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    A Season ofChange

    California State University, San Bernardino University Honors Program

    ISSUE 1.1 / Fall 2015

    Honors @ CAEconomic Summit

    New StudentsNew Leaders

    New SpaceNew Vision

  • Editorial Staff:Madison Bock

    Jacey BallewegKaitlynn Albers

    Neira Diaz

    Dear Readers,

    Cogito takes its name from Ren Descartes' famous philosophicalstatement, "Cogito ergo sum" (I think, therefore, I am). The Latin verbcogito, meaning "I think," asserts a statement of intellectual capacity, butit might equally be heard as the tentative hypothesizing or the phraseintroducing an opinion. We invoke all three by slapping Descartes' firstword on our cover. We are excited to issue a newsletter to inform you of the happenings ofthe University Honors Program at California State University, SanBernardino. The Fall 2015 issue will detail the change that has occurred inthe Honors Program. This includes a change in administration and a changeof location. We will also discuss what our students have been involved inthis year, and what the program is working on. You will have the chanceto see what some of our students are doing inside and outside of ourcommunity. We are excited to share the change and transformation ofthe program with you, and we are excited for you to follow theadvancements of the Honors Program as we produce newslettersquarterly.

  • CONTENTSCONTENTS2 With Gratitude 3 Look Who's in Charge

    4 A New Den for the HonorsCoyotes

    6 Colloquium

    9 A Step Outside 11 Mixing It Up

    13 A Little Taste of the Big World 15 A Chat with the Bosses

    19 Students in the Spotlight 21 Introducing . . .

    A thank-you to Carol Damgen andBarbara Herrera.

    This year's University Honors StudentCabinet was installed last spring.

    Cogito peeks inside the new honorsstudy space.

    Colloquium has a new look--and anew focus.

    Honors students attend the 2015California Economic Summit.

    The Cabinet hosts a Fall Major Mixerfor Honors students.

    A recap of the experiences honorsstudents had at HACU in Miami.

    Cogito sits down with the newHonors Director and CabinetPresident.

    Two students have been standoutthis fall.

    Cogito gets to know new staff DavidMarshall and Andrew Castillo.

    ISSUE 1.1 / FALL 2015

  • With Gratitude More than five years ago, theatre arts professor CarolDamgen was invited by then faculty director Allen Buttto become a part of the University Honors Program.Unsure where she would fit, she dove in and quicklybecame a beloved mentor to the program's students.When Dr. Butt abruptly left, there was no one to takeover. Professor Damgen stepped up. "I embraced thestudents with my whole heart and soul and gave theprogram everything I had," she says, and wishes "nothingbut the best for the UHP and all of the cohorts who areblessed enough towalk through its walls." ProfessorDamgen continues to serve the Honors Program as oneof its prized teachers. Students in the program will missher greatly and want her to know that she changed them"for good."

    For the past four years, Barbara Herrera served theUniversity Honors Program as the administrativesupport coordinator. Ms. Herrera assisted the HonorsDirector with tasks such as helping organize the honorsclasses, but she did so much more for students. Notonly does she supervise student mentors, she createsnew opportunities and organizes field trips forstudents. Mrs. Herrera became an important sourceof support and ecourgement for many students in theHonors Program. As of now she continues to work withseveral Honors students who serve as mentors forlower classmen. Her hard work and dedication is greatlyappreciated by many students and will continue to bea member of the Honors Program by heart.

    Carol Damgen

    Barbara Herrera


  • University Honors Cabinet

    President Vice President

    Mary Elizabeth Pimentel Bucayu

    Jocelyn Cannon Justin Camarena

    Upper Class Reps:

    Caleb Mings Susan Proakatok



    Dema KlaibGrecia Troche

    Treasurer Historian Underclass Rep

    Savannah Whitehead


  • A New DENFor The Honors

    The Honors Program has a new locationthis year! After years in Pfau Library,CSUSBs University Honors Programrecently moved across campus toUniversity Hall. Leaving a small study roomand smaller computer lab behind, theprograms new space provides studentswith four computer stations and a largerspace where students can studytogether, hold meetings, and unwindafter exams. Math problems are oftenfound on the glass board, essays are

    typed, and textbooks are often theobjects of careful scrutiny. Now located in University Hall 362, thehonors space is ever-changing. Honorsstudents have worked together to makeit a comfortable spot to study and get toknow each other. The end of the fallquarter even saw a Stocking Wall forwhich students decorated paperstockings. In the coming months, theprogram will utilize the large-screen



  • I absolutely love the Honorsroom! It's a great space forcollaboration among theHonors students andprovides a quiet space forstudying.

