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Making Waves: Accomplishments of the CSULB Community

Published September 9, 2021

Dragicevich named August Employee of the Month

Lauren Dragicevich stands near sighAs Commencement coordinator, Lauren Dragicevich had the Herculean task of providing more than 25,000 CSULB students and their guests with the information to celebrate the 2020 and 2021 Commencement ceremonies at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Dragicevich handled event planning, requests for proposals, purchasing processes, timeline of activities and the Commencement email inbox to earn August Employee of the Month

This past year brought multiple obstacles when planning for the large event. Christopher Reese, associate vice president of University Relations, said Dragicevich “stepped up once again to provide exceptional student service to ensure over 25,000 graduates have a chance to celebrate in-person.” 

Dragicevich has served as a Beach Guide in the First Year Beach Connections program and mentored graduate students through the Graduate Studies Resource Center.  

Lecturer publishes third book in ‘Surfside Girls Guide to the Ocean’ series

Cover of surfing bookKim Dwinell, a lecturer in the College of the Arts, has taken her love of the ocean and collaborated with Dr. Chris Lowe, professor of marine biology and director of the CSULB Shark Lab, to produce a third book in the “Surfside Girls Guide to the Ocean” series. 

The latest colorful paperback deals with the science of surfing, explaining to young readers such topics as what makes a wave and how to surf them; being a good steward of the oceans, biology and strange ocean phenomenon.  

Dwinell started out as a lifeguard but transitioned into a career in animation and now has combined the two in her Surfside Girls books. She teaches animation at CSULB and created drawings for the books. 

Lowe said the book includes “lots of cool marine biology and oceanography tidbits for budding surfers… and future scientists!” 

History professor writes her second book

Donna BinkiewiczDonna Binkiewicz, a lecturer in the History Department, has authored a book, “Between the Sea and Sky: My Portuguese American Family in Upcountry Maui, 1881-1941,” that follows three generations of her family, which migrated from the Azores Islands of Portugal to Hawai’i.  

The story highlights the Portuguese development on Maui, religious institutions, labor and social mobility, gender issues and political involvement. It is her second self-published book. 

Rover rolling over sand dunesCSULB’s Lunabotics Team shines at NASA competition

Lunabotics Team placed first in the state and 13th nationally in the NASA Lunabotics Competition, which looks to train university students for NASA systems engineering by designing, building and operating a lunar excavator prototype. 

In building the prototype, the team overcame several challenges, including navigating COVID-19 safety protocols. Initial construction of the rover was at public parks. Blueprints of the rover were distributed through a cloud-based file sharing program, meetings were held virtually, and testing took place at the beach. 

In a normal year, teams would have traveled to the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida to demonstrate their rovers. However, during this year’s competition, teams virtually presented to a panel of judges. 


Center for Latino Health receives grant

The Center for Latino  Community Health, Evalution and Leadership Training received a third grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for $975,314 to support the Leveraging Interdisciplinary Nutritional Knowledge (LINK) program.    

LINK is a collaboration among five Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) in Southern California: two 4-year universities, Cal State Long Beach and Cal State Fullerton, and three two-year community colleges, including Fullerton, Long Beach City and Santa Ana colleges. LINK will strengthen partnerships among the institutions to create a nutrition and health sciences academic pathway for students.  

Using a multidisciplinary approach, LINK will effectively address nutrition-related issues with a focus on Latino Health. Dr. Melawhy Garcia, assistant professor of Health Science and Director of the Center for Latino Health, will serve as principal investigator, while Dr. Selena Nguyen-Rodriguez, associate professor of Health Science, will serve as evaluator. 

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