Titan Magazine - Summer/Fall 2016

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S U M M E R/F A L L 2016

PRESIDENT’S VIEWPOINT Over the past four years, I have clearly and consistently stated California State University, Fullerton’s aspiration to become the model public comprehensive university of the nation. A lofty goal, to be sure, but as we continue to make significant headway toward achieving it, I’m realizing I may not have set the bar high enough. Indeed, as you peruse this issue of Titan magazine, it becomes apparent that the innovative work of our faculty, staff and students has us well on our way to becoming a model university not just of the nation, but of the world, and, dare I say, the universe. After all, not many universities had a hand in the discovery of gravitational waves, opening a new field of astronomy and providing the world with a better understanding of how the universe works. And while our impact is galaxy-wide on this front, we’re equally integral to the study and exploration of the world, nation, state and region, as evidenced by the incredible work of our Olympic Research Center, our leadership in campus sustainability, and many other achievements highlighted in these pages. All of this success points to a Universitywide theme radiating from Cal State Fullerton and its ever-widening campus community: Titans Reach Higher. Born from the pages of our strategic plan, it is far more than an empty tagline — it encapsulates our mission to create and explore in a collaborative effort to transform the lives of not just our students, but all students in every community throughout the state, the nation and beyond.



14 New Window on the Cosmos Ushering in a new era of astronomy, CSUF scientists and their students were key contributors to a momentous discovery: the first detection of gravitational waves, which confirmed a major prediction Albert Einstein made 100 years ago.

2 University News

3 Philanthropic Foundation

5 Titan Athletics

7 Alumni Association

Mildred García President California State University, Fullerton

TITAN 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.



10 A Learning Landscape

20 For the Love of the Game

8 Snapshots

22 Class Notes

28 Anthony Rendon ’82 ’94

COVER Cal State Fullerton gravitational-wave researchers Geoffrey Lovelace, Joshua Smith, Jocelyn Read and Alfonso Agnew.


Sarah Muñoz


Howard Chang ’00


Valerie Orleans ’80


Mishu Vu


Debra Cano Ramos ’84; Pamela McLaren ’79; Cerise Valenzuela Metzger ’93; Lynn Penkingcarn ’05



Dr. Mildred García


Matt Gush ’12

Gregory J. Saks



Andrea Kelligrew ’99

Jeffrey D. Cook

University Operator 657-278-2011 I Titan 657-278-2414 I 2600 Nutwood Avenue, Suite 850, Fullerton, CA 92831 I TITANmagazine@fullerton.edu I © 2016 California State University, Fullerton Nonprofit standard postage paid at Santa Ana, CA I Report address errors to uarecords@fullerton.edu or 657-278-7917

For more university news, please visit news.fullerton.edu.

UNIVERSITY NEWS CHEERS TO OUR GRADUATES “Graduates, you did it!” CSUF President Mildred García cheered on thousands of graduates during the May 21-22 commencement ceremonies, where close to 70,000 people came together to celebrate the University’s biggest event of the year. Saturday’s keynote speaker, soprano and alumna Deborah Voigt, lower right, offered advice: “Let people help you. You will not succeed without the support of at least a few key people. They offer you an invaluable gift. Don’t be a hero, accept the help.” She ended her speech with her own version of a “rousing conclusion”: the battle cry of Brünhilde, one of the characters for which she is best known, from Wagner’s epic “Ring” cycle. On Sunday, Univision anchor María Elena Salinas, lower left, addressed the graduating class: “I see myself in many of you. I grew up with two cultures and two traditions. I speak two languages. I experienced two very different worlds that blended to become one ... You are an amazing generation.” California State University Chancellor Timothy White, who also was in attendance Sunday, told the class: “I know that as Cal State Fullerton graduates, you have the grit, smarts and swagger to overcome personal and professional challenges, embrace opportunities and spark innovation.”

MAKING THE DEANS’ LIST 1 Cal State Fullerton began welcoming five new deans in January, when Laurie Roades became the dean of the College of Health and Human Development. Before stepping into this position, the psychology professor served as associate dean for academic personnel and resources in Cal Poly Pomona’s College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences. 2 The new dean of the College of Communications, Scott Paynton, joined the team in February. He previously served as associate dean of the College of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at Humboldt State University.




3 Geologist Marie Johnson became dean of Cal State Fullerton’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in July. Johnson taught at the United States Military Academy at West Point for 21 years, heading its environmental program. 4 Kari Knutson Miller became dean of University Extended Education and associate vice president of International Programs and Global Engagement in




July. She was named to the interim position two years ago, and previously served as chair and professor of child and adolescent studies. 5 Lisa Kirtman moved up from associate dean to dean of the College of Education in August. Kirtman has been at CSUF for 16 years and is also professor of elementary and bilingual education.



PHILANTHROPIC BOARD ANNOUNCES NEW MEMBERS Cal State Fullerton’s Philanthropic Board of Governors have named four new members and announced its 2016-17 executive committee. The new members — all alumni of the institution — are: n Rachelle Cracchiolo ’71, ’76 (B.A. psychology, M.S. education-elementary curriculum and instruction), founder and CEO of Teacher Created Materials Inc. n Gina Fales ’94 (B.A. business administration-accounting), managing director of Janus Capital Group. Fales also has been named vice chair, finance and investment committee and sits on the executive committee. n Henry Martinez ’75 (B.S. engineering-electrical engineering), senior vice president, water infrastructure, Cordoba Corp. n Jon C. Smith ’02 (B.A. business administration-accounting), partner, assurance services, Ernst & Young. They join the nonprofit auxiliary organization that builds and strengthens relationships with the community, and encourages advocacy investment, and support of Cal State Fullerton. Continuing as chair of the board is Jeffrey S. Van Harte ’80 (B.A. business administration-finance), chairman and chief investment officer of Jackson Square Partners LLC. Joining Van Harte and Fales as 2016-17 officers for the Philanthropic Foundation: n Kerri Ruppert Schiller ’82 (B.A. business administration-accounting), senior vice president and chief financial officer, Children’s Hospital of Orange County, as chair-elect n Doug Simao, advisory services, Ernst & Young LLP, as vice chair, nominating and governance n Ernest Schroeder ’67 (B.A. business administration), president and CEO, Schroeder Management Company Inc., as member-at-large and vice chair, resource development n Mike Weisman ’76 (B.A. communications), partner and CEO, Amusement Park, as vice chair, marketing/communications committee n Dave Doran ’75 (B.A. business administration-accounting), managing partner, White Nelson Diehl Evans LLP, as vice chair, audit committee n Dick Ackerman, former state senator, as vice chair, advocacy committee

Cal State Fullerton has been elevated to “R-3” (research) status by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, in recognition of the University’s evolution from a master’slevel comprehensive institution to one that awards doctorates. CSUF offers a doctorate in education and a doctor of nursing practice. The newly created R-3 designation follows the established R-1 and R-2 tiers, designated for institutions whose primary mission is research.

CLOSING THE GAP To improve graduation rates for African-American and Latino students, President Mildred García is co-chairing a new network sponsored by The Education Trust. Optimizing Academic Success and Institutional Strategy (OASIS) mobilizes 11 regional institutions that serve underrepresented students to achieve their shared goal of improving graduation rates. Cal State Fullerton, a HispanicServing Institution, has a better track record than most. The University is ranked No. 5 in the nation in awarding bachelor’s degrees to underrepresented students. In The Education Trust report, “Rising Tide II: Do Black Students Benefit as Grad Rates Increase?” CSUF is 10th on a list of “top-gaining” four-year public institutions that substantially improved overall graduation rates for African-American students over the 2003-2013 period.


