Titan Magazine - Summer/Fall 2017

Page 1


S U M M E R / F A L L 2 0 17




‘You Did It!’

Matt Gush

A sea of caps and gowns filled Cal State Fullerton’s intramural field May 20 and 21 as thousands of graduates celebrated the culmination of hard work, commitment and perseverance. Spirits were high as President Mildred García told the crowd: “As you venture out into the world, remain connected to Cal State Fullerton, share with us the many milestones of your life and career, and remember, you are a Titan — and no matter where your journey takes you, you always will be. Make every day count, make us proud, and in the incredible 60-year tradition of your alma mater, make a difference.”



EDITOR Sarah Muñoz


When I travel the country representing California State University, Fullerton and advocating on behalf of its students, it is the power of our story that resonates most with audiences. It is the story of the American Dream, anchored by the hope and opportunity that is synonymous with and generated by equitable access to the transformative power of higher education. That is not hyperbole, especially when you consider that approximately 57 percent of our bachelor’s degree recipients are first-generation university graduates and that the University is sixth in the nation in graduating students of color. Indeed, the numbers have been increasingly impressive, particularly over the last five years, with a 24 percent improvement in the six-year graduation rate and the elimination of the achievement gap for transfer students. But as powerful as the data are, it is the diverse faculty, staff, students, alumni and emeritus members behind it who make our story so unique and impactful. This issue of Titan magazine is replete with accounts that enrich that story — from immigration research that is transforming lives to antibiotic resistance research that is saving lives; from a Jungle Cruise skipper breaking down Disney history to earthquake research breaking new ground; and from strengthening resilience for low-income families to strengthening artistry through multilingual dance. These pages also touch on the importance of the leaders who built the foundation upon which all Titans stand today. Milton Gordon, president emeritus, who passed away this year, was such a leader — and as you will read in this issue, his legacy will affect eternity through the million of lives he touched and the tens of thousands of degrees this institution conferred under his leadership. All of this and much more makes up our story, and we at Cal State Fullerton are so proud to share it with you as we continue our ascension toward becoming the model public comprehensive university of the nation. Sincerely,

Mildred García President California State University, Fullerton


Howard Chang ’00

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Valerie Orleans ’80


CONTRIBUTORS Debra Cano Ramos ’84 Michael Mahi ’83 Pamela McLaren ’79 Cerise Valenzuela Metzger ’93 Lynn Penkingcarn ’05


PRODUCTION PLANNER Stacy Padilla ’99 ’01

PRESIDENT Dr. Mildred García



Titan is the magazine of California State University, Fullerton, published by University Advancement for alumni, friends and the University community. We welcome your observations, news and comments. University Operator 657-278-2011 Titan 657-278-2414 2600 Nutwood Avenue, Suite 850, Fullerton, CA 92831 titanmagazine@fullerton.edu © 2017 California State University, Fullerton Nonprofit standard postage paid at Santa Ana, CA. Report address errors to uarecords@fullerton.edu or 657-278-7917.

Volume 16, Number 2

4 Forefront 10 Athletics


1 2 Agents of Discovery Collaborative research ventures and creative activities at Cal State Fullerton

explore some of the questions of our time while pushing the limits of learning 11 5 Questions: Pamela Schweitzer ‘82 outcomes. Earthquake experts such as Kristijan Kolozvari, above, and Sinan

22 Class Notes

Matt Gush

29 Throwback

Akçiz, on the cover with student Clayton Nelems mapping the Whittier Fault, are transforming students’ learning experiences.

14 16 18 20

Bracing for ‘The Big One’ Revealing the ‘Hidden Curriculum,’ The Resistance Movement Curiouser and Curiouser Remapping Stress, A Leg Up for Dancers CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, FULLERTON I 3

Joshua Hiersekorn


Cheers to the Class of 2017 Music and laughter filled the air as thousands celebrated their milestone achievement during the 2017 commencement ceremonies. This year, more than 11,600 graduates and candidates for graduation were eligible to participate. Leading the procession was Faculty Marshal Binod Tiwari, professor of civil and environmental engineering and the University’s 2017 Outstanding Professor Award honoree. Afterwards, Cal State Fullerton President Mildred García welcomed the Class of 2017. “It is indeed a wonderful celebration, one that I suspect began last night, ran into the wee hours of the morning and will likely continue through the weekend,” she told the audience. “But that’s okay, graduates, you earned it … “It is my duty as your president to remind you that you didn’t get here alone,” added García. “Look around you. You are surrounded by family, friends, faculty members, advisers and 4 I TITAN SUMMER/FALL 2017

classmates who mentored you, taught you and Snapchatted you when you needed it most. But instead of Snapchatting them back, let’s take it back to the ‘old school,’ put our phones down and put our hands together for all those who supported you." Screenwriter, playwright and novelist Linda Woolverton ’79 (M.A. theatre arts), top left, who gained fame for such screenplays as “Beauty and the Beast,” “Maleficent” and “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” was the May 20 commencement speaker. When asked by Disney to create a new heroine for “Beauty and the Beast,” she and lyricist Howard Ashman “decided to create a proactive, intelligent, thinking, reading heroine — one who led with her brains, not her looks. “I got a lot of pushback for that,” she said. “After all, I was up against 50 years of tradition entrenched in princesses. But Howard and I pushed back and created a heroine we could believe in … “Graduates, you, too, can change the

tapestry of your life, if you’re fearless and creative enough. Fly. Draw a crowd. I’ll be watching.” On May 21, Bill Ruh ’83, ’84 (B.S., M.S. computer science), inset left, General Electric Digital’s chief executive officer and senior vice president and chief digital officer for GE, talked about his student years in the bumpy early ‘80s. “What I would take away from this is, you cannot control the economy, politics or society,” he said. “Here is a piece of advice: You need to control and own your own story. It helps you live with the ups and downs of the economy.” Ruh offered graduates five principles that he has used over the years: develop a career strategy; keep learning and seeking out opportunities; develop relationships; be a great communicator; and pick your boss, not your job. “Finally, be bold. Write down your list, then make it happen.”


Earlier this year, President Mildred García was honored with the American Council on Education’s Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award, presented annually to an individual who has made outstanding contributions and demonstrated sustained commitment to diversity in higher education. García has been an advocate for increasing diversity and inclusion at all levels of the University and the surrounding community. In April, she met with U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and her staff to discuss education policy, year-round Pell Grant availability, and the University’s success in improving graduation rates, narrowing the achievement gap and preparing students for the workforce and graduate school. In May, García received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Pepperdine University, where she served as commencement speaker for the Graduate School of Education and Psychology.

‘Vireo’ an Opera for the Ages Serial opera “Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch’s Accuser,” an artist residency project of Cal State Fullerton’s Grand Central Art Center, was completed and broadcast in its entirety in June as part of a special edition of KCETLink’s Emmy award-winning arts and culture series “Artbound.” “Vireo” is believed to be the first opera project of such magnitude to be released episodically for digital distribution. Composed by Grand Central Art Center artist-in-residence Lisa Bielawa and starring Rowen Sabala in the title role, “Vireo” centers around the many ways the concept of hysteria has been manipulated over the centuries. The opera features the work of more than 350 musicians, including soprano and CSUF alumna Deborah Voigt, above, who plays the Queen of Sweden. To watch it online, visit kcet.org/vireo. David Soderlund


Cal State Fullerton research is opening a window to the region’s past. A student-led study of more than 500 seabird fossils from across California, including 242 from Orange County, shows that penguin-like flightless seabirds dominated the state’s coasts until a few million years ago. Due to climate changes, the “mancaline” became extinct, and other seabirds changed drastically. “A Specimen-Based Approach to Reconstructing the Late Neogene Seabird Communities of California” study was published in the February issue of Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. “This study shows how animal groups change through time in response to climate and can help to predict the impact of future climate change on them,” said Peter Kloess ’16 (M.S. geology), who conducted the study for his master’s thesis. Another CSUF study, led by Michelle Barboza ’16 (B.S. geology), shows that crocodiles lived in Orange County and existed longer in this area than anywhere else in California. The study was published in January in PaleoBios, an open-access, peer-reviewed journal at UC Berkeley. “Crocodiles aren’t well studied in California, and before this study, scientists thought they went extinct 16 million years ago,” said Barboza. “Our study shows this hidden history of crocs living in Orange County and in California up until 6 million years ago.”


