Today Fall 2012


Setting the Standard.

Top of the Class

President James M. Rosser receives high marks for his influence on the University. In 33 years, Rosser advanced science and arts education, championed early childhood education, established connections with the community, fostered diversity and literally changed the landscape of the campus through his policies and insight

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  • Road to Ulaanbaatar

    Horse riding.

    Geological sciences alumna Jess Peláez enjoys travel and the outdoors on the job and off. In August, she participated in a long-distance horse race in Mongolia

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  • University boot camp

    Salute to the USA Flag.

    The Office of Veterans Affairs connects student-veterans to the services and skills they need to succeed.

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  • Point of Origin

    Business students gather for a group shot.

    The College of Extended Studies and International Programs extends the reach of the University beyond campus through online classes, professional training, short-term programs and study abroad.

    read more

  • Profile in Giving


    After working multiple jobs to pay for college, Dr. Joseph Bailey understands the importance of helping others fulfill their dreams of a higher education.

    read more


Setting the standard

President James M. Rosser's uncompromising vision has shaped Cal State L.A. for 33 years

If success were measured by experience alone, then President James M. Rosser’s 33 years of service to Cal State L.A. together with the people and communities the University has served, defines him as a leader in academia across the nation.

But the breadth of Rosser’s accomplishments extends beyond the decades that have passed since he first walked onto campus. They are the cornerstone of his legacy, engrained in CSULA’s history, and woven into the University’s fabric.

His pending retirement now provides the opportunity to reflect on Rosser’s countless achievements, not only for CSULA, but for the whole of education-from pre-school to college-as well as the sciences, arts, diversity, and the careers of many who have followed in his footsteps.

Rosser became the sixth president of CSULA in 1979, and is currently the longest-serving four-year public university president in the nation.

A STEM to Success

Over the decades, Rosser has sought to galvanize the synergies among science, research, technology and industry. His efforts have helped bring CSULA consistent recognition for high quality in the STEM fields-science, technology, engineering and math.

Robert Vellanoweth ’82, chair of the Chemistry and Biochemistry department at CSULA, says that under Rosser’s guidance, Cal State L.A. has an enviable record in graduating STEM students ready to participate in their scientific disciplines, either in the workforce or in graduate schools.

“When I was a student here in the early 1980s, I realized President Rosser’s commitment to science on campus while attending the annual Rosser-Rivera Science Lecture Series. This event brought together scientists from Cal State L.A. and UC Riverside to explore common interests in science and provide opportunities for Cal State L.A. students to further their education,” said Vellanoweth. “Early in his tenure, President Rosser showed his dedication to scientific inquiry as a means of educating the next generation of scientists, something he has continued to do in supporting the MORE (Minority Opportunities in Research) Programs on campus.”

In 2006, Rosser was instrumental in the establishment of the Alliance Marc and Eva Stern Math and Science School (MASS), serving students from the surrounding communities. It is now one of the top 12 highest performing open enrollment high schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

The Arts

CSULA’s rich history in the arts and arts education has helped launch the careers of acclaimed artists from nearly every genre.

Rosser expanded CSULA’s arts reputation, both on and off campus. In the 1980s, he spearheaded the establishment of the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA), recognized as one of the premier public arts high schools in the U.S.

He is also renowned nationally as a great advocate for arts education, and has served on boards, councils and committees for such organizations as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Music Center, and public television, such as KCET. His deep commitment to bringing the city together through the arts has resulted in high profile residencies at CSULA, including the Joffrey Ballet and the Anderson Quartet. As a result, today the acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra draws large crowds to the campus.

Serving the Underserved

Dedicated to increasing access to higher education for underserved communities, Rosser has been honored and regularly sought after for his pioneering leadership in developing diversity-focused education policy.

Diversity hand-in-hand with excellence across all fields of study has produced significant achievement among staff and faculty, as well as CSULA alumni.

“The Chemistry and Biochemistry department at CSULA has one of the most diverse faculties of any such department in the nation,” said Vellanoweth. “The support of President Rosser … has enabled our department to compete for highly sought-after faculty of color.”

Recently, a report by the National Science Foundation entitled Women, Minorities and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering 2011, ranked CSULA among the top 50 baccalaureate institutions out of more than 2,000 universities of origin that produce Hispanic science and engineering doctorate recipients.

“Jim has been the voice and advocate for all students for the past three decades. In particular, his unwavering commitment to access and achievement of students of color and focus on helping them to realize their dream of a college degree is a hallmark of his tenure,” said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. “He has effectively partnered with K-12 and community colleges, established Cal State Los Angeles’ nursing program as one of the best nationally, and has elevated the state of biotechnology and STEM education and research. Jim’s laser focus on students first, diversity, retention and graduation rates will endure as a remarkable legacy of his service to this University and to California.”

Launching the Brightest, with ‘Honors’

From student scholars navigating the path to their futures, to the countless staff, administrators and faculty members who have moved on to the highest ranks of their prospective fields, Rosser’s impact on those who have called CSULA home is felt far beyond campus.

A great source of pride that will continue the Rosser legacy into the future is the Honors College, which welcomed its inaugural class in fall 2011. The College provides another mechanism to help CSULA close the achievement gap, while reflecting the diversity of the University through an academically enriched and socially supportive environment that inspires students to become creative and critical thinkers and leaders. With core learning goals focused on knowledge creation, social innovation, and global citizenship, the College prepares students to address the most pressing challenges of the 21st century.

The Honors College includes the well-recognized Early Entrance Program (EEP)-one of only a few such programs nationwide-that since 1982 has accepted highly gifted students as young as 11 who can excel at a university level.

Reflecting his commitment to both academics and athletics, Rosser established the James M. Rosser Student Athlete Scholarship at the Honors College, and helped endow a scholarship at his alma mater, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, in honor of Donald N. “Doc” Boydston, one of his early and enduring mentors.

