PSYCHOLOGY, HEALTH, and WELLNESS
FOR ALUMNI AND FRIENDS OF CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, DOMINGUEZ HILLS
“Knowledge will bring you the opportunity to make a difference.” — CLAIRE FAGIN
CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, DOMINGUEZ HILLS
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT Serving as the president of a public university is one of the greatest and most solemn duties a person can undertake. The position is entrusted with shepherding many thousands of individuals who seek to further their education and create a better future for themselves. As your CSUDH president, it’s my responsibility to help ensure that every student has the opportunity to actualize their dreams and achieve their full potential. It has become an even greater responsibility this year, as CSUDH welcomed its largest incoming cohort ever—over 6,200 freshmen and transfer students started classes this fall. This huge influx of students shows that CSUDH is growing into one of the leading public urban universities in the nation; with this growth, however, comes its own set of unique challenges. I touched on several of these challenges at CSUDH’s annual New Student Convocation, where we welcome and celebrate those who have chosen to join what we affectionately call the Toro Nation. That occasion is an opportunity to reaffirm the university’s commitment to supporting our students’ goals both inside and outside of the classroom. Part of that commitment is making sure that all our new and returning students have everything they need to thrive in a university setting. And while that means access to materials and classes as well as proper academic support, it also means making sure that students’ health and well-being are addressed. I have often written that life at its best is a creative synthesis of opposites in fruitful harmony. In this case, balancing out those daily obligations and commitments with periods of relaxation, renewal, and regeneration is a voice we all need to attend to. The theme of this issue of CSUDH Magazine is “finding balance”—maintaining one’s mental stability in a world that seems increasingly determined to throw us off-kilter. Making sure that our students’ mental health is being properly addressed is an especially vital topic to me, because my academic and professional background is in the world of psychology. No one can achieve their potential while they are plagued with mental health issues, so it is a moral responsibility to provide support systems in these areas. Mental health issues aren’t confined to university campuses, of course. The myriad stresses of modern life take a toll on even the strongest among us. With that in mind, whether on campus or off, let’s make sure that we give one another the help we need to make it through these often-trying times together. That help can take the form of reaching out to those who need support, referring people in need to those who can offer help, or sometimes just providing a listening ear or a shoulder to lean on when times get tough. The Toro Nation is a caring nation, and we all must ask ourselves if we’re doing our best to help our fellow citizens maintain their own balance. By working together, we can ensure that our vibrant and growing CSUDH community will continue to blossom in beautiful and unprecedented ways. Sincerely,
Thomas A. Parham, Ph.D. President
CSUDH Magazine is published by University Communications and Public Affairs, an office within the University Advancement Division.
President Thomas A. Parham, Ph.D. Vice President of University Advancement Carrie E. Stewart (M.A. â€™12) Director of University Communications & Public Affairs Amy Bentley-Smith Editor Nick Bulum Graphic Designers Laura Drake Shin Mi Pak Illustrator Hillary Griffin Contributing Writers Kimberly Blaker Paul Browning Nick Bulum Laurie McLaughlin Photographer Jeff Farsai Santos Nunez
CONTENTS FINDING BALANCE
04 | SPOTLIGHT 28 | PHILANTHROPY
18 | PSYCHOLOGY, HEALTH, AND WELLNESS
Original artwork by Hillary Griffin
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34 | FACULTY NEWS 36 | ALUMNI PROFILE
14 | AN APP TO HELP END HUNGER ON THE COVER
32 | FACULTY PROFILE
38 | CLASS NOTES
With Apple technology, the university has created a mobile app, CSUDH Eats, which allows students to easily find affordable or free on-campus food sources.
16 | SETTING THE TABLE The student-led Sustainability Club organizes surplus food on campus for fellow students unable to afford regular meals.
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CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, DOMINGUEZ HILLS
3 1. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra sat down for a Q&A with President Parham during his appearance as featured speaker at the Presidential Distinguished Lecture Series in February. 2. CSUDH’s sixth annual Professor for a Day event brought 31 Toro alumni back to campus as honorary professors, passing on knowledge about their industries and giving students valuable career advice. Pictured: Renita Armstrong (B.A. ’86), a specialist in early childhood special education for L.A. County Office of Education.
INNOVATION & INSTRUCTION BUILDING
3. CSUDH welcomed iconic author, activist, and scholor Angela Davis to campus as part of the Dymally Distinguished Speaker Series, where she encouraged the audience to “imagine a different world.”
E T H E D AT
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2019 11:00 AM — 12:30 PM For more information, please contact
University Ceremonies & Events (310) 243-2666 4
CAMPUS NEWS The increase in the student population is due, in part, to California State University’s (CSU) newly implemented redirection policy to address impaction across the system. The policy applies to first-time freshmen, and upper-division transfer and Associate Degree for Transfer students who were qualified for CSU admission but were denied a space due to impaction at the school they initially applied for. These students are now given the option to enroll in alternative CSU campuses, such as CSUDH.
FALL SEES LARGEST ENROLLMENT EVER! The fall 2019 semester saw CSUDH usher in the largest cohort of new students in its history. With over 6,200 undergraduates arriving on campus, 2019-20 marks the third consecutive year of transformational enrollment growth for the university. As of August 2019, over 2,500 freshmen and more than 3,600 transfer students were enrolled at CSUDH; that represents a 25% increase of new Toros since the fall 2018 semester. The campus census in September revealed a total student population of 17,027, up from 15,741 in fall 2019.
“The fact that students are now coming in record numbers speaks volumes about both the university’s commitment to provide access to the state’s citizenry and students’ intellectual hunger and desire to pursue a quality education at comprehensive regional universities like ours,” says CSUDH President Thomas A. Parham. “Our campus is the soil that will nourish and nurture the academic dreams and aspirations of these students and help them prepare to meet the demands of a workplace that desperately needs the talent and skills our culturally diverse students have to offer.”
ON THE GRANT FRONT $656,000
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
CALIFORNIA ARTS COUNCIL
The three-year NIH grant will allow CSUDH Sociology Professor Matt Mutchler and a team of investigators to develop, pilot, and evaluate “PrEP-Talk,” an intervention support group designed to address and help prevent the spread of new HIV infections among young African American men. The program focuses on those who would benefit from pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a preventative drug treatment.
The Creative California Communities grant helps expand CSUDH’s PRAXIS City ArtS Parks program, an art engagement program in partnership with the City of Carson that provides artistic outlets for youth and the local community through workshops and public arts projects. Local artists will conduct art workshops with the assistance of CSUDH undergraduate students.
CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, DOMINGUEZ HILLS
A TORO WELCOME Campus Greets
NEW PRESIDENT at
Stirring Investiture Ceremony
Words of admiration and promise filled the Loker Student Union Grand Ballroom as CSUDH celebrated the investiture of President Thomas A. Parham in February. The ceremony was one of the highlights of a week-long inauguration celebration, and was attended by nearly 450 faculty, staff, students, political figures, and notable community members. Parham’s inaugural address reflected on the power of higher education in society, and CSUDH’s role in helping shape the lives of the students and the communities it serves. Reflecting on the inauguration’s theme, Transforming Lives that Transform America, in his speech Parham noted, “The theme is both a reflection of what this campus has historically done in impacting students’ lives and a promise of what we will continue to do in the years ahead. It speaks to the transformative possibilities of the human spirit.” Parham’s remarks were preceded by a spirited program featuring words from a diverse gathering of friends, colleagues, and spiritual leaders, with Ohio State University President Michael V. Drake serving as the keynote speaker. In celebrating the investiture, Drake remarked, “Dr. Parham is a great example of how one can remain true to one’s values, true to oneself, and still succeed in this competitive world. This is one of those occasions when good guys do finish first.”
Dr. Parham is congratulated by CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White.
Students dance the night away with the president and his wife, Davida, at the Student Winter Formal, part of the inauguration festivities.
New CSUDH President Thomas A. Parham delivers his inaugural address.
Dr. Parham speaks to a crowd of prospective students at Discover Dominguez Hills.
CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, DOMINGUEZ HILLS
The new Science and Innovation Building is scheduled to open for fall semester 2020.
Major Construction Projects Transforming Campus Map Visitors to CSUDH this year have been greeted by three major development projects that are helping to transform the campus map, while keeping CSUDH at the forefront of modern urban universities. With over 90% of construction complete, the Science and Innovation Building is the furthest along, and is scheduled to be open for fall semester 2020. The 91,000-square-foot facility features an intricate, alternating blue-gray façade that was completed during summer 2019, designed for its architectural cohesion with the adjacent University Library. The structure will house teaching and research laboratory space for chemistry, biology, physics, the Toyota Center for Innovation in STEM Education, and much more. The new CSUDH student housing complex will include a four-story residence building and a one-story commons building. The complex is over 40% complete, with the interior wall framing and roofing stages nearly finished. When complete, the new on-campus housing for students will include one- to four-bedroom traditional dorm units, shared restrooms, study 8
rooms, several lounges, a multi-purpose space, mail delivery room, and convenience store. It is scheduled to be open for fall semester 2020. The most recent construction project to launch on campus is the Innovation and Instruction Building, on the former site of the Small College Complex. The new four-story structure will house the College of Business Administration and Public Policy, and will be at the “front door” of the CSUDH campus on Victoria Street, serving as the gateway structure for the university. The 107,600-square-foot building will offer 25- to 120-seat classrooms, active learning classrooms, case study rooms, an auditorium, and computer labs for the entire university to utilize. It is scheduled to open in fall semester 2021.