Praise for Top Educators This year’s crop of faculty award recipients feature two alumni, including lecturer in child and adolescent studies Shelli Wynants ’92 ’95 ’16 (B.A., M.A. psychology, Ed.D. educational leadership), who received the Outstanding Lecturer Award. Besides earning high marks for her dedication and service, her teaching style is “grounded in active participation that leads to lifelong skills of analysis, knowledge acquisition and self-confidence,” said President Mildred García. Merri Lynn Casem ’84 (B.A. biological science), professor of biological science, received the Carol Barnes Excellence in Teaching Award. A key player in the CSU Chancellor’s Office redesign efforts for introductory courses, she has supported two major curriculum redesign efforts within her department and instituted Connect, Synthesize, Understand Fridays — CSUFridays — to introduce her students to “the culture of science.” It is one of many ways in which 6 I TITAN SUMMER/FALL 2017

she provides students with a superior learning experience. Sean Walker, chair and professor of biological science, received the Faculty Leadership in Collegial Governance Award. "Sean is so committed to shared governance as the core of university life that he will do whatever it takes to achieve that end, and the selflessness of that dedication is obvious in his constant willingness to work at making things happen,” shared Emily Bonney, 2016-17 Academic Senate chair and professor of liberal studies. Computer engineering professor Kiran George, a prolific researcher with unprecedented accomplishments — including a brain-controlled robotic arm — was this year’s recipient of the L. Donald Shields Excellence in Scholarship and Creativity Award. Said George: “My students inspire me every day to redefine the boundaries of engineering.” Cal State Fullerton’s highest faculty honor, the Outstanding Professor Award,

Left: President Mildred García congratulates Outstanding Lecturer Shelli Wynants, who said: “It’s great to come to CSUF every day. I’m a teacher because of all the great teachers I had.” Right: Merri Lynn Casem, winner of the Carol Barnes Excellence in Teaching Award, received a standing ovation from her peers, including Emily Bonney, chair of the 2016-17 Academic Senate.

went to Binod Tiwari. The professor of civil and environmental engineering was recognized for his contributions in geotechnical engineering and staunch support of his profession, but as García pointed out, “he’s most proud of helping students do the same, both in their studies and their profession.” Education professor Ruth YoppEdwards received the 2017 Wang Family Excellence Award in January. Her passion is transforming learning experiences to prepare California’s teachers to meet the needs of all students. Yopp-Edwards is the 12th Titan faculty member to receive the California State University award.

Grants Aid Math Teachers, Child Welfare Workers ‘TITANS EMPOWERED’ TO GRADUATE A $2 million grant from the California State University system is helping Cal State Fullerton join a systemwide effort to increase the number of freshmen graduating in four years and transfer students graduating in two years. Each CSU campus is working on long- and short-term plans to achieve the goals set out for their institutions. Titans Empowered is Cal State Fullerton’s effort at reaching such goals. Titans Empowered features programs and strategies to help students, as well as initiatives to eliminate administrative and financial barriers that impede their progress without compromising their experience or the rigor of the University’s academic programs.

Cal State Fullerton has been awarded a five-year, nearly $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to strengthen the teaching and learning of mathematics in underserved middle schools and high schools in and around Orange County. The five-year grant supports the project, "Advancing Teachers of Mathematics to Advance Learning for All.” Throughout the project, 20 experienced math instructors — called master teaching fellows — will be selected from high-need school districts that serve English language learners and students from low-income families. The University’s master of social work program also received Title IV-E federal funding for the seventh consecutive year to tackle a nationwide shortage of child welfare workers. Its latest award of $1,472,590 will provide educational stipends of up to $18,500 per year for full-time students who commit to work for a minimum of two years in a public child welfare agency after graduation. Part-time students also are eligible to receive stipends.

NEW M.S. FOR MIHAYLO The Mihaylo College of Business and Economics is introducing a new master of science degree in financial engineering and risk management this fall. The program combines technical and practical skills that are applicable to careers in risk management, risk engineering, actuarial science and loss control. Says Jeff Jolley, program coordinator: “It bridges the gap between the quantitative principles of financial engineering and the practical applications of risk management.”

PARTNERSHIP, GOLF TOURNAMENT BENEFIT ABREGO FUTURE SCHOLARS In April, President Mildred García welcomed to campus Consul of Mexico Mario Cuevas Zamora, above center, to celebrate a partnership and donation from the Consulate of Mexico in Santa Ana to support the Abrego Future Scholars Program. The consulate’s donation of $23,000 is being matched so that 23 Abrego scholars each receive an additional $2,000 scholarship. Also benefiting the program is the Hispanic Scholarship Golf Tournament presented by American Honda Motor Co., which celebrated its 30th anniversary this year and raised more than $200,000. In its three decades, more than 800 students have benefited from the Abrego Future Scholars Program, named in honor of Silas Abrego, CSUF vice president emeritus for student affairs and a California State University trustee. Beating its planned timeline by two years, this year the Dr. Silas H. Abrego Endowment reached its goal of $1 million. CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, FULLERTON I 7

60TH ANNIVERSARY BEGINS AT CONVOCATION Join fellow alumni for a yearlong celebration of CSUF’s 60th anniversary, beginning with Convocation on Aug. 14 — the same day 60.fullerton.edu launches. Stay tuned for these and other events: Aug. 14 FOUNDING TITANS & ‘67 REUNION LUNCHEON

If you graduated prior to 1970, please send updated contact information to alumniengagement@fullerton.edu Sept. 15

ALUMNI ASSOCIATION RECOGNIZES STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT Through the generous support of Cal State Fullerton alumni, each year the Alumni Association is privileged to reward a number of continuing students on their journey to graduation. These scholars demonstrate their academic and extracurricular achievements and contributions through a rigorous application process. Scholarship award recipients — including the 2016-17 awardees, above with Dianna Fisher, executive director of Alumni Engagement, top row left — also benefit from proceeds raised at various alumni programs and events. Learn more at alumni.fullerton.edu/scholarship.

ALUMNI GIVE BACK During the 2016-17 academic year, alumni contributed nearly 1,500 hours through the Alumni Association to support a number of efforts: n Hosting a dinner for students through Dinner With 12 Titans n Leading one of the association’s 15 alumni clubs n Speaking at the association’s Slice of Advice panels n Mentoring and networking with students n Volunteering at such events as GradFest, Fully Fest and Grad BBQ n Taking a leadership position on the Alumni Association Board of Directors To find out more about Titan Alumni Volunteer Corps opportunities, visit alumni.fullerton.edu.




Cal State Fullerton Intramural Field Nov. 30 VISION & VISIONARIES

Dinner celebration honoring exemplary Titan alumni Nov. 30 – Dec. 2 HOMECOMING WEEK

Events throughout the week, with a grand finale of festivities and a basketball game on Dec. 2 Feb. 1, 2018 AFTER DARK AT DISNEYLAND PARK

Disneyland Park is reserved exclusively for CSUF guests that evening

THE LEGACY OF A TITAN-IN-CHIEF HE ONCE CALLED being president of Cal State Fullerton “the greatest job in America.” Even five years after the retirement of Milton Gordon — president emeritus, professor of mathematics and lifelong educator — the breadth of his legacy is an indisputable source of great pride for Titans near and far. Gordon became Cal State Fullerton’s fourth president in August of 1990, and led the University through a demographic shift that mirrored the changing face of Southern California. When he first arrived, nearly 60 percent of the student body was Caucasian; upon his retirement, students of color made up more than half of enrollment. In his 22 years as president, Gordon saw approximately 122,000 Titans graduate. His knack for adaptability in the face of change was one of his strongest attributes, and one with which he helped the University flourish. During his tenure, Cal State Fullerton climbed to No. 1 in the state and fifth in the nation in graduating Latinos. International agreements grew exponentially, as did the attendance of international students. He also oversaw an increase in academic degrees and programs while ensuring equitable access to those degrees.

Gordon also is credited with creating CSUF’s Guardian Scholars program, which awards former foster youth full scholarships and assistance throughout their time on campus. He led the largest construction period in University history — $636 million in new and renovated facilities, among these the expansion of the Pollak Library, Performing Arts Center and Mihaylo Hall. Gordon oversaw 22 major building projects in all, as well as a period of achievements in sustainability, with all new buildings erected since 2006 meeting LEED certification standards. The educational goals that Gordon helped so many achieve were inspired by his own experience growing up in Chicago and pursuing his undergraduate degree at Xavier University in Louisiana. He was forced to sit in the back of buses and in segregated theaters, yet always knew that education could be transformative. After earning a doctorate in mathematics at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Gordon created a program for underrepresented students during his first academic post at Loyola University of Chicago. He later became dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Chicago State University, then vice president for

academic affairs and professor of mathematics at Sonoma State University before joining Cal State Fullerton. “Only the fourth African-American president in the largest system of higher education in the country, President Gordon, like his predecessor Jewel Plummer Cobb, shattered glass ceilings for thousands of people, like me, who aspired to follow in his footsteps,” said Cal State Fullerton President Mildred García. “He was an incredible inspiration and mentor to me, and one of the first people to reach out to me when I came to the CSU. Like many of you, in addition to looking up to him, I had the honor of working with him as a colleague, a friend and a Titan. “He was a warm, compassionate and generous man whose legacy will affect eternity through the millions of lives he touched and the tens of thousands of degrees this institution conferred under his leadership,” she added. Gordon died April 18 at the age of 81, leaving behind a campus forever marked by the vision of an intrepid Titan. Gifts in his honor can be made to the President Emeritus Milton A. Gordon Memorial Fund at giving.fullerton.edu/gordonfund.


