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DominguezToday Spring 2012

Th e magaz i n e for alu m n i an d f r i e n ds of

A Fond Farewell to University President Mildred GarcĂ­a Also in this Issue:

Focus on Faculty Excellence

Ca li f o r n i a Stat e U n i v e r s i t y, D o m i n g u e z H i lls

President’s Message



ive years ago, I arrived here at California State University, Dominguez Hills to serve as your president. As many of you know, in January 2012 I was appointed to the presidency of one of our sister CSU campuses, Cal State Fullerton, and will be leaving this campus in early June. It will be a bittersweet departure. As we prepare for a transition in the university’s leadership and welcome Dr. Willie Hagan as interim president, I am heartened by the knowledge that many of our advancements have been institutionalized, and I am confident that the momentum will continue at CSU Dominguez Hills. It has been an honor to serve as your president. This is an institution that reflects the values I believe in deeply, and it has been a pleasure to be able to work with people who share my commitment to diversity and access for all students. Three factors stand out that will make the transition much easier: the university’s strong connections in the South Bay, pride in our graduates and the contributions they will make as productive citizens, and the progress CSU Dominguez Hills has made in becoming a model urban university for the region and nation. Our collective vision for CSU Dominguez Hills and its role as the university for the South Bay is coming to fruition through the hard work and dedication of the entire campus—students, faculty and staff, as well as alumni and community partners. Many of you have dedicated your careers to the university’s mission of educating the region’s citizens. We are all very proud of our accomplished faculty, and in this issue of Dominguez Today we are highlighting some of the excellent faculty members who teach at CSU Dominguez Hills. We hope that through these stories you get a sense of their creativity, intelligence and commitment to students. Our faculty is one of the key factors ensuring that CSU Dominguez Hills becomes a top-notch university of choice. Thank you for the great privilege of serving as your leader at California State University, Dominguez Hills. I hope our paths continue to cross as we all work together for the advancement of higher education in Southern California. Warm regards,

Mildred Garcia, Ed.D. President

Dominguez Today is published by the Office of University Communications and Public Affairs, an office within the University Advancement Division.

Spring 2012


Mildred García Vice President of University Advancement

Greg Saks

Editorial Staff Senior Editor Brenda Knepper (M.A. ’09) Managing Editor Amy Bentley-Smith Art Director John Lionel Pierce Contributing Writers Amy Bentley-Smith Joanie Harmon (B.A. ’03) Mel Miranda Laura Perdew (B.A. ’09) Photographers Joanie Harmon Gary Kuwahara (B.A. ’83) Laura Perdew We want to hear from you! Send your letter to the editor, in 250 words or less, to: Dominguez Today Editor CSU Dominguez Hills 1000 E. Victoria Street, WH 400 Carson, CA 90747 Or e-mail Please include your name, year of graduation if you are a CSUDH alumni, address, and daytime phone number. Letters will be printed at the discretion of the editor and may be edited for publication. To change name or mailing address, e-mail or call (310) 243-2182.

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Featu res 6 A Fond Farewell, Una Cariñosa Despedida 10 Treasures of the Archives 14 Focus on Faculty Excellence • Tayyeb Shabbir • Melissa St. James • H. Leonardo Martinez and Kenneth Rodriguez • Ana Pitchon • Hamoud Salhi • Larry Rosen • Richard Kravchak


2 28 29 30 31 33

University Spotlight Student Profile Alumni Profile Class Notes Message to Alumni Toro Athletics

On the Cover Mildred García, the university’s first female president, is stepping down after five years to become the president at CSU Fullerton.

university spotlight coming to CSU Fullerton, he served as associate vice president for administration at the University of Connecticut, and as a lobbyist for the University of Connecticut and the Connecticut Board of Governors for Higher Education at the state and federal level.

Veterans Student Center Opens More than 300 students identify as veterans at CSU Dominguez Hills; although the total number of student veterans is believed to be around 500. In order to best address the unique needs of student veterans on campus, a dedicated center opened its doors.

Willie Hagan Appointed Interim President Willie Hagan, interim president of California State University, Fullerton, has been named as interim president of California State University, Dominguez Hills effective June 11. Hagan, 61, has served in various senior leadership positions at Fullerton during his 16 year tenure at the campus, including serving as vice president for administration and chief financial officer. “I am honored to have been selected to lead the Dominguez Hills campus, and look forward to working closely with faculty, students and staff to build on the university’s excellent foundation,” said Hagan. Hagan joined CSU Fullerton 2

in 1996, overseeing the university’s administrative functions and has provided increasing levels of service to the campus during a period of unprecedented growth. From 2000 to 2003, he also served as interim vice president of university advancement and was instrumental in the reorganization of that division. Beginning in 2005, Hagan assumed responsibility for university financial operations, serving as the chief financial officer for the university. Hagan holds a doctorate in psychology from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. Before

C al i fo r n i a S tate U n i ve r s i t y , D om i n gue z H i lls


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The new Veteran Student Programs office on the lower level of the Loker Student Union has a small lounge area, laptop computers for student use, as well as a host of informational materials about agencies and nonprofits that support veteran needs. Staff are there to primarily assist students through the process of applying, certifying and re-certifying for the various veteran educational benefits offered at the state and federal levels. Student veterans, active duty personnel, and dependents can also visit the office for pre-admission and registration advising, referrals to resources and services on campus and in the community, and work-study opportunities.

New Scholarships, Grants Help Stem the STEM Divide For the U.S. to be competitive and remain a leader globally, government officials cite the critical need to graduate more individuals with skills and knowledge in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields. Considered a key sector for growth are Latinos, African Americans and women, all who are historically underrepresented in the sciences. As one of the most diverse campuses in the West and in

close proximity to STEM industry leaders, CSU Dominguez Hills is uniquely positioned to play a regional role in addressing this national problem. University administration has made expanding its offerings and attracting more students to STEM majors a goal of the recently adopted 2015 University Strategic Plan. During the 2011–2012 academic year, the university has received a number of grants and scholarships to support that goal: •• A $20,000 grant from the Alcoa Foundation establishes the Alcoa

University Hosts White House Advisory Meeting

President Mildred García sits.

On April 3, CSU Dominguez Hills hosted the first meeting outside of Washington D.C. of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics President’s Advisory Commission, on which University

Educators and community leaders, and students of CSU

STEM Scholarship, open to junior- and senior-level undergraduates in STEM. •• Shell Pipeline Company LP created the Shell Oil Scholarship, open to a full-time student from Carson or other South Bay cities majoring in STEM. •• A $250,000 grant from The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation will expand the university’s summer and first-year developmental math program to improve (Continued on page 4)

exist for Latino youth to succeed at all levels of the education system. “We are the hub of the many

Dominguez Hills attended the day-

issues our commission has been

long meeting in the Loker Student

charged to address,” García said.

Union ballroom to hear White

“Hearing the voices of California…

House education officials and the

is critical to the work of this com-

commission—made up of university

mission. We know that together

and community college presidents,

we will be giving President Obama

K–12 principals, education nonprofit

terrific recommendations on how to

leaders and other education experts

ensure all of our children reach their

from throughout the nation—discuss

potential in education.”

how to ensure that opportunities www . csudh . edu


—Amy Bentley-Smith

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U n i v e r s i t y Sp o t l i g h t

(Continued from page 3)

college-level math proficiency

interested in becoming math and

rates among incoming freshmen.

science teachers. Through the

•• The U.S. Department of Educa-

grant, CSU Dominguez Hills is

Nursing Simulation Lab Receives Name

tion awarded the first-year alloca-

partnering with the CSU initiative

In recognition of Providence Little

tion of a five-year $5.09 million

CalstateTEACH, school districts

Company of Mary Foundation’s

Transition to Teaching (TTT)

in Kings, Merced and Tulare

longstanding support of the School

grant to create an online creden-

counties, and schools in the

tial program open to individuals

Imperial Valley and Los Angeles

with a strong STEM background

Unified School District.

Science Career Mentorship Program Established The College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences will create the Helen and Marshall Wright Memorial Career Mentorship Program thanks to a donation from alumna Kathy Tibone (Class of 1976, M.A., behavioral science). Named in honor of Tibone’s parents, the program will work to create internship opportunities in all disciplines within the college, workshops pertaining to career options, university classes in test preparation for graduate and medical school, the GRE and MCAT, respectively, as well as advising on graduate school, conference preparation, and interview skills.

of Nursing, the simulation lab in the new on-campus Nursing Clinical Skills Lab has been named the Providence Little Company of Mary Simulation Laboratory. Over the past couple of years, the healthcare company’s San Pedro and Torrance medical centers’ donations of supplies and materials helped stock the skills lab. Opened in November 2010, the 4,000 square foot lab features a six-bed simulated intensive care unit, the Providence Little Company of Mary Simulation Lab, and classroom and office space.

