May 17, 2004 Vol. VIII, No. 17



News Briefs

Qayoumi Joins Baldrige Award Panel

Mohammad Qayoumi, Cal State Northridge's vice president for administration and finance and CFO, has been appointed to the 2004 Board of Examiners for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Named for the late Malcolm Baldrige, U.S. Secretary of Commerce from 1981 to 1987, the award is given by the President of the United States to outstanding businesses, education and health care organizations. Created by public law in 1987, the award is considered the highest level of national recognition for an organization's performance excellence.

Qayoumi was appointed senior examiner by Hratch Semerjian, acting director of the Commerce Department's National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST), manager of the Baldrige award program.

"I am honored to serve with the distinguished examiners who devote their time and expertise to help uphold a standard of organizational excellence nationwide," said Qayoumi.

Qayoumi will join about 500 leading experts selected from industry, professional and trade organizations, education and health care organizations, and government. In this role, he will review and evaluate applications submitted for the award.

All board members must take part in a preparation course based on the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, and on the scoring and evaluation processes for the award.

Awards may be given annually in each of five categories: manufacturing, service, small business, education and health care.

CSUN Reading First Program Honored

The Economic Alliance, a partnership created to serve the San Fernando Valley's economic development needs, has awarded Cal State Northridge's Reading First Teacher Preparation Initiative its prestigious 2004 Steve Allen "Excellence in Education" Award.

A nationwide project designed to strengthen teacher preparation at colleges across the United States, the Reading First Initiative was designed to improve the skills of future teachers who will teach thousands of at-risk children. At Northridge, the initiative is coordinated by The Michael D. Eisner College of Education.

"We believe it is critical that teachers coming from minority-serving institutions have the requisite knowledge and skills to teach PŠ12 students to read and succeed at higher levels," said President Jolene Koester.

Bruce Ackerman, the Alliance's president and CEO, said the "Excellence in Education" Award" was named in tribute to the late Steve Allen, a long time San Fernando Valley resident, a legendary entertainer and a noted educational advocate. It recognizes the achievements of Valley schools, educators or students.

In February 2004, Cal State Northridge was one of 21 minority-serving institutions to support the Reading First Teacher Education Network (RFTEN), a U.S. Department of Education grant project created to help current and future educators teach reading through the use of scientifically proven instructional strategies, Koester said.

During a three year period, the RFTEN will train more than 100 faculty from 25 institutions serving minorities. The network involves deans and presidents to ensure its training is utilized and that change is effected at the teacher preparation level.

The Economic Alliance is a collaboration of Valley public and private businesses, governments and educational organizations. It focuses on attracting and retaining high quality jobs to the area and improving public education to prepare the Valley workforce.

CSUN Environment Keeps Volunteer 'Feeling Young'

Former shop supervisor Herb Petzhold retired nearly twelve years ago from his duties at Cal State Northridge, but today he works as hard in the College of Engineering and Computer Science as he did before his "official" retirement in 1991.

Petzhold, who recently turned 83, volunteers once a week in the same shop unit where he used to work. Being around college students, he said, keeps him feeling young.

"Working with young people also helps me learn the new language [of youth]," he said. "Our language has changed over time. Nowadays, people say 'That's cool.' Back then we used to say 'A-Ok.' "

Gennaro Siano, an equipment technician and friend of Petzhold, recalls the volunteer as a "can do" supervisor. "The best part of Herbie being a supervisor," said Siano, "was that if he wanted things done he would do them himself. He was the guy to go to if you wanted things done."

Equipment technician Kevin Sullivan, also Petzhold's friend, agrees. "He still tidies up the place. He comes in and keeps busy."

A resident of Northridge, Petzhold began his career at Cal State Northridge soon after he retired from a 26-year Navy career that included service in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

Petzhold began working for Engineering and Computer Science's student records unit, and after a year and a half transferred to its shop unit, where his Navy background in construction allowed him to turn his hand to plumbing, painting and welding. Three years later, Petzhold became head technician, a job he held until his retirement on September 29, 1991.

Since then, Petzhold has made it a point to help out in his former shop department, making his CSUN duties more than just his work, but also his personal hobby. "If people need a hand I help them out," he said. "I'm not as strong as I used to be, but if people have questions I try to answer them."


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