FACULTY APPLAUSE Some of Cal State Fullerton’s most beloved professors received top faculty honors this year. n Music professor Robert Istad, who heads the University’s choral studies program, received the Outstanding Professor Award for superlative teaching and scholarship. “Istad goes out of his way to give his students very rich learning and performance opportunities, and in the process, has led the CSUF choral program to rise to become one of the very best in the nation,” shared Marc Dickey, director of the School of Music. n Binod Tiwari, professor of civil and environmental engineering, was honored with the Carol Barnes Excellence in Teaching Award for his dedication to his discipline and to his students. Tiwari’s research focuses on slope stability, natural disaster/landslide mitigation and geotechnical earthquake engineering. n Marcelo E. Tolmasky, professor of biological science, received the L. Donald Shields Excellence in Scholarship and Creativity Award for his record of excellence in research and commitment to CSUF’s educational mission. Tomalsky’s research on antibiotic resistance, said President Mildred García, is saving lives.

The Faculty Leadership in Collegial Governance Award went to Jason Shepard, department chair and associate professor of communications. Under his leadership, stated García, the department was “transformed” with new faculty members, as well as strategic and division plans. n García praised Megan Tommerup, lecturer in biological science, for the “transformative way in which she teaches, advises and puts people on a path toward career success.” Tommerup, the inaugural recipient of the Outstanding Lecturer Award, also serves as science education and credential preparation coordinator, n

President Mildred García surprised Professor of Music Robert Istad with the Outstanding Professor Award at Meng Concert Hall.

as well as biology teacher education coordinator in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. n In January, psychology professor Nancy Segal received the CSU’s Wang Family Excellence Award — one of five who received the award this year at the CSU Board of Trustees meeting. The head of the University’s Twin Studies Center, whose research on twins is world renowned, is the 11th CSUF recipient of the award.

CHANCELLOR WHITE VISITS CSUF During a daylong campus visit in February, California State University Chancellor Timothy White shared the strategic vision that the university system is developing: “The six touchstones for us are diversity, quality, student success, public good, sustainability and innovation,” he said. “We’ll achieve these goals only if we’re inclusive — open to different people and ideas, as well as different perspectives. This will contribute to the robust learning environment of the CSU. “Our No. 1 goal is empowering our students to succeed. We do that by enrolling more students and helping them graduate sooner,” he continued. “By focusing on a learning environment, we acknowledge not only faculty but also staff who create a welcoming, inviting and safe environment for students. They are the ones who make the learning environment exist.”



Image by Matt Brown

TITAN SOFTBALL TAKES BIG WEST TITLE, REACHES REGIONALS Cal State Fullerton softball capped off one of the most successful campaigns in recent history. The team won the Big West Conference title for the first time in a decade and reached the NCAA Regionals for the first time since 2009. The team’s 45 wins were the most for the program since 2002. The Titans advanced to the regional final, beating No. 18 Fresno State twice on the way, before losing to the 12th-ranked UCLA Bruins in the final. The softball team’s season was filled with achievements. Nationally, the team was ranked in the Top 25 in the USA Today/NFCA Softball Poll for the week of April 26. The team was awarded four of the six major Big West Conference awards as the Titans dominated the yearly all-conference honors. Seniors Missy Taukeiaho and Desiree Ybarra took home Player and Pitcher of the Year honors, respectively, while Sydney Golden was named Freshman Pitcher of the Year, and head coach Kelly Ford took home Coach of the Year accolades. Taukeiaho also signed a contract to play softball professionally.

Members of the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics met on campus in April to discuss equity and civil rights in education for Latinos. The commission advises President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. on matters pertaining to the educational attainment of the Hispanic community. President Mildred García, a member of the commission, summarized its efforts: “Our members have contributed to the national discourse on civil rights for Latinos and, collectively, the commission has brought to light the challenges that persist for our youth — from a lack of resources in our classrooms, lack of diversity in the teaching profession, the stagnant college completion rate for some of our Latino groups — while also highlighting significant progress, from increased participation in early learning programs to decreases in high school dropout rates and increased college enrollment rates.”

BASEBALL TOPS IN BIG WEST, ENDS SEASON IN REGIONALS The No. 21 Titan baseball team claimed its 21st Big West Conference title in 2016 — its second straight conference crown. The Titans have won six of the last seven Big West Championships. The season came to an end at the Starkville Regional (June 3-6) at the hands of Louisiana Tech. Fullerton made its 38th NCAA Tournament appearance in 2016 in 42 seasons at the NCAA Division I level. The Titans ended the 2016 season with a 36-23 record and a mark of 17-7 in the Big West Conference.

WOMEN’S TENNIS SETS RECORDS, GETS HONORS The Cal State Fullerton women’s tennis team had a record-setting season ending with an overall record of 17-5 and a Big West Conference mark of 6-2, both program bests. The team finished third in the Big West, and third-year head coach Dianne Matias was voted the Big West Conference Women’s Tennis Coach of the Year, while Camille De Leon, Alexis Valenzuela and Sarah Nuno also were honored.

TEEING OFF FOR STUDENTS In April, the 29th annual California State University, Fullerton Hispanic Scholarship Golf Tournament continued its proud commitment to the Abrego Future Scholars. Since it began, the event has raised more than $1 million in scholarships benefiting high-achieving Hispanic students.


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HEARD AROUND CAMPUS Some of Cal State Fullerton’s most notable visitors shared advice and insight with the student body. n1 “All politicians should be public servants, not party servants.” — Former governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger n2 “We love to embrace failure; when it happens, that’s the best possible thing

because it means you learn something.” — “Mythbusters” host Jamie Hyneman, pictured with co-host Adam Savage n3 “For players who see their teammates get called up to the big leagues, there are two emotions. The first is jealousy. The second is pride.” — Kevin Costner ’78 (B.A. business administration-marketing)

n4 “Technically I shouldn’t be successful, because I had my shot and then I went through massive unemployment. Usually when you’re a writer after the age of 40, they take you out behind the barn and shoot you.” — Marc Cherry ’95 (B.A. theatre arts), creator of “Desperate Housewives” and “Devious Maids”

Join or renew your membership in the Alumni Association today and receive a FREE Messenger Bag! For just $45 annually, membership in the Alumni Association keeps you connected with your University and your fellow Titans. Exclusive membership benefits include: • Online career tools • Business networking through the Chapters & Clubs program • Invitations to Alumni Association Events • Access to all 23 CSU libraries • Two-for-one tickets to Titan Athletics games • Cal State Fullerton performing arts discounts • Access to the online Titan alumni network powered by IntroMaps Join online today at fullerton.edu/alumni or by calling 657-CSU-ALUM. Use promotion code 16TMS when joining online. Offer valid while supplies last! 6 I TITAN SUMMER/FALL 2016


ALUMNI GREET SCHOLARS AT ANNUAL MEETING At the May Alumni Association annual meeting, members were introduced to the association’s outstanding student and faculty members. They also met the 2016-17 Alumni Association scholarship students and were treated to heartfelt stories from all 10 students on the impact this scholarship will have on their academic success. To learn more about the program, visit fullerton.edu/alumni/scholarship/. Congratulations and welcome to new board members Diana Coronado ’10 (B.A. political science), Gary Green ’80 (B.A. business administration-finance), Adam Koyanagi ’07 (B.A. business administration-management) and Rohullah Latif ’14 (B.S. mechanical engineering). Michael Bader ’79 (B.A. business administrationaccounting) was confirmed as the new board president.

DINNER WITH 12 TITANS Now in its third year, Dinner with 12 Titans gives alumni the chance to host dinners for students and share advice on life after graduation. Both alumni and students have found this to be very rewarding. “Hosting this event was truly a wonderful experience,” said Patricia Drew ’00, ’05. “Seeing how warm and enthusiastic [the students] were to not only us, the hosts, but to each other, was so uplifting. I recommend hosting to anyone and can’t wait to host next year.” Tahani Ulloa, who is pursuing a bachelor of arts in business administrationaccounting, also found the opportunity gratifying. “I got to meet people I normally wouldn’t have talked to. I also had the chance to meet inspiring alumni who opened my eyes to the possibility that I really can achieve whatever I set out to do.” To host a D12 dinner in November, sign up at fullerton.edu/alumni/d12/host.asp.