New Highs

in Women’s Golf, Track and Field

IT WAS A SEASON OF FIRSTS for Titan Athletics — one filled with historic performances and championships. Men’s track and field won its first-ever Big West Conference championship, while golfer Martina Edberg is the first Titan to ever advance to the NCAA Women’s golf championship as an individual. The men’s basketball team hosted its first postseason match as women’s tennis advanced to its first Big West Women’s Tennis Championship semifinal after having the best record in the program’s history. Titan Athletics Director Jim Donovan said such a year — one that included the men’s and women’s soccer programs participating in the Big West Championship Tournament, women’s softball winning back-to-back Big West Conference Championships, and the baseball team advancing to the College World Series for the 18th time — is symbolic of the winning attitudes of Titan Athletics. “All this success is truly a testament to the effort of our staff, coaches and student athletes,” Donovan said. “But it truly wouldn’t be possible without the support of our student body, administration, alumni and donors. As good as this year has been, we expect, and are working toward, even more successes in the future.” The two biggest stories of the year were the men’s track and field team winning the Big West Conference championship and the unprecedented success of Edberg on the golf course. 10 I TITAN SUMMER/FALL 2017

Steve Woltmann


When the men’s outdoor track and field team won the Big West Conference championship, coach John Elders couldn’t contain his emotions. “This is just unbelievable,” Elders, who has been at the helm of the program for 29 years, said after the team won. “I am just filled with emotions about everyone who has been involved with the program over the years, all the student-athletes back to 1988 when I started coaching, and back to 1984 when I was a student-athlete.” Edberg’s collegiate career ended with a bang. She is the first Titan to earn All-American honors since the program was reinstated for the 2009-10 season. In 2017, Edberg was the Big West Conference individual champion and 2017 Big West Player of the Year. While her golf honors and awards are impressive, one of the aspects of college life that meant as much to her as making birdie was earning her degree in business administrationfinance. Since she was participating in the national championship in Illinois, Edberg missed taking part in the May 20-21 commencement ceremonies, so Titan Athletics and Mihaylo College of Business and Economics teamed up to provide Edberg with a private ceremony in front of her family, complete with “Pomp and Circumstance.” “I’m so thankful for my time here at Cal State Fullerton,” said Edberg. “I couldn’t have asked for a more complete college experience. I will always be a Titan.” MICHAEL MAHI


Robert Huskey

America’s Chief Pharmacy Officer

AS THE FIRST FEMALE CHIEF PROFESSIONAL OFFICER of pharmacy and assistant surgeon general in the U.S. Public Health Service, Rear Admiral Pamela M. Schweitzer ’82 (B.S. biological science) directs 1,300 commissioned pharmacists who work with more than 22 federal agencies, including the Department of Defense and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She was appointed to the four-year post in 2014. Now stationed at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Baltimore, the alumna provides leadership and coordination of the pharmacy program and professional affairs for the Office of the Surgeon General and Department of Health and Human Services. Results of research coordinated or sponsored by sister agencies like the CDC and the National Institutes of Health are critical to the daily work of her agency, says Schweitzer, who earned her doctor of pharmacy from the University of California, San Francisco. Recommendations published by the Surgeon General are supported by systematic scientific reviews by experts, tasks forces or committees, she points out. WHY DID YOU JOIN THE U.S. PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE?

I joined because of the promise of adventure. I signed up for a two-year commitment as a clinical pharmacist with the Indian Health Service and served at an Indian reservation in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Once I got there and saw what it meant to impact someone's life, I was hooked on public health and making a difference to improve the health of that particular population. HOW DID CSUF PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR CAREER?

My professors were so passionate about teaching, and got me excited about science and learning. Dr. Miles McCarthy [the late biology professor who founded the Health Professions Advising program] was one professor in particular who made an impact. He was so nice and encouraging. For me, college was a time to grow up. I learned how to learn. DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR CAL STATE FULLERTON STUDENTS?

Find out what you love, how you can make a difference and take

a chance. The world is wide open. Work as a team to solve problems together; teamwork is a skillset that will last you the rest of your life. Networking also is critical. Keep in touch with people you meet along your path. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR WORK?

The best part of my job is working with people who are experts in their field, mission-focused, and passionate about improving health care and making a difference in people’s lives. WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

With the overwhelming scientific evidence that smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death and disease in the U.S., I am proud of our team and our efforts to curb tobacco use. I was instrumental in coordinating efforts to develop a course for non-clinicians, which provides a technique on tobacco cessation intervention, and how to address tobacco use and effective quitting strategies with individuals. DEBRA CANO RAMOS CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, FULLERTON I 11

iscovery D AGENTS OF

BREAKTHROUGHS HAPPEN EVERY DAY AT CAL STATE FULLERTON — each time curiosity yields discovery and scholarship provokes realization. Research ventures and entrepreneurial activities continue to leave boundaries and borders behind as innovation and application take on different forms and have an impact on the local and global landscape. Just ask those studying the next wave of drug-resistant bacteria or predictors of the next big earthquake. Yet equally as important is the breakthrough that takes place in the learning process when students transition from listening to doing — a not-quite-audible “click” when research transforms the learning experience and contextualizes their knowledge. Students across campus are joining faculty members in exploring the what, how and why of stress management in families, foundational dance techniques and the “hidden curriculum” of outside-the-classroom student engagement. And as they design, collect, evaluate, quantify and analyze, they also benefit from the guidance and mentorship of faculty members at the forefront of their fields. Research at Cal State Fullerton continues to push the limits of learning outcomes, benefiting the next wave of subject-matter experts, academics and professionals going out into the world not just knowing, but being able to do. Research — for faculty and students alike — is when teaching truly moves the needle, whether in the lab, by California’s Temblor Range or in Disneyland’s Main Street, U.S.A.


Matt Gush



HOLLYWOOD DEPICTED “THE BIG ONE” devastating the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles — California’s most populated regions — in a multimillion-dollar feature film. Such a mighty earthquake along the San Andreas Fault could strike in our lifetime, says earthquake scientist Sinan Akçiz. The estimated 15- to 20-million-year-old San Andreas Fault, especially the southern section near Orange and Los Angeles counties, is capable of producing an earthquake that can cause strong seismic shaking. “It’s not a matter of if, but when,” Akçiz points out. While California prepares for the next big seismic force, Cal State Fullerton experts are shaking things up in earthquake research. Over the last decade, Akçiz has been searching for clues of the next temblor, digging into the past to find evidence of large earthquakes along the Southern California section of the San Andreas Fault. Collaborative research with his students, as well as geologists from UC Irvine and Arizona State University, could better explain the geological complexity of the 800-mile fault system, which crisscrosses through the San Francisco area in the north to the Southland and across the Mexican border. Akçiz started his earthquake research in 2005 within Kern County’s Carrizo Plain National Monument. He was part of a research team that discovered evidence of at least six major surface-rupturing quakes over the last 700 years on the southern section of the fault system. The earliest temblor occurred in the 1350s, with the last one on Jan. 9, 1857, when a 7.9-magnitude temblor ruptured a 250-mile section of the fault between Monterey County’s Parkfield — dubbed the “Earthquake Capital of the World” — and Wrightwood. The study found that earthquakes occurred in 100-year intervals on the fault’s southern section and not every 250 to 400 years, as researchers previously thought, signaling a warning for a major quake in Southern California. “We now know that this section poses a significant seismic hazard and is a major threat to the health and safety of Californians. It’s a great reminder that we live in earthquake country,” notes Akçiz, assistant professor of geological sciences, who was the lead author of a journal paper in Geology that describes the discovery. 14 I TITAN SUMMER/FALL 2017

The paleoseismologist studies the times and magnitudes of past earthquakes along fault systems, especially those in populated areas. His research takes place inside the natural laboratory of 12-foot deep, 3-foot wide trenches along the San Andreas Fault, which extends to depths of more than 30,000 feet. Akçiz’s recent research sites are mostly within Carrizo Plain, about 200 miles northwest from Cal State Fullerton, near the aptly named Temblor Range. Earlier this summer, Akçiz and his students spent a month at Carrizo Plain, hand-digging in the dirt and in 100-degree heat. Through their work, the researchers are looking for a pattern of large quakes that ruptured the region. Inside the trenches, the research team collected data to further study and document the earth’s sediment layers, looking for what the soil reveals about the area’s history of earthquakes. “It’s grueling work in the field," he tells. "But it’s important, especially if we can expand the earthquake record, and then we might be able to see what the future looks like with more accurate forecasts of earthquakes.” Such collaborative research, Akçiz adds, can benefit society in a number of ways, including improving infrastructure to prevent the collapse of buildings, highways and dams. His CSUF colleague, earthquake engineer Kristijan Kolozvari, agrees. He and his students are researching ways to improve the seismic performance of tall buildings to withstand a destructive collapse in the event of a major quake. Kolozvari’s research focuses on developing innovative simulation tools to predict the seismic performance of skyscrapers as tall as 40 to 60 stories — including buildings currently being designed or under construction in downtown Los Angeles — following a strong earthquake. Last year, the assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering received National Science Foundation funding for his work with Cal State Long Beach engineering colleagues. “Current methodologies for the design of tall buildings are focused on preventing loss of human lives, which is essential. But these methodologies do not take into account the amount of damage, the repair cost and the time that buildings are out of function,” says Kolozvari.

