December 2023: Accomplishments of the CSULB community

Published December 19, 2023

Elizabeth Alessi named November Employee of the Month

Elizabeth Alessi
Elizabeth Alessi, November Employee of the Month

Elizabeth Alessi, a front office coordinator for the Bob Murphy Access Center, has been named Employee of the Month for November.

Alessi has worked for CSULB for just over a year, yet she has made a deep impression on her Student Affairs colleagues and the students she serves at BMAC. In her role as front office coordinator, she exhibits empathy, compassion and a willingness to go above and beyond to serve the campus community. 

Mary Nguyen, director of BMAC, recognized Alessi’s “endless contributions” and said, “From her start with BMAC, she was able to instantaneously build trusting relationships with students and parents that interact with BMAC in a manner that helped them feel understood, seen and heard.”  

Wind Symphony heading to Kennedy Center in March

CSULB Wind Symphony
CSULB’s Bob Cole Conservatory Wind Symphony

CSULB’s Bob Cole Conservatory Wind Symphony has been selected to perform March 10 in the 2024 Sousa Band Festival at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The Wind Symphony is one of only four bands from across the country to participate in this event, which will celebrate the life and influence of legendary American composer and conductor John Philip Sousa.

This will be CSULB’s first-ever appearance at the Kennedy Center, according to Jermie Arnold, director of bands and director of the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music. Fifty-one Beach students will travel to the nation’s capital to perform five pieces, including one composed by the late Carolyn Bremmer, former chair of the CSULB music department. They will also get a private clinic with Col. Dennis M. Layendecker, former commander and conductor of the U.S. Air Force Band, and get the opportunity to visit important Sousa sites in Washington, D.C.

Those interested in contributing to the Wind Symphony's trip to D.C. and the Sousa Band Festival may visit the official crowdfunder site.  

‘Puvuu’nga’ film released

A sign identifying Puvungna on the CSULB campus

The College of Liberal Arts has produced and released a 16-minute film titled “Puvuu’nga,” examining the history, geography and significance of the site on the CSULB campus that is sacred to California Native American peoples. Representatives from the Gabrielino/Tongva, Chumash and Juaneño/Acjachemen communities were interviewed, given creative control, and credited as the film’s directors. 

Anthropology chair Scott Wilson and American Indian Studies (AIS) program director Craig Stone led the multiyear project that started with funding from former CLA Dean David Wallace’s anti-racist initiatives. Anthropology alumnus Robert Carleton-Chaing served as the project’s coordinator, and CLA programs anthropology, AIS, international studies, women’s, gender and sexuality studies, political science, classics, comparative world literature, English and Romance, German, Russian Languages and Literatures donated funds from their anti-racist initiative allocations to support the production. 

The Beach ranks No. 9 in transfers 

The Walter Pyramid on campus
Walter Pyramid on campus

Cal State Long Beach ranks No. 9 nationwide in number of transfer students enrolled, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2024 rankings of “Best Colleges” in the country. U.S. News reported that 3,942 students enrolled at CSULB in fall 2022, the latest figures available. That’s more than Arizona State University, University of North Texas, UCLA and CSU Sacramento, which are next on the list. 

U.S. News also reported in its annual roundup that The Beach ranked No. 1 among national universities for promoting social mobility

President Conoley featured in book written by alumna

Book cover, Women in the Higher Education C-Suite
Cover for "Women in the Higher Education C-Suite: Diverse Executive Profiles"

President Jane Close Conoley and CSU Chancellor Mildred Garcia are among the 11 women leaders in higher education featured in a book by Lisa Mednick Takami ‘17. “Women in the Higher-Education C-Suite: Diverse Executive Profiles,” published in October by Wiley, explores each woman’s path to leadership positions and is designed to provide inspiration and guidance for future women leaders. 

Takami obtained her educational doctorate in educational leadership from the College of Education in 2017. The CSULB Bookstore will host a book launch with Takami and Conoley from 5:30-7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 3.

International relations professor publishes two books

Ezgy Yildiz
Ezgi Yildiz

Ezgi Yildiz, an assistant professor of international relations in the political science department, has recently published two books. “Between Forbearance and Audacity: The European Court of Human Rights and the Norm against Torture,” published by Cambridge University Press, examines how international courts have employed strategies to define and combat torture and inhumane treatment. Published in November, it is also available through open access.  

Yildiz served as an editor for her second book, “The Many Paths of International Law,” published by Oxford University Press. This book presents the first comprehensive account exploring how international law changes through means other than treaty making and includes a theoretical framework for understanding change in international law. Co-edited by Nico Krisch, it’s available now through open access, and the print copy will be available in North America in January. 

Have an item for Making Waves? Send your submissions to Richard Chang.