As President F. King Alexander leaves CSULB to become president of Louisiana State University, Beach Review takes a look at his legacy and timeline of accomplishments.
This issue also examines CSULB’s successes in environmental and energy research and activities.]]>
In early 2006 I came to Cal State Long Beach aware of its outstanding reputation for academic excellence. I found very engaged students focused on academic achievement along with a faculty and staff fully dedicated to our students’ success. During this time Cal State Long Beach has become a national model of how a state university should run. During the last seven years we have experienced increasing national accolades for our university, consistently named among the nation’s best comprehensive master’s universities. Particularly gratifying to me is that CSULB is also consistently recognized as one of the most accessible and affordable universities in the U.S., while also providing highly valued degrees in over 100 fields of undergraduate and graduate study. This is perhaps the reason why the campus is one of the most sought after universities in the nation. Again, it is the faculty and staff who are to be commended most for each of these outstanding recognitions and for tirelessly reaching out to guarantee an outstanding collegiate experience as well as a promising future to our students.
I am and will always be deeply proud of our university and everything that has been accomplished.
This summer I will be leaving Cal State Long Beach, but not before celebrating our nearly 9,000 graduates’ accomplishments during commencement. I will be departing to take on new challenges as the president of the Louisiana State University.
During my tenure at CSULB I spent a great deal of time working with our elected representatives in Washington, D.C., on behalf of the nation’s public university students. Despite leaving CSULB, I want you to know that I will continue this important work and whether I’m in Louisiana or Washington, D.C., I will continue to fight for these same values. These values and the national policies that advance them will benefit public university students throughout America regardless of state or location. So in many ways I’m not done fighting for this great campus and our students!
I am confident Cal State Long Beach will continue on its upward climb in recognition and support. I know that to graduate from this university will continue to represent success, promise and academic accomplishment.
Thank you for your support over these past years.
F. King Alexander
Editor’s Note: F. King Alexander joined California State University, Long Beach as its sixth president in January 2006. In July he will depart the campus to take the reins as the president of the Louisiana State University system and chancellor of Louisiana State University A&M.
Shortly after arriving at Cal State Long Beach, President F. King Alexander promoted two important themes that clearly articulated and expressed his goals for the university.
The first, “Among the Nation’s Best,” acknowledged the university’s reputation and accomplishments and promised that recognitions would continue to accrue and be recognized in the national arena. The second was an explicit expression of Alexander’s beliefs and expectations; “Graduation Begins Today” was a message to all students, faculty and staff that at this university, student success is the first and most important goal.
As he considered the past seven years at CSULB, Alexander said, “We’ve become a national model of student success, access and affordability. Our facilities are much better, which has created an environment so that our students eagerly spend more time together on campus. CSULB students are part of a bigger and enhanced university, thanks to our faculty and staff and their dedication to the mission of this great university.”
In addition to consistent recognition for academic excellence in rankings offered by so many national news sources, Cal State Long Beach became increasingly mentioned as among the nation’s most affordable and accessible universities with high academic standings. A report by the Southern Regional Education Board included CSULB among 15 universities nationwide that outperform others in helping students from all socioeconomic backgrounds to stay on track and graduate. In another national report, The Education Trust included the campus among its collection of only five institutions that met a conservative set of criteria on affordability, access and quality.
These recognitions caused Alexander to be among six public university presidents from across the nation invited to the White House to meet with President Barak Obama and Secretary of Higher Education Arne Duncan to discuss the important issue of affordability of higher education in the U.S. “We were asked to explain how we’re able to achieve so much more for so much less than other universities nationwide,” he said.
To Alexander, the ability to attend a university is as important a consideration as the attainment of a college degree, particularly as students and graduates are faced with an increased demand for degrees to qualify for positions in the workplace.
“Graduation is the number one issue in higher education and we were five years ahead of the national interests,” Alexander said. “Graduation is accepted not only as our university culture, but as both a moral obligation and an economic necessity that benefit our students and our society. The importance is not just in the grad rate, as many institutions proclaim, but it’s the number of students and the type of students a campus graduates. This is where we shine. Anyone can graduate a high school valedictorian, but it’s the students who need us most who are the graduates who benefit most.”
That prospective students and their parents and school counselors are paying attention to CSULB’s focus on student success is clear. The campus continues to be noted as among the most popular in the nation in terms of applicants and this year CSULB received more than 88,000 applications from students hoping to begin their Cal State Long Beach academic pursuits next fall.
