Titan Magazine 2019 Winter/Spring issue

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W I N T E R / S P R I N G 2019

Where Science Meets the Sea



Matt Gush

There’s a new look and feel in Cal State Fullerton’s renovated Pollak Library. Sliding glass doors reveal colorful open spaces, while a large seating area welcomes Titans seeking to study, engage or recharge. “Libraries serve as the intellectual and cultural hub of the campus communities they serve,” said Cal State Fullerton President Fram Virjee during the library’s grand reopening in August. “In many ways, it is the genesis of innovation, a backdrop for cocurricular activities.” The University Honors Program, Center for Scholars, and Diversity Initiatives and Resource Centers are now located on the south side of the library to inspire collaboration and a sense of belonging, while the Writing and Supplemental Instruction centers are housed on the north side. On the second floor are the University Learning Center and the Innovation/Makerspace Center, a new glass-walled room where artists and researchers can test out ideas in virtual and augmented reality and print out 3D designs. Amir Dabirian, vice president for information technology and chief information officer, called it “a place where students and faculty can experiment with advanced technology.” “Innovation,” he added, “is a crucial part of education.”

viewpoint Dear Titan Family: Because I literally grew up on a freighter and migrated to this country on the Queen Mary, one might expect that I have a thorough understanding of the vast and vibrant sea life over which I spent my formative years floating. Spoiler alert: I don’t. Admittedly, the depth of subjects for which I do not have a comprehensive understanding is likely even greater than the depth of the ocean itself. Fortunately (and as evidenced by the pages ahead), I am surrounded by amazing Titans who are world-renown experts in just about every field and discipline — from the ocean floor where marine biology faculty member Danielle Zacherl and her students are studying Olympia oysters, to the heights of show business where alumna Tanya Michnevich Bracco is the supervising producer of “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.” Indeed, the impact our more than 4,000 educators, 40,000 students and nearly 300,000 alumni have on our state is exceeded only by the individually unique and inspirational stories behind each of those successes. Stories like that of alumna Lizzette Barrios-Gracián, who is leveraging the power of her bilingual authorization in Spanish to prepare global students for higher education and professional success. Stories that highlight our many programs, which U.S. News & World Report ranks among the top in the nation, such as our women’s health care/midwifery program. And yes, stories that address the need for all Titans (perhaps especially those who grew up on the ocean) to better understand the myriad life-forms living beneath its waves. Believe it or not, this issue of Titan magazine covers all that and more, thereby answering the clear and consistent charge I have put forth to our campus: Share our excellence broadly, relay our achievements boldly, and claim our role as a University of Significance with equal parts evidence and vigor. Best of all, the team that produces this magazine, along with the faculty, staff and students whose stories are highlighted in its pages, share Titan pride in ways that even a layman like me can understand. That is no small feat, and while there are still oceans of subjects I do not understand, this issue of Titan magazine is far more than a drop in the bucket. Read on, share widely, and as always, Reach Higher. Sincerely,

Fram Virjee President California State University, Fullerton




Winter/Spring 2019 Volume 18, Number 1

Championing Women’s Health Care

EDITOR Sarah Muñoz

As the United States sees a decline in obstetric services, the College of Health and Human Development is training nurse-midwives to address a growing demand for women’s health services.

DESIGNER Howard Chang ’00

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Valerie Orleans ’80




Debra Cano Ramos ’84 Michael Mahi ’83 Pamela McLaren ’79 Lynn Juliano ’05

Secrets of Sea and Tide


Biological science students are taking a deep dive into marine research as they seek to protect, preserve and shore up the habitats of marine species along the Southern California coast.

Matt Gush ’12

PRODUCTION PLANNER Stacy Padilla ’99, ’01




Gregory J. Saks


Speaking Up for Dual Immersion

Jeffrey D. Cook

With roughly 2.6 million students in California speaking a language other than English, the College of Education is preparing teachers to lead two-language classrooms.

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 © 2018 California State University, Fullerton Nonprofit standard postage paid at Santa Ana, CA. Report address errors to uarecords@fullerton.edu or 657-278-7917.



5 Questions 11

Class Notes 24

Throwback 29



Fall Convocation Is a Rapper’s Delight Convocation began with rhythm and rhyme as President Fram Virjee welcomed the campus community to a new academic year with a rap video featuring him and recent graduate Rachel Herzog ’18 (B.A. business administration). The duet was a hit on social media, garnering more than 100,000 views on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. In prepared remarks to new and returning students and educators, including 25 new tenure-track faculty members, Virjee said, “Take a look around and you will find Titans reaching higher everywhere, every day. It’s inspiring, and it’s inspired by every new class. “We see each of you for your promise,” he said to new students in the audience. “We aim to enhance your strengths. Your intelligence is not fixed — it’s a muscle that we can help you grow beyond your wildest expectations.” Virjee and Josh Borjas, president of Associated Students Inc., led the campus community in reciting pledges to engage

in the campus community and to “dive into” the Titan experience. “Use your voice to articulate what you want to see on our campus and around the world. Run for student government, join a fraternity or a sorority, go to an athletic event, wear Titan gear, vote, study abroad, immerse yourself in

undergraduate research programs, go see our performing arts, be part of our Diversity Initiatives and Resource Centers, become a mentor, become a tutor, become a campus leader,” encouraged the president. “Be present, be active, and above all else, be Titans.”


Julián Jefferies, associate professor of literacy and reading education, was among the recipients of the California State University’s inaugural Faculty 4 I TITAN WINTER/SPRING 2019

Innovation and Leadership Award, which recognizes faculty who are implementing innovative practices that significantly improve learning and course outcomes. Jefferies’ commitment to helping students — especially immigrant and firstgeneration Titans — inspired him to create a learning community at Cal State Fullerton that includes service-learning study abroad programs, courses such as “Literacy Education for Social Change,” community-based research and a partnership with CSUF’s Career Center. A Fulbright García-Robles Scholar, Jefferies spent six months in Guadalajara, Mexico, studying the experiences of adolescent migrants who have returned to Mexico, their

reintegration into school and teacher perceptions of these students. His research interests focus on the lived experiences and identity development of Latino immigrant youth in the U.S. and Mexico, and in particular, adolescents who have been historically underserved in education. Twenty-six faculty members and campus teams across the CSU were honored. The awards were created and designed by students in three glass-blowing classes at Cal State Fullerton under the direction of Hiromi Takizawa, assistant professor of art and coordinator of the university’s glass program.

Titans Recognized for Voter Registration Efforts Mobilizing voters to participate in the Nov. 6 midterm election was the mission of several Cal State Fullerton campus groups, led by the Office of Government and Community Relations and Associated Students Inc. New to this effort was the university’s participation in a statewide Ballot Bowl competition, launched by California’s secretary of state, lieutenant governor and a coalition of nonprofit organizations to increase civic engagement and voter registration among college students. Students, faculty and staff members registered 2,627 voters for the competition, garnering the award for the California State University campus with the largest number of students registered. “Something I’ve heard time and time again this election season is how much it feels like a presidential election, despite it being the midterms,” said Meghan Waymire, ASI chief governmental officer. “The entire campus community worked diligently to get over 2,600 students registered in just the first nine weeks of school. I think it is definitely clear that students demand to be heard and represented by their elected officials.”

