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What are Your Beach Connections?

A college. A class. A mentor. A memory. We graduate, but our alma mater never leaves us. The relationships we make and the experiences we share on campus help shape who we are and who we will become. In some ways obvious, and some ways we might never realize- The Beach is for life. In asking the question, “What are your Beach Connections?” we hope that readers will sincerely consider all of the friendships, rivalries, mentors, and personal discoveries connected with CSULB that have had a lasting impact on their life, and renew their pride in belonging with The Beach.

Thank you to all our survey responders who thought hard in examining their lives and careers to rediscover all of the ways they stay connected to Cal State Long Beach today.

Franklin J. Munguia

Franklin J. Munguia

2005, B.S., Finance & International Business
Global Director of Enterprise Program Management Office, Westfield Corporation

“As a student, I was active in the College of Business Administration (CBA). I was a CBA senator and a member of Associated Business Students Organization Council (ABSOC). Today, I’m still connected to my college as a volunteer mentor for CBA students in the Corporate Mentoring Program. I also met the love of my life while attending the university. Now, into our 12th year, we have created a family and have a son of 3 years. The many life decisions that set me on a path to career advancement have their humble beginnings at CSULB.”

Dr. Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber

Dr. Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber

1984, B.A., Chemistry 
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine and Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine 

“My memorable professors are my strongest links to The Beach. They always inspired me to pay it forward. Professors like Ken Marci, who had students at his home for dinner, and others like Professor Neal Senozan, treated us as if were family. I always felt like my success was their success. I now try to do that with my students as both a mentor and guide. It’s important to remain connected as alums, to remember where we came from and the foundation that helped us become successful.”

Gerald Menefee

Gerald Menefee

1964, B.S., Business Administration
1968, M.B.A., Business Administration
Associate Superintendent, Minneapolis Public Schools (ret.) 

“I feel proud that CSULB has become one of the top undergraduate schools in the U.S., and I stay connected to The Beach today through the Alumni Association’s emails and website. My wife, Jilonne Menefee, attended while I was pursuing my BS in Accounting. She was almost as active in my professional fraternity (Alpha Kappa Psi) as I was. I think it’s very important to maintain those connections, because the school depends upon its alumni for funding, and the alumni depend upon their alma mater for pride.”

 Matthew Seward

Matthew Seward

2006, B.S., Kinesiology 
Kinesiology Portfolio Manager at Uninational Corporation

“I met my wife Sasha at CSULB in BIO211B, and I attend athletic events with other former alumni I've met since graduating, as well as my family (wife plus two boys). I also attend the fan council quarterly meetings, have met with the CBA Incubator group, and still get together with former teammates at least once a year. I’ve found that by attending events, I can reflect on those for ice breakers with other alumni I come in to contact with... "Did you go to that game?”

Alejandra Hernandez

Alejandra Hernandez

2015, B.S., Business Management
Amazon@TheBeach Campus Site Manager, Advisor for Sigma Kappa 

“My manager at the Forty-Niner Shops pushed me to go out of my comfort zone and take the full time job with Amazon. I moved and then ended up back on campus with Amazon running the store. So yes, I strongly believe that those connections you make on campus can change your life and are important. You never know when or at what point in your life you will be able to use the connections to continue to succeed. That’s why I continue to stay connected to the Forty-Niner Shops, Sigma Kappa Sorority, Associated Students Inc, College of Business, and Latino Student Union.”

Maria Enrique Rajanna

Maria Enrique Rajanna

2004, B.A., English
Teacher, Antioch Unified School District

“I'm still good friends with the people I worked with at UOSR in Brotman Hall back in 2000. We've been to each other's weddings and shared news and pics about our newborns, new locations, and job changes. The small group of friends from Long Beach State are near and dear to my heart to this day. As an undergrad, I joined clubs, worked in the Student Outreach office, and lived on campus. Whenever I see that black and gold sweater on a passerby with "Beach Alumni" on the front or a car sticker that reads "Cal State Long Beach," I smile to myself and nod excitedly like "Yup, I went there!”

Connor and Amber King

Connor and Amber King

Connor: 2015, B.S., Health & Human Services
Special Education Teacher, Fountain Valley High School, CA

Amber: 2014, B.A., Therapeutic Recreation 
Recreation Therapist, College Hospital of Costa Mesa Assistant Coach, CSULB Spirit Team

“CSULB has played such an important role in our lives that we decided to have a Long Beach State-themed wedding right on campus! Connor’s father, sister, and brother in law all graduated from CSULB. Amber’s grandfather graduated, and her great-grandfather was in the first graduating class in 1950.
Today, Amber works with current LB student athletes as an assistant cheer coach. As a local high school teacher, Connor shares “Beach” stories with students and decorates the class with LB memorabilia. We still actively participate in campus events such as athletics, homecoming, and fundraisers. Staying involved and having a sense of pride about the school that shaped you can open the door for new connections within your community.”

