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MISSION STATEMENT Tusk magazine is the annual lifestyle magazine of California State University - Fullerton, one of the nation’s largest and most diverse postsecondary institutions. Tusk celebrates stories that matter to our students, faculty, staff and alumni. Our pages are crafted by undergraduate and graduate editors, writers and designers who are dedicated to building on-campus connections and community engagement. By offering an editorial window into SoCal culture and academic life, we help define what makes us Titans. Tusks up! 2



Managing Editor

Lauren Hofer

Creative Director

Hannah Miller

Photo Directors

Katie Albertson Judi Cahill

Multimedia Director

Rick PiĂąon Delgado

Web Director

Diane Ortiz


Caitlin Bartusick Breanna Belken Priscilla Carcido Amanda Chacon Amy Wells

Staff writers


Monica Astacio Adam Castro Daniel Coats David Marshel


Tracy Hoang Megan Maxey


Ty Chow Jenna Ross

Multimedia producers

Katherine Abando Kameron Leong Caroline Salinas

Social Media

Emeline Beltran Treva Flores

Event Planners

Mattison Cano Codie Hays

Web Master

Kevin Tucker


Chelsea Reynolds, Ph.D.

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letter from the staff As we collectively sifted through the layers of our campus, we uncovered the stories that matter to our community. We, the creative team, dedicated ourselves to pulling stories from multiple corners of Cal State Fullerton.

The print version only scratches the surface. Our interactive online content will immerse you further into these stories as well as dozens more. Find us online at or on Twitter @tusk_magazine. You, the readers, inspire us. These stories are for you and from you. Thanks for reading. Cheers!

Each story is unique, impactful and wide-ranged, reflecting the many voices of our newsroom. From motherhood and queerness to donuts and latenight bars, you will find yourself somewhere within these pages. w TUSK MAGAZINE


WHAT’S INSIDE 6 Mental Munchies 7 Zombee Donuts: Drop-Dead Delicious 10 Fullerton Hangouts 12 Pajón Power: Learning to Love Your Curls 16 LGBTQ on Campus 24 On Motherhood: Stories of a Parent’s Influence

34 Photographer Matt Gush: Finding Focus 36 Titans of the Sixties 41 On Shaky Ground: Waiting for “The Big One” 44 Laila Dadabhoy: Presidential Material 45 What is Success? 46 Fake Confidence, Real You

SPRING 2018 VOLUME 19 Tusk is produced annually by the California State University, Fullerton Department of Communications. The opinions expressed within are the responsibility of the writers and do not necessarily express those of the univeristy, faculty, or student body. This issue of Tusk was printed at Alliance Print & Graphic Service in Orange County. No part of this publication maybe be reproduced without permission. Published in spring 2018.






me n t a l mu nc hi es

STORY BY: David Marshel PHOTO BY: Judi Cahill DESIGN BY: Tracy Hoang & Hannah Miller

Five raw brain foods that go places.


Juggling classes, jobs and a social life leaves no time for studying and less for sleeping. Great! When do we eat?

Rich in vitamins B, A, C and K, these one-handers bust out 52 kcals of brain energy and are super high in potassium. Also, great for digestive health and maintains eyesight.

Feed your mind and body with these all-natural snacks that are found on campus, fit in a backpack and can be eaten quickly while on the go.


’Nuff said of this king of smart foods. Pop in 3.5 ounces of these little gems for 57 kcals of energy, plus 14 carbs and vitamins C, A, and K. Oh, and the antioxidants run rampant through your bloodstream within minutes!



Sweet freedom! Besides a cornucopia of antioxidants for the blood, dark chocolate has the fab five minerals the brain needs: magnesium, copper, iron, manganese and zinc. It is also reputed to increase blood flow to lower blood pressure which means less stress. Cocoa content should rise above 70%. Btw, health gurus recommend moderation as dark chocolate contains sugar and polyunsaturated fat.


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Meet omegas 3, 6 and 9. No, not a fraternity, but a trifecta of fatty acids needed for brain stimulus. Whether tree nut or legume, they all dish out carbs, B-vitamins and protein. They’re also free of gluten and saturated fats.

This stick snack is stacked. Loaded with carbs, potassium, vitamins C, A and lots of K for memory retention and folate, which are being studied for anti-depression.

Sweet, savory and a little bit scary. STORY BY: Emeline Beltran & Hannah Miller PHOTOS BY: Gabe Gandara DESIGN BY: Tracy Hoang w TUSK MAGAZINE


From a fireplace stained with blood to warning signs reading “DO NOT FEED THE ZOMBIES,” there’s no need to wait until October for a scare in this donut shop. The diverse menu had us contemplating which donuts to try for at least 10 minutes, but we finally opted for these sweet six:

1. ZOMBEE MASCOT Bite this little glazed, dead-body donut’s head off to keep it from staring down guests through the display case. Along with its chocolate face, an ooze of strawberry jelly added just the right amount of gore. It didn’t look much like the classic, green zombie with yellow eyes popping out. Neither the dough nor glaze were overpoweringly sweet, and both harmonized with the tart jelly.

2. MONSTER This cream-stuffed donut with green, Monster energy drink infused frosting was topped with a chocolate face. The homemade whipped cream was better than the typical custard blob in similar donuts. Two bites into the donut was a thriller of an experience thanks to the Monster frosting.

3. VEGAN PUMPKIN Zombee Donuts offers a weekly vegan donut, and when we stopped by they were serving the pumpkin flavor. I won’t sugar-coat it because the pumpkin frosting already had too much sugar. It was so rich it could buy me a gold gravestone. Atop the frosting were salted, toasted pumpkin seeds, too salty to even snack on by themselves. Favorably, the dough felt like a cake donut and tasted like wheat bread.

ZOMBEE DONUTS 802 E Chapman Ave Fullerton, CA 92831 8

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4. EYEBALL This red velvet cake donut kept its eye on us with its decorative frosting and ganache-dipped donut hole pupil. The cake was moist and sweet. When paired with the frosting it verged on decadence that would taste nice with a hot mug of dark roast coffee. The ganache, while a little thick, added to the sweetness despite the donut’s ghoulish exterior.