This year’s Rosser Student Athlete Scholarship recipient is mathematics major Alyssa Hanson, who plays basketball for the Golden Eagles and says the scholarship helps her excel by providing “additional motivation to succeed” as she represents women’s basketball in competition and the Honors College in her daily life.

“Honors College is special because it fosters its own community, in addition to the CSULA community. As Honors College students, we are all together and on the same team in our pursuit of undergraduate degrees, and want to help and see each other succeed,” said Hanson, who is also in a blended single-subject teaching credential program in the Charter College of Education. “It also gives us an opportunity to meet students outside our individual majors or athletic departments who excel academically, and we bond over our common dedication to academics.”

A Leader for Leaders

CSU Monterey Bay Interim President Eduardo Ochoa, the former U.S. assistant secretary for postsecondary education in the Obama Administration, began teaching economics at CSULA in 1984, and achieved full-professor status in 1997. He served as chair of the Department of Economics, and acting dean of the former School of Business and Economics. He credits CSULA as a place where he “matured as a faculty member and academic administrator.”

“My relationship with Dr. Rosser, somewhat ironically, really got going during my last year at Cal State L.A. when I was acting dean,” said Ochoa. “I was aware of Dr. Rosser’s deserved reputation as an educational leader who was committed to being a supportive mentor to developing leaders, and I have sought his valued advice and counsel at critical points in my career since leaving Cal State L.A.; that advice has been unfailingly gracious, wise, and insightful. I consider myself fortunate for his support and our friendship.”

Changing landscape of Cal State L.A.

The University has been transformed under Dr. Rosser’s leadership. CSULA has welcomed the addition of more than 1,000,000 square feet of building space on the 175-acre campus, transforming it into a modern and aesthetically beautiful University. The projects include the state-of-the-art Wallis Annenberg Integrated Sciences Complex, with La Kretz Hall, featuring contemporary science laboratories and equipment and tools, providing an environment to match the excellence of the University’s academic programs.

In 2009, a new $31 million University-Student Union provided an expanded computer lab, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a 200-seat theater and increased meeting and lounge space. The Golden Eagle opened in 2003, with a student bookstore, conference center and food court. In the early 1990s, Rosser led efforts to build the Harriet and Charles Luckman Fine Arts Complex, comprised of the Luckman Gallery and the 1,152-seat Luckman Theatre. Additional campus growth includes the Golden Eagle Apartments, Corporation Yard, the Public Safety/University Police facility, Television, Film, and Media Studies Center, and the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.

For more on the President’s legacy, including a full biography, list of accomplishments, and a photo book, visit .

Navigating her own path

Alumna Jess Peláez takes the reins on a long-distance charity horse race

Far off lands, challenging maps, wild horses, meandering roads, dangerous territories—alumna Jess Peláez’s summer trip for most anyone would be the adventure of a lifetime.

In August, Peláez ‘10 (M.S.) competed in the Mongol Derby 2012, a charity horse race that pitted 34 riders in a 1,000-kilometer trek across the remote Mongolian wilderness.

The rules were simple: ride a Mongolian horse to each of 20 stations that loosely follow Genghis Khan’s postal system. No marked routes, no hotels or typical daily comforts, only a 5-kilogram pack of supplies.

The 10-day endurance race presented numerous pitfalls, as the riders navigated across rolling plains and rocky terrain, ducked giant vulture-like birds, and chased after loose horses spooked by dreaded marmot holes.

It was just the kind of challenge that Peláez seeks and enjoys as part of her career, thanks to a master’s degree in geological sciences from Cal State L.A.

“I’m not the kind of person to pay to go skydiving,” she said. “I want experiences that you read about in books by Jules Verne and Robert Louis Stevenson—those real adventures I read as a kid.”

Needless to say, Peláez has an insatiable curiosity. Never satisfied to learn by merely reading or surfing the web from a safe distance, she is driven to explore by traveling, touching, doing.

While finishing up a bachelor’s degree in history at a private college in Massachusetts, Peláez took a geology course and found the subject fascinating. Upon a subsequent research trip to Death Valley National Park, she found her calling.

“For 11 days we had no facilities, running water, toilets or showers,” she recalls. “We hiked 10 miles a day, dug 6-feet-by-6-feet holes in the dirt to get samples, it was 107 degrees and I loved it.”

In 2007, Peláez enrolled in the geological sciences program at Cal State L.A., where she dug deeper into the study of how the Earth works and the way in which humans influence the environment.

“The quality of the instruction at Cal State L.A. is the best I’ve found at any school,” she said. “What really opened the doors is the accessibility of the faculty.”

Peláez, who taught several courses and participated in research while at Cal State L.A., also organized a Geology Club trip to the Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert.

Peláez wrote her thesis on the Loihi Seamount, an undersea volcano in Hawaii. While on the tropical island, she sampled flowing lava as a researcher at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and piloted submersibles to collect rock samples from the bottom of the ocean at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution—all while blogging about her experiences.

“I hiked across lava that formed the day before. I saw the glow flow beneath my feet,” she said. “It made me realize that the earth, no matter what we’re doing to it, is still going through the process of creating and destroying itself.”

Reinvention seems to be a theme for Peláez—who has dabbled in art, literature, photography, science and animals—making her nickname, “Volcano Jess,” an appropriate choice for the fiery redhead with a gregarious personality.

Since receiving her master’s degree, Peláez moved with her husband, Carlos, to Australia. She works as a geologist for a large mining software company in Brisbane, Queensland, and often travels to countries such as Chile, Peru, Honduras and South Africa to research mining areas for clients.

In her off-time, Peláez is rehabilitating two horses—Phoenix and Zeus—saved from slaughterhouse auctions. She rode Phoenix daily in her backyard arena to prepare for the Mongol Derby.

Her knowledge of horses and geological skills—like mapping, navigating and topography—proved useful while on the derby. And although she had to stop after five days, she’s looking forward to giving it another try—hopefully with Carlos at her side.