To view more photos and videos of the campus construction, visit the CSUDH Construction Updates page at csudh.edu/construction
A Source of Pride
NEW QUEER CULTURE & RESOURCE CENTER OPENS
With the drop of a rainbow-colored ribbon and applause from a lively crowd of supporters, CSUDH’s new Queer Culture and Resource Center (QCRC) officially opened in April 2019. Located off the West Walkway, the resource center provides a visible, welcoming space for students who historically have not been well recognized on university campuses, and serves as the hub for building cultural awareness about the needs of LGBTQ+ people at CSUDH. Karama Blackhorn, coordinator of the QCRC (pictured lower left), devoted nine months to securing the center’s space, developing its programming, and creating strong partnerships across campus. Blackhorn says that as well as creating awareness and supporting CSUDH’s LGBTQ+ community, the resource center is a welcoming place for people to mingle. “Our community needs to have access to positive relationships,” says Blackhorn. “It’s hard to meet people when you’re not trying to date or you don’t go to clubs. Positive spaces like the center are so important to build community; it is open for everyone.” Blackhorn says that the QCRC’s programming will continue to evolve in response to what the Toro community asks for, but notes, “If we could all connect on expanding our understandings of gender and sexuality, that would be great, because we are all family in a struggle to learn to know and love ourselves and each other more.” CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, DOMINGUEZ HILLS
CSUDH PARTNERS WITH MEDICAL SCHOOL TO PROMOTE DIVERSITY In an effort to increase diversity in the healthcare workforce, CSUDH and Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) announced a partnership designed to help more Hispanic students attend medical school. The schools have created an educational pathway program for CSUDH graduates to study medicine at RUSM. Qualified students who earn full acceptance into the medical school will receive a scholarship for first semester tuition at the RUSM campus in Barbados. Hispanics comprise 18% of the U.S. population yet represent only 5% of U.S. physicians, underlining the importance of the new program. CSUDH is a Minority Serving Institution (MSI) and Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) that is recognized nationally for increasing college access and success for students of color.
President Parham, CSUDH students Diana Rounaque and Natalie Velasquez, and RUSM Dean and Chancellor William Owen Jr. celebrate the new partnership.
“We are pleased and excited to join RUSM in addressing the paucity of black and Latinx medical students and practicing physicians,” says President Thomas A. Parham. “Considering the changing demographics of the U.S., increasing the number of providers can effectively improve health care overall and specifically in traditionally underrepresented communities. Although the issue of underrepresentation of culturally different people in health care has long been a problem, this novel approach will undoubtedly be successful.”
INFLUX OF NEW MATERIALS SWELLS LIBRARY ARCHIVES The CSUDH Gerth Archives and Special Collections has recently expanded its scope by acquiring a pair of exciting new collections: the Holt Labor Library and the Tommy Irvine Jazz Collection. These additions to the archives open up new avenues for research and exploration to students, faculty, and the community. The massive Holt Labor Library collection is the largest archival donation in the university’s history. It chronicles the history of the struggle to organize trade unions, the rise of anti-war and political movements, and the fight for civil rights and environmental protection. The university acquired the collection— along with a donation of $200,000 to catalog and maintain the artifacts—from its founder, Rod Holt, Apple Inc.’s fifth employee. “The Holt collection is a fantastic expression of 20th century dissent, as well as the labor movement in the U.S.,” says Greg Williams,
director of the Gerth Archives. “The collection is vast and will bring our students and the community a wide range of research opportunities.” The Holt Labor Library features books, current and historical periodicals, thousands of pamphlets, and archives with a significant number of out-of-print and difficult-to-find materials—from a complete run of The Black Panther newspaper to early 20th century labor periodicals such as The Liberator. The collection also includes nearly 5,700 books on labor and socialist history, including a diverse assortment of video and audio tapes, DVDs, CDs, and posters highlighting such events as the Vietnam War, civil rights, and France’s revolutionary protests in Paris in 1968. The Gerth Archives also acquired the Tommy Irvine Jazz Collection, an eclectic assortment of 444 rare jazz records that features some of the genre’s greatest recordings and artists,
including such legendary musicians as Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, and Lester Young. Tommy Irvine began amassing his collection at the age of 14, and his family provided it on loan to CSUDH when he passed away. “There are original pieces dating back to the late 1930s and early 1940s,” says Irvine’s son, Kyle. “Who wouldn’t want to hear an original Duke Ellington or Charlie Parker record? Just to see some of the artwork on the album covers is worth a visit to the archive.”
To learn more about the Holt Labor Library or the Tommy Irvine Jazz Collection, contact the Gerth Archives and Special Collections at email@example.com or (310) 243-3895.
CSUDH TO OFFER
FIRST DOCTORATE Legislation passed this summer has paved the way for CSUDH to become the first public university in Southern California to offer a Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree. It will be the university’s first doctoral program in any discipline. With Gov. Gavin Newsom’s August signing of Assembly Bill 829, CSUDH and San Jose State University were approved to become the only CSU campuses with OTD programs. They are already the only two offering master’s degrees in the discipline.
“We are proud to offer a public path to a career in this important healthcare field. This doctorate program will enable us to continue the great success of our existing master’s-level program, and help meet the workforce demand for doctorate-level education and specialization,” says Terry Peralta-Catipon, chair of the OT department at CSUDH. “We believe that the health-care workforce should reflect our population. That’s why an affordable public degree is so important, not just for our students, but for our state.”
Occupational Therapy (OT) is one of the fastest-growing fields in health care. OT helps individuals, particularly those with mobility issues, maintain a level of independence and the ability to participate in meaningful daily activities. According to the American Occupational Therapy Association, common interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, assisting people recovering from injuries to regain skills, and providing support for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.
It is anticipated that the OTD program will launch within the next few years. The program’s curriculum will feature several concentrations, including clinical practice expertise (adult physical rehabilitation, mental health, and pediatric and school-based practice); research and education; and leadership and advocacy.
CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, DOMINGUEZ HILLS
TO OUR EARS CSUDHâ€™s newly refurbished Marvin Laser Recital Hall gets rave reviews. BY NICK BULUM
The Marvin Laser Recital Hall on the first floor of LaCorte Hall, A103
The improvements to the space are wide-ranging and comprehensive, from acoustics and lighting to audience seating and backstage provisions. The addition of electronically controlled sound baffles ensures the new space sounds spectacular whether students are performing “unplugged” acoustical or amplified instruments. “You can now tune the room to whatever you want to do in there,” says Morris. Morris is especially excited about the effect the new performance space will have on the students who use it. “It’s a total morale boost,” he says. “When you’re in a beautiful space with great acoustics, you play better. The artists are inspired when they’re in there. It elevates the performance and elevates the experience of the listeners, too.” Poor lighting was always a problem with the old space, but that’s also a thing of the past. Instead of the harsh flood lights of the previous hall, proper white stage lights now illuminate the stage, while modern LED accent lighting rings the entire space.
The CSUDH Jazz Band in a May performance in the new Laser Recital Hall.
Adding to the performance experience is a new raised stage and plush seating. Musicians will also benefit from the addition of a backstage area, and during performances, sound technicians now have a control booth with full sound reinforcement and a window that looks onto the stage. “It’s a totally different experience for everyone who visits, whether they’re performing on stage or sitting in the audience,” says Morris. CSUDH music students got an extra bonus when they returned to campus for the spring 2019 semester—a redesigned and refurbished Marvin Laser Recital Hall. The project of turning the campus’s original music venue into a state-of-the-art performance space had been in the works for more than 18 months, and everyone involved is excited and proud of the results. As Music Department Chair Scott Morris says, “We finally have a space that represents what we’re doing here. We’re doing high-quality work, and now we have a high-quality hall.” Named after the founding dean of what is now the College of Arts and Humanities, the Marvin Laser Recital Hall was in disrepair after four decades of extensive use as a concert hall and classroom. With the new renovations, Morris believes the hall “is one of the nicest college recital halls in the CSU system.”
Although it’s only been open for just over a semester, the new recital hall has already played host to quite a few events. The Music Department held their annual senior recitals on the new stage, and several concerts have been staged, including the Brightwork newmusic ensemble, Angelo Metz Quartet, and a May performance from the CSUDH Jazz Band, led by Teodross Avery, assistant professor of jazz studies and commercial music.
CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, DOMINGUEZ HILLS
AN APP TO HELP END HUNGER
With Apple technology, the university has created a mobile app, CSUDH Eats, which allows students to easily find affordable or free on-campus food sources. BY LAURIE McLAUGHLIN
There is a growing need for access to nutritious food for students struggling to meet this basic need across the CSU system. At CSUDH, the Information Technology team worked with Apple technology to design the CSUDH Eats iPhone app, which will be available for free. It is difficult, if not impossible, to excel academically if you are hungry, says Chris Manriquez, vice president of information technology. “Food insecurity—not being able to afford regular meals—is one of the challenges that some of our students face. Students grapple with a number of insecurity issues, including transportation, housing, and psychological support, but not having enough to eat is the one that affects the broadest amount of people.” CSUDH worked to proactively address this serious need while creating a unique co-curricular learning experience for students, who were able to participate alongside IT professionals and learn Apple design methodology during the project. The app alerts users about free or low-cost food sources on campus. This includes announcing food that is left over following an event or at the student housing dining halls, for example, or available items at the university’s Toro Food Pantry. CSUDH Eats will also provide information about items that may be purchased at the campus’s weekly farmers market with payment cards issued by the USDA-funded CalFresh program. The university’s Information Technology division created the app with design guidance from Apple; the Office of Student Life coordinates the content and food source outlets. The CSUDH Eats app will reach more students in need because they are already accustomed to managing their lives on their phones, says Matthew Smith, interim associate vice president of student life and dean of students. A mobile app also helps remove the embarrassment of asking for help because the app is freely available. “We have great resources in providing food for students, but too often these resources are not as well-known as they should be, or they may come with a stigma,” he says. “CSUDH Eats users don’t need to go to an office to find this information, and they don’t have to divulge personal information.” While there are no hard numbers to quantify how many CSUDH students experience food insecurity, Smith says his office regularly encounters students who haven’t been eating and turn to Student Life departments looking for resources. “In Los Angeles County, just 66% of eligible participants are enrolled in food-service programs, and we know L.A.’s cost of living is high. At CSUDH, about 64% of our students are eligible for assistance through Pell Grant, which means we have students who are struggling with finances. “The face of our institution is changing, and our students come from more diverse backgrounds, which includes socio-economic diversity. So, we can’t tout and celebrate that diversity without doing what we need to do to support everybody.” CSUDH Eats will initially offer sources for food, but Smith says the app may also be expanded to feature resources in other areas, including housing and transportation. Currently, Student Affairs offers these services through its Basic Needs Initiative— including emergency housing, the Toro Food Pantry, and emergency grants—supporting students with information online as well as walk-in assistance. “For a long time, students have been told that they have to be ‘campus-ready’ in order to attend the university,” says Manriquez. “We are finding that the university needs to be ‘student-ready.’ That readiness means we ‘speak digital’ to connect with students, and we are prepared with services that are directly related to the needs and demands of students today. That’s the foundation for CSUDH Eats, and this effort defines who we are at California State University, Dominguez Hills.” CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, DOMINGUEZ HILLS
Scarlett Zamora, David Saldana, and Hawk McFadzen of the Sustainability Club collect food from the Campus Dining Service kitchen.