5. RABIES BABIES A light, round donut with cream filling and chocolate chips for eyes, Rabies Babies is a treat less intense than its name. The airy donut has a mild flavor balanced with a sugary glaze. The rich cream gushing from the “mouth” of the donut was a step ahead of the aerosol, whoknows-what’s-in-it canned variety.

6. COOKIE MONSTER True to the Sesame Street character, the Cookie Monster is made of chocolate cake dough topped with electric blue frosting and big eyes. He munches on a chocolate chip cookie with Oreo crumbs spilling from his mouth. The notes of sweet chocolate and the delicate consistency give this donut the best flavor, and the frosting proved mild to the tongue. If we weren’t pumped full of sugary carbs from all the donuts before, we would have finished the Cookie Monster. Me like Cookie Monster. w TUSK MAGAZINE


Need plans for Friday?

Check out these five go-to hot spots for coffee, drinks and live music in downtown Fullerton.

The Continental Room Go back in time to the 1920s because this bar is reminiscent of the prohibition era. There’s a stage for live music and booths to lounge in. The atmosphere alone makes it worthwhile. STORY BY Treva Flores PHOTO BY Katie Albertson DESIGN BY Megan Maxey


Location: 115 W Santa Fe Ave. Hours: Mon-Sun 2 p.m.-2 a.m. Price: Drinks start at $5.

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The Night Owl


This quaint cafe has healthconscious food and homemade desserts. They also offer a wide variety of vegetarian options.

This coffee shop offers vegetarian and vegan options making it a natural pickme-up before class.

Green Bliss

Florentine’s Grill

Location: 200 N Harbor Blvd. Hours: Mon-Sun 8 a.m.-12 a.m. Price: Drinks start at $2.

Location: 211 N Pomona Ave. Hours: Mon-Thur 10:30 a.m.9 p.m., Fri-Sat 10:30 a.m.- 10 p.m., closed Sun Price: Food starts at $10.

Location: 305 N Harbor Blvd Ste 103 Hours: Mon-Sat 7 a.m.-4 p.m., Sun 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Price: Food starts at $6.

Location: 102 N Harbor Blvd. Hours: Mon-Fri 4:30 p.m.-2 a.m., Sat-Sun Noon-2 a.m. Price: Drinks start at $3. Food starts at $10.

Mondays are study nights. But live music is performed during Tuesday open mics, providing a showcase for local talent and a fun place to head out to before or after class.

Come here on Saturdays for live Jazz music, but the food makes this bar stand out. The burgers are a must. w TUSK MAGAZINE


Pajón Power


One writer’s personal journey of learning to cope with curls. STORY BY Monica Astacio PHOTOS BY Judi Cahill DESIGN BY Hannah Miller


Hair salons in the Dominican Republic are a place of ritual. Everyone from young girls to elderly women wait in line, ready to get the famous Dominican blowout. As you step into the salon, the smell of burnt hair and coffee fills the air. Loud chatter and weekly gossip is drowned out with the loud

sound of a bachata blasting through the radio. The hairdresser comes to greet you with a warm hug and a kiss. Straight hair in the Dominican Republic is one of many burdensome beauty standards that stem from previous Spanish colonization. These standards are still in place throughout most of the country.

United States, I still glorified straight hair because it’s what my family knew best. When my mother moved to the U.S., one of the things she searched for was a good Dominican salon.

Even though I grew up in the When I was young I would never sit still long enough in the hairdresser’s chair to have my hair done. In an attempt to manage my naturally curly hair, my mom decided to cut it short. At age seven, I had my first chemical softening hair treatment. Everyone loved my newly straight hair, and I loved how I felt more beautiful.




Around middle school, I began to get regular blowouts more often. I also began to get compliments on how beautiful my hair was... ...when it was straight.

The more compliments I received during middle school, the more I would go back to the salon for another blowout. Gradually, all my confidence hinged on my weekly blowout routines. Sundays were for church and the hair salon. At this point, my hairdresser became more of a family friend. I began to get a hair relaxer every three to four months just to keep my hair straight. I couldn’t even remember what my curls looked like. In high school, a few of my friends began showing off their natural hair. I admired them for it, but in my mind that was something I could never do. I’d have to grow out my chemically straightened hair and 14

stop using heat. The thought of this time-consuming process led me to carry on with my regular routine. At one point though, my hair stopped growing. I changed my relaxer routine from every three months to every six months. With a longer break between treatments, I started seeing my roots puff up a bit. My hair was growing! Even though I continued to get regular blowouts, I decided that I was no longer going to relax my hair. When I discussed this with my hair stylist she did not agree with my decision to go natural. I realized that

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or braid. This was the most difficult part of my hair journey because I was forced to become comfortable with myself.

The transition from straight to curly hair was a long process that helped develop my confidence and love for my heritage.

In August of 2017, I decided I didn’t want my dead-ends any longer. I picked up some scissors, trimmed all of my ends and was finally free — completely natural.

My 7-year-old niece from the Dominican Republic reminds me of younger self. She has beautiful, long curly hair but at such a young age

her mother already straightens it. My niece once asked me, “Why do you wear your hair in a pajón?” (Pajón means Afro in Dominican slang). I told her it’s important to love our pajón, our natural hair, because it’s a part of who we are.

Soon after, a friend asked me for some advice about bringing back her curls. I gave her a rundown about hair products and helped her throughout her curly hair journey. It made us even closer than before.

along with breaking up with using heat, I also had to break up with my hairdresser. Because she had grown so close to my family over the years, I felt guilty. But ultimately it’s my hair and I get to decide what to do with it. I eventually started straightening my hair at home. Not only did this save me money but it gave me complete control over what I was doing. I gradually straightened less often, and even though I didn’t feel confident in the transitional phase I knew the end result would be worth it. After seven months, my hair was half curly and half dead-ends. Afraid of damaging the new curls, I completely stopped straightening my hair. Most of the time, I wore my hair in a bun








Choosing to define ourselves and push the boundaries of society’s labels.

