The Center of Student Success hosted the 2nd Annual Distinguished Freshman Celebration in the University Ballroom at Cal State Monterey Bay (CSUMB). Thirteen freshmen were awarded $1,000 scholarships during the event for achieving 4.0 GPAs in their first semester of college.
CSUMB President Dr. Dianne Harrison gave the introductory remarks for the celebration. Harrison has high hopes for their future academic work and believes their success will be the energy that carries these freshmen forward. During the President's speech she said "The worst complaint I ever get is when someone tells me it's too easy…so I hope I don't hear that. I want you to be challenged. I want you to reach bars you don't even know exist yet and you've just started."
Dylan Ottaway, one of the Distinguished Freshman said he typically spends 8 to 14 hours a week in the school library. Distinguished Freshman Erin Hawkins said, "I didn't know about the scholarship my first semester here. My goal was just to do my best academically."
The Center for Student Success' goal is to encourage students to become effective, influential leaders while attending CSUMB and in the future. The Center promotes the values of learning and performance among students and faculty; it also increases student retention, and aims to create successful transitions for students once they have graduated.
During the celebration CSUMB graduate Alana Tweed shared her success story at CSUMB. Tweed started at CSUMB in fall 2006 and made a four year plan with the EOP program, which she stuck to and graduated in four and a half years only because she spent a semester abroad in Prague. She also was the President of a sorority and worked at the Center of Student Admissions and Recruitment.
According to Tweed, "One of the difficult parts of my academic success was getting to know my professors and keeping close connections with them."
When discussing her senior year in Capstone, she said, "It was the most difficult thing I have ever had to go through…I spent 14 hours in the library on Tuesdays and countless hours at our Capstone meetings." Her Capstone professor recommended that she send her resume to the Naval Post Graduate School, and was hired as an intern. In June she will transition to full time and her Master's program will be paid in full by the Naval Post Graduate School.
"None of that would have been possible if I hadn't made those connections here on campus and known leadership here on campus," said Tweed. CSUMB has countless resources available to students. The Center of Student Success offers services such as Academic Goal Development, Academic Workshops, Personal Development Workshops, Support for Probationary Students, One-on-One Peer Mentor Support, Transfer and Re-entry Student Support, and Referral Services.