Cal State LA Newsroom



For Media

Student Success 2023

University Reports

Fall 2023

Professional Activities



Professional Activities

Satik Andriassian and her guitar ensemble.

Satik Andriassian

Satik Andriassian (Music), center, led the Cal State LA Classical Guitar Ensemble on a two-week journey in Armenia. The musical tour across the country started on June 12, 2023, and culminated with a performance for United Nations World Refugee Day on June 20, 2023. The six-student-member ensemble performed concerts in music halls in cities and villages in Armenia including Yerevan, Gyumri and Oshakan. The ensemble also visited several villages with a representative from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to present music classes and hands-on activities for local children.

People working on assembling solar panels.

Samuel Landsberger

Samuel Landsberger (Mechanical Engineering) led two graduate engineering design teams in helping to design and build a solar-powered mobile shower trailer for people experiencing homelessness. The new 16-by-6-foot trailer had two private shower stations equipped with water that will be pulled from a 120-gallon water bladder that is strapped to the roof. The service project was a collaboration with Hillside L.A. Church in El Sereno and Citrus College.

Gustavo Ramirez

Gustavo A. Ramírez

Gustavo A. Ramírez (Biological Sciences) participated in the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s oceanographic Octopus Odyssey expedition to explore the micro- and macro-ecology of uncharted seafloor habitats in the Eastern Pacific Ocean from June 2 to June 21, 2023. This scientific cruise took place on board the institute’s ship, Falkor (too), carrying the underwater remotely-operated vehicle SuBastian, which was staffed by an international team of multidisciplinary oceanographic researchers.

David Blekhman

David Blekhman (Technology) presented a training session, “Train the Trainer H2: Hydrogen Infrastructure Workforce,” at the Mobilize Summit Driving Change at The Westin Long Beach, Oct. 30-31, 2023.

Stanley Burstein

Stanley Burstein (Emeritus, History) delivered a paper, “Globalization and the Ancient Indian Ocean Trade,” at the 2023 annual meeting of the World History Association at the University of Pittsburgh on June 24, 2023.

Barry Hibbs

Barry Hibbs (Geography, Geology and Environment) presented a paper, “Hydrochemical and isotopic studies of Los Angeles River flows between river headwaters and Sepulveda Dam,” at the World Environmental and Water Resources Congress, for the American Society of Civil Engineers, in Las Vegas, NV, May 21-24, 2023. He also presented a paper, “Identifying hydrological inputs to new wetlands on the shores of the retreating Salton Sea, Coachella Valley County, California,” at the 8th Interagency Conference on Research in the Watersheds, in Corvallis, OR, June 5-8, 2023.

Steve LaDochy

Steve LaDochy (Emeritus, Geography, Geology and Environment) delivered a paper presentation, “Aviation Accidents with Fog: Kobe Bryant,” at the 9th International Fog & Dew Conference in Fort Collins, CO, on July 24, 2023.

Sara Pugach

Sara Pugach (History) presented a discussion about “Kinship after Colonialism” on the panel titled “A Virtual Conversation: Reimagining Europe from Its Peripheries,” Oct. 26, 2023.

Petr Vozka

Petr Vozka (Chemistry and Biochemistry) gave the following presentations: “Quantitative Analysis of Olefins in Gasoline-Like Alternative Fuels Made from Conversion of Plastic Waste via GC×GC-FID,” for the American Chemical Society, in San Francisco, CA, Fall 2023; “Analysis of Organic Compounds Adsorbed by Plastic Waste from the Salton Sea and LA River,” at the 2023 Cal State LA REU Urban Hydrology Conference, August 2023; “Analytical Method of Determining Compounds Adsorbed on Polyethylene and Polyethylene Terephthalate Microplastics in Three Environments,” at the ASSURE Summer Research Presentation Forum, August 2023; “Quantitative analysis of aliphatic olefins in fuels made from plastic waste by comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography,” at the 14th Multidimensional Chromatography Workshop, in Liege, Belgium as a keynote speaker, Jan. 30-Feb. 1, 2023; and “Comprehensive Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography (GC×GC) in the Analysis of Complex Chemical Mixtures,” at the University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague, Czech Republic, Jan. 25, 2023.


Book cover to The Renin Angiotensin System in Cardiovascular Disease

Anureet Kaur Shah

Anureet Kaur Shah (Nutrition and Food Science) co-edited a book, The Renin Angiotensin System in Cardiovascular Disease, published by Springer, Jan. 1, 2023. This book is about molecular and cellular aspects for the role of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) in the pathophysiology and therapy of cardiovascular diseases.

