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The next Faculty Supper Club, open only to CSULB faculty, will be held Wednesday, March 11, from 5-7 p.m. in the Karl W. E. Anatol Conference Center in the Academic Services building.

The guest speaker will be the Department of Psychology’s Kim-Phong Vu, whose presentation is titled “Memory: An Old Tool in a New World of Computer Passwords.”

Cost to attend is $20 (make checks payable to “Choura Event Services”) and includes a Madagascarian buffet which will have lasopy (vegetable soup), lasary voatabia (tomato and scallion salad), Madagascar chicken, varenga (roasted shredded beef), white rice and vegetables, salady voankazo (fruit compote with lychee nuts) and wine/coffee/iced tea.

R.S.V.P. by Friday, March 6 by calling 562/985-4546 or by e-mailing Rachel Brophy.

A CSULB expert in trauma and grief counseling helps returning Iraq War veterans and their families to deal with the pain of frequent separations by participating in a yearly $5 million contract with the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BuMed).

William Saltzman, who joined the Educational Psychology, Administration and Counseling Department in 2003, has worked since 2004 with the UCLA Trauma Psychiatry program. Earlier this year, Saltzman and colleagues began the Families OverComing Under Stress (FOCUS) Project, a resiliency training program that aims to reduce the effect of combat stress on families by supporting open communication, encouraging parents to maintain consistent routines and helping parents develop positive coping skills. As part of that program, Saltzman is working to put in place family-based resilience enhancing programs at Marine, Navy SEAL and Seabee bases across the country, including Camp Pendleton, 29 Palms and the Seabee base at Port Hueneme. Other sides are spread from Okinawa to a special warfare training base on Virginia’s Coronado Island.

Saltzman discussed the challenges military families face during testimony before the U.S. Congress in 2008. Among them are the extended and repeated separations, altered family roles and responsibilities, increased stress for the caretaking parent, and possible parental mental health problems, physical injury or loss.

“We are seeing unprecedented numbers of parents among deployed troops,” said Saltzman. “Presently, there are 140,000 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and, of that number, 40 percent are parents. It is unprecedented.”

In particular, Saltzman is interested in how military families struggle with multiple deployments. “I’ve spoken to Marine families where the mother or father has been deployed four times in three years,” he said. “This really undercuts the ability of families to cope. It undermines the bonds of attachment between parents and children that are essential for their welfare and development.”

Saltzman applauds the military’s efforts to support its members but he believes those services need to include more children and family. “We work with family development problems,” he said. “The key is to enhance the sense of community. One thing I have found in all my work in helping families to deal with stress is that family members become isolated and estranged in an effort to protect other family members from what they experienced. They feel these experiences cannot be shared with spouses or family members. There is a breakdown in the sense of community. The key is to build communication and I do that by eliciting strength-based narratives from all the family members. They talk about what they went through during the deployments. I work to identify gaps in mutual understanding.”

Saltzman cites the decision by a returning Marine to delay his return by four weeks to supervise the return of others. “His family freaked out,” Saltzman recalled. “Here they had a welcome all planned with banners and they were afraid something had happened. The mother became angry. Was it more important to stay in Iraq than to come home? When we collected the narratives of the husband and wife, we were able to get the husband to explain how difficult it was for him to leave his buddies. His sense of personal responsibility compelled him to stay. Sharing this helped the couple to appreciate their experiences and to work together.”

Portrait of William Saltzman
Photo by Victoria Sanchez
William Saltzman

The stress on children can be especially difficult. “We ask the children to develop narrative times lines and to include questions for their moms and dads,” he said. “Their art work and time lines help to bring the families together. They talk about what is going on in the family to clear up any misunderstandings.”

Saltzman remembered the pain of a soldier father when confronted by an 8-year-old son who would not speak to him when it came time for the dad to ship out for Iraq. “The dad went off to war feeling his son hated him. But the son later explained that he didn’t look at his dad because he was afraid he would cry or not know what to do,” Saltzman said. “He did not hate his father. The goal of this program is to bridge those gaps.”

Saltzman is co-director of CSULB’s Marriage and Family Therapy program. In 2006, he received a Faculty Scholarly and Creative Activity Award to study “Development and Pilot Study of a Brief Intervention for Military Families Impacted by War-Related Injury, Death or Combat Stress.” He received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Maryland in 1995 before performing a post-doctorate at UCLA in their Neuropsychiatric Institute. He is a California native who grew up in Los Alamitos.

