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Making Waves: Accomplishments of the CSULB Community

Published September 17, 2019

Onward and upward

Cal State Long Beach has been included among the highest-ranked institutions on U.S. News & World Report's 2020 “Best Colleges” lists.

The campus is ranked No. 7 among Top Performers on Social Mobility. The magazine’s editors wrote that they made changes this year to “help prospective students with their college search.”

“A new set of rankings looks at the top performers in social mobility, evaluating which schools best serve underrepresented students. The 2020 methodology also factors in which schools support first-generation college students through graduation,” according to the magazine.

“I am gratified that we continue to be recognized as a committed and a proven driver of upward social mobility,” said President Jane Close Conoley. “The latest ranking from U.S. News highlights our focus on improving the lives of our graduates and the communities we serve.”

Cal State Long Beach also was ranked 12th in Best Undergraduate Teaching and 20th in Regional Universities West. The 2020 rankings include the overall best national universities rankings, as well as rankings for the best liberal arts colleges, the top public schools, the best value schools and more. A total of 1,400 colleges are included in the rankings.

Exercising for the Gold

Cal State Long Beach is one of two CSU campuses and among just 55 colleges and universities in the world to receive a gold-level designation by the Exercise Is Medicine on Campus program.

The honor is given to campuses that make an effort to create a culture of wellness. The EIM-OC program on campus incorporates programs providing resources for students, faculty and staff to stay physically active.

The campus Student Health Center assesses physical activity as a vital sign for all patients and advises students to take advantage of the on-campus gyms and fitness centers, including the Student Recreational Center and LifeFit.

“Receiving the gold level designation is representative of the hard work that our students, faculty, staff and health professionals on campus are putting into the awareness of how exercise positively impacts our health and wellness in so many ways,” said Dr. Joshua Cotter, Director of the EIM-OC program.

Of the 139 campuses recognized this year, 55 received gold, 56 silver and 28 bronze.

Presidential recognition

President Jane Close Conoley has been chosen as this year’s recipient of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Region VI President’s Award. The honor will be presented Nov. 4 at the NASPA Western Regional Conference in Portland, Oregon.

According to the NASPA’s Region VI office, “The President’s Award is a special recognition given to a college or university president who has, over a sustained period of time, advanced the quality of student life on campus by supporting student affairs staff and programs. Award recipients must show evidence of direct involvement in enhancing the quality of student life on campus, active attempts to involve students and student life staff in governing the institution, and demonstrable contributions to the profession which have an impact beyond an individual campus.”

NASPA is the association for the advancement, health and sustainability of the student affairs profession. The association serves a full range of professionals who provide programs, experiences and services that cultivate student learning and success in concert with the mission of our colleges and universities. Established in 1918 and founded in 1919, NASPA is comprised of over 15,000 members in all 50 states, 25 countries, and eight U.S. territories.

cpie building

A shining example

The College of Professional and International Education’s New Classroom Building Project has been awarded a Platinum Certification under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. The project is the first LEED Platinum project on the Cal State Long Beach campus.

“This is yet another great step forward for our campus sustainability program, and continues to show our unwavering commitment to our President’s Climate Commitment and campus sustainability goals,” said Mark Zakhour, director of Design and Construction Services. “This is the highest sustainability achievement marker from the USGBC, and it is a distinction shared with only a handful of other high performing buildings within the higher education sector that have achieved this level of overall sustainable design.”

Recognized as the best

Former Beach volleyball star TJ DeFalco was listed among the up-and-coming athletes recently in Sports Illustrated. The outside hitter was honored for his accomplishments throughout his Lobg Beach State career, being an integral part of the team’s back-to-back national championships, winning the 2019 Final Four’s MVP award and being named the 2019 TeamSnap/AVCA Division I-II Men’s Player of the Year. DeFalco is the fourth player in Division I-II Men’s history to win the Player of the Year honor twice.

Outstanding educator

Professor Hen-Geul (Henry) Yeh, who joined the school's Electrical Engineering department in 1983 and has served as chair of the department since 2016, received the Outstanding Educator Award from Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Region 6. The region covers the western United States and includes many top-ranked engineering education institutions.

Dr. Yeh holds four U.S. patents, and is a member of the National Academy of Inventors. He was selected as a NASA Jet Propulsion Lab Summer Faculty Fellow in 1992 and 2003 and a Boeing Welliver Faculty Fellow in 2006.

He also is a senior IEEE member and a professional engineer in electrical engineering.

Outstanding staffer

Nancy Espinosa, department coordinator for the School of Nursing, is this year's winner of the College of Health and Human Services’ Dean's Outstanding Staff Award. A newly minted alumna, Espinosa is planning to pursue a career in advising.

His Honor meets The Dirtbags

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia recently met with the Dirtbags baseball team, telling them “By wearing the LB (on your uniform), you are ambassadors of the city of Long Beach.”

In a Tweet, he added, “I absolutely loved getting to speak with the @CSULB @LBDirtbags

mayor garcia with dirtbagsBaseball Team about our great City and how to thrive in college as a student-athlete. A really amazing group of young men!”

Garcia attended Cal State Long Beach, served as president of Associated Students, Inc. and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies. He later received his Ed.D. in Educational Policy as well. Garcia has taught courses in Communication and Public Policy at his alma mater, the University of Southern California and Long Beach City College.