Book cover to Fire and Rain

Stephen LaDochy

Stephen LaDochy (Emeritus, Geography, Geology and Environment) coauthored a book, Fire and Rain: California’s Changing Weather and Climate, published by Springer Nature, Sept. 23, 2023. This book shows how California’s weather and climate have drastically changed and what we can expect in the near future.

Book cover to Theda Bera: Her Career, Live, and Legend

Roy Liebman

Roy Liebman (Emeritus, University Library) authored a book, Theda Bara: Her Career, Life and Legend, published by McFarland, Aug. 16, 2023. This is a complete examination of Theda Bara’s more than 40 films, as well as her theater and radio appearances.

Pau Abustan

Pau Abustan (Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies) had her work included in a folio of poetry, “Co-Creating the Warmth and Nourishment of Home,” in Bellington Review, 2023.

Arun Aryal and Shilpa Balan

Arun Aryal and Shilpa Balan (Information Systems) coauthored an article, “Evaluation of a technical information systems module for distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic,” in the Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching & Learning, March 30, 2023.

David Blekhman and Michael Dray

David Blekhman (Technology) and Michael Dray (Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility) coauthored an article, “Experimental Comparison of Hydrogen Refueling with Directly Pressurized vs. Cascade Method,” in the Energies journal, vol. 16, no. 15, Aug. 1, 2023.

Michele Bleuze, Melanie Saldaña and James Brady

Michele Bleuze (Anthropology), along with Melanie Saldaña and James Brady (Anthropology), coauthored an article, “Fresh Observations on Ancient Maya Ceramic/Textile Composites: Technological, Contextual and Conceptual Reconsiderations,” in Archaeological Discovery, vol. 11, no. 4, October 2023.

Roberto Cantú

Roberto Cantú (Emeritus, English and Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies) authored a book, Alfredo Véa’s Narrative Trilogy: Studies on La Maravilla, The Silver Cloud Café, and Gods Go Begging, published by Cambridge Scholars, Aug. 9, 2023.

Joshua Kelly

Joshua Kelly (Geography, Geology, and Environment) coauthored a paper, “Uncertainty of Satellite-Derived Glacier Flow Velocities in a Temperate Alpine Setting (Juneau Icefield, Alaska),” in Remote Sensing, vol. 15, no. 15, July 31, 2023.

ChorSwang Ngin

ChorSwang Ngin (Anthropology) has authored an article, “Who Gets Permission to Teach and Write What: Cultural Expertise on Race in the American Courtroom and Anthropology,” in the Bulletin of the General Anthropology Division, vol. 30, no. 1, Spring 2023. The article is based on a Distinguished Lecture she was invited to give at the American Anthropology Association meeting in Seattle, WA, Nov. 11, 2022. She has also authored two chapters, “Cultural Expertise on Race” and “Cultural Expertise in the United States,” in the Cultural Expertise, Laws, and Rights: A Comprehensive Guide, edited by Livia Holden, and published by Routledge, May 19, 2023.

Petr Vozka

Petr Vozka (Chemistry and Biochemistry) coauthored the following articles: “Low-Pressure Hydrothermal Processing of Disposable Face Masks into Oils, in Processes, Sept. 23, 2023; and “Production of transportation fuels via hydrotreating of scrap tires pyrolysis oil,” in Chemical Engineering Journal, volume 460, March 15, 2023.

Eric Wood

Eric Wood (Biological Sciences) coauthored the following articles: “Climate-driven variation in dispersal ability predicts responses to forest fragmentation in birds,” in the Nature Ecology & Evolution, vol. 7, May 29, 2023, and “Historical racial redlining and contemporary patterns of income inequality negatively affect birds, their habitat, and people in Los Angeles, California,” in Ornithological Applications, Oct. 11, 2023.

Alexandra Wright

Alexandra Wright (Biological Sciences) coauthored an article, “Clarifying the effect of biodiversity on productivity in natural ecosystems with longitudinal data and methods for causal inference,” in Nature Communications, no. 14, July 12, 2023.


Nicholas Casias

Nicholas Casias

Nicholas Casias (Special Education and Counseling) has been awarded two personnel preparation grants totaling $2.5 million from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs and Rehabilitation Services. These grants will provide crucial funding to prepare professionals to teach orientation and mobility to school-aged children with visual impairments, significantly improving services to students in the Los Angeles region and beyond.

Joy Sales

Joy Sales

Joy Sales (Asian and Asian American Studies) was among 20 early-career faculty members from across the United States selected for the 2023-2024 Career Enhancement Fellowship, which is funded by the Mellon Foundation and administered by the Institute for Citizens & Scholars, July 13, 2023.