Honored Guests

The university was the location for 52nd District Assemblyman Isadore Hall’s October 2011 Business to Business Roundtable with a keynote address from Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. 4

International women’s rights advocate Kavita Ramdas was the guest speaker for the 2011–12 Presidential Lecture Series.

The consul general of the Republic of Korea in Los Angeles, The Hon. Yeon-sung Shin, (above) visited campus to give a talk on Korean- American relations.

In February, Olympic hopeful Carmelita Jeter (B.A.,’96) returned to her alma mater as featured speaker for the Alumni Spotlight series.

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Outstanding Faculty Honored with University Awards CSU Dominguez Hills honored faculty excellence with the annual awarding of the Lyle E. Gibson Dominguez Hills Distinguished Teacher Award to C. Edward Zoerner, professor and chair of the Department of English, and the Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity Award to Carl Sneed, associate professor of

President Mildred García with the 2012 Faculty Awards recipients, Professor Ed Zoerner (left) and Assistant Professor Carl Sneed (right).

psychology. Trained as a social psychologist, Sneed focuses his research on psychosocial factors related to health psychology. His primary research

interest is on how parents talk to their children about sex. Sneed has taught at CSU Dominguez Hills since fall 2005. He is a past National Institute of Mental Health Postdoctoral Fellow and has authored

CSU Dominguez Hills Welcomes New Provost

numerous journal articles and papers,

Bringing with him a wealth of experience as an academic administrator, Ramon Torrecilha became the new provost and vice president of academic affairs at the beginning of 2012. The provost and vice president for academic affairs is a key position in the university administration, responsible for providing strategic leadership and oversight of the university’s academic vision. The position also serves as the second Ramon Torrecilha highest-ranking administrator for the university. Torrecilha comes to CSU Dominguez Hills from Mills College in Oakland, where he served in a number of administrative capacities, including acting president, and vice president for institutional advancement, and executive vice president. He had also served in the capacity of provost and executive vice president at Berkeley College. “Dr. Torrecilha brings with him a strong track record of working collaboratively across divisions and in the external community to develop innovative programs that benefit students,” said President Mildred García. “I am confident he will serve this university well for many years to come.” Torrecilha earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sociology from Portland State University, and his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

including a federal grant in excess of

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and is the recipient of several grants, $1 million. His most current project is a longitudinal study that focuses on sending text messages to parents and documenting how they discuss sexually transmitted diseases and sex with their children. The child of educators—his father, Cyril Zoerner, was a professor of marketing and management at CSU Dominguez Hills for 17 years— Zoerner grew up understanding the merits of being a teacher and considers himself primarily a teacher and secondarily a scholar. He began teaching at CSU Dominguez Hills in fall 1997 and is currently serving his second term as chair of the English department. Specializing in linguistics, which focuses on syntax and language construction, he has authored several journal articles and presented at a number of conferences.

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A Fond Una Cariñosa Despedida President Mildred García: Five years of exemplary service at CSU Dominguez Hills


ince her arrival at California State University, Dominguez Hills in 2007, Mildred García has led the institution through a period of unprecedented growth, significant 6

fundraising accomplishments, and

a first generation college student and

the growth of community partner-

product of an urban public school

ships—all during a time of tremen-

system in Brooklyn, New York,

dous state budget reductions and

García saw the transformative power


of education and how it allowed her

García will leave CSU Domin-

and others to recreate a new reality

guez Hills in June, having served

for their lives. She has dedicated

five years as the institution’s seventh

her life to higher education and the

president and the California State

right of all students to experience

University system’s first Latina presi-

academic excellence in a multicultural

dent, to become president of Cali-


fornia State University, Fullerton. As

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During her final weeks as

The unveiling of the “Manifest Diversity” mural in Sept. 2010. Shown (l-r) are: Lui Amador, coordinator, Multicultural Center; Congresswoman Karen Bass (B.S. '90); Eliseo Art Silva, nationally renowned muralist; and President Mildred García with student artists and volunteers.

president of CSU Dominguez Hills, García took time to share with Dominguez Today some of her thoughts about the university, her contributions, and her legacy. DT: From the onset of your presidency

at CSU Dominquez Hills, your four main goals have been to build community relations, celebrate the university’s points of pride, increase enrollment, and secure financial stability. In what ways have these been accomplished or have been a challenge? MG: Internally, I think we have

strengthened customer service significantly. A lot of people come here from all across the country, and talk about how friendly and welcoming this campus is. Faculty and staff really put their best foot forward, and show they care about their work here. Externally, it has been a focused effort by all of us to bring many people from outside to campus.

We’ve had more than 500,000 people visit our campus. Since 2007, we’ve hosted debates, forums, and swearing-in ceremonies. The Univision Feria Es El Momento Hispanic fair, alone, brought almost 50,000 people to the campus to learn how those in the Latino community can get an education and have a seat for their children at the CSU. University Advancement and the Government Relations Office staff made sure that I visited every county, state, and federal legislator in our service area every year, so that people within the community know us, know what we do, and become our friends and supporters as the university moves forward. The Points of Pride program has celebrated the wonderful things that have happened here, from the creation of the online faculty/staff scholarly directory to increasing alumni donors by 400 percent, to strengthening our alumni association membership, which increased 682 percent, to the increase of students coming in better prepared and ready to do university-level work. When I came to the institution, enrollment targets had not been met in eight years. We turned that around www . csudh . edu


in a year and we have not looked back. We’ve exceeded enrollment goals ever since. We’ve increased enrollment by 29 percent, to almost 15,000 students. When I came to the university it was a little over 12,000. In the area of financial stability, we had a structural deficit of $2.8 million when I got here, which we eliminated. We’ve also increased our fundraising by 140 percent. In 2007, we raised $1.3 million. And, it looks like we will reach $3.6 million in 2012. Endowment has increased from $6 million to $10 million since I’ve been here. Grants and contracts have increased by 20 percent, from $12.5 million in 2011 to $15 million this year. The difficult aspect of our financial picture is that we’ve had continual state budget cuts. During the time I’ve been here, I’ve cut $10 million, and we’re looking at cutting another $5 million in November if the governor’s tax increase proposal does not pass. If we do not have these additional cuts, we are in a position to move forward with confidence. DT: I understand you are a donor and have

established the Lucia and Leopoldo García Scholarship Fund. Why do you give? MG: It’s my responsibility to give

back. Being a first-generation college student, I see the tremendous impact, not only in my life, but in the lives of my nieces and nephews, who now go to college. For me to have a small impact by giving a scholarship in my parents’ name is a must, because of the foundation they gave me. (Continued on page 8)

C al i fo r n i a S tate U n i ve r s i t y , D om i n gue z H i lls


A Fond Farewell, Una Cariñosa Despedida My parents believed in education. They said—and let me translate, ‘The only inheritance a poor family can give you is a good education’—‘La única herencia una familia pobre puede dar a sus hijos es una buena educación.’ That’s been engrained in me. DT: What two or three of your accom-

plishments stand out in your mind as most significant, and why? MG: For me, our number one

accomplishment was the increase in retention rates of students from 67 percent for first-time full-time freshmen to 77 percent. The transfer student rate was at 79 percent and increased to 83 percent. That’s significant. That means our students are coming here and completing their education. We are closing the achievement gap. Another accomplishment was the establishment of the first endowed professorship at CSU Dominguez Hills. The Wallis Annenberg Endowed Professorship for Innovation in STEM Education will be very important for the campus. It’s a permanent endowment and addresses an area that is desperately needed for underrepresented students. To be able to hire distinguished scholars who will train educators of students in the K–12 system in STEM [science, technology, engineering, and math] is critical. The increased visibility of CSU Dominguez Hills throughout the South Bay is a wonderful thing. 8

Elected officials invited to the campus during my tenure said this was the first time they were asked to visit the university. And today, constituents in our neighboring communities such as Carson, Torrance and Compton, and South Bay beach cities, they know what we’re about. They have become supporters. In the area of increased national visibility, my appointment to the Obama commission was not only about me. When I sit on that commission, I let people in Washington, D.C. know about the great work that our faculty and staff do to support the success of our students. DT: During your presidency at CSU

Dominguez Hills, how were you able to listen to all sides, manage criticism, and move forward with your goals for the university? MG: It’s about listening to all the

voices. Not only the very vocal and visible voices that are out there, but also listening to the silences. There are people throughout the university who sometimes disconnect for whatever reasons. How do I make sure that their voices, their input and suggestions are listened to? I collaborate with people and ask them for input, engaging people in, what I call, difficult dialogue and civil discourse. And then, I come back to them and say I’ve heard and here’s the reason why we’re moving in this direction. For me, the most important thing is to listen to everyone, but then make