SEE THE WORLD WITH FELLOW ALUMNI Experience new adventures on an alumni travel program. Explore Provence, France, through food and wine; have close encounters with the natural world in Tanzania; or journey to the enchanted isles of the Galapagos. To learn more, visit fullerton.edu/alumni/travel-program.asp.

SCHOLARSHIPS ASSIST MUSIC STUDENTS Music Associates hosted this spring’s Music & Magic Luncheon, an auction and performances by music students, including the first-place winners of the concerto and aria competition they sponsor. Now in its 47th year, the philanthropic organization provides support in the form of scholarships and performance awards to School of Music students through membership dues and fundraising events, particularly Music & Magic and the annual Carol Candlelight Dinner & Concert, which includes a holiday performance by a CSUF choral ensemble. Over the past 10 years, the organization has raised more than $500,000 for the school. Sandy Johnson, president of the organization’s board of directors, was inspired to support the School of Music when her daughter joined the CSUF University Singers. “I found that avenue through Music Associates, which promotes and celebrates the continuation of highlevel music training through scholarships to talented and deserving students,” she said.



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Army ROTC Cadet Andrew McCartney watches as Capt.

Russell Moore traverses part of the new Roy Lopez Army ROTC Obstacle Course.


Hundreds of visitors stop by the

Begovich Gallery for the April 16 opening of the Nickelodeon exhibit “Happy Happy Joy Joy: Art and Artifacts From 25 Years of Creator-Driven Cartoons.”


Cheerleaders salute the

Titan men’s basketball team as they take on UC Riverside during Homecoming.


DJ theatrics add to the excitement

of Cal State Fullerton’s annual Spring Concert.


Titan Jerrod

Bravo prepares to swing against the Rebels of University of Nevada, Las Vegas on Goodwin Field.


Child and adolescent

development graduate Vivi Trinh enjoys a hug and a shower of confetti following commencement ceremonies.

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A LEARNING LANDSCAPE Living, Maintaining and Teaching Sustainability By Pam McLaren / Images by Matt Gush


t’s the 1980s and the Southland is a thriving, bustling region criss-crossed by freeways and almost notorious for the slight gray haze that can be seen against the backdrop of the mountains. At Cal State Fullerton, on such a day, there is an orange flag flying outside one of the facility operation centers to indicate the air quality, orange meaning “unhealthy for sensitive groups.” In Langsdorf Hall, a faculty member is working to answer the question of how many dollars this air pollution is costing Southern California in public health. The South Coast Air Quality Management District-funded study, led by environmental economist Jane V. Hall with researchers from campus and other local institutions, would ultimately report that the cost of that slight gray haze over the greater Los Angeles area was $9.4 billion a year. Afterward, “the SCAQMD started to make serious inroads trying to clean the air in and around Los Angeles, and it came out with the nitrogen dioxide requirement that forced our campus to replace its heating and cooling equipment,” remembers Willem van der Pol, who retired in June as interim associate vice president of facilities operations and management. “In hindsight, this marks a turning point in the history of our campus as we started a long trend of cutting our energy usage back and using cleaner processes.”


Changing Campus Culture

To meet the challenge of the statewide drought, CSUF replaced water-thirsty landscape with drought-tolerant, low-maintenance plants, low-flow fixtures, irrigation metering and bioswales to capture rainwater and allow it to percolate into the soil instead of going into storm drains.

Thirty years later, Cal State Fullerton can stand behind a strong campus culture focused on sustainability practices, not just in building and maintaining facilities and grounds, but in the classroom as well. “The issue is figuring out how humankind can co-exist with nature,” says van der Pol, who joined Cal State Fullerton in 1986 and has been a driving force in the efforts to build and maintain an environmentally responsible and green physical campus. “We have the leadership capacity in sustainability in both the academic and facilities areas,” notes John Bock, professor of anthropology and founding director of the University’s Center for Sustainability. “If we take advantage of this opportunity, CSUF will emerge as one of the leaders in sustainability in the CSU and statewide across higher education.” Since the late 1980s, CSUF has ramped up efforts on heating and air conditioning upgrades, asbestos abatement and strategic planning for the future. When opportunities arose for the integration of electric vehicles on campus, the University jumped at the chance. To meet increasing power needs, CSUF built a state-of-the-art, all-electrical central plant in 1990 and became a zero on-site emissions facility. In 2010, the campus installed a trigeneration plant that met roughly half of all of its energy needs through high-pressure natural gas to generate electricity and waste energy to heat and chill water. Two years later, the campus completed a solar-energy network that produces 1.16 megawatt-hours of electricity annually, and became the first university in the state awarded a Platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification by the U.S. CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, FULLERTON I 11

Green Building Council for its newest student housing complex. The Student Recreation Center, opened in 2008, had earned gold LEED certification; five other campus facilities are silver LEED equivalent. Green cleaning supplies are in use; well over 50 percent of solid waste is recycled; and plant waste is composted. Open areas feature drought-tolerant and native plants, swales that gather rainwater and irrigation metering to make sure water is used efficiently. The University’s efforts have not gone unnoticed. A member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, CSUF has received several statewide sustainability best-practice awards for building design, energy efficiency and upgrades to lighting. This year, it received two first-place awards for energy and lighting efficiency, as well as an honorable mention for its water-saving efforts. “We are now looking forward to building a four-megawatt photovoltaic system and combining that with a battery system to store energy at low-demand times and shave our peak usage during high demand,” says van der Pol. “We also are working with local authorities to develop a stormwater retention plan for the campus.”

“CSU Fullerton is working to go off the grid completely, and it’s two-thirds of the way there. With its 2012 solar installations, the University is offsetting more than 26.422 tons of greenhouse gas each year, which is equivalent to taking almost 5,181 cars off the road in the next 25 years.” — In April 2015, Cal State Fullerton was No. 7 in Energy Magazine’s listing of top 10 campuses for solar energy generation.

Creating Future Sustainability Leaders In 1976, CSUF became one of the first campuses to offer a master’s degree in environmental studies, a cross-discipline program that has students working on projects with community partners, government agencies and environmental consultants. In classrooms across campus, faculty members have expanded the number of courses where sustainability is the main focus or a related part of the curriculum. Entering freshmen, through a “sustainability pathway,” can take three to five general education classes in anthropology, geography, liberal studies, sociology and political science with a focus on green issues. “As our world changes and we become more aware of the limitations in natural resources, Cal State Fullerton has stepped up to the plate in incorporating the principles of sustainability 12 I TITAN SUMMER/FALL 2016


into the curriculum,” says Scott Hewitt, interim University librarian, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and a leader in developing programs that enhance students’ educational experiences in sustainability and environmental issues. In one recent course on plant physiology and ecology, students studied the effects of state-mandated irrigation reductions on campus trees. Such information will improve current watering practices and help with future landscape planning. “Responsible use of resources is imperative to the sustainability of our planet, so sustainable practices should be included in the curriculum whenever possible. Applying these practices on our campus, not just in the classroom, is really a no-brainer, since we are a community that prides itself on intelligent and responsible actions,” explains Darren Sandquist, professor of biological science, who revised the course under a CSU “Campus as a Living Lab” grant, established to partner faculty members and facilities management staff. Through one campus program, part of the California State University STEM Collaboratives Project, first-semester science and mathematics students take an introductory course that has them conducting hands-on investigations, such as assessing the feasibility of capturing gray water for alternative uses and

