra Life Marathon. The event consists of gamers being sponsored by monetary donations to play everything from board games to video games for twelve hours straight. Last November, marathon gamers were able to raise over $10,000 dollars. At this year’s CSUB Gamer Education Day, they presented the Extra Life Marathon money and more the Children’s Miracle Network.

The event was a true success. For more information about future Gamer Education Days, Campus Gamer’s Extra Life Marathon, and other functions hosted by the organization, visit Campus Gamers’ Facebook page at