“It was a bit extreme and for a good cause,” she said of the race. “It was an opportunity to make a positive impact, share another cool adventure with my friends and visit a part of the world I haven’t seen and just test myself.”

Jess blogs on her adventures, including the Mongol Derby, at .

Mission to Accomplish

Office of Veterans Affairs guides student-veterans on path to success

The transition from soldier to college student can be a culture shock. Enlisted personnel spend years taking orders from leaders, falling into line and preparing their bodies and minds for the physical and mental stress of combat. But in university lecture halls, course topics are open for debate and students ask professors questions and enjoy the freedom of choice.

The Office of Veterans Affairs wants to ease that conversion for the more than 450 military veterans, active duty and reservists on campus.

"At boot camp, the military lifestyle is impressed upon the recruits and they are living, breathing, eating, and sleeping the culture," said Laura Shigemitsu, coordinator for the Office of Veterans Affairs. "By the time boot camp is over, they are so indoctrinated into the culture it is second skin. But there's no official process like that when they leave. There's no boot camp for how to be a civilian."

The Office of Veterans Affairs helps student-veterans through pre-admission counseling, assisting with documents, making referrals to services and identifying offices on campus that are key for veteran support.

Shigemitsu also serves on the U.S. Army Los Angeles Community Advisory Board and does outreach to attract high-quality soldiers from the region. Reaching them early in the education process is important to maximize their benefits in a timely manner under the G.I. Bill.

"We want to expose members of the military and veterans to what it means to have a state education and what we have to offer here at Cal State L.A.," she said.

Though Shigemitsu has been industrious in networking since the post was created in 2011, the office's most important role is as a comfortable base camp where student-veterans can find others who share similar experiences.

"It's giving them a support structure with other student-veterans who are in various stages of the same transition," Shigemitsu said.

The office has trained several campus departments and divisions to promote understanding about what it's like to serve in the military and there are plans to start an ally program to help student-veterans connect with members of the community. Future plans also include special orientation programs and workshops.

"People want to learn about the veteran experience and how to better interact with them," she said. "There are all these people who want to see these student-veterans succeed."

Pablo Canales

Pablo Canales

Pablo Canales admits he has always been “lucky.” Canales, who was raised in Huntington Park, said that while other military personnel were sweating in the hot desert or stuck in barracks, the operations specialist second class found himself on a U.S. Navy goodwill tour to boost America’s foreign reputation. The USS Port Royal visited 12 ports in 10 countries, including East Timor, Palau, Thailand, Oman and Dubai, in 2004-05. “When we were at port, they set it up so we could play games against the local people. I realized how many people loved soccer.” But after four years in the Navy, Canales decided it was time for a new direction. “I thought I was going to be in the Navy until I retired. I was doing well, I had some money, I had some rank. There was no reason to get out during the recession,” he said. “And then I realized that if I stayed in the Navy, it would define me the rest of my life.” At Cal State L.A., Canales is learning how to be in charge of his future. “Getting out of the Navy made me feel like I was on my own,” he said, “and having a place like the Veterans Affairs office where I can go to do homework or relax makes me feel like I am not alone. That is helpful since I am the first in my family to go to college. My resolve to finish my goals is strengthened by the support I receive from there.”

Calvin Gines

Calvin Gine

Many aspiring actors work as servers while waiting for their career to take off—Calvin Gines joined the Marines. “I didn’t want to move to L.A. and be a bum,” he said. “I thought, ‘I’ll do the Marine Corps so that I have a foundation. Then if I want to become an actor, I’ll have money and stability.’” The Hanford, Calif., native enlisted for five years and was deployed twice: to Iraq and on a Naval ship in the Middle East. Gines was a sergeant and worked in the crucial occupation of telecommunications. “We were the focal point for all communications in Iraq, so if something went down and we weren’t there to fix it no one could talk to anyone else. …Then the general couldn’t call anyone in Iraq.” The transition to college has been challenging, but the Office of Veterans Affairs has helped connect him with other students facing the same situation. “It is reassuring to have people who are experiencing the same emotions,” he said. Now Gines is working toward a theater degree and wants to make a film about his uncle’s experiences in the military.

Passport to possibilities

The College of Extended Studies and International Programs attracts students to short-term programs, sends others abroad

Just like the Space Shuttle Endeavour, now settling into its home at the California Science Center, Cal State L.A. specializes in launches. But instead of astronauts, the University sets graduates on a trajectory toward personal and professional success.

If Cal State L.A. is the launching site, then the College of Extended Studies and International Programs is where people land to study in unique short-term programs, and also depart for study abroad.

The College extends the reach of the University’s programs to students beyond the campus through online classes, academic certificate and degree programs, and professional training.

One such program is the 2012 IDIEZ Summer Nahuatl Institute, offered for the first time this past summer.

Nahuatl, spoken during the colonial period in Mexico, has only 2 million native speakers today. The revitalization of the language is the life work of John Sullivan, professor of Nahua language and culture at Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas and the director of Zacatecas Institute for Teaching and Research in Ethnology (IDIEZ).

“There’s probably more interest in Nahuatl in Los Angeles than any place in the world—even in Mexico,” Sullivan said. “The Chicano population has a tremendous urge to learn about its indigenous past. … The natural thing is to have a program in L.A.”

The session drew scholars interested in indigenous cultures and North American history, including Daniel Wasserman, an assistant professor at Oberlin College in Ohio, who is researching the history of the Spanish conquest of America.

“I couldn’t turn down the chance to study this rarely taught language,” Wasserman said. “That it was offered at a large university with all the cultural resources of a major metropolis was icing on the cake.”

In addition to other short-term programs, such as a master’s program in choral conducting, the College interacts with faculty groups internationally, according to Jose Galvan, dean of College of Extended Studies and International Programs.

The Center for Korean American and Korean Studies, for example, recently hosted a group of Korean teachers who attended classes and interned at elementary schools through a partnership with a Korean university.