Using computer models, the researchers are examining the interaction between soil, foundation, structural and nonstructural building components to provide a methodology for identifying engineering design requirements to boost building resiliency, he explains. Kolozvari has studied the structural design of buildings in seismic-prone regions across the globe, including Japan, which was hit by a 9.1-magnitude earthquake in 2011. “We hope to develop a framework that will shed new light on current design approaches and lay out new design procedures that will enable engineers to design buildings that will be in function shortly after the earthquake, and therefore minimize the impact of earthquakes on society, which is the main objective of earthquake resiliency,” he adds. “Above all, I’m interested in the field because it helps to build safer structures and protect people’s lives in earthquakes.” The Titan experts agree that in addition to research, everyone needs to prepare for a massive earthquake. “At a minimum, store some extra water that will last for about a week, and prepare yourself and your family accordingly,” Akçiz says. “Everybody asks when the next ‘Big One’ is going to happen and we can’t tell you. There is no crystal ball. What we do know is that it can happen anytime.” DEBRA CANO RAMOS

Top: Dustin Williams and Ross Kovtun, students in Sinan Akçiz’s Geological Field Techniques class, join their professor, above center, in reconnaissance field work. The researchers use a high-accuracy GPS unit to map the Whittier Fault, where Akçiz hopes to investigate the ages of the last several surfacerupturing earthquakes. Bottom: Earthquake engineer Kristijan Kolozvari, with downtown Los Angeles skyscrapers in the background, studies the resiliency of such tall buildings following a major earthquake.


UNLOCKING THE ‘HIDDEN CURRICULUM’ LUCERO SOSA, THE ELDEST OF SIX CHILDREN, planned to get a job to help support her family after graduating from Santa Ana’s Century High School. Instead, a school counselor changed her mind about going to college. “If it weren’t for my counselor, I don’t think I would be here right now,” says Sosa, a human services major and the first in her family to attend a four-year university. As a freshman, Sosa felt isolated and unconnected with campus life. She began taking courses with faculty mentor Julián Jefferies, setting her college journey in a new direction. Through the courses, Sosa, now a junior, was introduced to a learning community that exposed her to internship and career possibilities, campus activities and educational opportunities abroad. She also became one of Jefferies’ research assistants. Jefferies, assistant professor of literacy and reading education, wants to open up the academic world to Latino students whose parents didn’t earn a college degree. At Cal State Fullerton, 57

percent of bachelor’s degree recipients are first-generation university graduates. Jefferies’ research centers on the influence of a learning community for first-generation college students — how studying abroad, research experiences, mentoring, tutoring and career advising shape a student’s education and college success. Jefferies, a first-generation student from Argentina, calls this the “hidden curriculum,” which these students often don’t take advantage of, due to lack of support and knowledge in navigating the University, as well as cultural barriers. “I’m trying to find out if these kinds of experiential learning have an effect on whether students become more engaged on campus, and whether they help students to graduate, pursue graduate school and prepare them for the workforce,” explains Jefferies, at right with Sosa, who also studies the daily life of undocumented youth and received a Fulbright award to study adolescent migrants who returned to Mexico.

THE RESISTANCE MOVEMENT IN A LAB DEEP IN THE bowels of Dan Black Hall, Brettni Quinn is eyedropper-deep in a petri dish of Acinetobacter baumannii, which has been classified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a serious threat. This little gem of a bacteria has developed resistance to almost all antibiotics. “The strains of A. baumannii that I work with typically cause hospital-acquired infections,” explains Quinn, left, who is pursuing a master of science in biology. “I am looking at human products — types of collagen, human serum, mucin and others — to see if they increase transformation rates in A. baumannii.” 16 I TITAN SUMMER/FALL 2017

For his study, students take four of his courses, which address social, political, cultural and economic conditions underrepresented and immigrant students face, and prepares them for study-abroad experiences in Puerto Rico and Guadalajara. The classes embrace service-learning, career development and research experiences. Jefferies’ ongoing research shows that students participating in the learning community express a sense of belonging and feel welcome on campus, are more apt to participate in student clubs and organizations, and can better relate to peers. Sosa can attest to the benefits. She has studied in Puerto Rico, Guadalajara and Baja California, is involved with the McNair Prep Academy — scholars interested in graduate studies — and serves as an Abrego Future Scholars ambassador, a scholarship program to increase college participation of first-generation and underrepresented students. She also aspires to earn a doctorate. “Being in a learning community, studying abroad and

In February, the World Health Organization published, for the first time, a list of antibiotic-resistant “priority pathogens” — 12 families of bacteria that “pose the greatest threat to human health,” according to the agency. A. baumannii took the top spot under the “critical” or highest category in a group of bacteria that can cause severe, even deadly infections, and that are able to find new ways to resist treatment. As drug-resistant strains become increasingly common, a growing contingent of antibiotic resistance fighters at Cal State Fullerton is banding together to confront this public-health issue. In fact, Quinn chose Cal State Fullerton for her graduate studies precisely for its storied research in this field, which includes multiple collaborations between researchers María Soledad Ramírez, assistant professor of biological science, and Marcelo Tolmasky, professor of biological science. “Our lab’s main focus is how bacteria evolve toward multiresistance,” says Ramírez. “And A. baumannii is considered a paradigm of multiresistance.” Several mechanisms can cause resistance to antibiotics. One of these is bacteria’s uptake of new genetic information from their environment — i.e., the human body. Ramírez and Quinn’s study, done in collaboration with other students and published last year in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, suggests that both albumin — the main protein in blood — and calcium help

doing research has helped me realize that the world is so much bigger than I thought,” she says. “I now have opportunities I was not seeing.” DEBRA CANO RAMOS

A. baumannii take in new genes, and in doing so, contribute to the increase of its resistance. Now, explains Ramírez, “we’re looking at which other products present in our bodies would also prompt this, while trying to determine the mechanism that is taking place in order for this to happen.” In collaboration with different groups, additional studies taking place in Ramírez’s lab involve how bacteria are transferring resistance traits between each other, the role of emergent pathogens as sources of resistance determinants, the effect of blue light in the physiopathology of different pathogens, and the levels of antibacterial effectiveness in essential oils. Besides continuing opportunities for students in the Department of Biological Science to participate in research and have their work published, a winter session study-abroad program in clinical microbiology allows students to explore issues of pathogenicity, control and epidemiology of infectious diseases, with research experience and lectures at the University of Buenos Aires’ Hospital de Clínicas José de San Martín. “Increased resistance to antibiotics is a growing concern,” says Ramírez. “We hope that through collaborative research efforts, we can find novel targets to stop the spread of antibiotic resistance and control infectious diseases.” SARAH MUÑOZ



WHY IS THE ICONIC SCENE of Snow White sleeping in a coffin absent from the ride at Disneyland? How was Walt Disney portrayed by the media during his lifetime? What was it like to be the first female Jungle Cruise skipper? Underlying Cal State Fullerton’s nationally ranked academic programs is a culture of curiosity that has inspired several faculty members and students to explore questions like these through scholarly research. The Disney-related research, they say, fuels their passions, helps them think critically about one of the world’s leading companies and uniquely positions them for success in their careers.

IT’S A JUNGLE OUT THERE When David John Marley, a lecturer in history, took his first ride on Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise at the age of 7, he knew he wanted to be a skipper one day. His wish came true when he joined Disney’s cast upon completing his master’s degree in history at Cal State Fullerton, and again after he completed his doctorate in history at George Washington University. “I liked it because you could tell jokes and be as obnoxious as you wanted to be,” says Marley, who entertained guests in Adventureland for more than three years. “It was the wildest, funnest place to work.” Combining his passions for history and all things Disney, Marley recently authored “Skipper Stories: True Tales From Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise,” the first oral history of a specific Disneyland attraction. The book features interviews with dozens of skippers from the 1950s to the present, and a second volume is in the works. “Every skipper I know has stories of working at Disney on holidays, dealing with celebrities and the wild pranks they pull,” says Marley. Marley, who also spent one summer crafting jokes in the Jungle Cruise writers’ room, is a member of the Hyperion Historical Alliance. The group of scholars works with the Walt Disney Co. to archive its history. “Walt Disney impacted America more than any other nonpolitician in the 20th century. He changed how we vacation, 18 I TITAN SUMMER/FALL 2017

how we think about art and science, and much more,” says Marley. “I never thought studying Disney was something you could do as academic work. Otherwise, I would have started on it a lot earlier.”