Alexander’s advocacy on behalf of students has been a mainstay of his work while at CSULB. He has particularly focused on state funding declines, financial aid and student loan issues that impact students across the nation while working with elected representatives in Sacramento and in the nation’s capital to develop more effective policies in these areas. In response, the California State Students Association, representing the student leadership of the entire California State University system, has twice recognized Alexander as CSU president of the year.
“The most meaningful part of my last seven and a half years was being honored by CSSA twice as president of the year for the state of California,” he said. “I can’t think of a higher honor or more important recognition from student leaders.”
Alexander also points to the increased funding CSULB has received through philanthropic donations to the campus. During his administration, nearly $200 million was raised in private support to the university, and the university’s endowment has doubled.
Also increased two-fold has been funding realized through university research. “With the help of our faculty and staff we have doubled our research capacity and played an important role in answering the important question of whether CSU institutions are engaged in valuable research impacting our society and community. Teaching and research are not dichotomous enterprises because both areas are enhanced when they function together,” Alexander said.
As he considered the campus’ growth and accomplishments over the past seven years, Alexander flatly stated, “This is not about me but attributed to an engaged and caring faculty, staff and student body.
“Cal State Long Beach is a wonderful place, second to none, and it’s because of its people—students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends. It gives me great pride to know how well our university has succeeded in a state and national contest. As simplistic as it may sound, it took a lot of hard-working people who believed that this is what a great public university should be.”
For more about President Alexander’s tenure at CSULB, see the Alexander timeline.
Jan. 9, 2006
F. King Alexander begins his duties as president of California State University, Long Beach.
President Alexander is among the first group of CSU presidents, administrators, trustees and board members to take part in the system’s inaugural “CSU Super Sunday” effort, a partnership effort with Los Angeles basin African American churches to increase the number of African American students eligible to attend college. The effort would grow from seven churches in the Los Angeles area to hundreds of churches up and down the state of California.
President Alexander officially dedicates the Bickerstaff Center for Student-Athlete Academic Services, which is triple the size of the old facility and assists more than 300 49er student-athletes throughout the year.
CSULB receives a $100,000 donation from The Boeing Co., the largest donation given to a single California University.
President Alexander is selected as one of 78 public university administrators from across the nation to develop recommendations for the Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA). Alexander leads one of the five task forces that met in Washington, D.C. to develop measures to assess student learning outcomes. The ultimate goal is to develop guidelines/methods for institutions to provide information that allows comparison among institutions regarding learning outcomes and other performance measures.
Cal State Long Beach is among the first campuses in the CSU system to begin offering the independent doctorate of education degree.
A new joint MBA/MFA degree in theatre management—a terminal degree in theatre arts equivalent to a doctorate—is offered at Cal State Long Beach. It is one of just two such programs in the country, the other being at Yale University.
CSULB purchases the Brooks College site for $11.1 million to expand housing opportunities for its students. The facility also contains classrooms and computer laboratories, which are used to provide courses and other academic programming at the site located about a mile away from the main CSULB campus.
CSULB partners with the Long Beach Unified School District on a $22.4 million federally funded project that works with nearly 4,000 sixth-graders at 13 area middle schools to boost their college readiness over the next six years. The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Education (GEAR UP) funding also is used to improve teacher training, academic counseling and parent awareness of postsecondary options, preparation and financing.
CSULB announces $1 million endowed faculty chair for the Department of Geological Sciences, made possible by an estate gift from Bert L. Conrey (the university’s first geology faculty member) and his wife, Ethel. The endowed chair will have the responsibility of developing a graduate program in the field of hydrogeology, which deals with such areas as groundwater and surface water interactions and management, and contaminant transport.
CSULB receives record number of applications from potential undergraduate students as more than 60,000 apply for fall 2008 admissions to the university. It is the first time the number of undergraduate applications surpassed the 60,000 mark.
CSULB Alumnus Terry Rhodes pledges $1.25 million gift for the construction of a new campus tennis facility and the creation of an endowed scholarship fund for tennis players.
CSULB announces the largest-ever donation to the university of $16.4 million from the Bob Cole Trust to provide scholarships for student musicians. In recognition of the generosity of the donation, CSULB names the Department of Music as the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music.
