Cal State San Marcos presents its top 2022 stories

Happy 2022 CSUSM graduates/CSUSM

As the end of the year approaches, many are already looking ahead to 2023.

But before putting the finishing touches on your list of New Year’s resolutions, let’s take a look back at some of the most-talked-about stories of 2022.

CSUSM Ranks First in the Nation in Social Mobility

SUSM ranks first nationally out of more than 1,400 schools measured in the ninth annual Social Mobility Index (SMI) by the online publication CollegeNET. CSUSM had been included in the top 5% of the index for each of the previous seven years, but this is the first time that it has topped the list. Seven other California State University schools ranked in the top 20.

Beloved K-9 Police Dog Retiring After 7 Years of Service

Sgt. David Angulo says of his K-9 Armor, “He's been my partner for the last seven years. It's amazing how attached we get to our partners.” Armor is retiring this month after seven years of service at CSUSM.Armor, CSUSM’s K-9 police dog for nearly seven years, retired after commencement ceremonies in May, shortly before turning 11 years old. Armor continues to live with Sgt. David Angulo, along with the new campus K-9, Hans. “Armor has been here longer than some staff members,” Angulo said.

Stone Co-Founder, Wife Give $1 Million in Support of Social Mobility

Steve and Laura Wagner have given $1 million to CSUSM to establish funding to support social mobility, a pillar of the university’s new strategic plan. Photo by Andrew ReedSteve Wagner, the president and co-founder of Stone Brewing, and his wife, Laura, gave $1 million to CSUSM to establish funding to support social mobility, one of the core tenets of the university’s new strategic plan. Wagner is the chair of the CSUSM Foundation Board, and he and Laura are among the university’s most ardent community champions.

Student’s Short Film Wins Emmy Awards for Impactful Message

Arts, media and design student Salma Rodriguez recently won three student Emmy Awards.Salma Rodriguez had trouble choosing a topic for her final project for her audio and videography class. Rodriguez’s classmates wanted to do their final project on something lighthearted, but she had something different in mind. The result was “Border Line Fears,” which received three student programming honors at the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Pacific Southwest Chapter Emmy Awards.

Outstanding Grad Setting Example of Success for Son

Krystal Alvarez-Hernandez has been named the President’s Outstanding Graduate after previously winning the dean’s award for the College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral and Social Sciences. Photo by Blair HoukKrystal Alvarez-Hernandez became pregnant as a junior in high school. She’s familiar with the statistic that only 2% of teenage mothers go on to earn a bachelor’s degree before age 30. The odds were overwhelmingly against her doing so. Yet in May, Alvarez Hernandez not only graduated from CSUSM with a degree in psychology, but did so as the most decorated graduate in the entire Class of 2022.

Showing Resilience on Path to Trustees’ Award

Johnathan Rodney is a student veteran majoring in biochemistry.School didn’t come easy to Johnathan Rodney. Diagnosed with ADHD in first grade, he was told to take medication every day with little explanation about his diagnosis. “It kept me from thinking that I could do well in school,” Rodney said. But Rodney persevered, and his hard work led to being honored as the university’s 2022 CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement recipient.

CSUSM Wins Top Diversity Award for Ninth Straight Year

Cal State San Marcos has received the HEED Award for the ninth straight year. Photo by Andrew ReedCSUSM received the 2022 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education, for the ninth straight year. The HEED Award is a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Alumna Boosts Accounting Program with First Gift to CSUSM

Annie Norviel, a 2008 alumna, has given CSUSM $50,000 for an endowed scholarship to support accounting students.Annie Norviel is emulating the many people who showed her kindness and compassion on her journey, and is giving back to others. The 2008 accounting alumna and CSUSM Foundation Board director made her first gift to the university a big one – a $50,000 endowed scholarship that will support accounting majors during their time in the program.

Business Student’s Passion Leads to Becoming Entrepreneur

Sophia Lombardi, a business administration student, won the Innovation Hub Quick Pitch contest for her sustainable business model. Photo by Long TruongSophia Lombardi discovered her love for sewing and entrepreneurship during the pandemic. Little did she know, this would change her trajectory of finding her career path, becoming the basis for Lombardi’s sustainably made swimsuits and the creation of her business, Amalfi Swiim.

Bright Ideas: Under Neufeldt, Spirit of Innovation Is Shining at CSUSM

CSUSM has received two grants from The Conrad Prebys Foundation, partly in support of the university's burgeoning programs around innovation. Photo by Andrew ReedDreaming up and researching innovative concepts is nothing new at CSUSM. Since the arrival of President Ellen Neufeldt in 2019, however, the power and spirit of innovation has been harnessed like never before.  The clearest physical manifestation of innovation at CSUSM, of course, is the Innovation Hub, a 2,800-square-foot space on the ground floor of the Extended Learning Building that officially opened to the public this spring.

Provided by Sal State San Marcos communication office. Compilation by  Eric Breier, Public Affairs Specialist. Contact at | Office: 760-750-7314

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