The College also coordinates study abroad trips for students like Natalie Aviles, an international business major who spent almost a year in Spain.

With Madrid as her home base, Aviles attended courses in Spanish art, history and phonetics at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. During breaks, the senior explored more of the country and Europe, visiting the Alhambra castle in Granada, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and more.

“The study abroad experience has given me more drive to be successful. It will keep motivating me to get the job that I want,” said Aviles, who added a Spanish minor after her trip.

Many reasons, including language development, experience in a specialized field, general interest and a desire to connect with a heritage, can lead students to travel abroad, Galvan said.

The programs facilitated by the College of Extended Studies and International Programs make for a more diverse student population with a wider range of experiences from which the entire campus community can benefit.

“The College exists to provide an opportunity for academics and administrators to extend their services and subject matter to external audiences,” said Galvan. “The benefit to the campus community is by exposure to new ways of thinking, to new ideas and cultures.”

Dr. Joseph A. Bailey

Leaving a legacy and making a difference

Joseph A. Bailey II, M.D., understands the value of education and hard work.


A charitable remainder unitrust is like a combination of a gift and an investment. You place assets in trust, and you receive a lifetime income from them—then the University receives the remainder.

The option offers flexibility and is excellent as a supplemental retirement plan. For more information about charitable remainder unitrusts, please contact University Development at (323) 343-3075.

As a young man in the South, he worked four jobs to save for college. It is no surprise that Bailey has found a connection with Cal State L.A. and the students, most of whom work at least 30 hours weekly.

Early in his relationship with the University, Bailey established a charitable remainder unitrust with Cal State L.A. as a beneficiary. By using an appreciated asset to fund his unitrust, Bailey was able to make a significant gift to the University and reduce the tax liability to his estate, sheltering his family from an added tax burden. His unitrust also produces a guaranteed income for his lifetime.

In addition to making a planned gift, Bailey has supported various programs at the University through current gifts. He created the Joseph A. Bailey II, M.D. endowed chair in American Communities, becoming the first African American to endow a chair in the California State University system.

Bailey practiced as an orthopaedic surgeon for more than 40 years, publishing papers in medical journals and developing six inventions and a patent. One publication, “Disproportionate Short Stature, Diagnosis, and Management,” changed world literature on dwarfism.

Now retired, Dr. Bailey writes a weekly news column and self-help books for urban youths. With a philosophy to help those in need, he remains true to this ideal in every endeavor.

To learn more about Annual Giving, visit

University News

Proposition 30: The Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act of 2012

Voters going to polls on Nov. 6 will have many tough decisions to make, including a proposal that will have a major impact on the California State University.

Proposition 30 is Gov. Jerry Brown's initiative to help address the state's funding gap. The ballot measure would temporarily raise personal income tax rates for individuals making more than $250,000 for seven years and increase sales and use taxes by ¼ cent for four years.

If the proposition fails, the immediate impact to the CSU would be an additional minimum budget cut of $250 million. This would bring the CSU's total loss in state funding since 2007-08 to nearly $1.2 billion, or nearly 40 percent.

The CSU Board of Trustees endorses Proposition 30 due to its direct relationship to the system's fiscal stability and funding levels in 2012-13 and beyond.

Election Day is Nov. 6. To locate your polling place, visit

Exhibit honors career of McClain

The Fine Arts Gallery at CSULA remembered professor emeritus Malcolm McClain with a retrospective of his artworks in September. Staring Intently at a Sound: The Studio Practice of Mac McClain represented a 65-year career in a wide range of mediums, including ceramics, painting, photography and poetry.

Attending the exhibit opening was former colleague and professor emeritus Walter Askin and former student Robert Bailey '67. In 2007, Bailey honored his mentor and professor by establishing a sculpture scholarship in McClain's name. McClain, who died in May at age 89, was an effective, dedicated and influential educator and artist. He began teaching courses in ceramics and painting at Cal State L.A. in 1965, served as chair of the Department of Art and later the dean of the College of Arts and Letters.

New dean of Graduate Studies and Research

Lawrence M. Fritz, New dean of Graduate Studies and Research.

Lawrence M. Fritz was appointed as dean of Graduate Studies and Research in June. He said projects like the Sustainable Hydrogen Facility, the Metrolink station and the inclusion of students in faculty scholarship and research attracted him to Cal State L.A.

As dean, Fritz is looking to improve the admissions process, increase retention rates for graduate students and identify more research opportunities for faculty and students.

Previously, Fritz was assistant vice president of research and dean of Graduate Studies and a tenured professor in biology at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.

Alumnus at the Olympics

Khadevis Robinson, : Alumnus at the Olympics

Alumnus Khadevis Robinson '04 (M.S.) spent his summer in London, but he wasn't there for the sights—he was competing in the 2012 Olympic Games. It was the second trip to the Olympics for the eight-time national champion in the 800 meter race. Although his time of 1:47.17 didn't qualify him for the semifinal race, he competed with the intensity and heart he always gives. He received his master's degree in public administration from Cal State L.A. Currently, Robinson works as head coach of women's cross country and an assistant coach of track and field at The Ohio State University and does motivational speaking events.

Q. What are the challenges for the 800 meter race and how did you prepare for the Olympic Games?
A. The challenge is to conquer yourself and your fears. The 800 meter race is the toughest event in track and field because you have to have speed and endurance. This combined with it being a global event with individual athletes from everywhere who are good. I prepared by doing the same things I have been doing my entire career: giving my best every day in every way.

Q. What does it feel like to represent your country twice as an Olympic athlete?
A. It feels great to represent your country. Not everyone can say they had the privilege. I am humbled by the opportunity.

Q. Name one thing you will never forget about your Olympic experience.
A. I will never forget the moments I shared with my teammates and the interactions and responses from all of the Americans that came to watch us represent our country.

Q. What do you think are the keys to success?
A. There are many keys to success: 1) believe in yourself; 2) put in the work and effort; 3) never give up; 4) have faith; and 5) enjoy the process.

