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Volunteer Service Award College Recipients

The Volunteer Service Awards acknowledges the outstanding individuals who serve the academic college or department in which they graduated.

Volunteer Service Awards College Recipients

2019 College Recipients

Myra Cohen
College of Health and Human Development

CSUN has been a big part of Myra Cohen’s life — but more so since she retired as a registered dietician. Cohen, a longtime San Fernando Valley resident, first started coming to campus to enroll her children in university programs. But later, she became deeply involved with the College of Health and Human Development.

Since 2016, Cohen has served as a committee member on the HHD Dean’s Circle and has been a highly valued ambassador for the college. Cohen served on the committee for the Marilyn Magaram Center for Food Science, Nutrition and Dietetics’ 25th-year anniversary event in 2016 and is currently serving on a committee for an upcoming to-be-announced HHD event.

Cohen has also been a member of SAGE (Study, Activity, Growth and Enrichment), a self-supporting group of retired and semi-retired people who share a passion for learning and meet to exchange knowledge and develop new interests. With the group, she has helped organize scholarship and luncheon events. Cohen has donated to numerous areas on campus and has been a behind-the-scenes hero.

Filiberto Gonzalez ’97
College of Humanities

Filiberto Gonzalez earned his bachelor’s degree from CSUN in 1997 in Chicana/o Studies, becoming the first college graduate in his extended family.

In 2016, after years of wanting to make a more meaningful impact at his alma mater, Gonzalez started a scholarship for CSUN’s undocumented students – who are unable to secure public grants and most scholarships due to their status – and named it in honor of his mother, Elia Torres. Torres, now 81 years old, raised Gonzalez and his brother as a single mother with an indomitable determination to see them succeed in school and life.

In response to news about the first award, friends and colleagues responded in droves with donations of their own to the Elia Torres Scholarship Fund. As a result, after awarding one scholarship the first year, three were awarded in the second year.

A tireless advocate for CSUN, Gonzalez is constantly reaching out to his network to gain support for the university’s students. Gonzalez has worked to help elevate CSUN students, particularly those from low-income and disadvantaged backgrounds.

Gonzalez is the Vice President of Development and Strategic Initiatives for Grapevine Development, LLC — a Sherman Oaks-based real estate development firm that specializes in transit-oriented and mixed-use developments in historically underserved communities. Gonzalez lives in Northridge with his wife and three daughters.

Dan Chernow ’67, M.A. ’89, M.A. ’03
Michael D. Eisner College of Education

Dr. Dan Chernow was honored with a CSUN Distinguished Alumni Award in 2001. He currently chairs the newly formed College of Education Alumni Chapter and serves as a member of the CSUN Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Chernow serves as a board member of the California Coalition for Public Higher Education; as the volunteer Executive Director of Californians for Public Higher Education; and, as a member of the Michael D. Eisner College of Education’s Dean’s Council at CSUN. He has previously taught courses in the Eisner College. He has also served on the California State Board of Education, acting as its Legislative Committee Chairperson; on the California Curriculum Frameworks and Supplemental Materials Commission, serving a term as its Chairperson; and on the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Chernow’s career started as a secondary teacher before he worked as a Vice President and Assistant General Manager with Pacific Theatres Corporation. He then returned to education as the Executive Director of the UCLA School Management Program. Chernow and his wife Cindy, CSUN’s Alumni Association Board President, have endowed three scholarships for future teachers through the College of Education. To date, 48 scholarships have been awarded. Chernow also holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership from UCLA.

2018 College Recipients

Joni Campanella Roan
College of Health and Human Development  

Joni Campanella Roan is a champion for the College of Health and Human Development. Her connection to CSUN began in 1995 but blossomed in 2010. She is the daughter of champions — legendary baseball Hall of Famer Roy Campanella and his wife Roxie, who together pursued better care for people with spinal care injuries. Under the Roy and Roxie Campanella Foundation, physical therapy students at CSUN and other CSU schools and USC began receiving scholarships in 1995. So impressed by what she saw at CSUN, Joni designated the funding in 2010 solely to CSUN students. She has worked alongside the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation to increase funding and expand the efforts for CSUN’s College of Health and Human Development. In 2018, 25 CSUN students were awarded scholarships.

“I care about students. I care about change. And I care about community,” she said. “The quality and caliber of students that I’ve met through CSUN and its commitment to education and community has made me proud to be a volunteer and help in any way I can.” Joni is retired, having worked at the Los Angeles Daily News as director of its Literacy in Education program, which she helped raise $2.5 million for to provide newspapers at no cost to schools. She is proud her impact at CSUN and in her career, and even more proud of her son, Cary — a sergeant in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Honey Amado
College of Humanities     

Honey Kessler Amado is a respected appellate attorney in Los Angeles.  Honey and her late husband Ralph A. Amado first came to know CSUN when their daughter, alumna Gabrielle Amado Shabah, was considering colleges. They recognized CSUN’s strengths in the arts and humanities, which were Gabrielle’s interests, and learned that the Jewish Studies Program, which became Gabrielle’s minor, was the finest in the CSU system.  Honey is pleased that her son-in-law, David Shabah, is now a student here.

At the direction of Ralph and Honey, The Maurice Amado Foundation-funded, through the College of Humanities and the Jewish Studies Interdisciplinary Program, the Maurice Amado Endowed Professorship in Applied Jewish Ethics and Civic Engagement.  Honey has continued Ralph’s and her support of CSUN and the Jewish Studies Program. Today she proudly sits on the CSUN Foundation Board.

Honey has an extensive history of service in the Los Angeles community. Long active in the Jewish community, she was a delegate on the 2002 AJC (American Jewish Committee)-Konrad Adenauer Foundation trip to Germany to address post-Holocaust relations between Germans and Jews. She also served as a delegate on two additional delegations, both times at the invitation of the Adenauer Foundation. From 2015-2017, Honey served as President of the Board of Directors of Temple Isaiah (Los Angeles). In 2012, she was a visiting adjunct professor of law at the Faculty of Law, University of Osijek, in Osijek, Croatia.   

Jeffrey Marine ’81 
David Nazarian College of Business and Economics     

Jeffrey Marine earned his bachelor’s degree from CSUN in 1982 in Marketing. Marine has used the skills learned at CSUN to become a successful senior executive with more than 38 years of work across the manufacturing, retail, clothing, and consumer product industries. Marine has been contributing to the university for the last three years in numerous ways. He currently sponsors the annual Bull Ring New Venture Competition that provides seed money to help fund business ventures of the students who win the event. Marine's dedication to CSUN has empowered CSUN students to think big and has elevated the entrepreneurial spirit at the university.

Marine has held leadership positions at companies including Hybrid Apparel, Jem Sportsware, and Awake Inc. As Co-CEO of Hybrid Apparel, he helps lead the manufacture of apparel for major chain stores with partners including Macy’s, Walmart, Kohl’s, JCPenney and Target. Marine was recognized by the Fashion Industries Guild as the fashion industry’s Man of the Year in 2006. Marine serves on the Board of Directors and is a member of Young Presidents Organization in Los Angeles. Marine and his wife Joni are members of the President’s Associates.

John Behring 
Michael D. Eisner College of Education

John Behring is an accomplished television director with a variety of prime-time television content in his filmography. He has directed multiple episodes of hits such as CSI: NY, Numbers, Charmed, Ghost Whisperer, Arrow and Grimm and is currently directing Lethal Weapon, Blue Bloods, Instinct and Shades of Blue with Jennifer Lopez.    

In January 2018 John volunteered in helping produce and direct “Teaching Inspires,” a recruitment campaign including 22 alumni teacher testimonials from the Michael D. Eisner College of Education. Behring has directed, produced, and donated a film for the CSUN's Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES). He has also served as a part-time instructor of directing in the Department of Cinema and Television Arts. Behring is part of a family committed to CSUN. He has two children who are CSUN graduates and his wife, Dr. Shari Tarver Behring, has served for 33 years as a faculty member, department chair, and is now serving as Interim Dean of the Michael D. Eisner College of Education. 

The Behrings are donors to the Arts in Education Program and are members of the Ambassadors Group and the Executive Circle at The Soraya. 

Matthew Keating ’08
Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication      

Matthew Keating earned his bachelor’s degree in Orchestral Studies with an emphasis in Cello Performance from CSUN in 2007. Following graduation, Keating was accepted as a part-time cellist in the Honolulu Symphony. Keating also served as full-time director of the orchestra program at the the Punahou School, assisted in creating an elementary orchestra program in the local school district, and worked as an adjunct professor at Hawaii Pacific University. 

In the spring of 2011, Keating and his wife Jessica welcomed Collette, their first daughter and soon after decided to move back to California to raise a family. Later welcoming daughter Clara in 2015. Keating began teaching cello at the Claremont Community School of Music in 2012 and became the Executive Director at the school in 2013. The Keating’s are both proud graduates of CSUN and fondly remember the time there as students.

Keating is a frequent guest lecturer in CSUN's Department of Music' entrepreneurship class. He has also helped provide employment and internships for CSUN students and alumni at Claremont Community School.

“I am ever so grateful for the scholarship I was given as a music student to study at CSUN and for the tremendous support given to me by the CSUN music faculty, in particular, Dr. Diane Roscetti. The university has shaped me as a musician, cellist, and as a person in general.”

2017 College Recipients

Felix Rabinovich
College of Engineering and Computer Science

Felix Rabinovich has volunteered his time and services to CSUN for more than a decade. As a member of the College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS) Industrial Advisory Board, Rabinovich has helped shape curriculum for the newly formed Computer Information Technology department. After getting involved with CECS Honors Cooperative Education, a program for students to gain valuable practical experience in a technical job while in school, Rabinovich was invited by Dean S.K. Ramesh to join the Industry Advisory Board. Rabinovich has also helped to prepare CECS departments for ABET certification, which accredits college and university programs in the field of natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology. Rabinovich, who has taught computer science classes at CSUN since 2014, said his passion for CSUN comes from the university’s commitment to prepare students with an education that will launch their professional careers. “I love how CSUN, and specifically CECS, prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow,” Rabinovich said.

