August 19, 1996Vol. I, No.1


News and Briefs

President to Host Welcome Back Events

President Blenda J. Wilson will welcome students, faculty and Staff to the start of the new academic year with several events during the coming two weeks.

On Friday, Aug. 23, Wilson, Provost Louanne Kennedy and the other vice presidents will host a coffee for new and returning faculty and staff. The event is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in the Cleary Court between the Business and Education buildings. A short program is set for 9:45 a.m.

Then on Wednesday, Aug. 28, Wilson will host the campus' annual President's Welcome Back Picnic on the Oviatt Lawn with luncheon and dinner sessions. The event is the kick-off event for what the campus calls Welcome Week, and it was attended by nearly 9,000 students last year.

Faculty, staff and students are invited to enjoy free hot dogs and refeshments served by volunteer faculty and staff including Wilson. The luncheon picnic will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The evening picnic is slated from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Vice President for Student Affairs Ron Kopita apologized in advance for any inconvenience the picnics might cause for nearby classrooms. "Classes will be in session so we'll try to keep the music to a moderate level during those hours," Kopita said.

Faculty and staff who wish to volunteer as servers should call or email Shellie Smith in Student Development at x4596 or shellie.smith@csun.edu.

Cal State's Top Academic Officer to Leave Post

Peter Holf, the top academic officer in the 22-campus Cal State system, is resigning as senior vice chancellop for academic affairs effective Sept. 1, Chancellor Barry Muniz announced.

Hoff, who has held the position since 1993, will transition to working on the Cornerstones project with an emphasis on learning in the 21st Century. Charles Lindahl, an associate vice chancellor in Hoff's office, has agreed to lead the division on the interim basis, Munitz said.

Hoff had been thrust into the public spotlight over the past two years as the Cal State system wrestled with the politically sensitive issue of the growing demand for remedial education among its students, and the Board of Trustees adopted a plan aimed at reducing that demand.

Prior to the top Cal State post, Hoff had been the vice chancellor for academic affairs for the University System of Georgia from 1990 to 1993 and for Indiana University Southeast from 1987 to 1990. Hoff holds a master's in English and a doctorat in English and humanities both from Stanford University.

Slain Deputy was a CSUN Alum

Peter John Aguirre Jr., a Ventura County sheriff's deputy who was shot and killed while trying to calm a domestic dispute July 17, was a CSUN alum and started his career in law enforcement as a Community Service Officer on campus.

Aguirre, 26, a former student in the Summer Bridge and Educational Opportunity Programs, earned his bachelor's degree in religious studies in 1993. He worked as a CSO for student housing, athletics and the escort program, said current CSO Coordinator Marlin Hines, who worked with Aguirre as a student.

Aguirre is survived by his wife, daughter and parents. A family trust fund has been established with the American Commercial Bank of Ventura.

The suspect is awaiting trial.

Telephone Conversion Notices Remain

Now that the university telephone prefix is 677-, callers who dial old numbers will be notified of the change for at least eight months more and possibly three months beyond that, said Julie Schauer of the Technology Support Group.

The prefix conversion in mid-July took place without major problems, she said. It took about 72 hours to convert CSUN's approximately 4,300 phone numbers from the previous five exchanges to the unified 677- prefix.

The new prefix previously had not been used in the 818 area code.

Keck Foundation Awards $250,000 Grant

The W.M. Keck Foundation of Los Angeles awarded Cal State Northridge a $250,000 grant in July to upgrade two science laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment.

The funding will allow the university's Physics and Astronomy Department to upgrade its Theoretical and Experimental Condensed Matter Physics laboratories.

A time-resolved fluorescence quenching apparatus will be purchased for the Experimental Condensed Matter Physics Laboratory, where it will be used to help understand the fundamental structure and behavior of the biological membrane. Such understanding is at the heart of such areas as developmental biology and causes of cancer.

"We're elated," said department chair Robert Romagnoli. "We will be the only facility in the world that will be capable of stuudying micelles using both time-resolved fluorescence and electron spin resonance techniques."

The Theoretical Laboratory will receive three high-speed computer work stations for use in conducting fundatmental and applied research through theory, modeling, simulation, visualization and computation.

Grant Provides Jewish Community Internships

The Jewish Community Foundation has awarded $11,205 to the Jewish Federation Council - Valley Alliance to establish internships for CSUN students to work at community service agencies, synagogues and schools serving the Jewish community.

The internships will be available this fall to 12 undergraduates. Jody Myers, who coordinates the Jewish Studies Program, said they are the first of their kind to be offered to undergraduate students in the West.

