Today Spring 2010


Exterior day, Frontier Land and Disney Land.

Re-imagining ‘magic’

As a Walt Disney Imagineer, Cal State L.A. alumnus Alfredo Ayala ’94 endeavors to blur the line between reality and fantasy.

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  • The case for forensic art

    Sandra Enslow ’84 stands over her desk displaying a collection of composites.

    Alumna uses art training at CSULA to help catch criminals.

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  • The cutups career

    The TeitelBaums brothers sketch a comic.

    A creative duo, the Teitelbaum brothers think up daily gags for international publications.

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  • Life on the go

    Art Leahy sits in the driver seat of a Metro bus.

    Metro CEO Art Leahy drove his way to the top, starting his career as a bus driver.

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  • Baking up a legacy

    The Porto siblings stand before a display case of pastries.

    The sweet and savory treats at Porto’s Bakery and Café beckon customers from near and far.

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  • A ‘Schindler's List’ child

    Portrait of alumnus Leon Leyson.

    Alumnus Leon Leyson ’54 shares his story of survival and life under Nazi rule with the campus community.

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  • Staying healthy, wealthy and wise

    Portrait of Professor Valentine Villa.

    CSULA Professor and Gerontology Institute Director Valentine Villa provides research and resources for the city’s aging community.

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University News

Service Learning is on a roll

For the third consecutive year, Cal State L.A. was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service to America’s communities. Established in 2006 by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Honor Roll recognizes more than 700 institutions nationwide, including 14 CSU campuses.

Students engage in community service activities through two key avenues: the Educational Participation in Communities Program, which hosts an annual toy drive and regularly participates in the America Reads program, among other things; and the Office of Community Engagement, which coordinates service-learning opportunities that accompany classroom studies and projects.

Discover 'Darwin Now'

A multi-panel exhibit that explores the impact of naturalist Charles Darwin’s research and writing on science, religion, and society throughout the last 150 years opened on campus in May. Installed in the first floor lobby of La Kretz Hall, the “Darwin Now” Exhibit will be on display through December 2011.

The former-traveling exhibit has been given as a gift to the University from the British Council. It was originally produced to commemorate Darwin’s 200th birthday (he was born Feb. 12, 1809—the same day as Abraham Lincoln) and the 150th anniversary of the publishing of his most renowned work, On the Origin of Species.

Cal State L.A. will be the last stop for “Darwin Now.” For upcoming programming related to the exhibit, go to, you can also contact English Professor Lauri Ramey for more information.

CSULA Library gets a 'special' addition

Movement’s mementos enhance East L.A. Archive project.

A collection of political flyers, broadsides, newspapers, books, buttons, posters and photographs that document events and emotions surrounding Chicano activism from 1967 to the late 1970s was donated to the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library’s special collections.

The materials, gathered and preserved by community activist Gloria Arellanes, augment a recently established East Los Angeles Archive. The archive documents the history of a community central to the social, political and cultural history of the Chicano/Latino community in Los Angeles.

As part of the Library’s Special Collections, Arellanes materials join a repository of literary, historical and cultural treasures housed on campus. The special collections materials are available for viewing by appointment, at (323) 343-4435.

Alums return to mark campus landmarks

The Cal State L.A. community celebrated two significant milestones in April with a little help from friends and former students.

“Statement” literary magazine commemorated its 60th anniversary and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry celebrated its 50th anniversary with presentations and appearances by alumni, faculty and former contributors.

Accomplished author and former student-contributor Helena María Viramontes shared some of her work and experiences in publishing during the magazine party. Writing for the student-led literary and arts magazine, which is one of the oldest publications of its kind in the country, was a stepping stone for Viramontes in her career, she said.

Meanwhile, a 50th anniversary celebration for the science department drew more than a hundred visitors to campus to tour the new science facility, La Kretz Hall, and hear from distinguished alumni and faculty, including Deborah Wong ’98, John Petersen ’70, Glenn Millhauser ’80, and Professor Emeritus Harold Goldwhite.