PHOTO BY Judi Cahill DESIGN BY Megan Maxey





BLURRED BOUNDARIES “It’s just a phase.” The LGBTQ community has made strides in showing we are not just what society defines us as. By starting the conversation, we’ve been able to blur the boundaries and define ourselves. I remember the first time I was told my sexual orientation was just a phase. People close to me lost sleep because they couldn’t believe I had caught the sexuality-shifting “bug.” They thought it would absolutely ruin me. At one point, I was taken to therapy to try and hypnotize the “gay gene” out of me. It’s not a disease. Coming out is a different experience for every individual. While some are open to showing who they are at a very young age, others wait a lifetime to openly come out. Greg Gory, a radio personality, is one of the only openly gay radio hosts in Los Angeles. Gory co-hosts “The Woody Show” on Alt 98.7, airing weekdays from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. He previously worked as a host in San Francisco where he wasn’t always open about his identity. “It was difficult in San Francisco because I had been on air there for 14 years before I publicly came out. On ‘The Woody Show,’ I was out from day one, so it’s been much easier for me,” Gory said. Prior to being on the show in Los Angeles, Gory was married to his ex-wife for eight years. “Coming out to my wife was the most difficult thing I have ever done and will ever do. Nothing could have been more gut wrenching,” he said. The stigma of being gay in our society prevents young people from ever being honest with themselves, yet there are some who face society without fear. Cal State Fullerton Communications Profes-


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sor Chelsea Reynolds said she has always felt comfortable with who she is and has rarely been afraid to show it. “Self-acceptance leads to social acceptance,” Reynolds said, “If you are firm about who you are, and you don’t let yourself question it, then there’s no way for someone to get to you.” Reynolds identifies herself as bi- and pansexual. Even in the LGBTQ community, bisexuality and pan- sexuality are frowned upon, because they do not not limit sexual choice with regard to biological sex, gender, or gender identity, according to Merriam-Webster.

IF YOU'RE THINKING OF EXPLORING YOUR FEELINGS, DO IT. -GREG GORY “People are somehow threatened by bisexuality because it’s not in this tiny little box,” Reynolds said. As bisexuals, it can feel like not being straight enough for the straight, or gay enough for the gay. The judgment doesn’t stop with heterosexual counterparts, it bleeds into the LGBTQ community as well. As I flirted with my own identity in high school, I met someone who would light the fire that ignited what was already inside me. She was my first love, my math tutor, my companion and best friend.

“I’ve always felt pan or bi and I’ve never questioned that about myself, but almost every partner I’ve ever had has questioned that,” Chelsea said. Sexuality is a part of our identity. Who we love is not meant to be defined in the dictionary. It doesn’t stop at being bi- and pan- sexual. Gory also identifies with feeling judged for not fitting in to his community. “Gay hotels, bars, events, movies, etc. Just being part of a ‘gay culture’ can be difficult because there are expectations of you, not put on you by the straight world, but by the gay world,” Gory said. It’s up to us to take our identities back from everyone who doesn’t understand us, even if it’s our own community. Sexuality will never fit in a tiny box, much like identity. Sacrificing happiness to please society only leads to a stressful and unhappy life. “You have guys like me – never experimenting, never admitting who they are, and perhaps even getting married to your best friend who you’ve convinced yourself has ‘cured’ you,” Greg Gory said, “It’s a waste of everyone’s time. If you’re thinking of exploring your feelings, do it. Do it carefully, of course, but don’t deny who you are. Life is short. And you’ll regret it.” Stay true to who you are, and make no apologies.

Our relationship was light as we openly walked through the halls of our high school and weren’t ashamed of who we were. Something always stood in our way, because I identify as bisexual. However, the intimidation that I would possibly leave for a guy was the ultimate concern and maybe what eventually tore us apart.






STORY BY Treva Flores PHOTOS BY Ty Chow DESIGN BY Megan Maxey

Bathroom bills spark debate across the nation, but are they advocating for safety or discrimination? Using the restroom is as natural as breathing. Most people don’t think twice about doing it. But not everyone feels this way. Seventy-five percent of transgender students feel unsafe at school and 70 percent report avoid public bathrooms, according to the advocacy group GLSEN’s 2015 National School Climate Survey. Bathroom bills have been proposed across the country that would discriminate against people who are gender nonconforming or people who don’t match society’s definitions of male or female. In 2017, 16 states considered legislation that would restrict access to restrooms on the definition of biological sex. These laws that would require people to use the restroom consistent with the sex they were assigned at birth. These bills endanger transgender people with gender policing and harassment. Trans people feel pressured to either use a restroom they’re not comfortable in or go without using one in public. Although these were already concerns of the transgender community, they have been amplified since they can be accused of being sex offenders for using the “incorrect” bathroom. On Oct. 10, 2017 Cal State Fullerton held a civil dialogue on bathroom laws, discussing the statement “The biological-sex-only bathroom laws are a form of discrimination.” Students could then volunteer as strongly agreeing, somewhat agreeing, neutral, some-








- CHRISTIAN MORALES Morales said. “I felt like I wasn’t a person. By providing gender neutral and/or gender inclusive bathrooms, you’re acknowledging people, you’re affirming them.” CSUF provides of safe places for LGBT students like the LGBT Queer Resource Center and clubs such as Queer People of Color and Queer Straight Alliance. The university also provides 13 gender neutral bathrooms, including a new multi-stall restroom in the recently renovated first floor of the Pollak Library South. Morales believes the campus could improve on educating teachers on LGBT issues. Currently the campus has trainings about creating safer spaces for LGBT that anyone can attend, but they aren’t mandatory.

what disagreeing or strongly disagreeing with the statement and were allowed to state their reasons why. Ashley Moore, a transgender graduate student, sat in the strongly agree chair and gave four points explaining why these laws are discriminatory: 1. Trans women are women. 2. This is a recent historical phenomenon and not a problem anyone was


concerned with until gender issues hit the mainstream. 3. The bathroom laws are unenforceable and they stand for a symbolic strike against trans people rather than any public safety interest. 4. Legislators never try to cooperate with any transgender people while they’re creating these laws. Those who disagreed with the statement

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were afraid of sexual predators assaulting women in the restroom and seeing the opposite genders genitals. Moore pointed out that in restrooms you don’t see another person’s genitalia, and there are hardly any examples of a person saying they’re transgender to assault women in the restroom. If assault is happening in the restroom then society should fix the problem of assault, rather than taking out our fears on transgender people, Moore said. Historically, women and LGBTQ people have shouldered the

burden of preventing sexual assault. “Dialogues like that one are important for advancing the narrative and engaging people in these kinds of cultural changes,” Moore said in an interview. “Those face to face conversations are more important than fighting on the internet.” The discussion came to the conclusion that gender-neutral restrooms are the best middle ground to avoid gender discrimination and address concerns of assault in the bathroom.

