Music Video by Cal State Long Beach Student Wins Grand Prize, $50,000 in’s Student Film Contest

With all that went wrong during the shoot, Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) student Leah McKissock found it ironic that the song for the music video she was directing was called “Nothing is Wrong.” Despite all the trials and tribulations, however, the final product has paid off…in a big way.

McKissock, 22, a senior film and electronic arts major, has been awarded the grand prize of $50,000 in the Student Film Contest for her 2-minute, 22-second music video entry featuring Israeli artist Mika Ben-Yami as the best overall submission in the competition.

“I was very shocked and excited when I was told I won the grand prize in the OnVidi contest,” said McKissock.  “Although the week prior I had been getting some e-mails from the contest staff informing me that I was among the finalists, it never seemed possible that I could win the grand prize and $50,000, especially with a music video.”

But that’s exactly what happened, and McKissock said Vidi Entertainment representatives recorded live footage of her in a Skype video when they informed her she had won, footage she believes will be posted online somewhere. She doesn’t remember exactly how she reacted, but she does remember feeling that the moment was overwhelmingly surreal.

“My reaction would probably be funny to watch now because I could not stop smiling, although at this point I’m just glad they didn’t get me on videotape doing the ‘happy dance’ in my living room with my roommate, which of course I did right after we hung up the chat,” McKissock recalled. “But overall, this was a very rare prize for a student film contest, and I feel very fortunate to have won it just before my status as a student ran out. Occasionally good things happen to me, but not this good.”

The Student Film Contest asked students to submit an original, three-minute or less film, video or digital production that fell into one of five categories—comedy, action, drama/romance, music video or documentary. First-place winners from each category would be awarded $10,000, and one entry would be selected as the best overall submission, winning a grand prize of $50,000.

Jeanne Rawlings, one of the Emmy-award winning judges reviewing the entries, noted of McKissock’s video: “Simply loved it. Doing it in one shot was a difficult idea, but Leah pulled it off… There are great sets and surprises throughout. The BEST of the contest submissions.”

McKissock said the video she conceptualized was always supposed to be one shot—a music video shot in one long take with no edits—primarily because the song is unusually short. She also noted that the words “every morning” are sung repeatedly throughout the chorus, and this made her imagine the artist, Mika Ben-Yami, getting out of bed at the start of her day—the opening scene of the video.

“After that I became obsessed with a visual idea of her waking up in a bed in the middle of a beach, probably because I love when in surrealism a person or object is completely displaced,” McKissock pointed out. “Later on the setting ended up becoming the desert—for an abundance of logistical reasons—but the desert was a picturesque setting for a surrealistic video. From there, the rest of the concepts sort of just evolved, and I was able to coordinate and choreograph all my ideas precisely to the music.”

The actual production of the video, however, presented some real challenges. First, McKissock said, Ben-Yami insisted the video be done in the time frame of one month, which she added is the shortest amount of time in which she has ever made a video. This gave the team little time to prepare.

The shoot was scheduled for May 29 in the Mojave Desert, but unfortunately, there ended up being 50-mile-per-hour winds that day, making it impossible to shoot. From there, the crew was forced to move the production over to the next day, which was supposed to be 20 degrees warmer and have very little chance of winds. That, however, created other problems, including having to pay cast and crew to come back to the site for an unexpected extra day, and McKissock and the producer having to take a cut in their own pay to cover the costs of going over budget.

Most of the crew was able to come back, but McKissock lost her Steadicam operator, a crucial crew member since the entire video was supposed to be one single shot on a Steadicam. She found a replacement Steadicam operator, but in the end, he wasn’t up to the task, so they ended up letting him go. Finally, as the production was running out of daylight, the cinematographer stepped in and shot the entire video handheld.

“The sun was going down and we still hadn’t gotten the shot. Of course, that is the crazy thing about making a one shot video—you either have a video or you don’t. It’s an all or nothing situation,” McKissock explained. “After a couple takes we got the shot, and immediately after that there wasn’t enough sunlight to do another take. So basically we ended up with only one usable take from the entire production, and, after some insane editing work, that one take was what became the video that won the $50,000 grand prize.”

Obviously, McKissock had no idea she was going to face the challenges she did in directing this video, but she believes her greatest moments of turmoil always end up being the most valuable for her development. This situation, she said, was certainly no exception.

“It could not be more ironic that the song was called ‘Nothing is Wrong’ because literally everything went wrong on that set,” McKissock stated. “Yet, to me this is what makes the video so personal and all the more meaningful for it to have won this award in the OnVidi contest.”

McKissock will share a portion of the prize money with Daniel Woltosz, a CSULB film alumni who produced the “Nothing is Wrong” music video for her. She said without him and his efforts, there never would have been a video at all.

She is also excited about the opportunities the prize money gives her as a filmmaker. Already, she is in the process of writing a short film that she plans to go into production with in February, and with the extra funding, she will be able to shoot it on actual film instead of going digital, something she has always wanted to do but simply couldn’t afford.

In the meantime, family, friends and classmates can check out her award-winning music video on the Vidi Entertainment website under the “Grand Prize” heading. All submissions will be showcased when launches in early 2012.

Winter 2011 Issue

NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health at Cal State Long Beach Receives $1.75 Million Grant from NIH

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a five-year, $1.75 million grant to the National Council of La Raza/Cal State Long Beach Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation and Leadership Training (NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health) for a project aimed at increasing the number of highly qualified Latino graduates prepared to engage in graduate degrees in health disparities research in both biomedical and health science-related disciplines.

The grant was awarded under the purview of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health disparities (NIMHD) Science Education Initiative.

The project, called “Hispanic Health Opportunities Learning Alliance” (H2OLA), will provide health disparities research training and tutoring in science and public health disciplines to first-generation educated Latino students in their sophomore and junior years at CSULB with a focus on widening the pool of minority applicants with the academic potential to compete for admission to advanced degrees.

“Latino students, particularly those in the sciences, begin their studies wanting to be physicians but do not have the grade point averages they need to compete for the research positions and experiences that facilitate their admission to graduate school,” said Britt Rios-Ellis, co-principal investigator (co-PI) for the project and director of the NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health. “This project will offer them mentorship and tutoring provided by high performing Latino peers with the goal of improved academic performance.

“I am really excited to be working with Dr. Eric Marinez, one of the few Latinos scientists on our campus,” added Rios-Ellis, a CSULB professor of health science. “His insight and ability to serve as a Latino role model will help our students realize their vast potential.”

Latino mentees and mentors alike will be exposed to graduate-level training, Latino-focused researchers in health equity, and a myriad of career and graduate school options in health disparities research. H2OLA will be open to students across the natural and health sciences reaching out to pre-health majors who otherwise may not be eligible to participate in existing research opportunities. The project will run through July 2016.

“We are excited about the opportunities this will provide our students since the aim is to increase Latino student success. H2OLA will help us improve our outreach and early intervention efforts targeting Latinos and complement existing minority programs in the colleges with early intervention and targeted tutoring key to its mission,” noted Marinez, also co-PI for the project and an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at CSULB. “I have really enjoyed working with our student population and am encouraged by the scope of this project. I am certain it will make a difference in the lives of students who might not otherwise realize their potential.”

H2OLA will provide 140 Latino undergraduate students and 30 minority graduate students with educational, mentoring, and career development opportunities designed to facilitate careers in health equity research through the delivery of: 1) targeted undergraduate tutoring in diverse science courses for Latino pre-health and health science students; 2) workshops in health disparities research methods; 3) health disparities seminars highlighting population-specific issues; and, 4) an annual health disparities conference.

Additionally, the six first-generation educated Latino graduate mentors will be provided full tuition, paid part-time graduate fellowships for their mentoring, as well as travel to conferences and prospective graduate schools. Four undergraduate students will also be selected to receive travel stipends to conferences and meetings, and both mentors and mentees alike will be encouraged to submit abstracts for conference presentation to increase their competitiveness and improve their trajectory toward graduate study and professional success.

Project leaders expect to increase the pool of underrepresented, first-generation educated Latino students in the pipeline for readiness for graduate or professional level degrees and careers addressing health disparities by creating an annual corps of six (30 throughout the five years) master’s level, first-generation educated Latino students who can provide targeted tutoring and mentoring in chemistry, biology and other courses.

Increasing the number of Latino students graduating with pre-professional science and health science degrees prepared to enter master’s and terminal degree programs will facilitate careers in health disparities research, a critical national need.

The project also is expected to increase the awareness of and capacity to conduct health disparities research at CSULB and in the diverse local community through targeted events and conferences, including an annual Latino health equities conference, the first to be held in May 2012.

“When collecting the formative data needed to prepare us for this project, we learned of the many struggles Latino students face, particularly in the sciences. While academic aspirations were very high, they acknowledged that they often did not have the time needed to perform as well as they could due to economic difficulties coupled with work demands, other obligations, and few Latino role models,” Marinez pointed out. “It is our hope that this project will help Latinos receive the support they need from successful first generation-educated peers who have overcome similar barriers and can help navigate campus resources.”

Added Rios-Ellis, “We also hope that the specialized trainings in science education and professional development and the annual conference in Latino health disparities will furnish both the practical skills and discipline-specific knowledge critical to success in the scientific and public health realms.”

Graduate mentors will be trained in tutoring, mentoring, and building linkages with student services programs at CSULB as well as other appropriate graduate programs. The graduate mentor core will then work with undergraduate mentees to enhance undergraduate readiness for graduate or professional level degrees and research opportunities to address health disparities.

Additionally, annual training will be conducted to enhance Latino student recruitment and advising among biomedical and health sciences faculty, lecturers, teaching assistants and advisement staff each year. The trainings are designed to further expose faculty and staff to student research opportunities as well as facilitate a better understanding of the academic success barriers and facilitators Latino students experience at CSULB.

For more information about the project, contact the NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health at 562/985-5312.

Winter 2011 Issue

A Message from the President

Dear Alumni and Friends:

There is an ingrained sense of hope for the future that is apparent among those who work within education. Whether it’s the kindergarten teacher helping children with the very basics, a high school chemistry instructor working in the lab, or a university professor helping to move students toward meaningful careers, the underlying sentiment is hope – for students, for society, for all of us. Unfortunately, we are in danger of being the only generation in U.S. history that leaves the next generation with a lower standard of living and economic expectation by providing our young people fewer opportunities to attend college. Many emerging signs have indicated that the American ideal of social mobility, which has been part of this nation for generations, is in the process of being diminished, impacting future successes of promising young men and women.

We are surrounded by prolonged stories about the economy that impact every sector of business and industry and every corner of our nation. This year is especially difficult in California and in our state’s institutions of public higher education. Already the California State University system has taken a single-year funding reduction of $650 million – or 21 percent and there is strong likelihood that this month the system will receive another $100 million cut in state resources. At Cal State Long Beach, this reflects a drop in our state funding to $4,500 per student which means that our funding from the state will be below 25 percent of our total resources for the first time in history. This challenges the concept of state supported higher education, moving state funding to simply “assistance” rather than support.

There are obvious impacts of financial reductions of this magnitude at our university: fewer classes for students, fewer applicants accepted to the university, larger class sizes, reduction in services offered to students. But what we must consider is the long-term impact of cuts such as these. When we look at the economy’s impact on business and industry, we must also consider how the funding of education ultimately affects – either positively or negatively – how these sectors will fare in years to come. Employers tell us that the quality of CSULB’s graduates is exceptional; they are well prepared and well qualified to enter the workforce as engineers, scientists, doctors and nurses, accountants, teachers. This is how the outcome of a college education can be measured: our graduates and our alumni have a proven track record in the work place that ultimately benefits us all. In fact, the mid-career average earnings of CSULB graduates continuously rank among the best in the nation.

Supporting today’s students and their dreams to build an even more vibrant economy and society has never been more important than it is today. If you consider the university’s accomplishments and recognitions citing the quality education and exceptional value we offer our students, you will recognize that no university in the nation leads better by example than CSULB. When you speak of our university, you can do so with great pride in our accomplishments. And when you think about our current students and recent graduates, view them with the same hope and ambition that we at CSULB share. Let your local legislators know that you expect nothing less from them. It’s time to once again support public higher education in California. There are countless bright minds who will benefit from the investment. More importantly, however, it will be the citizens of California who will be the true beneficiaries at the end of the day.


F. King Alexander

Fall 2011 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Geologist’s Work Yields New Insights into San Jacinto Fault, Salton Sea Geothermal Areas

Coping with the summer heat at the base of Southern California’s San Jacinto Mountains, boiling mud at the Salton Sea, and chilly Arctic summers and wandering polar bears on Norway’s Spitsbergen island are all part of Nate Onderdonk’s work as an assistant professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB).

An expert in tectonics and geomorphology—how landforms evolve over time—Onderdonk has been busy with a variety of field studies focusing on how faults are changing the landscape at home and abroad.

One of his primary interests is the San Jacinto Fault Zone, which runs along the western side of the San Jacinto Mountains near Hemet and Moreno Valley, and north into the Cajon Pass. It’s one of Southern California’s most seismically active areas and poses a threat to the Inland Empire.

He recently received an additional $65,516 grant from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Earthquake Hazards Fund, the latest of several USGS grants over the past five years to study the fault’s history.

“That project is all about figuring out the earthquake hazard of the San Jacinto Fault and the pattern of prehistoric earthquakes—how often they occur and when was the last one—so we can guess at when the next big earthquake should be expected,” he said.

“I just finished writing a paper which will be submitted to the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. We’ve been able to figure out the timing of the last seven earthquakes and it’s interesting because it looks like they occur about every 200 years on average, and the last one was a little over 200 years ago. The USGS grant money is to allow us to look even further back in time to see whether that’s a consistent pattern.”

This month, he and colleagues from San Diego State and Cal State San Bernardino, along with several undergraduate and graduate students, will begin cutting a new series of trenches across the fault and will continue the work through next year. By examining layers of earth and traces of fault movements, they can learn more about the frequency of historic quakes.

Onderdonk also is intrigued by the boiling mud volcanoes called gryphons, steaming mud pots and other geothermal features at the southern end of the Salton Sea. The San Andreas Fault runs through the area, allowing water to seep deep underground and become superheated. Power companies are taking advantage of the naturally occurring steam to run electricity generation plants.

After Norwegian research colleagues introduced him to the locale, he thought the area was just a geological curiosity until he realized its value to his research agenda. “We’ve been working down there for nearly six years. One of the goals was to monitor the temperature of these things and see how they relate to local earthquakes. I also have been doing differential GPS, which is surveying and watching how they grow and erode. We’re trying to understand the process that controls the growth and shape of these things.” Their latest work appeared in the July 15 issue of the journal Geomorphology.

Initial written reports describing the gryphons date from the early 1800s, but the tallest ones are only about six feet, he said. “We’re trying to figure out where all this mud is going and why they’re not getting any bigger. The area around them is actually dropping. You see little ring faults like a caldera volcano. As the mud comes up, it leaves a void below and the whole thing collapses back.”

The area also fascinates the public and visitors often stop by to ask what his group is doing. “Nobody comes to watch you study a fault that could devastate L.A. because it’s not as easy to see and comprehend. It changed my view of things because we’re always focused on, ‘Why would I bother to do this unless it’s beneficial to society or advances something?’ One of my main goals in getting involved is to say, ‘What if we can see temperature pulses right after an earthquake, or more interestingly, right before an earthquake? That might be able to give us a warning.’”

“We were monitoring temperatures, and throughout the first two years there really wasn’t much activity. Then in May 2009 there was a swarm of quakes at Bombay Beach, which is very close to this spot; a couple of magnitude 5s. I got really excited because I have eight little metal loggers that we put into the mud. I thought, ‘This is great; we’ve got decent size earthquakes nearby.’ So, we went out there and we were not able to recover any of them. All eight of them had been basically melted off the wires. One possibility is that there actually was a huge pulse that melted the ties that we had, but we don’t have the data, so we don’t really know. We purchased more loggers and put them back in,” to continue long-term study. Thus far, he said there isn’t much correlation between temperature changes and smaller magnitude quakes.

However, “I was down there the last week of May to look at a field of vents that has recently become exposed on dry land as the water level in the Salton Sea has been dropping. I threw a couple of temperature probes in and found temperatures boiling at 100 degrees Celsius, which is 30 degrees hotter than we’ve measured at other places in the area. This new spot is significantly hotter with a lot more gas coming out.” In earlier years when water was present, workers and lake visitors reported seeing bubbles there, so this now-exposed ground presents a new study site.

Onderdonk’s work has taken him to colder climates as well. After earning his bachelor’s in physics from Principia College in Illinois and his master’s and Ph.D. in geology from UC Santa Barbara, he did postdoctoral research at the University of Oslo, Norway, and has studied in Greenland.

He spent part of summer 2004 working on Spitsbergen with two colleagues from Oslo to study landslides that occurred 120 million years ago. “They’re preserved in thick layers and are dramatic looking. Big blocks slipped down and they’re now exposed along a coastal cliff along the eastern side of the island,” he said. “Depending on how you interpret what the causes of these landslides were, that will change our ideas of what the geologic units look like offshore at that point where they’ve been exploring and drilling for oil,” he explained.

“Before, they’ve been interpreted as slides at the edge of the continental shelf, analogous to what you see at the mouth of the Mississippi River delta. It’s a very shallow sloping offshore environment. Much of the data that I’ve collected suggested that these are actually due to a fault. They’re landslides that are falling off the fault scarp. That’s significant because we weren’t aware that there were active faults at that time in that area, which would change the interpretation of offshore locations. The oil industry always wants to understand the architecture of the basin where the old rivers were coming out, because oil collects in these offshore environments,” he said.

Onderdonk called the project both fun and challenging. “We actually lost about five or six days of working time because of polar bears,” that could present a danger while the scientists worked along confined cliff spaces. Weather delays in an area where the field season is only about six weeks long didn’t help, either. Nevertheless, their efforts resulted in an article in the December 2010 issue of Marine and Petroleum Geology.

Fall 2011 Issue

8 Students from California State University, Long Beach Named Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars for 2011-12

Eight students at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) were named Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars for the 2011-12 academic year. The one-time award includes $3,000 in funding support, which each scholar will use for specific activities that will help him or her become strong candidates for doctoral programs.

Designed to increase the number of potential college faculty, the pre-doctoral program supports the doctoral aspirations of California State University (CSU) students who have experienced economic and educational disadvantages. Students chosen for this honor are designated Sally Casanova Scholars as a tribute to Casanova, a CSU administrator who died in 1994.

This year’s Sally Casanova Scholars from CSULB and their intended discipline of study include graduate students Matthew Alcala (psychology), Donald Bessom (political science), Jesus Garcia (French and Francophone studies), Zoraya Gudelman (education) and Michelle Hayes (religious studies). There were also three undergraduate student recipients—seniors Diem Han Julie Nguyen (psychology), Joanna Sanchez-Avila (women’s, gender and sexuality studies) and Anna Silva (Chicano and Latino studies).

“I felt very honored when I found out that I had been admitted into the Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Program,” said Hayes, a resident of Long Beach. “The monetary support the program offers me is much needed and appreciated, but the level of inner confidence and fortification I have gained as a result of knowing that the committee supports me is priceless.”

Hayes, who expects to earn her master’s degree from CSULB in 2014, noted that 219 very qualified California State University students applied to the pre-doctoral program, but only 67 were selected to receive the honor. “I am encouraged knowing that a highly educated committee looked over an outline of my aspirations and believed that my goals were worth investing in.”

Each scholar works closely with a CSU faculty sponsor to develop an overall plan leading to enrollment in a doctoral program that is tailored to the student’s individual career and educational goals. The program places a special emphasis on increasing the number of CSU students who enter doctoral programs at University of California (UC) campuses with the goal of students returning to a CSU campus as a new faculty member. .

“We are certainly proud of these students and their selection as pre-doctoral scholars,” said Cecile Lindsay, vice provost for academic affairs and dean of graduate studies. “They deserve to be part of this unique opportunity and receive the guidance and financial help that many students need in preparing for and applying to doctoral programs. Our hope is that when they complete their degrees, they return to The Beach or another CSU campus to teach.”

Some of the activities the scholars will be involved with, which are specified in the plan and undertaken during the award year, include preparing graduate school applications and visits, and attending professional conferences. Other activities include summer research internship programs at doctoral-granting institutions, travel to national symposia or professional meetings in their chosen field, as well as membership in professional organizations.

Now in its 22nd year, the California Pre-Doctoral Program has had more than 1,000 scholars participate in the program to date.

Fall 2011 Issue

CSULB Student Named National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow; To Study for Chemistry Ph.D.

With California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) bachelor’s of science degrees in chemistry and mathematics now in hand, Delora Gaskins is well on her way to a promising career as a science researcher and potential college professor.

As a recipient of a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship, she took her foundation of knowledge to Brandeis University in Massachusetts this fall to earn her Ph.D. in chemistry in the laboratory of Professor Irving R. Epstein. Gaskins’ goals are to expand the boundaries of scientific knowledge in her field as well as demonstrate to the public that science is interesting and applicable to their lives.

NSF Fellows receive three years of support including a $30,000 annual stipend, a $10,500 cost-of-education allowance, international research and professional development opportunities, and access to the TeraGrid supercomputer.

The NSF already benefited Gaskins by funding scholarships and summer programs at CSULB and other universities that prepare students for science careers. Through these, she already is familiar with Epstein’s Nonlinear Dynamics Group after spending last summer in his lab creating three-dimensional simulations of waves and Turing patterns, which are found throughout nature and also have implications for health and materials sciences.

She also spent summer 2009 in the Bucknell University lab of Professor Tom Solomon, an expert in the physics of pattern formation and chaos.

Gaskins’ path to Cal State Long Beach and beyond resulted from several serendipitous events. “Reflecting back on it, there were times when I didn’t know what I wanted to do in the big picture. But I kept finding things I liked, often in random situations, and then pursued them,” she said. The presence of a campus Japanese calligraphy group helped clinch her decision to attend Long Beach, where she initially enrolled as a math major.

Another chance encounter led her to join the lab of Stephen Mezyk, a professor of physical and environmental chemistry whose RadKem (radical chemistry) Laboratory focuses on remediating contaminated water and nuclear waste, among other research areas.

“I learned about Dr. Mezyk’s lab because the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics has a student research symposium and they were showing the posters in front of the Molecular and Life Sciences building that year,” Gaskins recalled. “I decided to walk around just to see what was going on in the campus community, and I happened to see his student’s research poster. I liked the work Steve and his students were doing, and he invited me to join his research group,” and she added chemistry as a double major along with math.

Her particular interest is in how fast chemical reactions occur and how they can be observed. Since joining the Mezyk group, she’s conducted summer research at other universities, attended major national science conferences, and joined the NSF-funded Physical Science and Mathematics Scholarship program at CSULB.

In his lab, she worked on experiments in which an electron beam breaks water into pieces called radicals. These radicals can be used to break down contaminants in water. To observe how fast these reactions occur, she looks at the color of light that different chemicals emit. When it’s difficult to do this, a chemical called thiocyanate can be added to observe the reaction.

“The short explanation that I told my parents was, ‘Thiocyanate is like a measuring stick. If you have the wrong size measuring stick, you’re not going to get the right distance. My project is making sure we know how long the thiocyanate measuring stick is.’” She also studied how radioactive metals bind to a chemical called DTPA, which she said acts like a net to catch these metals.

A CSULB math class on the geometry of chaos later led her to apply for an NSF-funded summer research position in Bucknell’s Solomon lab to work on two projects to explain how reacting fronts move, where she used both chemicals and computer programs.

“If you imagine a forest fire and look at it at short time scale, the fire burns, there are dead trees after the fire and then there are living trees where it hasn’t burned yet. But if you look at it on a longer time scale, the trees died, but they’ll grow back. One is a recovered type and one is a burned type,” Gaskins explained. “The same thing occurs with diseases. You get sick and you recover, but if you get sick and die, it’s a different sort thing. We wanted to look at whether there is a difference in the way a front moves based on the type of propagation—if it’s recovered or if it’s burned. My project was to find a reaction that was a burned type, because he only had the recovered type in terms of chemistry.”

She also used computer simulations to develop a theory that explained how reacting fronts propagate in advection reaction diffusions systems.

While doing background reading for her Bucknell Projects, Gaskins came across papers from Irv Epstein at Brandeis and thought he was doing “some really neat science.” She learned more about his work when she met Epstein at a national conference, and she was later accepted to a second summer program to work with him.

“It became clear to me while working in the Epstein laboratory last summer that this is really my research passion,” Gaskins said. “There are so many interesting dynamical features to explore and I’m so excited to get started as a graduate student in this laboratory.”

She credits CSULB’s emphasis on community for her success. She became involved with CSULB’s Circle K Club, the collegiate organization of Kiwanis International, where she took part in a variety of community service projects, and also served as a campus and community math and chemistry tutor. Moreover, she noted how CSULB science faculty and student colleagues work closely for mutual benefit.

“I couldn’t have achieved everything I have without the guidance of faculty mentors like Steve or the constant support of my laboratory mates as scientific peers, classmates and friends,” Gaskins pointed out. “There is so much intellectual exchange here and being part of the scientific community—at a laboratory, college, and national level—helps you grow as a person and a scientist. I can’t emphasize enough how important that is.

“Being a part of this community means that people are willing to invest in you and help you reach your goals,” she continued. “It also means that as you grow and achieve success, like the NSF fellowship, that you share what you’ve learned with others to help them reach their own success.”

Fall 2011 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Anthropology Student Studied in Spain After Receiving Gilman Scholarship to Study Abroad

Doris Paredes, a sophomore anthropology major at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), was in Spain this summer taking part in a pair of excavations thanks to a $5,000 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.

The Gilman International Scholarship Program offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies abroad. Such international study is intended to better prepare U.S. students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world.

“When I received the e-mail from the Gilman Scholarship Committee, I was very excited. I wasn’t sure if the trip I had planned was going to be possible because of monetary issues, but I knew that with the scholarship I would be able to attend the field school,” Paredes said. “And to be honest, I was even more excited when I went to the Gilman website and realized that they had awarded me $5,000. This would pay for the majority of my expenses.”

Paredes took part in the Field School for Quaternary Palaeoanthropology and Prehistory of Murcia, S.E. Spain. The field school had her excavating at Cueva Negra del Estrecho del Rio Quipar and then at Sima de las Palomas del Cabezo Gordo. Excavation has been going on for 20 years at these two sites.

“I have always been interested in learning about our evolutionary past and anthropology allows me to do this,” noted Paredes, a 2010 graduate of the Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy, which is located the Los Angeles Harbor College campus in Wilmington. “My focus is in physical anthropology and this school will provide me with the training I need to ultimately obtain a fulfilling job and the life that I desire.”

A resident of the Watts area of Los Angeles, Paredes was one of three CSULB students recognized as recipients of a Gilman Scholarship recently, but hers was the only award for a summer program.


Fall 2011 Issue

CSULB Student Selected for Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship; Will Spend 2011-12 in Belgium

Alyn Euritt, who recently earned a bachelor’s degree in French studies at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), was selected for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Scholarship that has him in Belgium for the 2011-12 academic year.

The award covers round-trip airfare and a monthly stipend for serving as a secondary school assistant English teacher. He will be teaching English at the Universite libre de Bruxelles in Brussels, Belgium, and plans on researching Belgian colonialism in Burundi and Rwanda.

Part of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, the Fulbright ETA Program is designed to improve foreign students’ English language abilities and knowledge of the United States. Participants are placed in schools or universities outside of capital cities in more than 20 countries and are fully integrated into the host community, increasing their own language skills and knowledge of the host country.

His current home is in North Kansas City, Mo. The son of Joan Euritt, North Kansas City, and David Reeves, San Diego, he attended Scattergood Friends School in West Branch, Iowa.

