Long Beach State Claims Fourth Straight Big West Commissioner’s Cup

On the strength of three spring championships, Long Beach State was able to pull in front of Cal Poly and claim the Big West Commissioner’s Cup for the fourth consecutive season, awarded to the top athletics program in the conference.

Long Beach State continues a strong run, claiming a fourth straight Commissioner’s Cup, and a sixth in school history, as well as the fifth in the last six years.

Big West championships in Women’s Tennis, Softball, and Men’s Track and Field helped propel LBSU to a 124.3 point average, edging Cal Poly’s 123.3 score which tied the narrowest margin of victory in the 16 years of the competition.

Following Long Beach State and the Mustangs, UC Irvine was third, followed by UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara, with Cal State Northridge, Hawai’i, Cal State Fullerton, and UC Riverside rounding off the competition.

Only three schools have ever won the Commissioner’s Cup, with Pacific taking the first two beginning in the 1998-99 season, and Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara earning the award in each season since, with the Gauchos winning eight times while Long Beach State has now taken six.

The winner of the Commissioner’s Cup is determined with weighted averages of Big West sponsored sports, with the conference champion earning an additional 20 points. Long Beach State competes in the Big West for 14 of its 19 NCAA Division I programs.

Update Issue

A Message from the President

There was a time, really not that long ago, when California was envied worldwide for its commitment and access to higher education. The California Master Plan, enacted in the 1960s, defined the expanded roles of the California community college system, the California State University and the University of California, in the process making it possible for nearly everyone to take advantage of learning beyond high school. The result was that Californians were given unprecedented means to better their lives and their financial prospects through access to higher education.

Today, though, we do not see this level of support in California. We are seeing all sectors of education, from kindergarten through the doctorate degree, being impacted by a lack of adequate funds to support the needs of our students.

The fact is that California, like many other states, has abandoned its previous commitment to public higher education and affordable access. The reality is that based on the tax effort – or the wealth of the state compared to previous years – California has not spent less on higher education since 1965. That brings California among those states that offer the least support to higher education based on tax effort, with California ranking below Kentucky, Mississippi, Arkansas, New Mexico, West Virginia, Alabama and North Dakota.

As we approach the November election, there are a lot of catch phrases being used. Millionaires, we are told, are the nation’s job creators. But I disagree. The true job creators, and perhaps the most dedicated, are those individuals who are found in classrooms – from preschool on. Education is the answer to growth.

The right to vote is fundamental to the American way. As we consider our voting options on election day, I encourage you to consider the future of California and of the nation, and to cast your votes accordingly.

Fall 2012 Issue

Proposition 30 Included Among State Ballot Measures In November

On Nov. 6, Proposition 30, the Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act of 2012, will be included among state measures on the ballot.

Proposition 30 is Gov. Jerry Brown’s initiative that would increase state revenues for K-12 schools and community colleges. If passed by voters, it would temporarily increase personal income tax rates for seven years on individuals who make more than $250,000 and sales and use tax by one-quarter cent for four years, raising between $6.8 billion and $9 billion in 2012-13 and $5.4 billion to $7.6 billion annually through 2018. The measure would also complete the realignment agreement reached by the governor and local governments by guaranteeing funds for public safety services shifted from the state to local governments.

If Proposition 30 fails, the immediate impact to the CSU would be an additional budget cut of $250 million at a minimum, as specified in the signed 2012-13 state budget. This additional cut equates to a total loss of state funding to the CSU of nearly $1.2 billion or nearly 40 percent since 2007-08.

If Proposition 30 passes, the additional revenue for K-12 schools and community colleges would help the state meet its obligations to these entities, as well as help the state address its on-going structural deficit. By addressing the state’s budget gap, it is possible the CSU budget would be less likely to be cut and provides an opportunity for the CSU budget to be increased in future years.

On July 17, the CSU Board of Trustees voted to endorse Proposition 30 due to its direct relationship to the system’s fiscal stability and funding levels in 2012-13 and beyond. The measure is also supported by the CSULB Associated Students Inc., and the CSULB Alumni Association.

Information offered by both supporters and opponents of Proposition 30 is available online for review.

Supporters of the proposition have created a website that can be found at: http://www.yesonprop30.com/

Opponents of Proposition 30 have created a website that can be found at: http://www.reformsandjobsnottaxes.com/

Fall 2012 Issue

CSULB Adds 2 New Doctoral Degrees—Physical Therapy, Nursing Practice

For the first time, California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) began offering two new doctoral degrees—a doctor of physical therapy (DPT) and a doctor of nursing practice (DNP)—this year, and university officials involved with the programs believe that each will play a critical role in the state’s future healthcare needs.

This summer CSULB’s Physical Therapy Department implemented the first entry-level doctor of physical therapy (DPT) degree offered by the California State University (CSU) system.  The first class of DPT students will graduate in 2015 after completing a three-year program of didactic and clinical coursework qualifying them to write the state of California licensing examination to practice as physical therapists.

Actually, the creation of the DPT program grew from an upcoming educational change in the physical therapy (PT) profession.  Beginning in 2015, all new PTs must have the doctorate degree from an accredited program to be eligible to sit for the boards and practice as a licensed PT.  Beyond that 2015 date, the master’s in physical therapy (MPT) will no longer allow its recipients to enter the profession.

As a result, the campus’ MPT program is being phased out.  The last MPT class entered in fall 2011 and will graduate in 2014.  The first DPT class began studies in June and will graduate in 2015.

CSULB Physical Therapy Department Chair Kay Cerny said the CSU programs are among the last to switch from the MPT to the DPT because the law allowing the CSU to offer the doctorate had to be changed, which took seven years.  Without the switch, CSULB would have had to completely drop the physical therapy major.

Cerny also said the change was critical in terms of meeting the future need for physical therapists.  “The California Employment Development Department expects a 35.6 percent increase in need for PTs from 2010 to 2020 in Los Angeles County,” she pointed out.  “Offering the entry-level DPT degree allows CSULB to continue graduating well prepared practitioners in physical therapy who can assume increased responsibilities for patient care in more autonomous practice settings and meet the growing need for physical therapists in California.”

The DPT program includes evidence-based management throughout the curriculum and a culminating doctoral research project under the direction of a faculty sponsor.  The department collaborates with the community to provide high quality clinical experiences for its students throughout the curriculum. Thirty-four students are enrolled in the program.

The three-year curriculum begins with foundational science courses.  A doctoral project of research under the direction of faculty is required.  Clinical experiences include two six-week summer affiliations (between years one and two and between years two and three), a pro-bono neurological classroom clinic in the second year of the program, and 24 weeks of internship in the last year of the program.  A planned orthopedic faculty out-patient clinic will enhance coursework for managing patients with orthopedic disorders during the didactic curriculum.

“My impression of the program thus far is that by giving us this wealth of information and presenting the material in a clinical and diagnostic approach, the students will be prepared for their advancing careers ahead,” said Stephen Thornhill, a student in the DPT program.  “One of the most exciting things I’ve found in the program is the stress of our specialty as the leading experts in human movement.  Already we are being made aware of how all the classes are coming together and reinforcing this idea.

“The faculty are invested in presenting this forward thinking approach and emphasizing the importance of research and ingenuity in our profession.  Another great aspect of this program has been the support of the faculty from day one and the new found family of fellow students,” he added.  “The ‘we’re all in this together’ idea is prevalent and reassuring as we tackle the challenging coursework.  I feel confident that I will continue to be stimulated, be exposed to a wealth of information and be fully ready for what comes after graduation.”

With the start of the fall semester, the Cal State Fullerton (CSUF), CSULB and Cal State LA (CSULA) schools of nursing began offering a joint DNP degree, using a consortium model of education.  Twelve CSULB students are currently enrolled.

The DNP prepares practitioners to take the knowledge created by researchers and theoretical scholars and use it in the delivery of services and advancement of policies that support high-quality health care.  The scholarship of the DNP prepared nurses focuses on integrating, applying and teaching their knowledge.

In addition to developing advanced competencies in evidence-based practice, leadership, health policy and advocacy, graduates will develop in-depth skills in a focused area of nursing practice.

Lucy Huckabay, director of CSULB’s School of Nursing, said that offering the DNP degree via the CSU system makes affordable doctoral education accessible to more nurses who have their master’s degrees in nursing.  She also expects the new program to have a positive influence in two specific areas.

“The DNP prepared nurses are primarily interested in the patient care aspect of nursing and not necessarily in conducting pure research,” Huckabay explained.  “More specifically, DNP education enables the nurses to advance their clinical expertise in the application of evidence based practice to improve patient care in a specialized field of practice.  They can conduct applied research that has an immediate direct positive impact on patient care.

“Additionally, the DNP prepared nurses will qualify to assume nursing faculty positions in schools of nursing,” she added.  “All across California and the nation, one of the primary reasons for turning away qualified applicants to nursing schools is the lack of qualified nursing faculty.  DNP prepared nurses can fill the faculty shortage gap.”

Huckabay also noted that one of the other advantages of the CSU DNP program is that nurse administrators can also enroll in the program and do their directed project on system-related research to improve patient care outcomes and to reduce health care costs.

Faculty from all three campuses have developed the DNP curriculum and will be involved in teaching courses and in working with students completing their doctoral projects.  As a joint program, all schools of nursing have brought expertise to the development of the program and will serve as the specialty faculty for various courses.  The plan is that a synergy of ideas and approaches from faculty’s varied areas of nursing expertise will enrich the learning and experiences of the DNP students.

CSUF is the designated administrative campus of enrollment, and each student has a designated home campus – CSUF, CSULB or CSULA.  Faculty from each of these campuses will guide their respective students during completion of their doctoral project.  There is a full-cohort of 36 full-time students this fall who will complete 36 units over five semesters.

Fall 2012 Issue

49ers Get 2nd Straight Conference Commissioner’s Cup with Best Average Ever

Long Beach State is hoisting the Big West Conference (BWC) Commissioner’s Cup once again after tallying the best point average during the 2011-12 season.  The 49ers recorded a 140.0-point average, the highest average ever achieved by any school in the history of the BWC Cup. It is the second consecutive cup and fourth overall for the Long Beach State program.

The 49ers picked up significant points thanks to Big West championships in women’s volleyball, men’s basketball, women’s tennis and softball. Second place finishes in women’s soccer, women’s cross country, men’s golf and men’s track also added to the school’s high point tally.

UC Davis was second and UC Santa Barbara placed third followed by UC Irvine. Cal Poly, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Northridge, Pacific and UC Riverside round out the standings.

The Big West Commissioner’s Cup, which started during the 1998-99 season, is presented at the end of the spring season to the institution with the top overall point average tallied from Big West Conference Championships. To determine the champion for the Commissioner’s Cup, total points are summed and divided by the number of championships in which each institution competes. Each sport champion is also given a 20-point bonus.

Fall 2012 Issue

LBSU Men’s Volleyball Player on 2012 Volleyball Magazine All-America Team

Long Beach State (LBSU) men’s volleyball player Taylor Crabb has been named to the 2012 Volleyball Magazine All-America Third Team.

Crabb, a sophomore, led the 49ers with 303 kills (2.75 kills/set) and ranked first on the squad with 1.91 digs per set.  He also totaled 20 service aces, 42 blocks and 72 assists.

The Honolulu native registered 16 double-figure kill matches with a season-best 20-kill effort at Hawaii on March 31.  He also had a team-high seven double-doubles, including an 18-kill and 10-dig performance in a five-set win over No. 4 BYU.

Earlier this year, Crabb was an All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) second-team selection.  He was also an All-MPSF honorable mention and All-Freshman Team selection in 2011.

Fall 2012 Issue

CSULB Ranked 9th Nationally in Awarding Bachelor’s Degrees to Minority Students

In the most recent listing of the “Top 100 Degree Producers” by Diverse Issues in Higher Education, California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) is ranked ninth in the nation in conferring baccalaureate degrees to minority students.  In the previous year’s list, CSULB ranked 10th.

The “Top 100” is a list of the best minority degree-awarding institutions of higher education in the United States.  It is the only national report that showcases U.S. colleges’ and universities’ success in awarding degrees to African-American, Asian-American, Latino and Native-American students.

Based on U.S. Department of Education data from the 2010-11 academic year (the most current data available), CSULB conferred bachelor’s degrees to 3,616 minority students, a number that represented 54 percent of all baccalaureate degrees awarded at the university that year.

“The greater Long Beach community is one of the most ethnically diverse regions in the United States.  The student enrollment and graduating classes at Cal State Long Beach should reflect that diversity, and it does,” noted CSULB President F. King Alexander. “For years, this campus has made a concerted effort to reach out to local K-12 students and their parents to encourage collegiate enrollment, and even more importantly, graduating.  Diverse Issues’ ranking once again confirms our success and progress.”

The Diverse Issues “Top 100” is the only national analysis to use the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Education.  Using these statistics, rankings were created in the total number of baccalaureate degrees awarded at every university and college in the nation by ethnicity as well as specific figures in major fields of study or disciplines.

Among individual ethnicities, CSULB ranked third nationally in awarding bachelor’s degrees to Native Americans, ninth to Hispanics, and 10th to Asian Americans.  All three were improvements over the previous year’s listing.

By discipline, CSULB ranked No. 1 in awarding undergraduate degrees to minority students in three different major areas—family and consumer sciences, English language and literature, and the visual and performing arts.  The campus also ranked among the top 10 in six other individual disciplines: health professions (No. 5), parks, recreation and leisure studies (No. 6), history (No. 6), health and medical administrative services (No. 8), liberal arts (No. 9) and business administration (No. 9).

Fall 2012 Issue

Long Beach State Well Represented on USA Volleyball Rosters in London Olympics

When USA Volleyball announced its roster for the U.S. Olympic Men’s Volleyball Team, the 12-man list included three former 49ers—David Lee, Paul Lotman and David McKienzie.  Additionally, the team is coached by LBSU coach Alan Knipe.

On the women’s side, LBSU alumni Danielle Scott-Arruda and Tayyiba Haneef-Park were both members of the U.S. Women’s Volleyball Olympic roster.

Then, there was beach volleyball, where LBSU was represented by two-time defending gold medalist Misty May-Treanor, who along with her teammate Kerri Walsh, won their third consecutive gold medal.

Scott-Arruda traveled to a record fifth Olympic Games, breaking a record that she shared with another former 49er, Tara Cross-Battle.  Scott-Arruda was the National Player of the Year while leading the 49ers to the 1993 national championship.

Haneef-Park made her third trip to the Olympics, making the team on the right side after playing middle blocker in college.  Haneef-Park led the 49ers to the 2001 national championship match and was a member of the 1998 national championship team.

With two selections on the women’s roster, LBSU is tied with Penn State, Washington and Stanford for the most on the team.

Both Scott-Arruda and Haneef-Park played for Team USA in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, helping the team to a silver medal.

May-Treanor was a two-time NCAA Player of the Year with LBSU’s women’s volleyball, leading the 49ers to the first-ever undefeated season in NCAA history as well as a national championship during the 1998 season.

 

Fall 2012 Issue

19 Parent-Daughter Pairs Stay at CSULB as Part of ‘My Daughter is an Engineer’

Nineteen fifth-grade girls brought a parent to stay at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) for a weekend this summer, as part of an on-campus residential program designed to promote women in engineering.

Called “My Daughter is an Engineer,” the program brings parents, daughters and their elementary schools’ lead teachers from schools in the Long Beach and Compton unified school districts to campus for three days of engineering activities.

“Research has shown us that we can help students help themselves with their academic success, but teaching parents to become fully engaged in their children’s educational pursuits is the greatest investment of effort that any outreach program can hope for,” said Lily Gossage, engineering educational research associate for CSULB’s College of Engineering.  “Obviously, having parents who support their children’s education makes the greatest difference.  Social stigmas discourage girls from considering engineering even though they’re often well prepared, but we can show them that engineering is quite a lucrative and awesome career for women.”

Statistics show that only about 20 percent of engineering students are women and that women make up only about 10 percent of professional engineers.

“The idea of reaching out to students at the earliest age possible, before they are subjected to peer pressure in the later years, is also supported by research,” Gossage added.  “Another factor is the way math is taught in many schools; we can help young girls overcome the negative mindset about math by showing them the practical uses of math.”

The fifth-grade girls were selected on a competitive basis from six Long Beach Unified and two Compton Unified schools that have been identified as having high-minority student enrollment and serving low-income families.

Those selected for the program this year were Aylin Alfaro, Edison Elementary; Emily Anguiano, Roosevelt Elementary; Alexa Ara, Patrick Henry; Angela Contreras, International Elementary; Emily Galindo, Fremont Elementary; Eden Guerra,Chavez Elementary; Paola Ibarra, Roosevelt Elementary; Maria Juarez, Edison Elementary; Tsunami Keeton, Bunche Elementary; Evelyn Lopez, International Elementary; Kayli Ochoa, Chavez Elementary; Samantha Parra, Roosevelt Elementary; Jhoana Perez, Edison Elementary; Tanya Pichardo, Edison Elementary; Griselda Salinas, Roosevelt Elementary; Kiara “Coco” Sanabria, Fremont Elementary; Delyn Tom, International Elementary; and Myra Trahan, Bunche Elementary.

In just its second year of operation, “My Daughter is an Engineer” was originally conceived as a mother-daughter program, but for the first time, there will be a father taking part in the program.

Activities during the three days included engineering-based workshops on robotics and control technology in everyday life, academic career preparation and skills learning, and an engineering-relevant fieldtrip to the Columbia Memorial Space Center.  The program showcases engineering applications and the impact of engineering on daily life as well as provides information to support ongoing parental involvement.

While teachers were co-engaged in the program activities along with the parents and daughters, teachers also had additional projects-based workshops that incorporate four NASA directorates. Teachers were trained to weave NASA content into existing K-12 curriculum.

Gossage said this unique program incorporates engineering outreach for parents and daughters and at the same time blends common program components to serve the professional development of school teachers.

CSULB has a long-standing commitment to promoting under-represented minority students and women in sciences and engineering.  Another recent program, “Engineering Girls @ the Beach,” was an off-shoot of its highly successful “Women Engineers @ the Beach” program.  The “My Daughter is an Engineer” is a first-ever program established specifically to serve a parent-daughter-K-12 educator population.

Funding of $10,000 was provided by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the world’s largest professional association dedicated to advancing technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity, and $10,000 was provided by the California Space Grant Association.  Support is also provided by the Columbia Memorial Space Center.

The program was hosted by the CSULB Women-in-Engineering Outreach leadership team, including Professors Bei Lu and Panadda Marayong and Lily Gossage as co-investigators.

Fall 2012 Issue

28 Long Beach State Athletes Named Big West Academic All-Conference Honorees

Twenty-eight Long Beach State (LBSU) student-athletes were recognized for qualifying for the Big West Conference’s (BWC) Academic All-Conference Teams.

To be eligible for Academic All-Conference honors, student-athletes must have completed at least one full season of competition prior to 2012, carry a 3.2 cumulative grade point average, and participate in at least 50 percent of the team’s contests.

Softball and women’s track and field had the most players honored for LBSU, each with six.  For softball, Emily Gregorio, Taylor Petty, Alisha Rosen, Nalani St. Germain, Brianna Stephan, and Loni Tyler all qualified for selection.  The six honorees in softball tied with Pacific for the most among all competing universities, in addition to the 49ers on-field success, which saw the team win the Big West championship.

Women’s track and field also had six honorees with Alisia Barajas, Rebecca Hamilton, Kayla Kamaka, Kristen Kiefer, Alexandrea Kruthers and Aiyana Welsh.  From the men’s side, Michael Vaughn was also honored.

Another Big West champion, women’s tennis, had five players honored–Sarah Cantlay, Anais Dallara, Anna Jeczmionka, Julie Luzar and Klaudia Malenovska.

Also with five qualifying was baseball as Kellen Hoime, Matt Johnson, Jeff McNeil, Brennan Metzger and Ryan Strufing represented the Dirtbags on the list.

Kelly Ringel, Coriann Snyder and Nicole Van DerHoof represented women’s water polo for the 49ers, and Monica Villareal also made the all-academic squad from the women’s golf program.

Among the winter sports, senior Tipesa Moorer of women’s basketball represented the 49ers, one of 23 total student-athletes on the winter sports list.

Fall 2012 Issue

Verizon Supports CSULB Science Education Summer Camp for Homeless Children

Homeless children have a hard enough time getting a proper education, let alone attending a summer educational enrichment camp.

But thanks to a $58,000 Verizon Foundation grant, up to 120 Long Beach children from homeless families enjoyed a two-week summer science education camp called See Us Succeed (Science Education Experience to help Underserved Students Succeed), hosted by the California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) Science Education Department.

“This is the fifth summer that we offered it and the fourth time that Verizon has paid for it,” said Laura Henriques, CSULB Science Education Department chair. “It’s one of the more exciting things that I do because it’s something that these kids would never have the opportunity to take part in,” she added, noting that Verizon requires grantee organizations to take at least a one-year break in funding before reapplying, so the Earl and Loraine Miller Foundation and other donors supported last year’s camp.

Children in six through the eighth grade tookclasses at Long Beach’s Mary McLeod Bethune Transitional Center at the Villages at Cabrillo, a community facility serving homeless populations, as well as at the adjacent Cabrillo High School in the morning, then went to the nearby Fairfield/Westside Boys and Girls Club for the afternoon. Teams led by a credentialed science teacher assisted by two CSULB science education credential candidate students taught the classes that covered a variety of science subjects appropriate for different age levels.

“Working with Long Beach Boys and Girls Club is a nice bonus,” Henriques said. “We partner with their staff and the afternoon programming included more science, math and engineering related activities. Our campers went on a field trip to the California Science Center during their afternoon programming with Boys and Girls Club.”

The daily schedule is important, Henriques said, because families have to be out of shelters all day. “It gives time for parents to seek employment or more permanent housing or do things without having to worry about their kids being in safe programming.”

The program originally focused on the Villages at Cabrillo but later provided busing for children from different areas of Long Beach, she continued. “This year focused on the west side, south side and downtown areas. Kids get recommended by their counselors and if we take one child in the family, we want to take the siblings so that the parents have time to do what they need to do.”

Moreover, parents receive information about community social services, and organizers work to provide the children with free dental screenings by Smile Bright Foundation, staffed by dental professionals.

In addition, Henriques invited CSULB’s Mobile Science Museum—a motorhome full of hands-on exhibits staffed by CSULB employees and students—as well as California Highway Patrol and Long Beach Police Department officers to demonstrate crime scene investigations. “It’s so nice for the kids to have a positive interaction with law enforcement because, sadly, so many of these families have had negative experiences.

“The other thing that Verizon was excited about having us add this year is more technology, so we used iPads and some science apps,” funded through the grant that children shared in class, Henriques said. “Mike Murray, who is the Southern California Verizon governmental affairs director, has been a huge champion of this program and of the Bethune Center in particular. We feel really lucky to have him as a partner.”

“Cal State Long Beach has put together a program like no other for some of the most deserving students,” Murray said. “It’s an honor for Verizon to be part of this science camp. CSULB has taken upon itself to grow the camp as the need has grown. They’ve set a standard for seeing to it that every student should have access to the range of opportunities that education provides.”

This year’s science camp topics included “May the Force be With You!” exploring pushes and pulls; “It’s Not Magic, It’s Science!” “Awesome Astronomers!” exploring astronomy and rockets; “Engineering the Body,” designing, building and testing; “CSI: Long Beach Forensic Science Investigations;” and “Cool Chemistry.”

Fall 2012 Issue

All 18 Teams at Long Beach State Exceed Division I Academic Performance Rates

The NCAA announced its multi-year academic performance rates (APR) for Division I teams, which covers a four-year period from the academic years of 2007-08 to 2010-11, and Long Beach State exceeded the minimum score in all 18 sports the school offers for the sixth straight year.

“The APR has become the gold standard in measuring academic success and progress by the NCAA,” President F. King Alexander said. “The latest data show that our athletic program continues to be among the nation’s best in student-athlete academic performance in all sports and programs.”

The APR was developed by the NCAA in 2004 to measure the academic progress and performance of athletic programs at its member institutions.  Long Beach State led the Big West Conference in men’s basketball, men’s cross country, and softball, while leading the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in men’s volleyball.  LBSU teams also ranked in the top three in six of the 14 Big West sports in which 49er teams compete.

Overall, every one of Long Beach State’s 18 teams exceeded the minimum standard multi-year score of 930 with nine of the 18 teams improving its score from last year and two matching last year’s rate.  Softball showed the biggest improvement increasing its score by 20 points.  Every LBSU team scored at least a 942, six points higher than last year’s low score, with the men’s cross country and men’s volleyball teams leading the way with perfect scores of 1,000.  Women’s golf increased its score by one point from last year to a 992. Softball improved its score from 966 to 986, while women’s tennis improved from a 976 to 984 and baseball climbed two points to a 978. Women’s basketball scored a 983 after scoring a perfect 1,000 last year.

“Having all of the Long Beach State teams achieving positive NCAA Academic Progress Rates is a tribute to our coaches, the academic support staff and the student athletes representing the university and its 18 intercollegiate teams,” Director of Athletics Vic Cegles said.  “We are proud to be competing for championships and at the same time helping young men and women pursue academic success.”

The APR is determined by using the eligibility and retention for each student-athlete on scholarship during a particular academic year.  Student-athletes are awarded one point for each semester they are enrolled and one point for each semester they are eligible for intercollegiate competition.  A student-athlete can earn a maximum of two points per semester and a maximum of four points during an academic year.

The APR is calculated by taking the number of possible points for a particular sport and dividing that number by the total number of points earned from student-athlete retention and eligibility over the same period of time.  The percentage is then multiplied by 1,000 to get the actual APR.

The NCAA does not penalize an institution for student-athletes who remain academically eligible but did not return to the institution due to circumstances beyond the student and/or institution’s control.

Fall 2012 Issue

LBSU Golfer 1st 49er in Men’s History to Go to NCAA Championship as Individual

Long Beach State (LBSU) golfer Philip Chian made the short drive up the 405 freeway to Pacific Palisades earlier this year to compete in the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship at Riviera Country Club.

One of six players competing as individuals, Chian was the first 49er ever to advance to the NCAA Championship golf tournament as an individual since the regional format was introduced.

To get to the NCAA Championship, Chian shot an even-par 71 in the final round of the NCAA Athens Regional and tied for fourth place, recording a 54-hole score of 3-under-par 210.  He finished as the top individual scorer on a non-qualifying team, earning the regional’s lone individual berth to the NCAA finals.

Chian’s performance in the Athens Regional was his best career finish as he clipped his previous best that took place at the Big West Conference Championship at the La Quinta Resort Mountain Course, where he tied for sixth.  His regional finish is also his third top-10 this season and fifth overall.

 

Fall 2012 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Fishing Team Captures National Championship

If you want to know if practice pays off, just ask Justin Gangel and Alex Cox, a pair of Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) seniors who captured the National Guard FLW College Fishing Western Conference Championship Utah Lake in Provo, Utah.

The two, who compete as a club sport through the university’s Department of Club Sports and Recreation, had an official three-day total of 14 bass caught weighing in at 21 pounds, 8 ounces, good enough to take the competition by five-plus pounds and win a Ranger Z117 bass boat with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.

Their dominating victory also earned them a berth in the national championship tournament next April (dates and location to be announced).  Last year, the team’s second in existence, it barely missed qualifying for nationals, finishing seventh in the 2011 conference championship.

“This was definitely a team effort, but I had been up there practicing in August so we had a good idea of where to go,” said Gangel, who in mid-August made the 10-hour drive to the site and fished it for an entire week by himself in preparation for the tournament.  “The only thing that changed for us was the certain bait we were throwing, and that was something Alex figured out on his own because he had done some fishing at El Dorado Park in Long Beach near his home.”

Gangel, a senior environmental science major, and Cox, a senior kinesiology major, qualified for the event based on their fifth-place finish in the first Western Conference bass fishing tournament of the season on Lake Shasta in Redding.  They were one of 20 two-person teams competing at the conference tournament with only the top five teams after two days moving to the final day.  Like the regular tournaments throughout the year, competition is based on the weight of each team’s five best fish caught each day.

“I felt that we had a good chance because I’ve heard the lake is really tough,” said Gangel.  “I had some really good days and I also had some really bad days when I was practicing, but I just thought that if I could string them together that we couldn’t be beat.

“The quality of the fish dropped from when I was there practicing so we weren’t getting big fish, but we were getting the quantity,” he added.  “We had a couple of spots we thought would really produce fish and we stayed along the same 200-yard stretch of lake called Provo Bay for all three days.  Most of the teams went up there and had a tough time figuring out what to do and where to go after a practice day and the first day of competition.”

“Winning this is kind of hard to put words to it,” said Gangel.  “It really hasn’t sunk in yet.  It’s one of those things that you always think about.  I’ve never won a tournament at this level and you kind of have those dreams of being on stage and holding the check, all those things that come with a win, and it just seems so unreal actually being on stage knowing you are the best in the Western Conference.”

Gangel acknowledged the support from CSULB Club Sports Director Rita Hayes and assistant Billy Harkness, who played a role in their success.

“They were both very helpful,” he said.  “They are very supportive of the club and it’s very cool to know they are backing us even though they probably don’t know what tournament fishing is all about.  Still, we feel that we get just as much support from them as any other club would get because they know how important it is to us.”

 

Fall 2012 Issue

LBSU Track and Field Teams Earn Division I All-Academic Distinctions

The Long Beach State (LBSU) women’s track and field team has been selected a 2012 Division I All-Academic Team by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).  It is the eighth year in a row that the 49er women have earned the distinction.

Additionally, 49er men’s track and field team members Gabe Hilbert and Matt Maldonado have been named to the USTFCCCA Men’s Division I All-Academic Team.

A total of 171 teams were honored by the USTFCCCA as a result of a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or better.  LBSU, which posted a 3.05 team GPA, was one of three Big West programs to be recognized.

For the men, Maldonado, a senior who redshirted the outdoor season, was an indoor All-American in 2012.  He earned second-team honors after finishing 12th in the mile run at the NCAA Championships.  He also claimed the individual title in the mile at the Moutain Pacific Sports Federation Indoor Track and Field Championships, where he established a school-record 3:59.08.  It was the first time in program history that a 49er ran a sub-four mile. Hilbert, a junior, was a NCAA West Preliminary qualifier in the 800-meter run.  He also scored and just missed out on all-conference honors in that event as he finished fourth overall at the Big West Championships.  In addition, Hilbert was a member of the 4×400 relay team that earned All-Big West recognition with a runner-up performance. To qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Track and Field Team as an individual, student-athletes must have compiled a minimum 3.25 cumulative grade-point average and have met one of two athletic standards.  For the indoor season, a student-athlete must have finished the regular season ranked in the national top 96 in an individual event, and for the outdoor season, a student-athlete must have participated in any round of the NCAA Division I Championships (including preliminary rounds).

Fall 2012 Issue

7 CSULB Graduate Students from CHAAT Spend Summer at Internships with NASA

Seven Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) graduate students from the campus’ Center for Human Factors in Advanced Aeronautics Technologies (CHAAT) spent their summer vacations performing internships with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

CHAAT performs on-going research to measure human performance in complex systems such as the Next Generation Airspace Transportation System (NextGen).  The center trains students in human factors for careers in the aeronautics industry and supports underrepresented students in their efforts to pursue careers in science, technology and engineering.

Four students—Jason Ziccardi, Ryan O’Connor, Zach Randolph and Conrad Rorie—did their internships at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley.  With more than $3 billion in capital equipment, 2,500 researchers, scientists and technology developers, and a $750-850 million annual operating budget, Ames plays a role in virtually all NASA aeronautical and space exploration endeavors.

Rorie spent his first few weeks at NASA Ames reviewing Single Pilot Operations (moving toward a single pilot in the cockpit as opposed to the current two-member crew) and contributing to a collaborative paper assessing the feasibility of SPO in the future.

“I also spent time examining research from the Army on Unmanned Aerial Systems, and I’m currently acting as an observer in their human-in-the-loop simulation on crew performance during multi-vehicle coordination efforts,” he said.  “Much of the remaining internship was spent developing an online survey for air traffic controllers in the FAA.  The survey is the work of the Generic Airspace Team at Ames, and it attempts to determine the aspects of sector management that require the most memorization and specialized skill.”

Students Kevin Monk and Sabrina Billinghurst served internships at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena.  America’s first satellite, Explorer 1 which launched in 1958, was created at JPL which last year launched four new missions.