President Alexander joins Long Beach Unified School District Superintendent Chris Steinhauser and Long Beach City College President Eloy Ortiz Oakley to announce the creation of the Long Beach College Promise, a joint commitment to make higher education an attainable goal for every Long Beach student.
CSULB receives a $1 million donation from Ray and Barbara Alpert for the Jewish Studies Program in the College of Liberal Arts, and in their honor create the Barbara and Ray Alpert Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies.
CSULB officially breaks ground on its new Hall of Science Building, which is the largest capital building project in the campus’ history.
CSULB opens its Residential Learning College (RLC) at the former Brooks College site, increasing the university’s student housing capacity by some 560 beds. The learning college also offers its student opportunities to take academic courses offered in its four state-of-the-art classrooms.
Spotlighting its prowess in fundraising, especially during difficult economic times, CSULB is recognized with a prestigious 2009 CASE-WealthEngine Award for Educational Fundraising. It is one of just six universities across the country in the Public Comprehensive Institutions category to receive the honor.
CSULB is awarded a five-year, $5 million grant by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to create a center that will help make technological advances in the air traffic management industry through the study of human factors issues.
CSULB receives a record number of applications from potential undergraduate students for the fall 2010 semester. With the inclusion of international student applications, the campus received more than 71,000 applications from prospective new students, breaking the 70,000 mark for the first time in its history.
CSULB is recognized in a major national report by the Southern Regional Education Board for its efforts in outperforming most similar U.S. institutions in helping students stay on track and graduate. Titled “Promoting a Culture of Student Success: How Colleges and Universities Are Improving Degree Completion,” the report profiles 15 four-year public colleges and universities nationwide whose success in raising graduation rates may provide other institutions with practices and strategies that work to help more students succeed.
CSULB President F. King Alexander is named the 2009-10 recipient of the “Robert C. Maxson President of the Year Award” by the California State Student Association (CSSA), the single recognized voice for more than 405,000 students in the CSU system. Each year, the group recognizes one CSU campus president whose leadership reflects a commitment to the mission of the CSSA, who has demonstrated exceptional inclusion of students within the context of shared governance and has assisted the CSSA in advancing its statewide policy agenda.
CSULB graduates the largest class in its history as the university confers 8,670 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees during the 2009-10 academic year.
CSULB is named to the 2011 list of Military Friendly Schools by G.I. Jobs, a monthly magazine that assists veterans in seeking civilian employment and education. The list recognizes the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the nation that are doing the most to embrace America’s veterans as students.
CSULB officially opens its new Student Recreation and Wellness Center. The $61 million, 126,000-square-foot facility features weight and fitness machines, cardio theater, a wellness center, rock-climbing wall, indoor running track, multi-activity courts, basketball/volleyball/badminton courts, outside recreation pool and spa, sand volleyball and racquetball courts, health-food shop, personal trainers and group fitness classes.
CSULB President F. King Alexander, LBUSD Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser and LBCC President Eloy Ortiz Oakley travel to Washington, D.C., to share their success in increasing college access for local students through the Long Beach College Promise and a Seamless Education partnership that aligns curriculum, instruction and professional development from pre-kindergarten through the doctoral level at a national education summit.
CSULB officially dedicates and unveils its new School of Nursing Building. The $4.3 million project is the first addition to the university’s nursing facilities since 1975. With nearly 10,600 gross square feet, the new building includes teaching labs, a computer lab, faculty and administrative offices and support spaces. Students begin taking classes in the facility in spring 2011.
Teaming with nearby Cerritos College, CSULB is one of six CSU campuses awarded a total of $3 million by the California Gang Reduction Intervention and Prevention Program to help at-risk students attain a college degree to become teachers. The program is aimed at reducing gang involvement by providing at-risk 17-to-24-year-old students with a pathway to teaching.
A report by the Chronicle of Higher Education showed that over the latest five-year period, graduation rates at CSULB have increased by 13 percentage points, tying it for the third best improvement in the nation among public masters institutions
In a report released by the Education Trust, CSULB is one of just five universities in the country recognized for meeting a conservative set of criteria on affordability, access and quality. CSULB joined Cal State Fullerton, two City University of New York campuses—Bernard M. Baruch College and Queens College, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro as the five American colleges that have a net price for low-income students of $4,600 or less with graduation rates of at least 50 percent and at least a 30 percent enrollment of Pell Grant-eligible students.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Committee on Athletics Certification announced that the CSULB athletics program has received its third consecutive full certification. The designation of certified means that an institution has shown that it operates its athletics program in substantial conformity with operating principles adopted by the NCAA Division I membership. In 1996, CSULB was one of the first universities in the nation to receive full certification of its athletics program among some 300 eligible. The university earned its second certification in 2003.
