California State University, Northridge - Did You Know...

November 2009

Vol. IX - No. 4

Published by
the Office of
Marketing and Communications

(818) 677-2130

Cal State Northridge, in partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District, has received a $1 million grant from the California Postsecondary Education Commission (CPEC) to help improve K-12 teaching in math and English/language arts. The four-year Improving Teacher Quality (ITQ) grant was awarded to assistant professor of secondary education Ivan Cheng, who has developed a plan to improve the teaching of math in middle school by empowering teachers to think “outside the box” and collaboratively.

As time continues to march forward, the men and women who survived and witnessed the atrocities of the Holocaust are slowly dying off. And with their deaths, powerful tools for teaching and reminding the world of what happened-their voices and memories-are slowly fading away. Cal State Northridge associate professor of English Dorothy Clark and a colleague at Loyola Marymount University, have come up with a novel idea for preserving those memories and creating a new generation of “witnesses” to make sure that the world never forgets the genocide of more than 11 million European Jews and others during World War II. The pair has created a joint, two-semester course that explores that troubling time in history through literature and interviews with survivors and witnesses of the German occupation of Poland. The course will include a trip to Poland where students will get an opportunity to visit the places their interviewees spoke of and see for themselves the disappearance of Jewish society and culture.

As Congress debates financial regulatory reform and the Obama Administration advocates for greater consumer financial protection, a new study by researchers at Cal State Northridge and The George Washington University finds a need for Congressional action on fringe banking practices used heavily by financially vulnerable families. The study released in October details the toll on communities with a high concentration of payday lending businesses and finds a clear association between the presence of payday lenders and neighborhood crime rates. The study, by CSUN associate professor of geography Steven Graves, recommends that Congress take action to cap payday-lender interest rates at 36 percent, enacting for the entire country protections Congress put in place for U.S. military families.

Cal State Northridge once again has been named an outstanding business school by The Princeton Review. The education services company features the school in the new 2010 edition of its book, “The Best 301 Business Schools.” “The Best 301 Business Schools” has two-page profiles of the schools and their MBA programs with write-ups on their academics, student life and admissions, plus ratings for their academics, selectivity and career placement services. In the profile on Northridge, Princeton Review editors describe CSUN’s MBA program as offering “solid preparation” in marketing, general management, teamwork, communication/interpersonal skills, presentational skills and quantitative skills.

Award-winning director Don Petrie is artist-in-residence in CSUN’s Department of Cinema and Television Arts, serving as teacher and mentor to the student selected to take part in Cal State Northridge’s annual Senior Film Showcase, which takes place every spring. Petrie is director of such international hits as Grumpy Old Men, Mystic Pizza, Miss Congeniality and My Life in Ruins.