AN ARTIST’S LIFE When Sofia Pierantoni was considering which college to attend, Cal State Fullerton’s animation program stood out among the others. Mentored by professors with years of industry experience, she has gained confidence in her animation and illustration skills, as well as in her own ideas. Her senior project for the University Honors Program analyzed five Disney rides: Alice in Wonderland, Snow White’s Scary Adventures, Pinocchio’s Daring Adventure, Peter Pan’s Flight and The Little Mermaid - Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. Comparing scripts of the original animated films with play-byplays of the theme park attractions, Pierantoni sought to discover how to translate a 60- to 90-minute movie into a three- to six-minute ride. “The research helped me understand how to tell a story through a ride,” explains Pierantoni, who graduated in May and joined Disney as a cast member. Alongside her research, Pierantoni led a CSUF team in the 2016 Disney Imaginations Competition. The team was one of 66 semifinalists among 336 teams across the United States. She aspires to work for Disney Imagineering.

PARKS AND MANAGEMENT When he’s not on campus, business administration major Thomas Metzger can be found at Disney California Adventure, where he works as an attractions host. Metzger credits the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics with confirming his interest in pursuing a career in theme park operations. In one of his favorite classes, Entertainment Operations, students learn the ins and outs of managing theme parks, hotels and the production of movies, television and music. “I really enjoyed that class because you gain an understanding of what it’s really like to work in the entertainment and tourism industry,” he says.

Metzger’s senior thesis project for the University Honors Program will focus on “The Effects of Sponsors on Disney Park Attractions.” “I knew for my honors project that I wanted to study something related to my degree and something I am passionate about,” says Metzger. “Disney is the leader in the entertainment industry, so it’s important to study what they’ve done and what they are continuing to do.”

INSIDE OUT Andi Stein, professor of communications, created Cal State Fullerton’s first Disney course in 2004: Deconstructing Disney. Offered every other year, the graduate- level class examines the influence of the Walt Disney Co. through group discussions, guest lectures from Disney experts and research projects. “Every time I teach it, the class fills up,” says Stein, who is working to develop an undergraduate version of the class. Stein, who has been studying the Walt Disney Co. for two decades, is the author of “Why We Love Disney: The Power of the Disney Brand.” Her research has taken her to all 12 Disney theme parks and most recently to the grand opening of the Shanghai Disney Resort. “We’re in the heart of Disney country,” she says. “The studio is not that far away, the park is here, and many people have grown up with Disneyland as their backyard. “Students at CSUF have the opportunity to dream about working for Disney in ways that other people have not. It’s natural for us to help prepare them for those careers.”

“Disney should be valued as an academic discipline because it has a huge influence on our history and culture,” says recent graduate Sofia Pierantoni, who conducted story analysis of five theme park rides for her senior research project. “If we can analyze and read about film, literature and books, then why not Disney, when it touches on all of those things?” Her faculty mentor, David John Marley, is a CSUF history lecturer and Disney scholar specializing in the history of the Jungle Cruise.



REMAPPING STRESS KATHERINE BONO, associate professor of child and adolescent studies, has always wondered why some people who experience hardships are able to overcome them, while others are not. In 2015, she teamed up with Melanie Horn Mallers, associate professor of human services, to implement a two-year study focusing on resilience at Cal State Fullerton’s Center for Healthy Neighborhoods. The Resilient Families Program measures the effectiveness of increasing skills in the areas of parent-child bonding, stress management and mindfulness, and children’s executive function — their ability to regulate thoughts, attention and emotions — as a way to buffer the negative impact

A LEG UP FOR DANCERS WHEN ABIGAIL DIGRAZIA STARTS TEACHING in L.A. this fall, three names will form part of her troupe: Lester Horton, Martha Graham and José Limón — all contemporaries during the first half of the 20th century, all dance innovators in their own right, each with a dedicated following. They also form the base instruction of CSUF’s dance program. DiGrazia, who recently completed her B.A. in dance, is starting her own program in a charter school for underserved students in kindergarten through second grade. Training in the Horton, Graham and Limón styles has helped her evolve as a person and as a dancer, she says. “Each technique has changed my dancing in a different way. The Limón technique helps me have moments of tension with moments of fluidity and release,” she explains. “With Horton, it’s about building a strong core and long muscles; and the Graham technique has helped me perform emotionally as a dancer and deepen my strength. They have all transformed the way that I see dance, and the way that I dance.” Programs often focus on a single school of training but this can greatly limit students’ outcome once they look for work, 20 I TITAN SUMMER/FALL 2017

says theatre and dance professor Debra Noble, whose teaching incorporates the Limón principles of dancing. “Storytelling, whether verbal or action-based, has been part of our human existence since the beginning. The incorporation of these techniques links our students to this past and encourages them to choose their future with more awareness,” she states. “Having the three foundational techniques keep our students really well-rounded, so they learn three different ‘vocabularies’ from people who dance professionally,” says Lisa Long, assistant professor of theatre and dance, whose professional background is Graham-based. “It’s almost like being multilingual — students just get more vocabulary from which to draw when they go out into the dance world beyond academia.” “It is rare in the U.S., maybe even the world, that an institution teaches you all three techniques and even researches the connections between them,” says Alvin Rangel-Alvarado, associate professor of theatre and dance. His teaching is derived from the pedagogy of James Truitte, who was in the Lester Horton Co. and who is known for teaching the Horton technique in its purest form.

of stress. Approximately 25 families in the Fullerton community have participated in the six-week program; many of them face high-stress factors such as poverty, substance abuse and domestic violence. “From our research on stress in families, we’re finding that if parent-child relationships are strong, that child can be protected from the negative impact of parental stress,” says Bono. According to Horn Mallers, poor parent-child relationship quality in childhood is a predictor of allostatic load — the accumulation of stress over time. “Research tells us that people who experience stress early on can develop maps in terms of how they react to stress later on,” she explains. “If you’ve experienced a lot of stress as a child, you’re more likely to be physiologically reactive to stress when you’re older. “If we can intervene early on, and prepare children and families for a healthier life, there are huge long-term outcomes,” she adds. University students play an important role in the Resilient Families Program, from studying intervention strategies and collecting data to facilitating child development activities and teaching parenting classes. “For students to have the opportunity to run community programs like this — and to learn about the research, logistics

and science around it — is really an invaluable experience,” says Bono. One such student is human services major Xochitl Vicente, who served as a research assistant for two semesters and aspires to become a marriage and family therapist. “I didn’t know what to expect from the program or how it would impact the families,” she says. “But in just a few weeks, I saw that the families were integrating the exercises we taught them into their lives, and there was a positive shift.” Reflecting on her own childhood, Vicente believes techniques like mindfulness could have helped her cope with the stresses of her father’s addiction to alcohol, the family’s financial struggles and her role as the oldest of four children. “When I was younger, a lot of times I felt overwhelmed,” recalls Vicente. “I think our family could have benefited from a resource like the Resilient Families Program.” Extending research into the community reinforces the University’s vision to be a resource for Orange County and its surrounding areas, says Bono. “There’s tremendous expertise on this campus,” she explains. “If we’re able to share our research with the community — and our students are involved in that process — everybody benefits.” LYNN PENKINGCARN

“Many dance schools and conservatories teach contemporary techniques that derive from these foundations. The advantage that Cal State Fullerton students have is that they are studying the techniques that actually forged these modern tendencies,” he explains. “They get these fundamentals, but also study contemporary tendencies.” DiGrazia already is working on her fall curriculum. “In my modern dance classes I’ve decided to incorporate the three techniques that I learned at Cal State Fullerton,” she says. “I’m trying to give the children a taste of what I’ve learned here.” “We’re like a well-oiled machine. If one of us misses something, the other will pick it up,” says Long. “Between these three techniques, there’s not a base we don’t cover.” SARAH MUÑOZ

“Our students attain great physical strength and an artistic versatility by training in all three techniques, along with classical ballet,” says Debra Noble, with Alvin Rangel-Alvarado and Lisa Long. CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, FULLERTON I 21

CLASS NOTES I To submit news about yourself, email titanmagazine@fullerton.edu.



MERRILL G. EVERETT (B.A. business administration-marketing) is a glass artist who founded the Fallbrook School of the Arts Ceramics and Glass programs. A former teacher at Orange Coast College, Everett’s work was exhibited earlier this year at the Fallbrook Library.

DEBORAH JACKSON HODA (B.S. child development) is president of the Henderson, Kentucky, chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.


KENNETH B. HEDLER (B.A. communications) is the business reporter at the Texas Longview News-Journal.

GARY F. BOLEN (B.A., ’79 M.A. theatre arts), who recently retired as chair of the Theatre Arts Department at Monterey Peninsula College, was named to the Monterey County Film Commission Board of Directors.


DAVID L. BALL (B.A. business administration-finance) was reappointed to the Orange County Employees Retirement System Board of Retirement, a 10-member group charged with ensuring the secure delivery of retirement and disability benefits to its members. Ball is to serve until Dec. 31, 2019. PAUL S. CASTRO (B.A. ethnic studies-Chicano studies) will retire in December from his position as president and CEO of Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles, where he has served for more than 35 years. ALLAN L. ROEDER (B.A. political science) was appointed interim Fullerton city manager in January.


VICTORIA VASQUES (B.S. human services), president and CEO of Tribal Tech, LLC, saw her company earn the No. 41 spot on the 10th annual “50 Fastest Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies” by the Women Presidents’ Organization. The management and technical services consulting company also was honored by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce on its 22nd annual list of fastest growing companies.