Saltzman is hopeful about the program. “One of our goals is to see between 150 and 200 families per program and we want to do a lot of outreach in addition,” he said. “We want to train Navy personnel in basic resilience skills, to perform basic assessments of families and to explore topics like post traumatic stress disorders, depression and different types of adaptive behavior. We are working with software game designers to create a way for military family members to use Internet-based gaming to interact. I hope to mobilize Naval chaplains worldwide to help them better deal with the problems they hear when they are embedded with the troops.”

Student Recreation and Wellness Groundbreaking
Photo by David J. Nelson
Among the university officials on hand for the official groundbreaking of the Cal State Long Beach Student Recreation and Wellness Center were: (l-r) Dave Edwards, ASI associate executive director and director of the University Student Union; President F. King Alexander; Prospector Pete, CSULB mascot; ASI President Erin Swetland; Andrea Taylor, vice president, University Relations and Development; Douglas Robinson, vice president, Student Services; and Richard Haller, ASI executive director.

Nearly 200 students, faculty, staff and others gathered recently for the official groundbreaking of the CSULB Student Recreation and Wellness Center on ground that used to be the Parking Lot 11.

The $61 million center is expected to be completed in about 18 months with an anticipated opening in fall 2010.

The 126,000-square-foot facility will feature weight and fitness machines, cardio theater, a wellness center, a rock-climbing wall, indoor running track, basketball/volleyball/badminton courts, multi-activity courts, outside recreation pool and spa, sand volleyball, racquetball courts, a health-food shop, personal trainers and group fitness classes.

Still, CSULB President F. King Alexander sees the center as more than a workout location.

“This will not simply be a place to exercise. It will be a place where people will build lifelong friendships and networks; a place where students, faculty and staff exchange ideas and help one another; a place our graduates will fondly remember when thinking back to their collegiate days,” Alexander said at the groundbreaking. “And it will be a place that helps us fulfill our promise to our students to give them a comprehensive collegiate educational experience, one that we all know extends beyond the classroom.”

Before coming to CSULB, Alexander was the president at Murray State University (MSU) in Kentucky. During his tenure there, he oversaw the addition of a recreation and wellness center at that campus. He experienced and witnessed the difference it made at MSU, and he said he expects the same impact at CSULB.

In addition to instilling good exercise and health habits, ASI President Erin Swetland noted that the center would also provide employment opportunities for students.

“The Student Wellness and Recreation Center will be a place for students to work out, relax, eat healthy food and socialize, but just as important, the new facility will also provide 200 to 300 jobs for students on campus,” said Swetland, who pointed out that the center would also provide surfboard and boogie board rentals.

“As a student and graduating senior, to me this recreation and wellness center is especially meaningful because I know that as an alumna I will be able to come back to campus and be just as active and engaged as ever,” she added. “I look forward to 20 years from now coming back once more and sharing stories with my family about today – breaking ground on this building with you.”

Dave Edwards, ASI associate executive director and director of the University Student Union who emceed the groundbreaking, focused on how the new facility would help break down the stereotype of CSULB as a commuter campus with students feeling a stronger sense of community and connection with the campus. He also explained how the center would break the mold of the traditional recreation center with the assistance of the facilities designer, the award-winning Cannon Design.

“This Student Wellness and Recreation Center will be one of only two LEED Silver facilities on the campus. LEED Silver is a designation given to facilities for exceptional conservation in design and operations,” Edwards said. “Additionally, ours will be the first recreation center in the CSU with the LEED Silver designation.”

As a LEED Silver Level building, several of the center’s elements are environmentally friendly, starting with the groundbreaking itself. Pulverized asphalt from Parking Lot 11, on which the center is being built, will be reused beneath the building’s foundation. In addition, the center will use reclaimed water for irrigation, waterless urinals, adjustable lights that brighten as the day grows darker, recycled lumber, and new technology such as biometric scanners to decrease paper waste and save utilities.

“Breaking ground, breaking stereotypes and breaking the traditional mold,” he concluded, “the CSULB Student Recreation and Wellness Center will truly be a strong addition to our great campus.”

The CSULB flag was planted in Cambodia last July when the Center for Language Minority Education and Research’s Director of School Improvement Alex Morales led a 10-member class to the land of the killing fields.