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performing data analysis of campus police vehicle emissions. The course focuses on learning strategies and quantitative reasoning while stressing the practical applications related to ecology. Budding scholars in programs like Biology Undergraduate Research Scholars Training (BURST) and the Southern California Ecosystems Research Program (SCERP) are working alongside faculty members in wide-ranging research projects that teach the value of science and the importance of sustainability. But students aren’t just learning — they are leading. Two years ago during Earth Week, a student-organized annual event that emphasizes sustainability and green practices, they began an effort to convince their peers to switch from bottled water to reusable containers and use water refilling stations throughout campus. Other Titans surveyed campus bathroom sinks to measure faucet flow rates, then funded new low-flow aerators. Beyond the campus and the classroom, students and faculty members are increasing awareness in their neighborhoods through programs like the Urban Agriculture Community-based Research Experience (U-ACRE), which brings campus and community partners together to conduct research and outreach. Partners like the Fullerton Arboretum and local K-12 schools

1 Kyle Mann, energy efficiency program specialist, shares CSUF’s water-saving achievements, due in part to new water-metering systems. 2 At the campus dining facility the Gastronome, efforts are made to use locally grown food, to compost fruit and vegetable waste, and to teach students about the environmental impact of certain recipes, such as red meat vs. fish, seafood and vegetables. 3 More and more campus buildings feature solar panels to capture the power of the sun. 4 Students exploring plant physiology use samples from campus landscaping to come up with ways to make CSUF more sustainable.

have made it possible for students of all ages to learn and share their knowledge. “U-ACRE has been widely recognized as a national model of community engagement in sustainability,” says Bock. “Through the Center for Sustainability and classes, approximately 400 students participate in service-learning each year related to sustainability, and faculty members are working on an EPA Sustainable Communities Program to integrate service-learning courses with Orange County municipal governments. “We are at a time where we have reached critical mass in sustainability in a number of areas,” he adds. “Everywhere we look, we are educating students to what it means to live and work in our complex environment.” n CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, FULLERTON I 13

Simulation of two black holes merging (SXS, the Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes project)



COSMOS Titans Make Gravitational-Wave History By Debra Cano Ramos / Images by Matt Gush

he time to pop the champagne had finally arrived. Applause, whoops and a serenade of “chirps” erupted inside Cal State Fullerton’s Gravitational-Wave Physics and Astronomy Center on this early February morning. The first direct detection of gravitational waves — ripples in the fabric of space-time — had just been announced to the world, opening a new window onto the cosmos. An international collaboration of scientists, including researchers from Cal State Fullerton, heard the distinctive “chirp” — a pair of black holes colliding over 1 billion years ago in the distant universe that produced the gravitational waves. The observation of the black-hole merger also confirmed a major prediction Albert Einstein made 100 years ago in his general theory of relativity: gravitational waves exist. ►



As key contributors in the discovery, Titan researchers and their students gathered inside the gravitational-wave research center in McCarthy Hall to witness the announcement by the National Science Foundation and international Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) Scientific Collaboration. After LIGO scientists proclaimed, “We did it!” at the news conference in Washington, D.C., the Titans cheered with their colleagues across the globe. Leading the CSUF research team is Joshua Smith, associate professor of physics, with Jocelyn Read and Geoffrey Lovelace, both assistant professors of physics, and Alfonso Agnew ’94 (B.A. math, B.S. physics), professor of mathematics. Read and Smith are leaders in the LIGO Scientific Collaboration working groups that searched for and validated the gravitational-wave signal. The LIGO Scientific Collaboration involves more than 1,000 scientists from universities around the United States and in 14 other countries, including CSUF. Additionally, more than 40 CSUF undergraduates and master’s-level students have worked on this groundbreaking research and shared in the discovery. Cal State Fullerton’s significant contributions focused on different aspects of LIGO gravitational-wave research. Smith’s work centered on identifying and removing sources of noise in the

Advanced LIGO instruments to improve the quality of the data in searching for gravitational waves. Read, an astrophysicist, explored how neutron stars can produce gravitational waves. Lovelace, a computational relativist, created computer simulations and visualizations to better predict the sources of gravitational waves, such as colliding black holes or a black hole tearing apart a neutron star. Agnew has developed mathematical methods to find and study cosmological solutions to Einstein’s equations in the past, and is currently working toward building and studying models of objects that emit the gravitational-wave signals. Faculty members also have received more than $2 million in funding from the National Science Foundation and the Research Corporation for Science Advancement for their research. “In all of human existence, people have been mystified by the skies. Nearly everything we’ve learned about astronomy, we’ve learned from light waves,” says Smith, Dan Black Director of the Gravitational-Wave Physics and Astronomy Center. “What I’m most excited about with this first gravitational-wave detection, is it opens up a new field of astronomy, where scientists use gravity to see astronomical objects like black holes, neutron stars and supernova explosions. What we’ll learn will have long-term benefits to society that are impossible to predict.”

STUDENTS SHARE IN DISCOVERY hysics major Alyssa Garcia is among the students captivated with the emerging field of astronomy. Her research involves analyzing gravitational-wave data from computer simulations and studying black holes. “This work is helping me achieve my academic and career goals by giving me the chance to experience what it is like to do research in a big scientific collaboration,” says Garcia, who plans to pursue a doctorate in astrophysics after earning her bachelor’s degree next year. “Gravitational-wave research is important because it will help us learn more about our universe. What I find fascinating about this field is that there is still so much to learn and discover.” Seven alumni are currently enrolled in doctoral programs related to gravitational-wave research at such institutions as Caltech and Louisiana State University, located near the LIGO Livingston Observatory. Among Titans working on an advanced degree is Fabian Magaña-Sandoval ’12 (B.S. physics), a doctoral student at Syracuse University who is conducting research to increase the effectiveness of noise-reduction technologies to improve gravitational-wave detection. Magaña-Sandoval, one of the student co-authors of the




journal article describing the discovery, credits his undergraduate experience and faculty mentors who encouraged him to pursue a doctorate. “In the process of learning how gravitational-wave detectors work, I get to learn about cutting-edge laser technology, modern optics, electronics and astronomy. Gravitational-wave research will help develop a whole new way to observe our universe.” n

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Colossal Black-Hole Collision The violent merging of the two black holes was incredibly powerful, radiating the equivalent of three times the mass of the sun into pure energy, explains Smith. Gravitational waves had been predicted but never observed — until 2:50:45 a.m. Pacific Standard Time Sept. 14, 2015, when the identical LIGO detectors, located in Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington, captured the gravitational-wave signal, sending the physicists into a whirlwind of excitement. “The fact that such a strong signal was observed suggests that the heavens may be brighter with gravitational waves and black-hole collisions than previously expected,” says Smith. The Titan scientists, together with their colleagues from all over the world, worked around the clock for the next several months to rule out a false signal and confirm the discovery before announcing it to the world.

Watch Titan researchers discuss how Cal State Fullerton was instrumental in the discovery of gravitational waves: bit.ly/csuf_gravitational_waves

1 Jocelyn Read speaks with student researchers. 2 Cal State Fullerton supporter and physics alumnus Dan Black ’67, left, donated $225,000 to create the Dan Black Director of the Gravitational-Wave Physics and Astronomy Center — a three-year naming gift to advance the center’s research, teaching and outreach. With Black is Joshua Smith, associate professor of physics and the inaugural Dan Black Director. 3 Members of the media interview Geoffrey Lovelace, assistant professor of physics, at the campus news conference Feb. 11. 4 Astrophysicist Read takes questions from the media. 5 CSUF gravitational-wave students pose with their faculty mentors after the announcement of the discovery of gravitational waves.

Alone in her office, Read first heard the “chirp” as the data, sent by a colleague, streamed from her laptop. She exploded with excitement. “It was like recognizing an old friend you never expected to see.” Lovelace, who simulates colliding black holes on the University’s specially built supercomputer known as the Orange County Relativity Cluster for Astronomy (ORCA), was amazed by the astrophysical observation: “This is the most powerful event in the universe that humans have ever seen. It’s thrilling to see this first glimpse of space and time CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, FULLERTON I 17

warping under the most extreme conditions in the universe.” The scientists also kept the discovery a secret for nearly five months — until Feb. 11, the day of the news conference.

