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“Did I just get hacked?”

That’s a question individuals with Yahoo accounts were probably asking themselves on Sept. 22 when the technology giant confirmed that data “associated with at least 500 million user accounts” was stolen in what may be one of the largest cybersecurity breaches ever.

In an attempt to stay—and keep—ahead of the game, CSULB’s College of Continuing and Professional Education (CCPE) is offering a Cybersecurity Certificate Program. The program is suggested for criminal justice students, private investigators, legal professionals, law enforcement and military personnel, or even private citizens with an interest in identity theft protection.

“In law enforcement, this is becoming a very high percentage of the crimes that are occurring,” said Mickey Bennett, who runs Training Alliance for Public Safety, Inc., based in Sacramento and also serves as the program facilitator. “As most of us know, cybercrime is a daily occurrence and it’s only getting worse.”

The goal of the program is to teach the basics of cybersecurity response and investigation and response, which includes digital media analysis, investigation, malware analysis, Internet and intranet investigations, electronic discovery (aka eDiscovery), physical asset protection, incident response, local and international legal issues and cyber threat intelligence.

It is designed to prepare individuals for cybersecurity employment opportunities in today’s emerging digital workforce. Featuring a series of progressive and interactive individual courses, the program aims to help students develop technical skills that are in high demand by employers. Participants will also gain the proficiency required to pass parts of independent evaluation examinations including Certified Information System Security Professional, Certified Information Systems Auditor and/or Certified Information Security Manager.

“The primary goal of this program is to make sure students who complete the program have the ability to recognize and identify cyber security attacks, so if something happens on a computer, they can determine if it’s just an error in the program or if their organization is under attack,” said Denis Arsenault, a CCPE program developer. “This will train them on how to double check to make sure something is coming from a legitimate source.”

The pilot program contains four modules run over a period of 20 weeks. Three of the modules will be done completely online with a fourth (the second in order) to be held in a classroom setting to provide a hands-on experience.

“We feel it’s important to bring those students in to show the hands-on portion of cyber security,” said Arsenault. “It’s to give them a kind of a ‘looking under the hood’ experience. After completing this class successfully, individuals will be able to collect evidence off a phone or a computer.”

Michael Menz, a global cyber security senior manager at Hewlett Packard (HP), will be the course instructor.

“In addition to his position at HP, he is also a reserve deputy sheriff dealing with high-tech crime,” said Bennett, a former police officer who has worked with Menz for more than 20 years on various cybersecurity programs. “His background and experience in this field is quite extensive.”

Image of a lock with the laptop describing the cyber security

Bennett and Arsenault are clear that the program won’t make students complete experts in all things cyber-security related. What it will do, however, is teach how to conduct initial investigations and respond accordingly. Individuals will be trained to be able to collect digital evidence. That’s where the classroom module is key, bringing equipment and people together at the same time, so they can learn how to collect evidence off computer data storage systems and how they can search different files and focus in on the problem.

“We want our graduates to recognize when there is a real problem and to know who to reach out to for additional assistance,” said Bennett, “because in many cases they may need greater expertise.”

Arsenault is aware of the ever-changing world we live in and the serious need for programs like this to be up-to-date in order to stay a step ahead of potential hackers.

“Everything has to be in line with what’s going on in the industry,” he said. “I trust that the curriculum that’s prepared is spot on and relevant and pertinent to what the industry is talking about today and will be talking about tomorrow.”

One bit of free cyber security advice Bennett offered up is for those who rent cars.

“The last time you rented a car, did you connect your phone to the car to charge it up?” he asked. “If you did, you may have downloaded all of the information from your phone to the car, which will be there until the next person comes in and erases it or copies it.” Who knew?

Two ways around that, he noted, are to either purchase a cord that can only charge a device, not transfer information, or use the vehicle’s lighter outlet to power up.

For more information on the program, contact Arsenault at 562/985-7398.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

He placed his headphones on and adjusted the microphone, bringing it a bit closer. With a short countdown, the entire radio station became quiet.

“This is Mornings on the Beach, a live radio learning lab on the air Monday-Friday 9-10 a.m.,” said Danny Lemos, Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) student media coordinator.

From very early on, Lemos was hooked on radio. His career began at KLXU, a college radio station for Loyola Marymount University (LMU). Lemos, however, didn’t plan on getting involved with radio during in his college career. He went to LMU to study to become a Jesuit but his advisers suggested he take a couple of classes outside the religious realm.