Monk worked at JPL with the Advanced Multimission Operations System (AMMOS) which offers reliable, cost-effective tools and services to deep-space missions. “The specific branch is IOS (Instrument Operations Subsystem), which deals with the processing of data from space, and provides tools to orbiters and observatories for tactical operations related to image processing and instrument design,” he explained.

Currently, up to 189 measurements from Mars’ surface such as wind speed, temperature and atmospheric pressure are available to observers in the form of raw data.  However, this data is recorded every two seconds, making the amount of data enormous and more difficult to sift through for specific information.  “Using Javascript/jQuery, my duty is to develop a more aesthetically pleasing way of viewing this information to make it easier for scientists to dissect,” he said.

Student Greg Morales interned at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in the western Mojave Desert.  Dryden Flight Research Center is NASA’s primary center for atmospheric flight research and operations.  “The project that I am working on at NASA Dryden,” said Morales, “is to redesign the pilot interface of the Research Ground Control Station that can control different models of unmanned aerial systems.”

Thomas Strybel, CSULB psychology professor and director of CHAAT, said he believes the internships are not only valuable to the students but to NASA as well.

“The goal here (at the center) is to promote NASA-relevant careers,” he explained.  “NASA is worried about its future work force.  They use the internships not only as educational outreach tools but to train future professionals.  Students get the chance to work with remote-controlled vehicles planned for space exploration.  Another student looks at data coming from satellites and makes it easier to comprehend.”

CSULB students acquire a unique skill set as part of the CHAAT program.  “They take the skills they learn in human factors to their internships,” Strybel said.  “Their experience running simulations is especially valuable and that’s what we do on a regular basis.  We have a rigorous, operationally valid program.”

CHAAT is part of the master’s degree of human factors program that looks at next-generation aeronautics systems.  New air traffic technologies are a frequent subject.

“Today’s air traffic controllers carry even more responsibility, and CHAAT wants to help with that,” Strybel noted.  “We have all heard the horror stories of air traffic controllers snoring through their shifts.  What we want to do at CHAAT is help to increase the capacity of the average air traffic controller.  We test the displays they see.  We look at their work loads.  What is their situational awareness?  We can measure what air traffic controllers call ‘having their picture.’”

Strybel pointed out that the interns are all graduate students with solid backgrounds at CSULB.  “The coursework combined with CHAAT gives them experience not only with lab work but with national issues,” he said.  “That makes them very desirable.”

The students’ recognition boosts not only their reputations but CSULB’s, Strybel believes. Recently, CHAAT was accredited by the National Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.  The process is thorough and applications aren’t even accepted until the program has been in operation for five years.  CSULB joins such other accredited campuses as Georgia Tech, the University of Illinois and New Mexico State.

One of CHAAT’s primary focuses is the support of underrepresented students in their efforts to pursue careers in science.  “These student interns were selected in part because they represent both genders, all ages and many nationalities.”

Internships reinforce CSULB’s reputation for teaching practice as well as theory. “There is real-world awareness to our instruction here,” said Strybel.  “Internships with real-world value are critical.  Interviewers always look for real-world experience.  Internships give students credibility. When they leave campus to work for NASA or someone else, the experience they gained here pushes them ahead.”

Fall 2012 Issue

CSULB Student Spending Fall in Washington, D.C. as Panetta Intern

John Sellers, a senior political science major at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), is spending the fall semester in Washington, D.C. as the campus’ 2012 representative in the Congressional Internship Program, which is sponsored by the Panetta Institute for Public Policy.

Sellers was one of 25 California students (one each from the 23 CSU campuses and two others from Santa Clara and Dominica universities) selected for the program.  Each intern is spending 11 weeks in the nation’s capital working full-time in the office of a California member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Congressional Internship Program has been recognized as one of the best in the country because of the training opportunities provided to participants as well as the full scholarship covering all program costs.  Participants are nominated by their respective campus presidents and were selected based on their scholastic achievements as well as their interest in politics.

Program applicants undergo a rigorous review and interview process.  Each campus nominee meets with the university’s president and undergoes a background investigation prior to nomination to the Panetta Institute.  Selection of the campus nominee is based on academic standing, student leadership experience, commitment to community and public service, communication skills and overall demeanor as well as his/her interest in politics.

Final selection of Congressional Internship Program participants is made by the Panetta Institute interview team and a representative from the CSU Chancellor’s Office.

“I first noticed a flyer about the internship program at school two years ago.  I discussed it with my academic adviser and she thought it would be a good fit for me,” Sellers recalled.  “When the time came, I applied, attended the interviews, first with several school officials, then with President Alexander, and then in Monterey Bay with the institute.  When I received notice that I had been accepted, it was a bit surreal—I had been waiting so long, and it was actually happening.  I was ecstatic.”

Sellers completed a two-week training session at the Panetta Institute, which is located on the campus of CSU Monterey Bay.  The intensive orientation helps prepare participants by giving them the necessary tools and skills they need to succeed during their time in Washington.

The training session included elected officials, seasoned government staff, policy experts and Panetta Institute professors explaining how the legislative process works and providing synthesized information on the key issues facing the nation. Near the end of the orientation, each intern was assigned to work for two-and-a-half-months with a member of the California congressional delegation.

“The biggest thing I’m excited for is getting out of the classroom and seeing our federal government in action (or inaction),” Sellers said before his departure to Washington, D.C.  “I’ve already learned so much just during the two-week orientation from some of the most interesting people in both our state and federal governments. I’ve appreciated their true bipartisanship and open-mindedness.  It’s refreshing.”

Sellers was assigned to work with Congressman Brian Bilbray, a Republican from San Diego who represents California’s 50th Congressional District.  He says Bilbray’s primary legislative efforts are focused on improving the economy vis-a-vis the military, alternative energy sources and immigration.  Sellers anticipated that his participation in his office would include answering phone calls and letters from constituents, giving tours, performing general office tasks and attending legislative hearings.

While in Washington, Sellers has been attending regular weekly seminars with key administration personnel on different aspects of government policy, ranging from economics to the environment and foreign affairs to defense resources.  Speakers participating in these seminars include former and current cabinet secretaries, ambassadors, U.S. senators and U.S. representatives.

The Congressional Internship Program was founded by the Panetta Institute to give students hands-on experience on how the nation’s democracy operates.  “This program is an important part of the Panetta Institute’s mission to increase civic engagement,” said Institute Director Sylvia M. Panetta.  “These young people get to see first-hand the challenges and opportunities of working in government and serving our democracy.

“There’s just no substitute for this kind of first-hand experience to promote public service,” Panetta continued, “and we’ve had tremendous cooperation from our members of Congress – both Republicans and Democrats – in working with our students.”

The Panetta Institute pays for the entire program in part to ensure that students of all economic backgrounds have the opportunity to participate.  Costs covered during the program include academic fees and tuition, CSUMB campus services during orientation, food and housing, a living stipend during their stay in Washington, course materials and air and ground transportation.

Additionally, each student receives 20 academic credits upon successful completion of the internship program, which includes submission of an experiential journal and a 20-page research paper.

When Sellers returns from Washington, there will be no rest.  Life will continue to be busy.

“I will finish the internship in November and will marry the love of my life in December,” Sellers explained.  “After that, I will start my last semester at CSULB and finish working on my thesis for the Political Science Honors Program. I will graduate with a B.A. in political science and a minor in Spanish in spring 2013.”

Sellers added that law school is on the horizon, but he plans to wait at least a year before applying.  He is considering Stanford University or somewhere on the east coast.

“You never know, though. I may just come back to Washington if I catch D.C. fever,” Sellers admitted.  “We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Fall 2012 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Students Set Their Sights on the Stars with NASA Internships

When opportunities to study astronomy and physics with NASA experts came their way, three California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) physics students jumped at the chance.

Master’s student Sam Koshy and undergraduates Jill Pestana and Stephanie Sodergren served in NASA internships with the goal of expanding physics knowledge both in the scientific arena as well as for the public.

Koshy, a resident of Cypress, Calif., completed the second year of a NASA Graduate Student Researchers Program (GSRP) fellowship and is the only GSRP fellow selected from a non-doctoral university to work at Pasadena’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). He earned his bachelor’s degree in astrophysics at UCLA and came to CSULB to earn his master of science after realizing that he needed to continue his education as well as financially support his parents.

After beginning his master’s in 2010, “I started working as a physics teacher on an emergency credential in the Watts neighborhood at Locke High School. Part of the reason I chose Locke was that year it was being taken over by Green Dot,” as a charter school, he said. “The whole social justice aspect drives me. I believe that education is the path to that.”

However, Koshy needed a science credential to continue teaching, so he put his master’s on hiatus to enroll in CSULB’s science education program. “But at least I got to use my summers, so I figured that it’s a great time to get a full-time summer research position, so I started applying to various positions,” he said.

Through the NASA website, he found the California State University Science Teacher And Researcher Program, a nine-week program for prospective science teachers. Moreover, “Through that application, JPL’s education office saw my resume and my background and saw that I was a good fit for a Graduate Student Researchers Program fellowship,” valued at $30,000 per year. “The JPL education office approached me and said, ‘We know you applied for the summer internship, but in addition to that, would you be interested in applying for the fellowship?’”

“From that e-mail, I decided that $30,000 was enough for me to go back being a full-time student, so the first thing I had to do was see if there was a faculty member in the CSULB Physics Department who would be willing to take me as a student. Then second, we had to go through the JPL website for opportunities and see if one of their scientists’ research areas coincided with the faculty here. I have two advisors—Dr. Prashanth Jaikumar is my advisor here and Dr. Michele Vallisneri is my technical advisor at JPL.”

Koshy is studying compact binary stars that are orbiting a common center of mass—in particular, where one of the two stars is considered by astronomers to be hypothetical. “One is considered a quark star and the other would be considered a neutron star or a black hole. As these two interact tidally, what kind of gravitational wave signatures would they put out and can these gravitational wave signatures be detected by present and upcoming detectors?” he explained.

Quarks are one of the fundamental particles that make up matter, but a quark star is so exotic that it’s never actually been observed. “A neutron star is the remnant of a supernova. Theoretically, right now, some of the neutron stars that have been observed could be quark stars, so we could be mislabeling them because we can’t get accurate mass radius measurements in order to be able to differentiate them well enough,” he said.

As part of his GSRP fellowship, Koshy worked on NASA’s proposed space-based satellite system called the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) in cooperation with the European Space Agency, but last year, NASA ended the current LISA partnership because of budget cuts. However, the National Science Foundation is continuing gravitation wave research with a ground-based system.

Koshy hopes to land a position with an aerospace firm. “As a physics student, one of the things we have going for us is that we’re considered highly trainable,” he said. “We already have a mind that’s geared toward problem solving so one of the strengths we bring to the table is that even if it’s not an area of expertise, we can pretty much pick up things quickly and become an expert in that field in a relatively short amount of time.” And, because of his family obligations, he can’t undertake a Ph.D. program right now, so he’s completing his science teaching credential.

Meanwhile, senior Jill Pestana and sophomore Stephanie Sodergren spent 10 weeks last summer working together on a NASA internship at the Dryden Flight Research Center in Palmdale.

Pestana came to CSULB from Tehachapi High School to study music, but changed her major to physics with a music minor. Her interest in science derives from her parents. Her father is a NASA research pilot and her mother is a biologist.

For her internship, “I chose SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) because I was interested in astronomy and astrophysics, and they also had an element of education and public outreach which I mentioned in my application. Stephanie applied, too, with an interest in education and public outreach, and that’s how we became interns.” SOFIA is an advanced telescope carried aboard a Boeing 747 aircraft. To learn more about their SOFIA experience, visit www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/SOFIA/jill_pestana.html.

Sodergren is a CSULB President’s Scholar who did two NASA internships while attending Quartz Hill High School in the Antelope Valley. “I’ve always had an interest in aerospace and astronomy, and SOFIA is a telescope and a plane all in one, so of course I was interested in it. I applied on the NASA website at the same place as Jill and I was really interested in education and outreach because SOFIA flies teachers onboard and both my parents are teachers,” she said. “This application is for undergraduates and graduates from all over the country and the two girls that were chosen to work with the program chief engineer were physics majors from Cal State Long Beach. The other interns came from Virginia Tech, Cornell and UC Santa Cruz.”

Their enthusiasm and skills paid off, Pestana said. “While we were in our internship, we presented in front of the SOFIA department head of education and outreach and 15 minutes into our presentation he asked, ‘Can I hire you?’ and we said, ‘OK, sure.’ Ever since we ended that internship, we’ve been working by teleconferencing with the web development team for education and public outreach that works at NASA Ames Research Center.”

“We came up with a whole new design for a website for SOFIA that’s interactive and kids can get interested in science,” Sodergren added. “One component that we started working on was developing video tours. It’s almost like a YouTube series of Jill and I touring things on the aircraft and talking about some of the science done onboard. We’re working on our first draft which it the introductory video, and we plan on making eight videos total that would be put on the website.”

Pestana, who plans to graduate in December, is doing an additional NASA internship this summer at JPL. “I’m really interested in alternative energy research and advocacy of sustainable energy. I don’t know exactly which grad school I want to go to, but I want to study applied physics or materials science for a doctorate. So when I get my Ph.D., I want to do research and I want to advocate for good policies. While I’m doing research, I’d also like to also do the education and public outreach aspect of alternative energy, whether it’s inside NASA or outside in private industry.”

Meanwhile, Sodergren will continue to work on SOFIA outreach, but has other summer plans. “My background is in aerospace and astrophysics and astronomy; that’s what I’ve always been interested in. But, I actually received a fellowship for this summer through the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) so I’ll be at UC San Francisco this summer for 10 weeks doing a medical physics internship.” She is one of six AAPM fellows this year and will be mentored by Jean Pouliot, a professor in UCSF’s Radiation Oncology Department.

“My current plan once I graduate is to go to graduate school for medical physics,” Sodergren said. “I would have a Ph.D. in science and do either clinical work in a hospital for cancer treatment and radiation therapy or work in a university as a professor and also in a hospital.”

Fall 2012 Issue

Grad Student at Cal State Long Beach Named Recipient of Hearst/Trustees’ Award

Serena Do, a graduate student in public policy and administration at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB), was named the campus’ recipient of the 2012-13 William R. Hearst/CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement.

Each year, the California State University (CSU) selects 23 students, one from each campus in the system, to receive the Hearst/CSU Trustees’ Award, which is among the system’s highest forms of recognition for student achievement.  The award is given to students who have demonstrated financial need, experienced personal hardships, and have attributes such as superior academic performance, exemplary community service and significant personal achievements.

Do and the 22 other award winners were recognized and presented with their awards at the September CSU Board of Trustees meeting.

“I was so shocked and excited to know I had won the award.  I had never won anything like this before,” Do said.  “The scholarship will help me greatly in purchasing textbooks and paying for classes as I plan to finish my master’s degree next spring and apply for a Ph.D. program.  More importantly, the money will allow me to focus more on my studies, and I will not be so overwhelmed with concern regarding my finances as I often help my mom financially.”

Do grew up in a single-parent household in East Los Angeles.  Serena’s mother, a refugee from the Khmer Rouge, worked two jobs to make ends meet in a community plagued by gang violence.  She urged her daughter to pursue education as the means to a better life.

The first in her family to attend college, Do completed her bachelor’s degree at CSULB with a double major in political science and international studies.  During her undergraduate studies, she managed to involve herself in a variety of activities—including the speech and debate team, International Studies Student Association, Political Theory Round Table and other campus organizations and national honor societies—all the while working at least 30 hours a week.

During her free time, Do volunteers at the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, coaches a local high school speech and debate team, and tutors students.

After completing her master’s degree, she plans to go on to obtain a Ph.D. in public health and work for the United Nation’s World Health Organization with a focus on providing health care to those who need it most.

“I aspire to one day be the director of an international non-profit organization that focuses on world health,” noted Do, who in addition to English also speaks Mandarin, Vietnamese, Cantonese and Chaozhou.  “In a world where we have iPhones and iPads that can do virtually everything for us, it makes no logical sense to me that there are children dying from diarrhea and other preventable diseases that we Americans have virtually removed from our psyche.

“I believe that my studies as an undergraduate in both political science and international studies have sufficiently trained me to understand the inequalities in modernity,” she added.  “However, I believe that my master’s degree in public policy and administration will provide pragmatic solutions to the problems I have learned so much about.”

The William Randolph Hearst Foundation originally established the endowed scholarship fund in 1984.  In 1999, the Hearst Foundation partnered with the CSU Board of Trustees to supplement the endowment with contributions from CSU Trustees and private donors.  From this endowment, the trustees award scholarships to students who exemplify the criteria.  The scholarship awards range from $3,000 to $10,000.

Since its inception, the CSU has honored 250 students with the award.  This year, one of the trustees sitting on the board is a prior recipient.  Student Trustee Jillian Ruddell became a Hearst/CSU Trustees’ Scholar in 2010 and Governor Brown appointed her to the board in 2011.

“The award represents a vote of confidence in you as a student, as well as an acknowledgement of the adversity you have overcome,” Ruddell said.  “The CSU is privileged to have you as students.  Your current and future achievements are something we all celebrate.”

Fall 2012 Issue

CSULB CAMP Student Serving as HACU Intern

Marlene Luna, a member of College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB), went to Palo Alto in northern California this summer, where she served with the Department of Veterans Affairs—Veterans Health Administration as a Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) intern.

“I am very excited and thankful to have been selected,” said Luna at them time. “It is truly an experience that has helped me grow professionally as well as an individual.”

She recently received her bachelors in health care administration from CSULB.

This fall, she is attending UCLA’s Masters of Public Health Program and hopes to eventually obtain a Ph.D. in public health. Luna believes one reason for her selection was her experience in a variety of fields. “In addition, I feel that my major prepared me well by providing challenging courses as well as projects that helped my teamwork and leadership skills,” she said.

Her internship responsibilities included assisting in coordinating and carrying out administrative activities under the Executive Office of the Deputy Director, providing administrative support for executive leadership, developing of statistical and/or informational reports, reviewing and drafting executive correspondence, coordinating meetings, collecting information pertinent to health care system goals and participating in special projects.

CAMP is a federally funded program that assists students who are migratory or seasonal farmworkers or children of such workers enrolled in their first year of undergraduate studies. The program is aimed at promoting continued enrollment and eventual graduation from the university. Services include outreach, counseling, tutoring, skills workshops, financial aid stipends, health services and housing assistance to eligible students during their first year of college.

Luna’s road to CSULB began with her attendance at the all-girl private Ramona Convent Secondary School, which guided her to CSULB.

“A difficulty that I faced was being the first in my family to go to college,” she explained. “During my SOAR orientation, I had no idea what classes to take.  It was not until I went to the CAMP office that I understood the GE pattern,” she recalled. “In addition, I took the bus to school for three years where I was fortunate enough to meet Provost Donald Para.

“My first two years I worked off campus and, like many students, my day consisted of school and then leaving so I could get to work on time,” she continued.  “Eventually, I was fortunate to get a job at HSI: Mi Casa Mi Universidad.  I must say, that is when my life at CSULB changed. I was able to spend more time on campus, meet other people, and I became aware of resources that I did not know of before.”

Luna remembered receiving the call of a CAMP recruiter to ask if she wanted to be part of the program. “I am glad I said yes because CAMP helped me and guided me my freshman year,” she said  “Taking EOP 100 with CAMP’s Lina Lopez informed me about all the resources there were on campus as well as resources such as HACU.

“It is because of CAMP that I was informed about other programs that also contributed to my success such as SSSP, the McNair Scholars program and HSI: Mi Casa Mi Universidad.  I feel that I am a product of the TRIO programs. CAMP helped me survive my freshman year, SSSP advised me for my sophomore through junior year, and the McNair program guided me in my grad school applications and my publication of my first article.”

Luna’s career goals are many, but they unite in a dream of involvement in the health field. “As an epidemiologist and health care administrator, I want to help minorities who are constantly affected by infectious diseases,” she said. “In particular, I want to focus on how sexually transmitted infections and HIV affect the Latino population. My ultimate goal is to someday have a center in which I can provide resources for young minorities to be able to educate them about safe sex.”

HACU was established in 1986 with a founding membership of 18 institutions and is the only national educational association that represents Hispanic-Serving Institutions such as CSULB. Today, HACU represents more than 400 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the United States, Puerto Rico, Latin America, Spain and Portugal.

Fall 2012 Issue

President’s Scholars Program at Cal State Long Beach Welcomes 26 New Scholars

With the start of the 2012-13 academic year, Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) welcomed 26 of the best and brightest of this past spring’s California high school graduates into the fold of its President’s Scholars Program.

CSULB President F. King Alexander recognized and congratulated this incoming class of 2012 and their parents at the university’s Convocation pointing out a milestone with this year’s groug. It is the first time in the program’s history that an incoming class of scholars is made up of 50 percent males and 50 percent females.

“The President’s Scholars Program at Cal State Long Beach attracts some of the most academically talented students in California, and this year’s class is no exception,” Alexander said.  “The program is extremely competitive.  In fact, this year we receive more than 700 applications for these scholarships, but only these 26 students were selected to be part of this incoming group of scholastically outstanding individuals.”

Established in 1995, the CSULB President’s Scholars Program was created to bring valedictorians and National Merit scholars from California high schools to the campus, and that first class consisted of a handful of students from the greater Long Beach area.  Today, the program is recognized as the premier program of its kind in the state.  More than 1,000 students from 41 of California’s 58 counties have been selected for the program to date.

Each of the scholars has his or her own reason for choosing CSULB, and they often share those reasons with program organizers.

“I chose to apply to California State University, Long Beach for its positive reputation, location and nationally recognized academic programs,” wrote Paraclete High School valedictorian Michael Tocco in his application essay for the program.  “By providing me with a diverse and intelligent array of professors, CSULB offers me a place to challenge myself academically and attain an education that satisfies my major’s requirements, as well as giving me the tools to work in the field of my choice.”

Alexa Navarro, valedictorian for the Class of 2012 at Santa Rosa High, explained in her essay: “The President’s Scholars Program will surround me with other dedicated students who would push me to do my best and with faculty members who truly care about my academic success.  I want a college experience that will challenge me but also encourage extra-curricular activity on campus, in the community, and around the world.  I believe I will find that experience in CSU Long Beach and the President’s Scholar Program.”

As President’s Scholars, each selected student attends CSULB on a full scholarship that covers general student fees, an annual book allowance and paid housing in the campus residence halls for four years.  In addition, these students receive priority registration, personal academic counseling and more.

“Thanks to the efforts of hundreds of supporters who annually raise the necessary funds privately, we are able to offer these students a full scholarship and the opportunity to receive an outstanding education in a variety of academic programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level,” President Alexander explained.  “In return, the scholars add a great deal to the stature of the university through their academic pursuits in research, academic competitions and other activities.  They also perform thousands of hours of community service and are solid representatives of the university wherever they go.”

Graduates of the CSULB President’s Scholars Program have gone on to prestigious graduate and professional schools such as Yale, Harvard, UC Berkeley Law School, Stanford, Duke and Johns Hopkins medical schools, Dartmouth, UCLA Dental School and CSULB.  Others have started successful careers at companies like Disney and  Boeing.

“When the President’s Scholars Program began, the university sent a clear message that it was very serious about going after highly motivated, high-achieving students, and the results have far exceeded our original expectations,” noted Valerie Bordeaux, director of the scholars program.  “I don’t think any of us dreamed that we would consistently attract and get applications from more than 700 valedictorians and National Merit scholars from California high schools each year.”

The benefits for qualifying valedictorians and National Merit scholars from accredited California high schools are made possible through the support of the CSULB Alumni Association, President’s Associates and the Corporate Scholars Council.

Fall 2012 Issue

4 Cal State Long Beach Students Selected 2012-13 Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars

Four Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) students were named Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars for the 2012-13 academic year.  The one-time award includes $3,000 in funding support, which each scholar is using for specific activities that will help him or her become strong candidates for doctoral programs.

Designed to increase the number of potential college faculty, the program supports the doctoral aspirations of California State University (CSU) students who have experienced economic and educational disadvantages.  The program places a special emphasis on increasing the number of CSU students who enter doctoral programs at University of California (UC) campuses with the goal of students returning to a CSU campus as a new faculty member.

In all, there were 247 applications for the 2012-13 awards, and the four CSULB awardees were among 72 selected for the honor.  Students were selected by a committee of faculty from the CSU and UC, and those chosen are designated Sally Casanova Scholars as a tribute to Casanova, a CSU administrator who died in 1994.

This year’s Sally Casanova Scholars from CSULB and their intended discipline of study include Maria Carreras (history), Alvaro Luna (comparative literature), Erica Navarro (educational leadership) and Jiun Shen (psychology).  Paola Soler (cultural anthropology) was an honorable-mention selection.

“I was both shocked and excited when I learned I had been selected for the program,” said Carreras, a Long Beach resident and 2006 graduate of Millikan High School.  “I was shocked because I could not believe that I was one of the selected few who had been chosen from such a large pool of qualified student scholars.  But at the same time, I was excited because I know that this will be such an amazing opportunity and experience in preparation for a doctoral program.”

Each scholar works closely with a faculty sponsor to develop an overall plan leading to enrollment in a doctoral program that is tailored to the student’s individual career and educational goals.

CSULB faculty working with this year’s Casanova Scholars will be: Carreras—Caitlin  Murdock, associate professor of history; Luna—Alicia del Campo, associate professor of Romance, German, Russian Languages and Literature; Navarro—Beverly Booker, assistant professor of advanced studies in education and counseling; Shen—Guido Urizar, Jr., associate professor of psychology; and Soler—Jayne Howell, professor of anthropology.

“We are certainly proud of these students and their selection as pre-doctoral scholars,” said Cecile Lindsay, vice provost for academic affairs and dean of graduate studies.  “They deserve to be part of this unique opportunity and receive the guidance and financial help that many students need in preparing for and applying to doctoral programs.  Our hope is that when they complete their degrees, they return to The Beach or another CSU campus to teach.”

Some of the activities the scholars will be involved with, which are specified in the plan and undertaken during the award year, include preparing graduate school applications and visits and attending professional conferences.  Other activities include summer research internship programs at doctoral-granting institutions, travel to national symposia or professional meetings in their chosen field, as well as membership in professional organizations.

Carreras, who earned her bachelor’s degree in history from CSULB in 2010 and expects to finish her graduate studies next May, said she has always had an interest in earning a doctorate degree, but there were two experiences as an undergraduate at CSULB that further reinforced her ambition to earn a doctorate and become a professor.

The first came as she sat in her upper-division history courses.  She said she repeatedly found herself asking further questions that could not solely be answered in a single assignment or realized that there was minimal to no scholarly research in certain areas of history that she was interested in.  That was when her ambition to conduct further research and earn a doctorate grew.

“The second experience that inspired me to pursue a doctorate degree and become a college professor relates to my previous job as a supplemental instructor (SI Leader), where I created activities and guided a group of approximately 15 to 20 students on history-related course content,” Carreras recalled.  “I was assigned to groups of students in my Beach Learning Community, to serve students who had entered the university required to enroll in remedial English and math courses in their first year as part of their curriculum.

“Some of these first generation, disadvantaged students in the BLC program had transferred from secondary schools that did not promote nor encourage higher education,” she added.  “As I had aspirations to pursue a doctorate and serve as a college or university faculty prior to working as a supplemental instructor, this position further reinforced my interest in and preparation for doctorate study.”

Now in its 23nd year, the California Pre-Doctoral Program has had more than 1,000 scholars participate in the program to date.

Fall 2012 Issue

2 CSULB Students Chosen for Finals of Engineering Research Competition in Paris

From a field of 600 entries, a team of two California State University Long Beach, (CSULB) engineering students, Pushpender Singh and Manmeen Kaur, were among 25 teams that qualified for the finals of the Go Green in the City international competition in Paris earlier this year.

“It’s great opportunity for us to present our idea to a company who is working towards making this planet green. We are going to Paris for the final round of the competition. There are 25 teams each with two members selected from eight different countries,” said Singh before the trip. “We presented our idea on how we can use the freeway traffic to produce electrical energy. The motivation for such an idea came from Professor Walter Martinez who is always guiding us to use our knowledge for a better future.  I am sure this article will motivate several others to think of better solutions to make the planet and its resources last longer than current expectations.”

Last spring semester, Martinez, a part-time lecturer in the CSULB Engineering Technology Department, showed a video clip of some new energy harvesting chips. The chips are basically silicon batteries that get energy from various modalities such as heat, vibration, sun and even radio frequencies.

During the class Martinez talked about an idea for using these chips and placing them along the freeways to capture all the heat, vibrations from the vehicles and solar cells plus all the radio frequency from cell phones, laptops, cars, etc. and store it in these energy harvesting chips then we could use these energy to power signs on the freeways, lights and billboards.  The students developed that idea for their proposal.

“I want to mention that we came to know about Go Green in the City event through an e-mail sent out by the career development center at CSULB and ever since then we have been working on our idea. We are truly thankful to Professor Walter Martinez who guided us through all the stages of competition. We are grateful to the Dean (Forouzan) Golshani and College of Engineering. They motivated us to work hard and provided us with all the help we needed,” said Kaur. “We both are extremely excited to be part of the final competition in Paris as it’s a great opportunity for us to present our views about the going green to the executives from by Schneider Electric. Our idea is about utilization of high-speed traffic on freeways to generate electricity. I believe that this competition is a huge inspiration for the students to use their knowledge for the benefits of the planet and people. The company focuses on encouraging women in field of engineering and business, thus one of the team members had to be a woman.”

The students found an international competition and decided to enter using this idea. The competition is about finding new and innovative/clever ways to manage energy. The winning team in the competition will have their idea implemented by Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries. Martinez and other faculty helped the students prepare with a business plan and the presentation.

“Being selected for this competition is a great honor for these students and reflects the quality of students at Cal State Long Beach and in the College of Engineering. They were very proactive in seeking out this competition and have put a lot of work into preparing for the competition. I’m sure they will represent the university well,” said Martinez.

Fall 2012 Issue

CSULB Student Gets Fulbright for Study in Mexico City on 1940s-1960s Bracero Project

Liliana Montalvo, a graduating senior at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), was selected for a 2012-13 U.S. Student Fulbright award, which is funding a year of research in Mexico City where she isstudy never-before-seen documents relating to the 1940s-1960s Bracero Project.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the largest U.S. exchange program offering opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide.

“I was really excited to receive the Fulbright award,” said Montalvo, who grew up in South Los Angeles and is a 2007 graduate of Fremont High School.  “I feel humbled by such an award.  I know this is a prestigious prize.  I feel happy, proud and even ecstatic.  It is a great opportunity I never thought I’d have.”

She never expected to win a Fulbright when she first enrolled at CSULB.  “Yet it would not have happened if I had not enrolled here,” she noted.  “I’m glad I came here for the support I have received. The department has backed every research idea I have had for the last four years.”

Her professors believe Montalvo is truly deserving of the Fulbright.  “In winning this award, Liliana has demonstrated the skills that she has learned as a history major,” said Jane Dabel, associate professor of history.  “In particular, this award illustrates her strong research capabilities and her extensive experience in conducting oral history interviews.

“Liliana is fluent in Spanish and already has first-hand knowledge of Mexican culture and history as demonstrated by her McNair Scholar research project as well as her work on the Bracero Oral History project,” Dabel continued.  “Her volunteer work with former braceros provides evidence of her outgoing nature and her curiosity about other cultures.”

History Professor Ali Igmen agreed.  “Liliana was one of the most engaged undergraduate students who easily kept up with the pace and the requirements of this `hands-on’ methods course.  She was always enthusiastic about the readings and discussions,” he said.  “Liliana’s views on the oral history materials were on the whole encouraging and fascinating due to her interest in Chicano/a history.  Her eagerness to absorb this material showed that she would, someday, be an influential oral historian.”

One highlight of Montalvo’s CSULB career was her organization with fellow student Aniela Lopez of 15 history students to initiate the Braceros Oral History Project, which was designed to interview surviving braceros and their family members in California and Mexico.  Igmen helped the project earn IRA (instructional research activities) funding.

At first, Montalvo had not heard about the bracero program (named for the Spanish term bracero or “strong-arm”), which was a series of laws and diplomatic agreements initiated by a 1942 exchange of diplomatic notes between the United States and Mexico for the importation of temporary contract laborers from Mexico to the United States.