Afro Latin Ensemble Heading to China

The Afro Latin Ensemble, under the direction of Music Professor Paul De Castro, has been invited to perform at the 29th World Conference of the International Society for Music Education, a gathering of thousands of music professionals and educators this summer in Beijing, China.

The Ensemble, which comprises 20 undergraduate and graduate students, will perform two concerts at the conference and then again in the city of Tianjin. Previously, the Ensemble has performed with celebrated salsa pianist Larry Harlow and many other guest artists, including Pablo Menendez, Orestes Vilato, Frank Emilio Flynn, and Edgardo Cambon.

Fueling California's economy

Cal State L.A. is a driving force in the region, sustaining thousands of jobs and pumping millions of dollars into the economy each year.

According to a recent study released on the economic impact of the California State University system in the state, Cal State L.A. adds nearly $600 million annually to the local economy through operational, auxiliary, capital and campus community spending. The University also sustains more than 5,300 jobs statewide.

See the complete report at

Engineering team out-clocks the competition with national top honors

A team of ten engineering and technology students outdid collegiate competitors in March, bringing home the grand prize title in the 2010 WESTEC Manufacturing Challenge with a pendulum driven grandfather clock.

The grand prize title was a first for Cal State L.A., which has had teams participate in the competition annually and has garnered three first-place titles (2004, 2005 and 2008 competitions) in the last six years. The WESTEC Manufacturing Challenge is a creative competition where college students design and manufacture products for judging by manufacturing professionals.

According to team captain Ian van den Bosch, “The challenge was for each school to produce a creative product that could be manufactured, and to also document the process clearly. We have worked extremely hard and have sacrificed necessities like sleeping in order to win this competition.”

From prescription, to policy

Cal State L.A. students are getting their hands wet, collecting water samples and analyzing river watersheds in Valley Verde, Arizona. As participants in the newly launched Hydrology and Water Policy Program at the University, the students are trying to gain a clearer understanding of recent water issues in the Southwestern United States.

The new program is funded with a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

More news updates are available on the University's homepage at


Discover an opportunity to enrich your life through one of many activities on campus:

  • Reel Rasquache Art & Film Festival
    June 4–June 6

    A West Coast celebration of films by and about U.S. Latinos, the three-day film festival brings together a broad base of community members, U.S. Latino film/video independents and entertainment industry representatives. The Reel Rasquache Art and Film Festival, originally started as a means for spotlighting Latina/o talent to the campus community, is now celebrating its seventh year.

    For more information about the event, visit

  • 2010 Undergraduate and Graduate Commencement
    June 11–June 12
    University Athletic Stadium

    In ceremonies spread over two days, Cal State L.A. will confer several thousand bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Friday ceremony will include graduates from Charter College of Education, College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology, and College of Health and Human Services, and Saturday will feature graduates from the College of Arts and Letters, College of Business and Economics, and College of Natural and Social Sciences. For more information, visit

  • Raiford Rogers Modern Ballet
    June 19, 8 p.m.
    Luckman Theatre

    A world premiere of Hammerklavier, a multi-media ballet set to Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 29 in B flat major, Op. 106. It is widely considered to be one of the most important works of the composer’s third period. For more information or for tickets, visit or call the Luckman Box Office at (323) 343-6600.

  • Focus on Los Angeles: Pat Brown California Agenda 2010
    June 24, 8:30 a.m.

    A panel discuss about the issues surrounding health care and health care reform. the panelist will discuss ways that parties are trying to reframe the conversation locally to be about creating a healthy community for all Angelinos. For more information, call (323) 343-3770.

    To see a listing of other events on campus, visit the University Calendar homepage at

Alumni News

CSULA Alumni Association

Let’s make a difference together—today

Spring is the perfect time to spring into action—and what better way to become involved and jumpstart your personal and professional growth than by joining the CSULA Alumni Association.

With more than 10,000 members—and counting—the Association is one of the largest dues-paying organizations in the CSU system. Our members represent a wide-range of professional fields, careers and interests, and are key leaders throughout their communities and on this campus.