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(Continued from page 7)

decisions after considering all sides. DT: What did you find unique and special

about the campus community and culture at CSU Dominguez Hills? MG: CSU Dominguez Hills is an

extremely special place. It’s not just the diversity; it’s what we do with the diversity. We are an educational laboratory where people come from all walks of life, every significant background, and different economic strata. And yet, everyone is learning, studying, working together in order to live and work in a diverse world. In my opinion, we are the model urban university that is preparing students to live in what America is becoming. Our students are not going to be surprised walking into a different cultural experience, because they’ve experienced that here. DT: What will be some of your most fond

memories of your term here? MG: There are many wonderful

memories. At every graduation ceremony, I loved seeing how excited the students and their extended families were. It’s amazing to see such wonderful diversity and recognize that for many of these graduates, they are the first ones in their family to get a college degree, and that they are being applauded and encouraged as they move forward in life. I love our faculty. We’ve had difficult dialogue, but their commitment to students is always present, and the way they engage under-

graduate students in research is so important. The care taken by the staff— everyone—those working in admissions, the groundskeepers and maintenance staff, financial aid officers, our IT staff, and others. When I thank them, I see the pride they take in what they do, understanding that they, too, are an integral part of this educational community. I will remember the welcoming and collaborative spirit of CSU Dominguez Hills. When I came here, everyone was looking toward change, scared of change…some resisted, but at the end of the day we made a lot of progress together. My most fond memories will be of the people here and the impact they make. DT: As you say goodbye, what advice can

you give CSU Dominguez Hills students, faculty and staff? MG: Latinos always say hasta luego—

until we see each other again. It’s not good-bye. My best advice is to come to work every day, proud to be part of a wonderful diverse educational community. Remember, you are always an educator, no matter where you work in the university. We are all teaching, graduating and helping students reach their dreams. n

Highlights from President García’s Five Years at CSU Dominguez Hills •• In 2008, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) gave the university the highest possible evaluation and reaccreditation until 2018. •• The existing $2.8M structural budget deficit was eliminated and fiscal stability was maintained through difficult financial challenges and budget cuts by the State of California. •• In 2008 enrollment targets were met for the first time since 2003 and every year since. •• The 2010–2015 Strategic Plan was unveiled, the result of a year-long collaborative and inclusive strategic planning process. •• The university’s 50th Anniversary Celebration was held over an 18-month period with over 120,000 attending more than 200 events. •• In 2010, the beautiful, state-of-the-art Library South wing opened, doubling the university’s existing library space. •• As part of the CSU Nisei Honorary Diploma Project, honorary degrees were awarded at the 2010 Commencement to two former Japanese-American students whose education was interrupted by forced incarceration during World War II. •• Dominguez Today magazine was launched and four issues published, with a circulation of 26,000 reaching a wide audience of alumni and friends. •• The Male Success Alliance was launched with programs open to all students that support the successful education of young men of color. •• Increased outreach and partnerships with legislators included the first-ever Mayors Roundtable, held for six mayors of South Bay cities. •• “Feria Es El Momento, Edúcate” was held for three years in a row, bringing approximately 100,000 visitors to campus for Univision’s annual Spanish language education fair. •• The men’s soccer team won their second NCAA Division II National Championship and the women’s 4x400 relay team captured the first-ever NCAA Division II Track and Field National Championship for the university. •• A Grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremonies were held for the School of Nursing’s first-ever Clinical Skills Lab, a state-of-the-art Orthotics and Prosthetics facility, and a Student Veterans Center. •• The Annenberg Foundation granted a $1 million gift to establish the university’s first endowed profes-

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sorship—the Wallis Annenberg Endowed Professorship for Innovation in STEM Education. •• President Obama appointed Dr. García to the White House Initiative Presidential Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics in 2011. www . csudh . edu


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Treasures of the Archives


University Archives and Special Collections Preserve History


n Joanie Harmon

he papers of Congress-


berry Finn.” With more than 100 of


Easter festivities at the White House,

through our various collections is

a piano owned by Compton founder,

that the South Bay has been one of

G.D. Compton, and an unbound first

the most characteristically ‘American’

Thomas Philo. “Collections such as those dealing with the 1910 Air Meet, the Rancho San Pedro, oil production, agriculture, transportation, and education show the amazing energy of the place, its diverse people, and how they have shaped history.” Director Greg Williams says that the Archives, which also serves as the archive repository for the entire CSU system, is unique in its possession of

edition of Mark Twain’s “Huckle-

regions in the country,” says archivist

(Continued on page 12)

woman Juanita Millender-McDonald

its collections listed on the Online

share a space in the University

Archive of California, the facility

Archives and Special Collections at

preserves not only the history of one

California State University, Domin-

of the most diverse institutions in

guez Hills with a painted portrait of

the nation, but of the local, national,

the university’s first president, Leo F.

and global areas that surround it.

Cain, wooden eggs from the annual


“What one sees [while looking]

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15 |

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P h o t o g r aph y b y G a r y K u w aha r a



Treasures of the Archives “specific collections we have that no one else has. Particularly important are the personal letters that we’ve come across in the last few years. We found a letter describing errant bombs…going off in Long Beach at the beginning of World War II. These letters are important because they allow students access to history. It is up to them to dig into the context of those letters or documents.” Williams attests to the Archives’ stature as an invaluable resource, not only to students and faculty of CSU Dominguez Hills, but to international researchers, scholars, and writers. “We get a lot of interest from outside researchers, students from other local universities, and scholars

Legend for pages 10 and 11 1. Groundbreaking shovel for The Home Depot Center, 2002 2. Long Beach Transit fare box 3. Concrete from the 1984 Olympic Velodrome 4. Iranian gift album, 1950s 5. “Negro Year Book,” 1914–1915 6. Seagull Pole, Long Beach Transit, 1991 7. Virgil’s Works (“The Bucolics,” “The Georgics,” and “The Aenied”) with index, 1555 8. Navy jet fighter model 9. 100% Americanism banner 10. “Roads to Romance” wall map, 1946 11. Glenn Anderson/I-105 freeway sign 12. “Scottsboro Boy” by Haywood Patterson and Earl Conrad, 1950 13. Reagan for Governor poster, 1966 14. “The Trial of Socrates” by Plato, translated by F.J. Church, 1921 15. Otis Redding concert poster, 1966


(Continued from page 10)

from across the United States and the world including Spain, Korea, and England,” he says. “We have a relatively short turnaround time for getting collections cataloged and accessible to students. Larger archives often take years or decades to get their materials cataloged. We also have a wide variety of materials from maps to digital collections that allow access to history that isn’t always present in published works.” One example of the diversity of materials is the recently ended exhibition, “Building Evidence: Japanese Americans in Southern California During Mid-Century—40 Years of Collecting, An Exhibition,” which centered on the everyday lives and obstacles faced by Japanese Americans in the South Bay and Los Angeles prior to, during, and after World War II. The exhibit, which was made up of materials that the Archives has owned for the last 40 years, also featured a collection of photographs by Los Angeles photographer Elwin Ichiro Ninomiya that were recently “rescued” by photographer and film industry professional Michael Risner. The photos of families, weddings, local businesses, and community events attest to the hopes and contributions of Japanese Americans to Los Angeles history. Williams says that the ability to showcase a find like the Ninomiya photographs is an important link to future acquisitions. “One of the most important

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collecting strategies for the preservation of local history is for a historical agency to express an interest in the history of the community,” he says “It doesn’t matter if the ‘community’ is a town, an interest group, or an ethnic group; it is essential that members of the group know we are interested in their history. That knowledge could result in the donation of a photo album or someone’s letters a decade later.” Countless books on South Bay and Southern California history have been written with the assistance of the Archives, including “The People’s University” by Don Gerth, former president of CSU Dominguez Hills and CSU Sacramento; “California Legacy: The Watson Family,” by Judson Grenier, emeritus professor of history; “The 1910 Los Angeles International Aviation Meet” by Kenneth Pauley, historian and aviation enthusiast; “Japanese Americans in the South Bay” by Dale Ann Sato, founder of the Japanese American Historical Mapping Project; and “Paradise Promoted” by Tom Zimmerman, California historian. Williams says that providing historians and authors with access to a resource as varied as the Archives is “important for scholarship as well as getting those scholars to know Dominguez Hills.” “Historians and researchers are not so concerned about where a collection is located but need to know if there enough material to warrant a

Archives and Special Collections student assistant Vanessa Gomez, director Greg Williams, and archivist Thomas Philo show off pieces from the collection.

