Category Archives: California State University San Marcos

Motorists can expect delays throughout San Marcos as crews work to complete important repairs in advance of the new school year

Motorists can expect delays throughout town as crews work to complete important repairs in advance of the new school year

Motorists can expect delays throughout town as crews work to complete important repairs in advance of the new school year.

Motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes, follow all traffic control, drive with caution and leave early to arrive at destinations on time.

  • Major roadway repairs requiring multiple lane closures along San Marcos Boulevard at Rancho Santa Fe Road are on schedule and will continue through Aug. 20.
  •  Caltrans construction crews will close the eastbound State Route 78 (SR-78) off-ramp to Barham Drive/Woodland Parkway for approximately 80 hours beginning Thursday, Aug. 16 at 8 pm.
  • Single lane closures along Borden Road from La Cienega Road to Palomino Drive have been scheduled from Thursday, Aug. 16 through Friday, Aug. 17 to accommodate construction improvements related to the Borden 22 project.

For details about these projects or other road work taking place in San Marcos, visit www.san-marcos.net/roadwork. Residents are encouraged to sign up for the city’s email notifications that include traffic alerts, city news, and other information updates by visiting, www.san-marcos.net/alerts.

San Marcos firefighters help CSUSM students test drone technology

During a wildfire simulation, students explored how drones could deliver hoses to crews

Last month North County firefighters gathered in San Marcos for a wildfire simulation, but this wasn’t your typical training.
The City of San Marcos rallied crews from several cities to help California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) students test a drone technology that could improve how wildfires are fought.

“Firefighters spend a lot of time and energy shuttling hoses from the engine to the actual wildfire,” explained Nick Blaylock, one of the students involved. “And they’re often doing this up steep slopes and across rough terrain, which is exhausting.”

Drones, however, could possibly help crews conserve some energy by air-dropping those hose- packs so firefighters don’t have to haul them. As part of a senior project, Blaylock and four other students spent months exploring that with Skylift Global, a San Marcos-based company that makes drones capable of delivering supplies to first-responders.
Though Skylift Global has been in business for three years, serving firefighters is new territory it wanted to explore–so the company submitted a proposal for the Senior Experience Program, which assigns CSUSM students to real-world projects like these.
The students began by researching what crews face during a wildfire. That led them to San Marcos Fire Battalion Chief James Colston, who oversees the department’s training and safety division.“We’re fortunate to have Cal State San Marcos right here in our backyard, so we were happy to help,” he said. “We invited them to observe our annual training, which I think opened their eyes.”

It did, in fact, says Blaylock. His team realized that a drone probably couldn’t help much during the early stages of a wildfire because the flames are too unpredictable. But it likely could help during the later stages, when a fire border has been established.
Based on that, the students designed a simulation that included fire hose packs every 100-feet, as if a drone had peppered them out for crews. Now, all they needed were firefighters to run the test.

“Thankfully, Chief Colston got an amazing turnout for us,” Blaylock said. “We were so thankful that so many firefighters were willing to come volunteer their time on a Sunday morning to help us.”

During the May 6 simulation, firefighters from the cities of San Marcos, Carlsbad, Escondido and Rancho Santa Fe—as well as the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE)—participated. Results showed that if crews did not have to manually haul hose packs, they worked about 18 percent faster—and theoretically, would be less fatigued during a real wildfire.

“While time is a good measurement, fatigue is really the key factor,” explained Colston, who added that he can see the potential support drones could provide. “If something like this can increase efficiency while reducing the chance of firefighters getting hurt, then I’m all for it.”
That exact sentiment is what inspired Amir Emadi to start Skylift Global. His father was working as a United States cooperative in Iraq when he was killed by Iraqi forces while protecting a city.

“Since then, I’ve spent my life finding a way to introduce technology to the people who dedicate their lives to protect us,” Emadi said. “I formed Skylift to help our first-responders save time, money and lives by delivering their critical supplies with our heavy-lift drones.”
As a next step, Emadi will use the research conducted by the CSUSM students to develop a plan to bring the drones to market. There are still hurdles to navigate, as drones are legally not allowed to be in the air during a wildfire, but Emadi is optimistic he can keep the momentum going.

“It was refreshing to work with such a driven, intelligent and responsible team,” he said, adding that although the CSUSM students have now graduated, some have remained interns and he hopes to hire them. “I am so thankful that San Marcos is home to such bright young talent like this, as well as city leaders who value innovation and are open to collaboration.”

