Welcome to the Office of Community Engagement!


50th anniversary logo.

Random Act of Kindness Campaign collage images.

Random Acts of Kindness Challenge

We are challenging all Yoties! For the next 2 weeks, keep your eyes wide open for a chance to do your act of kindness. Starting Feb. 1-Feb. 12, we'll be doing our act of kindness on campus by helping provide a little something to brighten someone's day. As our act of kindness, we plan on leaving a surprise by the vending machines throughout the campus. In return, take our kindness butterfly and fulfill the act of kindness leading up to National Acts of Kindness Week (Feb 15-Feb 19). We encourage you to do a kindness and pass the challenge to people you know. Our goal as Coyotes is to get at least 50 students, staff and faculty to post on social media using the hashtags #‎CSUSB50Acts and #‎PollinatingKindness for National Acts of Kindness Week and also in light of our 50th anniversary! Let's take on the challenge 'Yotes and continue spreading kindness to beat our goal! Let's see how far we can pollinate kindness. The final result of the challenge will be reveal on Feb. 17, 2016. Be on the look out for our upcoming events in February.

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Picture with our Snack Attack Check with OCE staff and President Morales.

Our winning check from the National Peanut Board for the 2015 Snack Attack Contest. With the help of the entire campus community CSUSB The DEN food pantry won first place prize last December 2015. Go 'Yotes! #PeanutPower

CSUSB-(L to R) Bryant Fairley, Associate Director of OCE, Joselyn Yap, Admin Support Coordinator of OCE, Tomás D. Morales, CSUSB President, Marissa Setyawan, Community Partnership Coordinator of OCE and Diane Podolske, Director of OCE. Photo by Robert A. Whitehead/CSUSB

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Week of Engagement collage photos.

2016 Week of Engagement

Thank you 'Yotes for coming out and supporting our 2016 Week of Engagement last week. We had a very successful week long events. Our Give A Shirt/Impact A Life drive collected 677 clothing items, which will go to the homeless and youth shelters in the San Bernardino area. Our paper drive for The DEN 1-Year Anniversary drew in a total of more than $700 in donations. For our Coyote Cares Day registration day, we had a total of 44 groups of clubs/Greeks signed up for the annual CSUSB volunteer service day! We can't wait to see you all at Coyote Cares Day in April 16. 

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CSUSB joins fight against student food insecurity


Diverse Issues in Higher Education — When organizers opened a new, student food bank at California State University, San Bernardino about a year ago, they didn’t know what to expect.

Would anyone show up? Or, would students succumb to fears of appearing cash-strapped rather than access the donated, non-perishable food and toiletries they needed? Did students even know about the pantry? More than a dozen students shopped during the food bank’s first week, resulting in officials declaring the project an immediate success.

CSUSB is one of a growing number of higher education institutions nationwide that houses a food bank on campus in response to the prevalence of food insecurity among today’s student body. The trend coincides with ever-rising tuition hikes and increasing numbers of low-income college students everywhere. Also, countless families continue struggling financially because of effects from the Great Recession.

The article was published Dec. 22, 2015.

Read the complete article at “Cal State San Bernardino joins fight against student food insecurity.”

The DEN was also briefly mentioned in “Number of campuses with food banks grows to meet demand,” published Dec. 23, 2015, by EducationDive.com, which referred back to the article above.

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OCE PeanutPower Group Photo.

CSUSB food pantry wins national competition for peanuts


Cal State San Bernardino has claimed a national championship. It wasn’t for academics, sports or for any of the many other outstanding programs on campus, but for kindness and a scrappy determination to succeed.

Under the #peanutpower Snack Attack Competition from the National Peanut Board, The CSUSB DEN Food Pantry bested 24 other universities with campus food pantries in sending positive messages through social media about peanuts as a healthy snack, said Dianne Podolske, director of the university’s Office of Community Engagement.

For its efforts The DEN will receive a check for $2,500, she said.

The university in second place will receive $1,000 with $500 set aside for third place.

Each participating campus food pantry will also receive 1,000 units of peanut butter and 22 pounds of roasted peanuts, Podolske said.

“We knew we were up against larger universities, like Penn State and Fresno State … and also some smaller, but well-established campus food pantries with long standing campus and community partnerships,” Podolske said. “Our campus food pantry isn’t even a year old, and our campus does its best just to keep some food on the shelves for our students who need help. I privately hoped we would get enough participation to land in the middle of the list – just enough not to be embarrassing.”

But Podolske said she underestimated the spirit of the entire campus in helping The DEN, even if it was for peanuts.

“I was wrong. So wrong,” she said.

I lost track of the number of times that students and the campus community told us, ‘We’ve got this!’ Students didn’t even want to hear about the second and third place prizes, as they were focused on winning for The DEN,” Podolske said. “People in every division on campus were willing to have their picture taken with signs about peanuts.”

Her staff made YouTube videos, wore costumes, had CSUSB mascot Cody Coyote endorse the effort. Associated Students, Inc., the Program Board and other student organizations volunteered to tweet and post social media messages about the competition. They also featured images of CSUSB President Tomás D. Morales, CSU Chancellor Timothy White and CSUSB Student Affairs Vice President Brian Haynes to help the effort.

But it also went beyond the CSUSB campus. Students asked relatives and friends to tweet about peanuts, UCLA joined in to support the Coyote cause, and even one of our competitors retweeted for the CSUSB effort.

“In fact, on the last day of the competition, CSUSB’s PeanutPower hashtag was trending on Instagram!” Podolske said. There were hundreds and hundreds of posts and photos and likes and retweets … each one a kindness from the campus community and our friends to CSUSB students in need. Each post represented CSUSB’s drive to work harder and longer to beat the odds.”

Podolske praised the OCE staff and student staff, including Joselyn Yap, Rosemary Zometa, Giacomo Thillet and Bayu Setyawan, ASI’s Shannon Stratton, the Program Board and campus photographers Robert Whitehead and Corrine McCurdy, along with CSUSB social media interns, all of the Greek and student organizations who helped, CSUSB students, staff, faculty, administrators and campus friends who made this victory possible.

“You made a difference! #PeanutPower #CSUSB,” Podolske said.

To see some of the postings, visit the Peanut Power photo website. Also visit #peanutpower Snack Attack Competition website and the National Peanut Board website to learn more.

Visit the Office of Community Engagement’s The CSUSB DEN food pantry website to learn more about its programs, and to donate.

One of the many social media posts for CSUSB’s #PeanutPower campaign. This one included CSUSB President Tomás Morales (far left) and CSU Chancellor Timothy White (second from left).
One of the many social media posts for CSUSB’s #PeanutPower campaign. This one included CSUSB President Tomás Morales (far left) and CSU Chancellor Timothy White (second from left).

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50 Acts of Kindness Campaign

50 Acts of Kindness Campaign Launch collage.

In celebration of our 50th Anniversary our office launched our 50 Acts of Kindness Campaign at our Community Engagement & Volunteer Service Fair last October 1, 2015. We're encouraging our entire campus and community to engage in acts of kindness in honor of CSUSB 50th Anniversary.

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MyPawPrint campaign image

Stay tuned, MyPawprint website is coming soon!

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