The Discovery Paper


A journal article about the gravitational-wave discovery was published in Physical Review Letters the same day as the news announcement. As members of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, Smith, Read and Lovelace, along with Joseph Areeda, a computation specialist in the Gravitational-Wave Physics and Astronomy Center, and six physics graduates all are co-authors. Lovelace and his students also contributed simulations of two black holes merging that are featured in the article. Read also edited the public science summary explaining the discovery, and Smith served as one of the primary editors of the discovery article, along with physicists from Caltech, MIT, Albert Einstein Institute in Germany, University of Paris and University of Rome. For the last several years, the Titan physicists have served in leadership roles with the LIGO Scientific Collaboration. Smith has chaired the collaboration’s detector characterization group and served on its executive committee. Read currently serves as co-lead of the binary neutron star sub-group and has served as co-chair of the Academic Advisory Committee and an editor of LIGO Magazine. Lovelace serves on the executive committee of the Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes numerical-relativity collaboration, a multi-institutional research effort, which includes Cal State Fullerton.

Catching Future Waves The discovery was made possible by the enhanced capabilities of Advanced LIGO, which involved a major technological upgrade to the observatories in 2015. Plans are underway for scientific collaboration with India, which is building an advanced gravitational-wave detector. “Our work to improve the sensitivity of our instruments, better understand the full array of possible gravitational-wave sources, and learn as much as possible from this detection and from future observations will give us lots to do,” says Smith. “Together with our students, and with scientists around the world, we will continue to explore this new frontier of astronomy.” n On Dec. 25, 2015 at 7:38 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, CSUF scientists helped to identify a second direct detection of gravitational waves, produced during the final merger of two black holes. That detection was announced in June. In July, CSUF was awarded a $937,368 National Science Foundation grant to recruit students from underrepresented groups to study gravitational-wave science and to provide a pathway to enter the doctoral program in gravitational-wave astrophysics at Syracuse University in New York. 18 I TITAN SUMMER/FALL 2016

or the Cal State Fullerton scientists, the wonder and mysteries of the universe captured their attention and imaginations early in life, yet each never imagined one day being a part of a cosmic discovery. Smith grew up in northern New York’s Indian Lake, where he explored nature and gazed up at the stars in the Adirondack Park. In high school, Smith’s “amazing physics teacher” introduced him to the world of astronomy. “He got me interested in black holes and space-time,” he recalls. As an undergraduate at Syracuse University, Smith knew he wanted to do “cool science.” He adds: “Who knew that 17 years later, I would be helping to make a significant astronomical discovery?” smiles Smith, who earned his doctorate in physics from Leibniz Universitat in Hannover, Germany. Read had no inclination of becoming a scientist. She wanted to be a writer and pen science fiction novels. “I loved reading science fiction stories and learning about elaborate worlds, stars, solar systems and planets. These stories left me awestruck. As humans stuck on this planet, I realized there was so much we needed to understand about the universe.” To be successful in creating those kinds of celestial stories, she decided to study mathematics and physics at the


Jocelyn Read

Joshua Smith

Alfonso Agnew

Geoffrey Lovelace

University of British Columbia, unknowingly setting herself on a path to become an astrophysicist. She earned her doctorate in physics from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and completed postdoctoral work at the Albert Einstein Institute in Germany. “At first, I just wanted to learn more about the universe. Then I realized during my undergraduate research that I could contribute to science — and that was pretty inspiring,” recalls Read. As a boy, Lovelace had a favorite Nintendo game that allowed him to “fly” around in space: “One day I fell into a black hole and thought it was the most mysterious thing: You could fall in and you can’t ever come back! From then on, I became very curious about black holes.” Lovelace often tells that childhood story to his students. “They love hearing that the moral of the story is that video games are good for your career,” he laughs. In high school in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, he read “Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy” by Caltech’s Kip Thorne, a renowned theoretical physicist and one of the co-founders of LIGO. Afterward, he announced to his teacher that one day he would go to Caltech to study black holes.

“The teacher told me, ‘We’ll see about that!’” Lovelace earned his doctorate in physics at Caltech, where Thorne was his gravitational-wave research mentor. Agnew’s passion for physics and math was ignited by a high school teacher and a school book fair, where he picked up Einstein’s “Relativity: The Special and General Theory.” “The successful detection of gravitational waves is an enormous event for anyone working in relativity. First of all, it was an actual physical phenomenon predicted by the theory as Einstein showed on paper 100 years ago,” says the CSUF alumnus, who earned a doctorate in mathematics from Oregon State University. “Its empirical verification is a major success for the theory and those who have spent their careers developing it. For many years, nobody knew if such a detection would ever really be possible. “I look forward to a new era of testing Einstein’s theory as the leading model of space, time and gravity. The implications of being able to ‘see’ the universe with a completely new wave spectrum are mind-boggling. And in the fullness of time, I suspect that what gravitational-wave astronomy will reveal is a universe that not even science fiction could dream up.” n



Three Professors Go for Gold at CSUF’s Olympic Research Center

By Cerise Valenzuela Metzger Image by Matt Gush

Toby Rider, Matt Llewellyn and John Gleaves 20 I TITAN SUMMER/FALL 2016

any Americans watched the 2016 Summer Olympics hoping to experience the exhilaration felt by medalwinning athletes. For three Cal State Fullerton faculty members, the exhilaration comes from knowing more about the behind-the-scenes drama, politics, even protests of past games. They have researched the games, predicted them, and helped write the policies that protect the beloved competition and its athletes. The trio — John Gleaves, Matt Llewellyn and Toby Rider — chair the University’s Center for Sociocultural Sport and Olympic Research (CSSOR), one of only three Olympic studies centers in the United States and the only one on the West Coast. The CSUF center is recognized as an International Olympic Studies Centre by both the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Studies Centre and the United States Olympic Committee for its commitment to ongoing research and education. “When you look initially at where we stand in research on sport, Cal State Fullerton sometimes thinks of itself as a regional university. We’re a regional university with a global impact,” says Gleaves, associate professor of kinesiology. “This absolutely elevates CSUF as an international player in sport — and we’re doing good things in Olympic sports. Our work has a real impact.”


Sports Scholars Gleaves, who has studied performance-enhancing drugs for almost a decade, was appointed in April to the USA Cycling team’s new advisory Anti-Doping Committee. He is one of eight doping research experts from around the world chosen to study and determine how USA Cycling can “best reduce banned doping practices within amateur and professional cycling,” according to the official cycling organization. “That USA Cycling is reaching out to us for their advisory board says a lot about our institution and what we do. We’re paving the way — and they want our expertise,” says Gleaves. His book, “The Rise and Fall of Olympic Amateurism,” co-authored with Llewellyn, associate professor of kinesiology, was published in August. Rider, assistant professor of kinesiology, knew a team might one day enter the arena’s traditional parade of athletes without a nation’s flag. Team Refugee Olympic Athletes is the first team of its kind in International Olympic Committee history — a history with a dubious human rights record he’s examined as an author. He researched decades of movements by refugee athletes

Three Other Faculty Members Support Olympic Teams Andrea Becker, associate professor of kinesiology, is now in her fourth year as a coach for the USA men’s volleyball team. Traci Statler, associate professor of kinesiology, is the lead sports psychology consultant for the USA Track and Field team. She has been with the team for more than 15 years. Lenny Wiersma, professor of kinesiology, has been a sports psychology consultant for the USA Swimming team since 2003. He also works with individual Olympians in water polo and wrestling.

