The California Higher Education Basic Needs Alliance (CHEBNA) will host a learning series beginning in March 2021. The series of events will address ways to continue to support students in a number of areas: access to financial aid, healthy food, safe housing, and health and mental support.
The series of events will provide an opportunity to expand our knowledge as we explore ways to continue to support students in innovative and creative ways that are responsive to the current pandemic impacting our communities.
To access the resources from past conferences, please
Below are the events hosted as part of this learning series. All events will be hosted on Zoom and will be recorded for future access. To register for events, please click on the “Registration” link under each event that you are interested in attending. If the event has passed, you can click on “Watch Recording.” If you have any questions, please contact us at
The Future of Student Basic Needs: A Conversation with Higher Education State LeadersMonday, March 29th, from 3:30-4:30PM PST
Join us for this Learning Series Kick-Off Event hosted by the California Higher Education Basic Needs Alliance (CHEBNA). The work of supporting students' wellbeing continues. Today, the three segments of public higher education in California remain committed to addressing and supporting students in a number of ways, including their access to financial aid, healthy food, safe housing, and wellbeing and mental health support. This conversation will include Senior Advisor on Higher Education to Governor Gavin Newsom, Dr. Lande Ajose; California Community Colleges Chancellor, Eloy Ortiz Oakley; California State University Chancellor, Joseph I. Castro; and University of California President, Michael V. Drake.
Lande Ajose, Ph.D., serves as Senior Advisor on Higher Education to Governor Gavin Newsom. Before she joined the Newsom administration, she was Executive Director of California Competes.
Eloy Ortiz Oakley, MBA, became the 16th Chancellor of the California Community Colleges in December 2016. Prior to that, he served as the Superintendent and President of Long Beach City College.
Joseph I. Castro, Ph.D., became the 8th Chancellor of the California State University in January 2021. He previously served as the President of California State University, Fresno.
Michael V. Drake, M.D., became the 21st President of the University of California in August 2020. He previously served as president of The Ohio State University (OSU).
The State of Basic Needs Research in California Public Higher EducationWednesday, April 14th, from 10:30AM-12PM PST
All three segments of California's public higher education system are conducting research to better understand how to address students' basic needs. We will hear from researchers across the three systems regarding student basic needs—what they have learned, what they are learning and what they have identified as modifiable factors to improve the basic needs experience of students in higher education.
Rashida Crutchfield, EdD, MSW, is an associate professor in the School of Social Work at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). Her areas of practice and research focus on student homelessness in higher education, basic need security for students, and social work community practice.
Jennifer Maguire, PhD, MSW, is an associate professor in the Department of Social Work at Humboldt State University. Her areas of practice and research focus on student food and housing insecurity in higher education and sustainable solutions to address students' basic needs to support student success.
Suzanna Martinez, MS, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco. Her research focuses on basic needs in higher education, and social and behavioral determinants of health and wellbeing in children and adolescents.
Valerie Lundy-Wagner, PhD, is the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Research and Data for the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. She is responsible for monitoring the system’s performance toward the Vision for Success goals. Prior to this role, her research focused on degree completion including implications for K-12 and workforce development.
Advancing Food Access and Support for Students Across California Higher Education
Wednesday, April 28th, from 10:30AM-12PM PST
Across California, 2 and 4 year institutions of higher education campuses are aligning regional partnerships, online and remote services, as well as state support to establish a new range of holistic food support services for student success. Learn from state government and association leaders coupled with segment insights on the evolving landscape of nourishing students across the state.
Alexis Fernandez, Chief, CalFresh and Nutrition Branch, California Department of Social Services
Andrew Cheyne, Director of Government Affairs, CA Association of Food Banks
Colleen Ganley, Program Specialist, Student Services Division, California Community Colleges
Henoc M. Preciado, Project Manager on Basic Needs Initiatives, Student Wellness & Basic Needs Initiatives, California State University
Tim Galarneau, UC Basic Needs Co-chair, Education and Research Specialist, University of California
Mental Health Equity Gaps and the Impact of the Pandemic on Diverse Student PopulationsMonday, May 24th, from 10-11:30AM
This session will focus on how systems and policies contribute to furthering or reducing health equity gaps in college student populations, with a purposeful focus on BIPOC communities. Panelists will underscore the ways in which the pandemic has disproportionately negatively impacted diverse student communities and highlight opportunities for strategic change within our educational institutions.
Jessica Petrass, Project Manager, John Burton Advocates for Youth
Nathaan Demers, Psy.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist, VP of Clinical Programs & Strategic Partnerships, Grit Digital Health
Dr. Carolyn O'Keefe, Director, Counseling & Psychological Services, CSU San Bernardino
Dr. Genie Kim, Director, Student Mental Health & Well-being, University of California, Office of the President
Dr. Lea M. Jarnagin, Interim Director, Student Wellness & Basic Needs Initiatives, CSU Office of the Chancellor – Panel Moderator