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About the Episode

The what's what...

This fast-paced show drops listeners into a compelling conversation about higher education. In Your Element asks innovative leaders about the challenges, wins, and future of everything from meeting enrollment numbers to equity in education.

Cathy Sandeen, President of California State University - East Bay joins Eric Stoller for a fascinating talk on this episode of In Your Element. In this deep dive chat, Eric and Cathy discuss:

  • How things are going right now at CSU East Bay and for the entire CSU system
  • How a university leader keeps people engaged when students are on-campus/online and faculty and staff are coming back after being remote
  • How the events of 2020 changed the ways in which higher ed thinks about (and fosters) student engagement
  • How the role of the university president has changed over the past few years
  • The biggest challenges going forward for higher education

About the Podcast

Eric Stoller


Eric Stoller

Eric Stoller is the former Vice President of Product Strategy at Element451—an advanced student engagement CRM available, providing higher ed institutions with a competitive admissions advantage from recruitment to enrollment. You may know Eric from his articles on Inside Higher Ed, speaking engagements, or consulting work around digital engagement. He’s always loved doing marketing and public relations but never wanted to work for an agency. However, Eric’s experiences in student development services at the University of Illinois Chicago and enrollment management + academic advising at Oregon State University cemented his interest in the intersection of technology, student success, and digital engagement. Eric has an associate degree from Indian Hills Community College, a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Northern Iowa, a master’s degree in higher education administration from Oregon State University, and an honorary doctorate in coffee drinking.

Cathy Sandeen


Cathy Sandeen

Cathy Sandeen, Ph.D., MBA is an educational leader who is committed to continuing Cal State East Bay’s momentum in students’ social mobility, social justice and sustainability. As a two-time alumna of the California State University, she feels fortunate to work in a system that emphasizes access and opportunity. Prior to returning to her hometown in the East Bay, Sandeen was chancellor of the University of Alaska Anchorage from September 2018-December 2020, and chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Colleges and UW-Extension for four years. Previously, as vice president for education attainment and innovation at the American Council on Education, she led ACE's nationwide effort to increase post-secondary educational attainment. She also held leadership positions in the University of California system including at UCLA, Santa Cruz and San Francisco. Sandeen earned a Ph.D. in communication from the University of Utah and a Master of Business Administration degree from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. She was named an American Council on Education Fellow in 2010-11. A prolific writer and speaker, Sandeen has published and presented widely on the issues surrounding educational innovation and nontraditional students.

In Your Element

All things higher ed from application to graduation and beyond.

In Your Element host Eric Stoller from Element451 asks innovative leaders about the challenges, wins, and future of everything from meeting enrollment numbers to equity in education. His five-question format gets to the heart of what’s happening in each guest’s corner of higher education. The unifying theme: how do we all rally around students’ needs to help them succeed?

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