#CSUFOlympics: Follow our Storify blog with social media chatter from Titans who participated in the 2016 Games in Rio: bit.ly/TitansConnection

displaced by war and dissention and ignored by the International Olympic Committee, he says, as they lived in places of isolation and despair. The IOC’s engagement in the current refugee movement and this year’s team of 10 athletes from Syria, South Sudan, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo “marked a significant shift historically,” he says. “The Olympics are one of the most watched cultural events on Earth. They are a globalized and commercialized mega event,” Rider says. “They also are plagued by corruption and controversy. For these reasons, they demand the attention of scholars.”

Olympic Access The two-year-old CSSOR’s annual budget is entirely donor- and grant-funded, and receives no funds from the IOC. The primary goals in its five-year plan include completing a series of videos on sports history to be used in classrooms around the world and creating an endowment to assist CSUF students in the Greece Study Abroad program. With Olympic Studies Centre status, faculty and student researchers gain access to archival materials at the U.S. Olympic Museum and Training Center in Colorado Springs. There, the emotional stories of past political movements, bidding scandals and a billion-dollar multinational bureaucracy come to life. “The Olympics are an unprecedented political showcase — a platform for nations to demonstrate their power, prestige, ideologies and cultural diversity, or even seek validation as a member of the international community,” says Llewellyn, who has penned three books on the Olympic Games’ movements, amateurism and the legacy of the 1984 games. The center helps fund graduate students’ research and presentations, including last year’s delivery to an audience of academics and CEOs of the anti-doping industry in Denmark at an International Network for Doping Research conference. As many as 25 students study the history of the Olympic Games in the College of Health and Human Development’s summer Greece Study Abroad program. They are able to stay at the International Olympic Academyno because of the CSUF center’s Olympic connection and faculty scholars, says Gleaves. The center will host the 2017 North American Society for Sport History convention, where several colleges and departments on campus will collaborate on history- and kinesiology-focused presentations, Rider adds. “We’re an outlet for new ideas and new research that can point a way so we can better understand our movement culture,” says Rider. “We aim to use our research and what we learn in our classes, and to engage the community on issues that our center is trying to shed light on.” n CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, FULLERTON I 21

CLASS NOTES JACK A. DIMAGGIO ’65 (B.A. art), who retired after 34 years as an art teacher, now creates artwork in watercolor, acrylic, pencil, pen and ink and mixed media in his Lockport, New York, studio.


TERRY N. BURT ’75, ’77 (B.A., M.A. art) is the owner of Cox Paint, with locations in Santa Monica and Culver City.


JOSEPH JACKSON ’71 (B.A. sociology) was honored during a Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service event in Buena Park. Jackson, who shared his part in a 1961 Mississippi sit-in, received a certificate from Rep. Loretta Sanchez’s office honoring him with a Congressional Record for his contribution to the civil rights movement. He worked 30 years as a probation officer in Los Angeles County before retiring 13 years ago. PATRICIA PINTO ’76 (B.A. sociology) joined North American Title Insurance Co. in February as the company’s legal claims education officer. Pinto is a member of the Orange County Real Estate Fraud Task Force and has collaborated with the Department of Justice, California Department of Insurance, FBI and the Orange County District Attorney. A certified mediator who has worked with the Office of the Orange County Superior Court and U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, she earned her juris doctor from Western State University College of Law. TIM POWERS ’76 (B.A. English) saw his 14th book, “Medusa’s Web,” published in January. The author’s science fiction work has earned him the World Fantasy Award twice — for “Last Call” and “Declare.” He teaches part time as Writer in Residence for the Orange County High School of the Arts and Chapman University. 22 I TITAN SUMMER/FALL 2016

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

advocacy.fullerton.edu LARRY K. RICHARDSON ’77 (M.A. speech communication) is author of “The Cure for the Common Sermon” and “The Essential Armchair Guidebook to Winning ‘Survivor.’” He holds a doctorate from the University of Southern California. G. ROBERTS KOLB ’76 (M.A. music-performance), director of choral activities at Hamilton College and conductor of the Hamilton College Masterworks Chorale, was named the Catskill Choral Society’s music director and choral conductor in May. MARTIN TANGEMAN ’75 (B.A. sociology) was appointed associate justice of the Second District Court of Appeal, Division Six. Tangeman has served as a judge at the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court since 2001. He earned his juris doctor from the University of California, Hastings College of Law.

VICTORIA VASQUES ’76 (B.S. human services), president and CEO of Tribal Tech, LLC, saw her company earn the No. 17 spot on the ninth annual ranking of the “50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/ Led Companies” by the Women Presidents’ Organization and American Express. Tribal Tech is a management and technical services consulting company whose work includes contracts with several agencies of the U.S. government to provide grants administration, training and technical support to underserved communities.

DARYL G. ARROYO ’88 (M.S. physical education) was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. The athletic director at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton and director of athletics, physical education, recreation and intramurals at Alfred State University in New York was honored in April by the Connecticut chapter of the wrestling organization. Arroyo, who holds a doctorate in sport, leisure and exercise science from the University of Connecticut, received a Lifetime Achievement Award for coaches, officials or contributors with at least 20 years of service.


LESLIE BECKER ’88 (B.A. communications-advertising) released her first single, “Slow Burn,” in March. The stage actresssinger appeared in the Broadway production of “Amazing Grace,” as well as productions of “Ragtime” and “Billy Elliot,” last year. FREDERICK G. CARL ’86 (B.S. engineering civil and mechanical), owner of Carl Construction in Montana, was appointed to the Treasure State Bank Board of Directors in October. GINA M. CARUCCI ’89 (M.S. physical education) is owner and primary health care provider at Carucci Chiropractic Center in Rocky Hill, Connecticut. She is a past president of the Connecticut Chiropractic Association and a member of the State Board of Chiropractic Examiners.

Through a planned gift, you have the power to leave a legacy — one that both supports the University and provides meaningful benefits to you and your loved ones. Ontiveros Legacy Society members have done just that, enjoying the financial advantages that come with a planned gift while knowing that the impact of their generosity will be felt by Titans today and far into the future. Helpful planning tools are available online, or you may contact Hart Roussel at 657-278-5429 or CSUFplannedgift@fullerton.edu for more information.

KELLY (JACOBS) CHRISTIAN ’89 (B.A. communications-advertising) is a certified dyslexia specialist, providing tutoring, assessment and consultation for students.


HELEN COUSINEAU ’88 (B.A. international business-French) is director and member of Deloitte Tax LLP’s Customs and Global Trade practice, serving clients throughout the United States. She joined Deloitte in 2002 and previously worked for Andersen’s International Trade and Customs Services practice. Cousineau earned a master’s degree in international relations and a juris doctor from Boston University. In addition to being a licensed attorney, she is a licensed U.S. customs broker. PATRICK J. CRANDALL ’86 (B.A. communications-radio-TV-film) was named director of the construction real estate group for CapitalSource, a commercial lender to small and mid-sized businesses. He operates out of the Los Angeles office. DAVID C. DAVIS ’84 (B.A. criminal justice) is the 61st president of the U.S.-based security management body ASIS International. Davis, a senior division security manager for Northrop Grumman Mission Systems Sector, joined ASIS in 1999. DAWN DAVISON ’82 (M.S. counseling) was appointed to the California Prison Industry Board of Directors and named a board member for Time for Change Foundation in 2015. She has served as an independent correctional consultant since 2014.