The university also hosted a series of voter registration and education events in September and October, including a faculty voter registration drive, three on-campus candidate forums, a midterm election panel discussion and a ballot proposition workshop led by CSUF political science and history experts. Beyond the campus, in a general education civic engagement class,

20 students reached out to more than 1,000 youth voters of color in Orange County to encourage them to vote. “As voters, we have a voice in determining our future,” said President Virjee in a campuswide email on Nov 6. “And as Titans, we have a responsibility to wield the power of that voice in our classrooms and around our communities.”

FARKA AND PURI: CHANCES OF RECESSION ARE SMALL Despite recent volatility in the market, economist Mira Farka shared good news with approximately 700 business leaders at the 24th annual Economic Forecast in October. Metric markers showed the economy was outperforming its eightyear trend, with growth in the GDP, business investments and disposable income. “Things are heating up, but we’re not overheating,” said the associate professor of economics. Farka and Anil Puri, provost emeritus and past dean of Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, lead the

university’s Woods Center for Economic Analysis and Forecasting. “Underneath the knobby warts of the recession and the painfully slow recovery, a much brighter, sunnier and more radiant portrait has appeared of an economy that is finally basking in the glory of healthy, robust, organic growth,” the economists wrote in their 50-page report. “For the first time, there are more job openings than there are people looking for jobs,” said Puri. He also summarized the region’s strengths:


Orange County has gained more than the number of jobs lost in the recession since 2010.


Home price appreciation has settled between 5 and 10 percent over the past four years in all counties of Southern California.


The median single-family house price hit $800,000 in May for Orange County — an all-time high.


Orange County unemployment has recently been at historic lows. CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, FULLERTON TITAN I 5

When Mariachi Music Met Soul The 2018 edition of Concert Under the Stars made its mark in CSUF history by raising more than $1 million as it welcomed a medley of sounds to the stage. Nearly 5,000 friends and supporters cheered the Mariachi Divas, led by founder and alumna Cindy Shea, and Denean Dyson ’11 (B.A. music) and Soul

Foundation, who regaled the audience with jazz-driven renditions of popular R&B, soul, neo-soul, funk, blues and Motown favorites. Also taking a turn on stage was Brooke Aston ’02 (B.F.A. theatre arts-musical theatre) and Erin McNally ’02 (B.A. theatre arts), who welcomed President Fram Virjee to his

first Concert Under the Stars. Various CSUF dance and music ensembles also shared the stage, including the College of the Arts Jazz Orchestra, led by professor of music Bill Cunliffe. Proceeds from the annual event support scholarships and student programs.

A STRATEGIC ROADMAP IN PLACE The rollout of the 2018-23 strategic plan garnered a standing ovation at a November Academic Senate meeting, where members of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee outlined its objectives. After meeting with more than 200 campus groups, holding town hall gatherings and ensuring they reached out to the breadth of the community, the committee developed four goals — commitments to immersive experiences for all students, degree completion and 6 I TITAN WINTER/SPRING 2019

higher graduation rates, faculty and staff diversity and success, and a comprehensive fundraising campaign and facilities transformation — along with specific strategies to accomplish each one. President Fram Virjee called the strategic plan a coalition of areas where “we want to emphasize our focus and commitment over the next five years. “We are collaborative, collective partners in this plan,” he stressed. “It is audacious, but it is achievable.”

The conclusion of the 2013-2018 strategic plan saw a 32 percent improvement in six-year graduation rates, to the highest in university history; the narrowing of the equity gap; a tripling of fundraising and new records in gifts from alumni, parents, faculty, staff and individual donors; and a further diversified faculty and staff. The new strategic plan is available at planning.fullerton.edu.

$1.5 Million Grant Fuels STEM Success

A newly launched effort aims to increase the retention and graduation rates of primarily Hispanic and other underrepresented students majoring in engineering and computer science. Sudarshan Kurwadkar, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, is directing “Building Capacity: Advancing Student Success in Undergraduate Engineering and Computer Science,” with support from a

nearly $1.5 million National Science Foundation award. The effort also aims to reduce the high repeat rate in lowerdivision gateway courses for engineering and computer science students and to lower the achievement gap. Each year, 200 students will be chosen for the project. Fifty will participate in a first-year research experience where they will work in teams on a yearlong design effort with a faculty adviser from each of

the disciplines within the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Faculty members co-directing the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) effort with Kurwadkar (center), are (from left) Yu Bai, assistant professor of computer engineering; Antoinette Linton, assistant professor of secondary education; Salvador Mayoral, assistant professor of mechanical engineering; Jidong Huang, professor of electrical engineering; Paulina Reina, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering; and Doina Bein, assistant professor of computer science. “This project’s holistic approach to learning will increase students’ retention and improve their chances of being successful in STEM majors, and ultimately, prepare them to be ready for the needs of the 21st-century engineering and technical workforce,” Kurwadkar said.

EXTINCT TUSKLESS WALRUS FOSSIL NAMED AFTER TITANS Cal State Fullerton paleontologists have described a new genus and species of walrus and named it after Titans and Orange County, where the extinct, tuskless fossil was discovered. The hefty-sized walrus fossil — more than 10 feet long, about 1,200 pounds and 6 to 7 million years in age — is named Titanotaria orangensis and represents one of the most complete known fossil walrus skeletons in the world, said geology alumnus Isaac Magallanes. As an undergraduate, Magallanes identified and studied the prehistoric adult male walrus under the mentorship of paleontologist James Parham, associate professor of geological sciences. Their research is described in the paper, “A New Tuskless Walrus from the Miocene of Orange County, California,

With Comments on the Diversity and Taxonomy of Odobenids,” published in October in PeerJ-The Journal of Life and Environmental Science, a peer-reviewed open-access scientific journal. Magallanes, who earned his bachelor’s degree in 2017, is now a geological sciences graduate student at the University of Florida. The paper’s co-authors are Parham, Gabriel-Philip Santos ’18 (M.S. geology) — the paleontology collections manager at the Alf Museum in Claremont — and Jorge Velez-Juarbe, a former postdoctoral scholar at CSUF and now marine mammal curator at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. The study highlights the evolution of a recognizable group of marine mammals, known as pinnipeds — seals,

sea lions and walruses — in which climate and environmental changes had drastic impacts on biodiversity, the researchers noted. CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, FULLERTON TITAN I 7

High Marks for Reaching Higher Quality of education, campus diversity, affordability and outcomes continue to earn Cal State Fullerton top spots in national rankings.

Among the country’s top “national universities”

Top 12 percent of “Best Colleges For Your Money”

No. 6 in the nation for lowest net cost

Washington Monthly (August 2018);

Money (August 2018)

Washington Monthly (August 2018)

No. 4 in the nation for awarding bachelor’s degrees to underrepresented students

No. 5 in the nation for awarding bachelor’s degrees to Hispanics

Among the top 3 percent of universities helping low-income students reach financial success

Diverse: Issues in Higher Education (August 2018)

Hispanic Outlook on Education (August 2018)

“Social Mobility Index,” PayScale and CollegeNET (October 2018)

U.S. News & World Report (September 2018)

For more CSUF rankings and recognitions, visit reachhigher.fullerton.edu.

BECOME MEMBERFOR FORLIFE! LIFE! BECOME AA MEMBER From our campus of current students to the far reaches of our From our campus of current students to the far reaches of our global community, we are a network of Titans – powerful and global community, we are a network of Titans — powerful and influential together. Become part of the Titan Network by joining influential together. Become part of the Titan network by joining the Alumni Association today and enjoy a one-time rate of $149. the Alumni Association today and enjoy a one-time rate of $149.

alumni.fullerton.edu/membership 8 I TITAN WINTER/SPRING 2019

Membership provides you access to unique privileges and Membership provides you access to unique privileges and resources. A portion of your rate also goes to current students resources. A portion of your rate also goes to current students through scholarships and programs. Show your Titan pride andand through scholarship and programs. Show your Titan Pride join your association today! join your association today!