trip,” says Williams. “Once it has been determined there is enough material, the fact that researchers get to visit the Dominguez Hills campus and study in our beautiful reading room is icing on the cake.” According to Williams, establishing such a collection is a farreaching task. Collections are donated to the university by individuals, organizations, and other institutions. Materials related to CSU Dominguez Hills come mainly from alumni, faculty, and staff and often include president’s papers, Academic Senate minutes, or ephemeral objects related to events held on campus, such as the cycling event of the 1984 Olympics. Williams and his staff oversee four general collecting areas: CSU Dominguez Hills, the CSU System, Special Collections, and Rare Books. Specific areas of interest within these categories include the Dominguez Family and the Rancho San Pedro, the South Bay, Long Beach, and Southern California. “The goal of Archives is to provide our students with a wide variety of collections as well as focus on a few specific areas,” says Williams. “Some of the subject-

oriented topics we collect include the environmental history of the South Bay, the Tradeswomen Archives Project, African-American Sacred Music, congressional collections, the 1910 Los Angeles Aviation Meet and early aviation, and Japanese-American history and culture. We also have expressed interest in growing our collections that focus on Latin Americans, Cambodian Americans, and Filipino Americans. The basic collecting criteria for [an acquisition] is that it will allow students to explore a topic in a thorough way that will result in some kind of discovery.” Discovery is also something that the Archives staff experiences when maintaining an existing collection. Although 98 percent of its holdings are paper or photo based, the remaining two percent of ephemera that often surfaces among the documents and photographs reveals intimate glimpses of the individuals and the times that the Archives seeks to preserve for its visitors. “We are discovering new things in the archives every day—even after a collection is cataloged,” says Williams. “Often such items are part of a collecwww . csudh . edu


tion that we didn’t know was there. We found an Ansel Adams print of Manzanar in a collection last year. “Objects and archival material provide both a factual presentation of the past but also allow for a certain amount of imagination to take over,” says Williams. “Seeing a bus token machine in the archive can trigger the memory of old bus trips, or the presence of a scrapbook in the archives can trigger the memory of one’s grandmother’s album from the 1920s.” Philo commends the CSU Dominguez Hills Department of History for integrating the Archives more rigorously into its coursework. “We are seeing more students each semester, which is great,” he says. “There’s a great ‘wow’ factor in the Archives, and it’s cool to see students respond so enthusiastically to it. The materials would be a valuable resource for classes in all departments. “Archives show real history, and they often show it in real time,” adds Philo. “People have a sort of ‘evening news’ idea of history, that it is nothing but big moments [such as] wars, elections, and voting on laws. More than a lot of history books, archives show how people lived, and it is endlessly fascinating.” n

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Focus on Excellence


The faculty at CSU Dominguez Hills have a wide variety of scholarly and pedagogical interests. Eight professors share about their research, their teaching, and the ways they interact with students.

Following Financial Crises

mist, were focused on discussing the

aftershocks most recently felt in

Asian financial crisis that originated

Greece, Ireland, and Spain with the

in Thailand in 1997 and spread

eurozone thrown in a tumultuous

throughout Southeast and East Asia.

state of economic uncertainty.

Their book’s title was not anticipating

“These crises are important

an even more severe and widespread

because they can have severely

When associate professor of finance

crisis: the global financial crisis that

disruptive and wide-ranging effects,”

Tayyeb Shabbir published the 2007

began in the United States in 2007.

says Shabbir. “When the banking

book, “Recent Financial Crises:

While the official “end” to the U. S.

system doesn’t work very well or

Analysis, Challenges and Implica-

recession the 2007 crisis precipitated

the stock markets or investment

tions,” he and co-editor Lawrence

was June 2009, the repercussions of

confidence plunges, then it disrupts

Klein, a Nobel Prize-winning econo-

the crisis continue worldwide, with


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(Continued on page 16)

P h o t o g r aph y b y G a r y K u w aha r a

Tayyeb Shabbir:


Associate professor of finance Tayyeb Shabbir stands in front of the vault in the historic Farmers & Merchants Bank in Long Beach, CA. (Photo shoot courtesy of F&M CEO W. Henry Walker)

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Focus on Faculty Excellence the free market system. We have become so dependent on the smooth functioning of credit and financial systems that any serious malfunction can lead to great disruption of production and employment prospects.” Shabbir says that the cause of the 2007–2009 financial crisis has its roots in history. “Beginning in late 1970s, there was a bipartisan effort in the U.S. to reverse the post-World War II trend towards the greater regulation of the banking sector that had initiated with the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. Since the 1970s, the banking and financial systems were deregulated with every passing year and administration, whether it was Democrat or Republican,” he says. “Further, starting in the late 1990s and early 2000s, there were some potentially useful financial innovations like derivatives and mortgage-backed securities, but all the kinks were not taken out and there was perhaps too much reliance on these relatively untested innovations. Together with lax regulations in the financial markets, these innovations went awry and caused much damage. “Rating agencies like Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s were supposed to verify the health of these financial derivatives including mortgage-backed securities,” Shabbir notes. “Out of ignorance, or perhaps worse, they ended up verifying risky 1 6

(Continued from page 14)

financial instruments as rather safe. This basically led the banks and other lenders, and especially the investors, to make imprudent decisions in terms of appropriate leveraging and quality of their investments.” Shabbir says that when investors and some of the financial institutions that were using these securities as assets realized the truth about the quality of these assets, there was an understandable “panicked rush for the exits,” and soon the financial market buying and selling and trading process came to a halt. “That’s how the financial system froze up and had to be rescued using taxpayers’ money—that’s by now a familiar story,” he says. Shabbir says that as the U.S. slowly recovers from the 2007–2009 financial crisis, many people— particularly the unemployed and homeowners who have undergone foreclosure—do not see it as over. “The recovery is going to be relatively slow, especially in the labor market,” he says. “In this recession, we’ve had the unemployment rate go up as high as 10.1 percent in October 2009, which is the second highest unemployment rate since the Second World War. But more ominously, people who have been unemployed in this recession have stayed unemployed for much longer than before. “The median duration of unemployment [in this recession] has been

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25 weeks rather than the usual 10 weeks,” says Shabbir. “That is a big concern because the longer you are unemployed, [the more] significant effect on you psychologically and in terms of atrophy of your skills as a worker. It can also have an effect on the economy because when [people] come back to work, they are not as sharp as before and it affects the economic potential of the country.” Shabbir’s proposal for a followup book on financial crises, with the working title of “Financial Innovation and Financial Crises,” has been accepted by Edward Elgar Publishing. In it, he will examine the financial innovations that were untested and subsequently caused the 2007–2009 financial crisis. Shabbir says that one of the most significant lessons of the 2007–2009 financial crisis is that “we’re learning now that good effective regulation of the financial system is actually a friend of the free market. “At the theoretical level, the solution may sound very easy,” he says. “But in the real world, with competing interests of [political] parties, effective regulation is much more challenged. In many ways, the future shape of the free market depends very prominently on how well we are able to meet the challenge of having an effective, safe, yet market-based financial system.”

Melissa St. James:

Celebrity Sells

lowest; people thought she wasn’t

public would like to be,” she says.

smart enough.”

“We live vicariously through the

The assistant professor of

celebrity, aspire to be like the celeb-

marketing’s own level of expertise

rity, and often envy the celebrity.

When Melissa St. James did her

on the many facets of celebrities and

They create personas through their

doctoral thesis at George Washington

marketing has been called upon by

roles, be they actors, singers, sports

University on the effectiveness of

countless media outlets, including

figures, etc., and we attribute qualities

celebrity endorsements in marketing

interviews and quotes for the LA

to them based on these personas.

high tech products, she explored the impact that the presumed expertise of a celebrity would have on the consumer. “The highest-ranked celebrity was Patrick Stewart from ‘Star Trek,’” recalls St. James, who found that the credibility of each spokesperson was largely perceived through their onstage or onscreen personas. “Consumers trusted his persona because he must know about technology; he was the captain of the Enterprise. Britney Spears rated the

Times, the Associated Press, and Entrepreneur Magazine. A psychology major when she first entered college, St. James says that she is “fascinated by the fact that people are fascinated by celebrities.” She says that admiration of celebrities often reflects the public’s own perception of itself—and how the average person can emulate famous individuals by using the products they endorse. “Celebrities are often thought of as idealized versions of what the

Marketing assistant professor Melissa St. James researches the effects celebrity and glamour have on product marketing.

