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Akiyama

Alumnus named one of California's CIOs of the Year

March 15, 2017 by Vincent Martinez

George Akiyama '89 (Accountancy) is the California Public Sector CIO Academy's 2017 Government Technology CIO of the Year.

Akiyama received his honor for his ongoing efforts to the state's information technology initiatives as the California Department of Transportation's (Caltrans) chief information officer. 

In 2015, Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Akiyama as Caltrans' CIO to oversee all information technology functions including developing policies and the department's overall strategic direction for IT. 

Since then, Akiyama furthered Caltrans' business partnerships and implemented a CIO communication program that ensures consistent communication on all levels of information technology.

The California Public Sector CIO Academy is a statewide leadership event for top technology executives who seek to improve their management and business skills and develop the IT leaders of the future. 

Photo courtesy of the CA CIO Academy's SmugMug page.

Alumni lead students to victory in national competition

March 14, 2017 by Vincent Martinez

Sac State's construction management program earned national recognition at the Associated Schools of Construction's student competition last month in Sparks, Nev.

The concrete solutions team made its seventh consecutive podium appearance placing first among 12 other universities across the nation. The electrical, heavy civil and mixed use teams also placed second in their divisions while the design build team finished third. 

Each team is coached by a member of the construction management faculty as well as local building-industry volunteers who have earned degrees at Sac State. 

Alumni coaches include Mike Seegert '08 (Construction Management), Brad Dent '10 (Construction Management) and Bill Naramore '07 (Construction Management).

Construction management professor Tony Tipton finds great value in the alumni who serve as volunteer coaches. 

"Due to continuity among the coaching staff, we have put together a study program that is second to none," Tipton said in an interview with Sac State's Dixie Reid. "The atmosphere allows students to form real, lasting bonds with one another so that they give their best not just for themselves but for the team."

Castillo

72-year-old alumnus proves it's never too late for an education

February 27, 2017 by Vincent Martinez

Rodolfo "Rudy" Castillo '16 (Child Development) is the University Professional and Continuing Education Association's (UPCEA) 2017 Outstanding Continuing Education Student. 

According to President Robert S. Nelsen, Castillo's tenacity and perseverance to pursue his dreams of higher education despite life's hardships is what makes him worthy of the award.

After 28 years of service in the U.S. Navy, Castillo got a job as a custodian at a school district in San Diego where he became inspired to become a preschool teacher. It was then he earned his associate's degree to acheive his next endeavor.

However, due to new Head Start program policies that required teachers to have a bachelor's degree, Castillo enrolled in a long-distance degree program through Sac State. He finished his bachelor's degree in three years while living and working in San Diego, despite the difficulty of pursuing a college education later in life and the language barrier as a non-native English speaker. 

The UPCEA previously recognized Castillo as the 2016 Outstanding Nontraditional Student at its West Regional Conference. He will receive this year's national honor at UPCEA's Annual Conference in Chicago next month. 

Read more about Castillo's journey. Photo courtesy of Jessica Vernone/Sacramento State.

SIRIUS

Corporate Giving impacts student learning

February 10, 2017 by Vincent Martinez

Gifts from corporate donors allow Sac State to provide students with educational opportunities through hands-on learning.

Recently, Sac State's Sustainable Interdisciplinary Research to Inspire Undergraduate Success (SIRIUS) program received a $250,000 grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation to support its ongoing scientific research on the American River. The program spans across 12 laboratory classes in the biological sciences department. 

Through its gift, the Keck Foundation, who focuses primarily on scientific, engineering, and medical research, is helping to provide job-ready skills and experiences for students.

The Keck Foundation previously donated $300,000 toward the SIRIUS project. This year's grant will cover equipment costs for six classes including General Chemistry, Inorganic Quantitative Analysis, Physical Geology, Hydrology, Environmental Toxicology and a new Field Methods course.

Sac State values its partnerships with the business community as it offers long-term vitality to the campus and its students' education. 

For more information on how to donate and its impact on student learning, visit csus.edu/giving

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