As an organization of our size and stature, we have a unique opportunity to effect change in our students’ and members’ lives, and we have actively sought out even better ways to do this through our new Alumni Mentoring Program, ongoing Financial Fitness forums and other networking events.

In order to maintain this level of success we need your help. Through your membership you demonstrate your commitment to Cal State L.A. and its role as a beacon of possibility in the community. Say “yes” to the Association, and say “yes” to maintaining and growing your intellectual, professional and emotional bonds to CSULA.

If you are not already a member of the Association, please join online at We may also be reached at (323) 343-ALUM (2586) and via e-mail at

Ms. Randi Moore
Executive Director, CSULA Alumni Relations

Leadership and Networking 101

Learn how to get involved at summer forum

Since its inception in 1955, the Cal State L.A. Alumni Association has been a recognized leader within the CSU system, receiving numerous awards for the design and execution of innovative member services, benefits and programs. Much of that success can be credited to our volunteers and members who are a driving force in the organization, having dedicated time to advancing the welfare of the University through leadership and service.

The Association will host the Alumni Leadership Recruitment Forum this summer. The forum will feature a panel of volunteers who will speak to value of being involved with the Association at the Committee, Board of Directors and Alumni Networks level. Our volunteers list many benefits of service, including professional enhancement, personal growth, and the opportunity to explore new professional paths and give back.

For more information, contact the Association at (323) 343-ALUM (2586) or email Randi Moore, Executive Director, Alumni Relations

Save the Date: Alumni Awards Gala

Rolling out its “black and gold” carpet, the CSULA Alumni Association will recognize this year’s outstanding alumni and students during its 36th annual Alumni Awards Gala on Thursday, October 21 at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex on campus.

Alumni, students and friends are recognized for their achievements and contributions to the University, to their professional field and to the community in an intimate gathering, complete with dinner and an Academy Awards-esque show. Awardees will be announced online at in the coming month. For sponsorship and ticket information, please contact the Association at (323) 343-ALUM (2586).

2010 graduates, members welcome to the Alumni family

The CSULA Alumni Association annual “GradFair”, a one-stop shop and job recruitment event organized especially for our graduating students, was flushed with success this year. Thousands of graduates from the class of 2010 attended, recorded video messages to be played during commencement, and pledged their ongoing support to CSULA, picking up the exclusive GradPack 2010—a special package offered by the Association that includes multi-year membership and discounts.

The Association celebrated a record-breaking year, selling more than 1,000 GradPacks! Thank you to our newest members and welcome to the University’s alumni network and family. Your global alumni community serves as a pillar of strength and provides you with valuable resources to accomplish your professional and academic goals.

Alumni Association Member Benefits Update

As an Association member, you have access to many benefits and services, including:

For more details, visit

Get 'logged in' to YOUR alumni community

The CSULA Alumni Association is adding to your online experience and expanding networking opportunities with “official” group pages on LinkedIn and Facebook. These online networking and social sites can help you develop a community of friends, colleagues, and new contacts for professional and social purposes.


There are currently more than 26,000 Cal State L.A. alumni and students in LinkedIn and close to 1,000 members of the CSULA Alumni Association LinkedIn Group today! To connect, click here.


To get news, events, new membership benefits, share photos, and connect with fellow alumni members, join the official CSULA Alumni Association Facebook Page! To connect, click here.

Alumni Spotlight

Alumni Spotlight: ‘Rolling’ with Mother Nature

President's Associates

The following individuals have given annual gifts of at least $1,000. We salute their investment and invite you to join in supporting Cal State L.A. by making a gift online or calling (323) 343-4866.