SETTING T H E TA B L E BY PAUL BROWNING
THE STUDENT-LED SUSTAINABILITY CLUB ORGANIZES SURPLUS FOOD ON CAMPUS FOR FELLOW STUDENTS STRUGGLING TO AFFORD REGULAR MEALS. During the 2018-19 academic year the Food Recovery Network collected 1,556 pounds of surplus food on campus to distribute to food-insecure students. 16
It’s Friday afternoon, and earth science major Scarlett Zamora and fellow members of the Sustainability Club are heading into the Campus Dining Services kitchen in Loker Student Union. They are there to pick up lunch—but not for themselves. They’re picking up food to share with hungry fellow students. Zamora is president of the student-led Sustainability Club and its chapter of the Food Recovery Network, a nationwide student movement fighting food waste and hunger in America. The Food Recovery Network at CSUDH was launched in spring 2019. Every week, Zamora and her team gather freshly harvested produce from the CSUDH’s Urban Farm, leftovers from the Toro Fresh food court buffet, and surplus food from other campus-run eateries to share with students who cannot reliably afford regular meals, a problem that is gaining national awareness. A 2017 report from the Urban Institute estimated that 11.2% of households with a student who attends a four-year college experience food shortages, while 17% of households with a community college student are food insecure. Food insecurity is a growing problem on college campuses and one that can contribute to poor academic performance and, as important, negatively affect overall health and wellness. CSUDH has expanded its resources to help fight student hunger in recent years.
Each Friday, club volunteers visit Campus Dining Services at 1 p.m. with “hot bags” to gather food served during breakfast and lunch at campus-run eateries in the Loker Student Union. They also return on Saturday to recover extra food served during weekend events. The food they retrieve typically includes bagels, eggs, and potatoes, as well as grilled vegetables and vegan dishes. “With our full bags we make our way to campus housing. We set out cutlery and containers, and let the students know to come and get it, often by knocking on their apartment doors,” explains Zamora, who runs the Food Recovery Network as an intern in the Office of Sustainability. “We may stay behind for 30 minutes to learn how to make the process better for the students. It’s a wonderful experience for us.” The volunteers make the same rounds on Mondays, gathering edibles for the food pantries on campus. Zamora has also had success asking vendors catering CSUDH events to contribute leftover food to share with students.
Ellie Perry, sustainability coordinator/assistant energy analyst for the Office of Sustainability. “While there’s a general precedent for food recovery programs on college campuses, CSUDH’s chapter has a unique focus on ‘Toros helping Toros’,” says Perry. “Instead of exporting this food resource to an off-campus charity like most campuses do, students are redirecting these resources to feed fellow students in need first.” As the chapter grows, the Sustainability Club hopes to expand its reach to recovering food from private restaurant chains both on and off campus. Zamora plans to pursue a career in waste management or as a sustainability coordinator on a college campus. “This work is very sustainable by nature. You’re saving food that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Of course, we’re also helping our fellow students. We’re part of a positive cycle that’s good for the planet and the people who call it home.”
The Food Recovery Network chapter also educates students about recycling and waste management. By design, this work aligns with the campus net zero waste efforts of
Zamora was caught off guard when she realized that she was one of those students. “I was busy taking classes here at Dominguez Hills and paying my bills, but I wasn’t working enough hours to always be able to afford food,” she says. “It was tough to be in that situation, but I did develop an appreciation for what some students go through.” The Sustainability Club works directly with CSUDH’s Campus Dining Services to bring food to students on a set schedule. The surplus is distributed to the on-campus student housing complex and to free food pantries in the Office of Student Life and the Women’s Resource Center.
CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, DOMINGUEZ HILLS
Psychology, Health, and Wellness BY KIMBERLY BLAKER AND NICK BULUM
HOW DO WE FIND BALANCE
in a world that pulls us in multiple directions every day; where being centered seems at odds with a fast-paced society marked by information overload, political polarity, social upheaval, and economic uncertainty? The concept of balance can apply to many different aspects of our lives—career ambitions/ personal life, mind/body/spirit, health and wellness, social relationships and intimacy, life attitudes and experiences. Our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all affected by our mental health, and our mental health can be compromised if we don’t have balance. A wide spectrum of thought exists around mental health. Throughout most of the 20th century, the Western mental health community worked almost exclusively from an “illness” perspective focused on “problems”; “mental illness” was considered a problem that could be cured through a combination of therapy and/or medication. From a “wellness” perspective, mental health is seen as a part of the 18
continuum of a person’s total health. In this way of looking at the topic, many mental health issues can’t be cured through drugs or therapy alone but rather need to be worked on by improving one’s whole-body health—physical, spiritual, and emotional. Only in the last quarter century have traditional, holistic ideas of wellness begun to resurface and be embraced by the public. According to a 2018 study published in the Psychiatric Services journal, 3.4% of Americans suffer from serious psychological distress, an increase of roughly a half-percent in the decade since the last survey. Nearly one in five American adults has some form of mental health issue in a given year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health, while one in 25 experiences serious mental illness. Whatever the root causes, what we call mental illness is clearly on the rise. With so many people in need and suffering from some kind of mental distress, it’s becoming clear that we should be tackling this issue from as many angles as possible.
ANCIENT TRADITIONS Notions of wellness can be traced far back into history, as many ancient cultures embraced what we would call a “holistic,” or whole-person, approach to health. More than 5,000 years ago, the Ayurveda tradition emerged on the Indian subcontinent. Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word meaning “the science of life,” and it was a philosophy that embraced the concept of balance as a way of maintaining one’s health. Many of today’s popular yoga and meditation practices have their roots in this oldest of health disciplines. Throughout the ancient world, other cultures celebrated similar ideas of balance and wellness. Ancient China boasted a robust holistic medicine tradition based on diet, exercise (tai chi/qigong), herbal remedies, and acupuncture. In the Arab world, the practice of Unani centered on natural healing principles based on the concept of balance and harmony between one’s physical, mental, and spiritual realms. The shamanistic practices of Native Americans and many indigenous peoples also recognized the importance of this harmony between all aspects of the body—and the interconnectedness of the physical and mental. By contrast, Western psychology derived not from long-held traditions of mind-body connectivity, but grew out of the European philosophical tradition. Most of the earliest psychologists actually considered themselves philosophers, and were often members of university philosophy departments. Thus, these early psychologists were interested in where thoughts and ideas came from and why some people had “abnormal” ideas.
Throughout the latter part of the 19th century, traditional holistic approaches more or less co-existed with drug- and therapybased treatments. A turning point came in 1910, when the Carnegie Foundation’s Flexner Report was released and came down firmly on the side of allopathic (or drug-based) treatments, effectively dismissing centuries of homeopathic and herbal remedies as so many old wives’ tales. As James Strohecker says in his essay “A Brief History of Wellness,”
“Gone was the whole-person, systems-based approach of natural medicine, and in was the symptoms-based, drug-based approach.”
THE RISE OF EUROPEAN EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY Historically, mental illness has been a largely misunderstood phenomenon. Many cultures viewed sufferers in a supernatural sense. Marc Jutras in “Historical Perspectives on the Theories, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Mental Illness,” published in the BC Medical Journal, explains that demonic possession and/or supernatural forces were often believed to cause mental illness. Treatments often took the form of rituals such as exorcisms, which were both primitive and ineffectual. The idea of psychology as a scientific discipline of its own arose from the great German research universities of the late 1800s. Over time, researchers’ focus began to shift from “why” did people think as they did, to “how” they did so—with a focus on understanding brain function—moving psychology out of the realm of philosophy and into the realm of experimental science. German Wilhelm Wundt is generally considered the father of experimental psychology, being responsible for forming the first psychology laboratory (in Leipzig in 1879) and beginning the first psychological journal, Philosophical Studies.
Sigmund Freud is credited with making several major contributions to the field, most importantly introducing the clinical method of treating mental health issues through dialogue between patient and doctor. Though many of his theories have fallen out of favor, this method is still a vital component of most psychological services. By the early 20th century, the center of psychological thought had moved from Germany to America, where a group of influential thinkers, including Edward Bradford Titchener, developed a new discipline known as structuralism. Structuralists sought to understand the anatomy of the mind, or the structures of consciousness. This method was in turn supplanted by functionalism, a method favored by psychologists such as William James, who was interested in knowing how and why the mind works, as opposed to how it is structured. Another important functionalist was G. Stanley Hall, who founded the disciplines of developmental psychology and educational psychology. In 1913, the approach known as behaviorism began to be espoused by John Watson, who dismissed previous psychological theories based on introspection and analysis to be unscientific and argued that only behaviors and processes that were totally objective and completely observable were proper subjects for study. Behaviorism and neobehaviorism dominated the psychological conversation for much of the next 50 years. Today, the dominant ideology seems to be cognitive psychology, with cognitive behavior therapy among the most widely used and effective treatment techniques. Within the field of psychology, though, there are still a number of theories and approaches, each with its own adherents. (Continued on page 20)
CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, DOMINGUEZ HILLS
In the U.S., only
Signs of Mental Illness There are numerous signs and symptoms of mental illness, which vary depending on the disorder. According to the Mayo Clinic, the following are some issues to watch for: • Difficulty coping with stress or daily problems • Sadness or feeling down • Excessive worry, fear, or guilt • Withdrawal from activities, family, and friends • Lack of energy, sleeping more or less than usual • Eating significantly more or less than usual • Excessive anger, threats, or violent behavior
• Difficulty concentrating or feeling confused • Inability to relate to or understand others or situations • Hallucinations, delusions, or paranoia • Changes in sex drive or risky behavior • Drug or alcohol abuse • Thoughts or threats of suicide or harming oneself
of people with mental health issues received professional services in the past year
Experiencing even one or two of these symptoms may warrant consultation with a mental health professional. (Continued from page 19)
One theory that ties in well with notions of wellness is Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow was a humanist who took a unique approach to his research: rather than study “sick” people, he studied “well” people in order to see how and why they were successful in life. The theory he developed states that every person has certain needs that must be met in a hierarchy; basic needs like food, shelter, and security must be addressed before one can deal with the “higher level” psychological and self-fulfillment needs. At the top of this pyramid is self-actualization, in which a person achieves their true, fullest potential. Maslow’s Hierarchy considers human psychology to be intimately connected to one’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs, exactly as wellness advocates have long believed to be true.