GARY J. MANTZ (B.A. religious studies) recently celebrated a decade on the airwaves as co-host of "Mantz and Mitchell" on KKNW in Seattle. MICHAEL A. MCATEER (B.A. religious studies) is national manager/promoter at “Dean-o and the Dynamos Inc.,” a music and curriculum developer. HAROLD J. MULVILLE (B.A. history) has retired from his post as Los Angeles Superior Court commissioner.


KEVIN C. FAWLEY (B.A. history, ’87 single subject credential-social science) teaches U.S. history at Buena Park High School. DAVID S. GENGE (B.A. business administration-accounting) is an accounting clerk with the La Plata Electric Association in Durango, Colorado.


ERIC EVERHART (B.A. business administration-management) has joined Brandywine Homes as vice president of development. RICHARD T. FIELDS (B.A. sociology) has been appointed to the 4th District Court of Appeals by California Gov. Jerry Brown. RODNEY W. GILFRY (B.A. music-music education) recently took to the stage as Claudius in Brett Dean’s “Hamlet” in England’s Glyndebourne Festival. The two-time Grammy nominee is an associate professor of vocal arts at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music.

JAMES P. BLAYLOCK ’72 ’74 (B.A., M.A. English) is a fantasy author known for pioneering the steampunk genre of science fiction, along with fellow CSUF alumni Tim Powers and K.W. Jeter. Credited with publishing the first domestic steampunk story in 1978, Blaylock’s “The Ape-box Affair” is a story about a Victorian backyard scientist who launches a spacecraft piloted by an orangutan. Since then, Blaylock’s works have received numerous honors, including the 1986 Philip K. Dick Memorial Award for his novel “Homunculus” and two World Fantasy Awards — one in 1986 for “Paper Dragons” and one in 1997 for “Thirteen Phantasms.” In a 2015 interview, Blaylock explains how a CSUF English class taught by 1974-75 Outstanding Professor Willis McNelly opened his eyes to a new dimension of science fiction. “Suddenly I was reading ‘Dune’ and ‘Childhood’s End’ and other works of contemporary science fiction and wondering how I had missed them,” says Blaylock. “I binged on science fiction and fantasy for years after that.” Blaylock is a professor of English at Chapman University. In his latest work, “The Further Adventures of Langdon St. Ives,” Blaylock brings back his archetypal Victorian scientist in a collection of five stories.

KATHY L. SCHERMER-GRAMM (B.A. art, ’89 M.A. art-design) is a botanical illustrator, owner of the Botanically Inclined Art Studio and an instructor in the North Carolina Botanical Garden’s Botanical Illustration certificate program.


JONATHAN P. CLARK (B.A. business administration-marketing) was named interim president of Monster Digital Inc. in October. Clark, president and CEO of Priority Posting and Publishing Inc., has been serving on Monster’s board of directors since July.

A TITAN LEGACY If you are 70½ or older, you are required to withdraw a minimum amount from your IRA annually, and the taxes you have to pay on each distribution can be a burden. A better option: support Cal State Fullerton by making a Titan-size impact with an IRA Charitable Rollover. Among the perks: you will not be taxed on the transfer, and it counts toward your required minimum distribution. For more information, contact your IRA administrator or Hart Roussel at 657-278-5429 or CSUFplannedgift@fullerton.edu.

CATHERINE MCGUIRE (B.A. communications), a former technical writer, is now an Oregon poet who has four published books. RICHARD L. VAN KIRK (B.A. business administration-management science) is president and CEO with Irvine-based Pro-Dex, a manufacturer of medical and dental products. He has served with the firm since 2006 as vice president of manufacturing and chief operating officer.


RICHARD K. DAVIS (B.A. economics) stepped down as chief executive officer of U.S. Bancorp in April. He served with the company since 1993, was named its president in 2004 and became CEO in 2006. JOHNNY SCHAEFER (B.A. music) is a Los Angeles-based singer and songwriter who has sung backup for a number of recording artists, and served as cantor and soloist at Blessed Sacrament Church in Hollywood, since 1981. In December 2016, Schaefer released his “From Here to Nativity” album, featuring a series of classic holiday tunes. RUSSELL H. STEVENS (B.A. business administration-accounting) earned his doctorate in business management from Northcentral University in Scottsdale, Arizona, and currently teaches online courses for Hope International University and Geneva College, as well as for a number of small colleges and universities.

fullerton.edu/CSUFPlannedGift DONALD C. VASS (B.A. art) is a conservation technician, repairing books for the King County Library System in Washington, which includes 49 community libraries.


JOANNE FAWLEY (B.A. political science, ’89 single subject credentials-social science and English, ’98 M.A. political science) teaches government and is chair of the Social Science Department at Cypress High School.


STEVEN R. GARDNER (B.A. psychology), president and chief executive officer for Pacific Premier Bancorp in Irvine, was re-elected to a three-year term as a class A director on the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Board of Directors. PATRICK J. JOHNSTON (B.A. business administration-management information systems) joined Savvius Inc., a manufacturer of software and appliance products that automate a collection of critical network data, as vice president of worldwide sales. He is based in Walnut Creek.


MICHAEL P. ROGAN (B.A. communications) is vice president of sales for email encryption services provider Identillect Technologies Corp.



STEVEN L. DIETLIN (B.A. business administration-accounting) is CEO of Tri-City Medical Center. He joined the center in 2013 as chief financial officer.

MICHAEL S. MCCLURE (B.A. business administration-accounting) is president of Strategic Storage Growth Trust Inc. He also was appointed president of the company’s sponsor, SmartStop, a diversified real estate company, and SmartStop affiliates.

BRENT T. FLYGAR (B.A. business administration-accounting), a senior vice president for Bank of Hawaii, was promoted to controller and principal accounting manager in March. He serves on the board of directors for the Tax Foundation of Hawaii.



PETER ALDANA (B.A. liberal studies) is Riverside County assessor-county clerk and recorder.

CHRISTOPHER COYTE (B.A. business administration-marketing) was named president and managing director of the Newport Beach office of broker-owned commercial real estate firm Lee & Associates. Coyte has served with the firm since 1989 and is a member of the AIR Commercial Real Estate Association.


KAVEH ZAMANIAN (B.A. psychology) is founder and CEO of Rabbit Hole Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky.


LAURIE LITTLE (B.A. business administration-finance) is senior vice president at The Piacente Group Inc., a multinational investor relations consulting firm. MARY LOPEZ (B.S. nursing) is dean of Western University of Health Sciences’ College of Graduate Nursing.

TODD HANSON (B.A. business administration-marketing) is vice president of the Orange County Community Foundation’s Center for Engaged Philanthropy. KATHLEEN M. ROBISON (B.A. American studies) is an impressionist painter in San Clemente.


KELLI L. ELLIS (B.A. communicationsadvertising) is an interior designer in Laguna Niguel. Ellis has appeared on TLC’s “Clean Sweep” and HGTV’s “Takeover My Makeover.” JO ANN ESCASA-HAIGH (B.A. business administration-accounting) is executive vice president and chief financial officer for St. Joseph Health, a not-for-profit health system in three states. She was honored earlier this year as a winner of the Orange County Business Journal CFO of the Year award. DAVID MONTERO (B.A. communications) is a reporter for the Los Angeles Daily News.

CSUFCommunity Want to learn more about what’s happening at Cal State Fullerton? Sign up for the monthly e-newsletter:




KAREN M. QUEK (M.S. counseling-marriage and family therapy) is an associate professor of marital and family therapy at Bethel Seminary in San Diego. Quek earned a Ph.D. in marital and family therapy at Loma Linda University. WAI L. WONG (B.A. biological science) is a San Francisco optometrist.


ANN M. FONG (B.A. business administration-accounting) is chief operating officer at Incipio Group, a manufacturer of cellphone cases and other mobile device accessories. Since 2013, Fong has served as the company’s chief financial officer. PAUL A. KAIDASZ (B.A. business administration-marketing) and his wife, Kristal, are owners of GradePower Learning, a supplemental education company based in Woodlands, Texas. DALLAS M. STOUT (B.S. human services), a lecturer in child and adolescent studies at CSUF, recently completed his third term as president of the Cal State Fullerton Nonprofit Professionals Alumni Chapter. He and his wife, Debra, a fellow alum, co-own DoctorS Nonprofit Consulting.


DANIEL D. ANNE (B.A. criminal justice) is a captain in the Riverside County Sheriff ’s Department. The 20-year veteran was named to lead the agency’s Lake Elsinore Sheriff ’s Station in January 2017.


COLIN T. SEVERN (B.A. business administration-accounting) is chief financial officer for William Lyon Homes, a position he has held since 2009. He was honored earlier this year with an Orange County Business Journal CFO of the Year award.