Interns usually are graduate students working on their master's degree in social work or Jewish studies. They receive three units of academic credit and a small stipend.

More information is available from Myers at x3392.

First Ratcliffe Fellowships Awarded

Two fellowships named for A.F. "Rick" Ratcliffe, dean emeritus of the College of Engineering and Computer Science, were awarded for the first time in July.

The1996-97 GTE A.F. Ratcliffe Minority Graduate Fellowships went to graduate students Esther Lewis and Martha Sayre. Each woman will receive $2,000 and serve as mentors to undergraduate students in the university's MESA Engineering Program, which targets under-represented groups in the college.

Endowed by the GTE Foundation, the two fellowships are awarded annually to African American or Latino students who have participated in the MESA Engineering Program. Ratcliffe was one of the first African Americans in the nation to serve as dean of an engineering college.

Lewis is studying industrial engineering and engineering management. Sayre, president of the campus chapter of the Society of Women Engineers, is studying environmental engineering.

Northridge Honors Four "Phenomenal Women"

The Women's Studies Department has selected four Los Angeles women to receive its 1996 Phenomenal Woman Awards.

This is the second year of the awards, which honor women who embody "feminism in action." This year's recipients will be honored during a special reception and silent auction on Oct. 6 at the University Club.

This year's honorees are being honored for their distinguish service and contributions to the community. They are Los Angeles Times columnist Robin Abcarian; Juana Beatriz Gutierrez, director of Madres del Este de Los Angeles, Mothers of East Los Angeles; Betty Kozasa, a longtime senior citizen activist and community volunteer who spent 17 years directing programs at the Los Angeles Volunteer Center; and Avis Ridley-Thomas, administrator of the Dispute Resolution Program for the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office since its inception in 1989. She is the wife of Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas. Last year's honorees included nationally recognized muralist Judith Baca; Yvonne Chan, principal of the Vaughn Learning Center; Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg; CSUN President Blenda J. Wilson; and CSUN Provost Louanne Kennedy.

For use in the auction, the Women's Studies Department is asking for donations of CSUN faculty and or staff-authored books by or about women. For such donations, contact Cynthia Rawitch at (818) 886-1432.

Proceeds from this year's reception and auction, which are open to the public, will fund student scholarships, faculty development, information resources, guest lectures and special programs.

Last year's ceremonies raised more than $5,000. Some of those funds were used to bring in guest speakers such as Goulnar Baltanova from Russia, who spoke about Muslim women in the new Russia; activist and transgender theorist Susan Stryker; and Bonnie Thornton Dill, professor of women's studies at the University of Maryland and founder of the Women's Research and Resource Center at Memphis State University.

For tickets and more information, call x3850.

Business Leaders Appointed to CSUN Fundraising Board

Two Los Angeles area business leaders have been named the newest members of Cal State Northridge's Foundation, which raises private funds to provide the "edge of excellence" for the university's programs.

David L. Buell, CEO and founder of Los Angeles-based Metrobank, which was recently acquired by Comerica, and Donald K. Skinner, chairman, president and CEO of Simi Valley-based Eltron International, Inc., were elected in June by the 34-member board to join their ranks.

The board is made up of community and business leaders representing the economic, geographic and cultural diversity of Los Angeles and, in particular, the San Fernando Valley. Its members include former Los Angeles City Council member Joy Picus; David Auger, vice president and general manager of Time Warner Cable, and James David Power, III, founder and president of J.D. Power and Associates.

The board meets quarterly to develop fundraising strategies for the university.

CSUN'S AIDS Walk Team Gears Up

Cal State Northridge is recruiting a team to participate in this year's AIDS Walk Los Angeles on Sept. 29.

University officials hope more than 500 students, faculty, staff and community members will take part in the 10K walk through Hollywood. The event benefits AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA), Southern California's most comprehensive AIDS service, education and advocacy organization.

Last year, more than 23,000 people, including more than 200 from CSUN, raised more than $3.2 million for APLA. Proceeds from the AIDS Walk will be used to continue providing basic, life-sustaining services to more than 5,500 Los Angeles County men, women and children living with HIV and AIDS. Founded in 1982, APLA also works to reduce the incidence of HIV through risk-education and training programs.

Celebrities, community leaders and elected officials will be at the event to cheer on walkers, serve refreshments and walk alongside the men, women and children who participate in the event. Past participants included Jamie Lee Curtis, Sandra Bullock, Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala.