Q. What is your next goal?
A. My next goal is to help others achieve their dreams and goals. At this point, I am focused on getting the team I coach at Ohio State University to run really well. I will continue to work hard and pray and see what life has to offer. Major things happen in minor moments!

Alumni News

Notable alumni, students honored at Alumni Awards Gala

Notable alumni, students honored at Alumni Awards Gala
Honorees for the 38th Annual Alumni Awards Gala: (from left) Mario Giron-Ábrego, Cynthia Kawa, Nancy J. Lavelle, America Tang, Guillermo Zuñiga, Olga Shalygin Orloff, Marx L. Cazenave II, Wayne A. Warner, Pamela Wiley-Wells and Alan Davidner.

A Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, an archeologist-in-training and leading business executives were among the notables honored at the Alumni Association’s 38th Annual Alumni Awards Gala in October.

The Alumni Association’s premiere event recognized nine alumni and two students who got their start at Cal State L.A. and have made significant contributions to their fields and the community.

Alumna of the Year Olga Shalygin Orloff ’77 has been a critical care nurse, photojournalist and documentary filmmaker, whose coverage of the resignation of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev earned her the Pulitzer Prize in 1992.

Other honorees include:

University Service Award: Guillermo Zuñiga ’86, president of Grifols Biologicals, Inc.

Distinguished Alumna, College of Arts and Letters: Cynthia Kawa ’79, ’82, CEO of New Horizons.

Distinguished Alumna, College of Business and Economics: America Tang ’79, CEO of Ace Fence Company and founder and CEO of Lending Hope Foundation.

Distinguished Alumna, Charter College of Education: Nancy J. Lavelle ’71, ’77, Ph.D., president and CEO of Total Education Solutions, Inc. and founder and president of Institute for the Redesign of Learning.

Distinguished Alumnus, College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology: Alan Davidner ’73, former president of endOclear®, LLC.

Distinguished Alumna, College of Health and Human Services: Pamela Wiley-Wells ’75, Ph.D., president of Los Angeles Speech and Language Therapy Center, Inc.

Distinguished Alumnus, College of Natural and Social Sciences: Marx L. Cazenave II ’62, cofounder and former CEO of Progress Investment Management Company.

Distinguished Faculty Alumnus: Fred Daneshgaran ’84, ’85, Ph.D., chair and professor of Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering, Cal State L.A.

Outstanding Graduate Student: Mario Giron-Ábrego ’10, ’13, Master of Arts degree in anthropology, Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology.

Outstanding Senior Student: Wayne A. Warner ’13, Bachelor of Science degrees in biochemistry and microbiology.


Election information online at Legislative Action Center

Election Day is right around the corner. Whether you’re still forming an opinion on a candidate or looking to be more active in the political process, the Cal State L.A. Legislative Action Center provides information and tips to help you become a savvy voter.

The Alumni Association at Cal State L.A. maintains the virtual center to provide information on current bills, key votes, elections and issues that influence the future of higher education in California. The site aims to inform the body politic while energizing alumni and the campus community to be active in ensuring higher education remains a priority for elected officials.

If you’re looking to become more involved, sign up for the Action E-List to receive alerts when your efforts in a letter-writing campaign or other activity can make a critical difference.

Visit the Legislative Action Center at or follow the links from the Alumni Association website for more information.

Alumni Spotlight

Alumni Spotlight: Olga Shalygin Orloff ’77

Olga Shalygin Orloff ’77 has always been drawn to the power of the still image.

As a child, Orloff would spend hours looking through LIFE and National Geographic magazines studying photography of people in their native habitats—whether in the suburbs of the United States or tribal villages in Africa.

“I always loved looking at images that were different from the world I inhabited,” Orloff said. “I remember in LIFE, which covered a variety of topics, I used to find myself looking at people’s faces and eyes and how they reacted to a situation. It reminded me that it is a big world with many viewpoints and people are affected differently by the same event.”

Years later, Orloff, 2012 Alumna of the Year, translated that passion into a career as an award-winning photojournalist and documentary filmmaker. How she got to that point was a lucky combination of preparation and opportunity.

Orloff was born in Los Angeles to parents who fled Soviet Russia after World War II. She went to public school and on Saturdays attended Russian parochial school to keep up with the language.

Her parents were “firm believers” in the sciences as a path to a stable career and Orloff followed their practical advice to pursue a degree in the medical field. She found a good fit with nursing.

To be an alumni mentor, call the Alumni Association at (323) 343-ALUM (2586) or email

Alumni Associations mentor program:

“New forms of nursing were coming out, such as the nurse practitioner program, nurse anesthetists, and specializations in orthopaedics, pediatrics and cardiology. When you got out of school you had a definite marketable skill and could work in almost any state.”

After completing her bachelor’s in critical care nursing, Orloff worked at the Keck School of Medicine of USC Division of Nephrology and Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center, specializing in the surgical and burn intensive care units. Many of the lessons learned at Cal State L.A., she says, prepared her to be successful in her medical career.

“Here I was a stranger taking care of somebody and I had to make this person feel comfortable and trusting,” she said. “I feel like some of those skills helped me deal with people, and to become more empathetic.”

It’s a skill that helped her become a better photojournalist, she adds.

The flexible work schedule allowed her to enroll in photography courses at Cal State Long Beach. During the 1980s, she interned at the Los Angeles Times and Orange County Register, eventually becoming a staff photographer with several major California newspapers.

In the 1990s, Orloff was hired as staff photographer for The Associated Press San Francisco Bureau, which dispatched her across the globe to cover everything from the Super Bowl to Olympic Games and major military conflicts in Somalia, Chechnya, Azerbaijan and the Soviet Union. Her fluency in Russian became invaluable while overseeing the AP Moscow Bureau photo department, where she coordinated coverage of the collapse of the Communist regime in the Soviet Union, an effort that won the team the 1992 Pulitzer Prize in Spot News Photography.

