Teri Yamada, Ph.D.
College of Liberal Arts
Department of Comparative World Literature and Classics
Teri Yamada is helping to establish a new literary culture in Cambodia with the Nou Hach Literary Project.
Since she created the non-profit organization in 2002, the project has sponsored numerous writers’ conferences, published several editions of the Nou Hach Journal – the only journal of modern literature in Cambodia, held writers’ workshops and conducted literacy outreach in the provinces. As the project coordinator, Yamada donates money and time to the project. Last summer, she funded a trip to Cambodia for a young filmmaker who needed to conduct research for a full-length film on Cambodian singer Ros Sereysothea, who was killed during the Khmer Rouge era. While she was there, the project organized a film production workshop through the Ministry of Information – a first in Cambodian history. In 2008, this organization received the Jeri Laber International Freedom to Publish award administered by the Association of American Publishers.
In past years, Yamada has also donated time to the Buddhist Institute in Phnom Penh where she taught a course in Southeast Asian Folklore to a special group of graduate students being trained for research in the humanities. She has served on the Academic Advisory Board of the Center for Khmer Studies in Siem Reap, served as the chair of the Community Advisory Board for the Long Beach Asian-Pacific Mental Health Center and been the advisor for CSULB’s Cambodian Student Society and the Long Beach C-HOPE leadership group. She has been the faculty mentor for the Cambodian Student Society at CSULB since 1995.
College of Health and Human Services
Whether she is at her desk in the College of Health of Human Services or baking cookies for her scholarship, Mary Harris-Robinson is happiest when she is helping others.
“I love helping other people,” said Harris-Robinson, an administrative support assistant.“I grew up that way. My grandmother taught me that a successful person should always help others and give something back.”
Harris-Robinson’s community involvement includes serving as an usher for Long Beach’s International City Theater and the Special Olympics held on CSULB’s campus, where she escorts athletes to the Olympic Village and the winners of the track and field events to the awards podium. She also participates in Orange County’s Arthritis Walk sponsored by the Arthritis Foundation.
In addition, she has raised thousands of dollars for the Hardy, Harris and Eatman Scholarship, which she established in fall 2001. She has raised the money through her own personal bake sales from October to December. The money provides two $400 scholarships or one $800 scholarship a year for students majoring in radiation therapy.
Harris-Robinson’s helpful nature and positive attitude has earned her two Employee of the Month awards – a rare achievement.
“Mary is willing to go the extra mile to help anyone,” said President F. King Alexander. “She’s well-known throughout campus for her charismatic personality.”
Harris-Robinson joined the university in 1996 as a clerical assistant II in the College of Health and Human Services. In 2002, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Management degree at CSULB and in 2005 she was appointed administrative support assistant.