CSULB dedicates its new Hall of Science, the largest capital building project in the campus’ history, and at the time, it was also the largest and most expensive building project in the CSU system. The $110 million project encompasses nearly 165,000 gross square feet and completes the Natural Sciences Complex. Within the complex, the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (CNSM) provides CSULB’s principal curriculum for majors leading to careers in science, technology, engineering and the health professions.
Stephanie Bryson, a 2011 CSULB graduate, is named a Rhodes Scholar, the first graduate of the university to receive the internationally renowned award.
CSULB President F. King Alexander is one of just 10 university presidents and chancellors invited to a private White House meeting with President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to talk about affordability in higher education.
CSULB announces a $1 million endowment from the Bernard Osher Foundation in support of the campus’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. OLLI at CSULB is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the positive aspects of aging through educational, social and personal renewal opportunities for adults 50 and older.
For the second time in three years, CSULB President F. King Alexander is named the recipient of the Robert C. Maxson President of the Year Award by the California State Student Association (CSSA).
For the first time, CSULB begins offering two new doctoral degrees—a doctor of physical therapy (DPT) and a doctor of nursing practice (DNP)—and university officials involved with the programs believe that each will play a critical role in the state’s future healthcare needs.
Adding credibility to its reputation as a university of choice for students across California and beyond, CSULB sets a new record for the number of applications it receives from prospective freshmen and transfer students interested in attending the university in fall 2013 with 8,622. It is the first time in campus history that the total topped 80,000.
An exclusive new list developed by U.S. News & World Report shows CSULB among the most efficient universities in the country and ranks the campus at No. 2 on its list of most efficient regional universities in the West. The resulting lists show which schools are providing a high quality education while spending relatively less than their peers to achieve that quality.
When Southern California beachgoers gaze seaward, they see rippling waves, birds, surfers, boats, islands—and oil platforms.
To energy companies, the platforms are valuable sources of petroleum, and to many community members, they’re unsightly spill dangers.
But CSULB professor of marine biology Chris Lowe sees something else. The rigs are thriving, desirable neighborhoods that provide housing, food and mates for numerous marine animals.
Lowe, along with five of his students plus researchers at other institutions, has examined the platforms’ influence on ecosystems in the Santa Barbara Channel and between Long Beach/Huntington Beach and Catalina Island for more than eight years.
Their findings helped California state resources agencies and Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez develop and enact the California Marine Resources Legacy Act in 2010, enabling oil platform operators to apply to turn defunct rigs into artificial marine reefs as long as the firms meet certain criteria. Approved rigs would have their wells capped and then be cut down to 85 feet below the water surface to avoid being a shipping hazard.
Lowe said previous regulations required oil companies to remove all traces of decommissioned platforms down to the seafloor—a process that typically includes putting explosives in the platform legs, creating a blast that can kill or injure marine animals up to a mile away.
His lab’s work revealed a great deal about life around the platforms. “Invertebrates that grow on them provide a basis of a food web for fish that associate with them, and quite often, these platforms are out on a sandy seafloor so there’s no rock habitat around, so it’s the only good structure available out there,” he said.
Security regulations prohibit boats from approaching platforms for fishing, plus it’s hard to fish near rigs because of currents and structural components. “Many people have argued over time that these platforms basically are acting like de facto reserves in that they’re providing fish enough protection that their populations have grown there and that they may actually supply areas that are being fished regularly,” Lowe said.
“We’ve used some of the novel telemetry techniques that my lab has helped develop to tag and monitor whether fish stay at platforms,” he explained. “Our basic conclusion was that most fish use platforms for a decent amount of time, although some species want to move to deeper water as they get older. We actually saw fish that we tagged on shallower platforms emigrate toward deeper platforms over the time period that we were monitoring, although not move back.
“We even did experiments where we took fish off platforms and tried translocating them to natural habitat, sometimes up to nine miles away across deep water, and we found that some species came back to the platforms,” sometimes by the next day. Environmental groups suggested that enough fish could be moved to establish new colonies elsewhere, but Lowe’s group found mixed results.
