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Neil Hultgren, English, presented a paper and chaired a panel at the October 2014 Victorian Interdisciplinary Studies Association of the Western United States Conference (VISAWUS) in Fullerton. The conference focused on Victorian collections and collecting. His paper was titled “Collecting the Planet in MP Shiel’s The Purple Cloud. Hultgren also was elected to the Board of Directors of VISAWUS.

Maulana Karenga, Africana Studies, published a chapter “Nommo, Kawaida and Communicative Practice: Bringing Good Into the World” in Molefi Asante, Yoshitaka Miike and Jin Yin (eds.), The Global Intercultural communication Reader, 2nd ed., New York: Routledge, Chapter 13, pp. 211-225, 2014. He also gave a series of keynote lectures: “Mapping the Terrain and Tasks of the Activist Scholar: Intellectual, Ethical and Social Dimensions,” Great Lakes Association Students of Color, Leadership Conference, Denison University, Nov. 8; “Black Studies in the Scales of History: A Critical Reading of Achievements and Challenges,” A Memorial for Winston Van Horne, founder of Africology, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Oct. 9, 2013; “Serudj Ta and the Reparations Movement: Repairing and Remaking Ourselves and the World,” Reparations Conference, KRST Unity Center, Los Angeles, Oct. 13, 2013. Also, he was interviewed on “The State and Future of Black Studies” on the Beautiful Struggle, KPFK Pacifica Radio, Los Angeles, Nov. 12 and on “The Reality of Being Black: Identity and Cultural Competence,” The Dialog, LATalkLive.com, Oct. 2, 2013. Furthermore, he served as a delegate to the Statewide Ethnic Studies Council Planning Session, San Francisco

State University, Oct. 18 and as a member of the ESCP delegation to meet with CSU Chancellor Timothy White to discuss the state and future of Ethnic Studies; and was chosen as a member of the Chancellor’s Task Force on the Advancement of Ethnic Studies, Nov. 7, 2013. In addition, he gave a series of annual Kwanzaa theme lectures titled “Celebrating and Living Kwanzaa: Sowing and Harvesting Seeds of Good” at the International African Arts Festival, New York, Dec. 27; the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland on African American History and Culture, Baltimore and the National Association of Kawaida Organizations, Philadelphia, Dec. 28; the Rochester Kwanzaa Coalition, Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester; and the Buffalo Kwanzaa Committee, Pratt Willert Community Center, Dec. 29. Moreover, he gave a series of one-on-one interviews on the annual Kwanzaa theme on Access to Afreeka, WDFO, Buffalo/Niagra; Mind Flight, The Global Black Experience, WLIB, New York; Dec. 22; Inner Vision, KPFK, Los Angeles; The Carl Nelson Show, Washington, D.C.; Keeping It Moving with Marsha Jews, WEAA, Morgan State University, Dec. 23; FrontPage with Dominique DiPrima, KJLH, Los Angeles; and the Nick Taliaferro Show, WURD, Philadelphia, Dec. 26.

Patricia Seyburn, English, recently saw the publication of her fourth collection of poems titled Perfecta by the Los Angeles-based What Books Press. Seyburn won the Pushcart Prize in 2011 and saw her poem “The Case for Free Will” included in the anthology The Pushcart Prize XXXV: Best of the Small Presses.

Perfecta

Patty Seyburn, associate professor, English

The 92-page volume of poetry Perfecta appeared this year from the Los Angeles-based publishing collective What Books. It follows her three previous volumes Hilarity, (New Issues Press, 2009, winner of the Green Rose Poetry Prize from Western Michigan University), Mechanical Cluster (Ohio State University Press, 2002) and Diasporadic (Helicon Nine Editions, 1998). Perfecta takes on questions about the desire for time and chance as well as their limitations. Whether at the racetrack or in a cul-de-sac, Seyburn’s work interrogates the flawed self and engage the vagaries of being human with pathos and no small dose of humor. “When I was a kid, I went to the track with my brother. (I don’t know why my parents allowed this but they did),” said the member of the university since 2006. “I’ve always been interested in the language of chance. I loved the idea you could pick several winners and rearrange them in particular orders. We all like to think we have a little bit of the knack. When guys to go poker night, they go in thinking they will win. ‘I’ve got the knack,’ they say. ‘I’m good at this.’ We like to think we are ‘lucky’ and in tune with forces bigger than we are. We are lucky a lot of times. But we also are unlucky a lot of times. Plus, I just like the sound of the word Perfecta.” The current collection includes her “The Case for Free Will” which won the coveted Pushcart Prize in 2011 and was included in the anthology, The Pushcart Prize XXXV: Best of the Small Presses. Seyburn traced the origins of Perfecta to a reader’s suggestion that she write more about the people she knew and her life outside CSULB. “It occurred to me, why don’t I write about ‘us?’ I’m part of ‘us,’” she recalled. “This book is a very social book. It is about social behaviors. It really asks why we act the way we act. What brings out the best in us and what brings out the worst?” Seyburn predicts the shock of the familiar when readers pick up Perfecta. “The poems have real people in them. Readers may recognize themselves and learn a little something about themselves,” she said. “Reading the book will help the readers find familiar worlds. I want my poems to tell the readers I do understand.

