Coordinator hired to help campus veterans

Coordinator hired to help campus veterans

Veterans Affairs coordinator, Laura Shigemitsu sitting at her desk.

As Cal State L.A.’s Veterans Affairs coordinator, Laura Shigemitsu will help the more than 500 student veterans on campus navigate the GI Bill and assist in their assimilation to college life. Shigemitsu previously worked in CSULA’s Office for Students with Disabilities in the TRIO program. Prior to CSULA, she volunteered for 10 years with the 100th/442 Veterans Association and the Go For Broke National Education Center, which preserves the stories of World War II veterans. The Veterans Affairs Office is responsible for ensuring student military veterans have a system of support. Besides helping veterans manage and receive their GI Bill benefits, Shigemitsu and work-study student veterans provide assistance to those on campus who have served.


Public safety takes pride in new building

Headshot of Chief Joseph Curreri.
Chief Joseph Curreri

The Public Safety Building opened in spring with technologies that help personnel to safeguard the campus. The state-of-the-art facility features a four-station police dispatch center, briefing room, training room, detective unit, interrogation room, evidence processing room, records storage, and offices. Concurrently came the arrival of University Police Chief Joseph Curreri, replacing Chief Greg King, who retired in July. Curreri, who received a Master of Public Administration from Cal State L.A. in 1984, was a member of the Los Angeles Police Department for 35 years. “;All sworn and civilian members of the Department of Public Safety have worked diligently to maintain and to continually improve our performance and professional image,” said Curreri. “;It is rewarding that our department now has a facility that mirrors the professionalism of those who occupy it.”


Solar panel project

Cal State L.A.’s Technology Department involved with the University’s Power, Energy and Transportation Lab is shining a light on a solar panel project that took years of planning and development. The new photovoltaic (PV) system installed on the Engineering and Technology building was activated July 27 to collect the sun’s power and convert that energy to electricity to offset the building’s energy consumption.  “;Reducing our carbon footprint, the system generates about 40 kilowatts (kWh) of renewable energy daily during the summer, which is estimated to produce about 12,000 kWh of electricity annually,” said Associate Professor David Blekhman, the director of the Power, Energy and Transportation program at CSULA. “;This installation paves the way to more systems like that on campus.” The project received funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, Southern California Edison, Honda and the CSULA College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology. For more about the lab: /academic/ecst/programs_and_facilities/pet_lab.php

For real-time data regarding the solar energy generated by the project:


One campus, one book

The University is looking to get everyone on the same page with the One Campus, One Book program. For the 2011-12 academic year, organizers have selected New York Times bestseller “;The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” by Rebecca Skloot. The book chronicles the story of an African American woman who was diagnosed with cervical cancer in the 1950s. Before treatment, her doctor took two tissue samples–one cancerous, one not–without her permission and gave them to a research scientist. The samples, named “;HeLa” were grown in the lab, with research yielding numerous discoveries for decades after her death. The book appeals to all academic disciplines, exploring topics from advancements in science to bioethics and health care. Community activities to encourage discussion are being scheduled throughout the year.

For information, visit


Counseling program a success

The Charter College of Education is partnering with the Los Angeles Unified School District to provide counseling services to elementary school students. The SUCCESS program is led by Associate Professor Sheri Atwater, in the Division of Special Education and Counseling. Graduate students learn communication techniques and theories for counselors and therapists, and are assigned to clients in the spring quarter. This spring, El Sereno Elementary School students had eight weeks of counseling from Cal State L.A. students enrolled in Counseling 507: Individual Clinical Counseling. At the course’s completion, the counselors earn their credential, and the ability to accept clients (under one-year supervision) in K-12 schools throughout the state.


Educators honored at Fall Faculty Day 2011

Honored faculty take photo with president Rosser.

Pictured: CSULA’s Outstanding Professors (front row from left) Outstanding Lecturer Simeon Slovacek, Feimeng Zhou, Sharon H. Ulanoff, Kylie Hsu (President’s Distinguished Professor), Ali Modarres, and Atsuko Sato; (back row from left) Award Selection Committee Chair David Diaz, Academic Senate Chair Nancy Hunt, President James M. Rosser, and Provost Ashish Vaidya.

Six faculty members were honored for their excellence in teaching and significant achievements during the University’s Fall Faculty Day. Among the recipients for the Outstanding Professor Awards were Ali Modarres, a professor of geoscience and environment; Simeon Slovacek, professor of education, Division of Applied and Advanced Studies in Education; Sharon Ulanoff, professor of education, Division of Curriculum and Instruction; and Feiming Zhuo, professor of chemistry and biochemistry. The Outstanding Lecturer Award was given to Atsuko Sato, a political science lecturer. This year’s President’s Distinguished Professor Award went to Kylie Hsu, a professor of Chinese linguistics, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. Hsu is an internationally-recognized scholar, published author and a key faculty member in establishing the University’s Chinese Program and Asian and Asian American Studies.


Mark your Calendar

  • John Souza
    Through Jan. 14, 2012
    Luckman Gallery

    Los Angeles-based artist, educator, and curator John Souza has produced a significant body of artwork over his 30-year career. This exhibition draws attention to this important artist who incorporates personal history, cult fantasy, dystopian ideas, and digital surrealism in works that span many different artistic mediums. This comprehensive show situates rarely-seen past projects alongside new work. Gallery hours: Mon.-Thu. and Sat., noon-5 p.m. For more information, call the Luckman Gallery at (323) 343-6604.

  • Aaron Neville
    Dec. 17, 8 p.m.
    Luckman Theatre

    A multi-Grammy Award-winner, Aaron Neville is undoubtedly one of the most prolific artists in the R&B genre. A powerful and soulful vocalist, Neville is known for his signature vibrato that rises and dips, full of passion, and utterly sincere; National Public Radio says, “Aaron Neville is an icon.” Celebrating 50 years as a recording artist, Neville will perform a special concert to celebrate the holiday season. For more information or for tickets, visit or call the Luckman Box Office at (323) 343-6600.

  • Luckman Jazz Orchestra: Hank Mobley
    Jan. 21, 2012, 8 p.m.
    Luckman Theatre

    Hank Mobley stands out as one of the most revered tenor saxophonist and composers of the hard-bop era in jazz. Mobley’s style was laid-back, subtle, and melodic, especially in contrast to players like Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane. The outstanding musicians of the Luckman Jazz Orchestra, conducted by Charles Owens, will honor Hank Mobley’s great contributions to jazz by playing newly arranged renditions of his music. For more information or for tickets, visit or call the Luckman Box Office at (323) 343-6600.

A complete listing of campus events is available at