  • James A. Bell ’97
  • Mr. & Mrs. Robert Bridenbecker ’66
  • Warren ’71 and Susan Bryant
  • Kyle C. Button
  • Monica Chew ’04
  • Geneva Aleece Clymer ’62
  • William J. Dermody ’71, ’74
  • Jaffe Dickerson
  • Darlene Finocchiaro ’83, ’90
  • Verdel la Cour Flores ’74
  • Ramon Garcia ’71
  • Art M. ’80 & Lillian ’96 Gastelum
  • The Gillett Family
  • Eva Frant ’66, ’72
  • Ernest E. Guerra ’80
  • Robert Hoffman
  • Harry S. Hong
  • Lillian Y. Kawaski ’72, ’80
  • Victor King
  • Art Leahy ’74
  • Dal H. Lee
  • Ronald W. Lee ’68
  • Ethan B. Lipton ’76, ’83 & Janet Lent
  • William ’82 & Kathy Lewis
  • Fred Lopez ’83
  • Gary J. Matus ’69
  • David ’67, ’76 & Rosemary ’70 McNutt
  • Louis R. Negrete ’57
  • Nancy Nguyen ’97
  • Sheryl Okuno ’87
  • Charles H. Palmer ’53, ’60
  • George A. Pardon
  • Pamela Angerer Payne ’81, ’91, ’95
  • Thomas N. Peterson
  • Stephen E. Pickett ’75
  • Peter Quan
  • Philip J. Quigley ’67
  • Jorge Ramirez ’04
  • Chris Rapp ’76
  • Collette Rocha
  • Timothy Wayne Rogers ’82
  • Anthony R. Ross & Laverne White
  • A. Sami Siddiqui ’76
  • Albert Tattoni ’60
  • Linda Trevillian
  • Gilbert Vasquez ’64
  • Elizabeth Wheeler ’81
  • Patricia Louise Wohlford ’68
  • Tony Wong ’69, ’74
  • Wilbert Woo ’70, ’77
  • Zeus Xioco ’03
  • William Jih—Shen Yang ’58
  • Donald J. Zuk ’61
Portrait of Nabih Youssef ’71.
Nabih Youssef ’71

Soon after the 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck Chile in February, structural engineer Nabih Youssef ’71 MS was on a trek to the South American nation to carry out a research and reconnaissance mission.

Youssef and his colleagues were eager to discover what caused countless structures to crumble, while others remained standing tall, in order to develop more advanced best practices for the field. The Chilean earthquake, which resulted in the loss of several hundred lives and hundreds of thousands of structures, ranked as one of the biggest shakes, even causing the world to spin a bit faster.

“Earthquakes are the biggest research labs,” said Youssef, the founder and president of Nabih Youssef and Associates, a leading structural engineering firm in downtown Los Angeles. “It’s where we can truly see the results of Mother Nature testing our knowledge. In every event worldwide, Mother Nature gives us something new.”

In Chile, Youssef said, he learned many things. For one, his confidence in U.S. building codes that separate structural and nonstructural building components as a means for dissipating energy and strain during a quake was reinforced. A building withstands more violent and longer periods of shaking when it can “absorb and roll” with the energy, he said.

Similarly, steel plates—like those used in the newly opened L.A. Live Tower in downtown—might be a good alternative to reinforced concrete, providing greater flexibility and movement when shaking occurs.

“You can never overpower Mother Nature, and you can’t resist earthquakes. You learn to absorb and dissipate them,” Youssef said.

Working in the field of structural engineering over the last 43 years, Youssef has advanced practices in earthquake engineering, leaving his mark on structure design throughout the city and the world.

One of his most significant contributions to the industry, colleagues have said, was enacting performance-based design, a concept that emphasizes use, purpose, cost-effectiveness and structural soundness from inception to completion. In the L.A. Live Tower—which Nahib and Associates worked on—for instance, this approach played an important role in determining everything from building shape to construction materials.

Youssef and his team’s innovative approach, opting for ¼ inch steel plates, rather than the standard 36-inch thick reinforced concrete walls, resulted in a more flexible, light, and budget-friendly building. The tower was not only completed nearly six months ahead of schedule, but had roughly 27,000 square feet of extra space in hotel rooms, lounges and condominiums, he said.

“It was a great opportunity in my career to capitalize on the last 20 years of research in the steel plate phenomenon, and take it beyond analysis and beyond the code,” Youssef said, noting that the city put together a structural peer review committee to clear the design.

Nabih Youssef ’71 points out the projects he has worked on.
Structural engineer Nabih Youssef ’71 talks about some of his past projects, and explains what was done to construct Stanford Hospital.

