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Quest for learning

New research magazine created at California State University, Long Beach.

Colton Maines, Staff Writer

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With over $65 million in external funding awarded to faculty research this past year, California State University, Long Beach now has a way to connect students to what is being discovered.

CSULB created a new research magazine called “Quest” that focuses on publishing the findings of CSULB students and faculty. Topics covered in the first issue include how to recover from trauma, creating improved vehicles and how humans affect the lives of sea turtles.

The Daily 49er was able to talk Simon Kim, the interim associate vice president of Research and Sponsored Programs, who helped start the magazine. The idea of the magazine was to publish research that was impactful and was presented in a way that anyone can understand, Kim said.    

How did the magazine get started?

When I came into this position about two years ago, I noticed that our faculty are involved with fascinating research and I didn’t know much about it. I wasn’t the only one on campus who didn’t know what faculty and students were studying. So this was a way of publicizing the wonderful work our faculty and that our students are involved in.

What kind of research does the magazine cover?                                                          

It covers all different types of research. As you can see in the report, we have research from natural sciences and mathematics. Much more scientific research. As well as research that is community based, which is the cover feature story, helping trauma victims. As well as some of the research that our College of the Arts faculty are involved in. They’re not traditional scientific type of research, but their research is much more focused on performance and others. So it was important for us to cover all different types of research.

Is the research conducted strictly from CSULB?                                            

Correct. By our faculty and students, but some of these works are done off campus. Like our trauma center, it’s not on campus it is an off-campus site, however three of our faculty are involved with their project. It is a collaborative project that we’re working with a hospital in the community. Because it is important that our research informs disciplines specific to areas but also it must have some impact on the community that we live in. So we wanted to make sure that this magazine captures that part.

Are there any staff members working on Quest that are doing the research?                 

No. Actually this is a true collaboration between the Office of Research and Sponsored programs and the Office of Marketing and Communications. The projects were selected by individual college deans and I reviewed those lists and I provided the lists to the staff in Marketing and Communications and they actually went out and interviewed all these faculty and students and came up with the stories that you see in the report.

Where does the research funding come from?                                                                               

As faculty gets grants and contracts, as part of their grants and contracts there is an indirect portion that supports over that. So for example the faculty uses a laboratory in his or her department, the laboratory needs to be maintained by the university as well as by those grants and contracts that faculty bring in. So the funding came from that indirect allocation from those grants and contracts. So no general funds were used for this purpose.

Do you have any big future projects that you are hoping to publish?                            

This is something we are hoping to do annually, so we are going to have our second issue coming up in September of 2016. That issue will focus around STEM research, we have quite a few faculty who are involved with STEM research not only in natural science and mathematics, but also in engineering, health and human services as well as in psychology. So we are trying to capture all the work that faculty are involved in.          

The magazine can be viewed online at http://web.csulb.edu/sites/quest/

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