The “Social and Cultural Diversity in Educational Settings” class joined the leadership of Hearts Without Borders last summer to return a child to Cambodia after she received life-saving heart surgery in the United States. “It was quite an emotional day as the CLMER group donated books, clothing, school and medical supplies to the families of her village in Battambang,” said Morales, who joined the university in 1995. “When you see these poor children, you become emotionally attached.”

Class participants included documentary filmmaker Alfred Lugo, Lakhena Chhuon, Ronald and Alana Reese (husband and daughter of CLMER Director Leslie Reese), Darren Junier, Manuel Arzate, Xochitl Maldonado, Phoebe Harichi, Leslie Fine and Morales.

Since first visiting Cambodia in 2003, Morales has built a record of activism that includes delivering rice, noodles and dental supplies to poor rural villages, distributing literature to hundreds of students, adopting a daughter who remains in Cambodia with her family, instructing a university class and becoming an active member of the board of directors for “Hearts Without Boundaries,” a nonprofit global volunteer organization established to provide humanitarian services such as medical teams, heart surgery, and medical supplies in Southeast Asia.

“As a CSULB staff member, a professional educator, and a current board of education member for the Whittier Union High School District, I am blessed to have such a wide range of support from my family, CLMER, personal friends and colleagues,” said Morales. “I also have the support of elementary and middle school teachers, students and parents who recycle plastic bottles and cans to buy rice and noodles. This, along with the supports of Hearts Without Boundaries, a newly created 501(3)c organization that provided open heart surgery for two Cambodian children in the USA last year, motivated me to continue my humanitarian work and try to improve the lives of less fortunate children.”

The latest visit included an audience with Cambodia’s King Samdech Preah Baromneath Norodom Sihamoni, who has reigned since 2004. “About 10 of our party were allowed to spend an hour with his majesty,” said Morales. “There were several presentations including one of mine to the king about CSULB. It was a great experience.”

The roots of Morales’ interest in Cambodia began in 2003. “At the urging of friends and colleagues at CLMER, I decided to take a two-week vacation to Cambodia,” he recalled. “Working in Long Beach for the school district and university for 20 years and having several Cambodian-American colleagues and personal friends who survived the genocide, I felt it was time to visit the country that was still dealing with the aftermath of the Pol Pot regime of the 1970s. Upon my return to CSULB, I made a PowerPoint presentation of my experience to the CLMER staff. After the presentation, our director approached me and stated very seriously, ‘You’re a changed person. The trip to Cambodia has changed you.’ How ironic; my wife made the same comment just a day before.”

Morales praised CLMER for making the class possible. “The center always has been inclusive of all cultures,” he said. “This class is an effort by the center to make sure that our educators and teachers are equipped at all levels to instruct our K-12 students.”

Photo courtesy of Alex Morales
Alex Morales with children during recent trip to Cambodia

Morales encourages other CSULB faculty and staff members to get involved in outreach efforts. “It is a way for the university community to learn more about the deep cultural issues that can be difficult to understand,” he said. “We all know about music and movie stars. What about Cambodian deep cultural values? That is much more complex. It is something our teachers, staff and community need to experience.”

CLMER in collaboration with CSULB, University College and Extension Services and the Cambodian Ministry of Education, will offer an 18-day approved course in Cambodia for teachers and university students this summer. Faculty members and students will absorb the Cambodian culture, teach ESL/ELD lessons and visit museums, orphanages, clinics, rural village schools and temples as well as join roundtable discussions with Cambodian students, teachers and administrators.

“It will also offer participation in rice and noodle distribution to poor rural families,” Morales explained. “Students will visit the ancient religious site and temples of Angkor Wat. They will visit an orphanage for victims of land mines and they will participate in the distribution of children’s books.”

Morales looks forward to a great class this summer. “We want to work more closely with Cambodian educators on how we in the USA approach language instruction,” he said. “Also, at the same time we as educators of many Cambodian American students must understand the recent history of Cambodia and how that affects their education and learning here in the USA.”

Adding credence to its recent ranking among the top 50 “Best Value” public colleges in the nation by The Princeton Review, officials at CSULB released national data showing that CSULB fees are the lowest of any four-year institution in California and the lowest among all 23 campuses of the California State University (CSU) system.