“I found out that I received the Fulbright the day after my birthday. I was both exited and relieved. I put everything I had into my application, and it was extremely validating to receive the award,” Euritt said. “I was interested in applying for the Fulbright ETA Fellowship because I wanted to take a year off of classes to teach and conduct my own research before applying to graduate school. Living in Belgium will not only allow me to do so, but will also help me with my French, German and Dutch.”

The U.S. Congress created the Fulbright Program in 1946, immediately after World War II, to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges. Senator J. William Fulbright, sponsor of the legislation, saw it as a step toward building an alternative to armed conflict.

Today, the Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s premier scholarship program. It is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and the primary source of funding for the program is through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the Department of State. Since the Fulbright Program’s inception, approximately 294,000 participants have been chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential.

Fall 2011 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Student Selected for Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship; Will Spend 2011-12 Year in Austria

Robert Bloom, a graduate student in Germanic studies at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), has been selected for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Scholarship that has him in Austria for the 2011-12 academic year.

The award covers round-trip airfare and a monthly stipend for serving as a secondary school assistant English teacher. He will be taking graduate-level German courses at the University of Klagenfurt, which will be his city of residence and employment.

Part of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, the Fulbright ETA Program is designed to improve foreign students’ English language abilities and knowledge of the United States. Participants are placed in schools or universities outside of capital cities in more than 20 countries and are fully integrated into the host community, increasing their own language skills and knowledge of the host country.

“I was definitely honored to have received such a prestigious award which would enable me to serve as an official ambassador of the United States. Had it not been for me studying German in high school and college, this opportunity may not have been afforded to me,” said Bloom. “What initially attracted me to the Austrian Fulbright ETA position was having the ability to expose German-speaking Austrian students to various aspects of the American culture in a classroom setting. In addition, I would also have a chance to immerse myself in the Austrian culture and interact with native and non-native German speakers in different social contexts, which would greatly enhance my cultural and linguistic preparations to fulfill my future goals.”

His title project “Austria: the Mosaic of Peoples” will enable him to share with native-German high school students his personal experiences as an African-American male and to explore the social dynamics of African-American mainstream culture in the United States.

Beyond his role as an ETA, he plans to create a project to help German-speaking students better understand the political and social connections between Austria and the U.S. The project will involve: creating an open forum for German-speaking students to engage in candid discussions about the causes and effects of institutional racism in both the U.S. and Austria; discussing the effects of racial stereotypes on their perception of African American peoples within contemporary culture; and exploring effective ways to improve social tolerance of different ethnic groups within Austrian and American society.

He is currently working on his master’s degree in German studies at CSULB and graduated there this spring as an undergraduate with a double major in German and psychology.

This summer he attended the Deutsche Sommerschule von New Mexico (German Summer School of New Mexico) at Taos Ski Valley through the University of New Mexico in consortium with CSULB. The German immersion program enabled him to earn academic credits towards his master’s degree and enhance his reading and oral proficiency in the language. At the end of the summer session, he will be eligible to take the German proficiency examination Zertifikat C1 from the Goethe Institute.

After completing his master’s degree, he hopes to pursue post-graduate studies at the Oxford University in Oxford, England, and teach German as a foreign language.

The U.S. Congress created the Fulbright Program in 1946, immediately after World War II, to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges. Senator J. William Fulbright, sponsor of the legislation, saw it as a step toward building an alternative to armed conflict.

Today, the Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s premier scholarship program. It is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and the primary source of funding for the program is through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the Department of State. Since the Fulbright Program’s inception, approximately 294,000 participants have been chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential.

Fall 2011 Issue

CSULB Marine Biologist, Students Featured in Discovery Channel’s Shark Week Premiere Episode

Christopher Lowe, professor of marine biology at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) and director of its Shark Lab, along with a group of his students are researching great white shark nurseries, health and movements. Their work was featured this summer in the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week premiere program, “Great White Invasion.”

The episode follows Lowe and his students as well as researchers in South Africa and Australia as they seek to learn more about great white shark populations.

The CSULB Shark Lab has been collaborating with the Monterey Bay Aquarium for eight years on studying young great white sharks, Lowe said. “It looks like in the last 10 years, the number of sharks that are caught incidentally in the fishery is increasing despite the fact that there are fewer fishers out there and there is less fishing than there was back in the ’80s and ’90s. Based on that evidence, we think the white shark population is increasing in California and you would expect that, if all the conservation and management strategies put into place are working.”

CSULB is part of the aquarium’s white shark rapid response team. “If a commercial fisher captures a baby white shark in our area, which constitutes basically Santa Barbara to Dana Point, my graduate students go out and meet with the fishermen and assess the shark,” Lowe explained. “Then we take measurements of the shark and a few tissue samples and we put tags on the animals, either acoustic tags and/or satellite tags, and then we let them go.

“Over the last eight years, we’ve tracked almost 20 pups. Then last summer we began our acoustic telemetry study where we’ve been surgically implanting acoustic tags in these babies. The tags have a battery life of 10 years. We have acoustic listening stations off many of the ocean piers from Morro Bay down to San Clemente and they’re constantly listening for these tagged sharks.

“Last summer we tagged four baby white sharks off Malibu and we detected all four of them up into the fall and early winter months,” he noted. “Then they all went down to Baja, which is a common pattern that we’ve seen from most of the sharks that we’ve tagged over the last eight years. They all tend to hang around Southern California during the summer and fall months, but usually by November and December, they all head south.”

The baby white sharks often remain close to shore in the summer, but sometimes move further out into the offshore island channels, he said, but the reasons for these movements remain a mystery.

Although rare events, on occasion young white sharks die in the nets and the fishers give them to the lab for research, Lowe said. “We’ve also been looking at contaminant levels in the sharks that have died. Because many of these babies are spending a lot of time around the more polluted parts of Southern California waters, which includes the Palos Verdes Peninsula, we’ve actually found amazingly high levels of contaminants (e.g., DDT, PCBs, and mercury) in many of these pups who may only be a couple of months old. We were scratching our heads trying to figure out how these babies could have such high contaminant loads. We’ve measured some of the highest mercury loads in the muscles of these baby sharks that have ever been measured in any shark anywhere in the world. But these are babies and it doesn’t make sense for such young animals to have such high contaminant loads.

“One of our theories is that the moms are probably offloading contaminants to their young. It passes from the food web to the moms, and the moms are eating things that have really high contaminant levels like marine mammals,” said Lowe.

His wife, Gwen Goodmanlowe, also is a marine biologist who specializes in marine mammals. She and former graduate student, Mary Blasius, published a study in 2008 in which they found remarkably high amounts of DDT and PCBs in Southern California seals and sea lions, which likely resulted from massive dumping in the mid-20th century of these chemicals from sewer system outfalls off the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

Lowe explained that white sharks give birth to live pups who develop as embryos from a yolky egg. The embryos use up their yolk long before they’re born, but the mothers continue to produce unfertilized eggs which the embryos eat while in the uterus to help them grow. Lowe believes the egg yolks contain contaminants passed along from the mother’s food sources.

“This is really the first time that a study of this nature has ever been done,” he said. “The shocking part is that despite the fact that the population seems to be recovering from overfishing because of better management, there may be other more insidious things that are affecting the population, like the effects of these contaminants on these young pups. We know how these contaminants affect humans and other mammals. They cause cancers, reproductive failure and suppress immune function, but in sharks, it’s not really well understood how these contaminants affect their physiology. While the population may be doing better because of protection from overfishing, we may be slowly poisoning them. We just don’t know at this stage of the game.”

Fall 2011 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Faculty Member Begins Work with National Committee on HIV, STD Prevention and Treatment

Britt Rios-Ellis, a health science professor at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB), has begun her work as a member of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Advisory Committee on HIV and STD Prevention and Treatment. The acronym for the committee is CHAC.

In addition, Rios-Ellis has been elected to the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) CHAC Disclosure Work Group.

Invited to serve on the committee by U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Rios-Ellis will complete a four-year term with CHAC, which is responsible for advising Sebelius, the director of the CDC and the administrator and associate administrator for HIV/AIDS, HRSA, regarding the U.S. government’s objectives, strategies, policies and priorities for HIV and STD prevention and treatment efforts.

“I was honored to be nominated and to accept this federal appointment,” said Rios-Ellis, who also serves as director of the campus’ National Council of La Raza (NCLR)/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation and Leadership Training. “This advisory group brings together the CDC, responsible for HIV prevention, and HRSA, charged with supporting and innovating HIV/AIDS care and treatment services.”

“Under President Obama, we are witnessing a time of great change when the Affordable Care Act and the National HIV/AIDS Strategy are being implemented just as new methods of HIV prevention are coming available,” she added. “I am honored to serve in an advisory capacity at this particularly critical point in our nation’s fight against HIV/AIDS.”

For more than two decades, Rios-Ellis has been working in HIV/AIDS with a particular emphasis on Latino communities. Her dissertation involved Latina migrant adolescents and HIV/AIDS risk, and since 1999, she has worked with the National Council of La Raza on its HIV/AIDS work with organizations throughout the United States and Puerto Rico to prevent HIV/AIDS in some of the nation’s most underserved populations.

“As the director of the NCLR/CSULB Center of Latino Community Health, I hope that I can serve as a voice to ensure that the undocumented and legal residents ineligible for health care, due to the five-year waiting period post residency, have access to prevention information, testing and services,” Rios-Ellis noted. “Nationwide, Latinos are the most likely to test late, have an AIDS diagnosis within a year of learning of their HIV positive status, and die within 18 months. Early detection failure rates among Latinos and other underserved populations are exceptionally high and if the goals of the National AIDS Strategy are to be met there must be access for everyone.”

Rios-Ellis also pointed out that for the first time in the course of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the United States has an opportunity to frame and respond to the disease along a continuum that recognizes that people move from not being at risk, to at risk, to needing diagnosis, to care and treatment in order to thrive. In its advisory role, she said, CHAC can help federal agencies better coordinate and support state and local jurisdictions in their response to HIV/AIDS.

“From a purely public health perspective, I recognize that prevention, testing and treatment for all has immense fiscal and moral benefits,” Rios-Ellis explained. “I am committed to ensuring that communities most likely to be excluded from health care and HIV/AIDS prevention have access to a safety net so that we can stem the tide of the epidemic for everyone.”

Fall 2011 Issue

2 Cal State Long Beach Engineering Faculty Receive $1.8 Million Grant to Help Reduce Pollution at Port of LA

Two faculty in the College of Engineering at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) have received a $1.8 million grant to help fight pollution at the Port of Los Angeles through a new application of technology that has the potential to significantly reduce emissions of Ocean Going Vessels (OGV’s) by as much as 85 percent.

Co-principle investigators Hamid Rahai, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, and Hamid Hefazi, professor and chair of the CSULB Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, will work as part of a partnership between the CSULB Foundation, the Port of Los Angeles, Horizon Shipping Lines and Rolls Royce Marine, a world leader in ship technology design and manufacturing.

“One of CSULB’s missions, in addition to its primary mission of providing high quality education, is to support community needs economically, environmentally and in other ways. Pollution is not only a global issue but also a significant local problem. If we as a university can help with that, I believe we have made a very significant contribution,” Hefazi said. “In this project, we plan to use new technologies to reduce pollution. The project also provides an opportunity for our faculty and students to learn and grow.”

The technology is a seawater scrubber vessel system, which uses seawater to filter pollutants from ships’ auxiliary engines while at sea and in port. Seawater scrubber systems have been shown to substantially reduce ship exhaust emissions, including 85 percent for particulate matter (PM), 50 percent for sulfur oxide (SOx), and three percent for nitrogen oxides (NOx). Piloting of the technology will begin next spring.

“Seawater exhaust scrubbers show great long-term promise for reducing ship emissions,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz. “It’s innovative, next-generation technologies like these that will greatly contribute to better air quality and greener, cleaner port operations in the future. We’re glad we can be the catalyst to make that happen.”

This technology has been successfully tried on land-based applications, such as power plants, but not on OGV’s. However, Rahai said they are confident and there is scientific and engineering justification that it will work, but they will be testing for the degree of success.

Regulations stipulate that within 24 nautical miles of land, ships must use a costly high-grade fuel. Outside that range they use a lower-grade fuel at approximately a third of the cost. If successful, this technology will allow ships to use the less-expensive fuel within the 24 mile range, possibly saving millions of dollars, while meeting emission requirements.

Rolls Royce will install the equipment on the containership Horizon Hawk, and CSULB will serve as independent evaluator, using data to analyze and assess how well it is working and possibly develop ideas for improvement after it is installed.

Funding for the 36-month pilot project was made possible by the Port of Los Angeles’ $20 million Air Quality Mitigation Incentive Program. Established in 2004, the program provides financial incentives to spur evaluation and implementation of air pollution reduction projects.

“Ph.D. and other graduate students have been involved from the beginning and will do assessments on board at sea,” said Rahai, who also serves as CSULB’s interim associate dean for research for the College of Engineering. “This is part of the applied research in their degree program. It exposes them to hands-on, real-life applications of what they have learned or are learning in class.

“Also, diesel exhaust is carcinogenic to humans, resulting in increased respiratory and heart illnesses,” he added. “The benefits of reducing diesel emissions are improved public health, resulting in reduced respiratory and heart illnesses.”

Rahai also runs the CSULB Center for Energy and Environment Research and Services (CEERS), which in addition to this project, focuses on research, development, technology transfer and education in the areas of energy and environment. In addition to this project, CEERS has ongoing projects and activities funded by the National Science Foundation, South Coast Air Quality Management, Southern California Edison (SCE) and the Long Beach Airport, among others.

CEERS has very active advisory board members from local industries, including Boeing’s environmental division, Port of Los Angeles, Port of Long Beach, SCE, Long Beach Transit, Long Beach Airport, and the Long Beach Unified School District. It also provides educational and research opportunities for advanced high school students through its Summer High School Academic and Research program (SHARP).

The Port of Los Angeles generates about 919,000 jobs in the region and about $39.1 billion in annual wages and tax revenues.

Fall 2011 Issue

Stephanie Bryson Named 1st Rhodes Scholar for Cal State Long Beach; Begins Studies at Oxford Next Fall

Stephanie Bryson, a 2011 graduate of California State University, Long Beach, has been named a Rhodes Scholar, the first graduate of the university  to receive the internationally renowned award.

The Rhodes Trust named a total of 80 recipients worldwide, 32 from the United States, in this year’s class of Rhodes Scholars who will begin their studies at Oxford University in October 2012.

Bryson, named the Outstanding Graduate for the College of Liberal Arts at CSULB at the time of her graduation in the spring, was a double major who earned bachelor’s degrees in German and International Studies, along with a minor in political science and an honors diploma. She is currently a graduate student at Georgetown University where she is pursuing a master’s degree in German and European studies in the university’s School of Foreign Service. She plans to pursue a career in diplomacy or foreign policy advising.

While at Long Beach, Bryson acquired some of the most prestigious pre-professional experiences in the international affairs field while maintaining a 4.0 grade point average and a spot on the President’s List every semester. She studied for a year at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany, as one of only 30 international students awarded the annual Remembrance and Future Fund Berlin Scholarship. She also received CSULB’s 2008 Frank Fata Scholarship for Language Studies Abroad and the 2008-09 German Academic Exchange Service Undergraduate Scholarship.

While in Germany, she participated in a U.S.-German forum for young leaders and served as an American cultural ambassador for the Meet U.S. program at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin. In fall 2010, she interned with the U.S. Mission to the European Union in Brussels, Belgium.

At CSULB Bryson was a member of the German Club and served as president and academic coordinator of the campus’ Model United Nations (MUN), moderating panel discussions, participating in seven MUN conferences in four countries, and instructing more than 30 delegates about the function of the United Nations.

“My time at Cal State Long Beach and in the California system of public higher education was so instrumental in this process – I would not be a Rhodes Scholar if I hadn’t gone to CSULB,” said Bryson. “I had great faculty support for all of my academic endeavors and I participated in campus clubs like the Model United Nations and the German Club. Participating in these organizations was instrumental in me following my dreams.”

“Steffi is a great example of what can be accomplished with determination and hard work,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander. “Our entire campus community takes great pride in her achievement. She is only one of eight public university Rhodes Scholar awardees in the Class of 2012, and this is a remarkable feat considering that it is the world’s most prestigious international student scholarship.”

Beyond Bryson’s studies and extracurricular activities at CSULB, she was a lifeguard and first responder in swift water rescue and SCUBA search and recovery, winning the Joe Shirley Memorial Scholarship for outstanding lifesaving achievement. She also volunteered with the Wounded Warriors Project, teaching U.S. veterans water sports to help them readjust to civilian life.

Previous recipients of the Rhodes Scholarship include former U.S President Bill Clinton; author Robert Penn Warren; former Prime Minister of Australia Bob Hawke; former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley (NJ); social and educational activist Jonathan Kozol; CNN chairman and CEO Walter Issacson; MSNBC political analyst and host Rachel Maddow; 2011 Pulitzer Prize winner Siddhartha Mukherjee; current Kenya presidential candidate Kingwa Kamenco; and Justine Schluntz, 2010 NCAA “Woman of the Year.”

Fall 2011 Issue

Department of Education Awards CSULB $2.6 Million to Retain, Graduate Low-Income, First-Generation Students

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) a five-year, $2.63 million grant to help retain and graduate low-income, first-generation and disabled students at the campus. 

The grant was awarded to CSULB’s Student Support Services Program (SSSP) through the campus’ Office of Educational Equity Services (EES). Annually, SSSP provides some 450 CSULB students with academic tutoring, advising in course selection, information and assistance on a full range of federal financial aid programs, counseling services to improve financial and economic literacy, exposure to cultural events, peer mentoring and personal counseling.

“Cal State Long Beach is a model for serving the underrepresented, and the Office of Educational Equity Services is committed to serving and caring for people who might be less fortunate than others,” explained Howard Wray, executive director of EES and director of SSSP. “This grant will go a long way toward helping these students graduate and really improve their lives.”

Wray reported that CSULB’s proposal earned 299 points out of a possible 300. He also noted how competitive this year’s application process was.

“We’re really very satisfied and overwhelmed that we scored so well,” he said. “The competition in this year’s grant proposal process was very keen, and resulted in 94 previous grantees losing their SSS programs because of low proposal scores. So obviously, we’re very pleased with this outcome.”

Wray believes that when SSSP is successful, it adds to the success of Cal State Long Beach in terms of retaining and graduating students. In fact, he pointed out that the five-year graduation rate for SSSP’s 2004 cohort group is 65 percent, a full 10 percentage points higher than the office’s stated objective.

“When students come to Educational Equity Services, they are often on the verge of not doing well in a particular subject or they may have difficulty passing the university’s writing proficiency exam. They might even be at the point of dropping out,” Wray pointed out. “We are able to provide them with much needed assistance to boost their grades or improve their writing skills so they can graduate.”

EES programs offer many resources to the campus and community. Educational Talent Search has been helping low-income and potential first-generation students successfully graduate from secondary school and enroll in post-secondary education since 1977. Upward Bound serves high school students from low-income families, and from families in which neither parent holds a bachelors degree. A new program, Upward Bound Math and Science, was created in 1990 to address the need for specific instruction in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

There is also the Educational Opportunity Center (EOC), which serves adults who need assistance in getting their GED or applying to and enrolling in postsecondary educational programs; the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), a federally-funded program designed for students from migrant families; and the McNair Scholars Program, which is designed to increase the number of students from underrepresented segments of society and disadvantaged backgrounds who have demonstrated strong, academic potential to enroll in and graduate from doctoral degree programs.

Fall 2011 Issue

U.S. Defense Department Awards $5 Million to CSULB to Support CCDoTT Research and Development

The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded $5 million to California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) to support the the campus’ Center for Commercial Deployment of Transportation Technologies (CCDoTT), CSULB President F. King Alexander announced.

Awarded through a contract with the Office of Naval Research, the funding received under this agreement will be directed to developing technologies for dual use applications involving commercial and military ocean transport. Special emphasis will be placed on effectively utilizing the research capabilities of CSULB and its academic partners at the University of New Orleans for a naval architecture project in the area of American Marine Highway (AMH), and the University of Liege in Belgium for hydrographic tools development.

The CSULB Innovation Cell program will include 14 projects in this cycle.

Current fiscal year projects include priority activities requested by the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations N-42 Strategic Sealift relating to sea train systems, high speed ship design tools, and dual use of AMH ships for use as Ready Reserve Force ships. These projects support the new Dual Use Vessel Development Plan developed by the Navy (N-42) and commercial interests.

“This continued funding further supports the research efforts of Cal State Long Beach in addressing the immediate needs of commerce throughout our region and the nation. It also provides real world evidence of the significance of the work that our institution provides to society,” Alexander said. “We appreciate the continued support of the Department of Defense through its Office of Naval Research, and we will work diligently to keep that confidence and trust.”

Alexander extended special thanks to U.S. Rep. Linda Sánchez for her critical support and understanding of the nature of the programs to the university, state and nation. The president also recognized Reps. Dana Rohrabacher and Laura Richardson, together with Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, for their efforts in securing the CCDoTT program funding.

Over the past 15 years, CCDoTT has undertaken a wide range of contractual efforts involving universities and commercial maritime technical organizations. Research and development efforts have involved high speed ships, agile ports, military related rapid deployment requirements, seabasing, short sea shipping and command and control functions.

CCDoTT is a partnership of academic institutions, government and commercial entities. It was formed to enable the Department of Defense, the Department of Transportation and other sponsors to leverage operational transition of advanced technologies in solving defense and commercial transportation infrastructure problems; conduct research and development for commercial and defense related infrastructure issues and provide a technology transfer/dual use bridge between government, military and commercial maritime industry interests.

Fall 2011 Issue

California State University, Long Beach Ranks Among Nation’s Top 10 in Awarding Degrees to Hispanic Students

Confirming its status as one of the most diverse campuses in the nation, California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) is among the top 10 universities in the nation in both the number of master’s degrees and the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded to Hispanics.

The information was reported by The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, according to data attained by the U.S. Department of Education.

CSULB was 10th in the nation in bachelor’s degrees awarded to Hispanics with 1,356 and also 10th in the nation in number of master’s degrees awarded to Hispanics with 343. In both cases, those numbers represented nearly 20 percent of the entire class being awarded degrees. Also, in both cases the number of Hispanic awardees was overwhelmingly female.

“Cal State Long Beach has long, proud history of campus diversity and provides high quality education to Latinos and other traditionally underrepresented groups. Many of these students are the first in their families to attend, and more importantly, to graduate from college. It goes to the heart of the mission of Cal State Long Beach,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander. “This campus starts working with students and their parents as early as the grade school years to make sure they are prepared for the academic rigors of college. That preparation leads to meaningful and fulfilling lives that give back to society and help strengthen the economy.”

In rankings by major, CSULB is also in the top 10 in three disciplines: English literature at No. 2 with 121, homeland security at No. 6 with 110 and visual and performing arts at No. 7 with 78.

Fall 2011 Issue

CSULB Receives $4.4 Million HSI Grant to Promote Latino Student Success in Science, Math, Engineering

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) a five-year, $4.4 million grant to help increase the number of Latino students earning degrees in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

Awarded through the department’s Hispanic Serving Institution’s (HSI) STEM and Articulation Programs, the grant will be used to develop the CSULB HSI STEM program Promotores de STEM with the purpose of improving the lack of highly qualified, first generation-educated Latino graduates prepared to pursue graduate degrees in the STEM fields.

Activities planned for the program include: engaging Latino STEM students in summer programs; connecting Latino STEM students to a faculty mentor and other students in their major; annual advising; participation in learning communities; supplemental instruction and tutoring; providing transfer Latino students with an understanding of, and appreciation for, research experiences that help lead to careers in STEM fields; introducing STEM students to a research experience and the process of discovery; and creating a community of engaged learners.

“Our hope is that this grant will help us encourage more Latino students to ultimately pursue careers in the natural sciences, technology, math and engineering-related disciplines,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander. “As a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Cal State Long Beach is in a great position to make a significant impact in this area, and this grant will further allow us to make continued strides in addressing the academic and professional success of our Latino students.”

The HSI-STEM program includes CSULB’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (CNSM) and College of Engineering (COE) with Susan Gomez Zwiep, associate professor of science education, Eric Marinez, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, Alvaro Monge, professor of computer engineering and computer science, and Britt Rios-Ellis, professor of health science and director of the NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation and Leadership Training, serving as co-principal investigators (co-PIs) for the program.

“Many of our students enter college but may not have the academic experiences needed to prepare them for these rigorous fields,” agreed co-PIs Monge, Marinez, Gomez-Zwiep, and Rios-Ellis. “Through this approach, we hope to honor their educational resilience, family and ethnic heritage, and cultural backgrounds to ensure their success in the STEM fields through mentoring and linkage to university services, cultural alignment of our services, and additional opportunities provided for high achieving Latino mentors.”

CSULB is among the nation’s top 10 colleges and universities in conferring bachelor’s degrees to Hispanic students and in awarding master’s degrees to Hispanic students. In fall 2010, Latino/ Hispanic students made up 29.2 percent of the CSULB student body, making them the largest ethnic group at the university. However, in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and the College of Engineering, Latino representation remains approximately two-thirds that of the university overall.

“Although the university has been very successful in conferring bachelor’s degrees to Latino students, we are cognizant that a great deal of work still needs to be done to ensure that incoming Latino students remain in the STEM fields and achieve their career goals regardless of the discipline,” agreed the co-PI team. “We are definitely lacking Latino scientists, physicians and engineers, and we hope that this grant will help us take a big step in the right direction.”

A Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) is defined as a non-profit institution that has at least 25 percent Hispanic full-time equivalent enrollment and, of that Hispanic enrollment, at least 50 percent are low income. CSULB obtained its HSI eligibility status in fall 2005.

Grants are awarded to HSI institutions to expand educational opportunities for, and improve the academic attainment of, Hispanic students. In addition, they are designed to enhance the academic offerings, program quality and institutional stability of colleges and universities that are educating the majority of Latino college students and other low-income individuals completing post-secondary degrees.

Fall 2011 Issue

CSULB, ASU Receive $3 Million Grant to Help Develop Experts to Assist People with Disabilities

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) and Arizona State University (ASU) will help produce the next generation of experts trained in the skills and equipped with the tools to assist people with disabilities to improve the quality of their lives.

In early 2012 the universities will begin awarding up to 30 doctoral student fellowships to pursue studies and work experience in multiple fields—from technology development to public policy making—that contribute to efforts to assist individuals with disabilities.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded a grant of approximately $3 million to support the students through its Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program.

The fellowship program will bring together experts at CSULB and ASU who share interests in research, education and practice related to helping people with disabilities. The combined team of more than 20 faculty and staff from the two universities—all of whom have experience working with a diverse range of students—reflects diversity in culture, gender, disability, race and ethnicity. The team members will co-advise and mentor the doctoral student research fellows.

“Receiving IGERT grants for this kind of endeavor is a testament to the strengths of both ASU and CSULB across a broad spectrum of disciplines,” said Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, an ASU professor of computer science and engineering who will lead the new IGERT-funded program. Forouzan Golshani, dean of the CSULB College of Engineering, will be co-leader.

NSF IGERT programs apply an education-research-practice model for training students across a range of disciplines in collaborative approaches to meeting the nation’s critical needs. Likewise, the ASU-CSULB collaboration will emphasize the cross-pollination of innovations from various disciplines to address the complex issues facing individuals with disabilities.

The goal of the ASU-CSULB program is to produce a new generation of leaders who understand the world from an interdisciplinary perspective and will be poised to make a major economic contribution to the country.

“This IGERT award is significant from two perspectives.” Golshani pointed out. “From a technology perspective, it enables the engineering community to frame its innovations in universal design and progressive inclusion policies. From the perspective of economic development, it aspires to find methodologies by which innovators can design products and services for small populations and yet realize adequate market share and return on investment.”

The new program’s research projects will meld expertise in computer science and engineering, bioengineering, mechanical engineering, science education, science and public policy, psychology and industrial design.

