President's Challenge

At the President's Mid-year Forum on February 3, 2020, President Parham announced the launch of the President's Challenge: an opportunity for CSUDH faculty and staff to advance and own student success.

Great things can happen when we work together, and the President's Challenge is all about cross-collaboration. Teams made up of faculty and staff from across departments, colleges, and institutional boundaries submit their proposals for improving students' retention and graduation.

The top proposals will receive one-time funding to support implementation.

Selected Proposals Announced

The Office of the President is excited to share that sixteen proposals were received, totaling more than $640,000 in primarily one-time funding requests, of which three proposals were selected:

  • CSUDH Pop-Up Thrift Store Initiative
    • Contributors: Ellie Perry, Morgan Kirk and Jenney Hall
    • Funding requested and approved: $10,800
    • Purpose: To support CSUDH students by recycling unused items and providing them to students with basic needs (housing/food insecurity, financial instability, etc.) 
  • Improving Diversity and Engagement for Equity and Inclusion
    • Contributors: Del Bharath, Dr. Xufei (Nancy) Deng, Dr. Yesenia Fernandez, Dr. Nathan Goodly, Dr. Jen Stacy, Dr. Sheng Yi
    • Funding requested: $59,838 – Approved for: $55,838
    • Purpose: To create spaces for improving inclusion and equity at CSUDH through a 3-prong multi-faceted approach incorporating faculty, students, and parents.
  • Understanding and Building Academic Resilience, Community and Retention at CSUDH
    • Contributors: Dr. Kirti Sawhney Celly (Lead), Dr. Rama Malladi (Co-lead), Ms. Alana Olschwang, Mr. Ken O’Donnell
    • Funding requested and approved: $59,800
    • Purpose: To understand and promote academic resilience among students

Individually, each of these proposals addresses an immediate or critical need for advancing student success: meeting students' basic needs, enhancing efforts for diversity and inclusion, and measuring the unique resiliency of our Toros. Collectively, these proposals effectively represent our institution's commitment to an accessible and transformative educational experience for all students.

Selection Committee

A small committee of representatives from different CSUDH divisions determined the winning proposals. Preference was given to proposals from interdisciplinary teams that collaborated across different academic and administrative departments.

The selection committee members include:

  • Marci Payne, AVP, IT Finance and Auxiliaries
  • Dr. Melissa Norrbom-Kawamoto, Lead Student Engagement Coordinator
  • Dr. John Price, Interim Dean, Graduate Studies and Research
  • Dr. Khaleah Bradshaw, Associate Director, External Relations
  • Wayne Nishioka, Interim AVP, Business and Finance

Tony Little and Rosaida Dumaliang also provided administrative support to the committee.

Proposal Criteria

Proposals were required to include:

  • A completed team form (provided on Blackboard)
  • The team's definition of student success
  • The mission and purpose of the initiative
  • Steps for implementation
  • Who would be involved in implementation
  • A proposed timeline and budget requirements. There were no restrictions on the funds outlined in the proposal.
  • Metrics for assessing the success of the initiative

**The ideas put forth in the proposal must be achievable within 3 months.**

For more information, contact the Office of the President at (310) 243-3301 or