The State of the NSS College Address
February 10, 2017
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The Cal State LA Associated Students Incorporated (ASI) welcomed the newly appointed Dean of the College of the Natural and Social Sciences (NSS) with an event cleverly titled ‘The State of the NSS College’, held in the University-Student Union Plaza on Wednesday, Feb.1.
The event was named to indicate its imitation of the presidential State of the Union address, which is delivered annually to publicize the nation’s current state-of-affairs. This campus event allowed for an introduction in addition to immediately advancing agendas.
The new Dean, Dr. Pamela Scott-Johnson, who has a rich history of supporting diversity, pursuing a close-knit education style that promotes understanding with inclusion, and is directing the school with the needs of the people in mind.
Dr. Scott-Johnson’s history with fighting for civil rights involves her growing up in Newberry, South Carolina and personally helping to end segregation in schools by being one of the first three African-American children allowed to attend an all-white elementary school. Her older brother Willie was the second student, followed by “a young man named James Holmes.”
Her mother and father were both school teachers, therefore family heritage and upbringing shaped her pedagogical values. Her heritage upholds leadership that dares to “work on the edge of hardship to envision a future that has not yet existed,” said Dean Scott-Johnson. Her upbringing was also enhanced by her parents who expanded mental boundaries in others as educators and encouraging their children.
Now as the Dean of the College of Natural and Social Sciences, her pedagogical values along with dedication to diversity will shape the department in a way that is prepared to become more transparent, encouraging the use of student services for mentorship through student research programs.
Transparency extends to the classroom as well. Courses allowing for relevancy to students personally and their engagement with the world including challenging the status quo. Students should be encouraged to enhance their own interpretive abilities, then come to conclusions with the use of methodologies, building their knowledge base. They should also read and engage with public discourse. The College of Natural and Social Sciences stands for “good science and intellectual thought” as students “mature in their thinking” and “discover what they want to do”.
In addition to Dr. Scott-Johnson’s campus address, there was a fundraiser for the department clubs. In attendance were the Political Science Association, The Model United Nations, Chicanos/Latinos Community of Medicine, The Math Club, Global Brigades and the Chemistry/Biochemistry Club.
David Garcia, the ASI Natural and Social Science representative who organized the event, explained that the event gave the clubs “an opportunity to be successful.”
For more information and to get involved, contact the ASI Administrative Office by calling (323) 343-4778.