Titled “Alliance for Person-Centered Accessible Technologies” (APAcT), the program will involve students who are seeking doctoral degrees in those areas.  

IGERT trainees from each university will be expected to spend at least one semester at the other institution to experience a different academic culture and to strengthen working relationships with other IGERT trainees and faculty.

For all IGERT trainees, the program will emphasize entrepreneurship education, learning through community service, industry internships, international leadership and collaboration skills, and interdisciplinary research experience. Trainees will also be schooled in law, ethics and social issues related to assisting people with disabilities. Students will be prepared for leadership as academics, as entrepreneurs and as industry experts.

Much of the technical education for the program will take place at the Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing (CUbiC), which focuses on designing devices to assist people with perceptual or cognitive disabilities. The center is part of the School of Computing, Informatics and Decision Systems Engineering in ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

Students will also benefit through the work of CSULB’s Accessible Technology Initiative, one of the nation’s leading efforts to remove barriers to education for people with disabilities. It is led by Golshani and Douglas Robinson, CSULB vice president for student services.

CSULB was the first university on the West Coast to establish a Learning Disability Program. It evolved into California’s first university high-tech center for disability services, which now serves more than 1,000 students with disabilities.

Students are also expected to have opportunities to learn through community service with organizations connected to CUbiC and the Accessible Technology Initiative – including the Arizona Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center, the Department of Veterans Affairs Long Beach Healthcare System, Barrow Neurological Institute, the Microsoft Assisted Living and Accessibility group, Johnson Controls, Cleveland Clinic and Meyer-Johnson.

Members of the IGERTS program faculty and staff team are already working with research and education partners that are expected to provide internship opportunities for students – including the Microsoft Assisted Living and Accessibility group, Apple, Meyer-Johnson, Johnson Controls, IBM, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Intel Corporation, Procter and Gamble, Dow Corning Corporation, Barrow Neurological Institute and Mayo Clinic.

The NSF expects that in the future the expertise of students trained in the program will have a significant impact on the lives of a large segment of the country’s population – including injured military veterans, the elderly, children with learning and development disabilities, individuals with autism and those with visual disabilities, among others.

In its description of the program, the NSF states that the nation will benefit from advances in health care, education and public policy expected to result from the program’s research and education efforts.

“IGERT fellows will develop the ability to view technologies and their areas of expertise in ways that can serve the needs of all community members,” said Jay Klein, clinical associate director at ASU and the program’s project director. “They will be engaged in education and research in individually designed technologies that will have widespread uses. For example, while sidewalk curb cuts were originally designed for people using wheelchairs, they have become a necessity for people using strollers, bikes, skateboards, grocery carts, rolling bags, Segways, and mail carts.”

With the explosive growth of new technologies and devices in recent years, the design and development of person-centered technologies “provides a new vision for device design – toward not only technologies for individuals with disabilities but to the otherwise so-called able-bodied individuals,” noted Vineeth Balasubramanian, the fellowship program’s research director.

“As devices get smaller and faster, the need for devices to conform uniquely to each individual’s requirements is only aptly captured by the unique requirements of each individual with a disability,” he explained. “Developing such paradigm-shifting technologies for a rewarding cause makes this program immensely attractive to talented and motivated graduate students.”

Fall 2011 Issue

CSULB Ranks 10th Nationally in Awarding Bachelor’s Degrees to Minority Students According to Diverse Issues

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) has been ranked 10th in the nation in conferring bachelor’s degrees to minority students.

Diverse Issues in Higher Education recently released its annual list of the “Top 100 Degree Producers,” a list of the best minority degree-awarding institutions of higher education in the United States. It is the only national report that showcases U.S. colleges’ and universities’ success in awarding degrees to African-American, Latino, Asian-American and Native-American students.

CSULB’s overall ranking was based on U.S. Department of Education data from the 2009-10 academic year (the most current data available).

The report indicated that 49 percent or 3,193 graduates at CSULB in 2010 were minorities.

“Cal State Long Beach is located in one of the most ethnically diverse regions of the United States, and our graduating class reflects the uniqueness of the student populations that we serve,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander. “This campus has made a concerted effort for years to reach out to all K-12 students and their parents in this community with efforts like the Long Beach College Promise to encourage collegiate enrollment, and even more importantly, student success through graduating. This magazine’s ranking once again confirms our success and progress.”

The Diverse “Top 100” is the only national analysis to use the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Education. Using these statistics, rankings were created in the total number of baccalaureate degrees awarded at every university and college in the nation by ethnicity as well as specific figures in major fields of study and disciplines.

By discipline, CSULB was ranked first in family and consumer sciences and English language. It was also in the top 10 in visual and performing arts, liberal arts, health professions, parks and recreation studies, business administration and health and medical administrative services. For master’s degrees it was 11th overall, and public administration, law enforcement, physical sciences communication disorders and foreign languages were in the top 10.

Among individual ethnicities, CSULB ranked 7th in conferring bachelor’s degrees to Native Americans, 10th to Hispanics and 13th for Asian Americans.

CSULB was first nationally in family and consumer science degrees to Hispanics, foreign languages to Native Americans, English degrees to Native Americans, math and statistics to Native Americans, parks and recreation to Native Americans, and health and medical services to Asian Americans.

Among many other top 10 listings, CSULB was in the top 10 in awarding English degrees to African Americans.

Fall 2011 Issue

U.S.News Reports CSULB Among Top 10 Colleges in the Nation in Receiving Applications from First-Time Freshmen

In an article published by U.S.News & World Report, Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) was recognized as one of the top 10 colleges in the nation receiving the most applications from first-time freshmen out of 1,339 schools that reported application data in the publication’s annual survey.

Using data from fall 2009 admissions, CSULB ranked No. 5 in the nation with 45,771 first-time freshmen applications.  Additionally, the Long Beach campus was the only regional university in the top 10.  The other nine were all national universities, including No. 1 UCLA (55,708 applications), No. 2 St. John’s University (52,980), No. 3 UC Berkeley (48,650) and No. 4 UC San Diego (47,046).

“This is another positive outcome of having so many faculty and staff dedicated to student success,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander.  “Ranking fifth in the nation in freshmen applications clearly demonstrates that parents and students place great value in a CSULB education.”

The U.S.News & World Report article noted that colleges and universities have reported record-breaking increases in the number of student applications over the past few years.  That was clearly the case for CSULB in its most recent application period as its number of first-time freshmen applications grew from 45,771 in 2009 to 47,673 in 2010.

The reporting data show that only 205 colleges received more than 10,000 student applications, and the 10 colleges that received the most averaged more than 46,000.

One reason for the recent increase in applications, according to the College Board, is a change in applicant behavior in which a small percentage of high school seniors are applying to more schools than other students. The article also said college counselors suggest students apply to five to eight schools, but some students apply to more than 10 colleges.

U.S.News surveyed more than 1,700 colleges and universities for its 2010 survey of undergraduate programs and publication officials believe their data is the most accurate and detailed collection of college facts and figures of its kind.  While U.S.News uses much of its survey data to rank schools for its annual Best Colleges rankings, the publication is now expecting to produce lists of data, separate from the overall rankings, meant to provide students and parents a means to find which schools excel, or have room to grow, in specific areas that are important to them.

Fall 2011 Issue

U.S. News Reports Cal State Long Beach Among Top 10 Colleges in Applications from First-Time Freshmen

In an article published by U.S.News & World Report, Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) was recognized as one of the top 10 colleges in the nation receiving the most applications from first-time freshmen out of 1,311 schools that reported application data in the publication’s annual survey.

Using data from fall 2010 admissions, CSULB ranked No. 6 in the nation with 47,673 first-time freshman applications. Additionally, the Long Beach campus was the only regional university in the top 10. The other nine were all national universities, including No. 1 UCLA (57,670 applications), No. 2 St. John’s University (54,871), No. 3 UC Berkeley (50,393).

“Ranking sixth in the nation in freshman applications is a clear indication of the outstanding reputation Cal State Long Beach has and demonstrates the great value that parents and students place in a CSULB education,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander. “Both that reputation and perceived value are a direct result of having so many faculty and staff dedicated to student success.”

The article was published as part of a series called the U.S.News Short List. Separate from its overall rankings, the Short List is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas.

The 10 colleges that received the most applications averaged 48,849, which is more than eight times larger than the national average. Among the top 10 universities on this list, seven are in California.

Of the 1,311 schools that reported application data in an annual survey conducted by U.S.News, the average college received 5,948 applications for fall 2010 admissions—an increase of more than 400 applications from the year before. Among the schools that received the most applications, 32 schools received more than 30,000; 12 schools received more than 40,000; and three schools received more than 50,000 applications for fall 2010 freshman admissions.

U.S.News surveyed more than 1,800 colleges and universities for its 2011 survey of undergraduate programs. Schools self-reported a myriad of data regarding their academic programs and the makeup of their student body, among other areas, making U.S. News’ data the most accurate and detailed collection of college facts and figures of its kind.

Fall 2011 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Receives ‘Best in the West’ Designation in Princeton Review’s ‘2012 Best Colleges’

 The Princeton Review designated California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) a “Best in the West” college in its website feature, “2012 Best Colleges: Region by Region,” which was posted in August.

One of just 121 institutions receiving the “Best in the West” mention, CSULB was selected primarily for its excellent academic program, according to The Princeton Review officials. Collectively, there were 629 colleges named to its four “regional best” lists, a total that constitutes only about 25 percent of the nation’s 2,500 four-year colleges.

“We’re especially pleased with the Princeton Review’s continuing determination that Cal State Long Beach is one of the best universities in the West and, just as important, that we continue to rank among the 50 public universities that Princeton Review considers the nation’s best collegiate values,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander.

“This ranking reflects the opinions and experiences of our students and their belief in how their education at CSULB will serve them in their future careers. The fact that students are the basis of the Princeton Review ranking underlies its importance,” Alexander added. “As always, we know that the dedication of our faculty and staff is why students are so positive about their experience here.”

Colleges chosen for the “Best in the West” list are located in 15 states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. The Princeton Review also designated 220 colleges in the Northeast, 153 in the Midwest, and 135 in the Southeast as best in their locales on the company’s “2012 Best Colleges: Region by Region” lists.

“We’re pleased to recommend Cal State Long Beach to users of our site as one of the best schools to earn their undergrad degree,” said Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s senior vice president for publishing. “From several hundred schools in each region, we winnowed our list based on institutional data we collected directly from the schools, our visits to schools over the years, and the opinions of our staff, plus college counselors and advisors whose recommendations we invite.”

“We also take into account what students at the schools reported to us about their campus experiences on our 80-questions student survey for this project,” Franek added. “Only schools that permit us to independently survey their students are eligible to be considered for its regional ‘best’ lists.”

For this project, The Princeton Review asks students attending the schools to rate their own schools on several issues — from the accessibility of their professors to quality of the campus food — and answer questions about themselves, their fellow students and their campus life. Comments from surveyed students are quoted in the school profiles on The Princeton Review site. The profiles also have a “Survey Says” list that reveals topics about which students surveyed at the school were in highest agreement.

With each recognized university, the website highlights comments made by students in the surveys in the areas of academics, campus life and student body.

The Princeton Review does not rank the 629 colleges in its “2012 Best Colleges: Region by Region” list hierarchically or by region or in various categories. However, some schools in this list that also appear in The Princeton Review book, “The Best 376 Colleges: 2012 Edition” may appear on some of the Princeton Review ranking lists of “top 20 colleges” in 62 categories that are unique to that book. They are based entirely on the company’s surveys of students at the 376 schools in the book.

Fall 2011 Issue

U.S. News & World Report Ranks Cal State Long Beach 4th Best Public Regional University in the West

U.S.News & World Report has ranked California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) the fourth best public regional university in the western United States in its 2012 edition of “America’s Best Colleges Guide.”

It is the fourth consecutive year CSULB has been ranked fourth best public university in the West, a region that includes 13 states from Texas to California to Washington and includes Alaska and Hawaii.

“In spite of these difficult fiscal times, Cal State Long Beach continues to deliver the quality education and service that captures the attention of U.S.News & World Report. Our attention to the economic concerns of our students and their parents is also reflected in the university’s rank as fifth in the west in terms of least debt load upon graduation, which makes us very proud,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander. “These rankings reflect the hard work and dedication to our students that are demonstrated by faculty and staff every day at Cal State Long Beach.”

In the “Least Debt” category, CSULB ranked fifth lowest among regional universities in the west with 38 percent of its graduates leaving the campus with an average debt of $10,787. The campus’ average debt load of $10,787 ranked 11th lowest in the nation among all regional universities, and its percentage of graduates with debt (38 percent) was fourth lowest among all regional universities nationally.

CSULB’s up-to-date U.S.News ranking comes on the heels of other recent rankings from other publications, including a “Best in the West” designation from The Princeton Review and a top 10 national ranking in conferring bachelor’s degrees to minority students by Diverse Issues in Higher Education.

The 2012 “Best Colleges” package provides a thorough examination of how more than 1,400 accredited four-year schools compare on a set of up to 16 widely accepted indicators of excellence. Among the many factors weighed in determining the rankings, the key measures of quality are peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving.

U.S. News made some changes to the 2012 Best Colleges’ ranking methodology and presentation, including the updating of ranking categories, and for the first time, U.S. News has included in the rankings all for-profit colleges and universities that grant bachelor’s degrees and are regionally accredited. These include many schools that have large online bachelor’s degree programs.

Fall 2011 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Dedicates New Hall of Science, Largest Capital Project in the Campus’ 62-Year History

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) dedicated its new Hall of Science this fall. It is the largest capital building project in the campus’ 62-year history, and it is also the largest and most expensive building project in the California State University (CSU) system.

The $105 million project encompasses nearly 165,000 gross square feet and completes the Natural Sciences Complex. Within the complex, the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (CNSM) provides CSULB’s principal curriculum for majors leading to careers in science, technology, engineering and the health professions.

“This new facility will further our commitment as a university to educating scientists and future generations of scientists. Cal State Long Beach has become a national leader in graduating scientists with more than 3,100 last year alone,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander. “We are confident that this new state-of-the-art facility will give us one of the most complete and modern science complexes in the United States and will have invaluable impact on California and this nation for decades to come.”

The new Hall of Science opened this fall and houses 31 directed studies laboratories, 29 teaching laboratories, several large lecture halls and a science learning center. Other features of the building include a marine biology lab, three rooftop greenhouses and a rooftop astronomy platform.

The new space is being used by several departments, including biological sciences, chemistry and biochemistry, physics and astronomy, science education and geology. In fact, two-thirds of all science courses at the university are being taught in the new building.

“To paraphrase a National Science Foundation study, improved spaces have a significant impact on campuses. Our new Hall of Science will enhance our efforts to attract and keep first-rate faculty and students,” said Laura Kingsford, CSULB’s dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. “In addition, it will enable the integration of research and education, and the cross-disciplinary collaborations that are the hallmarks of science in the 21st century.”

Construction on the Hall of Science broke ground in 2008 and was completed in earlier this year. CSULB officials noted that the campus utilized a design-build process—a common approach in the UC system but the first ever in the CSU system—whereby the architect and contractor worked as a team to present a design that met CSULB’s specific needs for one cost. The building was completed on time and on budget despite a 3-month hiatus in 2009 when the state halted all bond-funded projects.

Hunt Construction Group, Inc. of Irvine served as contractor for the CSULB Hall of Science project, and Smith Group, Inc., based in Los Angeles, served as the project architect.

“Together with the Molecular and Life Sciences Center, which opened in 2004, and the existing Microbiology Building, the Hall of Science gives our campus an outstanding science complex,” Kingsford pointed out, “which allows students to engage in research and discovery-focused learning using laboratories and classrooms equipped with technology and instrumentation not commonly found in undergraduate programs.”

The keynote speaker at the dedication was Robert Decker, founding member of the Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute and professor emeritus of medicine and cell and molecular biology at the Northwestern University School of Medicine. Decker is also a CSULB alumnus who earned a B.S. in zoology with a minor in chemistry at the university.

Other speakers at the event included CSU Chancellor Charles Reed and CSULB Provost and Senior Vice President Donald Para.

“Cal State Long Beach has long been a campus of choice and a leader in undergraduate research,” Kingsford said. “The new Hall of Science will only enhance CSULB’s appeal to students who wish to pursue degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields and help ensure its position as first in the nation among master’s-granting universities in producing graduates who go on to earn doctoral degrees in science and technology research fields.”

Fall 2011 Issue

CSULB Among Just 5 Universities in Nation Recognized for Affordability, Quality and Access in Education Trust Report

In a report by The Education Trust, California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) is one of just five universities in the country recognized for meeting a conservative set of criteria on affordability, access and quality.

Recognition was based on enrollment of a proportion of low-income students that is at or above the national average and graduation of at least 50 percent of all its students while asking its low-income students to pay a portion of their family income no greater than what the average middle income student pays for a bachelor’s degree.

“At Cal State Long Beach we are focused on those measures that will ensure a better future for California and the nation. It is absolutely apparent that this progress is impossible without recognizing the needs of lower-income students and providing them with the financial and educational support necessary to support attainment of a university degree,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander. “It is imperative that lower income students are given the same educational opportunity as those with more financial means; our nation’s future demands this support. Furthermore, this report clearly shows that both the federal and state governments nationwide should provide more public support to those universities that are providing affordable, efficient and high quality educational experiences to those with the greatest needs.”

CSULB joined Cal State Fullerton, two City University of New York campuses — Bernard M. Baruch College and Queens College, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro as the five American colleges that have a net price for low-income students of $4,600 or less with graduation rates of at least 50 percent and at least a 30 percent enrollment of Pell Grant-eligible students.

The report, titled “Priced Out: How the Wrong Financial-Aid Policies Hurt Low-Income Students,” uses the most recent federal data from 1,186 four-year colleges and universities in America on what low-income students actually pay to attend college. Net price is the amount that students pay for higher education once all grants received have been applied.

“These institutions deserve to be recognized for swimming against the tide and making the opportunity for a college education available to low-income students,” said Mamie Lynch, co-author of the report and higher education research and policy analyst at The Education Trust.

The report points out that the five colleges are from three public university systems, noting the three systems are deeply and publicly committed to closing the access and success gaps between low-income and high-income students and between whites and underrepresented minorities. Additionally, all three states – California, New York and North Carolina – provide more need-based financial aid per student than most other states.

“But we should be deeply worried that there are so few institutions doing this,” Lynch continued. “The more general pattern is pricing low-income students out of higher education and all that it offers them, their communities and our entire country. It’s an unsustainable practice that can only lead to deeper and more dangerous divides between haves and have-nots.”

College costs are skyrocketing. Yet as the report shows, those rising costs, coupled with shifting aid policies — which increasingly benefit students who could go to college without financial help — limit affordable, high-quality college options for low-income students.

The report shows that the average low-income family must contribute an amount roughly equivalent to 72 percent of its annual household income each year just to send one child to a four-year college. Middle-class and high-income families, on the other hand, fare much better. They contribute amounts equivalent to just 27 percent and 14 percent of their yearly earnings, respectively.

“Low-income students who have worked hard, played by the rules and done what’s been asked of them academically are not getting the support they need to pay for college,” said José Cruz, co-author of the report and vice president of higher education program and policy at The Education Trust. “While costs have soared over the last 30 years, grant aid for low-income students has not kept pace, forcing more and more of them to encumber themselves with life-altering debt.”

As it stands, financial-aid policy choices are increasingly benefitting affluent students instead of those with the greatest demonstrated need. And the results speak for themselves: More than 80 percent of students from families in the highest income quartile have a bachelor’s degree by age 24, but the figure for young Americans from the lowest income quartile is just 8 percent. Without a concerted effort at the federal, state, and institutional levels to help more students earn a college degree, the affordability gap will continue to grow.

At the same time, the study shows that the average private, nonprofit institution spends nearly twice as much in grant money on high-income students as it does on low-income students. Even many well-resourced private colleges are educating far too few low-income students. At a number of those top-ranked institutions — such as Brigham Young University, Duke University, Tulane University and University of Notre Dame — fewer than 10 percent of freshmen receive Pell Grant aid, the federal program that helps low-income students afford college costs, whereas about 30 percent of freshmen nationwide benefit from Pell.

At the federal level, Pell Grants help make higher education more affordable for nearly 10 million low-income Americans. But as Congress works to reduce overall national spending, the program is in danger of being cut. The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a huge cut to the maximum award that would have further increased the net price of colleges and universities.

“In America, access to a good education should not be determined by whether your family can afford to pay for it,” said Jennifer Engle, co-author of the report and director of higher education research and policy at The Education Trust. “Pell cuts would force many hard-working Americans to have to choose between encumbering themselves with crippling debt or turning away from higher education entirely. This program is not just a line item in the federal budget. It’s a key resource for low-income students that they simply can’t afford to lose.”

The Education Trust promotes high academic achievement for all students at all levels—pre-kindergarten through college. Its goal is to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement that consign far too many young people—especially those from low-income families or who are black, Latino, or American Indian—to lives on the margins of the American mainstream.

Spring 2011 Issue

California State University, Long Beach Ranked Among 100 Best Values in Public Colleges by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine has named California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) to its list of the 100 Best Values in Public Colleges for 2011, which ranks four-year institutions that deliver excellent academics while keeping costs to a minimum.

Selected from a pool of more than 500 public four-year colleges and universities, schools in the Kiplinger 100 were ranked according to academic quality, including admission and retention rates, student-faculty ratios and four- and six-year graduation rates, as well as on cost and financial aid.

CSULB appears at No. 79 on the list and is one of 10 California institutions to make the rankings. Two other CSU campuses were among the 100 – Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (50) and San Diego State University (92).  The other seven California schools were University of California campuses.

“Being listed among Kiplinger’s 100 best values in public colleges is a fitting and appropriate honor for Cal State Long Beach,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander.  “We recognize that the ability to afford a university degree is a key issue in terms of access to higher education, and this campus has worked diligently to hold the line on costs to students wherever possible.

“More importantly, however,” he added, “this ranking illustrates to taxpayers, consumers, students and parents that the high price tag associated with many colleges and universities nationwide has nothing to do with the quality of education experience being offered.”

According to the magazine, private colleges have lately run about $36,000 a year—a sharp contrast to the public schools on Kiplinger’s top 100 list, in which 20 charge the same as or less than the average annual in-state sticker price of $16,140.

“Despite rising tuition costs, there are still many first-rate institutions providing outstanding academics at an affordable price,” said Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger’s.  “Schools like these on the Kiplinger 100 list prove graduates can enter the workforce with a great education—and without a huge cloud of debt.”

Visitors to the Kiplinger’s website will find special interactive features including a reader’s choice poll, a slideshow of the top 10 schools, and data sortable by criteria such as state, tuition cost, average debt, student/faculty ratio, and admission rate.  Parents and college-bound students can dive into dozens of quality and affordability measures for each of the 100 schools on the list.

Spring 2011 Issue

The Princeton Review Ranks Cal State Long Beach Among 2011 Top 50 ‘Best Value’ Public Colleges in United States

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) once again has been named one of the nation’s 50 “Best Value” public colleges by The Princeton Review, which teamed up with USA Today to present its list of the 100 “Best Value Colleges for 2011.”
The Princeton Review selected the 100 institutions – 50 public and 50 private – as its “best value” choices for 2011 based on its surveys of administrators and students at 650 colleges and universities the company regards as the nation’s academically best undergraduate institutions.  The selection criteria covered more than 30 factors in three areas: academics, costs of attendance and financial aid.
Cal State Long Beach was the only California State University campus making the list of the top 50 public institutions and one of just seven public California universities on the list.  The other six were all campuses of the University of California system.
“We are very pleased to once again be ranked among the top 50 best public university values in the nation,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander.  “This ranking also indicates to taxpayers, consumers, students and parents that the high price tag associated with many colleges and universities nationwide has nothing to do with the quality of the educational experience being offered.”
In its profile of CSULB on USA Today’s website, the editors at The Princeton Review noted, “Lots of excellent, career-oriented academic options and a fabulous location are a few of the features that make California State University, Long Beach an attractive destination. There are eight colleges and tons of majors. Engineering is particularly strong, and the nursing program has an excellent reputation. The faculty gets stellar reviews from students, especially relative to other schools of CSULB’s size.”
“While a college education is undeniably a valuable investment, paying for college is challenging for most parents,” said Robert Franek, Princeton Review publisher and senior vice president.  “Among the 12,000 respondents to our 2010  ‘College Hopes & Worries Survey’ of college applicants and their parents, 86 percent told us financial aid would be ‘’very necessary’ to foot the bill.  For them and for all families seeking academically outstanding colleges that have been exceptional at meeting their students’ needs for financial aid, we’re pleased to have teamed up with USA Today to identify and recommend these 100 institutions as ‘Best Value’ colleges.”
In January, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine named CSULB to its list of the 100 Best Values in Public Colleges for 2011.  The list ranked four-year institutions that deliver excellent academics while keeping costs to a minimum.
Spring 2011 Issue

LBSU Basketball Player Selected AP All-American; Named to 4 Other All-American, All-District Squads

The postseason honors just kept rolling in for Long Beach State men’s basketball player Casper Ware, culminating with his selection to the Associated Press (AP) honorable mention All-America Team.
The junior guard is just the second 49er to earn a spot on the team in the last 31 years.
Ware joins Aaron Nixon (2007) as the two 49ers to earn honorable mention honors in the last three decades.  Before Nixon, a CSULB player hadn’t claimed All-American status since Michael Wiley and Francios Wise were named All-Americans in 1980.
Ware received a number of postseason honors since leading the 49ers to the Big West Conference (BWC) regular season title and a berth in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). He was selected as both the BWC Player of the Year and the BWC Defensive Player of the Year, the first player in league history to win both awards in the same season.
Just before the AP selection was announced, Ware was one of 25 players named to the 2011 Lou Henson All-America Team, which recognizes the top Division I players from the mid-major schools.  And, less than a week before that, he was selected to the 2011 Lefty Driesell Defensive All-America team along with 20 other Division I players.
Additionally, Ware earned a spot on the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District 9 Team, as well as a place on the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) All-District IX Team.  The 49er guard was one of just 10 players on the USBWA team, joining seven players from the Pac-10, one from the West Coast Conference and one from the Mountain West on the team. District IX includes the states of California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Arizona and Alaska.
Ware led Long Beach State in scoring (17.2 ppg), assists (150) and steals (56), while also finishing second in 3-pointers made (75).  Ware finished the season second in the BWC in scoring while also ranking second in assists (4.4 apg), fourth in steals (1.6 spg), sixth in free throw percentage (.810), fifth in 3-point field goals made (2.2 per game) and seventh in 3-point field goal percentage (.381).  He ranked among the school’s all-time single-season leaders in free throws made (3rd), free throws attempted (6th), 3-point field goals made (7th), 3-pointers attempted (7th), assists (9th), and steals (11th). 
Ware was one of 20 finalists for the Bob Cousy award honoring the nation’s best point guard, and he claimed Big West Conference Player of the week honors once after leading the 49ers to wins at UC Davis and Cal State Northridge. Defensively, he spearheaded an attack that, in Big West games, helped limit opponents to 60 points or less on seven occasions, all resulting in 49er victories. Long Beach State was 12-0 in conference play when it held the opponent under 70 points.
Spring 2011 Issue

California State University, Long Beach Ranked Among Nation’s Leaders in Students Studying Abroad

Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) is among the nation’s leaders in students studying abroad, ranking fourth in the nation in the master’s institutions category. CSULB is also fifth nationally in that category for students in “long-term duration of study abroad,” which is defined as an academic or calendar year.

Those rankings are part of a recent Open Doors report, which is published annually by the Institute of International Education (IIE) and was based on the 2008-09 academic year.  CSULB had a total of 824 students studying abroad, including 76 in the long-term duration category.