SUSAN A. EMERY ’86 (M.P.A.) is Garden Grove’s community development director. She formerly served as the city’s assistant city manager, where she has worked since 1998. GERHARD ERDELJI ’89 (B.A. business administration-finance) has been hired by HomeStreet Bank in Seattle to lead investor relations. He previously served with Sterne, Agee & Leach in Newport Beach. PAUL GARVER ’88 (B.A. Russian and East European area studies) is director of the Albuquerque International Balloon Museum. Garver formerly served 11 years as director of the Washington, D.C.,-based U.S. Holocaust Museum. JOSEPH A. LEON ’83 (B.A. liberal studies) is managing director for Berkadia, a commercial real estate company. He has served 29 years in real estate, including leadership roles with Jones Lang LaSalle, Hendricks & Partners and CB Richard Ellis. LISA MAY ’86 (B.A. business administration-marketing) has joined KLOS-FM’s “The Heidi & Frank Show” as on-air personality. She has 24 years of radio experience and previously worked for KROQ-FM’s “Kevin and Bean” program. THOMAS J. MEHRMANN ’83 (B.A. psychology) is chief executive of Ocean Park in Hong Kong. The executive began his career as a part-time sweeper at Knott’s Berry Farm while earning his college degree. He eventually rose to vice president of park operations and entertainment before joining Six Flags Marine World as vice president and general manager of Warner Brothers Movie World in Madrid. He joined Ocean Park in 2004.

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WILLIAM A. RUH ’83, ’84 (B.S., M.S. computer science) is chief executive officer for GE Digital, as well as senior vice president and chief digital officer for General Electric. WILLIAM L. SADLER ’84 (B.A. communications) has served as a Los Angeles County Superior Court commissioner since May 2014 and previously served 26 years in the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office. He earned his law degree at Loyola Law School. IRASEMA SALCIDO ’87 (B.A. business administration-management), founder and CEO of Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy in Washington, D.C., was honored in November with the 2015 California Community College Distinguished Alumni Award. Salcido immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 14. After graduating from CSUF, she worked for MALDEF, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and later earned a master’s degree in education from Harvard. She opened her first charter school in 1998 with 60 students; today, there are four campuses with more than 1,400 students. Salcido received CSUF’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2005. DAVID R. SCHICKLING ’83 (B.S. engineering-civil and mechanical engineering) became public works director for Whittier in March. It is the fourth stint as a city employee for Schickling, who previously served as an assistant civil engineer, senior civil engineer and manager of the city water system. He had been serving as deputy director of public works in Fullerton prior to returning to Whittier. PATRICIA J. SEYMOUR ’83 (B.A. communicative disorders) is chair and associate professor of communication disorders and sciences at Cal State Northridge. She has taught at the campus since 2006, after earning her doctorate from the University of Kansas.

SANDRA THORSTENSON ’82 (M.S. education-educational administration) is retiring in June after a 39-year career as a teacher and administrator in the Whittier Union High School District. The first in her family to go to college, she served as district superintendent for 14 years. STACY C. WOOD ’87, ’97 (B.S. physical education, physical education credential) is a physical education teacher and surf coach at Dwyer Middle School in Huntington Beach. She was named to the Huntington Beach Surfers Walk of Fame in 2012.

GREGORY V. SCHULZ ’92 (B.A. business administration-accounting) was named president of Fullerton College after serving as the institution’s interim president. “Greg has earned the trust of the college community and is clearly passionate about the students we serve,” said North Orange County Community College District (NOCCCD) Chancellor Cheryl Marshall. Schulz has 16 years of leadership experience in community colleges and higher education, having held administrative posts in the NOCCCD’s School of Continuing Education and at Long Beach City College. He also serves as a Dean’s Advisory Board member of Cal State Fullerton’s College of Education. In addition to his business degree, Schulz holds a master’s degree in public administration from Cal State Long Beach and a doctorate in education from the University of Southern California.

JEFFREY B. WULBRUN ’84 (B.A. communications) has joined Stanford University’s men’s basketball program as an assistant coach.

MICHAEL T. BARRY ’90, ’01 (B.A. criminal justice, B.A. history) is author of the nonfiction book “In the Company of Evil: Thirty Years of California Crime, 1950-1980.” It is his seventh published nonfiction book.


MICHAEL S. DANIEL ’99 (B.A. business administration-marketing) is regional director of the Orange County/Inland Empire Small Business Development Center Network. The network is hosted by CSUF’s Mihaylo College of Business and Economics and is partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Previously, he was director of the Long Beach SBDC within the Los Angeles regional network. JEFFREY S. FARROW ’93 (B.A. business administration-finance) is chief financial officer for biopharmaceutical company Global Blood Therapeutics Inc. He previously served as CFO of ZS Pharma Inc. and Hyperion Therapeutics Inc. MICHAEL M. FELIX ’98 (B.A. political science) is an immigration lawyer and member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Felix earned his juris doctor at the New England School of Law in Boston.

BRIAN T. MODOFF ’91 (B.A. business administration-economics) was named executive vice president of strategy, mergers and acquisitions at Qualcomm Inc. MELINDA C. SMITH ’97 (M.S. educationelementary curriculum and instruction) is principal of W.R. Nelson School in the Tustin Unified School District. MICHELLE YERKE ’99, ’10 (B.S. human services, M.S. gerontology) is the care manager for Huntington Beach Senior Services.

OMID ABTAHI ’02 (B.A. communications-advertising) has a supporting role in the A&E series “Damien,” a sequel to the 1976 thriller “The Omen.” He plays the role of war photographer Amani Golkar, the best friend of Damien Thorn. The actor previously appeared in the 2012 Oscar-winning film “Argo,” “Brothers” and “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2,” as well as FX’s “Over There,” Showtime’s “Sleeper Cell” and Fox’s “24.”


JOSUÉ ALVARADO ’08 (B.A. business administration-management) became the second elected Latino on the Whittier City Council in April.

SATHYA CHEY ’08 (B.A. business administration-finance) earned an MBA from the University of Southern California. Chey is a client service manager with investment and wealth advisers Halbert Hargrove in Long Beach. She is a certified financial planner and was awarded the accredited investment fiduciary designation from the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Fiduciary Studies. KEVIN CLUNE ’00 (B.S. kinesiology) was appointed defensive coordinator/inside linebackers coach for Oregon State football in January. Clune has 24 years of coaching experience with teams from Utah State, Southern Utah, University of Hawai’i and Weber State. WYN C. ERICSON ’03, ’04 (B.A. art-teaching, single subject art credential) is the artist behind the new specialized vehicle license plate, “ParksPLATE.” The educator won a statewide contest seeking artwork that best depicted a California redwood, the state’s official tree. The license plate was unveiled in November. JOSEF E. FLORKOWSKI ’02 (B.A. communications-journalism and history) joined the Community College of Aurora as a web content specialist in March. He manages the institution’s website, college blog and other communication channels.


DEEP PATEL ’06 (B.A. business administration-entrepreneurship) was looking for a career where he valued his work and found it by developing his own company. The founder, president and CEO of Gigawatt Inc. and its distributor, GoGreenSolar, started his career journey when he saw an ad for a solar conference. “I had no background in solar, but I was fascinated by the concept,” he explains. “I started meeting people who were very excited about solar — pioneers in the field — and I decided that I had to get involved.“ He started with his own blog, building attention through his content, and people responded, asking advice and where to get a solar system. From there, he started his own manufacturing firm. Patel and his business partner, Harold Tan, now employ 25 people and ship across the country. Patel credits his education, including serving on a student consulting team that worked with a local business, with giving him a good grounding in what to expect. “It was firsthand experience, and I learned a lot,” he remembers. “Without it, I don’t think I would be where I am today.”

POUYA JAHANSHAHI ’91, ’04 (B.F.A. art-graphic design, M.A. art-design) is one of the designers and artists whose creations make up the traveling exhibit “Local/Not Local.” HELEN JAMEI ’09 (B.A. business administration-management) joined the Newport Beach office of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties in December.

ANDRE L. PENNINGTON ’03 (B.A. sociology) is a member of the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General Corps. He went from CSUF to Loyola Law School, then became a Colorado State Deputy Public Defender prior to joining JAG. He serves as an assistant federal public defender and a TRIALS (Training by Reservists in Advocacy and Litigation Skills) team member. He and his wife own Hearts of the Desert, group homes for children who are victims of abuse, abandonment and neglect.

