April 24, 2020

In this issue…

Current News

Admissions does a ‘virtual pivot’ to help prospective students  

Springtime is typically a busy time of the year for the Admissions office at California Baptist University, as it hosts prospective and new students. The office conducts multiple campus tours and events such as Lancer Day and New Student Orientation. But when the CBU campus closed in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the admissions team adapted swiftly to showcase the university in new ways.  

“We have worked extremely hard to perform a ‘virtual pivot,’” said Taylor Neece, dean of Admissions. “Our team takes great pride in the customer service we offer to prospective students and parents, and our goal has been to not just maintain but even double down on the accessibility and service of our team in this time of uncertainty.”  

The staff has employed new communication tools such as video conferencing and live chat on the CBU website to add to the variety of customer service channels the department uses, Neece said. Prospective students also can schedule a phone or video call with a faculty member from their intended area of study.  

Additionally, virtual admissions presentations are offered live or a recording can be requested. Lancer day was switched to Lancer Day Live, in which various academic areas provide video sessions that highlight their respective college or school. Lancer Day Live also held sessions about social and spiritual life on campus in addition to highlighting support offices such as the Career Center. And financial aid counselors now are available for appointments through a variety of communication channels.  

Neece said the Admissions team is available to help prospective students and their families through any part of the application process.  

“I even had a dad e-mail me last week and say, ‘If this is the kind of attention [my daughter] will get during her time at CBU, I know she will succeed. I couldn’t be more excited,’” Neece said. “That is exactly what we’re going for right now.”   


CBU planning to be open for fall 2020 classes

California Baptist University is “prepared and planning” to reopen for the fall 2020 semester, officials announced April 23.

The notice from the CBU Executive Council comes nearly one month after the university transitioned all academic programs to remote instruction. That unprecedented move followed an order by the Riverside County Public Health Officer to close all schools, colleges and universities in the county in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The closure order currently is set to expire June 19.

CBU is planning to reopen student housing at its Riverside campus and resume on ground classes for the fall semester. The notice comes one week after CBU announced creation of a task force to develop plans and recommendations to safely reopen the campus when closure orders are eased or expire.

“We are hearing from many students that they are eager to return to campus and we are eager to welcome them—returning students and new students alike,” said Kent Dacus, CBU vice president for enrollment and student services.

“CBU is prepared and planning to ensure a safe environment for students, employees and visitors once the campus reopens,” Dacus said.


Campus publications shine at Baptist national competition  

Pursuit magazine, a California Baptist University campus publication, won multiple first-place awards at the 56th Annual Wilmer C. Fields Awards competition.  

California Baptist University won multiple communication awards at the 56th Annual Wilmer L. Fields Awards competition. The final awards were released through the Baptist Communication Association (BCA) Facebook page on April 17.  

The prizes were scheduled to be presented at the BCA annual workshop in New Orleans earlier this month before the meeting was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

CBU campus publications—The Banner newspaper and Pursuit magazine—won more than 15 awards in the student and professional competitions combined. Pursuit magazine won the Best Overall Student Entry award in addition to a first-place award for the Best Overall Student Publication and Best Student Magazine.  

The Banner won first place the Best Student Newspaper award. 

Dr. Mary Ann Pearson, interim director of journalism and public relations, said she watched the awards show online this year.  

“It is really exciting to see how well the Lancer Media Group publications are doing in the Wilmer C. Fields awards this year. The hard work of the diligent student team along with colleagues, Dr. Michael Chute, Professor Jim Veneman and Assistant Director Sonya Singh, is evident. We are so proud of them.”  

The Marketing and Communication division at CBU also claimed multiple awards in the professional competition including the Albert McClellan Award for Exceptional Achievement in Print Media and Design for the magazine that honored CBU President Ronald L. Ellis for his 25 years of leadership.   

The Wilmer C. Fields Awards competition receives hundreds of entries from Baptist ministries, agencies, colleges and newspapers across the country.  

To see a full list of the awards winners please visit here   


CBU faculty creativity on display in switch to remote instruction  

Students in Dr. Glenn Pickett’s music composition class at California Baptist University normally present their work through an in-class presentation.  For the remainder of the spring semester, however, student presentations are being done online.   

CBU transitioned to remote instruction for the spring semester in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, faculty members are using a mixture of remote instruction technologies to turn student courses into collaborative online environments.  

Pickett, a professor of music, said he is using video conferencing tools such as WebEx for lectures and YouTube for presenting other information.  

“I do think the value is we’re going to be able to use this as another tool in our toolbox when the fall comes,” Pickett said. “I’m going to be able to have a library of these lectures that students will be able to access outside of classroom to help reinforce the live and in-person lecture. I think that’s going to be a great thing.”  

Additionally, in the Shelby and Ferne Collinsworth School of Music, one-on-one lessons are being offered via WebEx or similar platforms. Ensembles are delivering material remotely through both synchronous and asynchronous means.  

Dr. Nicole MacDonald, program director of athletic training at CBU, said the athletic training program is also utilizing WebEx to provide remote learning environments where faculty members can interact with students in addition to observe students practicing skills.  