Diane Manzella M.A. ‘72
College of Health and Development

Diane Manzella’s relationship with business partner and dear friend Julie Gardner was tied together by CSUN. The two received their master’s degrees from CSUN and were professors in the College of Health and Human Development (HHD) before starting one of the first private speech pathology clinics in the U.S. As their company grew, Manzella and Gardner hired numerous Matadors to work for the clinic.

After Gardner’s passing in 2011, Manzella and her family set up the Julie O. Gardner Language Speech and Hearing Center Fund. The award is given to a communicative disorders graduate student who has a desire to go into private practice in speech pathology. Manzella, who received the prestigious Distinguished Alumni Award in 2014, has continued to be a vital asset for CSUN. She spent two years as the Vice President and four years as the President of the Dean’s Circle for the department of HHD, which helps bring together alumni and community partners together to explore the role of the CSUN HHD in the community.

Manzella has assisted several HHD Deans, including current Dean Farrell Webb, in developing relationships within and outside the CSUN community to set philanthropic goals and objectives for the HHD. She is also on the CSUN Foundation board. “I could never have done what I did and achieved what I’ve achieved if it wasn’t for Cal State Northridge,” Manzella said. “I owe CSUN and I owe them a lot.” The Manzella family also established an endowment which funds the Department of Communicative Disorders Clinic and adds in perpetuity funds for the summer Boot Camp Program for master's students.  

Ralph Courtney
College of Humanities

Ralph Courtney III has lived in Northridge since 1958. As a child, he would often ride his bike onto the infant campus of San Fernando Valley State College. It began a 60-year connection to the university. Though he went to UCLA, Courtney has been a longtime supporter of nearly all things CSUN. His father, Ralph Jr. volunteered for CSUN. His sister, Barbara, and son, Ralph IV, earned degrees from CSUN.

He and his wife, Judyth, have financially supported the President’s 21st Century Fund, the Younes and Soraya Center for the Performing Arts, The New 88.5 FM (formerly KCSN), Matador Athletics — most notably men’s and women’s basketball — the College of Humanities — namely their biggest passion, the annual Phenomenal Woman Awards. “I have a lot of phenomenal women in my family,” Courtney said on why it’s important to him.

Courtney previously served on the CSUN Foundation Board of Directors, like his father before him. He serves on the CSUN Athletic Directors Circle Board. He and Judyth are members of the President's Associates. They will celebrate their 50-year wedding anniversary in 2018. "Because I know the value of the work being done there and to contribute in any way to enhance that work or those achievements I’m proud to be part of,” Courtney said on why he has served CSUN.

Linda Conlon '76 M.A., '86 Credential
College of Science and Mathematics

Linda Conlon’s passion for gardening drew her to CSUN’s award-winning Botanic Garden, a place which holds more than 1,000 different species of plants, a greenhouse and more. A former teacher at Balboa Magnet Elementary, Conlon returned to her alma mater after hearing about the university’s garden eight years ago. As a master gardener, Conlon knew she had to help out.

“After I retired from teaching I had extra time, so on Thursday mornings from 8:30 to 11:30 I do anything [botanic gardener manager Brenda Kanno] needs from me,” Conlon said. “My volunteering could be weeding, pruning, gardening or moving sheds. The Botanic gardens are wonderful.” Conlon’s positive experience at CSUN, both as a master’s student in the Early Childhood Education program and in the teaching credential program, is a main reason why she felt the need to give her time to CSUN.

Conlon’s volunteering can also be found at Balboa Magnet Elementary, where every Tuesday she teaches vegetable gardening to second and third graders.   

Marc J. Wolf ‘79
David Nazarian College of Business and Economics

Marc Wolf’s successful career as a certified public accountant is a direct reflection on the quality education he received as a Matador. Wolf recently joined CohnReznick as the Partner in charge of Financial Services for the South and West Region. Prior to joining CohnReznick, he held similar positions at KPMG and Rothstein Kass. His time at CSUN has led to Wolf dedicating his time to the department of accounting and informational systems advisory board, the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics advisory board and the CSUN Entrepreneurship advisory committee.

He has also served as a guest lecturer in CSUN’s “Professor for a Day” program, which allowed him to mentor fellow Matadors looking to advance their career. “My own positive experience at CSUN and the success my degree has enabled me to achieve is what led me to want to be more involved with the university,” Wolf said.

To Wolf, the diverse student population and the ability for many of the students to have an immediate socio-economic impact for the community is one of the major reasons he’s volunteered at CSUN for more than a decade. Wolf isn’t the only one in his family who bleeds Matador red. His wife, Margaret graduated in 1981 and his daughter, Lauren, earned her master’s in Education and Administration in 2012.

Joan Vitale '77
Michael D. Eisner College of Education

CSUN provided Joan Vitale with a quality education that led to her working for 15 years at the Los Angeles County office of the Public Guardian, a service which helps those who are unable to properly care for themselves. But to Vitale, the university provided her with much more. Her son, Paul, was a gifted watercolor artist who was a special needs person. After his passing, CSUN enabled Vitale to fulfill a long held wish to have Paul’s artwork displayed on campus. “In 2010, I made arrangements with the Michael Eisner College of Education to set up a gallery to show the watercolors created by my deceased son, " Vitale said. It is to be supported by my estate in perpetuity." 

The gallery was introduced as the “Paul Vitale Gallery/Art Outside the Lines,” at its grand opening on Feb. 11, 2011. The event was a tremendous source of pride for Vitale and further instilled in her a sense of commitment to CSUN. To Vitale, the gallery is a source of inspiration to CSUN students who want to work with special-needs people. Vitale remains dedicated to providing support to the university and looks forward to enjoying the continued growth of CSUN.

Robert C. Bassler
Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication

In 1997, Robert Bassler retired after 33 years teaching in CSUN’s Visual Arts department. However, his contributions to the university have remained steadfast 20 years later. Bassler has spent years volunteering his time to the university, including representing CSUN at the National Association of Schools of Art and Design Convention in order to promote the university’s desire to offer students a degree in the Master of Fine Arts, the terminal degree for the visual arts.

To this day, Bassler is still involved in developing an ongoing program to facilitate the installation of large-scale sculptures and artworks at selected locations on the CSUN campus. Bassler has also provided several scholarships to visual art students in order for them to further their education and has been an active member of the Executive Board of the Dean’s Circle.

“Although it’s now been over 20 years since my active teaching days, I still enjoy contact with current students, as well as keeping up with some of my past students,” Bassler said. “My passions concerning all the arts at CSUN remain and I am still involved with programs and projects that I initiated many years ago.”


2016 College Recipients

Balaji Iyer
College of Engineering and Computer Science

Approximately seven years ago, Naval engineer Balaji Iyer was asked to continue an educational partnership agreement between the California Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) and CSUN’s College of Engineering and Computer Science. Not only did he continue the partnership, he helped enrich it. Iyer, the director for the Offensive Electronic Warfare Systems Engineering Division in Point Mugu, has worked with the college on a mutually beneficial design project produced annually by CSUN students under the leadership of CSUN faculty. The advantage for CSUN’s students is obvious — the opportunity, work experience and prestige. But the Navy also benefits because the partnership creates visibility and a hiring channel to bring in talented, innovative engineers.

Balaji serves on the College of Engineering and Computer Science’s Industry Advisory Board and he is a judge for senior design project showcases. Though he never attended CSUN as a student’ he feels a strong connection to the university. “Working with the professors there, hiring students from CSUN and being there for senior design showcases where I see the work students are doing — all that helps build a relationship,” Iyer said. “And by building this relationship I feel like I’m a part of CSUN.”

Martin Lebowitz
College of Health and Human Development

Dr. Martin Lebowitz was brought into the CSUN family by his wife Joanie, who earned a bachelor’s degree in home economics from the university in 1975. The Lebowitzes have been loyal, indispensable supporters of the College of Health and Human Development having served on the HHD Dean Circle’s Advisory Board and thus have opened up ideas and opportunities for the college’s fundraising efforts. They also set up two endowments at the university. Both are named in honor of their daughter, Suzan Jean Lebowitz, who passed away at just 2 years old, and provide funds for research in nutrition and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

When her daughter passed away, Joanie began taking college courses, first at Santa Monica College and then at CSUN. Martin said the university has meant so much for her and has also become a special place for him. “CSUN is important because it was an outlet for my wife to gain a college education, and it was something dear to her heart and opened up to her when her daughter died,” Martin said. “She decided to go to school and in CSUN found a home, and we have a very warm spot for CSUN. We want to do everything we can to help CSUN.

Enrique and Prosy de la Cruz 
College of Humanities

Enrique and Prosy de la Cruz have dedicated their lives to service. Enrique is the former chair and faculty member of CSUN’s Department of Asian American Studies (AAS).  Upon his retirement in 2011, he was elected professor emeritus. He established the annual Social Justice Award for students in AAS to encourage them to be more involved in social-justice issues. He continues to donate annually to enable the Asian American Studies department to give the Social Justice Award to a deserving student.

Enrique and Prosy have been avid supporters of the department’s Glenn Omatsu House. Prosy writes a weekly lifestyle column for the newspaper Asian Journal, called “Rhizomes,” that has featured the Omatsu House on numerous occasions.

Prosy has a four-decade commitment to community volunteerism in the areas of civil rights, human rights, prevention of hate crimes and women’s and leadership development. She served three years on the city of Los Angeles’ Civil Services Commission.

In retirement, Enrique has served on boards of community organizations such as the Filipino American Service Group (FASGI), Search to Involve Filipino Americans (SIPA), Filipino Civil Rights Advocates (FilCRA), and the Liberty Hill Foundation. He has also volunteered his time in developing culturally aware health education and health prevention programs for Filipino Americans. Working with the Filipino American Service Group (FASGI), he developed a health education workshop to help older Filipino Americans stay active and manage their chronic illness symptoms more effectively.