“One of my first thoughts was ‘thank you mom and dad, for making me speak Russian as a kid,’” she said. “I felt like all these events in my past were coming together. It was preparation and opportunity that changed the course of my professional career and helped me be in that situation.”

For the past 14 years, she and her husband, Cliff Orloff, have created documentaries out of their Berkeley home. Their company, Red Door Video Productions, produces films for PBS stations that tell stories about everyday life of different cultures, including Cuba, the Yanomami Indians and Congo. Several documentaries on Afghanistan have been used in cultural training exercises by the U.S. Department of Defense and featured at many universities. Orloff shoots the footage while Cliff writes and organizes the production.

“He keeps me on a schedule,” she said. “He jokes that if I were left to my own devices, I’d still be on my first documentary, but it would be absolutely perfect.”

Class Notes


  • Bogdan Bagdasarov (’11) is an affiliate manager for T3Leads, a Los Angeles-based Affiliate Marketing firm.
  • Alla Goldman ('10) launched SauceBox, an e-Commerce cosmetics business.



  • Daphne Gabriel('09) performed in an off-Broadway production, Innocent Flesh, as a member of The Actors' Gang and has been offered a spot at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
  • Book cover of Reflections in Recovery.Edward Houston (’01) has recently published an autobiography, Reflections in Recovery: The Attributes of Being Average with iUniverse.
  • Linda Hulsey-Magness (’06) has been appointed the director of Financial Aid at University of Redlands.
  • Michael A. Knish ('00 M.A.) was appointed to a judgeship with the San Bernardino County Superior Court by Gov. Jerry Brown.
  • Miguel Montalva ('07, '11 M.A.), of the Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition, was a guest speaker for the "undocuqueer" movement event at the Long Beach Gay and Lesbian Center.
  • Miryam Mora-Barajas ('06 M.A.) led Matthew Lin's general election campaign for the newly-created 49th state Assembly District.
  • John Paramo ('01) is the principal at John Burroughs High School in Burbank Unified School District.
  • Isabel Rojas-Williams ('07, '09 M.A.) is executive director of the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles.
  • Priscilla Ruiz (’07) teaches auto shop at Bonita High School in La Verne.
  • Nazario Sauceda (’06) is the director of the Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services.
  • Leana Wen (’01) is a third-year resident in emergency medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.



  • James Bell (’97), the 2005 Distinguished Alumnus for the College of Business and Economics, retired as chief financial officer of Boeing.
  • Tom Desmond (’96) has been promoted to Manhattan Beach fire captain.
  • Jennifer Gage ('96 M.A.) is the principal of Garvanza Elementary School in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
  • Christopher Greco ('95) received a 2011 ASCAPlus Award in concert music from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers.
  • Headshot of Jim Smith.Jim Smith (’99), a 28-year-veteran of the Monterey Park Police Department, was appointed as the city's new police chief.
  • Carlos Urquidi (’92) was granted tenure as a professor in the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration program at Cypress College.
  • Headshot fo William WongWilliam Wong (’99 M.S.W.) was awarded the Congressional Angels in Adoption Award for his work as a placement and recruitment coordinator for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services Adoption and Permanency Resources Division. He was nominated by Sen. Diane Feinstein.



  • Arthur Amador (’86) is one of the mission directors for the Mars Rover Curiosity for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
  • John Capoccia (’82) was elected to the Sierra Madre City Council.
  • Book cover for A Sack Half Full.Jerry Duprez (’81 M.A., ’82 M.A.) has written a non-fiction book, A Sack Half Full, a humorous memoir about his experiences with testicular cancer.
  • Gerald Freeny (’83), an employee of the State Department of Corrections and longtime Tournament of Roses board member, was inducted into the John Muir High School Hall of Fame.
  • Hiroshi Eto (’84 M.S.) retired as program director at the Great Lakes & Ohio River Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
  • Donald Haring (’80 M.A.) is vice president of human resources at Cubic Defense Applications.
  • Fundi Legohn (’82) is the director of the Oxnard High School music program and marching band.
  • Mark Matsui (’82 M.S.) is the new director of the Disabled Students Programs and Services at Rio Hondo College.
  • Braulio Montesino ('80) is general counsel for the California Department of Managed Health Care.
  • Laurie Narro ('86 M.A.) is principal of Monterey Hills Elementary in the South Pasadena Unified School District.
  • Kevin Nikkhoo ('86 M.A.) is CEO of CloudAccess, a cloud-based information security startup.
  • Luis Rojas (’89) is president and CEO of Evergreen Energy Solutions, LLC., a solar development company.
  • Elena Stephens (’89) is a registered environmental health specialist for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Division of Environmental Health.
  • Edward Sugar(’88), vice president at OLC Global, Inc., received the Meritorious Service to Marketing Research Award from the Marketing Research Association.
  • Tamara Stevens (’82), co-owner of the Pasadena Ballroom Dance Association, has co-authored a book, Swing Dancing, from the American Dance Floor series.



  • Donald Bakeer (’73, ’75 M.A.), author of Crips: The Story of the L.A. Street Gang from 1971-1985 , has recently written his memoir, I, Too, Can Create Light .
  • J. Jon Bruno (’74), Episcopal bishop of the Los Angeles diocese, is undergoing aggressive treatment to fight leukemia.
  • Headshot of Yasmin Delahoussaye.Yasmin Delahoussaye ('75) has been named vice chancellor of Educational Programs and Institutional Effectiveness of the Los Angeles Community College District.
  • Marilyn Diaz (’72) has retired as police chief of the Sierra Madre Police Department, ending a 37-year career in law enforcement that included 32 years at the Pasadena Police Department.
  • Headshot of Pamela DuffyPamela Duffy (’70), a partner at Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass LLP, has been named one of the Top 100 Attorneys in California for 2011 by the Daily Journal .
  • Lizabeth Herrera(’79), executive director of El Nido Family Centers, received a Lifetime Champion Award from the organization.
  • Paul La Riviere (’76), retired arts therapist for the corrections system, had an exhibit of 3-D multimedia artworks shown at the GALA Center in San Luis Obispo.
  • Michael Lucki (’78) is the chief financial officer of CH2M Hill, a global engineering firm.
  • Ralph Martin (’73) is interim police chief for the city of Santa Maria.
  • Gary Milliman (’70), city manager of Brookings, Ore., received the Award for Career Excellence in Honor of Mark E. Keane by the International City/County Management Association.
  • Stasys Pinkus (’71), a scenic artist, showed his artwork at the Onion Gallery in North Hills.
  • Photo of Don Runyan Don Runyan (’70), drafting instructor at Cleveland High School in Reseda, was named National Advisor of the Year by SkillsUSA.
  • Anthony Shay (’71) was promoted to associate professor of dance at Pomona College.



