Dean of CSM shares experiences and accomplishments

Briana Osuna, Features Editor

Katherine Kantardjieff is the founding Dean of CSUSM’s College of Science and Mathematics. Kantardjieff received her B.S. degrees from the University of Southern California in both Chemistry and Biology. In addition, she earned her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles in Physical Chemistry. Kantardjieff was asked several questions about herself that some students and staff may not be aware of.

What are your main goals that you would like to accomplish this semester?

A important goal for the College of Science and Mathematics each spring is to recruit talented tenure track faculty who will be successful teacher-scholars at CSUSM.

A personal goal of mine for the spring semester is to learn to code in Python.

What has been one of your biggest accomplishments as CSUSM so far?

One of my biggest accomplishments at CSUSM is building up our college and making it strong. We are committed to sustaining and enhancing a supportive and inspiring undergraduate and Master’s level educational environment where excellent instruction, interdisciplinary and collaborative research, innovation and creative endeavors thrive. Since we began as a college in 2011, the number of CSM majors has doubled, and pending approval by the CSU Chancellor’s Office, we will launch a new software engineering degree program in the fall. We have raised more than $7.5M from the Department of Education and Viasat (a global communications company in Carlsbad, CA) to launch engineering.

Can you provide an interesting fact about you that most of the student body doesn’t know?

I have a bronze medal from the 1984 Olympic Games. I am a first generation Bulgarian-American, and in 1984 I was a member of the Balkan dance troupe, Kitka. We participated in the international parade at the Opening Ceremonies held in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. This is a moment in time that I will remember always, wearing the ethnic costume of my heritage while standing proudly in front of the United States Olympic Team. Bulgarian folk dancing is one of my hobbies.

What is the best piece of advice that you have for students?

Will Rogers said, “If you want to be successful, it’s just this simple. Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing. Believe in what you are doing.” I would add. Think “big.” Do not be afraid to fail. Be committed. Make things happen. Don’t simply let things happen to you. Be open to new ideas. Work hard. Follow your intuition. And, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, “Whatever you are, be a good one.”