Category Archives: Intelligent Growth

CBU Leading Team To Enhance Science Teaching

(This article contains excerpts from the article published in cbu News & Events on January 28, 2015.)

Photo Credit: CBU News & Events
Photo Credit: CBU News & Events

California Baptist University will lead a team that will work on revamping curriculum and learning environments for science classes in the Chaffey Joint Union High School District. The partnership will be funded by a $1.35 million grant from the California Department of Education (CDE).

The grant is made available by the California Mathematics and Science Partnership grant program and is administered by the science, technology, engineering and mathematics office at the CDE. The grant’s aim is to increase the academic achievement of students by enhancing the knowledge and teaching skills of high school instructors.

CBU is the lead university in the project that also will include University of California, Riverside and Michigan State University. Additionally, the California Science Project, a statewide network for educators, and Concord Consortium, a software company known for its innovative technology, will be part of the collaborative efforts.

Together the group will develop curriculum to help teachers in the subjects of biology, chemistry, physics and earth and space. Furthermore, they will create labs and computer simulations that teachers can use to meet new state standards in science.

“[The grant will] help teachers have a higher level of content knowledge and also provide more tools for them to make sure they’re producing better students,” said Dr. Jim Buchholz, CBU professor of mathematics and physics and principal investigator of the grant. He will be working with other CBU faculty from the department of natural and mathematical sciences to develop tools for the teachers. Riverside is working everyday to embrace intelligent growth within all facets of the community.

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RUSD Joins Forces With Girls Who Code

(This article contains excerpts from the article published in RUSD News.)

Photo Credit: RUSD
Photo Credit: RUSD

Riverside Unified School District announced today a partnership with Girls Who Code, the national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology. The partnership between the school district and the non-profit will provide computer science education and real-world programing experience to girls through two free programs: the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program and the Girls Who Code Clubs Program. This is Girls Who Code’s first formal partnership with a school district in the country.

With this partnership, Riverside Unified and Girls Who Code will work to inspire, educate, and equip girls in the Riverside community with the skills and resources they need to pursue opportunities in computing. The Summer Immersion Program is a free 7-week introduction to computer science for rising juniors and seniors in high school. The Clubs program is a free after-school or weekend program for middle and high school students. Interested students and parents can find out more about both programs by visiting

Since 2012, Girls Who Code has reached more than 10,000 girls in 42 states. Importantly, 90 percent of Summer Immersion Program graduates have declared or intend to declare a major or minor in computer science.

“Since founding Girls Who Code, it’s been my dream to democratize access to computer science education for girls across the country,” said Reshma Saujani, Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code. “Thanks to the Riverside Unified School District, we are one step close to achieving that dream.”

Dr. Angelov Farooq, Board Trustee at Riverside Unified School District said “as a school district dedicated to equipping students with technical skills they need to get jobs, we are thrilled to pioneer the first­ever Girls Who Code partnership with a school district. Reshma is both a personal friend and a true visionary, and I’m excited to work together to bring the national movement to close the gender gap in technology to the Riverside community.”

By 2020, there will be 1.4 million jobs open in the computing related fields, but the United States is only on pace to filling 29% of them with computer science graduates. At current rates, only 3% will be filled by women. Girls Who Code and its partners nationwide are seeking to change that.

This partnership is the latest commitment by Riverside Unified to bring technology education to its students. Sporting the tagline, “Innovation in Education,” Riverside Unified has made technology implementation one of its highest priorities. The District supports the city’s Smart Riverside computer training for low-income families as well as its Code to Careers initiative, which grew out of the success of the city’s computer training and the district’s participation with Google’s CS First initiative, in which 1,700 RUSD students have written more than 12,000 hours of code. The district has also spearheaded a multi-district consortium with

Riverside’s initiative to promote and encourage STEM education is a model of Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth pillar.  STEM education plays a vital role in strengthening our community’s workforce and job growth.

About Girls Who Code

Girls Who Code is a national non­profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology. Through its Summer Immersion Program and Girls Who Code Clubs, the organization is leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip young women with the computing skills to pursue 21st ​century opportunities. Additional information is available at w​​

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Riverside Art Museum Awarded $800,000 from the James Irvine Foundation

Photo Credit: The Press Enterprise
Photo Credit: The Press Enterprise

The Riverside Art Museum (RAM) has been awarded a three-year $800,000 grant from The James Irvine Foundation to advance sustainable organization transformation that leads to expanded arts engagement. RAM is one of six California arts organizations – and the only one from the Inland Valley region – who received a New California Arts Fund grant.