Michael Bershad ’12
College of Science and Math 

As a transfer student to CSUN, Michael Bershad’s time at the university may have been short, but felt anything but. He began taking upper-division biology courses and was instantly amazed by his professors who taught everything from embryology to cellular and molecular biology. He was further inspired by the research that they did. Knowing that he aspired to attend pharmacy school upon graduation, he said it was his invaluable education that he received at CSUN that prepared him for what was to come.

Once he began attending pharmacy school at USC, Bershad knew he wanted to continue his affiliation with CSUN — the school that had given him so much.

In 2013, Bershad became a member of the Biology Alumni Chapter board. And as the newly appointed vice president of the chapter, he played a key role in planning the yearly biology bashes, which showcase the incredible research of CSUN’s biology faculty and students. Additionally, Bershad participated in resume and networking events held for the benefit of current CSUN students. His current project is planning the Biology Chapter’s first career fair. “In short, I am incredibly proud of the time I have spent at CSUN, and I hope to continue this partnership for as long as they’ll have me,” Bershad said.

Heather Briggs ’98
David Nazarian College of Business and Economics

Heather Briggs transferred to CSUN from another university in 1995. Briggs had been riding the roller coaster of majors until, as a senior, she landed in the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics as an accounting major. It’s there where, she said, she found her tribe.

Between the students, the professors and the accounting clubs, she found a passion for accounting and a path to a successful and fulfilling career.  “I can truly say that the reason I am successful today is directly related to the skills I learned and experiences gained during my time at CSUN," Briggs said. “Because of that, I feel like I have a responsibility to help provide that same experience for the students.”

Over the years she has participated in a variety of accounting recruiting functions, spoken to students either through Professor for a Day or as part of programs put on by accounting and business clubs. She worked with the Department of Accounting and Information Systems to create a proposal for a course in the master’s in accountancy program, which the department later asked her to teach. Briggs is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board for the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics. She is also an adjunct professor and routinely lectures in a leadership seminar for accounting and information systems students.

Tom White ’78
Mike Curb College of Arts Media, and Communication 

Tom White is an award-winning designer who began his career in corporate brand development as the youngest marketing executive in the history of Lockheed-Martin.  White has worked with the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication on a pro bono basis to create the brand for “Commerce of Creativity Distinguished Speakers Series.”

He was involved from the beginning on the formation and creation of this lecture series that has brought attention and prestige to the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication, and was one of the first speakers in 2012. This inspirational series has brought influential, creative visionaries to campus to relay their invaluable experiences and thoughts to current Matadors.

White has also served on the Mike Curb College Dean’s Executive Board for several years. He has served as a consultant on the development of a Design Thinking certificate program at Tseng College and has been a guest speaker on campus for TED Talks organized by the Associated Students. He has also participated in the ongoing development of LACI@CSUN and has served on the CSUN Innovates! interest group, the Monday morning collaborative that brings together CSUN’s innovation stakeholders. White was also a speaker at the LACI@CSUN CEO Breakfast Series.

White, the founder of 3DI2 — a management consulting company, is known for setting new standards for linking brand development to sales growth, and for introducing new products based upon the creation of an emotional identity.

2015 College Recipients

Eric Bossuk '80
College of Business and Economics

Eric is a highly successful and widely recognized executive in the insurance industry. Most recently, Eric co-founded an advisory council for the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics’ Center for Risk and Insurance. The goal of the council is to assist the Nazarian College in bringing more young professionals into the insurance business. Eric has also pledged money to the Nazarian College to enable the Center for Risk and Insurance to reach more students, give them internship and employment opportunities, and to provide scholarships for students who are studying insurance. He is a founding member of the Insurance Degree Steering Committee at CSUN and works with CSUN professor of insurance and finance Dr. David Russell to show students the opportunities available in the field. Eric is Chairman and CEO of B&B Premier Insurance Solutions in Agoura Hills, a firm that employs seven CSUN graduates.

Additionally, Eric met his wife at CSUN. Outside of his work for CSUN, he was president of the Independent Agents Association of the San Fernando Valley and served as chair of the finance committee of the State Association. He was also on the board of directors of West Hills Pony Baseball League. His firm also puts on a charity golf tournament for “Coach For Kids,” a Cedars-Sinai Medical Center-sponsored charity where more than $75,000 has been raised annually for the charity.

Cindy Chernow '78
Michael D. Eisner College of Education

Cindy has two degrees from CSUN, her husband has three degrees, and both her son and daughter-in-law have degrees from CSUN. Because of the education that they all received, Cindy and her family want to be a part of CSUN’s continued upward mobility and are committed to helping build a culture of giving back. Already busy with family and being the president of Chernow Consulting, it hasn’t stopped Cindy from serving. She was a CSUN Foundation Board member representing the Michael D. Eisner College of Education, a member of the Foundation Board’s Engagement Committee, a CSUN Alumni Association volunteer and guest speaker and a volunteer and supporter of the Family Justice Center. Additionally, Cindy has given back by being a scholarship donor and volunteer for the College of Education, a mentor for graduate students in CSUN’s Master’s in Career Counseling Program and a speaker for the California Career Development Association student chapter at CSUN and for the Student Health Administration program. She also lent her expertise as a member of the search committee for the Associate Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations. Over the years, Cindy has worked on volunteer projects in Kenya, East Africa, India and Nicaragua. She spent more than 20 years working in the field of career development helping college students at universities throughout the United States and has remained actively involved in student and professional mentorship programs.

Pradip Choksi
Rekha Choksi 
College of Engineering

Pradip and Rekha Choksi are wonderful friends of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at CSUN, where they established the Pradip and Rekha Choksi Endowment in 2008. Since then, many of the college’s most talented students have received scholarships from the endowment. The Choksis believe in the college and its mission to educate a diverse group of engineers well prepared to take their place in the professional world of engineering. Dean S.K. Ramesh feels tremendous admiration for the Choksi family and is extremely pleased to have them as friends. As dean of the college, Ramesh has managed its tremendous growth as its reputation for educating highly qualified engineers has grown. The enhanced reputation of the college would not be possible without the friendship of supporters like the Choksi family. Their generosity allows the college to help more of its students pursue careers in the critically important field of engineering. Pradip and Rekha are co-founders of Resenex Corporation, a San Fernando Valley-based manufacturer of medical and industrial devices.

Joanie Lebowitz '75
College of Health and Human Development

Joanie and her husband, Marty, established the Suzan Jean Lebowitz Nutrition Sciences Endowment in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences in 2010. The endowment was initially established to support student scholarships and has recently been re-purposed to provide a mini-grant for faculty engaged in nutrition, dietetics and food sciences research. Named in memory of their daughter, who passed away at 2 years old, the program provides funds for research in nutrition, a topic close to the Lebowitz’s hearts, since Joanie studied it while earning her second bachelor’s degree at CSUN.

Since 2010, Joanie and Marty have been generous supporters of the College of Health and Human Development and the Valley Performing Arts Center. They also created an endowment in memory of their daughter that supports faculty and student research to understand Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Thanks in part to the Lebowitzes, CSUN’s College of Health and Human Development is furthering efforts in this area through engagement with other institutes and centers, is hiring additional researchers and is purchasing additional research equipment. Since 2010, Joanie and Marty have donated time and money to the university and have been working to help raise funds and awareness for the programs.

Deane Leavenworth    
College of Social & Behavioral Sciences

Deane humbly stated that he is hesitant to use the word “volunteer” because he was acting as the steward of others’ resources as opposed to so many people he has encountered at CSUN who are giving of their own time, resources and prestige. However, Deane can take a bow for his commitment to helping the university on a number of levels. Many years ago when he was a teacher, Deane would visit CSUN. The faculty was very gracious and generous in providing professional enhancement and guidance, he said. The passion and commitment of the faculty, the staff and the other volunteers, boosters and advocates was contagious.

Deane originally began working with CSUN during his time as the district director for Council District 3 under Los Angeles City Council Member Laura N. Chick. When he moved over to Time Warner Cable, where he is currently a regional vice president of government relations, the media giant featured CSUN professor Dr. Dan Blake’s Valley Economic Forecast on Time Warner Cable’s “Parallax Forum,” hosted by Lee Alpert, for several years. Eventually, through serendipity, Deane met Dean Stella Theodoulou and became involved in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and eventually Envisioning California. Deane serves on the college’s Dean’s Advisory Council as well as the CSUN Foundation Board.

Ravi Sawhney '79
Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication

Ravi and his wife, Amalia, created the annual Ravi K. and Amalia Sawhney Creative Excellence Award — a cash award recognizing and celebrating creative achievements and professional promise as a graduating senior in CSUN’s Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication. In the past, he was a guest speaker as part of the College’s Commerce of Creativity Distinguished Speakers series. He was asked by President Harrison to represent the university at a national conference in Washington, D.C. in January 2015. He also was the guest CEO speaker for a LACI@CSUN (Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator) event in March 2015. Ravi volunteered his time and facilitated and hosted a brainstorming session at his business to develop and create a new academic program in the Tseng College focused on Industrial Design. Ravi majored in art three-dimension at CSUN. He is an influential industrial designer and founder and CEO of RKS and founder and chairman of the board of LoanGifting.


2014 College Recipients

Paul Jennings  
1985 B.A. Marketing
David Nazarian College of Business and Economics

Paul Jennings is one of the most active donors and volunteers at the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics. He is the vice chair of the college’s advisory board, and has participated in the college’s annual Professor for a Day event for the last five years. Paul is also a judge in the annual Business Honors Case Competition. He has committed more than $1 million to support the college and encourages others to engage and support. In 2011, he represented the CSUN Alumni Association at the college's commencement.

Paul is also a member of the university’s Heritage Society, and he and his wife, Adrienne, are founders of the Jennings Family Foundation. 

