Voices are briefs and interviews that highlight “bright spots” in the CSU and examples of middle leadership across the system and within Network activities.
Dr. Shonda Goward, associate vice provost of undergraduate advising and success at San José State University, was elected as chair by the advisory board of the California State University Student Success Network (CSU Network). Dr. Goward has been an advocate for student success throughout her career, and a leader in the CSU since serving as director of the Student Center for Academic Achievement at Cal State East Bay from 2020 to 2021. At the CSU Network, she was director of convenings prior to becoming board chair. Dr. Goward has an Ed.D. in higher education administration from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Campus and Career Impacts from the Middle Leadership Academy: An Interview with Jennifer McCune, Director of Enrollment Services, CSU Bakersfield
In 2017, Jennifer McCune was the coordinator for the Academic Advising and Resource Center at CSU Bakersfield when she was asked to participate with others from her campus in a series of weekend sessions to tackle developmental math reform. She jumped at the opportunity and found herself at the CSU Network’s Middle Leadership Academy.
Developing Shared Language and Knowledge in the CSU: Ground Your Campus’ Actions in Evidence and Research
The CSU Student Success Network (Network) produces original research briefs, memos and tips and strategies drawn from and directed specifically to the CSU to facilitate discussions and action on campus to advance equitable student success. A series of discussion questions at the end of most briefs and memos can facilitate faculty, staff, and administrators in meeting together to address implications for their campus.
“Activism for Everybody” and “All of us at the Table”: Equity for LGBTQIA2S+ Students at the Recent CSU Student Success Conference
This is the second of two blogs reporting on takeaways from the plenary sessions of the third annual CSU Student Success Conference, which was held virtually October 12 to 14, 2022. The first blog focused on efforts by CSU Dominguez Hills to re-enroll and re-engage students who had attended the university but did not receive a degree.
“Because of you, I graduated”: An interview about basic needs services with Danielle Muñoz at CSU Long Beach
Danielle Muñoz became director of the Basic Needs Department at California State University, Long Beach in August 2022, after having created a basic needs center at Sacramento State University, where she worked for over six years. In November, Kalifa Madden, communications manager for the Network, interviewed Danielle about the challenges students face in meeting their basic needs and the services that CSU Long Beach provides to support these students.
Strategies for Re-engaging Former Students: Takeaways from CSU Dominguez Hills at the Student Success Conference
This is the first of two blogs reporting on takeaways from the plenary sessions of the third annual CSU Student Success Conference, which was held virtually October 12 to 14, 2022. Over 290 CSU middle leaders and students participated in the conference, which focused on “Sustaining Momentum for Equity and Change in the CSU.”
There is no universal definition of a first-generation college student. A 2018 study used eight different definitions of first-generation to analyze the college-related activities of over 7000 students: researchers found that between 22- to 77-percent of students in the sample could be considered first-generation depending on the definition used. As established by the Higher Education Act of 1965, the federal government considers a student to be first-generation if both parents do not hold a four-year degree. In contrast to the federal definition, the CSU system defines a first-generation student as one whose parents did not attend any college. 
After the Dobbs decision was released, CSU Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester issued a strong statement condemning the ruling and supporting access to healthcare and reproductive rights for women. She also expressed concerns about “the broader implications of today’s decision that threaten other fundamental freedoms we hold dear—including additional privacy rights and marriage equality—with particularly ominous potential impacts to the LGBTQIA+ community.” Several CSU campus presidents, including from Fresno State, Sacramento State, and San Jose State, also released statements supporting reproductive justice and the rights of women to make decisions about their own health and future.
Dr. Karyn Scissum Gunn participated in the Academy as a team member in 2020-21 and as a team lead in 2019-20. At the time, she was associate vice president for academic operations/student success at Cal State Fullerton. She has since advanced in her own career and now serves as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at CSU Long Beach. In our recent video interview, Dr. Scissum Gunn describes the vision of the Academy and her takeaways from it.