Author of the Month-Norbert Schürer

Being sympathetic does not exempt us from yearning for self-improvement. I think the book is fun and funny.” Seyburn enjoys reading Coleridge but writes for a 21st century audience. “I’m not writing just for other poets or other academics, I’m writing for other people out there in the world who are engaged with their jobs and lives, their kids and beloveds, but also are interested in thinking about their lives beyond day-to-day terms,” she said. “I think that describes most thoughtful people.” Seyburn is co-editor of POOL: a Journal of Poetry. She earned her B.S. and M.S. from Northwestern University, her M.A. from UC Irvine and her Ph.D. in 2003 from the University of Houston.

Samuel Councilman, June 1, former Mathematics department chair and academic senate member

Jeanne Baucom, June 15, retired staff

William D. Bonis, Oct. 14, emeriti faculty, College of Liberal Arts

To report the recent passing of a staff or faculty member, current or past, notify Inside CSULB.

CSULB will continue its efforts for needy children with the 17th Annual Bob Rodgers’ Cherishing the Children Toy Drive, coordinated by the Staff Council. It has been renamed after Rodgers, a career audio-visual specialist on campus who passed away on June 11, 2013, and who played the role of Santa Claus at the holiday party for 15 years.

The need for donated toys and gifts for infants through teens remains high as local social service agencies continue to see a significant number of families seeking assistance. CSULB has consistently been a major provider of donated holiday toys to Long Beach area agencies.

Members of the campus community are invited to bring new, unwrapped toys to collection boxes located throughout the campus by Friday, Dec. 12. A party for more than 100 children and their families will take place Thursday, Dec. 11, in the Walter Pyramid, hosted by Staff Council and the Office of the President.

Additional toys are being collected through Friday, Dec. 12, and what is not given to the children at the party will be donated to the Long Beach Fire Department’s Spark of Love toy drive for other underprivileged children.

Collection boxes can be found on campus at the following locations:

• University Library lobby
• University Library-Starbucks
• F02-106H-History
• Psychology 100
• Hall of Science 160B-College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics’ Dean’s Office

• Peterson Hall 2, Audio Visual Services
• F05-203/223-Publications
• University Bookstore-Art Store (FA3)
• McIntosh Humanities Building/215-College of Liberal Arts office

• Academic Technology Services in the Academic Services Building.
• Education-1 ED1-13
• Copy Center-Bookstore
• The Nugget
• University Dining Plaza-Starbucks
• Chartroom
• University Student Union Information desk
• Brotman Hall 335-Staff Human Resources
• Brotman Hall 300-President’s Office
• Brotman Hall 188-Information Technology Services
• Brotman Hall 123-Admissions and Records
• Horn Center-Academic Computing
• Nursing 36C
• Barrett Athletic Administration Building-Athletics and Alumni Relations Offices
• Martha Knoebel Dance Center-Department Office
• University Police
• Foundation 115
• SSPA 361-Economics
• Mail Room
• Facilities Management
• President’s Scholars Room-University Library

If you would like to volunteer for the Cherishing Children party, contact Laura Stone. For more information or to volunteer, contact Charleen Rice at or Harvey Hunt.

Nominations for the 2015 CSULB Outstanding Staff Award are being accepted through Friday, Jan. 9.

To be eligible for the award, individuals must be a staff member of the university, the Forty-Niner Shops, the CSULB Foundation or Associated Students Inc., with a minimum of five years employment on campus. Nominees must have a demonstrated campus-wide service and dedication to CSULB and purposeful use of skills and resources for the betterment of the campus community. They must also have made a significant campus-wide contribution to the support of staff, faculty and/or students, which can include a combination of CSULB campus-wide committee work, volunteering for campus events, service outside of normal job responsibilities, exemplary service on the job, etc. In addition, nominees must be willing to have their names submitted.