“Above all, we had the ability to design a system that has a more predictable performance,” he added. “…When you do new avant-garde solutions, everyone has to buy into the possible risks and buy into the possible rewards.”

Other buildings which Youssef and his team have worked on include the retrofit of Los Angeles’ City Hall and the Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral with base isolation—a technique that separates a building from its base with rubber that absorbs movement and essentially allows buildings to “roll” in earthquakes. They also renovated the Los Angeles Coliseum and Dodger Stadium, worked on the expansion of the J. Paul Getty Museum Villa, the Skirball Jewish Cultural Center, and aided in the construction of Stanford Hospital.

Prior to starting his own firm in 1989, Youssef also worked on the Moscow World Trade Center and structural engineering projects for the Shah of Iran, among other things.

Class Notes


  • Portrait of Donald Darensbourg.Donald J. Darensbourg (’64), a professor of chemistry at Texas A&M University, has been selected from among the nation’s finest researchers as the 2010 recipient of the American Chemical Society Award in Inorganic Chemistry.
  • Diane Watson (’67 MS), congresswoman for the 33rd district of California, announced that she will retire from her seat in November. She has served in the Legislature since 2001, and before that was a California state senator from 1978 to 1998.



  • Rungsun "Sunny" Apinchapong (’74) was the background supervisor for animation in the new Disney film The Princess and the Frog.



  • Dave Carrier (’80) was appointed as fire chief of the Ontario Fire Department after a 30-year career with the agency, previously serving as a fire engineer, captain, battalion chief and deputy fire chief.
  • Thomas J. Griego (’84), the Los Angeles deputy city attorney, is running for judgeship on the Los Angeles Superior Court.
  • Lindel Hodge (’83), a two-time Olympic competitor in track and field, will be carrying this spring the Queen’s Baton—the symbol of the Commonwealth Games, which like the Olympic torch makes an international tour before the start of the games—through the Virgin Islands, his native country.



  • Portrait of Eduardo Cabrera.Eduardo Cabrera (’90, ’92 MA) was promoted to the position of professor of Modern Languages for the 2010-11 academic year at Millikin University in Illinois.
  • Portrait of Dean Gialamas.Dean Gialamas (’99 MS) recently became the director of the Los Angeles Regional Crime Lab located on the campus of Cal State L.A., a facility also shared with the University and the Los Angeles Police Scientific Bureau. Prior to his new role with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Office, Gialamas was the director of the Orange County Crime Lab.



  • Ernesto Arredondo (’00) is the new community banking president for the North Inland Empire market for Wells Fargo & Company.
  • Portrait of Wendy Carrillo.Wendy Carrillo (’05), a multimedia journalist in East Los Angeles and the host of the weekly “Knowledge is Power” radio show on Power 106 FM, was honored in April by Senator Gloria Romero for being the 2010 Woman of the Year of the 24th Senate District.
  • Portrait of Marina Leigh Duff.Marina Leigh Duff (’04, ’09 MA) has published her first poetry book, Markers & Erasers: Poetry about Teaching in Los Angeles Public High Schools. The book includes a collection of poems that she wrote for her master’s thesis.
  • Julie King (’04) is part of a team of biologist on Catalina Island who have successful brought the wild fox population back from extinction.
  • Portrait of Fred Ortega.Fred Ortega (’07) is the district director for Congresswoman Judy Chu in the 32nd Congressional District. Prior to making the move into politics, Ortega worked for nearly a decade in journalism, covering politics and city government for papers throughout the Southland.
  • Portrait of Brian Urias.Brian Urias (’06), field deputy for the 32nd Congressional District, has also been appointed as the planning commissioner for the city of Baldwin Park.
  • Thom Vernon (’00) recently wrote and published The Drifts, a novel that takes on gender, history and memory during a blizzard in a rural Arkansas town.


