The rise of the Internet as the predominant way we gather, share and transmit information means that a strong website is absolutely vital for any university.

Fortunately, Cal State Monterey Bay has an outstanding information technology team, which is now in the midst of a website redesign for the university.

The current website is the product of a 2010 redesign. Given the fast pace of change in how people use the web – specifically the increased use of mobile devices to access the Internet – it is time to make changes.

This web overhaul also provides an opportunity to clear away outdated pages and files, an important task given the rapid rate at which information changes. It will also make it more useful for faculty and staff as an enterprise information resource.

As you might imagine, all of this is a significant undertaking. When we decided to move forward, we sought out proposals from consultants with expertise in redesigns and settled on Four Kitchens, a firm based in Austin, Tex.

The team is focusing on responsive design, an approach that allows web content to be displayed in a format that adjusts to the different type of screen – laptop, desktop, tablet or phone – that is accessing it.

Navigation testing of the new site began last month with students, faculty and staff. The tests help determine how people actually interact with the site and will help guide developers as they make any final changes. The goal is to identify and streamline a number of pathways, so that all types of users can get to where they need to go.

Migration of content to the new site is scheduled to begin July 1, with launch of at least some portions of the site scheduled for Aug. 1.

To keep up to date on the latest developments of the redesign, you should regularly check, which provides access to project background, progress reports, the training calendar and other developments.

Participating in the testing and offering input at this stage is the best way to make sure that the needs of web users like you are reflected in the final design.

UROC successes: Our Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center, led by Dr. William Head, continues to have great success in turning promising students into outstanding scientists and researchers. In the most recent announcement by the prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program, two CSUMB alums and one current student were named as awardees and another CSUMB student received honorable mention.

Melissa Powell, who is in a Ph.D. program in STEM education at the University of California, Irvine; Sara Kelly, who is in a Ph.D. program in fluvial geomorphology at Utah State University; and Allison Moreno, a CSUMB senior in biology, each received $132.000 GRFP fellowships. Phillip Cooksey, a CSUMB senior in Computer Sciences and Robotics, earned honorable mention.

Four CSUMB students also won research awards at the Annual TriBeta Biological Honors Society Pacific District Convention hosted at Chapman University last month.

Graduating senior Abel Duarte earned first place for oral presentation in molecular/cell biology; Junior Kelsie Rodriguez won 1st place for poster presentation in molecular/cell biology; graduating senior Alex Sigala earned 2nd place for oral presentation in organismal biology and junior Elisabeth Carrillo won an honorable mention for her poster presentation.

All these awards are tributes to both the hard work of our students and the invaluable assistance of their faculty mentors.

In a presentation at last month’s CSU Board of Trustees meeting, another of our alums, Juan Perez, cited his experience in undergraduate research as a factor in his later success. You can see him talk about the difference that a CSUMB education made in his life at the CSU Alumni site.

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