Christian Morales identifies as transgender and is the former social justice educator lead at the LGBT Queer Resource Center at CSUF. When Morales was first transitioning he experienced harassment in a gender specific restroom when a person called security because they perceived Morales was in the wrong restroom. “Sometimes individuals experience that level of intimidation just for being in a space.”

“In the center, I see a lot of new faces, different people asking questions and it’s beautiful. However, I feel like the connection of information would flow a lot better if we had more faculty and staff who were also aware of the specific issues in our community,” Morales said.

For more LGBTQ content, inlcuding a profile of CSUF activitist Liz Sanchez, check out w TUSK MAGAZINE



motherhood Four writers explore a mother’s influence





A Race Against Time

When is was 10, my mom

The moment I realized my mom was dying was during our annual road trip to visit my dad’s family in Iowa. We were in a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, passing through two peaks of impossible heights. My eyelids were heavy, the rattling of my mom’s oxygen tanks in the back of our SUV lulling me to sleep. The breathless air, the dull altitude-induced headache, and that incessant clink. It’s all too familiar. My eyes slid shut for what seemed like two seconds and when they opened, familiarity had flown out of my hands. The noise of my mom’s oxygen

was given

a timeline.

My mom has emphysema, a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease involving damage to the air sacs in the lungs. Doctors aren’t sure how her lungs came to be damaged. To me, it simply means my mom can’t breathe. Her body needs more oxygen than her lungs can absorb. It means she can’t walk with me through museums without an oxygen tank or wheelchair.

tanks was drowned out by the hiss of escaping air. I instinctively squeezed her oxygen tube onto the port to help regulate the air. My shaking fingers kept pressing, but the tube wouldn’t seal and oxygen was quickly escaping from the tank.

It means for every cold she gets, I pray it won’t be her last. It means she might not see me get married or hold my children because the doctors gave her a set number of years — she’s only supposed to have two left.

Finally, the hissing stopped — the tank was empty.

I became aware of that detail when I was 20, but I already knew. The hissing tank in the Rockies told me everything. Still, as her confession slipped from her mouth, it landed like an atomic bomb. She tried to play it off like a joke, taunting me about how I’d better hurry up to get married.

From the driver’s seat, my dad yelled out orders. But the ringing in my ears made his voice inaudible. After swapping the tanks, I eventually found a position that would let air through the tube and into my mom’s weak lungs.

As she talked about her visit with the doctors, anger pumped through my veins.

She said her head hurt. Mine did too.

I was mad she was sick. I was mad she was joking about being sick. I was mad that I never took her illness seriously. Each time she has a headache, I ask her to use the odometer, which lets us know how much oxygen is in her blood. A healthy person has a reading close to 100 and anything below 90 is considered dangerous.

STORY AND DESIGN BY Hannah Miller 26

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Being a mom is what she does best: cooking, baking, cleaning and loving until she falls apart. The cold, sterile air of hospitals and even colder stare of nervous patients are normal to me. I’ve spent a lot of time as a child trailing after my mom and dad to her appointments.

response telling her it wasn’t really the same situation. I wasn’t sure how to help her. The look on her face told me I was in denial but I wouldn’t realize that for a few years.

I still know the best hiding spots for hide-and-seek in the courtyard outside of the old waiting room. As often as I’ve seen doctors prick her with needles, scan her and all-but-dissect her, there’s only been a handful of times when I realized something was wrong. The first was when I noticed that my friends’ moms didn’t have handicap placards hanging from their cars. When they’d ask me why my mom had one, all I could give was a shrug. After my brother joined the Army, I was the only child left at home. My parents started to let details slip about her condition. I learned that if my dad had not forced her to go to the hospital when I was 10, instead of my dance recital, she could have died. Her oxygen levels had dropped below 70. Knowing this hurt, but everything about her condition used to feel far away like a dream I struggled to remember, twirling in the back of my brain.

If she asked me that question now, my answer would be simple:

you don’t.

When I was 16, my best friend’s mom was diagnosed with cancer.

When she’s resting, her levels stay around 91.

“How do you deal with having a sick mom?” my friend asked.

But she rarely rests.

I didn’t know. I stumbled through my w TUSK MAGAZINE



I remember scouting apartments. I was in that uncomfortable low to middle-income status where my income was considered too high to receive any financial help from the government and too low to qualify for a rental apartment. I drove in circles around several cities for hours. Sophia, my daughter, was mostly well-behaved but after a few hours of sitting in a car seat she soon became fed up, letting out giant cries and adding anxiety to my exhaustion. She was a year old. I was so tired of searching, putting in applications and pretending to think I could actually rent an apartment on my own. Then I came across the one. The apartment was in Pico Rivera in


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I pictured different scenarios in which she would ask me why she had no father.

East Los Angeles. It was in a gated apartment complex with tight parking spaces and two laundromats in the back. The apartments were small, but neighbors still piled into them with their large families. When Sophia and I moved in, we had nothing. Before she was born, I had moved from place to place with not much more than a duffle bag. That left us with no bed, no furniture, no pots or pans and no refrigerator. None of that mattered though. As I saw my daughter run around the living room of the apartment,

I was happy.

We had nothing, nothing money could buy — but we had everything. Some nights, after I put my daughter to bed, I would stay up and watch movies on my laptop. But it was hard to concentrate on what I was watching. I felt like my life had been caught in a whirlwind with no anchor in sight to latch onto. I felt abandoned by friends, resentful of some and ostracized by others. I was 20 years old when I gave birth to Sophia. w TUSK MAGAZINE


With only a year or so left of community college and no set direction toward a career, I was told my life would be over. Sophia’s biological father agreed.

Sometimes I was overwhelmed and felt life was unfair. Other times I couldn’t stop holding onto a grudge. But most of the time I had no idea what I was doing.

A tug-of-war unfolded between his plea of abortion and my assertive decision to keep my baby. He felt his life would be over. I decided we didn’t need him and he decided to exit stage left.

When you’re a young mother raising a child on your own, you never really know how you’re going to do it, yet somehow it gets done.