It wasn’t until she watched a documentary titled “Harvest of Loneliness: The Bracero Program” that she became aware of the program’s notorious abuses.

“I was shocked by what I saw,” Montalvo recalled.  “Along with classmate Aniela Lopez and the History Student Association, we began a ‘penny drive’ among the other students to raise awareness of the bracero program.  Then we began to interact with the bracero program participants and hearing their stories.

“It wasn’t until I began to research the bracero program that I discovered by talking to my mother that my grandfather was a bracero working in Riverside,” she added.  “It really created a personal connection to the project.  Even though my grandfather passed away when I was a child, I felt like I learn a piece of his story whenever I interview another bracero.”

Montalvo left for her Fulbright experience in Mexico City in August and is slated to return in spring 2013.  While there, she has access to Mexican government documents about the bracero program that recently have been digitized and made available to scholars.

“These are documents pertaining to the 1940s through the 1960s,” Montalvo explained.  “These records trace more than 500,000 Mexican citizens who left their country.  This access enables me to write a history of the bracero program with documents never used before.”

Montalvo has learned that recording oral histories is much different than reading documents.  “This program has allowed me to inquire into the lives of the braceros in a way that documents won’t let you,” she said.  “People let me into their lives.  I was a total stranger yet they let me in to ask personal, intimate questions.  To be able to do that and have them reciprocate is an amazing experience.”

Dabel believes in Montalvo’s Fulbright success. “I am quite proud to have Lili represent us as a ‘citizen ambassador’ to the citizens of Mexico,” she said.  “I feel confident that she will engage in meaningful ways with the community where she is working.  We plan to keep in touch with Liliana through Facebook posts while she is Mexico.”

Established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program was created to build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and countries participating in the program through educational and cultural exchanges.  The U.S. Student Fulbright Program currently awards approximately 1,800 grants annually in all fields of study, and operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.

Montalvo thanked the History Department for their support. “I feel lucky to belong to such an amazing department,” she said.  “It is as if I had found a second family.  They supported me all the way. Dr. Igmen especially went out of his way to gain passage of the IRA grant.  The department’s support has been invaluable.  I really feel that I own much of whatever success I achieve through this Fulbright to the support I received from CSULB’s Department of History.”

Fall 2012 Issue

Doctoral Student, 10 Grad Students at CSULB Awarded Research Fellowships

A doctoral student and 10 master’s students at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) have been awarded Graduate Research Fellowships for the 2012-13 academic year.

Now in its eighth year, the Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) was created by the university to provide much-needed financial support to graduate students conducting research and working on creative projects.  Each student will receive $4,500 at the beginning of the fall semester and an additional $4,500 in the spring.

“Many graduate students have to work to support themselves or take out student loans in order to complete their degree,” said Cecile Lindsay, vice provost and dean for graduate studies.  “Our goal in creating this $9,000 fellowship was to enable some of our highest-achieving graduate students to focus full-time on their study and research.”

Students were selected for the fellowship by faculty based on the strength of the proposed research or creative project, their outstanding academic achievements and the faculty mentor’s nomination.

The 2012-13 CSULB Graduate Research Fellowships were granted to the following students:

  • Kirsten Byrne (M.S. civil engineering) is studying the effect of air and gas pocket entrapment on the hydraulic performance of sewerage pressurized pipelines. Faculty mentor: Antonella Sciortino;
  • Christopher Beckom (MBA, business administration) is looking at small business employment policies and right of privacy concerns.  Faculty mentor: Dana McDaniel;
  • Mindy DeYoung (M.S. industrial/organizational psychology) is looking into training job-seeking college students to avoid detrimental uses of social networking sites and ways of optimizing job marketability.  Faculty mentor: HanNah-Hanh Nguyen;
  • Sarah Grefe (M.S. applied physics) is conducting an optical investigation of single particle QDs using a novel high resolution optical technique.  Faculty mentor: Yohannes Abate;
  • Maria Theresa Hu (M.A. musicology) has titled her research “The Tenth Muse: Sappho Operas Lost in Time.”  Faculty mentor: Alicia Doyle;
  • Allison Hunt (M.A. anthropology—applied option) is studying military sexual trauma (MST) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  Faculty Mentor: Karen Quintilliani;
  • Thanh Luong (M.S. math education) is looking at “Questions, Responses, and Assessment Tools Associated with Khan Academy Instructional Math Videos.”  Faculty mentor: Joshua Chesler;
  • Jody Pritchett (Ph.D. engineering and industrial applied math; joint doctoral program with Claremont Graduate School) is researching machine vision and motion detection with applications to robotics.  Faculty mentor: Fumio Hamano;
  • James Salassi (M.S. kinesiology—exercise science option) is studying data obtained during/after high intensity interval training of cardiac patients.  Faculty mentor: Ralph Rozenek;
  • Danielle Slakoff (M.S. criminal justice) is looking into “Newsworthiness and the Missing White Woman Syndrome.”  Faculty mentor: Henry Fradella;
  • and Ashlee Wilkins (M.S. counseling—student development in higher education option) is researching the experiences of African-American female undergraduate students partaking in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) majors.  Faculty mentor: Angela Locks.

“In some instances, receiving the award allows a master’s student to undertake a research thesis instead of a comprehensive exam, or it enables him or her to undertake a more ambitious research program,” Lindsay pointed out.  “Some excellent research and creative work has resulted from the program, and past GRF recipients have presented their work at regional and national conferences.”

All of this year’s recipients will submit a progress report in June 2013 highlighting the work they have done.

Lindsay noted that CSULB originally received funding to support graduate students from the CSU Chancellor’s Office, but when it decided to decentralize this funding to each CSU, campus officials decided to create the CSULB Graduate Research Fellowship, which was established in 2004 and gave out its first awards during the 2005-06 academic year.

CSULB offers 67 different master’s degrees that prepare graduates for prestigious doctoral programs and careers in the public sector, industry, education and the arts. For more information on the Graduate Research Fellowship, call 562/985-8225.

Fall 2012 Issue

CSULB Science Faculty Earn $589,999 DoD Grant to Support Nano-optics Experiments

Trying to observe something about 10,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair is a challenge for scientists, but Yohannes Abate, assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) has found a way.

“What we do is categorized as nano-optics, which means investigating optical properties of very small particles called nanoparticles, which are the size of 10 to the minus 9th power of a meter,” he said.  Because nanoparticles are so tiny, they can’t be seen with regular optical microscopes, but they can possess new and intriguing phenomena that interest academics as well as industry.

At the nanoscale, electrons on the surface of a metal demonstrate a phenomenon called plasmons, he continued.  “Plasmons are collective oscillations of electrons on the surface of a metal and you can actually capture the properties of the oscillations in a nanometer-size scale by their near-field distributions.”  Abate built a highly advanced near-field optics laboratory at CSULB based on a high spatial resolution near-field microscope that condenses a laser beam through a variety of lenses spread across a large table, eventually focusing on a tiny point that a detector can use to record the plasmons in action.

Communications technology investigators are very interested in knowing how plasmons can be used to manipulate light to tranmsit signals, since using the speed of light rather than slower electrical current has huge benefits, he said.  “Also, you have no heating effect, which you have with current.  There is a huge interest in this for communications purposes.  The problem is that the basic physics of these plasmons is not well understood, so that is our goal.”

Another organization interested in advancing nanotechnologies is the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), which through the U.S. Army Research Office has provided a three-year, $589,999 grant to Abate as principal investigator (PI) and Shahab Derakhshan, CSULB assistant professor of chemistry, as co-PI.  Derakhshan is an expert in crystal structure determination, electronic structure calculations and syntheses of novel oxides with phase transition properties that would be investigated with Abate’s microscope.

The grant will aid in their research and most importantly, it will help prepare students for nanotechnology careers and studies either in academia or industry.  In addition, it will allow Abate to purchase lasers that operate at wide range of wavelengths, expanding the capability of his microscope.

An important part of their research focuses on a property called phase transition, in which a material changes its physical state such as from an insulator to a conductor, depending on its temperature.  “You heat it up and it becomes metal, you cool it down and it acts like an insulator (similar to electrical properties of paper or glass), and so forth,” Abate said.  “The problem is that while they exhibit these kinds of properties, why they do that on the nano scale remains largely unknown.”

This also has attracted considerable attention due to its technological values, Abate said.  “Electronic devices such as ultra-fast switches, oscillators, memory devices, optical devices, thermal sensors, and chemical sensors are a few examples of applications that utilize of phase transitions.”

“There are only handful of laboratories in the world which possess such near-field microscope and the expertise we have,” he said, “and so this gives us a very strong advantage to look at these novel systems.”

Fall 2012 Issue

CSULB Anthropology Lecturer Named a Top Professor on RateMyProfessors.com

Positive reactions from California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) students who voted through RateMyProfessors.com have earned Anthropology Department lecturer Thomas Douglas the No. 15 ranking in the nation on the website’s 2011-12 Highest Rated University Professors list.

Douglas has been an adjunct anthropology faculty member at CSULB since 1999 and also teaches at UC Irvine.  He earned his B.A. in liberal studies at CSULB in 1994, followed by an M.A. in social sciences in 1998 and Ph.D. in anthropology in 2004, both from UCI.

Douglas said he is honored to receive the recognition.  “Obviously it’s a terrific expression of support from our students.  I think that Cal State Long Beach has many wonderful professors, and I’m a product of those professors myself.  I’m proud to be a representative of what Cal State Long Beach stands for.”

At CSULB, he teaches Anthropology 120, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, where he requires students to interview either an immigrant or a senior citizen and write a five-to-six page paper that has particular impact on students.  He said, “I think that by interviewing an immigrant or a senior citizen, they get exposure to someone’s experiences that they might not have really thought too much about before doing this assignment.”

He also teaches undergraduate and graduate classes including Anthropology 314, Global Ethnography; as well as Foundations of Anthropology; Culture, Power and Politics; Current Trends in Anthropological Theory; The Anthropological Perspective; and Seminar in Ethnology and Social Anthropology.

“We have a lot of great students at Cal State Long Beach from very diverse backgrounds, and I think anthropology is probably something that they really connect to because anthropology teaches a certain amount of respect for different cultural traditions and different ethnic experiences,” Douglas pointed out.  “I think that’s something our students probably identify with—just the idea that we need to respect each other and understand that we have different values and backgrounds.  I think that for some reason, this course touches a part of their life that other courses don’t delve into.  It’s really all the courses, but the 120 and 314 classes especially.”

For his Ph.D. research, Douglas studied religious practices of Cambodian communities in Long Beach and Seattle.  “Many Cambodian immigrants and their families were continuing to practice Buddhism after immigrating to the United States but also going to Christian churches at the same time, which was pretty interesting in that they were practicing both religions and seeing them as being complementary to each other rather than seeing them as a contradiction,” he said.

“I spent some time volunteering at Cambodian community centers in both Long Beach and Seattle, and I also spent time at some Buddhist temples, talking with monks and interviewing people who attended the temples and went to the Cambodian Christian churches, trying to get to know some of the immigrants in the community and trying to understand their perspectives about their religious experiences.”

In earning the recognition, Douglas acknowledged current Anthropology Department Chair Barbara LeMaster and Professors Jayne Howell and George Scott, who were among his CSULB faculty members when he was an undergraduate student.  “If I have become a reasonably ‘successful’ professor, it is largely due to the excellent training I received from Barbara and my other anthro professors at CSULB.”

“It is not a well-kept secret that Tom Douglas is one of our most popular professors here in the CSULB Anthropology Department,” LeMaster said.  “I continually hear from all levels of students how much they appreciate Tom as their professor, even in anthropological theory classes.  The department has him teaching in the Beach Beginnings program, where he has also been very successful with students.  What an honor for Tom and the department.”

To see Douglas’ rating, visit www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=461722

Fall 2012 Issue

CSULB Chemistry Prof Receives NIH Grant to Study Peptides as a Cancer Treatment

Cancer patients dread the hours spent hooked to intravenous lines that send toxic chemotherapy medications like Paclitaxel into their bodies, treating the tumors but also producing problematic side effects.

Now, Katarzyna Slowinska, an associate professor of chemistry at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), is investigating how collagen, a naturally occurring bodily substance, can be manipulated into carrying and releasing cancer drugs directly at or even inside tumor cells.

She received a four-year, $433,500 grant from the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of General Medical Sciences to pursue using short strands of amino acids called peptides to serve as drug nanocarriers.  The grant also supports the work of CSULB graduate students Aparna Shinde and Mona Oumais as well as five undergraduates, Rose Pham, Myungeun Oh, Lien Uong, Steven Tu and Krista Godlasky.

“The project really came to life because we work a lot with collagen and collagen peptides,” Slowinska said.  “We have about six different projects but each of the projects are related to the fact that collagen has this beautiful structure of a triple helix, so it looks like DNA, but instead of having two helices, it has three strands twisted together.  This triple helix gives collagen its properties of a rigid, rod-like character, so it’s strong.  This is why collagen is a main component of scaffolds that support organs and make connective tissues.”

She said that the large size of collagen molecules is difficult to work with, so they use shorter peptides.  “If you look at the dimensions, it’s really a perfect nanoparticle structure because it’s rigid—you cannot bend it—and you can exchange the amino acids, so you can attach anything you like to it.”

Moreover, compared with some other types of nanoparticles, their new peptide is safe because, “it’s part of you—it’s part of the collagen structure.  You’re made of amino acids, so it’s very safe to use it,” she said.

“There were several issues that we had to address to design a drug carrier,” Slowinska continued.  “The first is how do you deliver it?  Normally most of the drugs on the market now are delivered through an intravenous line or you swallow it.  But you may ask yourself, why is the cancer killed but your healthy tissues are not?  The reason is that the tumor grows really fast so the endothelial cells, which line the vascular system, don’t fit together tightly, so they’re leaky.  You have spaces between them so a small particle like our carrier can sneak through.  A small molecule is more efficiently delivered to a tumor rather than to other tissues because of the leaky vasculature.”

Another difficulty is that many cancer drugs don’t dissolve very well, so Slowinska’s team learned to attach molecules of Paclitaxel to their soluble peptide in the hope of increasing the medication’s effectiveness.  Cell membranes also are designed to keep out intruders, so Slowinska and her students used a molecule called polyarginine to help deliver their peptide directly to cell nuclei in order to destroy the cells.  And, “Normally, short peptides have about a 15-minute lifespan in the circulatory system because of enzymatic digestion,” she said, so they discovered that their peptide has the beneficial quality of a long lifespan.

“This is really the beginning of the idea of the platform—how you can stabilize the peptides to use them for many different things.  Paclitaxel is the model for us, but there are many things you can deliver,” she said.

Their method could potentially do away with intravenous delivery by designing the peptides in certain ways that include molecular anchors and enclosing them in a collagen gel.  “You could implant this stabilized collagen into a spot very close to a tumor, so you can also accomplish local delivery without going to a systemic circulation and limit the side effects,” Slowinska explained.

“Our hypothesis—but we haven’t tried it yet—is that our nanocarrier that we designed could be delivered from the collagen in a very controllable manner, which is what we hope for, by changing the length of the anchor.  If that happens, you can control the concentration of the drug so that it’s therapeutic in tumor proximity, but nontoxic on the systemic level.  And, the gel will protect the molecule from digestion.  So, that’s the possibility.”

Additionally, she said, “When you heat collagen, you get gelatin and you cannot go back.  But with a peptide you can—it’s just the temperature that controls the transition, so you can build completely new materials by simply manipulating the temperature. It’s like a puzzle.  You can take it apart and put it back together and change the components.”

They are acquiring seven lines of cancer cells known to be affected by Paclitaxel in order to study the effectiveness of their work.

“This is only one of our projects,” Slowinska said, “but all our research goes around the presence of the collagen triple helix and how we can use it as a biomaterial, not necessarily as nature intended, but how we can learn from biology to use it as a functional material.”

Fall 2012 Issue

Vice Provost Receives Fulbright Award to Travel to Germany for Higher Ed Program

David Dowell, vice provost for planning and budgets at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB), received a Fulbright award to participate in “Do More with Less–Implementing Change in Higher Education Management in Germany” program as part of a delegation of chief financial officers (CFOs) from 15 U.S. higher education institutions.

Led by the Institute of International Education (IIE) and the German-American Fulbright Commission, the CFO delegation planned to compare learn management at American and German universities and identify best practices in both systems.

Dowell and his fellow delegates participated in workshops, expert meetings and panel discussions, and visited a range of German universities in Berlin, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and Hamburg

The study visit introduced the U.S. administrators to the ways that German universities have responded to major financial reform pressures over the last decade and the results they have achieved, and to explore how this might be relevant to the current U.S. situation.

“I can certainly share our challenges of serving students well with declining resources.  I can talk about budget, enrollment management and student success,” said Dowell, he said before the trip.  “I hope to learn more about similarities and differences between U.S. and German university systems, management styles, budgeting practices, and the Euro crisis.”

With escalating financial pressures at U.S. institutions, senior administrators are facing unique challenges that are forcing them to react and restructure to maximize resources.  Public higher education institutions are challenged further by state funding cuts that translate into budget crunches and force them to prioritize their programs.  The study tour addressed these issues by examining financial strategies and efficiencies in the German model.

Questions addressed during the study tour included:

  • How do German university leaders reshape their institutions and shift them from traditional state-government driven “alma maters” to modern, efficient and highly competitive knowledge providers?
  • How do they slim down and professionalize their civil-service-based administration at no extra cost, and with the support of faculty?
  • How do they adjust their higher education contracts with the state governments, secure quality in teaching and research and yield expected outcome-based results in student learning?
  • How does change management affect faculty and students, and how do institutions in a severely underfinanced environment balance reform, lean administration, quality and market pressures?
  • How do they motivate all stakeholders alike to support the process?

The German-American Fulbright Program implements Senator J. William Fulbright’s visionary concept: The promotion of mutual understanding between our two countries through academic and bicultural exchange. The largest and most varied of the Fulbright programs worldwide, the German-American Fulbright Program has sponsored more than 40,000 Germans and Americans since its inception in 1952.

IIE is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 18 offices worldwide and more than 1,000 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations and corporations.

Fall 2012 Issue

Faculty, Students Studying Molecules to Carry Drugs Across Cell Membranes

Cells in humans and animals are resilient in fending off intruders, which is why so many potentially beneficial drug cures are unsuccessful during development because they can’t cross cell membranes of bacteria, viruses or cancers.

Now, Michael P. Schramm, assistant professor of chemistry at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), along with undergraduate students Katie M. Feher and Hai Hoang, recently demonstrated that they could embed a molecule inside a vase-shaped carrier molecule called a cavitand that they created, then successfully insert it into a cell membrane. Their article, “Embedding resorcinarene cavitands in lipid vesicles,” appeared in the New Journal of Chemistry.

“Our goal in this project is to develop a synthetic receptor that could be put into a cell membrane that would selectively transport a molecule of our choosing,” Schramm said. “This is a pretty ambitious project and it’s technically challenging. There already are commercially available pharmaceutically relevant methods to transport drugs—there are special ways you can formulate a drug in terms of types of molecules that you can mix in with a drug to help it penetrate. A lot of people are working on this but we are looking at just a very simple idea of making our own receptor that would transport just the molecules that we want, introducing it to a cell-based assay and transporting our molecules across.”

Their work is funded by a three-year, $433,500 grant from the National Cancer Institute via the National Institute of General Medical Science’s Support of Competitive Research (SCORE) program.

One of the main problems confounding pharmaceutical researchers lies in the fundamental construction of cells, Schramm explained. “Every cell in our body is composed of a bilayer that’s part water loving and part fat [lipid] loving. The lipid part is like mixing oil and water, forming droplets and beads. They assemble in a very specific way so that the oil-like parts stick together and the water-like parts stay together. Lipids make up this layer that keeps the internal contents of the cell separated from the external contents. This lipid layer forms a sphere and there are important things inside and important things outside, but the two are separated.”

There already are natural molecules that cause transport in cells, Schramm continued. “There’s an antibiotic compound in nature that lodges in the cell membrane and only transports potassium ions across a cell membrane. The characteristics of this particular molecule, valinomycin, are very similar to our cavitands. They’re vase-shaped, they hold a small molecule inside and they have a preference for localizing in the cell membrane. We think those are some of the key criteria to develop this type of chemistry to manifest this idea of making a synthetic molecule to transport drugs selectively.”

The SCORE grant funding is aimed at supporting research by students and encouraging them to go into science careers. Study co-author Katie Feher will begin a chemistry Ph.D. at New York University this fall, and other undergraduate and master’s students are carrying on the research. In addition, Schramm has hired post-doctoral research associate to work on the project.

Schramm currently is studying this process using liposomes, which are lab-made sacs, or vesicles, surrounded by a membrane, and eventually will try his cavitand molecules in organism cells. The next step is getting his lab’s cavitands to release the molecules they holds into the interior of cells.

Fall 2012 Issue

CSU Long Beach Archaeologist’s Easter Island Findings in National Geographic

Easter Island (Rapa Nui), located nearly 2,500 miles west of Chile, has long intrigued explorers and scientists because of its enigmatic moai statues.

When was the remote island first inhabited, what did the gigantic stone statues represent and how did ancient islanders move them?

These questions fascinated archaeology professors Carl Lipo of California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) and Terry Hunt of the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.  After 10 years of research, Hunt and Lipo published their investigations of Rapa Nui’s civilization in the book “The Statues That Walked,” which led to the cover story by author Hannah Bloch in an issue of National Geographic magazine and a NOVA/National Geographic television documentary scheduled to air Nov 7.

“Islands are well known as great laboratories for studying how evolution shapes change,” Lipo said. “In the case of Easter Island, we have a really remote place that is completely isolated from the rest of the world.  Once people arrive on the island, they’re subject to the limits of whatever the island has.  Leaving the island to get some missing resources simply isn’t possible when the nearest bit of land is more than 1,500 miles away by open ocean.  Yet, here on Easter Island we have some of the greatest examples of art and ingenuity in the prehistoric world.  This apparent paradox really intrigued me: why would people in this place, of any place in the world, have made and transported nearly 1,000 multi-ton statues?  I just had to go there to figure out why.”

Lipo and Hunt’s views take a decidedly different direction than previous researchers and are generating comment in the archaeology community.  Rapa Nui once contained lush forests and later experienced an ecological and social collapse, but Lipo and Hunt discovered strong evidence that the destruction was largely the result of rats that came aboard Polynesian settlers’ boats rather than from inhabitants overcutting trees. And, over time, contact with Europeans brought disease and mistreatment to natives that exacerbated the island’s downfall.

“What surprises me about the archaeological record of Easter Island is how poorly known it is,” Lipo said.  “Despite more than 100 years of research, much of what we think we know is simply drawn from stories rather than direct observation.  Researchers have been blinded by an account that derives from the earliest European visitors in the 18th century who moralized that prehistoric people must have squandered their resources since the island has large statues but almost no resources.  As it turns out, there really was never much in the way of a bountiful set of resources on the island, yet the Rapanui were able to build these statues.  What this implies is that our sense that the island represents a destroyed environment is incorrect: the island was made in to a productive place by the actions of the Rapanui.”

Another key finding is that island residents likely moved moai statues by a back-and-forth “walking” motion rather than on tree trunk rollers as other scientists proposed.  “Oral traditions recorded as early as the 1880s mention that the prehistoric statues ‘walked,’ but most researchers have assumed that this line of evidence is simply a fanciful story,” Lipo explained.

“My colleague, Sergio Rapu, a native Rapanui—the name for the people who live on Easter Island—had studied statues all his life and convincingly argued that these stories were more than just a fable,” Lipo continued.  “As we surveyed on the island, he pointed out various features of statues that made no sense if one was going to just put them on rollers or a sledge and drag them.  So with Terry Hunt, we began to study the moai carefully and observing how the ones that were scattered across the landscape before they reached the end of their journey were shaped, how they broke and how they fell over.

“What we found is that the statues found in transport along prehistoric roads have features that could only be explained if the statues were standing and being moved before falling over,” he said. “We then became intrigued in understanding the physics of how this could be so.  Our studies of how the statue leaned forward and when rocked back and forth would roll across its front edge to minimize friction led us to create the five-ton replica of a road moai and actually try it out.  To our great amazement, it worked: the statue walked!”

It was a concept that made sense, Lipo noted.  “When we move a refrigerator, we do not lay it down on its back and then push it across the kitchen on wheels. Instead, we rock it back and forth and shuffle it from one side of the kitchen to the other.  In this way, one person can move a giant refrigerator.  The people of Easter Island used this idea but took it to the next level.  Like a refrigerator they rock the statue back and forth, but then also shape the statue so that it takes advantage of the movement.”

Modern island dwellers shared ancestral Rapanui stories with Lipo and Hunt that corroborated this moai transportation idea.  “They even have a word for this kind of motion: neke-neke, which means shuffle forward on your feet in a twisting motion.  Individuals have told us that their grandmothers used to sing a song about the walking moai and do the neke-neke motion.  So for them, it’s an obvious link to their traditional beliefs.”

Lipo said he and Hunt have much more to learn about the Rapanui.  “Their management of the land supported statue construction in a way that was sustainable for more than 500 years. Assumptions about ecological catastrophe are simply unwarranted.  Thus, we need to examine the island’s archaeology in light of this understanding and to look directly at the record to understand how they were able to achieve what they did.  This will take a lot of additional field work.”

Fall 2012 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Professor Named 2012 Geological Society of America Fellow

Richard J. Behl, professor of geological sciences at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), became the second CSULB faculty member to be named a Fellow of the Geological Society of America (GSA), joining Professor Stanley C. Finney, a 2011 Fellow.

Behl will be recognized at the GSA’s annual meeting in November in Charlotte, N.C. Members are nominated by existing GSA Fellows in recognition of distinguished contributions to the geosciences through accomplishments such as publications, research, teaching, contributing to public awareness of geology, or leadership of geological programs or organizations.

Behl earned a B.A. in chemistry with a specialization in earth sciences at UC San Diego, a Ph.D. in earth sciences from UC Santa Cruz and did postdoctoral studies at UC Santa Barbara. He was a wellsite geologist for several firms in the geothermal and petroleum industries before starting his post-graduate education and embarking on his academic career at CSULB in 1995.

His specialties are marine sedimentology, stratigraphy and paleoceanography, including the role of methane in climate change and the geologic history of the California margin as well as its relationship to petroleum formations. He is a past president of the Pacific Section of the Society for Sedimentary Geology and is active in the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, whose Pacific Section presented him with its 2010 Distinguished Educator Award. Behl was selected to be a Distinguished Lecturer of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists for 2004-05, for whom he gave 20 invited lectures on his research throughout the United States and Canada.

At CSULB, he is a founding member of the Institute for Integrated Research in Materials, Environments and Society, a state-of-the-art lab for science and liberal arts research. He also founded and directs the Monterey and Related Sediments (MARS) Project, currently supported by eight corporate funders. The Monterey Formations played a key role in past climate change and are the major source and an important reservoir of petroleum in California.

Behl has been an originator and faculty leader of CSULB’s Geoscience Diversity Enhancement Program (GDEP), a National Science Foundation-funded program to encourage high school students to study geosciences. He received CSULB’s Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award in 2004.

 

Fall 2012 Issue

CSULB Media Group Wins National Award for Documentary on the Panama Canal

Dave Kelly, director of Advanced Media Production (AMP) at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), and his staff have won a second accolade recognizing their work for the production of the documentary titled “Panama Canal Expansion: The Battle for Jobs and Cargo.”

Kelly is receiving a 2012 Hometown Media Award on his staff’s behalf from the Alliance for Community Media (ACM).

ACM is a national organization of community, educational and governmental TV producers.  Its Hometown Media Awards honor and promote community media and local cable programs distributed on public, educational and governmental access cable television channels.  National awards are presented to creative programs that address community needs, develop diverse community involvement, challenge conventional commercial television formats and move viewers to experience television in a different way.

Eligibility requirements for the “Panama Canal Expansion” documentary were met by having it air on Beach TV, the CSULB 24/7 local cable channel.

Kelly and his crew were previously honored for their work on the documentary with an ACM-sponsored regional Western Access Video Excellence Award in October.

“As a documentary filmmaker, it’s always gratifying to me to be able to use the tools of filmmaking to tell a story in a way that is concise, clear and also historically relevant, and that’s what this was,” said Kelly.  “It’s also a story that people are always fascinated by.  If you mention the Panama Canal to anybody, their ears perk up and there’s a romantic, idealistic aspect of that—the whole adventure of going down to Panama and digging that canal and connecting the world from east to west and having the waters of the Atlantic and the Pacific come together.”

A historically-based piece, the 19-minute “Panama Canal Expansion” film also focuses on the canal’s current construction efforts and the potential impact the culmination of those efforts will have on global trade and shipping routes.

The film presents a historical chronology of the quest to find a central waterway connecting the eastern and western hemispheres, resulting in the canal opening at the beginning of World War I.  In recent years the Panamanian people voted to fund the expansion of the canal, allowing a third set of locks to be constructed.  The new locks will more than double the size of ships and the number of containers which can pass through the channel and construction is scheduled to be completed in 2014, exactly 100 years after the Panama Canal initially opened.

Kelly said his sincere interest in the Panama Canal made working on the documentary a labor of love, not just for him, but his crew as well.

“The Panama Canal is interesting,” said Kelly. “I wanted to know more about it and I pursued it in terms of research, and our team here at AMP did the best we could because we enjoy the work and the subject matter, and that was reflected in the award we won.  The awards are a pat on the back that occur after the fact.  I work on projects like this because I find them fascinating and I have an intellectual curiosity about a lot of things, and when I find out about something like this I always have a desire to learn more about it.”

Along with Kelly, who was the documentary’s writer, producer and narrator, AMP’s Dave Ohl served as the video photographer, post-production editor and graphics effects animator while Craig Walker conducted field recording and image digitization.

The documentary was initially prepared for and presented at CSULB’s Center for International Trade and Transportation Point/Counterpoint event at the Carpenter Center in October 2010.  The event included a discussion by experts in global trade and logistics about the impact of Panama Canal expansion.  The film helped frame the issues for the discussion that followed.  Ultimately, the documentary is not just about the Panama Canal; it’s also about the various trade routes in development now across the world.  Audiences have responded positively to how the program pulled together all the related concerns.

“What makes me most proud of this documentary is the fact that we were able to take a large historic event, which is the creation of the original Panama Canal, and expand the history of that into the current day, including the efforts to reinvigorate the canal and the impact that will have on everybody who is involved in world trade,” said Kelly.  “We were able to take 100 years of history of world trade and the fascinating history of the canal itself and distill it into a way that people could relate to it and understand it, and put the whole picture in context.”

Fall 2012 Issue

CSULB Professor Gets Lifetime Award for Contributions to Central American Studies

Norma Stoltz Chinchilla, professor and co-chair of the Sociology Department at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB), has received a Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to Central American studies by the Lozano-Long Institute for Latin American Studies (LLILAS) and the Center for Mexican American Studies (MAS) at the University of Texas at Austin.

Chinchilla was recognized at the 2012 Lozano-Long Conference under the theme “Central Americans and the Latino/a Landscape: New Configurations of Latino/a Studies.”

Associate Director of LLILAS Arturo Arias presented Chinchilla with the honor in recognition of her 2001 award-winning book “Seeking Community in a Global City: Guatemalans and Salvadorans in Los Angeles” and her co-founding of the Guatemala Information Center, a human rights group that provided refuge to Guatemalans in the early 1980s.

Arias emphasized Chinchilla’s combination of scholarship and activism in relation to Central America.

“I don’t usually care to be singled out but it is nice to be appreciated,” said Chinchilla, a member of the university since 1983 and co-director of Latin American Studies.  “When you work hard at many different tasks, you often feel invisible.  The award came as a complete surprise.  I would say it was a speechless moment, but I’m never speechless.”

LLILAS and the Center for Mexican American Studies Center at the University of Texas are interdisciplinary units that integrate more than 30 academic departments across the university.

“The Lozano-Long Institute is one of the leading Latin American studies institutes in the United States, and MAS is a very important center in the field of Mexican-American Studies,” she explained. “The institute and the center at the University of Texas-Austin came together for the first time at this conference. This is pretty historic.”

Chinchilla first went to Guatemala as a Fulbright Fellow in 1965 and became involved in various groups advocating for human rights and an end to dictatorships in Central America.  She was part of an observer delegation for elections in Nicaragua in the 1990s and has served as a consultant to various women’s groups in Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador.