Nominations may be submitted by any member of the campus community, including the nominee. No individuals may recommend more than one nominee, past award recipients cannot submit nominations in the same year that they are on the selection committee and the nominator is responsible for collecting items required for the packet, verifying that it is complete prior to submission.

Nomination packets must include a completed nomination form with a statement as to why the nominee should be selected, current résumé that identifies the nature of the individual’s campus-wide experience and three letters of recommendation from any combination of faculty, staff or students.

A selection committee comprised of past outstanding staff member recipients, the chair of the Staff Council nominating committee (who is the convening chair, but non-voting), a faculty member and a student will review the materials and select the award recipient. The chosen individual will be honored at several events during the next year.

For further information or to receive a nomination packet, visit the Staff Council website or contact Charleen Rice.

Meghan Griffith, assistant director of academic advising and articulation systems in CSULB’s Office of Enrollment Services, was named by her co-workers recently as employee of the month. Griffith was recognized in a special ceremony held near the University Student Union on Friendship Walk which was renamed for the month as Meghan Griffith Lane.

CSULB president Jane Close Conoley applauded Griffith’s recognition. “Meghan has worked tirelessly and with great determination to coordinate the complexities of the degree planner implementation,” said Conoley. “She maintains a positive attitude and has a get-it-done spirit. She always gives 150 percent yet is willing to lend a hand to those in her department.”

Griffith is pleased to be named employee of the month. “I feel extremely lucky to be honored by my peers in Enrollment Services,” she said. “It is a place where everyone works tirelessly and I feel very humbled and honored to be recognized in such company.”

Griffith feels one reason for her recognition is simple hard work. “I try to contribute to the team as much as anyone as we work on various projects, including the new multi-year degree planner for which I am functional lead. I feel extremely lucky to work with the people I do,” she said.

As assistant director of academic advising and articulation systems, Griffith is responsible for lending support to different advising systems across campus. “In our new degree planner project, students and advisors will be able to track and plan for the academic requirements remaining before graduation,” she explained. “This is a multi-year planning tool that allows students to individualize a recommended plan to complete all remaining graduation requirements. The hope is that students and advisors will be empowered with this tool as they pursue a pathway towards timely graduation.”

Griffith especially enjoys the level of collaboration that exists among her degree planner team. “It’s a campus-wide effort that reaches from Enrollment Services to the advising community to Academic Affairs,” she said. “There are a lot of different players and it is my responsibility to help lead the functional team that performs the analysis and coding of requirements.”

Griffith first arrived on campus in 2004 to play on the university’s women’s basketball team. She went on to graduate from CSULB with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history in 2007. She completed her Master of Arts in Education with an option in social and cultural analysis of education in 2011.

Griffith looks back fondly on her junior and senior years spent playing basketball for CSULB. “In my senior year, we were co-Big West Conference champions,” she recalled. “I was born in this area, I love the beach, and I have always liked this campus. When I found myself facing life after basketball, my advisor from student athlete services suggested a career on campus. I applied and began in 2006 in Enrollment Services as an administrative support assistant, moving up the ranks to my current position as an analyst/programmer.”

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PHOTO BY DAVID J. NELSON
President Jane Close Conoley (l) and Meghan Griffith

What she felt in 2004 and what she feels even more today is that CSULB is an amazing campus where she evolved from a student-athlete to an employee-student to a full-time employee. “It is an exciting place that never ceases to amaze me,” she said. “This is truly a special place.”

Griffith received several gifts including a CSULB sweatshirt, a framed picture with President Conoley, a gift certificate for a Tommy’s combo, a $25 gift card for Olive Garden and two tickets to Bettman and Halpin at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center.

–Richard Manly

The next CalPERS retirement workshop will be available on Friday, Jan. 16, in the Barrett Athletic Center second floor conference room. It’s asked that you RSVP by Friday, Jan. 9. The workshop will run from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

All CalPERS members are welcome to attend and the workshop is highly recommended for employees who have at least five years of CalPERS service credit and are age 50-plus.

Presented by a CalPERS retirement specialist, the workshop will cover the retirement process, retirement calculation, service credit, survivor continuance and the application process.

Due to limited seating, this workshop is offered to university employees with a minimum of five years of CalPERS service credit.