That left me in a cold apartment with the weight of the world on my shoulders. Caring for this child that I was blessed with was not a job or a burden — it was beautiful. It was a gift to become a mother. The only pain I had came from knowing she would one day suffer. There was something in her life that I couldn’t protect her from. I spent nights sobbing to myself, picturing different scenarios in which she would ask me why she had no father. All the scenarios ended with her tiny finger pointing at me. It’s all my fault. If only I was more responsible. If only I had better judgement. If only I wasn’t such a stupid, reckless kid. It’s all my fault. I dreaded the day she asked me why. My emotions were tumultuous.


Losing a parent STORY BY Daniel Coats DESIGN BY Hannah Miller

My beloved mother passed away less than a week after I started my graduate program.

Sophia continues to grow, feeding me the same light that is needed to grow a garden. She shines in everything she does. At age five, she has an intellectual soul, a thoughtful mind and is full of questions and sassy remarks. She criticizes the time I spend at work, the time I spend in school and the time I spend writing stories. Yet she mimics my passion for education, as she herself is an outstanding student who is endlessly inquisitive. She is wise beyond her years, but I still haven’t answered the question. I don’t have the answer. What I know is that I am not perfect and I never will be. I will never have the solution to every problem and I can’t force a human to do what they refuse. I am not the perfect mother, nor am I the perfect student, but I can put forward energy to grow — as a mother, as a student, as a writer and as a human being.

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Her death was not entirely surprising – she had battled health problems for several years. It was still a watershed event in my life. My mother had been my primary role model and influence. College students expect to be exploring the world and discovering themselves, not coping with the death of a parent. But such a loss is not that uncommon.

I was 20 years old when I gave birth to Sophia.

According to a study published in the journal New Directions for Student Services, between 22% and 30% of undergraduates are within the first year of grieving the death of a loved one. Here are three tips for coping when the inevitable occurs.

Accept your reaction to loss We grieve differently. I rarely cried after my mother’s death and the impact didn’t hit me for weeks. If you want to cry, let it out. But don’t blame yourself if that’s not how you react.

Get engaged in activities You certainly don’t want to forget your parent, but try to return to a normal routine. It can help you get back on your feet and restore some much-needed normalcy in your life.

Set reasonable goals Think about how you can make a positive contribution to society. Volunteer, get involved in a cause you believe in, become a mentor or set your mind on achieving your greatest dreams. w TUSK MAGAZINE


behind closed doors Like most teenagers, I was hormonal and moody, but a family history of mental illness left me hiding in my room.

I kept my bedroom door locked. I spent hours studying the bumps and cracks in my ceiling. I was either sleeping too much or not at all. I was depressed. The symptoms started when I was 16 years old, but I was 21 years old when I met my therapist, Seraphina. When I talked to her at my first session she couldn’t even tell me what was wrong. Seraphina said I was pretty average, which left my depression hard to explain. Then I heard myself uttering the words. The words I had kept a secret. The words I felt like I wasn’t allowed to say. “My mom’s a hoarder.” At that point, everything began to click. Hoarding is classified as a possible symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It’s a form of anxiety that causes people to accumulate an excessive amount of objects, leading to large amounts of clutter around the house that can cause a disruption in day-to-day living. Although it’s uncertain where hoarding stems from, it’s usually genetic. My great-grandmother was a hoarder. It can also be triggered or worsened by traumatic experiences, like my parents’ divorce. I’m not really sure what compels my mom to hoard, but I have a theory. STORY BY Treva Flores PHOTO BY Judi Cahill DESIGN BY Tracy Hoang


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It’s similar to that feeling you get when you go to Target and you want to put the entire store in your cart. Except she really will buy the whole store. She’ll take the free flyers and shove all of the coupons into her wallet. While being rung up at the checkout, there’s this sense of control that emerges. It’s her money, her stuff and her life — the only things she can control in an otherwise uncontrollable world.

ily members or friends that are just like my mom, and they kept it a secret just like I did.

It sounds empowering, but this feeling also causes her to keep possession of items for unnecessary periods of time. Something as simple as a Styrofoam cup is turned into a pot for her plants, or a spoon she received on her birthday is kept as a reminder of a fun day.

Maybe it’s out of the fear of being judged. The same fear I once felt as a teenager when someone tried to look through the windows of my house.

Everything is important to her. Which left me, a hypersensitive 16-year-old girl, feeling kind of unimportant. It was as if there was a literal and figurative wall between my mom and I — a wall of physical and symbolic things that I couldn’t tear down. Because random objects were given value and couldn’t be thrown away, my mom would tell me to donate the clothes I had outgrown. But the clothes often ended up in a trash bag stuffed in her closet, where it would eventually move to the corner of her bedroom and then the living room. The pile never disappeared, it just grew. I was living in a physical manifestation of my mom’s anxiety. On top of school, a social life and other activities, I became overwhelmed.

One in 20 people may have a hoarding problem, according to a 2009 study by the International OCD Foundation. So why are we afraid to talk about it?

Or because there’s hardly been any research about hoarding prior to the 1990s. Perhaps it’s because hoarders themselves tend to be secretive and what is hidden behind closed doors isn’t anyone else’s business anyway. The answers are limitless. What I do know is that there needs to be more of a discussion about hoarding, especially when so many people show symptoms of it. After I opened up to my friends and family, I was finally able to unlock my bedroom door and let in the people I had once shut out. From then on, I knew I wasn’t alone.

