November 2023: Accomplishments of the CSULB community

Published November 21, 2023

Paul Fitzpatrick named October Employee of the Month

Paul Fitzpatrick
Paul Fitzpatrick, October Employee of the Month

Paul Fitzpatrick, lead painter in Beach Building Services, has been named Employee of the Month for October

Fitzpatrick has been lead painter for five years. Prior to that, he worked as a painting contractor for 25 years. He has been praised by colleagues for completing a Graduate Studies wall project at a third of the original estimated price.  

“I commend Paul not only for extending his creativity and willingness beyond what is typically required – but also for leadership of his excellent crew,” said Colleen Ryan, senior academic affairs facilities specialist in the Academic Resources and Strategic Planning department. “Grad Studies now has a beautifully branded wall that will be highlighted in meetings and Insta moments well into the future! Thanks so much to Paul and his team for going well beyond in service to The Beach!” 

Alumna wins gold at Pan American Games

Madeleine Focht, second from right
Madeleine Focht, second from right, at the Pan American Games

Madeleine Focht ’19 won a gold medal in the double sculls, gold in the quadruple sculls and silver in the Women’s 8 at the Pan American Games last month in San Pedro de la Paz and Santiago, Chile. Sculling is a type of rowing where competitors in a boat hold an oar in each hand. Double sculls comprise two-person teams, while four-person teams compete in quadruple sculls. 

Earlier this year, Focht won a gold and silver medal in the Pan Am Games Qualifier, which put her on Team USA for the Pan Am Games. She hopes to represent the U.S. in a team boat at the 2024 Paris Olympics. 

Focht graduated from The Beach with honors in technical theater. She was introduced to rowing by Joan Lind Van Blom, class of 1974. 

Student takes leading role in international sorority

Zoe Heard
Zoe Heard

Zoe Heard, a fourth-year biology major at The Beach, has been named the Southern California undergraduate cluster coordinator for the Far Western Region of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.  

Heard is president of the Lambda Alpha chapter of the sorority on campus. In her new role, she will represent the chapter at events in the region and will coordinate all communication from the chapter to the region. 

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., was founded in 1908 at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and is the first Greek-lettered sorority established and incorporated by African American college women.  The sorority comprises 355,000 members in graduate and undergraduate chapters in 12 countries around the world. 

Professor of finance joins publication board

Laura Gonzalez
Laura Gonzalez

Laura Gonzalez, a professor of finance, has been invited to join the editorial board of Managerial Finance, a respected financial research publication. Since 2021, Gonzalez has also served on the editorial board of International Review of Financial Analysis, a leading academic finance journal. In addition, she has been selected as guest editor for a special issue of Finance Research Letters titled, “Redefining the Future.”  

Gonzalez has been a finance professor at The Beach since 2016. She serves as a Beach mentor in multiple campus programs, including the McNair Scholars Program and the First-Gen Ph.D. Project. She also serves as president of the Southwest Finance Association. 

Alumna wins award, gets published in Taschen book

Morganne Leigh's designs
Tyche + Iset featured in 'The Package Design Book, Vol. 7'

The work of Morganne Leigh ’12, designer and founder of the eyewear company Tyche + Iset, is featured in “The Package Design Book, Vol. 7,” issued this month by art book publisher Taschen.  

Leigh’s original packaging design, art illustrations, logo design, typography, photography and eyewear design were selected as a winner in the “Sustainable Luxury” category during the 2021 Pentawards design competition. The book showcases winners from the 2021 and 2022 Pentawards – the world’s leading packaging design competition, with entries from more than 60 countries around the world. 

Leigh says she studied the original “Package Design Book” (volume 1) during her fourth-year graphic design class at CSULB, which makes the recognition “even more special.”

CAST and student win NASPA awards

Beth Lesen, Samantha Schoner and Sylvana Cicero
From left: Beth Lesen, Samantha Schoner and Sylvana Cicero

The National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) has selected CSULB’s Campus Assessment & Stabilization Team (CAST) program as this year’s recipient of the NASPA Region VI Innovative Program Award. The award was presented earlier this month to honor an institution and/or individual that has implemented an innovative program that furthers the growth of students, results in improved service to students, and/or enhances life on campus. Region VI includes California, Arizona and Hawaii.  

Donna De Loera and Graciela Lopez, the two CAST coordinators on campus, received the award at the NASP Western Regional Conference, Nov. 6-10, in Las Vegas. In addition, fourth-year health care administration student Samantha Schoner won the Undergraduate Rising Star Award during the conference. 

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