Sac State Magazine

Fall 2015

Sac State Magazine is a publication produced by the Office of Advancement Communications and Stewardship at Cal State University, Sacramento highlighting alumni, students, faculty and staff.

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10 S AC S TAT E M AGA Z I N E | Fa l l 2 015 SSM: What effect does that have on you personally? RN: I think it's very personal for me, getting to hear the stories of the students, being available to them so they can talk to me. Using Twitter to reach out to them so that they have a feeling of accessibility and that somebody cares, as Jody says. Universities can be very large and they can be very intimidating. But if we reach out to students it can change their lives, whether it's a student assistant who you have working in your office or a student you meet in the coffeehouse. Every student we meet, we ask 'What are you studying?' 'When are you going to graduate?' And (laughing) it better be soon. SSM: How did you arrive at that philosophy? RN: It's the students who really matter. Teaching is a wonderful opportunity. Talk about transforming lives. Faculty are transforming lives every day. You get to know the students' stories and you get to know them. It becomes very personal. I miss teaching, but I can do more as a president than I can as a faculty member. At least I think I can. SSM: Jody, you also spent some time in the classroom? JN: The University of Texas-Pan American business college asked me if I would teach a practicum course to get students working with local businesses and nonprofits. That's when I found that students really energize me. Whether it's that kind of formal interaction as a faculty member or being with them at an event or just talking with them. It's what makes life on a University campus enjoyable. SSM: At Sac State, many of our students are first in their family to attend college. How do you convince those students' families that a university education is worth it? RN: We've all heard that statistic about earning a million dollars more over a lifetime, but I don't think that's really what a college FIRST DAY FLURRY—New Sac State President Robert S. Nelsen and Jody Nelsen's first day on campus was a whirlwind of activity that included: (1) a greeting from Herky, (2) a stop at New Student Orientation, (3) a visit with student leadership and finally, (4) a welcome reception at the Harper Alumni Center. 1 2 4 3

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