“I was walking around the campus when I came across the radio station and I thought to myself ‘That looks really cool,’” said Lemos. “They told me if I could find a couple of spare chairs for their office that I could come on as promotions assistant, so I used my connections as a Jesuit scholar and got those chairs.”

Ever since, Lemos has been in the radio media industry, dedicating more than 30 years of his life to it. He spent seven of those years as the executive producer for the Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 countdown before deciding to begin his own podcast studio business, helping big-name clients—such as CBS and New Line Cinema—with their own podcast efforts.

In 2006, he was asked to become the operational manager at KJazz, the popular radio station on the CSULB campus, giving him his first taste of non-commercial radio.

Later on that year, KJazz was moving off campus and Lemos was going to be out of a job. He always thought it was strange that some of the student interns helping with KJazz never had an opportunity to host any of their own shows. So, the last few days KJazz was on campus, he let the interns take over.

“They handled themselves perfectly and no one was any the wiser,” said Lemos. “I truly believe students with the right guidance can produce professional work and I truly enjoyed guiding them through that.”

On his last day at KJazz, Lemos decided to walk down to lower campus, a place he’d never been. That’s when he discovered Kbeach Radio and thought, “I could help here.”

He was so excited to find a student-run organization that reminded him of the one back at LMU, he decided to volunteer at Kbeach Radio.

“One of the first things I did was create ‘Mornings on the Beach’ to be used as a teaching tool for the students at Kbeach,” said Lemos.

It was around that time Kbeach Radio was cleared to get its own Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license and ASI was looking for a director with FCC experience to oversee this new transition. They decided to hire on Lemos as the ASI student media coordinator.

Danny Lemos in the KBeach studio
Danny Lemos in the KBeach studio.

Since he became coordinator, Kbeach Radio has flourished. In the academic year 2014-15, it had seven students receive national internships and five receive national awards. The station has also received one Radio and Television News Association of Southern California Golden Mike Award, three College Media Association Pinnacle Awards and three Intercollegiate Broadcasting System Radio Trophy Awards.

Lemos’ great ability to develop and guide students caused the school to add even more responsibility to his plate. He is no longer the student media coordinator for just Kbeach Radio but also for College Beat TV and the Union Weekly.

“Danny has been the greatest help and mentor during my journey in ASI media,” said Nicole Ilagan, chief executive producer at College Beat TV. “He’s helped me countless times solving problems and developing my leadership skills, I owe a lot of my experiences and career successes to College Beat and Danny.”

Lemos has some big plans for taking over as coordinator for all three groups. One of those is to create a cross platform for all three groups to collaborate on.

“I think you just help the students come off more professional and help remove the stigma of student radio and student newspaper,” said Lemos. “I just absolutely love being able to help guide and develop the students and their passion is wonderful.”

Students working on turning fallen trees into furniture.
Students working on turning fallen trees into furniture.

When a windstorm pummeled Los Angeles County on Nov. 30, 2011, destroying thousands of trees, CSULB School of Art lecturer RH Lee and nine other members of the L.A.-based Box Collective, a group of environmentally conscious furniture makers and designers, did what came naturally. They set about collecting wood from the fallen trees to make furniture and art.

Lee, who teaches woodworking at CSULB, recently saw her handmade furniture crafted from fallen trees gathered in the “Windfall” exhibit at LA’s Craft and Folk Art Museum. The show, which ran through Sept. 4, featured an array of works from benches and end tables to bowls.

Her walnut “End Tables” created with San Francisco-based collaborator JD Sassaman, incorporated paulownia wood from the Los Angeles Arboretum as well as black walnut and claro walnut with a unique twist: granite spires cast in 3D printed molds pounded into the wood. Lee explained that the tables were inspired by a backpacking trip through the Sierra Nevada Mountains through snowy granite peaks, wind-damaged trees and the Devil’s Postpile National Monument.

“The story that a fallen tree tells is much more interesting and varied than the industrially harvested and milled boards you have access to at a lumberyard,” Lee said.

For many members of the Box Collective, she said, the unifying theme of their work is sustainability. “One way to do that is to repurpose trees that have come down either from storms, development or tree disease,” she explained. “We are choosing to use wood that otherwise would end up in a dump. We use that wood to create furniture which is a great way to do sustainable work. By using local trees, we reduce our carbon footprints instead of importing milled lumber from abroad. Using local wood offers a real variety of grain patterns, colors and species that you cannot find in the traditional lumberyard. There is a diversity in local wood.”