The purpose of the New California Arts Fund is to help nonprofits move arts engagement to the core of who they are and what they do. The James Irvine Foundation provides a combination of support for organization capacity building and for arts engagement programming that encourages and expands participation in the arts among California’s growing and diverse communities. New California Arts Fund grantee-partners are selected through an invitation-only process.

Specifically, the funds will support the museum‘s engagement work over a three-year period. This includes incorporating lessons learned from the popular Riverside Art Make engagement project into “core” programs such as art education classes, art exhibitions, and collections stewardship. The Art Make, which brought hands-on art making projects to a variety of Riverside neighborhoods, provided lessons on which type of art practices can facilitate collaboration, participation, and break down the misconception of “I am not an artist.” During the Riverside Art Make, the museum served 9,533 individuals. Nearly one-half had never been to the museum, yet 92.5% said they would attend future RAM events. Survey data also indicated that the top most enjoyable aspect of the Riverside Art Make was “participating in creating something.”

This grant is a great example of Seizing Our Destiny’s Intelligent Growth Pillar.  Riverside embraces economic growth and directs it so it maintains and improves our already outstanding quality of life. This includes growing the economy, raising the standard of living and managing a growing population. Our community uses land and repurposes historic structures to provide excellent jobs, support to businesses and steward our heritage and natural beauty.

Inland Southern California Adds Most Jobs In A Single California Region In November

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Sarah Nightingale and published in UCR Today on December 18, 2015.)

Photo Credit: UCR Today
Photo Credit: UCR Today

Continuing a strong year, Inland Southern California added another 4,600 jobs in November on a seasonally adjusted basis.* This increase builds on the 7,400 non-farm positions added in October. The most recent jump puts Inland Southern California at the top of the list for the most jobs added in a single region in California in November.

The numbers were released today in a monthly report compiled and seasonally adjusted by the University of California, Riverside’s School of Business Administration Center for Economic Forecasting and Development.

In addition, Inland Southern California’s unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent in the latest numbers, compared to a 6.2 percent unemployment rate in October and a 7.6 percent unemployment rate in November 2014.

The Center for Economic Forecasting and Development cautions against reading too much into any single month’s numbers, especially near year’s end. Nonetheless, this month’s employment estimates are another indication the local inland economy is continuing to expand. Jobs number like this are great examples of Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth pillar.

 * The California Employment Development Department releases its latest estimates of job counts on the third Friday of every month. Each month, the Center for Economic Forecasting and Development will provide seasonally adjusted estimates of employment along with additional analysis of the most recent employment trends occurring throughout Inland Southern California. Today marks the Center’s inaugural employment release.

The full November report is here.

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$10 Million Gift Is Largest Ever For CBU

(This article contains excerpts from the article published in cbu News & Events on January 8, 2016.)

Photo Credit: CBU
Photo Credit: CBU

California Baptist University President Ronald L. Ellis announced a $10-million gift during the January meeting of the CBU Board of Trustees. It is the largest gift in the history of the institution.

Trustees applauded the announcement that Ellis said had been in the works for well over a year.

“We are very excited to announce this wonderful gift,” Ellis said. “It’s not that uncommon today for universities of our size to receive seven-figure gifts. We’ve received several. But to get an eight-figure gift is quite an honor.”

Ellis said the donor wishes to remain anonymous. The gift will help fund construction of a three-story building encompassing 100,000 square feet to house the Gordon and Jill Bourns College of Engineering. With an estimated total cost in excess of $50 million, the CBU engineering building project is targeted for completion in the summer of 2018.

“This is going to accelerate the trajectory of the engineering program at CBU,” Ellis said. “It is a tremendous highlight for CBU and we praise God for his providence.”

Gifts like this help equip CBU’s engineering students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. CBU’s effort to develop programs that meet the needs of employers is a great example of Seizing Our Destiny intelligent growth pillar.

Founded in 1950, California Baptist University is a private comprehensive institution located in Riverside, Calif. CBU offers more than 150 majors, minors and concentrations, as well as more than 40 graduate programs and two doctoral programs. Affiliated with California Southern Baptist Convention, CBU is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, the International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities, and the Consortium for Global Education.