“In other cases, we tagged fish that use some of the platforms off Long Beach like high-rise hotels,” moving to different levels during the year, he said. “It gave us insight into how these environmental conditions regulate fishes’ movements by depth, not necessarily geographically.”
The rig research involved Lowe’s students including Kim Anthony, who received both her B.S. in marine biology and M.S. in biology from CSULB and now is a senior marine biologist with Southern California Edison.
“Primarily, I’m the lead on permitting and compliance for coastal and offshore projects that SCE is engaged in, particularly at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station,” coordinating with station personnel and other SCE departments, she explained. She collaborates with state and federal agencies and also provides oversight of monitoring and management of SCE’s 174-acre artificial giant kelp reef offshore of San Clemente.
“I chose to work with Chris Lowe because I knew that he would foster not only the academic and research skill development that is important as a student, but he would also provide unique opportunities to apply those skills in current, real world marine and coastal ecology issues…and I like fish,” Anthony said. “CSULB provided me with many opportunities and connections in and outside of the Lowe Lab that helped pave my way into the career path I have chosen at this time.”
The new legislation is opening other doors to science because companies that decommission a platform must contribute to a new state environmental research and education fund. “I always look at these offshore platforms in terms of how we study fish behavior as being really valuable laboratories because you’d be hard-pressed to find a natural system that would look or replicate all the characteristics that a platform does,” Lowe said.
Moreover, some firms are looking at ex-oil platforms for potential wind or wave energy production, with power coming ashore via electrical cables, so Lowe and others hope to study how the cables’ electric fields might influence the distribution or migration of marine animals who can sense electricity.
“My ultimate dream is to be able to take one of these platforms off Long Beach and convert it into a state-of-the-art marine laboratory,” operated in collaboration with a variety of universities, government agencies and businesses, he said. “There’s nowhere else you can go in the world and have a laboratory right on the edge of the continental shelf.”
The Southern California Marine Institute—a multi-institution organization of which CSULB is a lead campus—is developing a new facility at San Pedro Harbor’s City Dock 1 that could service such an offshore lab. “The platform is already in place, so we could use this as a melding of engineering and computer science and alternative energy with biology and make it a multi-use facility,” that could even host school field trips and serve as an educational outreach hub for the rest of the world, Lowe said.
“I see this as being a really exciting opportunity for California and it’s been interesting to be involved with it from when it was just pumping oil to the possibilities of what these platforms can evolve into.”]]>
Although water makes up about 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, the small fraction that’s fresh is precious.
That’s why CSULB Professors Matthew Becker and Stephen Mezyk are so interested in H2O and why the Orange County Water District (OCWD) is among the public agencies who tap into their expertise for research projects.
Becker is the Conrey Endowed Chair in Hydrogeology in the Geological Sciences Department and cares about where water comes and goes, while Mezyk’s RadKEM Lab in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department studies wastewater remediation.
Despite being a semi-arid desert on the surface, the Los Angeles Basin sits atop several aquifers where water collects underground.
“The way [water agencies] see groundwater in the L.A. Basin and in Orange County is basically as a big storage tank. It’s a resource to be tapped, but also recharged and refilled,” Becker said. “They divert water from rivers into these recharge basins, which also are called spreading basins, or they’ll buy water from the Colorado River and percolate it down into the aquifer to be drawn out as drinking water months or years later.”
It’s easier said than done, Becker explained. “For example, in Orange County, if you put a recharge basin closer to the coast, you’ll find that there’s a lot of clay between the surface and the aquifer and it will never percolate down in a reasonable amount of time, so all the recharge basins are a little farther north.”
Once the right location is found, ongoing maintenance becomes important, which is one reason OCWD commissioned Becker’s lab for assistance. “The instrumentation that we’ve developed allows them to monitor the rate of infiltration in the basin,” Becker said. “They’ve been pretty happy with what we’ve been able to do in a pilot study, so now we’re in the process of helping them install a larger system. Our pilot study was in a small basin and now we’re doing a larger basin, which is why we’re digging a mile of trench.”
Becker has been working with OCWD Recharge Planning Manager Adam Hutchinson. “Partnering with Dr. Matt Becker and the graduate students on developing innovative ways to better understand how our recharge basins perform has been a positive experience with rewarding outcomes,” Hutchinson said. “Not only have we obtained useful information, but the research has been published in groundwater journals, allowing others engaged in designing, operating and maintaining recharge facilities to benefit.”