Peggy Nelson 
1991 M.S.
College of Engineering and Computer Science

Currently working as Sector Vice President, Engineering and Global Product Development, Peggy Nelson is responsible for leading the Aerospace Systems (AS) engineering organization and managing the processes and tools used to design and develop the products across the sector and overseeing a workforce of more than 9,000 employees.

For several years, Peggy has been a tireless supporter of the College of Engineering and Computer Science and CSUN. As a member of the College Industry Advisory Board, she played a major role in elevating the profile of the college’s programs across Northrop Grumman’s business sectors and led to the college’s selection as a Core University Partner by the corporation in 2013. This partnership provides our students with enhanced internship and career opportunities, our faculty with the opportunity to work on contemporary research projects through design clinics and our academic programs to remain on the cutting edge.

Peggy is strongly committed to building a diverse workforce and recently secured a $45,000 grant from Northrop Grumman to support the college’s efforts to recruit, retain and mentor women in engineering – especially in aerospace engineering. An active, long-time participant in the WISE program (Women in Science and Engineering), she freely donates her time mentoring and supporting students in the college’s programs.

Joni Novosel 
2001 B.A. Business Administration and Finance, 2006 M.A. Health Administration
College of Health and Human Development 

As the Executive Director of Valley Care Community Coalition, a nonprofit health and mental health planning agency, Joni Novosel has mentored many CSUN students by providing internships and field experience through the agency. Currently, she is Director of the Center for Healthier Communities at Northridge Hospital Medical Center, where she partners with CSUN and various centers and institutes on a variety of projects that benefit CSUN students and area residents.

Joni is a part-time professor and volunteers to coordinate the CSUN Annual Promising Practices Conference, which focuses on issues surrounding the mentally ill and aging. She was a recipient of a Volunteer Service Award in 2000 for her leadership and organization of the CSUN Finance Alumni Chapter. She and her husband, Nicholas ’01, M.B.A. ’04, are donors to the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics Dean’s Fund.

Earl Greinetz 
College of Humanities 

Loyal supporters of the university and its mission, Earl Greinetz and his late wife, Toba, have been conscientious donors to the campus for several years, including to the Michael D. Eisner College of Education, where a classroom is named in their honor. In 2004, after being introduced to the Jewish Studies Program in the College of Humanities, Earl became a member of the Steering Committee and a generous benefactor for the Friends of the Jewish Studies Program, a group of more than 300 community members supporting the program.

Also a loyal patron of the Valley Performing Arts Center, Earl was one of a small group of volunteers who tirelessly reached out to other donors on behalf of the VPAC campaign, raising the funds needed for construction and maintenance of the complex. 

Ron Feinstein 
Michael D. Eisner College of Education

As a friend of the university, Ron Feinstein has contributed time and funds to CSUN. Ron and his wife, Gayle, have been generous benefactors to the Family Justice Center at the Michael D. Eisner College of Education. Ron supports the college’s community division agency, Strength United (formerly the Valley Trauma Center), whose mission is to provide a unique interdisciplinary approach to ending abuse and violence through the collaboration of mental health professionals, educators, researchers, students and volunteers. This agency partners with the Family Justice Center, the only one in Los Angeles County, which serves as a conduit for local agencies that work to combat family violence.

Ron is president of the Mid-Valley Police Council, which supports the LAPD’s Van Nuys-area station. He continuously advocates through the council on behalf of the Family Justice Center. He also sponsored the construction of the Welcome Center at the new Family Justice Center location. 

Richard J. Parent
1979 Credentials
Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication

Actively involved in serving CSUN, Richard Parent is a member of the CSUN Foundation Board and its Finance & Investment Committee and the MCCAMC Dean’s Circle Executive Board and Advisory Board. In addition, he is a former member of the Valley Performing Arts Center Executive Advisory Board and its Gala Committee, Volunteer Leadership Summit Steering Committee, MCCAMC Arts Council Executive Board, Legislative Advocacy Network and the President’s Circle. He has contributed to the VPAC Gala Fund and the MCCAMC Music Department.

Sue Fritsche 
College of Science and Mathematics 

Sue Fritsche and her late husband, professor emeritus Gene Fritsche of the Department of Geological Sciences, always enjoyed the outdoors and loved giving back to their community, as well as other communities around the world. In 2004, they began to organize and personally lead a series of GeoTrek hikes as a way of offering the CSUN community and the public an opportunity to learn about aspects of geology surrounding the San Fernando Valley and the San Gabriel and Santa Monica Mountains.

From the Los Angeles Zoo to Point Mugu and beyond, more than 400 miles were walked on the series of GeoTrek hiking trips. As a result, with the more than $47,000 that has been raised, the Fritsches established the Gene and Sue Fritsche GeoTrek Scholarship Endowment, which provides annual scholarships to geology majors. Sue has also helped with the annual CSUN Science Expo for geology students.

Jaime de la Vega 
1990 B.A. Urban Studies and Planning
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences 

As a member of the SBS Urban Studies and Planning Alumni Council at CSUN, Jaime de la Vega serves on the review board for the Urban Studies department, helping to make sure the department continually meets compliance needs. As an extension of this activism, he participates in the Urban Studies department alumni mentoring program. He arms students with influential advice and information that contributes to the advancement of their careers in the public sector by providing information about internships and potential job leads. On multiple occasions, Jaime has served as a guest lecturer.

2013 College Recipients

Kenneth Floyd 
1980 B.A. Business Administration   
David Nazarian College of Business and Economics

Kenneth Floyd is the retired CEO of Artissimo Holdings, Inc. The company is one of the world's largest manufacturers of innovative and trend-focused wall décor products. A few years ago, Kenneth's good friend and fellow CSUN alumnus Dick Fager helped him re-engage with the College of Business and Economics and the university. Since then, Kenneth has become a member of the college’s advisory board.

Kenneth acts as a guest classroom speaker and provides mentorship and guidance to multiple student groups. He actively recruits his colleagues to participate in college activities. Kenneth and his wife, Ana, are major financial supporters of the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics and the university's athletics program. He is a member of the CSUN Heritage Society and the President’s Associates.

Christopher Erikson  
College of Engineering and Computer Science

Although not an alumnus of the university, Christopher Erickson has been a committee volunteer for the College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS). Christopher has been a member of the CECS Industrial Advisory Board since 2009, and has been appointed as the college-designated board member for CECS. Serving as a judge each spring for the college’s Senior Design Project Showcase, Christopher commits to a demanding schedule that requires hours of showcase attendance and review of a wide variety of student projects.

He has 35 years of experience working with propulsion and energy technology and currently serves as chief engineer of energy and advanced programs at Aerojet Rocketdyne in Canoga Park. He has successfully guided partnerships between the company and the college, including the college’s Honors Co-Op Program, which have resulted in the employment of many CSUN graduates. In addition, he is a member of the CSUN Foundation board of directors.

Ruth Rothman 
1973 B.A. Speech Communicative Disorders, 1977 M.A. Communicative Disorders and Sciences
College of Health and Human Development

In 2010, Ruth Rothman established the Ruth S. Rothman Scholarship Endowment at CSUN, which is dedicated to providing tuition support to students pursuing a teaching credential in the Michael D. Eisner College of Education and specializing in speech therapy. Two years later, she established the Ruthie’s Kids Fund in the Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences. The fund provides families in need with grants to help pay for enrolling their children in the Early Intervention Program at CSUN’s Language, Speech and Hearing Center.

On March 18, 2013, Ruth passed away at the age of 89. In her will, she left the bulk of her estate to continue tuition support for the Ruth S. Rothman Scholarship Endowment. She was a member of the CSUN Heritage Society and President’s Associates.

Michael Bloch 
1989 B.A.
College of Humanities

Michael Bloch is a loyal supporter and friend of the College of Humanities, as well as for the entire CSUN community. He established the Michael Bloch Queer Studies Scholarship, which was first awarded this year. As an active volunteer and alumnus, Michael was instrumental in starting the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Ally alumni chapter, otherwise known as CLAASS (CSUN LGBTQA Alumni Association). His leadership and connections to the LGBT community, locally and nationally, were vital in starting the chapter.

Barbara Pinchuk
Friend of the University
Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication

Barbara Pinchuk initially became involved with the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication because of her lifelong dream to have a performing arts center in the San Fernando Valley. As a member of the college’s Dean’s Circle, Barbara has demonstrated an active interest in the college and the Valley Performing Arts Center (VPAC). She has raised awareness of the university’s role in the community and advocated for both academic and public programs.

A member of the Dean’s Circle executive board since 2011, Barbara initiated and hosted the Dean’s Circle Opportunities Project panel discussion providing 30 students from the department of Cinema and Television Arts with the opportunity to interact with industry professionals. She also cultivated patrons for the VPAC by hosting a pre-performance brunch.

Barbara Caretto 
Friend of the University
College of Science and Mathematics

Following her retirement from CSUN as the Director of Development for the College of Science and Mathematics, Barbara Caretto continues to maintain her connection with the campus by volunteering at the Botanic Garden. In addition to wielding her sharp editorial pencil on garden publications, she nurtures the plant collection with her precise attention to detail.

During her tenure as director of development, she authored numerous successful grant proposals. Two of them—grants from California ReLeaf and Caltrans—proved significant to the Botanic Garden and its volunteers. They funded the purchase of 220 trees and plants for the Gymnosperm Forest project and for the garden. Barbara collaborated with biology department faculty and staff to establish the Friends of the Garden and Memorial Bench programs. She also collaborated with Tseng College staff to design a gardening series and open house events—activities that have attracted numerous donors and volunteers to CSUN.

Mary Anne Wolfson 
2010 B.A. History
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences 

Mary Anne Wolfson is an outstanding volunteer tutor in the college's Michael Patterson History Writing Center, which provides support for students taking history classes who want to improve their writing skills. Mary Anne met each student on his or her own level, allowing them to move forward at their own pace. She read and offered constructive comment on dozens of draft essays and met with students individually to explain the fundamentals of writing and editing a paper. At a time when financial constraints have limited the amount of individual attention CSU students can receive from university staff, Mary Anne played a vital role in maintaining CSUN’s commitment to providing students with the help they need to excel in their coursework.