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EMILIO D. RANGEL ’06 (B.F.A. art-graphic design), creative supervisor for Time Warner Cable Media, was honored as Board Member of the Year at the 23rd annual Women in Cable Telecommunications’ LEA Awards gala. MICHAEL A. SAADE ’09 (B.S. biochemistry) is a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, providing all dental care aboard the USS Rushmore. BENJAMIN N. SIEGEL ’07 (M.P.A. public finance management) was named San Juan Capistrano city manager following a nationwide search. Siegel previously served as assistant city manager/director of public works in Laguna Beach and had worked for the city of Lake Forest for nine years before joining Laguna Beach. JENNIFER SMITH ’06 (M.M. performance) performed Handel’s “Messiah” over the Christmas holidays with the Southwest Symphony Orchestra. She has been a soloist in the annual production for six years.

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KURT WESTON ’08 (M.F.A. art-creative photography) is a legally blind artist who uses his disability to share with others what he sees. The former fashion photographer has only peripheral vision in his right eye.

KENNETH ALLEN ’14 (B.A. theatre arts) is co-founder of Evolve Theatre. The company marked its debut in March at the Long Beach Playhouse with the play “Choosing Us,” a look at the transgender community.


SEAN BUTLER ’10 (B.A. business administration-marketing) and JASON KANG ’10 (B.A. radio-TV-film), owners of Seoulmate, a Long Beach eatery known for Korean fusion, have opened a second location in Fullerton. MARK GERALD CRUZ ’12 (B.S. kinesiology) is co-founder of GD Bro Truck, created in 2013, and offering a variety of stuffed hamburgers and specialty fries. The Orange County, California-based truck was among the competitors in season six of the Food Network’s “Great Food Truck Race.”


n ESMAEL ADIBI ’76 (M.A. economics) died April 8. The professor of economics held the A. Gary Anderson Chair in Economic Analysis and was director of the A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research at Chapman University. He served on the board of directors of SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union and was a member of the California Treasurer’s Council of Economic Advisors. n Artist SANDRA L. ANDERSON ’74 (B.A. art) died Dec. 24 at the age of 65. The Marietta resident had served as a contractor with the Metropolitan Museum in New York. n AILEEN G. BARON, associate professor emeritus of anthropology who crafted a second career as a writer of archaeological mysteries, died March 2. The scholar, who served the campus for 20 years, authored five books, including her latest, “Return of the Swallow.” n ALAN EMERY, associate professor of sociology and a faculty member since 2002, died in December. n KURT D. GENSICKE ’77 (B.A. business administration-accounting) died Nov. 29 at the age of 61. Gensicke worked for the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office for

37 years. n SUZANNE HOGAN ’97 (MBA) died Nov. 19. The alumna, 48, had been working at Entergy in Madison County, Miss., as a financial manager. n GEORGE JAMES, professor emeritus of art, died March 5. He was 84. James served the University for 29 years, developing the undergraduate and graduate illustration concentration programs and serving as area coordinator until his appointment as department chair in 1980. He also led the way with the introduction of digital technology as a creative medium. n VYRON KLASSEN, professor emeritus of mathematics, died Jan. 19. The scholar had served the University for 35 years. n STEVEN MONTES ’15 (B.A. American studies and B.A. communications-entertainment studies), an outreach coordinator for the Children’s Museum at La Habra, died Dec. 15. Montes, 23, managed the museum’s volunteer program. n JAMES J. RIZZA, professor emeritus of mechanical engineering and a former associate dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science, died March 31 at the age of 75.

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LUCAS CUNY ’15 (M.F.A.-screenwriting) is a film critic for the Redlands Daily Facts. He is the founder of Slate Inc., an organization focused on supporting emerging media artists through educational programs, professional engagement and promotion of their work. CASSANDRA M. GOUT-KERBE ’10 (B.A. business administration-marketing) joined Keller Williams Village Square Realty in Ridgewood, New Jersey. ROHULLAH LATIF ’14 (B.S. mechanical engineering) is co-author of “Students Lead Now: The Ultimate Guide to Student Leadership.” He was recently elected to the board of directors of the Alumni Association. NYREE D. KNOX ’11 (B.A. communications-journalism) is an executive producer/reporter for KFBB in Montana. Knox also holds a master’s degree in television, radio and film from Syracuse University. ROSA PHAM ’13 (B.S. nursing) works in the telemetry unit of Fountain Valley Regional Hospital. In March 2015, she took part in a surgical mission trip with Project Vietnam, assisting doctors in performing cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries. DANIELLE RIEDL ’15 (B.A. history) is an officer with the Fullerton Police Department. MICHAEL J. SHEA ’12 (MBA) was appointed director of on-premise sales for Columbia Distributing in Portland. The January appointment follows a six-year tenure with MillerCoors Brewing Co. VICTORIA ’TORI’ THAYER ’15 (B.A. public administration) is an officer with the Fullerton Police Department. PERRY WEBSTER ’12 (B.S. kinesiology) is head men’s basketball coach at Fullerton College. CHRISTOPHER HO YI ’10 (B.A. history) was appointed deputy district attorney in Humboldt County. Yi, who earned his juris doctor at Whittier Law School, previously prosecuted misdemeanors for the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office and was a law clerk in the Orange County District Attorney’s office.

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


ssemblyman Anthony Rendon can trace the spark that ignited a career passion for the environment back to a Cal State Fullerton classroom. “It was my first exposure to environmental studies that later led to a decade of work in the environmental movement with the Los Angeles and statewide chapters of the League of Conservation Voters,” says Rendon ’82 ’94 (B.A. political science-public administration, M.A. political science). Well before the speaker of the California State Assembly ran for political office, he prepared for a career as a nonprofit executive, challenging legislators to protect the environment, to value education and child care by investing in it, and to focus on California’s poor. And he threw his hat in the ring because “the legislature needed a voice that understood those issues and would fight for them,” says Rendon.


Speaki FOR EDUCATION It’s as a Titan that Rendon says his eyes were opened to liberal arts courses and subjects in the humanities. “Art, literature and philosophy have become lifelong hobbies and passions,” he says. As a graduate student in political science, he studied philosophy and government. Such a college experience once seemed lofty for a high school kid from Whittier who preferred punk music and soccer to studying. In retrospect, it was foundational. “The experience wasn’t all that different from my current job, where we must be up to speed on a variety of policies — from the tax code to cybersecurity and insurance rates,” says Rendon, who went on to earn a doctorate at UC Riverside and completed postdoctoral work at Boston University. Rendon, at the gavel since March, has the potential to serve eight years as speaker — longer than any speaker in the last 20 years, because of expanded term limits. He is now part of a club in which members’ tenures could stretch to 12 years in either chamber.

And his seat as speaker marks the first time both chambers of the California Legislature have been led by Latinos. These “new” long-timers seem motivated to shift power from staffers and lobbyists to the lawmakers. Although his acceptance speech included a pledge that he will not author bills this year, Rendon remains focused on the environment and education. He is eager to monitor how the 2013 Local Control Funding Formula shifts allocations of state funds to kindergarten through 12th-grade education. “It’s our job to ensure it’s working as intended and that the appropriate funds are getting to students who most need the help,” Rendon says. More can be done to improve access to affordable

ng Up By Cerise Valenzuela Metzger

education, including at public universities, he adds. “We must fulfill our responsibility to train students for the jobs of today, which means they must have access to education and training to be prepared for those jobs, as well as for their roles as informed and contributing members of their community,” he says. When Rendon returned to CSUF to teach political science as a lecturer, his career and political aspirations offered new insight to students. “I always reminded my students that all countries have an executive branch, but only democracies have a legislative branch,” he says. “The Legislature is the part of state government closest to the people, and it’s our responsibility to conduct the proper oversight of all government operations to ensure they are operating in an efficient and effective manner.” n CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, FULLERTON I 29


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SATURDAY, SEPT. 17 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

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