In the photo above, front from left: Cristilyn Gardner, Manuel Paul, Alessa Ibrahim, Physics Professor Laura Woodney, John Montano. Back from left: Cal-Bridge Co-Director Alex Rudolph, Physics Associate Professor Carol Hood, Associate Provost Academic Research Dorota Huizinga, Provost Shari McMahan, President Tomás D. Morales, Jeffrey Salazar, Erika Sanchez, Este Padilla Gonzalez. Photo: Robert A. Whitehead/CSUSB

President Tomás D. Morales and Provost Shari McMahan played host to a group of Cal State San Bernardino students and alumni in the Cal-Bridge Program, which seeks to increase the number of students from traditionally underrepresented groups, including women and Hispanic students, completing their bachelor’s degrees and successfully entering doctoral programs to study astronomy or a related field.

Cal-Bridge is a consortium consisting of more than 25 physics and astronomy faculty from a network of nine University of California campuses, 15 California State University campuses — including CSUSB — and seven community colleges throughout the state, coming together to create a CSU-UC Ph.D. bridge program.

Cal State San Bernardino has been a dominant participant in the four-year-old program, which has graduated 34 students, 10 of them from CSUSB, said Alexander Rudolph, co-director of the Cal-Bridge Program and a professor of physics and astronomy at Cal Poly Pomona.

Funded with a grant from the National Science Foundation, Cal-Bridge funds the junior and senior years and the first year of doctoral studies if the student goes on to study at the University of California, Rudolph said.