She serves as an expert witness in U.S. immigration cases of Guatemalans.  She is the author of “Our Utopias: Guatemalan Women of the 20th Century” in 2002, and co-author (with Lorena Carrillo) of “From Urban Elite to Peasant Organizing: Agendas, Accomplishments, and Challenges of 30-plus Years of Guatemalan Feminism” in 2010.

Chinchilla feels she was singled out for the award because of her career’s balance of scholarship and activism.  “Scholarship and activism nourish each other, and I have tried to balance them both since I first started,” she said.  “It hasn’t been easy because each makes demands.  But for me, they nurture each other.  My research is influenced by my activism, and my activism is influenced by my research.”

A good example of this mutual influence is the book Chinchilla authored with Nora Hamilton in 2001, “Seeking Community in a Global City: Guatemalans and Salvadorans in Los Angeles,” now regarded as a “foundational text” in the field of Central American studies.  The book won the 2002 Best Book Award in Race/Ethnicity and Globalization for the Race, Ethnicity and Politics section of the American Political Science Association.

When she was first approached by a publisher at a conference to write the book, she thought the idea would never sell.  She was asked about the book’s potential readership, and Chinchilla couldn’t think of an answer.  “Well, we can’t publish a book for just a few hundred people,” said the publisher.  But teachers and social workers urged them to write it and, when it was complete, Chinchilla remembers CSULB students from Central America recognizing their parents in the text.  “They told us their parents didn’t always tell them what had happened to them but they always wanted to understand,” she said.  “That got to our hearts.”

Chinchilla never dreamed of the book’s eventual impact.  “We didn’t think it would be such a big deal,” she recalled.  “Well, it was a big deal.  In fact, I’m glad I didn’t know how hard it would be to write.  It’s a good thing when authors don’t know how difficult it will be to write a particular text.”

Chinchilla also pointed with pride to the Guatemalan Information Center founded in 1982 and disbanded in 1990.  “At the time, it was the only L.A.-based organization that explored what was happening in Guatemalan politics,” she recalled.  “It offered support to the Guatemalans who were coming.  We hosted cultural and educational events as well as worked with the sanctuary movement organized by churches.  We helped to change U.S. foreign policy eventually.”

Fall 2012 Issue

CSULB Faculty Member Gets Douglas Legacy of Vision Award at LA Mission Event

Betty McMicken, an associate professor in the Communicative Disorders Department at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), received the Anne Douglas Legacy of Vision Award at the Los Angeles Mission’s 76th Gala.

The focus of the gala was to honor Douglas, who 20 years ago opened the Anne Douglas Center (ADC) for women at the Los Angeles Mission.

The Anne Douglas Legacy of Vision Award honors an outstanding volunteer who is actively involved in giving back to the community.  Douglas received the inaugural award, named for her, at the L.A. Mission’s 75th anniversary celebration in 2011.

The award was presented to McMicken by Anne Douglas and her husband, Kirk Douglas, the legendary actor who suffered a stroke in 1996.  McMicken became his speech therapist in 2007 and soon there after became heavily involved with the L.A. Mission and more specifically the ADC.

“This award is for outstanding volunteer service to the community; in this case the community served by the Anne Douglas Center,” said McMicken. “This award is a testament to my following in Anne Douglas’ footsteps and finding a way to help the homeless through my professional skills and philanthropy.  On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Anne Douglas Center, I am so proud to inherit Anne’s Legacy of Vision Award.  I consider it her bequest of foresight, her heirloom of heritage, and it will be treasured as such.”

McMicken was chosen, in part, because of her tireless efforts at the ADC since she first became involved five years ago, when she was introduced to the plight of homeless men and women, the lifelong struggles they have encountered, and their needs which the Los Angeles Mission and the ADC so capably address.

“It was unanimously decided who would receive this award,” wrote Herb Smith, executive director of the L.A. Mission in a letter to McMicken.  “You were clearly the first choice of the mission and the Douglas family.  Mrs. Douglas kindly refers to you as her angel.  I personally value your insight on our services and your understanding of the clientele we serve.

“You are a most deserving recipient of this award,” he added.  “Not only do you show up and engage with the ladies of the Anne Douglas Center, but you have brought countless volunteers, students, and other professionals to support our ladies.  In addition to your time and talent, you have also given generously from your own resources to support the Los Angeles Mission and Anne Douglas Center.”

McMicken noted that the awards ceremony took place just three blocks from Berkeley Hall School, where she received her education from nursery school through ninth grade and credits it for giving her a strong spiritual and humanitarian foundation.

“That’s where I received my foundation in altruism, in reaching out to those less fortunate than me,” she said.  “Now I am receiving this Legacy of Vision Award and it’s so characteristic of everything that I learned in my foundation, everything that was taught to me day after day at Berkeley Hall.  That education guided me into a profession where I am able to help other people and it made me aware of the plight of people less advantaged.  Reaching out as a volunteer from that basis has been the most natural thing in the world for me.  I’m definitely in the right profession.”

At the ADC, McMicken initiated services not previously available, such as speech pathology, as well as cognitive and communication disorder assessment and treatment.  Also, she has been instrumental in having rehabilitation services recognized and brought in to the L.A. Mission to where the facility now has a volunteer occupational therapist, physical therapist and a speech pathologist.  Clinical psychology services will also begin this month.

“The mission and all of its services are free, supported only by donations,” said McMicken.  “Lots of people with goodness in their heart volunteer.”

And, because of her professional skills and extensive experience over four decades, McMicken has brought even more to the center.

“I have expanded my services into assistance with case management because I have the background in medical assessment and am able to recognize brain-based problems,” she said.  “Sometimes it’s subtle, but many times they are overt dysfunctions that are medically and/or pharmacology related in the homeless population, so I am able to then make referrals.  I think that’s where I’ve been particularly instrumental in ensuring individuals obtain services they probably would not have received otherwise, such as identifying problems that are associated with brain injury or delayed language.  This was not available in the past.

“I was surprised because the caseload I see in hospitals in rehabilitation have many of the same problems as some of the homeless individuals at the mission,” she added.  “I did not realize that there were so many people with cognitive and communication disorders among the homeless, but of course it makes perfect sense because it’s something that keeps them in that position, a lifelong disability.  Being able to identify it, understand it and help with guidance has been a wonderful, purposeful way to spend my time.”

Additionally, McMicken helped to begin the eBay project of the ADC as a cooperative effort between a friend of Anne Douglas and her assistance in donating unsold clothing from her Suzy’s Repeat Boutique in Rancho Mirage.

“I literally have driven to Rancho Mirage every month for the past four years, loaded the bed of my truck with unsold designer clothing, and brought it to the Anne Douglas Center to be sorted and sold through our eBay site,” said McMicken.  “This project is staffed by graduates of the Anne Douglas Center who have carefully been taught a new business skill.  The money raised goes toward supporting our programs.”  The donors of the clothing receive tax deductible receipts from the center.

She has also contributed monetarily, dedicating a portion of her income specifically to the ADC. Among other things, her donations have been used to remodel and refurbish the center’s shower area, redo the public address system, purchase new dining room and patio furniture and with the help of her friends at Center Theater Group has sent groups of 20 women from the Anne Douglas Center to the Ahmanson Theatre four times to see plays.

“I do what I can,” she said.  “My ‘tithing’ is for the Anne Douglas Center, so I put aside a certain percent of my income every year and do what needs to be done.  It has given me a phenomenal sense of purpose.  It’s hard for me to explain because I go down there and I feel energized and right at home.  I understand the men and women in rehabilitation, not only the history of addiction, but their struggles and their needs.”

 

Fall 2012 Issue

U.S.News & World Report Ranks CSULB 4th Public University Best in West

For the fifth consecutive year, U.S.News & World Report has ranked California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) the fourth best public regional university in the western United States in its annual edition of “America’s Best Colleges Guide.”

Additionally, the Long Beach campus was recognized in the 2013 guide for having among the lowest debt loads for its graduating students and one of the top undergraduate engineering programs.

“It is always gratifying for our university to be ranked among the best in the country,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander.  “It’s also increasingly important in today’s fiscal environment to be ranked among the best universities in keeping our students out of debt.”

Overall, CSULB ranked 28th among all colleges and universities (private and public) in the western United States, a region made up of 13 states from Texas to California to Washington and includes Alaska and Hawaii.  Among just public institutions, however, it came in fourth again behind Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and Western Washington University.

In the “Least Debt” category, CSULB ranked second lowest among regional universities in the west with 42 percent of its graduates leaving the campus with an average debt of $12,401.  The campus’ average debt load ($12,401) was the 13th lowest in the nation among all regional colleges and universities, and its percentage of graduates with debt (42 percent) was seventh lowest among all regional colleges and universities nationally.

Finally, CSULB was listed as having one of the best undergraduate engineering programs (engineering schools whose highest degree is a bachelor’s or master’s) in the country.  Based on a survey of engineering deans and senior faculty at all accredited programs, the rankings listed CSULB tied at No. 44 with several other U.S. undergraduate programs.

CSULB’s up-to-date U.S.News ranking comes on the heels of recent rankings from other publications, including a “Best in the West” designation from The Princeton Review and a No. 9 national ranking in conferring bachelor’s degrees to minority students by Diverse Issues in Higher Education.

The 2013 “Best Colleges” package provides a thorough examination of how nearly 1,400 accredited four-year schools compare on a set of up to 16 widely accepted indicators of excellence.  Indicators used to capture academic quality fall into a number of categories, including assessment by administrators at peer institutions, graduation and retention rates of students, faculty resources, student selectivity and alumni giving.

The indicators include input measures that reflect a school’s student body, its faculty, and its financial resources, along with outcome measures that signal how well the institution does its job of educating students.

The exclusive rankings are available at www.usnews.com/colleges.

Fall 2012 Issue

Victory Media Names Cal State Long Beach to ‘Military Friendly Schools’ List

Victory Media, the premier media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life, has named California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) to its coveted Military Friendly Schools list.  This is the third straight year CSULB has received the designation.

The 2013 Military Friendly Schools list honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus.

“Inclusion on the 2013 list of Military Friendly Schools ® shows Cal State Long Beach’s commitment to providing a supportive environment for military students,” said Sean Collins, director for G.I. Jobs and vice president at Victory Media.  “As interest in education grows, we’re thrilled to provide the military community with transparent, world-class resources to assist in their search for schools.”

The Military Friendly Schools website features the list, interactive tools and search functionality to help military students find the best school to suit their unique needs and preferences.  The 1,739 colleges, universities and trade schools on this year’s list exhibit leading practices in the recruitment and retention of students with military experience

Schools on the list range from state universities and private colleges to community colleges and trade schools.  The common bond is their shared priority of recruiting students with military experience.

“We are honored to serve our nation’s veterans and military students at Cal State Long Beach.  Their presence here adds diversity, maturity, and a global perspective to our classrooms and campus life,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander.  “As our veterans and military personnel look into pursuing their educational goals, we encourage them to consider CSULB, and we look forward to serving them just as they have served our nation, with total commitment.”

Now in its fourth year, the 2013 list of Military Friendly Schools was compiled through extensive research and a data-driven survey of more than 12,000 Veterans Affairs-approved schools nationwide.  The survey tabulation process, methodology and weightings that comprise the 2013 list were independently verified by Ernst and Young LLP.

Each year schools taking the survey are held to a higher standard than the previous year via improved methodology, criteria and weightings developed with the assistance of an academic advisory board consisting of educators from schools across the country.

A full story and detailed list of 2013 Military Friendly Schools is highlighted in the annual G.I. Jobs “Guide to Military Friendly Schools,” distributed in print and digital format to hundreds of thousands of active and former military personnel in early October.  The guide and associated media will also be featured at the Carrier Classic college basketball game on Nov. 9 between Ohio State and Marquette on the deck of the USS Yorktown.  Both participating schools are on this year’s list of Military Friendly Schools.

Fall 2012 Issue

Molina Healthcare, CSULB Launch New Internship to Help with Career Choice

In a move that further strengthens its connection to the community, Molina Healthcare launched a new internship program with California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) this summer called the Professional Development Program (PDP).

The new program is just one of many public-private partnerships under way at the healthcare company.  The students began their internships in June, and Molina Healthcare officials say many of them will stay with the company through December and beyond.

“We are excited about the PDP program because it gives our students the opportunity to work in one of the few business segments of the economy that is growing—healthcare,” said Michael Solt, CSULB’s dean for the College of Business Administration.  “Plus Molina Healthcare has been an integral partner of Long Beach businesses for over 30 years.”

The first CSULB students (and their majors) to take part in the internship program include: Amy Anderson (bachelor’s in health care administration); Arjun D. Indrodia (bachelor’s in health care administration—finance option); Roy Kassem (bachelor’s in healthcare administration); Stephanie R. Klein (bachelor’s in business administration—general marketing option); Kimberly Pearson (bachelor’s in business administration—finance,  management and supply chain management option); and John Marshall Senkarik (master’s in business administration—finance option).

While Molina has hired interns before, the PDP has identified and is preparing talent for key positions at Molina through experiential learning, formal training and aggressive performance management.

During the internship, Molina executives are coaching and mentoring participants as they take on six different roles in the areas of finance and accounting, human resources, information technology, marketing, project management and business development.  These positions allow participants to experience a variety of challenging assignments and make meaningful contributions to Molina’s business before they settle into a long-term career choice.

Ken Millar, dean of CSULB’s College of Health and Human Services, said, “These are exciting times for new health care administrators because the demand within the profession is expected to grow in a dynamic and ever-changing health care industry.  Our interns will have the capacity to critically examine and evaluate issues and trends that will influence the destiny of the health care system in the city of Long Beach and beyond.”

“From our recent acquisition of the Molina Center (former Arco Tower) to our Partnership for Healthy Living with CSULB and the Boys and Girls Club of Long Beach, Molina is an integral part of the Long Beach business landscape,” said J. Mario Molina, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Molina Healthcare Inc. “In addition to our health care mission, we believe in giving back to the community and that means being a good business partner especially with public institutions.”

Molina Healthcare Molina Healthcare Inc. (NYSE: MOH) is a Fortune 500 company that provides quality and cost-effective Medicaid-related solutions to meet the health care needs of low-income families and individuals and to assist state agencies in their administration of the Medicaid program.  Its licensed health plans in California, Florida, Michigan, Missouri (through June 30, 2012), New Mexico, Ohio, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin currently serve more than 1.8 million members, and its subsidiary, Molina Medicaid Solutions, provides business processing and information technology administrative services to Medicaid agencies in Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, New Jersey, and West Virginia, and drug rebate administration services in Florida.  More information about Molina Healthcare is available at www.molinahealthcare.com.

Fall 2012 Issue

DENSO Funds Top Plasma Cutting System for College of Engineering at CSULB

The DENSO North American Foundation has funded a computer-supported plasma cutting system valued at nearly $50,000 for a laboratory to support research and teaching in the College of Engineering at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB).

Befor, in order to produce intricate parts, faculty and students used a combination of processes for cutting metal including a saw, lathe and drilling machine, depending on the design complexity of the project. This new device, a computer-supported plasma cutting system, can reduce the cutting activity tenfold.

Plasma technology is employed for the shape cutting of steel and other metals of different thickness using a plasma torch.  The computer-controlled plasma torch can usually cut up to six-inch thick steel plates in curved or angled shapes in a cost-efficint and precise manner.

Although the primary purpose is to enhance the training of aspiring automotive industry professionals, all students and faculty in the college will benefit from this new resource.

“DENSO has been an important partner in many of the new initiatives in the CSULB College of Engineering with significant impact on student success,” said Forouzan Golshani, dean of the CSULB College of Engineering. “Their greatest impact can be seen in the areas of design, manufacturing and testing, where their continued support over the past five years has resulted in the creation of a state of the art laboratory with most modern equipment. We value DENSO’s involvement in improving our educational programs and the foundation’s generous financial contributions.”

This is the latest of several grants DENSO has provided to the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Last year, the department received a $50,000 grant from the DENSO North American Foundation to acquire Object 30, a multi-functional and multi-material desktop 3-D printer. The laboratory addition allows students and faculty to actually print out objects rather than just pictures on paper.

Like the new plasma technology, the 3-D printer allows students to have hands-on experience on equipment they will be using in their professional careers, and this particular technology is rare on university campuses. It greatly facilitates highly specialized training and research in the quickly expanding field of additive-manufacturing, the current state-of-the-art design and manufacturing technology.

The DENSO North America Foundation was established in January 2001 to support the advancement of higher education in science, math, engineering and related business programs through grant-making to colleges and universities throughout North America. A priority is given to programs that demonstrate technological innovation and advance automotive engineering.

DENSO Corporation, headquartered in Kariya, Aichi prefecture, Japan, is a leading global automotive supplier of advanced technology, systems and components in the areas of thermal, powertrain control, electric, electronics and information and safety. Its customers include all the world’s major carmakers.  Consolidated global sales for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012, totaled US$38.4 billion. In North America, DENSO employs more than 14,000 people with consolidated sales totaling US$6.2 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012.

Fall 2012 Issue

Coca-Cola Foundation Awards Cal State Long Beach $500,000

The Coca-Cola Foundation has awarded California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) a $500,000 grant for a new Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarships program.  Twenty-five students will receive the four-year scholarships beginning with cohorts in each of the next four years.

The first cohort of recipients began studies at CSULB this fall.

Candidates must be first-generation college students with no parent or sibling having ever attended college; have attained at least a 3.0 grade point average; maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average at CSULB; demonstrate financial need and be a citizen of the United States and a California resident.

“It has always been a central part of our mission to serve underrepresented and first-generation students,” said F. King Alexander, president of Cal State Long Beach.  “We appreciate the Coca-Cola Foundation’s generosity and vision in providing bright, young minds with important financial assistance to help them receive the quality education they deserve.  An investment in higher education is an investment in the economic growth and well-being of our state and our country.”

The Coca-Cola Foundation—the global philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Co.—awarded $26 million in grants to 85 community organizations during the first quarter of the year.  The grants support the foundation’s global priority areas including: $9.7 million for water stewardship; $3.6 million for fitness and nutrition; $7.4 million for education (including $5 million for first generation college scholarships); and $4.9 million for community recycling and other local priorities such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, youth development and civic initiatives.  The foundation awarded more than $70 million to 263 community organizations around the world in 2011.

“We measure the success of our commitments by the impact these grants will have in people’s lives, in their neighborhoods and in their communities all over the world,” said Ingrid Saunders Jones, chairperson of the Coca-Cola Foundation.  “Seeing the tangible results of partnership and innovation inspires our continued investment to help build sustainable communities around the world.”

Fall 2012 Issue

49ers Reach NCAA Tournament’s Second Round

When Dan Monson became the Long Beach State men’s basketball head coach five years ago, the program was in a state of flux. Well, he certainly changed that, and success has definitely followed

Although Long Beach State’s men’s basketball 2011-12 season came to an abrupt halt in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Portland, Ore., there were plenty of highlights throughout the year to look back on with pride. With a 25-9 overall record, the 49ers completed their first back-to-back 20-win seasons in nearly 40 years, having gone 22-12 the previous year. They also earned an automatic NCAA postseason bid, going to the tournament for the first time since 2007 and just the ninth time in the program’s history.

Playing what was considered the most difficult non-conference schedule in the country proved to be beneficial for Long Beach, as it breezed through Big West Conference (BWC) play with a 15-1 record and followed that up by capturing the conference postseason tournament.

Highlights of the season were wins at Pittsburgh and Xavier, as well as strong showings at perennial powerhouses Louisville, Kansas and North Carolina—all ranked teams at the time. Overall, the 49ers played eight games against teams who made the NCAA tournament field. Long Beach State also had a 12-game mid-season winning streak, and when the 2012-13 season begins, it will be riding a 22-game home winning streak, a total that includes 15 straight against BWC opponents.

Individual honors were many. Senior guard Casper Ware was named the CollegeInsider.com Mid Major Most Valuable Player, an Associated Press All-America honorable mention, a first-team All-District 9 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and among the 11 final Bob Cousy Award nominees for collegiate point guard of the year. Ware also was named the Big West Conference Player of the Year for the second consecutive season and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Player of the Year. The 49er guard finished his 49er career as the all-time leader in assists, tied in all-time steals with senior forward Larry Anderson, and ranked seventh all-time in the Big West in assists. Ware led Long Beach State in scoring (17.4 ppg), assists (114) and 3-pointers made (94) during the season, the second most in school history.

Anderson claimed second-team NABC district honors after being named first-team Big West for the third time in four seasons, averaging 13.7 points and 4.9 rebounds. He tied with Ware for the all time lead in steals at LBSU, a statistic that no doubt helped him in being named the BWC’s Defensive Player of the Year.

Senior forward T. J. Robinson, aka Mr. Double-Double for reaching double digit point and rebound totals in the same game, earned second-team NABC district recognition after also being named first-team all-Big West. He finished the season with 17 double-doubles to run his career total to 55, averaging a double-double for the third straight year as he finished the season averaging 12.0 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. He ranked 11th nationally in double-doubles and 17th in rebounding.

Also, Robinson set the BWC and Long Beach State record for career rebounds with 1,208 boards, and his 347 rebounds this season ranks second all-time on the single season list at Long Beach. In addition, he finished his campus career fourth in field goals made and free throws made and fifth in scoring.

Monson captured Big West Coach of the Year accolades for the second straight season and was also named one of 24 All-District coaches by the NABC—his second consecutive year as recipient of the District 9 honor. Long Beach is the third university—following Gonzaga and Minnesota—that he’s guided to the NCAA Tournament.

For a link to the Long Beach State Basketball 2011-12 Highlight Video on YouTube, see this article online at www.csulb.edu/beachreview.

Spring 2012 Issue

Women’s Volleyball Wins Big West, 25th NCAA Tournament Berth

The women’s volleyball team clinched its 12th Big West Conference Championship in November, earning Long Beach State its 25th consecutive entrance into the NCAA Volleyball Championship by beating University of the Pacific. The 49ers joined Penn State, Stanford, and Nebraska as the only programs with that distinction.

The 49ers fell to the University of San Diego in the first round, but the strength of their showing led to post-season honors.

The American Volleyball Coaches Association named Caitlin Ledoux and Haleigh Hampton to its Honorable Mention All-America team. Ledoux was selected as an All-American for the third time, while Hampton led the 49ers with 330 kills and ranked third in the nation in blocking.

Long Beach State is highly regarded in volleyball circles, led by American Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame honoree Brian Gimmillaro, who led his 28th season in the fall, having guided the school to three of its five national championships.

Spring 2012 Issue

Women’s Soccer Makes NCAA Tournament Elite Eight

Women’s soccer had a banner 2011 season, winning the Big West Tournament and making it to the Elite Eight round in the NCAA championships where they lost to No. 3 Duke.

The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) selected Shawna Gordon, Nadia Link and Alex Balcer to the 2011 NCAA Women’s Division I All-West Region Team. Gordon and Link both earned first-team honors, while Balcer was a second-team selection.

Link also was named to the NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Women’s Division I All-America Team, while Balcer was selected for the NSCAA Women’s College Scholar All-America Team.

Spring 2012 Issue

LBSU Point Guard Named CollegeInsider.com’s Mid-Major MVP

Long Beach State (LBSU) men’s basketball player Casper Ware was named the 2012 CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Most Valuable Player.

The senior point guard has received a number of postseason honors since leading the 49ers to the Big West Conference championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. He was named an honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press while being selected as both the Big West Conference and U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) District IX Player of the Year.

Ware was also named first-team All-Big West Conference, first-team USBWA District IX, first-team District 9 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), while earning a spot on the 2012 Lou Henson (Mid-Major) All-America Team.

Ware led Long Beach State in scoring (17.4 ppg), assists (114) and 3-point field goals made (94). He finished third in the Big West Conference in scoring while also ranking first in 3-point field goals made (2.8 per game), fifth in steals (1.4 per game), assists (3.4 per game) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4), and eighth in free throw percentage.

Ware and two teammates—Larry Anderson and T.J. Robinson—took part in the 59th annual Portsmouth Invitational Tournament from April 11-14, in Portsmouth, Va.

The tournament featured the top 64 senior men’s basketball players in the country participating in a four-day, 12-game tournament in front of representatives from every National Basketball Association team.   In addition, scouts from numerous international leagues were also in attendance to evaluate the players.

Robinson finished his career as both the Big West Conference’s and LBSU’s all-time leading rebounder with 1,208 boards.  He also ranks fourth all-time at LBSU in field goals made (652), field goal percentage (52.8 percent) and free throws made (405) while finishing his career fifth all-time in scoring (1,718 points).

Anderson wrapped up his career as the 49ers’ all-time leader in steals with 206.  He also ranks third in free throws made (406), sixth in scoring (1,538 points), seventh in assists (362), eighth in rebounding (591), and ninth in field goals made (522) and field goal percentage (49.6 percent).

At the tournament, Ware played for Team Sales System Ltd., Robinson played for team Mike Duman and Anderson played with Team Cherry, Bekaert and Holland.

Spring 2012 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Paintball Team Wins National Championship

Sometimes, the third time is a charm.

For California State University, Long Beach’s (CSULB) club paintball team, it was certainly true as it captured the 2012 National Collegiate Paintball Association (NCPA) Class A Division Championship at the Central Florida Paintball facility in Lakeland, Fla., following back-to-back years of finishing second.

CSULB defeated the University of Nebraska at Omaha in the championship game by a score of 8-4. In its preliminary games on Friday, April 13, the 49ers defeated Ohio, 9-1, Connecticut, 6-5, and West Point, 7-3.  On Saturday, April 14, CSULB faced and defeated Ohio again, 8-2, and Maryland, 8-2, to move into the semifinals, where it defeated Liberty, 8-5, to advance into the title game.

“I think winning the championship was a realistic goal for our team from the very beginning of the season,” said Erik Muto, one of the players, who also serves as team president.  “Every year our club has become more and more legitimate, and this year we worked really hard having 6 a.m. workouts twice a week to get our players physically conditioned.  We had a lot of club meetings and practiced way more than we had before, which made us more cohesive as a group.  So, we knew going into the tournament that we definitely were going to win this.”

Just completing its fifth year in existence, CSULB’s paintball squad became the first West Coast school to ever win the national title, and with all but two players eligible to return next season, CSULB should be a clear favorite to repeat in 2013.  In 2008, the club’s inaugural season, it won the 2008 NCPA Class AA Division title.

“Nebraska was considered a powerhouse because four out of its five players play professional paintball together and they were just smashing teams all weekend,” said Muto, a senior business economics major from Alta Loma, who also serves as pit captain, the person who makes sure players are equipped properly during the game as well as working on strategy.

“Other teams seemed to be scared of them, but we didn’t really worry about it because we knew they were beatable.  We knew if we played our game, we’d be all right.  We just watched what they were doing; we picked up on some tendencies of theirs that they were making a lot of mistakes on, and we just went in with a game plan to try to capitalize on them, and we did.”

Three standouts led the team throughout the weekend—senior, nutrition major Corey Borenstein from Santa Rosa; senior kinesiology major Chris Tregarthen from Redondo Beach and senior civil engineering major Brian Moy from Yorba Linda.  Tregarthen had a particularly interesting tournament, breaking his trigger hand on the first day, but continued to play after being cared for by the tournament medical staff, who wrapped and put a brace on it.

“The last two years we went to nationals, everybody hated us simply because we were from the West Coast,” said Muto.  “They would do anything to make sure we didn’t win.  And this year everyone loved us because we had made a lot of friends.  In the final game people were chanting, ‘Long Beach, Long Beach.’  It was really awesome; it was as a good feeling.”

CSULB was coached in the tournament by paintball alumnus John Millman, who now plays the sport professionally and is the individual responsible for starting the program on campus.

“We’ve come a long way since John began the program,” said Muto.  “I honestly just want people to know that we’re here, that there is a paintball team at Cal State Long Beach.  We’re a legitimate program; we put a lot of time and effort into this and we just want to get recognized.  We all love it and enjoy it and all we really want to do is grow the sport.”

Spring 2012 Issue

Women’s Sand Volleyball Team Plays in 1st National Championship

The Long Beach State (LBSU) sand volleyball team competed in the first-ever collegiate national championship in the sport in Gulf Shores, Ala.  The event is hosted by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA).

The 49ers faced Pepperdine University, Florida State, and the College of Charleston to determine the first national champion in sand volleyball, which is in its first season as an NCAA sport.

Fifteen schools participated in the very first season of sand volleyball, which concluded with this tournament, featuring four schools for the team championship and 16 two-player teams for the pairs title.

Two schools—Florida State and the College of Charleston—were selected from the South while one school—Pepperdine—was selected from the West.  LBSU earned the at-large bid to the national championship in part on the strength of its 3-2 win over USC.

The team national championship operates in the same structure as the regular season, except the four teams will participate in duals in a double-elimination format.  The 49ers began play on Saturday against Florida State as the Seminoles were seeded second while LBSU was seeded third. Undefeated Pepperdine was the top seed, and the College of Charleston is the fourth seed.

The 49ers also had two pairs teams participating in the pairs championship.  Caitlin Ledoux and Tara Roenicke was among the favorites to take the pairs title.  Teammates Haleigh Hampton and Libby Fontanilla were also among the 16 teams picked to play for the tandem title.  Eight pairs from the teams participating in the team championship were selected, and eight wild card pairs were chosen from teams not invited to Gulf Shores for the team event.

The tournament began with pool play in the pairs competiton.  Hampton and Fontanilla were placed in pool one, competing against Aurora Newgard and Brittney Tiegs of Florida State, Jane Croson and Ashley Lee of Hawai’i, and Emily Shelton and Kelly Kolich of the College of Charleston.  Meanwhile, Ledoux and Roenicke were in pool three, matched with Lilia Frederick and Kim Hill of Pepperdine, Elyse Chubb and Lizzie Theesfeld of the College of Charleston, and Julie Bassett and Kaley Melville of Stetson.

CBS Sports Network televised portions of the competition in two hour-long specials.

As an emerging sport, sand volleyball is sponsored by the NCAA but does not have an NCAA championship.  The AVCA is holding this tournament in place of the NCAA.

Spring 2012 Issue

49ers Finish Strong with Four Individual Victories on Final Day of Big West Championships

The Long Beach State track & field team finished strong on the final day of the 2012 Big West Championships as it totaled four individual victories and 11 top-three performances at Anteater Stadium.

The 49er men scored the most points of any team in the conference on the second day of competition, compiling 117 points to jump two spots in the standings, but they were unable to catch UC Santa Barbara, which won its first Big West title with 179 points.

The women tied their best Big West finish in school history, placing third overall with 113 points.

Christopher Lawson led the men, winning the 400m hurdles in 50.66 seconds, finishing second in the 110m hurdles (14.07), anchoring LBSU’s runner-up 4×400 relay team and running the second leg on the third-place 4×100 relay squad. Lawson’s marks in both hurdle events were lifetime bests and were the fourth-fastest times in school history.

Jahmani Lockett finished ahead of the pack in the 400m as he crossed the finish line in a season-best 48.05 seconds.

Ben Woodruff repeated as the Big West champion in the javelin with a toss of 231-03 and Jacob Weintraub claimed the discus title with a personal-record 183-09. Jacob Fraser made it a one-two finish in the discus, posting the second-longest mark of the day at 172-03. Weintraub’s victory marked the second year in a row that a 49er has won the discus as Colin Dunbar took top honors in 2011.

Manny Neizer was the runner-up in the triple jump (49-01.75), while Michael Vaughan took third with a season-best 48-07.25.

Koree Hines had a third-place showing in the 110m hurdles with a lifetime-best 14.22, which is 10th in program history.

Cameron Glasgow ran a season-best 21.32 to finish second in the 200-meter dash and he also scored in the 100m with a fifth-place showing (10.81). Elijah Landry-Zapien added points in the 200m as he came in sixth (21.79).

After being tripped up in the 800m preliminaries on Friday, Gabriel Hilbert bounced back with a fourth-place finish in the finals, clocking in at 1:50.19.

Both relay squads had all-conference performances. The quartet of Sam Jeter, Hilbert, Lockett and Lawson claimed runner-up honors in the 4×400 with a time of 3:11.41. In the 4×100, Nathan Alade, Lawson, Landry-Zapien and Glasgow took third (41.26).

Brandon Hierholzer was the only 49er to score in the pole vault with a sixth-place showing.

On the women’s side, Phylicia Johnson continued to post solid marks as she concluded the meet as the 49ers’ top scorer, accumulating 21 points.

