Today Spring 2011


Cal State L.A.'s Center for Energy and Sustainability.

‘CEaS’ing a green opportunity

A multidisciplinary Center for Energy and Sustainability draws on the innovative and inquisitive talents of faculty and students to tackle challenges and present solutions for providing new energy sources and expanding sustainability.

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  • What is sustainability?

    American Communities Program logo.

    GLooking toward California’s, the nation’s and the world's future, CSULA scholars explore issues in sustainability and what it means in relation to everything from corporate practices to marine life.

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  • Seeding environmental change

    CSULA student research Rebecca Flegel and Luis Alvarez collect spatial data using the Topcon Total Station laser surveyor.

    Donor support stimulates scientists' studies in evolving ecosystems, marine life habitats, plant biology and the equitable balance of resources in the face of climate change.

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  • Food for thought

    Food science and nutritional science undergraduate research fellow Oni Wilcots look at materials under the microscope.

    As one of more than a dozen undergraduates and graduates working toward a more sustainable future, Oni Wilcots pursues here dream of a scraps-powered world in a leading research center.

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  • Planting carbon underground

    Near Mammoth Mountain's Horseshoe Lake there are sites where naturally-held carbon is seeping up into soils and water.

    Researchers study the effects and potential hazards of carbon sequestration on an environment when it leaks into soils and water resources.

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  • The hydrogen revolution

    Technology Professor David Blekhman works with students on a hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicle.

    With the upcoming addition of a Sustainable Hydrogen Facility, Cal State L.A. researchers have set their sights on designing and implementing alternative energy technology along the nation’s roadways.

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  • A ‘bridge’ from research to response

    Audience members listen intently to a panel discussion, organized by The Pat Brown Institute, which looks at the future of higher education.

    For more than 20 years, Cal State L.A.’s Pat Brown Institute has engaged the greater Los Angeles community in thought-provoking political discussions and social discoveries, helping to better connect people and policy.

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  • The next-gen in solar cells

    Chemistry undergraduate student Angela Ramos works in the lab.

    Drawing upon diverse expertise, a team of researchers and students is working to fabricate more efficient and less expensive solar cells, helping to carry the alternative energy source to the masses.

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  • Putting fuel cells in your hand

    Chemistry graduate student Dan Botoaca works on microfluidics applications in direct methanol fuel cells.

    Miniature methanol fuel cells may be key to providing and meeting demands for longer-lasting and more stable renewable energy in powering up portable devices and electronics.

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  • Fueling clean combustion

    CEaS undergraduate research fellow Yves Medrano works on the combustion chamber.

    In an effort to curb harmful particle emissions and mitigate the impact of global warming, researchers are trying to refine and improve efficiency in the combustion of fossil fuels and biofuels.

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  • Hands-on, engaged learning

    Picture of a school garden at the East L.A. YMCA branch.

    Student learning goes beyond the campus in community projects and programs that empower students to share knowledge and foster civic responsibility.

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  • Profile in giving

    Portrait of Andre Khachtourians on campus.

    Alumnus Andre Khachtourians ’05 pays it forward, returning the gift once given to him by choosing to donate to the University's Annual Fund each year and support future students' educational aspirations.

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University News

Courtyard named in honor of esteemed Chemistry emeritus professor

The quad located between Cal State L.A.’s newest buildings—La Kretz Hall and Wing B of the Wallis Annenberg Integrated Sciences Complex—has been named “Ferguson Courtyard” in honor of emeritus professor of chemistry Lloyd N. Ferguson.

Ferguson, a pioneering educator and scientist, has inspired generations of scholars as the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry from UC Berkeley, and as the author of more than 50 journal articles and seven textbooks. His research has covered cancer chemotherapy, the relationship between structure and biological activity, and the function of our sense of taste.

Ferguson retired from an illustrious 21-year career at Cal State L.A. in 1986. His legacy on campus has continued to be honored through annual lectures, which bring innovative scientists to campus every year for a presentation.

Colleges welcome new deans to campus

Culminating a year-long search, on July 1, 2011 Cal State L.A. will welcome two new deans, one in the College of Arts and Letters and the other to lead the College of Business and Economics.