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“When celebrities endorse a product, the qualities of the celebrity are often transferred to that product,” St. James continues. “We often believe we will become more like the celebrity if we use it. All of this combines to create a sense of fascination, whether people like to admit it or not!” (Continued on page 18)

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Focus on Faculty Excellence Often consulted by reporters for her take on celebrity misadventures, she says those misdeeds often do little to diminish their appeal as personalities and product spokespersons. “Celebrities are misbehaving at an alarming rate,” she says. “People Magazine wanted to talk about the Kim Kardashian divorce. Another gentleman from Entertainment Today wanted to talk about the Detroit Lions’ Ndamukong Suh, who stomped on another football player. “We admire celebrities and often want to emulate them. Forgiving them their transgressions is a way we can continue to admire them. Some people believe forgiving celebrities also gives the public a bit of perceived power. There are some crimes [or] missteps that [seem] unforgivable—O.J. Simpson is a good example. A great deal depends on how the celebrity handles the aftermath of the incident as well. Hugh Grant was almost instantly and universally forgiven his public misstep with a prostitute because he took responsibility, apologized, and moved on.” In her latest research, St. James is interested in the marketing of a specific industry, one with its own kind of celebrity—wine. “Its appeal is elusive and appreciation varies from individual to individual: just like each celebrity appeals to certain people, so does wine,” she says. “I am interested in why people 1 8

(Continued from page 17)

drink wine rather than other alcohol products and what factors influence their purchasing and consumption decisions. Other than the taste, there are numerous factors, like label, maker, country of origin, reputation of winemaker, advertising, health benefits—it will provide me research opportunities for years to come.” St. James is really delving into her work, going so far as to earn a certification as a sommelier in order to gain insider knowledge of the industry. She recently spoke on Mexican wineries at the World Business and Economics Research Conference in New Zealand, and published “Factors influencing wine consumption in Southern California consumers” in the International Journal of Wine Business Research, which she co-wrote with CSU Dominguez Hills colleague Natasa Christodoulidou. St. James says there is a correlation with the impact of celebrity upon a product like wine. “There’s a little bit of an overlap,” says St. James. “A lot of celebrities are in the winemaking business, such as Francis Ford Coppola, and Maynard James Keenan, the lead singer of Tool. Winemaking is an art, and creative types, which most celebrities arguably are, may be drawn to that aspect. I think it is often simply a matter of [how] celebrity sells, but here is a certain glamour to the wine industry that fits as well.”

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H. Leonardo Martinez and Kenneth Rodriguez:

Science of Collaboration

As the saying goes, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree—and in the CSU Dominguez Hills “family,” the example of Kenneth Rodriguez (Class of ’01, B.S., chemistry) and his former professor-now colleague, H. Leonardo Martinez, is no exception. The two have been working together on a study of nanotubes and the feasibility of their use in fields as diverse as medicine, communications, and space travel, and recently completed a manuscript of the results, “Generalizing Energetics of Single-Walled Nanotubes.” Although they are in different stages in their professorial careers, Martinez, professor and longtime chair of the chemistry/biochemistry departments, and Rodriguez, a newly minted assistant chemistry professor, have both proven not only the theoretical possibilities of this far-reaching technology, but also the long-term effects of incorporating mentorship into landmark research. “It’s hot technology right now,” says Martinez. “We are able to provide an engineer with a clear understanding of how these materials actually work, and why they work.

Nanotubes have amazing properties. They’re very strong and can be used for a whole array of things.

“One of the things NASA is investigating is that they want to come up with a space elevator using

carbon nanotubes,” he says. “There is also an application where you have these little gold nanoballs for the treatment of cancer. You send them through the bloodstream and they manage to attach themselves to tumors, just to the bad cells. Once they attach themselves, you use microwave radiation…that will excite the atoms of gold and nothing else, so that the gold gets really hot and you burn the actual tumor.” Rodriguez says that his current research interests were established while as an undergraduate at CSU Dominguez Hills, when he served as Martinez’s research assistant. He attests to the interdisciplinary importance of this technology and the need for manufacturers to have access to the theoretical information that researchers provide. “Nanotubes are used in electronic devices like computers or types of cellular phones because of their size,” Rodriguez says. “They’re very, very small and carry a lot of electrical current, so people are always interested in them. But they don’t always know which type of nanotube is possible to be formed, which are stable or unstable. Hopefully having these equations out there for researchers who are interested in nanotubes, or who are working with them experimentally, will help them out.” Martinez and Rodriguez (Continued on page 20) Chemistry chair H. Leonardo Martinez and assistant professor Kenneth Rodriguez are working corroboratively on research into nanotube applications.

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Focus on Faculty Excellence co-authored “Generalizing Energetics of Single-Walled Nanotubes” with colleagues from The Ohio State University, where Rodriguez earned his doctorate in chemistry. Individually, they also pursue their own research interests. Martinez is currently involved, with colleagues from the University of Puerto Rico, in a study of acetylcholine receptors and their correlation to treatments for high cholesterol. Rodriguez is working on new types of enhanced infrared spectroscopy used to identify the structure and orientation of proteins embedded with membranes. And following Martinez’s mentorship example, Rodriguez is mentoring and collaborating with student Julio Avila on a project that examines the geometry of nanotube structure. He says that the work they are doing has influenced Avila’s desire to go to graduate school. “One of the purposes of coming back and being hired here is that I would have the opportunity to [mentor students],” says Rodriguez, who began teaching as an adjunct lecturer at CSU Dominguez Hills in 2008. “Dr. Martinez came along and gave me this great opportunity to do research as an undergrad student who didn’t know anything about science, research especially. That became my actual career. Now that I’m back again and able to share this with students who are in the same 2 0

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field I was…it comes around full circle.” Martinez, who has served as chair of the chemistry/biochemistry department for all but five years since he arrived at CSU Domin-

Ana Pitchon:

Local Fisheries as Catch of the Day

guez Hills in 1996, says that along

Following her extensive research on

with the groundbreaking research

the socioeconomic impact of fishing

that his department colleagues are

villages in Chile and the ramifications

involved with—from cancer to

of fishing as a dietary supplement for

inorganic chemical research—is the responsibility of faculty to pass the torch. Naming chemistry department alumnus Luis Campos (Class of ’01, B.S., chemistry), who heads his own research group in the chemistry department at Columbia University, Martinez says that the CSU Dominguez Hills Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry steadily prepares students to become the researchers of tomorrow. “I feel that it’s part of my contribution, my legacy,” says Martinez. “We are a small department, but it’s a rigorous program [that] will get you places. We hire research-oriented [faculty], and more and more of our students are getting interested in research. “They go on to get a Ph.D. and begin teaching. I think that’s because they see that research is kind of fun—and you can make a living with it.... As far as I see it, that’s what being a professor is all about; I’m doing my job.”

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ethnic communities in urban areas of Los Angeles, assistant professor of anthropology Ana Pitchon is now exploring the potential that California fisheries have to bolster the local economy by employing more sustainable methods. Funded

by a $166,000 Sea Grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), she will work as principal investigator with James Hilger, a fisheries resource economist at NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center in San Diego, and Lia Protopapadakis from the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation on Sustaining Fishing Communities by Enhancing Value in a Landings-Constrained Environment. Along with a team of fishermen, economists, and other researchers, they will seek out more equitable ways to keep the harvest and the revenue of the California fishing industry in the state. They will also examine ways to add value to local harvests of fish and shellfish using

four fisheries of Pacific sardine, Dungeness crab, near-shore live finfish, and spot prawn as case studies. Pitchon says that the project is very timely as the general public becomes more concerned with buying and eating locally grown or raised food—and the impact that outside sources of food have had on the economy at home. “The ‘locavore’ movement is taking off,” she says. “People are interested in going to farmers markets. They understand that our jobs are going overseas and [wonder] why we support food production and agriculture overseas if we have it here.” Pitchon says that while fisheries are a significant industry in

California, they are not fulfilling their potential as a sustainable food source, instead focusing on products such as sardines that are used as meal in fertilizers and pet food. She says that converting such enterprises into human food sources would yield more dollars per unit—and provide healthy and safe seafood for the local community. “We’re targeting key fisheries that we think are in a state of transition and could improve upon the way they do business,” says Pitchon. “We’re not trying to change any current management plans or regulatory measures that manage these fisheries. What we want to do is work within those existing parameters and improve the distribution process in local markets so that fishermen and their communities are more sustainable and that the product itself is harvested in a more sustainable way.” Pitchon has already begun to involve students in the data-gathering process. Last summer, four anthropology undergraduate students, Jessica Williams, Alexxandra Salazar, Marko Garmono, and Gabriel Jones, conducted interviews with restaurants and grocery stores to assess attitudes about what they considered sustainable and local food and how much these businesses knew about the seafood they purchase and (Continued on page 22) Assistant professor of anthropology Ana Pitchon interviews local fishermen, such as Bob Bertelli, as part of her research on fishing communities.

