Welcome to the College of Natural and Social Sciences (NSS) at CSULA! As the College with the largest enrollment at CSULA and the most diverse set of departments and programs, we take great pride in our success as a complex college that is dedicated to student success. Our claim to outstanding student engagement was reinforced again this year when Dr. Enrique Ochoa of History and Latin American Studies was chosen by a faculty committee to be the President’s Distinguished Professor, the highest honor bestowed on a faculty member at CSULA. At the same time, Dr. Kaveri Subrahmanyam of Psychology and Dr. Matthias Selke of Chemistry and Biochemistry were two of the four faculty members at CSULA chosen as Outstanding Professors. Three members of our faculty were given special recognition this past year by earning early promotion: Dr. Molly Talcott of Sociology, Dr. Munyi Shea of Psychology, and Dr. Hyojoung Kim of Sociology. Another recognition of our College’s outstanding service to students came in late spring as well when Amy Miller of the NSS Dean’s Office received the Outstanding Staff Award for the campus.
This year promises to be one of significant transition for the College and University. The College formally welcomed the new President of CSULA, Dr. William Covino, by giving our staff and faculty each an opportunity to meet with him to talk about the College, the University, and the students we serve. One of the first changes to take place under Dr. Covino’s leadership is a transition from a quarter academic calendar to a semester schedule. The Associate Dean of NSS, Dr. Rennie Schoepflin, was chosen to coordinate this campus-wide project, recognizing his many accomplishments over the past six years as Associate Dean. This process will take three years, and a substantial effort to review our curriculum, ensure that continuing students see no disruption in their degree progress, and revise the time modules for the scheduling of classes. Since Dr. Schoepflin will have his hands full with this project until the formal launch of the semester calendar in the Fall of 2016, Dr. Nancy McQueen agreed to move from the Chair of Biological Sciences to take over as Acting Associate Dean for NSS, and we are delighted to welcome her to the Dean’s Office. Dr. Robert Nissen will serve as Acting Chair of Biological Sciences.
We welcome one new tenure track faculty member to the NSS community, Jessica DeShazo. Jessica joins the Department of Political Science, and will play a prominent role in the public administration curriculum. During the current year the College expects to hire an additional 8 new faculty members in a variety of departments, so we hope to have some new colleagues in NSS for Jessica in the near future.
If you are a new faculty member, new staff member, or new student, welcome to NSS. This is an extraordinary community dedicated to making students success a reality, and you will feel that reality when you attend the CSULA Commencement in June. I look forward to meeting you this year. If you are thinking of coming to NSS, I encourage you to follow up and become a member of our community. The faculty and staff here are amazing, and I want you to see that student success happens in NSS.