Peter McAllister

Peter McAllister, a renowned classical and jazz guitarist, and established music educator, will assume his post overseeing the nine departments that include more than 2,800 students majoring in the University’s creative disciplines. McAllister comes to the University by way of the University of Arizona, where he is the director of the School of Music. McAllister said that he is looking forward to “celebrating and discovering how each unit within the College intersects other disciplines on campus, and, importantly, serves the community.”

James A. Goodrich

In the College of Business and Economics, James A. Goodrich will soon take over as dean, overseeing more than 3,000 undergraduate and 320 graduate students in seven degree programs.

Goodrich, the Dean and Vice President for International Business Programs at Alliant International University, has a breadth of experiences to draw upon. At Alliant, he has built several institutional partnerships, overseen the growth and development of new schools, and conducts research in the areas of career transition and executive coaching in organizations.

For more details on the appointments, visit Public Affairs’ newsroom

Help solve the 'mussel mystery'

Since the opening of the Ecosystems Exhibition at the California Science Center more than a year ago, Cal State L.A. Biology Professor Carlos Robles has piqued the curiosity of thousands of visitors through an interactive display featuring his research on keystone predators along Santa Catalina Island’s coastline.

The educational display—entitled “Help Solve the Mussel Mystery”—is located within the “Extreme Zone” of Ecosystems and highlights Robles’ research on interspecies relations and how the predator-prey relationship can shape an ecosystem. Find the answers to his research and more by visiting the museum.

“To have my work more broadly used and put to popular use is great,” Robles said. “It’s hands-on and it does make a connection between the people doing the work and the viewers. Making that connection is a strength of the center.”


Music department chair receives Fulbright Specialists award

George DeGraffenreid, chair of the Department of Music, has been selected for a Fulbright Specialists project in Australia hosted by the University of Melbourne, according to the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

George DeGraffenreid

A professor of music, DeGraffenreid will collaborate with Australian colleagues in music education, serve as guest editor for a special issue of the Australian Journal of Music Education, and be a guest lecturer at five universities in Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales.

“It is an honor to receive an award like this representing the United States to our friends in Australia,” DeGraffenreid said. “Working with Australian colleagues will be a wonderful opportunity to explore best practices in music and education within the U.S. and Australia. In lectures and seminars, there will be opportunities to discuss the contribution music makes to the intellectual and emotional development of children and the value of students learning music in schools.”

DeGraffenreid is one of more than 400 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad this year through the Fulbright Specialists Program. The Fulbright Specialists Program, created in 2000 to complement the traditional Fulbright Scholar Program, provides short-term academic opportunities (two to six weeks) to prominent U.S. faculty and professionals to support curricular and faculty development, and institutional planning at post secondary, academic institutions around the world.

Academic notes

Student nabs national prize for presentation on spinal cord injury rehab

Kinesiology senior Lauren A. Conn won national honors for her presentation on spinal cord injury rehab.

For her research and poster presentation on spinal cord injury treatment, Cal State L.A. kinesiology senior Lauren A. Conn garnered first-place honors at a national conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Science Foundation.

Conn, who works in Professor Ray De Leon’s Spinal Plasticity Lab, is analyzing the local expression of neurotrophic factors in the spinal cord to determine if body weight supported treadmill training affects neural circuits involved in walking.

“I felt so honored to accept an award on behalf of all the hard work that we do in the lab,” Conn said, adding that the conference further inspired her to continue in her research and education.

Using computers to solve biological problems

Building on past successes in designing and implementing programs to serve the growing biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, this fall Cal State L.A. will begin offering a multidisciplinary minor in bioinformatics and computational biology. The minor will integrate life sciences with statistical methodologies and develop computer-based applications to model life processes, while also providing students with new opportunities in research.

For more information, visit or e-mail

Criminalistics program is among the ‘best of the best’

Graduate student researcher Froseen Dahdouh analyzes a sexual assault evidence kit in a lab in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center. The University's criminalistics graduate program was recently awarded full accreditation.

Joining a select group of forensic science programs, the Master of Science in Criminalistics program is the first in Southern California to receive full accreditation for a five-year term under the national standards of the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC). The accreditation is important, faculty said, because it reinforces and gives credit to the high-quality educational opportunities available to students through the graduate program as well as establishes a standard for programs.

“[CSULA’s program] has been the most widely known and highly regarded in Southern California,” said Joseph Peterson, the director of the School of Criminal Justice and Criminalistics.