To encourage participation on campus, a variety of university departments have donated prizes for those people who raise the most donations for the walk. The prizes include free tickets to a sporting event; free parking for the spring semester; a Matador football game package that includes tickets to a tailgate party and seats for the game in the president's box; Sunday brunch at the University Club; a semester membership at the university's Fitness Center, and a gift basket from Whole Foods Market.

The CSUN team will meet on campus about 7:30 a.m. the day of the walk for a free continental breakfast before buses take the walkers to Paramount Studios in time for the 9 a.m. start of the event.

CSUN Among Top Producers of Latino Grads

Cal State Northridge ranked 13th among the nation's 3,500 colleges and universities in producing Latino graduates in 1993.

Those were the most recent statistics available, according to the magazine Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education. CSUN had 445 Latino graduates awarded bachelor's degrees that year.

Florida International University was the top producer of Latino graduates, with 1,612 earning their bachelor's degrees in 1993. Among California institutions, only UCLA, UC Berkeley, Cal State Los Angeles, San Diego State University and Cal State Fullerton ranked above CSUN.

Wife of Former President Prator Dies

Lois Prator, the wife of Ralph Prator, the first president of San Fernando Valley State College, died Aug. 13 in Camarillo. She was 81.

Her husband, who served as president from 1958 to 1968 and oversaw a major growth surge in what was to become Cal State Northridge, survives her. So do her sons, Lewis of Fountain Valley and Bruce of Seaside, Ore., and her daughter, Roxana Gottsacker of Irvine.

Services took place Aug. 17. In lieu of flowers, donations were requested for the Lois Prator Scholarship Fund at CSUN.

Another Group to Focus on the Entertainment Industry

An interdisciplinary group of Cal State Northridge faculty and staff is looking at ways to increase the university's interaction with the entertainment industry.

The task force is being led by the heads of the three colleges that currently have the most interaction with the business, technical and creative segments of the industry.

They are Dean William Hosek of the College of Business Administration and Economics; Dorothy Miller, administrator-in-charge of the College of Engineering and Computer Science, and Dean Philip Handler of the College of Arts, Media, and Communication.

The group is receiving staff support from Millie Loeb, director of Corporate and Foundation Relations; University Development, and the development directors of the three colleges, Faye Ainsworth, Dianne Appel and Julie Lichtenberg.

The group is particularly interested in increasing the number of internship opportunities for students and research opportunities for faculty, in learning more about the training and education needs of the industry and in increasing the level of support for university programs.

The next step is a Nov. 5 gathering of highly placed entertainment industry alumni and friends of the university to be moderated by alumna Gini Barrett, senior vice president, public affairs coalition for the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

For more information, contact Loeb at x2150.

Task Force Working on Fundraising Plan

A 14-member task force comprised of faculty, staff and alumni is working with a consultant and Cal State Northridge's fundraising staff to create a five-year development plan.

Michael Hammerschmidt, director of University Development, and F. Anthony Kurtz, chair of the CSUN Foundation, are co-chairs of the task force. Fundraising consultant Shari Thorell is working with the group. She and Hammerschmidt expect to complete the final draft by Nov. 1.

The university raised about $3.9 million last fiscal year (between July 1, 1995 and this June 31), compared to about $3.2 million the year before. Hammerschmidt said he is optimistic the university will reach $5 million this year in gifts and grants from private sources.

"We think it's possible to reach the $10 million-a-year level in five years," he said.

Faculty on the task force include Faculty Senate President James Goss and Vice President Lynne Cook. Also serving are Ann Stutts, dean of the College of Health and Human Development, and Susan Curzon, dean of the Library and vice provost for Information and Technology Resources.

For more information, call Hammerschmidt at x2150.

Business Law Option Offered

Business administration majors can choose an option in business law beginning this fall. The College of Business Administration and Economics is one of a few in the nation to offer this option, said Melanie Havens, chair of the Business Law Department.

It will prepare students for careers in industries under government regulation, such as banking, insurance, securities or real estate, and careers with a legal dimension, such as public affairs, contracts management and employment relations.

"Our college has always emphasized the importance of law more than other business schools have," Havens said. "People need to be well informed before they make decisions with legal implications. That's why we decided to offer this option."

Studying law also teaches the importance of clear reasoning and thinking--another reason for the option, Havens said.

However, the option is not designed as a pre-law major or a paralegal program. Students planning to go to law school should consult department faculty about the best preparation.

The Business Law Department includes 11 full-time and about eight part-time faculty.

More information is available at the department office in the Business building, room 3121, and on the university's Web site, http://www.csun.edu/.

August 19, 1996

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