2012 College Recipients

Sue Haber
Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication

Since her retirement as a faculty member in the Department of Business Administration and Economics, Sue Haber has been an active CSUN supporter, volunteer and donor. She currently serves on the MCCAMC Dean’s Circle Advisory Board. Last year, she played an instrumental role in initiating the Dean’s Opportunities Project, a program that helps the college’s most promising students achieve unique educational and career goals by connecting them with successful industry professionals, arts patrons and dynamic community leaders.

Sue is an active member of the President’s Senior Associates and with her husband, Judge Alan Haber, has given generously to support the college’s Dean’s Fund and the Valley Performing Arts Center. 

Roy Salter
1979 B.A. Business Administration  
David Nazarian College of Business and Economics

Roy Salter is a founder and member of the board of directors of California United Bank. A member of the COBAE Advisory Board since 2009, Roy created and now leads a field-study course that teaches students how to assess comparative business potential, and connects them with CEOs and companies in the Los Angeles area. Now in its second semester, students who completed the course have retained internships and jobs from the networking opportunities and skills that the course provided. Roy volunteers countless hours teaching our students and helping them prepare for CEO meetings as well as grading and editing papers, all while running the Salter Group. He also served on the Valley Performing Arts Center Gala Committee.

Theresa Quary 
Friend of the University
Michael D. Eisner College of Education

Theresa Quary has a long history of significant volunteer service to CSUN and the CHIME Institute, a CSUN partner school. Since 2005, she has been instrumental in raising funds for the institute and providing organizational and planning support for numerous CHIME events. She has motivated many others to become involved in the organization, giving generously of her time and skills. 

In addition to volunteering countless hours, she plays an instrumental role at the Family Focus Resource Center (FFRC), recruiting, coordinating and managing volunteers for the organization. FFRC is an organization that, through the college, assists families of children with special needs. She also served for five years on the CSUN Advisory Committee for CULTURE in Early Childhood Special Education. The primary goal of the project was to produce highly qualified early interventionists and early childhood special educators. 

Charles H. Volk, Ph.D.  
Friend of the University
College of Engineering and Computer Science

As vice president and chief technologist for Northrop Grumman Navigation Systems Division in Woodland Hills, Charles Volk has been the “man on the inside” for the college as a friend, advocate and supporter for many years. A recent example was his arrangement for the donation of a key component to enable a CSUN student team to take first place in the national Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition. He has been a member of the CECS Industrial Advisory Board since 2005.

Ronora W. Sayaman
1997 B.A. Accounting Theory and Practice
College of Humanities

Ronora Sayaman was the first to establish a scholarship in the Queer Studies Program with the Wong-Sayaman Equality Award, named after her parents, to provide support to students from any academic major who are committed to a leadership role in the Queer, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender communities. This year, Ronora was instrumental in the chartering the CSUN Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer & Ally Alumni Association (CLAASS) coinciding with the grand opening of the Pride Center in the University Student Union. CLAASS serves as an LGBTQA-focused and alumni-driven organization whose role is to provide networking, educational, mentoring and other benefits to LGBTQA students, alumni, faculty and the community.

George Thomas, Ph.D.
Friend of the University
College of Science and Mathematics

George Thomas began volunteering at the Botanic Garden in April 2005, after his retirement from Goodyear. George quietly works in the garden and greenhouse complex, whether by himself or as part of a team of volunteers. He can be counted on to finesse solutions to the day’s projects, such as constructing shady areas for sheltering sensitive plants or pruning an unruly shrub. No matter how complicated or onerous the task, Thomas will take care of it with neither fuss nor fanfare. His dedication to the garden is much appreciated.

Kurt Christiansen
1985 B.A. Urban Studies
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Serving on the college’s Urban Studies Alumni Council for many years, Kurt Christiansen has acted as a liaison between the Urban Studies and Planning Department and the American Planning Association (APA). His volunteer leadership roles include serving as the Los Angeles section director, the California chapter president and in his current position as vice chair of the National Chapter Presidents Council.

During his term as Los Angeles section director, he established an annual scholarship for a CSUN student in the department. He also assisted the department with their first effort to gain accreditation from the Planning Accreditation Board. Last year, Kurt served as one of the co-chairs of the National American Planning Conference, held in Los Angeles. He was instrumental in influencing the national APA organization to allow CSUN students to participate in the early career program for student members. He has served as a distinguished alumni speaker for urban studies students and is a member of the President’s Circle.

Jeremiah “J.B.” Williams
2012 M.P.A. Masters of Public Administration
Tseng College

J.B. Williams is being honored for his extraordinary volunteer efforts on behalf of the college in connecting students with the MPA program. He has single-handedly recruited nine cohorts (270 students) into the program. An enthusiastic volunteer, J.B. has set a goal to recruit at least 200 more people into future cohorts.

2011 College Recipients

Joan Boyett
Friend of The University
Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication

Joan Boyett is a nationally respected and locally revered leader of the arts education community. Through her connections at CSUN and in the community, Joan has been tireless in her efforts to connect Executive Director of the Valley Performing Arts Center (VPAC), Dean Robert Bucker, to the visual and performing arts community throughout Southern California. She has been a member of the college’s Dean’s Circle for more than seven years and has worked to help build the board. Joan was instrumental in securing Garry Marshall’s involvement in the VPAC ground breaking. She served on the VPAC Gala Committee. She also co-founded the Very Special Arts Festival, a free festival that celebrates the artistic achievements of students with disabilities along with their mainstream peers. 

Timothy Wall
Friend of the University
David Nazarian College of Business and Economics

Timothy Wall serves on the college’s advisory board. His focus has been on expanding recognition of the Masters in Business Administration (MBA) program. He has developed an interview and resume writing seminar for business students. Tim has served as a General Counsel to numerous financial institutions. As a practicing attorney, he has focused his area of expertise on banking, finance and business law as well as on compliance issues. Since his retirement, he has joined the CSUN faculty teaching an advanced course in Business Law.

Ford Roosevelt
Friend of the University
Michael D. Eisner College of Education

As President and CEO of Project GRAD (Graduation Really Achieves Dreams) Los Angeles, an education non-profit organization, Ford Roosevelt has been a longtime partner in the college’s ongoing work to improve graduation rates in local public schools. He exemplifies a commitment to ongoing collaboration with the university to positively transform the local community. Under his leadership, Project GRAD Los Angeles has worked closely with the college to improve the academic achievement of pupils throughout the San Fernando Valley. In his position for over eight years, Roosevelt has overseen the admission and transfer of over 400 Project GRAD Scholars to CSUN since 2003.

Michael Gross
1996 B.S., 2008 M.S. Electrical Engineering
College of Engineering and Computer Science

Serving on the Industrial Advisory Board of the College of Engineering and Computer Science and on the Industry Liaison Council of the Electrical and Computer Engineering department, Michael Gross has a record of outstanding service to the college and has been instrumental in connecting students with exciting career opportunities at the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) through biannual Tech Fest events. Mike’s efforts have helped strengthen the college’s partnership with JPL enhancing opportunities for our students and faculty. Mike has also served as the alumni representative for the CECS commencement and as commencement speaker during last year’s ceremony.

Nancy Petry
1993 B.A. Child and Adolescent Development, 1996 M.S. Educational Psychology & Counseling
College of Health and Human Development

Nancy Petry is now a part-time lecturer and serves as the advisor to the Child and Adolescent Development Alumni Chapter (CADV). She creates event and program materials. She has been instrumental in guiding students to campus resources and training them on policies and procedures enabling them to be more successful. Her extensive experience working in community programs involving children and families has made significant contributions to majors, alumni and programs which serve children and adolescents.

Nancy has served on the HHD Academic Advisement Committee Think Tank to develop Advisement Moodle Communication. She is often invited to make presentations to assist and inform students interested in transferring to the Child and Adolescent Development major at CSUN. Nancy promotes and supports chapter professional development programs and encourages involvement in the Alumni Association. 

Joe Vecchiarelli
Friend of the University
Department of Family and Consumer Sciences

Owner of Vecchiarelli Brothers in Los Angeles, Joe Vecchiarelli has been a volunteer and donor for the Family and Consumer Science department and its annual fashion show for several years. He provides equipment to fashion merchandising students at a low discounted rate and he donates dress forms and sewing machines to the fashion show winners.

Joe is highly involved in the fashion industry and with judging and producing fashion shows. Vecchiarelli Brothers, Inc., a family owned business, was established in 1936. Joe continued to source information about the apparel business and the company grew from a single entity to four companies averaging $38 million in annual sales. 

Janet Reagan
Faculty Member
Department of Health Sciences

For more than 30 years, Janet Reagan has been a faculty member in the Department of Health Sciences. She has been a leader in health administration education locally, nationally and internationally. She was one of the pioneers in developing the standards and certification process for undergraduate health administration programs and has worked tirelessly to promote the field through her service as chair of the board of directors of the Association of Healthcare Executives, and her work with other professional and educational associations. 

At CSUN, she has contributed at all levels, most notably in her service as member and chair of the Graduate Studies Committee, member and chair of the Personnel Planning and Review Committee and on the Committee on Program Review. Among other awards, Janet received the CSUN Meritorious Performance and Professional Promise Award in 1989.

Dan and Jan Shiells
2007 M.A. History
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Dan and Jan Shiells are exemplary volunteers and extraordinary supporters of the Historic Natchez Program in the Department of History. By volunteering their time, hosting and mentoring students and generously providing financial support for the program they usher students into the world of historical Natchez, a microcosm of Southern history and provide opportunities for them to engage in the in depth study of history. Jan and Dan created the Hazel Wheeler Research Fund in memory of Jan’s mother. Thanks to their exceptional generosity, the Wheeler Fund provides critical support for CSUN students conducting research in Natchez, Mississippi.  In addition, Dan and Jan host students in their Natchez home, mentor them with their research, and graciously host receptions. 