CSULA takes steps toward a multi-lingual future

In a move to become the first university in the nation equipped to educate a continuous flow of Korean language teachers for secondary schools, Cal State L.A. and the Korean Education Center in Los Angeles signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will pave the way to the launch of three Korean language programs.

Cal State L.A., supported with a five-year $769,710 grant from the education center, aims at developing a minor in Korean language by 2012, a major in Korean language by 2015, and a Korean language teaching credential program by 2016. The Korean language is listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as one of the most strategic and important languages to learn, along with Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, and Russian. Development of student skills in the language has also been a focus of the campus for many years through the CSU’s Strategic Language Initiative.

Members of Cal State L.A.’s concrete canoe team (l-r) Art Esqueda, Adriel Panganiban, Jesus Gallegos, Sarah Manuel, Hector Ramirez, Roxanne Acosta, Matt Estrada, Synthia Romero and Rena Osorio.

Nearly 1,000 civil engineering students put their minds to the test and their work on display in March at the annual American Society of Civil Engineers Pacific Southwest Conference, hosted by Cal State L.A. for the first time.

The highlight of the competition—which featured fabricated scaled steel bridges, engineering concrete bowling balls, discus and shot put, as well as sophisticated dog houses—was the concrete canoe competition.

The regional conference drew competitors from Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii and across California.

Mark your Calendar

Discover, connect and broaden your appreciation for diverse cultures, technology advancements and academic achievement with one of the activities highlighted below:

  • Keren Ann Performance
    June 25, 8 p.m.
    Luckman Theatre

    A celebrated singer, songwriter, composer, producer and engineer, Keren Ann will deliver a uniquely refreshing gift of poetic song and whimsical melody. Her delicate musical styling is said to be as individual and intriguing as her background; her roots extend from Israel to France, Holland to New York, and beyond. For tickets, or details on other events, visit or call the Luckman Box Office at (323) 343-6600.

A complete listing of campus events is available at

Alumni News

California State University, Los Angeles Alumni Association

Jorge Ramirez '04

There are many reasons to be proud of Cal State L.A: our award-winning faculty, scientists, scholars and artists educate one of the nation’s most diverse and dynamic student bodies. The University continues to further a unique and important tradition of graduating first-generation college students. And today, more than 215,000 graduates work throughout Southern California as civic leaders, teachers, business entrepreneurs, engineers, health care and criminal justice professionals.

It’s an honor to represent each and every one of you!

For the past two years, I have had the privilege of leading a group of dedicated volunteers who work tirelessly to promote and strengthen the Cal State L.A. community. As president of the Alumni Association, I have watched the organization develop innovative programs and services, adapting to member’s needs. From the mentoring and scholarship programs, to Alumni Networks and career workshops, the Association provides valuable resources that aid alumni in their personal and professional growth.

To maintain this momentum forward, we need your support! Even after my tenure ends, I promise to continue to support the Association’s growth and I hope you will join me

If you are not yet a member of the CSULA Alumni Association, please join online You can also contact the Alumni Association staff at:
(323) 343-ALUM (2586) or

Jorge Ramirez '04
President, CSULA Alumni Association

Grow your involvement with the Alumni Association TODAY

The CSULA Alumni Association is seeking dedicated volunteers to support and advance our organization’s mission and goals. There are numerous opportunities for volunteers; whether it involves serving on a committee, volunteering at an event, or helping to lead an Alumni Network.

To learn more, please contact Maria Ubago at (323) 343-4945 We look forward to hearing from you!


A day at the ballpark

CSU Dodger Days are Back!

Join Cal State L.A. students, staff, faculty and alumni—along with others from nearby CSU campuses—to cheer on the Los Angeles Dodgers this summer.

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Diego Padres
Sunday, July 10 @ 1:10 p.m.
Lower Reserve Ticket: $15
Tickets must be purchased by Wednesday, June 29.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please, or contact the Alumni Association at (323) 343-ALUM (2586).

Association board welcomes new team member

Valerie Marshall

The CSULA Alumni Association is pleased to announce that Valerie Marshall has joined the team as a coordinator of marketing and member services, effective March 28.