“Students have been anxious to get online and see their faculty, preceptors and fellow students and get back to the business of learning. They have been very responsive to meetings with our network of athletic trainers and talking through clinical scenarios,” MacDonald said.  

Some senior nursing students are finishing their clinical hours for direct patient care remotely. Faculty members have devised learning experiences for students that involve a form of remote contact with the patient population, said Dr. Juliann Perdue, department chair of the undergraduate program. Students are doing wellness checks, developing teaching plans, providing discharge plans and even attending AA meetings remotely, Perdue explained.  

For the remaining clinical hours, students will use remote simulation, case studies and virtual programs, Perdue added. 

Dr. Tom Ferko, associate dean for the division of natural and mathematical sciences, said the division is using a mixture of simulated and virtual labs in addition to recorded demonstrations. For instance, faculty members for General Chemistry II (CHE125) have videotaped lab experiments. Lab instructors, through WebEx, will watch these recorded labs with students and explain techniques and observations as they navigate the videos together.    

“We are committed to giving our students an experience that is educationally valuable and helps to prepare them for both additional courses that they will take but also their careers and wherever God is taking them beyond CBU,” Ferko said. 


CBU offers extra year to spring senior student-athletes 

California Baptist University has announced a plan to support the return of senior student-athletes who participate in a spring sport, providing them an option for another season of competition.  

The move comes after the NCAA approved a measure extending eligibility for spring-sport student-athletes.  

Read the full story here 






ITS at CBU has tips to stay cyber secure when working remotely  

Cyber security has become increasingly important due to social distancing measures being implemented nationwide in response to the coronavirus pandemic. With the shift to remote instruction for students and most staff and faculty members working from home, the California Baptist University Information Technology Services is helping ensure that individuals are aware of helpful security measures to implement at home.   

Dr. Tran Hong, associate vice president of technology, said hackers are not taking any time off during this pandemic.  

“It is important to continue awareness of cyber security because bad actors will take advantage of this challenging time to exploit human and technology vulnerabilities,” Hong said. He listed several practical tips to observe while checking email remotely.   

  • Continue to be vigilant and skeptical of any emails that ask the user to click on a link or any emails that ask for personal information such as user ID or password.
  • Hover the mouse cursor over a URL/link to see where it really points to but do not click on it.
  • Check/double check the email address of the originator as it may be meant to deceive.
  • Outlook has the ability to preview a message/attachment instead of opening it.
  • Never open an unexpected or seemingly suspicious attachment.
  • Reach out to the originator to confirm/verify the email.
  • Trust your intuition and suspicion.
  • Avoid clicking on “Unsubscribe” – mark it as SPAM instead.

CBU will never ask students and employees for personal information via email. When in doubt, email helpdesk@calbaptist.edu, Hong added.  

When using a home computer to access campus resources, other tips include: 

  • Ensure the computer is protected with antivirus/antimalware software.
  • Ensure the Windows or Mac operating system has the latest security patches.
  • Update the latest Firefox/Chrome browser.
  • Practice good browsing habits and avoid clicking on strange links or browsing odd sites.
  • Avoid downloading confidential data or personal identifiable information data to your home computer. If it is needed as a course of daily work, be sure to delete immediately after completion of task.

Virtual Private Network (VPN) is used to connect remote computers to the campus environment. At CBU, VPN is only issued to staff or faculty member users who have a campus-issued laptop and is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Caution must be taken while on VPN as it is an open door to the campus network. When accessing the CBU Virtual Private Network (VPN) remember that the university’s network appropriate use policy still applies.  

There are other safe and secure tools that can be used in place of VPN. If the purpose is to access, share and collaborate on documents, then Box.com can be used. For web collaboration and video/voice conferencing, use WebEx Meeting.   

Additionally, activating multifactor authentication (MFA or sometimes referred to as 2-factor authentication) for accessing private information is a recommended practice. MFA can apply to all personal emails such as Yahoo or Gmail. MFA is also being rolled out at CBU for email and related logins. MFA along with complex passwords can significantly help improve security.   

Other simple and effective tips for employees and students include: 

  • Avoid using public wireless 
  • Do not insert or use unknown USB drives in your computer
  • Turn off Bluetooth in public settings
  • Use HTTPS – looking for the lock  icon next to the URL address bar
  • Backup your personal data in the cloud or flash-drive
  • Use strong passwords (phrases) and MFA

Here is a CBU video related to safeguarding personal identifiable information.   


CBU support services continue to serve students remotely 

As students at California Baptist University transition to remote instruction this semester, offices on campus also are working to provide their services online.  

Below is a list of notable services that are currently available online for students:  

Office of Student Success 

Annie Gabriel Library 

Librarians remain available for research assistance through:  

  • Chat: For immediate assistance,chat referencecontinues to be available 24/7. 
  • WebEx: Live research help via WebEx is availableby requestMonday-Thursday 8 a.m.-9 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 
  • Text: Simple queries can also be submitted via text/SMS to 951-221-4228. 
  • E-mail:Send an e-mail on research inquiries.

