Sept. 8, 1997 Vol. II, No. 2

Northridge In The News

Alum Lisa Dial (Speech Communication) and fellow swim team alum Kevin McVerry were featured in a Los Angeles Times' Westside Weekly article on July 27. Dial, who is an elementary school teacher during the academic year, and McVerry, an attorney, work as Los Angeles County lifeguards during the summer. "Part of my job down here is preventing things from happening, just like I do when I'm in the classroom," Dial said. "Also, here I'm still teaching-the only difference is that I'm educating people about the ocean instead of math or English."

Lewis Yablonsky (Sociology) was quoted in the Los Angeles Times on July 28 in a story about a sharp drop in crime in the San Fernando Valley, mirroring a national trend. A lessening in the use of crack cocaine, an upswing in the economy and a stronger emphasis on gun control are several factors fueling the national trend, Yablonsky said. "In the Valley, there has been a reduction in gang violence," he said. "To at least some extent in the Valley, there has been a gang truce which seems to be holding."

Carolyn Ellner (Education) was quoted in a July 30 Los Angeles Times article on a Los Angeles City Council decision to survey San Fernando Valley businesses about their inability to find workers with the skills to fill an increasingly technical job market. Ellner pointed out that CSUN is launching an entertainment industry initiative this year to address some of those concerns in the entertainment industry. "We are trying to prepare them in their own backyard," she said.

Middle school students taking part in the university's Summer Academic Enrichment Program's Science Imagineering class were depicted in a series of photos on the Daily News' Page 3 on Aug. 1 testing the seaworthiness of boats they designed and constructed. The program and the boat trials were also featured on the Valley Focus page of the Los Angeles Times on Aug. 2.

Los Angeles Times' "Only in L.A." columnist Steve Harvey poked fun Aug. 2 at a construction warning sign on one of our fences designating a hard hat area. The sign, which was pictured in the article, featured a figure wearing a hard hat holding a caution sign with a brick falling on his head making the sound "blang."

Jose Hernandez (Chicano Studies) figured prominently in an Aug. 3 front page story in the Los Angeles Times on the changes taking place in the San Fernando city government. Hernandez, who was recently elected to the City Council, has aligned himself with two other council members who are making changes to the city's administration and its plans for the future.

Jack Solomon (English) wrote an opinion piece for the Los Angeles Times on Aug. 3 commenting on the success of the film "The Lost World." He referred to it as "Dinosaurs have invaded the San Fernando Valley. Again." He raised the question: "Have you ever wondered why we are entertained by the spectacle of dinosaur-bites-mate?" And offered an answer: "Watching our fears being eaten alive dramatically represented on the silver screen may also help assuage them."

The university was featured prominently in the Daily News' Education Guide that ran Aug. 3. The section featured a story on our new honors, animation and Presidential Scholars programs, as well as several photographs of the campus, faculty and students.

Pat Nichelson (Religious Studies) was quoted in a Los Angeles Times story that ran Aug. 4 on the restoration of the honors program. "We want to give honors students a learning experience similar to that of a liberal arts college," Nichelson said. "It is a vehicle for giving these students a more intensive community experience as well as careful mentorship and advisement."

Robert Krol (Economics) wrote an opinion piece for the Daily News that ran Aug. 4 on the inflation-growth balancing act being performed by the nation's economy. Krol said there was no mystery about the economy's success. "The recent growth-inflation experience is consistent with moderate money supply growth," he said.

Shirley Svorny (Economics) wrote an opinion piece for the Daily News that ran Aug. 5 on the Employment Survey Project commissioned by the Los Angeles City Council to study the labor supply needs of Valley businesses. "What a terrible waste of money," Svorny wrote. "Everyone knows what businesses need. As a college professor, I hear it all the time. Businesses want graduates who can communicate (write and speak) and think (analyze). This translates to reading, writing and mathematics. Advanced firm-specific and job-specific skills are learned once someone is hired. But heaven forbid we actually spend the money to attack the fundamental problem. Let's do one more study instead."

Steven Loy (Kinesiology) and the studies he and his students are performing on the effectiveness of home exercise equipment were heavily featured in the Los Angeles premiere of PBS's new series "Health Week" on Aug. 2. The CSUN studies for the most part have debunked the claims of products such as gliders and riders. Loy said there are no easy solutions to better health and fitness and suggested "identifying the equipment or activity in which you will participate safely, that you will enjoy and that you will do on a regular basis." The research conducted by Loy, Eve Fleck, Patrice Andrews, Julie Golgert, Peter Piexoto and Ben Yaspelkis also was featured in the June issue of Fitness Management.