2 1

Focus on Faculty Excellence provide to the public. The students will follow-up this information by interviewing consumers. “They’re going to do comparative analysis of this purchasing behavior, as to why we are sending our sea urchins to Japan but buying squid from China and sardines from France and Japan when we have these fisheries here—where this massive disconnect is,” says Pitchon. “Part of that starts with the supply chain. We want to learn what we can do to integrate the products into local markets so that people know they exist.” Pitchon says that while the costeffectiveness of processing fish overseas makes for short-term savings, there may actually be a detrimental effect on the domestic economy. “Right now, it’s a cost benefit thing,” she says. “It’s less expensive to send our squid to China to be processed and then send it back here to be purchased. But if there were to be an economic analysis of these processes, would it still be beneficial to conduct business that way? There are outward linkages that would help sustain an entire community [at home] ... if [these products] weren’t sent to another country. “We will be looking at how the [revenue] can go directly to them. They may be able to sell their product without a middleman and get the total profit. [The fishermen 2 2

(Continued from page 21)

would] have money to spend, which would help create a more robust economy, not just in the state, but in the nation as a whole.” Another long-term aspect of sustainable fisheries that Pitchon is concerned with is the effect of seafood from far-flung or polluted sources on consumer health. She says that the general public—as well as many purveyors and restaurateurs— are in the dark as to what they are selling, serving, and eating. “The massive ignorance from all sides about the seafood that we’re eating is problematic, potentially to our health,” she says. “Fifty percent of our survey respondents said that they thought their seafood was local if it was purchased at a local store. The majority of seafood that is served at restaurants is misidentified as to what kind of fish it is. For example, a fish called escolar is consistently substituted for red snapper and diners aren’t told about it. This fish can cause gastrointestinal problems in some people. “If we were to learn more about what we’re eating and where it comes from, we would not only be healthier but also our economies could be healthier as well. [This project] has a lot of outward reach in terms of helping to sustain the whole human environment—including consumers—that make up this system of fisheries.”

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Hamoud Salhi:

The Arab Spring Algerian-born Hamoud Salhi was among the millions throughout the world paying close attention to the wave of protests and uprisings that occurred throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa during late 2010 and early 2011—what is now commonly known as the Arab Spring. “I’m from there, I lived there, I worked there. So it makes it more personal,” says the associate professor of political science, who also serves as director of the Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding program and chair of the Department of Public Administration and Public Policy. But as a scholar who specializes in foreign policy, conflict resolution, political development, and democratization, Salhi also watched the developments in the region with an academic eye. “I’m constantly involved in issues, be it Syria, be it Tunisia, Egypt,” says Salhi. “The problem for me is how you balance out the subjective element of the crisis and the scholarly work. And from that perspective you always see yourself as a researcher first [over] any other thing you do.” Salhi, who is widely quoted in

Associate professor of political science Hamoud Salhi, who specializes in Middle Eastern culture and politics, stands in front of the King Fahad Mosque in Culver City.

national and international media for his analysis of Middle Eastern politics, has spent the past year giving talks, sitting on panels, and contributing commentary on the evolution and outcomes of the Arab Spring. He is currently working on a book— to be published by an Algerian think tank in the fall—that will look at the impacts of the uprisings as it relates to U.S. foreign policy. “The premise we’re looking at is basically the United States is caught in a predicament. On the one hand these changes seem irreversible; they are going to happen. But the outcome could be something the United States doesn’t want,” Salhi says. “What we’re seeing in Egypt, for example, and Tunisia, you have the rise of Islamist groups, who because the U.S. has had antagonistic relationships with, now we find ourselves asking ‘Is this better for us?’ So it’s that predicament.” Salhi says many of the factors that are traditional causes of revolution played a role in the rise of the Arab Spring—from failings of governments to widening divides between the rich and poor in the countries involved, mainly Tunisia, (Continued on page 24) 2 3

Focus on Faculty Excellence Egypt, Yemen, Libya and Syria. Whether it was the perfect time for successful revolutions that results in democracy in the region, however, is unclear. “I don’t know if this is the right time, but it was the time that benefited this group,” he said. In particular, it benefited those who started the early revolts in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen, where leaders eventually succumbed to protests and either fled or stepped down. There the uprisings were somewhat peaceful, and, Salhi says, the perception became that revolution could be “done on the cheap” with limited costs to human life. “And then came Libya and it was violent,” he goes on. “The Libyan case and the Syrian case are very interesting, because there, violence has been used to stop the protests. Seemingly the leaders are using it to send a message that there is a price to pay for this uprising.” Events continue to unfold and lasting impacts are yet to be fully realized, he says. Elections have and are taking place and governments are talking of new constitutions, but Salhi cautions that the roots of the Arab Spring are limited, and that there are still deeper issues unresolved. “The good thing about it is you have people revolting and leaders are getting the message. Today the focus is more on democracy, and less on 2 4

(Continued from page 23)

the main reason that lead to these revolts. For example, the economic disparity has yet to be addressed by the government. Indeed, the Arab Spring was about democracy, but democracy has to include the wellbeing of the people.”

Larry Rosen:

Our Psychological Need for Facebook A renowned authority on technology’s impact on communication between generations, professor of psychology Larry Rosen has written a new book on the pervading dependence that users of all ages have on their devices and online social platforms such as Facebook. With “iDisorder: Understanding Our Obsession With Technology and Overcoming Its Hold on Us” (cowritten with psychology department colleagues, associate professor Nancy Cheever and professor and chair L. Mark Carrier, Palgrave Macmillan, March 2012), Rosen examines how “the way we are dealing with technology can be really unhealthy.” “We see people whipping out their phones and tapping out a text message while they’re standing in front of somebody and talking to them,” he says. “We see people sharing their world on Facebook with everybody, boasting and bragging

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online about their accomplishments. We see people spending hours and hours tethered electronically with no break. And all of these are manifestations of psychiatric signs and disorders.” Rosen and his co-authors explored the most prevalent behaviors among users of technology, which included narcissism, addiction, depression, social phobias, obsessivecompulsive disorder, and body image issues. “We looked at these behaviors and did research on how specific kinds of technologies might relate to them. It’s something all of us feel all the time. That to me was the most amazing thing. I’ve never met anyone who can’t relate to at least one of these disorders and say, ‘Oops, that might be me.’” Rosen always has several projects going at once. He says that he and his colleagues look at generational differences constantly because of the speed with which advances in technology divide age groups. “We now view the world as a series of mini-generations,” says Rosen. “We see big changes in attitudes about technology and life between kids born in the new millennium and older siblings [who were] born in the 1990s. Any teenager will tell you that their younger siblings do things they never imagined. I think where we’re headed is that people are

seeing what technologies to deal with

brain needs some down time. Fifteen

your brain. If the phone is in your

and which ones to let go.”

minutes walking around outside,

pocket or your lap, you’re always

meditating, even 15 minutes of

thinking about it. That takes brain

he discusses techniques and simple

looking at pictures of nature will do

exercises that help people deal with


Professor of psychology Larry Rosen is an expert on technology's grip on us.

Rosen says that in “iDisorder,”

technology overload by “resetting”

“Along the same lines, I talk about tech breaks. Teachers tell

functions and abilities away. Putting it

“It’s going to take some work,”

students who are always looking at

on the desk is a cue to your brain that

he says. “It’s not giving up anything

their phones to turn them off, turn

says, ‘I’ll get to it in a few minutes.’”

or trying to become a Luddite. It’s

them upside down, and put them

just recognizing that your brain

on the desk. They say in 15 minutes,

“e-waiting period,” for those who

needs a bit of rest. We’re talking

everybody gets a one minute tech

broadcast their news and personal

about short breaks of time. When

break, then boom, it goes upside

information indiscriminately via email

you’ve been sucked in to video

down again. And the idea really

or on sites like Facebook or Twitter.

games, texting, or Facebook, your

harkens back to what’s going on in

the brain.

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Rosen also recommends an

(Continued on page 26)

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Focus on Faculty Excellence “Before you press ‘send’ or post let the message sit for a few minutes,” he says. “When you come back and read it again ask yourself, ‘What are the ramifications of what I’ve said? Will this hurt anyone feelings? Will what I’m posting become a narcissistic rant?’ People need to understand that there are real people at the other end of that screen, and while you can say whatever you want, it might not be the best thing for you or for them.”

Richard Kravchak:

Preserving a Relic Art Form Learning the latest technology is a constant of modern university life, but California State University, Dominguez Hills chair and music professor Richard Kravchak has gone old school. During his semesterlong sabbatical last fall, he mastered an instrument that was designed and used in the 18th century—the baroque oboe. Assuming the role of student, Kravchak learned the art of the baroque oboe the same way it has been passed down for generations— orally. He traveled to Philadelphia on seven occasions during his sabbatical to study under Australian-born Geoffery Burgess, one of the world’s preeminent performers and a scholar 2 6

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of 18th and early 19th century oboes. He spent anywhere from two to four hours in each of his session with Burgess understanding and mastering the instrument. “Just like [with] any other student, he would give me homework. Some of it was research and some of it was actual playing,” said Kravchak. The instrument, although a relic, is not dead; although less complex, not simple. Kravchak said that compared to the modern oboe, which is made from roughly 500 pieces and 27 spring-loaded keys, the baroque oboe is constructed with only 12 pieces and three keys, two of which are operational at the same time. Because the instrument predated sound recording, those who study it, including Kravchak, have had to glean from treatises, sheet music, and even paintings and woodcuts from the era how the baroque oboe instrument was held and performed in order to produce its authentic sound, which is still sought after today. An acclaimed oboist who has performed solo as well as part of chambers and orchestras throughout the world, Kravchak is now among an elite group of oboists who can perform the baroque oboe. “There aren’t that many oboe players and maybe only one out of 100 professional oboe players does anything with the baroque oboe.