Lee explained that her CSULB students in her woodworking course Art 254 use slabs of fallen campus trees milled in previous years in her six-hour studio class.

“The slabs we use have been drying for several years before being turned by students into furniture,” she said. “I enjoy incorporating sustainable woodworking into the CSULB curriculum. We’ve enjoyed great success in terms of the versatility of student work. Our students begin to appreciate the beauty of wood grain in the local CSULB trees—they begin to understand that these are really rare specialty woods that cannot be obtained in lumber yards. I want to open our students’ eyes to wood working. There is a magic that comes when you cut into a tree and are totally surprised by what you find.”

Woodworking is an ancient art that experiments with modern techniques. Lee works at the low end of the technological spectrum with hand tools but also incorporates digital technology when it makes sense.

“I chose woodworking because I liked the idea of not knowing what I’ll find until I cut into the wood,” she explained. “There is always an element of surprise and usually it is a pretty good surprise. I like working with living, breathing material. I try to figure out how to work with it as it expands and contracts over time. I find the living nature of the medium intriguing. There is diversity in wood. Each tree is unique and you find that out when you cut into it.”

Lee earned her bachelor’s degree in visual arts from Brown University in 2000 and went on to work in theater building sets and in San Francisco’s interactive science museum the Exploratorium. She currently runs the Offerman Woodshop collective in Los Angeles as well as her own furniture business, Lee Build.

She sees herself continuing in woodworking for the foreseeable future and that includes working with fallen trees.

“This is not a gimmick,” she said. “Wood is a limited resource and there are lots of wood species that were used in furniture for hundreds of years that are no longer available due to bad logging practices. Using local salvaged wood will be a necessity for more people as time goes on.” She points to the friends and colleagues who recently founded the L.A.-based Angel City Lumber as a way to collect fallen and diseased trees or trees that have come down as part of urban development. “Because of Angel City Lumber, my shop has started to use locally salvaged wood from the L.A. area for furniture commissions,” she said. “This is the first time I have been able to offer this to clients on a large scale. It is very exciting. Fallen trees are an important resource for the woodworking community.”

Applications are now being accepted for the 26th Annual Alumni Grants Program. Sponsored by the CSULB Alumni Association, the Grants Program provides funding to university departments and programs. Allocations may be up to $7,500. More than $875,000 has been awarded to campus departments and programs since the program’s establishment in 1991.

The last day to apply is Monday, Dec. 5.

Applications and guidelines are available online. For specific questions, contact Gay Arakawa, Executive Director of the CSULB Alumni Association at 562/985-7880.

2016 Alumni grants recipients

The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden at CSULB marks its 35th anniversary this fall with appreciation of the past and anticipation for the future.

“It’s an exciting time,” said garden director Jeanette Schelin, a member of the university since 1993 and co-founder and past vice president of the North American Japanese Garden Association (NAJGA). “Gardens usually take 30 years to mature. That was something Ed Lovell, the garden’s designer and landscape architect for the campus, used to say. Loraine Burns Miller and he envisioned a garden for a generation of people they would never know. Their vision of the physical garden has become fully mature.”

The School of Art’s Ken Brown, author of Japanese-Style Gardens of the Pacific West Coast that included CSULB’s Japanese Garden, is the founder and past president of NAJGA.

“We are thinking less today of Japanese gardens as microcosms of Japan that teach us about culture,” he said. “Now, we think of them more as microcosms of nature formed manicured in a Japanese style. Because they are idealizations of nature, the larger goal is not to learn about Japan. The goal is to connect with the power of nature in diverse ways.”

Schelin believes the mission of the garden is to be a place of learning and culture.

“Loraine Burns Miller wanted a garden that created an ‘aesthetic respite,’” she said. “I think that was an interesting phrase. She had health problems in her youth yet she became curator for 25 years of the Howard Oriental Art Collection. She knew how art could be restorative and invigorating. She decided she wanted to give Long Beach another gift and that gift was the Japanese Garden.”

Brown, whose 2013 book Quiet Beauty: The Japanese Gardens of North America explores the history and social impact of Japanese gardens, lectures around the nation every year including stops this fall in San Francisco, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Washington D.C., Ithaca, NY and Taipei. In 2009, he and Schelin organized an international conference on Japanese gardens outside Japan on campus that drew 240 attendees and 44 speakers from five countries.

