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Student Pursues Dream on 'American Idol'

Tori Green always made time to watch “American Idol” with her mother when she was a child, and she always had the dream of one day auditioning.

Green has been singing since she was 4 years old, but her family figured it was just a phase. They soon realized her voice was impressive for her young age, and her mother put her in singing lessons when she was in the fifth grade.

Green auditioned for “America’s Got Talent” and “The Voice” on Zoom early in the pandemic, but she didn’t get the chance t

Passion for History Brings Alumnus Back for Master’s

While Ricardo Scheller was studying at Palomar College during the late 1980s, he heard about a new university being built just around the corner.

Once he read a newspaper article about it being a reality, he went to the closest public library to get a paper application to transfer to Cal State San Marcos.

“We read newspapers and there was no social media or anything like that,” Scheller said. “It was all word of mouth. I remember professors at Palomar mentioning that they were interested in te

Communication Student Works to Bring Groups Together

Daniel Bennett stepped onto Cal State San Marcos’ campus knowing that this was his second chance. Not only for himself, but for his 8-year-old daughter, Analise.

Formerly incarcerated, Bennett was 26 and felt like he didn’t have many options. But he knew he wanted to make a change.

“I remember I was sitting in the car with an old friend of mine and she told me to go to college,” Bennett said. “She told me about how to get financial aid and how it can help. And that’s when I decided I was going

Advocate Leaves Lasting Impact on Students

Christa Wencl never considered a career in supporting sexual assault victims until she took a class while attending St. Cloud State University in Minnesota.

It wasn’t the class she was most interested in at the time, but it was the one that changed her career path and led her to become a certified sexual assault advocate.

When Wencl started volunteering at a local rape crisis center and working in a domestic violence shelter, her passion for helping victims was solidified.

“This is when my pa

Anthropology Professor Hosts Student Tool-Making Activity

Cal State San Marcos professor and anthropological archaeologist Jon Spenard developed a series of hands-on activities to teach his students about first-century technologies.

Spenard invited Nick Hearth, senior archaeologist for Michael Baker International, to campus Oct. 12 to demonstrate flintknapping, a method of stone tool making that dates back 2.6 million years. These tools were used for hunting and making spears, knives and blades. Spenard also is planning a spear-throwing experiment to

Foundation Board Welcomes Nine New Directors

The Cal State San Marcos Foundation Board welcomed nine new directors during its first meeting of the academic year on Oct. 27.

“We’re excited to have these new directors helping to guide the Foundation Board as we continue building on our culture of philanthropy at the university,” said Jessica Berger, the vice president of University Advancement and executive director of the CSUSM Foundation. "Considering that the Foundation’s mission is to inspire inclusive and transformational philanthropy

Showing Resilience on Path to Trustees' Award

Johnathan Rodney remembers the moment he failed a test in his precalculus class during his first semester of college.

He thought the only way to tell if he was cut out to be in college was to put everything into his next test. If he failed again, he would take it as a sign to pursue a different path.

“I studied obsessively, and ended up getting a B on that next test,” said Rodney, a biochemistry major at Cal State San Marcos. “It wasn't an A or anything crazy. But I thought maybe I can manage

Student Veteran Selected to Receive Prestigious CSU Award

Cal State San Marcos student Johnathan Rodney has been selected as the campus’ recipient of the 2022 Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement, the California State University’s highest recognition of student accomplishment.

Students are selected for demonstrating superior academic performance, personal accomplishments, community service and financial need. Awardees have all demonstrated inspirational resolve along the path to college success, and many are the first in their families to atten

Celebrate Latinx Heritage Month

In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Cal State San Marcos’ Latinx Center is partnering with campus organizations to present an exciting lineup of events. The month runs from Sept. 15-Oct. 15 and is an opportunity to celebrate the rich culture and diverse backgrounds of Hispanic-identifying people.

“Our Latinx community is multicultural with varying intersectionalities, and highlighting heritage from multiple celebration points is vital to the forward progress of our Latinx commun

Wilderness Orientation Brings Together Incoming Students

Celeste Gottschalk wanted to create an event for incoming students to have a unique orientation experience. After seeing outdoor orientation programs at other universities, she wanted to bring a similar opportunity to Cal State San Marcos.