ERICA JACQUEZ ’97 (B.A. criminal justice) has joined the Directors Guild of America (DGA) as executive in charge of government affairs. She is responsible for the guild’s federal legislative and governmental work, and will serve as an advocate for its members on such issues as intellectual property, copyright and anti-piracy protection. Jacquez, who worked for AltaMed Health Services before joining the DGA, was appointed by President Obama in 2010 to serve as the intergovernmental affairs and public engagement liaison between the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Congress and the public nationwide. She later served as a legislative analyst at the White House Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget. “For someone who was told in high school that I would never go on to college or never get into a university, I've had a remarkable journey,” said the Titan in a 2015 interview. “And CSUF gave me my first shot. I will never forget that.” Jacquez earned an M.P.A. with an emphasis in political management and a doctorate in policy, planning and development, both from the University of Southern California. She also completed an executive leadership certificate program from Harvard University.

SUZANNE SNAPPER (B.A. business administration-accounting) is chief financial officer for The Ensign Group, a health care services company based in Mission Viejo.


ERIC R. VASQUEZ (B.S. human services) is field manager for the Willmar, Minnesota Stingers, a baseball team in the Northwoods League. Vasquez also began his second year as an assistant coach with Utah Valley University, where he helped lead the Wolverines to an NCAA Regional appearance in 2015. MAKEBA WILBOURN (B.A., ’01 M.A. psychology), assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University, was named a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.


SHARMILA G. MITRA (B.A. communications-public relations) is owner and principal instructor of Core Arts Pilates and Gyrotonic in Anaheim.

MIA NORIEGA SEARIGHT (B.M. music-voice, ’02 multiple subject credential, ’03 M.M. music-performance) recently performed the role of Marcellina in “The Marriage of Figaro” at the Mysterium Theater in La Habra.


SCOTT A. CANNON (B.A. business administration-finance) was appointed president and chief operating officer for equipment rental network BigRentz. He previously served as CEO of MNX Global Logistics. DANIEL OTTER (M.S. education-elementary curriculum and instruction) has joined the University of Redlands as associate dean of continuing studies.


BONNIEJEAN ALFORD HINDE (M.A. sociology) is founder and creative communication strategist at Alford Enterprises in Wheaton, Illinois. MELANIE A. EUSTICE (B.A. political science) is now chief of staff for Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer, after serving as communications director.

DEBRA STOUT (B.S. human services), a lecturer in counseling at Cal State Fullerton, is executive director of the Fullerton Collaborative, a cooperative of executive directors, educators, activists, community service leaders and volunteers dedicated to building and supporting a health cohesive community. DOUGLAS VOGEL (B.A. political science, ’06 M.P.A.) is director of development for the Laguna Playhouse, the oldest continuously operating theater on the West Coast.


TODD S. LEAVEY (MBA) has joined Sertant Capital, a full-service equipment lease company in Irvine, as senior vice president of credit and lease administration. ARTIE O’DALY (B.A. theatre arts) is part of an acting/writing duo who released “How to Get Featured on Deadline,” a six-episode sketch series based on their 2014 internet short about an actress who fails to book a role during pilot season. TIMOTHY VU (B.A. criminal justice) is Westminster’s deputy police chief and the highest-ranking Vietnamese police officer in Southern California.



RYAN W. BENT (B.A. business administration) is a member of the North Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees. He also serves on the City of Yorba Linda Public Library Commission.


KLINT G. LEWIS (B.A. business administration-accounting) was elected audit partner with Tanner LLC, Salt Lake City, in October.

Alumni, faculty, staff, students, parents and community partners are fighting for Cal State Fullerton’s future. Will you join us?

ERICA TEJEDA (B.A. criminal justice) is vice president and district manager in Pasadena for Wells Fargo. Tejeda was named to the board of directors for Five Acres, a child and family service agency.


RYAN P. BLACKMUN (B.A. communications-public relations) has joined sales and marketing company Outtech as part of its new western team. ADAM R. BYRNES (B.A. American studies) is a senior product manager in the video unit for Amazon in Seattle. RONALD B. NERIO (MPA-criminal justice) is an attorney with the law firm of McKinley Irvin in Washington.


ANNETTE ARREOLA (B.A. communications-journalism) is a general assignment reporter with NBC4 in Los Angeles. MISTY COY SNYDER (B.A. theatre arts) is teaching a youth arts program at Gettysburg Community Theatre in Pennsylvania.


BRIAN GALLAGHER (B.A. music–music education) was one of 31 teachers selected nationally as a 2017 Country Music Association Music Teachers of Excellence. Gallagher is the band director at Ramona High School in Riverside.


advocacy.fullerton.edu MICHAEL R. MARTINSON (B.A. business administration-accounting) is chief financial officer and secretary of Ambry Genetics Corp. in Aliso Viejo. He previously served as financial controller at the company.

NAHEEMAN C. MCMICHEAUX (B.A. business administration-entertainment and tourism management) is business development manager for Gesture.com, a fundraising event service for charities.

DIANE PATTERSON (M.S. gerontology) is founder of Success in Aging TV and editor of the Journal for Success in Aging.

MELANIE STIMMELL (M.A. art-drawing and painting) is the co-founder of We Talk Chalk, a 3-D street-painting company, and a master street painter and muralist.


NICHOLAS A. ARCINIAGA (B.A. business administration-accounting) won the Super Heroes Half Marathon through the Disneyland Resort and streets of Anaheim in November. He ran the 13.1-mile course in a full-length Spider-Man costume. Arciniaga, who competed for the Titans and has been ranked among the top 10 U.S. marathoners since 2008, also participated in the 2015 Disneyland and 2015 and 2016 Star Wars half marathons.

VICTORIA E. JAGODA (B.A. communications-advertising) is a major gift officer for Long Beach Memorial Hospital.


SHUMIT PATEL (B.A. psychology) is director of risk at grocery chain Haggen Inc. GREG RAHN (B.A. business administration-marketing) is head basketball coach at Pacific Union College in Angwin, California. SEYED A. SADJADI (M.S. chemistry-analytical chemistry) is senior applications scientist at PhenoLogix, a specialist team of global technology company Phenomenex. JEFFERSON M. TIANGO (B.A. business administration-accounting, ’14 M.S. education-TESOL) is an assistant professor of English as a second language at Fullerton College.


PARTH BHATT (B.A., ’12 M.A. economics) is an investment officer with the County of San Bernardino. JENA CHOMCHAVALIT (B.A. sociology, ’12 M.S. gerontology) serves as outreach and education manager for the Council on Aging-Southern California’s ReConnect Program. CHRISTINE F. HERNANDEZ (B.A. English), associate director of women’s leadership and student involvement at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles, received the 2016 Mid-Level Professional of the Year Award from the American College Personnel Association’s Commission for Student Involvement.

In Memoriam

BRUCE W. ALEXANDER ’69 (B.A. business administration) died Oct. 23. LINDA ANDERSEN, professor emeritus of modern languages and literatures, died April 17. She taught French at the University for 32 years. DENNIS BERG, professor emeritus of sociology whose international travels helped CSUF establish global connections in Vietnam and China, died Jan. 19. He was 77. MICHAEL E. BROWN, professor emeritus of political science who was a pioneer in research on drug use among area teens in the late 1960s-early ‘70s, died in November at the age of 77. PATRICK CALLANAN, a former lecturer in human services who taught for 30 years, died March 17 at the age of 82. DEE A. DEARDURFF-STEWART ’88 (B.A. psychology) died Oct. 25 in Ridgecrest. She was 54. JACK ELENBAAS, professor emeritus of history, whose research included urban socialism, Los Angeles and the 1909 election, and the history of the California Domestic Water Co., died Feb. 22. ALBERT FLORES, professor emeritus of philosophy who had been honored for his service, teaching and research with two of the University’s highest faculty honors — the

STEVEN LAMOTTE (B.A. criminal justice) has been named the executive officer for the Orange County chapter of the Building Industry Association of Southern California.


ALEX JASO (B.A. business administrationfinance), a senior accountant for Raintree Partners, is a volunteer at Eli Home, a nonprofit that aids people in abusive situations. BRANDI ORTON (B.A. sociology, ’13 M.S gerontology) is director of government relations and advocacy at St. Barnabas Senior Services. KEVIN ROHANI (B.A. business administration-entertainment and tourism management) is vice president of development with Dream Hotel Group.