Upcoming Alumni Events FEBRUARY 28 Vision & Visionaries

MARCH 2 AND 3 Dinner with 12 Titans Alumni-hosted dinner for students

MARCH 26 D.C. Alumni Reception

MARCH 28 N.Y. Alumni Reception

APRIL 26 Night of the Pachyderm

MAY 4 50th Anniversary of the Lawrence de Graaf Center for Oral and Public History

MAY 10 Alumni Volunteer Appreciation Night

To learn more, visit alumni.fullerton.edu

Connecting Titans Past and Present William J. Purpura ’76, ’79, ’83 (B.S., M.S. engineering-mechanical, MBA) has mentored teams of student engineers and participated as “Professor for a Day” in the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Last year, he helped CSUF’s Society of Women Engineers (above, with Purpura) win first place at the annual Pumpkin Launch. His involvement as an engaged Titan has gone online, as well — the alumnus is one of the first to join Titan Pro Network, which connects Titans past and present so they can share career guidance and industry advice. The network was established through Wisr, a digital platform that helps universities and colleges build online communities for students and alumni. It is an alternative to mixers and other on-the-ground networking events.

“It helps to continue engagement between students and alumni while encouraging alumni-to-alumni engagement in a professional setting,” said Dianna Fisher, executive director of Alumni Engagement. “It has the potential to really change the way students and alumni interact.” The network does not promise mentorship, she added. Users have the opportunity to connect via in-platform messaging to establish initial relationships. Should they want to move to a phone call, they can schedule one through the interface, which will establish an anonymous phone number for both people to use. Within the Titan Pro Network are communities that house professional or student organizations, alumni clubs and affinity or employer groups. Purpura, managing partner of

Dargon Development, referred to it as a “tailored interface that makes it easier to find Cal State Fullerton students and alumni.” “Another benefit is that we have a segment of students and young alumni who are not yet established in their profession or who are questioning — ‘is this what I want to do for the rest of my life?’ More seasoned alumni can play a role in helping them figure out the direction in which they want to go,” explained Fisher. The Titan Pro Network, which launched in December, is already seeing communities develop rapidly — some public, some private, others by invitation only. For more information, contact alumniengagement@ fullerton.edu or call 657-278-2586. To sign up, visit fullerton.wisr.io.


STRENGTH IN TITAN NUMBERS The 2017-18 school year was huge for Titan Athletics. Not only did the university earn its first Big West Commissioner’s Cup, it also set records in attendance, ticket sales and fundraising.

Ticket sales totaled $560,494 in 2017-18. Over the last six years, ticket sales have brought in $2,891,119 and have increased by nearly 46 percent since 2012-13.

Celebrating ‘Skip’s’ Legacy, Life and Love of Baseball Thank you, Skip. That was the theme that resonated throughout Titan Gym at a Celebration of Life event in November as speaker after speaker told tales about the late Augie Garrido and his storied college baseball career, which began at Cal State Fullerton. In 1973, Garrido took over a startup Division 1 team that went on to win three national titles under his careful watch and paved the way for one of the top programs in the country. And just like he did for many seasons, the legendary baseball coach filled the seats inside Titan Gym with his fans — family, friends, Titan baseball players current and former, major leaguers and members of the campus community who had watched his teams campaign every spring with the goal of winning the College World Series. Mark Kotsay, one of three Garrido-coached Titans to win the Golden Spikes Award as college baseball’s player of the year, and later a 17-year major leaguer, recalled Garrido’s life lessons to his players. 10 I TITAN WINTER/SPRING 2019

“He taught us about failure; he taught us about life,” Kotsay said. Garrido died in March at the age of 79. A memorial service was held in Austin, where he completed his career with 20 seasons at the University of Texas and two of his five national championships. His first three national championships (1979, 1984, 1995) were won by Titans. In 48 seasons, he amassed a career record of 1,975-951-9 and coached dozens of players who went on to play in Major League Baseball, including Kotsay, Phil Nevin and Tim Wallach, who all were on hand to pay their respects to their mentor. Garrido is the second winningest coach in college baseball history. Garrido was the head coach at CSUF twice, between 1973-87 and 199196. George Horton and Rick Vanderhook were two of the coaches who took over the program after Garrido. “I am honored,” Vanderhook, who is the current coach, said during the service, “to be the coach of the program he built.” MICHAEL MAHI

Approximately 16,004 Titan students attended athletic events during the 2017-18 school year. In the past five years, student attendance has risen from just 1,200 student visitors in 2012-13 to more than 16,000 sitting in “The Stampede” sections in 2017-18.

Titan Athletics raised nearly $4 million during the 2017-18 school year. Over the last six years, Athletics has raised just over $10.2 million and has established a Letterwinner’s Club with more than 250 members.

5 questions development to production to postproduction, and then rolling out the show.





When we started “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” we had to renovate the Ed Sullivan Theater and basically install our show. That’s when I realized, oh my gosh, I have a theater degree and am working in a Broadway theater. I was a TV production emphasis and am supervising producer of a latenight TV show that I’m personally very proud of. I helped with almost every aspect of the design, from the inception to the implementation. How did I end up actually doing everything I studied?

Lessons From ‘The Late Show’ TANYA MICHNEVICH BRACCO ’95 (B.A. theatre arts) was working in CSUF’s costume shop when Abel Zeballos, now professor emeritus of theatre and dance, shared that communications students needed help with set building, costumes and special effects for student films. “We went on to make and produce several shorts that led to working on projects with other schools. Those jobs led to music videos, commercials and films,” explains the executive in charge of production and supervising producer of “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.” “That one opportunity took me in the direction I wanted.”



I was immediately drawn to the fact that as part of CSUF’s program, you didn’t have to take acting, directing or dance. I chose TV production and design. They

make every student work on a minimum of eight plays so that by the time you graduate, you have worked in several different roles. That made it a fun and rich learning experience because you were making connections with fellow students in a way that you wouldn’t normally get in regular classes.



One was an internship at the Discovery Channel, when it was one channel and all documentaries; I worked on a documentary series. The second one was as an intern and second assistant to the president of Paramount Network Television, Garry Hart (now chair of the Department of Television and Cinema Arts in the College of Communications). I call those two years at Garry’s office my graduate school years because I was able to learn everything about television, from

I basically oversee the physical production and operation of the show. I help create the infrastructure so that an idea, a thought, a script can be thought of in the morning, produced at a rapid speed during the day, taped at 5:30 p.m. and delivered by the end of the day. That involves field shoots, roll-in pieces in the show, footage and graphics, as well as the actual production of the show — the monologue, talent segments, music, special comedy bits and acts. I collaborate with different departments and am a liaison between the staff, the crew and the network.



Working hard, having a great attitude and being a step ahead of the job’s needs are important, coupled with trying to find a job you enjoy that uses your strengths so you’re not fighting yourself every day. In my case, it’s to socialize, liaise and produce. I would be a horrible editor if I had to be in a room all day. An editor or other people would have a heart attack if they had to do my job, but they thrive in a room where they can craft something beautiful. What kind of superhero team would we be if we all had the same powers? SARAH MUÑOZ CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, FULLERTON TITAN I 11

“You are not drawn to midwifery unless you are passionate about helping others,” says alumna Emily Carter, a nurse-midwife at Eisner Health in Los Angeles.