“That,” he said, “inspired the foundation of the NAJGA to foster the sustainability of Japanese gardens, both private and public, by thinking of them in terms of horticulture, human culture and business culture.”

Over the years, Schelin has worked hard with community support to create a menu of activities for the garden.

“We know our garden naturally attracts families,” she noted. “For instance, we host a Children’s Day every year plus July’s Tanabata Festival or the Festival of the Star-Crossed Lovers, a romantic festival that involves taking strips of paper, writing poetry on them, attaching them to bamboo and letting the wind take the poems up to Heaven. It’s lovely.

“I remember my first Chrysanthemum Festival at CSULB,” she added. “My first thought was that adults would do adult activities and kids would do art. But I quickly discovered many adults tried to do the art activities with the children. Since then, our adults are included in all artistic activities. It is open to everyone from ages 2 to 92.”

Weddings continue to play a big part in the garden, but they have evolved.

“In the 1980s, reservations were made by phone,” Schelin recalled. “Married couples visited Public Safety to pick up the key to the garden and let themselves in without any equipment, no PA system and no food. They used the space then returned the key.” Today, reservations are needed months in advance for the big day (or evening), with the garden able to accommodate up to 200 guests for a ceremony and 150 for a wedding and reception.

Japanese Garden

Looking to the garden’s future, Schelin envisions a connection with an academic home, noting that linking academically to the core purpose of this institution is strategic.

“Plus, we need improved facilities,” she said. “For instance, there is only one restroom. We have 300-plus visitors on an average Sunday. We are working with the university on a courtyard improvement project this winter. The university will improve pedestrian access with sidewalks in front of the garden and we are funding a perimeter with appropriate signage.

“We anticipate controlling the gate,” she added. “We need to make sure people who bring large groups to the garden have made a reservation. Currently, if a big tourist bus pulls up and unloads 50 people, they are in the garden before we see them arrive. Students and the campus community will always have priority. But we are trying to right-size how many visitors can fit in the garden at the same time.”

Gardens depend on support, Schelin says. “I think if we walked out the garden and locked the gate, within six weeks, Mother Nature would take over,” she said. “The bamboo would spread and things would go back to the wild. True, the wild has its own charms but Japanese Gardens sit at the apex of garden design. The care that is required is phenomenal.”

Brown encourages the campus community to visit the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden.

“The best gardens have a sense of boundary. You can understand them yet there are some parts that are mysterious. You can’t see all of it at once. Our garden fits those definitions and does so on an intimate scale,” he said. “Some gardens are big and overwhelming. Some are small and claustrophobic. Ours has very nice proportions. The best Japanese gardens are places apart, defined by complexity, clarity, mystery and a sense of human integration: check the box on all of those for our garden.”

To learn more, visit the Japanese Garden website.

Farm workers at the farm

The plight of the farm worker will continue as the topic of a class offered next spring from Chicano and Latino Studies (CHLS).

Luis Arroyo, former CHLS chair and expert on the 20th century Latino experience, seeks to explain to CSULB students about the work, lives and families of farm workers, why so many farm workers are from the Filipino and Mexican communities and what conditions need to be created to achieve social justice.

“My most difficult task this spring will be to explain California’s agribusiness which is one of the most sophisticated in the U.S.,” said Arroyo, who joined the university in 1995. “Many Americans do not perceive farmers as sophisticated. But that impression changes when you look at agribusiness. You see people who are not only hardworking and determined to succeed but are well-educated about 21st century economics. And agribusiness’ success depends, in part, on maintaining a plentiful supply of underpaid and exploited workers.”

The class will look at the daily lives of farm workers with the goal of understanding why that community has among the shortest life spans of any U.S. population.

“Look at the health issues associated with pesticides and other chemicals in the agribusiness workplace,” he said. “Fields are workplaces where the working conditions are extremely difficult. Most of us are unwilling to get up between 3 and 5 a.m. day after day. Look at the extreme range of temperatures in that workplace. There is extreme cold in the morning and extreme heat when the sun comes up. Look at the month of July in the San Joaquin Valley. There will be a number of farm workers who succumb to heat exhaustion.”

Arroyo seeks to help his students distinguish between the office work they know and the world of the farm worker.

“One of the problems in farm work is the economic imperative on the part of some employers to ignore safety regulations,” Arroyo explained. “Why have the workers leave the fields during crop dusting? Why not have them return to the fields before it is safe? Most Americans are tempted to see working outdoors from the romantic side. But the reality is that nature is very tough.”

