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CSULB to launch social network designed to link current students to alumni

Long Beach State’s Career Development Center announced at the Associated Students, Inc. Senate meeting Wednesday that it will launch its Beach Nexus social platform next week.

 A mentoring and professional network for students and alumni, Beach Nexus is designed to allow students to reach out to and schedule meetings with former students. 

According to Erin Booth-Caro, Career Development Center director, the platform is meant to provide what she called informal “flash mentoring,” where students can drop in and ask alumni questions.

 “We’ve already begun to reach out to alumni to join the platform,” Booth-Caro said. “It’s really going to be a place where our alumni and our students can come together and connect with one another.”

 The project is a collaboration between CSULB’s Alumni Engagement and the Career Development Center and will be followed by a formal mentoring program in spring 2021, according to Booth-Caro. Although the platform doesn’t launch until some time next week, both students and alumni can register ahead of time.

 The Career Development Center also released attendance numbers for several of its most recent events including how many students were able to connect one-on-one with potential employers. Booth-Caro reported that 1,025 one-on-one chats took place between students and employers at the career center’s Engineering and Technology Virtual Career Fair earlier this semester and 891 at the Fall Virtual Job and Internship Fair.

 CSULB’s Academic Senate is in the process of finalizing plans to distribute federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funding. While plans have not been finalized, the current plan is to disburse the majority of the $3.1 million to students in the form of grants, while allocating the rest to hiring a CARES case manager for the university.

 “It looks like $2 million of the $3.1 million will go directly to students in the form of $500 grants,” said Jessica Pandya, chair of Academic Senate. “That’s about 4,000 students who could get $500 directly from CARES money.”

 First passed in March, the CARES Act provided financial relief to Americans during the coronavirus pandemic and established the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund that set aside $14.25 billion in aid for institutions of higher education.

 AlecSandria Colchico, director of the Child Development Center, discussed the ways the CDC has adapted to support student parents during the pandemic. Colchico said that although the department has operated without much technology in the past, the pandemic has forced employees to make use of virtual resources to provide care and support to children of CSULB students.

 With assistance from ASI Communications, the CDC is now offering educational videos for students via YouTube, as well as live educational programs via Zoom for children aged 6 months to 12 years old.

 The senate observed a moment of silence in recognition of the death of Vahe Kludjian, lecturer of civil engineering and construction management at CSULB. Kludjian died of what appears to be natural causes on Oct. 16 on campus in Engineering 3, according to the University Police Department. He was 73.

 “May his memory be an inspiration to the lives he touched,” said Manalo Cruz, ASI senator of engineering.

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