News Briefs 3-10-2022

Written by Theresa-Marie Wilson

Theresa-Maria Wilson has been a journalist covering the North Coast and South County area for over 20 years. She is also the founder of Cat Noir CC and is currently working on a novel.

March 16, 2022

Poly Earns ‘Most Promising Place to Work in Student Affairs’ Honor 

For the fifth time since 2017, Cal Poly has been named one of the “Most Promising Places to Work in Student Affairs” by ACPA-College Student Educators International and Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.

The university is one of 15 higher education institutions nationwide (and the lone California State University campus) to receive the honor, which recognizes ongoing commitments to workplace diversity and staffing practices through key factors including family friendliness, salary and benefits, and professional development opportunities, among others.

“I’m proud to accept this honor once again because it highlights our commitment to developing and sustaining a healthy workplace culture,” said Keith Humphrey, vice president for Student Affairs. “Student success is our primary focus, but that cannot be achieved without first establishing an environment where every employee is valued for both their talents and the identities they hold.”

Jamie S. Patton, assistant vice president for Student Affairs, Diversity and Inclusion, added that Student Affairs leaders have worked diligently, and will continue to do so, to create a workplace environment that emphasizes diversity, inclusion and respect.

To that end, Student Affairs has provided ACPA membership to staff members since 2019 so that they can connect with the research, scholarship and professional development that is grounded in student development theory, equity and justice. In addition, ongoing engagement efforts, such as the division’s monthly all-staff meetings, allow colleagues additional opportunities to connect, share wisdom and expertise, and engage with Student Affairs leaders directly. Other efforts, such as providing flexible work time for staff to join and engage with faculty-staff affinity groups on campus, are also areas of continued emphasis by divisional leaders.

“This recognition affirms the progress we’ve made; however, we know that our work is not yet completed,” Patton said. “Our division is committed to helping each staff member be their best selves. This is modeled by our divisional leadership, which values recognition of staff and the opportunities to participate in professional development opportunities.”

Tens of Thousands Support Marine Sanctuary

More than 30,000 people expressed their support for the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary, according to analysis of comments submitted to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and posted on The 83-day public comment period, part of NOAA’s scoping process for the Chumash Heritage NMS off the Central Coast of California, ended on Jan. 31.

“The incredible outpouring of support for the Chumash Heritage sanctuary shows just how much people care about this incredible part of the world,” said Northern Chumash Tribal Council (NCTC) Chairwoman, Violet Sage Walker, in a press release. “Community members and business owners in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, scientists, ocean users of all kinds, and indigenous people from around the world spoke out in a strong voice, ‘Protect this sacred place now!’” 

NOAA received 22,479 comments during the public scoping process, including several letters signed by thousands of individuals and organizations. Of the 21,828 posted comments analyzed by NCTC, more than 99% indicated support for the sanctuary. NOAA will continue to process comments submitted before the Jan. 31 deadline over the coming weeks.

The NOAA designation process has four steps. The scoping process has just concluded. Next, NOAA prepares draft designation documents and conducts environmental reviews, followed by a second public comment period for input on these draft documents. After considering this public input, NOAA will prepare a final designation document and adopt a final environmental impact statement. 

Under the current proposal, organizers say the Chumash Heritage NMS will protect upwards of 7,000 square miles of ocean and 156 miles of coastline from Cambria to Gaviota Creek. The proposed sanctuary will bridge the gap between the existing Monterey Bay and Channel Islands sanctuaries to create hundreds of continuous miles of protected ocean. 

The sanctuary nomination was submitted to NOAA in 2015 by Fred Collins, the late chairman of the Northern Chumash Tribal Council, with the support of a group of local environmental organizations. Efforts to designate a sanctuary on the Central Coast date back more than 40 years. Go to, to learn more.

Assembly District Field Narrows 

Seaside City Councilmember and Assembly District 30 candidate Alexis García-Arrazola announced his withdrawal from the race for State Assembly and endorsed Morro Bay City Councilmember Dawn Addis. 

García-Arrazola released the following statement announcing his endorsement:

“As a former journalist, I know the importance of integrity and altruism. I entered the race for State Assembly because I believe it is essential that our next Assemblymember fights selflessly for working families, young people, and our most vulnerable. I am endorsing Dawn Addis because I know that she shares these values and is committed to championing them in the State Assembly.” 

Addis has served as a classroom teacher and educational program developer. She has worked for the San Luis Coastal Unified School District. She holds a bachelor’s degree in art education and Spanish and a master’s in special education from San Francisco State University. She also holds four different teaching credentials.

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