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CSUPERB Newsletter - September 2020

CSUPERB Newsletter - September 2020
By CSUPERB Newsletter • Issue #43 • View online
Hello! Oi!
This month Paula Fischhaber, Christine Montgomery and Dean Meyer contributed to the CSUPERB Newsletter.
Chancellor announcement
This week the California State University Board of Trustees named Joseph I. Castro the eighth chancellor of our system, effective January 4. Dr. Castro has been the president at Fresno State since 2013. He will be the first native of California and the first Mexican American to hold the chancellorship. He is also a first-generation college student.
President Castro joined CSUPERB President’s Commission this year. I had the pleasure of introducing him to CSUPERB’s history, values and governance structure. His warm nature and inquisitive spirit led us to a lively discussion about possibilities to expand biotechnology opportunities in the central valley.
I also reached out to Dean Meyer from Fresno State who serves on our SPC to get some insight into Dr. Castro. Dean Meyer responded to my request:
“It has been an outstanding experience working as part of President Castro’s team at Fresno State - so this is one of those "happy and sad at the same time” moments. He walks the walk in his commitment to “Discovery. Diversity. Distinction.” Dr. Castro’s bold and inspiring leadership has played a key role in Fresno State being ranked among the Top 30 national universities for the last 5 years by Washington Monthly that best serve the country in the areas of social mobility, research and civic engagement. His unwavering support for diversity, equity, and inclusion is reflected in Fresno State’s Top 3 rankings among the public universities for graduation-rate performance of our diverse and traditionally underserved students in U.S. News and World Report’s 2020 Best College rankings - our students are definitely exceeding expectations. He has been extremely supportive of our efforts to enhance STEM education, the integration of teaching and research and advancing faculty diversity in the College of Science and Mathematics. He contributed enormously to our lab renovation efforts, adoption of innovative technology, and cultivation of donors on our behalf. I remember that he stayed over two hours at our lab remodel opening reception, spending quality time with our stakeholders. He truly listens and cares and his collaborative approach brings out the best in everyone. Similarly, he made time to visit our Advancing Faculty Diversity Boot Camp in the summer of 2018 and personally greeted all of our 30 participants from around the country. He also made the time to support and attend our first college fund raising dinner. I consider myself among the most fortunate of Deans to serve under President Castro - a great honor and privilege.“
I am looking forward to his Dr. Castro’s leadership and contributions as chancellor. I also want to thank Chancellor Timothy White for his service to the CSU.
Congratulations to the I-Corps team
I want to celebrate our I-Corps teaching team, consisting of Drs. Stanley Maloy, Cathy Pucher, Marc Sedam, Chad Womack & Susan Baxter for their tremendous accomplishment, an article in Nature Biotechnology. Evidence of the program is highlighted by their data:
"64% (of participants) report that they are continuing to learn about bioentrepreneurship or are working to advance a research-based venture concept by participating in I-Corps courses or joining regional or campus-based incubator programs”
CSUPERB Reminders
We are in full planning and programming season here in the CSUPERB office. The Annual Report and Campus reports will be out soon so stay tuned.
A few reminders:
  • Don’t forget to work with your students on poster submissions for the 33rd annual CSUPERB Symposium. The deadline is MONDAY, SEPT 28. Here is the link:
  • Grants and awards nominations are also due soon, especially the student awards:
CSUPERB Safe Space
Last Thursday we conducted our first CSUPERB Safe Space! We had a wonderful cross-racial dialogue with 14 participants. The Safe Space conversation is different from the webinar in which we are able to reflect on our journey and experiences and that of others. As we reflect, we used questions to guide our responses and also were informed by our colleagues’ perspective. At the end of the conversation we were able to assess that a big part of moving forward is to have courageous conversations at the individual level. It can start in places such as Safe Space and expand to our workplaces, classrooms, offices and homes. We may never know the right answer, but if we take the time to sit with others and exchange our experiences on a personal level, we will be able to connect and see each other for who we really are.
During the conversation, we were able to exchange resources that we have found helpful on our anti-racism journey. These resources are listed below. 
