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The Buzz Around Student Affairs
Newsletter of Today

News for the Month of May 2020 


Each morning we wake up, being reminded that we are living in historic times. We are informed daily about the hardships that Coronavirus cases are causing. Often, we hear about the number of Coronavirus cases, deaths related to the virus, and how it negatively is impacting our economy. One of the factors that make this virus more challenging is the age of social media that we as a society are living in today. Trying to navigate the ever-changing messages that are shared on multiple platforms can be more than one person can handle. We are facing some unique times during this pandemic. However, we must stay strong, positive, and resilient during this moment in time.
In support of this effort to stay strong, the Student Affairs Marketing and Communications team have developed #SacStateRises. This hashtag is more than just three words put together; it is a way of life for the Hornet Family. The purpose for #SacStateRises is to show unity throughout the campus, and how together, we rise as a team to serve our current and future students.
Here are a few examples of the meaning behind the three words, Sac State Rises: we care for each other; we find new ways to reach out to one another to say, “hello”; we create innovative ways to reach our students to let them know we care and are here to support them no matter what; and we always rise to the occasion. Those concepts are imprinted on us when we become part of the Hornet Family. Every person that works for Sacramento State makes an impact on our thriving student population.
By introducing this hashtag, we stand in solidarity together as a university.
As we continue to move forward virtually and/or in-person, we ask that you utilize the #SacStateRises. No matter if you are emailing students or posting information on social media, let us show the community how the Hornet family rises above the moment.
We hope you enjoy the #SacStateRises video tribute. If you would like to share this on your social platforms, please reach out to for the proper link.
Ed Talks will continue in June. As we move into the summer months and prepare for a fall semester in a virtual environment, we want to know what is on your mind. Please share your questions or thoughts about the division, or maybe just a good joke to lighten our spirits.
Vice President, Dr. Ed Mills will reply to your comments during the June edition of
The Buzz Around Student Affairs.
Click to submit a question for next month's Ed Talk.
Ask Ed!

Meals for Hornets 

We would like to thank every person, business, and restaurant that made Meals to Hornets thrive. This endeavor was made possible through a partnership with the City of Sacramento and with FREE restaurant-made, pre-packaged meals, courtesy of Broderick’s Roadhouse in West Sacramento.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for aiding our university and contributing to the
student experience.
Watch how Meals to Hornets was made possible below:

ASI: Virtual Strides to Success

Executive and Board Associate, Lisa Dalton lays out the contributions that have been made by the eight departments (SEO, KSSU Radio, PEAK Adventures, Government Office, Children’s Center, Business Office, Aquatic Center, and the ASI Food Pantry) under ASI during these difficult times. Their goal is to maintain student engagement virtually as well as keeping students employed while we enter into the new normal.
With the help of the Student Engagement and Outreach (SEO) office, they have developed creative ways to host events through video conferencing and implementing the use of Instagram Live on their @SacStateASI page. Dalton mentions, “Putting a face to outreach as much as possible in the virtual space will be important for personality-driven content on social media.” They have noticed an increase involving their social media platforms by utilizing weekly interactions such as ‘This or That Thursdays’ for their audience to participate in.
The achievements made by each of the departments for the spring semester are plenty. Despite the virus forcing events to be canceled or postponed, the SEO office has quickly adjusted to host five Feel Good Fridays to a virtual platform. KSSU, the student-run radio station, continues to organize live stream and live virtual DJ shows for students.
Programs such as PEAK Adventures has also created new informational content for students to protect themselves from COVID-19, as well as releasing tutorials for students on how to repair their bikes at home. The ASI Food Pantry is the only department that keeps its door open for students who are facing food insecurities during this pandemic.
Dalton discloses that the Government Office held a successful ASI Election for the 2020-2021 Board of Directors. In this department, there were student scholarship distributions totaling up to $16,000. As for the Business Office department, they have opened a virtual shop which is popular among students. Lastly, the Aquatic Center accumulated 2,827 visits before the stay-at-home orders were enforced. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the Aquatic Center has been closed.
ASI’s President Denisse Garcia emphasizes, “Even through difficult circumstances ASI will continue to uphold our values and our vision in order to serve our students.”

Student Feature: Hassan Ramez

Majoring in Computer Science, Sacramento State student, Hassan Ramez, shares his experiences while being at home. He quotes, “During the first week of quarantine, it was difficult for me to tackle my studies from home. I normally use the library, lab, and ask tutors for help.” Even though the sudden transition changed his customary routine of visiting the beautiful campus of Sacramento State, he has managed to adapt to his new environment.
Much like everyone else, he spends his time working on assignments, making Zoom calls with tutors, and attending his courses online. Hassan is also preparing for the upcoming exams for finals week. To destress from the virtual world, he plays chess with his six- and nine-year-old nephews, who often manage to win.
Hassan reminds his peers to stay at home and beat COVID-19, so we can go back to campus sooner and have the opportunity to see professors, classmates, and friends and get our favorite cup of coffee at Java City.

