News @ the Beach

Cal State Long Beach Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School for Sixth Straight Year

For the sixth year in a row Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) has been designated a Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs, a publication of Victory Media, the premier media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life. The 2015 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.MILITARY

“We are honored to again receive this national recognition for our dedication to serving our nation’s veterans and military students at Cal State Long Beach. Veterans bring another level of exceptionalism to our university and their service is greatly respected on campus,” said Jane Close Conoley, president of CSULB. “….Our student veterans benefit from the fact that our Veteran’s Services Office is directed by an outstanding U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Dr. Marshall Thomas. As a veteran, Marshall knows first-hand the unique needs of veterans and he does an exemplary job matching these students with specific programs and services that are most likely to help them achieve their education goals.”

Veteran’s Services at CSULB serves as the student veterans benefit certification and advocacy office and assists veteran students in earning a degree. It helps veterans and their dependents access the educational benefits they earned by serving in the armed forces of the United States. It also certifies their eligibility for the G.I. Bill and the CalVet fee waiver and provides veterans with information about applying for admissions to CSULB.

According to the magazine, “These employers, schools, franchises and cities represent the top tier of institutions with leading opportunities for military service members and spouses.”

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

The common bond for schools on the list is their shared priority of recruiting students with military experience.

Now in its sixth year, the 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 list were independently verified.

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.

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Mandela Event Focuses On 60th Anniversary Key Court Decision

The 60th anniversary of the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that ordered the desegregation of American schools will be the focus of the Nelson Mandela Legacy Event on Wednesday, Oct. 1, in the University Student Union (USU). The event will examine the question “Are We Still Fighting Separate and Unequal?”

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Cheryl Brown-Henderson and her sister Linda, daughters of the suit’s namesake Oliver Brown, will be on hand for the 11 a.m. event to discuss the context of the Supreme Court decision and the current state of our educational system, according to event organizer Mary Anne Rose, director of Graduate Studies in the College of Education.

The second event will begin at 5 p.m. with a panel of educational experts, including College of Education Dean Marquita Grenot-Scheyer, who will discuss the case’s impact on 21st century schools. Also participating will be CSULB’s Executive Director of Educational Partnerships Linda Tiggs-Taylor, Advanced Studies in Education and Counseling’s Lindsay Perez-Huber and Educational Leadership’s Angela Locks, as well as Brown-Henderson, founding president of the Brown Foundation. The discussion will be preceded by a reception from 4-5 p.m. on the second floor of the University Student Union.

“One goal of this event is to discuss what the decision meant to the field of education,” said Rose. “What has happened during the last 60 years? And what hasn’t happened? This event will offer the chance to discuss such topics as school resegregation, the overrepresentation of minorities among student expulsions, as well as English learners and students with disabilities not receiving the same opportunities.”

A special guest will be Joseph White, Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Psychiatry at UC Irvine and “godfather” of Black Psychology. White was also a founding member of CSULB’s Educational Opportunity Program which is committed to providing access to historically low-income and first- generation college students.

The main goal of the event is to advance a critical understanding of Brown v. Board of Education, said event organizer and Student Life and Development Coordinator Maggie Munoz Perez.

“We want the event grounded in a balance between theory and practice,” said Perez, noting the audience will be mainly students. “We want them to learn about important issues and how to apply what they learn to their everyday lives.

“This event represents an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet extraordinary legends from American history,” she added. “It is a chance to interact with Linda and Cheryl Brown as well as Joseph White. Each one of these people owns a special piece of American history.”

Perez believes CSULB offers an excellent setting for a discussion of civil rights because its enrollment is so diverse.

“We have a lot of first-generation students who see themselves in the role of community activists,” she said. “We definitely want to empower our youth. We want to help them connect their present with America’s history.”

According to Rose, the series demonstrates CSULB’s commitment and gives the campus the forum and opportunity to examine the past and inform the present.

“Events like these show CSULB is not a collection of academic silos, but a university that looks critically at what happened in the past and what we want to happen in the future. Events like these give CSULB the forum and opportunity to do just that,” she said.

The CSULB Multicultural Center and the Office of Student Life and Development, in collaboration with the College of Education, the USU Program Council, the College of Liberal Arts, the Ukleja Center for Ethical Leadership, the university Honors Program Student Association and the College of Education Student Assembly are hosting the events.

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Former Interim President Donald J. Para: An Extraordinary Man and His Music Returns to Campus

By Terri M. Carbaugh

Donald J. Para’s childhood passion for music composition led him to the once humble doorsteps of the music department at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) nearly 26 years ago. On Thursday, Oct. 9, Para will return to campus to deliver the prestigious Legacy Lecture at The Pointe in the Walter Pyramid.

