California State University, Long Beach
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Faculty, Staff and Student Receive Community Service Awards

Faculty Awardee

Image Teri Yamada

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.

Staff Awardee

Image Mary Harris-Robinson

Mary Harris-Robinson
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.

Student Awardee

Image Llaura Garcia

Llaura Garcia

This year, Llaura Garcia has helped collect more than 600 pints of blood, assisted in donating countless toys and aided in making the National Day of Service a success.

As the community service commissioner for Associated Students, Inc., Garcia has led CSULB’s outreach efforts and has been a driving force in encouraging more students to get involved. In the first of three blood drives at CSULB this year, the university broke its record, collecting more than 300 pints of blood. The university reached its goal in the following two blood drives, obtaining a total of 364 pints of blood. Garcia assisted Staff Council with publicity for the winter toy drive and helped in making sure boxes were available in the University Student Union to collect donations. In the fall, she helped coordinate the university’s Make a Difference Day – the largest national day of helping others.

In addition to her service on campus, Garcia volunteers with the youth group at Holy Family Catholic Church in Artesia.

In her third year at CSULB, Garcia is a recreation major and works as a student assistant in the Academic Senate office. She is the youngest of five children and lives in Artesia with her parents.