Welcome, Dr. Rich Whitkus

September 8, 2015
Merith Weisman
Merith Weisman

"A university's value arises from its dedication to education, scholarship, and service. Although these activities are readily apparent to the students, faculty, and staff on campus, their true value comes about when individuals, organizations, and businesses from outside the campus are involved. This is why community engagement is so important since it is the conduit of information and collaboration between the university and our partners in the community. I'm excited to work more closely with the CCE to continue Sonoma State's service and engagement to our local community and beyond." And we here at the CCE are excited to work with him too.

Dr. Richard Whitkus, a professor from the Department of Biology, has been appointed to Interim Associate Vice President of Academic Programs. Part of his position is supervising Merith Weisman, the coordinator of the Center for Community Engagement.

Rich is not entirely new to community engagement. He was funded by the SWEEP program and has taught several service-learning courses in which students learn to identify native and weedy plants, survey their occurrence along Copeland Creek, and help restore native habitat to this natural corridor on the campus. As the past Director of Academic Planning and Resources for the School of Science and Technology (SST), Rich partnered with Piner High School (PHS) in developing a pathway for students in science, technology, and health fields to gain early admission review to SSU, and continues to serve on the Science Advisory Panel for PHS. He has coordinated activities such as the SST Science Festival and the Sonoma County Science Fair. He also enjoys talking about plants and shares his enthusiasm with local groups such as the Sonoma County Museum and Marin Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. In his new role, Rich looks forward to working with the community across a range of topics where the Sonoma State can support a safe, just, and sustainable society - including engaged citizens that represent our graduates.

[Related: Elaine Sundberg is Retiring]

To contact Rich, call 707.664.2303 or email.