Johnson, who had not competed in the triple jump since high school, registered a lifetime-best 39-08 to finish fourth overall. That mark ranks seventh in program history. She also put points on the board in the shot put (seventh) and 100m hurdles (fifth).

Kristen Kiefer was another big scorer for Long Beach State as she placed seventh in the 100m hurdles and eighth in the 400m hurdles. On Friday, she scored in the long jump and added points in the heptathlon last weekend.

Emily Cooper had a big day on the track, finishing third in the short sprints. She registered a lifetime-best 24.21 in the 200m, which ranks sixth in LBSU history. Cooper also established a personal-record 11.85 in the 100m hurdles to put her at No. 8 on the 49er all-time charts.

Shakina Phillips took third in the 400m hurdles at 60.37 seconds, while Rosa Del Toro (sixth) and Nina Moore (eighth) both scored in the 5000m.

The 4×100 relay team of Kayla Goosby, Saedra Wright, Dee Lars and Cooper placed fourth with a time of 46.55 seconds and the quartet of Jasmine Askew, Phillips, Jessica Barnard and Wright finished fifth in the 4×400. Their time of 3:45.55 ranks sixth in the school record books.

Katrina Graves-Johnson was the runner-up in the high jump, clearing 5-08.50. Sara Macey (T5th) and Janelle Coulter (T7th) also scored.

In other scoring performances, Iesha Iwobi was seventh in the triple jump with a season-best 37-09.50, while Alexandra Cervantes was eighth in the hammer (161-00).

Spring 2012 Issue

Long Beach State Men’s Basketball Coach Named All-District Coach

Long Beach State (LBSU) men’s basketball coach Dan Monson has been named one of 24 All-District coaches by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).  Monson was named the District 9 recipient by the NABC for the second straight season.

In his fifth season as the 49ers coach, Monson led LBSU to the NCAA Tournament after winning both the Big West Conference’s regular season and tournament titles.  He coached the 49ers to a 25-9 season record, the second most wins in school history despite playing the toughest non-conference schedule in the nation.

With the second consecutive conference regular season title, Monson became the first LBSU coach to win back-to-back regular-season league titles in 35 years, and the first 49er coach to win at least 20 games in consecutive seasons in 38 years.  The 49ers finished the Big West season with a 15-1 record, which included a 12-game winning streak that was snapped in a non-conference game at Creighton.

Monson was also named the Big West’s Coach of the Year in a vote of the conference’s coaches, and all five of the 49ers’ starters claimed all-conference recognition.  Senior Casper Ware won his second straight Big West Player of the Year award and was named the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) Region IX Player of the Year.  He also was named to both the USBWA and NABC All-District teams.

Senior Larry Anderson earned first-team All-Big West honors while being named the Big West’s Defensive Player of the Year. He also claimed second-team NABC All-District 9 honors as did senior T.J. Robinson, who was LBSU’s third first-team All-Big West selection.  Senior Eugene Phelps earned second-team All-Big West accolades while junior James Ennis was named honorable mention All-Big West. Additionally, Ennis joined Ware on the all-tournament team at the Big West Conference Tournament.

Spring 2012 Issue

Long Beach State Men’s Golf Squad Captures Team Championship

The Long Beach State (LBSU) men’s golf team captured its second team championship of the year, winning the second annual Folino Invitational at the Industry Hills Golf Club.

LBSU held onto first-place by two strokes over Pepperdine and three shots over tournament host Cal State Fullerton. The 49ers shot a final round 296 to complete the three-day, 54-hole tournament at 15-over 879.

The win gave Mickey Yokoi his first career victory as the 49ers new coach and first in his career as a head men’s coach.

The 49ers were paced by Kevin Lim as he finished in third, just one stroke behind individual medalists Parker Paige of Pepperdine and Tyler Torano of Loyola Marymount. Kim carded a final round 74 to complete the tournament at even 216. This was the first career top-10 finish for the senior from Seoul, Korea, as he collected four birdies and 10 pars for the round.

Junior Raymond Ho fired a 1-under 71 and senior Kevin Roy carded a 74 as both players finished with a 5-over 221 to tie for ninth. This was Ho’s first top-10 finish this season and second overall, while this was Roy’s second this season and seventh in his career.

Freshman Xander Schauffele shot a 77 for a 7-over to finish in 14th, and junior Philip Chian recorded a 78 to tie for 29th at 15-over. Freshman Ben Heisey, playing as an individual, shot an 86 for a 24-over 240, tying for 46th.

“One of our goals is to be in the final grouping, be in contention and win a championship in every tournament that we play in,” Yokoi said. “This was big for us to win early. I want the guys to feel that they can win because they are winners. The course the past three days was a challenge and for them to rise up to that challenge says a lot about them and what they’re capable of doing in the future.”.

Spring 2012 Issue

Tennis Hits Big

Continuing its pursuit of excellence, 49er women’s tennis entered the spring season with its 11th consecutive national ranking from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.

During the season, the team rose to 37th in NCAA Division I and captured the Big West season title with a perfect 8-0 record, clinching top seed for the conference tournament in Indian Wells, Calif.

Singles leaders include Anais Dallara, Rachel Manasse and Laura Bernard. Top doubles teams were Bernard and Manasse, Sarah Cantlay and Julie Luzar, and Dallara paired with Klaudia Malenovska.

Spring 2012 Issue

Princeton Review Again Names Cal State Long Beach One of Nation’s Best Values

California State University, Long Beach has once again been named one of the nation’s “Best Value” public colleges and universities by The Princeton Review, which teamed up with USA Today to announce its list of the 150 “Best Value Colleges for 2012.”

The Princeton Review selected the 150 institutions – 75 public and 75 private – as its “best value” choices for 2012 based on its surveys of administrators and students at 650 colleges and universities the company regards as the nation’s academically best undergraduate institutions.  The selection criteria covered more than 30 factors in three areas: academics, costs of attendance and financial aid.

Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) was one of just two California State University (CSU) campuses making the list of the top 75 public institutions.  The other was Cal Poly—San Luis Obispo.

“At a point in a nation when state legislatures and individual colleges and universities are going to be held to much higher federal standards, it is good for the public and our students to know that Cal State Long Beach remains a national model for higher education value,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander.  “This ranking also indicates to taxpayers, consumers, students and parents that the high price tag associated with many colleges and universities nationwide has nothing to do with the quality of the educational experience being offered.”

Earlier in the year, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine named CSULB to its list of the 100 Best Values in Public Colleges for 2012.  The list ranked four-year institutions that deliver excellent academics while keeping costs to a minimum.

“We commend Cal State Long Beach and all of the extraordinary colleges on our 2012 ‘Best Value Colleges’ list for all they are doing to keep costs down and/or offer generous aid to applicants with financial need – all while maintaining excellent academic programs,” said Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s senior vice president/publisher and lead author of The Best Value Colleges: 2012 Edition.

In its profile of CSULB, the editors at The Princeton Review note, “California State University, Long Beach is ‘very large and diverse,’ ‘affordable to virtually anyone,’ and ‘geared toward preparing students to enter the real world.’  There are eight colleges and tons of majors.  ‘The academic experience at this school is what you make of it,’ said a political science major.   Many CSULB faculty members are ‘wonderfully passionate’ and ‘available outside of class,’ ‘especially in the upper-level courses.’  ‘Teachers are here because they want to teach, not do research,’ said an aerospace engineering major.”

Founded in 1949, CSULB enrolls nearly 35,000 students, making it one of the largest four-year universities in California and the nation.  Students are served by about 2,320 faculty members within the university’s eight colleges, which offer 86 baccalaureate degrees, 67 master’s degrees and two doctoral degrees.

Spring 2012 Issue

Freshman Applications to Cal State Long Beach Up 10 Percent

Already having one of the largest first-time freshman applicant pools in the nation, Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) added to those numbers as the fall 2012 application period came to a close.

CSULB had a nearly 10 percent increase in the number of first-time freshmen (FTF) hoping to be admitted to the campus next fall as the university received 54,086 applications from soon-to-be graduating high school seniors, an increase of 4,848 over last fall’s application numbers, or 9.85 percent.

“At a time when many people are questioning the value of a college degree, these numbers validate the value of a Cal State Long Beach education,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander.  “We have one the nation’s largest applicant pools, and parents and students understand the value of the education that we offer.

“Unfortunately,” the president added, “we have a state legislature that will only allow a small fraction of these students to attend our campus because they would rather incarcerate than educate California’s citizens.”

Again, CSULB received more applications from potential undergraduate students than any of the other 22 CSU campuses in the system.

In all, CSULB received 75,132 applications from both first-time freshman and transfer students interested in attending the Long Beach campus in 2012.  Compared to last year’s total of 69,317 applications, this year’s figures represent an 8 percent increase over the previous year, or an increase of 5,815.

In an October article published by U.S.News & World Report, CSULB was recognized as one of the top 10 colleges in the nation receiving the most applications from first-time freshmen out of 1,311 schools that reported application data in the publication’s annual survey, based on numbers from two years ago.

Using data from fall 2010 admissions, CSULB ranked No. 6 in the nation with 47,673 first-time freshman applications.  Equally as important, the Long Beach campus was the only regional university in that top 10.  The other nine were all national universities, including No. 1 UCLA (57,670 applications), No. 2 St. John’s University (54,871) and No. 3 UC Berkeley (50,393).

Since those fall 2010 figures, however, the first-time freshman applicant pool has grown by more than 6,400 over the last two application periods.

Spring 2012 Issue

CSULB’s Alexander Among 10 Presidents, Chancellors Invited to Meet with President Obama

Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) President F. King Alexander was 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.

During the meeting, President Obama conveyed the urgent need to pursue bold and innovative solutions to help more Americans attain a higher education at an affordable price.  In response, attendees shared how they have worked to promote innovation, reduce costs and increase productivity during a time of reduced funding for higher education at the state level.

“President Obama and Secretary Duncan are clearly concerned about addressing the college affordability and productivity issue,” Alexander said after the meeting.  “This is why it was nice to receive an invitation to discuss, along with a small number of my colleagues, with President Obama all of our comprehensive efforts to graduate our students while still remaining among the nation’s most affordable universities.”

He added, “This meeting certainly validated Cal State Long Beach’s efforts and the California State University’s statewide graduation initiative to ensure that our students have every opportunity possible to graduate with a high quality CSU education and with some of the nation’s lowest student loan debt.”

It is not unusual for university presidents to meet with federal officials to discuss these issues, however, this meeting has been described as “unusual” by some, primarily because it was announced at the last minute and was held behind closed doors with President Obama.  Additionally, the meeting took place at a critical time with student loan debt about to hit $1 trillion and students on campuses across the country protesting rising tuition costs.

The discussion was intended to be a candid conversation about how higher education can remove barriers to college access, affordability and success for students.  In particular, the Obama administration is looking for ways to bring down overall campus costs and look for other innovations so college is more affordable for students.

“Our administration has committed to a policy agenda to advance college access, affordability and attainment by increasing student financial aid and enhancing transparency around college affordability information,” wrote Melody Barnes, assistant to the President and director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, in her invitation letter to Alexander.  “At the same time, the President has acknowledged that meeting the challenge of increased access and affordability is a goal in which we each share responsibility and a stake—particularly at a time when shouldering the financial burden associated with attaining a higher education degree is greater than ever for students and families.”

Among the other presidents/chancellors invited were: three state university system leaders, including Nancy Zimpher, chancellor of the State University of New York, Francisco Cigarroa, chancellor of the University of Texas System, and William E. Kirwan, chancellor of the University System of Maryland; three public university leaders, including Alexander, Holden Thorp, chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Freeman Hrabowski III, president of the University of Maryland at Baltimore County; one from a community college—Thomas Snyder, president of Ivy Tech Community College, the Indiana community college system; and three leaders from private nonprofit colleges, including Jared L. Cohon, president of Carnegie Mellon University, Larry Shinn, president of Berea College, and Robert Mendenhall, president of Western Governors University.

Two other invitees were Jane Wellman, founder and executive director of the Delta Project on Postsecondary Costs, Productivity and Accountability, and Jamie Merisotis, president of the Lumina Foundation.  Wellman and Merisotis testified Wednesday at a House of Representatives subcommittee hearing on rising college prices.

Spring 2012 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Among Best Leaders in International Students

Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) is a popular campus for international students judging by its No. 4 national ranking among master’s degree institutions that have students from other countries, according to the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) most recent “Open Doors” report.  The national rankings were published in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

A total of 2,484 international students from more than 90 countries chose to study at CSULB during 2010-11.  India topped the list with more than 300 students followed by Japan, Korea, China and Saudi Arabia.  The most popular majors for these international students included electrical engineering, computer science, accounting, finance and art.

“We are a very popular university in many countries.  Our desirable location, our excellent academic programs and the beautiful campus environment are very attractive to international students,” said Jeet Joshee, associate vice president of international education and dean of CSULB’s College of Continuing and Professional Education.  “We are also one of the safest campuses in the country, which is a very important to international students and their parents.”

In the same report, CSULB ranked seventh in the nation among master’s institutions in the total number of study abroad students.  In 2009-10 (the most recent data available), the campus had 710 students studying in other countries, higher than all but one of the remaining 22 campuses in the California State University system (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo ranked fifth nationally with 809 study abroad students).

Among the most popular destinations for CSULB students studying overseas are Australia, China, Japan, the United Kingdom and Spain.

“We have always believed in the value of building a global university environment and in giving our students the opportunity to travel and live abroad,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander.  “This high ranking demonstrates our commitment to providing global educational experiences for all our students.”

In 2010-11, the number of international students registering for American colleges and universities grew at a faster rate (5 percent) than in 2009 (3 percent), reaching an all-time high of 723,277, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education article.  China and Saudi Arabia led the growth, based on data released in November by the IIE with support from the U.S. State Department.

The 2011 “Open Doors” also noted that California remains the state leader for the number of foreign students choosing to study at its institutions with 96,535, an increase of 2.4 percent over the previous year.

“When I travel overseas, I am amazed how much prospective international students know about Cal State Long Beach,” Joshee said.  “Although we have not done any systematic recruiting until recently, it is nice to see the number of students who come to CSULB.”

A survey conducted this fall by eight higher education associations determined that more than 50 percent of colleges are contributing more resources toward recruitment, either through providing additional staff or cultivating international collaborations that may lead to increased foreign student enrollment.  This scenario has been particularly true at public institutions, where declining state support has driven such endeavors.

Spring 2012 Issue

California State University, Long Beach Receives Nearly $1.7 Million for Biotechnology Program

Developing healing therapies derived from stem cells—body cells that can grow into a variety of other tissues—is an increasing emphasis in modern healthcare research and businesses.

As a result, labs and companies need scientists who understand the field, so in 2009, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the state’s stem cell research agency, awarded $1.35 million to California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) as one of 11 additional educational institutions to prepare student interns for careers in stem cell research and biomedicine.

The caliber of the interns, selected from students in the stem cell option of CSULB’s Biotechnology Certificate program, pleased CIRM officials enough to result in a three-year, $1,686,998 grant renewal.  The new funding will support three additional cohorts of up to 10 students each year beginning this summer through spring 2015.

“The purpose is to train professionals to work on research to find medical cures through stem cells, which also will help the California economy,” said Lisa Klig, professor of biological sciences who directs the biotechnology certificate program.  Thus far, 20 interns have completed the program, and another 10 are working in labs this academic year.

“Past students have had a 100 percent success rate being placed in jobs or in graduate school or medical school,” Klig said.

With the latest grant, the newest group of CSULB interns will be selected this spring, adding a second year to their one-year biotechnology certificate program.  They begin with a summertime specialized stem cell course at Children’s Hospital of Orange County, followed by the 10-month, full-time internship either at UC Irvine’s Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center or at City of Hope in Duarte.  Interns receive $25,750 to cover tuition, fees and a living expenses stipend for the 10 months.

CIRM is funded by Proposition 71, passed by voters in 2004 to support stem cell research. For more information, visit www.csulb.edu/depts/biology/pages/stem_cell.html or www.cirm.ca.gov.

Spring 2012 Issue

Officials Announce Osher Foundation’s $1 Million Endowment for Its Lifelong Learning Institute

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) President F. King Alexander has announced a $1 million endowment from the Bernard Osher Foundation in support of the campus’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI at CSULB), located in the College of Health and Human Services.

“This endowment is a tribute to our members who volunteer their time to make OLLI at CSULB a dynamic learning environment for mature adults; and to the College of Health and Human Services’ visionary leaders over the past 15 years who have seen value in promoting lifelong learning and in mingling generations on a university campus,” said Barbara White, CSULB faculty member and executive director of OLLI at CSULB.

This is the second endowment received from the Bernard Osher Foundation in support OLLI at CSULB.  OLLI was cited by the foundation as an exemplary program because of the quality of its educational opportunities, its robust fundraising plan, and the incorporation of a new “wellness” component—the Center for Active Aging—that provides individualized exercise programs for older adults.

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.  Founded in 1996 as “Senior University,” it became OLLI in 2006 with receipt of its first $1 million endowment from the Osher Foundation.

OLLI is an organization administered by member volunteers and connected to the university and college through a faculty member serving as the executive director.  In addition to the campus location, there are two satellite locations – Leisure World Seal Beach and a classroom on Pine Avenue in downtown Long Beach supported by Park Bixby, Inc. Current membership is approximately 1,200.

Non-credit classes are offered in four, eight-week session per year and include the arts, sciences, literature, history, politics, computer classes and physical activity programs.  Class leaders include institute members and friends as well as CSULB graduate students and current and retired faculty.

OLLI at CSULB is committed to providing lifelong learning opportunities at reasonable cost.  Membership is $40 annually. Lecture classes are $10, and computer classes $35 for each eight-week session.  “As the economy improves and endowment income can be accessed, it will help OLLI maintain its reasonable rates while continuing to meet its financial obligations,” White pointed out.

“We are deeply appreciative of the generous gift from the Osher Foundation to support the various programs of our Osher Life Long Learning Institute,” said Ken Millar, dean of the College of Health and Human Services.  “The College of Health and Human Services’ mission is ‘Connect – Discover – Educate’ and nothing we do embodies that mission better than our Osher Life Long Learning Institute.”

Spring 2012 Issue

Cal State Long Beach President F. King Alexander Again Named CSU President of the Year

For the second time in three years, Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) President F. King Alexander has been named the recipient of the “Robert C. Maxson President of the Year Award” by the California State Student Association (CSSA).

CSSA is the single recognized voice for more than 425,000 students in the California State University (CSU) system.  Founded in 1959, the association is the acknowledged statewide student organization designed to represent, serve and protect the collective interests of CSU students.

Each year, the CSSA 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.

“I am both honored and humbled to receive this award from the CSU system’s student leadership.  I can’t imagine receiving any greater honor than to be recognized by all CSU students,” said Alexander, who also was accorded the honor in 2010.  “The California State Student Association has worked with me on many very important state and federal issues over the past year, and it has made a difference for our students.  I look forward to continue working with them as we tackle other important higher education issues both here and in Washington, D.C.”

CSSA Executive Director Miles Nevin said Alexander, who was nominated for the award by a representative at Sonoma State University, was chosen for the 2011-12 Maxson Award from a pool of 23 CSU campus presidents.

“President Alexander is a popular university president, evidenced by the support he garners among all stakeholders of the CSULB campus community,” Nevin pointed out.  “But popularity is not what informed CSSA’s decision to recognize him this year. The recognition comes after several years of President Alexander supporting CSSA’s efforts to participate in federal advocacy.

“From removing big banks from profiting off student loan defaults, to protecting the Pell grant program, CSSA has worked closely with President Alexander to effectively communicate with our congress people and Department of Education leaders,” he continued.  “At a time when local legislators are ignoring the needs of public college students, it is crucial that CSU students maintain a strong presence in Washington, D.C.  President Alexander has been pivotal in assisting us in maintaining such a presence.”

Alexander was named the sixth president of CSULB in November 2005 after serving as the president of Murray State University in Kentucky from 2001 to 2005.  CSULB is among the nation’s largest universities and is recognized as a “university of choice” among students throughout California and the western United States.

A national expert in domestic and international higher education finance and public policy, Alexander’s research on university revenue and expenditure patterns has been featured in a variety of publications, including The Economist, New York Times and Christian Science Monitor.  His efforts to improve federal higher education policy has contributed to the development of Congressional legislation advancing the “net tuition concept” in order to enhance public accountability and future funding of higher education institutions.

Alexander received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in higher education finance and public policy, a master of science degree from Oxford University (England) in comparative education policy, and a bachelor’s degree from St. Lawrence University in political science.

CSSA represents each of the system’s 23 campuses, which range in diversity from the northern California redwood campus of Humboldt State University to the southernmost campus of San Diego State University.  Its overall mission is to maintain and enhance the accessibility of quality education for the people of California.

Spring 2012 Issue

CSU Long Beach, Fullerton Receive $525,000 NSF Grant to Increase Women in Science

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) and California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) have received a three-year, $525,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for a collaborative research project that will focus on increasing women’s interest and retention in computer science and engineering fields and careers. Awarded through the NSF’s Research on Gender in Science and Engineering directorate, the study will look at the impact of the interdisciplinary, collaborative research model (ICRM) on the academic and career trajectories of undergraduate computer science and engineering (CSE) students at six pre-selected case study institutions located on the West Coast.

The research is qualitative in nature and involves extensive observations and interviews with the same individuals at each of the six case study campuses over a three-year period.

Co-principal investigators for the project are Laura Portnoi, CSULB associate professor of advanced studies in education and counseling, and Karen Kim, co-director of the Center for Research on Educational Access and Leadership and a lecturer in educational leadership at CSUF.

“It has been improving and it has been improving for women for sure,” said Portnoi about individuals studying and working in science-related fields.  “However, the area we are focusing on, computer science in particular, has developed the least in regard to the gender imbalance.  The imbalance is greatest in this area and that’s why we focused on this particular aspect in what is called STEM (science, technology, engineering. and mathematics) fields.  Previous research that shows that context matters a great deal.  It shows that the culture at institutions and universities, along with the workplace, are not conducive to retaining women in many STEM fields.”

The central objective of the study is to investigate how ICRM experiences in CSE departments shape undergraduate women’s educational and vocational trajectories (persistence in major, graduation, intention to pursue graduate degrees and/or careers in computing) to generate data relevant for improving CSE curricula/programs.  Prior research suggests that undergraduate women in computer science and engineering would benefit from involvement in curricular and extra-curricular activities associated with ICRM.  Findings from this study could have the potential to strongly impact the reformulation of the undergraduate CSE curriculum.

“I think the key factor in our success for this research study is being able to establish the connection between the ICRM model and women’s interest in engineering as a major and then future careers in computer science and engineering,” said Portnoi.  “We are trying to uncover what’s really working well at the institutions and then other institutions like them could perhaps use this information to improve their program.  So, it’s about seeing what’s worked really well and then sharing that with others.”

The study incorporates a multi-phased approach in which the cases and research subjects are studied in-depth over three years.  The first year of the study will involve in-person observations and interviews with students, faculty and academic leaders; the second year will include site visits and follow-up interviews with the students as they continue in their undergraduate careers; and the third year will consist of student interviews and observations as they prepare to graduate.

“The first year will be the most intensive research period,” noted Portnoi.  “We will be going to the research sites for approximately three weeks each, where we will be doing observations of students and their faculty, looking at the context in which they are studying and we’ll also be interviewing faculty and administrators during that time.  Then we will check back with them a year later and a year after that.”

The study, which began in early October, involves 90 students, divided equally among the six schools, with the actual research portion of the project commencing in spring 2012.

“This is a collaborative grant so the funding is split between the two institutions (CSULB and CSUF), which means it’s one research project and we are carrying it out together as opposed to having two parallel projects,” explained Portnoi.  “One of the key aspects of the grant is hiring graduate and undergraduate students to work with us.  It was really clear to both of us that developing CSULB and CSUF students as researchers would be central, so we have included funding for students as a component of the research.”

Spring 2012 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Student Recreation and Wellness Awarded LEED Gold Certification

In a first for the university, the Student Recreation and Wellness Center (SRWC) at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) has been awarded a LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

It is the first-ever LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, designation given to a building at the university.

“This is really is a groundbreaking award for Cal State Long Beach,” said Paul Wingco, CSULB’s energy and sustainable manager.  “It is the first certified green building for the university and that’s significant because it shows the campus’ commitment to sustainability and sustainable design and green building practices.”

LEED is an internationally-recognized green building certification system.  Developed in 2000, the system provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

“Buildings have a big carbon footprint and they can be a big part of the solution to climate change. That’s why the existence of this kind of certification is important,” Wingco pointed out.  “So, if we can design and operate our building more sustainably, we become part of the solution.”

LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

Opened in fall 2010, the SRWC is a $61 million, 126,000-square-foot facility that features weight and fitness machines, cardio theater, a wellness center, rock-climbing wall, indoor running track, basketball/volleyball/badminton courts, multi-activity courts, outside recreation pool and spa, sand volleyball and racquetball courts, health food shop, personal trainers and group fitness classes.

Several of the SRWC’s elements are environmentally friendly, and it started with the groundbreaking itself as pulverized asphalt from Parking Lot 11, on which the center was built, was reused beneath the building’s foundation.  In addition, the center uses reclaimed water for irrigation, waterless urinals, adjustable lights that brighten as the day grows darker, recycled lumber, and new technology such as biometric scanners to decrease paper waste and save on utility costs.

“The Gold certification is the second highest designation given by the Green Building Council and there was a lot of effort from both the design and construction teams to achieve that,” Wingco explained.  “Certainly, energy efficiency of the building was one of the reasons we received the designation.  The building was designed to meet California energy standards by at least 20 percent.  The water conservation aspects of the building and the landscaping around it was another factor.

“The building uses low-flow plumbing fixtures and uses 100 percent reclaimed water for its landscaping needs, and the lighting was specially designed to be the most energy efficient as is the heating and air conditioning in the building,” he continued.  “All of these pieces really work together to attain outstanding energy efficiency for the building.”

Participation in the LEED process, which begins during the design process and continues through the completion of construction on the building, gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance. There are both environmental and financial benefits to earning LEED certification. LEED-certified buildings are designed to:

  • Lower operating costs and increase asset value;
  • Reduce waste sent to landfills;
  • Conserve energy and water;
  • Be healthier and safer for occupants;
  • Reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Qualify for tax rebates, zoning allowances and other incentives in hundreds of cities.

Wingco said, “The other significance of this certification for the university is that this building and its awarded designation sets the standard for any and all future building construction on campus.”

Wingco also noted that green building design can be applied to not only new building construction but to building renovations as well.  In fact, the university is in the process of seeking certification for an existing building on campus, the Horn Center, and hopes to get certification sometime next year.

Spring 2012 Issue

Cal State Long Beach’s Center for Community Engagement Awarded $200,000 for Civic Engagement

The Center for Community Engagement at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) was awarded a $200,000 grant from the California Community Foundation (CCF) to develop and implement a leadership development curriculum to build community member capacity for civic engagement through a Southeast Los Angeles Civics Leadership Academy. The 26-month project began in mid-November.

“The proposal was based on developing what we are calling a civics leadership academy and it’s basically a curriculum that we would implement with community members,” said Juan M. Benitez, the executive director for the Center for Community Engagement at CSULB. “The community members themselves expressed an interest and asked if there was a chance we could come and offer training and the foundation stepped up and asked us to submit a proposal to work in these target areas that they have already been working with.”

In the first year there will be focus group meetings and community forums, from which the first 40-hour component will largely be based beginning around June.

“We use very participatory teaching techniques,” said Benitez. “We’re there as learners with the participants because we’re not from these cities, so we will draw a lot of the curriculum from the participants’ experiences in these cities and communities themselves. A lot of table discussions and interactive activities will better inform us of what is taking place in their communities.”

Community member involvement will be focused on what Benitez called “emerging leaders,” individuals who are working through formal or informal organizations, but who are not executive directors or elected officials. With up to eight participants from each city, the program could have as many as 64 individuals involved in leadership development. The focus will be on developing a curriculum and technical assistance framework oriented towards fostering a culture of civic engagement, which could then be used by the CCF for future projects. The project will help increase the knowledge of identified individuals in civic affairs; strengthen the civic engagement skills in order to identify key community issues and develop civic projects; and strengthen residents’ understanding of city governance structures, city budgets, the politics of budgets, the role of contract negotiations as well as all levels of government, roles and responsibilities for the citizenry.

Benitez’s group will be working with communities identified by the foundation because it felt they represented a good cross section of some of the issues and assets. Those cities include Bell, Bell Gardens, Maywood, Huntington Park, South Gate, Vernon, unincorporated Walnut Park and Cudahy.

“One of the first things we talk about in the sessions is what are the criteria for leadership and who do we refer to as leaders vs. community leaders?” said Benitez. “Initially they may not consider themselves leaders, but maybe they have exhibited qualities of leadership. The idea here is not to create leaders, but to support leadership, enhance the leadership skills and to introduce concepts, skills and values that are seen as assets in whatever they may be involved in.

“We’re going to partner with local organizations to help us identify individuals,” added Benetiz. “For instance, if there is a YMCA in Huntington Park that has a volunteer who has been working with them for five years on youth development programs and for whatever reasons, maybe budget reasons, they just haven’t been able to hire on as staff, then that would be someone we would consider inviting to participate. There will be focus groups with anyone who has been recommended or identified and the idea here is that we wouldn’t hand-pick folks, but we would propose key issues in their community and get them to give us feedback to see if those resonate and to see if they have a motivation to address some of these issues.”

There are no formal education or age requirementsto participate in the program, though anyone 17 or under will need parental permission to participate. There is, however, a commitment requirement.

“We are looking at high school-aged participants, but I don’t mean that in a formal graduation sense because we are working with some immigrants who have low formal education levels,” said Benitez.

“We’ve proposed that each component would be composed of about 40 hours of training, so members would have to commit to completing those 40 hours to receive the completion certificate from us.”

Along with Benitez, Kendra Jennis, project coordinator; Christian Ponce, extended education specialist; and other staff  members from his center will participate in the project. In addition, Chicano and Latino Studies’ professor Rigoberto Rodriguez, who is the co-designer of the curriculum with Benitez, will serve as an instructor. The project will also involve approximately 8-10 CSULB students who will serve as facilitators.

“We have offered these leadership development trainings for four years now through our center,” noted Benitez. “In the last two years we have brought in over $1 million in funding to support the implementation of these programs–we call them community scholars programs, but they are really leadership development programs.”

The CCF is a public, charitable organization serving Los Angeles County in multiple capacities since 1915.  It encourages philanthropy by individuals, families, companies and organizations, and serves as a steward of their charitable funds and legacies.  It also makes grants to nonprofits and collaborates in addressing the needs of vulnerable populations such as persons with disabilities.  In addition, it actively engages in community problem solving with business, civic, government and other organizations.

Spring 2012 Issue

CSULB College of Education Receives 2-Year, $234,000 Grant

The College of Education at California State University Long Beach (CSULB) has been awarded a grant from the James Irvine Foundation to implement partnership models of clinical teacher preparation and induction that prepare new California secondary teachers for Linked Learning environments in high schools that will result in significant benefits to secondary school students’ learning and development.

This grant proposal was written in collaboration with the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) and with the support of the California State University Chancellor’s Office.  The college will receive $234,260 over the next two years.

The principal investigator is CSULB College of Education Dean Marquita Grenot-Scheyer and the project coordinator is Interim Associate Dean Karen Hakim-Butt.

“Linked Learning is an exciting reform for secondary education that brings together post-secondary preparation with workplace skills for the future careers of tomorrow,” said Grenot-Scheyer.  “In collaboration with our partners in the Long Beach Unified School District, we are developing and delivering models of clinical preparation for our future secondary teachers that will ensure that all high school students experience strong academics, demanding technical education and real world experience in preparation for college and future careers.  We are very grateful to the James Irvine Foundation for their support.”

The project objectives are:
• To implement a comprehensive clinical model of teacher preparation for Linked Learning at CSULB that is aligned with the wall-to-wall Linked Learning strategy in the Long Beach Unified School District;
• To put in place an innovative induction model for Linked Learning in Long Beach Unified School District that provides support for beginning teachers and is documented and disseminated for adoption by other districts as a fundamental component of induction addressing Linked Learning.

