Welcome to the spring issue of our University magazine, Sonoma Insights. We at Sonoma State University are very proud of our students and alumni, many of whom are featured in this publication. For instance, the cover story features alumna Laurie MacDonald, who has found success in Hollywood as a producer of movies such as “Men in Black” and “The Kite Runner.” A current student, Danielle Culver’s love of horses and her special abilities in the art of dressage have brought her acclaim. A faculty member and alumnus, Dr. David McCuan, has contributed his thoughts in the political arena, and is often called upon by the media to provide context for elections and politics. There are many other stories in this publication that show the breadth and experience of our current students and graduates —and the faculty who guide and nurture them, giving the students freedom to pursue challenges in a thoughtful and disciplined manner.
Sonoma State’s reputation and popularity have continued to grow, bringing more and more students to the campus each year. Last fall, for instance, we had approximately 11,000 students apply for 1,700 slots at the University. We currently have 8,500 total students. Because of the expanding number of freshmen in recent years, we have become very much a residential campus with approximately 30% of our students living in one of our five residential villages. Construction on a new village, Tuscany, is about to begin, bringing the total number of students living on campus to 3,100.
Our athletic teams have excelled, some winning championships and other honors. As you can see from the story about baseball standout Daniel Barone, some athletes find success in professional sports. Overall, our student athletes also do well academically and progress toward graduation at the same or better rate than non-athlete students.
I think you will find interesting the brief story and photos on the back cover about senior student Orion Leland who, guided by his professor Dr. Scott Severson, built a solar collector that may change how we harness the sun’s rays. Exciting learning and research opportunities such as this exist for SSU students throughout their academic careers.
I wish you well and thank you for your interest and support of Sonoma State University.
Ruben Armiñana, President