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Making Waves: Accomplishments of the CSULB Community

Published April 8, 2021

Students share research at 2021 Women’s Research Colloquium

The President’s Commission on the Status of Women recently brought together staff, faculty and student researchers to present ideas in an online forum on how women can navigate, fortify and succeed against an array of barriers. 

In addition to the speakers and breakout groups, the 2021 Women’s Research Colloquium titled, “The Status of Women on Campus: Past, Present and Future” provided four female student scholars a chance to share their research related to women’s issues and concerns. 

The students presented their findings on issues ranging from how women and men differ in job interviews to racial trauma.

Here is a synopsis of their work.

Adriana Ochoa
Adriana Ochoa

Adriana Ochoa, sociology: “Black Women Experiencing: A Narrative Analysis of Racial Trauma in 2020” 

Ochoa centered on the key events of 2020 – the COVID-19 pandemic and its disproportionate impact on the Black and African American community, as well as police brutality. She and her BUILD mentor focused on how these experiences had negative emotional and physical consequences on the study group and how positive experiences can manifest in their bodies and foster improved feelings. “We are hoping that this work can interrupt racial trauma, and particularly help intervene in negative health concerns,” Ochoa said.


Michelle Doan
Michelle Doan



Michelle Doan, anthropology: “Conducting a Program Evaluation of a University-Level Esports Program”

Doan delved into how an esports program could be better run with solid organizational development and cooperation between its members and university staff and administration. Using UC Irvine’s Esports program as an example, the study focused on how members could improve functionality of the workplace and provide informed direction “so that the program can continue to be a leader in the collegiate esports space and set a standard for other programs.” 


Jamilah Silva
Jamilah Silva



Jamilah Silva, anthropology: “A Linguistic Analysis on How Gendered Language Influences Representation in the Job Market”

Silva’s findings showed that women tend to present themselves differently than men during job interviews and how that affected their chances of getting a job. “I was looking at how language and gender presentation plays into the work force,” Silva said, adding that women in the study chose to assume feminine traits of cooperation and helping, while men assumed a masculine type of language – both “playing into the gender norm.” 

Lisabeth Jardon
Lisabeth Jardon




Lisabeth Jardon, biology: “Comparison of Bite Force and Skull Dimensions Between Urban and Rural Coyotes” 

Jardon compared coyotes in Los Angeles (urban) and Fresno (rural), studying how the shape of their skulls played a role in what they ate. She compared bite force, molar bite forces, as well as length and width of their skulls, and found that urban coyotes have wider skulls and a stronger bite force. Although more data is needed, her study suggested that an “urban environment caused led to the evolution of powerful bites to accommodate feeding on domestic pets.” 


Assistant Professor receives Outstanding Dietetics Educator Award

Rachel Blaine, an assistant professor of nutrition and dietetics, received the Outstanding Dietetics Educator Award from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The award recognizes the teaching, mentoring and leadership activities of faculty in ACEND-accredited dietetics education programs that train future registered dietitian nutritionists. Blaine is also the director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics at CSULB.  Outstanding Dietetic Educator Award Winners

CSULB receives grant to further Pregnant and Parenting Studies Initiative

Through a Michelson Spark Grant, Cal State Long Beach is partnering with the Michelson 20MM Foundation to further the impact of the Pregnant and Parenting Studies Initiative, which  is committed to the academic and personal success of pregnant and parenting students.

CSULB will conduct a landscape analysis of all CSU campuses and a selected number of community colleges to help create a baseline to improve services for pregnant and parenting students. These efforts will help increase system-wide support by sharing best practices, lessons learned, and other findings that will help support efforts related to the program and service creation.

Employees of the Month at The Beach


Kimberly Word
Kimberly Word


Kimberly Word, associate director of the Educational Leadership Program in the College of Education, was awarded February 2021 Employee of the Month. 

Word oversees and coordinates many programs and events, including all dissertation defenses, regular professional development sessions, an annual alumni banquet, new student orientation, graduation, other community-building events, and has staff oversight for two master’s programs, thereby playing a role in supporting these other academic programs, including helping with outreach and recruitment, and student support efforts. 


Holli Fajack
Holli Fajack


Holli Fajack, CSULB’s sustainability coordinator, was named March 2021 Employee of the Month

Fajack runs and coordinates many events for Earth Week at the Beach, an annual program held each April to celebrate international Earth Day. She works on engaging the CSULB and Long Beach communities in educational and entertaining events that are designed to raise awareness about the university’s sustainability efforts, even when all the planned in-person events were cancelled during the pandemic. 

CSULB receives recognition for Exercise is Medicine on Campus initiative

CSULB earned Gold Level recognition and the COVID-19 Conqueror badge from Exercise is Medicine for promoting physical activity and rising to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the Exercise is Medicine on Campus initiative. 

Exercise is Medicine, a global health initiative managed by the American College and Sports Medicine, created the Exercise is Medicine on Campus initiative through the LifeFit Center to encourage faculty, staff and students at colleges across the U.S. to work together toward improving the health and well-being of the campus community. 

Alumnus lands book deal with Dalkey Archive Press

Ashton Politanoff ‘16 landed his first book deal with Dalkey Archive Press for his novel “You’ll Like It Here.”

The novel is a surrealist portrait of pre-industrial era Redondo Beach that blends archival photographs, news clippings, advertisements and diary entries with Politanoff’s prose. It’s set to be published in late summer 2021. 

Assistant professor co-authors book about trans/gender-expansive students in music education

Joshua Palkki
Joshua Palkki

Joshua Palkki, assistant professor of vocal/choral music education, co-authored a book called “Honoring Trans and Gender-Expansive Students in Music Education” that is on pre-sale and will be released this summer.

The book is a result of a research and writing project that chronicled the experiences of 30 transgender and gender-expansive musicians and seven “important others” who have had success in teaching trans/gender-expansive students. 

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