“I am grateful that our work to create sustainable exchange agreements and to enable faculty to lead short-term programs abroad has led to our ranking amongst our peer institutions,” said Nathan Jensen, senior director of the CSULB Center for International Education.

Over the past few years CSULB has regularly been among the nation’s leaders in students studying abroad including:

• 746 total students for a rank of No. 4 in 2007-08
• 480 total students for a rank of No. 15 in 2006-07
• 435 total students for a rank of No. 18 in 2005-06

“Before participating in the CSU International Program in Heidelberg, Germany, I had never once been outside of the country. My experience abroad was the best year of my time at CSULB, both personally and academically,” said Norwalk’s Sophie Clark, who graduated from CSULB in December with a double major in German and studio art. “Germany became a second home for me and a place of incredible adventure, learning, growth and international friendship. I feel that I have received a solid education.”

Among the countries CSULB students have participated in study abroad are Australia, Italy, Brazil, Japan, Cambodia, New Zealand, Cameroon, Spain, Granada, China, Sweden, Taiwan, Costa Rica, United Kingdom, France and Greece.

IIE is the leading not-for-profit educational and cultural exchange organization in the United States. The census is based on a survey of about 3,000 accredited U.S. institutions. Open Doors has been reporting on U.S. students studying abroad since 1985.

Spring 2011 Issue

More Long Beach Unified School District Graduates Pursue College with Help from Long Beach City College, CSULB

A progress report released this spring on a three-year-old, local initiative to prepare more youngsters for college success revealed promising results, though education officials cautioned that California’s budget cuts seriously threaten further gains.

Three years ago, leaders from the Long Beach Unified School District, Long Beach City College and California State University, Long Beach signed The Long Beach College Promise, committing the three institutions to providing local students with greater opportunities to complete their higher education.

"The College Promise continues to offer upward mobility and a better life for thousands of students and their families," LBUSD Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser said. "But we need help. Budget cuts are hurting our schools and public colleges. California can only improve its economy if we keep alive the promise of educational opportunity."

The progress report highlights key steps that the three institutions are taking to prepare more students for success in college and in high-demand, high-paying jobs. Included in these efforts is a commitment to cover the cost of first-semester fees for every local high school graduate who enrolls directly at LBCC after graduation. The LBCC Foundation has now established an endowment of more than $6 million to pay the enrollment fees.

“Long Beach City College is proud of this important partnership with LBUSD and CSULB,” said LBCC President Eloy Ortiz Oakley. “The Long Beach College Promise has been recognized by the White House for its innovation and commitment to higher education. This partnership is increasing educational opportunities for thousands of local students.”

The Promise also guarantees LBUSD grads admission to CSULB with minimum requirements.

"We are very pleased to continue our efforts in support of this nationally recognized and celebrated partnership," said Cal State Long Beach President F. King Alexander. "We have begun to see the fruits of our collaboration with so many college-eligible students coming out of the Long Beach Unified School District. As we move forward, all three educational enterprises in Long Beach anticipate even greater achievements from our local students."

The report from the three institutions shows:

  • LBUSD students’ English and math proficiency rates, as measured by the Early Assessment Program (EAP), improved even as participation rates increased significantly.
  • Nearly three of four LBUSD graduates (74 percent) are pursuing post-secondary education.
  • LBCC Fall 2010 enrollment of LBUSD graduates increased to 1,674 (up 2.6 percent over 2009, and up 24 percent since 2007).
  • LBCC Students from LBUSD continue to be much more likely to persist in college.
  • More than 500 students have received Long Beach College Promise scholarships through the LBCC Foundation and Long Beach Rotary.
  • CSULB continues to guarantee LBUSD graduates admission with minimum requirements. Admissions for LBUSD graduates have increased by more than 80 percent since 2007.
  • LBUSD graduates attending CSULB successfully complete English and math remediation at a higher rate than other freshmen.

Education leaders released the report during a news conference at CSULB’s Walter Pyramid, where they also unveiled a new website dedicated to the College Promise: . The website is a collaborative effort of the three institutions and is designed to help students, parents and others to understand the valuable educational resources available to them.

Officials at the announcement of the report also awarded 27 scholarships ranging from $50 to $250 to LBUSD eighth graders who have shown academic improvement.

The College Promise is an extension of the Long Beach Educational Partnership, which was created in 1994 and became a national model for its efforts to provide seamless education for Long Beach students from preschool to graduate school. The partnership also aligned academic standards, teaching methods and student assessment across institutions to improve student achievement and teacher quality.

View the full report on the College Promise at .

Spring 2011 Issue

Electric Motocross Bike Created by Engineering Students Wins Cal State Long Beach’s 2011 ‘Innovation Challenge’

An electric motocross bike unique to the United States and developed by a team of students at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) has won the campus’ 2011 Innovation Challenge, which comes with a package of business services and $10,000 of seed funding to further develop the product and create a business plan to help the students get their venture started.

The team of seniors — David Pearce, Rogelio Rosas and Dan Southard — beat out about a dozen other teams with their Electric Motocross Bicycle (EMXB) and now has the chance to create its own company.  The opportunity comes just as all three will be graduating in May with their mechanical engineering degrees.

Sponsored by the university’s College of Engineering and College of Business Administration, the Innovation Challenge gives CSULB students an opportunity to put their entrepreneurial spirit in action.
“We are ecstatic about winning the CSULB Innovation Challenge.  It certainly makes all of the hard work worthwhile. We want to build a successful business around our product, and the Innovation Challenge is the perfect opportunity to make this vision a reality,” said Pearce. “The application of classroom theory to the design and construction of a real product was a great way to showcase what we learned here at Cal State Long Beach. After finding out we were in the finals, the last few weeks were a little unnerving, but we remained confident in knowing our product has great potential.”

Competing against innovative ideas from more than a dozen teams totaling 80 students, the threesome created the Electric Motocross Bicycle (EMXB), a high-performance electric mountain bike.  The EMXB is a hybrid between a mountain bike and a dirt bike — lightweight, nimble and practical like a mountain bike, while having power to go up the hills and heavy-duty suspension to go fast over any terrain like a dirt bike.  The unique design takes after a motocross style dirt bike with its relatively comfortable seat and seating position and aggressive, functional styling.

The EMXB can be ridden like a bicycle or a motorcycle, or anything combination in between, making it a very versatile, practical and fun vehicle for recreation or transportation.  It is also silent, emissions free and efficient, costing a fraction of a penny in electricity per mile.

“With winning the CSULB Innovation Challenge, we have the opportunity to share the experience of an Electric Motocross Bicycle with the public,” Pearce pointed out.  “We hope that we can inspire others to take their projects beyond the classroom and to the next level.”

Innovation Challenge participants submitted their business plans in February, and the four team finalists were chosen in March.  The finalists then continued to develop their products and business plans in preparation for a presentation to a judging committee made up of real-world investors and entrepreneurs representing various industries.
Barbara Barcon, retired vice president and CFO of Pacific Gas and Electric Co., MBA graduate of the CSULB College of Business Administration, and member of the campus’ College of Engineering Advisory Council, served as a key facilitator for the competition.

“Seeing the fresh ideas and enthusiasm from the students and recognizing the need for this competition in the university was a great experience and one I hope to see sustained for many years to come,” said Barcon.  “What a great way to support the practical education for all of them.  The students all commented consistently on how much they learned and how much they appreciated the professional and academic advice and the chance to see how a business really gets started.”

“It is so exciting to see these company ideas and then see them become real companies.  To know that the possibility exists that a major new company could come from this competition is worth the effort,” she added.  “It is certainly the educational experience for the students with the added bonus of creating an innovative new company out of the university.  It doesn’t get much better than that.”

What makes the challenge more interesting and practical is the partnership between the College of Engineering and College of Business Administration.  In most cases engineering students focused on the creation and design of the product while teammates who are business students focused on the financing and marketing of the product.  Michael Solt, dean of the College of Business Administration, and Forouzan Golshani, dean of the College of Engineering, have both initiated similar efforts in other universities.

“I have been on the CSULB Engineering Advisory Council for some time. We talk on a regular basis on how to strengthen the programs we have for the students. It was determined that offering innovative students a chance to do their own thing would be a worthwhile project,” said Mike Baghramian, president of Bager Electronics, competition committee chair and a judge. “On a personal basis I have always believed that from a student body of the size that the College of Engineering has there would be some number of very good ideas that would merit moving them further into a business. The fact is that much of the new technology innovation that has taken place in the U.S. has come from the universities in this country.”

Since the fall, information sessions on various topics including legal issues regarding patents have been held to help prepare students interested in participating.  As part of the learning process, teams not selected have the opportunity to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of their plans and hear suggestions for possible next steps. In addition to the other benefits, organizers say that it is a great opportunity for students to develop business, leadership and analytical skills and make connections with others who have similar interests.

Among companies and company representatives involved in the Innovation Challenge are Bager Electronics, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and Boeing Defense Space and Security.  Other sponsors include The Curran Family, the Dean’s Advisory Council of the College of Engineering, the CSULB Provost’s Office, Bager of Southern California, Lerder and Associates Investment Council and the Schulten Group.

Spring 2011 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Industrial Design Student Captures Top Honors in 2011 National Student Design Competition

Alix Armour, a California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) industrial design major, has been named the winner of the 2011 Student Design Competition sponsored by the American Society of Furniture Designers (ASFD).

This year’s competition asked students to create a production-friendly cocktail table for the Phillips Collection, and Armour captured the top prize with her “Pine Scales Table” design.

“I feel great,” said Armour, a resident of Long Beach.  “When I received the news, I was so elated and immediately called my entire family.  I’ve been all smiles since that Friday.  I loved that design and I was so happy others could appreciate it too.”

As the first-place winner, Armour will receive $1,000 and a free one-year student membership to the ASFD. 

David Landells, a part-time lecturer in the CSULB Design Department, rated the significance of Armour’s success in the competition as high both for her and for the department.

“This first-place win is something she can take when she goes out into the world and use to get her first few jobs and those first few jobs often define what we end up doing for the next few years,” he said.  “The significance for Alix is huge and well-deserved.  But it’s also great for the university.  It shows the world what our students are capable of.  It puts our name out there alongside other universities.”

Competitors were asked to create a work inspired by nature that should be a conversation piece with a story behind it.  The story behind Armour’s design began in the mountains above Santa Barbara last November where she picnicked among the pine cones with her aunt, uncle and sister.  A five-pound pine cone landed with a huge thud on their picnic table, nearly striking her aunt. But what could have been a fatal experience became a design project.

“I picked up the near-deadly pine cone and examined it closely,” Armour recalls.  “Its scales were so sharp, like shark’s teeth.  I loved the organic shape of the cone’s scales and observed how they intertwined and overlapped each other.  As I took a few off the cone, I realized the shape looked somewhat familiar, as if it could turn into a piece of furniture.  That’s when ideas came pouring in.

“I see many possibilities with this piece of furniture: it could become a larger dining room table or a bench with only one pair of legs,” she added.  “At the same time, I realized this would be perfect for the ASFD competition.”

Landells applauded Armour’s use of a back story to her creation. “So many people forget to do that. They may be brilliant designers but they don’t know how to develop a story that invests the other person in the piece,” he said. “She did a marvelous job of doing that.”

Landells believes one reason for her recognition was the thought Armour gave to her project’s constructability.  “That includes the construction methods used to produce the piece,” he explained. “When I looked at her presentation, I saw that she demonstrated that the design she had also had broader applicability.  She showed it might lead to a series of pieces. You could see from her sketches that she had ideas about how the piece could be used. She definitely hit home with that.”

Armour believes one reason for her recognition is the context of her presentation.  “There was a great living room background which I rendered with 3D software to make it look as realistic as possible,” she recalled.  “The creative director of Phillips Collection mentioned that he really liked the effort put into that.  I also think the story behind the design played a big part in the recognition.”

She she said she was looking forward to her creation’s professional prototyping display, which took pace in April at the High Point Market in North Carolina.  “It’s a big deal for me because the High Point Market is the largest home furnishings industry trade show in the world,” she said.  “I also have been invited to North Carolina for the trade show and to receive my prize.  The design piece might even lead to production with a chance for a full collection design opportunity for me within the Phillips Collection.”

When Armour first enrolled at CSULB in 2004, she arrived with an awareness of the industrial design program.  “I wish more people knew about product design because it’s a great degree that encompasses art, engineering, model making, creative thinking, innovation, styling and more.  It’s definitely going to grow in importance in the future,” she said.  “So from the very beginning I sought out a degree in industrial design and, a complete opposite, in Chinese Studies.”

Armour chose CSULB after completing high school in Paris.  She said she wanted to go back to California for the sun, beaches and large public universities.

“In 2004, in terms of public schools, my choices were CSU San Francisco, San Jose, Long Beach and Northridge,” she pointed out.  “Cal State Long Beach was closest to the beach, had a large following of volleyball and also one of the best Chinese programs in the American university system. The choice was easy.”

Armour first found out about the furniture class that eventually led to her recognition from Landells, a member of the university since 2007. “In furniture design class, I showed Prof. Landells about 20 different concepts in two different phases but, every time I showed him, he didn’t seem convinced there were any winning concepts for the competition,” she said. “He kept on making me go back to the drawing board until the story literally fell from the sky and enabled me to find a beautiful piece of nature that has been overlooked in the past, pine scales from the Coulter pine tree.”

Armour’s portfolio is available at  She also invites the community to visit the Design Department on campus.  “Talk to us designers,” she said.  “We’d love to show you around and share what we know about one of the most fun and most challenging careers in the world.”

Spring 2011 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Student Makes History with 3 Scholarships

A student in the Master of Arts in Global Logistics (MAGL) program at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) has earned three merit-based scholarships from the Port of Long Beach, Los Angeles Transportation Club, and Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, marking the first time in the history of the program one student has earned all three scholarships. Ebony Loeb of Long Beach works full-time at Ports America at their West Basin Container Terminal in San Pedro and will graduate this spring after just 22 months in the program.
“Ebony is a truly exceptional student. She is the only student in the history of the program to win all three scholarships. She has great time management skills. Faculty are always complimenting her. She has done a great job,” said Kristen Monaco, professor of economics and director of MAGL.
Altogether, four CSULB students earned the Port of Long Beach scholarship worth $5,000, three CSULB students earned the Los Angeles Transportation Club scholarship valued at $3,500 and two CSULB students earned the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals scholarship valued at $2,500.
“About winning the three scholarships, I feel great.  I was simply hoping to get one and was more than surprised to have won three.  I knew the MAGL program would open doors for my career, and I am proud to say that the program is very well-rounded and is definitely turning out to be a worthwhile investment of my time. The MAGL program has helped me see my world from a very different perspective than before,” said Loeb. 
“I appreciate the MAGL program for trying many perspectives into one giant overview with a mathematical twist.  I definitely feel confident that I can approach any situation and locate the optimal solution with the tools that I have been exposed to in the program and I look forward to applying my learning to future situations.”

The program, which began in 2002, is specialized and small with only 22 students, all of whom work in the industry and many of whom have ties to the scholarship awarding organizations.

“Global logistics is the study of the flow of supplies through the port and the development of strategies in moving goods,” said Monaco. “Obviously our location at Cal State Long Beach gives the program and our students a tremendous advantage.” 
Spring 2011 Issue

CSULB Marine Biology Professor, Shark Expert Featured in Inaugural Episode of New Animal Planet Series, ‘I, Predator’

Christopher G. Lowe, professor of marine biology and director of the Shark Lab at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), was a featured expert in the inaugural episode of the Animal Planet TV series, "I, Predator," which premiered in January.

The series explores interactions between predators and prey and how each copes with challenges of life in the wild.

In "Great White Shark vs. Cape Fur Seal," Lowe describes shark feeding behaviors and the challenges young sharks face in learning how to capture large, nimble prey like the Cape fur seal.

Lowe is an internationally recognized expert on sharks and rays as well as marine fisheries. The Shark Lab was established at Cal State Long Beach in 1969 by the late marine biologist Don Nelson. Lowe was a master’s student of Nelson and took over the lab in 1998.

Spring 2011 Issue

USDA Awards $3.75 Million Grant to Cal State Long Beach for Project Addressing Latino Nutrition, Childhood Obesity

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded a five-year, $3.75 million grant to the National Council of La Raza (NCLR)-Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation and Leadership Training for a project designed to address Latino nutrition as it relates to the goal of reducing childhood obesity.

Obesity is a health problem that disproportionately affects Hispanics/Latinos and contributes significantly to diabetes and other chronic diseases. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey administered by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prevalence rates for overweight and obesity in children and adolescents have tripled in the past 30 years. Obesity prevalence among U.S. children ages 2-5 more than doubled between 1980 and 2008 from 5 percent to 10.4 percent, and these figures are even grimmer for many low-income and minority communities, with a particularly high prevalence among Latinos.

Under the leadership of a transdisciplinary team of experts, CSULB’s Britt Rios-Ellis, professor of health science and director of the NCLR-CSULB Center; Gail Frank, professor of nutrition and director of CSULB’s nationally accredited ADA Dietetic Internship; and Avery Goldstein, professor of child development, will develop and institutionalize an innovative course of study and experiential learning experience to promote in-depth and culturally-relevant nutrition and health interventions targeting at-risk and underserved Latino communities in Southern California.

“We are very excited about this project as it will facilitate the opportunity to continue our culturally congruent community based participatory research efforts, fund first generation-educated Latino students in master’s programs in public health and nutrition, and integrate a new certificate program into our university curriculum,” said Rios-Ellis, principal investigator for the project.  “Within the five-year grant timeframe, we will be able to develop and integrate a graduate certificate in Latino nutrition, chronic disease and childhood obesity to our university’s larger curricular fabric.”

Each year the project will provide seven research fellowships and full-tuition scholarships to first generation-educated graduate students who will be trained to conduct community-based participatory research on childhood obesity prevention within the Latino community. The fellows will receive tuition, fees and stipends.

The project also aims to address the current and projected shortage in health care professionals by increasing the number of Latino graduate students who have master’s degrees in nutrition and public health.  Additionally, project directors will institutionalize a six course graduate level Latino Health and Nutrition Studies certificate program at CSULB that will lead to improvements in health and nutrition programming to reduce obesity among Latino children ages 2-8 and their family members.

Frank, the project’s co-principal investigator, believes that by developing a series of graduate courses focusing on Latino health and nutrition, CSULB students will not only gain a bona fide certificate identifying their advanced knowledge, but also align themselves immediately with other highly skilled professionals.
“Our health science and nutrition graduates will join a legion of new leaders to improve the well-being of our Latino population,” Frank pointed out.  “It is such a privilege to be recognized for our approach and to obtain strong federal funding from USDA to continue our programs.  We are becoming a national model demonstrating how universities can empower their campus while improving the lives of individuals in the community.”

Additionally, the project will develop a culturally and linguistically relevant "Sanos y Fuertes" (Healthy and Strong) toolkit and educational program to be offered to Latino families with young children to improve nutrition and health and reduce obesity.

In the first year of the project, 12 focus groups with community members will be conducted to ask for their insight regarding effective and needed strategies and activities.  Both the CSULB leadership and community partners are committed to community-based participatory research that integrates the needs of our nation with research efforts. Such a community-university link is made possible by strong partnerships with organizations including the YMCA of Greater Long Beach, the City of Paramount Community Services and Recreation Department, Padres en Acción, Children and Families Health Connections, and St. Mary’s Medical Center.

“This grant is also providing us an opportunity to collaborate with a wealth of organizations while we open a satellite center in the heart of the Long Beach Latino community,” Rios-Ellis concluded.  “These collective efforts further CSULB’s mission of community service and enable us to positively impact the lives of a greater number of Latino families while developing tested interventions to decrease the staggering rates of childhood overweight and obesity and serve as national culturally congruent models for prevention.”

Spring 2011 Issue

CSULB Among Campuses Selected to Begin Planning for Doctoral Programs in Nursing Practice, Physical Therapy

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) has been granted permission by the CSU Board of Trustees to begin planning two new doctoral pilot programs – the doctor of physical therapy (DPT) degree and the doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree – with the DPT program launching as early as summer 2012 and the DNP program in fall 2012.
In January, the Board of Trustees approved beginning the process for three DNP programs, including two that will be offered jointly by multiple CSU campuses.  CSULB will team up with Cal State Fullerton and Cal State L.A. to offer a joint program in the southern part of the state, and Fresno State and San Jose State will offer a joint program in the north.  San Diego State was recommended for a stand-alone program.
As for the DPT degree, CSULB was one of five campuses given the go-ahead to begin planning for a pilot program.  The others were Fresno State, Cal State Northridge, Sacramento State and San Diego State.
In September, then-California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into legislation two key measures granting the CSU permission to offer the two doctorate degrees, which previously had been strictly in the purview of the University of California system as directed by the state’s Master Plan for Higher Education.
“History should never dictate the educational needs of today,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander.  “When these two bills were passed and signed, the governor and the state legislature gave permission for the CSU system to go beyond the California Master Plan to offer vital doctorate degrees that will have a significant impact on the future healthcare needs of this state.”
Assembly Bill (AB) 2382 gave the CSU permission to offer the doctorate of physical therapy degree.  Five CSU campuses offer physical therapy (PT) programs (Long Beach, Fresno, Northridge, Sacramento and San Francisco State, which has a joint program with UC San Francisco), and together, they already produce one-third of the state’s PT graduates.  Still, there is a shortage of physical therapy professionals in California, but with the new doctoral programs, CSU campuses will be able to help address those needs.
The DPT is particularly relevant to accreditation in CSU physical therapy programs.  Physical therapists practicing in California must have graduated from an accredited physical therapy program as well as passed national and state examinations.  Beginning in 2015, the National Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education will only grant accreditation to programs awarding doctorates.
“The approval of the doctorate in physical therapy at the CSU was critical to us being in compliance with the accrediting and licensure standards of the profession,” noted Kenneth Millar, CSULB’s dean for the College of Health and Human Services, where, if approved, both doctorates would be housed.  “With the doctorate in place, the CSU will maintain its leadership role in preparing the workforce for professional physical therapists.”
AB 867 allows the CSU to confer the DNP degree.  The CSU already confers 65 percent of the state’s bachelor’s degrees in nursing, but the campuses are facing serious challenges in their efforts to meet the urgent need for additional nursing professionals in the workforce.
The U.S. Bureau of Health Professionals projects California will have a shortfall of more than 100,000 nurses in 10 years.  A key challenge to closing this projected shortfall has been a limited number of slots available in California nursing programs, which is tied to a limited number of individuals qualified to serve as nursing faculty.
“The doctor of nursing practice degree has a particular focus on preparing future nurse educators,” Millar pointed out.  “A significant contributor to the acute nursing shortage in California and, indeed, in the entire nation is that institutions of higher education do not have sufficient numbers of doctoral-trained faculty to meet the student demand in schools of nursing.  This doctorate is an important step in addressing this shortage.”
It is estimated that the shortage of nursing faculty is keeping hundreds of qualified applicants out of nursing programs at CSU and California community college (CCC) campuses.  Now that the CSU can offer the DNP degree, though, campuses can begin to prepare nursing faculty both for their own as well as CCC nursing programs as well.  This will also lead to training more registered nurses to help address the state’s nursing shortage.
Both the DNP and DPT programs are subject to the CSU chancellor’s approval and determination of need and feasibility, and must demonstrate that qualified faculty, financial support, facilities, and information resources are sufficient to establish and maintain the programs.  Prior to chancellor approval, programs will seek professional and regional accreditation, as well as the recommendation of the California Postsecondary Education Commission.
Spring 2011 Issue

CSULB Group Named Best Collegiate Vocal Jazz Ensemble by DownBeat Magazine; Takes Top Honors at Jazz Festival

April was a good month for Pacific Standard Time, the top vocal jazz ensemble in Cal State Long Beach’s (CSULB) Bob Cole Conservatory of Music.

The CSULB group was named winner of the 2010 DownBeat Award for Best Vocal Jazz Ensemble in the collegiate division as part of DownBeat Magazine’s 34th annual Student Music Awards list.  The magazine selects a roster of the very best in student jazz from all over the nation, giving recognition to middle school, high school, college and university programs, along with kudos for individual efforts by arrangers, soloists and composers.

“The vocal jazz program has received awards for five of the last six years,” noted Christine Guter, CSULB’s director of vocal jazz.  “Last year, Pacific Standard Time received ‘outstanding performance’ for its submission, but this is the first time our program has been named winner of the collegiate vocal jazz category.”

Jeff Jarvis, head of Jazz Studies at CSULB added: “Since 1934 Downbeat Magazine has been a leading voice for jazz and jazz education.  The awards earned by our Cole Conservatory jazz students are major accomplishments.  We are extremely proud of these students for honoring themselves and the CSULB Jazz Studies program with this international recognition.”

Earlier in April, the vocal jazz group captured top honors in the College Vocal Ensemble Division at The Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival, and in doing so was awarded a score of 299 out of a possible 300 points from the trio of adjudicators.

For taking first place in their division, Pacific Standard Time has been invited back to perform at the 54th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival, which takes place Sept. 16-18.  CSULB also received a $1,000 award for its vocal jazz program.

“I’ve never seen scores like that in my life,” Guter pointed out.  “I’m tremendously proud of my students, and the hard work and dedication they have demonstrated to get to such a high level of music making and artistry.  The greatest honor is getting to come back and perform at the 54th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival in September.  It will be an experience that will greatly impact our young singer’s musical journeys, and one they will never forget.”

At the Next Generation Festival, CSULB’s Concert Jazz Orchestra, under the direction Jarvis, placed third in the College Big Band Division.  Both groups were finalists, invited to the competition after being selected as one of the top six entries in their category based on submissions from all over the country.

“It’s a tremendous honor to have been acknowledged with this award, but to me it’s not so much about the win,” Guter said.  “Our students got to hear a lot of other wonderful groups and learned from that, and that’s what’s important.  It’s a tremendously supportive atmosphere even though it’s a ‘competition’ at Monterey.

“All the different school groups really support and encourage each other, which is one of the reasons why I go,” Guter added.  “It’s also a huge honor to be invited back to perform at the 54th annual Monterey Jazz Festival, and our students are very excited about that.  It’s a wonderful opportunity for them.”

Though appreciative of getting the nod for the top spot in the category, Guter admits to not being a great believer in competitive festivals.

“You know, music is not a contact sport.  I tell my students the only competition is with yourself, and the challenge is to do better than you did in your last performance,” she said.  “Because every group is coming from a different background and maybe their director has different musical priorities, and the judges have their own musical priorities.  Every musical group has something unique to share.”

Pacific Standard Time is a highly select 12-member ensemble which requires refined musicianship and improvisation skills.  The group performs a wide variety of vocal music in the jazz genre.  It has performed at the International Association of Jazz Education Convention in Toronto, the American Choral Directors Association Convention in Salt Lake City, the California Music Education Association convention in Sacramento, and have toured California and the Pacific Northwest.  Recently, they performed at both the L.A. Jazz Institute Festival, and the Newport Beach and West Coast Jazz Parties.

“This is a pretty new group and they have really exceeded my expectations,” praised Guter.  “Seven of the 12 singers have never worked with me before this year.  I just express my expectations with them and encourage them to work their hardest and strive for excellence at all times.  They have really done a fabulous job, and I couldn’t be prouder of their musical progress.”

Spring 2011 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Receives Gold, Silver Awards from LAB as Bicycle Friendly Business and University

Officials from the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) presented Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) with a pair of awards this spring as the university was recognized with the organization’s Gold Award as a Bicycle Friendly Business and a Silver Award in its first-ever Bicycle Friendly University designations.

Bicycling is a solution to many challenges we face as a nation–improving sustainability, physical activity and quality of life.  The League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly America program has helped communities, businesses, states and now universities improve conditions for bicycling, creating the types of places where people want to live, work and visit.