2010 College Recipients

Donald Petrie
1976 B.A. Theatre
Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication

Donald Petrie is “paying it forward” to students and alumni who hope to make their mark in the entertainment industry. He has presented numerous “insider” guest lectures while serving on advisory and educational panels sponsored by the Entertainment Industry Institute. He has attended and supported two reunions of CSUN Theatre Alumni. For several years, Don has volunteered his time and expertise by judging, reviewing and selecting students to take part in CSUN’s annual Senior Film Showcase. As the 2009-2010 honored Artist in Residence for the Department of Cinema and Television Arts, Don is working to enhance mentoring and training, and is leading workshops on how to “pitch a project” and “how to audition” for a director.

David P. Malone
1981 B.S. Accounting
College of Business and Economics

As a member of the COBAE Dean’s Advisory Board since its inception, David Malone has been making a difference to CSUN for the last 15 years. He is currently board chairman and works hard encouraging others to become involved with the university. David is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Board of Directors of Community Bank in Pasadena. He has over twenty-five years of management experience in commercial banking, business consulting/financial markets. David is also a member of the CSUN Heritage Society and the President’s Associates.

Munir Sindir
Friend of the University
College of Engineering and Computer Science

Since becoming involved with CSUN in 2007, Dr. Munir Sindir has worked diligently to promote the college and the department. He has created opportunities for faculty and students to become involved with research and engineering projects at Rocketdyne and to work with engineers and scientists at the organization. Munir has volunteered and served on the Mechanical Engineering Department’s Advisory Board, and played a key role during the ABET accreditation team visit to the department. He continues his involvement and encourages his co-workers to become involved with the college and the department. Munir represented his firm at TechFest, the college’s annual showcase of local companies, at which he discussed employment opportunities with CSUN students and promoted the pursuit of technical degrees. 

Audrey Clark
1971 M.A. Home Economics
College of Health and Human Development

As Chair of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences for over ten years, Audrey Clark led the department through significant and enduring developments, including the establishment of the Marilyn Magaram Center for Food Science, Nutrition and Dietetics (MMC). She continues to serve the MMC Advisory Board. Audrey came to CSUN in 1971 as a member of the Family Studies faculty. She taught courses in human development and early childhood administration and was director of the Child and Family Studies Center, also known as the lab school. Under her guidance, the center developed a program that is renowned throughout the state for its training of ethical and compassionate teachers. 

Since retirement, Clark initiated and co-directed the Head Start-Higher Education project for staff development of San Fernando Valley and Ventura County Head Start teachers. The project has provided scholarships and mentoring for 36 Head Start teachers to receive bachelor's degrees and 14 to receive master's degrees from CSUN.

Ruth Harris
Retired Faculty, Communication Disorders
College of Health and Human Development

The department of Communication Disorders and Sciences is indebted to Ruth Harris for her many years of service as faculty member and volunteer. She began her tenure at CSUN in 1977 as the first clinic coordinator of the Language, Speech and Hearing Center on campus and in 1987 became the director of the CSUN Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers. For 26 years, she modeled volunteerism for CSUN undergraduate and graduate students by involving them in her work as a board member, state conference organizer, and newsletter editor for the California Speech-Language-Hearing Association and in her volunteer work for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Since her retirement in 2003, she has continued to generously volunteer by assisting the university in its connections to the financial donor community and by opening her home for social and fundraising events. At present, she is one of the organizers of a department campaign to support development of a new specialty clinic for the Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences. In addition, she is a member of the Valley Performing Arts Center Gala Committee. 

D. Zeke Zeidler
1987 B.A. English
College of Humanities

In recent years, CSUN alumnus Daniel Zeke Ziedler friend and volunteer for the College of Humanities (COH). Zeke presented the 2006 COH commencement address, wrote an inspirational piece for the COH Newsletter and in 2008 participated in the celebration of the new Queer Studies program, along with 300 faculty, staff, students and community members. In 2008, Zeke agreed to serve as an advisor to the COH initiative to create the Rainbow Research and Resource Center (RRRC). His contribution of contacts in the community enabled the college to create an advisory board that will take the lead on the RRRC project.  

Henry Abrash
Retired Faculty, Chemistry
College of Science and Mathematics

Dr. Henry Abrash, an emeritus professor in Chemistry & Biochemistry, retired from CSUN after over thirty years of service. During his tenure at CSUN he served as faculty president (1988-90), Chemistry Department Chair 1995-98 and president of CSUN Chapter of Sigma Xi. Since retiring, he continues to actively volunteer for the university and other community services including tutoring of current students and volunteering for Chemists Celebrate Earth Day.

Randy Rhodes
1982 B.A. Political Science
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Judge Randy Rhodes has been a long-time volunteer in the Judicial Internship program in the department of Political Science. He gives his time and expertise generously to our students who gain invaluable skills and inspiration for their future education and career paths. As a volunteer, Judge Rhodes mentors CSUN student interns placed in his courtroom, has volunteered his time to lecture in classes related to the law, and has taken students on tours of local jail facilities.

Dean C. Logan
Friend of the University
The Tseng College

Dean Logan was appointed Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk for Los Angeles County in 2008. As Chief Deputy, Dean has been an active supporter of the Tseng College Master of Public Administration (MPA) program from its inception. A meeting with Dr. Henrik Minassians, MPA program director, convinced Logan that his staff could benefit enormously by earning their master's degrees in public administration. Reviewing the contract to have the MPA program taught on site, he personally facilitated its complete approval in a single month. In addition, Dean supervised the process of introducing the MPA program to his Norwalk staff and saw to it the applications for admission were opened to all Los Angeles County employees. Dean'spositive attitude, understanding of the MPA program’s potential value to his staff as well as to other L.A. County employees, and his personal attention to putting the program on a fast track have been of invaluable benefit to the Tseng College and the management and staff of L.A. County. 

2009 College Recipients

Bruce Rosenblum
1976 B.S. Political Science
Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication

Bruce Rosenblum and Senior Vice President Liz Huzarik were instrumental in paving the way for Cinema and Television Arts class “Audience Analysis” to be taught at Warner Bros.—the only course regularly taught at the Burbank studio. With funding he solicited from Nielsen Media, Bruce helped create the Nielsen Media Research Lab in Manzanita Hall, and he continues to seek funding from Nielsen on CSUN’s behalf. Bruce created the David Somerville Memorial Media Research Scholarship at CSUN and also provides Warner Bros. scholarships for students studying audience analysis at the studio. Bruce has also served as a guest lecturer in Professor Bob Gustafson’s CTVA television program development course at the CBS Studio Center.

Carl Raggio
Friend of the University
David Nazarian College of Business and Economics

Carl Raggio is president and chief executive officer of Western Commercial Bank in Woodland Hills. A 10th generation Californian, his background includes over 27 years in the banking industry, 14 of those in executive management. Being supportive of the College of Business and Economics, Carl is Co-Chair of the Workforce Initiative at the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley and is Chair of the Advisory Board for the College of Business and Economics. When Western Commercial celebrated its grand opening in 2006, Carl unveiled a collection of art from CSUN faculty and auctioned the collection, with proceeds directed to CSUN scholarship funds. He also serves as a judge for the Business Honors Program case competition, assists with the MBA Project Progra and has been president of the COBAE Advisory Board.

Vaughn Cable Ph.D
1970 B.S. Engineering, 1972 M.S. Engineering
College of Engineering and Computer Science

Over the years, Vaughn Cable has been one of the most consistent and dedicated champions of the College of Engineering and Computer Science. While currently employed as a senior staff engineer for the Caltech Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL), Vaughn continues to volunteer as a member of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Liaison Council and the college’s Industrial Advisory Board. He has also taught in the Electrical Engineering program for over 30 years. 

Vaughn currently holds an adjunct faculty position with CSUN where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in electromagnetics and is presently assisting with the restoration of the Microwave Lab. Vaughn has been the trustee for WB6TAM, the CSUN Amateur Radio Club since its inception in 1977.

Nancy Owens
Retired Faculty, Family and Consumer Sciences
College of Health and Human Development

Since her retirement in 2003, Nancy Owens works as the volunteer curator of the Family and Consumer Sciences Historic Costume Collection. She has completed the almost 400-item Muriel Pollia Foundation gift and is currently working on the CSUN Mulholland Collection. She also serves on thesis committees in the Apparel Design and Merchandising area. She served two terms as Vice President for Research for the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA). 

In 2007, she co-chaired the ITAA annual conference in Los Angeles, which has brought international recognition to the CSUN Apparel Design and Merchandising program. Nancy and her husband have endowed scholarship programs in the FCS Department and in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, and created an endowment to support the textile laboratory and the costume collection. She has received several honors, including an Outstanding Professor Award from CSUN in 1998, Sorority “Favorite Faculty” Award, the California Faculty Association WHO Award and a Distinguished Service Award from the ITAA.

LeRoy Nyquist
Retired Faculty, Chemistry
College of Science and Mathematics

LeRoy is being honored by the college for his dedication to the students, even after his retirement. He retired from the university in 1992 as a professor of chemistry. During his tenure at CSUN he received a Distinguished Professor Award in 1967 and the Sigma Xi Award for distinguished research in chemistry in 1992. After his retirement, he was able to continue directing some undergraduate student research projects, and after ten years of volunteered effort he succeeded in co-publishing the final results of their projects in two articles in The Journal of Organic Chemistry. 

Janet Bryant
2006 B.A. Urban Studies and Planning
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Janet Bryant has been a driving force behind the Urban Studies and Planning Alumni Council. Janet’s stellar academic accomplishments at CSUN are matched by her devotion to CSUN and the surrounding community. She held a leadership role on the department’s 35th Anniversary Committee and inspired the department’s participation in the CSUN 50th Grand Reunion in 2009. Last year she worked closely with the department chair to organize an alumni/student mentoring project. Janet has received several honors and awards, including the CSUN Bobbie Paine Scholarship Service Award 2006. 

