Making Waves: Accomplishments of the CSULB Community

Published February 12, 2022

Making Waves is a monthly feature celebrating the Beach community.

Dr. Perla Ayala receives Faculty Early Career Development award 

Dr. Perla Ayala
Dr. Perla Ayala wins prestigious grant.

Dr. Perla Ayala, a biomedical engineering assistant professor, received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award for her research into vascularization in cardiac fibrosis models. She is the first College of Engineering faculty member to receive the prestigious National Science Foundation honor that comes with a $500,000 grant. 

The award supports early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education, and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization. 

"This is a great honor and an excellent opportunity that will enable us to pursue our research goals and to involve CSULB students in these types of projects," she said. 

Ayala said she will use the grant to investigate a tissue-engineered approach to vascular repair of damaged cardiac fibrotic tissue and effective therapies for heart disease patients. 

Mechanical engineering student skates to eighth place in nation 

Skater Dinh Tran
Skater Dinh Tran. Photo by Kelly Canaan.

Dinh Tran, a second-year student in the Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering department, finished eighth in the recently completed 2022 senior U.S. Figure Skating Championships held in Nashville, where the top three finishers qualified for the Beijing Olympic Games. 

Tran, who has been skating since age 4, earned a silver medal in the junior division of the 2018 national championships. 

 Nursing students score high on RN licensing exam 

The highly ranked School of Nursing achieved another accomplishment when all 42 of its students who took the RN licensing exam in December passed on their first try. The School of Nursing has scored better than 97% in the past six years and has scored a 100% pass rate twice (2017, 2020) on the NCLEX, a required examination for the lincensure of nurses in the United States. 

Alumna named Best New Filmmaker  

Andrea Ureno, ‘08 Film & Electronic Arts department graduate, was named Best New Filmmaker for her documentary “A Girl Can Change the World.”  

The award-winning film was edited by CSULB film faculty member Jack Tucker at the City of Angels Women's Film Festival.  

Makisha Glover-Hill named January Employee of the Month 

Makisha Golver-Hill
Employee of the Month Makisha Glover-Hill

Makisha Glover-Hill has been an instrumental member of the College of Education and the CSULB community for more than five years. A leader in the Operations sector of the Center for Evaluation & Educational Effectiveness, Glover-Hill overseas fiscal and budget matters, personnel oversight of staff and students, liaison between campus and auxiliary areas, as well as operational support and resources for internal and external clients. 

Her strong work ethic and support of students across campus earned her January Employee of the Month

In addition to her job duties, Glover-Hill is active in many corners of The Beach, volunteering in affinity organizations such as, the Black Faculty & Staff Association, Sistahs On Campus and the Hesabu Circle. She has also served on CED Staff Council and University Staff Council as well as numerous committees and councils across campus. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has further revealed the negative effects that systemic racism has placed on society, particularly in tragedies carried out against those in the African-American community,” she said. 

Mark Prestwich is new Palos Verdes Estates city manager 

Mark T. Prestwich ’04 was appointed city manager of the Palos Verdes Estates City Council.  

Prestwich earned his master’s of Public Administration from the Graduate Center for Public Policy and Administration. Prestwich has spent his entire 25-year professional career in public service. 


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