Valerie received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

She began her career in community relations and marketing for a medical foundation and was most recently the marketing and event director for a catering and event management company. With more than six years of experience in the field, Valerie will bring a wide-range of talents and professional expertise to the Association. You can reach her directly at

2011 graduates and members: welcome to the Alumni family

The CSULA Alumni Association’s annual “GRADFAIR,” a one-stop shopping and recruitment event organized especially for our graduating students, was a great success again this year. Thousands of graduates from the class of 2011 attended, recorded video messages to be played during Commencement, took their yearbook photos, and picked up their exclusive GRADPACK 2011 – a special membership package offered by the CSULA Alumni Association that includes multi-year memberships and discounts.

The Alumni Association celebrated another record-breaking year, selling nearly 1,100 GRADPACKS! We welcome our newest members to the Alumni Association network. Your global alumni community serves as a pillar of strength and provides you with valuable resources to accomplish your professional and academic goals.


Save the Date

Rolling out its “black and gold” carpet, the CSULA Alumni Association will recognize this year’s outstanding alumni and students during the 37th Annual Alumni Awards Gala on Thursday, October 6, 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 a strolling dinner, and an Academy Awards-esque show. Award recipients will be announced online at in the next few months.

For sponsorship and ticket information, please contact the Alumni Association at (323) 343-ALUM (2586).

Alumni Spotlight

Alumni Spotlight: Lillian Kawasaki ’72, ’80 M.S.

Lillian Kawasaki ’72, ’80 M.S.

Lillian Kawasaki’s love of science and, more specifically, nature, has deepened the well of her Los Angeles roots further than she ever dreamed possible.

From laboratory research to the great outdoors, and from environmental justice to water conservation policy-making, Kawasaki has played a significant role in shaping how Los Angelenos interact with and draw upon environmental resources.

“In a nearly 30-year span with the city of L.A., I was involved with most of the major environmental initiatives,” said Kawasaki ’72, ’80 M.S., currently an elected board member of the Water Replenishment District of Southern California, which manages groundwater resources for roughly 4 million people in South Los Angeles County.

“Hopefully, I’ve been able to make a difference in people’s lives,” she added. “The environment, economy and equity are really the basis of sustainable solutions, as I see it.”

Among the highlights of her career—which included stops with The Port of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Environmental Affairs and Community Development departments and the Department of Water and Power (DWP)—were developing the city’s first comprehensive clean air plan and establishing green workforce training programs that helped many young adults establish thriving, successful careers in a growing industry. Kawasaki, the city’s first Asian-American woman department head, had the responsibility to build its Environmental Affairs Department.

“How many people in their lives are able to establish a brand new department that has a broad mission, but  no roadmap,” Kawasaki said. “It was a great opportunity.”

While working as the assistant general manager for environmental affairs at DWP, she was also instrumental in restructuring its solar incentive program, giving customers cash for installing photovoltaic panels. Another impactful program that she helped get off the ground was the Los Angeles River Revitalization Plan. A 20-year blueprint for development and management of the Los Angeles River, the plan includes making 32 miles of the river more natural by adding parks and pathways that invite residents to its shores.

“What has been important to me throughout my career is that we not just design policies, but also take implementing actions,” Kawasaki said.

This could be one reason Kawasaki makes a tangible mark on her community. Her training at Cal State L.A., she adds, also taught her to be “both entrepreneurial and innovative.

“I was encouraged by my professors and the students [her husband, Craig Carter ’75 M.S., being one of them] to not only get a good education, but to take that information and work on results,” she said. “Oftentimes, your ability to make decisions and be creative in coming up with solutions is how you make and sustain positive impacts, and I really think that Cal State L.A. taught me how to do that.”

In gratitude to the University, Kawasaki has remained active with the campus, having served as a board member for the CSULA Foundation and supporting students and programs with annual gifts through CSULA’s President’s Associates.

She also serves on the boards of numerous other nonprofit groups and associations that promote environment and education interests. Among them are the Friends of Manzanar, Carpe Diem West, and the Association of Women in Water, Energy and the Environment.

“As you can see, I am really passionate about two things: the environment and Cal State L.A.”

Class Notes


  • Hazar N. Bayindir (’10 M.A.) is the founder and chief designer at HNBeat Design.
    Daniel Paulson (’11 M.M.), the director of music ministry for the Dixon United Methodist Church, has been honored for his 10 years of service.


