One of Cal State Monterey Bay’s most distinctive and far-sighted educational innovations is our requirement of Capstone projects for graduating seniors.

A groundbreaking idea when it was introduced for CSUMB’s first graduating class, it has been widely adopted in higher education, and often in high schools as well.

Every successful Capstone represents an impressive personal accomplishment as students, with the help of faculty advisors, bring together what they have learned in a final presentation.

If you want to get some idea of the hard work and creativity of our students over the years, you can visit our library’s on-linearchive of many of the Capstones. Or better yet, stop in and see a few of the Capstone presentations that will be held across campus on Dec. 19-20. They will reinforce your belief in the work that our students – and our university -- are doing every day.

Capstone projects that typically receive the most notice in the wider community are those produced by students in our Department of Cinematic Arts and Technology. This semester’s Capstone Festival presentation at the World Theater on Dec. 19 will feature two public screenings of 11 productions. Given the quality of our film program and of the films shown at previous festivals, it is certain that some outstanding work will be on display.

One of the features at last spring’s festival was a thoughtful and sensitive film about sexual assault in the military, “Please Tell Someone Dear” by Margo Flitcraft. It was then accepted for showing at a film festival in New Orleans, the first place Flitcraft submitted it.

That is only one recent example of the successes of our film students, both on campus and in the industry after graduation. The reputation of our Cinematic Arts and Technology program continues to grow; here is a chance to see the work of some graduates who will undoubtedly help continue that trend.

Fort Ord Colloquium: On Dec. 12-13, our university will be hosting a colloquium at the University Center on environmental and economic development issues on Fort Ord. Jointly sponsored by CSUMB and the Fort Ord Reuse Authority, the colloquium is designed to bring some of the best thinking to bear from experts nationwide on issues including ecotourism, blight removal, economic growth and design standards. The event is free and open to the public.

Semester’s end is near: The weeks after the Thanksgiving break are hectic ones for students and faculty members as they make the final push toward the end of the fall semester. Our Personal Growth and Counseling Center has put together some helpful guidelines for working with students who are feeling distressed. I encourage everyone in our campus community to offer support to those they see who are dealing with semester-end issues.

Take heart; winter break is only a couple weeks away.

Winter concert: Our university’s Music and Performing Arts Department will hold its annual winter concert, “A Winter Wonderland,” at 3 p.m. Sunday at the World Theater. The free event features our chorale, jazz ensemble and concert band and is always an excellent way to get into the holiday spirit.

As always, I welcome your comments on this newsletter or on any issues facing the university. You may direct them to


Eduardo M. Ochoa
President, Cal State Monterey Bay