For 2008-09, the national average cost of attending a four-year public university was $6,585 while the national average of attending a private institution reached $25,143. By comparing those rates to the 2008-09 average cost of enrolling at a University of California campus, which was $8,007, or one of the 23 CSU campuses, which averaged $3,849 for the year, CSULB at $3,392 lives up to its reputation as one of the nation’s best university values.

Even within the CSU, the cost of attending CSULB is lower than the rest, in some cases much lower. The second lowest resident undergraduate student fee at a CSU campus in 2008-09 was at CSU Monterey Bay, where full-time undergraduate students paid $3,535 or $143 more than at CSULB. At the other end of the spectrum, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo had the highest student fees in the CSU system at $5,043 for 2008-09. All University of California institutions charged considerably higher rates than all CSU institutions.

“At Cal State Long Beach, we’ve worked diligently to keeps costs down for students wherever possible because we recognize that affording a university degree is an economic necessity for every child and student in the years to come,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander. “Many of our students are among the first in their families to go to college, and they come from a wide array of diverse socio-economic backgrounds. We have thousands of middle and lower income students who would not be able to afford a university education if they lived in a state other than California. So, the issue of affordability is paramount, but it is also indisputably linked to the public commitment on the part of California taxpayers and legislators to keep it this way.”

Although its fees are the lowest, CSULB offers a quality educational experience with some of the most renowned academic programs in the state. For the last five years, the campus has been recognized by USNews & World Report as one of the top five public comprehensive universities in the western United States. CSULB also attracts some of the best and brightest high school graduates in California through its President’s Scholars Program, which has awarded more than 900 full scholarships to high school valedictorians and National Merit scholars.

“In addition to affordability, however, we also understand the value of providing a well-rounded and high-quality education to our students,” Alexander added. “It is this reputation that makes Cal State Long Beach one of the largest universities in the nation and California in terms of student enrollment. If we didn’t provide a quality experience, students wouldn’t want to come here, and their parents wouldn’t want them here.”

The difference within the CSU is in the mandatory campus fees. While all 23 CSU campuses charged a state university fee of $3,048 for full-time undergraduate students — the lowest system student fee in the nation — each campus has its own set of additional campus fees, which averaged $801 systemwide for 2008-09. CSULB campus-based fees were only $344 for this year.

These campus fees are charged for a variety of university services that are not covered by state fees, including health services, technology enhancements and other instructionally related activities. Campus fees may also support non-academic building projects (such as student recreation centers), athletics, student body associations and other specialized materials and services.

“Campus-based fees help us provide to our students an important margin of educational excellence that enhance student learning opportunities inside and outside of the classroom. These fees help us offer a wide range of educational experiences that would otherwise be excluded,” Alexander pointed out. “However, I do believe that no other university or university system in the nation does a better job at balancing the important issue of maintaining widespread affordability and providing high-quality educational experiences.”

CSULB is the largest campus in the CSU system with 37,891 students, and the state’s second-largest university. The largest four-year institution in California, a member of the University of California, is UCLA, which enrolled 39,650 students for the fall 2008 semester. UCLA students paid more than twice as much as CSULB students in 2008-09 –$8,309.

It was all about halftime at the Pro Bowl in Hawaii on Feb. 8 for Andrew Vaca, an associate dance professor at CSULB.

For more than 10 years, Vaca’s prowess for choreography has been on display as the NFL’s top cheerleaders have performed polished dance routines he collaborated on during the Pro Bowl, the post-season matchup between football’s top athletes. This year, however, he worked and watched offstage with even more pride as several CSULB dance students also performed during halftime.

Vaca was in charge of 34 dancers during the show, including three CSULB students and three alumni who were originally hired to help develop the Pro Bowl cheerleader training DVD. Dance majors Wesley Faucher, Meghan Klemz and Brittany Ullestad, along with alumni dancers Julianne Wessely, Nicole Niestemski, and Courtney Meadows, were hired through e2k, a dance production company Vaca has been freelancing with for years.

“It’s extremely exciting for me to be here (in Hawaii) choreographing while CSULB students are here performing,” said Vaca during his trip. “They have proven to be such amazing representatives of the university and our department by working professionally and by being great examples to the other performers. They are also some of the most talented dancers in the halftime show.”

Like the football players who during the season must earn a seat on a Pro Bowl bench, the cheerleaders are also nominated from each of the league’s teams each year for being among the best on their squads.