Philip Browning
Friend of the University
Tseng College

Since 2007, Philip has served as Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS). Philip was instrumental in facilitating the university’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) and the Master of Social Work (MSW) programs onsite at the DPSS. It would not have been possible to offer these programs in this venue without his valuable assistance. Since its inception in the early 1980s, the MPA program at CSUN has played a key role in preparing public sector professionals in the area of public service. In the past five years, CSUN, through the Tseng College, has established public-public partnerships with counties and cities in Southern California to enhance access to the MPA program without requiring students to attend classes on campus. Philip has been a key player in bringing both the MPA and now the Master of Social Work program to the Los Angeles DPS. A good friend of the university, he was able to promote the growing interaction between the university and the county and provide a learning platform and environment for the employees of the DPSS.

2008 College Recipients

Dennis Brodie
1980 B.S. Mechanical Engineering, 1985 M.A. Business Administration
College of Engineering and Computer Science

Dennis Brodie has been a strong supporter of the College of Engineering and Computer Science. In his role as CEO of Res-med, Dennis has ensured that his company has actively engaged students through internships and career opportunities. He has also advised and helped develop and design an interdisciplinary/inter-college master’s degree in assistive technology.

John Nicoll
Faculty, Friend of the University
Tseng College

John Nicoll teaches in the MPA program and his first hand experiences in city and county government have been most beneficial to the professional municipal and county officials enrolled in the program.

Sheryl Nomelli
2004 M.A. History
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

As a student in the graduate history program at CSUN, Sheryl Nomelli worked as an intern in the Natchez, MS Courthouse Records Project, where students help process historic legal documents dating back to the 18th century. Sheryl remains dedicated to the records project and has been an organizer and moving force of the Natchez Alumni efforts. She organized the first Natchez Symposium and helped set up the Natchez archives. She has mentored current student researchers and has continually worked to raise funds for the project.

Joy Picus
Friend of the University
Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication

A four-term former city council member, Joy Picus is one of the Valley’s most influential and beloved citizen leaders. With today’s recognition from the college, Joy is the first individual to have received the Volunteer Service Award from two of our colleges. She is a member of the Dean’s Circle Executive Board for the Curb College. For several years, she served on the Dean’s Council for Social and Behavioral Sciences and was a founding advisory board member for the Center for Southern California Studies. She is a long time, loyal member of the university’s Foundation Board.

Jeff Rosen
1983 B.S. Business Administration, 1984 M.S. Accountancy
College of Business and Economics

Jeff Rosen has been the consummate volunteer leader, speaking to classes, hiring dozens of CSUN students and serving on the college’s advisory board. Jeff helped facilitate a major grant from the Ernst & Young Foundation and took the lead in bringing the alumni of the firm together to pledge $500,000 in support of the Accounting program.

Varaz and Karina Shahmirian
1978 B.S. Computer Science, 1983 M.S. Engineering (Karina)
College of Humanities

The Shahmirians helped establish the Armenian Studies program at CSUN and are ardent supporters of the program. They have endowed the Shahmirian Scholarship and are active members of the Alumni and Friends of the Armenian Studies Program (AFASP) Chapter. Varaz is a member of the university’s Enrollment Management Advisory Group and he and Karina, an alumna, are working with the university to create an endowed professorship.

Kelly Shirk Slide
Friend of the University
Tseng College

Kelly Shirk Slide is the Deputy Director of Human Resources for Ventura County. Kelly has been an enthusiastic spokesperson and ambassador for Extended Learning and the MPA program, speaking before groups and encouraging other business people to further their education through Tseng College programs. With her assistance and support, two new MPA programs have been launched in Ventura.

2007 College Recipients

Daniel Anderson
1983 B.S. Finance
College of Business and Economics

Daniel Anderson is Senior Manager of Santa Barbara Bank & Trust’s Business Development and Client Services for the Southern Ventura and Northern San Fernando Valley Region. Dan has remained active within the CSUN community, participating as a guest speaker for both the MBA and undergraduate programs, as a board member on the College of Business and Economics Partners Program, as a Business Honors Case Competition judge, and a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors. In his role with the Alumni Association, he spearheads the Association’s alumni outreach efforts in the Conejo Valley.

Dan and his wife Kathy recently committed $350,000 through their estate plan to establish an endowed professorship in Finance. This gift was the first endowed Finance professorship established by an individual alumnus. 

Marni Hager
2005 B.S. Manufacturing Systems Engineering & Management
College of Engineering and Computer Science

Marni Hager has devoted countless hours as a volunteer and mentor in support of Professor Tarek Shraibati’s FIRST Robotics project. She has served as a senior mentor to the all-girl Louisville High School robotics team and as an active member of the Los Angeles Regional organizing committee for FIRST.

In 2003, Marni participated in the Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research, a conference that spotlighted faculty-mentored undergraduate research or creative achievements at 90 institutions in Southern California. With the help of her faculty mentor, Behzad Bavarian, she presented a well received report, “Optimizing the use of Exploration and Search & Rescue Robots by using newer technologies including computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), and rapid prototyping (RP),” at a conference.

Mark Lainer
Friend of the University
College of Humanities

Mark Lainer is respected and admired throughout Southern California for his visionary and passionate leadership and through this philanthropy and service he is actively engaged in helping the next generation obtain knowledge and skills. The College of Humanities Jewish Studies program has been the beneficiary of his guidance, wisdom and generosity. Mark is the Chair of the Jewish Studies Advisory Board which was organized to help the program in building an endowment, which will be used to expand the Jewish Studies Program at CSUN. 

John Perez
1968 B.A. History, 1969 Credential
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences      

John Perez was an LAUSD teacher for 36 years, before retiring a year ago. He has spent his life advocating for schools and educators serving as a United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) member for over 30 years and as UTLA President from 2002-2005. He is Vice Chair of the California Post-secondary Education Commission (CPEC) and through his leadership has ensured that the commission investigates and encourages action on issues such as gender and ethnic equity, admissions and graduation requirements, affordability, and recreation. John is also on the City of Los Angeles Board of Civil Service Commissions.  

Since John was a student at Valley State, he has remained a strong supporter of Matador Athletics. He is a basketball season ticket holder and he was a member of the Matador Athletic Association. He is president of the History Alumni Chapter and serves as a member of the Association Board of Directors.

Kenn Phillips
Friend of the University
Michael D. Eisner College of Education

Kenn Phillips is Director of Workforce and Education Investment for the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley, a non-profit that serves a wide array of community businesses, educational institutions, local government officials, civic leadership and residents of the region. Prior to his departure from Boeing, he managed more than 200 active and retired engineers and scientists who participated in programs that helped educators and students better understand how businesses use math, science and technology in their daily work. 

For the past 8 years, Kenn has continued creating partnerships and has been actively involved in several projects with the Michael D. Eisner College of Education, including Teachers for a New Era, Integrated Teacher Education, ARCHES, Small Learning Communities and Project GRAD-Los Angeles. 

Carson Schreiber
1966 B.A. Arts, Media, and Communication
Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication

An alumnus of CSUN, Carson Schreiber began his long career in the radio and music industry while a student at the university. He was one of the radio personalities at the fledgling KEDC Radio, the predecessor of KCSN FM. His expertise in country music promotion and marketing led him from radio to a long recording industry career with such companies as RCA Records, Curb Records and Lyric Street Records.

After retiring from the music industry in 2002, Carson returned to Los Angeles from Nashville and has devoted his time to community service. He has donated hundreds of hours to KCSN FM, offering his help with marketing and programming strategies. In addition, he is the new Chairman of the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication Dean’s Circle Executive Board. He has been a guest speaker in Music Industry Studies classes, and uses his knowledge of the music industry to inform and inspire students.

Ronald Sorensen
1988 B.S. Health Administration, 1993 M.S. Health Administration
College of Health and Human Development

Ron Sorenson has been an adjunct faculty member in the Health Sciences Department for many years where he teaches health planning and marketing. He has also taught in Tseng College in the Fundraising and Development Certificate Program. Ron has volunteered for many years on the college’s Health Administration Program Practitioner Advisory Committee as a founding member and has served as president of the Health Administration Alumni Chapter. In addition to providing leadership in these positions, he has also been active as a coach of the Health Care Executives College Bowl team as a mentor to graduate students and as a guest speaker.

Ron is the Director of the Providence Center for Community Health Improvement.  

Bryce Yokomizo
Friend of the University
Tseng College 

Bryce Yokomizo is Deputy CEO of the County of Los Angeles with responsibility for issues relating to the Commission on Children and Families. Last spring, after 33 years with the Department of Public Social Services, he retired as that Department’s Director, a position he held since 2002. Bryce also served as interim director of the MacLaren Children's Center.

Bryce has been instrumental in helping launch and support the Tseng College’s MPA program by encouraging employees at Los Angeles Department of Public Social Services to enhance their knowledge in the public administration field. His efforts have resulted in a paradigm shift that has encouraged other county agencies to do the same.

2006 College Recipients

Roberta Colmer
1970 B.S. Finance
David Nazarian College of Business and Economics
Roberta Colmer and her husband Wayne have been active and supportive alumni since their graduation in the 1970's, having served on several advisory boards within the college. Roberta currently sits on both the Dean's Council of Business Advisors and the advisory board for the Center for Real Estate. Recently, the Colmers donated $75,000 to support the university's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA). As a student, Roberta had the distinction of being an original "Granny Girl" and fondly remembers those special moments with Granny Heitz and the other coeds. In 2001, Roberta received the Alumni Leadership Award from the college.

Jan and Bill Gaines
Friends of the University
Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communications
Jan and Bill Gaines are two of the university's most devoted and selfless volunteers. Lifelong partners who met as students at Occidental College, Bill is now a retired insurance executive. As Northridge residents, they actively embraced their local university and have done whatever was needed to support the arts programs. They strongly believe that CSUN is the cultural heart of this region and have demonstrated their commitment by donating countless hours to support its programs. Jan has served in the university Arts Council for over 20 years, including two terms as president. She is currently liaison to the university. She helped establish the Music Shoppe as well as an endowment for future scholarships. 