I couldn’t have friends over because I was afraid of what they might say when they saw my house. I felt obligated to keep my family’s secret when people asked why they couldn’t come in. “We hide dead bodies in the bathroom!” I joked to my friends. I would say anything to change the subject. On a date with my first boyfriend, he asked if he could walk me to my front door. I used my body as a shield to block the windows as we walked by my house. When I finally told him the truth, I felt awkward; he soon told his mom, who owned a thrift store my mom frequented. “I feel so guilty letting her shop here,” she said to me after by mom stopped by her store. “I feel like I’m enabling her.” I tried to laugh it off. “If she doesn’t shop here she’ll just go somewhere else. At least here she gets a discount,” I said. I felt even more like an outsider. I was paranoid that people knew about my mom’s OCD, and I developed my own unhealthy coping mechanism — isolation. It wasn’t until I started to open up to others that I finally felt OK. Since then, I have found that many people in my life have fam- w TUSK MAGAZINE


CSUF photographer Matt Gush shoots for clarity

STORY BY David Marshel PHOTOS COURTESY OF Matt Gush & Aaron Perseke

Do not compromise “what you’re passionate about.

finding focus


young boy and his father stand atop a parking structure in downtown Los Angeles. The day turns from azure to a deep lavender while fiery clouds and a sinking sun begin to redden the sky. Electric lights dot the skyline as the last of daylight retreats behind towering skyscrapers. There is a subtle “click.” The boy has just taken his first photograph with a digital camera. A day before, young Matt Gush thought he wanted to be a painter. “That kick-started my love affair,” he said. “That one photo on that one parking structure, on that one night, I realized the power of photography.” Now at 29 years old, Gush is the university photographer at Cal State Fullerton. He is also an alumnus who earned a bachelors of fine arts in photography and a minor in anthropology. Evolving from an undergraduate to a professional photographer was an eight-year journey that transformed him into a highly skilled visual artist. All because of that one night.

“There is a huge spectrum of life on campus in people doing things,” Gush said. “It’s really profound. I get to interface with all of them, showcase what they do and tell that story to the world at large.”

During his time as a student at CSUF, Gush landed a gig through a friend of his who knew someone in need of professional headshots. The subject was Jeffrey Cook, associate vice president for Strategic Communications at CSUF. To Gush they were just simple headshots, but by taking it seriously he offered up his best work.

As the sole university photographer, he needs to make connections with subjects quickly. His minor in anthropology brought forth his intuitive understanding of people, a valuable component his friends and family already knew he possessed.

It turned out to be the entry point into his career. “The evocative power of photography is his life and I was very impressed with what I saw,” Cook said. “I encouraged him to apply for the student assistant position. Ultimately, he was hired.” Gush worked his student job for two years and when he graduated, the timing couldn’t have been better. The university was merging the public affairs department into a new strategic communications division and they needed a full-time photographer. Gush applied for the position despite fierce competition with well-established professionals. His work stood out because he understood the unique essence of the CSUF community.


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“I like to think of Matt as a chameleon when it comes to people because he has an ability to fit into any social setting,” said long-time friend, Aaron Perseke. “Matt genuinely cares for people and I think that shows in every photograph he takes.” Gush’s family thought earning a living with a fine arts degree was merely a pipe dream. His father was supportive of college but on the fence about a career in fine arts. Family expectations drove Gush to spend years chasing symbols of success, like driving a nice car or buying a house. Putting so much emphasis into his career made Gush realize he was neglecting himself. “I was looking for these validations that I had made it as an artist. That was dangerous in a way, because the type of gigs I was pursuing was just for the money and not the love,” he said.

Then he discovered international travel. By both traveling abroad and doing photography work he was passionate about Gush validated his career to himself and developed a deep understanding of his own place in the world. “That was a turning point. I realized that I can chase money until the cows come home, but for what? It’s time for me to do work that I care about,” Gush said. Compiling a decades worth of content, Gush launched his website, “The Human Experience” in March 2017. With a unique approach to photojournalism, his work, captured from the 6th Street Bridge in Los Angeles to Belize, illustrates single moments as smaller components of time. As his new project continues to grow, so will Gush. Looking forward, he can see himself on assignments around the world or by helping academic researchers document their discoveries. From that one night atop a parking structure to now, he offers this nugget of wisdom to photography students: “Do not compromise what you’re passionate about,” he says. “Wherever you direct your life, is where it will go.” w TUSK MAGAZINE



It was 1967. Women walked the campus in bobbed haircuts and slacks while men sported paisley shirts and shaggy hair. The Beach Boys, The Beatles and Elvis Presley were among the many musicians played on radios and record players. College students spent weekends at farmer’s markets, jammed to groovy music and enjoyed the beautiful Southern California sunshine at nearby beaches. California State College, Fullerton was the latest rename of a decade-old institution originally known as Orange County State College. William Langsdorf still served as the school’s first president. Some students lived in the dorms on Nutwood Avenue, where Hope International University arrived in 1973. California State University Fullerton sociology alumna Jill Rodriguez, who attended CSUF in the

late 60s, lived in the dorms. Four people belonged to one dorm room and a close-knit community formed in housing. Bonds were, and still are, strong. “I still see several of the people from the dorms frequently,” said Rodriguez, now the administrative analyst for the College Health and Human Development. “We were a very small group of students and that is probably why we made lasting friendships.” Student commuters came from near and far to attend classes. The 57 Freeway was constructed between 1967 and 1969, connecting CSUF to LA and the Inland Empire. Another similarity between the 1960s CSUF and today’s university: students had to fight for parking spots each day. While enrollment was much lower than it is now, there were no parking structures so finding a place to park could still be a struggle.

STORY BY Emeline Beltran PHOTOS COURTESY OF the Pollak Library DESIGN BY Megan Maxey 36



“Hippies were everywhere on campus...” - Mark Weyant

Mark Weyant: A Student and Active-Duty Service Member

Among those students with vibrant button-ups and long hair was Mark Weyant. After earning an associate’s degree from Riverside Community College, he transferred to Cal State Fullerton in 1969. In the days before online class schedules, students like Weyant registered for classes by taking a card to the department offices and asking chairs to sign off for courses. On registration days assigned by grade level, students went to the performing arts building and presented the completed cards to the table appropriate for their major. Then, counselors punched the


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cards to show whether the classes were open or full. While today’s students count the hours until their registration appointments, students in the 60s counted how many hours they waited in line to present their cards. In 1969, Weyant’s education was interrupted when he was drafted into the military and spent two years serving in Vietnam. If he were a student today, Weyant would receive priority registration because he served in the military. He would also have access to mentoring, scholarships, counsel-

ing and professional development through the university’s Veterans Resource Center, but the situation then was quite different.

veterans who had served in World War II with financial compensation for tuition and housing.

“I received no priority registration or preferential treatment because of my military status,” Weyant said about his return, “I just re-joined the ranks of students.”

When Weyant returned from the service in 1971, he was married and had a child. He was eligible for GI benefits, but the computerization was less than sophisticated and Veterans Affairs lost his records.

