Tag Archives: Jacob Gonzalez

Strolling for Success

Moderator: Cammeron Parrish

Producer: Lauren Turner Dunn

Anchor: Katherine Molina

Social Media Editors: Katherine Molina and Haley Spellman

Reporters: Lauren Turner Dunn, Jacob Gonzalez, Katherine Molina, Cammeron Parrish, Haley Spellman and Heatherann Wagner

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New School, New Surroundings: Now What?

Every year CSUN welcomes thousands of freshmen. These first time students come from various backgrounds and different communities. According to the College Atlas, nationwide, at least 30 percent of these first time college students drop out after their first year.

CSUN students are required to take a class called University 100, which is a course dedicated to the freshman journey and preparing new college students for success.

“No one knows if they need the class or not, so I think it benefits everybody [to take it],” University 100 professor Dinah Nucum said.

Other groups guiding freshmen at CSUN include the Educational Opportunity Program, and the Office of Student Involvement and Development. They work with first-year students and first generation students, not only academically but socially.

The Educational Opportunity Programs (EOP) designs, administers and supports programs that deliver access and retention services to students. EOP provides services to low income first generation students such as mentoring, student engagement, and financial support if necessary. They also offer a bridge program for incoming freshmen to help with the transition to campus life. The bridge program consists of a six week period during which students take classes at the university over the summer, before their first fall semester.

“EOP itself is a student initiative program,” Glenn Omatsu, CSUN Professor and EOP Faculty Mentor Program Coordinator said. “Students fought for this program. Many of the practices that we do actually have been engineered by students themselves. Our population is first generation college students, and they realized that students need to transition.”

“They don’t know what to expect from the university,” Gabrielle Danis, Program Coordinator in Student Involvement and Development, said.  “They haven’t been briefed by their parents, by their loved ones, by their guardians, about what it is to be at an institution. That’s what both of our programs really aim to do, is to help students transition, and make it a more comfortable environment for them: one that they can navigate; one that they feel confident in continuing their academic, social, and cultural success.”

With the help that these programs provide, Omatsu and Danis said they hope students ultimately become aware of the resources provided for them at CSUN and how to use them.

“It’s interesting,” Omatsu said, “because the university is set up in such a way that it tells the students what the resources are, but we found that we have to take an additional step with first generation college students, which is actually show students how to use the resource. Our mentors actually help the students within our community with understanding not only what the resource is, but how to use it as well.”

“That’s the mission of the CSUN mentorship program,” Danis said, “to assist students, and to retain them from the first to second year, because that’s where we see most of our drop-off unfortunately. We want to make sure that those students are as supported as possible, and we think that a lot of it could be that they just do not know how to use the resources here, or they don’t know what type of support systems are available to them. And just like Professor Omatsu said, it is our responsibility to teach them that.”

Moderator: Lauren Turner Dunn

Producer: Haley Spellman

Anchor: Cammeron Parrish

Social Media Editors: Jacob Gonzalez and Heatherann Wagner

Reporters: Jacob Gonzalez, Katherine Molina, Cammeron Parrish, Haley Spellman, Lauren Turner Dunn and Heatherann Wagner

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Disaster Strikes! Are You Ready?

In the past 20 years, 600,000 people worldwide have died in natural disasters. These disasters are typically unexpected and often cause physical damage, but they can also take an emotional toll.

“The more preparedness, the better,” American Red Cross Preparedness Manager Guillermo Sanchez said. “Be better prepared, so that way it doesn’t impact you as much. People think preparedness is complicated, but it’s not: take simple steps.”

Organizations such as American Red Cross and CSUN’s Office of Emergency Management advise everyone to have a plan, not just for themselves, but for their families as well. Families should discuss a meeting place in case of emergency, and they should practice these plans. Having an out-of-state contact is encouraged. Residents should have household kits ready for when a disaster strikes. Some items people should include in their kits are: storable foods, water, sanitation products, and hygiene products. These items should also be updated every six months. CSUN’s Office of Emergency Management hosts events throughout the year for students, faculty and staff promoting emergency preparedness.

“A significant disaster such as a major earthquake is kind of an all-hands-on-deck situation,” said Lisa Curtis, Emergency Manager for CSUN’s Department of Police Services. “If the incident requires resources beyond those of the university, we will definitely be supported by assisting agencies from fire and police departments, as well Public Works and the Department of Public Health…depending on the scale of it. If it commands resources across the region and across the state, we could see resources coming in from multiple jurisdictions and multiple levels of government.”

Scientists say Southern California is due for a major earthquake. It’s possible a magnitude 8.2 quake could shake Los Angeles. A quake of that magnitude would be most destructive in the L.A. area because the San Andreas fault runs very close to and underneath densely populated areas. The U.S Geological Survey predicts an earthquake of such magnitude on the San Andreas would produce shaking more intense than the 1994 magnitude 6.7 earthquake that hit Northridge and killed 57 people. The quake had a large impact on  CSUN’s campus and the surrounding community.

The American Psychological Association says it’s normal for natural disasters to create unpredictable feelings in survivors: trouble concentrating or making decisions, disrupted sleeping patterns, and emotional upsets on anniversaries or other reminders. Psychological research shows that many are able to successfully recover from the emotional trauma of disasters. Taking active steps to prepare and to cope are important factors in having the ability to move forward.

“That’s another way of having a sense of control over something that is out of everyone’s control,” CSUN Educational Psychology & Counseling Department Professor Jennifer Vargas Pemberton said. “Anything you can do to be supportive of one another…It really gives us a sense that we can be part of the healing, and part of the restoration, and that really strengthens us and moves us forward.”

“What is most important is that people reach out to their support systems,” CSUN Counseling Services’ Lori Meono said. “Whether that’s friends, family, coworkers or whoever helps them feel safe…because one, I think, very common response, is that people lose a sense of safety. Having support can be really helpful.”

Moderator: Katherine Molina

Producer: Heatherann Wagner

Anchor: Lauren Turner Dunn

Social Media Editors: Cammeron Parrish and Heatherann Wagner

Reporters: Jacob Gonzalez, Katherine Molina, Cammeron Parrish, Haley Spellman, Lauren Turner Dunn and Heatherann Wagner

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