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RPU Uses Lithium Battery Technology In Power Plant Work Carts

(This article contains excerpts from the article published in the on December 8, 2015.) TWO

Out at Riverside Public Utilities’ (RPU) Riverside Energy Resource Center (RERC) state-of-the-art is the norm.

The power plant facility features four, 49 megawatt (MW) natural gas fired turbine engines (similar to what powers a 747 jetliner), employs highly skilled personnel (many who have military backgrounds and jet engine maintenance training), and features technology that allows RPU to start one or all four RERC units within 10 minutes locally or remotely from the Power Resources headquarters downtown to provide up to 192 MW of power for RPU energy customers.

Now the 16-acre facility has begun using state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery technology in its work carts. “Over the last two years, our site and our staff have grown,” said RPU’s Generation Manager Chuck Casey. “To help us get around the complex, move parts, tools, and personnel, we started purchasing old golf carts.”

While the seven carts in RERC’s current fleet have greatly helped with efficiency around the plant, the issues of storing, maintaining, and constantly charging the carts’ lead-acid batteries quickly became the biggest costs to operating them.

Seeking alternatives to provide a cleaner, greener, and easier way to maintain the work carts, Utilities Generation Test Technician Johnny “Sonny” Voytilla and Utilities Senior Generation Test Technician William Patton ended up contacting Lithium Boost Technologies Inc. out of San Diego.

Lithium Boost’s patented technology provides a complete performance optimized lithium-ion battery system that retrofits older, lead-acid batteries in low-speed carts with state-of-the-art equipment.

“Since retrofitting our first two carts last month, we’ve already seen the benefits,” Casey said. Those include: no maintenance, the Lithium Boost system doesn’t require water filling; longer range and slower discharge, carts are now charged every other week instead of daily saving on electricity costs; and greater safety, as there are two less cords that present tripping hazards and two less sets of batteries full of sulfuric acid.

“We are very pleased that Riverside Public Utilities has selected our product to retrofit their carts with,” said Lithium Boost Technologies’ CEO Sam Lev. “In addition to the higher performance levels our products provide, RPU will also enjoy the environmental aspects of maintaining a lean and green electrical car fleet,” Lev said.

According to Lev, Lithium Boost’s batteries have a smaller footprint, last about 4 times longer than lead-acid (over 2,000 charging cycles), are four times lighter, and use 40 percent less electricity. They also feature a “fuel gage” meter that can tell staff how much battery power is left.

“It is great that Will and Sonny did the leg work to find a technology that provides us with such an increase in performance while adding the types of environmental benefits we embrace, encourage, and promote as an energy utility,” said RPU General Manager Girish Balachandran.

With the growing concern of climate change and pollution from fossil fuels, Riverside is taking steps to reduce their foot print on the environment and promote the quality of life for all through intelligent growth of their city.

For additional information on Lithium Boost Technologies Inc. products visit For additional information on RPU, call us at (951) 826-5485 or log on to

To read the full article, click here.

Students Face Off In Fast-Paced Robotics Contest

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Sarah Nightingale and published in UCR Today on November 17, 2015.)

Photo Credit: The Press Enterprise
Photo Credit: The Press Enterprise

More than 300 middle and high school students from across Riverside and San Bernardino counties competed to build the best terrestrial drones at the MESA Robotics Invitational competition, on Saturday, Nov. 21 at the University of California, Riverside.

This year’s theme, “Attack of the Drones: The Revenge,” challenged students to design drones that out-perform the competition in agility tests and combat simulations. Middle and high school students competed at different levels, with the middle school teams using Lego robotics kits and the high school teams using the Vex robotics platform.

Photo Credit: The Press Enterprise

The event was hosted by the Mathematics, Engineering, Science, Achievement (MESA) Schools Program at the UCR Bourns College of Engineering. MESA provides academic enrichment services and opportunities to teachers and students in engineering and science, while focusing on serving disadvantaged and underserved student populations. Now in its 8th year, the event will draw 33 teams from 12 schools in Moreno Valley, Colton, Rialto, Corona, Ontario and Victorville.

