The first Cal State CREATE, a CSU-wide creative student event and competition organized by Cal State Innovate from the Office of the Chancellor, in collaboration with Adobe and Apple, took place virtually over two weeks this April. Cal State CREATE invited CSU students to explore what it means to belong through the use of creative tools to create a unique, personal artifact to submit to the competition for prizes. Over 360 people registered for the event, representing 21 of the CSU campuses.
The kickoff event opened with a welcome by CSU Chair of the Board of Trustees Wenda Fong, followed by keynote speakers Michael J. Payton and Christopher J. Moore, both CSU alumni and active in the Film & TV industries. The opening speakers each shared their experiences with belonging as they navigated their creative career journeys after college. After the inspirational opening speeches, Adobe design professionals hosted design bootcamps to give participants a foundation in the necessary creative tools to complete the competition deliverable- a single webpage created with Adobe Express telling their own story of finding belonging.
Cal State CREATE received 50 entries from both individuals and groups to the competition from 11 different campuses. Submissions were reviewed by a team of volunteer judges from CSU campuses, Adobe, and Apple, who evaluated all projects on visual storytelling, design elements, and format.
Cal State CREATE concluded on April 19th with a closing ceremony to highlight the diverse ways student participants depicted belonging and to announce the winning submissions. Both Jessica Nare, SDSU’s Associate Vice President for Community & Belonging, and Dr. Dilcie Perez, the CSU Associate Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs, Equity and Belonging, shared observations on themes from the student submissions and personal anecdotes on belonging and community. Faith Sidlow, Associate Professor in the Department of Media at Fresno State, announced the winners.
Congratulations to the winners of the first Cal State CREATE:
- First Place– “To My Self” by Juan Carlos Mosqueda Rosales from California State University, Fresno
- Second Place– “How I Found Belonging At Cal Poly As A Queer Woman Of Color” by Anusha Sowda from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
- Third Place (tied)– “Where Do I Belong?” by Imani McEwan from California State University, Dominguez Hills
- Third Place (tied)– “Asian-American Artists United” – submitted by Samuel Louie, Katie Tam, and Lyndsey Park from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Cal State Innovate is grateful for the collaborative partnerships with Adobe and Apple and to CSU colleagues who helped to plan and promote the event, and hope to host the event again next spring.