The University’s Innovative Edge and Student Success Spotlighted in National Rankings and Local Impact, Affirming its Influence in Education and Beyond
December 15, 2023

Stanislaus State soared to new heights of academic excellence and community engagement in 2023.  

The University’s innovative programs and research, significant faculty and staff contributions and outstanding student success achieved widespread acclaim, solidifying Stan State’s status as a leading institution of higher education.  

These accomplishments reflect the University’s commitment to fostering a dynamic and enriching educational experience and demonstrate Stan State’s profound impact on California’s Central Valley and its influence in shaping the future leaders of tomorrow. 

Here’s a look back at some our highlights of 2023: 

  • Stanislaus State earned widespread recognition for academic excellence, affordability and impact on students’ social and economic mobility. The University was named among the best colleges in America by and its consistent quality was recognized for an 18th consecutive year in The Princeton Review’s Best Colleges guide. The institution also earned impressive rankings from Washington Monthly and landed four top 10 spots in the West in U.S. News & World Report's 2024 Best Colleges. These accolades underscore the University’s significant role in driving progress and student success in the Central Valley. 

  • An economic impact study and report confirmed the significance of Stanislaus State’s contributions to the Central Valley and highlighted how the University creates value in various ways — from drawing students to the region and helping them increase their employable skills to generating new dollars and opportunities for the region. Stan State’s total economic impact was $770.5 million — generated by operations spending, research spending, student spending, volunteerism and alumni impact.  

  • The University secured a $3 million Title III grant from the U.S. Department of Education to enhance student retention and re-enrollment. Aimed at returning enrollment, retention and completion rates to pre-pandemic levels, the Pandemic Recovery with Equity (PRE) Initiative will improve support for low-income and underrepresented students, promoting equitable academic opportunities. The grant will benefit current students and re-engage those who paused their education. 

  • Associate Professor Wing To and Professor Alexandra Miller, a fellow particle physicist at Sonoma State University, were awarded a $950,000 grant from the Department of Energy’s Reaching a New Energy Sciences Workforce (RENEW) program to teach high-energy particle physics and engage students in research and internship opportunities. It was the first Department of Energy Grant ever awarded to either University.  

  • Ethnic Studies Associate Professor Mary Roaf and Professor and Rolland Starn Endowed Chair in Agriculture Oluwarotimi Odeh each were awarded prestigious Fulbright Scholar Awards. Roaf spent a month in South Africa this past summer as part of the Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad Program and hopes the experience will help her expand her courses to include Pan-African studies. In January, Odeh will spend eight months in Nigeria where he will collaborate with host faculty members to teach agribusiness entrepreneurship. He plans to integrate what he learns into his classes at Stan State.   

  • Stanislaus State’s Trans-California Pathway celebrated its 10th anniversary with a re-dedication as the Wayne and Donna Pierce Trans-California Pathway. An area of nature and study, the pathway is used by biology classes as an outdoor laboratory and serves as an educational attraction for Stan State students and the broader community. 

  • Campus community members and donors who contributed to the J. Burton Vasché Library’s The Next Chapter Campaign gathered to celebrate the successful fundraising drive that raised more than $1 million in six months. Funds raised during the campaign will be used for technology, sustainable furnishings and innovative guest experiences at the renovated library.  

  • Alumnus Lee Herrick returned to his alma mater as California’s Poet Laureate. As part of a statewide tour to spread the art of poetry across California, Herrick’s goal was to inspire an emerging generation of literary artists and educate all Californians about the many poets and authors who have influenced creative literary expression in the state.  

  • Stanislaus State’s commitment to environmental education was acknowledged along with five other California State University (CSU) campuses by receiving a 2023 American Association of State College and Universities (AASCU) Excellence and Innovation Award for Sustainability and Sustainable Development for their Faculty Learning Community in Teaching Climate Change and Resilience.

  • Working on behalf of those in and near his district, U.S. Rep. Josh Harder (D-9th District) secured a $1.68 million Congressional Grant to train more Stanislaus State Master of Social Work (MSW) students to address the shortage of trained professionals in Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Merced counties. 

  • The University received $210,000 from HealthForce Partners Northern San Joaquin for scholarships to graduate students preparing for careers in social work, clinical counseling and marriage and family therapy. The scholarships are aimed at addressing the shortage of mental health care providers in the northern San Joaquin Valley. 

  • Stan State is a part of two regional collaboratives awarded grants totaling $36.2 million as part of the K-16 Education Collaborative Grant Program. The funds will help provide students with quality career opportunities in their local communities. It’s part of a statewide strategy for strengthening regional economies, improving education-to-career pathways and ensuring that education, vocational and workforce programs work in partnership to provide broader access to education and employment opportunities. 

  • A $250,000 grant from Legacy Health Endowment (LHE) to Livingston Community Health (LCH) will fund the creation of the Joelle and Robert Triebsch Health Scholar program at Stanislaus State. The scholar program’s primary objective is to support nursing practitioner graduates who pursue a doctorate in nursing through a program being developed by the School of Nursing that is expected to launch in fall 2025.