The only form of financial aid any veterans of the 1960s received was the GI Bill, known today as the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act or the “Forever GI Bill.” Provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the program was created in 1944 to support

“Being a full-time student would’ve drained my savings,” Weyant said. “I had to choose between being a student or finding a fulltime job to support my family. Supporting my family was more prominent, which is why I never received my diploma.” w TUSK MAGAZINE


ON SHAKY GROUND Polarizing Times In the midst of the controversial Vietnam War, military service was a hot-button issue on campus. University buildings were vandalized and crowded with butcher-paper posters reading “Make Peace, Not War.” Students and professors alike actively protested both in classrooms and on campus grounds. The Daily Titan reported the student’s wild reactions as “the largest scale demonstrations in Cal State Fullerton’s history.” Because he was in the Army, Weyant found himself in opposition to many of his fellow classmates. He remembered classes that “trashed” the war. English professors discussed prior European colonialism and compared it to current events. Not hesitating to make their liberal viewpoints known in class, professors encouraged students to take a stand. “Students on strike and not attending class weren’t penalized, as they weren’t supposed to be,” Rodriguez said. “Instead, faculty offered alternative classes so relevant issues could be discussed and learning would continue.”


Rodriguez remembered on-campus buildings, such as the Little Theatre, being crowded for weeks with protesters who were living there 24/7. In opposition to the war, movements such as flower power, which began in San Francisco in 1967, and free love were the rage on campus. To promote peace, students made flower crowns, dressed in floral clothing and exchanged flowers with each other. The implied opposition turned into a new “hippy” trend. “Hippies were everywhere on campus and around the streets outside of campus,” Weyant remembered. “The Vietnam War was all over the news at the time so there were strong stances taken among the school.” For Weyant, remaining a passive onlooker was not really an option. “The Vietnam War era was decisive and polarizing, forcing a person to take a stand one way or the other,” Weyant said. “They were difficult times, but it built my character.”

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Notable CSUF Alumni of the ‘60s Peggy Hammer ’66, ’70 (speech comm. and M.S. in education-reading) was an elementary school teacher for 25 years. She organized the first Reading is Fundamental program in California, a leading voice for children’s literacy in the Golden State. Hammer passed away in 2016.

Dan Black ’67 (physics) would later start two companies, Trace Analysis Labs and American Medical Nutrition Inc. He is now a major donor and support scholarships for natural science majors. Dan Black Hall is named in his honor. Steven G. Mihaylo ’69 (business administration) founded Inter-Tel Inc., which became a major business phone and commercial software provider. Today, he is the CEO of Crexendo Inc., which facilitates cloud communications for businesses. Mihaylo gave the largest donation in CSUF history to the university’s business college, which was named in his honor.

Cal State Fullerton students and faculty are on the cutting-edge of preparing for seismic hazards in Southern California and globally. It was two hours before sunrise on a chilly Monday morning in January. In honor of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, most Southern Californians were taking advantage of the opportunity to sleep in. But at 4:31 a.m., a tremendous jolt rattled the peaceful morning. The year was 1994 and the Los Angeles area had experienced the Northridge quake. For 10 seconds, the ground shaking was some of the strongest recorded anywhere in the world. Freeways collapsed, every structure on the Cal State Northridge campus was damaged, and multistory apartment buildings and shopping malls fell in on themselves. Property damage was estimated at $50 billion (adjusted for inflation) and more than 8,700 people were injured. Seventy-two people lost their lives, and some of those deaths were caused by heart attacks. For many college students today, the Northridge quake is just a historical anecdote they might hear from their parents, grandparents or teachers. Many students weren’t even born when the monster quake rattled the Southland. So why does a disaster a quarter-century ago impact us today?


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Waiting for “The Big One”

HOW TO STAY SAFE IN AN EARTHQUAKE w Practice “drop, cover and hold on” to minimize the risk of injuries during a quake. Get under something sturdy and protect your head and torso. w Natural gas leaks often cause fires and explosions after quakes. If you smell gas after an earthquake, immediately leave the building. w If you are outside during a quake, try to get away from power lines, trees and the facades of buildings. Pull over to the side of the road if you are in a car during an earthquake. Avoid bridges after a quake, as they might be damaged. w Be prepared for aftershocks for days, weeks or even months after a major quake. w w In coastal areas, tsunamis can follow major earthquakes. Be sure to follow the direction of authorities and evacuate if told to do so. If you see the shoreline disappear after a quake, get away from the water immediately, as this is a sign that the massive waves of a tsunami are on their way.


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Since the Northridge quake, Southern California has gone an unusually long period without any major earthquakes. Sure, there have been occasional jolts that have rattled nerves, but the region has been spared anything truly damaging. There is a 99.7 percent chance of an earthquake at least as strong as the Northridge quake striking the area by 2037. The probability of a magnitude of an 8.0 or higher quake striking in the next three decades is 7 percent, according to the United States

Geological Survey (USGS). For generations, Southern Californians have feared the “Big One,” stereotypically assumed to be a massive quake on the San Andreas Fault that could spread damage for hundreds of miles on a trajectory from Palm Springs to Central California. But recent geologic research has broadened the understanding of the hazard, revealing that smaller, but potentially more damaging quakes, could be centered directly under

major Southland areas, such as Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego. While California has enjoyed a short-lived seismic reprieve over the past decades, there has been no letup in earthquake devastation globally. Nearly one million people have died in earthquakes since the start of the new millennium, according to the USGS.

Toward a safer future While major earthquakes can not be predicted, improved engineering methods are being explored in Southern California, and other seismically-active regions around the world, to minimize damage and loss of life. Kristijan Kolozvari, Cal State Fullerton assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, and his students are seeking to

better understand how high-rise buildings, like those in Downtown Los Angeles, can be best designed with the threat of earthquakes in mind.

were to be closed after a major quake, even if only for loss of utilities, and we hope to better understand and provide guidance on how to minimize losses.”