Matt Gush


SHERAE VAN HOOSEN decided on her career path while pregnant. The graduate nursing student in Cal State Fullerton’s women’s midwifery/ women’s health nurse practitioner program remembers having a midwife at her side before, during and after her two pregnancies. “I really bonded with her,” she says. “She was there for me during my first pregnancy, which was difficult — mentally and physically. The nurse-midwife was the person who stayed with me. “I thought that was really worthwhile. As a midwife, I think of the person as a whole individual. I can have a greater impact by working with women throughout their entire lifespan and through all aspects of their health,” she adds. “I can’t picture doing anything else.” Worldwide, midwives are at the center of maternity care and tend to the vast majority of births. Although this has not been the case in the United States, nationally an increasing number of women seek midwives not only for pregnancy and birth, but also for contraception and pre- and post-menopause care. “It’s not just birthing and babies,” confirms Ruth Mielke, associate professor of nursing in the College of Health and Human Development. “Midwives provide primary care for women throughout their lifespan. There is a huge need for women’s health care beyond pregnancy. The birth rate in the United States has remained the same but the number of women in their 40s to 60s who require women’s health services has increased.” According to a recent American College of Nurse-Midwives trends report, “the growth in the number of primary care physicians will not be adequate to meet demand by 2020.” The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists agrees, reporting that the shortage will be “18 percent by 2030 and 25 percent by 2050.” CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, FULLERTON TITAN I 13

Cal State Fullerton has become an in-demand institution for the education of nurses trained specifically for midwifery/ women’s health care. Ranked among the nation’s top programs in the field, according to U.S. News & World Report, it is one of only two universities that offer a nurse-midwifery program in California, and admits only a fraction of the student applicants who apply every year. The program also strives to have students who are reflective of their communities. “Our students are very diverse,” says Mielke, a practicing certified nurse-midwife/women’s health nurse practitioner. “Especially in Southern California, it is vital that we train nursemidwives who not only look like their patients but can speak their language and understand their cultural beliefs.”

THE RIGORS OF PRACTICE CSUF has offered the midwifery/women’s health nurse practitioner concentration for nearly 16 years, with graduate pass rates on the American Midwifery Certification Board and National Certification Corporation exams at 100 percent since 2013. The graduate program includes more than 50 units of coursework to provide nurse-midwives with a strong foundation in primary care, research, theory and practice. In addition to coursework, students complete nearly 1,000 hours of clinical practice under the tutelage of community nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners. “In our program, we are experiencefocused,” says Mielke. Like her fellow educators, the women’s health care concentration coordinator also works in a medical facility. “We understand the impact of sharing something that just happened and telling students how it feels to be in that situation — and how we handled it.” “I had been in practice for seven years, serving in intensive care,” says nursemidwife and 2017 alumna Emily Carter. “Even before entering the program, I was drawn to the idea of becoming a midwife. I realized that it was a good fit and that I was passionate about working with women in every phase of their reproductive lives.” 14 I TITAN WINTER/SPRING 2019

The program exposes students to why some patients don’t avail themselves of some services, including the challenges of access and poverty.

The university’s educators were one of the reasons Carter chose the program. “I did a ton of research and learned a lot about the faculty,” she explains, citing faculty members BJ Snell and Mielke. “They are such big influencers in the field. I was really lucky to study under them.” Angela Sojobi, assistant professor of nursing, says one of the things that drew her to joining the faculty at CSUF’s School of Nursing “was the interest they had in students’ success. They make sure students are prepared to care for women in every capacity — rural, urban, clinic and hospital — and in every aspect of women’s care.” Not only do students work with faculty, they learn to be a part of a collaborative whole, working with other health professionals as well as with their patients. They also become part of a cohort that support each other in their studies and clinical experience, notes Sojobi.

REAL-WORLD NEEDS A point of pride for the School of Nursing is its Nursing Simulation Center, which is designed to look and feel like a clinic. Students work with low- to high-fidelity mannequins to simulate situations they will face as women’s health nurse practitioners and midwives. The program also has a cadre of volunteers who serve as patients, reacting and asking the type of questions real patients would. In addition, the CSUF program partners with hospitals and clinics to offer training in real-world situations. “Students are in the field often, working directly with patients in both large urban hospitals and clinics,” says Mielke, adding that students are required to put in between eight and 40 supervised clinical hours per week throughout their studies. “The clinical experiences were so useful,” agrees Carter, “including working with preceptors who serve as great mentors. I felt so fortunate working with my preceptor. While she seemed to be relaxed and easygoing, she always had a solid handle on what was going on.” The latest partnership — with Mountains Community Hospital and

Rural Health Clinics — places students in mountain clinics in Lake Arrowhead and Running Springs, where they train in 15 nine-hour shifts, working with older and low-income patients. “Working in a rural clinic made me realize how much I don’t know,” says graduate Ayesha Walden, who has worked the last two years in labor and delivery. “There is so much more to this process than just delivering a baby.” Despite the demands of going through the rigorous program, working and completing clinical rotations, “students love it,” says Mielke, who directs the “Rural Women of the Mountains Accessing New Services” program that is supported by a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration grant totaling nearly $1.5 million. “Access is a huge issue for people in some rural areas,” stresses Mielke, noting that nine of California’s 58 counties do not have any OB-GYNs, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. “The program exposes students to why some patients don’t avail themselves of some services, including the challenges of access and poverty. It’s very humbling.” Collaboration, top-notch classes and wide-ranging clinical experiences lead to a highly trained and fully qualified graduate. “Our graduates have no trouble finding placement after graduation,” says Mielke. “They learn to believe in the innate ability of women to birth well, but also are trained to intervene when cases become more complicated. In addition, our graduates are cognizant that safe and satisfying health care can occur at home, in birth centers and in clinics, as well as in hospitals. Finally, they learn how their role as a nurse-midwife or women’s health nurse practitioner is critical to meeting the health care needs of women in the United States.” “Every time I go to work I feel so lucky to be able to do this job,” says Carter, whose practice serves the underserved. “Cal State Fullerton’s nursing-midwife program gives support and guidance to students, whatever career path they seek. They helped me find my own way.”

WHY IS MIDWIFERY Important ? In 2014, 54 percent of rural counties in the United States had no hospitals with obstetric services — a 9 percent jump from 2004. “Access to Obstetric Services in Rural Counties Still Declining, With 9 Percent Losing Services, 2004–14,” Health Affairs, 2017

States that have best integrated midwifery into their health care systems have some of the best outcomes for mothers and their newborns. “Mapping Integration of Midwives Across the United States: Impact on Access, Equity and Outcomes,” PLOS One, 2018

Midwifery is associated with reduced maternal and neonatal morbidity, reduced interventions in labor, improved psychosocial outcomes and increased birth spacing and contraceptive use. “Midwife-led Continuity Models Versus Other Models of Care for Childbearing Women,” Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2016

Community-based midwives have been found to rank positively for economy, efficiency and effectiveness. “Midwife-led Continuity Models Versus Other Models of Care for Childbearing Women,” Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2016


Secrets of Sea and Tide Scientists search for answers in Southern California’s marine habitats.