In Memoriam

  • Jaime Escalante (’73, ’77) a beloved East Los Angeles high school math teacher, who earned national fame through the 1988 film Stand and Deliver—based on his powerful and successful teaching approach—died in March after a battle with cancer. Escalante changed hundreds of students’ lives during his 17-year tenure at Garfield High School, and motivated his inner-city students to master advanced concepts in math and science. He eventually built an Advanced Placement calculus program that had more students enrolled than all but three other high schools in the country.
  • Charles E. Lloyd (’60), one of the city’s most prominent criminal defense attorneys, died in March. Lloyd began his career as one of Los Angeles’ first African-American deputy city attorneys, and worked for many years in a practice with the late Tom Bradley, before Bradley became mayor of Los Angeles. He was honored in 1992 by the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section as trial lawyer of the year.

Sports Feature

It’s about sportsmanship

Student athletes build a commitment to giving back

Student athletes shoot around with elementary school students.

While student athletes devote a lot of energy to classroom demands and receive recognition for their competitive exploits, it’s their passion for helping others that has made 2009-10 especially memorable.

Cal State L.A.’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) has been very active this year, donating time and funds to build awareness among athletes in 11 intercollegiate sports about the importance of giving back. Each program has SAAC representatives who encourage teammates to get involved.

Whether it’s bake sales, a “Spare Change Challenge” or other efforts, “our SAAC student athletes are doing a tremendous job,” said Associate Athletics Director and SAAC advisor Sheila Hudson. “Somehow, they manage to juggle homework and competitions and still find the time in their busy schedules to support families going through tough times or to teach elementary school kids how to play volleyball and soccer. As a result of our student athletes’ compassion and dedication, SAAC is a positive presence on campus and in the community.”

The Adopt-A-Family holiday program, run in cooperation with the Pasadena Salvation Army, was one highlight. Student-athletes built a fund, then shopped for gifts with families’ wish lists in mind, and delivered big time—with Santa Claus in attendance—at a Cal State L.A. basketball game in December.

Female basketball student athletes teach shooting drill to small elementary school children.

This spring, SAAC is participated the University’s annual Educational Participation In Communities (EPIC) event, “CSULA, Here We Come!” During the event, student athletes will introduced 300 elementary school students to college sports.

SAAC participants were also at the “Nothin’ But Sand” beach clean-up at the Santa Monica Pier in April.

“I grew up a Camp Fire girl, so community service has always been very important to me,” said SAAC president Erica Thomas, a member of both the women’s soccer and track and field teams. “We have tried a lot of new activities this year …and because of it we’ve been able to get more student-athletes involved.”

Baseball player Chris Matzner, in his second year with SAAC, agreed, noting that the group hopes to continue to grow participation through new activities.

“We’re thinking about another cool activity, like a dodge ball tournament, that will be fun and another way for us to raise money for charity,” he said.

Each California Collegiate Athletic Association school has a student athlete committee with the mission of enhancing student athletes’ college experience by promoting opportunity, protecting welfare, maintaining athletic integrity, fostering a positive image, and acting as a liaison among student athletes and administrators. Last year, SAAC groups throughout the conference raised more than $16,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the goal is to eclipse that total this year.

“Through their involvement with SAAC, our student athletes are learning yet another valuable lesson that they can take away from Cal State L.A.—the importance of helping others,” Hudson said.

Their Say

What is your passion?

Kathleena Williams ’12

“Math. I want to teach math—my professors have shown me a new side to math, and now we have become best friends.”


Laura Tejera ’12

“Organizing on campus. I mean, I love to be educated, but right now with the budget cuts my main concern is helping my fellow students and the future generations to come; helping them to get an education.”


Adam Neff ’ 11 and Monica Camacho ’11

Classmates Adam Neff '11 and Monica Camacho ’11 relax on the lawn on campus.

"Communications. I think that I could take a lot of the skills that I have learned here, in interviewing and publicity and PR, into a career. Los Angeles is definitely the city for communications,” Neff said.

“Public relations. I feel like I am a people person, and I can communicate well," Camacho said.


Portrait of Daniel Huerta.

Daniel Alejandro Huerta ’13

"Family, sports and school. I love everything about sports, and with school, I want to try and get along so that I can help provide for my family and be a role model, teaching my brother about college."