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Making Waves: Accomplishments of the CSULB Community

Published August 12, 2019

Not just good sports…good students

Beach athletics programs have received recognition for academic achievement from the NCAA: women’s volleyball, cross country, golf, track and field, and men’s volleyball and water polo. The teams were honored with the NCAA Public Recognition Award. The honor is bestowed on teams with an NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate in the top 10 percent of all squads in their respective sports based on the APR data released in May 2019.

“Thank you to all of our coaches, Barrett Athletic Center staff and others who support our student-athletes so they can excel in the classroom and in their sport,” said Deputy Athletic Director Cindy Masner.

Each of CSULB’s programs once again met the minimum standard of the APR, an NCAA program to help encourage and ensure progress toward graduation for student-athletes. Since the four-year standard was established, every Beach Athletics program has met the minimum. The Beach is the only CSU school to do so, now 14 years running. Notably, Long Beach State had 310 total student-athletes named Academic All-Stars over the two semesters of 2018-19.


sheffieldSpeaking of Beach Athletics

LaTanya Sheffield, head coach of women's Track and Field at The Beach, helped lead the USA track and field team at the recently concluded Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. Sheffield has led Long Beach State's sprints, relays and hurdles for both the men's and women's programs since her arrival on campus in 2013. Over those seven years, Long Beach State has claimed a conference championship six times, including the program's first-ever women's conference championship in 2018. As an athlete, Sheffield was an Olympic finalist in the 400m hurdles at the 1988 Games in Seoul, South Korea, and represented the United States at the 1987 World Championships. She was also a two-time gold medalist at the Olympic Sports Festival (1987, 1993) and won a bronze medal at the 1987 Pan American Games.

zachary martinezSpecial moment

After Mechanical Engineering student Zachary Martinez’ mother entered hospice care, he reached out to Student Affairs to see if a special diploma ceremony could be held so that she could see the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. Associate Provost Dhushy Sathianathan and Student Affairs Associate Vice President Jeff Klaus traveled to the Martinez family home in Anaheim and wore their full commencement regalia and presented the diploma to Zachary in front of his mother and family.

Hooray from Hollywood

Department of Film and Electronic Arts was recently presented with $65,000 in grants from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association– the same organization that is best known for its sponsorship of the Golden Globe Awards. CSULB, along with several other CSU campuses and other universities, received the grants for endowed scholarships/fellowships, as well as fellowships and institutional support.


The hexagon shape of a honeycomb. The motion of a duck paddling in water. A dwarf frog’s complex bubble nest. Each are elements of nature found in the designs of three teams of Cal State Long Beach design students who were among the 10 finalists in the 2019 Biomimicry Global Design Challenge. This is the second consecutive year CSULB has had three teams in the finalist round. The contest, partnered with the Ray C. Anderson Foundation, invites university students and professionals to address critical sustainability issues with nature-inspired solutions. This year’s theme focused on climate change.

Not-so-wild encounters

With a rise in coyote sightings and encounters, CSULB Mammal Lab Director Dr. Ted Stankowich is using the opportunity to study the animals and their behavior in changing environments. The researchers analyze how other animals interact with coyotes, and study population management.

Currently, Stankowich and his team are conducting a survey of pet owners about their animals’ interactions with coyotes. The information collection has just begun, but Stankowich believes the findings will contribute to the well-being of people and their pets, as well as give researchers a better understanding of the animal that once lived on the edge of civilization.

“Coyotes are important predators in our ecosystem and provide the service of removing rodents and other pests from our urban centers,” Stankowich said. “The good news is that most coyotes naturally tend to fear humans. So that – combined with some proactive steps – can help minimize or even eliminate the numbers and types of encounters we have with them.”

College of the Arts dean retires

Cyrus Parker-Jeannette, who has served as dean of Cal State Long Beach’s College of the Arts since 2014, has retired from the University.

“During a recent vacation, my husband experienced some health issues. The experience made us evaluate things a bit, and I realized that it is important to me to spend more time with my family,” said Parker-Jeannette. “Although I know this is the right thing to do personally, this is one of the most fulfilling jobs I have had in my life and it’s hard to leave. I have tremendous love for the college and the university, and I am so incredibly proud of the work we’ve done together.”

Provost Brian Jersky has announced that Associate Dean Margaret Black will serve as acting dean for the coming year. A national search for Parker-Jeanette’s permanent replacement is expected to begin this spring.

fashion trip

Fashionable trip

CSULB fashion students recently visited New York City as part of a special study tour. One of the highlights was a stop by the Fossil Showroom, where the students were able to see Fossil designs, as well as work by noted fashion visionaries Michael Kors, Kate Spade and Skagen.