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Banner reads, California State University, Northridge, College of Health and Human Development, News Online
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
deans award certificate

Dancer, Researcher, Scholar

Try to imagine yourself on stage wearing a leotard and vest. Your hands are sweaty, your throat is dry and your legs feel like those of rubber chicken. Stress sets in.

Now, imagine the feelings and thoughts you’re having as you wait for the curtains to open.
Read more.

cutler awards recipients

Scholarships Pay it Forward

Leslie and Terry Cutler were so inspired by the work our students were doing in the Center of Achievement through Adapted Physical Activity that they established scholarships to help students and the community, in countless ways. Read more.



"I've developed high-level research skills thanks to the opportunity to work closely with faculty." - Catherine Placencia, 2014 Child and Adolescent Development Outstanding Undergraduate.

Meet Cat and the all of the 19 Deans' Awards Scholars.

A Message from Dean Alva

dean sylvia alva

Dear Friends,

At this year’s college commencement we honored and celebrated the success and contributions of our largest class ever--nearly 1,900 graduates. In this issue, we showcase and celebrate a few of the outstanding students in this year’s graduating class, as well as the recipients of the Dean’s Awards. Also noteworthy, Cheyenne Rose Spencer (Kinesiology) and Catherine Placencia (Child and Adolescent Development) received one of the university’s highest honors. They were recognized as Outstanding Undergraduate Students for their academic success and demonstrated commitment to service and community engagement. Both these remarkable students would be the first to tell you that our dedicated faculty contributed in important ways to their motivation and academic success, along with their family and friends. As Dean, it is a source of great pride to profile a few of the faculty in the college who were recognized at the all-university level for their high-quality teaching, significant research and scholarly contributions, and unwavering commitment to community service and the pubic good.

Community engagement is one of our hallmarks. That characteristic and commitment to serve others is also found in supporters and generous donors. Read about the new scholarships established by the Cutler family; they are an excellent example of how friends and partners make CSUN shine even brighter.

We appreciate all that you do to support our mission and our students reaching their goals and potential.

Thank you,
sylvia a. alva
Sylvia A. Alva

sunflowers and the phrase success is in bloom

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A Tradition in Nursing: The Pinning Ceremony

The Nursing Pinning Ceremony is a long-standing tradition that inducts graduating nursing students into the profession. The Spring 2014 graduating class for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) was honored at a ceremony co-sponsored by our community partner, Valley Presbyterian Hospital.

“The event was very memorable and inspiring,” said Samira Moughrabi, assistant director of the Department of Nursing, shown left with BSN graduate Mayra Garcia de Vasquez. “The pinning ceremony is the culminating event of our program where faculty, families and students celebrate each others’ successes and achievements.” Read more in CSUN Today.


caitlin pynes

Caitlin Pynes' Exhibit at Bloomingdale's
Fashion Student's Dream Comes True

The TRENDS Spring Student Fashion Show is a resounding success. Our Apparel Design and Merchandising students design and create all the clothes, hire the models, and produce the production from start to finish. This year's show, "Fantasy: Once Upon a Dream" brought the show to a new level, hosted by Rick Garcia of CBS2 News and co-hosted by Rachel Spensatelli, a senior in Journalsim at CSUN.

This 35th annual fashion show challenged designers to "dream up" new concepts and ideas while relying on tried and true techniques. And for the second year in a row, the winner of "best in show" received the honor of having her collection displayed for two weeks at Bloomingdale's in Sherman Oaks. Take a look at Caitlin Pynes' intriguing designs.

a student presents an award to a faculty member

Student Success: Motivation through Caring

We can all remember those teachers who really understood us and went the extra mile to help. They encouraged us to try another approach - maybe even just when we were ready to give up.

This spring, both peers and students recognized the faculty who are exemplary in helping students find their true talents and realize their potential.

The University Ambassadors' Polished Apple Awards: Every spring faculty are recognized by this student organization for excellence in teaching and mentorship and for their positive impact on students' lives. Read more.

The Faculty Senate Awards: With several awards to Health and Human Development faculty, including Outstanding Faculty, Distinguished Teaching, Extraordinary Service and Visionary Community Service, our faculty showed their strong dedication to student success. Read more.


“I was taught by my parents that if you love something enough, you should do it.”

Luisa Sabogal, Master of Science, Family and Consumer Sciences, Spring, 2014

Luisa Sabogal’s parents had the same dream many other immigrants have when they come to the United States — a chance to begin anew and create opportunities for their children.

The Sabogals had a succesful business in Colombia when they moved to the San Fernando Valley with their three children 17 years ago. Luisa was 10 years old and didn’t speak a word of English. But after four years, the business was not thriving so the Sabogals made the difficult decision to return to Columbia, leaving Luisa behind with her college-age brother and sister. She had mastered English by then. “I was about 14, in the ninth grade at Chatsworth High School,” said Sabogal, now 28 and living in Sherman Oaks. Watch the video about Luisa.

distinguished alumni awards graphic

Your Support Makes a Difference

It has been an exciting year in the College. There is a sense of momentum all across campus. From our academic programs to our athletics programs to the great offerings at our Valley Performing Arts Center, CSUN is shining brighter than ever.

We hope you will be a part of this momentum by making a gift. The percentage of alumni who make a gift each year affects rankings and influences major funders. But as importantly, it makes you a part of the excitement that continues to grow here on campus. Join-in by making your gift now!

To make a donation go to: Give to Cal State Northridge. Section two offers a pulldown menu that allows you to direct your gift to "College of Health and Human Development." Please use the Special Instructions box if you want to specify which area you most want to support.

To learn more about giving opportunities in the College, please email John Pepitone or call 818-677-5863. Thank you!

Sylvia A. Alva, Dean
College of Health and Human Development

Managing Editor: Jean O'Sullivan
HHD Public Affairs/Communications

Photographic contributors:
Lee Choo, Nestor Garcia, CSUN Marketing and Communications;
Stephen Cho, University Ambassadors;
Cheyenne Spencer, Nikki G.

College of Health and Human Development
California State University Northridge
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8215

The College of Health and Human Development News Online is the communications email newsletter for alumni, friends and supporters of the College of Health and Human Development, California State University, Northridge.

Our mission is to prepare competent and caring professionals with a commitment to enhance and promote the health and well-being of the diverse communities we serve. We advance our mission through our teaching, scholarship and service and we are guided by several unifying values: a commitment to academic quality, student success, community engagement, and educational effectiveness.

Read more about our Mission, Values and Plan.

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