    - Freshman Mellissa Patton


    monitor to host a video-talk with juniorGraciella Troche, who is studying inGermany this year. The new space also provides office spacefor the program director, David W.Marshall, and the administrative supportcoordinator, Andrew Castillo. In pastyears, the offices were separated fromthe students study spaces, which givesthe new Honors Space a more unified feel,one that has been important forcontinuing to build a strong sense ofcommunity. Ive been impressed with how the Honorsstudents use the space, says Marshall.The room is never empty. Some studentsare there as early as 8:00 finishing uphomework. Tuesdays have been busyafternoons, with juniors hanging outbefore their writing class, comparingessays. Ive enjoyed working in the spaceand the accessibility it has given me to the students.

  • " I g o t w a r m e du p b y t h eb o n d i n g o ff e l l o wf r e s h m a n ,m e e t i n g t h eu p p e rc l a s s m e n . I tw a s a n i c et i m e o f f f r o mr e g u l a rc l a s s e s "

    The clock strikes two and like magic the outside world fades away.Phones are muted, drama forgotten, and more than sixty bright,young minds are refocused onto their community. Arguably thebiggest change for the Honors Program, its weekly Colloquiumshifted focus to a coordinated plan of attack against the numerousintertwined problems facing the San Bernardino and Riversidecounties. For roughly a decade, The University Honors Program Colloquiumhas introduced freshmen and sophomores to consider and reflecton the three key goals of the program: academic excellence,community engagement in a diverse society, and personal growth.The primary means of doing so was through a series of invitedspeakers, typically faculty members from the universitys ownranks. Dr. Marshall decided to take a sharp turn away from thismodel. In talking to a number of students about Colloquium, it seemedthat they began to find it repetitive, Marshall said. They remarkedthat they didnt get much out of it and looked forward to becomingjuniors, when they would no longer be required to attend. That toldme we needed to do something different. Marshall began to draw on recent workshops he had attendedabout using wicked problems as teaching tools that encourage



    Uphoto courtesy of CSUSB


  • communityis ripe with wicked problems:The Inland Empire, which is CSUSBsservice area, has drawn a great deal ofattention for its problems. Theuniversitys Honors Program drawstogether bright minds under the bannerof three goals, one of which is communityengagement. If these students exemplifyacademic excellence, I wondered ifpersonal growth might come fromapplying those smarts to working on theIEs challenges. Throughout the beginning of the quarter,Colloquium focused on introducingstudents to the challenges facing SanBernardino and Riverside Counties. Guestspeakers Kathryn Ervin and Paul Granillorelated their own experiences trying totackle the wicked problem in order to givestudents an idea of what to do. Bothpresenters stressed the importance of

    community involvement and awarenessin solving the IEs problems. An artist and CSUSB theatre art'sprofessor, Ervin stressed the importanceof celebrating and preserving art in theInland Empire when she visited the HonorsProgram in October. Ervin focused herpresentation on cultural assets in theInland Empire and on encouragingstudents to help identify those assets, notonly to increase their own personalawareness of what is in their immediatearea, but also to map the assets on ArcGISin order to increase communityawareness of culturally significant art intheir area. As Ervin explained, culturalassets can become a draw for people,returning them to San Bernardino, whichhas seen a steady decline of its downtownarea. Cultural assets can then beeconomic drivers that help rejuvenate the

    students to apply their learning to real-world issues. Marshall explained thatwicked problems are problems that arenetworked and impossible to untangle.Improving public education, for example,seems to have simple solutionsincreased funding for schoolsbut inpractice, increased funding has limitedimpact, because student success is alsotied to family support, which is, in turn,tied to family employment situations,which is tied to a host of other factors.Fixing one factor does not necessarily fixthe problem, and it might actually createproblems elsewhere in the system.Marshall notes that the