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Making Waves: Accomplishments of the CSULB Community

Published July 19, 2021

Alumna named Orange County Teacher of the Year 

Sovantevy Long-Lattteri
Sovantevy Long-Latteri

Sovantevy “Sovey” Long-Latteri ‘07 was named Teacher of the Year for Orange County. Long-Latteri is a graduate from the College of Education’s Special Education Credential Program (ESCP) in mild/moderate and moderate/severe disabilities. She teaches at La Sierra High School in the Fullerton Joint Union High School District. 

“This recognition means a population that is often misunderstood is entitled to a meaningful education by a highly qualified teacher that genuinely cares about them, challenges and helps them thrive,” she said. “I am that teacher and I'm very proud to be recognized for it." 

Anna Nazarian-Peters named June Employee of the Month

Anna Nazarian
Anna Nazarian-Peters

Anna Nazarian-Peters, the associate director of student life and development in the Division of Student Affairs, was named June Employee of the Month. Nazarian-Peters has been with the University for more than 20 years, and her colleagues describe her as a hard-working, trustworthy individual who advocates for social justice and inclusion and sets a high standard for supporting students. 

Alumnus to lead Centerstone’s Military Services

blas villalobos
Dr. Blas Villalobos

Dr. Blas Villalobos ‘09 was named chief executive officer of Centerstone’s Military Services.

Villalobos will use his experience serving veterans and as a Marine to lead the delivery of mental health and substance use disorder services to veterans, active duty, military personnel and military families. 

Villalobos, who received his bachelor's degree in psychology from The Beach, most recently served as the director of veterans affairs at Chapman University. 

Mayor Garcia to serve as White House foundation trustee

Mayor Robert Garcia ‘10 was nominated by the White House to serve as a trustee for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, which offer up to $30,000 in financial assistance to those pursuing graduate education for careers in public service.

“As an educator, I look forward to supporting scholars from across the country — and this appointment allows me to continue my work as mayor as we build back better,” Garcia tweeted. 

Congress created The Truman Scholarship Foundation in 1975 because former President Truman wanted a living memorial rather than a brick-and-mortar tribute to his time as president.

National Science Foundation awards $475,000 grant to professor

Dr, Alex Klotz
Dr. Alex Klotz

Dr. Alex Klotz, a professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, was awarded a $475,000 grant by the National Science Foundation for his findings on kinetoplasts (kDNA).

Kinetoplasts are a medieval armor-like chainmail structure that makes up the mitochondrial DNA of certain parasites. Klotz initially began studying the elasticity of kinetoplasts, which look like tiny jellyfish, with a diameter about one-tenth the width of a human hair.

Further research, he said, could help develop new diagnostic tools for tropical diseases.


Rocketry team earns two first-place wins at NASA Student Launch Competition

CSULB’s Long Beach Rocketry team took two top honors in the Project Review and Best-Looking Rocket categories at this year’s NASA Student Launch Competition. 

The 34-member student team, led by advisor Dr. Praveen Shankar, named this year’s rocket Endeavor in honor of the space shuttle.

This was the fourth year Long Beach Rocketry participated in the NASA Student Launch Competition. Long Beach Rocketry placed fourth overall in 2017-18, fifth in 2018-19, and 12th in 2019-20.

csulb rocketry team holds rocket


CSULB to participate in Institute on High-Impact Practices and Student Success

Cal State Long Beach was one of 61 institutions selected to participate in the 2021 Institute on High-Impact Practices and Student Success, held by the Association of American Colleges and Universities. 

The Institute is designed to advance quality, equity and student achievement goals through the design, implementation, and assessment of active teaching and learning practices widely known as “high-impact practices.” Each institution sent a team to the virtual event to work with leading experts and practitioners to identify opportunities to deepen connections between students’ assets and their educational experiences.


CSULB picked for Institute on Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation

Cal State Long Beach was one of 78 institutions selected to participate in the 2021 Institute on Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Campus Centers, hosted by the Association of American Colleges and Universities. 

Each institution that was selected sent a team to learn more about the THRT framework, how to facilitate Rx Racial Healing Circles, and to explore their interest in hosting new campus centers. 


CSULB announces 2021 President’s Awards Winners

Cal State Long Beach recently announced the 2021 President’s Awards Winners, which recognizes employees that have made significant contributions to the campus community. 

The 2021 President’s Awards Winners are:

  • President’s Award for Employee of the Year – Inclusive Excellence: Christina Ramos, Education and Outreach Coordinator, Carpenter Performing Arts Center, College of the Arts
  • President’s Award for Employee of the Year – Innovation: Alexandria Pan, CAPS Outreach Coordinator, Counseling and Psychological Services, Division of Student Affairs 
  • President’s Award for Employee of the Year – Leadership: Shirley Quan, Technology Help Desk Supervisor, ITS Services Management and Operations, Division of Information Technology 
  • President’s Award for Employee of the Year – Student Success: Michelle Giffin, Molecular/Cell Biology Technician, Biological Sciences, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics 
  • President’s Team Achievement Award (tie):Academic Technology Services and Student Health Services 

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