Matt Gush



IN ROCKY INTERTIDAL REGIONS, the area between the sea and the shore, rocks collect pools of seawater in their crevices as the water recedes for the low tide, forming tidepools. These tidepools are homes and temporary shelters for a wide range of marine organisms, such as mussels, crabs, snails, barnacles, small fish and various types of algae. Shannon Chou is studying tidepools along the Orange County coastline, where these organisms pass through or settle down, leaving traces of their presence in the form of skin cells, urine and blood. These signatures are sources of genetic material known as environmental DNA (eDNA) because they are taken from the surroundings, rather than individual organisms. “Many of these organisms can only be found in these regions and are susceptible to negative human impacts, which is what makes tidepool conservation so important,” says Chou, a biological science major. Working alongside marine biology faculty mentors, Chou is one of many Titans taking a deep dive into marine research. With climate change and rising sea levels threatening sea life, the researchers seek to better understand ocean organisms in an effort to protect, preserve and shore up the habitats of marine species along the Southern California coast. “Our marine biology faculty and students work together to answer a variety of ecological, evolutionary, biophysical and physiological questions,” says Sean Walker, chair and professor of biological science. “Through immersive research experiences, students are building skills, applying the principles of investigation, and finding solutions to the challenges facing our coastal and marine environments to become the marine scientists of the future.” Chou’s research, under the mentorship of faculty members Jennifer Burnaford and Ryan Walter, examines whether the use of eDNA analysis is a plausible alternative to more intrusive methods of surveying species composition and diversity in tidepools. “Marine life in a tidepool can change extensively from one tide to the next, so it is in our interest to examine what the range

and scope of eDNA detection is in that environment,” she explains. Chou, a scholar in the Southern California Ecosystems Research Program, characterizes her project as the first to investigate eDNA from the intertidal region along the local coast.


Top and bottom: Shannon Chou studies tidepools to learn more about environmental DNA in rocky intertidal regions along the Orange County coastline; Misty Paig-Tran holds a museum specimen of the devil ray, Mobula thurstoni, a close relative of the manta ray with similar non-clogging filters. She and Raj Divi created a 3D print of a manta ray’s filter, above. Previous page: Students Victoria Wood (forefront), Mayra Rodriguez and Eric Stucker monitor the Olympia oyster beds in the Upper Newport Bay.

The magnificent manta ray, which can weigh thousands of pounds and has wingspans of over 20 feet, doesn’t chase down and bite into prey. Instead, mantas glide along combing the sea for some of the smallest prey, capturing huge amounts of tiny zooplankton and using their gill rakers to filter food. Biology graduate student Raj Divi and his research adviser, Misty Paig-Tran, are examining how this marine animal’s filtration system works. Their latest research, published in Science Advances, found that manta ray filters could filter large volumes of particles from the water quickly — and surprisingly, without clogging. The manta ray’s distinctive mechanism may hold answers to better filtration systems devised by humans. “Studying how manta rays filter vast quantities of particle-filled water without clogging means that we may be able to design a way to filter water in remote areas more cheaply, which could lead to fewer infectious diseases, or filter out microplastics from the ocean more efficiently using the same mechanisms,” Divi explains. Scientists assumed that manta rays use a filter that functions like a pasta colander, where particles remain as water drains out. “They create what we have termed a ‘ricochet filter’ to separate food from water,” explains Paig-Tran, assistant professor of biological science. She has studied mantas for more than 10 years and focuses on comparative biomechanics, the blending of engineering and biology to explore how organisms interact with the environment. “Particles enter into the mouth, then ricochet off the filter surface and back toward the esophagus, while water takes a different path and exits out the gill slits. It is very sophisticated and cool — and important from an engineering perspective.” CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, FULLERTON TITAN I 19

Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to support her research. Bond uses innovative techniques, such as scanning electron microscopy, to understand reproductive structures and mechanisms in surfperches. She also is collaborating with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles to study their fish collections. Through her investigation on surfperches, Bond hopes to expand knowledge about fish reproductive anatomy and physiology.

AGGRESSIVE SEA ANEMONES Alexis Barrera has spent many days and nights out at the rocky coastline in Laguna Beach collecting sea anemones — tiny invertebrates that don’t have backbones and are closely related to jellyfish and coral. Her project focuses on Anthopleura elegantissima, a species of intertidal sea anemone with some pretty cool characteristics, says Barrera. The biology graduate student works with Burnaford, associate professor of biological science. “Individuals can split themselves in half, creating a genetically identical clone and large groups of densely packed clonemates in the intertidal zone,” explains Barrera. She is investigating the relationship between the sea anemone’s environmental conditions and their aggressive behavior. “These anemones are very territorial, so when a non-clonemate enters the territory of an opposing clone, a battle ensues, complete with inflatable weaponized tentacles and no-man’s land.” The anemones also experience daily fluctuations in temperature and aerial exposure as the tide comes in and recedes, putting them at risk of heat stress or drying out, Barrera adds. Her research has shown that air and water temperatures, and aerial exposure, affect their aggressive behavior. “The sea anemone is an important species in the intertidal zone,” she explains. “A change to their borders could lead to a change of the distribution of multiple other species in the intertidal zone.”

SURFPERCH OFFSPRING Using a 50-foot fishing net, Evelyn Bond and other student researchers walk 50 to 100 feet into shallow water and set up parallel to the seashore. Dropping the net, they drag it and walk toward the seashore to corral oval-shaped surfperch in the net for study. Working with Kristy Forsgren, associate professor of biological science, the biology graduate student is examining the reproductive physiology of surfperches, which reproduce through internal fertilization. “Males use an external structure to deliver sperm into the female reproductive tract,” relays Bond, recipient of a National 20 I TITAN WINTER/SPRING 2019


Clockwise from top right: Alexis Barrera, who is studying the aggresive behavior of sea anemones, is the recipient of a 2018 Graduate Student Research Fellowship from the California State University Council on Ocean Affairs, Science and Technology; Stucker, Wood and Rodriguez work on restoring the Olympia oyster’s habitat; Evelyn Bond examines a surfperch in the lab as part of her investigation into their reproductive physiology. Above: Wood measures the size and growth of an Olympia oyster.

To read the full story on Titan research in marine habitats, visit news.fullerton.edu/searesearch.

Since prehistoric times, Olympia oysters have lived in Southern California’s estuaries. Over-harvesting, pollution, disease, climate change and habit destruction have contributed to significant declines of native oyster species over the last 200 years. In the middle of the night, Victoria Wood, along with other students and faculty mentor Danielle Zacherl, associate professor of biological science, work on restoring the Olympia oyster’s habitat. Wood’s research in the Upper Newport Bay focuses on both ecosystem restoration and shoreline resiliency by constructing oyster reefs and eelgrass beds as a living shoreline initiative. Living shoreline initiatives strive to use natural structures, such as rocks and vegetation, to increase shoreline resiliency and buffer erosion caused by climate change, including rising sea levels. Through this project, the researchers hope to improve shoreline stabilization and reduce erosion. Oyster restoration is important for a number of reasons, but notably because oysters feed on phytoplankton. “Oysters provide the ecosystem service of filtering phytoplankton out of the water column that might cause algal blooms, which threaten both human health and the health of organisms in the ocean,” notes Wood, a biology graduate student. “Eelgrass restoration is important because it increases dissolved oxygen through photosynthesis, and subsequently sequesters carbon. Both oysters and eelgrass provide a complex three-dimensional habitat for other organisms to live.” DEBRA CANO RAMOS


HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER Lizzette Barrios-Gracián is all too familiar with the struggles of children dealing with dueling cultures and languages. At age 7, she immigrated to the United States from Guadalajara, Mexico, and didn’t speak English. She started her American education as an English learner. Growing up in her new, monolingual society, she lost her Spanish almost completely. “With the loss of the language comes the loss of culture. It was a long road to regain both,” says the alumna. Barrios-Gracián earned her B.A. in English and completed the single-subject credential program at Cal State Long Beach. At CSUF, she completed coursework to obtain her bilingual authorization in Spanish in 2015. She also took advanced coursework in teaching world languages-Spanish and social science at CSUF to add to her existing single subject credential. Today, she teaches 10th-grade world history as a dual-immersion course, a bilingual journalism class and Spanish for Spanish-speakers at Anaheim High School. “Bilingualism breaks barriers in communication and allows for an understanding of cultures. It is a disservice to our students to keep them monolingual,” she says. “They will not be able to compete in a global community.” Dual-language immersion is a model of bilingual education in which students learn two languages simultaneously, such as



Spanish and English or Korean and English, explains Fernando Rodríguez-Valls, associate professor of secondary education and the College of Education’s bilingual authorization program coordinator. “In the past, bilingual education encompassed models where a student’s mother tongue was only used as a support when learning English,” he explains. “The outcome of this model, in most cases, did not produce a bilingual student. It created monolingual students who progressively lost their mother tongue. Nowadays, dual immersion is a model where the final outcome is a biliterate student.” In grades pre-K to 12, students in

teachers for bilingual programs,” notes Rodríguez-Valls. This success, he adds, is the outcome of a macro approach supported by Lisa Kirtman, dean of the College of Education. “Through dual-immersion programs, students do not have to stop speaking their mother tongue in order to master English, and most importantly, do not have to lose their identity,” adds Rodríguez-Valls, a native of Spain who wasn’t allowed to speak his native language, Catalan, in school in Barcelona. “Learning multiple languages nurtures higher-level thinking, critical problem-solving and inclusiveness beyond childhood.

ng Up for Dual Immersion dual-immersion programs learn course content in two languages, in both their native language — the language spoken in the home — as well as in English, their new language. Dual immersion fosters and educates biliterate, multicultural and global students, Rodríguez-Valls points out. In California, there are an estimated 1.3 million emergent bilingual students, and roughly 2.6 million students who speak a language other than English, according to the California Department of Education. With 14 school districts in Orange County implementing dual-immersion programs, there’s a growing need for bilingual teachers. Cal State Fullerton’s bilingual authorization program equips teacher candidates with the skills, including the most current and relevant curriculum and instructional materials, to lead dual-immersion classrooms. Last summer, 75 CSUF teacher candidates completed the bilingual authorization program: 57 in Spanish and 18 in Korean. The university has also developed a bilingual authorization program in Vietnamese, as well as teaching credential pathways for Vietnamese, Korean, Mandarin and Spanish. “We are becoming a leading force across the state and nationwide to prepare

“Biliteracy can only be achieved when, and if, students learn language throughout all subject areas. The latter occurs in dual-immersion classrooms. Students learn to read, interpret and transform the world with biliterate and critical eyes.” Barrios-Gracián credits faculty mentors like Rodríguez-Valls for preparing her to teach in a dual-language classroom setting. “Cal State Fullerton was essential in my preparation because not only did I learn the theory behind dual immersion, but how to apply it in the classroom,” she says. “Dr. Rodríguez-Valls is still my mentor, and a source I reach out to in order to keep my teaching practices current.” Fostering and encouraging dualimmersion teaching is critical today because of the growing number of student immigrants from all over the world, the educators say. “All of us, in different degrees, are a mixture of languages, cultures and identities,” concludes Rodríguez-Valls. “Two or more languages will always be better than one. Multitude overpowers solitude. Community embodies individuality. And, multilingualism enhances monolingualism.” DEBRA CANO RAMOS CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, FULLERTON TITAN I 23

class notes

1960s Gai Jones ’68 (M.A. theatre arts), who taught theater for 34 years at El Dorado High School in Placentia, California, was honored with the American Association of Community Theatre’s 2018 Distinguished Merit Award. Jones, whose name graces El Dorado High’s black box theater, is vice president of the Educational Theatre Association board of directors.

1970s Daniel M. Amos ’71 (B.A. anthropology), a Washington State Department of Health researcher, has co-authored with his wife, Yukari T. Amos, “(Mis)Reading Different Cultures: Interpreting International Children’s Literature From Asia” and “Children’s Literature From Asia in Today’s Classrooms: Toward Culturally Authentic Interpretations.” Both books were released in August by Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.

John Patrick Dolan ’71 (B.A. speech communication) is president and CEO of California Desert Trial Academy College of Law and a criminal defense attorney in Indio, California.

Mark Covert ’73 (B.S. physical

William Shapiro ’75 (B.S. physical education, credential), an attorney in San Bernardino, was honored with Western State College of Law’s Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his 40 years as a trial lawyer. He has achieved the American Board of Trial Advocates rank of “diplomat” and been honored as Trial Lawyer of the Year by the California ABTA and the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association.

Bill Corbin ’80 (B.A. communica-

Victoria Vasques ’76 (B.S. human services), president and CEO of Tribal Tech LLC, has announced the consulting firm’s inclusion on the Washington Business Journal’s 2018 list of “Greater Washington’s 75 Fastest Growing Companies.” Tribal Tech also received the American University Kogod School of Business’ Eagle Award for leveraging “business for positive impact.”

George A. Rodriguez ’81 (B.A. business administration-marketing) is the vice president of apparel sourcing, production and quality at Ariat International, a performance equestrian footwear and apparel brand headquartered in Union City, California.

cations) is the president of Roger Kemp and Co., which produces Christian radio programming in Los Angeles.

Behrouz Khodnegah ’82 (B.S. engineering-mechanical engineering) is the director of manufacturing and process engineering at Click Bond Inc., a supplier of mechanical hardware solutions in Carson City, Nevada.

Kirk G. San Roman ’83 (B.A. political science) is the president of the Fullerton Museum Center board of trustees.

Joan Hansen ’78 (B.A. criminal justice) is the director of marketing for Shari’s Restaurants, a family-dining chain that also operates the Carrows and Coco’s restaurants.

Barry Diamond ’84 (B.A. psychology) is the rabbi to Temple Adat Elohim, a Reform Jewish congregation in Thousand Oaks, California.

Carl E. Clauson ’79 (B.A. business administration-accounting), controller for real estate development firm J.H. Snyder Companies, was named to the board of directors of Door of Hope, a nonprofit organization that helps families and children experiencing homelessness.


Michael Gioffredi ’77 (B.A. business

Amireh “Amy” Amirani ’80 (B.A.


Roger Kemp ’81 (B.A. communi-

Susanne C. Burgess ’78 (B.A. music-music education) is an associate professor of music education at Lee University, a private Christian university in Cleveland, Tennessee.

education) is head women’s cross country coach at Antelope Valley College. He is enshrined in the Nike, Mt. San Antonio College Cross Country and LA Valley College halls of fame, and his name graces Cal State Fullerton’s early season cross-country competition, the Mark Covert Classic.

administration-marketing) is chief commercial officer for DYSIS Medical LTD.

tions) is the senior vice president of channels and alliances for 8X8 Inc., a provider of cloud phone, meeting, collaboration and contact center solutions based in San Jose.

engineering-civil and mechanical engineering), founder of NV5 engineering design and construction management services company in Irvine, was named a 2018 Orange County Business Journal Women of the Year Award nominee.

Gary Sherwin ’84 (B.A. communications) is the president of Newport Beach and Co., a destination marketing organization for the city of Newport Beach, California.