Each November, Vaca is part of a group that gathers, often at CSULB, to choreograph eight dances and four short “filler” routines that the cheerleaders must rehearse and learn before they arrive in Hawaii. That was the extent of Vaca’s involvement with the Pro Bowl until this year, which is the first time he has traveled to Hawaii to help prepare for the game.

Besides the dance routines, the Pro Bowl halftime show this year consisted of performances by Enrique Iglesias, who will sing his hit “Be With You,” as well as “Takin’ Back My Love,” a duet he sang with Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Ciara.

According to Vaca, the singers chosen to perform at halftime heavily influence the dance routines. This year their songs have enabled him to develop some “very traditional jazz dance work with professional dance team flair,” and incorporate into the routines a lot of modern dance and lyrical jazz movement.

“They [the singers] often want to do something new so that it becomes better known, while the NFL and e2k often want the performers to sing something already mainstream. It’s basically a give and take between the three before the pieces are chosen,” added Vaca during his stay. “I’m very excited about these songs because ‘Be With You’ is a beautiful piece. The other song is quite fun and was very inspirational to work with. I love the fact that it’s a duet with Ciara, an artist whose work I’ve always enjoyed. I find the song to be extremely danceable. I just finished the base choreography for the show Thursday night and the dancers looked amazing doing it.”

Spirit Final
Photo courtesy of Andrew Vaca
Andrew Vaca

A native of Sacramento, Vaca began dancing with Dale Scholl in the Jazz-ee Dance Company, and later in Jazzworks and Dale Scholl Dance/Art. Since leaving Sacramento, he has danced with the UCLA Dance Company, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, Keith Johnson/Dancers, Bodytalk, and Roman Dance Theatre.

Prior to teaching at CSULB for the past 10 years, Vaca taught dance at UCLA; Scripps College; California State University, Sacramento; and the Orange County High School of the Arts. He holds a bachelor’s of arts degree in communication studies from CSU Sacramento and a master’s of fine arts degree in dance from UCLA.

At CSULB, Vaca is known as the “jazz dance specialist,” as he regularly teaches jazz technique classes. Other courses he instructs include creative dance for children, improvisation, composition, and all levels of modern dance technique. He has also been the director of the department’s annual Dance Showcase, an evening of dance performed by the non-major students of the department.

Besides this year’s Pro Bowl, Vaca first worked with Iglesias and his music in 2001 to choreograph the Thanksgiving Day United Way Halftime Show for the Detroit Lions, and again at the same event in 2007 with the Goo Goo Dolls.

Professional sports cheerleader teams Vaca has worked with include the San Francisco 49ers Gold Rush, the San Diego Charger Girls, the Los Angeles Laker Girls, the Los Angeles Clipper Spirit, the Boston Celtic Dancers, the Sacramento Kings Dancers, the Indiana Pacemates and the Portland Trailblazer Dancers. He has also worked as assistant choreographer on two episodes of Molly Shannon’s sitcom, “Cracking Up!”

“I truly love working on these [halftime] productions. It’s amazing to see how such diverse groups, such as hula dancers, jazz dancers, cheerleaders, bungee artists, flame jugglers and singers can all come together to entertain a crowd of millions,” said Vaca. “It enables me to combine experiences and knowledge I have gained from my own work and from my diverse training that I’ve had for the past 25 years. It’s not very often that a cheerleader turned jazz dancer turned modern dancer turned professor finds himself in Hawaii working for the NFL. But I’m excited that it’s me.”

“Safe in the City,” an HIV/AIDS intervention program designed and evaluated by a research group that included a professor at CSULB, has been chosen by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for inclusion in The 2008 Compendium of Evidence-based HIV Prevention Interventions.

CDC, the government’s lead agency for HIV prevention in the United States, analyzes program efficacy and compiles updates to the Compendium annually. To be included, programs must be scientifically proven to reduce HIV or STD-related risk behaviors or promote safer behaviors.

The 2008 Compendium is a single source of information that informs state and local HIV prevention programs about what works for preventing HIV infections and includes a total of 57 interventions. Safe in the City was one of just eight interventions added to the list this year.

“We’re very excited that the Safe in the City project was included in this issue of the Compendium. Interventions listed in this publication are the ones the CDC will support when they provide funding to local health departments, community-based organizations and other non-profit groups,” said Kevin Malotte, Archstone Endowed Chair and director of the CSULB Center for Health Care Innovation. Malotte served as the principal investigator for the Long Beach site during the evaluation study.