Photo Credit: The Press Enterprise
Photo Credit: The Press Enterprise

“The MESA Robotics competition is one of our most popular events among students and teachers alike,” said Carlos Gonzalez, director of UCR’s MESA program. “While the students are having fun designing, building and programming their robots, they’re also learning important concepts about engineering, computer science, and, of course, teamwork.”

The top three teams in each competition received awards, with additional distinctions going to teams that demonstrate the best sportsmanship and the most creative design.

Competitions like this are great examples of Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth pillar. UCR is dedicated to educating the next generation of students and helping them succeed. These competitions play a vital role in strengthening our community’s workforce and job growth.

To read the full article, click here.

CBU Professor Receives Prestigious Education Award

(This article contains excerpts from the article published in CBU News and Events on November 10, 2015.)

Photo Credit: CBU News & Events
Photo Credit: CBU News & Events

Dr. Heather Williams, California Baptist University adjunct professor of education, was awarded the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) 2015 Professor of Education of the Year award for her work in training the next generation of educational leaders. Williams received the award at the ACSA’s Leadership Summit on Nov. 5-7 in Sacramento.

Williams also serves as director of human resources for the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools. Previously she worked as director of human resources, director of special education and principal in the Chino Valley Unified School District.

“Dr. Williams is as committed to the growth of her college students as she is to the growth of the students she serves in the K-12 public school system,” wrote Dawn Nishanian, human resource manager at San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools, who nominated Williams for the award.

Dr. Williams and CBU promote intelligent growth through their commitment and dedication to providing an outstanding education to their students.

To read the full article, click here.

Riverside Ranked 3rd In The Nation For Job Growth

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Kathryn Dill and published in Forbes on November 11, 2015.)

Downtown Night Shot

A few cities and states have offered job seekers far friendlier climates than the nation at large this year.

The cities and states that make this list have experienced the strongest non-agricultural job growth over the first three quarters of 2015, according to analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics by Professor Lee McPheters at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Projections show the U.S. on track to add 3 million jobs this year, indicating a 2.2% monthly average in national job growth, an increase of about 1.8% since last year.

Topping the list of cities and metro areas (including one million or more workers) for job growth thus far this year is San Jose, California with 5.5% growth so far in 2015–more than twice the nationwide average. Orlando, Riverside, Dallas, and Seattle round out the top five, all with job growth of 3.5% or above.

This ranking is yet another example of Riverside continuing to fuel the intelligent growth of the region.

The Top 10 Cities For Job Growth* in 2015

1. San Jose, California – up 5.5%
2. Orlando, Florida – up 4.1%
3. Riverside, California – up 3.9%
4. Dallas, Texas  – up 3.6%
5. Seattle, Washington – up 3.5%
6. Atlanta, Georgia – up 3.4%
7. San Francisco, California – up 3.3%
8. Denver, Colorado – up 3.1% (tie)
8. San Diego, California – up 3.1% (tie)
8. Portland, Oregon – up 3.1%(tie)

For the full article, click here.

CBU President Honored For Improving Community Through Education

(This article contains excerpts from the article published in CBU News & Events on October 26, 2015.)

Photo Credit: CBU News & Events
Photo Credit: CBU News & Events

The Salvation Army Community Center in Riverside honored California Baptist University President Dr. Ronald L. Ellis for his leadership in higher education.

“Dr. Ellis has elevated the city of Riverside when it comes to educational opportunities,” said Dan Vaughn, CEO of Gallant Risk & Insurance Services. Vaughn read a statement on behalf of the Salvation Army Community Center at its “Soup-er Stars” luncheon on Oct 23.

“Residents are enriched because of Dr. Ellis’ innovative leadership,” Vaughn said.

When Ellis became president of California Baptist College in 1994, enrollment totaled 808 students. This fall, CBU surpassed an enrollment goal of 8,080 five years earlier than anticipated, with a record enrollment of 8,541 students. It is the largest enrollment in CBU history and an increase of more than 1,000% in the past 21 years. Ellis is a testament to the intelligent growth of our community.

Academic offerings also have increased during the Ellis presidency. In 1994, CBC offered 22 academic majors and one graduate program. Today CBU offers more than 150 majors, minors and concentrations through traditional and online programs. CBU also offers more than 40 graduate programs through traditional and online programs. In the current academic year, CBU will offer its first two doctorate programs, one in nursing practice and the other in public administration, delivered online.

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