Arroyo reminds his students that farm work, by definition, is seasonal and therefore part-time and many workers seeking to eke out a living must patch together employment throughout the year.

“Plowing or preparing the soil or seeding is a time of low demand for labor,” he said. “Harvest time is a time of high demand. Raising food calls for variable labor. Historically agricultural labor has been poorly paid. Combine poor working conditions and poor wages with the imperative to get the work done and that adds up to a very tough life.”

Arroyo pointed to the original farm worker communities from the Chinese and Japanese populations in California.

“But then there was a public backlash against both those communities resulting in the 1882 Exclusion Act against the Chinese and a number of laws passed by the California legislature beginning in 1913 which were aimed at preventing the Japanese community from owning land or becoming sharecroppers. When Mexico underwent a revolution between 1910 and 1917, Mexicans became available as an uprooted population. As U.S. nationals, the Filipinos took up work in California’s fields in the 1920s. The Filipinos and Mexicans experienced social discrimination and economic exploitation.”

One of the biggest challenges faced by farm workers is constant movement. Working conditions in the U.S. are terrible but, compared with what they have in central and South America, farm workers are caught between a rock and a hard place. Over time, those who can escape the fields do so.

“That was the case of my mother’s family,” he said. “My mother was born in the great state of Colorado and when she was 2, her family moved to the San Joaquin Valley where they settled in Porterville. She eventually became a farm worker.”

Her family experienced the worst of the Great Depression in the 1930s.

“I remember the pressure of community groups to ‘get rid of the foreigners’ which meant my mother’s family,” he recalled. “That meant the Mexicans were fired and replaced by the Oakies who were profiled in John Steinbeck’s classic novel The Grapes of Wrath. This class will look at the experience of farmworkers of all communities as far away as Wisconsin and Texas to help open students’ eyes to the fact that farm labor is not just a local or U.S. problem. I want this class to have a transnational perspective.”

A top focus for the class is social justice. “The struggles of farm workers are over more than money and better working conditions. One of the most important issues is worker dignity,” he said. “In order to understand how things have changed, students must learn about the reality of farm work.”

Arroyo hopes students take with them a new understanding of the challenges involved with bringing about social justice for farm workers.

“Social justice is not something we do in the morning before resting in the afternoon,” he said. “I want our students to understand the importance of organization. No one person will ever save farm workers. Leadership is what we need to bring together all the different ways of looking at the world. If students can get that out of this class, they’ll go far.”

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15.

Ray Rodriquez isn’t exactly a household name, but the prolific writer and historian clearly was a force, particularly in the Hispanic community.

Rodriguez, a former Long Beach City College administrator and long-time columnist for the Press-Telegram, died in 2013 at the age of 87.

His works, too many to mention all, were too important to just leave sitting idly in the garage of his long-time Long Beach home. If that happened, they could possibly be innocently discarded years from now by someone unable to attach any historical significance to some dusty and tattered boxes.

But, thanks to the Rodriguez and Ayala families, a collection of his works was recently donated to the CSULB University Library’s Special Collections and Archives for access by future researchers.

University librarian Susan Luevano brought the collection to the attention of Chloe Pascual, CSULB’s librarian for Special Collections and Archives. Rodriquez’ widow Almira and nephew John Ayala, were interested in donating the materials to CSULB because he was an alum and had a deep connection to the local community.

Of course, before accepting the collection, Pascual had to do her due diligence and investigate who Rodriquez was. What was his connection to the university, to the Long Beach and Los Angeles areas and what were his scholarly contributions? And, maybe most importantly, she needed to determine if CSULB was the appropriate repository for his materials. Sometimes a person might have a very compelling resume and be important, she noted, but there might be another place that can better serve their materials.

That wasn’t the case for Rodriquez’s work.

“This was pretty much a slam dunk that we wanted to bring it here,” she said. “We just had to make sure that we could process it properly and give it the home that it needed.”

The collection included 16 boxes of materials amassed by Rodriquez and his writing partner, Francisco Balderrama, a professor emeritus of History and Chicano Studies at Cal State University Los Angeles. Together, they conducted years of research before writing their book titled Decade of Betrayal in 1995. The book focused on forced deportation and repatriation of Mexican-Americans and Mexicans during the Great Depression.

Pascual, who has a great appreciation for organization as one can imagine simply based on her position, admitted that even she was impressed with Rodriguez’s collection from the outset.

