Cal State L.A. Staff Member in the Spotlight
While we were each preparing for our own new year festivities, a Cal State L.A. staff member was cutting bright blue statice flowers, pruning hundreds of blooming roses, and pasting grains of rice and black onion seeds. For the second year in a row, Evelyn Ortiz Winchester volunteered to work on the South Pasadena Rose Parade Float. Since childhood, Evelyn has supported the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association by visiting its float display and purchasing the collectable pins. Recently she decided to get more involved.
Even though she is now a resident of La Crescenta, Evelyn treasures the 24 years she lived in South Pasadena, a Âsmall townÂ that she still considers her city. ÂEvery time I visit the display or work on the float, I meet people I went to school with or people I knowÂbecause thatÂs the kind of community it is,Â she says.
Working on the float also allows Winchester to express her artistic flair. Winchester earned her bachelorÂs degree in art from Cal State L.A. in 1982. Working in a surrealist style, Evelyn has exhibited and sold her work, and painted commissioned murals in Burbank and Monterey Park.
During her free time, Evelyn helps distribute food to those less fortunate in Skid Row. She volunteers at the Los Angeles Missions, Salvation Army and Para Los NiÃ±os, and has participated in support meetings to provide hope for homeless women and children. Her passion for helping people is evident in her current goal to earn a certificate in career counseling and eventually a masterÂs degree in counseling and rehabilitation services at Cal State L.A.
For an extra challenge and because she is proud of being a Native Angelino, Evelyn finds time to design family hunts of famous and unusual landmarks in the Greater Los Angeles area. She is currently a member of the Los Angeles Conservancy, a special interest group which lobbies to preserve historical structures in L.A. county, and also a supporter for the Friends of the Los Angeles River, which has been raising awareness of preserving, maintaining and promoting the reason the first settlers from Mexico chose Los Angeles in 1781. With her fascination for, and knowledge of the history of Los Angeles, she sees herself running a Los Angeles tour guide service when she retires!
But for now, Evelyn concentrates her time on campus showing students how to apply to graduate schools, coordinating the annual student symposium on research, scholarship and creative activity, helping to organize the UniversityÂs annual Graduate and Professional Information Day, preparing panels of speakers, and providing resources to students and faculty members on internships, research opportunities, and predoctoral and fellowship programs. As the program assistant in the Office for the Advancement of Science Engineering and MathematicsÂpart of the Graduate Studies and Research OfficeÂEvelyn helps and encourages Cal State L.A. students to pursue their studies in the fields of engineering, mathematics and science.
ÂEvelyn affects others with her positive attitude and spirit as evidenced through her enthusiasm and commitment to her work and interaction with students, staff and faculty,Â says Ted Crovello, dean of Graduate Studies and Research. Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Research Jose Galvan adds, ÂEvelyn has become a valuable resource for graduate students seeking information about graduate and post-graduate opportunities. She has accumulated a wealth of information about available fellowships and other assistance for students, and through her efforts our office maintains up-to-date program information from many universities.Â
During her 20+ years at the University, Evelyn has worked in the finance department, Art department lab, technology department, criminal justice department, and the Office for Students with Disabilities. Taking a four-year break, she and her husband moved to Arizona where she subsequently served as education director for the ChemehueviÂa California Indian tribe living on the Colorado River. There, she was responsible for starting the first education center for the Chemehuevi through a grant she wrote that was funded by the California State Department of Education. EvelynÂs interest in Native American art, history and education originates from her own cultural background. She is a member of the Tarahumara tribe from the state of Chihuahua, Mexico.
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