News @ the Beach

Former Cal State Long Beach Interim President Honored by CSU Board of Trustees

Former California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) Interim President Donald J. Para was honored at the most recent California State University Board of Trustees meeting with a written resolution. He recently retired after serving as interim president at CSULB since July 2013 when then–President King Alexander left to head Louisiana State University. New president Jane Close Conoley began her duties this month.

Para, Don

Don Para

Excerpts from the resolution cited Para’s strong support for underserved communities, as well as access and diversity. It also noted his passion for the arts, as demonstrated by establishing the MBA/MFA degree in theatre management, making CSU Long Beach only the second university in the nation to offer this terminal degree.

“I was most fortunate to have been part of Cal State Long Beach for so many years. The great mission of the CSU and CSULB focusing on student success has changed the lives of the graduates and current students. I was honored to serve as interim president and equally honored to receive this resolution with such kind words from the CSU Board of Trustees,” said Para.

In addition, the resolution recognized his reputation for collaboration and inclusiveness, while calling him the driving force behind the establishment of the Leadership Fellows Program at CSULB to develop the next generation of university leaders who can respond systematically to critical issues in higher education.

Part of the resolution said: “Dr. Para’s vision for California State University, Long Beach has established outstanding academic offerings in the arts, and his leadership in academic affairs has resulted in the University’s highly rated programs receiving major support from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Carnegie Foundation, and others.”

Para was appointed to the provost position in May 2010, and previously served as interim provost after formally ending his tenure of dean of the College of the Arts, a post he held from 2001-09. He was with CSULB for 26 years.

Prior to becoming dean, Para served a year as associate dean and 12 years as chair of the Department of Music at CSULB. Before his appointments at CSULB, Para served as chair of the Department of Music at Cal State Los Angeles and, for 15 years before that, was on the faculty at Western Michigan University, serving the last five years as assistant director of the School of Music.

Para received a B.M. in music education and a M.M. in music composition from Western Michigan University. He earned his Ph.D. in music composition at Michigan State University. His teaching areas are music theory, musicianship and composition. His compositions, which include works for chamber ensembles, large instrumental and vocal ensembles, chamber opera, theater, and the electronic medium, have been supported by various granting agencies.

Para has presented papers and given presentations at numerous meetings of arts education organizations and music theory conferences. He served the National Association of Schools of Music as chair of Region One from 1994-97 and as a visiting evaluator for accreditation for 15 years. In 2007-08, he was director of the Seminars for New Department Chairs for the Conference of Colleges of Arts and Sciences.

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Beach Track & Field Teams and Individual Athletes Earn All-Academic Honors

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Connor Rouse

By Athletics Staff

Long Beach State University’s (LBSU) track & field program had six individuals receive 2014 United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic recognition, while both the men’s and women’s squads were selected as All-Academic Teams by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

The Beach women garnered All-Academic Team honors for the 10th consecutive season with a cumulative team grade-point average of 3.01, while the LBSU men earned the award for the second straight year with a 3.04 team GPA.

In addition, six 49ers – Fatima Vergara, Kayla Kamaka, Alex Kruthers, Conner Rouse, Brandon Hierholzer and Dylan McCloskey – received individual USTFCCCA All-Academic accolades. To be eligible for all-academic honors, student-athletes must have compiled a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 and have participated in any round of the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships.

Vergara was the Big West champion and an NCAA West Preliminary qualifier in the hammer throw. She claimed the conference title with a toss of 189-04 and earlier in the year at the Ben Brown Invitational registered a personal-best 192-02, which ranks third in school history. Vergara is an upcoming senior and is majoring in community health education.

Kamaka qualified for the NCAA West Preliminary in the pole vault after clearing a personal-record 13-01.5 at the UC Irvine Anteater 4-Way Meet. She is tied for second on the LBSU all-time top-10 list and became just the third 49er in program history to reach 13 feet. Kamaka recently graduated with a degree in kinesiotherapy.

Kruthers advanced to the NCAA West Preliminary in the 400 meters after establishing a lifetime-best 54.34 to finish fourth at the Big West Championships. That mark ranks second in program history. Kruthers is majoring in psychology.

Rouse was the Big West champion in the pole vault and tied for 30th at the NCAA West Preliminary. He notched a personal-record 17-00.75 to earn top honors at the conference meet, while he also cleared 17-00 to win the Triton Invitational. Rouse, who will be a junior in the fall, is majoring in studio art.

