News @ the Beach

Cal State Long Beach Well Represented in City Hall

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB)  is well represented at Long Beach City Hall, with the mayor, five of the nine city councilmembers and the city auditor, each who attended CSULB.  They are: Robert Garcia, Mayor; Laura Doud, City Auditor; Lena Gonzalez, 1st District City Council; Suzie Price, 3rd District City Council; Patrick O’Donnell, 4th District City Council; and Dee Andrews, 6th District City Council.

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In addition, Roberto Uranga, 7th District City Council, attended CSULB, and his wife, former city councilmember Tonia Reyes Uranga, is an alumna.

Garcia, Doud, Gonzalez, Price and Uranga were sworn into office on July 15.  Other Long Beach City Council members include Suja Lowenthal (District 2); Stacy Mungo (District 5); Al Austin (District 8); and  Rex Richardson (District 9).

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$125,000 Gift Continues Redmon’s Fencing Legacy at Cal State Long Beach

When you hear the name Jo Redmon, you automatically think fencing.

A recent gift of $125,000 from Redmon to establish The Jo A. Redmon Endowed Fund for Fencing will now forever link her name to the sport at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB).

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Jo Redmon

“Jo Redmon’s generous gift will insure the preservation of the sport of fencing at CSULB,” said Ken Millar, dean of the College of Health and Human Services. “We are grateful for Jo’s continuing to support the Department of Kinesiology.”

As a long-time professor and fencing coach at CSULB and now a valued emerita faculty member, Redmon’s love, investment and commitment to the campus’ fencing program was the driving force behind her teams’ success and helped build a firm foundation for the sport at the university for almost half a century. In addition, her tireless efforts played a substantial role in the success of the sport on the West Coast as a whole.

“I have worked at CSULB for 50 years, which has been two-thirds of my life,” said Redmon. “We used to have a terrific varsity program, but it dropped when I retired. Athletics wasn’t going to pay a fencing coach so we dropped to the two classes in the spring and I taught them for another 12 years. I loved doing it, loved the kids, loved the subject matter and loved the activity.

“With all of that in mind, I thought that it would be a good idea to keep the classes going, thus the gift,” she added. “After all this time, it would be a shame for Long Beach to not have fencing. I am blessed that I have the financial security to make the donation and that fencing will continue to be a part of our activity classes.”

The gift was made partially with cash and partially with an irrevocable bequest to achieve Redmon’s goals. The ability to guarantee her gift with assets from her estate will assure that the Department of Kinesiology can hire a qualified instructor each semester.

In recognition of her generous contribution, Redmon became a founding member of the Dean’s Circle, a select group of the College of Health and Human Services’ most generous and loyal supporters. She also will be recognized as a member of campus-wide groups, including the Carillon Society, which recognizes lifetime giving of donors, and the Legacy Society since her gift included a bequest.

After building teams at universities in Illinois and Colorado, Redmon came to CSULB in 1964 and built a fencing tradition by leading the 49ers to 14 first place finishes at the Intercollegiate Fencing Conference of Southern California Championships. Beginning in 1979 she never failed to qualify at least one fencer for the NCAA National Championships and coached eight All-Americans. In 1984 the 49ers placed 15th and in 1986 placed 9th overall at the NCAA Championships.

That hard-fought success earned Redmon wide respect and she served for five years on the National NCAA Men’s and Women’s Fencing Committee. She also served as chair in 1981 of the first Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women National Championship Committee. In 1993 the United States Fencing Coaches Association (USFCA) named Redmon Coach of the Year and in 2000 the USFCA honored her with the Lifetime Commitment to the Sport of Fencing Award.

In 2002 the university bestowed its highest athletic honor as Redmon was inducted into the Long Beach State Athletic Hall of Fame in recognition of her successful competitive fencing heritage in the field of intercollegiate athletics. Today, still lecturing on and promoting the sport of fencing, she remains a beloved and respected emerita faculty member who has brought unrivaled accolade to the university for her contributions to the sport.

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Cal State Long Beach Engineering Dean Golshani Appointed to Advise Assembly Committee on Aerospace

By Rick Manly

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) College of Engineering Dean Forouzan Golshani was appointed recently to advise the Assembly Select Committee on Aerospace chaired by Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance).