“We are trying to assess what the damage would be and how long it would take to repair,” Kolozvari said. “We are noting that it would be very disruptive if office buildings

Earthquakes aren’t created equal When news of a major earthquake breaks, people have a preconceived notion of how bad the damage will be based on the magnitude numbers, which are compared to previous earthquakes. While strength is a key factor, Kolozvari notes that it is not the only thing used to determine the impact of an earthquake. “The effect of an earthquake on a city depends on the population of the area, the state of the local infrastructure, the type of

soil in the area and the directivity effect,” Kolozvari said. The directivity effect refers to the behavior of fault movements in which quakes start in a certain location and then move in various directions along the fault plane. If the fault movement is headed toward an area, the shaking will be much worse than if it is headed away from it, Kolozvari said. There is also variation in how buildings respond to quakes. High rises sway more.

A person on the upper floors of a tall building might feel longer shaking than those at ground level, but his doesn’t mean that the building itself is in jeopardy. Kolozvari is working towards a day in which each building’s behavior during an earthquake will be known. “We are trying to develop new, improved computer models to predict how buildings will behave during an earthquake,” he said. w TUSK MAGAZINE



what is success? Being in charge of a $19 million corporation might sound like the pinnacle of a successful business career, but during the 2017-2018 academic year, business administration major Laila Dadabhoy had that responsibility. In March 2017, the 21-year-old was the first Muslim woman to be elected the CSUF Associated Students Inc. student body president. We know her face, her name and her goals, but what about the woman behind the title? STORY BY Lauren Hofer PHOTO BY Jenna Ross DESIGN BY Tracy Hoang

Here are the people who inspire her, the things she enjoys and the Hogwarts house she would be sorted in.

Instructor, Human Communication Studies and director of debate

Board of Directors Chair, Associated Students Inc. On a daily level, success means growing and improving a little bit each day, but also doing things that make you go out of your comfort zone. It means setting and aiming for short term and long term goals. It doesn’t matter so much if you achieve those goals but that you set them to guide your life in the direction you want to go.

As people set out on paths to ‘be successful,’ they look around them for signifiers of success. Status, material items and attention end up at the foundation of why people do what they do. They forget to define success on their own terms and be content with what they have achieved.

Jordan Poblete

B.A. 2014, Alumni Association Board of Directors and publisher of Disney Examiner

Identifying your calling, applying yourself fully and trying to make the world better through that calling. Everybody has their own unique talents and gifts. I think if people rely more on that, that’s success in itself.

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B.A. 2003, designer and owner of Found Vintage Rentals

Success means feeling completely proud of what you are doing. I feel so passionate and excited about my career, and that makes me feel happy and successful in every way. As a mom of two teenagers, I want them to grow up knowing that when you love something and are able to make a career out of it, then success is a given.

Fram Virjee

CSUF Interim President

Success is the result of collaborative experiences that enlighten our community, immersive educational practices that illuminate pathways to academic success and co-curricular activities that prepare students for participation in a global society.

Jeni Maus

STORY BY Priscilla Carcido PHOTO COURTESY OF Laila Dadabhoy DESIGN BY Tracy Hoang

LaToya Green

Nicholas Jakel

Presidential Material

We asked different people in the CSUF community what this sometimes-elusive word means to them.

Laila Dadabhoy:

What is your hype song? My hype song? Maybe “Buzzin’” by Mann. Who inspires you? I’m particularly a fan of Emma Watson and Natalie Portman. I think they’re both understated, accomplished individuals who are constantly doing their best to better themselves and the world around us. What is your favorite movie? Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. If money were no object, what would be your dream job? A wildlife photographer and columnist for National Geographic. What is a quote you like to live by? I try to remember the quote from The Sandlot ‘good things happen to good people’ during any particularly difficult situations. We know you’re a Harry Potter fan—what Hogwarts House would you be sorted into? I belong to either Slytherin or Ravenclaw, but it depends who you ask! I think it would be Ravenclaw because they tend to express a kind of creative intelligence that is not limited to academia. As for Slytherin, I think it is more attached to the loyalty they have to one another. w TUSK MAGAZINE



Fake it ti ll you Make it

Sweaty palms and a pounding heart. First impressions, especially with important people, are nerve-racking. Whether it’s a job interview or first date, body language and word choice can determine how a person perceives you within the first minute of your interaction. And that first impression may determine whether you get the job or a second date. No pressure, right? Let’s say you, like most people, aren’t overflowing with self esteem. In which case, there’s a solution: fake it till you make it. Here are three tips for exuding confidence, even when you’re not feeling it.

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Avoid caffeine One mistake people make is over caffeinating themselves to ease nerves and appear energetic. Not only do they increase the likelihood of anxiety, but caffeinated drinks can cause stuttering and fidgeting, exaggerating signs of nervousness.

Make eye contact Nonverbal language reveals a lot about confidence, including shifting or downcast eyes. Initiating and keeping eye contact a confident and interested appearance. Practice eye contact and handshaking with friends before job interviews or first dates.

Stand up straight The key to feeling confident is standing like someone who is confident. Take a power stance—start by standing straight up with shoulders rolled back. These stances simulate the feelings of confidence and power and help reduce nerves. w TUSK MAGAZINE


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Models Priscilla Carcido Arianna Chow Zack Johnston Glaiza Julian Nicci Justice Calvin Magat Diane Ortiz Sophia Ortiz Holly Poon Vanessa Renee Chelsea Reynolds Jenna Ross José Santana Cara Elise Taylor

Photo Gabe Gandara Assistant

Funding Associated Students Incorporated, Instructionally Related Activities Fund

California State University, Ful- lerton Dept. of Communications


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Join the Tusk team. We’re always looking for skilled writers, editors, designers, photographers, web producers, multimedia editors and event planners. Two COMM courses are responsible for creating Tusk. Students gain valuable experience working in niche publishing while producing evergreen stories without hard news pegs. If you join Tusk, you can expect to develop a professional portfolio that will help you land a job in the magazine industry or beyond. Participating in Tusk requires advisor approval. Please e-mail Dr. Chelsea Reynolds at for an application. Advanced Magazine Article Writing: COMM 437 (fall) Learn how to create engaging editorial content for magazines. From best-of-lists and reviews, to features and profiles, you’ll cultivate writing skills and flex your creativity as you learn about the magazine industry and report on the CSUF community. Magazine Editing and Production: COMM 434 (spring) Gain valuable hands-on experience in this magazine production course. Whether you are a designer, photographer, videographer, editor or even an event planner, we have a place for you in producing our web content and annual print magazine. w TUSK MAGAZINE



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Tusk Magazine 2018  
Tusk Magazine 2018