Brock Harris

Brock Harris

2014, B.A., Communication Studies
Marketing and Communications, The Jonas Project 

“I think many people during their collegiate years don't appreciate the network and experience that a campus like CSULB can provide. Since I did 6 years on active duty with 4 of those overseas, I was aware of the value that was being given to me, which probably spurned my motivation to be as engaged as possible. I enrolled under the Leadership Scholar Program for veterans, College of Liberal Arts as a Communication Studies Major, participated in Student Veterans Affairs, attended Leadership Academy meetings, and was a member of Phi Kappa Psi, Breakers Breakdance Club, Nikkei Student Union, and Salsa Club.”

Rosa Heckenberg

Rosa Heckenberg

2016, Ed. D., Educational Leadership
Director, Student Success Center, State University of Arkansas, Queretaro, Mexico

“Connections definitely help! Networking with other professionals who can provide mentoring and reference opportunities. I keep in touch with The Beach today through my professional relationships, which I made through the College of Education, Honor Society, Dream Center, and Chicana/o Studies Department, as well as volunteering for events for Ed. D., Educational Leadership, Speaking at Events for the Ed. D., Educational Leadership, attending events for the College of Education.”

 Charles Martucci

Charles Martucci

1988, B.A., Communication Theory
Community Services Manager - City of Lakewood 

“I was a volunteer for Special Olympics as a student; now I oversee a successful Special Olympics program that I built from the ground up. I also belong to the Long Beach State Athletic Association, Alumni Association, and am a Director's Circle member for the athletic association. I’ve stayed in contact with my fraternity, Delta Upsilon, and have spoken to many classes and students over the years. By staying connected to Long Beach, you can mentor and teach those around you to do the same.”

Steven Lagna

Steven Lagna

1971, B.S., Electrical Engineering
Systems Engineer Senior Staff and Systems Engineering Manager, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, San Jose, CA (ret.)

“Stay connected to the greatest extent practical given where you live. As an engineering student, I wound up working with the Chairman of the Electrical Engineering Department, Dr. Archie MacMillan, on Global Positioning System (GPS) at the USAF / Aerospace Corporation in the mid-1970’s after we both had left CSULB. Now I work with the Dean of the College of Engineering (COE) and the Director of Development to plan engineering alumni events in the San Francisco Bay Area.”

Alicia Hubbard

Alicia Hubbard

1987, B.S., Business Administration
Global Director, Human Resources – Europe, Mary Kay Inc.

“The connections I made at CSULB have guided my career and the business functional area I pursued after graduation. If it hadn't been for my student involvement through the CSULB Career Center and School of Business student associations, I would not be where I am today. Wise choices, good timing, and my CSULB professors and counselors made that happen. I also made life-long friends, including my husband Cesar, while attending CSULB.” 

Donna Ray

Donna Ray

1959, B.A., College of Education
Teacher, Garden Grove Unified School District (ret.)

“I was on the first Golden Grad committee in 2009, and a member until 2015. By being a part of this committee, I was reunited with several college friends I hadn't seen in 50 years. I wish I would have become involved in the Alumni Association sooner. It gives me a feeling of completion in my journey with CSULB, from the small college it was in the 1950's to the fabulous university it is now.”

Jennifer Allyn

Jennifer Allyn

1989, B.A., Interpersonal Communication
Owner, Allyn Entertainment & Forward Look Film Rentals

“Our commitment to CSULB has been unwavering since its founding and each generation of our family has strengthened that bond. My father, Philip Haynes, graduated with a BA in 1955 and an MA in 1956. My mother, Jane Haynes, received her library credential in the 70’s. I proudly continued the tradition. This year a new generation is at The Beach: my son, Jake Allyn; hopefully my younger sons will also continue the Long Beach State family tradition.”

Dr. Lawrence Burnight

Dr. Lawrence Burnight

1961, B.A., Social Science
1968, M.A., Social Science
Director of Student Assignment & International Student Registration, LBUSD (ret.)

“The primary benefit from my years at LBSU are the many lifelong friends that I made in my fraternity. Many have been very successful and have given back to the university and the community. Currently, I come back to campus for athletic and alumni events. I’m also a season ticket holder for the Musical Theater West at the Carpenter Center.”

Marc Lund

Marc Lund

1971, B.A., Mathematics
Owner & President, CPA Firm

“It’s gratifying for me to stay connected to the university. CSULB is one of the best public schools around. I give talks to high school parents on financial aid planning for college, and I always mention The Beach as an example of affordable and quality education. I’ve also had the pleasure of staying in touch with a lot of the people I went to school with, and my son is now a teacher at The Beach.” 

Jeffrey Wood

Jeffrey Wood

1987, B.A, Speech Communication
City Council Member, Lakewood CA

“My current elected position was greatly influenced by my Beach experience. My positions held in Associated Students provided valuable leadership experience. This assisted me in gaining knowledge that has led me to serve on various committees, commissions and boards during and after attending CSULB. I am proud to say that in 2011, I was elected to the Lakewood City Council and I am currently serving my second term. I served as Mayor from 2015-2016.”