Becker and his students laid fiber-optic cable and sensors in a basin alongside the Santa Ana River in Anaheim. Since then, they found that the Orange County spreading basins weren’t behaving in the way standard models predict.
Agencies typically create broad, shallow basins with less concern over water depth, Becker explained. “What we found was that the percolation rate was going up and down very closely with the amount of water in the basin. As they drained the basin and it went down to a foot, the rate of water percolation decreased, and as the depth went up, the percolation rate increased.”
Becker’s experimental fiber-optic sensors measure heat rather than water depth, he said. Water warms during the day and and cools during the night, so “The peak of the warmest time of the day, say a meter below the basin, is three hours later than the peak at the surface. We can calculate the rate of percolation by watching how fast those temperatures propagate down.”
Their project is producing helpful data. For instance, the studies can determine where and when silt clogging is occurring and whether silt removal would increase recharge and perhaps aid agencies in more efficiently operating and maintaining the basins.
Clean and Clear
For Mezyk, “One of our major research interests is the chemistry that happens at OCWD in their processing of wastewater, which is better than pretty much anyone else in the country.”
Orange County water goes through an extensive series of cleanup procedures starting with the Orange County Sanitation District, which does several initial water treatments. The secondary treated wastewater is then sent to OCWD for three additional purification steps using microfiltration, reverse osmosis and finally an advanced oxidation process using ultraviolet light with hydrogen peroxide (UV/H2O2)—one of OCWD’s most important innovations that destroys trace organics before the water is recharged into deep aquifers.
OCWD operates the world’s largest indirect potable water treatment facility known as the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS), which produces 70 million gallons a day of clean water that is used for groundwater recharge and to hold back seawater from contaminating the aquifer.
“We are examining the chemistry behind the advanced oxidation process to see how it is really working,” Mezyk explained. “For example, one of the chemicals added during the wastewater treatment is disinfectant chlorine to remove microbial activity. Our group is investigating the chemical reactions that these disinfectants undergo, particularly the products of their oxidation. We’ve been working with them to understand how certain anthropogenic contaminants get through all this magnificent treatment that they do and recently how other disinfection by-products are produced in the disinfection treatment.”
Collaborating with OCWD chemist Ken Ishida, Mezyk continued, “We’re working together to understand the chemistry involved. He’s interested in the overall large-scale wastewater treatment, and I’m working to support him on a much smaller scale by explaining some of the chemistry occurring in his treatment systems.”
Water treatment chemistry on such a tremendous volume can be both challenging and expensive, so Mezyk and colleagues from OCWD and elsewhere are looking at possible ways of adjusting the chemistry to be safe, efficient and more cost-effective.
Mezyk is taking advantage of CSULB’s Institute for Integrated Research in Materials, Environments, and Society (IIRMES), a state-of-the-art campus lab that contains advanced analytical equipment. “OCWD has an excellent analytical lab,” Mezyk said, but IIRMES’ quality, proximity and cost effectiveness considerably benefit his work.
One of Mezyk’s major research directions is an issue facing water agencies around the globe—dealing with chemicals that can’t yet be eliminated including medications that people excrete or dump into toilets.
“What we’re investigating is how to destroy antibiotics and steroids in wastewater, and how much energy and cost is required to use these advanced oxidation processes,” he said. “We don’t want to expose environmental bacteria to antibiotics and we don’t want to have trace amounts of steroids or even the mimics like bisphenol A [a chemical known as BPA that softens plastics] in our waterways or in our drinking water. The idea is to get rid of them before we release all this water back.”
All these projects are beneficial collaborations between CSULB and OCWD. “The chemical dynamics of OCWD’s UV/H2O2 advanced oxidation process are quite complex. Professor Mezyk’s undergraduate and graduate students have been instrumental in elucidating some of the intricate details of the oxidation process,” Ishida said.
“Working with them has been amazingly positive for us because we actually have real world applicability literally 20 minutes down the road,” Mezyk concurred.
To learn more, visit hydrogeology.cnsm.csulb.edu; sites.google.com/ site/mezyklab; or the Orange County Water District, www.ocwd.com and www.gwrsystem.com.]]>
Each of these alternative transportation modes helps the campus manage demand for parking, limit traffic congestion and reduce its overall carbon footprint.