Adee Williams

A.Dee Williams

A.Dee Williams (Curriculum and Instruction) secured a $7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to continue the success of the university’s Los Angeles Urban Teacher Residency program. The residency program, which trains new teachers to help close the achievement gap of students in high-need urban schools, will propose to develop 276 community-centered teachers to deliver culturally sustaining instruction for students in critical areas of special education, secondary STEM education and bilingual education. The project leadership team includes Kimberly Persiani (Curriculum and Instruction), Leila Ansari Ricci (Special Education and Counseling) and Verónica González (Curriculum and Instruction).

Summer Brantner and Jeff Stein

Summer Brantner and Jeff Stein (Project Rebound) received HOPE Awards at the SCRIPT Conference held in The California Endowment in Downtown Los Angeles, July 21,2023. Project Rebound is a program that assists formerly incarcerated individuals with re-entry and their continued education following their release. SCRIPT, the Summit on Community Resilience, Intervention, Prevention, and Training, provides an opportunity for professionals and community members to come together to address social issues locally. 

Stanley Burstein

Stanley Burstein (Emeritus, History) received the 2023 Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Ancient Historians at the 2023 meeting of the Association of Ancient Historians held at Florida State University, Apr. 20-22, 2023.

Michael Calabrese

Michael Calabrese (English) received a 2023 Exceptional Levels of Service to Students Award from the Office of the Provost and Faculty Affairs, July 28, 2023. The award recognizes faculty who have a demonstrated commitment to working on issues faced by our diverse student population, including mentoring, advising, and outreach.

Mohsen Eshraghi

Mohsen Eshraghi (Mechanical Engineering) secured a $900,000 grant from National Aeronautics and Space Administration to support improving the space agency’s capacity to use metal 3D printing technologies on the moon. The grant project, “Additive Manufacturing on the Moon: Exploring the Potential of Laser Wire Directed Energy Deposition for Metallic Component Fabrication,” is a collaboration between Cal State LA and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The grant is part of more than $14 million that NASA is investing in 19 U.S. colleges and universities to grow their STEM capacity to participate in critical spaceflight research and prepare a new generation of diverse students for careers in the nation’s science, technology, engineering, and math workforce.

Barry Hibbs, Stephen LaDochy, Jingling Li, Eric Wood, Petr Vozka and Evenlyn Alvarez

Barry Hibbs (Geography, Geology and Environment) secured a $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to offer experiential research opportunities for diverse undergraduate students to study urban agriculture. The grant will support a nine-week summer research program for nine underrepresented students each year for five years to investigate urban natural resources and urban agricultural problems. Co-principal investigators include Stephen LaDochy (Geography, Geology and Environment); Jingjing Li (Geography, Geology and Environment); Eric Wood (Biological Sciences); Petr Vozka (Chemistry and Biochemistry); and Evelyn Alvarez (Public Health). Hibbs was also instrumental in garnering a $674,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to provide career pathways at Cal State LA for diverse students in fields of watershed analysis. The goal is to train future generations of scientists to tackle urban watershed problems and impacts of disturbances, such as drought and urban change on associated river basins and people. 

Arezoo Khodayari

Arezoo Khodayari (Civil Engineering) secured a $570,000 grant from National Aeronautics and Space Administration to inspire students to participate in NASA research and pursue degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The grant project, “Diversifying Student Pipelines in STEM: Environmental Pollution Reduction Inspired by Planetary Science,” will be a collaboration among Cal State LA, the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Cal Poly Pomona. The two-year grant was awarded through NASA’s Bridge Program, which is designed to boost diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility within the NASA workforce and within the U.S. science and engineering community.

Yangyang Liu

Yangyang Liu (Chemistry and Biochemistry) secured a $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to provide more research and training opportunities in STEM fields for students while addressing important energy and climate challenges. The award is part of $37 million in grants from the department’s Funding for Accelerated, Inclusive Research initiative that aims to build research capacity, infrastructure and expertise at institutions historically underrepresented in the DOE’s Office of Science portfolio.

Sonya Lopez

Sonya Lopez (Civil Engineering) is a co-principal on a California Ocean Protection Council grant for a project titled “Field monitoring of microplastics loading and accumulation in low impact development-best management practices.” The research will focus on monitoring microplastic pollution from urban runoff.

Petr Vozka

Petr Vozka (Chemistry and Biochemistry) is a co-principal investigator on a $100,000 National Science Foundation grant for a CREST Partnership supplement on a project titled “Towards a Sustainable Use of Polymeric Materials”, Aug. 2023 – July 2024. He also secured a $10,000 grant from the CSU Council on Ocean Affairs, Science & Technology (COAST) for a Comprehensive Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography Short Course for COAST Research Enhancement. In addition, Vozka collaborated with LECO Corporation to launch the new LECO Complex Chemical Compositional Analysis Lab at Cal State LA.