University Advancement

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CSUN Honors Convocation Puts Spotlight on Outstanding Graduates

Of the graduates that took part in California State University, Northridge’s Honors Convocation on May 13, six individuals were singled out for special recognition as outstanding graduating students. Three of these grads appeared in last week’s edition of the San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol. The three others are featured here. --The San Fernando Valley Sun

David Ellenstein and Bill Kerlin to Lead Laguna Playhouse

Ellenstein has led North Coast Rep since 2003 and has worked on over 300 productions across five decades. He previously served as the artistic director of Los Angeles Repertory Company, as well as Arizona Jewish Theatre. Ellenstein has directed over 60 productions at North Coast Rep and has directed works at Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Paper Mill Playhouse, and 59E59 Theaters, among others. As an actor, he has appeared onstage at Los Angeles Theatre Center, Arizona Theatre Company, and Moonlight Stage Productions, among others. He has served as guest faculty at multiple universities, including California State University, Northridge and California Institute of the Arts, and has acted in many film and television roles. --American Theatre

CASA 0101 Theatre Presents Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, June 9 – July 16, 2023, Directed by Corky Dominguez With A Primarily Latino Cast Led by Vance Valencia as Willy Loman

David Reyes (Show Producer for Brown Fist Productions) served as Composer, Lyricist and Producer of Brown Fist Productions first show, Eastside Heartbeats, the fictional story of four young Mexican-American singers who dreamed of becoming Rock and Roll stars, which was presented in association with CASA 0101 Theatre in 2016. Reyes developed an interest in modern classical music in the early 1970’s, and his fascination with the genre led him to study it seriously in college. Because of his dedication to the pursuit of modern classical music, Reyes was awarded a scholarship to study in Europe, where he had the privilege of studying and training with modern masters who changed the course of classical music: Iannis Xenakis and Gyorgy Ligeti at Centre Acante, and at the Darius Milhaud Conservatory in Aix en Provence, France. In Los Angeles, he has worked with other influential composers: the late Dorrance Stalvey, musical Director of LACMA, and Aurelio De La Vega, faculty member emeritus at California State University, Northridge. Reyes produced a three CD set for Rhino Records called “Brown Eyed Soul,” and was Associate Producer for the PBS documentary Chicano Rock. He is co-author for “Land of a Thousand Dances” and co-curator of the exhibit Roots of the Eastside Sound. Reyes has also composer a mini opera entitled, El Circo Anahuac, scored for voices, chamber ensemble and puppetry. --The Hollywood Times

Businessman Milt Valera receives honorary doctorate degree

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. — A Lihu‘e-born and raised businessman received an honorary doctorate degree from his alma mater, California State University, Northridge, on Monday evening, after donating more than $11 million to the school. -- The Garden Island

How one woman fought bigotry and helped change the way Asian Americans see themselves

In 2016 at Cal State Northridge, Karen Loong listened transfixed as Zia appeared onscreen, urging people to reconnect with their roots to understand why it’s important for immigrants to stand up for representation and their civil rights. The former paralegal had returned to school to delve into Asian American studies and hearing Zia “lit ... a fire in me,” she remembered. -- Los Angeles Times