“We thank the League of American Bicyclists for the great honor of our Bicycle Friendly Awards,” said Mary Stephens, CSULB’s vice president of administration and finance who received the awards on behalf of the university.  “We’re extremely proud that Cal State Long Beach has become a hub for bicycle education, service and advocacy for our community.

“We will continue to work with the city to improve bicycle infrastructure, to provide multiple amenities for cyclists, and to promote a livable community where cyclists come together for local rides, special events and advocacy,” she added.

CSULB was among 32 universities that applied for the inaugural bicycle friendly awards, and 20 received the designation.  The program recognizes colleges and universities that create exceptional environments where bicycling can thrive and provides a roadmap and technical assistance to create great campuses for bicycling.

“Universities have long served as incubators for developing bike-friendly cultures and practices, and that has a big impact on the expectations that students bring to the workplace and beyond,” said Bill Nesper, director of the league’s Bicycle Friendly America Program.  “With the launch of the Bicycle Friendly Universities program, we’re able to highlight the crucial role that academic institutions play in shaping a more bike-friendly future.”
Additionally, CSULB was one of 55 new Bicycle Friendly Businesses, and one of only six to receive this year’s Gold Award in that category.  These businesses included restaurants to law offices to universities.

Officials from LAB note that businesses across the country are seeing that there is a good return on investment in promoting bicycling in the workplace, including improved morale and health, reduced parking costs and promoting a healthy and sustainable lifestyle to customers and employees.

The Bicycle Friendly Business and Bicycle Friendly University programs are supported by program partners Bikes Belong and Trek Bicycle’s One World, Two Wheels Campaign.

Spring 2011 Issue

Club Team from California State University, Long Beach Captures Division I National Roller Hockey Championship

For the first time in school history, Cal State Long Beach’s (CSULB) roller hockey club team has captured the Division I National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association (NCRHA) championship, upsetting the favorite in the semifinals before defeating Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (SLO) in the title game at the Capitol Ice Arena in Middleton, Wis.

Roller hockey is played on what is called sport court, something similar to plastic tiles, in a standard size rink.  Games consist of three, 12-minute periods with four players and a goalie competing for each team.  Team rosters can have anywhere from eight to 16 players, but only four skaters and a goalie play at a time for each.

“We are so proud to be the first university in NCRHA history to bring the national championship to the West Coast, and we couldn’t have done it without our coach, Bill Burrows,” said team president Travis Benson, a junior kinesiology major from Fountain Valley.  “Bill has volunteered countless hours to this team for the past four years and has wanted this championship more than anyone.  So for us to win the title for him and the university as well was huge for us.

“Not too many students know that we have an elite roller hockey club here at Cal State Long Beach,” he added.  “So, for us to get this recognition and support feels great.”

The CSULB roller hockey team has had its share of success in recent years.  The squad made it to the Elite Eight at nationals the last two years and has been ranked among the top 10 teams in the nation.  To get to the finals, however, the 49ers had to get by the favorite – Lindenwood University of St. Charles, Mo.

“Lindenwood is a team that has been to the finals the past 10 years, and they went 28-0 during the (regular) season this year,” Benson pointed out.  “We took them down (5-4) in the semifinals.”

In the upset win over Lindenwood, Ryan Burrows, a senior business major from Yorba Linda, scored all five CSULB goals. Once past the powerhouse, the 49ers set their sights on Cal Poly SLO, setting up the first West Coast final ever.  Both CSULB and Cal Poly-SLO compete in the Western Collegiate Roller Hockey League during the regular season.

In the championship game, Cal Poly held a 1-0 lead after one period, but CSULB tied it at 1-1 after two.  In the third and final period, the 49ers outscored their opponent, 3-2, to come away with the 4-3 victory and the title.

In the title game, Burrows opened the scoring for CSULB with his second period goal at the 4:51 mark.  In the third period, Ryan Doyle, a junior accounting major from Huntington Beach scored on a power play at 0:53; Benson scored at 1:11; and Skyler Hoar, a junior marketing major from Huntington Beach, knocked in the eventual game winner at 6:29.

CSULB opened the tournament in Pool B of round-robin play, losing to Michigan State 5-3, tying Penn State 7-7, and defeating Missouri State 5-2, to earn a first-round bye.  Once into single elimination play, the 49ers defeated the University of Missouri-St. Louis, 5-2, in the second round, and the University of Tampa, 7-3, in the third round to advance to the semifinals against Lindenwood.

Spring 2011 Issue

CSULB Receives Grant for ‘My Daughter is an Engineer’ Program to Encourage Girls to Enter Engineering Careers

Statistics show that only about 20 percent of engineering students are women, and that women make up only about 10 percent of professional engineers.  Three women in the College of Engineering (COE) at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) are trying to change that.

Bei Lu and Panadda Marayong, both assistant professors from CSULB’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Lily Gossage, director of the College of Engineering Recruitment and Retention Center, received an approximately $16,000 grant from the IEEE Control Systems Society, including supplemental funding from the California Space Grant Consortium, to implement a unique program that encourages elementary school girls to explore an interest in engineering careers.
The “My Daughter is an Engineer” program will bring mothers and daughters and their elementary schools’ lead teachers to campus for a three-day residential program in July.  Activities will include engineering-based workshops on robotics and control technology in everyday life, academic career preparation and skills learning, and engineering-relevant field trips.

The CSULB grant was one of just nine awarded among worldwide applicants.
“Research has shown us that we can help students help themselves with their academic success, but teaching parents to become fully engaged in their children’s educational pursuits is the greatest investment of effort that any outreach program can hope for,” Gossage pointed out.  “Obviously, having parents who support their children’s education makes the greatest difference.  Social stigmas discourage girls from considering engineering even though they’re often well prepared, but we can show them that engineering is quite a lucrative and awesome career for women.”

The “My Daughter” program is open to 20 fifth-grade girls, who will be selected on a competitive basis from six Long Beach Unified School District elementary schools that have been identified as having high-minority student enrollment and serving low-income families.

“The idea of reaching out to students at the earliest age possible, before they are subjected to peer pressure in the later years, is also supported by research,” she added.  “Another factor is the way math is taught in many schools; we can help young girls overcome the negative mindset about math by showing them the practical uses of math.”

The program showcases engineering applications and the impact of engineering on daily life as well as provides information to support ongoing parental involvement. While teachers will be co-engaged in the program activities along with the mothers and daughters, teachers will also have additional projects-based workshops that incorporate four NASA Directorates and will be trained to weave NASA content into existing K-12 curriculum.

“We will have lead teachers from every participating school.  They play a very critical role in their school’s curriculum, and they can bring back information to the entire school.  They expand information beyond what occurs in the classroom,” Gossage said.  “We can really use lead teachers as spokespersons for our programs and advocates for the girls.”
To maximize the grant so that the girls and mothers receive the fullest support possible, all three women will volunteer their time to conduct the program.

Gossage said the title of the grant proposal was not technical and probably caught the eye of those making decisions about the awarding of the grants.  She said this is the first time she has heard of a program that incorporates engineering outreach for mothers and daughters and at the same time blends common program components to serve the professional development of school teachers.

CSULB has a long-standing commitment to promoting underrepresented minority students and women in sciences and engineering.  Another recent program, the “Engineering Girls @ the Beach” program, was an off-shoot of its highly successful “Women Engineers @ the Beach” program.  The “My Daughter is an Engineer” is a first-ever program established specifically to serve a mother-daughter population.

“The program’s title conveys a powerful and self-fulfilling quality, and we will work hard to give the girls the best chance possible to succeed,” Gossage noted.  “We are very excited about the long-term impact of this program and would like to see it evolve in other districts and into other disciplines such as physics and areas where women continue to be underrepresented.”

Spring 2011 Issue

Former California Gov. George Deukmejian’s Archive Dedicated at Cal State Long Beach Library

Former California Gov. George Deukmejian has chosen the California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) University Library as the repository for more than 3,000 boxes of historical documents chronicling his decades of public service.
Dedication of the George Deukmejian Archive at CSULB took place in March, before an audience of more than 70 government and campus officials and community guests.
“George Deukmejian is a long-time supporter of Cal State Long Beach, and we are honored that he has bestowed upon us the legacy and personal history of his many years of public service,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander. “Future historians will be able to view the George Deukmejian Archives in their quest to research California government, law and politics and the role Mr. Deukmejian played in guiding this great state in each of those areas. This is an extraordinary gift to the university, and we will treasure it always.”
“I’m so pleased and proud that these records and documents will be here at this wonderful university,” Deukmejian said at the dedication cremony. “For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, I hope you’ll become more familiar with Cal State Long Beach and get to know what’s here. You’ll be amazed, as I have been amazed over the years.
“When I first came to Long Beach, Cal State Long Beach was only nine years old. It started in rented apartment facilities,” he recalled. “Over the years, those of us who have lived here have seen it grow not only in size, which has been significant, but in stature. Now, you’ll find that this campus is on many of the national ranking lists and it has achieved this distinction as a result of the leadership that they’ve had here, and the faculty, the administrators and the staff who have really done a tremendous job of fulfilling a vision and fulfilling opportunities for all of the thousands of students who have come through these doors.
“We’re very proud to have the university in Long Beach and we’re proud of the success that it has had in sending out into the world countless thousands of well-educated, well-trained engineers, business people, nurses and a multitude of other disciplines, helping to provide an improved quality of life for all of us throughout the area and throughout the state,” he added.
Deukmejian served on the California Assembly from 1962 to 1967, the state Senate from 1967 to 1979, and as state Attorney General from 1979 to 1983. He was elected governor in 1983 and during his two terms, the 1984 Summer Olympics, the 1987 stock market crash and the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake occurred. He was credited for his efforts in job creation, making education a priority and creating a workfare program.
Deukmejian and his wife, Gloria, have long been connected to the city of Long Beach. She was born there and he established a law practice there in 1958, to which he returned after leaving office in 1991. A native of New York state, he is an alumnus of Siena College and earned his law degree at St. John’s University.
He continued to serve on several public commissions and the couple has been involved in a variety of community service programs. In the early 1990s, he served as voluntary chair for a fundraising committee to support CSULB’s Disabled Student Services program and in 2005, the couple donated $107,000 to establish the George and Gloria Deukmejian Scholarship for Students with Disabilities. Cal State Long Beach presented Deukmejian with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 2008 for his years of political and community endeavors, and one of the campus roads is named Deukmejian Way.
The Judicial Council of California recently voted to name the new courthouse being built in downtown Long Beach after the former governor.
Only three other California governors’ records are held outside the State Archives in Sacramento—Edmund G. “Pat” Brown at UC Berkeley, Ronald Reagan at the Reagan Presidential Library, and the first term of Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown at USC. Disposition of gubernatorial records as part of the California Public Records Act is outlined in California Government Code Section 6268.
As often is the case with accomplished political figures, access to the Deukmejian Archive at CSULB will be restricted until five years after the couple has passed away. Requests for special access must be directed to the office of the Dean of the University Library.
Spring 2011 Issue

A Message from the President

We have come to a crossroads in California, one which threatens the very future of our state. The fiscal disorder that threatens California higher education is not to be taken lightly. In January, Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed budget included a $500 million reduction in funding to campuses of the California State University. However, this level of reduction was reliant on the citizens approving a ballot measure proposed for June that would extend three existing state taxes for five years. The measure ultimately did not receive legislators’ approval to place such a decision before the voters of California.

This puts California higher education in an even more precarious financial position with the potential for a
$1 billion reduction to the CSU. The Governor has declared the state may be required to endure an “all cuts budget” unless the tax extensions are approved. This level of reduction to our system would result in a nearly $70 million cut to state funds provided to Cal State Long Beach or an approximate 40 percent reduction to our state resources in a single year. The impact of this massive cut would be devastating: fewer students, fewer classes, fewer faculty and staff, fewer services offered to students, reductions in financial aid would all be likely, in addition to other potential “solutions” to the problem.

The reality is that we all lose if this comes to pass. Higher education has become California’s main economic driver; we cannot improve our economy without a well educated workforce. If we are to move forward as a state, we must differentiate between state investments and state expenditures. If we treat California’s children and students as simple state expenditures, much like prison expenditures, and do not recognize the long-term investment value that ultimately benefits all of us, then we will never have the kind of workforce necessary in an increasingly competitive global economy.

CSULB continues to be a national model of what a public university should provide to its students and society at large. This is attributable to the hard work and dedication of our faculty and staff. It is also a result of hard-working students who understand that they will either make or break a future California economy.
Preservation and expanded support of California’s public education is not an option. California’s students will rely on their education throughout their lives. They must not be burdened by being offered an education diminished by financial woes and poor decisions.

My sincere hope is that Californians will be given the opportunity to accept the temporary costs of extending these three taxes and, more importantly, the opportunity to vote in support of California’s future. Please help us by letting your legislators know that this issue is important to you and critical to the state. Investing in our students benefits all Californians.

F. King Alexander
Spring 2011 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Dance Team Captures 2nd-Place Honors at UDA’s 2011 College National Championships

The California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) Dance Team added another award to its trophy case, capturing second-place honors at the 2011 Universal Dance Association College National Championship at Walt Disney World in Orlando.

Only 13 teams were selected to perform in the finals of the Division I Jazz competition, and CSULB placed second, just behind winner Cal State Fullerton and ahead of third-place finisher Missouri State University.

The 49er Dance Team also made the finals of the Division I Hip Hop competition—a field from which CSULB has long-been absent at the national level.  The squad finished ninth in that category.

In addition to technical difficulty and synchronization, the team was judged on spacing, creativity and musicality.  The dancers’ ability to rank highly in all these categories is a testament to their talent, hard work and the leadership of head coach Rey Lozano, who has been with the team for more than 20 years, and assistant coach Angela Andros.

Nationally ranked, the Dance Team is a competitive, all-female squad that performs at basketball games, and campus and community events.

Spring 2011 Issue

Business Administration Students from Cal State Long Beach Win Undergraduate Division Title at Business Ethics Competition

Three students from the College of Business Administration (CBA) at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) turned in the best undergraduate performance at the Intercollegiate Business Ethics Case Competition (IBECC) to win the Kerrigan Award, presented to the undergraduate division champion and runner-up finisher in the final round of the contest.

Celeste Ahl, Rachel Feldman, and Zulema Uriarte-Elizalde captured the award and a $750 cash prize after presenting their case study on Foxconn, a manufacturing operation in Shenzhen, China, where 12 workers have recently committed suicide by jumping from buildings.  CBA Professor Kathleen Lacey worked with the group in preparation for the competition.

After an online preliminary competition over the summer, teams from CSULB, the Central European University (Budapest), LaSalle University, Loyola Marymount University and the University of St. Thomas (Minn.) competed in the IBECC finals, which was held at the Ethics and Compliance Officers Association annual meeting in Anaheim. 

All teams participating in the intercollegiate competition gave a presentation during the preliminary round.  From there, the top four teams faced off in a final round.  Each finalist team prepared an abbreviated 10-minute presentation dealing exclusively with the ethical dimension of their case.  A panel of judges selected one overall winner and determined the number of runner-up awards. 

“The College of Business Administration is very proud of the efforts of Celeste, Rachel and Zulema.  They represented Cal State Long Beach well,” said Lacey, who noted that the team completed its Foxconn analysis and presentation during the summer and in early September, working on evenings and weekends since they each worked full-time during the day.

Ahl, Feldman and Uriarte-Elizalde participated in the Edna Davis Hobbs California Student Leadership Institute, a year-long course of study sponsored by CSULB’s Ukleja Center for Ethical Leadership and taught by Lacey.  In the class, students have an opportunity to explore ethical issues related to business, government, education, media, healthcare, athletics and other professional fields.  Teamwork, community service and networking with guest speakers are an integral part of the program, which is held both on and off campus.

For the competition, each team selects a topic from any area of business ethics and prepares a 30-minute presentation, describing the problem and proposing a solution.  Judges listen to the team’s presentation, question students for another 20 minutes and then give the team feedback. Each presentation covers the legal, financial and ethical dimensions of the case, but special emphasis is placed on the strength of the ethical analysis of the problem and the ethical acceptability of the solution.

Spring 2011 Issue

Cal State Long Beach Political Science Students Capture Honors at Santa Barbara International Model United Nations Conference

Richard Gieser and Dina Alhayek, political science majors at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), received awards for their participation at the 2010 Santa Barbara International Model United Nations (SBIMUN) Conference held last fall on the UC Santa Barbara campus.  It was the first time the proposed annual event had been held.
Gieser, a junior from Torrance, won his award for the Best Position Paper for the U.N. General Assembly Legal Committee.  Alhayek, a senior from Buena Park, received an honorable mention for her performance as a delegate representing Kazakhstan.  In all, 18 CSULB students participated in the SBIMUN Conference.
“Each delegate is assigned a country and a committee (in this case the U.N. General Assembly Legal Committee) and they prepare for their role by conducting research about their country and its foreign policy on the issues on the Legal Committee agenda,” said CSULB Political Science Professor Larry Martinez, who also serves as faculty advisor to the Model United Nations club and class.
“Richard’s position paper (submitted before the conference began) was judged the best to this large committee.  Dina’s award was for her accurate portrayal of Kazakhstan’s foreign policy on legal issues,” Martinez added.  “Both students showed that they could effectively integrate what they are learning in the classroom with this simulation of real-world diplomacy.”
For Gieser, his involvement in the Model United Nations conference at UCSB helped him understand the complications in the evolving international system.
“In our international environment where a word such as harmony seems laughable at best, organizations such as the United Nations give us a medium that allows our world to at least come somewhat closer to such a possibility,” said Gieser, the political science major with a double concentration of law, politics, and policy and global politics.  “The SBIMUN conference can get pretty intense when you are debating and discussing resolutions with delegates who have self preferences for what they think is appropriate in regards to the nation they represent.  It is thrilling to stay in character while trying to convince a group of 50-plus people, who have staunch opinions.”
Alhayek participated in the Bonn International Model United Nations in Bonn, Germany, with the CSULB Model U.N. team.
“SBIMUN was an awesome experience–it really helped me prepare for the Bonn International MUN Conference,” said Alhayek, the political science major with an emphasis in global politics and a minor in Middle Eastern studies.  “Most of all, I absolutely loved testing out my diplomatic and networking skills to see how strong they are.  It was amazing getting to meet and compete against delegates from all over California including USC, Berkeley, USD and Chapman and to win an award from amongst them as well as my CSULB peers.”
The CSULB Model United Nations Intercollegiate Team is a comprehensive academic and hands-on training program incorporating courses in international politics, international law, and politics and practice of the UN to prepare student delegates for award-winning participation in regional, national and international Model UN conferences.  All CSULB students from any major can join and participate.
Spring 2011 Issue

CSULB Athletes Capture Javelin, 400-Meter Hurdle Titles at Big West Conference Track and Field Championships

Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) junior Randi Hicks claimed the women’s javelin title, and senior Kennth Medwood won the 400-meter hurdle crown at the recent Big West Conference (BWC) Track and Field Championships in Northridge.

Hicks won the event with a toss of 162-feet, 4-inches, which tied the BWC meet record.  The Oxnard native broke the conference and school record earlier this year with a lifetime-best 170-11.  Senior Alex Shaw made it a one-two finish for The Beach as she earned runner-up honors (159-06).

Medwood was the 400-meter hurdle champion as he crossed the finish line in a school-record 49.66 seconds.  The Los Angeles native bettered his previous school record of 50.37, which he established at The Beach Invitational.  Junior Sam Jeter made it a one-two finish for LBSU, taking runner-up honors with a lifetime-best 50.24, a mark that ranks him second in 49er history.

Following a strong second-place performance at the conference championships, the men’s track and field team moved up 32 spots in the national rankings to No. 58.  The 49ers were the highest ranked Big West school, ahead of UC Irvine (No. 68), UC Santa Barbara (No. 69) and Cal State Northridge (No. 76).

The CSULB women were ranked 75th in the nation, the second highest ranking among Big West schools behind only UC Santa Barbara (No. 32).

Spring 2010 Issue

CSULB Business Student Finishes Among Nation’s Top Orators at Moot Court Nationals

For a guy who almost quit college a couple of times and changed his major from engineering to business, Tim Appelbaum seems now on track.

The California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) senior had another verification that his decision to stay in school was a good move when he finished as the fourth best orator in the country out of 128 competitors at the national moot court competition in Miami. Approximately 500 individuals began in regional competition across the country.

Orators are judged in four  categories — knowledge of subject matter, response to questioning, forensics, and respect for the courts — with each category being worth 100 points.  Appelbaum received 385.5 points out of the possible 400.

“I think he was genuinely surprised,” said Lewis Ringel, who has served as the moot court team coach for the past four years and has been involved through the program’s entire eight years of existence. “After they called his name there was this long pause.”

Appelbaum’s involvement in the moot court program came about after he took a Political Science 100 class with Ringel, who credits Appelbaum’s  success to a lot of hard work as well as natural talent. In his two years, he has participated in five tournaments, winning one, reaching the semi-final rounds of two, and advancing to the elimination round in each.

“He’s at the very top of all the students we have had in our program. He’s certainly in the top five,” said Ringel. “He uses questions to advance his arguments and he layers his answers so that he ends with something that invites further questions. He ends with something almost provocative. Judges pick up on that and they ask him about that so he is completely controlling the direction of the argument. He invites follow-up questions that he is prepared for. It’s not common because you just can’t teach it. I have probably told every student to do that 50 times and some of them do, but Tim consistently does it.”

Appelbaum also doesn’t use notes during his presentations, something that only the top orators tend to do, according to Ringel. He also credits his ease of speaking in public in large part because he has played and sung in a band.

“After playing in a band doing stupid stuff up on stage, you kind of stop caring what people think about you,” said Appelbaum.  “That really helped out in the competition.”

Appelbaum credits his high finish, in part, to his individual style of presenting his argument, which he think the judges like. “My strength isn’t with a large vocabulary or anything like that,” said Appelbaum, “but a down-to-earth fashion that the judges are able to understand better than if they had a bunch of fancy words thrown at them. I think people appreciate that.”

Spring 2010 Issue

Free Tax Return Help Offered Through CSULB Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program

Accounting majors at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) assisted students and members of the community with their 2009 tax returns free of charge through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. The program ran through April 9 at the university.

VITA is a cooperative effort by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and many individual states, including California, to provide income tax assistance to low- and moderate-income individuals, the handicapped and the elderly.  Volunteers are trained to prepare basic income tax returns at VITA sites, and returns can take up to 30 minutes to prepare.

Sponsored by the IRS but funded through the campus’ Beta Alpha Psi & Accounting Society, VITA helps students on campus and people from the community who cannot afford to go to paid preparers to get their taxes filed.  At the same time, the program gives student volunteers valuable experience that can further help them to attain full-time employment in the accounting field.

This year’s campus VITA program had 37 volunteers who were trained and certified by the IRS to prepare and E-file basic income tax returns and foreign student tax returns.  They are also qualified to answer many tax questions or concerns that those coming in for assistance may have. 

During the 2009 tax season, CSULB volunteers prepared more than 550 income tax returns for individuals on and off campus..

Spring 2010 Issue

Long Beach Rotary Scholarship Foundation Presents $174,800 to Cal State Long Beach for Student Scholarships

The Long Beach Rotary Scholarship Foundation has given $174,800 to California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) that will be used for scholarships to more than 130 students.

The check presentation was made by Greg Hill, president of the Long Beach Rotary, and Frank Newell, chairman of the Long Beach Rotary Scholarship Foundation, during a special halftime ceremony at a recent 49er men’s basketball game.

Long Beach Rotary supports four President’s Scholars scholarships, and another 129 CSULB students each received a $1,200 annual scholarship during the 2009-10 school year.  Rotary members held a pre-game reception at The Pointe in The Walter Pyramid to honor this year’s scholarship recipients.

“At Cal State Long Beach during the past 45 years, the Rotary Scholarship Foundation has funded more than 2,500 annual student scholarships totaling more than $2.5 million dollars,” Newell pointed out.  “We also provide $80,000 in annual scholarships to more than 100 students attending Long Beach City College.”

Founded in 1917, Rotary is the largest and oldest service organization in Long Beach.  The organization also sponsors a service club for students at the university called the Rotaract Club.  Members of Rotaract also were guests at the pre-game reception.

Long Beach Rotary Scholarships are available to students from Long Beach area high schools who attend Long Beach City College and CSULB. 

Spring 2010 Issue

CSULB Business Student to Cycle Across U.S. in ‘Journey of Hope,’ Raise Funds for Those with Disabilities

Pushing himself to the limit of his physical abilities while generating funds and awareness to help those with disabilities, Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) student Brent Freeman will participate in Journey of Hope, a 4,000-mile bicycle ride across the United States that is ridden by Pi Kappa Phi fraternity brothers.

Freeman, who founded the Pi Kappa Phi charter at CSULB, will be the only rider from the university and a Southern California campus riding in Journey of Hope.  He will ride roughly 75 miles a day over a 67-day period.  At the end of each day, he and the other riders will stop to interact with people with disabilities. 

“My Journey of Hope adventure will not be possible without my teammates and donations from my family, friends and others.  Founding my chapter of Pi Kappa Phi taught me many things, including the advantages of teamwork,” said Freeman, a senior studying business management at CSULB.  “A major aspect of Pi Kappa Phi, and a huge reason why I joined, is Push America.  I wouldn’t have been able to establish my chapter without the help of my fellow founding fathers.” 

Hosted by Push America, Journey of Hope is the largest fraternal fundraising and awareness event of its kind.  It was founded in 1977 by Pi Kappa Phi with the purpose of instilling lifelong service in its members and enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities.

Journey of Hope begins in San Francisco and Seattle with all the riders ending their trips together in Washington, D.C.  Since the first ride in 1988, which featured 21 riders raising $20,000, the event has grown to cover 32 states with riders cycling more than 12,000 miles combined to raise more than $500,000 annually.  To date, more than 900 undergraduates have participated in the event to help bring to the forefront the abilities of people with disabilities.

Spring 2010 Issue

CSULB Student Captures 1st Place in National Council for Black Studies Student Essay Contest

Elise McCutchen, a senior in Africana Studies at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), was recognized recently as the first-place winner in the undergraduate division of the National Council for Black Studies (NCBS) Annual Student Essay Contest on the topic “I Bet This Never Happens to Superman: Black Superheroes in Comic Books.”

McCutchen was an honored guest at the Student Luncheon of the 34th annual NCBS National Conference, which was held in New Orleans.  She delivered a summary of her essay and received a plaque and a check for $350.

“I’m very excited about it,” said McCutchen, a Long Beach resident who grew up in Cerritos. “When I wrote this essay, I expected to hand it in and get a grade.  It was really exciting to be recognized for my work.”

McCutchen’s essay examined what is represented by such popular African-American superheroes as The Black Panther, Luke Cage, Icon and Status.  “The first two characters were created by white authors and artists and the second two by black authors and artists,” she explained.  “By comparing these two pairs of superheroes, I tried to show who was the most authentic and what made them so.”

McCutchen was surprised to discover negative stereotypes in black superheroes of the 1970s.  “I wondered what made characters like that and looked for current black superheroes who contradicted those stereotypes,” she said.  “What I found is that those characters created by white authors and artists used more slang and participated in more violence.  They had names that focused on race.  Many served a white, wealthy community as opposed to serving other black people.”

But black-created characters also have negative qualities.  “For instance, the character Icon is portrayed with angry expressions,” she explained.  “That and the focus on his muscles encourage the stereotype of the angry black man.  What other black superheroes did differently was to counteract possible negative indicators in the text with positive ones.  Their creators incorporate African-American literature and history into the comic books.  They offer a diversity of black images.”

McCutchen attended the Orange County High School of the Arts before independent study in her junior and senior years which she completed in a single semester.  “I was really young when I first enrolled at CSULB in 2006,” she said.  “I was only 16 when I applied and 17 when I started.  My first exposure to campus was when I attended a young writer’s camp here.”  McCutchen graduated from CSULB in May with a bachelor’s degree in Africana Studies.

