Cal State San Bernardino has been chosen as one of nearly 100 institutions selected to participate in a nationwide student affairs initiative promoting civic learning and democratic engagement.

The university was selected as a 2016-17 National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Lead Initiative Institution. NASPA is the nation’s leading organization of student affairs administrators in higher education. CSUSB earned the honor based on its commitment to civic learning and democratic engagement, which was demonstrated in a competitive application process.

As a Lead Initiative Institution, CSUSB student affairs personnel will have access to opportunities for professional development, networking and collaboration, all designed to enhance the positive impact of civic learning and democratic engagement on students. Involvement in the Lead Initiative demonstrates the commitment of student affairs personnel to the growth and development of these resources in the community.

“We are ecstatic that the premier student affairs organization in the country, NASPA, would recognize CSUSB for its outstanding work in the community,” said Brian Haynes, vice president for the CSUSB Division of Student Affairs. “This is quite an accomplishment for our campus and our university.”

At CSUSB, the division of student affairs is dedicated to meet the needs of all students, and its staff members provide programs, learning opportunities and services to help students get the most out of their college experience. The division is led by Haynes, who played an integral role in CSUSB receiving the honor as a NASPA Lead Initiative Institution.  

Haynes’ accomplishments include overseeing the division of student affairs’ strategic plan and participating in several community service projects. Haynes also played a key role in implementing a memorandum of understanding at more than 26 schools in the Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

Director of the Office of Community Engagement Diane Podolske’s efforts in community service also contributed to the university being recognized as a Lead Initiative Institution. The Office of Community Engagement oversees The DEN Food Pantry, which provides food, hygiene items and gift cards to CSUSB students in need. In her role, Podolske connects CSUSB students and faculty with local nonprofits, schools and government agencies for service learning and community-based research projects.

CSUSB was awarded the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll eight years in a row, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive, for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement, highlighting the university’s commitment to community service.

As part of the Lead Initiative, CSUSB personnel will have the opportunity to participate in professional development at the NASPA Annual Conference and Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting. The events will provide an opportunity to highlight CSUSB’s community engagement efforts and learn from other NASPA Lead Initiative Institutions.

Visit the CSUSB Division of Student Affairs website and the CSUSB Office of Community Engagement website more information on their programs.

For more information on Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Strategic Communication at (909) 537-5007 and visit the university’s news site at