“I am pleased to have Dr. Forouzan Golshani join the Aerospace Advisory Council.  He brings a wealth of knowledge as Dean of the College of Engineering at California State University, Long Beach, and I look forward to working with him and the council to support California’s aerospace industry,” said Muratsuchi.

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Forouzan Golshani

As a member of the aerospace advisory committee, Goshani said he hopes he can help to  bridge the gap between academic research and the types of policies enacted by policy makers.

“It’s an honor,” said Golshani. “It’s a great opportunity to offer input into things that matter. I have been specifically cognizant of the divide between technology and policy areas. The more Californians who are aware of technology, the more who will be better able to assess things from a modern technological perspective. I’m particularly pleased to be called upon to be a part of this committee.”

Golshani also believes he can make the biggest contribution to the issue of aerospace manufacturing revival.

“Manufacturing revival has diminished during the past two decades,” he said. “That is very unfortunate because, when you look at what made Southern California what it is, and at the iconic images of Southern California, they were from aerospace. Several things that many people identify Southern California with have their roots in the aerospace sector. We have seen a rapid erosion of this industry in Southern California. Boeing has downsized and Northrop has consolidated. The ability of this state to be the powerhouse of the nation has diminished. I hope we can help maintain this state’s supplier base to the local aerospace industry. That is still a huge advantage for the state’s economy.”

The meetings usually take place in the South Bay area and the next advisory committee meeting is anticipated to be sometime this month. Other committee members represent a wide range of organizations including including well-known aerospace companies like Boeing, Northrup Grumman and Lockheed Martin.

Advising an Assembly Select Committee will be a new experience for Golshani.  “I have not participated directly to such an extent in the legislative process. Although I’ve been on multiple delegations that traveled to Washington D.C. to talk with members of Congress,” he said. “My interactions with this committee of experts will enable us to align our academic and educational objectives with the state’s highest needs. I don’t see my role as that of an advocate specifically for just the university. The advisory committee must make sound recommendations for all the region. Generally, I see this committee as an advisory committee to bridge the area of technology with the area of setting policy. That is a powerful mix. If there is an opportunity to help engineering colleges at CSUs and UCs, that is an added benefit.”

Golshani works closely with his college’s Dean’s Advisory Council–a group of more than 20 senior executives from the regional high-technology companies.  “My work with our local industries has helped to inform me about the special committee’s goal,” he said. “Our advisory council comes together three times a year. We go over what matters to the industry and what affects CSULB and the College of Engineering. That is a great basis for formulating my advice to the members of the California Assembly about technology in general and specifically aerospace technology.”

As College of Engineering dean, Golshani has gained a clear perspective on Southern California’s aerospace industry.

“As I study the reasons for the erosion of the aerospace industry in Southern California, a number of factors come to light,” he explained. “Many of these reasons are related to Sacramento directly or indirectly. They include, for example, antiquated laws, including some environmental regulations. Too often, outdated laws remain on the books and they cause confusion and extra work for government and business because compliance becomes a much more difficult task when there is no clarity to the laws.

“In addition, many industries who leave California move to right-to-work states,” he added. “I hope to look at how to create a more level legal playing ground to help businesses stay in California. At the very least, we must work to see that outdated laws are not the reason businesses move out of the state. Another area that would be good to look at are the incentives provided to businesses extensively by other states. It is a matter of calculating dollars and cents to see what tax benefits would be lost if a business that generates employment moved out of the state.  There are things I and the rest of the advisory committee can analyze on behalf of the Legislature to inform them about how we might be able to make the state of California more competitive.”

Golshani came to CSULB from London’s Imperial College, Wright State University and Arizona State University. He earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the Arya Mehr University of Technology in Iran, his Master of Science degree in engineering systems in 1979 and his Ph.D. in computer science in 1982, both from Warwick University.

Golshani believes his appointment demonstrates the seriousness with which the state considers the aerospace industry.

“The issue of aerospace manufacturing is huge,” he said. “The White House takes it seriously enough to offer a $1.3 billion federal funding to Southern California this month through a research center at USC which will benefit many partnering agencies across the region. Everything indicates this is timely and that it is important for us to be strategizing collectively how we can put this state on the right track.”

