December 2022: Accomplishments of the CSULB community
Denny Cubbage named Employee of the Month
Denny Cubbage, operations coordinator for the Department of Design, College of the Arts, has been named Employee of the Month for November. Cubbage’s responsibilities include managing the department classrooms, labs and shop facilities; and facilitating space and technology for design students.
“Since joining our design family in 2016, Denny has been an outstanding colleague and the best operations coordinator we ever had,” said Design Department Chair Jose Rivera. “He has been an outstanding team member during major challenges and renovation projects in our department, such as the implementation of our new hi-tech equipment, computer labs, design classrooms, model shop renovation and other projects.”
Cubbage enjoys adventures along the coast with his daughter, who is currently applying to CSULB as a design major.
Alumna and civil rights activist earns key to the city
Naomi Rainey-Pierson, ’72, ’80, ’81, the longtime president of the NAACP’s Long Beach Branch, received a ceremonial key to the city of Long Beach from outgoing Mayor Robert Garcia ’02, ’10.
In a Dec. 13 ceremony, Garcia presented his final two keys to the city to Rainey-Pierson and to Rich Archbold, public editor and columnist for the Press-Telegram.
Rainey-Pierson has served as president of the NAACP Long Beach Branch since 2000. She has also served on many boards and commissions and was the first African American woman to serve on the Long Beach Water Commission.
A dormitory at The Beach has been named in her honor, and her Rainey-Pierson Trust has awarded more than $1 million in scholarships.
She received a Distinguished Alumni Award from CSULB in 1987.
College of Ed faculty publishes book about teaching online
Sharla Berry, associate director of the Center for Evaluation and Educational Effectiveness at CSULB and a lecturer in the College of Education’s educational leadership department, has authored a new book, “Creating Inclusive Online Communities: Practices that Support and Engage Diverse Students,” published by Stylus Publishing.
The book highlights research-based best practices for higher education faculty, administrators, instructional designers and faculty developers who seek to incorporate principles of diversity, equity and inclusion in their online and hybrid classes.
William Vega selected for Community College Hall of Fame
Dr. William “Bill” Vega, a distinguished faculty in residence in the College of Education and former community college president and chancellor, will be inducted into the American Association of Community Colleges’ Leadership Hall of Fame on April 1, 2023.
Vega is one of 10 people who will be inducted in the Aurora, Colorado, ceremony, which celebrates individuals “whose accomplishments and professional contributions to the community college field have been outstanding.”
He currently teaches master’s and Ed.D. students in the College of Education.
Garcia elected freshman class president
Congressman-elect and outgoing Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, ’02, ’10, has been elected by his peers to be the president of the freshman class in Congress. He won California’s newly created 42nd district during the November elections and will assume office on Jan. 3, 2023.
The selection took place during freshman orientation in Washington, D.C. “It’s an incredible honor to have been elected freshman class president,” Garcia said in a news release.
Alumna joins L.A. City Council
Eunisses Hernandez ’13, who represents the city's 1st district on the Los Angeles City Council, took the oath of office on Dec. 6. Her first council meeting was on Dec. 13.
Hernandez, who graduated from The Beach with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice (College of Health & Human Services), defeated incumbent councilmember Gil Cedillo in the June primary elections. The 1st district includes Highland Park, Westlake, Echo Park, Koreatown and Chinatown.
Hernandez told the website Bolts that she experienced “a revelation” at CSULB during a class covering the War on Drugs. After graduating, she worked at the Drug Policy Alliance for four years, helping to pass Senate Bill 180, which ended drug enhancements that added up to 12 years to people’s sentences for past convictions.
CSULB doctor brothers recognized for helping Iranian protesters
Dr. Kamiar Alaei, Department Chair of Health Science, and his brother Arash Alaei, also a medical doctor and a lecturer at The Beach, have been providing critical telemedicine sessions to Iranians injured in the recent protests. The sessions are also held with health care providers, who can go to jail for treating protesters in hospitals.
Their project – Medical Alliance for Health Services Abroad (MAHSA) – is named after Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who died Sept. 16 in Iranian police custody after she was arrested for allegedly wearing her headscarf too loosely.