NATURE AND NURTURE The science of psychology was able to grow from the field of philosophy because initially the disciplines asked similar questions. As far back as Plato and Aristotle, ancients debated the notion of where ideas came from. Were people born with them, or did they learn and adapt them as they grew and matured? Framed as the question of “nature vs. nurture,” this idea was still being debated well into the 20th century. A large body of research in recent decades now indicates that it’s actually a mix: genetics, environmental exposures before birth, and brain chemistry all play a significant role. Genetics are a key factor, but it’s usually when environmental factors combine with those genes that mental illness develops. 20
Research indicates a genetic component to many mental health issues such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. A 2013 study by the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium found that a number of mental health conditions can be inherited. Fortunately, genetic predisposition isn’t the only factor. Falk W. Lohoff, in “Overview of the Genetics of Major Depressive Disorder,” points to a study of twins that found the heritability of mood disorders is about 37%. This reveals that while genetics can make the odds significantly greater, lack of exposure to various environmental factors likely reduces the risk. The question isn’t genes versus environment, explains Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health (cited in “Nature and Nurture Play Role in Mental Illness” by Julie Steenhuysen and Ben Hirschler). He says, “There is going to be a genetic factor that gives you the risk. And it all depends on what happens in a person’s lifetime.”
PSYCHOSOCIAL FACTORS Psychosocial conditions such as childrearing, abuse, or neglect also impact mental health. Trauma has a strong relationship to mental illness, as is seen with post-traumatic stress disorder. Family and societal expectations can also affect self-esteem and cause anxiety and depression. Researchers have found evidence that psychosocial conditions can actually alter the physical makeup of the brain. A study led by Marin Teicher, director of the Developmental Biopsychiatry Research Program at McLean Hospital, used magnetic
resonance imaging to identify brain changes. It found young adults who experienced trauma in childhood had clear differences in nine regions of their brains, particularly the region that controls emotions and impulses. Experiencing prejudice and discrimination can also contribute to mental health problems. For example, LGBTQ+ individuals are 2.5 times more likely to misuse substances and experience anxiety or depression, according to the American Psychological Association. They’re also substantially more likely to consider suicide. The mental health issues experienced by these communities are caused not by their sexuality or gender identification, but rather by the way that society treats them because of these variables. Racism can similarly be a factor. Those who experience racism develop problems similar to those experienced by trauma survivors, according to a study led by Alex Pieterse, of the University at Albany, State University of New York. The nation’s legacy of racism can also make it difficult for members of minority communities to receive useful treatment. CSUDH President Thomas Parham has done extensive research on the topic, and notes in The Psychology of Blacks that most mental health notions are based on European philosophies, values, and cultural mores. Ideas of what constitutes good mental health for Europeans are often inappropriate for African Americans. In fact, Parham argues that many mental health problems in the African American community stem from its members striving to adopt European cultural attitudes over their own. He states, “as long as Black people are subjected to racist and oppressive conditions in this society, and are confronted with the question of how much to compromise one’s ‘Blackness’ in order to successfully assimilate, they will continue to need therapeutic assistance.” This creates a conundrum in the treatment of underserved communities: Many of their mental health issues are caused by the tension between their culture and that of the overarching society. Can this tension really be resolved by working with a therapist who comes from within that society? The answers to questions like this remain elusive and speak to the true difficulty of understanding another person’s mental state.
SOCIAL MEDIA The rise of social media has created another psychosocial factor. The American Psychological Association reported in its 2017 “Stress in America” survey that 18% of Americans identify technology use as a significant source of stress. CSUDH Emeritus Professor of Psychology Larry Rosen says, “Anxiety is now the No. 1 psychiatric disorder among young people. In our research, we find that anxiety about technology is a predictor of a poor night’s sleep.” This, he says, can increase psychiatric symptoms. “Social media pervade almost all aspects of life,” particularly for college students, says Mark Carrier, CSUDH psychology professor and author of From Smartphones to Social Media: How Technology Affects Our Brains and Behavior. Carrier explains that emotionladen social media posts can often affect the emotional health of those who read them. When students are exposed to sadness or depression in others, it can be contagious. Alternatively, when people see social media users posting about how wonderful their lives are, it can trigger feelings of envy, inferiority, or depression. Social media is also a means of bullying. Carrier says that in 2011, 88% of teens reported they had witnessed cyberbullying, with 15% saying that they had been victims themselves. Carrier says, “The impact of cyberbullying on the victims includes emotional distress, social anxiety, and reduced self-esteem. In the very worst cases, cyberbullying is suspected of contributing to youth suicides, but these situations are infrequent.”
Politics and the political climate is a somewhat related factor of mental health, as most young people get much of their news from social media platforms. The American Psychological Association’s 2016 “Stress in America” survey found 66% of Americans experienced significant stress over the country’s future, and 57% were stressed over the political climate. Generation Z is particularly affected by politics, as reported in the American Psychological Association’s 2018 survey. A large percentage of this generation has high stress levels regarding politics, particularly the separation and deportation of immigrant families, sexual assault, mass shootings, and the rise of hate groups, both online and in real life.
BREAKING DOWN THE STIGMA Those with mental health issues can be confronted with two distinct types of stigma. In many communities, there is a social stigma attached to even seeking out psychological help, especially for men—some cultures can often adhere to a “macho” perspective on men seeking help, with those who visit counselors being seen as weak or less masculine. This, in turn, leads to the afflicted suffering in silence as their issues remain unaddressed. This social stigma adds to the challenges for those with mental health conditions. It prevents many from seeking help early on, before their symptoms become serious, while others end up declining to seek help at all. S. Michael Gaddis, a sociology professor at UCLA, used data from the online “Healthy Minds Study,” collected from more than 60,000 students on 75 U.S. campuses. (Continued on page 22)
70% of college students receive less than 8 hours of sleep per night1
of students experienced food insecurity of housing insecure in the last students 30 days2 experienced depression2
National Institutes of Health, 2014
13% of students experienced homelessness in 20182 2
2015 Healthy Minds Study
CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, DOMINGUEZ HILLS
(Continued from page 21)
His study found that students who are experiencing thoughts of suicide or self-injury at colleges where mental health stigma is high are less likely to seek treatment. To help battle this stigmatization, many colleges and universities are increasing their outreach efforts in an attempt to educate their communities about mental health, therapy, and wellness. CSUDH has recently expanded its on-campus counseling staff and has been working to elevate their presence in the community (see article on page 26). As CSUDH staff psychologist Katie Johnson says, “We do a lot of work to reduce the stigma and just be a face for psychological services on campus. We’re trying to normalize the process of seeking services and let our students know that it’s really OK to come ask for help.” A common misperception is that those with mental illness are somehow at fault for their condition. They can be perceived as lacking the willpower to change, being lazy, and unwilling to work. Willpower alone, however, doesn’t override brain-based illnesses, nor those that are more psychologically based. This stigma ties into the belief that mental illness is not the same as physical illness, despite the fact that many forms of mental illness are brain based, which is physical as opposed to psychologically based.
Another common misperception is that those with mental illness are likely to be violent. In truth, the mentally ill are no more violent than the general population and are actually more likely to be victims of violence. Other misperceptions include the idea that mental illness is communicable, or the view that those with mental illness are unintelligent. In fact, high IQs are common among those with certain mental health issues, according to a number of studies.
CHANGING THE CONVERSATION
Connecticut’s Chris Murphy have made such issues a priority, advancing legislation aimed at improving services and increasing funding for mental health treatment and outreach. Many communities, particularly in larger cities, offer vocational rehabilitation programs to help those with mental health conditions learn new skills and gain employment. In Southern California, such services are available through government agencies such as the Department of Rehabilitation or private institutions like Didi Hirsch Mental Services. By holding jobs, they become more visible and are viewed as productive citizens. It also creates greater awareness and understanding of mental illness in the public.
On a positive note, many mental health organizations are placing greater emphasis on educating the public about mental illness in an effort to reduce both types of stigma. Celebrities like Lady Gaga, Michael Phelps, and Metta World Peace have opened up about their own struggles. The media has started to put a more positive spin on mental health issues. Today, it’s not uncommon for popular TV or movie characters to experience mental health issues, as seen in Homeland and Jessica Jones, for example. This has created greater awareness and empathy for those with mental illness, even though the portrayals aren’t always accurate.
WELL, WELL, WELL
Greater attention is being paid to mental health issues at a governmental level as well. Senators like Michigan’s Debbie Stabenow and
The flip side of illness, of course, is wellness. Most experts consider wellness to be more than just a state of good physical and mental
Colleges and universities are also playing a greater role in reducing stigma by creating awareness through school newsletters, community lectures, student campus groups, and more. At CSUDH, student organizations like the Male Student Alliance and Educational Opportunity Program invite counselors to meetings to help familiarize students with the services available to them.