The expected outcomes of the project are:
• Establishment and documentation of a model of clinical preparation at CSULB to prepare future secondary school teachers that embeds the principles and practices of Linked Learning throughout the curriculum, pedagogy, and field experiences of high school teacher preparation;
• Expansion, through the California Alliance for Clinical Preparation and across the 23 CSU teacher preparation programs, of clinical preparation for high school teachers that incorporates Linked Learning, supported by a Handbook for Linked Learning Clinical Teacher Preparation.

Research and evaluation will be conducted in collaboration with the CSULB Ed.D. Program in Educational Leadership. The goals of the evaluation study are to conduct research which describes implementation and outcomes and prepare future leaders for the region’s schools in Linked Learning.

Four Ed.D. candidates interested in conducting research related to Linked Learning will receive fellowships in each year of the project. Potential research areas include the nature of the partnership; clinical preparation; roles of the university and school staff; effects on instructional programs; outcomes among new and current teachers, including placements and retention at LBUSD high schools; and impacts on high school students such as academic achievement, high school graduation, college attendance and post-secondary aspirations.

Spring 2012 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Receives Largest Grant, $170,000, for Nursing, Physician Assistant Programs

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) is among 12 universities and colleges in the state to receive a combined total of $1.47 million in grants to enhance family nurse practitioner and physician assistant training programs.  With its $170,000 award, CSULB, along with USC, received the largest of the grants.

Administered through the Song-Brown Program within the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD), the funding is meant to assist the growing demand for health care practitioners throughout California.

“This Song-Brown grant will enable us to educate more culturally competent and linguistically more proficient family nurse practitioner students to care for patients and families in underserved areas,” said Lucy Huckabay, director and professor, CSULB School of Nursing.  “Also, it will enable us to offer the Spanish medical courses so that our family nurse practitioner students can communicate with our mostly Spanish-speaking patients.”

The Song-Brown program was established by the Song-Brown Act of 1973 to increase the number of family practice physicians and physician assistants being trained in the state to provide needed medical services to Californians.  OSHPD works in conjunction with the California Healthcare Workforce Policy Commission to award Song-Brown program funding.

“Family nurse practitioners and physician assistants are uniquely positioned to improve access to vulnerable populations,” said OSHPD Acting Director Stephanie Clendenin. Family nurse practitioners were added to the Song-Brown program in 1978, and in 2005, the program expanded to include registered nurses.  Song-Brown funds come from a health facilities fee that goes into a special OSHPD administered California Health and Data Fund, which was statutorily established to receive and expend revenues in support of health care related programs.

Spring 2012 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Receives $100,000 NEH Grant for Languages

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded Cal State Long Beach’s (CSULB) Romance/German/Russian Languages and Literatures (RGRLL) Department a $100,000 grant to support its French and Italian for Spanish Speakers Initiative.

The NEH grant will allow CSULB to expand its current program into area high schools and community colleges, including San Pedro High School, Wilson High, Long Beach City College and Rio Hondo City College.

“Participants from each school will work together as a reading, research and curriculum development group.  The idea is to create some courses just for Spanish speakers,” said Clorinda Donato, the grant project’s principal investigator and CSULB’s George L. Graziadio Chair of Italian Studies.  “One of the first campuses we asked to join was San Pedro High School, which offers classes in French and Italian to its largely Latino enrollment.  Long Beach City College teaches French and Italian while Wilson High and Rio Hondo Junior College have just French.  By the end of the grant period, all four campuses should have special sections for Spanish speakers.”

Donato noted that the French and Italian for Spanish Speakers Initiative tests the idea of “intercomprehension” or teaching and learning of more than one language at a time.  Programs like these, she said, could change the way schools teach languages.

“We begin with what students already know, then, using that, they can learn something else by enhancing what they already know,” she explained.  “Old teaching methods treated students as if they were blank pages. ‘Take away everything you know about English because now you will learn something new.’  Instead, this method looks at both English and Spanish as bridges to learning French and Italian.”

Working on the initiative with Donato is Claire Martin, project director and Spanish professor, and Markus Muller, content specialist for the project and RGRLL language program.  Donato also expressed thanks to CSULB College of Liberal Arts Dean Gerry Riposa, who, she said, has been extremely supportive of this initiative and its expansion in a number of ways, including outreach to other departments and resources that made it possible for Martin to participate in drafting the winning proposal with Donato.

Donato believes the program offers Spanish-speaking students a way to use their knowledge of one language to learn a new one.  “It is a way to validate a potential for linguistic competence these students don’t know they have,” she said.  “With instruction that validates their knowledge of Spanish through a method that emphasizes the intercomprehension of the Romance languages, Spanish-speaking students are at a clear advantage when it comes to acquiring that second Romance language.”

Donato said other campuses have expressed interest in the French and Italian for Spanish Speakers Initiative.  When the project was first presented at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages conference in Denver in November, the CSULB presenters were approached by many teachers who wanted to do the same at their schools.

“We’re really excited.  We think this is the way of the future (for teaching these languages),” she explained.  “As the level of Hispanic enrollment rises nationwide, the opportunities for French, Italian and Portuguese instruction also rise.  You don’t have to be a heritage speaker to enroll, but many students are.  Many students enroll if they have learned Spanish elsewhere.  In the college context, we get students who have learned Spanish in high school.  These students have the potential to come out trilingual. That makes them much more marketable.”

Donato pointed out that the grant process is highly competitive and feels the approval of this grant represents the culmination of nearly seven years work.

The road to acceptance, she said, began six years ago when RGRLL began a conversation with the French consulate after it recognized the department for its combination under one roof of French, Italian and Spanish.

“Plus, the students here are encouraged to learn more than one language,” she explained.  “The idea for the funding was to create new audiences for French. One of the new audiences we want to focus on is that of Spanish speakers. We recognized that the NEH had a special category for Hispanic Serving Institutions.  CSULB has been designated a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education, and we applied under that rubric.”

The grant will allow the program to make new plans and seek more support. “When you’ve got an endorsement from the NEH, you go with it,” she laughed. “One of the great things about getting the grant is the way it provides the resources, time and people to lay the groundwork for the future.”

Spring 2012 Issue

University Art Museum at Cal State Long Beach Wins “Best Show in a University Gallery”

The American chapter of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA-USA) has selected the University Art Museum (UAM) at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) as one of its two “Best Show in a University Gallery” Award recipients for the UAM’s 2010 exhibition “Perpetual Motion: Michael Goldberg.”

The AICA-USA announced the winners of its Best Show Awards honoring artists, curators and institutions for excellence in art exhibitions in 2011.  Two exhibitions were chosen as winners in each of the 12 categories and were selected by the 400 critics and other art experts who make up the association’s U.S. membership.

Curated by UAM Director Christopher Scoates and CSULB graduate student Elizabeth Anne Hanson, “Perpetual Motion” was a tribute to Goldberg and an in-depth survey of the artist’s work.  The exhibit ran from September to December 2010.

“To be acknowledged in the ‘Best Show in a University Gallery’ category is so meaningful.  The award, however, really goes to the entire UAM staff who worked exceptionally hard to realize this important exhibition,” Scoates said.  “For a small museum, this is a big award and proves, once again, that we punch well above our weight.”

For “Perpetual Motion,” the UAM exhibited more than 30 large-scale paintings and works on paper, including four seminal works from the UAM’s Gordon F. Hampton Collection.  The survey sought to showcase landmark works in the artist’s first retrospective.

“Our exhibition represented six decades of Michael Goldberg’s career with works that were large in scale and positively vibrating with life. That this exhibition should be honored as it has been by the AICA speaks to his impact on a post-war, and distinctly American, approach to painting,” Hanson explained.  “This retrospective holds particular significance because it was the first to consider his place in American art.  It is exciting to know that the UAM and CSULB can claim this tremendous honor.”

With a style that began in the 1940s with blunt, decisive, geometric shapes of primary color, Michael Goldberg’s (1924-2007) work grew into a more gestural approach in the years that followed. Goldberg pushed the boundaries imposed upon second-generation Abstract Expressionists for more than 50 years. An abstract painter of the New York School, he was highly influenced by the works of Willem de Kooning, Arshille Gorky and Clyfford Still.

“Perpetual Motion” was the third exhibition in a series of five featuring works from the Hampton Collection made possible by Wesley G. Hampton.

AICA-USA is the United States section of the International Association of Art Critics, which was founded in June 1949.  AICA-USA, headquartered in New York, is the largest national section with a membership of more than 400 distinguished critics, curators, scholars and art historians around the country.  Each year, in a widely covered event, AICA-USA presents museums, galleries and alternative spaces with Best Show awards.  AICA is the only organization to award excellence in museum and gallery exhibitions

Spring 2012 Issue

CSULB Faculty Measure Radioactive Fallout in California Kelp Damaged from Japanese Nuclear Reactor

Radioactivity from Japan’s damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant made its way in the atmosphere across the Pacific to the North American west coast in a matter of days following the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami.

One of the major contaminants was the radioactive isotope iodine 131 (131-I), and because ocean kelps are one of the strongest plant accumulators of iodine, California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) marine biology professors Steven L. Manley and Christopher G. Lowe examined kelp samples and determined that iodine 131 was indeed present in California kelp more than a month after the tsunami.

Their findings appear in an article, “Canopy-Forming Kelps as California’s Coastal Dosimeter: 131I from Damaged Japanese Reactor Measured in Macrocystis pyrifera,” in the online edition of the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Rainstorms contributed to depositing the airborne contaminants into the ocean, said Manley, an expert in marine algae and kelp.  “We measured significant, although most likely non-harmful levels of radioactive iodine in tissue of the giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera.  Although it is probably not harmful for humans because it was relatively low levels, it may have affected certain fish that graze on the tissue because fish have a thyroid system that utilizes iodine.”

Moreover, he noted, “Although we measured iodine 131 because we were limited in what our instrumentation allows us to do, the big question was, is another major isotope that came over in the cloud, cesium 137, present in the kelp, too?  It has a half-life of 30 years, where iodine 131 has a half-life of eight days,” so cesium may still be present.

Manley said he initiated the study as a follow-up to a 1980s study of radiation contamination from Ukraine’s Chernobyl nuclear disaster conducted by Professor Louis Druehl of Simon Fraser University in British Columbia.  Druehl was the first to detect radioactivity from a reactor leak (Chernobyl) in an intertidal brown rockweed named Fucus.

“He was harvesting intertidal seaweed, which at high tides is covered in water and at low tides is exposed to air,” Manley said.  “Most of this fallout comes from the atmosphere primarily in rain, which is what delivers it to the ground.  Most of Fucus would be covered in seawater, so it wouldn’t get the full exposure as when it was exposed to the air at low tide.  But one of the nice things about Macrocystis is that it’s a canopy-forming kelp and it’s not influenced by tides because it’s out in the subtidal area.  It has these big canopies that are at the water-air interface and are continually exposed to whatever falls out of the sky.

“I have a graduate student, Danielle Burnett, and she was already sampling kelp blades for another study for me, so I asked her to sample some kelp blades at her three study sites along Orange County,” at Corona del Mar, Laguna Beach and Crystal Cove, Manley said.  “She brought back some blades and I processed them and counted them and found radioactivity in them.  But because our instrument is rather old, it couldn’t identify what the isotopes were right away.  You have to look for the decay profile.  I’d count them every few days and then you’d see a decay.  I thought, ‘I’ve picked up something.  I wonder what it is?’  We let it decay away and calculated the half-life and it was eight days and it was I-131.”

He then called upon Lowe, director of the CSULB Shark Lab and an expert in marine fisheries, to ask his graduate students working in the field to also obtain kelp samples.  Lowe also helped obtain funding for the study from USC Sea Grant, which engages in a variety of coastal ecosystem and marine biology studies.

In addition to Orange County, Manley and Lowe obtained samples collected by CSULB students as well as marine biologists from UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz and the University of Alaska Southeast.  California samples contained varying low levels of iodine 131, but a closely related kelp in Alaska, Macrocystis integrifolia, had none.  “We didn’t find any activity there, but it could have been that it decayed away and we didn’t detect it or it could also be that the plume never did get up there in a high enough concentration,” Manley said.

“Radioactivity is taken up by the kelp and anything that feeds on the kelp will be exposed to this also,” he continued.  “Even though we detected low levels, it still got into the environment and we don’t know anything about the other radioisotopes like cesium 137, which stays around much longer than iodine.  In fact, the values that we reported for iodine probably underestimate what was probably in there.  It could be two to three times more because we were just sampling the surface tissue; the biomass estimates were based on canopy tissue and a lot of kelp biomass is underneath.  So, probably two or three times more was in the tissue at its height.  Then it enters the coastal food web and gets dispersed over a variety of organisms.  I would assume it’s there.  It’s not a good thing, but whether it actually has a measureable detrimental effect is beyond my expertise.”

Manley hopes to engage CSU’s Coastal Affairs, Science and Technology (COAST) consortium of all CSU campus marine biology programs in follow-up studies.  “Through them, I’d like to see if we can organize a standardized monitoring system where we can get tissue and background samples every few months so that if another event occurs, we’ll have some baseline information.  It would be a good way to monitor our coastal environment.

“I was thinking of writing a grant to study cesium accumulation in kelps, in Macrocystis in particular. But that study can only work if we have a vibrant graduate program, because if we don’t have graduate students, we really can’t go out and collect the samples and do the experiments,” he said, adding that potential state funding cutbacks may have a detrimental effect on CSULB’s graduate programs, which are a source of many professionals and educators in the sciences and a variety of other fields.

“Chris and I are pretty happy with this study,” Manley said, “because it was just one of those spur of the moment things and it panned out really well.”

Spring 2012 Issue

Chemistry Lecturer at CSULB Named Among Nation’s Top Professors

Thomas Gufrey, a long-time chemistry lecturer at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), has been named one of America’s top undergraduate professors by The Princeton Review in its newest guidebook The Best 300 Professors.

Published in partnership with RateMyProfessors.com—the highest-trafficked college professor ratings site in the United States—The Best 300 Professors profiles outstanding faculty at 122 colleges.  According to The Princeton Review, all of the professors won high praise from their most important audiences—the undergrad students they teach and inspire, class after class, year after year, in fields that range from ancient studies to neuroscience to sport management.

An educator for more than 40 years, Gufrey has taught at CSULB for 35 years (since 1977) and much of that time has been spent teaching one course—Chemistry 100.  According to his “professor profile” in the guidebook, “…he looks for students whose love of chemistry is buried so deep inside them, they don’t know they have it.”  He says his job is to “un-bury” that love of chemistry.

“There are many people more deserving than I, but it is still a very nice honor to receive,” Gufrey said of his selection among the Best 300 Professors.  “It is an honor to work with young kids.  I try to show them how neat chemistry is in today’s world, and I try to treat them with dignity and decency. The truth is I get to do a job that I love to do, and being an old geezer like I am, it is great being around young people.”

His professor profile states, “In his legendary demonstrations, he uses humor, songs, and poems, and treats students with respect.  And, he says, ‘Frankly, I make it very easy to do well if students show up and really try.  It’s half chemistry, logic, and critical thinking but half of it is appreciating how important chemistry is.’  He has taught for more than forty years, and he is constantly soliciting student input and bringing in stories from everyday breakthroughs in chemistry.”

“He is a great instructor, very entertaining,” said Kris Slowinski, chair of the CSULB Chemistry and Biochemistry Department.  “Tom has been here for many, many years.  He’s very interactive, a good showman, and he is very popular among the students.  He is truly enthusiastic about chemistry and that’s very important.”

His profile also includes comments from students who describe him as a “real goofball” who is “big on explosions” and awards bonus points to students for all sorts of contributions.  The students say he is “extremely caring and fun and just loves life.”  Said one student: “All you have to do is show up and make an effort.”

Gufrey admits that he is obsessed with chemistry, and that fact comes through in his demonstrations.  He also said that humor is very, very important when it comes to helping students learn chemistry as is getting them involved them in the subject.  At the same time, though, he said he tries to teach students a little about life in general and what he thinks is important.

“First, I try to tell them that being a decent human being is the most important thing. That is really what matters to me in life.  It’s not what fame you get, or money or power, but treating your fellow human beings decently,” Gufrey explained.  “Second, I think everyone in class should appreciate how lucky we are to be in this country with the opportunities it gives us.  At the end of the day, we are all so blessed to enjoy the precious freedoms that frankly most of the world doesn’t have.”

The Princeton Review selected the professors in the book based on qualitative and quantitative data from survey findings and ratings collected by both organizations.  In addition to the professor profiles, The Best 300 Professors includes profiles of colleges at which one or more of the book’s top-notch professors teach.  The school profiles give students considering attending these colleges information on admissions, tuition, SAT/ACT score ranges of admitted students, and other useful data.

“We developed this project as a tribute to the extraordinary dedication of America’s undergraduate college professors and the vitally important role they play in our culture, and our democracy,” said Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s senior vice president/publisher.  “One cannot page through this book without feeling tremendous respect for the powerful ways these teachers are enriching their students’ lives, their colleges, and ultimately our future as a society.”

Spring 2012 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Student Selected 2011 National Winner for Breaking News Photography

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) senior Stefan Agregado has been named the national winner of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) 2011 Mark of Excellence Award for breaking news photography.

Titled “CSU students arrested in protest,” the photograph, framed between the legs of a California State University (CSU) police officer, shows two female students face down on the ground being handcuffed by CSU police officers.  The shot was taken at a CSU Board of Trustees meeting last November where students and other protestors were speaking out about the CSU raising tuition and the state’s disinvestment in higher education.

Each year, the SPJ announces the national winners of its Mark of Excellence Awards, recognizing collegiate work published or broadcasted.  This year, student journalists submitted more than 4,000 entries.  From there, National Mark of Excellence Award judges choose one national winner in each category and two national finalists (runners-up).

A photographer for CSULB’s student newspaper, the Daily 49er, Agregado and the other first-place national winners will be recognized at the Excellence in Journalism 2012 conference in September in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.  First-place national winners, including Agregado’s winning photo, are showcased on SPJ’s website.

“When my advisors at the paper told me about (the award), I could hardly react. I didn’t know what to say,” said Agregado, a 22-year-old art major with an emphasis in photography and a minor in journalism.  “I’m not used to the recognition I suppose, and I never dreamed I would win nationals. I had no expectations of hearing anything from SPJ ever again.  All I could say was ‘thank you’ and just soak it in.”

Agregado recalled getting the assignment to shoot the meeting from his editors, and he wasn’t looking forward to it at all.  He had shot CSU Board of Trustees meetings previously, and he described them as boring.  This, however, was not the usual board of trustees meeting.

“I got so many good shots that day I had no idea which one I wanted to use.  This was a good problem to have,” he pointed out.  “The moment was so energized I didn’t even think about the photos until I got back to the office.  Sorting through 500 images, I edited about 30 for print and online.  The other shots had great reactions, but everyone in the newsroom agreed the peak moment was the students getting arrested.  That told the whole story.”

Agregado started out the assignment in the meeting room.  He said the protestors were subtle at first, but when the open forum began, they became so loud and distracting that they were all kicked out of the meeting.  That’s when the story started to change.

“The protestors felt their free speech rights were being challenged.  I agreed with the decision to kick them out.  They were really obnoxious and started ranting about things that didn’t pertain to the meeting at all,” he recalled.  “The students started to really resist when the indoor protestors were kicked out and joined the outside protestors who couldn’t fit in the meeting chamber.  They started shoving cops, which resulted in pepper spraying.  It was amazing how passionate they were, but also very disappointing to see that they thought they could get their point across by fighting policemen who were just following orders.

“The girls in the photo shoved the officers so hard that they fell down, and that’s when the cops started arresting people.  From there everything happened too fast to really think, but I knew that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I was not going to waste it,” he continued.  “I dove right behind the cops and snapped away.  Shortly after that, one of the glass doors shattered and there was some blood, and then the cops in riot gear came out.  This was all done without as much violence.  Nobody expected the door to break and it scared most people away because who would want to get stuck with the bill for that?”

Winners and finalists were previously recognized by receiving first place in one of the SPJ’s 12 regional competitions.  Each first-place regional winner advanced to the national competition.

Agregado, who expects to graduate from CSULB in December, captured three first-place honors at the California College Media Association awards event on April 21 for spot news photography, best photo series and best sports photo. Earlier in the month, his photo was selected as the SPJ Region 11 (Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada) winner in the best news photography category, a win that put his shot in the national competition.

“Stefan is a talented and committed news photographer,” said Daily 49er content adviser Barbara Kingsley-Wilson.  “He’s an art student who often works all night finishing projects.  But, he ‘gets’ news and understands when you have to drop everything and grab your camera when something breaks.”

Agregado wants to be a photographer or a teacher after he graduates in December.

Spring 2012 Issue

Tandem from Cal State Long Beach Wins Moot Court Championship

Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) political science majors Yasmin Manners and Ryan Chapman teamed up to win the Texas State Undergraduate Moot Court Championship Tournament held March 30-31 at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.

Manners and Chapman defeated a team from the University of North Texas in the finals of the tournament to claim the championship.  In all, a total of 28 two-person teams from 11 schools participated in the competition.

“They both had a terrific tournament in Texas.  This is what I have been expecting from them all along and they finally seemed to put it together at this tournament,” said Lewis Ringel, a CSULB political science lecturer who is in his sixth year serving as director of the campus’ moot court program. “I’ve watched them get better with each tournament they’ve competed in and I’m excited to see how much better they can get after this.”

Manners and Chapman received $500 for their first-place finish, and Manners placed third overall in the orator competition.  What’s exciting for Ringel is the fact that both students are juniors who will return next year, and he has high expectations for them.

“The experience from this tournament will help us immeasurably for next year,” said Ringel, noting that the Manners-Chapman team had a 14-3 record, the best one-year record of any team in the program’s 10-year history.  He also noted the two finished 15th at the national tournament earlier this year.  “It was also a good experience because they learned how to win as they went further along; they learned how to deal with pressure.  Yasmin and Ryan are both very smart and I’m really excited to coach them next year. We’ll keep them together as a team, obviously.”

Moot Court, also known as mock Supreme Court and Supreme Court Simulation, is a simulation of an appellate court proceeding.  Participating teams are made up of two individuals, and their combined oral argument must be 20 minutes with each team member presenting a minimum of seven minutes.  Not knowing which viewpoint it will be presenting of the hypothetical case before them, each team member should have the ability to support both arguments.  Moot court judges ask students questions and grade the students on the basis of their knowledge of the case, their response to questioning, their forensic skills and their demeanor.

The hypothetical case used at the Texas event was the same as throughout the year, including regional and national competitions.  It asks: a) Whether the federal government’s issuance of an administrative subpoena requiring a commercial Internet Service Provider (ISP) to turn over the content of a subscriber’s chat room dialogue violated the Fourth Amendment; and b) Whether petitioner’s facilitation of a chat room in which conversations pertaining to allegedly threatening the president occurred was protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

In addition to the winning tandem, the team of senior Andrew Kemper and junior Robert Lane competed for CSULB, as did senior Wyatt Lyles and Carroll College (Montana) junior Kari Rice.  The latter pair partnered for what is called a hybrid team because of their different school affiliations.

CSULB’s win in Texas comes on the heels of its second-best overall showing ever at nationals, where it had teams that earned 10th-, 15th- and 20th-place finishes.  CSULB captured the national championship in 2003.

“We’ve had a pretty good year,” said Ringel, “and it’s been a lot of hard work not only by the students participating, but also my assistant coaches, who have put in a lot of time and effort. I can’t say enough about them.”

Spring 2012 Issue

CSULB Graduate Student Earns Statewide Research Award

Fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) may seem like pests to most people, but their simple biologic structure makes them ideal hosts for a variety of scientific experiments.

For her work in identifying a fruit fly gene that can be useful in diabetes and other biological studies, Melissa Kaye Jones from Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) received the 2012 Don Eden Graduate Student Research Award at the 24th annual California State University Biotechnology Symposium held in Santa Clara. The CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB) sponsors the statewide event.

The Long Beach resident earned her B.S. degree in biology with an option in cell and molecular biology and a certificate in biotechnology from CSULB.  She’s now working on her master of science in biology in the lab of Professor Lisa Klig, an expert in molecular genetics.  Jones co-authored her presentation with Klig and Associate Professor Elizabeth Eldon.

Jones’ work focuses on an enzyme called myo-inositol oxygenase (MIOX) that helps break down a sugar, myo-inositol, which is important in many biological processes.  “MIOX is implicated in diabetes, but the mechanisms are largely unknown,” she said.  Scientists already found the MIOX gene in mice but not in fruit flies, until now.

“We have found a gene in fruit flies that codes for a protein which is 54 percent identical to the mouse MIOX protein and contains a number of features known to play a role in the functioning of the MIOX protein,” Jones said.  “Using RNA interference technology, we were able to show that a decrease in the CG6910 protein in the fruit flies rendered them unable to survive with inositol as their sole carbon and energy source.  This establishes that CG6910 is the MIOX gene in fruit flies and so fruit flies can be used as a model to study the role of inositol catabolism in diabetes.” Catabolism is the process of breaking down molecules that releases energy in organisms.

The Eden Award honors the late Don Eden, a professor at San Francisco State University who served on the CSUPERB board.  Recipients receive a $750 award toward their education plus up to $1,000 for travel expenses to present their research at a national or international scientific meeting.

The award will aid Jones in her goal of eventually earning a Ph.D. and conducting gene translational studies in order to become a biomedical researcher.

“Winning the CSUPERB Don Eden Graduate Student Research Award is an amazing feeling,” Jones said.  “This award is not only for the research I’ve done, but also celebrates the hard work and support from the other students in our lab and Dr. Klig.  She has played a vital role in my academic career and been an incredible mentor for me.  She truly cares for her students and wants them to succeed in everything they do, and we are greatly in her debt for that.

“The CSULB master’s program in biology offers students the opportunity of receiving a high-quality degree while teaching them the skills necessary to succeed as Ph.D. candidates or to enter into industry,” Jones added.  “I knew I would have a lot of options once I received my master’s degree.”

Spring 2012 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Graduate, Undergraduate Students Win Top Honors in Research Competition

Three students from California State University, Long Beach (CSULB)—Thomas Baker, Sarah Clingan and Denise Okamoto—captured top honors at the 26th annual CSU Student Research Competition, a statewide contest showcasing the significant research done by undergraduate and graduate students in the 23-campus CSU system.

In all, some 250 students from 21 CSU campuses competed at this year’s event, which was held at CSULB.  Each campus was allowed up to 10 entries in the 10 categories at the competition, where student participants made oral presentations before juries of professional experts from major corporations, foundations, public agencies, and colleges and universities in California.

All three CSULB students garnered first-place finishes in their respective divisions and categories, for which they each received $500 in cash as well as a certificate signifying their accomplishment.

Okamoto, a graduate student in economics, took home the first-place award in the Business, Economics and Public Administration category with her research project titled “The Motherhood Age Gap,” which shows that mothers earn about 2 to 3 percent less per hour than women who do not have children.

“My research finds that the work effort theory may explain this wage gap.  This theory states that doing household chores and taking care of the children leaves women with less energy for their jobs which results in lower wages,” Okamoto pointed out.  “This finding is important because more women are becoming the breadwinner of their families so the motherhood wage gap affects the entire household.

Her research also found that women are delaying children until later in life to avoid this wage gap resulting in riskier childbirths and higher medical costs.  She also noted that the pay gap between men and women is largely comprised of the motherhood wage gap.

“Receiving an award for my research was a wonderful way to recognize not only myself but also CSULB’s Economics Department, my family, friends, and classmates,” said Okamoto, who will graduate from CSULB with her master’s degree in economics later this month.  “My research project would not be possible had it not been for the assistance, guidance, and support of many people.”

Okamoto was especially grateful to her mentor for the project Kristen Monaco, CSULB chair and professor of economics.  “Her mentorship has meant a great deal to me.  She has given me the skills to conduct research projects using advanced econometric tools,” she noted.  “She sets the bar high, which has motivated me to accomplish what sometimes felt impossible.  Under her mentorship, I’ve been able to realize more of my potential, giving me confidence in my knowledge of economics.”

Clingan, a senior psychology major, earned first place in the undergraduate division of the Health, Nutrition and Clinical Sciences category for her project on “Sex Trading for Drugs in Long Beach, California.”  Dennis Fisher, director of the CSULB Center for Behavioral Research and Services, was her mentor for the project.

“I wanted to better understand why people sex trade for drugs and the relative impact of each factor,” explained Clingan, who said that winning the top prize made her feel rewarded for all of her diligent work and effort.  “It is vital that public health workers recognize who trades sex for drugs so that they are able establish guidelines for education and prevention.”

Clingan, who will graduate with her bachelor’s degree later this month, was hired by Fisher to work at the center in fall 2011.  In addition to helping her conduct research, the two have teamed up to present their findings at conferences and are preparing a manuscript on research they conducted on survival sex trading.

Finally, Baker, a graduate student in physics, received the top award in the graduate division of the Physical and Mathematical Sciences category.  His project focused on “The Bead on a Hoop and Ferromagnetism: An Analogy between Classical Mechanics and Magnetism.”  His advisor for the project was Andreas Bill, a professor in the CSULB Department of Physics and Astronomy.

“The students who I saw speak all had quality, well thought out contributions to their field, so it was a real honor to be recognized out of the many professional presentations,” said Baker, who graduates the month with a master’s of science degree in physics.  “The message was that good, impactful research can happen anywhere and not just at prestigious institutions.  It is important we recognize that fact both psychologically and fiscally and not let any of these programs atrophy.”

Through this project, Baker and Bill solved completely a 200-year-old problem known to most physicists as the bead on a hoop.  Normally, Baker explained, the full solution is not asked of undergraduate physicists while research is being done by other groups using approximations and numerical approaches to our exact solution.

“This system is a wire hoop with a bead threaded on it.  As the hoop spins, the bead rises to a non-zero height. Undergraduates are asked to find this height.  We found the complete solution of the problem describing the oscillations of the bead on the axis and submitted this for publication to the American Journal of Physics.  The article is ‘in-press’ meaning it will appear in the journal within the next few months depending on their publication space.”

The solution for the mechanical system is also mathematically similar to a magnetic system used for magnetic sensing, according to Baker.  A suitable model is then derivable from their exact mathematical formalism of the bead on a hoop.  Surprisingly, he said, these mathematical similarities are not uncommon in physics and serve to illustrate more abstract behaviors in systems you can set up for a class demonstration.

Each entry (oral presentation plus written summary) was judged on clarity of purpose, appropriateness of methodology, interpretation of results, value of the research or creative activity, ability of the presenter to articulate the research or creative activity, organization of the material presented, and the presenter’s ability to handle questions from the jury and general audience.

“Three first place awards for Cal State Long Beach students is especially meaningful since CSULB hosted the system-wide competition this year,” said Cecile Lindsay, CSULB’s vice provost and dean for graduate studies who oversaw this year’s event.  “The last time CSULB hosted the system-wide competition was in 2002.  It was a good opportunity to showcase our beautiful campus and the city of Long Beach.”

Spring 2012 Issue

CSULB Graduate Student 1st in University History to Win Southern California Kaiser Fellowship

Natalie Whitlock, a graduate student at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), has become the first CSULB student to receive the Southern California Kaiser Fellowship.

“I am very excited about this opportunity and am honored that I was one of six who were chosen out of over 100 applicants. Kaiser is very excited to have someone represent Cal State Long Beach. I am looking forward to completing my master’s in health care administration and beginning my career with Kaiser,” said Whitlock. “The knowledge and skills I have learned through my work experience as well as the master’s program here at CSULB aided me in obtaining this fellowship. I am proud to be able to represent CSULB in the fellowship program.”

She will start the postgraduate fellowship in July in San Diego for her first of three rotations in the 24-month program. The first two are at a medical center and/or medical office, and one at the regional offices. Fellows are placed in their first rotation by the organization, but fellows generally choose their location for the second and third rotations.

The Postgraduate Fellowship in Health Care Administration is designed to develop skills and leadership potential. The program is structured to maximize the learning opportunities for fellows as well as support the operational needs of the organization. The goals of the fellowship program include:

  • Identify promising candidates for management and future leadership positions at Kaiser Permanente.
  • Provide fellows with an educational and hands-on experience that will contribute to their professional development as well as to their understanding of Kaiser Permanente.
  • Create opportunities to enhance skills in project development, strategic implementation, and operations management.

The fellowship program allows for learning opportunities at both the professional and personal level as well as a balance between project and operational work. Learning opportunities include hospital and outpatient operations, strategic and market planning, facility planning, financial and analytical performance, analytic skills and communication skills.