To attend the workshop, contact Benefits Services at benefits@csulb.edu or 562/985-2381.

Tax Information Update

Internal Revenue Code (IRC) elective deferral limits for 403(b), 401(k) and 457(b) plans will increase to $18,000 and the catch-up contribution limit for employees age 50 and over will increase to $6,000 for 2015; the 415(c)(1)(A) “percentage of compensation limit” will increase to 100 percent of adjusted gross salary up to $53,000.

Information on the 2015 limits is available on the Benefits Services website. Information about these plans can be found on the Benefits Services Retirement Savings website. Questions about the new limits may be directed to Benefits Services at 562/985-2381 or e-mail benefits@csulb.edu.

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PHOTO COURTESY OF SHUI LAM
Shui Lam

Computer Engineering and Computer Science’s Shui Lam recently received a year-long $100,000 grant from the METRANS Transportation Center—a joint partnership of USC and CSULB funded by the Department of Transportation and CALTRANS—to study “Tracking Truck Flows with Programmable Mobile Devices for Drayage Efficiency Analysis.”

Lam, a member of the university since 1985, was pleased by her recognition.

“I think one reason for this proposal’s recognition was that it addresses an urgent need,” she said. “Everybody in Southern California is bothered by traffic congestion and pollution. Until we understand where the major problems are, we won’t be able to identify an effective solution.

“Not only does this grant support my research,” she added, “but it enables me to teach my student assistants the skill set of research. They not only learn about the subject but how to research the subject. They will understand their discipline a lot better.”

Drayage, she explained, is the transport of goods over a short distance, in this instance, the trucking between the twin ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles and distribution centers within Southern California.

“The combined cargo volume makes these the biggest port complex in the U.S.,” she said. “One of the big reasons for that is the rise of the Pacific Rim market. A lot of goods are moving between China and the U.S. with their first stop on the West Coast while many of the containers move through. But since California is a major population center, a lot of goods stop here and, to cover that short distance transportation, there is drayage. That produces lots of traffic and lots of pollution. We cannot continue to build new freeways to deal with the new traffic. We won’t have a good solution to pollution and traffic until we know where the major inefficiencies are.”

Programmable mobile devices play a major role in her research. “What I want to find out is the level of trucking activity,” she explained. “Where do they go? Where do they come from? Where do they stop? Where are the bottlenecks? With the advance of the new global positioning systems technology, we can locate where these trucks are. But that is not enough. We may know where they are but we still don’t know why they are there. What is the purpose of the trip? We really need help from the truck drivers to enter information about their trips along with the GPS. When we combine that information, then we have the full story of what’s going on.”

Lam praised the role of the CSULB-USC METRANS Transportation Center in her research. METRANS was established in 1998 through the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century as the first University Transportation Center in Southern California.

“Trade in the Los Angeles/Long Beach port complex was $382 billion in 2011,” she said. “Add to that the fact that Los Angeles International Airport is the fifth largest freight center in the U.S. and you have a state that is a center of both international trade and immigration. I am glad that METRANS is committed to the solution of transportation problems of large metropolitan regions through interdisciplinary research, education and outreach.”

The origins of her current research began with a multidisciplinary research grant from CSULB that provided seed money for work originally performed with Economics’ Kristen Monaco, now departed from the campus. “We explored the use of mobile tracking devices using a first-generation Android tablet,” she said. “We worked with a volunteer truck driver who tested the devices over 18 trips. It seemed feasible. The biggest hurdle faced by this research is the cooperation of the truck drivers.”

Reception to her research has been mixed among the drivers. “Trucking companies are enthusiastic and want to find the best way of using their trucks, hence their drivers are more willing to cooperate,” she said. “But individual owner/operators were less so. They saw their cooperation with the project as an additional duty they needed to perform and they saw that as a hindrance. But the important thing was to find drivers who would cooperate.”

The current project reflects Lam’s interest in the applications of computer science. “This research represents a good application of computer technology and reflects my interest in programmable mobile devices,” she said. “It also explores my interest in parallel computing, a form of computation in which many calculations are carried out simultaneously. Multiple processors in a single computer or multiple computers handling the same task means parallel computing.” The trick is to organize the parts of the task so that they can be performed simultaneously.

Lam received her undergraduate education in physics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and her master’s degree and doctorate in Computer Science from Pennsylvania State University in 1975.

Lam’s research has sensitized her to the problems of traffic congestion and pollution around the port complex.