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There’s only about four or five of us in Los Angeles who play baroque oboe….” he said. “But there’s still more interest in it now than there used to be.” The modern oboe with more range, both in terms of pitch and volume, can play lower and much higher tones, and faster and louder than its antique counterpart. But, Kravchak said the baroque oboe has more subtle gradations in articulation, and it can start and stop on a dime. In that way it’s more flexible. “Playing my modern oboe is like driving a tricked-out [Ford] Escalade, and playing my baroque oboe is like riding a burro. Now, you think the Escalade will always be better than a burro. But not necessarily; it depends on where you are going.” The reed—the mouthpiece—is an important component of the oboe. Each reed is highly personalized—every player and every oboe is idiosyncratic. And for professional oboists, knowing how to construct one’s own reeds is just as important as knowing the instrument, Kravchak explained. Even though he learned to play on Burgess’s reeds, he couldn’t comfortably perform with them. As a result, Kravchak also spent time learning reed making techniques specific to the baroque oboe and figured out how to tailor them to his own characteristics. He now has a selection of baroque oboe reeds,

Music Professor Richard Kravchak demonstrates how the baroque oboe is played.

which he says is necessary because each reed continually changes throughout its life, subtly affecting the sound the oboe produces. “You try them out and see which reed is going to step up today, and then whichever one is closest, you use,” said Kravchak. Putting his baroque oboe

studies into action, in November 2011 Kravchak completed a oneweek residency at University of Nevada, Las Vegas. There, he taught a series of classes on the baroque and modern oboes and in general music education, and he performed in a recital, playing both the modern and baroque oboe. In February of www . csudh . edu


this year, he performed the baroque and modern oboe at CSU Northridge, and in March he performed the baroque oboe as part of a Bach double concerto for violin and oboe in West Chester, Penn. Most recently, he visited Los Angeles City College to perform and to establish a relationship that he hopes will create a pipeline for students to transfer to CSU Dominguez Hills. By performing the baroque oboe, Kravchak said it allows him to know firsthand what he teaches students actually works. For this and other reasons, being a student again has had a positive impact on his work as a teacher. “Since the baroque oboe was new to me, I got to be in the role of being the student. I think that’s really important. I think it’s so easy for us to lose touch with what that is like,” said Kravchak, who has taught music at several high schools and colleges during his 16-year career, including at CSU Dominguez Hills, where he has been since 2004. “We teach year in and year out, these things we know so well, and it’s easy to get frustrated with our students who don’t know them. Now, I know exactly what it feels like to be in there shoes. What a treat and blessing to go back and be a student again.” n

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Student Profile

Juan Ramirez: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Intern Gains On-the-Job Experience Juan Ramirez among the many items collected at the LA/LB ports by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

While majoring in anthropology at California State University, Dominguez Hills, fall 2011 graduating senior Juan Ramirez has learned the value of understanding beliefs that in one culture may be the norm but to another may seem strange. However, through his internship with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a wildlife inspector trainee who patrols the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, he learned to acknowledge when the law is broken by the trade of products made with endangered animals— products that are often based on cultural superstition or practice. “When I started as a criminal justice student, it was black and white,” he says. “The law dictates what’s wrong. Then when I got into anthropology, I realized there were cultural practices associated with certain wildlife products. We have to take custody of these products 2 8

because they are in violation. But I have a better understanding of why certain wildlife products are being imported.” In a warehouse at the agency’s Torrance facility, Ramirez picks up a silver-embellished box made from what appears to be a primate skull, an object he says is usually imported from Southeast Asia. “These are made from a species of macaque,” he says. “This is for decorative purposes, and it might have some kind of cultural meaning. That’s one of the interesting things for me, finding a chance to connect it with people and not always judging from my first impression.” Ramirez, a graduate of Redondo Union High School, attended Cypress College to play soccer before transferring to CSU Dominguez Hills in his junior year. While exploring a possible career in the California

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Department of Fish and Game, he spoke to Marie Palladini, his public administration professor, who retired from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Torrance offices as a resident-agent-in-charge. She suggested that he look into the agency’s internship through the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) administered through USAJOBS. A paid participant in the SCEP program, Ramirez says it opened his eyes to a possible career as a wildlife inspector. “It’s a great way for college students to be able to determine if they can handle the job,” he says of his experience. “And it’s a great way for government or state agencies to recruit students.” After several years of gaining more experience as a wildlife inspector, Ramirez hopes to work his way up to becoming a special agent. He values having been taught at CSU Dominguez Hills by practitioners like Palladini, terrorism expert Gus Martin, and Brent Becker, an Orange County sheriff, and says that the ability to experience a “real world” working situation while still a student is invaluable. “You take the tools from school and apply them, but what’s most important is your work ethic,” Ramirez says. “Other students that have done internships with me ask, ‘Aren’t you afraid you’re going to make the wrong call?’ Sometimes I do, but I turn it into a learning experience.” n

Alumni Profile

Chiraz Zouaoui: Blazing a Trail for Women in the Security Industry


hirteen years ago, Chiraz Zouaoui (Class of ’05, B.A., business administration/accounting) arrived in the United States carrying little more than her personal belongings and $800. An orphan who was raised by relatives, she left her homeland of Tunisia to build a life for herself. Today, she is the founder and chief executive officer of City National Security. The company, which Zouaoui established in 2001 while a student at California State University, Dominguez Hills, provides security personnel for businesses and institutions throughout California. “I knew what I was here for,” she says. “There is nowhere else you can achieve what you can in the United States. The opportunity is non-stop, even though with the recession [business is] slower than before. But I have been blessed to be in a position where I can create jobs, pay taxes, and be part of the American Dream.” As CEO, Zouaoui focuses

on the public relations aspects of her business, and aspirations to compete with industry giants. However, Zouaoui is confident that her company can thrive because of its size, not despite of it. “I make sure that my clients have access to me even though I have a lot of managers,” she says. “I give my clients the ability to reach me so that I can follow up on the quality. They would never have access to that with a bigger company. It took time for us to convince the clients that we can do a better job—and now they know.” Among those who “know” City National Security are major home improvement companies and general retail chains, numerous schools, hospitals, hotels, shopping centers, and other businesses throughout California and Texas. Zouaoui says that the ability to

diversify the company’s services has been her formula for surviving the recession. “When the economy got hit at the beginning of 2007, security for construction sites was 60 percent of my business,” she says. “We provide security for big projects, guarding multimillion dollar machinery used for building roads, freeways, and landfills. “Then the economy [failed] and I said, ‘I have to do something.’ We started diversifying really aggressively from that point on. We are thankful that we are all over the place in the industry. It helped us to grow and if one [client industry] is hit, the others are safe.” Zouaoui, who recently joined the CSU Dominguez Hills Alumni Advisory Council, says that the diversity of the student population enhanced her education and prepared her well to work with people from different backgrounds. “It’s a school that gave me knowledge and confidence,” she says. “I’m not the best at everything, but I learn every day from experience. Dominguez Hills put me in that position.” n Chiraz Zouaoui (Class of ’05, B.A., business administration/accounting) 2 9

Class Notes 1980s Tom Hall (M.B.A ’83) has been hired as

VR Laboratories LLC as the company’s new national sales and marketing director. The new nutritional brand marketing expert will apply his 30 years of executive marketing experience to positioning and promoting the VR Laboratories brand and to launch new company products in the international marketplace. was recently named senior vice president of government relations by Fidelity National Financial, Inc. Prior to this position, Girion served as California deputy commissioner of insurance in the financial surveillance branch, and previously was the deputy commissioner of rate regulation and the deputy commissioner of consumer services and market conduct. Sherwood Girion (M.P.A. ’83)

has been appointed as the new page one senior editor for the Wall Street Journal. Prior to joining the Journal in December 2007, Sam worked for the Los Angeles Times for more than 20 years, serving as a reporter, assistant city editor, city editor and foreign correspondent in Mexico City. He began his career in journalism as a reporter for the Easy Reader Newspaper in Hermosa Beach.