The U-Pass Program began in 2008, allowing students, faculty and staff to ride all Long Beach Transit buses for free simply by swiping their CSULB identification card through the fare box upon entering a bus. It gave university customers not only access to more than 30 bus stops on and around the CSULB campus, but better mobility throughout the city of Long Beach.
“The U-Pass program afforded the university with a wonderful opportunity to provide a service to our entire campus community,” said Doug Robinson, vice president for Student Services, who helped negotiate the arrangement with Long Beach Transit. “The initial negotiations with Long Beach Transit included ASI President Mark Andrews and me along with representatives from Long Beach City College.
“From the inception of the negotiations, our team clearly focused our efforts on consummating a deal that would bring the U-Pass program to the university. We were also fortunate to have a Long Beach alumnus and future president of the Long Beach Alumni Association, Guy Heston, sitting across the table from us representing Long Beach Transit. Right from the start I knew the chemistry was right, and we worked cooperatively to develop an agreement that was acceptable to all. The U-Pass program continues to be a big hit with everyone, especially with our students, growing from 1,200 daily riders to 10,000 in less than five years.”
Even those who don’t take advantage of the U-Pass program by riding a bus do feel the impact simply because of the availability of additional parking spaces and reduced traffic throughout the campus and community.
In 2009, Zipcar, the world’s largest car sharing service, began serving the campus. Located at designated locations on campus, five self-service Zipcars—three Honda Insight hybrids and two Scion xB’s—are available for use 24 hours a day, seven days a week to all students, faculty and staff age 18 and older. Gas, insurance, roadside assistance, 180 free miles and reserved parking are included in low hourly and daily rates.
Last August, the campus moved to support electric vehicles with a ceremony recognizing a gift of a pair of 240-volt electric vehicle chargers dedicated to alumnus and former faculty member Doug Korthof, a passionate advocate for plug-in vehicles.
Korthof, who earned a B.A. in math in 1968 and a M.A. in philosophy in 1970 from CSULB, passed away in 2012. The donation of the charging stations, which are for public use, is a partnership with Adopt a Charger, a nonprofit organization founded in 2011 to accelerate the widespread adoption of plug-in electric vehicles by broadening the charging infrastructure.
And this summer, bicyclists will notice improvements on and around campus as the city of Long Beach adds and upgrades bike lanes on the surrounding streets—Bellflower Boulevard, Seventh Street, Atherton Street and Palo Verde Avenue.
“The city has given cyclists a lot of new bikeways through town and then they can branch off the loop onto campus,” said Michael Gardner, a facilities management project manager. “And we’ve got our own plans for the interior of the campus. Our goal is to improve the areas where people currently bike so it’s safer and more effective, and then also bridge gaps where we see opportunities to do so.” The most noticeable changes, according to Gardner, will be along Beach Drive where sharrow lanes will be created and along West Campus Drive where a dedicated on-street bike lane will be installed.
“A sharrow is where bikes have equivalent rights to cars on that street. It’s a shared road,” he said. “Right now were going to put in sharrow lanes on Beach Drive off Bellflower Boulevard and see how it’s received.”
In addition, the bike sharing program Bike Nation is scheduled to come to campus in the fall. The program is designed for short commutes and errands where users rent, ride and return bikes from kiosks strategically placed across campus. Since all trips under 30 minutes are free, it’s ideal for a student who wants to get from one end of campus to another without incurring any costs.
With these and other efforts in energy efficiency, recycling and more, CSULB doing its part toward becoming a greener, more sustainable campus.]]>
For the first time in the history of the university, Cal State Long Beach alumni will have their own special place to socialize, reminisce and reconnect.
The Anna W. Ngai Alumni Center, planned for the corner of Atherton Street and Merriam Way across from the Walter Pyramid, will serve as a gathering place for receptions and other events for alumni, the campus and the community, as well as a new gateway to the university.
“I hope that the purpose of the alumni center provides an opportunity to engage and get together. Last year when I came to campus for a reunion, there was no place to meet. We met in the parking lot. The reunion had an impact on me. When we have a reunion again it will be in the alumni center,” said Ngai, who earned a B.S. in finance and business administration in 1974 and supported the project with a lead gift.
“The reunion brought back so many great memories. I run into lots of alumni in the community and even overseas. In fact, my daughter’s principal is an alumnus.”
