California State University, Long Beach
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Campus Trio Honored for Community Service

Published: June 15, 2010

Staff Community Service Award

Colleen Ryan

College of the Arts

Awardee portrait
Colleen Ryan

For the past five years Colleen Ryan, the facilities coordinator for the College of the Arts, has been a champion in the fight to raise money, increase research and enhance medical care for the 300,000 children in the United States who suffer from arthritis.

After her daughter, Caitlin, was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis at the age of 3, Ryan became involved with the Arthritis Foundation’s Orange County Arthritis Walk. She has served on the event’s planning committee since 2005 as the logistics chair, and, as team captain for the “Princess Parade” Walk Team, she has been directly involved in raising more than $150,000 for the foundation. In 2005, she also took on the role of Arthritis Walk co-chair, responsible for media appearances, interviews, kick-off and event day master of ceremonies.

In 2007, Ryan took a national volunteer position with the Arthritis Walk, allowing her to share her fundraising experience across the country. Since 2007, she has lobbied in Washington, D.C., organized letter-writing campaigns, and arranged for local visits in support of the Arthritis Prevention Control and Cure Act. She also served for two years as a volunteer instructor at the National Arthritis University, helping to pass on the best practices she’d gleaned in her successful years with the Orange County Arthritis Walk.

Ryan has been awarded the Arthritis Foundation National Community Outreach Award, the National Kathy Angel Parent Leadership Award and been recognized as the Outstanding Board Member for the Southern California Arthritis Foundation Chapter. She was CSULB’s Employee of the Month in 2006.

Ryan is a regular volunteer with her children’s PTA and athletic teams and for nine years has worked on CSULB Staff Council special events.

Faculty Community Service Award

Betty McMicken

Communicative Disorders

Awardee portrait
Betty McMicken

Betty McMicken retired from her position as a full professor at CSULA and subsequently assumed a position as assistant professor at CSULB. She is a recognized authority on disorders of the voice, dysphagia (swallowing), motorspeech disorders and aphasia. McMicken has worked continuously over the past 44 years as a speech pathologist. She has served thousands of patients, but some of the most rewarding work she has done has taken place in the poorest area of Los Angeles, Skid Row.

McMicken is a volunteer speech pathologist for the Los Angeles Mission, specifically for the Anne Douglas Center, a women’s residential facility created by Anne Douglas and her husband, actor Kirk Douglas. She averages 20 hours a week at the mission working with individuals in rehab and with the homeless population. McMicken is also involved with the L.A. Christian Healthcare Center, a free clinic which is located across the street from the mission.

McMicken began working at the center after she became a speech therapist for 93-year-old Kirk Douglas, who suffered a stroke in 1996.

“It is quite apparent to me that at least 50 percent of the individuals who are homeless have a communication disorder that has either put them on the street or kept them on the street,” said McMicken. “This is the most rewarding work I have ever been involved in.”

McMicken has also teamed up with a faculty member at Cal State L.A. to have the Speech and Hearing Clinic at CSULA provide services on campus for the L.A. Mission/Anne Douglas Center clients.

For her dedication, the Celebrity Action Council of the Anne Douglas Center honored McMicken with the Friendship Award in 2009. In 2008 she was inducted as a Fellow of the California Speech-Language-Hearing Association (CSHA), for her efforts to advance services to adults with communication disorders.

McMicken is also a volunteer for the Center Theatre Group of Los Angeles in which she serves as an Ambassador to the Inner Circle. Additionally, she is a trustee affiliate of Berkeley Hall School in Bel Air.

Student Community Service Award

Brandon Fryman


Awardee portrait
Brandon Fryman

Brandon Fryman’s passion for service began as an undergraduate at CSU San Bernardino when he and members of the Sociology Club cooked, cleaned and visited with the families living at the Ronald McDonald Charity House in Loma Linda.

Since then, Fryman has walked many miles to support the fight against breast cancer, help victims of family violence and rehabilitate child soldiers in Uganda. He has volunteered for the Downtown Women’s Center in Los Angeles, which is dedicated to providing permanent housing and ending homelessness for women. As part of his volunteer work with the center, Fryman has interacted directly with individuals living on Skid Row. He volunteers with Amnesty International and the United Nations, serving as a liaison for high school and college groups within five counties in Southern California. He also helped plan a benefit dinner that brought in $10,000 to raise awareness about landmines.

But Fryman’s favorite service experience took place in Uganda with Africa with Mosaic Vision, an organization dedicated to restoring the childhoods of children who have been adversely affected by circumstances such as natural disaster, disease, famine and war.

“While in Uganda, as a group, we went to 20 different orphan family homes and helped with small household chores such as getting water, cooking, and sewing, and larger projects like building a kitchen and digging a hole for an outhouse,” Fryman said. “The smiles that I received were the most wonderful reward that anyone could give me. I learned so much about being humble and content with what I have.”

–Linda Fontes