For more information about Skylift Global, visit https://www.skyliftglobal.com/

City of San Marcos and CSUSM collaborate to benefit local active adults

Marcos, CA – The City of San Marcos is home to about 25,000 residents 50 years and older who are approaching retirement–or are in the thick of it. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re ready to slow down.

In fact, the San Marcos Senior Activity Center is buzzing with action. It serves about 7,000 senior residents per month, largely thanks to the dozens of volunteers who help run it. They do things like work the front desk, help in the computer lab and lead activities.

“Our volunteers bring a variety of talents that improve our services, and their support allows us to offer them at lower cost. That’s especially helpful to seniors on a fixed income,” said Parks and Recreation Manager Brenda Sylvia, who oversees the Senior Activity Center. “Volunteers are absolutely critical to our mission.”

A collaboration with California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) will help the City attract more of those critical volunteers.

The City and CSUSM recently joined forces to launch Democracy in Action, a program that lets university students tackle city issues. Unlike an internship, students are not given direction—but instead, make research-based recommendations, more like a consultant.

In this case, a group of about 30 students developed strategies to entice more volunteers to the City’s Senior Activity Center. This included designing marketing materials, creating a formal orientation process and finding missed opportunities to recruit volunteers. City staff is now fine- tuning the student-proposed strategies and plans to start rolling it out within the next few months.

“As North County’s education hub, San Marcos is fortunate to have plenty of bright young minds that offer a fresh perspective—something we greatly value here at the City,” Sylvia said. “Well-run cities with engaged residents lead to vibrant, thriving communities. If we want that to continue in San Marcos, we need to connect with our next generation of leaders and Democracy in Action is helping us do that. ”

This gets at the heart of Democracy in Action. The program’s bigger aim is to show students how their classroom knowledge applies to the outside world.

Dr. Eliza Bigham, CSUSM Department of Human Development, oversaw the students who worked on this project and she’s confident they left feeling empowered.

“Working with city staff and meeting with elected officials required my students to try something new and go outside their comfort zone. But I can’t tell you how many of them thanked me for the opportunity to grow through this experience,” she said. “They discovered that their skill set is so completely beneficial to address real, current needs in their own community.”

And Economic Development Manager Tess Sangster, who helps oversee the program, points out that this project benefits the community at-large.

“By boosting volunteer support at the Senior Activity Center, these students are helping residents age in place so that they can continue enjoying a high quality of life in San Marcos,” she said. “That’s a legacy we want to continue offering for generations to come, and projects like these are one of the many ways we’re making sure we can.”

To learn more about the Democracy in Action program, visithttps://www.csusm.edu/community/civiclearning/democracyinaction.html.

For more information about the San Marcos Senior Activity Center, including information about volunteer opportunities, visit http://www.san-marcos.net/adults50+.

San Marcos Mayor delivers his final State of the City Address

San Marcos Mayor delivers his final State of the City Address 

San Marcos, CA –After serving San Marcos for more than a decade, San Marcos Mayor Jim Desmond delivered his final State of the City Address on Wednesday, March 7 as part of the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce’s Business Awards.

“It is with a tremendous pride, that I and your city council are setting the foundation for the next generation,” said Mayor Jim Desmond. “With median incomes on the rise, low unemployment, and a growing economy, San Marcos is a rising star.”

Presented at California State University San Marcos to an audience packed with leaders, entrepreneurs, non-profits, local businesses, residents and others devoted to San Marcos, Mayor

Jim Desmond’s talk highlighted the most significant accomplishments of the last several years and outlined progress in the areas of public safety, economic and community development, traffic and transportation, and other quality of life issues.

“The priorities of the city are safety, economic development, planning for the future and quality of life,” said Mayor Desmond.

Recent achievements included a crime rate drop by 16 percent, above average San Marcos Fire Department response times, maintaining and improving city infrastructure, a balanced budget of nearly $70 million, and an increase in number of local businesses. Two new parks were added in 2017 and San Marcos continues to boast more than 62 miles of trail.

In 2019, residents can expect construction to start on two new bridges over the San Marcos Creek at Via Vera Cruz and Bent Avenue.

Mayor Desmond also applauded the city’s economic achievements and noted that San Marcos is the education hub of North County San Diego.

