California State University, Long Beach
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Engineering Veterans Center Opens

Published: November 14, 2016

Pictured at the center opening from left to right are  Forouzan Golshani (Dean College of Engineering), Marshall Thomas (Director of CSULB Veterans Services), Ben Chulaluxsiriboon (Enterprise Northwest University Relations Northrop Grumman Corporation), Daniel Scott (Director Program Integration & Systems Engineering Northrop Grumman Corporation), Jane Close Conoley (President CSULB), Hamid Rahai (Associate Dean Research CSULB College of Engineering), Nolan Tanaka (Senior Manager of System Engineering Northrop Grumman Corporation), Chris Hernandez (Sector Vice President of Research, Technology and Advanced Design at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems) and Jason Lin (University Relations Manager, Northwest Region Northrop Grumman Corporation).
PHOTO BY SEAN DUFRENE
Pictured holding and cutting the red ribbon at the center opening are (l-r) College of Engineering Dean Forouzan Golshani and CSULB President Jane Close Conoley, along with Northrop Grumman’s Chris Hernandez and Jason Lin.

CSULB’s College of Engineering recently celebrated the opening of the Engineering Veterans Center sponsored by Northrop Grumman on the third floor of Engineering 2 to serve its growing number of enrolled veterans and to offer six veteran-focused scholarships.

Present at the celebration were COE Dean Forouzan Golshani, Northrop Grumman’s Sector Vice President, NG Next; Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems and CSULB graduate Chris Hernandez, as well as Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems Vice President of Engineering Frank Flores. Also present were CSULB Director of Veterans Services Marshall Thomas, Vice President for Student Affairs Carmen Taylor and CSULB President Jane Close Conoley.

“Right now, we have 120 engineering students who are veterans,” explained Golshani. “The room they currently use is very cramped. There are never enough seats for everyone who needs them. This new center will nearly double the size.”

Conoley applauded the opening of the Veterans Resource Center.

“This new space demonstrates the university’s commitment to student success,” she said. “It’s also indicative of how important campus-community partnerships are. The continuing relationship between our College of Engineering and Northrop Grumman strengthens our support for veterans.”

Hernandez, a member of CSULB’s class of 1981, praised the new center. “Veterans come into the CSU system but it can be a struggle to figure out what classes to take, where to get help, and how to fit in,” he said. “Northrop Grumman believes that because our veterans served the nation by putting on the uniform, we should now serve them.”

This support also signals Northrop Grumman’s commitment to the future. “Northrop Grumman is primarily a defense contractor that provides the nation with systems and products to help service personnel perform their mission, but our support doesn’t stop there,” added Hernandez. “When they come home, we want to help them get their careers on track. Support for this center is one way to do that.”

Hernandez pointed to Northrop Grumman’s decades-long relationship with CSULB. “I believe our company has approximately 1,000 CSULB alumni,” he said. “We need the talent that comes out of this university. I see a long relationship between Northrop Grumman and Cal State Long Beach.”

Golshani believes that veterans enrich the College of Engineering by what they bring in know-how and experience.

“We are glad we have the opportunity to celebrate the presence of veterans in the College of Engineering,” said Golshani. “I want to give a `shout-out’ to all the people who have worked so hard to make this happen. We hope this Veterans’ Resource Center shows the College of Engineering has the best interest of our veterans at heart. All this is possible through the generosity of Northrop Grumman. They have been great supporters of this university for many years and have come through for us again.”

Thomas saluted the college’s commitment to its veterans.

“It goes hand in hand with the College of Engineering’s commitment to student success,” he said. “The college works hard to welcome all of its students but Dean Golshani has a special affection for its veterans. Since I began my work as director of veteran’s services, the College of Engineering has always been quick to ask what it could do for its veterans.

“People often say the most difficult thing to acquire in higher education is money,” Thomas added. “But in reality, the most difficult thing to get is space. Try to get a room for something. It is not easy. So, the commitment shown by the College of Engineering to create this space for veterans to come and work on their projects, means a lot. Our veterans know that this space is here to help make them more successful.”

Hernandez underlined the seriousness of our veterans’ service.

“We cherish the many freedoms we have in this country, but this freedom is not free. Huge sacrifices must be made. That is why it always has impressed me that young Americans continue to volunteer to put on a uniform for their nation,” he said. “Northrop Grumman’s mission is to preserve freedom and enhance human discovery. We provide tools for the Defense Department so that those women and men can do their job but we also recognize that at the end of their service, veterans must assimilate back into society and we want to help in that regard, too.”

Northrop Grumman is happy to be involved in the project, he said. “This space is offered as a token of our appreciation for the service these veterans have rendered to their nation,” he said. “They make it possible for us to be here at this university. On behalf of Northrop Grumman, we thank CSULB’s veterans for their service and we look forward to their progress.”

Golshani pointed out that much of the Northrop Grumman support will go to support six student scholarships awarded to CSULB veterans who have made adequate progress toward graduation but are about to run out of GI Bill funding.

“This is an opportunity for our veterans to stay with their study and get that degree,” he said. “We thank Northrop-Grumman for making that possible.”