Outstanding Professor and Faculty Leadership in Collegial Governance awards — died Jan. 14. He was 70 years old. DEXTRA FRANKEL, professor emerita of art credited with developing the University’s exhibition design and graduate certificate in museum studies programs, died Oct. 13. PEGGY HAMMER ’66 (B.A. speech communication, ’70 M.S. education-reading), a longtime campus donor and supporter who served on such campus entities as the University Advisory Board and President’s Scholars, and supported scholarships in human communication studies and education, died Dec. 24 at the age of 85. For her efforts, Hammer was recognized with several awards, including a 1999 Vision & Visionaries Distinguished Alumna Award. B. CARMON HARDY, professor emeritus of history and former department chair, died Dec. 21 at age 81. JACK L. HESSON ’71 (B.A. political science), a former administrative law judge for Cal/OSHA, died Jan. 28 at the age of 73. WILLIAM JULIUS ’90 (B.A., ’94 M.A. political science), lecturer in political science, died March 7. SUSAN M. LARSEN ’94 (B.S. human services), associate professor of human services,


JESSICA L. BOUDEVIN (B.A. English) is corporate marketing manager at Spectra Ticketing and Fan Engagement in Irvine. BRETT GENT (B.A. business administration-finance) is the founder of Wiseguy Brewing Co. BRIAN MCCABE (M.A. geography) is a lecturer in geography at Cal State Fullerton. He is the author of the book “Geography Is Dead: How America Lost Its Sense of Direction.” J.D. STOECKER (B.A. communicationsjournalism) has been a content associate with ESPN since July 2014.

died Jan. 7 at the age of 49. She had been teaching at her alma mater since 2003 after earning her master of social work from Cal State Long Beach and a doctorate in education from Claremont Graduate University. MARIO U. MARTELLI, professor emeritus of mathematics, whose teaching skills and research into differential equations won him the 1995-96 Outstanding Professor Award, died Dec. 30. He was 79. LLOYD RODGERS, professor emeritus of music who served the campus community for 41 years and founded The Lloyd Rodgers group off campus, died Dec. 27 at the age of 74. ROBERT E. SPENGER, professor emeritus of chemistry, died Jan. 20 at the age of 92. ERIC STREITBERGER, professor emeritus of chemistry and biochemistry, died Feb. 3. Streitberger, who served the campus for 30 years, including 12 years as director of the Science Education Program, was 81. JANET L. WHITCOMB ’76 (B.A. English), acting historian and librarian for the Saddleback Area Historical Society, died Jan. 19. She was 61 years old. ALEC B. WURTH ’97 (B.A. art), a teacher at the Speech and Language Development Center in Buena Park, died Jan. 7 at the age of 46. CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, FULLERTON I 27


STACEY BROWN (M.A. communicationsprofessional communications) is a real estate agent for Southland Properties in Glendora. SARAH R. FIGOTEN WILSON (B.A. theatre arts) is a director, designer and teaching artist based in Los Angeles and Orange counties. She was associate director for the Chance Theatre’s December 2016 production of “Little Women - The Broadway Musical” and other productions with the Anaheim-based theater company. BENJAMIN T. MATSUYA (B.F.A. art-illustration) is co-creator of a five-issue mini-comic series, “Jupiter Jet.” ERIC NIU (B.A. international businessChinese) is founder and CEO of Swaggle, a mobile marketplace to buy and sell new and gently used quality men’s wear. Swaggle was accepted into the Emerging Technology Centers' Accelerate Baltimore 2017 program, which provided $25,000 in seed funding. Joining Niu in the venture is fellow Titan LOREN SILVA ’13 (B.S. kinesiology), who serves as creative strategist. RICHARD A. NORDSIEK (B.A. business administration-management) was named executive director for Morningside, the continuing care retirement community in Fullerton. CHRISTIAN OTBO (M.S. gerontology) is administrator at The Cottage at Artesia Gardens, a residential care facility. ANTHONY W. PURNEL (B.A. business administration-marketing) was elected to the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians Tribal Council in April. The tribe is located in Palm Springs. KRISTIN N. SWINFORD (B.S. human services, ’16 M.S. counseling-marriage and family therapy), a supervisor for sexual assault victim services with Community Service Programs Inc., was honored with the organization’s Betty Delaney Victim Service Award in recognition of her work and commitment to crime victims and their families.




VANESSA ESPINO (B.A. theatre arts) was chosen as a Millennial Fellow for New Arts Council, Mentorship and Experimental Theatre by the Jewish Women’s Theatre in Santa Monica. She is one of 12 fellows who will work together to develop and produce an original theatrical show, “The Space Between.” In 2015, Espino was honored with the Inkwell Playwright’s Promise Award at the Hollywood Fringe Festival for her play “Odilia.”

JOSEPH M. ANDERSON (B.A. communications-journalism) is the media relations manager for the National Hot Rod Association. He previously was a communications staff member with the Los Angeles Clippers.

MICHAEL KENT (B.A. communicationsadvertising), a lieutenant in the Irvine Police Department, was named to the International Association of Chiefs of Police inaugural “40 Under 40” list, a compilation of law enforcement professionals who demonstrate leadership and commitment to their job.

MEGAN CASTELLUCCI (B.A. communications-public administration) is assistant general manager of the San Rafael Pacifics baseball team in San Rafael.

JOSHUA REED (M.F.A.-art) is a Chino-based artist who teaches at several area community colleges, as well as the Laguna College of Art and Design. VANESSA ROJO (B.S., ’15 M.S. kinesiology) is an academic adviser at Cal State San Bernardino’s Palm Desert Campus and an adjunct professor at College of the Desert.


SCOTT FERGUSON (B.S. kinesiology) is owner of Anytime Fitness in Seal Beach and Fountain Valley. ROHULLAH LATIF (B.S. mechanical engineering) is chief executive of Taskcot, a startup company that has created meeting management and collaboration software specifically for universities. Fellow Titans joining Latif in the endeavor are NICK AJLUNI (’15 B.A. business administration-management) as vice president of operations, and VICTOR “NICK” GUILLEN (’15 B.A. communications-entertainment studies) as vice president of marketing. RAMSEY M. NIJEM (M.S. kinesiology) is in his first full season as head strength and conditioning coach of the NBA Sacramento Kings.

RUBEN CARBAJAL (B.F.A.-theatre artsmusical theatre) is performing as John Laurens/Phillip Hamilton in the first national tour of the hit musical “Hamilton.”

MADELINE M. GRANDE (M.S. educationeducation administration) is assistant principal at Buena Park High School. KYLE SMITH (B.A. business administrationfinance) is co-founder of Car Cadets Inc., a company that facilitates the buying and selling of vehicles. DYLAN WELC (B.A. communicationsentertainment studies) won the Junior Hollywood Radio and Television Society Pilot Script Competition in the drama category and was named an Official Artist at the New York Television Festival.


ARIEL CARTER (M.S. biology) is a biology instructor at the University of South Carolina Upstate. BRIAN DEAN (B.A. geography) is registrar of Citrus College. SANCHEZ TORRES (M.S. software engineering) is co-founder of RydenGo, an online ride-sharing company that is conducting beta testing across the country. TERRENCE YEE (B.A. business administration-marketing) is an event guest services member with Golden State Warriors.

Courtesy of the Lawrence de Graaf Center for Oral and Public History


KEEPER OF VOICES AND MEMORIES IT WAS IN 1968, when Lyndon Johnson was president and Americans were fighting in the fields of Vietnam, that Gary Shumway and Arthur Hansen kick-started what would become a renowned repository of oral histories of Orange County, the state and the nation. It was one of only a handful of oral history programs in the state of California, and the only one at a state college. Hansen and Shumway, now professors emeriti of history, became director and associate director of the program, established in conjunction with the University library. But Lawrence de Graaf — also professor emeritus of history, as well as a founding faculty member — had been recording oral histories well before a formal program was established. Among these were interviews with faculty and administrators of CSUF as part of efforts to preserve the University’s history. In the 1980s, de Graaf established a parallel public history program in the Department of History. The two programs became the Center for Oral and Public History in the early 2000s. The center was renamed the Lawrence de Graaf Center for Oral and Public History earlier this year, in appreciation of gifts and pledges totaling $1 million from de Graaf and his late wife, Shirley. The center trains students of history, anthropology, sociology, American studies and other disciplines in the methodology of oral history and public history, says Natalie Fousekis, its director and professor of history.

“We teach them how to conduct research on the individual and topic they are pursuing, develop questions and record the oral history,” she explains. “We also train them in the various methods to share those interviews with the public through exhibitions, oral history-based performance and historic preservation. They learn these skills in the classroom and then apply them more in-depth in their internships.” The center is now home to more than 6,000 oral histories and related material, such as photographs and documents. “These interviews,” says Fousekis, “are as diverse as the region itself.” Recent collections include the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station Oral History Project; From Hitler’s Europe to the Golden State Project; and the Women, Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage Project. Cal State Fullerton is also one of 15 CSU campuses collaborating on the digitization of documents and oral histories related to the confinement of more than 120,000 Japanese-Americans — two-thirds of whom were American citizens — during World War II. Among these were orphan children incarcerated in an internment camp in Manzanar, above, and an estimated 250 CSU students who were forced to leave their campuses in 1942 and relocate to internment camps under federal Executive Order 9066. In 2009, the CSU Board of Trustees awarded these students honorary bachelor of humane letters degrees. SARAH MUÑOZ CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, FULLERTON I 29



University Advancement 2600 Nutwood Avenue, Suite 850 Fullerton, CA 92831


Change Service Requested Family members, please note: If recipient is no longer at this address, please send his or her current address to uarecords@fullerton.edu or call 657-278-7917.


SATURDAY, SEPT. 23 Cal State Fullerton Intramural Field (north of Titan Gym)


Gates Open 5 p.m. Concert 7:30 p.m. Fireworks Finale For tickets or more information: fullerton.edu/concert 657-278-3480


Presented by

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.