California State University, Long Beach
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Community Service Award Honors Faculty, Staff, Student Recipients

Published: August 3, 2009

Julie O’ Donnell
Social Work

Julie O’Donnell’s excellence in community service has increased CSULB’s visibility in Long Beach, throughout the state, and nationally.

Director of Research for the Child Welfare Training Centre in the Department of Social Work since 1992, O’Donnell has continually partnered with community agencies to improve children, family, and community well-being, particularly in the downtown Long Beach community. She has served on numerous local boards including the Stevenson-YMCA Community School Advisory Board, and the Communities Organizing Resources To Advance Learning Program Development Board. She has written more than $25 million in grants to fund juvenile delinquency prevention, community development, after-school, family involvement and community school programs. She is a board member for the California Association of School Social Workers (CASSW) and, as chair of the Los Angeles region, led the planning committee that launched the first school social work conference for California.

In addition, O’Donnell has served CSULB’s Department of Social Work as the chair of the Personnel Committee, chair and co-chair of the Research Sequence, chair of Strategic Planning, and as a member of the Curriculum and RTP Committees.


O’Donnell currently teaches school social work, thesis and community projects. She has been the principal investigator on multiple grants that have been funded by organizations such as the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, the Wallace Foundation, California Department of Child Abuse Prevention, James Irvine Foundation, California Community Foundation, the Marguerite Casey Foundation and the Stuart Foundation. She also consults on and evaluates numerous projects that emphasize education and community development in low-income, culturally-diverse communities in the Long Beach area.

Mark Zakhour
Physical Planning and Facilities Management

Mark Zakhour, Senior Construction Manager for Physical Planning and Facilities Management, has served his community for four years as a reserve firefighter/EMT with the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA).

Zakhour responds to all types of emergency calls including fires, medical aids, traffic collisions and hazardous materials incidents. With his unit serving as part of the front line for the OCFA, Zakhour is on call three times a week for 12-hour shifts. He has fought some of the largest wildfires in Orange County, including the Freeway Complex Fire, Santiago Fire and the Windy Ridge Fire, and has been a three-time recipient of OCFA’s Major Incident Citation Award for his actions during large wildfires. Zakhour also mentors and trains new reserve firefighters, is a qualified driver operator, and has completed company officer certification.


In addition to his volunteer work as a reserve firefighter, Zakhour is actively involved in community events such as the Spark of Love Toy Drive, Irvine Family Fun Fair, Red Ribbon Pizza Delivery Night, Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Epilepsy Alliance for Orange County, Habitat for Humanity and National Night Out. He also worked as a volunteer firefighter for the Joint Forces Army Reserve Base in Los Alamitos for one year.

Zakhour is a dedicated and respected staff member at CSULB, working in major capital projects where he is currently overseeing the construction of the Hall of Science and the Student Recreation and Wellness Center. He came to CSULB as a consultant with the construction management team almost seven years ago and was hired as an employee two years later. Since then, Zakhour has worked on a variety of projects including the Pyramid Annex, Parking Structures 2 and 3, the Library renovation, and the Student Athletic Services remodel. Those working with Zakhour describe him as an intelligent individual who is humble and generous, as well as passionate and enthusiastic about his job.

Annette Quintero
Geographic Information Systems

For the past 10 years, Annette Quintero has been active in numerous organizations dedicated to a variety of local and international issues.

Her most recent involvement encompasses international, national, and regional advocacy and service work with the Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition. She has organized educational forums regarding multi-ethnic migration, health, education, and housing; advocated for comprehensive immigration reform and undocumented students’ issues; and raised $3,000 for immigrant families in sanctuary at local churches and over $8,000 in scholarships for immigrant students.


Quintero is also a member of the steering committee for the Long Beach Coalition for Good Jobs and a Healthy Community, an organization that helps workers who are in the hospitality and tourism industry. She has addressed the Long Beach City Council about the working poor and the need for a livable wage, and helped to organize many community delegations, marches, and educational events. Since 2006, Quintero has served on the board of the African Well Fund, an organization dedicated to building and maintaining fresh water wells in Africa. She has organized various educational forums, forged partnerships with international organizations, and worked to provide clean drinking water to more than 200,000 people in over 12 countries.

Quintero is a monthly volunteer with the Long Beach Community Action Team, which is dedicated to promoting social well-being among the Long Beach community by implementing youth programs, environmental stewardship, and animal welfare. She has also been involved in the CSULB community since becoming a student in 2005. She earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology at CSULB in 2007 and will complete her certificate in geographic information systems this month.