“He actually had his research files in beautiful order. He would have made a great librarian,” she said, noting it took about two months for her to go through the collection. “His research files and all the material he collected from the U.S. government, from the Mexican government and from various newspaper were all put together in this collection that led up to the writing of his book.”

Born in Long Beach in 1926, Rodriguez, dropped out of high school in his senior year and joined the Navy, serving in the Pacific during the war. Afterward, he went to college on the G.I. Bill, and earned a general education degree from Long Beach City College (LBCC) in 1951 before entering CSULB, where he received a bachelor’s in elementary education in 1953 and a master’s in education administration in 1957. In 1962, he earned a master’s in U.S. history from USC.

He went on to teach elementary and secondary students in the Long Beach Unified School District for nearly a dozen years. He then taught history and political science at LBCC and also served as its affirmative action officer and dean of personnel for two decades, retiring in 1988.

Part of the Ray Rodriquez Collection housed under glass in the University Library.
Part of the Ray Rodriquez Collection housed under glass in the University Library.

But, Rodriguez was always writing. When not working on a book, he was a regular columnist for the Press-Telegram and also wrote a weekly column in Spanish for El Economico and for Impacto, USA. His focus ran a fairly wide gamut of Hispanic issues.

In addition, Rodriguez was the founder and president of the statewide California Community College Affirmative Action Consortium, and the founder and president of the Long Beach Chapter of the Association of Mexican American Educators.

“He was important to the City of Long Beach as a columnist for the Press-Telegram,” said Pascual. “He was an important voice in the Hispanic community and through his columns his words could be heard in the larger community. He talked about not only personal issues, but political issues as well, trying to increase Latino participation in government affairs and making sure voices that sometimes were marginalized were heard.”

Pascual’s hope for the collection is that professors in Chicano and Latino Studies (and other departments as well) promote it to their students to use, especially when they get into upper division and graduate students. His works not only can provide a rather hearty glimpse into Hispanic culture, but also a real understanding of what kind of primary research they can do and of the kind of deliberate work that goes into creating a book.

“His family was extremely generous in donating this material. This is an important piece for our library,” said Pascual. “I think it adds to the way we serve our students. We are a Hispanic-Serving Institution and have a diverse population of students, faculty, staff and community members, so it’s important that our collections reflect that. And we have a diversity of voices in what students can study when they get here and what voices they can hear from when they get here. This collection from Ray Rodriguez certainly provides one of those voices.”

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15.

Marketing’s Terry Witkowski was recognized recently by the Ukleja Center for Ethical Leadership at CSULB with a $5,000 grant to support his original ethics research into the global consumption of elephant ivory.

His research includes a paper titled “Elephant Ivory and the Ethics of Consumption” currently under review at a scholarly journal. In January, Witkowski attended a seminar in London on “Cross-Cultural Issues in Consumption Ethics” sponsored by Royal Holloway, University of London, and conducted a photographic survey of ivory artifacts at the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. He presented his research at the annual Macromarketing Conference at Trinity College Dublin July 13-15.

“In May 2014, I visited Meiji University in Tokyo where I discussed elephant ivory for the students there,” he explained. “This past fall, as I began to convert the PowerPoint slides to a paper, I saw the Ukleja call for proposals. Much to my delight, I received an award.”

Witkowski believes one reason his research was recognized is the compelling story of the disappearing elephants.

“With the same information, consumers using different ethical calculations can come to different conclusions about decision making in that what is considered ethical in one system can be unethical by another,” he said.

Witkowski, a member of the university since 1982, argues that the poaching of African elephants threatens their survival.

“Governments, multi-national conventions and non-governmental organizations feel morally obligated to protect these iconic animals by shutting down global and domestic trade in ivory and deploying social marketing campaigns to discourage its consumption,” he said. “Yet, for a variety of ivory stakeholders, efforts to stigmatize consumption, regulate markets and intervene socially have ethical consequences of their own.”

Witkowski points out that, according to some analysts, the U.S. has the world’s second-largest retail ivory market after China and Hong Kong. “Regardless of the ranking, with the Obama Administration attempting to shut down the U.S. ivory market, I suspect sales of new ivory artifacts will be diminished,” he said. Regarding antique ivory, “some auction houses have become much more cautious.”

Witkowski believes there is a real difference between ethical consumer decision-making and ethical consumption.