  • Kathleen Atchison (’03 M.S.), a seasoned nurse educator and health care practitioner, recently became the director of simulation education at West Coast University. A registered nurse for 16 years, Atchison was instrumental in designing the first simulation center on the campus.
  • Alejandro Briseno (’00) is an assistant professor of polymer science and engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He recently spoke about nanotechnology and his personal path in education at California State University, Channel Islands and then Oxnard College, where he presented a keynote address during a diversity series.
  • Robyn Herrera (’03 M.A.), a doctoral student pursuing a Ph.D. in special education through the joint doctoral program between CSULA and UCLA, is the recipient of the National Leadership Consortium in Sensory Disabilities Fellowship.
  • Kevin L. McClure (’09), a 30-year Los Angeles Police Department veteran, was unanimously selected as the police chief of the Montebello Police Department.
  • Juli McGowan (’04 M.S.) is doing her postgraduate work in palliative care at Oxford University. Previously, she spent six years as a full-time medical missionary in Africa.
  • Tina Nguyen (’02) recently completed a three-year Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellowship at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York.
  • Nika Noumohammadi (’08) was named the new media specialist of the Energy and Commerce Committee of the U.S. Congress.
  • Alan Shaw (’00), an athlete, actor and teacher, is now working for Princeton’s Education testing service. He develops tests that specialize in English as a foreign second language assessment.
  • Adia Varn (’01, ’06 M.S.), the chief of staff in the county’s Department of Public Health, Information Systems, earned her juris doctorate from Glendale University College of Law in May. She returned to school, earning two degrees at Cal State L.A., after having worked for local government and the Los Angeles County for 20 years.
  • Maurice K. Williams (’08) was recently elected as the 2011-12 Second Circuit Governor of the American Bar Association, Law Student Division (ABA-LSD), making him the top law student executive in the State of New York. He also recently received a Silver Key from Brooklyn Law School in recognition of his work with ABA-LSD.


  • José Blanco (’91 M.A.), an assistant professor and historic costume collection manager at the University of Georgia, was recently featured in a piece about childhood passions and career interests in the university’s magazine.
  • John Terry (’99, ’05 M.A.), a former Golden Eagle basketball player and track athlete, has accepted a post as an assistant principal at Diamond Bar High School.
  • Rod Uyeda (’91, ’01 M.S.) retired from his post as the Manhattan Beach Police Chief after five years on the job to spend more time with family. Under his leadership there was a fall in crime rates and increased interaction between law enforcement and the community.


  • Ekundayo “Dayo” Adelaja (’88 M.A.), a renowned Nigerian artist who has decorated Las Vegas’ streets, sidewalks and empty walls with his murals, was the guest of honor at a Black History Month Artist reception in the city.
  • Michael Bethke (’80), after just a year on the job as the chief executive officer and manager of the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, has helped the city transform the annual event and increase attendance when other fairs are shutting down.
  • Warren Fletcher (’82) was elected president of the United Teachers of Los Angeles union.
  • Gerald K. Freeny (’83) has been named as the first African-American president of the Tournament of Roses Association. Freeny, who works in law enforcement and is involved with several of Pasadena’s civic and community organizations, will take the post in 2019, leading the 130th Rose Parade and 105th Rose Bowl.
  • Michael Haussler (’81) an instructor of graduate students in the Charter College of Education, has published a novel, Results May Vary, about teaching high school in Los Angeles. Haussler drew inspiration for the novel from his 20-year career as a high school teacher.
  • Ara W. Nazarian (’80, ’82 M.S.) drew upon three decades of experience as an engineer and technology industry executive to write Technical Minds: Leading and getting the best work from your technical-mind team.


