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Volume 4 | Summer 2020​

In this issue: ​​​​​How the CSU takes initiative and leads
Features: The CSU at the forefront
​Events: Campuses’ online activities​
23: The footsteps students want to follow

Brenda Wong  

​From the Editor​

Mark Woodland  

The day after the spring issue of CSUniverse was published, California went into stay-at-home mode. As the nation and the world struggled to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the CSU displayed ingenuity and optimistic determination to push on. This issue celebrates those achievements and that can-do spirit. They include searching for the Achilles’ heel of a COVID-19 protein, growing a kelp that could become part of sustainable farming and sharing leadership tips gained from hard-earned experience.

In the CSUniverse departments, don’t miss Chancellor Timothy P. White’s vow in In Case You Missed It that the CSU will continue to be a beacon for diversity, a heartfelt pledge issued with senior CSU leaders and campus presidents after George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. Read in Notables how one immigrant inspired the largest donation to one CSU campus. And, in Books, learn about the “Black Brain Trust” in Franklin Roosevelt’s administration.​

Chancellor White delayed his retirement to lead the university during the pandemic, reaffirming that experienced leadership at the helm—particularly during a crisis—is much needed. Be sure to check out in 23 the leaders who are motivating students today.​

In troubled times, it’s humanity that binds us together. Tune in to Voicesto be inspired by acts of kindness by students and staff that will be long remembered. Like a family, the CSU community cares.​

Be well.

​Brenda G. Wong​​

Your comments and suggestions are welcomed at​​​.​ View previous issues here.



For The CSU: Still Shining Brightly


Even during the coronavirus pandemic, the California State University powers on, casting a strong light of hope statewide. From conducting medical research to aidin​g small businesses, the CSU family fights COVID-19.​ ​

For How to Be a Better Leader

Be a Better Leader​​

Chico State’s nursing professor emerita Carol Huston draws upon her experiences and gives pointers on leadership. One suggestion? Be able to laugh at yourself and remember to “leave your ego at home in a jar.”​

For Crazy Big Idea

‘Crazy Big Idea’

A CSUN marine biologist may be on to the next big thing: growing a new seaweed in warming water. Seaweed aquaculture needs no fertilizer, freshwater or landscape, making it ideal to be part of a sustainable economy. ​



New leaders on campus, a big gift inspired by an immigrant, a Pulitzer finalist and more.


As the university gears up for the fall, events such as orientation are coming back virtually, too.


Faculty and alumni write about fake news, gangsta rap, the Black Cabinet and more.


Acts of humanity that inspired graduates and an interim dean during the pandemic.​

In Case You Missed It​

The CSU calls for unity after George Floyd’s death and vows to still be “a beacon for the world.”

23 Taking the Lead background

23 Taking the Lead

Courage. Compassion. Humbleness. Students say what leadership qualities they admire and who embodies them.

23 Voices. 1 Story.​​
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