Whitlock has been a quality improvement officer at Morningside Recovery, which is dedicated to providing care for men and women who are chemically dependent or suffering from co-occurring disorders, since June. She has also worked at Spencer Recovery Center, a substance abuse facility, for five years as a utilization review direction, quality coordinator and medication administrator.  At CSULB, she served as a research assistant with a psychology professor on a nicotine study. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology cum laude from CSULB in 2006 and is working on her master of science in health care administration.

Fellows often find a number of informal mentors through both project and operational work. These relationships often form a strong professional network. In addition, incoming fellows can benefit from a network of fellowship alumni who provide support, insight and guidance.

Kaiser Permanente is one of the nation’s leading health care organizations, serving 8.7 million members.

Spring 2012 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Ranks Among Top State Universities in Graduates’ Mid-career Earnings

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) continues to make gains in the mid-career earnings potential of its graduates compared to other state universities across the country, according to the most recent College Salary Report released by PayScale.com.

With a mid-career median salary of $82,900, the Long Beach campus ranked 53rd among the 416 state universities listed in the 2011-12 salary report, placing it ahead of such notable institutions as Louisiana State University, Michigan State University, Arizona State University and Washington State University.

“As the cost of a bachelor’s degree continues to rise, it is important to know that the college you choose can give you a good return on your educational investment,” CSULB President F. King Alexander said.  “Cal State Long Beach has been ranked as a ‘best value’ university by Kiplinger’ s Personal Finance magazine and the Princeton Review, and this PayScale report adds credibility to those rankings.  We continue to offer our students an outstanding value while giving them the skills and tools they need to succeed in the job market.”

Mid-career employees are full-time employees with at least 10 years of experience in their career or field who hold a bachelor’s degree and no higher degrees.  For the graduates in the 2011-12 data set, the typical mid-career employee is 42 years old and has 15 years of experience.

The CSULB mid-career median salary of $82,900 means half of the mid-career employees who are graduates of the school earn more than this salary, while the other half earn less.

CSULB has been moving up in the mid-career median salary rankings over the last couple of years.  In the 2009-10 report, the campus ranked 67th among the nation’s state universities, and in the 2010-11 survey, CSULB moved up to 59th.  Both years, the mid-career median salary for its graduates was $82,700.

All the data used to produce the 2011-12 report were collected from employees who successfully completed PayScale’s employee survey.  Only employees who possessed a bachelor’s degree (and no higher degrees) are included.  All reports are for graduates of schools from the United States who work in the United States, and only graduates who are employed full-time and paid with either an hourly wage or an annual salary are included.

Spring 2012 Issue

Kiplinger’s Names Cal State Long Beach Among Nation’s Top 100 Best Values in Public Colleges

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) has been named to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s list of the top 100 best values in public colleges for 2011-12.  The ranking recognizes four-year institutions that combine outstanding education with economic value.

CSULB appears at No. 98 on the list and is one of 12 California institutions to make the rankings. Three other CSU campuses were among the 100 – San Diego State (77), Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (83) and Cal Poly Pomona (91).  The other eight California schools were University of California campuses.

“We’re extremely pleased to once again be recognized by Kiplinger’s as one of the best value public colleges in the country,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander.  “Access to higher education begins first and foremost with the ability to afford a college degree, and at Cal State Long Beach we continue to work to hold down costs to students wherever possible.  However, if the state’s support of higher education continues to erode as it has in the last three years, access and affordability to the state’s colleges and universities will become more and more challenging for its residents.”

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.

Selected from a pool of more than 500 public four-year colleges and universities, schools in the Kiplinger 100 were ranked according to academic quality, including SAT or ACT scores, admission and retention rates, student-faculty ratios, and four- and six-year graduation rates, which most schools reported for the class that entered in 2004. The editors then rank each school based on cost and financial aid. Academic quality carries more weight than costs.

According to the magazine’s report, the total cost of private colleges has recently averaged almost $39,000 a year, more than twice the average annual in-state sticker price—roughly $17,000—at public schools.  In fact, a third of the public schools on Kiplinger’s top-100 list charge about the same as or less than that average amount, an indication of the emphasis Kiplinger’s places on affordability.

Kiplinger’s assesses quality and affordability according to a number of measurable standards. This year, Kiplinger’s revamped the rankings to give more weight to academic value, such as the percentage of students who return for sophomore year and the four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include low sticker prices, abundant financial aid and low average debt at graduation. While the criteria have shifted, the overall focus on value remains the same.

“As states cut funding for higher education and tuition continues to climb, the word ‘value’ becomes more significant than ever,” said Jane Bennett Clark, senior editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.  “This year’s top 100 public schools deliver strong academics at reasonable prices.  We applaud these institutions for tightening their belts without compromising quality.”

Web visitors will find special interactive features including frequently asked questions about the public colleges ranking, a slideshow of the top 10 schools, and data sortable by criteria such as state, tuition cost, average debt, student/faculty ratio, and admission rate.  Additionally, Kiplinger’s top-200-ranked private colleges and universities of 2011-12—announced in November 2011—are featured in a companion Best College Values report.

Spring 2012 Issue

A Message from the President

There are times when we can look back and consider times in history when directions were taken that had major impact, changing lives and impacting futures. In California, we are facing just such a time right now: decisions made in the next few months will make a difference in the lives of our children and their children, ultimately impacting the quality of life that is uniquely Californian.

Our state’s public education system has been the envy of the world during previous decades, providing access to students that extended beyond high school to collegiate education. This system of access was the primary cause of our state’s phenomenal growth in every sector. Unfortunately, as state funding has diminished, so have the promises to our young people.  An individual’s career growth is most often tied to education, especially beyond the high school years. Already state and national predictions are that colleges will not be able to produce the number of college graduates needed in key sectors, particularly in business, finance, engineering, healthcare and education.

In recent years California public education has been caught in the crosshairs of state budget reductions, with these cuts hitting California State University (CSU) campuses especially hard. For CSULB, recent cuts just in the last 18 months have translated to a 27 percent reduction in funding for our current academic year. Governor Jerry Brown has proposed tax initiatives that he believes will help California move toward more financial stability.  Should the tax measures fail, CSULB would take a funding reduction of about $23 million, effective January 2013.

You may have heard reports that CSU campuses are considering measures that would, in effect, limit access to many academically qualified students. At the same time that we are told more degree holders are necessary to the economic growth of our state and nation, we may be put into the deeply unfortunate circumstance where we will determine how to best educate our students with the decreasing funding we have. To compromise the quality of a CSULB education is not an option. Investment funding is the bottom line to how many students we can serve, how many programs we can offer, how many faculty and staff we can have to meet student needs.

Please join me in taking this important message to our legislators: our future depends on the quality of education we provide. To limit university access to deserving students through a steady reduction of state funding translates to a loss for all of us.

Thank you for your continuing support of CSULB.

F. King Alexander

President

Spring 2012 Issue

Professor Awarded $1.4 Million for Nuclear Fuel Research

Stephen Mezyk, professor in Chemistry and Biochemistry at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB), has received a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant to examine the effects of radiation on nuclear reprocessing systems in the Fuel Cycle Research and Development area. The four-year, $1.4 million award enlists Mezyk as the principal investigator who will lead the study to increase understanding of the chemistry of molecules called ligands that are used to selectively remove metals from nuclear waste. 

Examining the role and chemistry of these ligands could improve the safety of stored nuclear waste by reducing the levels of radioactivity and toxicity. 

CSULB was the only non-Ph.D.-granting institution among 23 leading universities receiving Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP) 2010 funding for nuclear education and technologies. Mezyk said the study is of significant importance because current reprocessing systems were largely developed in the 1960s—when the first nuclear power plants began operating. However, most of these schemes emphasized the engineering requirements of reprocessing rather than their chemistry. 

“To optimize this part of the process, we started looking at the chemistry of these ligands, and especially the radiation chemistry that occurs. We’ve begun examining how radiation, especially alpha radiation, damages the ligands both directly and indirectly; and how we can better design them to become more resistant,” Mezyk said. “This project will ultimately reduce the radioactivity and toxicity of stored nuclear waste.” 

Mezyk’s exemplary research in the chemistry of free radicals has earned him international recognition in both nuclear and environmental science. His student research group, RadKEM, is recognized for its applications of free radical chemistry in the removal of chemical contaminants from waters and in its understanding of the radical chemistry involved in cancer. 

RadKEM has worked with the National Energy Laboratory at Notre Dame and the Orange County Water District using radiation to study the breakdown of such contaminants as antibiotics and hormones during the remediation of water. The Department of Energy grant will take RadKEM in a new direction, in collaboration with Bruce Mincher of the DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory and Mikael Nilsson, assistant professor at the University of California, Irvine. 

The multi-year research project will be completed at the national Radiation Laboratory at Notre Dame, Ind.; at UC Irvine; in Chalmers, Sweden; and potentially in Marcoule, France. It will also engage several European researchers. 

Winter 2011 Issue

It’s Here! New Recreation and Wellness Center Opens

The long-awaited campus Student Recreation and Wellness Center (SRWC) at Cal State Long Beach is now open for business, and it’s been busy.

“Since every student can join, our goal is to have as many of our 34,000 students registered as active members as possible,” said Dave Edwards, Associated Students Inc. (ASI) Associate Executive Director/University Student Union (USU) Director. "The center has served up to 4,000 daily since it opened."

The 126,500-square-foot, two-story, state-of-the-art facility contains a three-court gym, indoor elevated jogging track, 20,000 square feet of weight and cardio equipment, racquetball courts, group fitness rooms, a custom-made rock climbing wall, a wellness and nutrition suite, swimming pool and spa, as well as many other services. The SRWC is Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) Gold certified (a green building certification system) and offers many technological advances such as biometric hand scanners for entry, filtered water fountains, and flat screens with touch technology.

“Providing our students and campus community with state-of-the-art health and wellness facilities will bring lifelong benefits to all,” said Alexander. “It will bring individual benefits for decades to come while also bringing direct and indirect economic benefits to all citizens. From the moment this facility opened, its usefulness to our students and other campus members can be measured by the thousands who will flock to the building seven days a week.”

The center’s location was determined, according to Edwards, in part because of the desire to not build new facilities on existing green space. Therefore, the site selected needed to be on a parking lot or an existing building. And so, there it is, located on the northeast corner of campus, just off Atherton Street.

“For Cal State Long Beach, which has traditionally been considered a commuter campus, it will change campus life forever,” said Edwards. “It is a place to work out and get physically fit, but it’s also a place for groups to meet and student organizations to have programs and tournaments. It’s another hub for the campus. It becomes sort of an additional student union for the campus.”

The current University Student Union, a 180,000-square-foot facility located in the middle of campus, will continue to be an important part of CSULB life.

Faculty, staff and alumni may all become SWRC members. Students’ membership fees are covered as part of their student fees, while faculty, staff and alumni can pay at the center. In addition, for a slightly higher fee, there is an affiliate member category that includes adult family members of students, faculty, staff and alumni.

Winter 2011 Issue

CSULB Receives $2.25M for College Assistance Program

The U.S. Department of Education recently awarded CSULB’s Offices of Educational Equity Services (EES), Division of Student Services, a five-year grant totaling $2,257,296 to administer a College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) for students attending campus from migrant and seasonal farm worker backgrounds. According to the U.S. Office of Migrant Education, the university’s proposal was among the top-ranked applications.

CAMP is a federally funded plan to assist institutions of higher education to recruit, enroll and retain migrant college students. California is home to more than 200,000 migrant students who account for approximately one-quarter of the total U.S. migrant student population. Migrant farm workers reach the average of the seventh grade in their education. Twenty percent complete less than three years of schooling while just 15 percent complete 12 years or more.

This is the third consecutive award to CSULB of a five-year CAMP grant, said Howard Wray, executive director of Educational Equity Services and principal investigator and project administrator of CAMP. “The purpose of the grant is to annually recruit and enroll 40 migrant students at CSULB and to retain at least 86 percent of them into their second year,” he said. “The award period is from July 2010 through June 2015.”

The funding supports the central operating staff of the program including a full-time director, a counselor, a recruiter, an administrative assistant and a part-time clerical and tutorial staff. In addition, funds will be used to recruit and retain migrant students as well as sponsor orientation seminars for parents and incoming students.

Forty students will be enrolled and served per year for a total of 200 over the five-year period. “Each student served will be able to help younger students and their families understand the significance of having a college degree and how to achieve it,” said Wray.

Only 33 percent of California migrant students enroll in college preparatory courses. Further, only 12 percent of migrant students meet state standards in English performance and only 18 percent meet state standards in mathematics. “California migrant students lag an average of three years behind non-migrant students at all academic levels,” he said. “And only one percent of California migrant students enroll in any postsecondary program.”

Winter 2011 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Receives ‘Best in the West’ Designation in Princeton Review’s ‘2011 Best Colleges: Region by Region’

The Princeton Review has designated California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) a “Best in the West” college in its Web site feature, “2011 Best Colleges: Region by Region,” which was posted in August.

One of just 120 institutions receiving the “Best in the West” mention, CSULB was selected primarily for its excellent academic program, according to The Princeton Review officials. Collectively, there were 623 colleges named to its four “regional best” lists, a total that constitutes only about 25 percent of the nation’s 2,500 four-year colleges.

“The Princeton Review ranking is significant because it takes into account the opinions of those we serve – the students,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander. “Our students believe in the quality education provided at Cal State Long Beach, and they know this will serve them well in their future careers. Additionally, the dedicated work of our faculty and staff once again has been recognized as benefitting our students.”

Colleges chosen for the “Best in the West” list are located in fifteen states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.  The Princeton Review also designated 218 colleges in the Northeast, 152 in the Midwest, and 133 in the Southeast as best in their locales on the company’s “2011 Best Colleges: Region by Region” lists.

 “We’re pleased to recommend Cal State Long Beach to users of our site as one of the best schools to earn their undergrad degree,” said Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s senior vice president for publishing. “From several hundred schools in each region, we winnowed our list based on institutional data we collected directly from the schools, our visits to schools over the years, and the opinions of our staff, plus college counselors and advisors whose recommendations we invite.”

Franek also noted that only schools that permit The Princeton Review to independently survey their students are eligible to be considered for its regional “best” lists.

With each recognized university, the Web site highlights comments made by students in the surveys in the areas of academics, campus life and student body. The following are comments by Cal State Long Beach students:

Academics – CSULB is “very large and diverse,” “affordable to virtually anyone” and “geared toward preparing students to enter the real world.” “The academic experience at this school is what you make of it,” says a political science major. Many CSULB faculty members are “wonderfully passionate” and “available outside of class,” “especially in the upper-level courses.” “Teachers are here because they want to teach, not do research,” says an aerospace engineering major.

Campus Life – “There’s plenty of campus life, culture, and activities – you just have to look,” says a senior. “When walking from class to class, it’s pleasant to see the juggling club on the lawn, a reggae band playing near the dining hall, and the Filipino American Club discussing justice for Filipino-American veterans.” This “beautiful” campus boasts “clean architecture” and “several tasty food joints.” The baseball and the women’s volleyball teams perennially “compete for national titles.” For a smattering of students, “Greek life is awesome.” “Dorm life on campus is great.”

Student Body – At CSULB, “everyone is very different.” “You can be yourself and no one will mind,” says one student. “Our school has one of the most diverse student bodies of any school in the nation,” notes a junior. “Think of any social/religious/ethnic archetype and we’ve got ‘em in droves – liberals, conservatives, religious zealots (Western and Eastern), adamant atheists, and a greater variety of skin color than a 1990s diversity promotion.” All students have a place where they can feel welcome and enjoy themselves."

Winter 2011 Issue

Women’s Track and Field Team Earns All-Academic Honors; 4 49er Athletes Named to Division I All-Academic Field Team

The Long Beach State women’s track and field squad has been tabbed a 2010 Division I All-Academic Team by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

Meanwhile, four athletes from the 49er men’s and women’s track and field teams received individual recognition and were named to the USTFCCCA Division I All-Academic Team, with Randi Hicks and Jennifer Rodriguez representing the women and Alex Black and Matt Maldonado representing the men.

To qualify for USTFCCCA honors, student-athletes must have compiled a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.25 and have met either the NCAA Division I Indoor automatic or provisional qualifying standard or participated in the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships in their respective event.

Hicks advanced to the NCAA Championships in the javelin where she finished 12th overall and earned All-America status.  Earlier in the season, she established a school and Big West Conference record throw of 170-feet, 11-inches at the Ben Brown Invitational (March 6).

Rodriguez qualified for the NCAA West Preliminaries in the 10,000 meters.  Rodriguez also established a school record in that event as she ran a time of 35:19.05 at the Stanford Invitational (March 26).

Black was also an NCAA West Preliminary qualifier in the high jump where he cleared 6-feet, 7-inches.  He previously tied his career-high 6-10.75 to claim runner-up honors at the Trojan Invitational (March 20).

Maldonado competed in the 1,500-meter run at the NCAA West Preliminary meet.  He also established a personal-record and the second-fastest mark in school history when he clocked in at 3:44.28 to win the 1,500 at the Steve Scott Invitational (May 2).

Winter 2011 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Communication Studies Professor Earns 2010 Ehninger Award from National Communication Association

Craig R. Smith, professor of communication studies at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), has been named the recipient of the 2010 Douglas W. Ehninger Award for lifetime achievement in rhetorical scholarship by the National Communication Association (NCA).

The Ehninger Award honors distinguished scholars who have developed research programs in rhetorical theory, rhetorical criticism or public address studies. The award is given to a person who, through multiple publications and presentations around a rhetorical topic or theme, demonstrates intellectual creativity, perseverance and impact on academic communities.

“The Ehninger Award is akin to the Rhetoricians’ Hall of Fame, and Craig deserves a prominent place in it. His scholarship–a unique blend of the theoretical, the critical and the historical–has been instrumental in advancing the field,” said Davis Houck, professor of communication at Florida State University and one of three colleagues who wrote letters of recommendation on Smith’s behalf. “His work will educate undergraduates and graduate students still unborn. His work is that profound.”

In part, Smith said he believes he was selected for the award for his monumental study Rhetoric and Human Consciousness: A History (Waveland Press), which is going into a second printing of its third edition.

Smith has published 15 books and more than 60 scholarly articles. He served as a full-time speechwriter to President Gerald Ford and Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca and was a consultant to George H.W. Bush during his 1980 run for the presidency; and for CBS News for convention, election night and inaugural coverage. Smith is director of the Center for First Amendment Studies at CSULB and has been a faculty member at the campus 1988.

The National Communication Association is the largest national organization to promote communication scholarship and education. A non-profit organization, it is made up of more than 8,000 educators, practitioners and students who work and reside in the United States and more than 20 countries.

Winter 2011 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Biochemist’s Research Supports Premise That Chemical Plasticizers May Contribute to Autism, Alzheimer’s

Who knew that brine shrimp—the tiny creatures popularly known as “Sea-Monkeys”—could reveal problems with chemicals found in plastics or even contribute to potential treatments for neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and autism?

CSULB biochemistry Professor Roger Acey and students in his lab have been studying the biology and genetics of embryonic development, using brine shrimp, Artemia salina, as a biological model. He is particularly interested in how environmental contaminants affect development.
 
Acey’s lab initially looked at how exposing the shrimp to toxic metals like copper and mercury could affect their development. While continuing this work, which led to discovery of a shrimp protein that can capture metals, Acey took his research in another direction.

“We began looking at plasticizers and how they might affect embryonic development,” he said. “We started looking at phthalate esters—compounds that give plastic bottles their malleability," and are found in a host of plastic products, but are known environmental contaminants that are implicated in a variety of health problems.

 
Through a series of experiments, they learned that a commonly used phthalate, di-n-butyl (DBP), turns out to be the most toxic, and "that there is a well-defined period of development when the embryos are sensitive to the phthalate. Therefore, we began looking for a specific biochemical event that was impacted by the DBP.” As the shrimp develop, they produce an enzyme that metabolizes the DBP, which he has since identified as butyrylcholinesterase.
 
He noted that the shrimp were being affected by DBP at the point where their nervous system was beginning to develop. “After the stem cells are activated and begin to develop into a neuron, the DBP becomes toxic. We think what is happening is that the DBP prevents the butyrylcholinesterase from performing its normal biological function," so his lab is continuing its work in understanding the effects of these chemicals.
 
Acey is interested in how plasticizers might be connected to the dramatic rise in autism and Alzheimer’s disease. That led him to consider another plasticizer, bisphenol A, commonly called BPA, which is being widely studied for its possible toxicity. Acey’s group has shown that BPA is an inhibitor of butyrylcholinesterase, which "may have a pronounced effect on neuron development,” he said. Acey believes every effort should be made to prevent exposure of pregnant women and infants to these types of compounds.
 
Furthermore, current therapeutics used to treat Alzheimer’s disease target butyrylcholinesterase, so he and CSULB Professor Ken Nakayama are collaborating on examining the biochemistry of this enzyme and its possible connections to Alzheimer’s. They’ve applied for a patent for the compounds and are preparing to write a grant proposal to fund additional studies. He hopes that these compounds might someday be the basis for new medications to treat both conditions.
 
To learn more about Acey’s research, visit http://chemistry.csulb.edu/roger-acey.html.
Winter 2011 Issue

U.S. News & World Report Ranks Cal State Long Beach 4th Best Public Regional University in West in Its 2011 Best Colleges Guide

U.S.News & World Report has ranked California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) the fourth best public regional university in the western United States in its 2011 edition of “America’s Best Colleges Guide.”  The western region includes 13 states from Texas to California to Washington and includes Alaska and Hawaii. It is the third year in a row that CSULB has been ranked in the No. 4 spot.  Overall, however, the Long Beach campus moved up to 24th among the more than 120 western public and private regional universities named in the 2011 guide.  Last year, the university ranked 26th.

In all, more than 1,400 accredited four-year schools nationwide were included in the U.S.News & World Report rankings.

“Despite the difficult economic situation our institution has faced over the last year, we’ve been able to maintain our standing as one of the best universities in the West.  In fact, overall, we improved our ranking slightly,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander.  “The success of Cal State Long Beach in these ratings is a direct result of the efforts of our faculty and staff, who were asked to sacrifice a great deal during the last academic year but continued to serve students with the same professionalism and pride.”

CSULB was also recognized by the publication in one of its other ranking categories – “racial diversity.”  The Long Beach campus ranked No. 5 among all regional universities in the West with a 0.69 diversity index score.  The formula produces a diversity index that ranges from 0.0 to 1.0.  The closer a school’s number is to 1.0, the more diverse is the student population.

“We are also proud that the rankings recognized the campus for its ethnic diversity,” Alexander added.  “A university’s student enrollment should reflect the diverse communities that it serves.  Cal State Long Beach does that, and it is an area we focus on improving every year.”

The exclusive rankings are available today at www.usnews.com/colleges, and were published in the September issue of U.S.News & World.

 
Winter 2011 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Listed Among Top 15 Percent of Colleges, Universities and Trade Schools Doing Most to Embrace Veterans

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) has been listed among 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.

G.I. Jobs, a monthly magazine that assists veterans in seeking civilian employment and education, released its 2011 list of Military Friendly Schools, which recognizes that top 15 percent.  Schools on the list range from state universities and private colleges to community colleges and trade schools.  The common bond is their shared priority of recruiting students with military experience.

“Cal State Long Beach is privileged to serve our nation’s veterans, who add diversity, maturity and a global perspective to our classrooms and learning communities,” said Pat O’Rourke, a former lieutenant colonel in the Army who now directs CSULB’s Veterans University.  “As our veterans leave the service and pursue their educational goals, we encourage them to consider the robust programs and services available at CSULB, and we look forward to serving them just as they have served our nation, with total commitment.”

The billions of dollars in tuition money now available with the passage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill last year has intensified an already strong desire by colleges to court veterans into their classrooms.

“This list is especially important now because the Post-9/11 GI Bill has given veterans virtually unlimited financial means to go to school,” said Rich McCormack, G.I. Jobs publisher.  “Veterans can now enroll in any school, provided they’re academically qualified.  So schools are clamoring for them like never before.  Veterans need a trusted friend to help them decide where to get educated. The Military Friendly Schools list is that trusted friend.”

Derek Blumke, president of Student Veterans of America and a member of the list’s Academic Advisory Board (AAB), agrees.  “The Military Friendly Schools list is the gold standard in letting veterans know which schools will offer them the greatest opportunity, flexibility and overall experience.  It’s especially important now with so many schools competing for military students.”

Schools on the Military Friendly Schools list also offer additional benefits to student veterans such as on-campus veterans programs, credit for service, military spouse programs and more.

The list was compiled through exhaustive research beginning last April during which G.I. Jobs polled more than 7,000 schools nationwide. Criteria for making the Military Friendly Schools list included efforts and results in recruiting military and veteran students, and in academic accreditations.

A full story and detailed list of Military Friendly Schools were highlighted in the annual Guide to Military Friendly Schools and on a poster, both of which were distributed to hundreds of thousands of active and former military personnel in late September.

The newly redesigned website, found at www.militaryfriendlyschools.com, features interactive tools and search functionality to assist military veterans in choosing schools that best meet their personal educational needs. 

Winter 2011 Issue

Cal State Long Beach’s Green Campus Interns Promote Energy Conservation, Environmental Awareness on Campus

To better increase awareness regarding energy conservation and bridge the divide between students and institutional energy costs, Cal State Long Beach’s (CSULB) new student-led Green Campus Program is working to instill and develop sustainable concepts and practices at the university.

The Green Campus Program was developed by the Alliance to Save Energy and serves all three higher education systems in California. Student interns involved in the program implement projects targeting energy usage, promote energy efficiency to students, recommend operational changes and encourage adding energy efficiency lessons into course curricula.

A main goal of the Green Campus Program is to build pathways for students to green careers through training, mentorships, internships, volunteer opportunities and project-based learning. The program strives to help everyone on college campuses realize the possibility of measurable energy savings through best practices, campaigns and retrofitting.

With supervision from the alliance’s staff and input from CSULB, the interns are primarily responsible for the day-to-day implementation of all the Green Campus Program’s activities on campus.

The interns are working on a project to ensure CSULB classrooms are as energy efficient as possible. The project will use HOBO data loggers that will enable the team to record classroom occupancy sensor activity through the on/off changes of lights.

The interns will watch for irregular patterns in lighting usage that indicate when automatic light sensors in the classrooms that are currently installed are not working properly. The team will then inform the Facilities Management Department about the problems.

The alliance’s rationale for developing the Green Campus Program and recruiting student interns is that educational campaigns can result in significant energy savings by changing energy use behaviors and purchasing decisions. The organization believes students are effective advocates on campus and are best able to reach out to their peers and high-level decision makers.

Institutions of higher education spend a significant portion of their annual operating budgets on utility services. To help reduce these costs, the interns will also work closely with administrators, faculty and staff to create a strategic plan that addresses each of the Green Campus Program’s goals and ensures it is uniquely tailored to the needs, challenges and strengths of CSULB.

On average, CSULB spends more than $7.5 million on its utilities bills per year, according to Paul Wingco, energy and sustainability manager in the CSULB Facilities Management Department. He believes that as the Green Campus Program moves forward, the interns will directly contribute to CSULB’s overall effort to go green and to become a more sustainable campus.

“The Green Campus Program interns will no doubt provide a tremendous boost to spreading energy awareness on campus by engaging students, faculty and staff in their projects and initiatives,” said Wingco. “This is important because at Cal State Long Beach our energy sources are finite, so everyone on campus must do what they can to use energy wisely and to minimize our impact on the environment.”

 
Winter 2011 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Engineering, Liberal Arts Colleges Send 51 Local School Girls to Visit NASA’s Dryden Center

Fifty-one high-achieving elementary and middle school girls traveled in August to the Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert, hosted by the College of Engineering (COE) and the College of Liberal Arts’ Center for Human Factors in Advanced Aeronautics Technologies (CHAAT) at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB).

The girls came from lower-income families and attend schools in Long Beach, Torrance, Gardena, South Gate, Huntington Beach, Lawndale and Downey. They joined other young women from throughout Southern California in attending the culminating event in NASA’s new Summer of Innovation (SoI) initiative. Dryden is NASA’s primary center for atmospheric flight research and operations.

Although CSULB’s SoI participants are all girls, the NASA SoI project provides stimulating math and science-based education experiences for middle school girls and boys as well as teachers.

Participants came from two activities hosted this summer by CHAAT and the College of Engineering — the Engineering Girls Internship, a one-week campus residential program for eighth-grade girls held in June; as well as the NASA Learning Experience, where CSULB sent 30 fifth-grade girls to Cape Canaveral, Fla., at the end of July. In addition, applicants to the two programs who weren’t selected were invited to the Dryden event.

NASA paid for transportation, T-shirts and lunch for the students and their adult chaperones. The day-long event included “the release of a weather balloon, directing sonic booms toward the hangar where the participants will be, allowing two of our girls to provide maneuver commands to pilots in flight, and other cool activities and demonstrations,” said Lily Gossage, director of CSULB’s Engneering Recruitment and Retention Center and Coordiniator for Women in Engineering Outreach.

Winter 2011 Issue

With Incoming Class of 30 Scholars, Cal State Long Beach Welcomes 1,000th President’s Scholar to Campus Since 1995

With the beginning of the 2010-11 academic year, California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) welcomed its 1,000th President’s Scholar to the campus, signaling a significant milestone in the life of an initiative that has enhanced the campus’ reputation as one of the best public universities in the United States. Recognized as the premier program of its kind in the state of California, the CSULB President’s Scholars Program was created in 1995 to bring valedictorians and National Merit scholars from California high schools to the Long Beach campus.

To date, more than 1,000 students from nearly every California county have been selected for the program, and with the addition of this year’s incoming class of 30 new scholars, there are about 300 former high school valedictorians and national scholars studying at CSULB.

“After more than 15 years, the President’s Scholars Program at Cal State Long Beach continues to attract many of the brightest and most talented high school graduates in California, and I believe it will continue to do so for years to come,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander.

“These President’s Scholars have an opportunity to learn from, and in many cases work with, an outstanding teaching and research faculty,” he continued.  “At the same time, their presence and work ethic raises the academic integrity and reputation of the university while they serve as outstanding role models for students around them.”

Each President’s Scholar receives a full scholarship from the university that covers general student fees, paid housing in the campus residence halls for four years and an annual book allowance.  In addition, the scholars receive priority registration, personal academic counseling and more.

The benefits for the campus’ President’s Scholars are made possible through the support of the CSULB Alumni Association, President’s Associates and the Corporate Scholars Council, as well as through the philanthropy of private individuals. No state funds are used to support CSULB’s President’s Scholars.

Graduates of the program have gone on to attend prestigious graduate and professional schools such as Yale, Harvard, UC Berkeley, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, Penn State, Boston University, Stanford and UCLA.  Others have started successful careers at companies like Disney, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and TRW and in fields such as education, nursing and medical research, accounting and finance, and the television industry.

Winter 2011 Issue

CSULB Gets $920,000 Improving Teacher Quality Grant from California Post-Secondary Education Commission

The California Post-Secondary Education Commission has awarded a four-year, $920,000 Improving Teacher Quality grant to California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) to support teacher development at the Long Beach Unified School District’s Cabrillo and Jordan high schools.

The grant, which was awarded jointly to the CSULB History and English departments and College of Education, will provide teacher training during summer institutes and release days to enable teachers to deepen their content knowledge, learn discipline-specific literacy and pedagogical strategies, and collaborate within and between departments in refining instruction.  Improving Teacher Quality grants are designed to increase student achievement by enhancing teacher effectiveness.

“The grant focuses on professional development,” said project Co-Director Dave Neumann, director of CSULB’s History Project, housed in the History Department.  “The grant covers three years of professional development beginning in 2011 followed by a year of data assessment and dissemination.  By improving teacher practice, the program should affect student performance, including performance on standardized test scores and constructed responses.”

Professional development will include discipline-specific approaches to improve teacher content knowledge as well as literacy acquisition. “The whole purpose of these grants is to create a heavily researched and evidence-based method of professional development,” said Tim Keirn, the grant’s principal investigator who holds a joint appointment in history and liberal studies.  “Ideally, history teachers instruct with a learning outcome that is more focused on historical thinking as opposed to memorization of facts and dates.”

Co-Director Carol Zitzer-Comfort, CSULB assistant professor of English and liberal studies, will partner with Neumann and Keirn and provide development for English and social studies teachers at Cabrillo and Jordan high schools to help them develop better strategies for teaching expository reading and writing.

