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Audrey Nichol Hauth Scholarship Available Beginning in 2010

Published: December 1, 2009

Spring 2010 brings new support to CSULB with the debut of the Audrey Nichol Hauth Scholarship worth $2,250.

“It was always the plan for the Luster E. and Audrey Nichol Hauth Center for Communication Skills to be funded in perpetuity,” said center director Tim Plax, who joined Communication Studies in 1987. “But other manifestations of the center were sought as recognition for the Hauths. What we decided to do was to create an endowment that led to this first formal year of the scholarship. Lus and Audrey are very excited about it. They have always taken a very personal interest in the center.”

Criteria for the single scholarship include being a full-time upper-level undergraduate or graduate student, being a communication studies major or minor, a commitment of working an average of eight hours per work in the Hauth Center during the semester of the award, a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2, a demonstrated financial need and proficiency in public speaking. Applications must be received by March 25, 2010 and are available at

The Hauth Center offers professional support and communication skills resources to students, faculty, and community residents and business leaders.

“Here at the Hauth Center you will have the opportunity to enhance your own personal communication skills in a variety of contexts,” said Plax. “We can provide you with individualized assistance to become an effective public speaker, conversationalist or group leader. Communication professionals use their expertise and multimedia technology to provide you with rehearsal, coaching and consultation.”

The Hauths capped their 1999 support for the Center with a further $1 million in 2005. “At the time, their original donation was the largest gift of its kind from a retired professor in the CSU system,” said Plax. “This second donation added to that legacy.”

The Hauths’ gift is another gesture in their support for public education in general, and, in particular, to communication studies where Luster Hauth taught for 28 years before retiring in 1992. Audrey Nichol Hauth, an alumna of CSULB, was a teacher at Westminster High School for more than 20 years.

“The center offers class presentations across the curriculum, employment and group interviewing skills, group facilitation, lecture preparation and presentation, use of communication presentation software and communications in the classroom. These were just some of the uses this center was meant to serve,” said Plax. “It is meant to forge links with area schools, businesses and organizations by offering professional services such as group planning and facilitation, communication training and skills enhancement and advice in conflict management and mediation.”


The center’s technical director, Scott Allen, manages the state-of-the-art video and audio technology to provide individualized assistance for those who need help in their oral presentation, interpersonal and group communication skills. At the same time, the center provides critical observational and research opportunities.

Plax believes the scholarship says a lot about the Hauth Center and communication studies. “An endowed scholarship like this is a landmark in the history of communication studies,” he said. “It’s a first. It’s very significant that the department assembled a sufficient amount of money in an endowment account that could provide more than a menial amount of revenue.

“One thing that makes this scholarship even more significant is that, even though it is Audrey’s name on the center, it memorializes her father, a successful Long Beach community fundraiser. This scholarship honors her.”

Plax underlines the scholarship’s potential to change student lives. “Scholarships like these ease the transition of students from academia to the work force. They reach out with financial support for students to begin their careers,” he said. “I hope this scholarship forms a legacy to future communication studies majors. This scholarship has the potential to change the trajectory of a student’s path as they decide on a profession.”

Plax encourages other faculty members to think about making a similar commitment to the university. “This scholarship represents 10 years of hard work and development and captures the whole idea of the center in perpetuity,” he said. “That’s what endowment is all about. The center is here for everyone.”

Questions may be directed to the center for Scholarship Information in the University Student Union’s Room 238 at 562/985-2549 or by e-mailing

–Richard Manly