CCMH Survey: Top Concerns of College Students
2/3 of students with anxiety or stress don’t seek treatment
1students in 3 reported prolonged periods of depression
Improve Your Resilience! Resilience is the ability to “bounce back” from setbacks, and is a key component of mental health. The American Psychological Association offers the following resilience-building suggestions: • Accept change • Put crises into perspective by looking toward the future • Be optimistic • Act decisively in the face of problems • Develop confidence in your problem-solving skills • Set and move toward realistic goals • Build relationships for support • Take good care of your mind and body
health. It’s an awareness and active process of wanting and moving toward a sound body and mind and a fulfilling life. It’s about making healthy choices for oneself to maintain and improve wellness.
resilience protects against depression and anxiety and reduces the risk of emotional problems as a result of being bullied or past traumatic experiences. Resilience helps those with mental health conditions cope better.
One of the more notable methods of analyzing wellness was developed by Bill Hettler, co-founder of the National Wellness Institute. In his work, the six dimensions of wellness are emotional, physical, intellectual, occupational, social, and spiritual.
Social connection. Meaningful interpersonal relationships are another factor in emotional wellness. Not only do relationships affect our mental health, but our mental health can also affect our ability to develop relationships or how we relate to others.
Healthy mind, healthy body. Erin Merz, professor of psychology at CSUDH, says “Mental health is physical health, and physical health is mental health. They have a cyclical nature.” She points out that studies have found high levels of stress can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity, among other diseases. Stress can even increase physical pain.
Stimulate your brain. Creative pursuits are also an important part of wellness. They increase happiness and reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and even the risk of drug addiction. These pursuits provide a means to decompress and experience success and self-satisfaction.
When our lives are unbalanced, our emotional and physical health suffer. As psychologist F. Diane Barth wrote in a piece on psychologytoday.com, “Finding balance is a lifetime project. It is ongoing. It is not a finite goal.” She shared these takeaways from her research:
Good mental health, on the other hand, reduces the risk of acute and chronic illnesses, says Merz. There’s good evidence that stress management and mental wellness can also “turn back the clock,” helping to prevent or postpone the development of serious health conditions. She explains that those with good mental health are likely to be more resilient in living with a health condition if one does develop. Mental resilience is an important component of emotional wellness. The Mayo Clinic says
The positive effects were validated in a Drexel University research study, where researchers found that making art for 45 minutes significantly reduced cortisol levels, the chemical associated with anxiety. Occupation and environment. At work and at home, your environment plays a role in wellness. Personal fulfillment from a job, volunteer work, or healthy parenting increases happiness and satisfaction with life. This is achieved by contributing your special talents and skills in a way that meshes with your goals and values.
Spiritual. This aspect of wellness focuses on the search for purpose and meaning in life. For some, it may consist of religious beliefs and practices, but the meaning of life is different for every person. For many, it’s about their relationship with the universe and the natural world. Spiritual wellness ultimately boils down to being true to yourself and living according to your beliefs and values, while practicing tolerance of others.
• We all lose balance from time to time. Recognize when this occurs and strive to find balance again. (Continued on page 24)
of all mental disorders begin by age
of all mental disorders begin by age
National Alliance on Mental Illness
CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, DOMINGUEZ HILLS
National Alliance on Mental Health Study
of students reported that they had problems with schoolwork due to a mental health issue
of students have struggled in school due to anxiety issues
of students feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities as a student
of college students rated their own mental health as below average or poor
of parents reported that their college students experience a mental health issue
of students who suffer from depression do not seek help for their problems
of American college students report symptoms of depression
(Continued from page 23)
• Prioritize each day, set goals, and focus on the most important things first. • Set long-term goals, then break them down into short-term goals and specific actions. • Find balance by sharing the weight with another, each giving and receiving energy from the other.
LET’S GET PHYSICAL One of the key components of ancient holistic practices is the idea that exercise is good for one’s emotional health. Numerous recent studies back this up. Researchers say this is because exercise increases dopamine and serotonin, two chemicals that affect happiness and mood. A recent study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association found higher levels of physical activity reduced the likelihood of major depression. Mike Ernst, professor and chair of the Department of Kinesiology at CSUDH, also recommends physical activity for emotional wellness. It doesn’t need to be strenuous. It “just needs to elevate heart rate and breathing.” Activity lasting 30 minutes or longer or even 10-minute spurts of activity throughout the day is beneficial. 24
Ernst also suggests activity classes such as yoga, Pilates, or weight training. Outdoor activities like bicycling, hiking, swimming, and walking are particularly beneficial. A 2019 study by MaryCarol Rossiter Hunter, et al., published in Frontiers in Psychology found a “nature prescription” to be an effective preventative treatment for mental health. Immersing yourself in nature for 20 minutes or more in a single outing decreases cortisol levels, thereby helping to reduce stress.
THE MEDICATION DEBATE The use of medication has long been debated. Studies have found that medication is both overused and, because of misdiagnosis or underdiagnosis, underused. For some conditions, psychotherapy alone is effective, especially in conjunction with mental and physical techniques patients can do on their own. However, for serious mental disorders, medication is a necessary and effective part of treatment. Even when psychotherapy is utilized, medication may be needed to correct brain chemistry. Once that has been corrected, psychotherapy can be more effective in helping with other underlying
problems or behavior modification. For issues such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, medications are also necessary, often in combination with family psychotherapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy.
THE ROAD AHEAD Mental health is as much a part of human existence as physical health—and of equal significance to our quality of life. Mental health affects us in countless ways, from our self-esteem and relationships to educational attainment, career, and physical health. Prioritizing emotional wellness, seeking treatment for mental illness, and striving for a more enlightened society is crucial to our own lives and the betterment of the world around us. As ongoing research continues to increase our understanding of and insight into the prevention and treatment of mental illness and how we can maintain wellness, we can each individually take responsibility as well. With more and more tools at our disposal, we can live healthier, happier, more productive and fulfilling lives. Doing so can mean the difference between merely surviving and truly thriving.
Wellness Techniques Proven ways to improve one’s wellness include: • • • • •
Exercise Meditation A healthy diet Building relationships Enjoying solitude
• • • •
Positive thinking Finding meaningful employment Setting and striving for goals Getting enough sleep
How Can I Help? Most funding for public mental health clinics comes from the federal government. Historically, this has meant that funding goes up and down depending on the administration’s priorities. Mental health has not often been one of those priorities. In recent decades, funding has seen some improvement, particularly for the purposes of creating awareness and addressing prevention and treatment of common, less severe mental health conditions. State and local governments also fund public health services, but programs vary from state to state and community to community. These lower levels of government often lack the resources and/or will to fund effective programs and services, especially for those with more serious mental health issues. So what can you do to help? Contact your congressperson or senator to find out how they prioritize mental health issues, and encourage them to do more. You can also volunteer or donate to public mental health facilities.
To find out how you can contribute to CSUDH’s on-campus efforts, contact Andre Khachaturians at firstname.lastname@example.org or (310) 243-3276.
CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, DOMINGUEZ HILLS
A PIECE OF THE PUZZLE CSUDH Health Center Counselors Offer Help to Students in Need. BY NICK BULUM
College students are not immune to the nation’s widespread rise in mental health issues. Recent studies from the National Alliance on Mental Health have found that one in four young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 has a diagnosable mental illness. Among college students nationally, more than 11% have been diagnosed or treated for anxiety in the past year, while over 10% have been diagnosed or treated for depression. With so many of their students experiencing such issues, colleges and universities have seen the demand for on-campus mental health services increase dramatically. Counselors in CSUDH’s Student Health & Psychological Services agree that they, too, are seeing an upsurge in the frequency and severity of the problems that students are encountering. “There’s definitely more of a demand for our services, with more students starting to reach out and ask for help,” says Katie Johnson, staff psychologist. The Student Health Center employs 10 staff psychologists, who are available to help students navigate the array of issues they face today through free one-on-one counseling or group sessions. Johnson says that students seek counseling for a wide range of concerns, from depression and anxiety to substance abuse, trauma, and relationship problems, and the health center staff develops much of its programming based on the current trends in the mental
health landscape. For instance, group session offerings have expanded in recent years to include a mindfulness session and another to address the specific needs of undocumented students. Getting the word out and making sure that students can get the help they need is vital, says Matthew Smith, interim associate vice president of student life and dean of students. “We want to make sure our students are successful,” says Smith, “but we recognize that we can’t define student success without considering mental health and well-being. We have a moral obligation to provide mental health support and educate students on the importance of living healthy, balanced lives. Our goal is to support the academic and developmental needs of our students. If we don’t adequately address mental health and well-being, then we have missed the mark.” One important goal of their outreach efforts is breaking down the stigma that’s often associated with seeking psychological help. Vince Flowers, director of the on-campus Male Success Alliance, says that such outreach is making a difference. “Representatives from psychological services speak to our students every year to help demystify seeking services and therapy, to humanize it,” says Flowers. “Students are able to put faces and names to the counselors, so the Health Center becomes more than just a building. Seeking help is something we try to normalize. We talk about it and make it just another part of our culture.” As Sergio Mancilla, staff psychologist, puts it, “We do a lot of presentations to classes and on-campus programs. We talk about therapy and how in many communities it’s seen as a taboo, something you don’t talk about. So we go out there and we talk about it. How it’s OK, and there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s a way to help yourself.”
CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, DOMINGUEZ HILLS
2019 Class Gift SUPPORTS FOOD SECURITY
When students from the Class of 2019 were given the chance to create a lasting legacy at CSUDH, they chose a compassionate class gift that spoke to their sense of community. They voted overwhelmingly to support the Toro Food Pantry, an on-campus program addressing foodinsecurity issues among students. “It’s been our most successful year so far,” says Andre Khachaturians, senior director of annual giving and advancement services. “When we started the program, we were collecting two or three thousand dollars a year. This year, the graduating seniors have brought in almost $40,000 in gifts and pledges!” The Toro Food Pantry is an assistance program that includes a trio of on-campus pantries, each stocked with food and basic hygiene supplies available to CSUDH students with food insecurity issues. Since 2013, graduating classes have been giving back to the university through targeted class gifts. Previous gifts included money for water fountain-style hydration stations around campus and new furniture and planters for the Sculpture Garden. Allowing students to vote on which gift they want to give has helped build enthusiasm for the project, and the prospect of donating to the Toro Food Pantry seemed to inspire the recent graduates, says Khachaturians. “Students give to what they’re passionate about,” he says, “and the issue of food insecurity is something that many of our students have experienced themselves, or they know someone who’s experienced it. It’s a great cause, and it goes straight to helping students who are very much in need.” The unrestricted gift is expected to have a significant impact on the campus pantries, allowing them to purchase equipment and supplies, as well as stay well stocked with food and hygiene staples. 28
For more information on how to donate to the Toro Food Pantry or other campus needs, contact Andre Khachaturians Office of Development (310) 243-3276 or email@example.com.
Emeritus Professor of Psychology Beverly Palmer enjoys staying connected to CSUDH students.
A new endowed scholarship established by Beverly Palmer and her husband will support a full-time psychology undergraduate each year. BY PAUL BROWNING For Emeritus Professor of Psychology Beverly Palmer, forming lasting bonds with her students was one of the most rewarding aspects of working at CSUDH.
The scholarship will pay tuition and college fees for one full-time undergraduate student annually in the Department of Psychology.
a psychiatrist, opened their practice in Torrance. In 2018, she authored Love Demystified, a book on love and relationships.
“Educating those who have been marginalized is a big part of this university’s mission,” she says, “and we really felt that we’re in the position to give back and foster the educational development of psychology students.”
Palmer says she and her husband frequently mentor recent graduates as they embark on their careers, offering advice on how to balance earning a decent living with supporting the needs of underrepresented communities.
These cherished, decades-long connections and Palmer’s continued commitment to CSUDH’s history of opening doors to traditionally underrepresented minority and low-income students has encouraged her to give back to the university.
Beverly Palmer joined the Department of Psychology faculty in 1973, following the completion of her doctorate in counseling psychology from The Ohio State University. For many years, she served as coordinator of the CSUDH clinical psychology graduate program. In 1995, she was honored as CSUDH’s nominee for CSU Board of Trustees Professor of the Year.
Palmer continues to hear from former students sharing their post-graduate success stories and is heartened by how many are invested professionally in giving back.
With that in mind, this spring Palmer and her husband, Richard, created the Beverly B. Palmer, Ph.D., Endowed Scholarship in Psychology with a $50,000 gift to CSUDH.
A clinical psychologist and expert in interpersonal attraction and relationships, Palmer has also counseled couples and singles since 1985, when she and Richard,
“I still speak with several of my former master’s students—now as colleagues—and some of my undergrads who have gone on to get doctorates in psychology. I’ve even attended continuing education courses with some of them, which has been gratifying,” says Palmer, who retired from CSUDH in 2009 after 36 years in the Department of Psychology.
“With the knowledge and skills they have learned at Cal State Dominguez Hills, my former students are helping people in local communities,” she says, adding that she is looking forward to meeting and developing relationships with the students chosen for the new scholarship. “I have a feeling many of our scholars will be making a difference in the same way.”
CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, DOMINGUEZ HILLS
LAUERHASS FAMILY LEAVES LEGACY TO SPANISH MAJORS BY PAUL BROWNING
Emeritus Professor of Modern Languages Frances Lauerhass developed a lifelong love of Spanish and its literature, having grown up in a variety of Spanish-speaking nations. She translated that love into a 40-year teaching career at CSUDH. Lauerhass passed away in March 2016, and as a tribute to her dedication to the university and its students, her family has established the Frances Lauerhass Endowed Scholarship. The $100,000 endowment will provide financial assistance to one distinguished CSUDH student annually who is majoring in Spanish. 30
“Frances had very strong feelings about Cal State Dominguez Hills,” says her husband, Ludwig “Larry” Lauerhass Jr., a University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) lecturer emeritus in history and librarian emeritus. “One of her lifelong goals was helping students, so I did this in her memory. I know it would have made her very happy.” Frances Lauerhass’ interest in the Spanish language and Latin American literature was a byproduct of her childhood upbringing. As the daughter of a Standard Oil executive stationed in Latin America, she had lived in Port of Spain,
3 1. Ludwig “Larry” Lauerhass Jr. today. 2. Frances Lauerhass speaking at the 1994 CSUDH Commencement ceremony. 3. Larry and France Lauerhass with their daughter, Theresa Wiegmann.
Trinidad (where she was born), Jamaica, Cuba, Panama, and the Dominican Republic by the time she entered high school in Argentina. After high school, Lauerhass moved to the United States and attended Wellesley College in Massachusetts as an undergraduate. She earned her master’s degree in romance languages and literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she first met Larry. Together they moved to California and entered doctoral programs at UCLA; she studied romance languages and literature, and he studied history. Lauerhass took a position teaching Spanish and French at CSUDH in 1969, becoming one of the first faculty members in the modern languages department. She enjoyed teaching the romance languages just as much as speaking them and had a particular passion for teaching Spanish classics, including Don Quixote and La Celestina.
Her hard work and dedication spread beyond the classroom. She was an early chair of the then-foreign language department (19851992) and also served many years in the Academic Senate, including three years as chair (1993-1995).
Supporting Students of FUTURE GENERATIONS
“What people appreciated about her was her outspokenness and humor, which could be both sardonic and ironic at times,” says Larry. “She did a lot more than teach, and always responded to requests to be on committees and perform other important functions for the university. She would often go to campus on her days off from teaching. She fully dedicated herself to her students and the university.” Lauerhass retired in 2003 but continued to teach at CSUDH for many years. She is remembered for her genuine interest in her students and her colleagues, many of whom she remained in touch with throughout and following her career at CSUDH. Miguel Dominguez, emeritus professor of modern languages, says Lauerhass was an exceptional mentor to him and students, and a good friend who showed him the ropes when she stepped down as department chair and he took the reins. “Frances was a very engaging professor. She was a great storyteller who would read passages very dramatically, and students really liked that. Some of her classes were medieval literature, which can be demanding, but she made it easier for them to understand,” says Dominguez. “Frances was also a great listener, adviser, and mentor—especially for older Latina students. She had an open door that invited students to come in and talk about academics, or whatever was on their minds.”
Over the years, the Lauerhass family has donated thousands of books to CSUDH’s Donald R. & Beverly J. Gerth Archives and Special Collections, including books on Latin America, Spanish and English literature, and visual materials such as a collection of illustrations by Aubrey Beardsley, an internationally recognized English illustrator and author of the late 19th century.
Leave a legacy of support that will help future generations of students receive an exceptional educational experience. Find out how you can create or contribute to an endowment, create a scholarship named in honor of someone special, or make another type of planned gift. Remember, some gifts may provide you an income for life or other significant tax benefits.
OFFICE OF DEVELOPMENT Beri Eisenhardt
Executive Director of Development
(310) 243-3156 | firstname.lastname@example.org | csudhlegacy.org
CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, DOMINGUEZ HILLS
FACULTY PROFILE FACULTY PROFILE
The PRACTICE of GRATITUDE Life is more meaningful when we express gratitude regularly and intentionally, according to Associate Professor of Psychology Giacomo Bono. It’s also one of our most important character strengths, he says. BY LAURIE McLAUGHLIN Gratitude is a familiar concept, but one that can be hard to specifically pin down, says Giacomo Bono. “Just like well-being or success, how do you define it?” “Sometimes I joke that gratitude is the most underappreciated virtue. People value it, but it’s really a question of how you practice it. Even though it seems like a simple behavior, the more you look at it, and the more you genuinely try to live up to it and practice it, the more meaningful your life gets.” Bono, an associate professor of psychology at CSUDH and co-author of the book Making Grateful Kids: The Science of Building Character, has spent years teaching and conducting research focused on gratitude, its development, and how to encourage it throughout society. Bono’s research suggests that it is important to express gratitude whenever it is felt, no matter what you’re feeling grateful for. “It could be people or things, it could be how your life has turned out, it could be God, it could be nature, it could be a relationship you are grateful for, a friendship, or a relative.”
Studies, including Bono’s research, suggest Bono is most interested in interpersonal, that expressing gratitude improves the wellor in-person, expressions of gratitude, being of both those who offer thanks and the and emphasizes the importance of being recipients of appreciation. “There’s potency in sincere. “We’ve learned to thank each practicing gratitude interpersonally—sharing other since we were toddlers—but we often our thanks with others,” he says. do it automatically and pointlessly, as a politeness, when we Research also suggests, say ‘please’ and however, that people ‘thank you,’” he says. Gratitude can only become wanting to share a defining character strength sentiments of gratitude “We don’t really get specific and think through conscious practice, may shy away from doing so due to fear of about the meaning by frequently recognizing the embarrassment, both for behind a gift or help individuals and occurrences themselves and others. from someone. But, “We underestimate how that we are grateful for. like mindfulness and much it matters and meditation, if you don’t how surprising receiving practice gratitude thanks will be, and we overestimate how genuinely, then it just doesn’t work.” awkward it will be to thank others. These Whatever it is that you are grateful for, in biases can prevent us from actually thanking order to make the experience valuable someone,” he says. in your day-to-day life, it is important “The truth is that this kind of disclosure is what that your gratitude be realized, noted, or starts friendships.” expressed, says Bono. Gratitude can only become a defining character strength Bono’s recent scholarly research includes through conscious practice, by frequently the article, “A New Approach to Gratitude recognizing the individuals and occurrences Interventions in High Schools that Supports that we are grateful for. Student Wellness,” which will be published in
The Journal of Positive Psychology this fall. Bono is also developing and testing a school curriculum for middle and high schools that emphasizes the best gratitude practices for young people. In addition, he’s been instrumental in creating a modern intervention for schools using the app by GiveThx.org, a journaling and social interaction platform that allows for private exchanges of gratitude among its users. Students and teachers can use the app to send private, appreciative notes to one another without the scrutiny or potential embarrassment of public social media posts. Early application of both programs has proven successful so far, according to Bono. “Some of the basic findings are that using this app along with the curriculum reduces depression, social anxiety, and perceived stress,” he says. “Students also reported increases in their satisfaction with their friendships.” Whether digital or in-person, everyone’s technique is different, says Bono. “My gratitude practices personally are often leaving thank you notes and verbal thank yous and acknowledgement. If you feel comfortable saying ‘blessed,’ then go for it. Use ‘appreciation,’ or say ‘what a wonderful gift.’ It can be a hug, making eye contact, touching someone’s shoulder, a handshake, or a high-five—all that stuff is meaningful, too.” Bono says that of all the character strengths related to happiness and well-being, gratitude is among the most important. “It’s one of the biggest character strengths—and the most malleable. You can change it, and you can grow it. “What gratitude does is connect us to something bigger and more benevolent, something positive in the universe. I think that is important to humans in general.”
CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, DOMINGUEZ HILLS
FACULTY PUBLICATIONS MARK CARRIER, professor of psychology, wrote From Smartphones to Social Media: How Technology Affects Our Brains and Behavior (Greenwood, 2018), which examines how modern technology shapes our mental and physical health and development.
BRIAN GREGOR, assistant professor of philosophy, published Ricoeur’s Hermeneutics of Religion: Rebirth of the Capable Self (Lexington, 2018), an indepth exploration of the religion-themed writings of French philosopher Paul Ricoeur.
CLARENCE (GUS) MARTIN, professor of criminal justice, and
FYNNWIN PRAGER, assistant professor of public administration, published Terrorism: An International Perspective (SAGE, Jan. 2019), a comprehensive investigation of modern terrorism and the global terrorist environment.
ANTHONY NORMORE and ANTONIA ISSA LAHERA, professors of school leadership, and
KENDALL ZOLLER, lecturer in school leadership, co-authored Voices Leading From the Ecotone (Word and Deed, 2019), which focuses on creating lasting change when tackling school challenges.
SARAH R. TAYLOR, assistant professor of anthropology, published On Being Maya and Getting By (University Press of Colorado, 2018), an examination of the effects of tourism on a notable Mayan archeological site and village in the Yucatán Peninsula.
UNDERSTANDING THE FIGHT FOR
Human Rights BY LAURIE McLAUGHLIN
Joanna Perez’s research on young Latinx activists has earned her a prestigious Woodrow Wilson Foundation Fellowship, the first time a CSUDH faculty member has been selected for this significant honor. For more than a decade, Joanna Perez has examined the experiences of Latinx undocuactivists, a recently coined term which she defines as “undocumented immigrant activists who fight for immigrant rights by actively challenging structural inequality and oppressive social relations.” Perez is currently an assistant professor in the CSUDH Department of Sociology, which she joined in 2016. Despite their lack of legal status, undocuactivists are openly and unapologetically fighting for human rights and social justice.
“While there is a vast amount of literature documenting the educational experiences of Latinx and undocumented students, particularly Dreamers—those who benefit from the Dream Act—there is limited research on the ways that Latinx undocuactivists push legal boundaries, reimagine a sense of belonging, and create social change despite living in an anti-immigrant landscape,” Perez says. Due to her groundbreaking work, Perez was recently named a Career Enhancement Fellow by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. She is the first CSUDH faculty member to receive this prestigious award, and one of only 32 fellows selected nationwide for this year’s grant. She is also one of 10 junior faculty members who received the 12-month fellowships. Funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Career Enhancement Fellowship— which includes a $30,000 grant, mentorship, professional development, and a stipend for research travel or publication—creates career development opportunities for faculty fellows with promising research projects. The fellowship seeks particularly to increase the presence of junior faculty
members who are underrepresented in their fields, and to support faculty working to eradicate racial disparities in core fields in the arts and humanities. The fellowship provides pre-tenured faculty, like Perez, with a sabbatical and the resources to publish research to further advance their careers. Perez plans to use her fellowship to write a book detailing her research. “It focuses on the ways that undocumented young adults have used activism to contest illegality during both the Obama and Trump eras,” says Perez. Eager to give back to her community, Perez is an avid mentor for current CSUDH students. As a Latina and daughter of immigrants, she works to address the needs of her students, many of whom share similar backgrounds to her own. She says that with Latinx scholars representing only about 1% of university faculty nationwide, “getting this fellowship is not only significant for my career, but also serves to diversify the faculty who have a greater chance of achieving tenure and promotion. My hope is that through this fellowship, I will publish research that is driven by social justice as I strive to create social change.”
CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, DOMINGUEZ HILLS
Joy ALUMNI PROFILE
in Leadership As she works to help seriously ill children at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, alumna Nancy Lee’s work is full of joyful moments. BY PAUL BROWNING
Alumna Nancy Lee, senior vice president and chief clinical officer at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), believes that pediatric health-care professionals are a different breed from those in other types of medicine. “This work takes a certain type of person. There are some clinicians, physicians, and nurses who say ‘I don’t know if I could do pediatrics’,” she says. “But it’s different than they think. Ninety-five percent of the families we serve are extremely joyful and grateful.” Lee adds that working with the more seriously ill children has its definite down side, but “we are compassionate people, and we know how to help families through that.” She continues, “What I’m doing at Children’s Hospital is hard work, but it’s beyond rewarding. I just love that every day we make a difference in someone’s life.” In June 2019, U.S. News and World Report placed CHLA fifth in the nation on its “Best Children’s Hospital Honor Roll,” and at the top of children’s hospitals in California. Annually, the nonprofit institution treats nearly 111,000 young patients from Los Angeles and around the world. The hospital also engages in cutting-edge pediatric research and provides complex care for critically ill and injured children. Lee was part of the pediatrics community long before joining CHLA in 2016. She earned an associate degree in nursing from Riverside City College in 1979. She cut her teeth as a nurse at Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital Long Beach before taking the position of manager at Long Beach Medical Center in 1984. Wanting to complete her education and advance her career, Lee went back to college and earned her Bachelor of Science in nursing in 1990 and a master’s in nursing administration in 1994 from CSUDH. Lee likely was destined to go into the nursing field. “My mom was pregnant with me when she sat for her boards in 1955, but in those days you weren’t supposed to be married or pregnant and take them,” she says. “In fact, in Illinois, you had to be a single woman under the age of 25.” Her mother got around these restrictions by
simply not saying anything. “We often joke that I did so well on my boards because I sat through them twice.” Like her mother, Lee has bucked the career trends of women in health care. Despite being a field in which women are actually the majority, women occupy only 16% of leadership positions in health care, according to a January 2019 U.S. News and World Report article.
In June 2019, U.S. News and World Report placed CHLA fifth in the nation on its “Best Children’s Hospital Honor Roll,” and at the top of children’s hospitals in California.
After graduating from CSUDH, Lee landed her first administrative position at Daniel Freeman Hospital in Inglewood, California, where she advanced from chief nursing officer to chief operating officer. Her supportive and strong leadership at the hospital opened up additional opportunities. In 2002, Stanford Health Care Hospital hired Lee as vice president of clinical services. She excelled in her challenging new position, managing operations for the division. Lee is grateful for her CSUDH education and has been impressed by the caliber of young health-care professionals entering the workforce from the CSU system. “It’s a model that works. I got my associate degree at a community college and then ended up going through the whole process at CSUDH. It’s a great program for adult learners,” says Lee. “As this profession has progressed, the CSU has made a big difference. Now, 90% of our nurses are baccalaureate-prepared, and nearly 30% have graduate degrees. California has a well-educated nursing workforce.” For Lee, her arrival at CHLA was met with a challenging and extensive list of responsibilities. She oversees all clinical services and operations, including inpatient
and outpatient nursing, clinical laboratory and anatomic pathology, pharmacy, radiology, rehabilitation services, and occupational, physical, and speech therapy. As for her leadership style, Lee sees her job as “getting the furniture out of the way” so her staff can do its work. “In many academic medical centers, the focus is on the medicine and not necessarily the hospital. That’s not true at all here and is one of the reasons I’m at CHLA. The kind of team we have put together and our commitment to basic morality and doing the right thing is really important to me,” Lee says. “To be 64 and doing the kind of work that I do, and to love my job, is a rare thing. I feel very blessed.” At a hospital as rigorous as CHLA, which requires Lee to spend substantial time with senior staff and administrators, she still carves out a significant amount of time to meet with those in the trenches. “I open time on my calendar just to do rounds at least twice a week. I am in the operating rooms and in the nursing units,” says Lee, who also does rounds in the 36 clinics she manages within the hospital. “What you pay attention to improves, and people on the front line need to know why they are doing things. Our job is to help them connect the dots.” Just as important as addressing the needs of staff is finding new approaches to assessing the concerns of parents and the experiences of the hospital’s young patients, as well as making sure CHLA is always mission ready. One way is to have “mission moments” during board meetings, Lee says. “Once, we invited a child to come to a board meeting with her mom. The girl had cancer and had an amputation. She was asked, ‘What do you remember the most about your stay here?’ She replied how much fun it was,” Lee shares. “This can be a tough place, so if we can create that for kids it’s wonderful because play is their work. That’s how they learn and grow. We’re not their home, but they still have to do their job while they’re here. They have to play.”
CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, DOMINGUEZ HILLS
DARLENE WETTON (B.S. ’95)
ZERON APELIAN (M.S. ’86) has joined Adventist Health in the Central Valley as executive of ambulatory and physician services in Kings, Fresno, Tulare, Madera, and Kern counties. Prior to this role, he served as chief administrative officer for Kaiser Permanente.
JOHN BALLARD (M.A. ’87) was named academic dean and provost at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy located in Kings Point, New York. He most recently served as vice president for Veteran’s and Military Partnerships at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.
JUDY BICKNELL TAYLOR (B.S. ’88, M.S. ’94) was named the administrator of the Idaho Commission on Aging. She previously worked as the associate executive director of the State Board of Nursing.