Winter 2011 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Receives $1.7 Million NIDA Grant to Study Acceptability, Accuracy of Rapid Tests for Infectious Diseases

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded a four-year, $1.7 million research grant to Cal State Long Beach’s (CSULB) Center for Behavioral Research and Services (CBRS) for a project that will study the accuracy and acceptability of experimental rapid tests for infectious diseases.

 

Titled “Behavioral Science Aspects of Rapid Test Acceptance,” the project will be CSULB’s first registered clinical trial, and the research will contribute to the Federal Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval for the experimental tests as well as a better understanding of who selects rapid tests and why. 

“Traditional testing for infectious diseases, such as HIV, hepatitis and syphilis, requires clients to return for their test results one or two weeks after providing a sample. But, there are many people who don’t return to get their results,” noted Dennis Fisher, CBRS director and professor of psychology at CSULB.  “When people fail to return for their test results, they do not learn of their disease status, and for those who are infected, not knowing their disease status may delay or prevent accessing available treatments and may lead to others becoming infected.

“Rapid testing for infectious diseases, where clients have the opportunity to receive their results on the same day as they provide their specimen, has the potential to increase the proportion of people who receive their test results,” he added.  “Increasing the proportion of people who receive screening test results is important not only to prevent new infections, but also to facilitate those who are infected to access treatment services.”

Currently there are no rapid tests available in the United States for syphilis or combined tests for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and hepatitis C (HCV).  While there are rapid tests for HIV available in this country, new HIV rapid tests have been developed that are more sensitive and can detect HIV earlier, but these have not been FDA-approved.

Fisher’s newly funded project will examine the accuracy and acceptability of six experimental rapid tests for HIV, syphilis, and/or HCV.  The study will estimate sensitivity and specificity of these tests and will look at the acceptability of these tests among different behavioral risk groups.

The CBRS is a multi-function unit of CSULB dedicated to psychosocial research and services related to community health and social problems. The center conducts social and behavioral research on health and substance-use related issues, and the focus of these studies has been on HIV risk, stress and sexually transmitted diseases.  CBRS also operates programs to reduce HIV risk in historically under-served populations.

 

 
Winter 2011 Issue

Formerly Homeless CSULB Student Who Took Shelter in Music Rooms Named Recipient of Hearst/Trustees’ Award

When Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) student Brian K. Smith found himself homeless, he didn’t give up on his dream of a university education.  He found refuge in it…literally.

The senior Spanish translation and music major used the CSULB music rooms as impromptu shelters when he lost his financial aid and student loans because of the limit on unit accumulation.  As a result of not having financial support, Smith became homeless and took refuge in the practice rooms, determined to be the first male in his family to get a college degree.

“I didn’t know what else to do,” Smith said while looking back on those days.  “Education is so important to me.  I knew that I would eventually get over this hurdle.”

Smith’s determination, perseverance and belief in himself paid off in a big way as he was named a recipient of the 2010-11 William R. Hearst/CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement.  The $3,000 award will allow him to complete his degrees at CSULB this year and more.

Each year, the California State University (CSU) selects 23 students, one from each campus in the system, to receive the Hearst/CSU Trustees’ Award, which is among the system’s highest forms of recognition for student achievement.  The award is given to students who have demonstrated financial need, experienced personal hardships, and have attributes such as superior academic performance, exemplary community service and significant personal achievements.

“I am a McNair Scholar and I am working on my research paper with my mentor Ray Briggs on ‘African Influence in the Music of Mexico’s Costa Chica Region.’ The paper is due to be published in spring 2011 in the CSULB McNair Journal,” Smith pointed out.  “The McNair Scholars Program is a federally funded program under the U.S. Department of Education.  It is designed to increase the number of students from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds who have demonstrated strong, academic potential to go on to graduate study and, in particular, receivie their Ph.D.s and later become faculty.”

Smith plans to attend graduate school and then pursue a Ph.D. to expand his translating abilities.

Transferring from Los Angeles City College summa cum laude and from Los Angeles Valley College cum laude, Smith has maintained a 3.65 grade point average at CSULB while taking 18-20 units every semester.

And despite his financial difficulties, he finds time to volunteer at Destiny House Ministries in Long Beach as a Spanish interpreter.  He also helps other students with planning for their recitals as well as tutoring in Spanish, French and Italian.

The William Randolph Hearst Foundation originally established the endowed scholarship fund in 1984.  In 1999, the Hearst Foundation partnered with the CSU Board of Trustees to supplement the endowment with contributions from CSU Trustees and private donors.  From this endowment, the trustees award $3,000 to students who exemplify the scholarship criteria.

 
Winter 2011 Issue

CSULB’s College of Business Administration Listed in The Princeton Review’s ‘Best 300 Business Schools

Highlighting its three “affordable and efficient MBA programs,” the College of Business Administration at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) has been named an outstanding business school by The Princeton Review and is featured in its guidebook “The Best 300 Business Schools: 2011 Edition.”

The Princeton Review is known for its college rankings based on how students rate their schools.  This year, the publisher compiled the lists based on the surveys of some 19,000 students attending the 300 business schools and on school-reported data.

“We are very pleased that the quality of our MBA programs is being recognized by the prestigious Princeton Review,” said Michael Solt, dean for the CSULB College of Business Administration.  “We firmly believe that we offer our graduate students an outstanding educational value and an excellent degree.  So, the acknowledgement of The Princeton Review, as well as our accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB), validates our belief and reinforces our efforts.”

The CSULB College of Business Administration was recognized for its offering of three different MBA programs – the Fully Employed MBA, a 23-month sequence of four 10-week sessions per year that are scheduled on Saturdays for the convenience of full-time workers; the Self-Paced Evening MBA, a program that can be pursued either full- or part-time; and the Accelerated MBA, a one-year, full-time program for students anxious to jump start their business careers.

“Catering to working adults in the Southern California region, these ‘focused, fast-paced, and competitive’ programs are specially designed to help students balance professional and personal commitments while pursuing their educations,” the guide reads. “To that end, the programs are highly successful, offering a convenient and user-friendly educational experience.”

“Best 300 Business Schools” has two-page profiles of the schools with write-ups on their academics, student life and admissions, plus ratings for their academics, selectivity and career placement services.  It also offers students advice on applying to business schools and funding the degree.

“The Princeton Review ranking is significant because it is based on the experiences and opinions of Cal State Long Beach students,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander.  “The faculty and staff in the College of Business Administration have done an excellent job of creating MBA programs that appeal to students, fit their schedules and help them meet their educational and career goals.

The 80-question survey asked students about themselves, their career plans, and their schools’ academics, student body and campus life.

This year’s book quotes several CSULB students, although not by name.  One current student pointed out, “The ease and inclusiveness of the school are exemplary.  Every professor or administrator is highly accessible, and I have no problems at all getting into needed classes.”  Another added, “The (Fully Employed) MBA program is specifically targeted to busy professionals, holding classes exclusively on Saturdays.  The program administration goes out of their way to make sure we are getting everything we need.”

The “Survey Says” section of the profile highlights some of the topics students at each school most agreed upon.  CSULB students who took the survey stated that the College of Business Administration provides “solid preparation” in marketing, accounting and general management.

“We are pleased to recommend California State University, Long Beach to readers of our book and users of our site (www.PrincetonReview.com) as one of the best institutions they could attend to earn an MBA,” said Robert Franek, Princeton Review senior vice president of publishing.  “We chose the 300 business schools in this book based on our high opinion of their academic programs and offerings as well as our review of institutional data we collect from the schools.  We also strongly consider the candid opinions of students attending the schools who rate and report on their campus experiences at their schools on our survey for the book.”

 
Winter 2011 Issue

CSULB President, LBCC President, LBUSD Superintendent Attend White House Signing Ceremony, Make Presentation

Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) President F. King Alexander traveled to Washington, D.C. with Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser and Long Beach City College (LBCC) President Eloy Ortiz Oakley to join President Barack Obama at a White House signing ceremony where the president approved an executive order renewing the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans.

The three educational leaders from Long Beach have attracted national attention for increasing college access through the Long Beach College Promise program and a Seamless Education partnership that aligns curriculum, instruction and professional development from pre-kindergarten through the doctoral level.

The Long Beach leaders made the trip to D.C. to share their successes at a national education summit.

“Our Long Beach community should take great pride in knowing that our commitment to all students from preschool through the doctoral degree is being recognized nationally as a prototype of seamless education. This is perhaps the most important issue our nation faces in the decades to come,” CSULB’s Alexander said. “We were very pleased to participate with President Obama and the U.S. Department of Education to help improve public education everywhere.”

Hispanics represent the fastest growing minority group in the nation. The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans was established in September 1990 to provide guidance to the Secretary of Education regarding academic opportunities for the Hispanic community. The initiative was subsequently continued by President William J. Clinton and President George W. Bush.

Under President Obama, the office has taken further steps to serve the Hispanic community. The latest executive order by Obama is aimed at strengthening the initiative.

More than 52 percent of students in the Long Beach Unified School District are Hispanic. Participation in rigorous Advanced Placement college preparatory classes by Hispanics and other minorities here has soared in recent years. College enrollment is on the rise here too, in part because of the College Promise, a cooperative venture among CSULB, LBCC and LBUSD that has produced promising results in just two years. The program includes a tuition-free semester at LBCC, and it offers guaranteed admission to CSULB for local students.

“More than 72 percent of our high school graduates are pursuing higher education, with half of them attending LBCC or CSULB,” LBUSD’s Steinhauser pointed out. “We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished with the help of our partners in higher education, and we’re delighted that the Obama Administration has noticed our ongoing efforts.”

At Long Beach City College, more than 500 students this fall are taking advantage of a tuition-free semester, courtesy of the College Promise.

“The Long Beach College Promise is a national model for seamless education, and we are honored that President Obama and his education team have taken notice,” said LBCC’s President Oakley. “As one of the largest Hispanic serving institutions in the nation, it gives us great pride to be recognized by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. It is our hope that key elements of our innovative program can be emulated across the country.”

The College Promise is an extension of Long Beach’s Seamless Education partnership, described as a national model in a case study this year by the Washington D.C.-based Business Higher Education Forum. The Seamless partnership, started in 1994, connects LBUSD’s educators with business leaders, LBCC and CSULB to make certain that students progress smoothly through the education systems and into the workforce.

Winter 2011 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Gets Nearly $1 Million CPEC Grant to Work with Local Algebra Teachers, Increase Students Achievement

The California Postsecondary Education Commission (CPEC) has awarded Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) a four-year, $996,284 grant for a project that will have university professors working with algebra teachers from five Long Beach high schools in an effort to increase mathematics achievement among students, particularly those from underperforming groups.

“Project EQALS: Evidenced-based, Quality Professional Development in Algebra for Learners’ Success” is a partnership between the College of Education and College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at CSULB and the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD).

Co-principal investigators (PIs) Babette Benken, associate professor of mathematics and statistics, and Cara Richards-Tutor, associate professor of advanced studies in education and counseling, are directing the project.  Participating LBUSD high schools include Cabrillo, Jordan, Polytechnic, Millikan and Lakewood.

Through its 2010 Improving Teacher Quality initiative, CPEC awarded nearly $9 million in grants to help California teachers from high-need school districts.  The grants were awarded to partnership projects that will provide professional development activities that bring together K-12 teachers and institutions that educate and prepare teachers for the purpose of narrowing the achievement gap.

“Long Beach Unified’s high schools show an achievement gap between high performing and low-performing subgroups, including Latino and African American students, English learners and students with disabilities.  This gap is particularly evident in algebra,” said Richards-Tutor.  “The primary focus of this project is to improve the math achievement of all students through a professional development program for high school algebra teachers.  At the same time, we are hoping to help close the achievement gap that exists among students within the district.”

Benken pointed out that Project EQALS is critically important for a couple of reasons.  First, high school students’ mathematics proficiency levels in California are low, particularly for algebra.  Second, algebra has historically been a gatekeeper for students and often prevents students from pursing advanced mathematics.  But there was one other reason more specific to LBUSD.

“Long Beach Unified is implementing changes to their algebra curriculum beginning this year,” noted Benken, who is also the graduate advisor for mathematics education at CSULB.  “Professional development is needed to help teachers learn how to adapt to the changes and utilize best practices.  This will help increase proficiency and reduce gaps among various subgroups of students.”

Project EQALS is designed to improve the algebra content knowledge and teaching practices of participating teachers through scientifically based instructional practices.

The professional development – which will include intensive summer institutes, on-site periodic workshops and on-going coaching and support in the classroom – will focus on deepening teachers’ content knowledge around algebraic concepts.  It also will target improving teachers’ ability to monitor student progress and differentiate instruction, including specific strategies for meeting the needs of both English learners and students with disabilities.

The project will develop a model for using flexible teaching methods based on student needs, called differentiated instruction, and collect data about these methods’ effectiveness. It also will create professional learning communities to positively impact teacher development and support on-going communication and collaboration. Their model has been designed to have a widespread, sustainable effect on teaching practices and mathematics achievement throughout LBUSD.

Winter 2011 Issue

CSULB Tutor, Recent Grad Receives 2010 Outstanding Tutor Award from College Reading, Learning Association

Jubilee Rodriguez, a summer 2010 graduate of Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) with a B.S. in mathematics, is this year’s winner of the Tom Pasternack Outstanding Tutor Award, given by the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA).

Established by the CRLA International Tutor Program Certification committee, the award was created to honor the late CRLA newsletter editor Tom Pasternack and to reward an outstanding tutor.

“Jubilee is an exceptional tutor,” said Vanessa Najpauer, associate coordinator of Tutorial Services of CSULB’s Learning Assistance Center (LAC), where Jubilee tutored on campus.  “She really makes math accessible to students who come to the LAC looking for help.  The LAC is honored to have one its tutors be recognized for such a prestigious award.”

Rodriguez was hired at the LAC in spring 2008.  Her employment included two semesters of training (CRLA certification levels I and II) and then an optional third level for which she conducted original research and prepared training sessions for newer LAC tutors.

Rodriguez’s has tutored at Millikan High School in Long Beach, Long Beach City College, CSULB’s Learning Assistance Center, West Carson Kumon Center and Narbonne High School in Harbor City.

In applying for the award, Rodriguez submitted an essay on the topic, “Tutoring: Helping Create the Future.”  In addition, nominees had to have a 3.0 minimum grade point average and a letter of recommendation by a faculty member of the institution.

Since graduating, Rodriguez has been employed as a full-time math quality control specialist for ALEKS Corp., an online education company, where she reviews hundreds of math problems and fixes minor bugs in the program’s algorithm.  In the near future, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in mathematics at CSULB.

In existence since the mid-1960s, CRLA is an international professional association of faculty and staff active in the fields of reading and learning assistance.  It encompasses developmental education, the range of learning support that includes tutoring, and mentoring at the college/adult level.  The organization’s most vital function and overall purpose is to provide a forum for the interchange of ideas, methods and information to improve student learning and to facilitate the professional growth of its members.

Winter 2011 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Ranked 3rd Most Secure University, College in Nation in Magazine’s ‘Security 500’ Rankings

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) was recognized as the third “most secure” university/college in the nation by Security Magazine in its 2010 “Security 500” rankings, released in the publication’s November issue.

Only 27 universities and colleges from across the country were recognized in this year’s rankings.   CSULB was the only California school to be recognized for the second straight year and ranked behind only No. 1 University of Pennsylvania and No. 2 Ohio State University. 

 “The safety and well being of our students, faculty and staff has been and will always be of paramount importance to us at Cal State Long Beach,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander. “With this year’s ranking, Cal State Long Beach has once again demonstrated its commitment to providing one of the safest campuses for higher education in the country.”

Alexander also noted that the CSU Chancellor’s Office recently released its system-wide safety report, which showed that CSULB has had the lowest reported crime rate throughout the CSU for the last three years.

“This year’s Security Magazine ranking coupled with the chancellor’s safety report validates the efforts of our public safety professionals while confirming the campus’ reputation as a safe university,” the president added.

Security Magazine’s rankings are broken down into “16 vertical markets,” enabling like organizations to compare programs.  The purpose of the “Security 500,” the magazine explained, is to create a reliable database to measure an organization compared to others and create a benchmarking program among security organizations.  The results will enable these groups to know where they stand as a basis of an on-going peer review process.

“I firmly believe that successfully protecting a campus community – any community – is determined by the quality of the relationships a public safety organization has with its community, and we are fortunate to work with colleagues in so many areas that help us preserve the environment we have come to expect,” said Stan Skipworth, CSULB’s chief of University Police.

“The university’s academic mission is our highest priority,” he continued, “and to help the university achieve this goal, we must do all we can to provide a safe and secure environment; and to accomplish that, we need the help of our students, faculty and staff to make their individual and collective experience on campus one in which they are confident in their personal safety.”

In recent years, the campus’ University Police Department has enacted a number of initiatives, programs and policy enhancements that have added to the safety of the university and influenced its placement in the rankings, according to Skipworth.  Among those enhancements are an emergency communications system to alert the entire campus community in the event of an emergency and a camera system that gives the department the ability to monitor activities of the campus and assist in crime prevention efforts.

Other improvements Skipworth mentioned include increased police patrols to reduce crime, expanded community outreach programs, and dedicated bicycle and green vehicle uses.

Security Magazine is the premier security and safety resource for a wide variety of industries and environments.

 
Winter 2011 Issue

Cal State Long Beach 1 of 6 CSU Campuses Using $3 Million Grant to Help At-Risk Students Attain College Degree, Become Teachers

Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) is one of six California State University campuses to be 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 Governor’s Discretionary Workforce Investment Act funding will support teacher pathway development programs that integrate after-school employment with teacher preparation.

The program is aimed at reducing gang involvement by providing at-risk 17-to-24-year-old students with a pathway to teaching.  The six CSU campuses to receive funding for the program include East Bay, San Francisco, San Diego, Dominguez Hills, Long Beach and Northridge, with half offering a specific emphasis on preparing science, technology and math teachers.

Each of the programs involves a partnership between a CSU campus, a community college, a community-based organization and an after-school employer.  Participants attend community college while earning a salary by working in an after-school program in their community.  They will transfer then to a CSU campus to earn teaching credentials and eventually return to teach in their communities.

CSULB partners with Cerritos Community College on this project, according to Marquita Grenot-Scheyer, dean of the CSULB College of Education.  “We are building a pipeline from our local diverse communities to Cerritos College and CSULB,” she said.  “We hope many of these students will return to their communities as teachers in their neighborhood schools.

“Many of these students have been members of gangs or have come from impoverished backgrounds.  Many have been less than successful in their educational careers,” Grenot-Scheyer explained.  “But these students have shown potential and promise and I am hopeful that, once they are successful at Cerritos, they will transition to CSULB and complete a degree and credential program.”

The program’s first cohort of students is expected to reach CSULB in 2012. The current project is the latest in a series of partnerships between Cerritos College and CSULB, the dean pointed out.  “Cerritos Community College and CSULB’s College of Education have been involved together with a number of teacher pathway projects and have built a strong relationship,” she said. 

Winter 2011 Issue

CSULB Graduate Awarded International Parliamentary Scholarship; Will Serve 15-Week Internship with German Parliament Member

Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) senior Justin Schafer has been awarded the prestigious International Parliamentary Scholarship (IPS), which includes serving a 15-week internship with a member of the German Bundestag or German National Parliament.

Offered in 25 countries, the IPS program is aimed at highly qualified young people interested in politics who wish to play a role in shaping the democratic future of their countries. Those selected for the program must have a university degree, citizenship from a participating country and be younger than 30 years.

Schafer, who graduated from CSULB in December with a bachelor’s degree in international studies (and minors in German, geography, political science and Russian), will leave for his five-month IPS experience in March.

“Just the thought of working in their parliament with so many other young people from around the world is an exciting prospect. It all still seems a little surreal,” said Schafer, who expects to join 120 other scholars from Eastern and Southern Europe, France, Israel and the United States.

The German Bundestag offers program participants the opportunity to get to know the German parliamentary system and political decision-making processes as well as the chance to gain practical experience through parliamentary work.

As an International Parliamentary Scholar, Schafer will receive 450 euros a month, free accommodations, health and accident insurance and a travel reimbursement. Combined with a supplementary academic program organized by three participating Berlin universities, the program engages students with a wide variety of tasks carried out in a parliament member’s office such as drafting speeches or doing preparatory work for plenary sittings.

If he seems confident about serving in the German parliament, one reason may be that he has similar professional experience already. Schafer served as a congressional intern in the summer of 2009 when he joined the district office of 2nd District Congressman Wally Herger in Schafer’s hometown of Redding. He came to CSULB as a President’s Scholar after graduating as a valedictorian at West Valley High School in Cottonwood, Calif. in 2006.

Winter 2011 Issue

CSULB Receives Largest Number of First-Time Freshman, Transfer Applications Among CSU Campuses for Fall 2011

The final numbers are in after the close of the application deadline for students to attend any of the 23 California State University (CSU) campuses in fall 2011, and Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) leads the way as the system posted record numbers of applications, including those from first-time freshmen.

CSULB received more applications from potential undergraduate students for the fall 2011 semester than any of the other 22 campuses in the CSU system, according to CSULB President F. King Alexander.  He reported a preliminary count of more than 70,500 freshman and transfer student applications.  Overall, the CSU Chancellor’s Office received more than 611,000 undergraduate applications system-wide, slightly above last year’s record high.

The priority application period for undergraduate students interested in attending any CSU campus next fall closed Nov. 30, and the number of electronic applications submitted for enrollment at CSULB was 69,261.  With the inclusion of international students and actual paper applications, the Long Beach campus received 70,536 applications in all, breaking the 70,000 mark for the second straight year.

“Having the highest number of undergraduate applications of any CSU campus speaks well of the quality of education and student life at Cal State Long Beach,” Alexander said.  “At the same time, another record number of applications for the CSU system clearly demonstrates the strong demand for a CSU education.

“While these numbers point to the recognition of our campus’ reputation, we are tempering our enthusiasm a little bit,” the president added.  “With another projected $20-plus billion shortfall in next year’s state budget, we don’t know what that means for the 2011-12 CSU budget.  If our campus budget is reduced, then obviously we will be limited in the number of these students we can admit in the fall.”

CSULB led the CSU system in first-time freshman applications with 49,764.  That number is more than 2,000 higher than last year’s record 47,683 first-time freshman applicant total.  The campus also received the largest number of transfer student applications with 20,039.

Of the more than 611,000 undergraduate applications received systemwide in the two-month fall 2011 priority application period (Oct. 1 through Nov. 30), the number of prospective first-time freshman applications received was 426,992, a sizeable increase of 14,819 from the previous year.

“Cal State Long Beach consistently ranks among the top universities in the nation in the number of applications it receives from undergraduates students, especially those students who are going to be first-time freshmen,” Alexander pointed out.  “In an environment where outcomes are often difficult to measure, it is reassuring to know that our university continues to be among the most desirable institutions in the state for high school seniors.” 

Winter 2011 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Among Best Public Institutions in the Nation in Improving Student Graduation Rates

Years of focus on improving student graduation rates is paying off for Cal State Long Beach (CSULB).

A recent report in 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 master’s institutions. In fact, only one public research institution had a higher increase than CSULB, meaning CSULB was tied for fourth best improvement of all public institutions in the nation regardless of category. The years studied were from 2003-08, and the CSULB rate increased from 42 percent to 55 percent.

“This is further evidence that our comprehensive efforts to graduate more students places us among the best in the nation. It also shows how committed our faculty and staff truly are to the ultimate goal of student completion,” said F. King Alexander, president of CSULB.

The rates are calculated as the percentage of first-time, full-time students who entered in the fall seeking bachelor’s degrees and completed those degrees within six years. The Chronicle compared rates for the six years ending in 2008, the most recent period for which comprehensive data are available, with the rates from five years earlier in 2003.

CSULB’s rank means that out of the 246 institutions in the master’s category, CSULB was in the top 2 percent in terms of improvement. Also impressive was the size of the improvement. Comparatively, nearly half (44 percent) of the master’s institutions increased by less than 5 percentage points whereas only about a quarter (27 percent) increased by 5 percentage points or more during the time period. Recent studies have also shown that CSULB is among the nation’s leaders in graduation rate improvement for underrepresented minority students.

CSULB graduation rates have been improving for more than a decade. From 1996 to 2009, its graduation rate nearly doubled to about 54 percent. Also, earlier this year CSULB was ranked sixth in the nation in conferring bachelor’s degrees to minority students by Diverse Issues in Higher Education’s annual list of the “Top 100 Degree Producers.”

 
Winter 2011 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Officially Dedicates, Unveils New School of Nursing Building; 1st Addition to Nursing Facilities Since 1975

Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) has officially dedicated the campus’ new School of Nursing Building, a $4.3 million project that 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 for the School of Nursing. Construction on the project was completed at the beginning of the fall semester, and students will begin attending classes in the building next spring semester.

“This is the place where professional nurses will be educated to transform the healthcare delivery system and meet the challenges of reform for the betterment of patient care,”Loucine Huckabay, director of CSULB’s School of Nursing, explained. “As the largest component of the healthcare workforce, nurses are uniquely positioned to be in the forefront and take charge to ensure that acceptable, high quality care is available to all of our nation’s diverse populations.”

Dean Ken Millar of the College of Health and Human Services noted how the need for new space became increasingly urgent for the School of Nursing in January 2004, when the school quadrupled its enrollment overnight as a result of support the program received from three of its service partners – Long Beach Memorial Hospital and Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian and Long Beach VA Medical Center.

“Anytime we get the chance to do a ribbon-cutting on a new building, it is a great day for our university,” CSULB President F. King Alexander said at the dedication ceremony. “But more importantly, any time we can do this in the type of horrific economy we’ve been dealing with is even more significant.”

Alexander pointed out the unintended, general “health” theme of the university’s three large construction projects that will open within a year of one another, including the Student Recreation and Wellness Center that opened this fall and next fall’s anticipated opening of the campus’ new Hall of Science Building. The School of Nursing Building, however, has its own significance.

“This facility was put together with the help of some private resources, and our Long Beach Memorial Hospital, Hoag Hospital and Long Beach Veterans Hospital partners have played an integral role in making sure this building happened,” Alexander noted. “It also helped that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger put $6 million on the table about three or four years ago. We were able to go up there and grabbed half of that as quickly as we could, and that’s why this building sits here today–a combination of private support, our corporate/hospital support and the support of that special state fund.”

According to Huckabay, 67 percent of CSULB’s nursing undergraduate students are underrepresented minorities, and for the majority of them English is a second language. At the graduate level, 40 percent are underrepresented minorities. Upon graduation, 67 percent of graduates choose to work in underserved areas.

CSULB got approval for the nursing building addition from the CSU Board of Trustees in September 2008 and broke ground on the project in October 2009. The addition was funded in part by a 2007 state appropriation of $2.3 million for preliminary plans, working drawings, construction and equipment. The rest of the funding came from donations to the School of Nursing.

Winter 2011 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Officially Dedicates, Unveils New School of Nursing Building; 1st Addition to Nursing Facilities Since 1975

Before a large crowd of faculty, staff, students and alumni, Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) officially dedicated  the campus’ new School of Nursing Building, a $4.3 million project that 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 for the School of Nursing.  Construction on the project was completed at the beginning of the fall semester, and students will begin attending classes in the building next spring semester.

“You don’t know how happy I am,” said Loucine Huckabay, director of the CSULB School of Nursing, when she took to the podium.  “This is indeed a day we have been waiting for many years, and this day was made possible through the efforts of many individuals, families and our wonderful service partners.”

“This is the place where professional nurses will be educated to transform the healthcare delivery system and meet the challenges of reform for the betterment of patient care,” Huckabay explained.  “As the largest component of the healthcare workforce, nurses are uniquely positioned to be in the forefront and take charge to ensure that acceptable, high quality care is available to all of our nation’s diverse populations.”

Dean Ken Millar of the College of Health and Human Services opened up the event by saying that “a new era of nursing education at Cal State Long Beach has arrived.”  Millar also noted how the need for new space became increasingly urgent for the School of Nursing in January 2004, when the school quadrupled its enrollment overnight as a result of support the program received from three of its service partners – Long Beach Memorial Hospital and Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian and Long Beach VA Medical Center.

“Anytime we get the chance to do a ribbon-cutting on a new building, it is a great day for our university,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander.  “But more importantly, any time we can do this in the type of horrific economy we’ve been dealing with is even more significant.”

Alexander pointed out the unintended, general “health” theme of the university’s three large construction projects that will open within a year of one another, including the Student Recreation and Wellness Center that opened this fall and next fall’s anticipated opening of the campus’ new Hall of Science Building.  The School of Nursing Building, however, has its own significance.

“This facility was put together with the help of some private resources, and our Long Beach Memorial Hospital, Hoag Hospital and Long Beach Veterans Hospital partners have played an integral role in making sure this building happened,” Alexander noted.  “It also helped that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger put $6 million on the table about three or four years ago.  We were able to go up there and grabbed half of that as quickly as we could, and that’s why this building sits here today–a combination of private support, our corporate/hospital support and the support of that special state fund.”

Before actually cutting the ribbon on the new facility, Huckabay thanked a number of individuals for making the new nursing space possible, including President Alexander and Provost Don Para for valuing nursing as an important discipline within our university.

She also acknowledged thanked Lyman and Dr. Vivianne Lokken, who together have dedicated a great deal of time and effort on behalf of the nursing program and other CSULB entities.  In particular, Huckabay explained how Lyman accompanied her to every meeting with the architect and provided valuable input into the design and construction of the the building; Dr. Lokker, an alumna and president of the Nursing Alumni Association, has been instrumental in getting the alumni involved.

Huckabay thanked the school’s service partners for their generosity, including Dr. Barry Arbuckle, president of Memorial Care; Judy Fix, chief nursing officer and vice president for patient care at Long Beach Memorial; Rick Martin, chief nursing officer and senior vice president for Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian; and Isabel Duff director of the VA Medical Center in Long Beach, as well as her predecessor Ron Norby.

Finally, she gave special thanks to the Zamost family, who she said gave her the first fundraising experience on behalf of the new building.  The family approached the school to set up a student scholarship fund on behalf of their mother, Regina Zamost, who was a nurse.  After speaking with Huckabay about the need for the new building, the family doubled its gift to support the scholarship and help fund the building.

Huckabay also shared some statistics that she presented in Sacramento in October when she testified in front of the Commission of the Office of State Health Planning and Development about how CSULB’s family nurse practitioner students and graduates provide primary care and make care accessible to California’s diverse and underserved populations.

“To give you a couple of statistics, 67 percent of our undergraduate students are underrepresented minorities, and for the majority of them English is a second language.  At the graduate level, 40 percent of our students are underrepresented minorities,” Huckabay pointed out.  “What is so wonderful is that upon graduation, 67 percent of our graduates choose to work in underserved areas.  You could not ask for a better investment.

“This building,” she continued, “is being dedicated today to educate and produce more undergraduate and graduate nursing students to meet the healthcare needs of our society and make healthcare accessible to all.”

When enrollment expanded in 2004 as a result of the support from its industry partners, the School of Nursing had approximately 870 nursing students, but there were only two classrooms to serve them, the largest of which held 30 students.  The new nursing building includes three more classrooms and a computer lab to serve these students.

“For more than 50 years, Cal State Long Beach’s nursing alumni have made an impact on the profession and are affiliated with many of the top medical centers, hospitals, private organizations and universities,” said Dr. Lokken, who spoke after Huckabay.  “Because of their influence in the nursing profession, our alumni have long been advocates for better learning and teaching facilities.  What better way to honor our graduates than to have a state-of-the-art facility to welcome new students into our family.”

Since 2006, CSULB’s nursing alumni have raised more than $69,000 for this facility, Lokken noted.  She also announced at the event that the CSULB Nursing Alumni Association was making a lead gift today of $10,000 for the new School of Nursing Building.

“This new facility will allow us to expand our programs and to fill a tremendous need that exists in nursing today,” Lokken said.  “This new building will help to advance CSULB’s stature as one of the preeminent schools of nursing in the region, state and nation.”

CSULB got approval for the nursing building addition from the CSU Board of Trustees in September 2008 and broke ground on the project in October 2009.  The addition was funded in part by a 2007 state appropriation of $2.3 million for preliminary plans, working drawings, construction and equipment.  The rest of the funding came from donations to the School of Nursing.

 



 
Winter 2011 Issue