Don Para

Before retiring from the university in July 2014, Para had composed not only musical notes on a page, but he also orchestrated an extraordinary legacy for the entire university through the expansion of the College of the Arts, the creation of the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music and his passionate promotion of student artists. His dedication to serving others personifies the true meaning of a servant leader.

“It is an honor to be asked to give a Legacy Lecture,” said former interim president Donald J. Para. “Delivering this particular lecture is especially meaningful to me because its part of program that recognizes all faculty who have recently retired from the university. I am also looking forward to connecting with members of our alumni who will be on hand to celebrate the equally important legacies of our retiring faculty who taught, guided and mentored them while they gained a valuable education at The Beach.”

While at CSULB, Para ascended from serving as chair of the music department, to dean of the College of the Arts, to provost and ultimately as interim president until he retired in July 2014. He raised more than $30 million for the university and developed a joint MBA/MFA in theater management degree. Para provided academic leadership for the university and promoted excellence in all aspects of the campus’ academic mission, including undergraduate and graduate education, research and creative activity, international education, service learning, community engagement, service to the profession and faculty and staff development.

Established in 1992, the Legacy Lecture is an opportunity for university professors to address the campus as if it were their last lecture. Legacy Lecturers are known to share their reflections and core values as educators.

The Oct. 9 Legacy Lecture and Faculty Retirement Recognition program begins at 4:30 p.m. with a reception. Recognition of retirees begins at 5 p.m. with the Legacy Lecture delivered by Para to follow.

 

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Cal State Long Beach Faculty Member Researching How to Make Highways Better

Shadi Saadeh, assistant professor of civil engineering and construction engineering management at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) is conducting research on how to predict materials response which will help Southern California highways better resist burning heat and crushing loads.

He is an expert on highways and the materials that compose them and recently published an article on discrete element modeling and for the prestigious Journal of the Transportation Research Board. His research concluded that the discrete modeling system is a valid way to simulate the response of a freeway’s asphalt concrete material.

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“This modeling system is useful for any city, county or state that wants to pave a road,” he explained. “Any of these would like to know how long the road will last and what kind of stresses it will encounter. The article presents a quality control test for hot mix asphalt. The discrete element modeling is used to simulate the test. Those materials have changed a lot in 2,000 years.”

Asphalt mixtures can be as simple as mixing binder with aggregates but, today, something new has been added.

“It is now possible to add recyclable materials such as rubber to pavement,” he explained. “There are many ways to recycle the tens of millions of tires sold every year. One way to do that is to put the tires back into the road.”

More changes are due, including additives that help tomorrow’s pavements better resist the heat.

“What we want to do is to develop new tests to better understand tomorrow’s pavements,” he said. “For instance, additives are used now to produce warm mix asphalt at lower temperatures compared to the conventional hot mix asphalt. We, as a nation, must pay attention to our infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers has graded America’s infrastructure with a ‘D’ and we must allocate a bigger portion of our budgets to change that.”

He suggests that state universities have a role to play.

“A life cycle cost analysis can estimate how long pavement will last,” he said. “I work with faculty members at Chico State and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to help Caltrans at every level to test new technologies for pavement. Sometimes we offer training. This is what state universities have to offer.”

Saadeh’s research not only strengthens roads but he uses it to teach Cal State Long Beach engineering students about the latest developments.

“I discuss my research with my undergraduates and graduates all the time,” he recalled. “When the California Asphalt Pavement Association hosts conferences, I attend along with students from undergraduate and graduate classes as we did this April in Ontario.”

His hot mix course is unique in the CSU.

“This gives our students an experience that can lead to such achievements as the presentation by one of my graduate students before the Association of Asphalt Pavement Technologists,” he said. “I want to make pavement stronger and longer-lasting. No one would expect a 20-year-old car to perform like new. Why should we expect 20-year-old pavement to be any different? We have to pay more political attention to our roads.”

Saadeh worked for the Texas Transportation Institute and the Louisiana Transportation Research Center before joining CSULB in 2007. He received his bachelor’s in civil engineering from the University of Jordan in 1997, his master’s in civil engineering from Washington State University in 2002 and his doctorate in civil engineering from Texas A&M University in 2005.

Saadeh plans to continue his highway research.

“I’m working with a colleague in chemical engineering to determine the value of adding titanium dioxide to pavements to help them react better to pollutants coming from vehicles,” he said. “How can we streamline that and how we make tomorrow’s roads while contributing to a clean environment?”

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