McCutchen plans to participate in Teach for America, a federally funded program which recruits college graduates to commit to teach for two years in urban and rural public schools. Beginning in fall 2010, McCutchen will teach special education in a Los Angeles area high school. She also hopes to earn her mild/moderate credential as well as a master’s degree in special education beginning this fall.

Spring 2010 Issue

2 CSULB Students Receive Prestigious Gilman Scholarships to Study Abroad

Two California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) students received prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships which  allowed them to spend the spring semester studying abroad. 

Junior Kathy Tran was at City University of Hong Kong studying international business and Chinese.  Senior Sienne Diaz will be finishing her bachelor’s of fine arts degree studying at the University of Hertfordshire in England.

Tran and Diaz are among just 800 undergraduate students from more than 320 colleges and universities nationwide to receive the scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. State Department.  The program provides financial support for students who might not otherwise be able to afford to study abroad.

“The goal of the Gilman Scholarship program is for U.S. students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world,” said Linda Olson Levy, CSULB’s advisor for education abroad and international scholarships. 

Both Diaz and Tran have studied abroad before. Last summer, Tran traveled to China for an Asian studies class and then took a culture class in Cambodia. Her experiences left her wanting to participate in a longer study abroad program.

“No matter whether you have a 4.0 or the best teacher recommendations, nothing compares to having the full experience of being overseas,” said Tran, who is working on a double major in international business and Chinese and a minor in Spanish.  “When you are overseas, your view of the world changes drastically.”

Diaz also traveled to Cambodia after receiving a scholarship established by CSULB President F. King Alexander for the Art and Social Action short-term study abroad program.  There, Diaz designed and taught art lessons for girls who had been rescued from sex trafficking operations.  In England, Diaz focused on refining her art skills. 

“Hertfordshire has a prestigious program comparable to the illustration program at CSULB,” said Diaz who recently completed her bachelor’s degree in art education at CSULB and plans to get her single-subject credential in art after finishing her bachelor’s in fine arts. 

Spring 2010 Issue

Graduate Student at CSULB Receives 2010-11 Fulbright Award to Conduct Research in Germany

A master’s degree student studying German at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) has been selected for a U.S. Student Fulbright Award that will have her conducting research in Germany during the 2010-11 academic year.

Roma Claudia Hernández will conduct research on human interaction, perception and self-perception for her project, titled “The Phenomenology of the Self and the Other in the Works of Edmund Husserl and Edith Stein,” at Germany’s University of Cologne, which houses the Edmund Husserl and Edith Stein Archives.

“The Fulbright always stood out for me as one of the most difficult and rewarding programs available, so I applied for it, hoping that it would allow me to pursue education through research issues in phenomenology at the University of Cologne in Germany,” Hernández said. 

Hernández, who will conduct her research with Professor Dieter Lohmar, will leave for her Fulbright study abroad year in July to attend a couple of summer programs that will complement her research over the next academic year.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program gives recent graduates, postgraduate candidates and developing professionals and artists opportunities for personal enrichment and international experience.  Approximately, 1,500 scholarships are awarded through the program each year.

The purposes of the program are three-fold: to promote mutual understanding through a commitment to the free flow of people and ideas across national boundaries; to expand the dimensions of human wisdom, empathy and perception; and to create true and lasting world peace through cooperation in constructive activities between different nations.

In explaining her project to the selection committee, Hernández noted that in pop culture, everyone seems to be obsessed with the body, and although people are cautioned to “never judge a book by its cover,” it is difficult not to do so in a world that places such a heavy emphasis on the body.  Moreover, she said, our consciousness about our own bodies is influenced by our awareness of other people’s bodies.  But how are people conscious of their bodies?

Investigating the nature of consciousness, German philosopher Edmund Husserl developed an account of the structure of human consciousness, while his student, Edith Stein, explored interaction between human consciousnesses.  “While Husserl was interested in the nature of human consciousness per se, his student, Edith Stein, was interested in how two or more conscious humans relate to one another,” Hernández explained.  “Empathy, Stein argued, enables us to see ourselves in others; it enables us to perceive others as ‘just as we are.’"

Hernández seeks to update Husserl and Stein’s investigations in consciousness studies over the course of the academic year through her research on phenomenology, a discipline of philosophy founded by Husserl that focuses on the study of consciousness.  Although there are more than 80 organizations dedicated to the discipline, the University of Cologne is the only place in the world that holds 500 of Husserl’s unpublished manuscripts, notes bundles and lectures.  Additionally, the Cologne Carmelite Convent houses the only Edith Stein Archive in the world.

Spring 2010 Issue

CSULB Professor to Receive 2010 Distinguished Educator Award from American Association of Petroleum Geologists

Richard J. Behl, a professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), received the 2010 Distinguished Educator Award during the 85th annual Meeting of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), Pacific Section.

Behl, who joined CSULB in 1995, is an expert in marine sedimentology, stratigraphy, paleoceanography and paleoclimatology, focusing on California’s coastal tectonic and sedimentary history.  He earned a B.A. in chemistry from UC San Diego, a Ph.D. in earth sciences from UC Santa Cruz and has experience as a petroleum geologist.

At CSULB, Behl earned a 2004 Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award and is a co-founder of the university’s Institute for Integrated Research in Materials, Environments, and Society (IIRMES), a state-of-the-art, interdisciplinary laboratory that conducts research on societies, environments and materials. He is also one of the geology, geography and archaeology faculty that make up CSULB’s Geosciences Diversity Enhancement Program (GDEP), funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to train and recruit high school and community college students from underrepresented minority groups into the geosciences.

Behl is active in a number of domestic and international research organizations and projects, including a NSF-funded project that is testing the potential of Santa Barbara Channel sediments for recording climate change over the past 1.2 million years under the auspices of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program.

“Paleoclimatology and paleooceanography are very important because they are what we base our understanding of how the Earth operates,” he explained.  “We need to know what actually happened in the past.  How fast can a change occur; what triggers it; what are the effects; what feedbacks might occur that make things worse or amplifies a change?”

AAPG named him a Distinguished Lecturer for 2003-04 and arranged for him to travel across the United States and Canada to speak about his research.  He also was the 2006-07 president of the Pacific Section of the Society for Sedimentary Geology.  This April, he traveled to Estonia to serve as a co-chair of the International Past Global Change Program Varves Working Group, an affiliate of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program.  Varves are annual layers of sediment or sedimentary rock that can provide detailed clues to climatic change over time.

Spring 2010 Issue

CSULB Associate Professor of Psychology Selected for Psychological Association’s Early Career Achievement Award

Kim-Phuong Vu, an associate professor of psychology at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), has been named recipient of the 2009 Earl Alluisi Early Career Achievement Award from Division 21: Applied Experimental and Engineering Psychology of the American Psychological Association (APA), the world’s largest association of psychologists.

The award is given annually to an academic who has made exceptional contributions to the field of applied experimental and engineering psychology during the first 10 years of his or her career and is based on research, publications and special new contributions to scientific methods or theory.

“Earl Alluisi was a pioneer in the field of engineering psychology, so I was honored to receive an award in his name,” said Vu, a CSULB alumna who joined the faculty in 2005.  She will receive her award and speak about her research at the APA’s annual meeting in August in San Diego.

“My major contribution to the field has been in the application of basic research in perception and cognition to real-world problems,” Vu explained. Her research focuses on three interrelated areas. The first is action-selection, which refers to how a speeded decision is made regarding which action to take in response to perceptual events.

“One of the major factors affecting efficiency of action-selection is stimulus-response compatibility (SRC)," which refers to the fact that performance is better with certain responses to stimuli than others. "My research in this area has implications for how displays and controls should be organized and mapped in order to achieve efficient performance with minimal errors.”

Vu also is interested in human-computer interaction and with improving interface designs or products for human use—an area of study called human factors. The fundamental idea is that systems and interfaces must be designed with users in mind if the systems are to accomplish their goals effectively. “My work in this area includes human factors issues in Web design, the role of password restrictions in the memorability and security of passwords for single and multiple accounts, and evaluating the usability of Web privacy policies,” she noted.

She also is involved with aviation human factors and is associate director of CSULB’s Center for Human Factors in Advanced Aeronautics Technologies, a NASA-sponsored university research center. “I have developed a research program using human-in-the-loop simulations to investigate human factors issues associated with advanced interface designs, control of manned and unmanned air vehicles, and different air traffic management concepts and automation technologies,” she said.

Vu has authored or co-authored a host of research journal articles and other publications, including in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology and International Journal of Human-Computer Studies. She sits on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Psychology and International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction.

At CSULB, she also is assistant director of the Center for Usability in Design and Accessibility, which helps clients evaluate software. She was chair of the Master of Science in Human Factors Committee and a faculty advisor to the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Student Chapter, which has been recognized as a best student chapter by the national society four times.

Additionally, she has served as principal investigator, co-investigator or senior personnel on five grants or funded projects from NASA Ames Research Laboratory, National Science Foundation, The Boeing Company and the CSU Chancellor’s Office. She was particularly instrumental in landing two large NASA awards totaling $8 million. The first came in 2006 for developing ways to measure situational awareness and mental workload in pilots flying in airspace patrolled by remotely operated air vehicles. The second grant of $5 million over five years is aimed at training students in research topics useful to NASA. 

Spring 2010 Issue

CSULB Professor Named “Diversity Champion” for Work in Communicative Disorders of Linguistically Different

Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) Communicative Disorders Chair Carolyn Conway Madding was named a Diversity Champion recently by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) in a ceremony held in New Orleans.

Madding was recognized for her initiation, development and supervision of CSULB’s Linguistically Different Clinic, which incorporates instruction in bilingual assessment and management and for restructuring the Communicative Disorders Department curriculum to include instruction in serving clients from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

“During the 20 years I have been here, we have treated clients in 26 different languages with disorders that cover the spectrum, including aphasia, traumatic brain injuries, autism and stuttering,” pointed out Madding, who has brought in nearly $2 million in grant money for the education of bilingual speech-language pathologists. “These linguistically different services are so rare in this area that people will come from 40 to 50 miles away to avail themselves of these services.”

Madding believes her initiation of the linguistically different clinic was a big reason for her distinction. “There is no other clinic like this,” she explained. “Some schools allow a student to work with one or two clients in the student and client’s non-English language. All of our graduate students must obtain clinical hours in the Linguistically Different Clinic. Even if they speak only English, they go through the clinic and work with an interpreter to serve people in another language. That is unique in this profession.”

Madding said when she came to CSULB, she came to work on the diversity track. For her, getting the Diversity Champion award from ASHA was icing on the cake after having spent 21 years working in the area of diversity.

"Our linguistically different clinic has been in operation for 21 years to provide services for anybody with any communicative disorder whose first language is not English. We also do special evaluations for the Stephen Benson Program [in Disabled Student Services] to determine if students being evaluated for a learning disability may have a language-based problem," she said.  "A language disorder can only be determined if the student is evaluated and shows problems in all languages spoken, and is not an English-as-a-second-language problem.”

ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 150,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems including swallowing disorders. ASHA recognizes Diversity Champions for advancing multicultural issues in communication sciences and disorders.

Madding earned her bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Ohio State, a master’s in communicative disorders from Cal State Fullerton and a Ph.D. in anthropology and linguistics from Claremont Graduate University.

In addition to the clinic, Madding is the co-creator of a new special cohort M.A. program, which is run through the university’s College of Continuing and Professional Education. Started in 2007, the program has doubled the number of graduate students in the Communicative Disorders Department.

Spring 2010 Issue

NCLR/CSULB Latino Center Receives $296,000 USDA Grant to Develop Course on Latino Nutrition, Chronic Disease Prevention

Having just completed a two-year project with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the National Council of La Raza (NCLR)/Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation and Leadership Training has received another two-year grant from the USDA.

The new USDA grant, worth $296,000, will fund a two-year project to develop a permanent CSULB course called “Latino Nutrition and Chronic Disease Prevention.”  In addition to course development, the project will include the training of faculty and lecturers who will implement the course as well as the opportunity for them to learn techniques to provide Latino students with culturally-relevant advisement that incorporates the socioeconomic and institutional issues many Latino students face.

“With the first two-year grant, we were able to establish the Student Community Health Educator experience on campus in collaboration with Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services’ WIC Program.  Our students learned to integrate their cultural and linguistic abilities with community based participatory research techniques to better understand and serve the needs of Latina mothers and their families.” said Britt Rios-Ellis, director of the NCLR/CSULB Latino Center and director of the project.  “With this second USDA grant, we will take what we’ve learned from the first project and weave it into the institutional and curricular fabric of CSULB.”

In 2007, the NCLR/CSULB center received a $295,000 grant for a project called “Comienzo Sano: Familia Saludable” (“Healthy Start: Health Family”), a two-year program aimed at facilitating the empowerment of the Long Beach Latino community to increase breast feeding and age-appropriate nutrition to reduce the risk of overweight and obesity in Latino communities.  The program recruited 12 first generation-educated Latino students in nutrition and health science at CSULB who were both bilingual and bicultural and trained them to engage in training and outreach.

“Through the first project, nutrition and health science students have learned to apply their academic knowledge to the needs of the local Latino community in Long Beach, gaining respect for their education and increasing their belief that they can make a difference,” noted Gail Frank, CSULB professor of nutrition and co-director of both projects.  “They will take this knowledge with them into their professional careers and future volunteer service in any U.S. state or community.

“By creating a permanent course in Latino nutrition, we will be preparing health and human service professionals to meet the needs of the growing Latino population,” Frank added.

The NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation and Leadership Training promotes and advocates for the health and well-being of diverse Latino/Hispanic communities, striving to eliminate disparities in access to and quality of care and health outcomes and to improve the cultural relevance of health information.

The center is a partnership between the National Council of La Raza and CSULB.  NCLR, the largest civil rights advocacy organization for Latinos in the nation, also addresses human rights by providing direct services to Latinos –through the center and other affiliates. The center also embodies the CSULB mission of training our nation’s leaders by offering experiential learning opportunities for Hispanic and the diverse population of CSULB students pursuing their degrees and incorporating community needs into their programmatic and research activities.

Spring 2010 Issue

CSULB’s New ‘Saturday MBA’ Integrates Business Disciplines to Better Prepare Students for Today’s Business Environment

In Fall 2010 Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) will launch the “Saturday MBA,” a restructured master of business administration (MBA) degree program that is distinguished by an innovative, cross-discipline integrated curriculum designed to teach students to solve the complex issues organizations face today.

Most MBA programs are designed to teach students a fundamental set of business skills and then concentrate on advancing knowledge in a single discipline, such as finance, accounting or marketing. The Saturday MBA pilot will go a step further by institutionalizing the integration of these and other business concepts across functional disciplines.

“There was a time when just learning about business concepts and mastering a single functional specialty was adequate for personal success. However, business leaders now tell us that for managers and recent graduates to differentiate themselves, they must develop a broad perspective to effectively solve organization-wide business problems,” explained David A. Horne, College of Business Administration (CBA) MBA director and marketing professor.

The Saturday MBA will organize students as a cohort of teams for both study and project purposes. Courses will meet once a week during the 14-week semester. Students will attend one course in the morning and one in the afternoon. By taking two courses a semester, the entire 50-unit program will be completed in 21 months.

In the first year, students will learn key functional concepts and acquire analytical thinking skills through a set of discipline-based courses. The second year, more advanced courses will address much broader challenges. Courses in this pilot program include Managing the Global Enterprise, Maximizing Value Chain Profitability, Building Sustainable Organizations and Managing the Innovation Driven Enterprise.

Horne added, “Our MBA classes are no longer presented as isolated topics to complete and be done with. Instead, every course is taught in the context of its role in the strengthening of corporate capabilities. Actually, many MBA programs have been grappling with the appropriateness of their current MBA instructional model. Our restructured Saturday MBA demonstrates that CSULB is beyond the analysis stage and is into the implementation of this cutting-edge curriculum.”

Saturday MBA will also attract professionals who want to earn an accredited MBA without giving up their careers. The program will be ideal for managers and supervisors who need to move up in their organization and want to be better prepared for more challenging assignments. MBAs are popular among engineers, scientists and professionals in other industries seeking graduate business education to complement their skills as well as entrepreneurs who want a complete foundation in functional management issues.

Besides being a 21-month accelerated MBA, other special features and benefits of the new program include a five-day residential orientation worth three units to start the program and free textbooks and materials. Saturday MBA also includes a one-week, three-unit international assignment during the second year of instruction, designed to provide a hands-on understanding of the global business environment.

Along with access to CSULB’s Career Development Center, students will also be guided by campus career planning and development professionals, have access to a writing resource center that is exclusively for MBA students, and will network with other working professionals and executives in a team learning environment.

The 21-month Saturday MBA is accredited by the AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International).

Spring 2010 Issue

CSULB’s F. King Alexander Named CSU’s ‘President of the Year’ by California State Student Association

F. King Alexander, president of California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), has been named this year’s recipient of the “Robert C. Maxson President of the Year Award” by the California State Student Association (CSSA).

CSSA is the single recognized voice for more than 405,000 students in the California State University (CSU) system.  Founded in 1959, the association is the acknowledged statewide student organization designed to represent, serve and protect the collective interests of CSU students.

Each year, the CSSA recognizes one CSU campus president whose leadership reflects a commitment to the mission of the CSSA, who has demonstrated exceptional inclusion of students within the context of shared governance and has assisted the CSSA in advancing its statewide policy agenda.  CSULB’s Alexander is this year’s honoree.

“I am honored and humbled that our student leadership granted me this award this year,” Alexander said of receiving the award.  “CSSA has worked with us on many very important state and federal issues this year, and it really has made a difference for our students in California and nationally.”

“We feel President Alexander represents the next generation of college presidents,” explained Chris Chavez, CSULB Associated Students president who nominated Alexander for the award.  “You have to deal with political, economic and development issues at a university while at the same time respecting shared governance among its different constituencies.

“Honestly,” Chavez added, “given the challenges we faced this year as a university and the level of accountability he expected from the administration and staff, President Alexander was able to maintain the trust we as students have in the university and the mission it serves.”

Alexander was named the sixth president of CSULB in November 2005 after serving as the president of Murray State University in Kentucky from 2001-2005.  CSULB is among the nation’s largest universities and is recognized as a “university of choice” among students throughout California and the western United States.

“One of the main reasons for President Alexander’s selection this year was his support in advising our association on a lot of federal issues,” said Miles Nevin, CSSA executive director.  “CSSA has been in existence since 1959, but typically we have not had our pulse on federal issues.  President Alexander was very giving to our group in this area, and as a result, we were able to send students to Washington, D.C. to advocate on issues such as financial aid and university funding on a national level.  As an organization, we feel that this was a big victory for students (being informed and advocating at the federal level), and the CSSA members were really appreciative of his efforts.”

Alexander is a well respected national expert in domestic and international higher education finance and public policy.  His research on university revenue and expenditure patterns has been featured in a variety of publications, including The Economist, New York Times and Christian Science Monitor.  His efforts to improve federal higher education policy has contributed to the development of Congressional legislation advancing the “net tuition concept” in order to enhance public accountability and future funding of higher education institutions.

CSSA represents each of the system’s 23 campuses, which range in diversity from the northern California redwood campus of Humboldt State University to the southernmost campus of San Diego State University.  Its overall mission is to maintain and enhance the accessibility of quality education for the people of California.

Spring 2010 Issue

CSULB’s ‘Women Engineers @ the Beach’ Celebrates 10 Years of Attracting Young Girls to Engineering

Celebrating 10 successful years in encouraging young girls to consider future careers in engineering and science, Cal State Long Beach’s (CSULB) College of Engineering (COE) hosted the “Women Engineers@the Beach” conference in March. More than 380 girls from 19 middle and high schools in California attended the biannual conference to learn about the variety of disciplines involved in engineering and related sciences.

Lily Gossage, director of engineering recruitment and retention for the COE, has organized “Women Engineers@the Beach” since 2001. She believes that aside from introducing young girls to engineering, the event also focuses on encouraging school counselors and teachers to promote engineering at their school sites.

“Ten years is an important milestone for the College of Engineering, the conference and all its partners. We have come so far in the past decade, but there still is a lot to do because the socio-cultural issues that set male and female expectations of career roles still exist,” said Gossage. “These gender roles go against the research that tells us that girls are just as capable as boys at succeeding in math- and science-based careers. This is one reason the opportunities for young girls to explore the mathematical-logical part of cognitive thought are limited.”

The COE’s long-term goal with the conference it to help increase the number of women engineers in both academia and the industry. Currently, women comprise less than 10 percent of the engineering workforce and represent less than 15 percent of the engineering student population.

Gossage also believes it is important to promote the social acceptance of engineering in young girls during the formative years when there is plenty of time for academic preparation. “It is important for parents, teachers and counselors to enforce the belief that engineering is also a woman’s world,” she said.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary, a cake-cutting ceremony will take place during lunch at 12:30 p.m.

The conference offered a number of other innovative and fun activities such as building bridges, designing 3D worlds, Web site design and the “human factors” related to product safety will enrich the students’ critical reasoning skills.

CSULB student projects also were on display, such as a race car, a concrete canoe and a steel bridge.Children were able to see an off-road vehicle built by CSULB’s chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers for the Mini Baja Project as well as an entry for the Intercollegiate MicroMouse Competition, which challenges students to build an autonomous robot designed to solve and run a maze in the shortest time.

The students who attended the conference this year were chosen for performing at grade-level or higher in mathematics with the vast majority (93 percent) coming from the schools’ Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) programs.

The high school girls are enrolled in advanced placement calculus and/or physics at their schools, while the majority of the elementary and middle school girls have scored in the upper 10 percent in the California Standards Test for math and science.

Sponsors include the Fluor Corporation and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). The co-sponsor is the Society of Women Engineers.

Last year, the National Society of Women Engineers awarded Women Engineers@the Beach the prestigious Kimberly-Clark Outreach Event Award.

Spring 2010 Issue

California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development Awards $170,000 to CSULB’s School of Nursing

The California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) awarded $170,000 to the School of Nursing at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) to support family nurse practitioner training and preparation for primary care careers.

CSULB received the largest of the 15 awards that were given to universities up and down the state.  Awarded through the OSHPD’s Song-Brown Program, the grants totaled more than $1.7 million and are meant to assist the growing demand for health care practitioners throughout California.

“Each of these programs has shown ongoing commitments in training and preparing healthcare professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide culturally competent healthcare that meets the needs of California’s underserved populations,” said OSHPD Director David Carlisle, M.D.

At CSULB, the funds will be used in a variety of ways, including hiring a nursing faculty member to help find clinical placements for family nurse practitioners (FNPs) in underserved areas, according to Loucine Huckabay, director of the School of Nursing.  The money will also enable FNP students to take three medical Spanish-language courses to help them take health histories and interview patients and family members who speak only Spanish.

The Song-Brown program was established by the Song-Brown Act of 1973 to increase the number of family practice physicians and physician assistants being trained in the state to provide needed medical services to Californians. OSHPD works in conjunction with the California Healthcare Workforce Policy Commission to award Song-Brown program funding.

Family nurse practitioners were added to the Song-Brown program in 1978, and in 2005, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger expanded the program to include registered nurses.  Song-Brown funds come from a health facilities fee that goes into a special OSHPD administered California Health and Data Fund.

Spring 2010 Issue

CSULB Kinesiology Department Celebrates 40 Years of Helping Children with Disabilities on Campus

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) recently marked 40 years of assisting children with disabilities with a special celebration that recognized a pair of on-campus programs and those who have participated in them.

“I began thinking that 40 years was a pretty big milestone and we were the first program of this kind west of the Mississippi in 1969-70,” said Barry Lavay, a professor in CSULB’s Department of Kinesiology (KIN) where his primary responsibility is to train students to teach physical education to individuals with disabilities.

The 40th anniversary was as much a celebration of those who have participated in the program as the program itself, according to Lavay, who credits former CSULB faculty members Andy Sinclair and Dan Arnheim for having the vision to start the program.

“This program accomplishes three things,” he said. “It provides training for university students who are studying to be adapted physical education teachers, it provides physical activity for children with disabilities, and it’s a great university public relations tool because of what we are giving back to the community.”

The after-school program is held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 3:45-4:45 p.m. throughout the academic year. It offers two 10-week, 20-session programs to children ages 6-12 with disabilities and gross motor delays. Provided is instruction by university students studying in the Department of Kinesiology and working toward adapted physical education specialist credentials.  Individualized and group instruction emphasizes gross motor fundamental skills, cooperative lead-up games, sports, relaxation activities and social interaction.

Camp Nugget, a four-week, three-hour-a-day summer program is offered to children ages 5-12 with disabilities and special needs. Camp activities include aquatics with swim instruction, instruction in fundamental skills and lead-up cooperative games, outdoor adventure course and adapted sports.

Lavay estimated that since the programs’ beginning in 1970, more than 2,500 disabled youth with disabilities have participated.


Spring 2010 Issue

Strategic Language Initiative at CSULB to Receive $2.88 Million Appropriation from U.S. Defense Bill

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) received a $2.88 million appropriation from a recently approved defense spending bill as the lead institution in the multi-CSU campus Strategic Language Initiative (SLI).

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., along with U.S. Reps. Laura Richardson, Ed Royce and Diane Watson, requested the funds for the initiative.  The U.S. Senate passed the spending bill in late December, and it has since been signed by President Barack Obama.

“The defense funding supports development of critical foreign language programs that will help meet America’s national security needs.  The initiative will lead to graduation of more professionals with language skills and cultural knowledge in Arabic, Mandarin, Korean, Persian and Russian.”

Housed CSULB’s College of Liberal Arts, SLI was created in 2006-07 through the Southern Consortium of California State Universities.  Now called the CSU Consortium on Strategic Language Initiative, the program brings together the infrastructure and language faculty expertise of five different Southern California CSU campuses.  This year, the program is adding two northern California CSU campuses.

Those campuses (and the foreign language each focuses on) that will receive funding include CSULB (Mandarin Chinese), Cal State Fullerton (Persian), Cal State L.A. (Korean), Cal State Northridge (Russian) and Cal State San Bernardino (Arabic).  The appropriation monies will also support expansion of the program to San Francisco State (Mandarin Chinese) and San Jose State (Arabic).

The consortium has created 18-month intensive and highly demanding programs in these five languages and has integrated language learning with academic majors for career opportunities in government and industry professions.  Each campus enrolls students who are subdivided into two cohorts of heritage speakers and advanced non-heritage speakers.

“The success of the SLI Language Immersion Program model is evident in the fact that the completion rate of SLI participants is 98 percent.  That’s very high,” noted KimOahn Nguyen-Lam, SLI’s executive director at CSULB.  “A number of our SLI graduates received offers to work with international companies and others were accepted to advance their language study in countries where they did their study abroad.

“Moreover, the SLI participants’ average gain in language proficiency is significant across all five campuses.  The 18-month language immersion program yields an average language gain equivalent to that of students who had taken three plus years of language study in traditional classroom setting.  This is quite significant considering that these students are not language majors,” she added.  “We are confident that subsequent cohorts will yield even greater results as the program’s curricula being refined and enhanced."


Spring 2010 Issue

CSULB Receives National Recognition for Its Commitment to Service-Learning, Civic Engagement

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) was named to the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

The Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers the annual honor roll award, in March recognized more than 700 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from poverty and homelessness to environmental justice.  On campuses across the country, thousands of students joined their faculty to develop innovative programs and projects to meet local needs using the skills gained in their classrooms.

Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.

“Service learning rests on the notion that the university is not the only place of enlightenment for students,” noted Juan M. Benitez, director of CSULB’s Center for Community Engagement.  “It is important for CSULB to keep emphasizing its commitment to community engagement efforts in new and innovative ways in our effort to continue offering students ‘highly valued degrees.’  Additionally, service learning is a critical strategy for student engagement, and we know that the more students are engaged, the more successful they will be in their university experience and beyond.”