“I didn’t recognize there was a problem at all until I got involved as a scholar,” she said. “I began to appreciate the problems of pollution and congestion more fully when I found myself following trucks going in and out of the port. I wished they would disappear. But when I began my research, I learned why the trucks were there. That’s when I thought I might be able to help solve those problems.”

“Mythical Moments in Remington Brand History” was a topic this June at the Myth and the Market Conference held in Carlingford, Ireland, where Marketing’s Terry Witkowski examined the roots of branding through the sights of a gun.

The Director of International Business Programs at in CSULB’s College of Business Administration is the co-author of the 2013 article titled “The Advertising of E. Remington and Sons: The Creation of an Economic Brand, 1854-1888” in the Journal of Historical Research in Marketing. On the same recent European tour, Witkowski also presented “Consumer Culture Historiography: Lessons from the Work of Russell W. Belk” at the Consumer Culture Theory Conference held at Helsinki’s Aalto University in June. While in Finland, he presented “The Macromarketing Field and Its Journal” at the Hanken School of Economics. Versions of this presentation also were given at Saitama University, Tokyo Station Campus, May 24, and Meiji University, Surugadai Campus, May 26.

Witkowski explained that at least half his research is in the area of business, marketing, and consumer history.

“Branding is a very important topic in marketing today and in the history of marketing,” explained the member of the university since 1982. “Remington ran ads from 1850s until the original Remington Company was liquidated in 1888. But although the company was liquidated, they kept the Remington brand name and the name has had a succession of owners and products. In the late 19th century, Remington manufactured typewriters. That firm later morphed into Remington-Rand which, in turn, merged with Sperry. There were Remington shavers in the 1930s.”

One reason for the survival of the legendary American brand is the power of myth. “There are certain periods and events in a brand’s evolution that can assume the stature of myth or what I call the `mythical moment,’” he explained. “The nature and meaning of the brand undergoes an acceleration. There were three such periods in the evolution of the Remington brand name.”

The first myth dealt with the founding of the Remington brand name when the founder forged his first rifle barrel in 1816. The second mythical moment arrived in the 1870s with a legendary rifle competition that saw American rifles beat a team from Ireland. “The U.S. won on the last shot,” he said. “Following that, target shooting became a big sport in the U.S. Remington capitalized on the victory and used it in their advertising.” The third mythical moment came in the Roaring 20s when the company began sponsoring store display window contests for dealers.

“Anyone who carried Remington products such as sporting goods stores created display windows,” Witkowski recalled. “Display windows are a three-dimensional way of drawing people into another world. Big department stores in France and the United Kingdom such as Selfridge’s were pioneers in dressing windows. L. Frank Baum founded a journal on store windows in 1897 and published a book on the topic in 1900, the same year he published The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”

Witkowski believes each mythical moment demonstrates the evolution of branding. “Most marketing today is still of the moment so researchers interested in brand history look at shorter periods,” he said. “By studying the Remington brand, I found I could look at much longer periods that covered nearly 200 years. Plus, it helps to explain how gun culture has become so deeply embedded in U.S. society.”

Authors of myths can be many parties beginning with the founding business.

“Companies often try to create myths about themselves. Currently, the Remington Firearms Company has a clothing offshoot called 1816 Remington. In terms of product names, it borrows from the past,” he said. “But there are other authors of myths including consumers. There are Apple consumer groups and Harley Davidson consumer groups. These are the second authors of myths. The media became involved through movie and TV product placement. Look at the effect on Ray-Ban sunglasses thanks to their appearance in `Top Gun.’ Corporate mythmaking is a collaborative process.”

Since January 1, 2010, Witkowski has been editor-in-chief of the Journal of Macromarketing and will continue through his second term until the end of 2015. He received his B.A. from Northwestern University in 1970, his M.S. from UCLA in 1972 and his doctorate from UC Berkeley in 1980.

Witkowski was pleased with his Carlingford presentation and plans to continue his research into the visual politics of American firearms. “The American gun culture manipulates images and rhetoric to advance their interests, but I am neither a hunter not a shooter. It is possible to study the brand without sharing the politics of the gun culture,” he said.

CSULB’s Department of Psychology faculty members Alyce LaViolette and Courtney Ahrens joined the global fight against domestic violence when they participated in a U.S. State Department-sponsored visit to Vietnam this summer.