“Already, Safe in the City has been requested by more than 1,200 sites to be used in their waiting rooms,” he added. “So, it is probably the most widely distributed of the eight evidence-based interventions that were added to the compendium this year.”

Safe in the City is a single-session, video-based intervention project for diverse STD (sexually transmitted diseases) clinic patients. It involves the presentation of a 23-minute STD/HIV prevention video to patients in a clinic waiting room. The video contains key prevention messages aimed at increasing knowledge and perception of STD/HIV risk, promoting positive attitudes toward condom use and building self-efficacy and skills to facilitate partner treatment, safer sex and the acquisition, negotiation and use of condoms.

The video consists of three interwoven vignettes that model negotiating safer sexual behaviors among young couples of diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds and sexual orientations. Animated segments demonstrate proper condom use and the variety of condoms available. Movie-style posters in the waiting room and exam rooms direct patients’ attention to the video and reinforce key messages.

The evaluation study was conducted at sites in three cities — Long Beach, San Francisco and Denver — between 2003 and 2005 with the goal of reducing new STD infections. During the average of 14.8 months of follow-up, significantly fewer new STDs were diagnosed for patients receiving the Safe in the City intervention than patients receiving the standard STD care.

Kevin Malotte

“During our evaluation study, the Safe in the City intervention did demonstrate about a 9 percent reduction in new infections, and that is a significant amount since this is a relatively easily implemented intervention,” Malotte pointed out. “This program has the potential to do a lot of good in communities across the United States.”

The CDC estimated that 56,300 new HIV infections occurred in 2006, according to Richard Wolitski, the CDC’s acting director for the Division of HIV and AIDS Prevention. Malotte noted that Wolitski earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Cal State Long Beach.

“As our nation continues to address the evolution of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States, we are constantly reminded of the burden this epidemic places on individuals and communities,” Wolitski said. “Preventing HIV infections from occurring in the first place is the only answer to curbing the burden over the long term. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is dedicated to researching, informing, funding, training, monitoring, and evaluating HIV prevention efforts.

“We know the uphill battle that HIV prevention faces at this point in the epidemic given the increasing number of people living with HIV,” Wolitski continued. “We also know that our prevention partners include extraordinarily dedicated state and local health departments, community-based organizations, schools and academic institutions and tens of thousands of researchers, public health workers and volunteers who are on the front lines, day in and day out, doing the hard work of prevention.”

Malotte proudly noted that of the 57 interventions listed in the 2008 Compendium, CSULB has been involved with five of them as investigators, including the projects RESPECT Brief Counseling, RESPECT Brief Counseling plus Booster, RESPECT Enhanced Counseling and Safety Counts. He also said that RESPECT and RESPECT-type counseling is used all over the United States by a variety of different groups.

“This speaks to the history of Cal State Long Beach researchers and their involvement in this important public health area,” Malotte said. “I don’t believe any other university in the United States has been involved in as many interventions that have been chosen for this Compendium publication.”

Demonstrating their commitment in encouraging more African American students to enroll in college, Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) President F. King Alexander and Vice President for Student Services Douglas Robinson will address local church congregations on Feb. 22 during the fourth annual CSU Super Sunday.

Alexander will speak at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, located at 1535 Gundry Ave. in Long Beach during the 11 a.m. service. Robinson will deliver his address at Christ Our Redeemer AME in Irvine at 46 Maxwell during the 10:30 a.m. service.

In all, nearly 40 CSU speakers will address congregations at 68 churches during three weekends throughout California to promote higher education, as well as highlight the role of parental involvement and early preparation in facilitating successful access to college for African Americans.

“Over the past four years, Super Sunday has proven to be an increasingly important component of California State University and Cal State Long Beach’s overall commitment in reaching out to local and regional underserved communities. Because of our, CSU’s and the churches’ efforts, tens-of-thousands of students and their families learn that planning for college should start as early as the sixth grade,” said Alexander. “We believe that good information drives good decisions for children, students, and families. Therefore, it is our responsibility to reach beyond the confines and comfort of our own campuses to put important college-bound information about what students should be studying and learning in order to prepare adequately. It is also pleasing to know that these kinds of unique outreach efforts have been so successful that they are being duplicated in other states throughout the nation as we speak.

“So as long as the need is there, and that need is apparently increasing, we will continue to deliver these messages each year, because the data shows that our efforts are paying off.”