At CSULB, 2,572 students were engaged in community service during the 2008-09 academic year, according to a report compiled by the university’s Center for Community Engagement.  In all, these students volunteered 81,398 hours to various academic service- learning and community assistance efforts, including 2,287 students who engaged in at least 20 hours of community service per semester.

Among the programs these students volunteered for were:

  • The Long Beach BLAST Mentoring Initiative, where students provide direct one-on-one and small group academic mentoring to youth from disadvantaged circumstances through the K-8 and High School Academic Mentoring Programs of the Long Beach BLAST (Better Learning After School Today).  Student volunteers help their mentees develop life skills related to academic success and improved socialization while helping them discover future college goals (324 student volunteers, 9,500 service hours);
  • The Villages at Cabrillo Oasis Community Center, where students, faculty and staff work primarily with families providing mentoring and tutoring (in- and out-of-school) to homeless children, run two summer day camps (a Young Artists Camp and a Young Scientists Camp) and support combined programming for parents such as a four-week, Monday-Thursday Life Skills class that addresses personal finances, personal growth, job hunting and parenting. (35 student volunteers, 875 service hours).
  • The CSULB Community Scholars Program is a leadership development and organization capacity building effort for community-based organizations.  Primarily for leaders and emerging leaders of Latino voluntary associations in Southern California, the program is designed to help sustain these organizations’ efforts to improve social and economic conditions in the United States and their countries of origin. Participants fulfill a 30-hour requirement for each of three components – “Leadership and Small Group Dynamics,” “Community Projects,” and Policy and Systems Change” – in order to receive a certificate of completion from the university’s College of Continuing and Professional Education. (56 student volunteers, 2,200 service hours).

“The Community Scholars Program has become one of our most successful community engagement initiatives, reflecting a best practices approach to service learning and community-based participatory research,” Benitez pointed out.  “We have worked with more than 300 emerging community leaders representing more than 50 community organizations.  At the same time, more than 50 CSULB Chicano and Latino studies students have been trained and served as co-facilitators in the program.  The impact of our work has benefitted implementation of community projects here in the United States and binationally with the populations that we have served.”

College students make a significant contribution to the volunteer sector; in 2009, 3.16 million students performed more than 300 million hours of service, according to the Volunteering in America study released by the corporation.  Each year, the corporation invests more than $150 million to foster a culture of service on college campuses through grants awarded by its programs; the education awards that AmeriCorps members receive at the conclusion of their term of service to pay for college; and through support of training, research, recognition, and other initiatives to spur college service.

Spring 2010 Issue

National Community College Hispanic Council, CSULB Team Up to Offer NCCHC Leadership Fellows Program

The Educational Leadership Program at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) is collaborating with the National Community College Hispanic Council (NCCHC) to offer the NCCHC Leadership Fellows Program this summer at the campus.

Established in 1985 as an affiliate of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the NCCHC is the nation’s premier organization for preparing and supporting Hispanic leaders in America’s community colleges.  The non-profit professional organization is committed to delivering high-quality leadership development experiences and providing Hispanics with opportunities to continue their personal and professional growth.

“The current economic and educational climate highlights the critical need for increased numbers of Latino and Latina leaders in community colleges.  It reinforces the necessity of offering leadership development programs,” explained William M. Vega, director of the NCCHC Leadership Fellows Program and distinguished faculty in residence with the CSULB College of Education.  “The changing student demographic, with increased numbers of Hispanic students attending community colleges nationwide, further enhances the importance for Hispanic leaders to serve as role models and mentors for these students.”

The goal of the Leadership Fellows Program is to develop a pool of highly qualified Latino and Latina leaders.  It is designed to provide professional and leadership development training, mentoring and networking to attain executive-level positions in community colleges.

“The College of Education at CSULB has consistently looked for opportunities to collaborate with and support educational and leadership development programs such as the NCCHC Leadership Fellows Program,” Vega added.  “This collaboration would not have been possible without their full and complete cooperation.  I am appreciative of their support.”

CSULB is a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), which is defined as a non-profit institution that has at least 25 percent Hispanic full-time equivalent enrollment and, of that Hispanic enrollment, at least 50 percent are low income.  CSULB obtained its HSI eligibility status in fall 2005 when 8,663 Latino and Latina students enrolled at the campus, representing 25.1 percent of undergraduate and graduate students.  For the 2009-10 academic year, that number was 28.4 percent.

Spring 2010 Issue

Princeton Review Ranks CSULB Among Top 50 ‘Best Value’ Public Colleges in the Nation for 2010

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) once again has been named one of the nation’s 50 “Best Value” public colleges by The Princeton Review, which teamed up with USA Today to present its list of the 100 “Best Value Colleges for 2010.” 

The Princeton Review selected the 100 institutions – 50 public and 50 private – as its “best value” choices for 2010 based on its surveys of administrators and students throughout the nation.  The selection criteria covered more than 30 factors in three areas: academics, costs of attendance and financial aid.

Cal State Long Beach was the only California State University campus making the list of the top 50 public institutions and one of just seven public California universities on the list.  The other six were all campuses of the University of California system.

“We are very pleased to once again be ranked among the top 50 best public university values in the nation,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander.  “This ranking also indicates to taxpayers, consumers, students and parents that the high price tag associated with many colleges and universities nationwide has nothing to do with the quality of education experience being offered.”

In its profile of CSULB on USA Today’s Web site, the editors at The Princeton Review noted, “Lots of excellent, career-oriented academic options and a fabulous location are a few of the features that make California State University, Long Beach an attractive destination. There are eight colleges and tons of majors. Engineering is particularly strong, and the nursing program has an excellent reputation. The faculty gets stellar reviews from students, especially relative to other schools of CSULB’s size.”

The “Best Value” colleges rankings are listed on USA Today’s Web site in a special interactive area at  The site features profiles on all 100 selected schools.


Spring 2010 Issue

CSULB Graduation Rate Efforts Pay Off, Especially for Underrepresented Minority Students

With the recent federal policy emphasis aimed at improving college and university graduation rates led by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and the recently launched system-wide “Graduation Initiative” announced by the California State University (CSU), public institutions throughout the nation are beginning to face a more advanced set of accountability standards than in the past.

For California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), graduation of students has been the primary objective over the last five years. In fact, when considering comparable public universities nationwide, CSULB’s progress in helping students move toward graduation places the university among the top degree producers in all student categories, especially among underrepresented minority groups.

As part of CSULB’s recently announced “Highly Valued Degree Initiative,” created in accordance with the CSU Graduation Initiative and to assess campus progress in its graduation efforts during recent years, national comparative data were reviewed with the results pointing to CSULB as among the nation’s top producers of degrees among underrepresented minority students.

Compared to similar public master’s institutions, CSULB’s recent gains in graduation rates are estimated to place the university among the top 10 percent of institutions nationally for all students, for underrepresented students, and for Latino, African-American, and white students. Also, CSULB ranked among the top 20 percent for Asian and Asian-American students.

“For over a decade, CSULB has doubled graduation rates and we have seen significant recent gains for many groups,” said David Dowell, CSULB vice provost and co-chair of the Highly Valued Degree Initiative. “We have seen a seven percent increase in our graduation rate for underrepresented students over two years, a six percent increase for Latino students, and a six percent increase for African-Americans. These increases, achieved in a very short time, are indicators of how the campus is moving forward to assist students in earning their degrees.”

CSULB analysts also considered the most recent national data and trends and estimated how recent gains will place the university compared to institutions that are similar as well as a broader sample of all public master’s universities. “While our earlier graduation rates were above average, it appears that recent gains significantly advance CSULB in comparison to similar institutions,” said Dowell.

Considering data for public master’s degree granting public universities that qualify as Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI), CSULB’s current graduation rates place the institution among the best in the nation for graduating Hispanic/Latino, Asian-American, and African-American students. CSULB ranked second in the nation among reporting HSI universities in graduating Hispanic/Latino and Asian-American students while ranking third in the nation in the same category for African-American students.

CSULB’s current graduation rates also reflect positively when compared with similar bachelor’s, master’s and research public universities with at least 30 percent of students receiving Pell Grants and comparable per student expenditures. Recent gains place CSULB in the top 6 percent of these reporting institutions, 14 percent above the national average, and in the top 5 percent of universities in terms of graduating underrepresented minority students.

“The increases are the result of a focus to improve our students’ graduation rates and hard work on the part of university faculty and staff to benefit students,” according to Lynn Mahoney, associate vice president, undergraduate studies and co-chair of the Highly Valued Degree Initiative.

“Key to our progress have been strengthening advising programs for students, expansion of faculty mentoring, establishment of learning communities for students in specific disciplines, support programs for underrepresented minority students like our HSI programs, curriculum improvements, innovation in the use of technology and numerous other student academic support programs,” Mahoney said. “Another important aid has been our Graduation Greenlight program, which helps students stay on track as they move toward graduation.”

”When comparing Cal State Long Beach with similar universities, two years ago we were already in the top fifth nationally in the graduation rate for underrepresented minority students. In the two years since, our graduation rate increased more than six and a half percent,” Dowell said. “Our anticipation is that this advancement will move CSULB into the top 10 institutions nationally among our peers in terms of graduating students among these populations.”

In commenting on the campus’ improvement, CSULB President F. King Alexander stated, ”This has been a campus-wide priority involving everyone. When you take into account that our campus ranks among the best in the nation in all these student categories, it is easy to say that there are only a few places in the nation where students from all socioeconomic and ethnic classes actually stand a better chance to graduate than right here at CSULB. However, we are not finished and must continue improving for the sake of our students, including reducing any completion gaps that exist between student groups.”

Information about CSULB’s Highly Valued Degree Initiative as well as graduation rate data comparisons is available at

Spring 2010 Issue

CSULB Featured in National Report for Outperforming Most Institutions in Helping Students Graduate

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) was recognized for its efforts in outperforming most similar U.S. institutions in helping students stay on track and graduate in a major national report released in April by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB).

Titled “Promoting a Culture of Student Success: How Colleges and Universities Are Improving Degree Completion,” the report profiles 15 four-year public colleges and universities nationwide whose success in raising graduation rates may provide other institutions with practices and strategies that work to help more students succeed.

“These institutions are helping many students complete college degrees who otherwise often do not graduate,” said Cheryl Blanco, SREB vice president for special projects, who co-wrote and researched the report with consultant Paul Bradley.  “The strategies they’re using can be adopted by other colleges and universities, and will guide state policy decisions to improve degree completion across the nation.”

All of the institutions in “Promoting a Culture of Student Success” outperform similar colleges and universities by having relatively high graduation rates based on criteria developed by SREB.  The report also outlines common approaches and strategies that these institutions use to boost student success that would be helpful for other institutions, university systems and states to use.

The study team used The Education Trust’s College Results Online database to select colleges and universities that met specific criteria in 2006: a six-year graduation rate of at least 45 percent; a median SAT score no higher than 1050; a proportion of students receiving Pell Grants of at least 25 percent; and Carnegie Classification as a public baccalaureate or master’s institution.

CSULB was profiled specifically with its 2006 graduation rate of 48 percent, 1,015 median SAT score and 33.9 percent Pell Grant recipients.  In particular, the report cited the efforts of current president F. King Alexander (with his “Graduation Begins Today” motto) and former president Robert Maxson (with his emphasis on student success and branding) in championing degree completion at the university.

“With nearly 38,000 students in the 2007-2008 academic year, CSULB is a large institution that increased its six-year graduation rate by more than 20 percent from 2002 to 2006,” the report points out.  “In 2007, the rate jumped an additional 7 points to 54 percent…accomplished…with the same high percentage of Pell [Grant] recipients and a majority of first-year students entering [who are] deficient in CSU standards for math and English.”

Among the support programs and/or campus policies mentioned in the report as contributing to the campus’ success were:

  • The Office of Academic Advisement, which features three mandatory advisement sessions for all incoming freshmen, moving progressively from discussions on registration to selection of majors, and transfer students who have two mandatory sessions;
  • “Graduation Green Light,” a formal initiative at CSULB, contacts former students who left just short of graduation and invites them back to explore options for degree completions.  To date, the program has more than 500 graduates to its credit.  It also sparked another program, Destination Graduation, where the record of every junior is reviewed, and those off-track are urged to come in for individual counseling;
  • College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), which works with students who normally have a low graduation rate.  To date, however, this group has a 90 percent continuation rate as a result of the program;
  • The Education Opportunity Program, a large initiative serving nearly 2,500 participants.  It helps at-risk students achieve degree completion at higher rates than the campus average with special advising, mentoring and tutoring;

“This report further validates the ongoing efforts of our faculty and staff to ensure that all of our students, regardless of their socioeconomic backgrounds, achieve their education goals,” said Alexander. “To be one of a small group of 15 singled out as national examples is a tribute to the entire CSULB family.”

In conclusion, the report noted: “A common theme emerged in interviews with students, faculty, staff and administrators: the university’s overall focus on graduation.  While the CSU system has emphasized degree completion for many years and monitors each university’s progress, CSULB stresses more than just the numbers.  As one person on campus said, ‘Completion serves as the standard used to weigh every significant decision.’  Another added,  ‘There is no one thing here, no magic bullet, but rather a mosaic effect that gets everyone — from senior administrators to the grounds crew — to understand their role in helping students graduate.’”

Spring 2010 Issue

New Training Program for Marine Terminal Operations Offered at CSULB

A new training program designed for front-line managers and others interested in marine terminal operations is being offered through the Center for International Trade and Transportation (CITT) at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB).

The Marine Terminal Operations Professional (MTOP) program will focus on preparing students with a wide range of essential skills.  The MTOP program is being run through CSULB’s College of Continuing and Professional Education (CCPE).

“Marine terminals operate at every port in the world.  Few experienced people apply for the jobs,” said Carolyn Martin, assistant vice president for customer service and public relations at International Transportation Services (ITS) in the Port of Long Beach.  Martin also serves on the MTOP Advisory Board and is an instructor.  “A program such as the MTOP will address a huge need for professional training in a highly competitive work environment.”

The MTOP program is taught partly by industry experts in the field and by professionals who specialize in interpersonal skills.  The course targets working adults with interest in the industry either as an entry-level manager or as a consultant or contractor with business at the ports.

The program is structured in independent modules allowing customized training in all aspects of terminal operations.  Module topics include general knowledge of the industry, specific skills in container terminals, break bulk, roll-on/roll-off and cruise terminals.  There will be site visits at container and cruise terminals and on an ocean carrier.

Currently, new front-line managers learn on the job, according to Angeli Logan, CITT’s director of Trade and Transportation Programs at CCPE. While on-the-job training is vital, it has its limitations and can be very expensive for an organization.

“Our MTOP students have to learn and be familiar with a variety of skills, from managing the gate and yard, to vessel operations, maintenance and repair, and customer service,” said Logan.  “They must also know and understand labor contracts, labor relations and conflict resolutions, just to name a few items taught.” 

The curriculum will also address the role of government agencies that impact the jobs on the dock, including Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and the Coast Guard. 

Spring 2010 Issue

CSULB Graduates More than 9,000 Students in 2009-10

More than 9,000 students will have completed their bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) by the end of the summer 2010 session.

The 2010 graduating class is the largest in the university’s history with students earning 9,070 degrees.  This year, CSULB will confer 220 more bachelor’s degrees and 20 more master’s degrees than last year.

“Clearly, graduation is the highlight of the academic year at Cal State Long Beach as we celebrate the success and accomplishments of our students and the faculty and staff who have helped them achieve their goals,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander.  “As we conclude the celebration of the campus’ 60-year anniversary, we are mindful of the nearly 250,000 students who have graduated from this institution.  We also congratulate this year’s graduates those and are certain that they are leaving us with the tools and capabilities they will need to succeed.”

Out of the CSULB bachelors’ and master’s degrees awarded, 790 were earned from the College of the Arts; 1,510 from College of Business Administration; 670 from the College of Education; 660 from the College of Engineering; 2,390 from the College of Health and Human Services; 2,600 from the College of Liberal Arts; and 450 from College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

CSULB also takes pride in increasing the number of its graduates from California’s underserved communities. The bachelor’s and master’s degree students graduating this spring include 510 African Americans, 1,840 Asian Americans, 3,140 Caucasian Americans, 1,850 Hispanic Americans and 220 Native Americans. Nine-hundred forty are of undetermined ethnicity. An additional 390 are non-U.S./visa students.

Also graduated the first recipients of CSULB’s independently awarded doctor of education degree (Ed.D.). This first cohort of doctoral candidates began their work toward the degree in fall 2007.

The California State University (CSU) system developed the doctoral education programs in response to the state’s need for well-prepared administrators to lead public schools and community colleges. In 2005, the state supported the CSU’s request to offer graduate level instruction leading to the doctor of education degree (Ed.D.) and Senate Bill 724 was enacted, granting the CSU for the first time independent authority to offer doctorate degree programs.

Spring 2010 Issue

U.S.News & World Report Ranks CSULB 4th Best Public Master’s University in the West

U.S.News & World Report ranked CSULB the fourth best university among all public master’s universities in the western United States in its 2010 edition of "America’s Best Colleges Guide."  The Western region includes 13 states from Texas to California to Washington, including Alaska and Hawaii. 

It is the second year in a row that CSULB has been ranked in the No. 4 spot, after moving up from the No. 5 slot in the 2008 rankings. Overall, the Long Beach campus was listed as the 26th best among the 116 western public and private master’s universities listed in the guide’s top four tiers.


“It is always gratifying to have your institution recognized in any academic rankings,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander.  “While it is particularly difficult for large public universities to rank well under the U.S.News & World Report methodology, we are extremely pleased to see Cal State Long Beach continue to do well among this publication’s rankings.  I believe the campus’ continuing success in these ratings is a direct result of the efforts of our faculty and staff.


“We are also proud that the rankings recognized Cal State Long Beach in a couple of other categories,” he continued, “especially the ‘Least Debt’ category, which again shows that students do not have to spend a fortune or go deeply into debt to receive one of the best higher education experiences in the country.”


In the “Least Debt” category, CSULB ranked third lowest among master’s universities in the west with 41 percent of its graduates leaving the campus with an average debt of $10,671.  The campus’ average debt load ranked seventh lowest among all master’s universities nationally.


CSULB was also recognized for its racial diversity, ranking No. 6 among all master’s universities in the western region with a 0.69 diversity index score.  The formula produces a diversity index that ranges from 0.0 to 1.0.  The closer a school’s number is to 1.0, the more diverse is the student population.


Additionally, the CSULB College of Engineering was ranked among the best undergraduate engineering programs in the nation.  Based on a spring 2009 peer survey of deans and senior faculty, 48 different programs across the country were recognized with CSULB’s tying for the 42nd spot with several other schools.


In U.S.News & World Report’s survey methodology, colleges provide data for up to 15 indicators of academic excellence.  Each factor is assigned a weight that reflects publication officials’ judgment regarding how much a measure matters.  Finally, the colleges in each category are ranked against their peers, based on their composite weighted score.

Fall 2009 Issue

CSULB Receives ‘Best in the West’ Ranking in Princeton Review’s 2010 Best Colleges: Region by Region

CSULB was ranked among the “Best in the West” by The Princeton Review in its Web site feature “2010 Best Colleges: Region by Region.”

CSULB is one of 123 institutions receiving The Princeton Review’s “Best in the West” designation.  The West includes 15 states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Earlier this year, CSULB was ranked among the top 50 best value public colleges in the nation by The Princeton Review, which teamed with USA Today to present a list of the 100 “Best Value Colleges for 2009.”  The Princeton Review selected the 100 institutions —50 public and 50 private —as its “best value” choices based on surveys of administrators and students throughout the nation. 

“The Princeton Review ranking is significant because it is based on the opinions of those we serve —the students at Cal State Long Beach,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander.  “Students’ opinions are important to consider because if we’re not doing a good job of serving them, they are going to go somewhere else.  Our students, however, feel very positive about The Beach, and that is a direct result of the outstanding efforts by the faculty and staff on this campus.”

“We chose Cal State Long Beach and the other terrific schools we recommend as our ‘regional best’ colleges primarily for their excellent academic programs,” said Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s vice president for publishing.  “We also take into account what each school’s customers – their students – report to us about their campus experiences at them on our 80-question student survey.”


Fall 2009 Issue

University Relations and Development Office Recognized for ‘Overall Performance’ in Fundraising

Showcasing its prowess in fundraising, especially during difficult economic times, CSULB was recognized for its “Overall Performance” with a prestigious 2009 CASE-WealthEngine Award for Educational Fundraising.

Of the more than 900 higher education institutions eligible for this award, only 39 four-year colleges or universities were recognized for Overall Performance. CSULB was one of just six universities across the country in the Public Comprehensive Institutions category to receive the award.

“We were thrilled to receive this honor. The university has worked very hard in the past few years to reconnect with our alumni, and this has resulted in their increased support and commitment to Cal State Long Beach,” said University Relations and Development Vice President Andrea Taylor. “It is a wonderful honor and, most importantly, validates the increased support we are receiving from our university friends and family.”

CSULB received the Overall Performance honor in the competitive Public Comprehensive Institutions category. The award highlights the fundraising efforts of the campus, which recently announced raising nearly $32 million during the 2008-09 academic year, the second highest fundraising total in CSULB history, second only to last year’s yield of nearly $34 million.

The CASE-WealthEngine Award for Educational Fundraising in Overall Performance honors exemplary advancement programs and activities, as well as the highest levels of professionalism and best practice in fundraising efforts. In selecting overall fundraising performance winners, judges use factors to recognize institutions that show solid program growth, breadth in the base of support, and other indications of a mature, well-maintained program.


Fall 2009 Issue

Report Ranks CSULB 8th in the Nation in Awarding Bachelor’s Degrees to Minority Students

Diverse Issues in Higher Education magazine has ranked CSULB eighth in the nation in conferring bachelor’s degrees to minority students. The university awarded undergraduate degrees to more than 3,190 minority students, who made up nearly 49 percent of its 2008 graduating class.

The ranking was part of the magazine’s 2009 special report, “Top 100 Degree Producers,” a list of the best minority degree awarders among institutions of higher learning in the United States. It is the only national report that showcases U.S. colleges’ and universities’ success in awarding degrees to African American, Latino, Asian American and Native American students.


“Cal State Long Beach is located in one of the most ethnically diverse regions of the United States, and our graduating class does reflect the diverse populations of the areas we serve,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander. “This campus has made a concerted effort for years to reach out to all K-12 students and their parents in this community to encourage college enrollment, and the magazine once again has confirmed our success.”


The Diverse “Top 100” is the only national analysis to use the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Education. Using these statistics, rankings were created in the total number of baccalaureate degrees awarded at every university and college in the nation as well as specific figures in major fields of study and disciplines.


CSULB ranked in the top 10 overall within three specific fields of study in the survey. The campus ranked first in the nation in awarding degrees in English languages and literature by awarding 221 undergraduate degrees, third in visual and performing arts conferring 217 degrees, and ranked fifth in health professions and related clinical sciences with 267.


Among ethnicities, CSULB ranked especially high in awarding degrees to Hispanic students. In all disciplines combined, the university was seventh in the nation, conferring 1,487 bachelor’s degrees to Hispanics.


By discipline, the campus ranked second in awarding Hispanic students English language and literature degrees. CSULB also ranked fifth in conferring the same group visual and performing arts degrees, and ninth in both foreign languages, literatures and linguistics and in mathematics and statistics degrees, as well as 10th in philosophy and religious studies in ethnic degrees.


CSULB scored top-10 rankings in other ethnicities and academic disciplines, including:

  • Asian American: second in both visual and performing arts and health professions and related clinical sciences, seventh in English language and literature and letters, and ninth in business, management, marketing, and related support services and in area, ethnic, cultural and gender studies;
  • African American: ranked 10th in English language and literature and letters;
  • American Indian: third in both foreign languages, literatures and linguistics and in English language and literature and letters.


Fall 2009 Issue

Women Engineers @ the Beach Program Garners Prestigious Award from SWE

Women Engineers @ the Beach, a biannual conference at CSULB designed to attract young girls to engineering, was awarded the prestigious Kimberly-Clark Outreach Event Award in October by the National Society of Women Engineers (SWE).

CSULB’s SWE Chapter President Ellen Skow and Vice President Albano Luzardo accepted the award during the SWE’s national conference at the Long Beach Convention Center.

“This award is truly an honor,” said Lily Gossage, director of engineering recruitment and retention for CSULB’s College of Engineering. “When I developed this event in 2001 along with an art student and a few faculty members to promote engineering to academically high-performing grade-school girls, I never anticipated that it would grow to more than 50 schools in 10 school districts across California.  Our broad range of participation has made Women Engineers @ the Beach very popular, so much so that it is now a registered event with the National Girls Collaborative Project.”

Currently, women comprise less than 10 percent of the engineering workforce and represent less than 15 percent of the engineering student population. Gossage believes that aside from introducing young girls to engineering, the conference also focuses on encouraging school counselors and teachers to promote engineering at their school sites.

“While there is much research that tells us girls are just as capable as boys at succeeding in math- and science-based careers, opportunities for young girls to explore the mathematical-logical part of cognitive thought are limited,” said Gossage. “Socio-cultural issues and male and female expectations of career roles are barriers that often delay the discovery of the career until much later.”

Gossage believes it is important to promote the social acceptance by young girls of women as engineers during their formative years when there is plenty of time for academic preparation. “It is important for parents, teachers and counselors to enforce the belief that engineering is also a woman’s world,” she said.


Fall 2009 Issue

Four Championships Lead 49ers to Big West Conference Commissioner’s Cup

Long Beach State earned the 2008-09 Big West Conference Commissioner’s Cup, presented to the campus with the best overall results in the conference’s 18 sponsored sports championships. The cup is the second for the 49er program in the 11-year history of the award.

Leading the way to the cup were the four conference championships Long Beach State captured in the 2008-09 academic year—women’s volleyball, women’s tennis, women’s golf and women’s soccer—which totaled an average of 110 points over the 14 conference sports in which the university competes.

To determine the champion for the Commissioner’s Cup, total points are summed and divided by the number of championships in which each institution competes. Each sport champion is also given a 20-point bonus.  The Commissioner’s Cup is then awarded to the school with the highest average.

Fall 2009 Issue

CSULB Receives 1 of 9 National Beckman Foundation Scholars Program Awards

CSULB is one of nine U.S. colleges and universities to be named a 2009 Beckman Scholars Program recipient by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation.

This is CSULB’s fourth Beckman award, this time for $96,500, which will provide five undergraduate students in the departments of Biological Sciences or Chemistry and Biochemistry with three-year scholarships. 

The goal of CSULB’s Beckman Scholars Program is to advance the students’ education, research training and personal development and is aimed at students who have the potential to achieve distinction in their academic fields as well as become outstanding leaders in their professions.

The students will work in the labs of faculty mentors and will receive academic and career advising as well as assistance in applying for graduate or professional schools for doctoral or medical degrees.  Their scholarships provide stipends and funds for laboratory supplies and for travel to scientific meetings where they will present their research findings.  They also participate in the annual Beckman Scholars Symposium in Irvine.

“The Beckman Scholars Program awards are very prestigious,” said Laura Kingsford, dean of CSULB’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.  “The fact that this is our fourth sequential award is very gratifying and exciting.  I think it is really our students who are the selling point for us in being successful in the application process. We have to include information about current and past Beckman Scholars in the application. The fact that these scholars are publishing in top notch journals with their faculty mentors, presenting their work at national/international professional meetings, and getting into schools like Stanford and other R-1 research institutions for M.D. and Ph.D. programs indicates the quality of our students.

“This Beckman Scholars Program award is a clear indication that CSULB is recognized as having undergraduate research programs that are distinctive, of exceptional quality, and attract highly talented students,” she continued.  “The Beckman Foundation is looking for scholars who have the potential to become outstanding leaders in their ultimate science-related careers and professions.  I think we have produced many of these future leaders and are proud to be a part of the Beckman Scholars Program.”