1990s KAREN BASS (B.S. ’90) was sworn in as the 26th chair of the Congressional Black Caucus of the United States Congress on Jan. 3, 2019. The California Democrat replaces Louisiana Rep. Cedric L. Richmond.
CAROL E. HENDERSON (M.A. ’91) was named vice provost for diversity and inclusion, chief diversity officer and advisor to the president at Emory University. She is the university’s first chief diversity officer. Henderson previously held the positon of vice provost for diversity at the University of Delaware.
EDWIN SUDARIO (B.S. ’92) was named vice president of external relations for Child360, a leading non-profit that supports early childhood education. Sudario will oversee key external relationships and partnerships to drive forward Child360’s mission of advancing quality early education in California and the nation.
BETH TISHLER (M.A. ’93) was honored with the Inner-City Arts’ Lifetime Achievement Award for her years of tireless leadership and dedication with the Los Angelesbased organization. She has worked at Inner-City Arts for more than 26 years and is currently their chief program officer.
MICHELE VARELA (M.S. ’94) joined Click Bond, Inc. as Vice President of quality assurance. Varela has worked in the field of management experience in quality assurance and operations for 29 years.
2000s JONATHAN FENDERSON (B.A. ’03) was named an assistant professor in African and African American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. He earned his Ph.D. in the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts.
MARCIA REED (CRDT ’03) retired after 40 years with the Los Angeles Unified School District. Reed had been principal of 186th Street Elementary School in Gardena since 2004 and is a past recipient of the National Distinguished Principals award. In honor of her retirement, the City of Los Angeles named the intersection of 186th Street and Denker Avenue “Marcia Reed Square.”
DEBRA LUCAS (CRDT ’03) was selected by the Pasadena Unified School District as principal of Norma Coombs Elementary School. Lucas previously served as principal of Cleveland Elementary from 2016 to June 2019.
JOHN EDUARDO PEREZ (M.A. ’04) was appointed chief of police for the City of Pasadena. Perez is a 33-year veteran of the Pasadena Police Department and had been interim police chief since April 2018.
ULISES REYNA COVARRUBIAS (B.A. ’06) won a 2018 Los Angeles Area Emmy Award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for his live coverage video journalism of the 2017 Mexico earthquake for Univision Los Angeles KMEX 34. He previously won an L.A. Area Emmy in 2015 and has received numerous nominations.
© 2019 S.F. Giants
was honored as a 2019 Woman of Distinction for the 75th Assembly District by California Assemblywoman Marie Waldron. Wetton has served in various health-care leadership roles for over 27 years and is currently CEO of Temecula Valley Hospital.
ANABEL QUINTANAR (M.S. ’08) was awarded the national Veterans Health Administration 2018 VA Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Nursing and Advancement of Nursing Programs. Quintanar is a Patient Aligned Care Team registered nurse in the VA’s Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo Community Based Outpatient Clinics.
MONICA BILEY (M.P.A. ’08) was named vice president/chief executive nurse officer at Dignity Health’s Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital. Biley has more than 18 years experience in the nursing field as both a nurse and nurse administrator.
ROGELIO SÁNCHEZ, JR (B.A. ’08, CRDT ’09, M.A. ’12, CRDT ’14)
earned the 2019 Alliance-Lappin Principal of the Year Award for his leadership at Alliance Judy Ivie Burton Technology Academy High School. Sanchez began his career as a physical education teacher at Alliance Burton Tech a decade ago.
CARMELITA JETER (B.A. ’06) received the California State University Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from CSUDH at its 2019 Commencement ceremonies for her contributions to U.S. track and field. In fall 2018, the Olympic gold medalist joined the coaching staff of Missouri State University as assistant track and field coach in charge of training the team’s sprinters and hurdlers.
YOLANDA BENTON (B.S. ’04, M.A. ’11)
KESHIA SEXTON (B..A. ’08) has been appointed to the Baldwin Hills Conservancy Governing Board. She has previously served as senior lead field representative for U.S. Rep. Karen Bass from 2011 to 2013 and director of organizing at the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust from 2013 to 2019.
FUIAVAILILI EGON KEIL (B.S. ’09) was reappointed to a three-year term as commissioner of the Samoa Police Service, the national police force of the Independent State of Samoa. Keil served in the Los Angeles Police Department from 1995 to 2012, where he rose in the ranks from prison guard to assistant watch commander.
MARLO RICHARDSON (B.A. ’09) was elected chair of the California State Contractors Licensing Board, the first African American woman to hold the position. She was appointed to the board in 2015 by then-Gov. Jerry Brown. She is a television and film producer and communications professional in Los Angeles.
served as executive producer and story editor on the film, Around the Bed, which won the September 2017 award for Best Narrative Feature by the Los Angeles Film Awards monthly film and screenplay competition.
© Brent Durkin Courtesy Columbus Crew Communications
KEVIN PILLAR Traded from the Toronto Blue Jays to the San Francisco Giants during the first week of the 2019 season, Kevin Pillar thrived in his return to California. The former Toro All-American had one of his best MLB seasons, setting career highs in home runs and RBIs. His offensive production and stellar outfield defense were keys in helping the Giants stay in the playoff hunt until the final month of the season.
RAMAN BATH (M.A. ’12) was promoted to the position of Fresno County librarian. Bath had served as interim librarian since February. In addition to working 16 years in the county library system, he has provided oversight of the San Joaquin Valley Library System.
CHARDAE JENKINS (B.A. ’13) was named multicultural publicity specialist at Netflix. She previously served as manager of film publicity for the entertainment company.
ERIC ERHARDT (M.P.A. ’16) was named assistant county administrator of Tuolumne County. Erhardt had spent 16 years with the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office as deputy, detective, sergeant, and most recently, lieutenant.
HAWK McFADZEN (B.A. ’18) was named the CSUDH recipient of the 2018 California State University Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement. She was also named the CSU Trustees’ Wells Fargo Veteran Scholar recipient.
GYASI ZARDES (B.S. ’17) Columbus Crew forward Gyasi Zardes enjoyed another stellar year, after taking home the MLS Comeback Player of the Year Award in 2018. Zardes sparkled in his appearances with the U.S. Men’s National Team, scoring three goals during the team’s run to the 2019 Gold Cup final. He also continued his strong play for the Crew, delivering a double-digit goal total for the third time in his MLS career.
In Memoriam ANNA MOLLO (B.S. ’88) passed away December 2018. Anna was born in Detroit, Mich., where she earned her nursing credential from Mercy School of Nursing. She lived for many years in Rancho Palos Verdes, working as a registered nurse and raising her family. She was a dedicated wife, sister, mother, and grandmother.
DENISE GROCE (B.A. ’07, M.A. ’11) passed away January 2019. Denise was a graduate writing consultant with CSUDH’s Promoting Excellence in Graduate Studies while pursuing a doctorate from Claremont Graduate University.
TIM ALBRIGHT (M.A. ’10) will be Elk Grove’s fourth police chief. Albright has earned the Silver Star for bravery, three Bronze Stars, and three Life-Saving Medals during his 25 years in law enforcement. He served with the Placer County Sheriff’s Department before moving to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.
TENISHA TATE-AUSTIN (M.A. ’10) was named principal at Miller Creek Middle School. Tate-Austin previously served as a psychiatric social worker, an executive director of an educational nonprofit, middle school teacher, and an assistant principal.
VERSEAN MACK (B.A. ’12) passed away January 2019. Better known as Sean or Mr. Sean, Versean grew up in Long Beach and attended Dominguez High School. After graduating from CSUDH, he worked as a site coordinator of Think Bright, an afterschool program at Longfellow Elementary School.
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CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, DOMINGUEZ HILLS
MARCH 1, 2019
JUNE 15, 2019
SEPTEMBER 5, 2019
CSU Alumni Reception
Beach Cities Alumni Reception
MANHATTAN BEACH, CA
Toro alumni joined more than 200 CSU alumni at the first-ever CSU Alumni Reception in Tokyo, where CSUDH representatives got them caught up on all the exciting things happening on campus.
The summer kicked off at the Hollywood Bowl, with a pre-show picnic attended by Toro alumni, family, and friends. The evening concluded with a stirring performance by awardwinning R&B superstar John Legend.
Toro alumni gathered at the picturesque Verandas Beach House to meet President Thomas Parham and learn about his vision for the university—and how they can help make it a reality.
FOR UPDATES, MORE INFORMATION, AND OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS, VISIT CSUDH.EDU/ALUMNIEVENTS.
Alumni—Dinner with Toros provides the perfect opportunity for alumni to give back and connect with today’s students around one of the most communal settings, the dinner table. Let us know if you would like to share your experiences at an upcoming event!
Contact Felicia Hernandez, Associate Director of Alumni Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org or (310) 243-2237
STAY CONNECTED Join the Alumni Association for free and take advantage of a wide variety of discounts, affinity programs, networking opportunities, and FUN!
(310) 243-2237 | csudh.edu/alumni
DODGERS NIGHT CSUDH Night at Dodger Stadium was a roaring success, as Toro alumni, students, faculty, and staff came together to root, root, root for the boys in blue. Over 1,200 tickets were sold for the event, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Alumni Scholarship fund. It turned out to be the most successful alumni fundraiser yet, raising over $4,200. A good time was had by all as the Dodgers smashed their way to a resounding 12-5 win over the Colorado Rockies.
1 2 3
1. Teddy the Toro, President Thomas A. Parham, Assistant Vice President of External Relations David Gamboa, and CSUDH alumna Maria Villa (B.S, â€™82) show their Toro spirit prior to the game. 2. President Parham greets the crowd before throwing out a ceremonial first pitch. 3. Proud Toros show off their special co-branded CSUDH Dodgers hats, which were distributed at the game. 4. President Parham and his wife, Davida, celebrate the Dodgers win with a happy group of Toro students, staff, and alumni.
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California State University, Dominguez Hills' Fall 2019 issue of CSUDH Magazine looks at the importance of maintaining balance when it comes...
Published on Nov 4, 2019
California State University, Dominguez Hills' Fall 2019 issue of CSUDH Magazine looks at the importance of maintaining balance when it comes...