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Making Waves: Accomplishments of the CSULB Community

Published October 20, 2021

CSULB scientists offer expertise to media outlets on oil spill

Students pulling in fishing netsScientists from Cal State Long Beach shared their knowledge of the recent Orange County oil spill in various media, offering expert advice of the cleanup process needed. 

An estimated 25,000 gallons of crude oil leaked off the coast and first rolled onshore at Huntington Beach, where gobs of crude could be found on the sand and threatening sensitive wetlands. Several students from the Shark Lab and Whitcraft Wetlands Ecology Lab pulled in fish that were tested for chemicals from the oil. 

Professors Christine Whitcraft and Gwen Goodmanlowe, of the Department of Marine Biology, spoke with reporters about the cleanup effort and how the oil spill will affect not only the ocean, but birds and fish. 

“There’s a real urgency in rescuing the wildlife affected right now, and experts have great strategies for cleaning wildlife,” said Whitcraft, who teaches biological sciences. “But I do worry about the long-term impact on oiled soil and oiled plants if it makes it to the marsh plain.” 

Their interviews could be seen and read on KPCC, L.A. Times, CBSLA, KABC 7 and Spectrum News 1.  

Alumna fulfills pledge to pay for MCAT courses 

 Dr. Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber ‘84 knows first-hand how prep courses for a medical career can be costly for pre-med students, especially those who are first-generation students. So, the Distinguished Alumna pledged $50,000 last July to purchase MCAT courses for CSULB students. 

Rohr-Kirchgraber, named Medical College of Georgia Woman Who Inspires for 2021, recently made good on her commitment, paying in full the amount of the pledge. 

“The cost of applying to medical school can be prohibitive especially if you are paying for the costs on your own,” said Rohr-Kirchgraber, a professor of medicine at the Medical College of Georgia. “Higher grades on the MCAT can greatly increase your chances of getting accepted to medical school, especially if you are coming from a lesser-known school. 

Speech-Language Pathology partners with language center 

The Department of Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) has partnered with the RiteCare Childhood Language Center of Long Beach to provide speech, language, and literacy treatment for children with language disorders.

A major gift from the California Scottish Rite Foundation will enable the SLP department in the College of Health and Human Services to better train speech-language pathologists and extend clinical services year-round to meet the high demand for communication and language services. 

“By joining forces with the Scottish Rite Foundation of California, we can expand our ability to provide free and high-quality services to more children,” said Monica Lounsbery, Dean of the College of Health and Human Services.  

The financial support from the Scottish Rite Foundation, the SLP Department also will aid in restructuring the SLP graduate program to train more clinicians and offer a year-round clinic that serves more children and adults. 

Soriano named September Employee of the Month 

Jorge SorianoJorge Soriano, early academic preparation coordinator in University Outreach & School Relations, was named Employee of the Month for September

During the pandemic, Soriano developed meaningful connections between The Beach and prospective students through his social media efforts. As an example, he led live tours on Instagram during quarantine so students could experience the campus from wherever they were located. 

He also used Reddit and Discord to connect and serve prospective students in those social spaces.  

Corion Lucas, (now former) assistant director of University Outreach, praised Soriano for his “consistency in providing high quality, reliable work and serving as a role model to others in the process.”  

Lucas commended Soriano for his work ethic, passion and collaborative spirit “which have often made his peers excited and eager to work with him.” 

The Beach receives $1.46 million grant 

CSULB was awarded a five-year, $1.46 million grant as a newly honored member of the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI). The grant will enable The Beach to improve and expand its capacity to serve AANAPI and low-income students. 

The department looks to address the impact of COVID-19 through work-based learning experiences, mental health support and academic support, said Barbara Kim, deaprtment chair of Asian American Studies, who will serve as principal investigator for the program. 

The work brings together the work of the Counseling and Psychological Services, Career Development Center, CLA Internship Program, Educational Opportunity Program, Ethnic Studies, Department of Sociology and Office of Research and Economic Development. 

 “Although this is our first funded AANAPISI grant, we are indebted to Dr. Karen Nakai, Dr. Mary Ann Takemoto, and other colleagues who guided previous grant applications,” Kim said.  

Live Streaming comes to The Beach 

Fans can now stream Beach sporting events on ESPN+ after the Big West Conference and ESPN extended their rights agreement. More than 600 Big West Conference contests, including Long Beach State baseball, basketball, softball, men’s and women’s volleyball, women’s soccer and men’s and women’s water polo will be shown. 

The Beach’s visibility reached the No. 2 spot on ESPN SportsCenter’s nightly Top 10 highlights on September 23, when camera’s captured soccer player Lena Silano’s spectacular game-winning goal

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