Gottschalk made her idea come to life, and it ended up a success.

About 30 new students participated in the overnight team-building experience on July 7 on the Mangrum Track & Field for the inaugural wilderness orientation. The evening was filled with bondin

Student's Short Film Wins Emmy Awards for Impactful Message

Salma Rodriguez had trouble choosing a topic for her final project for her audio and videography class.

Rodriguez’s Cal State San Marcos classmates wanted to do their final video project on something lighthearted, but she had something different in mind.

Rodriguez saw the assignment as an opportunity to highlight the personal stories of those who have immigrated from Mexico to the United States. She was hesitant at first because she didn’t know how it would be received by her classmates. But R

Sacramento Internship Experience Inspires Students

Mariah Wade was only 15 years old when the injuries from a traumatic car accident changed her pathway to her college decision. She bruised a soft tendon between her neck and spinal cord, which affected her ability to walk for almost three weeks.

Just one year later, Wade got into another car accident that worsened her previous injuries.

The recovery was a difficult process for Wade. She missed almost a month of her senior year of high school because she could not walk properly. She frequently

Beloved K-9 Police Dog Retiring After 7 Years of Service

It was Cai Steffler’s first week at his new job, and as he was settling in for his third day of work he became startled when he looked down and saw a German shepherd at his desk. Steffler didn’t grow up around dogs, and he was apprehensive.

At first, Steffler thought he got himself in trouble because Sgt. David Angulo and a K-9 police dog were there next to him. But as he looked around the room, Steffler quickly realized that this seemed like a routine welcoming visit.

Steffler saw how excited

Business Student's Epilepsy Leads to New Beginnings

Karolina Lindberg never had many complaints about her epilepsy. She was aware that she wouldn’t be able to drive a bus or become a police officer or firefighter because of her diagnosis. But Lindberg didn’t know her epilepsy would stop her from pursuing her dream career.

Lindberg always wanted to find a career that would allow her to see more of the world while she was growing up in Sweden. She set her sights on becoming a flight attendant for the travel opportunities, but her epilepsy made it

Family Inspires Biology Student's Research Path

Growing up, Clarissa Garcia’s parents worked multiple jobs and long hours. Garcia spent a lot of the time at her grandparents’ house while her parents worked to support the family.

To pass the time, Garcia’s grandmother, Antonia, introduced her to at-home science experiments they could do together. Garcia’s grandmother wasn't a scientist, but the two of them shared a genuine curiosity about biology.

Little did Garcia know that this would spark her interest in pursuing a career in science resea

Extended Learning Building Hosting Open House on April 5

Cal State San Marcos will host an open house to tour the Extended Learning Building from 4-6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5.

The , which opened in 2019, is located in the North City development in San Marcos.

Extended Learning offers a wide range of professional and career-oriented programs for students and community members at all stages of life. Open-house guests are invited to talk to ELB ambassadors about the creative collaborations and teaching methods that are available and tour the interactiv

Business Student's Passion Leads to Becoming Entrepreneur

Sophia Lombardi discovered her love for sewing and entrepreneurship during the pandemic.

Sewing is something Lombardi and her cousin picked up as a hobby when they had extra time on their hands. She had no intention of starting a business.

Lombardi wanted to be resourceful because fabric was expensive and she had limited funds. She saved her leftover fabric scraps, not knowing what she would end up doing with it.

Little did she know, this would change her trajectory of finding her career path

Bench Fundraiser Honors Memory of Beloved Academic Adviser

Cindy Yumiko Harper dedicated herself to helping students realize they can accomplish anything.

David McMartin, the director of Cal State San Marcos’ Office of Academic Advising, remembers when Harper expressed concern for a first-generation student in her advising session who was having trouble adjusting to being new on campus. Harper not only wanted to make sure the student had a warm welcome to CSUSM, she wanted the student to know that they had a support system ready to help. Harper knew th