The new landmark, which will be built with private funding, is in an ideal location at the edge of campus, near parking, the Walter Pyramid and the Carpenter Center. The facility will include a grand welcome lobby, conference and banquet rooms, a board room, a library, alumni showcase lounge, a historical room, 49er Heritage Room, a courtyard, a Greek Row wing and alumni staff offices.
“This is something we have needed and have been looking forward to for a long time,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander. “We have great alumni and now they will have a new home on campus and a place where we can celebrate their impressive accomplishments. The center will give CSULB’s more than 275,000 alumni an opportunity to reconnect with the proud traditions of their alma mater and reflect on the university’s emergence as a nationally recognized leader in student-centered education. We thank Anna for her tremendous generosity and hope that it will inspire others to contribute to this important and historical university project.”
Two-thirds of CSULB alumni live in Los Angeles or Orange counties, and recent indicators show that alumni are becoming more engaged with the university. Over the last decade, alumni membership has grown by 55 percent and alumni contributions have increased by nearly 40 percent. In addition, surveys and personal contacts indicate that most alumni regard their campus experience to be positive to very positive.
Ngai came here as an international student from Hong Kong and loved her experience at Cal State Long Beach.
“I was fortunate to be an international student. It was the best four years of my life. I still have great memories and great friends. It’s a beautiful country and a beautiful city. I just loved this place as soon as I arrived,” Ngai said. “We were always very fortunate to be successful and always thought we wanted to give back to my school. It has always been on my mind but I didn’t know what to do.”
She said it was not her intention to give to the alumni center, but realized its value to the university in terms of engaging alumni participation.
“I wanted to do something and thought this would be good. This is a great project and I’m fortunate to be a part of this. I wanted to show people that even international students should give back,” she said. “Higher education is very important and everyone should be able to get the education they want. Everything I have started here. It gave me education and a base for what I have.
“I think to be a happy person is to find ways to make other people happy. That’s what I go by. I hope this helps do that.”]]>
CSULB is among schools that have appeared in the report multiple times, this year at No. 82 on the list (up from No. 98 last year), and is one of 12 California institutions included. Schools were ranked according to academic quality, test scores for incoming freshmen, admission and retention rates, student-faculty ratios, and four- and six-year graduation rates. The editors then ranked each school based on cost and financial aid.
In addition, Kiplinger’s ranked CSULB No. 2 among the 10 U.S. public colleges with the lowest debt for graduating students. CSULB comes in with an average debt for its graduating students at $12,401.
“The ability to afford a college degree is the most important factor when it comes to access to higher education, and at Cal State Long Beach, we are doing what we can to keep costs down for students wherever possible,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander.
Alexander also noted that the Kiplinger ranking clearly shows students and their parents that the high price tag of many colleges and universities nationwide has little to do with the quality of the education experience being offered.
The 2012-13 public school rankings appeared in Kiplinger’s February issue and online at www.kiplingers.com.]]>
Using fall 2011 admissions data, CSULB ranked No. 5 with 49,767 first-time freshmen applications. Additionally, the Long Beach campus was the only regional university in the top 10. The other nine were all national universities, including No. 1 UCLA (61,564 applications), No. 2 UC San Diego (53,448), No. 3 St. John’s University (52,972), and No. 4 UC Berkeley (52,966).
“Ranking fifth in the nation in freshmen applications clearly demonstrates that students and their parents place great value in a Cal State Long Beach education,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander, who noted the campus would probably rank even higher if fall 2013 first-time freshmen applications (56,213) were used.
In fact, for fall 2013, CSULB received 82,026 total undergraduate applications and 2,798 graduate and credential applications—both the highest among all 23 CSU campuses.
“The large number of applications we receive from first-time freshmen each year is a direct result of the campus’ outreach efforts, its outstanding academic offerings and the student services we provide,” Alexander added.
Moreover, a recent Chronicle of Higher Education article cited CSULB as No. 2 nationally among master’s degree institutions that enroll students from other countries, based on the latest “Open Doors” report from the Institute of International Education (IIE).
CSULB enrolled 2,563 international students during the 2011-12 academic year, the most recent year for which data is available. The highest number of international students came from Saudi Arabia with more than 325 enrolled, followed by India with about 235, China with about 200, followed by Korea and Japan with about 180 and 175, respectively.
Nathan Jensen of CSULB’s Center for International Education said the university’s popularity results from the quality of the university’s academic programs, a welcoming campus environment and its Southern California location.]]>