Desmond said, “Our world-class educational institutions create a talented workforce that generates a pipeline for regional talent, thereby keeping and attracting high-paying jobs, and industry to our region.”

Serving more than 90,000 students, San Marcos is home to an award-winning school district, the state’s largest community college, Palomar College, and California State University San Marcos, along with several private education institutions.

In his address, the Mayor stressed the importance of the community partnerships to tackle the various issues facing the city—issues such as economic and population changes, state laws that threaten local control, and re-calibrating the San Marcos Creek District plan to accommodate changing retail and housing demands.

“Our partnerships provide the solid foundation that has allowed us to take risks when needed, strategically plan for our future, and tap into the city’s possibilities to see our star continue to rise, said Desmond. “We all play a vital role in both and living out life’s possibilities right here in San Marcos. ”

The 2018 State of the City Address will be rebroadcast on San Marcos TV beginning mid-March on Cox Communications Channel 19, Timer Warner Cable Channel 24, AT&T U-Verse Channel 99 or on demand at www.san-marcos.net.

San Marcos goes back to school -Traffic delays expected during daily commute

Traffic delays expected during daily commute

As the summer winds down, San Marcos students are headed back to school. With elementary, middle and high schools along with California State San Marcos and Palomar College back in session this week, I-15 and SR-78 travelers can expect increased traffic delays during their daily commute.

While the increase in traffic congestion is familiar to city residents, students and commuters alike, the City of San Marcos is pleased to report that continued relief is on the way. In the city’s ongoing efforts to get motorists moving and improve traffic flow, several roadway improvement projects are lined up over the next five years.

Planned projects include Improvements to the intersection of Las Posas Road and Mission Road near Palomar College and the transit center; Construction of two new bridges to replace Bent Avenue and Via Vera Cruz between San Marcos Boulevard and Discovery Street; San Marcos Boulevard and Discovery Street intersection improvements; and construction of Twin Oaks Trail north of Borden Road.

During the school year and periods of roadway construction, motorists should drive with caution in and around work areas, and provide ample time to reach destinations safely and on time.

To learn more about capital improvement projects in San Marcos, visit www.san-marcos.net/cip.

San Marcos and CSUSM join forces to benefit the community

San Marcos and CSUSM join forces to benefit the community

As North County’s education hub, San Marcos is building tomorrow’s workforce—and thanks to a new initiative, some of that homegrown talent is being channeled to help city staff better serve the community.

The City and Cal State San Marcos (CSUSM) recently joined forces to launch Democracy in Action, a pilot program that lets students spend a semester working on city projects.

“Some of the region’s brightest minds are on that campus, right down the street from City Hall, so this partnership felt like a natural win win,” said Economic Development Manager Tess Radmill, who helped oversee the effort.

Over the past few months, about 100 students tackled projects that included: finding ways to curb unnecessary 911 calls; developing a marketing plan for the Double Peak Challenge race; analyzing data to help reduce stormwater pollution; and creating a promotional video about the city.

Already, the project has delivered tangible benefits. For example, students created a trash collection map that will help staff meet new environmental state guidelines. And the video produced by students is already being used to attract potential businesses and residents.

“We’re also graduating students who leave with a deeper understanding of a how a local community works—and with that, they can influence outcomes down the road,” explains Scott Gross, CSUSM Associate Vice President of Community Partnership Engagement.

Fostering civic minded graduates is especially important to the region because many stay local after graduation. In fact, about 80 percent of CSUSM alumni continue living in the region. By comparison, about 60 percent of San Diego State University (SDSU) alumni stay local—and the same is true for only about 25 percent of University of California San Diego (UCSD) alumni.

Democracy in Action was inspired by the University of Oregon’s Sustainable City Year Program— which works in largely the same way, but focuses on boosting sustainability. CSUSM liked the concept, but felt it was important to focus instead on civic engagement.

“We wanted students to realize they can inform and impact their local government,” Gross said. “They’re not just sitting in a classroom talking about theories—they’re actually putting their knowledge to work in a meaningful way, and their eyes light up.”

CSUSM student Kristina Kalchev is a testament to that.

“It was great working on a project that extends beyond an assignment and impacts people,” said Kalchev, who worked on the city’s promotional video. “I’m proud to include the video in my reel. I don’t feel so fresh out of the water now. I feel ready for the workforce.”