  • Anthony Fellow (’70), the chair of the Department of Communications at Cal State Fullerton and author of American Media History, was recently published in the Whittier Daily News with a guest view column on appreciating former President Ronald Reagan.
  • Jeannie Flint (’70) had a 28-year career in the Glendale Unified Schools, serving as a principal for 17 years in elementary and middle schools. She is currently the president of Philanthropic Educational Organization, membership coordinator of Las Candelas, and a volunteer with many other community and educational organizations.
  • David Huwiler (’73 M.A.) is the president of the American University in Bulgaria, said to be one of the most diverse universities in the world and a top pick by Americans for overseas studies.
  • Tony McDonald (’71), a music director for one of the country’s largest Unitarian Universalist churches, is in the process of editing a soon-to-be-published catalog of music that was written in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • George Nakano (’70, ’79 M.A.) was recently elected as the chairman of The Go for Broke National Education Center’s board of directors.
  • Simon Rutberg (’71), the former owner and operator of Hatikvah Music, a world-famous Jewish music store, now runs the web site and is about to release a compilation of Jewish classics.
  • Maurice Salter (’72 M.A.), president, CEO and founder of LoanAmerica, was appointed to the board of directors of ECMC Group, a nonprofit corporation that provides service to students, families and schools in support of higher education finance.
  • Richard Wemmer (’70), a retired Los Angeles Police Department captain, is the new security chief for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • Kenneth L. Zimmerman (’72 M.S.) has had more than 1,850 opinion letters published in more than 80 publications. Zimmerman has been writing letters since he was 17.


  • Frank De Santis (’57, ’72 M.S.) was honored with a ”Professor for a Day“ plaque by the University after presenting to faculty, administrators and students in the College of Business and Economics.
  • Olga Loya (’64) is a highly-regarded author who has told thousands of stories in English and Spanish in Mexico and the United States, bringing people of all generations together and keeping cultural traditions alive. Her bilingual book, Momentos Magicos/Magic Moments, tells 10 stories from Mexico, Cuba, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Colombia and Puerto Rico.
  • Alice Petrossian (’69, ’79 M.A.), the former chief academic officer for the Pasadena Unified School District, accepted a post as the president of the Association of California School Administrators for the 2011-12 school year.
  • Yvonne Savio (’69), a master gardener coordinator, is a program manager of the Common Ground Garden Program for the University of California Cooperative Extension in Los Angeles, and manager of the Los Angeles Bounty Urban Garden Program.
  • Joseph Wambaugh (’60, ’68 M.A.), author of a collection of highly-regarded crime novels, has released a fourth book in a series about uniformed cops in Los Angeles. The book is titled Hollywood Hills.

In Memoriam

  • Madeline “Mandi” Antonovich (’69) was an English teacher and deputy probation officer who linked her two interests by working on the Operation Read Program as a community-based field organizer and supervisor.
  • Robert Charles Bradley (’68 M.A.) worked as test officer at Cal Poly Pomona as well as a pastor of Faith Community Inland Empire, through which he was involved with prison ministry at several state institutions.
  • Gerald W. “Jerry” Beard (’63) was a veteran of the U.S. Army, who went on to work in manufacturing and real estate, founding Gerald W. Beard Realty Inc. in Rialto in 1973.
  • Beverlee Bruce (’59) was a social anthropologist, development specialist and educator. She participated in many organizational delegations that assessed the needs of refugee and displaced women and children, served on the board of the Women’s Refugee Commission and was heavily involved with the International Rescue Committee.
  • Marlene Byrne (’86), a longtime resident of Arcadia, was active in numerous community and charitable organizations, including the Assistance League of Arcadia, the Arcadia Music Club, Girl Scouts and a number of the local Parent Teacher Student Associations.
  • Chao-Li Chi established a Taoist Sanctuary in Los Angeles in 1975, and is credited as being one of the first to introduce Taoism to America. A former instructor at Cal State L.A., he was also one of the first native Chinese actors to break into Hollywood, appearing in more than 51 movies and television programs, such as The Joy Luck Club,The Nutty Professor, and Wedding Crashers.
  • James H. Dodd (’67) served in the U.S. Army in Korea, and continued on with a career teaching English for 17 years in California and Maine’s secondary schools. He also taught English at the University of Maine at Machais, and developed a second career in real estate investment and property management.
  • Rex Maurice Dye (’63), an instructor at Cal State L.A. and UCLA, served as the president of the YMCA and the president of the Insurance Agent’s Association. He was also active in the Junior Chamber of Commerce and on the board of directors for the Red Cross.
  • Charles ”Chuck“ Gurth (’87 M.A.) dedicated his college studies and career to social services, working to improve the lives of young people throughout L.A. County. A talented pianist and composer, he helped other emerging artists find their way in the music industry.
  • Richard Lee Harris (’90 M.S.) had a 34-year career at George Washington Preparatory High School, teaching music and drama as well as serving as choral counselor and mentor to thousands of students.
  • Gloria Hazelwood (’70) was a self-employed freelance graphic designer, and a volunteer, member and office employee of the Beaver Creek Baptist Church.
  • Thomas Vernon Hill (’65) was a champion of youth, who became a L.A. County juvenile probation officer.
  • Martha Loise (Sherman) Hood (’70) taught at Edward Kemble and Jefferson elementary schools.
  • Selmer “Lynn” Iverson (’60) was a sales person for Honeywell, selling commercial fire evacuation systems for 25 years.
  • Nathaniel Jackson (’77), a civil rights activist who marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., played a meaningful role as a professor in boosting the presence of underserved populations of students at the University of Southern California. For almost three decades, he also served El Camino College as a psychology professor, a dean and a four-term board trustee.
  • Jo Jean (McCall) Johnson (’67) was retired from the L.A. County Bureau of Adoptions and Red Carpet Realty. She supported two children through World Vision.
  • Arthur LeBlanc (’65) led the Coronado Police Department for more than a decade, and then continued his career as the chief of the San Diego Unified Port District Harbor Police from 1980 to 1991.
  • Leadell Lee (’72) was a retired Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) special agent, who dedicated 25 years to the agency and was awarded the FBI’s Shield of Bravery. He also rose to the ranks of sergeant in the Riverside Police Department, becoming the city’s first African-American officer to be promoted to detective and sergeant.
  • Edmund McCullough Jr. (’59) joined the U.S. Marine Corps and served in the evacuation of Shanghai, China as the communists forces came to power, before rising to the rank of sergeant and eventually enrolling at Cal State L.A. Later in life, he worked in accounting and the financial services industry.
  • Debra Moya-Escobedo (’74) was a first-grade teacher for nearly 30 years at the Pico Rivera School.
  • Thomas Clarence Price, Jr. (’85) served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and U.S. Air Force during the Cold War and Korean War. He retired from Boeing after more than 38 years as an electrician and maintenance supervisor.
  • Joanne Edith Saeta (’84 M.A.), a grants administrator and curriculum director, was the president of the South Pasadena Educational Foundation, on the board of Pacific Oaks College and chair of the board of Sequoyah School. She was responsible for starting a consortium of school district educational foundations.
  • John L. Shelton (’61), a regular contributor to the gospel music community, was also a real estate loan officer for many years in major California banks, a choral music teacher and college English instructor. He lived in Hollywood for several decades, before returning to Oklahoma in the 1990s.
  • Lawrence Tolliver III (’00), a U.S. Navy serviceman and Houston police academy trainee, died after a 3.5-year battle with brain cancer.
  • Geoffrey Alan Turnbull (’69, ’73 M.A.) oversaw and cared for a one-acre grove of 90 California Coastal Oak trees in Goleta Valley for more than 20 years, teaching children in the area about the importance of tending to plants and seeing them grow. In 2009, the land was formally named Turnball Grove in his honor.
  • William Jih-Seheng Yang (’58) was the founder of Yang Management, Inc., an engineering, consulting and construction management firm.
  • Charles Yoho (’83), under the stage name Buddy Chambers, found success as one of L.A.’s local rock pioneers. He also was a stuntman for Corriganville Movie Ranch, a tireless advocate for people with disabilities, and the coauthor of the book, The world who said nothing, which has become an important tool for teaching children about the tragedy of the Holocaust.

Sports Feature

Keeping pace with the best

Cal State L.A.’s track and field programs sustain a history of excellence

Photos courtesy of Kirby Lee and Darryl Dennis.

When it comes to sustaining track and field excellence, it’s hard to top Cal State L.A.’s well-respected men’s and women’s track and field programs.

Both programs, ranked among the top 20 nationally in the NCAA Division II, have produced a combined 71 individual champions. At least one Golden Eagle track and field athlete has competed in 13 of the last 16 Summer Olympic Games, and 23 team members—representing 10 nations—have qualified for 52 Olympic events, capturing 15 medals (six gold, eight silver and one bronze).

In seven of the past eight years, women have ranked among the top three in the conference meet.

2011 California Collegiate Conference Highlights

2nd place team conference finish
1st place men’s 100 & 200: Giorgio Bryant
1st place long jump: Giorgio Bryant
1st place shot put: Julius Joseph
1st place discus: Julius Joseph
1st place triple jump: Josh Como
2nd place long jump: Josh Como
1st place men’s pole vault: Jordan Tyler

With nine conference titles, the men recorded their second runner-up finish in the past four years.