Sam Enriquez (B.A. ’85)

served as the keynote speaker at the 64th annual commencement ceremony for El Harold Tyler (B.S. ’88)

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Camino College at Murdock Stadium in 2011. Tyler retired in December 2010 from El Camino College after 35 years of service, most recently as director of student development.


ment for the Los Angeles cluster. This will include being responsible for the sales department’s planning, organizational and marketing strategies while coordinating and overseeing local and national sales representatives.

Dennis Thys (M.B.A ’90)

retired in September 2010 from his position as director of community development for the City of Long Beach after 31 years. During his tenure with the City of Long Beach he was able to help launch the city’s Neighborhood Resource Center along with the Neighborhood Leadership Program and contributed to the implementation of the Queensway Bay project, which led to the Aquarium of the Pacific’s construction.

director of international sales at Amarr Garage, accepted the President’s “E”Award for exports from the U.S. Department of Commerce on behalf of Amarr Garage for its contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports. During his time with Amarr Garage Reed has supported, trained and assisted numerous small and medium size business owners in the trade. Today, Amarr Garage exports to over 40 countries around the world.

has been appointed the new chief financial officer for Mobi PCS, where he will oversee all financial operations for Hawaii’s only locally based wireless provider. Prior to his new position, Stewart was the vice president and controller for Hawaiian Airlines and previously was an executive with Bank of Hawaii.

Greg Bergeron (B.A. ’95),

Brian Stewart (B.S. ’93)

was appointed director of sales of Spanish Broadcasting System, Inc. of Los Angeles. In this new role, Levy will oversee all aspects of the KLAX 97.9FM “La Raza” and KXOL 96.3FM “Latino” consolidated sales effort, including SBS Interactive and SBS Entertain-

Zev Levy (B.A. ’93)

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David P. Reed (B.S. ’94),

who played two baseball seasons at CSU Dominguez Hills and was named Toros Student-Athlete of the Year and Team MVP, has been appointed as associate head coach of Volunteers Baseball with the University of Tennessee. has been named the new west editor of Wells Publishing Inc.’s flagship Insurance Journal online and print property/ casualty insurance publications. Jergler will cover the western states for Insurance Journal magazine and for the website and email newsletter. Don Jergler (B.A. ’95)

has been appointed as the City of Alhambra’s Mark Yokoyama (M.A. ’95)

Message to Alumni new police chief. He is the first Asian American named to the post. Prior to Yokoyama’s appointment he was the police chief for the City of Cypress for three years. has been appointed the director of curriculum and instruction for the Redondo Beach Unified School District. Little, who had been principal of Redondo Union High School for the past eight years, also was named “best high school principal” from the Association of California School Administrators Region 14, which consists of 23 school districts stretching from Malibu to Long Beach to Downey.

Mary Little (M.A. ’99)

2000s Pam Magee (M.A. ’01), has been

named principal and chief administrative officer of Palisades Charter High School. She previously had been principal for six years at Culver City High School and has over 24 years of experience in public education. was recently hired as compliance auditor for Hustler Casino. He will be the lead contact between the Hustler Casino and all regulatory agencies to ensure that the casino is meeting all stipulations and remains in compliance with all local, state and federal regulations.

Dave Sandhu (M.B.A. ’02)

has been appointed staff director of the

Eric Hannel (M.A. ’07)

(Continued on page 32)

Meet the New Director of Alumni and Family Programs Gayle Ball-Parker (Class of ’78, B.A., psychology) recently joined the Division of University Advancement as the director of alumni and family programs for CSU Dominguez Hills. BallParker has served on the Alumni Advisory Council and worked for many years in the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. Most recently, Ball-Parker served as the director of university outreach and information services where she developed strategic communications and programs to engage prospective students, and managed the daily outreach and recruitment operations. Key programs included the annual Day at Dominguez event that brings over 2,500 visitors to the campus; the Super Sunday event, part of the CSU’s African American Initiative, where each year university leaders speak at churches across the state; and the CSU Super Saturday College Fair that is produced in partnership with other CSU campuses and held on the CSUDH campus each year. In her new role, Ball-Parker will be responsible for producing programs that build greater alumni connections with the university and coordinating alumni fund solicitations. She will also develop a family and parent program to reach out to this important constituent base. “I am looking forward to reaching out to our alums and reconnecting with many of the former students that I helped bring to campus in my previous position,” said Ball-Parker. “I am also very excited about our new program for family engagement, which will create more engagement with the campus and support for the university.” The Alumni and Family Programs office coordinates special alumni events and programs to strengthen connections with over 80,000 CSUDH alumni in order to build greater alumni participation and advocacy for the university. Join us in extending a warm welcome to Gayle! n www . csudh . edu


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Leave a Legacy for the leaders of


Class Notes (Continued from page 31)

Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations for the House Committee on Veterans Affairs. Hannel will be responsible for providing assistance to congressional members on the subcommittee as they oversee programs and operations of the Department of Veterans Affairs and other federal agencies that pertain to veterans, and investigate veterans’ matters generally. Lisa Johnson (M.A. ’08)

has been

appointed principal of Birney Elementary School in Redondo Beach. After working in the Inglewood Unified School District for nearly a decade, Johnson comes to Emeritus Professor of Sociology Bill Blischke and his wife, Sharon, have chosen to give to the university by including the Faculty Legacy Fund in their estate plans.

Birney reinvigorated and eager to encourage her students to practice compassion, tolerance and critical

Leave a legacy of support that will help future generations of students receive an exceptional educational experience. Your generosity through Planned Giving ensures a strong future for CSU Dominguez Hills. Find out how you can create or contribute to an endowment like Bill and Sharon have done, create a scholarship named in honor of someone special, or make another type of planned gift. Contact the CSUDH Office of Development at (310) 243-2182.

thinking. Adrian Arceo (B.S. ’08), Chris Avalos (B.S. ’08), Corey Cohen (B.S. ’08), Bryan Papp (B.S. ’08), Jeff Saign (B.S. ’08)

joined together as business

partners and celebrated the new look, new menu and new ownership of Philly Steak & Sub in Long Beach, Calif. The five business owners all graduated together and shared the same dream of working together in a restaurant venture.

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To r o Ath l e ti c s

A Winning Season Success begets success. That’s one of the many adages that apply to the Cal State Dominguez Hills softball team during its epic 2012 season. After finishing fourth in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) in 2011, the Toros posted much better overall numbers and created many indelible images during the 2012 regular season, capped by claiming a share of the CCAA Championship, and making their way through the NCAA Regional softball series as the top seed. CSUDH posted a 24-7 mark in CCAA Conference play, a perfect 24-0 regular season home record, and the best winning streak in program history at 17. Offensively, this year’s success was a team effort, one that boasts four regulars batting at least .316. The winning season led the Toros to a regular season CCAA Championship and earned them the top seed in the CCAA Championship Tournament. Making their third-ever appearance in the tournament, the lady Toros suffered losses to CSU Monterey and UC San Diego, the team that ultimately took the CCAA Tournament Title. Despite the losses, their successful season earned them a spot in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II Softball Championship series. On May 6, top-seeded Cal State Domin-

guez Hills claimed the NCAA West Region I bracket over the eighthseeded Grand Canyon University to advance to the West Super Regional against UC San Diego. After a win by the Toros in game one of the Super Regional, the defending NCAA National Champion UC San Diego achieved a pair of 1-0 wins over CSUDH to advance to the NCAA Championships. The Toros’ season ended at 45-15, matching the most wins in program history (2005 and 2006). “We knew coming into this year that pitching and defense were going to be our forte this year,” says head coach Jim Maier, “and that got us 45 wins, so…what a great ride. Looking forward to next year and with just two seniors leaving in 2012, Maier can’t help but be excited for 2013.

Junior Jessica Hall had a banner year, leading the team in batting average, hits, runs and slugging percentage.

“We have our pitchers back, our battery behind the plate, most of our infield and outfield,” Maier continues. “We should have a very strong year again next year.” n

To the Victors Go the Spoils Junior Jessica Hall earned 2012 CCAA All-Conference 1st-team honors, with juniors Christina Chavez and Lauren Harper, and senior Khryssi Steele named to the 2nd-team. Chavez also picked up the CCAA Newcomer of the Year award, and head coach Jim Maier earned his second CCAA Coach of the Year honor. Jimenez, Hall and sophomore Veronica Vazquez were named to the NCAA Division II 2012 Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-District 1st-team, three of nine selections from schools comprising the CCAA, GNAC and PacWest. Academic All-America honors go to student-athletes with a minimum 3.3 GPA. Juniors Stephanie Jimenez and Hall were named to the Daktronics All-Region 1st-team, and Steele was named to the 2nd-team. Hall was also named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s (NFCA) All-Region 1st-team, with Steele and Jimenez selected to the 2nd-team.



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Dominguez Today [Spring 2012]  

A magazine for alumni and friends of California State University, Dominguez Hills