LaViolette is an acknowledged expert in domestic abuse as well as a member of the CSULB alumni board and a former College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Alumni. Her invitation to visit the Southeast Asian nation from the U.S. State Department followed other State Department invitations to address issues of domestic abuse in Israel, Cape Verde and Katmandu. Ahrens joined the team with the support of CSULB provost Dave Dowell who recognized the fit between Ahrens’ National Institute of Justice funded research on domestic violence in the Vietnamese-American community and the work being done in Vietnam.

The pair departed Los Angeles in late July and returned in early August. ”Vietnam is struggling with many of the issues we faced in the late 70s and early 80s. We were trying to alert the public and governmental agencies about the problem of spouse abuse and to get community support for battered women’s shelters and outreach programs,” said LaViolette. “Later, we were outreaching to get referrals to our male perpetrators’ programs. The Vietnamese activists were interested in prevention programming, funding for shelters, legislation and perpetrator programs. Their energy was amazing.”

Upon arrival in Hanoi, the pair began a series of community and government meetings that ranged from high level meetings with government officials to meetings with survivors in rural provinces. The trip began with a meeting with U.S. Consulate officials followed by a presentation to more than 40 representatives from local non-governmental organizations working to combat intimate partner violence in Vietnam. LaViolette and Ahrens then met with faculty, students and social workers at the Vietnamese Women’s Academy and with Ministry of Justice officials, visited Yen Bai province for a two-hour presentation to the local chapter of the Vietnamese Women’s Union Ha Nam Province and met with a support group of survivors and local government officials. Also, they toured one of the only two domestic violence shelters in Vietnam and concluded their visit with a press conference.

Ahrens and LaViolette were pleased with the program organized by their hosts, the U.S. Embassy.

“Their overarching goal was to facilitate cultural interaction between Americans and the Vietnamese while discussing topics that could be helpful,” Ahrens said. “Domestic violence is an issue of emerging importance to the Vietnamese people so the topic was timely.”

It is the people who stand out in LaViolette’s memory. “I was impressed by the courage of the battered women we met,” she said. “I was impressed with the warmth, enthusiasm, creativity and leadership of the activists that we met.”

The focus of their presentations was on programs for perpetrators of domestic abuse, adult and child victims, funding, legislation and prevention programming. “Given the culture and economics of modern Vietnam, women aren’t terribly likely to leave an abusive relationship,” said Ahrens. “They want the abuser to change. They want the abuser not to be abusive. They were also very interested in understanding what happens to children who grow up in those homes. What services ought to be provided to these children?”

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PHOTO CURTESY OF ALYCE LaVIOLETTE
Alyce LaViolette and Courtney Ahrens with group in Vietnam.

Many of the meetings involved brainstorming, problem solving and the sharing of ideas. “When we talked to them about developing women’s shelters, I explained that California attached fees to marriage licenses in 1980s to fund women’s shelters,” LaViolette said. “They explained that Vietnam does not charge for marriage licenses.”

Another highlight was a meeting in HaNam Province with survivors of domestic violence who traveled for miles on bicycles and motorbikes to participate in a support group run by CSAGA, a local NGO working to address domestic violence. “The topic was ‘Negative Feelings,’” said Ahrens. Later that afternoon, they met with a group of local officials who were implementing a pilot program to respond to reports of domestic violence. “We were impressed by the multidisciplinary team approach they were implementing. This approach mirrors what we have learned in the U.S. about how important it is to work as a team. But in Vietnam, the top priority seems to be mediation between the couples. We tried to explain that we have found having both the abuser and the victim in the same place at the same time doesn’t always work. Having separate groups for victims and perpetrators works better. They can be brought back together when the abuser accepts responsibility,” Ahrens added.

LaViolette is the author of It Can Happen to Anyone: Why Battered Women Stay and founded Alternatives to Violence in Long Beach. She received her B.A. in Psychology in 1968 and her M.S. in Psychology in 1974. Ahrens received her B.A. from Smith College, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 2002.

LaViolette sees her commitment to the issue of domestic abuse as permanent. “My commitment is bigger than fighting domestic abuse,” she said. “I believe that feminism is about creating choice. That means choices for men and women. Let’s look at how we’re allies for each other.”

Ahrens admired the passion she found in Vietnam. “This is not something I always see in the U.S. where the movement has become a little more political and professional,” she said. “The people we met in Vietnam were enthusiastic about addressing issues like domestic abuse. These are people who want to change the world and, at this point, nothing will stop them.”