Academic Advising: Strength in Change

Academic Advising is going strong and has not slowed down in advising students. In the month of March and April 2020, the Advising Center had more than 1200 appointments, not including appointments held through integrated advising in academic colleges. The high volume is considered normal during the spring semester as students seek support in making academic changes and registering for
fall classes. 
Working in a remote setting was not new for Academic Advising, as advisors were already accustomed to balancing students with non-traditional schedules and utilizing virtual platforms such as Zoom. So when the campus moved to a Virtual University in March, the Academic Advising Department quickly adapted to the challenge, scaling their practices to provide virtual advising appointments to students.
A hardship in transitioning to a virtual world was in losing drop-in appointments. On campus, drop-in appointments were common practice for many students, an option no longer available when working remotely. However, the advising team got creative and through the hard work of the staff as well as a team of student interns, currently offer appointments, often on short notice, Mondays-Fridays, 8am to 7pm.
“It’s important to remember that we are all in this together. Everyone is struggling to navigate these uncertain times and we all have our own unique challenges we must face,” said My Sayamnath, Associate Director of Academic Advising. Whether in pulling academic transcripts or simply taking a calming breath, appointments provide time for advisors to prepare. “In almost every session, as students plan for next semester and digest all the new policies and procedures, something more personal and emotional comes up. Advisors take a holistic approach to supporting students. Consistency in our work and message is a necessity to avoid confusion and make it easy for students to maneuver this new world,” says Sayamnath.
Advisors are encouraging students to take a long-term academic view when deciding how they should make recent decisions related to grade changes and course enrollment. “There is not just one answer that works for every student," says Sayamnath. "We work to educate and help students to make the best decision for them and prepare them for long-term academic success.”
How are the Advisors feeling, working in this virtual environment?
"Our team is holding up well," says Sayamnath, "Everyone is checking in regularly and reaching out to help other when they need assistance." Managers are holding bi-weekly one-on-one sessions with staff to check in about work as well as team members' families and personal mental health. It is important to keep the social personal connection alive and that during Zoom team meetings, it is great to see so many side conversations and that personal relationships are alive and strong.”

Carlsen Center

AZ Nicdao is finishing up his Freshman Year at Sac State and has already established himself as one of Sacramento State’s next great entrepreneurs. A Business Administration major, AZ credits his time with The Carlsen Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship as a huge part of his experience and joy at Sacramento State. “I have always dabbled in small side hustles like selling on e-commerce platforms, like eBay and Amazon, so I was automatically drawn to the Carlsen Center. I was looking for something new and an interesting venture to work on and knew that this was the place for me.”
Since discovering the Carlsen Center in the Fall of 2019, he has participated in almost every single workshop that the Carlsen Center has offered, including Lean Startup Bootcamps, multiple Cohort Programs such as Venture School, and most recently the Virtual Mastermind Cohort. Arlene Miranda, Communication and Marketing Analyst with the Carlsen Center, says “AZ has a great practice of saying ‘yes’ and being open to the possibilities that follow. His enthusiasm for learning and willingness to take risks created a contagious energy and were valued by our staff.” His time in the Carlsen Center also led to a job as a Peer Financial Coach with the Financial Wellness Center. “Over the course of our first conversation I found him to be knowledgeable and enthusiastic and his passion to promote financial wellness and educate students has made him a valuable member of the Financial Wellness team," says Julie Carroll.
His goal as an entrepreneur right now is to scale Stair, his current start-up dealing which seeks to streamline financial services software, to be used for paying organizations from banks to hedge funds. “My favorite part about working with the CCIE staff is their willingness to help and provide resources. Whether it's in the form of books, connecting me to people in their network to help further my venture(s), advice on business strategy, customer development, or just sitting down and talking as friends," says AZ.  
The Carlsen Center’s next Virtual Toolkit Series begins Monday, May 20th, and is open to anyone, students or staff, with an entrepreneurial mind. Providing free consulting and learning experiences for entrepreneurs and startups, this series is for anyone who would like to understand how to start a business, what investors look for, and how to create a pitch deck. The Toolkit Series will continue every Wednesday from 6 pm-8 pm through June 17th.
Click the button below to register for the Virtual Toolkit Series:
Register Here

