top of page



The goal of the Executive Advisory Council is to assist the School of Arts and Humanities in its mission, which includes commitment to excellence in teaching and scholarship, dedication to the enlightenment and enrichment of our communities, devotion to freedom from ignorance and intolerance in our societies, and engagement in connecting the arts and humanities to everyday life.

The EAC created AH Friends to act as a megaphone for student projects, a vehicle for community outreach, and a revenue engine to advance the missions of the School. Our Board of Directors is comprised of local leaders passionate about growing the arts and humanities at CSUB and within our community.


Chris Benham is a graphic designer and illustrator born and raised in Bakersfield. He holds a B.A. in Graphic Design / Visual Communications from California State University, Chico, and an M.A. in Advertising Design from Syracuse University. Chris is an avid proponent for the arts in Kern County and is involved with many local constituencies such as The Bakersfield Museum of Art, Kern Creatives, Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, Bakersfield College, and the Active Bakersfield Alliance, where he has served as Design Director for the Bakersfield Marathon since its inception. Chris’ passion for the Arts and Humanities in the community led him to join this EAC, for which he is proud to serve.


Director, AH Executive Advisory Council, 2018-2020


Jim Damian is a Kern County entrepreneur who holds an undergraduate degree from San Diego State University and a master’s degree from The University of California, Berkeley.  Jim is the founder and CEO of Stria, an INC 5000 business process outsourcing (BPO) company that uses technology and continuous improvement to reduce the burdens associated with back-office processes.  Jim is grateful for the opportunity to serve CSUB's School of Arts and Humanities. 


Director, AH Executive Advisory Council, 2018-2020


Dean of Arts and Humanities at California State University, Bakersfield since 2017, Bob Frakes is passionate about the importance of the Liberal Arts in Undergraduate Education and committed to the continuing success of American Higher Education. Born and raised in Southern California, his family has roots in the Southern San Joaquin Valley and Antelope Valley since 1854. He holds a B.A. in Classical Studies from Stanford, a M.A. in Education from the Stanford Teacher Education Program, and a M.A. and Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dean Frakes firmly believes that the liberal arts disciplines within the School of Arts & Humanities at California State University, Bakersfield, provide students with broad artistic and humanistic knowledge as well as skills (such as critical thinking, argumentation, and writing) that are useful for a variety of professions. He appreciates the support of community partners in supporting the success of students in the School of Arts & Humanities.

Dean, CSUB School of Arts & Humanities


Amanda Frank is a Bakersfield native with a passion for helping our community grow and flourish. She graduated from CSUB with B.S. in Business Administration and Economics. In her current role as the Director of Community Relations at Dignity Health she has the fortune of partnering with many organizations in Kern County to serve the underserved and neglected and to help make our community a better, kinder, healthier place to live. Amanda is thrilled to serve on the AH Executive Advisory Council as she is passionate about the arts and helping to expand their reach and impact in our community.


Director, AH Executive Advisory Council, 2018-2020


Natalie Green is a small business owner with a commitment to her community and the growth of downtown Bakersfield. Natalie worked in film, television, radio, marketing and corporate recruiting in Los Angeles and the Bay Area before moving back to Bakersfield. With a degree in Communications from the University of LaVerne and a Master's Degree from CSUB she now is the Owner of NYFotography, Co-Publisher of The Westchester Publication, and Co-Owner of NRG Marketing Group, Inc. As a first generation college graduate, Natalie attributes education as one of the key elements in the path to becoming a business owner and truly believes in the correlation between investing in CSUB and the continued growth of our community. 


Director, AH Executive Advisory Council, 2018-2020


Andrea Hansen was born and raised in Bakersfield, CA. She holds a B.A. in Dance and Political Science from Mercyhurst University and a M.F.A. in Choreography from the University of Arizona. Andrea is currently the President of Kern Dance Alliance and a Fox Theater Board Member. As an avid supporter of arts and culture in Kern County, Andrea holds the success of the CSUB School of Arts and Humanities with the highest regard and is honored to serve on the CSUB AH Executive Advisory Council. 


Director, AH Executive Advisory Council, 2018-2020

David Milazzo

A proud Bakersfield native, David Milazzo is a graduate of CSUB’s Theatre & English departments. Initially pursing a career in the arts, David attended The New Actors Workshop — a film, theatre and improvisation conservatory in NYC. During his time in New York he founded Macroscopic, a technology practice focused on Apple consulting, networking and software development serving clients throughout the US and Canada. David is passionate about supporting the missions of CSUB. In addition to co-founding the Bakersfield Marathon benefiting the CSUB Roadrunner Scholarship Fund, he is delighted to serve this Executive Advisory Council to grow the impact of the arts and humanities at CSUB.


Chair, AH Executive Advisory Council, 2018-2020


A Bakersfield native and CSUB alumnus, Jon Sampson is a Financial Advisor, Vice President of Investments, Certified Financial Planner®, and Certified Portfolio Manager® with Wells Fargo Advisors. Jon was always a computer and numbers geek but became interested in acting in college. After graduating from CSUB with a B.A. in Theatre, Jon was accepted into the prestigious acting program at The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego where he played a variety of roles. After receiving his M.F.A. and landing 2 great agents, Jon and his wife, Jennifer, moved to NYC where he performed in commercials, theatre, and a major motion picture. But the instability of the Actor’s Life was not for them, and in 2007 they moved to Bakersfield. Jon is passionate about the arts and our community and is excited to be a part of AH Friends as a way to give back to his alma mater and hometown.


Director, AH Executive Advisory Council, 2018-2020

bottom of page