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Capital University News, California State University, Sacramento

March 15, 2004

Alums augment CSUS workforce

They liked it so much, they either never left or eventually found their way back.

More than 700 people who work at CSUS also earned their degrees here, according to a recent analysis of the university affairs alumni database. That's an astounding 26 percent of the University workforce.

Many start right after graduation, while some have never worked professionally anyplace else. They include long-time staffers, lecturers, full-time faculty and administrators.

"As an alum, I think I have a better feel for what the students here are going through, some of the stresses involved and also some of the payoffs," says Jerry Blake, a program advisor in student activities. "As a student, I learned a lot about the campus that I wouldn't have known, how things work at a practical level."

Blake has worked at the University for 11 years. He started and finished his master's degree in bilingual/multicultural education after being hired at CSUS.

In the ranks of top campus leadership, CSUS alumni include Ed Del Biaggio, vice president of administration and business affairs; Marilyn Hopkins, dean of the College of Health and Human Services; Elroy Littlefield, executive director of the CSUS Foundation; Joseph Sheley, dean of the College of Social Science and Interdisciplinary Studies; and Alice Tom, dean of the College of Continuing Education.

The current University catalog also lists 85 full-time faculty who hold degrees from CSUS.

Among them are such senior faculty members such as Richard Bay in theatre and dance, Olivia Castellano in ethnic studies and English, Jay Crain in anthropology, Bill Dorman in government, Charles Hagopian in mathematics, Art Jensen in management, Virginia Kidd in communication studies and Otis Scott in ethnic studies.

(CSUS alums also make up almost one-third of the staff of the public affairs office, which produces the CSUS Bulletin.)

Suzy Lunstead was hired at the University while working on her degree in liberal studies, and has worked at the University for 16 years. "Because I've been here so long, I really do have a lot of answers," says Lunstead, an administrative support coordinator in the College of Education.

"I like all the people, and I love my job," she says. "I've often said that when someone comes to get an answer to a question, I act like they're my daughter, and I answer that way."

The University is likely to remain an employment destination for its alums, according to David Wagner, vice president for human resources.

"The pipeline for future alums working at CSUS is already established," Wagner says. "A number of former graduate students who are very promising 'faculty to be' are completing doctoral studies. In addition, approximately 200 employees are also students taking advantage of the fee waiver program to pursue a university undergraduate or graduate degree."

More information about the fee waiver program is available by contacting Kim Harrington at 278-6327 or, or visiting


California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 •
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California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 •