  • Raul Cardoza (’67) has retired as dean of Enrollment Management at Los Angeles Trade-Tech College.
  • Dan Downs (’66) wrote a novel, Not My Son, released in March by Infinity Publishing, about a special ops mission gone wrong.
  • Jerry Gaines (’64) was elected chairman of the Los Angeles County Workforce Investment Board.
  • Burt Golden (’60) wrote an e-book, Madness of March, about crime and deception in sports.
  • Harry Irving (’62, ’72 M.A.) wrote a book, A Children's Picture-Word and Simple Sentence Book: English Version Primary Grades & ESOL Students, published by Trafford Publishing.
  • Donald Lucove (’66), a certified public accountant, was bestowed the Bill Van Gieson Spirit of Calabasas Award from the Calabasas Chamber of Commerce.
  • Bernard Luskin (’61) was selected president-elect for the Media Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association.
  • Gerald Petievich (’66) is a former U.S. Secret Service agent and novelist. Three of his novels, To Live and Die in L.A., Boiling Point and The Sentinel, were produced into major motion pictures.
  • Tetsu Tanimoto (’65), a financial planner for Merrill Lynch in the Tanimoto, Tanabe and McMahon Group, was recognized on “America’s Top 1,000 Advisors: State-by-State” list in Barron’s magazine.
  • Gary Townsend (’69) has become a partner at Englander Knabe & Allen, the largest independent public relations agency in Los Angeles.
  • Mia Yamamoto (’66), a defense attorney and civil/human rights activist, received the 2011 John Anson Ford Human Relations Award from the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations. Yamamoto, who was born Michael Yamamoto in an Arizona internment camp in 1943, accepted the award on behalf of the transgender community.



  • Richard Whitney (’58) received the 2011 Chapter Leadership Award from the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.


In Memoriam

  • Wayne Paul Alley , emeritus professor of biology, taught courses in statistics, freshwater biology and general biology.
  • Charles Britton (’58) was a longtime newspaper writer and editor for many Southern California newspapers, including the Daily Breeze . He also served as a political strategist within Los Angeles.
  • Harry C. Coffin was emeritus professor of geography and meteorology.
  • Mervyn M. Dymally('54) was a former teacher and longtime legislator. Dymally's political career included a stint as California's only black lieutenant governor and he served in both houses of the Legislature and Congress.
  • Willis Edwards ('74) was a civil rights advocate and driving force behind the Image Awards as leader of the Beverly Hills-Hollywood branch of the NAACP.
  • Headshot of Lloyd Ferguson.Lloyd Noel Ferguson , a professor emeritus of chemistry, was a celebrated author and pioneer in helping eliminate racial barriers for African Americans in the field of chemistry. The quad between La Kretz Hall and Wing B of the Wallis Annenberg Integrated Sciences Complex at CSULA was dedicated in his honor as the Ferguson Courtyard in 2011.
  • Norman Fruman , emeritus professor of Language Arts. His controversial biography of poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Coleridge, the Damaged Archangel , made waves in the literary community.
  • Lawrence “Larry” Haun (’69) spent a lifetime building houses and writing articles and books that taught others how to make them. His recently published memoir, A Carpenter’s Life as Told by Houses , discusses his life as a carpenter and philosopher.
  • Jackie Lou Hoyt ('60 M.A.), emerita professor of physical education, was an outdoor education specialist and developed the University's women's and co-ed intercollegiate athletics program.
  • Teresa Hughes , a former professor of education, enjoyed a long and varied career in the public sector as a social worker, teacher and school administrator. She served as a Democratic state senator and assemblywoman in the Los Angeles area.
  • George Elmer Jakway , associate professor emeritus of biology, taught courses in general zoology and biology.
  • Hendrik Keyzer , emeritus professor of chemistry, was a pioneer in the fields of bioelectrochemistry and organic semiconductors. He received an Outstanding Professor Award in 1984 and was named a Trustees’ Outstanding Professor in 1987.
  • Malcolm McMclain , emeritus professor of art, taught courses in ceramics and painting and served as chair of the Art Department, associate dean and the acting dean of the College of Arts and Letters.
  • Fernando B. Morinigo , emeritus professor of physics, taught for 28 years at CSULA before working in the private sector as an engineer for Hughes Aircraft Company and then as chief corporate scientist at Aura Systems, Inc.
  • Anthony Joseph Moye , emeritus professor of chemistry, taught courses in organic chemistry and served as dean of graduate studies and dean of academic planning. He eventually became vice chancellor for academic affairs at CSU.
  • Diana Munatones (’70,’71 M.A.) had a distinguished career in media, working her way up in English and Spanish network television to become the Director of Community Broadcast Relations at KNXT and Director of Special Projects for CBS Inc.
  • Lisa O’Connor (’73 ’75 M.A.) worked as a licensed speech pathologist in Los Angeles and the Bay Area. She also was an associate professor and director of the Speech-Language Clinic at CSULA.
  • Headshot of Harry PachonHarry Pachon (’67, ’68 M.A.), longtime president of the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute at University of Southern California and former CSULA professor, was a scholar, educator and activist for the Latino community. He was the first director of National Association of Latino Elected Officials and was chief of staff to Latino congressman Edward Roybal.
  • Ignacia Ramirez ('86) worked for more than 30 years for the Department of Justice, retiring from the Los Angeles office in 1972.
  • William Henry Reid, III , (’60, ’67 M.S.) had a long career with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department before retiring from the Administrative Division in 1984.
  • Charlene Sankey , administrative support coordinator for the Department of Marketing, worked in various departments at Cal State L.A. for more than 40 years.
  • Etta Sheldrick ('71) taught English for nearly 20 years in the Los Angeles Unified School District at Wilson, Roosevelt and Belmont high schools, where she founded a computer lab.
  • Yutaka Shimizu ('55) was a well-regarded high school basketball coach in Los Angeles. While head coach at Hamilton High School, he trained future UCLA All-American Sidney Wicks.
  • Susan Gilmore Steiner , former director of research and sponsored programs, established the Susan G. Steiner Graduate Student Scholarship.
  • Dorothy Townsend (’60) broke barriers in a lengthy career as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times . Townsend fought to be re-assigned from the “women’s pages” to the city room and served on the team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1966 for the Times’ coverage of the Watts riots.
  • Antonio Velasquez (’00 M.A.) worked for 24 years as a civil engineer for the California Department of Transportation and the Parsons Corporation in Pasadena.
  • Edward Vincent ('66) was mayor of Inglewood for 12 years before serving in the state Legislature as a senator and assemblyman. He briefly played for the Los Angeles Rams in the late 1950s until a knee injury ended his football career.
  • Robert “Bob” Wasserman (’63), former Fremont police chief, served on the City Council for nearly 20 years and as mayor since 2004.

