Harry E. Brakebill Distinguished Professor Award, 2022-2023
I deeply appreciate the honor of being the recipient of the Harry E. Brakebill Distinguished Professor award for the academic year 2022-2023.
To me, a good university is a place of opportunity that challenges you to open your mind to possibilities.
It invites you to look at situations from all angles, to incorporate diverse viewpoints, different life experiences, and fresh perspectives.
Too often we are set in our ways in trying to solve a problem, when a new point of view is really what is needed. This is true in mathematics as it is in life. A good education can provide us with the tools to be successful in a rapidly changing world.
When I joined Cal State San Marcos in 2001, I was drawn to all the possibilities it had to offer: a growing university with a dynamic faculty of amazing scholars for sure, but also the possibility to make a difference in the lives of our students.
Many CSUSM students are first-generation students like me, students who didn’t grow up knowing that their path would be paved for them. And it makes a big difference that our classroom setting allows faculty to get to know at least some students, rather than the large lecture halls at the “big” schools. I am happy that the importance of this mentoring for the success of our students is recognized and supported at CSUSM. Help is there and sometimes all you have to do is ask for it!
I believe that a Cal State San Marcos education can open doors. Many of you work incredibly hard to make the best of this experience, in spite of the challenges you have to overcome, to make the dream of a university degree a reality. There is work ahead, but I believe that if we work together, we can get there.
Remember to look at the problems ahead from all angles and to open your mind to the possibilities.
And with this I wish you all much success for the year ahead!