“In my view, ethical consumer decision-making entails taking into account the origin (sourcing) of a product and the consequences that flow from purchasing it,” he explained. “Consumers should be concerned with how something is produced and by whom. They should also consider the environmental consequences of their decisions. Different people will approach decision making from different points of view but the important thing is being aware and making an informed calculation.”

Ethical consumption, a term more frequently used in the UK and Europe than in the U.S., concerns a moral assessment of consumer behavior in terms of right and wrong. “Thus, vegans and vegetarians will not eat meat and associated foods,” he said. “Some consumers choose organic foods because they are more sustainable and oppose products tested on animals because of the suffering caused.”

Collection of ivory tagged as evidence.
Collection of ivory tagged as evidence.

Witkowski is the former editor-in-chief of the Journal of Macromarketing, which examines interactions among markets, marketing and society. He received his B.A. from Northwestern University in 1970, his M.S. from UCLA in 1972 and his doctorate from UC Berkeley in 1980.

The possibility of total market closure looms large. “The problem of elephant ivory calls for thinking about the ethics of market regulation,” he explained. “Some present-day trade in ivory (antiques, mammoth tusks) does not directly threaten elephants in the wild and, arguably, the rights of these buyers and sellers are being infringed and their investments diminished. Total market closure may be necessary to end most poaching and trafficking but this outcome is far from certain. For many of those who want to save elephants, ethical consumption means no collecting, working and selling of any ivory whereas other stakeholders, who also profess the need to save elephants, believe in different means to this end and thus endorse some harvesting of wild animals and exempting ivory antiques from most regulation. Clearly, the preponderance of moral judgments about ivory has changed over time. As we should have learned many years ago from our failed war on drugs, total market closure in a relatively free society is impossible. Marketing systems will adapt in the face of prohibition.”

Witkowski argues that problems dubbed “wicked” by one generation may not seem that way to posterity.

“Wicked problems are matters of social definition that change over time in response to accrued knowledge, but also to evolving moral sentiments,” he said. “I believe human beings as a whole have become more sensitized to animal rights. So, the arc of history is in the right direction. Unfortunately, getting everyone on board is difficult. In the case of China, which now has a large middle-class market, it takes just a very small percentage of people to sustain the ivory merchants and the destructive sourcing that supplies them.”

Almost anything can happen in terms of an emergency. With a campus-wide population of more than 37,000 students, the possibility for an emergency situation remains constant.

Fortunately, CSULB is bound by a carefully structured plan of emergency services and operations, now headed by newly-appointed Emergency Operations Manager Lauren Greenwald. Together with Assistant Emergency Coordinator Allyson Joy, Greenwald runs the day-to-day operations of the Emergency Operations Center based in the campus’ Horn Center. Responsible for various emergency training and general oversight of the campus emergency operations plan, Greenwald works to make sure the thousands of students, faculty and staff are properly educated and well-prepared in the event of an emergency.

“We can’t completely plan for exactly what is going to happen because every emergency is unique, but we’re going to try to cover as much as we can so we have something to rely on if something does happen,” says Greenwald. “But overall, CSULB already has a great program in place.”

Greenwald has had extensive experience in the emergency operations field, both as a civilian and an active member of the military. A native of Southern California, she first became intrigued by natural disasters as a victim of the Northridge earthquake of 1994, which shook her family’s home in Glendale.

Despite the circumstances, she remembered taking great interest in what was actually happening during the shaking in what she recalled as her first experience with a natural disaster. “I remember as a little kid in the middle of the earthquake thinking, this is actually really cool. I want to learn more about this,” she said.

Following that earthquake which left her home on a shaky foundation, her family moved to Huntington Beach. After attending a various colleges, she found a calling in the Air Force, where she worked in the emergency management department for seven years. First stationed in Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington, she also spent a year in South Korea and time at Lakenheath Air Force base in England before finally arriving at CSULB in July.

While Greenwald admits there has been a big adjustment from being in the military to life as a civilian, she says that she is excited for her new role as this has always been her focus.

“In the military, emergency management is much more broad because there are many other focuses and priorities,” she said. But wanting to focus solely on the planning aspects of emergency services rather than responding to real-time emergencies in the field, she transitioned out of the military and into her new position at CSULB, where she gets to construct plans and services that can benefit the campus before an emergency strikes.

She noted the transition has been smooth for her in that she has been able to transfer many of the skills she learned in her active duty into her new job responsibilities.