Sports Feature

Serving's her style

Amanda Deal holds a baby in El Salvador

Women’s basketball guard Amanda Deal had a good idea of how she wanted to spend at least part of her 2012 summer, thanks to an emotional and memorable experience in 2010.

Deal, a senior English major, has a passion for community service. She is vice-president of Cal State L.A.’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council, a group that performs community-service projects throughout the academic year. She has also traveled outside the United States during the past two summers with a church group to lend a helping hand at orphanages in El Salvador. She was so moved by her first trip two years ago that she vowed to make a return trip this summer.

“I knew when I left that I’d be coming back,” Deal said. “I’ll never forget getting off the plane; it’s just an entirely different world. Seeing the things I saw and hearing the stories from 12- and 13-year old girls, seeing babies abandoned … it was just heartbreaking. I was determined to go back and try to make a difference.”

Deal went to El Salvador for one week in July with a group of 19 that traveled to San Salvador, the country’s capital, and visited two orphanages. Deal’s summer trip included serving meals to the homeless, painting and refurbishing buildings and playing soccer with boys from another orphanage.

The highlight of the trip came when the group hosted a quinceañera, a traditional Latin American celebration for a girl turning 15, for 40 girls in the orphanage.

The team spent three days in preparation. Deal and fellow volunteers helped beautify the girls, who had been abused, neglected and abandoned, she said.

“They never had a dad tell them how beautiful they are or a mother to nurture them,” Deal said. “It was great to see the looks on their faces and see how much they appreciated what we were doing.”

The girls were escorted down a red carpet to the party and each received a handmade necklace. They ate dinner and were treated to a night to remember that included a 15-member samba band.

“It was really cool,” Deal said. “Some of the girls slept in their dresses because they didn’t want the evening to end.”

When her own trip was nearing its conclusion, Deal said she, too, didn’t want the special summer to end.

“It was very emotional,” she recalled. “Some of the girls remembered me from last year and they hugged me and told me they didn’t want me to leave. I didn’t want to leave, either.”

Deal looks forward to a second season with Cal State L.A.’s women’s basketball program that acheived some great things in 2011-12. The Golden Eagles reached the California Collegiate Athletic Association Championship Game and advanced to the NCAA Division II playoffs for only the second time in the program’s history. Deal played in 19 games for the Golden Eagles last season and will be one of the team’s co-captains this season.

“She’s the ultimate teammate. She’s always caring for other players. When someone has a bad game or needs to be lifted up, Amanda is always there for them,” women’s basketball coach Janell Jones said. “She’s a remarkable young lady, not only for our program, but also for how she wants to give back and help people. She’s doing something that impacts so many people in such a big way.”

Deal aspires to teach English in a foreign country after she graduates, and has already made plans to join the Peace Corps.


Photos courtesy of Amanda Deal and CSULA Division of Intercollegiate Athletics

Their Say

What skills have you developed at Cal State L.A. that will help you succeed in life?

Kevin Small, Transfer student
Fire Protection Administration and Technology

“The skills that I have developed here are writing. Like, I came here and I became a great writer. At first I was pretty mediocre, but now I'm dealing with the Writing Center and the Learning Center here and the teachers have really instilled the writing mechanics in me.”

Jessica Martinez, Junior
Nutritional Science

“"Over my stay here at Cal State L.A., I have developed leadership, public speaking, my ability to network and to time-manage.”

Raul Padilla, Fourth-year
Criminal Justice

“What I've learned from Cal State L.A. is better communication skills and better writing skills.”

Gabriela Monzon, Senior
Political Science

“The one thing I have learned and developed here at Cal State L.A. is my public speaking skills. I've become much better since I joined the Pre-Law Society and became president this year. So I'm very excited about that and I think it will help me in my future journeys after Cal State L.A.”

Susann De La Torre, Sophomore

“What I have developed most at Cal State L.A. is my communication skills. I'm more open now, I express myself more freely. I'm not shy anymore. …I really like how these people communicate with each other, their vibes and the atmosphere.”

Alisha Belt, senior
Computer Information Systems

“Since I've been at Cal State L.A., I've developed skills in crocheting, I've learned how to be more punctual, and I'm learning to multi-task every day.”