Edward T. Garcia ’86 (B.A. art) is the exhibit department supervisor at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles.

David E. Howard ’86 (B.A. business

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

administration-marketing) is the president of Lee and Associates in Charleston, South Carolina.

Chris Ota ’88 (B.A. criminal justice) is the vice president of loss prevention at Pacific Sunwear, based in Anaheim.

Jim Henriques ’94 (M.M. music theory-

Your Savings. Your Legacy. There are two easy ways you can use your IRA to create your Titan legacy. The IRA Charitable Rollover allows you to take your required minimum distribution, skip the tax and make a meaningful gift to support Cal State Fullerton this tax year. Naming us as a beneficiary of your IRA is another way to establish your Titan legacy in the future. If we are a beneficiary in your plans, please let us know. For more information, contact Hart Roussel at 657-278-5429

or CSUFplannedgift@fullerton.edu.

composition) is a member of the San Francisco-based band ScienceNV. The band has released its fourth and fifth studio albums, “The Quest for Prester John, Volumes One and Two.”

Christopher Lamberth ’94 (B.S. civil engineering) is a director at the Hatfield Group, a professional services consultancy focused on the architectural design and construction industry. James Arabia ’96 (B.A. communications) is the vice president of marketing at BigRentz, a construction equipment rental logistics company in Irvine. Jeanine Denholm ’96 (M.A. art-design) is the owner of Southern California Art Projects and Exhibitions in Corona del Mar and a contributor to Coast magazine. Avinash “Avi” Khilnani ’96 (B.A. speech communication) has joined the talent resource solutions agency Intersect Group as finance and accounting market vice president for its Atlanta office. Christopher Lowe ’96 (B.A. political science) is the assistant dean for graduate programs at Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business and Economics. While a student at CSUF, Lowe served as Associated Students Inc. president and was the first Titan to be named a student trustee on the California State University board of trustees.

fullerton.edu/CSUFPlannedGift Michelle C. Skubic ’88 (B.A. business administration-finance) is the first female commander at the Naval Supply Systems Command and Chief of Supply Corps. Michael Chisar ’89 (B.S. physical education) was named to the Far West Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame in March. Chisar is the coordinator of the sports medicine/ athletic training/coaching program at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California.

Bruce W. Johnson ’89 (B.A. business administration-finance) is chief budget and planning officer at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles.

Brent Schultz ’89 (B.A. political science-public administration) is the planning and building services director for Mendocino County.


Minh Ta ’96 (B.A. business administrationaccounting) has opened Specs Appeal in Decatur, Georgia, with his wife, Nancy. Ta completed his doctorate from the Illinois College of Optometry.

Pedro Carbajal-Madrid ’97 (B.A. psychology) is the clinical director of the Independence at Home program offered by the not-for-profit Senior Care Action Network.

Henry DiCarlo ’90 (B.A. communicationsradio/TV/film) is the meteorologist at KTLA Channel 5 in Los Angeles.

Haven Lin-Kirk ’90 (B.A. art) is dean of USC’s Roski School of Art and Design, where she most recently served as vice dean of design. Julianne M. Hoefer ’91, ’96, ’00 (B.S. child development, multiple subject credential, M.S. education-educational administration) is the assistant superintendent of educational services for the Ocean View School District.

Heith Rothman ’97, ’99 (B.A. political science, M.P.A.) is the executive director of M&A Transaction Advisory Services with Ernst and Young, a global assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services organization.

Sandra Bruno ’98 (M.S. counseling-marriage, family and child) is a military and family life counselor at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.


Todd Harmonson ’98 (B.A. communications)

Jason Maloney ’01 (B.F.A. art-drawing and

Marie Leggette ’06 (B.A. business administra-

is a senior editor for the Orange County Register and a contributor to Coast magazine.

painting) has teamed up with Urban Armour Gear, manufacturer of phone cases, to create limited-edition designs.

tion-entertainment and tourism management) is the owner of The Curvy Fashionista, a blog that showcases wardrobe and style options for plus-size women.

Kristina Ly ’98 (B.A. business administrationmanagement information systems) is the CEO and founder of Slice Shabu restaurants in Orange County, California.

Jessica Peralta ’01 (B.A. communications) is a contributor to a number of magazines and websites, including Coast magazine.

Claudette N. Saba Monestime ’98 (B.A. business administration-marketing) was recognized in April as 28th Congressional District Woman of the Year by Congressman Adam Schiff.

Brian Griffin ’02 (B.S. kinesiology) is vice

Armando Solis ’99 (B.S. civil engineering) was elected mayor of Huanímaro, located in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico.

Jessica Weston ’99 (M.A. English) is the city editor for the Daily Independent of Ridgecrest, California.


president of new products at Motorcar Parts of America Inc.

Summer Heraz ’05 (multiple subject credential) is principal of Frank Wright Middle School in Imperial, California. Samanaz Kapadia ’05 (B.A. business administration-entertainment and tourism management) is a senior programming manager with Fox Sports. Janeth Marroletti ’05, ’08 (B.S. human services, M.P.H.) is the executive director of Gold Country Community Services in Grass Valley, California.

Robert Hoang ’00 (B.A. business administration-finance) is co-founder of Milk Box, boba milk tea shops in Tustin and Mission Viejo, California, in which customers pay what they want for their drinks.

Francisco Palop ’00 (MBA) is the CEO of

James R. Bowers ’06 (B.A. business administration-finance) was named to the Western Vista Credit Union board of directors. He is the owner and agent at Coldwell Banker Commercial, The Property Exchange, in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Lumination Lighting and Technology, an LED lighting manufacturer for high-output commercial and industrial applications.

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Ruben Espinoza ’08 (B.F.A. art-entertainment art/animation) created two murals at his community college alma mater, Hancock College, that pay tribute to the local space industry. The freelance designer has worked for several animation studios, including Nickelodeon and DreamWorks. Javier M. Mendoza ’08 (M.A. communications) was promoted to vice president for corporate communications and external affairs at Frontier Communications, where he has served since 2016. Bijian Noori ’08 (B.A. business administration-finance) and Pejmon Noori ’08 (B.A. business administration-marketing) are the owners of Proper’s Pickles, manufacturers of a selection of artisan pickled vegetables sold in Bristol Farms and Gelson’s markets and used in a number of Los Angeles and Orange County restaurants. The company won the Specialty Food Association’s 2018 Sofi Award for best new product in the pickle category.

Graham Roland ’08 (B.A. radio-TV-film) is a writer and producer who co-created “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan,” a web television series featuring John Krasinski that premiered on Amazon Prime Video in August.

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Tamara Wallace ’08, ’13 (B.A., M.A. geography) is sustainability programs manager at the California State University Chancellor’s Office.

2010s Jesse Petrilla ’10 (B.S. computer science) is president of Petrilla Technologies, a wireless equipment manufacturer in Auburn, California.

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

Lauren Kidwell ’11 (B.A. theatre arts) is performing as the Mother Abbess in the national tour of “The Sound of Music.”

Phillip Stinis ’11 (MBA-entrepreneurship) is co-founder of 52 Hike Challenge, an online community that helps introduce people to safe hiking. Robert Baltierra Jr. ’12 (B.S. biological science-cell and developmental biology) is an optometrist with Grand Rapids Ophthalmology. He earned his doctor of optometry degree from Illinois College of Optometry. Jason Haase ’12 (B.A. business administrationfinance) has been promoted to manager of finance and analytics at the digital advertising company Apollo Interactive, where he has served for four years.

advocacy.fullerton.edu David Poole ’12 (Ed.D.-educational leadership) was named president of the University of Mount Olive in North Carolina. Ariel Gentalen ’13 (B.A. art-art history) is the residency coordinator at the Hyde Park Art Center and conference manager for the Third Coast International Audio Festival.