PAVE: Partnerships to Advance the Value of Education

Residing in the Division of Student Affairs, the PAVE program or Partnerships to Advance the Value of Education is an academic tutoring and college mentoring program that specializes in working collaboratively with regional K-12 school partners to engage Sacramento State students in the classroom setting.
Prior to COVID-19, more than 50 PAVE academic tutors and college role models were deployed to three school districts and 11 school sites to provide subject support in English, Language Arts, Mathematics, and the Sciences. In response to stay-at-home orders and a desire to remain committed to communities, PAVE has made the transition to virtual classrooms. Beginning May 4, Sacramento State students began virtually visiting with students from 61 schools across the city, offering tutoring, mentoring, and help in college preparation.
“The mission of advancing academic equity does not stop because we cannot be in the classroom. If anything, virtual classrooms have heightened our awareness of the inequities that do exist and challenged us to find new innovative ways to continue to close achievement gaps,” said Chao Vang of Sac State’s Student Academic Success and Educational Equity Programs. Vang is excited for the future of PAVE saying, “New opportunities are already becoming transparent. Partners are coming forward, providing access to available student tutors and increased learning opportunities for all participants.” When classrooms do open up again, PAVE plans to continue to offer virtual tutoring in addition to reinstating in-person meetings.
Working with the Sacramento City Unified School District, PAVE came up with a plan to conduct virtual tutoring via the Zoom computer platform. Tutors are available seven days a week from
8 a.m. to 8 pm. “We cannot underscore enough how much we value our partnerships with Sac State to continue serving our students,” said Sacramento City Unified School District Superintendent Jorge Aguilar. “This monumental shift in how we serve our students has been difficult for all of us, especially for our students.  We want to thank PAVE for their virtual tutoring program in helping Sac City Unified meet our students’ academic, social, and emotional needs during distance learning. We know that times are difficult, but we will make it through by working together. “
Click the button below to read more:

FGI: First-Generation Institute

In March, Sacramento State was honored as a First-gen Forward institution, joining an elite community of colleges that share knowledge, best practices, and troubleshooting strategies for supporting First-Gen students through their journey in higher education
More than a third of Sacramento State’s students identify as “first-generation,” meaning that neither of their parents earned a college degree. “Whereas we already knew we were doing great work in serving first-generation students, this is an exciting next step. This is a community effort and this designation has highlighted the work being done and created a drive to push forward and advance our commitment to improving experiences and outcomes of first-generation college students,” said Chao Vang of Sac State’s Student Academic Success and Educational Equity Programs.
Click the button below to read more:
First Generation Institute

Health and Wellness: Finding a Balance in Times of Uncertainty

In times such as these, it is of utmost importance that we as a university must rise to face the challenges of uncertainty and change.
However, in order to stand together, we must first take care of ourselves. 
Striking a balance during state-wide shutdowns and a world-wide pandemic may seem extremely tough and maybe even close to impossible, but taking time to respect and validate your thoughts and feelings is paramount to achieving wellness. 
According to the wellness site verywellmind.comit is normal and valid to experience despair and grief during the time of a pandemic. 
Although we may not be able to control situations such as these, we are able to control our attitudes and feelings about ourselves and our environment around us. Some ways you can begin to unwind and refresh your mind is to allow yourself to feel the emotional state of gratitude. In feeling grateful for our families, for the ability to experience joy, and even in taking an afternoon walk, is a first step to achieving a healthy mindset during this time. 
For more information on the website and article, click the link provided below:

You're Invited! Join Beth Lesen's Virtual Farewell Celebration

As a small token of appreciation for Beth Lesen's eight years of service to the university, we encourage you to join her farewell celebration on Monday, June 1st.
The Farewell will be held virtually on Zoom from 2 pm to 4 pm. All are welcome to join and wish her the best for a new, exciting chapter at Cal State Longbeach!

Beth Lesen's Zoom Celebration
The SA-IT web resource page is a great place to obtain updates, tutorials, and helpful resources. Keep a lookout for a “Frequently Asked Questions” section that will highlight the most common issues that have been encountered while working from home. 
We are in the cyberspace assisting with any tech need from quick IT questions, IT equipment request, web changes, document image separation, etc.
Remember that you can also find us using the following available resources:
Phone: (916) 278-2745
Chat/Meeting via Microsoft Teams, Skype4Business or Zoom: sa-it or stdaf-01
Text/Meeting via FaceTime, Google DUO or WhatsApp: (916)-984-5354     
Please use our web resource page to get updates, tutorials, and helpful resources at the link below.
SA-IT Resources
You can count on us to virtually assist you in all your IT needs!

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