December 9, 2002 Vol. VII, No. 8

Top photo: Dorothea "Granny" Heitz surrounded (from l. to r.) by Wayne Adelstein,
CSUN President Jolene Koester, Alma Zatarain and Alumni Association President Irene Tovar.
Bottom photo: Del Stelck, aided by kinesiology professor Sam Britten and President Koester.

University Hosts Volunteer Service Awards Program

President Koester and Alumni Association Honor 22 for Service and Dedication to Campus

Cal State Northridge President Jolene Koester and the Alumni Association honored 22 people who have served the campus during the university's inaugural Volunteer Service Awards Program held November 14 in the Northridge Center.

"The awards allow the university to say thank you and recognize people who have demonstrated great interest in and loyalty to Cal State Northridge," said Gray Mounger, assistant vice president for alumni relations. "Through this recognition, we hope to affirm our continuing invitation to those who wish to be a part of our great university."

Highlights of the invitation-only luncheon were the presentation of the Emeriti Merit Award to retired professor William "Del" Stelck, the naming of the university's outstanding volunteer leadership award for Dorothea "Granny" Heitz, and presentation of those awards to Heitz and fellow alums Alma Zatarain and Wayne Adelstein.

Also recognized with Volunteer Service Awards were Marjorie McGregor, Joseph Russo, Carlos Fuentes, Morris Cutler, Jolie DeVorin, Don Sepulveda, Daisy Kuhn, Alan Meyer, Patrick Smith, Jackie Schroggin, Chris Whittington, James Overall, Loree Fink, Joni Novosel, David Phelps, David Brady, Sesar Carreno and Robert Barker.

Dorothea "Granny" Heitz Dorothea "Granny" Heitz Award for Outstanding Volunteer Leadership

Affectionately known by generations of Cal State Northridge students and alumni as "Granny," Heitz has always caught the attention of those around her. In 1966, this grandmother, at age 50 and nearly 30 years older than the average student, entered as a sophomore at San Fernando Valley State College. One day on campus when student leaders had gathered at "The Tub" to discuss who could help the cheerleaders foster better school spirit, a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity turned to Heitz and said, "You go for it, Granny!"

On that day, Dottie became Granny and a tradition was born. Heitz began to build the spirit squad, which became known as the "Granny Girls". With their hats and bright red outfits, the squad became a staple at Matador football and basketball games, and many other special occasions. The success of the Granny Girls led to the creation of today's Student Ambassadors program.

After graduating in 1969 with a bachelor's degree in sociology, Heitz maintained an unofficial role as a spirit leader. At many current CSUN sporting events, one can expect to see her in a bright red outfit passing out candy to spectators and handing balloons to children. She has been a friend and adviser to every campus president, a donor, a member of the Matador Athletic Association board, and a member of the Alumni Association.

Alma Zatarain

Dorothea "Granny" Heitz Award for Outstanding Volunteer Leadership

It is fitting that Alma Zatarain, '80, is one of the first to be presented a volunteer leadership award. Like Heitz, Zatarain has continually expressed her intangible loyalty to the university in many tangible ways. She and her husband, Mark Bowland, have attended countless Cal State Northridge athletic events, concerts and theatrical productions.

Zatarain's participation led to greater knowledge and appreciation of the university's academic program and, in turn, her continuing commitment to support the Oviatt Library. In 1989, then Alumni Association President Joe Tirado invited her to volunteer for CSUN. She later was elected to the Alumni Association Board of Directors, served several terms on its executive committee, and rose to the role of vice president and president.

Zatarain's alumni roles led to service on the Cal State Northridge Foundation, University Corporation and North Campus boards, as well as becoming a member of the Legislative Connection and a representative to the California State University Alumni Council.

Wayne Adelstein

Dorothea "Granny" Heitz Award for Outstanding Volunteer Leadership

Wayne Adelstein, '69, has earned a reputation as one of the most passionate, effective and committed business leaders, communicators and higher education advocates in the San Fernando Valley. He has been personally responsible for identifying and convincing dozens of volunteers to join him in support of his alma mater.

Through his company, Decision Publications, Adelstein publishes regional and community newspapers for more than 100,000 San Fernando Valley residents. Adelstein began his volunteer service as an adviser to the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. Then in 1992, he began to participate in university programs and was elected to the Alumni Association Board of Directors. By 1996, he was elected the Alumni Association's 19th president.

After his term as alumni president, Adelstein became Northridge's representative on the California State University Alumni Council, quickly rising to leadership positions. The campuses elected him vice president in 1998 and president-elect for 19992000. In June 2001, he became president of the CSU statewide alumni organization for 2.2 million alumni from 23 campuses.

William "Del" Stelck

Emeriti Merit Award

After returning from World War II, schoolteacher Stelck accepted the opportunity to teach amid Southern California's orange groves. In 1956, he joined 31 other faculty members in building and launching what two years later would become San Fernando Valley State College. Although he had other opportunities, Stelck felt a sense of duty to help build the new college to serve what was rapidly becoming the nation's fastest growing region.

Stelck served as Valley State's first dean of social sciences and was responsible for the organization of many academic departments. For his own History Department, he recruited distinguished faculty from around the country. He also was the first president of CSEA and was a member of the Faculty Senate and Statewide Academic Senate.

He has received many awards on campus including the university's "Outstanding Teacher Award" and its "Creativity Award." Even after retiring in 1987, Stelck has remained close to the university, supporting the Center of Achievement for the Physically Disabled and encouraging support for the Whitsett Chair and lecture series in the History Department.

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