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Dr. Julio R. Blanco is Dean of the School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering, and Associate Provost for Grants, Resource Management, and Planning at California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB). He has over 30 years of academic, administrative, aerospace research, and management experience. He has supervised 14 master's theses and 11 honor undergraduate theses, as well as research and post-doctoral fellows. He has over 30 peer-reviewed research articles and has participated in lead roles in research projects over his career in excess of one hundred million dollars. Currently, his interests include co-chairing the CSUB graduation rate initiative, a CSU system project and part of a national effort to increase the number of students graduating within six years with a baccalaureate degree and reduce the graduation rate gap between unrepresented minorities and the general population. Dr. Blanco is actively engaged with the Kern County community in establishing a pathway into STEM that starts in K-12 and leads through community college and CSUB. Dr. Blanco was the recipient of the 2011 Beautiful Bakersfield Education Award offered by the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce.