Today Summer 2010

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Students participating in Professor Pablo Baler's Spanish-language media program pose with him in the University Times newsroom.

Tapping into a media market on the rise

A new program in Spanish-language news provides students access to an area of fresh opportunity and a path toward building a career in the field.

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  • Wheels of change

    Students measure energy production from their bicycle cell-phone charger.

    Students and faculty reinterpret the use of bicycles and discover a way for human energy to power innovation, fabrication and communication. 

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  • Brewing up funding

    Marcos Aguilar ’06 MA sips a hot brew.

    Local alumni and educators launch a cultural café in East Los Angeles to support charter schools. .

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  • Worth more than 1,000 words

    Graduate student Georgia Love puts finishing touches on mural.

    Thirty Cal State L.A. artists and a renowned Mexican master collaborate to produce a 24-foot mural that is on display in Long Beach. 

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  • Get ready for the hunt

    Faculty Michael Germano and a student decipher a ”scvngr&ldqou; clue.

    Students, faculty and peers celebrates ancient civilizations, clashes and communities through an annual lecture series created to honor the memory of a true Cal State L.A. scholar.

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  • A new name in adventure

    Candid image of Ido Okilo ’10 laughing.

    The Anthropology Department’s prestigious Cotsen grant helped a student chase down her dream in Belize, Antigua—and finally the Sudan.

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  • Stepping into industry

    A student prepares her project for display at the senior design expo.

    Seniors apply textbook and classroom knowledge to real-world applications, designing machines to locate studs, snap thermal images and bounce a space craft. 

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University News

Caps off to graduates of 2010

Cal State L.A.’s 63rd Commencement in June celebrated the success and achievements of more than 5,500 graduates—many of whom were the first in their families to graduate college. Students were conferred bachelor’s and master’s degrees in multiple disciplines, and five joint doctorates in educational administration and leadership during the two-day festivities.

“I feel relieved. I feel a mix of emotions; I’m happy, I’m grateful. Some people have been six years in the making, I’ve been 10 years … so this is a good thing for me,” said Jahayra Gastelum ’10, who received her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

Gastelum, along with numerous other new alumni, expressed relief and gratitude to University faculty as well as families, and much joy in celebrating the culmination of one journey and the start of another. To hear more from Cal State L.A. graduates, check out the videos in Their Say, or watch Commencement clips online, at the University’s Spotlight on Commencement or the event’s web page.

Also unique to this year’s ceremonies was the presentation of the CSU Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters to Bishop Charles E. Blake. Blake was recognized by the CSU Board of Trustees for his leadership and efforts to increase the number of African American students eligible to attend college through his partnership with the CSU in the Super Sunday program, and other avenues. Blake serves as the pastor of Los Angeles’ West Angeles Church and is presiding bishop of the Church of God in Christ, one of the nation’s largest denominations. For more, read http://www.calstate.edu/externalrelations/news/BlakeHonoraryDegree.shtml

Final Provost candidates to host campus forums

Cal State L.A.’s 63rd Commencement in June celebrated the success and achievements of more than 5,500 graduates—many of whom were the first in their families to graduate college. Students were conferred bachelor’s and master’s degrees in multiple disciplines, and five joint doctorates in educational administration and leadership during the two-day festivities.

“I feel relieved. I feel a mix of emotions; I’m happy, I’m grateful. Some people have been six years in the making, I’ve been 10 years … so this is a good thing for me,” said Jahayra Gastelum ’10, who received her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

Gastelum, along with numerous other new alumni, expressed relief and gratitude to University faculty as well as families, and much joy in celebrating the culmination of one journey and the start of another. To hear more from Cal State L.A. graduates, check out the videos in Their Say, or watch Commencement clips online, at the University’s Spotlight on Commencement or the event’s web page.

Also unique to this year’s ceremonies was the presentation of the CSU Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters to Bishop Charles E. Blake. Blake was recognized by the CSU Board of Trustees for his leadership and efforts to increase the number of African American students eligible to attend college through his partnership with the CSU in the Super Sunday program, and other avenues. Blake serves as the pastor of Los Angeles’ West Angeles Church and is presiding bishop of the Church of God in Christ, one of the nation’s largest denominations. For more, read http://www.calstate.edu/externalrelations/news/BlakeHonoraryDegree.shtml

Budget challenges continue…

The 2010-11 fiscal year began July 1, but a state budget has not been adopted. Public budget proposals from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the California State Assembly committee have called for the restoration of $305 million to backfill a “one-time” reduction to the CSU budget last year, and as much as $60.6 million for enrollment expansion.

CSU Board of Trustees say that if such a budget were passed—and with additional funding from Student University fee increases approved in June (5 percent for undergraduate and graduation professional programs, and 10 percent for doctoral education students)—the system could serve more than 29,000 additional students and restore some classes and sections. Funding levels, however, would still fall short of the resources provided in the 2007-08 fiscal year.

Over the past two years, the CSU has faced cuts amounting to roughly $625 million, and in response has implemented a number of measures to reduce costs, including employee furloughs, layoffs, increased student fees, reduced enrollment and other cost-cutting measures.

For the most up-to-date information on the CSU budget, visit http://www.calstate.edu/budget/.

Applications for Winter 2011 accepted, enrollment is conditional

Beginning August 1 and running through the end of the month, Cal State L.A. will be accepting graduate and upper division student transfer applications for enrollment in the Winter 2011 term. Admission into any of the University’s programs, however, is conditional on the state budget, and offers of admission will not be sent out until the University and the CSU know what funding is available. Without a state budget in place, the CSU does not yet know how many students it can admit.

For more information on applying, visit http://www.calstatela.edu/univ/ppa/newsrel/wtr2011-admit-process.pdf.

Building the ‘honors’ experience at Cal State L.A.

In anticipation of the opening of an Honors College at Cal State L.A. in the fall of 2011, the University has accepted about two dozen students into an Honors Program this fall.

As honors students, this new cohort of young scholars will have access to seminar-style classes that emphasize discussion and critical thinking; be eligible for cultural field-trips that help reinforce the connection between the University and Los Angeles; participate in community service and exciting programs on campus; and have the opportunity to live in dedicated residential housing with other honors students. This year’s honors students will also have the opportunity to apply to the interdisciplinary Honors College next year.

For more information about the opportunities available to students in the Honors College and Honors Program, or for the academic requirements, visit the program’s web page at http://www.calstatela.edu/academic/honorscollege/.

Mark your calendar

A look at two big University events happening this fall …

Billie Jean King and Friends, Honoring Joe Shapiro
September 25
The Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa, Pasadena

The 13th annual Billie Jean King and Friends event will honor Rafer Johnson, a two-time Olympian and the 1960 gold medalist in the decathlon, with the 2010 Joe Shapiro Humanitarian Award. The event is a major fundraiser for the Athletic Department, with proceeds benefiting the student-athlete scholarship fund.

Call the CSULA Intercollegiate Athletics office at (323) 343-3080 for tickets or information; or learn about the evening online at http://www.csulaathletics.com/sports/2009/5/12/GEN_BJK09.aspx?id=471.

Alumni Awards Gala
October 21
Luckman Fine Arts Complex

The 36th annual Alumni Awards Gala will recognize eight alumni, two students and one faculty of CSULA for their professional and personal achievements, service to the University and their community. The red carpet event, organized by the Alumni Association, includes dinner, and an awards ceremony and video presentation.

Tickets for the event will be available in late August.

For more details, visit the Alumni Association online at http://alumni.calstatela.edu or call the office at (323) 343-4980.

Alumni News

Let’s make a difference together—today

Portrait of Randi Moore.
Ms. Randi Moore

Let's make a difference together—today

It's the perfect time to spring into action—and what better way to become involved and fuel your personal and professional growth than by joining the CSULA Alumni Association.

If you would like to take part in your Alumni Association I invite you to participate in the Alumni Networking and Leadership Recruitment Night, which will take place on Thursday, Aug. 12. This event is an opportunity for alumni members to gather information about getting involved with the Association, and to network with fellow alumni members.

To register for the event, please visit http://alumni.calstatela.edu/events/leadership10.html by Monday, Aug. 9. For more information, you may also contact the Alumni Association at alum@cslanet.calstatela.edu or call (323) 343-ALUM (2586).

Ms. Randi Moore
Executive Director, CSULA Alumni Relations
RMoore@cslanet.calstatela.edu

Students take the 'spotlight' for performance, service at Alumni Awards Gala

2010 Alumni Awards Recipients

Alumnus of the Year:
Richard D. Cordova ’72
President and CEO
Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles

University Service Award:
Susan De Pietro ’71
Nurse, Attorney & Educator

Distinguished Faculty Alumna:
Dr. Marlene Zepeda ’72
Professor
College of Health and Human Services

College of Arts and Letters:
Eric Teitelbaum ’73
Cartoonist, Designer & Producer

Bill Teitelbaum ’77
Cartoonist, Designer & Producer

College of Business and Economics:
Noelia Rodriguez ’86
Director
John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum
Institute of Politics, at Harvard Kennedy School of Government

Charter College of Education:
James Wilson Davis ’76
President
The Davis Group, Ltd.

College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology:
Stephen E. Pickett ’75
Senior Vice-President and General Counsel
Southern California Edison Company

College of Health and Human Services:
Deborah A. Proctor ’76
President and CEO
St. Joseph Health System

College of Natural and Social Sciences:
Jeffrey S. Silverman ’77
Senior Vice-President of Manufacturing Operations/Product Development
Abraxis BioScience

Steeped in years of experience on the stage and in the spotlight, two Cal State L.A. performing arts students will take center stage this fall as the recipients of the Outstanding Senior and Outstanding Graduate Student awards at the 36th Annual Alumni Awards Gala.

Portrait of Anne Hiroe Rodriguez '09.
Anne Hiroe Rodriguez '09

Anne Hiroe Rodriguez ’09, a graduate student pursuing her Master of Arts degree in music education and single-subject teaching credential, and Ben Caron ’10, a professional in the theater industry, are this year’s awardees.   

They will be joining eight other alumni awardees, and one faculty of CSULA in being recognized for their achievements and service at the Gala on Oct. 21.

The two students attracted the attention of the CSULA Alumni Association’s top awards because of their extensive involvement in their professional fields, leadership roles on campus, and ongoing commitments to improving their communities.

Anne, a principal clarinetist, joined the Cal State L.A. community in 2005 when she enrolled in the undergraduate music program. Since then, she has been involved with more than 10 ensembles at Cal State L.A., as well as the CSULA Symphonic Band and the University’s opera. She has also been recognized by her professional peers—being invited to travel to numerous music conferences—and was inducted into the nationally recognized honor societies of Phi Kappa Phi and Golden Key International.

Portrait of Ben Caron '10.
Ben Caron '10

Meanwhile Ben has stolen the hearts of colleagues and fans with his star-studded theatrical performances. While at Cal State L.A., he performed in many productions, including RashmonAll My SonsBurn This and Urinetown: The Musical—and was nominated for the Irene Ryan Acting Award by the American College Theater Festival for his performance in three of the shows. A play that Ben wrote, titled Ten Minutes, was also selected to be performed at the regional festival of the American College Theater Festival in 2009. He is currently a member of the award-winning Elephant Theater Company in Hollywood.

Outside of performing, Ben maintains a commitment to his philanthropic interests, volunteering for the L.A. Opera and Midnight Mission, and serving as a mentor for local high school students interested in college.

For more information about the Association’s annual event, visit http://alumni.calstatela.edu/awardsgala/index.htm or call the Association’s office at (323) 343-ALUM (2586). Tickets will be available in late August.

 

 

Let the career center work for you


Students at a Career Development Center workshop.

As a valued member of the Alumni Association, you are invited to attend the many seminars and job fairs hosted by the CSULA Career Development Center.  Recently, the Alumni Association has partnered with the CSULA Career Development Center to offer services to Alumni Association Members free of charge ($35 value)! Some of the programs include:

  • Career Center workshops
  • Employer job listing information
  • Career/job fairs
  • Eagle iJobs password and access
  • On-campus interviews
  • Individual career counseling
  • Job search techniques
  • Career testing
  • Career information/decision-making program

To access the CSULA Career Development Center, you must be a current Alumni Association member. Learn more by visiting: http://www.calstatela.edu/univ/cdc/index.htm, or contact (323) 343-3237.

 

Alumni Association Member Benefits Update

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

  • A 15 percent discount on service, parts and accessories, as well as special alumni pricing on new and pre-owned inventory at Longo Toyota/Longo Scion/Longo Lexus.
  • A 15 percent discount for all Kaplan Test Prep and Admission programs.
  • Up to 60 percent off most office supplies at Office Depot.
  • Free admission to all regular season Golden Eagle sporting events.

For more details, visit http://alumni.calstatela.edu/membership/benefits.htm.

 

Get 'logged in' to YOUR alumni community

Get connected computer icon.The CSULA Alumni Association can enhance your online experience and expands networking opportunities with its “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.

LINKEDIN

LinkedIn Group membership icon.

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.

FACEBOOK

Facebook group membership icon.

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: Jorge Ramirez ’04

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.

  • Anthony Phili Acosta ’74
  • James A. Bell ’97
  • Ruth M. Bell ’93
  • Ann Elizabeth Bradley ’76, ’78 & Dana Champion ’99
  • Mr. & Mrs. Robert Bridenbecker ’66
  • Warren ’71 and Susan Bryant
  • Kyle C. Button
  • Monica Chew ’04
  • William J. Dermody ’71, ’74
  • Jaffe Dickerson
  • Verdel la Cour Flores ’74
  • Ramon Garcia ’71
  • Art M. ’80 & Lillian ’96 Gastelum
  • The Gillett Family
  • Eva Grant ’66, ’72
  • Ernest E. Guerra ’80
  • Robert Hoffman
  • Harry S. Hong
  • Lillian Y. Kawaski ’72, ’80
  • Victor King
  • Dal H. Lee
  • 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. ’53, ’60 and Dorothy ’70 Palmer
  • George A. Pardon
  • Pamela Angerer Payne ’81, ’91, ’95
  • Thomas N. Peterson
  • Marilyn E. Plummer ’71
  • 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
  • Geraldine Rene Webb ’73
  • 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 Jorge Ramirez '04 at Commencement podium.
Jorge Ramirez '04

Businessman helps students, alumni engineer successful futures

As a Cal State L.A. undergraduate student in 1988, Jorge Ramirez responded to a job opening he saw posted at the University's Career Center: the Integrated Circuit Development Corporation needed a cost and marketing analyst; and Ramirez got the job.

Just 10 years later, Ramirez '04—who quickly rose in the company through hard work, diligence and innovation that earned the respect and favor of the company’s owner—bought the business. Ramirez changed the name to Heateflex Corporation, and began to build what would become more than a decade of steady growth and business development.

“I think what (the experience) really has confirmed—and it was a lesson that my family taught me—was that persistence is the pathway to success,” Ramirez said. “Just stick to the task, keep working at it, and try to figure it out.”

Under Ramirez's leadership, Heateflex Corporation has been recognized nationally for advancing the engineering profession and benefiting its community. Most recently, the company was included in the 2008 Hispanic Business “Top 50 Exporters” and the Inc. 5000, a list of America’s fastest-growing industries.  Heateflex specializes in the design and construction of innovative heating products that meet the needs of semiconductor, solar-cell and other high-technology industries.

Long before actually becoming a business owner, Ramirez said the seed for such entrepreneurial endeavors was planted in his mind by observing his father and aunt, who owned an auto shop and a market, respectively. He said that the dream was only cultivated and achieved, however, through the opportunities he received through education, and the professional guidance and mentorship he received from his former boss and colleagues.

 “Even though I didn’t finish my degree at Cal State L.A. until later, it was a big part of why I was successful,” said Ramirez, who started his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in the 1980s and returned in 2003 to complete his coursework.  “I had all the foundations there—the ability to talk to engineers and work the business side—which allowed me to be in both worlds.”

Today, Ramirez says that he works to provide others with the same support system and guidance that he received early on in his career, and which helped him to succeed. He does so through several outlets at Cal State L.A. and in his community, he said.

Ramirez, a lifetime member of the CSULA Alumni Association, is the organization’s president. He has also served as an alumni mentor to students, as a President’s Associates benefactor, and as a member of the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology advisory board.

“I recognize how valuable educational opportunities have been in my life and how much of an impact they have had, and I have made a personal commitment to making sure that continues for others,” Ramirez said. “Basically, I have made a commitment to helping my community.”

Ramirez earned both a degree in electrical engineering and a certificate of marketing from Cal State L.A.; he also holds a bachelor’s degree in business and management and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Redlands.

In June, Ramirez greeted 2010 graduates as both a representative of the CSULA Alumni Association and as Friday’s Commencement speaker, reminding them to be the spark, “the heat” that ignites change.

To see Ramirez speaking at Commencement, go to http://www.calstatela.edu/eagleslive/video1.htm.

 

Class Notes

2000s

  • Portrait of Jesus Campos.Jesus Campos (’10), a former Cal State L.A. shortstop, was called up to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s Triple-A team in Salt Lake City in June. Prior to that, Campos was playing for the Angels’ Arizona Summer League team, having been selected in the 24th round of Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft in May.
  • Portrait of Kat Fon.Kat Fon (’07), a part-time CSULA professor in interactive design, was honored with the National Faculty of the Year award by Westwood College. The award recognizes instructors who encourage cooperation and communication among students, and honors teaching styles that focus on launching careers.
  • Walter Ruiz (’06) worked as a production assistant for the “I Built it” video-documentary project that garnered two Silver Telly awards.

1990s

  • Roxanne Bercik (’96 MS), a 26-year veteran of the Los Angeles Fire Department, was recently selected to take command of the Professional Standards Division, the unit charged with overseeing the department’s disciplinary process. Bercik, an assistant chief, was previously head of the agency’s Homeland Security Division.
  • Gabriel A. Griego (’90, ’98 MA) completed his first year as the principal of Torch Middle School in the City of Industry.
  • Portrait of Juan Sanchez Muñoz.Juan Sànchez Muñoz (’94 MA) was recently appointed as the vice president for undergraduate education at Texas Tech University. Having joined Texas Tech in 2004, Muñoz worked previously as an associate professor, associate vice provost and most recently, the vice president of institutional diversity, equity and community engagement.
  • Art Simon (’96), the CEO of Art Simon Productions, was awarded two Silver Tellys for the “I Built it” documentary, which was produced in collaboration with CSULA Professor Alan Bloom for the California Division of Apprenticeship Standards.

1980s

  • Daniel W. Kwong (’82) has been invited to serve as an editorial advisory board member for compliance and ethics professionals at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Texas.
  • Tina Repetti Renzullo (’89), a kindergarten teacher at McKinley School, was named the Pasadena Unified School District’s teacher of the year. Having worked as an educator for 21 years, she was nominated for the award by fellow educators and staff throughout the district.

1970s

  • Celia C. Ayala (’79 MA) was appointed as the chief executive officer of the Los Angeles Universal Preschool in July. A longtime educator and early childhood advocate, Ayala has worked for more than 34 years in education.
  • Pervaiz Lodhie (’71) is the founder and chief executive of LEDtronics, a manufacturer of LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs, which is located in Torrance. He was recently featured in the business section of the Los Angeles Times.
  • Lourdes P. Owen (’75) retired in March from her post as the deputy director of the city of Los Angeles’ Asset Management Division.

1960s

  • Portrait of Sal Castro.Sal Castro (’61), a renowned advocate for Latinos and higher education, was honored in June with a naming ceremony for a new middle school on the Belmont High School campus.

In Memoriam

  • Leslie Cromwell, former dean of the School of Engineering, now the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology, and emeriti professor of electrical engineering, devoted his career to helping Cal State L.A. students find success. He was instrumental in creating and developing the top-ranked College and building a tradition of student-centered learning.
  • Harold E. Lionetti, an emeritus professor of Spanish, served briefly as the chair of the Faculty Senate and his department. He was one of the architects of the Spanish program and collaborated on a Spanish textbook before retiring in 1982 and moving to Arizona.
  • Michael San Miguel (’71), a retired environmental engineer for Southern California Edison, was a passionate conservationist and well-respected ornithologist in Southern California. He had a gift for identifying birds, which earned him a place on the California Bird Records Committee and leadership roles in other organizations and data gathering projects dedicated to the cause.
  • Taras Rohde, a track and field All-American in the shot put, competed for three years at Cal State L.A. He is tied for second in Cal State L.A.’s all-time list in the sport.
  • Portrait of Carol Anne Robb.Carol Anne Robb (’99) worked in municipal government for 22 years, with her longest stint as the city clerk for the city of San Marino. Robb, who was heavily involved in her church, was also ordained as an elder in the Church of the Nazarene in 2006 and served as associate pastor at Temple City Church of the Nazarene.

Sports Feature

Olympic gold decathlete is inspired, encouraging student-athletes

Rafer Johnson poses with President Rosser and students.
Olympic gold decathlete Rafer Johnson reminisced about his collegiate days and talked about today's competition with Cal State L.A. student-athletes. Pictured (l-r), Johnson, volleyball player Zuzana Cizova and heptathlete Tuekeha Huntley.

When two-time Olympian and 1960 gold medalist Rafer Johnson visited Cal State L.A. in late July, it was a bit like taking a trip down memory lane.

Johnson didn’t attend Cal State L.A.—although he attended the ARCO Jesse Owens Games national youth track and field championships on the campus more than 20 years ago. Instead, what got him thinking back to his collegiate days at UCLA was when he met five former and current Cal State L.A. student-athletes: decathlete and four-time All-American track and field standout Desi Burt, 2009 All-American decathlete Josh Linker, sophomore and 2010 All-American heptathlete Tuekeha Huntley, 2009 All-American soccer player Liz Franco, and volleyball player Zuzana Cizova, the 2009 California Collegiate Athletic Association Newcomer of the Year.

“It was great fun meeting the student-athletes. I traveled down the same road they are traveling now,” Johnson said. “They have gotten nice starts in their local communities and now they are among the best in their sports of volleyball, soccer, and track and field. Those are all great sports. “

Johnson will be honored with the 2010 Joe Shapiro Award at the 13th annual Billie Jean King & Friends Event in September. The award recognizes individuals who display exemplary characteristics of humanitarianism, leadership and vision. Johnson, one of the founding members of Special Olympics Southern California, has long been a champion in athletics and humanitarian efforts. He was elected—along with Arthur Ashe—into the first class of the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame in 1994 and also named as one of the 100 Most Influential Student-Athletes of the past 100 years by the NCAA.

President James M. Rosser and Rafer Johnson enjoy a laugh.Johnson and CSULA President James M. Rosser.

Johnson said he has enjoyed seeing the positive influences that organizations like the Special Olympics and the Rafer Johnson Children’s Center—a Bakersfield facility named in his honor that provides special education for ages birth to five—can have. “Over the years, we have seen a lot of positive changes,” Johnson said. “ The Special Olympics have given children the opportunity to experience things in life and also to be positive influences in their communities. It’s more than just the competition itself, it’s more about life lessons, about giving them opportunities to travel, about just a myriad of other positive things.

“I don’t believe somebody can be the best they can be without some help,” he added. “…To me, that’s one of the best contributions we can make—to help make sure each of our fellow citizens have the opportunity to do things they like to do.”

Johnson was a versatile athlete growing up and he played football, baseball and basketball in high school. He played collegiate basketball for one season under the late legendary UCLA coach John Wooden, but track and field soon took center stage.

Competing in his first decathlon as a freshman at UCLA in 1954—during his first year of competition—Johnson broke the world record. Then, despite injuries, he earned the silver medal in the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne and captured the gold medal four years later in the 1960 Rome Olympic Games.

Johnson was named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year in 1958, and earned the James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the United States in 1960. In 1998, Johnson was named one of ESPN’s 100 Greatest North American Athletes of the 20th Century.

“As a decathlete, it was an honor to meet someone with as many accomplishments as Rafer Johnson,” Burt said. “He still looks young; he looks like he could still do the decathlon.”

Fellow teammate, decathlete Linker, also noted: “I was nervous to meet him, but when I met him, it was great. He wanted to know things about us. It’s always nice to see someone continue to help out in the community, especially a big name like him.”

The 13th annual Billie Jean King & Friends Event will be held on September 25 at the Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa.

For further sponsor or event information, check out the athletics website at www.CSULAathletics.com or call (323) 343-3080.

Their Say

How does it feel to be graduating?

 

Faren Moreno ’10
Criminal Justice Graduate

“My four years have finally paid off. We have worked hard; this is the moment we have been waiting for. We are ready to go out into the world and be really, really, great, successful people…”

 

 

Nii Laye ’10
Electrical Engineering Master’s Graduate

“I’m so excited because you know I’ve got all the training I need here to go forth in my Ph.D. and make contributions to biomedical instrumentation and energy. I’m thankful to all my professors. One day I’m going to be an expert in my area, and I’ll remember this school.”

 

 

Alexandria Huynh ’10
Biology Graduate

“I’m sleepy, and hungry and kind of excited.”

 

 

Saleh Feidi ’10
Civil Engineering Graduate

“I’m excited. Six years in the making, and I have a civil engineering degree.… I am done with this chapter in my life.”

 

Letters to the Editor

“I just received a copy of Cal State L.A. TODAY and was wondering if the University is the outgrowth of the old L.A. State College, from which I graduated in 1953? I lost track when I went into the service and returned to the Pacific Northwest.

 

Our colors were also black and gold, but we were the ‘Devils.’

This is the first bit of information I’ve received, so if you could fill me in, I’d appreciate it.”

-Clifford Jones ’53

Editor’s Note:

Thank you for writing.

Yes, Cal State L.A. or California State University, Los Angeles is the modern day name for the former L.A. State College. The University has gone through a couple name changes since the “L.A. State College” days, however. In 1964 it was renamed California State College at Los Angeles when it joined the California State College system, and then in 1972 the name was changed to its present day form when the California State College System took on the new name of The California State University. Here are some highlights: http://www.calstatela.edu/univ/ppa/media/cslainf1.php.

Also, the University’s colors are still black and gold, but the mascot was changed from the Diablos (Devils) to the Golden Eagles in 1981. Come back and visit your alma mater—you will be astounded to see the changes!

“Did the CSULA Alumni Org. honor the passing of Dr. Paul Zall, who was my Lit. professor, and many, many others, at CSULA, and other universities? The remainder of his career was spent as a research authority at the Huntington Library. I suggest listing the titles of his many books, of which recently I’ve read his Benjamin Franklin bios…humor, edited autobiography. Everyone I knew in early ’60s revered our having taken Dr. Zall for several classes…and I had one personal experience where he represented me to the Dept. Chair in English.”

-Robb Rosen

Editor’s Note:

Thank you for sharing your fond memories of Dr. Paul Zall. We were saddened to hear of his passing in January, which was included in the “In Memoriam” section of the magazine. In response to your note, however, here is a sampling of the many books that Zall authored: “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin: A Genetic Text” in 1981, “Abe Lincoln Laughing” in 1982, “Founding Mothers: Profiles of Ten Wives of America’s Founding Fathers” in 1991, “Wit and Wisdom of the Founding Fathers” in 1996, “Lincoln on Lincoln” in 1999, “Franklin on Franklin” in 2001, “Jefferson on Jefferson” in 2002, and “Washington on Washington” in 2003.

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