Racism and Genetic Counseling with Aishwarya Arjunan and Carrie Haverty
How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi
We invite you to join our next Safe Space conversation on October at 15, 2020. Please register at
If you are interested in facilitating a discussion on a specific anti-racism topic or our next Safe Space session, please contact Christine Montgomery at
CURES Network
The CSUPERB CURES Network is hosting a Mini-Symposium on “Virtual CUREs in Times of Crisis”. Disruptions from COVID-19 forced faculty teaching face-to-face CUREs to re-envision their curriculum. The gains made in modifying CUREs in Spring and Summer 2020 could be valuable in Fall 2020, and in future crisis-oriented disruptions triggering the need for virtual class delivery. CUREs experts within the CSU system will share their tips and wisdom on how they did this. 
Robin Altman (CSU Sacramento, Dept. of Biological Sciences) 
Nathaniel Jue (CSU Monterey Bay, Dept. of Biology and Chemistry) 
Susanne Lindgren (CSU Sacramento, Dept. of Biological Sciences) 
David Minovitz (CSU Monterey Bay, Dept. of Applied Environmental Science) 
Joseph Ross (CSU Fresno, Dept. of Biology) 
GönülSchara (CSU Stanislaus, Dept. of Chemistry) 
Kelly McDonald (CSU Sacramento, Dept. of Biological Sciences, CURES Network Editor) 
David Rhoads (CSU San Bernardino, Dept. of Biology, CURES Network Editor) 
Corin Slown (CSU Monterey Bay, Dept. of Biology and Chemistry, CURES Network Editor) 
Aparna Sreenivasan (CSU Monterey Bay, Dept. of Biology and Chemistry, CSUPERB SPC) 
Paula Fischhaber (CSU Northridge, Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry CSUPERB SPC & Deputy Chair) 
The Mini-Symposium will commence with a public gallery period in which attendees can view the panelists’ abstracts and videos on-line from Monday September 21 – Friday September 25, 2020. It will culminate in a virtual panel session on Saturday, September, 26, 2020, 10:00 am – 11:30 am, with additional networking time until 12:00 pm. 
Register here- you can still see the panelists’ material today and participate in the virtual panel session tomorrow: 
Sustainable Procurement
We also want to make sure you are aware of the updates about the new CSU Sustainable Procurement Policy. The AVC for Strategic Sourcing and Chief Procurement Officer, Arun Casuba, issued a Memo to the CSU on September 1, 2020 indicating that the Chancellor’s Office received significant feedback on its June, 2020 draft of its CSU Sustainable Procurement Policy. The June draft was discussed at the August CSUPERB Faculty Consensus Group meeting and FCG members were alerted to the outsized challenges the policy might create for conducting faculty-led research and STEM instructional laboratory courses. Following the August meeting, many faculty from CSUPERB worked with home campus leaders to craft feedback for the Chancellor’s Office. Additionally, CSUPERB President’s Commission Chair Soraya Coley (Cal Poly Pomona) worked directly with AVC of Research Ganesh Raman and shared CSUPERB’s memo on the policy.
AVC Casuba indicated in his September 1, 2020 memo that the many concerns raised indicated that there had not been adequate time to review and provide constructive comments, and has therefore extended the comment period to November 20, 2020. Campus Provosts and AVPs of Research/Directors of Research (or their equivalents) on individual campuses have been tasked with collating and coordinating each campus’s additional feedback on the policy. CSUPERB encourages all STEM-oriented faculty to contact their AVP of Research, Director of Research, and/or Provost to provide additional feedback on how the policy might affect their ability to conduct research, provide STEM instructional laboratories or promote club-based activities requiring specialized equipment and reagents. 

Joseph I. Castro, CSU Chancellor-select
Joseph I. Castro, CSU Chancellor-select
Open CSUPERB Calls and Deadlines
CSUPERB CUREs Network is hosting a Mini-Symposium on “Virtual CUREs in Times of Crisis”
Poster Information – CSU Annual Biotechnology Symposium
CSUPERB Grants and Awards Nominations
CSUPERB: October Safe Space Registration
What We're Reading, Attending, and Listening To
Gilead to acquire Immunomedics for $21 billion - CNN
Online learning cannot just be for those who can afford its technology
‘We do belong here’: The scientist behind #BlackInNeuro hopes to transform a Twitter movement into a lasting community
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CSUPERB Newsletter

The CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology provides grant funding to seed research projects and curriculum redesign efforts. We also run CSU I-Corps to help researchers investigate biotechnology commercialization. We organize the annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium. The CSUPERB newsletter publishes the fourth Friday of each month. CSUPERB Data Dashboard:

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