The reopening of four buildings closed since the earthquake received spectacular display in both the Los Angeles Times and the Daily News on Aug. 6. Photos featured faculty and staff members moving into buildings and quotes from employees happy to be back into permanent buildings again. "It's nice to be home," said Charles Macune (History) as he moved back into his Sierra Tower office. On Aug. 7, the Daily News added an editorial on the subject, saying, "This happy occasion is the latest evidence that life is returning to normal at CSUN as the institution bounces back from the disaster."

The Los Angeles Times and the Daily News, joined by KABC Channel 7 on the Aug. 5 evening news, both featured spreads on Aug. 6 of our students, including Laura Hollis, launching sophisticated weather balloons as part of a $5 million California Air Resources Board study to determine how to combat smog.

Mark Crase (Technology Support) was quoted in the Aug. 8 edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education for a story on the policies colleges and universities adopt to regulate the use of campus computer networks. "We do not have the time to monitor, and we have absolutely no interest in doing it," Crase said.

The university drew the attention of the Los Angeles Times on Aug. 12 for offering assistance to Colorado State University officials as they tried to rebuild their flood-ravaged campus. "They've got to get class opened up in about three weeks," said Art Elbert (Administration and Finance). "I pledged our help in every way possible."

The university's AIDS Walk team also got a plug in the Los Angeles Times on Aug. 12. The campus invited San Fernando Valley residents to join the university in the annual walk to raise money for AIDS Project Los Angeles. "The university is committed to community service and the fight against AIDS," said Amy Reichbach (Health Center). "This event is an inspiring reminder of our ability to come together to pursue an important goal. The more of us out there, hopefully the louder the message will be."

Student Chris Allport, who was a child actor, was quoted in the Los Angeles Times on Aug. 12 for a story on state plans to toughen the requirements for teachers who work with child actors. Allport lauded the proposal. "I have a lot of friends who are behind. I don't know how they will turn out," he said. "I'm preparing for the day the industry doors close. I hope it doesn't happen. But I'm preparing."

Adele Scheele (Career Center) offered young scholars tips on how to avoid the "good" student trap as they prepare for careers after college in a Los Angeles Times Valley Focus piece on Aug. 14. Scheele - whose book "The 'Good' Student Trap" has just been published-said, "It is imperative that students get the most out of their college education-namely, a successful career -but many student either have no clue how or are headed in the wrong direction."

The Los Angeles Times featured former CSUN President James Cleary as one of the Valley 200 on Aug. 14. The series, which marks the San Fernando Valley's bicentennial, highlights people who have left their mark on the area. Cleary, who headed CSUN for 23 years, took command in 1969, just seven months after students took over the fifth floor of the Administration building and six months after the former presidential quarters were set afire by arsonists. "I have been asked countless times why I chose to jump from the frying pan into the fire," Cleary once said. "My answer is that there are things wrong with higher education. Why not seize the opportunity to solve them?"

Ron Doctor (Psychology) was quoted in a Daily News story on Aug. 14 on people who fear snakes. Doctor, who has treated dozens of people with serious snake phobia, said, "We are genetically predisposed to have a fear of snakes. In terms of human survival, the snake was an enemy; so we carry a tendency to be afraid of them."

Shellie Smith (Student Development) was quoted in an Aug. 18 Los Angeles Times Valley Focus story on the annual President's Welcome Picnic. "The picnic has become a very popular event," she said. "It's a chance for students, faculty and staff to relax in the hectic first week of classes."

Art Elbert (Administration and Finance) was quoted in the Valley Newswatch front page column of the Los Angeles Times on Aug. 21 on the appointment of long-time accounting professor Robert Kiddoo as the university's first controller. "We needed a seasoned veteran, and he is that," Elbert said. "This is a public institution. The people need to know where their money is going." Cal State Northridge received favorable mention on the Aug. 18 broadcast of the CNN Financial Network "Family Values" show. CSUN ranked right behind Gallaudet University (which was No. 1) as being one of the most disability friendly campuses in the country. Charles Riley, editor-in-chief of "We" magazine, which did the ranking, said CSUN was "absolutely famous for its accessibility and for the special facilities they have for students with disabilities."

September 8, 1997

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