Fall 2009 Issue

CSULB Receives $5 Million NASA Grant to Establish Center for Human Factors in Advanced Aeronautics Technologies

Due to its dedication to educating large numbers of minority and underserved students, CSULB has been awarded a five-year, $5 million grant by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to create a center that will help make technological advances in the air traffic management industry through the study of human factors issues.


The grant was awarded through the NASA Group 5 University Research Center awards program whose goal is to increase the number of underrepresented minorities who obtain advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics by establishing significant multi-disciplinary scientific, engineering and commercial research centers at minority-serving universities.


CSULB is one of just six universities selected to receive the award from 35 proposals that were submitted from colleges and universities from across the country. Each university will receive up to $5 million in $1 million annual increments.


“At Cal State Long Beach, we take great pride in the fact that the makeup of our student body reflects the diverse populations of the communities we serve, and this grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration gives credibility to and rewards that fact,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander.  “The grant is also proof of the confidence that organizations such as NASA have in the quality of the programs and people we have here at Cal State Long Beach.”


CSULB will use the grant to establish the Center for Human Factors in Advanced Aeronautics and Technologies (CHAAT), which will focus its research on the human factors issues involved in designing automation tools for the Next Generation Airspace Transportation System, also known as NextGen. 

Specifically, CHAAT will develop metrics for assessing operator performance in both current-day and NextGen environments, conduct simulations for identifying the most promising automation concepts, determine training needs for future operators in NextGen and determine the interface requirements of the automation tools.


“Airspace operators will assume new roles and responsibilities under the Next Generation Airspace Transportation System,” explained Tom Strybel, CSULB psychology professor and principal investigator for the project.  “These new roles and responsibilities are a reaction to potential changes in air traffic management (ATM) and the introduction of new automation technologies to support these important developments. These far-reaching changes are being pursued to address the unprecedented growth in the demand for air travel, and the acknowledged inability of the current system to meet this demand.”


“The Center for Human Factors in Advanced Aeronautics Technologies will also attract more students to CHAAT and the masters degree program in human factors, especially those students from minority groups,” said Kim Vu, associate professor of psychology and project co-investigator.  “With the support obtained from the University Research Center Program, CSULB can also expand and improve the skills of faculty who provide human factors training, create new opportunities for faculty collaborations with NASA and other organizations, and support new faculty-developed NASA-relevant research programs and proposals.”


“We have established an interdisciplinary team of human factors researchers and engineers at CSULB as well as scientists from San Jose State University.  These scientists and engineers will work directly with the Flight Deck Display Research Laboratory at NASA Ames Research Center, our NASA partner,” Strybel added. “By increasing the available course offerings and strengthening our student supervisory capability, eventually we hope to establish an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in human factors.  We believe that a need exists for Ph.D.-level training in human factors within the state of California, and that CSULB is the best qualified to offer this degree.”


CHAAT will leverage existing centers of human factors and aerospace engineering at CSULB in psychology (Center for the Study of Advanced Aeronautics Technologies and the Center for Usability in Design and Assessment) and engineering (Center of Aerospace Technology in Support of the Aerospace Industry).


Through the NASA Group 5 University Research Center awards program, NASA seeks to foster new aerospace science and technology concepts and expand the nation’s base for aerospace research and development. The program also aims to develop mechanisms for increased participation in NASA’s research by faculty and students from minority-serving colleges and universities.


Fall 2009 Issue

NIH Awards $4.7 Million Grant to CSULB to Improve Minority Health, Health Disparities Research

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a five-year, $4.7 million grant to CSULB for a project that will improve the infrastructure and capacity for research in minority health and health disparities at the Long Beach campus, including the training of faculty and students interested in such research.


The grant was awarded through NIH’s National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities and its Research Infrastructure in Minority Institutions (RIMI) Program, which provides resources to strengthen faculty-initiated research programs and to improve the capacity for training future research scientists.  The program was created to establish and improve the scientific infrastructure of predominately minority serving academic institutions.


“Cal State Long Beach — with its diverse campus community, faculty research expertise, and academically talented students — has the potential to make noteworthy contributions to national efforts to reduce and eliminate troubling health disparities in this country,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander, who also serves as the principal investigator for the RIMI grant project.  “This NIH grant will help the campus play an important role in addressing these disparities while also helping to improve the quality of life for so many.”


The focus of CSULB’s RIMI project will be on community and public health approaches to improve health care for minority populations, which often have difficulty obtaining adequate treatment.  Among the goals of the project is to create a Health Disparities Research Center that will promote and act as the hub of minority health and health disparities research and training efforts at the university.  Faculty from at least four CSULB colleges will participate in the RIMI project.


“The reduction and elimination of health disparities is an important endeavor, not just from a scientific point of view, but from social equality and economic perspectives as well,” said Kevin Malotte, director of CSULB’s Center for Health Care Innovation and director for the RIMI project.  “Studies show that in this country large health disparities persist despite current efforts to reduce them.  With this grant, Cal State Long Beach can be part of the solution to improving the country’s health disparity situation.”


Another goal for the five-year project includes providing mentorship, training and research experience for graduate students to increase interest and readiness for doctoral-level research in health disparities and minority health topics.  In this area, special efforts will be made to recruit students from underrepresented groups for these positions.


“The project calls for at least five faculty members each year to be supported by the RIMI grant to conduct health disparities pilot research projects or prepare proposals for pilot funding,” Malotte noted.  “For students, we plan to create an introductory health disparities research course, featuring current epidemiologic trends and research findings, and enrolling up to 20 undergraduate and graduate students in the course each year.  We’re also developing a Health Scholars Program designed to increase readiness to serve in research and professional capacities.  This program will work intensively with four graduate students from underrepresented groups per year, and these students will be selected based on their demonstrated interest in the field of health disparities.”


Fall 2009 Issue

Professors Receive $1.3 Million Grant to Support Stem Cell Research Training

Two CSULB professors were awarded a grant for more than $1.3 million from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) in support of stem cell research, which will allow students to participate in stem cell research in California and in the translation of this technology to regenerative medicine options for patients. The award is part of CIRM’s Bridges to Stem Cell Research program. 


The CSULB proposal was ranked first of all Bridges proposals submitted to CIRM. “Particularly in light of the current budget crisis, the high rank ensured that if any students were to benefit from CIRM funding, it would be CSULB students,” said Lisa Klig, professor of biological sciences and director of the CSULB Certificate Program in Biotechnology.  “The subsequent funding of this program was even more exciting as it creates opportunities for CSULB students and the state of California and supports the progress of stem cell research.”


Klig, who co-authored the grant with Elizabeth Eldon, associate professor of biological science, said the CSULB program has three goals­—educating the public about the medical, biological and technological advances of stem cell research and recruiting new scientists into the workforce;  training students in the theory and techniques of stem cell research; and retaining these trainees in the California workforce by providing specialized training and laboratory internships which will lead to long-term career opportunities in stem cell research in California.


CSULB is one of 10 CSU campuses to share in nearly $16 million derived from almost $3 billion in bond funding approved by California voters in 2004 with the passage of Proposition 71. To educate the public about stem cells, CSULB will also work with Irvine Valley College to develop a general education course that will serve as a bridge to the university’s stem cell studies as well as add information on stem cell research to the university’s “Introduction to Human Diseases” general education course. 


“The California stem cell research workforce will be enhanced by recruiting CSULB students to enter a new two-year stem cell training option that will be added to an existing Biotechnology Certificate Program,” Klig explained. The first year of training at CSULB includes new courses in stem cell biology, bioethics and public policy, and a stem cell tissue culture laboratory, taught at both CSULB and the Children’s Hospital of Orange County.  During the second year, students will complete internships in stem cell laboratories at either the City of Hope or UC Irvine.


 “We are pleased that CIRM is funding Bridges to Stem Cell Research awards and very excited to be among the eleven programs funded in this first year,” said Laura Kingsford, dean of CSULB’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.  “Stem cell research is critically important to the future of healthcare and treatment of major diseases. Thus, with changes now occurring at the state and federal levels in stem cell research, it is great to be a part of what’s happening.  The Bridges award will allow us to develop an outstanding training program to meet the needs of our students and to help California become the leader in stem cell research and applications.”


Fall 2009 Issue

U.S. Department of Education Awards CSULB $299,695 Grant to Expand Graduate School Opportunities for Minority Students

The U.S. Department of Education (DoE) has awarded a $299,695 grant to CSULB for a project that will expand graduate school opportunities for minority students.


The grant will be used to develop and implement a teacher education graduate program at CSULB that will work to encourage increased enrollment in the program by Hispanic and other minority students and will also train its graduate students to be more responsive and aware to the diversity and needs of their own students once they are teachers.


The grant was awarded through the DoE’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), which focuses on projects that will expand graduate-level academic offerings at colleges with a significant number of Hispanic students.


The title of the CSULB project is “Developing Teachers as Instructional Leaders in a Graduate Program at a CSU Hispanic Serving Institution,” and the co-principal investigators for the project are Corinne Martinez and Trini Lewis, both associate professors of teacher education at CSULB.


“As coordinator for the master’s in education degree with an option in dual language development, I’ve had the privilege of working with exceptional elementary school teachers who are passionate about improving their knowledge to better educate culturally and linguistically diverse students,” said  Lewis.  “This FIPSE grant award provides additional resources for identifying and working with secondary school teacher candidates who are similarly earnest and motivated about pursuing a teaching credential and a master’s degree.


“Our FIPSE grant award projects will also provide our teacher candidates with an array of new experiences and opportunities for inspiring and effectively educating the growing number of English language learners in our secondary public school settings.  Elena Macias, special adviser to President Alexander on community and government relations, will also play an important role in working with us on a series of leadership institutes.”


The CSULB project will focus on developing secondary education teachers as instructional leaders in bilingual and English language learner settings.  Teacher candidates who have completed the majority of the requirements for a single-subject credential will also complete a master’s degree with a hybrid focus in dual language development and curriculum instruction.


Among the initial goals of the program is to increase the access of Latino and other ethnic and linguistic minority teacher candidates to a CSU graduate program, improving professional growth and increasing teacher candidates’ knowledge relevant to the education of English-language learning students in secondary schools and increasing teacher candidates’ awareness and respect for cultural and linguistic diversity in secondary school settings.


“We’re very excited to receive a grant that will help increase the number of minority graduate students at Cal State Long Beach, and frankly, this grant couldn’t have come at a better time,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander.  “More and more students are looking to continue their education and go on to graduate school because of the bad job market that has resulted from the nation’s economic situation.  This grant will help some minority students at CSULB make those graduate school dreams a reality.”


Alexander made a note of singling out U.S. Rep. Laura Richardson and expressed his appreciation for her support in helping CSULB land the grant.  The congresswoman was the first to notify Alexander of the DoE award.


“In California, in Los Angeles County and in the 37th Congressional District, Hispanics account for 36.6 percent, 47.3 percent and 42 percent of our population, respectively,” Richardson said.  “With huge educational challenges often due to language barriers, parental homework assistance and so on, difficulties continue to exist for the often first-generation minority students.  This grant makes possible a program that will serve as a gateway for them to enter a graduate school program, which should in turn increase their ability to work and benefit our communities.”


Fall 2009 Issue

U.S. Department of Transportation Awards CSULB Research Funds to Support CCDoTT Research in Magnetic Levitation Technologies

The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $245,000 to CSULB to support the Center for Commercial Deployment of Transportation Technologies (CCDoTT) in its research into magnetic levitation technologies.

Awarded through a grant agreement with the Federal Railroad Administration, the funding received under this agreement will be directed to developing magnetic levitation technologies for goods movement applications. 

This successful spinoff project is the result of four years of research funded by the CCDoTT Agile Port and High Speed Ship Technologies program at CSULB.  Under this program CCDoTT/CSULB has designed and developed an Electrodynamic Container Conveyor (ECCO) system of levitation and propulsion of cargo containers using linear synchronous motor technology.

This new program will team the CSULB College of Engineering with technology provider Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories (LLNL) and the firm General Atomics to test and demonstrate the versatility of LLNL’s Inductrack guideway technologies to power conventional and electric trucks through a new “Green Mat” system, and move rail cargo through a new “Green Track” system.  These systems would eliminate air emissions and noise pollution associated with goods movement utilizing traditional truck and rail.


“This funding supports the research efforts of Cal State Long Beach in addressing the immediate needs of commerce throughout our region and the nation.  It also provides real world evidence of the significance of the work that our institution provides to society,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander.  “We appreciate the support of the Department of Transportation through its Federal Railroad Administration, and we will work diligently to keep that confidence and trust.”


Alexander extended special thanks to U.S. Reps. Dana Rohrabacher and Laura Richardson for their efforts in securing the CCDoTT program funding.

Over the past 14 years, CCDoTT has undertaken a wide range of contractual efforts involving universities and commercial maritime technical organizations. 


CCDoTT is a partnership of academic institutions, government and commercial entities formed to enable the Department of Defense, the Department of Transportation and other sponsors to leverage advanced technologies in solving defense and commercial transportation infrastructure problems; conduct research and development for commercial and defense related infrastructure issues and provide a technology transfer/dual use bridge between government, military and commercial maritime industry interests.






Fall 2009 Issue

CALVEIN Program at CSULB Earns Prestigious Buzz Aldrin Award

For its contribution to the success of space enterprise in California, the California Launch Vehicle Education Initiative (CALVEIN), a program developed by CSULB and Garvey Spacecraft Corporation (GSC), received the Buzz Aldrin Space Education and Workforce Award from the California Space Authority (CSA).


Aldrin is an American mechanical engineer, retired United States Air Force pilot and astronaut who was the Lunar Module pilot on Apollo 11, the first lunar landing. On July 20, 1969, he was the second person to set foot on the moon, following his mission commander Neil Armstrong.


CSULB’s College of Engineering and GSC received the award during the California SpotBeam Awards Dinner in Los Angeles on Nov. 18. The dinner served to recognize and honor the exemplary accomplishments of individuals, organizations and programs over the past year, particularly those that have significantly contributed to California space enterprise.


“We are pleased that the CSA recognized the importance and uniqueness of this endeavor. It represents a marvelous example of a partnership between industry and a university, and it combines cutting edge research with education and workforce development.” said Forouzan Golshani, dean of CSULB’s College of Engineering. “Through this partnership, our teams have been able to design, prototype, test and launch more than a dozen rockets, each with numerous innovative features and with some being the first of their kind.”


The CALVEIN program was designed to integrate research and development into a rich, hands-on learning experience for CSULB students who work collaboratively with GSC personnel, engineering professors, program alumni and partnering companies and agencies. Over the years, CALVEIN has garnered ample industry and collegiate recognition for CSULB’s College of Engineering and its Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) Department.


Students in the program benefit from the experiences and knowledge passed on by industry professionals who serve as workforce mentors. CALVEIN has resulted in the end-to-end development, flight and recovery of 14 CSULB “Prospector” rockets and numerous static fire tests of student-developed rocket engines.


“The accomplishments realized by the CALVEIN students have allowed them to compete with the best and the brightest in the nation,” said Eric Besnard, a professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at CSULB, who was the recipient of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics 2009 Faculty Adviser Award. “This has given them the chance to work for companies and other organizations which may change our view of space travel in the decades to come, from one reserved for the elite to one accessible to most.”


Fall 2009 Issue

Marine Biologists Make Discoveries About Offshore Oil Platform Ecosystems

Many of California’s offshore oil drilling platforms will reach the end of their useful productivity in coming years, so state agencies involved with managing ocean resources are expected to decide within the next year or so about how these platforms should be decommissioned.


Under the direction of CSULB marine biology Professor Christopher Lowe, research by three of his students may lend valuable insight to policy makers in their platform decommissioning discussions. Lowe presented a summary of these projects to the California Ocean Protection Council meeting in April.


According to Lowe, state regulations require oil companies to completely remove the platforms and restore the seafloor to its original state.


“The way they do that is to drop charges down the legs and explode it at the base so they can separate it from the seafloor, then they can lift and cut it,” Lowe said. “But the problem is that the explosions kill everything that has a swim bladder that lives within a kilometer of it. But research within the last 10 years has shown that there are species of rockfish around these platforms that aren’t found anywhere else because they’ve basically been fished out elsewhere—fish like cow cod, canary rockfish and bocaccio, which at one point were threatened species in California. The only place that you find large numbers of adults is around these platforms.”


Student Kim Anthony recently became a senior marine biologist for Southern California Edison. Her study, funded by the Minerals Management Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior, examined a possible mitigation tool, Lowe said.


“In the Santa Barbara Channel offshore of Ventura, we acoustically tagged 79 platform-associated rockfishes and lingcod and translocated them from three different platforms to the Anacapa Island State Marine Reserve to test whether they would home back to their platforms of capture, up to 11 miles away, or take residency at their new location,” Anthony explained. “In a reciprocal experiment, 19 fish were translocated from a natural reef to one of either two platforms, one-half to three-and-a-half miles away. Automated acoustic receivers stationed around Anacapa Island, Santa Cruz Island, and each of three oil platforms recorded the presence of tagged individuals over the duration of the study, which was 620 days.


“About 25 percent of the translocated fish to Anacapa Island homed back to the platforms from which they were originally caught,” she said. “Fish that homed did so quickly, taking on average from one to 15 days. The remaining took up residency at Anacapa Island, or moved out of the range of detection. Some individuals moved from Anacapa Island to Santa Cruz Island, inside the Scorpion State Marine Reserve.”


The Santa Barbara Channel is about 400 to 500 meters (about 1,300 to 1,640 feet) deep in the middle and the fish were typically moved about six to 12 miles. “The homing distances for lingcod, vermilion and brown rockfishes are the farthest yet reported,” Anthony said. “After they homed, several fishes made long-distance movements between platforms, and between platforms and natural habitat, including going back to Anacapa. Cumulative distances that many of the fishes traveled exceeded 19 miles. The use of acoustic telemetry for this study has demonstrated that rockfishes and lingcod appear to be using natural and platform habitat concurrently and their home ranges may be much larger than previously thought.”
Lowe believes a platform’s vertical structure and abundance of places to hide or attach offers an appealing environment to a rich variety of sea life, from plankton and mussels to a variety of fish species.


Although Santa Barbara Channel platforms have been studied by a number of scientists, no one had examined fish populations around the platforms off Long Beach and Huntington Beach until now. Student Chris Martin of Huntington Beach undertook research funded by the California Artificial Reef Enhancement (CARE) program.


“What we actually found out was that the fish assemblages are completely different compared to Santa Barbara,” Martin said. “We have a lot more of the warm temperate species, the kelp forest species. We found that there were a number of species that prefer the warmer surface waters of the offshore platforms, and removing the tops of the platforms to 85 feet might eliminate important habitat for some of these species.

“We believe our data will help managers make the right decisions on what to do with platforms once they are scheduled for decommissioning,” Martin continued. “If they wanted to preserve the habitat and cut the platforms off at 85 feet, you’ll lose habitat for some species, but at least it won’t eliminate all the habitat for fish.”

Fall 2009 Issue

Researchers Study Potential Issues of Popular Imported Fishing Bait, Including Ghost Shrimp

Ask Southern California anglers what kind of bait they like to use and the answer often is “ghost shrimp.”


Although the crustaceans can sometimes be found in local shallow, muddy ocean tidal inlets like Alamitos Bay and Huntington Harbour, many fishermen buy the live shrimp and other bait such as worms that are imported by Southern California bait shops.


But what impacts could this imported bait have on local native marine life?  That’s what Bruno Pernet, an assistant professor of biological sciences at CSULB, along with graduate student Bruno Passarelli are studying.


“We’re interested in whether or not live bait that are imported into the state pose a risk of the introduction of non-native species into California marine waters,” Pernet explained.  “We’ve been doing this study that’s funded by California Sea Grant that focuses mostly on shrimp as a model, but we’ve broadened it a little bit.”  They are examining local bait from Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego county coasts and comparing them to imported bait.


“We have three main questions. First, what species are brought into California as live bait—what are imported species from other states or from other countries, and in what numbers are they brought in every year?”


The California Department of Fish and Game has such a heavy workload that checking for import permits is a low priority, Pernet said.


“There essentially is no government data as far as we can tell about what’s brought in and in what numbers. We’re in the middle of doing a survey of bait shops in the state to try to figure out the answer to that question. That’s to set up what the potential risk is. It’s pretty amazing. You can go to a bait shop and buy worms from Korea and Vietnam and Maine, or shrimp from Washington state.


“A second question is, of these things that are imported, can they survive in local waters?  We’re doing a simple physiological tolerance test to see if they can survive in the temperatures of marine waters of California,” Pernet continued.


“The last question is that when you import these species, there’s a potential for them to become invasive, but there’s also a potential for parasites that are associated with them to be released into the environment and become invasive,” he said.  “We’re interested in looking at parasites brought in on live bait, and for that, we’re really focusing on ghost shrimp.”


They are surveying the parasites imported with ghost shrimp from Washington and as well as the natural distribution of those parasites along the West Coast because that information isn’t well known.


“The ghost shrimp that is imported from Washington is the same species as the one that lives down here, but it’s coming from thousands of kilometers away.  But it turns out that some of the parasites on it are probably not native down here. That’s still a little up in the air,” he pointed out.  “One of the parasites we’re studying castrates the ghost shrimp.  That’s important because that might influence ghost shrimp populations if they suddenly decrease reproducing.”


Ghost shrimp are about six inches long and live in soft or muddy sediments where they dig deep burrows of up to three feet.  They scrape mud off the sides and eat it, and their burrows are constantly changing. They’re doing a lot of excavating like earthworms do in terrestrial systems,” Pernet explained. “ The other important thing is that they’re pumping water through there all the time so they can breathe.  If there are pollutants buried in the sediments, those get exposed to the water, or if there are pollutants in the water, the sediment gets exposed to them, so they really modify their habitats.  People call them ecosystem engineers because they really change the physical structure of their environment.”


Although the shrimp aren’t found in large quantities in Southern California, they’re common along the Oregon and Washington coastlines.  There, the shrimp can be considered a pest because they stir up sediment that interferes with the growth of valuable oyster populations, Pernet explained.


Moreover, “Some of the parasites that we’re looking at in ghost shrimp that are brought in from Washington use the shrimp as an intermediary host for one stage of their life cycle, but another stage of their life cycle is spent in fishes.  So, the parasite might be brought down and have some effect on ghost shrimp populations, but they also might have some effects on fish populations.  We just don’t really know about those.”


Pernet said the parasites aren’t likely to affect humans who eat fish that have consumed the bait shrimp, but they could influence shrimp or fish growth.


Fall 2009 Issue

‘The Beach World’ Provides Students, Faculty Access to Virtual Learning, Meetings and Research

CSULB marketing professors David Horne and Ingrid Martin are avatars, virtual characters they created to demonstrate The Beach World, a new digital campus developed within the realm of Second Life, a free online world imagined and created by its members.


The Beach World was designed by faculty and students within CSULB’s College of Business Administration (CBA) to broaden the classroom setting, to augment the traditional in-classroom instruction and as a means to enable online distance education. It also provides faculty the ability to create and conduct research within a number of marketplace and learning environments.


“By its very nature, The Beach World enhances teaching and learning experiences for faculty and students while providing an interactive context for us to conduct academic research,” said Horne, who with Martin led The Beach World project. “In The Beach World, distance learning moves into the virtual world and becomes even more engaging. Everyone who joins The Beach World gets a chance to build a unique or even offbeat avatar as an alter ego and have some fun at the same time.”


The idea of creating The Beach World came about when a group of marketing faculty who teach within the CBA became interested in finding ways to conduct research in an environment that was flexible enough to address various types of research questions.


The original concept, which was proposed by Associate Professor of Marketing Jonathan Lee, was to build a virtual shopping environment and have students, faculty and targeted groups outside the university enter various types of retail stores to make virtual and real product purchases. The team then outlined how each of its marketing undergraduate and graduate courses could use The Beach World to develop marketing concepts and principles for students. 


“What the faculty didn’t realize was the technical challenges of actually building a complete virtual retail environment that had the look and feel of a genuine retail setting,” said Martin. “One of our MBA students, who was also the project manager, suggested using the Second Life platform, which was already being utilized by more than 100 other universities. The idea of a virtual campus grew from there.”


The Beach World has three classrooms that seat up to 40 student avatars and 10 guests, as well as a large 150-seat lecture hall. It also features virtual recreations of on- and off-campus venues, such as coffee houses and a completely replicated “The Beach Store on Second Street.”


The traffic within The Beach World continues to grow, and the design team expects an exponential increase in its use in the next three to five years. Several professors have already used “The Beach Classrooms” to conduct lectures as well as to meet with their students in the surrounding virtual environments.


Students and faculty are also permitted to create custom objects within The Beach World. This flexibility increases the functionality of the virtual community as it is modified to fit users’ requirements. 


Horne notes that hundreds of virtual worlds like Second Life are available online, each with a different target audience, focus and popularity. He believes that children who are accustomed to playing within such online communities as Penguin World today at the age of nine or 10 will expect universities in the future to also offer virtual teaching experiences. Horne sees The Beach World as CSULB’s initial jump into this “inevitable” future.


Fall 2009 Issue

CSULB Receives Record Number of Undergraduate Applications from Potential Students for Fall 2010

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) has received a record number of applications from potential undergraduate students for the fall 2010 semester, according to CSULB President F. King Alexander, who reported a preliminary count of more than 69,000 freshman and transfer student applications received.

While the CSU Chancellor’s Office reported receiving more than 609,000 undergraduate applications system-wide, shattering all previous records, Cal State Long Beach received more applications from potential first-time freshman and transfer students than any of the other 22 campuses in the system.
The application period for undergraduate students interested in attending any CSU campus next fall ended on Monday (Nov. 30), and the number of electronic applications submitted for enrollment at CSULB was 69,656, an increase of more than 9,000 applications over the previous year’s 60,519. With the inclusion of international student applications, CSULB received more than 71,000 applications in all, breaking the 70,000 mark for the first time in its history.
“With the entire California State University system receiving more applications for next year than ever before, it speaks well of the quality of education and student life that Cal State Long Beach leads every other system campus in terms of students applying for freshman status as well as those applying as transfer students,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander.
“While these numbers point to excellence in quality and recognition of our campus’ reputation,” he added, “what’s unfortunate for most of these applicants is that due to continuing reductions to CSULB’s budget, only 5,500 will actually enroll as students in the fall.”
On Monday, the last day to submit applications, the CSU system received more than 73,000 applications alone (compared to 33,000 on the last day of the filing period a year ago). Of those last submitted applications, more than 8,000 were for enrollment at CSULB.
CSULB led the CSU system in first-time freshman applications with 47,683 received. That number is nearly 2,000 more than last year’s 45,734 first-time freshman total. The campus also received the largest number of transfer student applications with 21,973 received, a 48.6 percent increase over last year’s 14,785. In fact, over the last two years, transfer student applications have risen 84.9 percent (11,883 for fall 2008 to 21,973 for fall 2010), primarily due to the campus closing admissions to transfer students during its spring semester the last two years.
The high demand for enrollment at CSULB and other sister campuses comes at a time when the CSU system is expected to reduce its enrollment by some 40,000 students over two years as a result of the $564 million budget cut from the state of California. CSULB cut its enrollment this year by about 2,300 students and is targeting a reduction of 3,044 FTE (full-time equivalent) students for the 2010-11 academic year.
“Cal State Long Beach consistently ranks among the top universities in the nation in the number of applications it receives from undergraduates students, especially those students who are going to be first-time freshmen,” Alexander pointed out. “In an environment where outcomes are often difficult to measure, it is reassuring to know that our university continues to be among the most desirable institutions in the country for high school seniors.”
Fall 2009 Issue