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New Campus Sculpture by Students and Art Museum Arrives

By Rick Manly

A new temporary addition to California State University, Long Beach’s (CSULB) campus commitment to sculpture across the 320-acre campus was celebrated recently.

MatterApp: Pyramidial (MA:P) is a crowd-sourced space-frame sculpture inspired by the Walter Pyramid and created through a collaboration between the University Art Museum (UAM), the Los Angeles-based nonprofit Materials and Applications and the students in CSULB design faculty member Heather Barker’s “Environmental Communication Design” course.

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“My students gave me extraordinary feedback,” said Barker, a member of the design department since 2012. “They wished every class was like that. They began to appreciate the challenges of working with other students in other disciplines. They saw the differences in execution from a painter’s sense or from an industrial designer.  They learned it is not as easy to realize a project as they may have thought. They also found the experience of assembling the sculpture to be extremely valuable. The idea of research became more relevant to them. They learned to execute.”

Funded by an NEA Art Works Design grant, MatterApp: Pyramidial culminated the Spring 2014 University Art Museum exhibition, Materials and Applications: Building Something (Beyond) Beautiful, Projects 2002-2012, a capstone to more than 10 years of effort at the Los Angeles-based experimental architecture and design organization to advance new and underused ideas in art, architecture and landscape.

Kristina Newhouse, curator of exhibitions for the UAM, feels the new sculpture represents a commitment to CSULB’s students.

“More than 50 percent of the people who visit this exhibition space are students. If we can get people in their undergraduate experience to partake in the arts, they will take it with them out of the school. They will form a lifelong commitment to the arts. That is one of my goals,” she said.

Newhouse credited cooperation as the key to the crowd-sourced MA:P project, from the students, to the fabrication team, Gossamer Space Frame of Huntington Beach; to input from engineer Mic Patterson, who helped to devise the original space frame for the Walter Pyramid; to the German company, Krinner Ground Screws that provided the sculpture’s anchors free of charge; and to the team from Sacramento-based Eco Foundation Systems who donated their labor to secure the work to the ground using the latest, most innovative and efficient anchoring technology.

The MA:P structure itself is made of mild steel pipe.

“Because it is raw steel, it oxidizes,” said Newhouse. “That is the fancy word for `rust.’ In the art world, we call that ‘patina.’ It is not a bad thing. It is beautiful. It is a lovely orange brown and looks fantastic.

“The design students’ original goal to clad the structure had to be scrapped due to wind issues. For this reason, the popular street art technique of “yarnbombing” has provided a means to temporarily “skin” the piece to both celebrate it and to bring a new audience to it,” added Newhouse. “Yarnbombing is a kind of urban graffiti that makes use of crochet and knitting instead of paint. It represents a quiet, little “hands-on” rebellion in the world of graffiti art. The museum has invited the fiber art collective Yarnbombing Los Angeles and the Long Beach Depot for Creative ReUse to join CSULB students and alumni from the design and fiber program to transform MA:P into a giant loom, ready for yarnbombing.”

The yarnbombed skin of MA:P will have a brief lifespan.

“It is out there exposed to the elements, so it will only last a few weeks.”  The sculpture MatterApp:Pyramidial itself is slated to remain onsite through early Fall, so CSULB students can see it when they return to campus,” Newhouse said.

Newhouse feels the success of this project will enable students to think about DIY (do-it-yourself) culture.

Shefali Mistry, public relations and marketing coordinator for the museum, sees education at the heart of what the museum does.

“We are called an art museum but I see us as more of an interdisciplinary outfit. Education is central to our purpose. Our primary audience is students. Finding out what it takes to engage them means thinking outside the box,” she said.

The next hands-on project for the UAM arrives in January with “Jessica Rath: A Better Nectar.” Rath’s multimedia installation is an exploration of native bumblebees. The exhibition will include sculpture, light, sound, a native species “Research Station” and garden boxes on the new UAM Plaza. The UAM will collaborate with its longtime partner, the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD), on educational programming. In the spring, all fourth graders in LBUSD study pollination to meet new California Core Curriculum standards for the sciences and environmental literacy. Another partner on the museum exhibition, the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants, will be key to the development of educational programming about California native plants and the natural world for K-12 visitors.

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