Kalchev plans to stay in San Marcos and earn her graduate degree while working locally. She says as a San Marcos resident, she now has a deeper appreciation for what the city does.

“We were able to see how much city staff does behind the scenes to keep our community safe. The project really opened my eyes to what local government does,” she said.

Storm Water Program Manager Reed Thornberry also saw a ha moments happening when he took students out into the field.

“I wanted to take them beyond the data. A lot them live in San Marcos—some have even grown up here—but they’ve never explored our creek system,” he said. “They spotted bullfrogs, turtles and crawfish—entire ecosystems thriving. And seeing the impacts of trash, they got a sense of why they’re worth protecting. I think that drove home the mission.”

These students will be among the approximately 3,000 graduates CSUSM produces every year— which is partly why San Marcos is North County’s education hub. In fact, San Marcos is responsible for about 10 percent of the region’s total academic program completions.

“San Marcos is fueling a workforce pipeline that will strengthen our region for generations to come,” said San Marcos City Manager Jack Griffin. “But beyond that, our partnership with Cal State San Marcos underscores how we can collaborate to benefit our community, and we are proud of that.”

To learn more about the Democracy in Action program,
visit https://www.csusm.edu/community/civiclearning/democracyinaction.html.

Graduation season in San Marcos

Graduation season in San Marcos

Expect traffic delays expected for the next two weekends

San Marcos, CA— Springtime in North County’s education hub means one thing—San Marcos students are getting ready to graduate.

With Cal State San Marcos hosting commencement ceremonies Friday, May 19 and Saturday, May 20 and Palomar hosting commencement on Friday, May 26, I-15 and SR-78 travelers can expect increased traffic delays around the college areas.

While the increase in traffic congestion is familiar to city residents, students and commuters alike, the City of San Marcos is pleased to report that continued relief is on the way.

In the city’s ongoing efforts to get motorists moving and improve traffic flow, several roadway improvement projects are lined up over the next five years.

Planned projects include upgrades to the Traffic Management Center (TMC)’s server and software, traffic signal equipment, as well as communication lines between the TMC and the traffic signals. In addition to improved staff and equipment response times to changing traffic conditions, these enhancements will allow traffic signals to handle more complex intersection configuration conditions.

During graduation season and periods of roadway construction, drive with caution and provide ample time to reach your destination safely and on time.

For more information about Palomar College commencement, visit www2.palomar.edu. To see Cal State San Marcos’ commencement schedule, visit www.csusm.edu/commencement.

To learn more about planned road improvements in San Marcos, contact the city’s Public Works Department at (760) 752-7550.

Open Enrollment Now Available for CSUSM Summer Term

Open Enrollment Now Available for CSUSM Summer Term

Open enrollment is now available for Summer Term classes at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) which incorporates over 100 courses in a wide range of fields and disciplines. Students from other colleges and universities, qualified high school seniors, and community members can register for classes in everything from chemistry to women’s studies. Credits from CSUSM Summer Term courses are fully transferrable to other accredited colleges and universities in the United States. For students already enrolled at CSUSM, and for high school or community college students who may be interested in CSUSM, up to 24 units can be counted toward a CSUSM degree.

“Many college students find it hard to graduate in four years, especially if they have difficulty enrolling in a required course,” says Mike Schroder, Dean of Extended Learning and Associate Vice President of Global Programs and Services at CSUSM. “CSUSM Summer Term is the perfect opportunity for students from any college or university to pick up the credits that gets them closer to completing their degree.”

Whether students are looking for prerequisites for higher-level classes, core curriculum offerings, or degree-specific classes, they can likely find what they need among the summer offerings at CSUSM. College-bound high school seniors can also get a jump on their freshman year by getting introductory courses and general education requirements under their belts.

CSUSM Summer Term 2017 runs from June 5 to August 12. The first block runs from June 5 to July 8 and the second block runs from July 10 to August 12. To learn more, call Extended Learning at 760-750-4004, or visit www.csusm.edu/el/summer17.

About CSUSM Extended Learning
As the academic outreach arm of Cal State San Marcos, Extended Learning is a leading provider of professional and continuing education in North San Diego and Southwest Riverside Counties. We offer degree programs and both academic credit and non-credit professional development courses, as well as career-based certificate programs, helping individuals and organizations achieve their educational and training goals. For more information about Extended Learning at CSUSM please visit http://www.csusm.edu/el/.

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