3rd place team conference finish
1st place shot put: Na’i Leni
1st place discus: Na’i Leni
1st place 10,000 meters: Maritza Hernandez

“I knew when I came here that this was a program with a rich history and I thought we needed to get the ball rolling again,” said Christopher Asher, now in his ninth year as the head coach of the men’s and women’s outdoor track and field, women’s indoor track and field and women’s cross country teams. “With the help of good assistant coaches we’ve been able to recruit some top athletes.”

In the last three years, in fact, the Golden Eagles men’s outdoor track and field team has recorded two top-seven national finishes, and they are on pace again this season to possibly repeat the feat. At the California Collegiate Athletic Association Championship in early May, the men’s and women’s teams combined to win 10 individual conference titles.

Among leading competitors are men’s triple jumper Josh Como and women’s shot putter Na’i Leni, both of whom hold the country’s top marks in their best events. Giorgio Bryant is also third in the nation in the long jump, followed closely by Como, who is sixth. Leni is also fourth in the women’s discus, and Julius Joseph holds the seventh spot in the men’s discus. All are assured of competing in the 2011 NCAA Division II championships. As TODAY went to press, Giorgio Bryant became the NCAA Div. II champion for the long jump, leaping 26-1.50

“I am glad that I came to Cal State L.A. It’s been a great experience, having fun with my teammates and benefitting from the one-on-one attention from the coaches. I’ve really enjoyed it because of my teammates and coaches,” Como said. “It’s been a growing experience for me. Athletics carries over into your life; you are learning to work toward your goals in life. I’m not just an athlete, I’m diverse and strive to excel in other areas as well.”

The Golden Eagles have established a reputation for being fierce national competitors over many years. In the 2008 indoor season, Omonike Kotey won an individual championship title in the women’s triple jump. In 2010, Damein White was national runner-up in the 100 and 200, following a similar finish in 2009 in the 200 event. And before that, CSULA had national runner-ups in the 2007 men’s long jump (Kevin Finney), 2005 and 2006 men’s high jump (Eugene Hutchinson) and 2006 women’s long jump (Keara Norton).

Cal State L.A. has also increased its profile by hosting three big meets in 2011, with three more to come in 2012, including the conference championships for a third time during Asher’s tenure. Having meets on campus, he said, has helped “establish an identity” for the program. It gets your name out there nationally… and helps your recruiting.

Their Say

What are your resolutions for 2011?

Jermaine Coleman ’13
Mechanical Engineering

“It means creating a better future overall in the environment and in our globe to ensure that in the future our children and future generations will be able to enjoy the earth as is it is right now for us, and to make it a cleaner place than it already is.”

Edgar Gonzalez  ’11
Electrical Engineering

“A better future for our children, and our children’s children.”

Jenny Diep ’11

“Just be more conscientious about the type of carbon footprint that we are leaving behind. It’s as simple as cleaning up after yourself, not throwing, like, bad materials into the ocean, recycling. Just very, very simple things to just prevent carbon footprints. The little things that you do are the most important things that you do.”

Robyn Braus ’11

“Not having to use nonrenewable resources…because they run out. And if we want to keep going the way we are going, then we are going to need to find other resources. I mean if we want to keep up our lifestyles the way that we have them and the way that we set up our houses, then yeah, we are going to have to figure out some sort of way of sustaining that.”

Minh Sou ’11
Civil Engineering

“Basically, to be green, for myself, is to be healthy. You want to be green, you want to be healthy; basically work out a lot, drink a lot of water and eat good food.”

Anna Danilowicz ’11

“Always being conscious of the environment, loving the environment, loving nature. Recycling all the time, not even thinking about it, not littering. Always turning off the lights before you leave a room or you leave a house. Being sensitive to the products that you are purchasing. Just being aware of the environment and where things come from, not taking things for granted.”

Letters to the Editor

  • “I love you CSULA!”
    -Isabel Rojas-Williams
  • “Angelino Heights is a nice district to cruise through when out for a drive with no particular destination.”
    -Dario Rios wrote after reading “Take a ride into L.A.’s past”

Cal State L.A. TODAY welcomes feedback from readers. Please send letters via email or U.S. Postal Service:
Editor, Cal State L.A. TODAY
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