Incarcerated students earn Cal State LA degrees at first-of-its-kind commencement in a California state prison
On a prison yard 70 miles away from Cal State LA’s campus, the university celebrated its newest graduates. Twenty-five incarcerated men received bachelor’s degrees during a commencement ceremony at California State Prison, Los Angeles County in October, marking the culmination of a unique and powerful journey. Read about Cal State LA’s transformative prison education program.
Engagement, Service, and the Public Good
Cal State LA to host free community health fair, flu shot clinic
Cal State LA is hosting a community health fair on Friday, Oct. 29, from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., offering free flu shots, boxes of food, and first, second, and booster doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The health fair will take place on the bottom level of Parking Structure A. Free parking will be available in Lot 2. Cal State LA, QueensCare Health Centers, and Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis are hosting the health fair. QueensCare staff will administer the vaccines. Remember to bring a document or ID that includes your first and last name. The vaccine and flu shot are free regardless of your health insurance status or your immigration status. No questions will be asked about immigration status. Find more information and sign up for flu and COVID-19 vaccine appointments on the We Are Healthy LA website.
California Forensic Science Institute at Cal State LA, Loyola Project for the Innocent help free wrongly convicted man
Dwight Jones was wrongly convicted at age 19 and released from prison 21 years later based on DNA evidence and new eyewitness testimony. DNA testing in his case was funded by a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) grant awarded to the California Forensic Science Institute in Cal State LA’s Rongxiang Xu College of Health and Human Services and Loyola Law School’s Loyola Project for the Innocent. Katherine Roberts, a criminalistics professor at Cal State LA, serves as the principal investigator (PI) on the grant for post-conviction testing of DNA evidence, which is funded by the DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Assistance.
Cal State LA, AltaMed offer on-campus COVID-19 vaccination clinics
Cal State LA teamed up with AltaMed to offer on-campus COVID-19 vaccination clinics throughout the fall semester. The seven on-campus clinics were part of Cal State LA’s effort to help students, faculty, and staff comply with the California State University’s vaccination requirement and to promote vaccination as a means to protect the health and safety of the university and wider community.
Cal State LA continues to climb in national university rankings
Cal State LA has once again been recognized as among the top universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and Washington Monthly. Cal State LA ranks 23rd among all private and public regional universities in the western United States, rising three spots from the previous year, according to the 2022 U.S. News & World Report rankings. Washington Monthly’s 2021 College Guide and Rankings listed Cal State LA at number five in the “Best Master’s Universities” category, moving up five spots from last year. In the “Best Bang for the Buck” category, Cal State LA continues to be ranked number three in the West. Read more about the U.S. News & World Report rankings and the Washington Monthly rankings.
Cal State LA distributes iPads to first-year, transfer students
Cal State LA has distributed more than 2,100 iPad bundles to new first-year and transfer students to support their academic success as part of the university’s participation in CSUCCESS. Also known as California State University Connectivity Contributing to Equity and Student Success, CSUCCESS aims to close the digital divide and equip eligible students with mobile tools to support their learning and educational needs until graduation. Cal State LA is one of eight CSU campuses to participate in the first phase of the initiative, which was launched by the CSU Office of the Chancellor this fall. As part of CSUCCESS, the students received an iPad Air, Apple Pencil, and Apple Smart Keyboard folio. Cal State LA also continued its support of students through the university’s existing laptop and Wi-Fi hotspot loan program, distributing more than 1,700 laptops and 3,200 hotspots so far this semester.
Cal State LA receives College Futures Foundation grant to increase transfer student success in STEM fields
Cal State LA has been awarded a $300,000 grant from the College Futures Foundation (CFF) to create new baccalaureate pathways aimed at increasing transfer student success in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. The grant will establish the Successful Transfer and Retention (STAR) program at Cal State LA, which supports CFF’s work to ensure that more students who reflect California’s diversity will complete a bachelor’s degree. The STAR program will focus on the development and implementation of new pathways to bachelor’s degree programs in the university’s College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology by collaborating with local community colleges. Read more about the STEM grant.
Cal State LA nursing major receives CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement
First-generation college student Alexandra Martin aspires to help make health care accessible to people in underserved communities. “I want to pursue a career that can help people and where I can give back to the community,” said Martin, a nursing major in Cal State LA’s Rongxiang Xu College of Health and Human Services. Martin is one of 23 students statewide to receive the 2021 CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement. The award recognizes superior academic performance, exemplary community service, and significant personal accomplishment. As part of the award, Martin receives $6,000 and is named a Stauffer Foundation Scholar. Read more about the CSU Trustees’ Award recipient.
Cal State LA, USC receive grant to digitize visual record of Mesoamerican and Spanish colonial history
Cal State LA and USC have been awarded a nearly $500,000 grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources to digitize Mesoamerican and Spanish colonial materials. Through the three-year Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant, Cal State LA and USC will receive support for the digitization of cultural artifacts, rare books, and photography collections from their libraries. The project aims to preserve a diverse and visually compelling record of Mesoamerican and Spanish colonial cultures and many facets of the region’s complex history. “The work to digitize and preserve our unique and distinctive collections has been a strategic priority for the University Library and we are excited and honored to have been selected to receive the Council on Library and Information Resource’s Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives award,” said Carlos Rodriguez, dean of the University Library at Cal State LA. Read more about the library grant.
Cal State LA receives grant to support adult learners of color access higher education
Cal State LA has received a grant from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU) to support a university-community partnership aimed at leveraging the assets of Black, Latino, and Indigenous adult learners. Through the $55,000 APLU grant, Cal State LA seeks to identify and address barriers facing adult students of color to help guide them through the higher education process. Read more about the APLU grant.