Gregory X. Whitmore ’13 (M.M. music performance), director of bands at Mt. San Antonio College, presented “Inspired Artistry - The Values of High School Band Directors” at the 33rd World Congress of the International Society of Music Education in Azerbaijan. He also received the second place conductor award in the Community Band/Wind Ensemble division of the American Prize for his work as music director of the Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble.

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Julia Gutierrez ’14 (B.A. communications and sociology) is public relations and communications associate at the Orange County School of the Arts in Santa Ana, California. Devon Hadsell ’14 (B.F.A. theatre arts-musical theatre) is among the cast of the August Wilson Theatre production (New York) of “Mean Girls” that opened in April. Troy Lusk ’14 (B.A. communications-entertainment studies) is a music agent with the contemporary music division of the APA (Agency for the Performing Arts) talent agency.

Yvonne Cuaresma ’16 (B.A. business administration-finance) is the educational events coordinator for Weill Cornell Medicine in New York. In July, Cuaresma was awarded a Les Dames d’Escoffier New York Future Leader Scholarship.

Kyle Sirovy ’16 (B.S. biological science-marine biology) has been chosen for the National Science Foundation’s 2018 Graduate Research Fellowship Program, which provides three years of financial support. Sirovy is pursuing a doctorate in evolutionary biology at Louisiana State University.

Andrew McLean ’16 (B.A. communications-journalism) is a media relations specialist with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

Candice Chovanec ’17 (M.F.A. art-drawing and painting) is an award-winning artist in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Lety Pulos ’16 (B.A. business administra-

Nic Garcia ’17 (B.A. communications-

tion-entertainment and tourism management) is a consumer insights research analyst with Disney Channels Worldwide.

journalism) is a reporter with KTVM in Butte, Montana.

Robert Salatto ’14, ’16 (B.S., M.S. kinesiology) is a doctoral student in the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Joris Hoogsteder ’17 (M.M. music-theory and composition) is a video game music composer/ arranger with Moonwalk Audio.

Andrew Salmi ’17 (B.A. communications-journalism) is sports editor for the Daily Independent in Ridgecrest, California.

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Xiaopan Xue ’17 (B.S. education-higher education) is coordinator of sports clubs at Cal State Fullerton. She previously served as assistant director for student organizations and programming at Whittier College. Simone Jackson ’18 (M.S. education-higher education) has been named coordinator of fraternity and sorority life at Cal State Fullerton.

In Memoriam Julie Zemar Brennan ’92 (B.A. history) died May 6. Brennan served as a guidance counselor at Westminster High School, later becoming an Advanced Placement history teacher at El Modena High School. Ellen M. Caldwell, associate professor of English, comparative literature and linguistics who served at CSUF for 17 years, died Aug. 10. Lawrence E. Clark ’71 (B.A. psychology), a former Rancho Palos Verdes city councilman and mayor who served four years on the California State Coastal Commission, died May 9 at the age of 69. Anne T. Feraru, professor emeritus of political science, died. The scholar joined the university in 1966 and served 24 years. Robert Fulton ’84 (M.A. biology), who spent the last 32 years working at the California State University Desert Studies Center in the Mojave Desert, died June 25. Fulton, who first visited the field station in 1979 as a graduate student helping 28 I TITAN WINTER/SPRING 2019

to renovate the facility, called the position of site manager his “dream job.” He was 63 years old. Stephane Gauger ’94 (B.A. theatre arts), a Vietnamese-born American film director and cinematographer known for such films as “Owls and Sparrows” and “Saigon Electric,” died Jan. 11. He was 48 years old. Dwight Richard Odle, a College of the Arts faculty member from 1967 to 1980, died July 20. Marcial Prado, professor emeritus of foreign languages and literatures, died May 3. Prado served the campus for 22 years, during which he was instrumental in developing the bachelor’s degree in international business with a concentration in Spanish. He also penned four books. Ken Ravizza, noted sports psychologist and professor emeritus of kinesiology, died July 8. Ravizza joined CSUF in 1977 and taught for 40 years. He worked with the university and other collegiate athletic teams, professional teams such as

the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Chicago Cubs, and U.S. Olympic teams in field hockey, water polo and baseball. He was 70 years old. Karen Kragh Starleaf ’61 (B.A. education-elementary curriculum and instruction) died July 24 at the age of 80. She taught elementary school for 20 years, then turned to serving as a hospice volunteer. Virginia Stuemke ’73, ’89 (B.A., M.A. anthropology) died June 1 at the age of 91. She served as an archaeologist on a public antiquities salvage team and after retirement taught “Introduction to Anthropology” at Central Oregon Community College. Mary Mark Zeyen, professor emeritus of music and the first woman to hold a vice presidency at Cal State Fullerton, died June 25. The acclaimed chamber music and concert pianist was appointed vice president for academic affairs by then-President L. Donald Shields in 1975 and served for four years.


Matt Gush


IN 1971, amidst a swell in enrollment and faculty hires on campus, the Gay Student Union requested recognition as a student organization. The Staff Council of what was then known as California State College, Fullerton, unanimously denied its application, believing that “chartering of such an organization would be inimical to the best interests of the college and the community.” In the same meeting, they accepted “the wearing of hot pants apparel if worn in good taste.” Just a few years later — by the time Harvey Milk became city supervisor of San Francisco and the first openly gay man to be elected to political office in California — the first gay student union was part of the campus community. Indeed, the fall 1980 issue of CommUnity magazine, published by what was then the Department of Communications, included an article titled, “Homosexuals Living in an Intolerant Environment.” “There is a gay student union on campus … The charter was the result of hard work. Because the climate in the

early ‘70s was extremely closed-minded, the group met off campus in private homes. There, they exchanged feelings about their sexuality and generally lent each other support in the face of a hostile world.” The Gay-Lesbian Student Education Union of the 1970s paved the way for the Gay-Straight Alliance and other organizations that help create communities for Titans. Yet it wasn’t until 2012, less than a year after CSUF launched the Queer Studies minor within the Department of Women and Gender Studies, that the LGBT Queer Resource Center opened its doors. Last year, the center relocated from the Titan Student Union to the first floor of the Pollak Library, joining the other Diversity Initiatives and Resource Centers within the Division of Student Affairs that foster a sense of belonging among various underrepresented groups on campus. With this larger, more visible venue, “we are now able to program more and create spaces for students to find communities in different

ways,” says Chris Datiles, the center’s coordinator. “Before, we would only see about 20 to 25 unique users a month. Over the past few months, we’ve averaged about 150 per month.” As this community grows on campus, so does its allies. The center recently received its first major gift along with funding for The Ericksen LGBTQ Grant Program, which will provide financial assistance to eligible LGBTQidentifying students who are affected by an unforeseen crisis or personal hardship. Also new is the Queer Peers Mentorship Program, where students help foster LGBTQ identity development and academic success among their peers. These programs, along with the breadth of resources available on campus, continue to address the desire for connection and kinship so evident on the pages of CommUnity nearly 40 years ago: “The GLSEU hopes to move away from this feeling of isolationism by holding many educational programs to shatter fears and stereotypes. Perhaps the time is now… .” SARAH MUÑOZ CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, FULLERTON TITAN I 29



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