Multiple research assets are still available remotely including:  

 Career Center 

Students can make appointments to have a Zoom session with a Career Center staff member. Appointments can be made for: 

  • Mock interviews  
  • Career or internship guidance 
  • Resume reviews  
  • LinkedIn and Handshake profile review

To make an appointment, visit https://calbaptist.joinhandshake.com/login. Additionally, the Career Center now features a Virtual Career Center site that offers many resources online.   


Family Updates

Dr. Victoria Brodie

Dr. Mary Ann Pearson

Dr. Mary Ann Pearson, professor of communication, and Dr. Victoria Brodie, assistant professor of public relations, presented a webinar for California Public Information Officials on March 4. It was titled Ethics, Communication and Leadership. They also presented a workshop on behalf of the Kienel Leadership Institute at the city of Moreno Valley on March 5. It was titled on Communication for Impact. 




Dr. Robert Shields

Dr. Robert Shields, director of curriculum development for Online and Professional Studies, presented at the 2020 Quality Matters Western Regional Conference held virtually on April 3. His presentation was titled Road Trip! Helping Students Reach Their Learning Destinations via Effective Course Design. He also participated in a panel, Leaning into Leadership – Making Your Own Adventure. 




Nathanael Hovda

Nathanael Hovda, a chemical engineering sophomore, was selected as a SCI (Society of Chemical Industry) Scholar. He is one of 18 chemistry and chemical engineering students from around the country chosen for this year’s internship program. Students are selected based on the strength of their application, statement of interest in an industrial internship and letters of recommendation. Hovda will be interning with Exxon Mobil. 




Dr. Daniel Prather

Dr. Daniel Prather, professor of aviation science, successfully defended his dissertation on April 9. He earned a Doctor of Business Administration degree from California Southern University The dissertation was titled Airport Operations Personnel at Primary Commercial-Service Airports in the United States: An Exploratory Study of the Current and Predicted Labor Shortage. 




Stephanie Fluitt

Mary Ann Stahovich

Mary Ann Stahovich, assistant professor of physician assistant studies, and Stephanie Fluitt, graduate admissions counselor, represented CBU at a Virtual Physician Assistant Fair on April 7. The two shared about CBU’s program and answered questions during the event, which was livestreamed nationwide. 




Dr. Joshua Rodriguez

Dr. Joshua Rodriguez, assistant professor of music theory, had a composition performed in a digital Vespers in Cleveland, Ohio, on April 10. The composition was titled Meditations on Psalm VIII.  





Dr. Robert Pate

Dr. Veola Vazquez

Dr. Joshua Knabb

Dr. Joshua Knabb, associate professor of psychology, Dr. Veola Vazquez, professor of psychology, Dr. Robert Pate, associate professor of psychology, and DeAndra Edison-Riley, a clinical psychology graduate student, presented at the Christian Association for Psychological Studies annual conference in Atlanta on March 12-14. The title of the presentation was Christian Meditation for Trauma-Based Rumination: A Four-Week Program. Additionally, Knabb made two other presentations: Self-Compassion as an Intervention for Self-Criticism and Shame-Proneness: Theoretical Foundations, Empirical Support, and Christian-Sensitive Intervention Strategies and Christian Psychotherapy in Context: Theoretical and Empirical Explorations in Faith-Based Mental Health. 


Dr. Seth Jenny

Dr. Seth Jenny, adjunct professor of health science for Online and Professional Studies, was the lead author of a textbook published April 1. It was titled Technology for Physical Educators, Health Educators, and Coaches (Human Kinetics). 





The CBU Career Center recently began Coffee and Career Live Stream Chats through the @CBUcareercenter Instagram page. Each Tuesday at 3 p.m. members of the staff go live and answer questions while presenting relevant topics. Recent sessions have included Virtual Networking, Creating a Strong LinkedIn Profile and Ask a Recruiter. 





Philip Breitenbucher

Philip Breitenbucher, assistant professor of social work, presented a session at the 2020 Rx Abuse and Heroin Summit livestreamed on April 14.The session was titled Closing the BOOK to Opioid Orphans: Lessons from Lafayette, Louisiana. 






Dr. Kendra Flores-Carter

Dr. Kendra Flores-Carter, assistant professor of social work, recently became the president of the new California State Chapter of the Postpartum Support International (PSI) organization. The vision of PSI is that every woman and family worldwide will have access to information, social support and informed professional care to deal with mental health issues related to childbearing. 




Hector Jimenez, assistant professor of music, released a new single titled Rock of Ages (Cover Me). It is the first single from a five track Hymns EP, which will be released later this year.   




Dr. Sean-David McGoran and his wife, Jenna.

Dr. Sean-David McGoran, adjunct professor of Christian studies for Online and Professional Studies, and his wife, Jenna, co-founded a nonprofit missional academy of music that was honored last month. The Tuned In Academy received a Best of South Sound award for music instruction from The Olympian (Washington) newspaper. 





Joanna Millicent Clark

Dr. Daniel Clark, associate professor of aerospace, industrial and mechanical engineering, and his wife, Nataliya, welcomed a daughter on March 24. Joanna Millicent Clark weighed 7 pounds and measured 20 inches in length. She joins siblings Caleb, 4, and Anita, 2.





Personnel Updates