Hierholzer was the Big West runner-up and an NCAA West Preliminary qualifier in the pole vault. He established a lifetime-best 17-00.75 at the conference championships and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology in the spring.

McCloskey advanced to the NCAA West Preliminary in the 400 meters and as a member of the 4×400 relay team. He earned All-Big West honors in the 400 meters and both relay events, while also scoring in the 200 meters with a top-eight finish. McCloskey is an upcoming junior majoring in sociology.

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Local Middle School Girls to Learn About Sciences through Residence Program at CSULB

csulbThis summer, California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) is hosting “Future Girls @ The Beach STEM Residential Program,” aimed at 24 middle school girls who are interested in going into the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM).

The program runs from Aug. 1-5 and the participants attend middle schools from Long Beach Unified School District (LBSUD), including Hamilton, Hudson, Jackie Robinson, Lindbergh, Lindsey Academy, Nelson Academy, Powell, Stanford, and Washington. There is no cost to the students.

The students will be able to stay overnight, for five days, at CSULB in the university dorms. During these five days, they will have the opportunity to engage and explore a variety of engineering fields. The girls will also be taken on field trips to science and engineering labs, the Columbia Memorial Space Center and workshops that better inform them about opportunities in STEM.

In addition to the workshops, they will also have a chance to meet and interact with CSULB students who are pursuing degrees in STEM fields. The girls will do activities with some of the student organizations on campus, such as the Society of Women Engineers, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, the National Society of Black Engineers and the American Society of Civil Engineers. This will allow them to get first-hand knowledge and advice on what it is like to be a STEM student, not only at CSULB, but in college in general.

This program is made possible with the help of a CSU Chancellor’s Office SB70 CTE grant, an initiative on improving and strengthening career technical education. It is also supported by educational institutions, including Long Beach City College and LBUSD.

“With the help of all these schools and programs, we are able reach our goal in helping support and encourage young girls to go on to college and to pursue careers in STEM,” said Saba Yohannes-Reda, director of the Outreach and Recruitment Office Engineering Student Success Center at CSULB.

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Cal State Long Beach to Host August Camps for Young Scientists

The California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) Science Education Department will host its annual Young Scientists’ Camp (YSC), a paid summer science camp for any child in second through eighth grade, from Aug. 4-15 on the CSULB campus. This is the 15th year for the program.

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This year’s theme is Life Science, taught by experienced and future science teachers and science specialists.

“I am excited that we continue to provide this science teaching and learning opportunity,” said Science Education Professor Laura Henriques. “It’s a wonderful science enrichment program for our area youngsters while also providing a mentored science teaching experience for future teachers. More than 2,700 students have gone through the camps since it started in 2000 and more than 250 prospective teachers have improved their teaching skills through the program.”

Second- and third-graders will study Amazing Animals in Action; third- and fourth-graders will have a Botany Bonanza; fifth- and sixth-graders will learn about Life at the Edge of the Sea; and seventh- and eighth-graders will look into Solving Environmental Challenges. The camp is hands-on, investigation based, with kids performing science experiments throughout the two weeks.

“Our younger kids will be exploring plants, animals and critters, including the interactions between plants and animals,” said Henriques. “Our upper elementary students will be studying marine biology. They will be doing their investigations in the lab right across from the CSULB Marine Biology Lab. Our middle schoolers will be doing environmental science and looking at the challenges we face.”

Support for this camp is provided by the Beckman Coulter Foundation with limited financial aid available through a grant from the Ella Fitzgerald Foundation.

In addition to the Young Scientists’ Camp program on campus, Henriques will be offering a similar two-week program for homeless children from the Long Beach Unified School District. This program is funded by grants, local philanthropies and individual donations with the Earl B. and Loraine H. Miller Foundation being a major contributor the past four years. Other donors and in-kind contributors include the El Dorado Women’s Club, St. Mary’s Low Vision Center and Downtown Long Beach Lion’s Club.

Both camps run from 8:30 a.m.-noon Mondays through Fridays with the homeless camp taking place off campus and YSC in labs on the CSULB campus. Participation in the homeless camp is by nomination from school counselors and teachers. Participation is YSC (on campus) is tuition based. Fees are $300 per participant, with a $25 discount for siblings. Class size is limited but space is still available for all grade levels.

For more information on either camp, contact Henriques or register by visiting the Young Scientists Camp webpage.

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