Lauren Greenwald potrait
Lauren Greenwald

“The military definitely taught me how to work with different countries and cities and how to coordinate with various departments,” she says. “The general structure for emergency management has remained the same, it’s just a new environment.”

In addition to the solid program already in place, Greenwald said she has maintained a great amount of support from the university in her work to evolve the program. Garnering enthusiastic support from President Jane Close Conoley and the University Police Department, she has been able to pull tremendous backing for the program from all parts of the campus. She is optimistic about working with each individual college, making sure all emergency and evacuation plans conform to federal and state management systems, and countering any potential risks to the campus. Tops on her list is keeping students, faculty and staff informed and up-to-date on all emergency protocol.

Greenwald said one of her biggest obstacles is making sure that students are actually aware of their services and can perform in a crisis.

“I understand that this is a college, and students have other priorities and things to worry about,” she said, “but getting people to understand that although it may not happen soon, an emergency certainly can happen at any time, and they need to know what to do in any situation.”

Still, despite the threat of an earthquake or other emergency situations, Greenwald assures students, faculty and staff that CSULB is a well-prepared campus with a strong plan in hand, and they should not over think the threat of an emergency.

“Living in constant fear of any kind of emergency is no way to live your life,” she said, noting that CSULB is a great and safe place to be and, should an emergency actually happen, it is prepared.

The fight against childhood obesity has a champion in Rachel Blaine from CSULB’s Department of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Blaine, an expert in nutrition and dietetics, made parenting and feeding practices with young children the topic of her dissertation for her Doctorate of Science in Public Health Nutrition from the Harvard School of Public Health in 2015.

“My goal is to help educate students at CSULB who will become the health professionals of tomorrow,” she said. “The topic of obesity prevention is personal for me because I was an overweight teen. I empathize with people trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“There is a lot of evidence that shows what we taste and enjoy from an early age sets us up for long-term success or difficulty with our weight,” she added. “I have worked with infants less than 1 year old. That is why a lot of my work tries to help parents to introduce new foods and have a conversation with their kids about health.”

Blaine believes the fight against childhood obesity begins with each individual parent. “It is easy to say, ‘feed your child fruits and vegetables,’” she said. “But if a daughter watches her mom eating out of a bag or eating in a car or eating in front of a TV, that’s what she’s going to do, too. An important place to start for parents is in a childcare setting. It is important to talk with the childcare providers to see what can be done together.”

The role of childcare in obesity prevention is a new issue.

“Today’s children are spending more time in child care. On the average, it is 35 hours a week,” she said. “Economically, more women are entering the work force. That means their children will spend a lot more time in daycare settings where the majority of their calories come from. If we’re not regulating that, and not providing basic guidelines and standards, then the children are at the mercy of whoever is running the child care facility.”

Forcing children to clean their plates, current research indicates, only encourages them to dislike the food they are forced to eat.

“Parents who pressure kids to eat fruits and vegetables will raise kids who are less likely to enjoy fruits and vegetables later in life,” explained Blaine. “I advise parents to try, in their own ways and in their own lives, to be the mirror of behaviors they know their kids should be living. Eat as healthy as you are able and as healthy as you can afford. Just keep offering them the right food.”

Research shows that children of immigrants risk obesity when they switch to Western cuisine.

Rachel Blaine potrait
Rachel Blaine

“It is not good for their health to adopt a more Western diet,” she said. “I encourage newcomers to the U.S. to try, as much as they are able, to retain their original cultural foods. There are studies where researchers look at families who have lived part of their lives in central or South America before they come to the U.S. Their kids are more likely to have obesity.”

Blaine concludes that TV influences younger and younger viewers to snack.

“I was involved in a study of low-income moms and dads across multiple racial and ethnic groups to see where they gave their kids snacks and their reasons. What we found was that kids as young as 3 had their own TV tables where they ate all their food,” she said. “In fact, I remember interviewing a mom who said her child simply would not eat if the TV was not on. TV screens were being used to get busy little ones to calm down. Pairing snacks and television is a recipe for disaster because we eat more but we don’t feel satisfied.”

The future of fighting obesity may be in technology. “We’re going to be able to monitor all our biometrics,” she said. “But on the other hand, we are so inundated with technology for leisure, it may begin to take the place of being active. Everyone can relate to the sight of kids in public places sitting quietly with screens in their faces. We haven’t fully explored what that’s going to do to our society and our kids’ health. But we can probably guess.”