Cal State LA honors outstanding faculty
Seven Cal State LA faculty members were recognized for excellence in teaching and outstanding achievements during University Convocation 2021, including four Outstanding Professor Award recipients, an Outstanding Lecturer Award recipient, and two President’s Distinguished Professor Award recipients. The honorees were faculty members Choi Chatterjee, John M. Kennedy, Krishna Foster, Simona Montanari, Katherine Roberts, Walter Zelman, and Nikola R. Alenkin. Read more about the outstanding faculty.
Everytable opens second location at Cal State LA
Two years after opening its first university location at Cal State LA, Everytable has opened a second store on campus. The grab-and-go restaurant’s mission is to make nutritious, fresh food affordable and accessible to all. The sleek new location in Salazar Hall offers another option for students, faculty, staff, and community members to enjoy the same high quality meals, snacks, and beverages that are offered in the University Library restaurant. Everytable seeks to enable all communities to have access to quality food and help eliminate food injustice by basing its menu prices on the incomes of residents in the neighborhoods of each store.
Cal State LA to host annual meeting of Southern California Consortium of Hispanic Serving Institutions
Cal State LA is serving as the host university for the virtual annual meeting of the Southern California Consortium of Hispanic Serving Institutions (SCCHSI) on Nov. 19. The fall meeting and special topics town hall, “Beyond Words: Advancing Equity and Justice in HSIs,” will feature speakers, policy updates, college leaders, and panels. The event is sponsored by the Chicanx Latinx University Association at Cal State LA, Latino Education & Advocacy Days at Cal State San Bernardino, and SCCHSI. The event is not restricted to SCCHSI members—all are welcome to register online and attend.
Cal State LA ranks among the top universities for awarding degrees to Hispanic students
Cal State LA was ranked as the sixth top college or university in the nation for awarding the most bachelor’s degrees to Hispanic/Latinx students, according to Hispanic Outlook on Education magazine. The university was also recognized among the top universities for total enrollment of Hispanic/Latinx students, master’s degrees granted, and for specific degrees, including business, ethnic studies, communications, education, criminal justice, kinesiology, and social sciences.
Cal State LA awarded Amgen Foundation grant to boost careers in bioentrepreneurship
Cal State LA has received a $100,000 grant from the Amgen Foundation to establish the community education component of the Cal State LA BioSpace incubator, which is leading the university’s efforts to promote a thriving bioscience ecosystem in the heart of Los Angeles. Cal State LA BioSpace will partner with the California Community Colleges Statewide Offices of Life Sciences/Biotech and Business & Entrepreneurship, in order to educate and inspire women and ethnically diverse community college students to pursue leadership careers in biotechnology through bioentrepreneurship. “The goal is to give students insight into the biotechnology industry as well as to provide them with the necessary tools to create innovative business plans and launch early-stage startups,” said Howard Xu, director of incubator development and programming and professor of microbiology at Cal State LA. Read more about the Amgen Foundation grant.
Provost, Executive Vice President to serve as president of the Western Justice Center Board of Directors
Cal State LA Provost and Executive Vice President Jose A. Gomez has been elected president of the Western Justice Center Board of Directors. The Western Justice Center is a Los Angeles nonprofit that empowers people to strengthen their communities by growing the conflict resolution skills and capacity of youth, educators, schools, and community partners. Gomez, who has served on the center’s board since 2010, will begin his two-year term as president at the start of 2022.
Cal State LA student awarded scholarship from the California Latino Legislative Caucus Foundation
Photo: Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo, Christina Iglesias’ mother, Christina Iglesias, and Professors James Brady and Melanie Saldaña.
Cal State LA student Christina Iglesias was one of 51 students statewide to receive a scholarship from the California Latino Legislative Caucus Foundation (CLLCF). In its seventh year, the CLLCF Scholarship Program received 762 applications and awarded $5,000 to each recipient. “Congratulations to this top-notch group of students throughout California for being this year’s scholarship recipients,” said Latino Caucus Chair and California State Senator Mariá Elena Durazo. “This group represents the next generation of Latino and Latina leaders in California, and we are proud to be investing in their education.” Iglesias, an anthropology major, was recognized by Cal State LA alumna Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo, alongside Iglesias’ mother and Professors James Brady and Melanie Saldaña.
Recognizing outstanding Latinx alumni during Hispanic Heritage Month
During Hispanic Heritage Month, observed from September 15 through October 15, the California State University highlighted 30 of the many notable Latinx students, staff, faculty, and alumni from across the CSU who have served or continue to serve their campuses and communities. Among those recognized were Cal State LA alumni U.S. Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard and Sylvia A. Alva, who serves as the CSU’s executive vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs.
Cal State LA alumnus stars in new TV series
Cal State LA alumnus Deji LaRay is starring in the new Bounce TV series Johnson. The dramedy focuses on the lives of four Black men who met in grade school and have been friends ever since. LaRay was previously featured in Amazon Studio’s Bosch and has had many guest star and recurring roles in popular shows like Modern Family, Castle, CSI: New York, Charmed, and The Shield. LaRay graduated from the College of Arts and Letters in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in radio and TV broadcast and is a previous recipient of a Cal State LA Television, Film and Media Studies Alumni Award.
Men’s soccer team rockets to national top 10
Photo: Cal State LA men’s soccer player Daniel Yu. (Credit: Robert Huskey/Cal State LA)
The Golden Eagles men’s soccer team has climbed into the top 10 in the latest United Soccer Coaches national top-25 poll. After recording two more shutouts in conference play, the team jumped from No. 13 to No. 8, returning to the top 10 where it resided for most of the 2019 season on its way to the NCAA Division II championship game. The Golden Eagles are nationally ranked for the 16th consecutive season. Read more about the impressive run of men’s soccer.