Since the launch of Super Sunday in 2005, system-wide college applications at CSU from African American students have increased 15 percent. Enrollment for fall 2008 alone increased 8.5 percent. Now, nearly one in every 15 CSU students are African American, roughly matching statewide population percentages.

However, there is still much more work to be done. Only 19 percent of African American students who graduated from high school in California are eligible to attend a CSU. Compared to other CSU applicant groups, African Americans are more likely to submit an incomplete application or fall short of admission standards.

In 2005, Super Sunday started with 11 churches in Los Angeles and 13 churches in Northern California. Events are now hosted in 27 churches throughout the Los Angeles Basin and 40 churches in Northern California. Three host churches are in San Bernardino, marking this as the first year CSU leaders will speak to congregations in the Inland Empire.

Some of the themes the speakers will focus on this year include the value of a college education, CSU’s commitment to access for all underserved communities, what the college culture is like, and the role of the churches in the effort.

Following services at the churches, Cal State Long Beach outreach staff and church educational advisers will provide information regarding the CSU application and admission process, financial aid and student support services, as well as distribute information and materials to showcase the CSULB curriculum.

“It is amazing how broad the scope and reach of Super Sunday has become. Now, outreach staff work with the congregations throughout the year on college outreach programs,” said Robinson. “We have also further developed our financial aid workshops and have expanded distribution of college materials to sixth-12th grade students and their parents. The church educational advisers and liaisons who work directly with young students and their families are phenomenal. We are definitely making a difference here in Long Beach and across the state.”

Mathematics may not be everyone’s favorite subject, but it affects our everyday world in both obvious and subtle ways.

James Stein, a professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at CSULB, will discuss “How Math Explains the World: Why the Garage Can Never Get Your Car Repaired on Time” at the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (CNSM) Fellows Colloquium and Dean’s Breakfast at 7:30 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 18.

The event takes place at The Pointe conference center in CSULB’s Walter Pyramid. The program is free to members of the CNSM Fellows—the college’s premier support group—as well as CSULB students, and $25 for non-members.

Drawing on his recently published book, How Math Explains the World, Stein will examine how seemingly arcane mathematical investigations and discoveries have led to bigger, more earth-shaking insights, ranging from quantum mechanics and the workings of complex systems to why people have such difficulty with time estimates.

Publishers Weekly said Stein’s book “explores the application of math to problem solving in the everyday, explaining tricky concepts and developing elegant algorithms for everything from scheduling auto repair to organizing a closet” in a humorous and interesting way.

Stein is a veteran of both “math for poets” and Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Studies. He holds advanced degrees in mathematics from Yale University and UC Berkeley.

More information is available by contacting Alexandra Jordan at 562/985-4830, or visiting the Web site

On Thursday, Feb. 26, the Career Development Center (CDC) will host the Engineering, Science and Technology Job Fair, as well as the first-ever Green Vendor Fair in the University Student Union (USU). Both events are free.

The Green Vendor Fair will be held from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. in the courtyard area of the USU and will highlight a university community celebration of sustainable products and services held in conjunction with the 2009 Engineering, Science and Technology Job Fair.

The CSULB Green Vendor Fair will showcase everything from major renewable energy technologies to everyday products and services, and aims to create an engaging, educational, and empowering view of greener living. This event is sponsored by the university’s Career Development Center.

The event includes more than 50 booths, exhibits, and features highlighting services, products and information concerning green living and green business. Participating organizations will be pre-screened based on sustainability guidelines provided by the California State University as well as the City of Long Beach’s guidelines from the Sustainable City Commission.

Confirmed participants include the City of Long Beach, Office of Sustainability; Shred-4-Good, Goodwill Industries; California Conservation Corps and Whole Foods.

The Engineering, Science and Technology Job Fair will be held from noon-4 p.m. in the University Student Union ballroom. Approximately 100 companies and organizations will attend the annual event. Among the list of participants are Boeing Company, the County of Los Angeles, Fluor Corp., and Raytheon Company.

Available positions range from internships and part-time to full-time opportunities. Juniors, seniors, and alumni are especially encouraged to attend. This fair is specifically geared to companies representing the technical industry and offering jobs for all majors, including those in technical fields.

Prior to the job fair, the Career Development Center will offer workshops for resumé, interview and job fair preparation.

For more information or to view a complete list of employers and workshops, visit the CDC Web site or call 562/985-4151.