Jan and Bill are among the faithful Arts Council volunteers who usher for all the student performances and act as hosts for art gallery events.

Werner Horn
Faculty Member, Department of Mathematics
College of Science and Mathematics
Werner Horn has been at the center of everything mathematics at CSUN, including leading international conferences, revamping the curriculum, advising graduate students, helping students prepare for the advanced mathematics classes and earning grants from the National Science Foundation. His leadership has been instrumental in the development of the PUMP program, a project that focuses on increasing the participation of highly qualified students from the San Fernando Valley in mathematical sciences Ph.D. programs. He has also been involved with the Bridge Institute, a program that prepares students for advanced mathematics classes.

Over the years, Werner has earned many public and private grants, including a $550,000 grant with James Castro and Helena Noronha that places graduate students in teacher’s assistant positions. He has worked with his colleague Bruce Shapiro to teach a course in orbital mechanics, which helps students interpret the common format of satellite tracking data and to predict satellite orbital positions.  

Ed Larson
Friend of the University
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Ed Larson has taught structural engineering on a voluntary basis since his retirement 12 years ago. An adjunct professor of civil engineering, Ed has over 30 years of experience in aerospace engineering and was conferred the “Certified Manger” title by the Institute of Certified Professional Managers. In addition to his Outstanding Faculty Award in 1992, Ed was presented the ASEE Outstanding Campus Representative Award, and the 1984 NMA Silver Knight of Management. He has mentored the CSUN Bridge Building team through their entire string of national competitions. 

Thomas Oliver
Friend of the University
Michael D. Eisner College of Education
Thomas Oliver is the Vice President of College Development at Pierce College. From January 2004 to January 2006, he served as the Interim President of Mission College. He has served on several statewide community college committees including but not limited to the Board of Governors; the New Decisions Task Force, California Community College Foundation and the Executive Board of the Chief Instructional Officers.

Over the past few years, Tom has volunteered his leadership skills to several committees at CSUN. He serves as a volunteer to the Teachers for a New Era Initiative, where his expertise and his connections in the community have been extremely valuable. He has been instrumental in the College of Education's efforts to develop a model teacher education partnership between universities and community colleges. In addition, Tom is serving as a member of the advisory committee for the development of the university’s new doctoral degree in educational leadership, to be implemented in 2008.  

Herb Petzhold
Retired Faculty, College of Engineering and Computer Science
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Herb Petzhold began his career at CSUN soon after he retired from a 26-year Navy career that included service in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Herb began working for the college’s student record 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, Herb became head technician, a job he held until his retirement on September 29, 1991. For the last 16 years, he has returned nearly every week as a volunteer, sharing his expertise with the faculty, staff and students. 

Dean Skovin
Friend of the University
College of Science and Mathematics
For the last 44 years, no one has more positively influenced the lives of CSUN chemistry and biochemistry students than Dean Skovlin. Dean helped launch the department in 1962, and his leadership has been instrumental in the department’s growth and fine reputation. During his tenure and since his retirement, he has mentored, advised and counseled a few generations of CSUN students. 

For many years, he held the position of chair of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department and continues to serve the college and help students as an emeritus professor. He created the supplemental instruction guidelines for the department and continues to voluntarily come to campus to advise and mentor students. 

Christine Hamilton Smith
1964 B.S. Home Economics
College of Health and Human Development
Christine Hamilton Smith was an undergraduate student at San Fernando Valley State College when she started teaching at the food science labs in 1964. Today, she is nationally respected as a food scientist, having presented at the American Dietetic Association and the Institute of Food Technologists and other scientific and professional meetings throughout the country. Chris co-advised the CSUN Student Dietetic and Food Science Association from 1981 until her retirement in 2001. She frequently returns to CSUN to help with academic advisement, and continues to serve as the chair of the Advisory Board of the Marilyn Magaram Center.

She has authored several articles, and since 1978, Chris has been a coco-editor of a popular book, titled “Food-Medication Interactions,” considered to be the foremost of all drug-nutrient interaction resources.

Mike Brown and Ronnie Thompson
Friends of the University
Roland Tseng College of Extended Learning
Mike Brown and Ronnie Thomson, in collaboration with Tseng College, have created a unique program that helps train and improve performance and efficiency among the 4,300 employees of Santa Barbara County. In his role as Santa Barbara County’s chief executive officer, and in her responsibility as dean of the county’s Employee’ University, Mike and Ronnie have created a model training program for public employees and have done so in close coordination with the Tseng College’s Public Sector Management and Master of Public Administration programs. 

Mike envisioned and created the Employee University concept, seeking and welcoming the university’s affiliation and expertise. Ronnie has had 'a major impact on the EU by designing courses-such as “Dollars and Sense of Preventing Workplace Injuries”-that have proven to be of individual and collective value to county departments and their employees. The perseverance, dedication and collaborative spirit of these two Tseng College volunteers is evident in the success of the students who participate in the programs. The intra-service model has been invaluable to Santa Barbara County employees who cross-train their colleagues according to individual expertise. 

Frank Wein
1973 B.A. Urban Studies
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Frank Wein is recognized as one of the nation’s most respected urban and environmental planners. He was among the first group of students to enroll in the newly created Urban Studies program in 1971. Frank has remained a staunch supporter of the Urban Studies Department and has worked persistently to gain recognition for the department in professional circles. He has served as a member of the department’s Alumni Advisory Committee as well as the college’s Dean’s Council. At CSUN’s 2005 Envisioning California Conference, Frank served as an expert and panelist. Frank also served as a consultant on the Campus Master Plan and supervising Environmental Impact Reports.  

2005 College Recipients

Ann Bisno
Friend of the University
Michael D. Eisner College of Education
Dr. Ann Bisno is a passionate contributor to the university and the community. An emerita faculty member, Ann serves as the Director of the Family Focus Resource Center and is a representative of the Michael D. Eisner College of Education’s Special Education Community Advisory Committee. She also serves as a member of the regional Early Start Interagency Coordinating Council. As director of the Family Focus Resource Center, she provides support, information and referrals to families of children with special needs, including a telephone "warmline", a resource directory, a publication and video library, one-on-one peer support in many languages. Ann also oversees the Parent Mentors program, makes presentations to CSUN students, and conducts ongoing educational seminars and training programs for parents and professionals, and community members.

Honorable Bert Glennon
1966 B.S. Business Administration
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Bert Glennon has a reputation for judicial efficiency. In recognition of his legal acumen, his peers in the San Fernando Valley Bar Association presented him with their 1996 “Judge of the Year Award”. CSUN students have benefited from the judge’s participation in the Judicial Internship Program, a collaboration between CSUN's Political Science Department and the Los Angeles Superior Courts in the San Fernando Valley. Judge Glennon is also a volunteer at the Superior Court’s VAST crash settlement program, which he helped create and coordinated in the mid 1990’s. Working with the Bar Association, VAST involves judges and 250 volunteer attorneys who resolve over 350 cases in a two week period.

Pastor Herrera
Friend of the University
College of Health and Human Development
Pastor Herrera has been an unstinting supporter of CSUN's Family and Consumer Sciences program. Involved in the area of consumer protection for over 30 years, Pastor was appointed Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer Affairs in 1991. Pastor serves as a board member on various national and local non-profit organizations and has collaborated on several publications. At CSUN, he has assisted in providing internships for students, served on department and college advisory boards, participated in accreditation reviews and served on student and professional panels. In addition, he has worked closely with faculty to facilitate grants for the program.

Dena Hall Ivanci
1975 B.A. Art
Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication
Alumna Dena Hall Ivancie is one of the most respected fine arts appraisers in Southern California. Dena Hall and Associates specializes in personal property, antiques and decorative arts, fine arts and residential contents. Dena is a member of the American Society of Appraisers and finds time to support the Los Alamitos Youth Center. Dena serves on the Nominating Committee of the Dean’s Circle Executive Board for the College of Arts Media and Communication. Dena has been tireless in helping the university acquire gifts of fine and decorative arts.

Anthony "Tony" Rubino
Friend of the University
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Anthony Rubino is the Chief of the Weapons Integration Branch in the Engineering Directorate located at Edwards Air Force Base, California. After graduating from Fresno State, Tony was hired by the Air Force Flight Test Center and assigned to the F-16 Combined Test Force. In 1998, he was promoted to Flight Commander for F-16 Avionics and Armament. In 2001, Tony was selected as the Chief of the Engineer Development Office where he and his team developed the foundation for all Engineering Directorate engineering personnel training. He assumed his current position in 2002. Tony has stayed close to his Valley roots and serves as Chair of the Mechanical Engineering Advisory Board in the College of Engineering.

Richard Schweitzer
1987 B.S. Accounting
College of Business and Economics
Richard Schweitzer is the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer for Metropolitan West Securities, an investment management firm specializing in securities lending and short-term fixed asset management. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a Certified Public Accountant in the State of California and is a member of the Association for Investment Management and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Richard is a frequent guest lecturer for the College of Business and Economics. He served as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council and is an active member of the Advisory Council for the Center for Financial Services.

Haroldeane "Deanie" Snell & Kiho Sohn
Friends of the University
Tseng College
Kiho Sohn and Haroldeane Snell, members of the Knowledge Management team at Pratt & Whitney-Rocketdyne, have worked closely with the Tseng College in launching an innovative master's degree program in Knowledge Management. At Pratt and Whitney-Rocketdyne, Deanie leads a team of librarians providing research support to major aerospace programs. Kiho has been responsible for developing strategic planning and implementation on knowledge management processes and methodologies. He was the first person to be inducted into the Boeing Technical Fellowship in Knowledge Management and has also lectured on the subject.

2004 College Recipients

Michael Bessolo
1980 B.S. Marketing
College of Business and Economics
For the last eight years has served the College of Business and Economics as a member of the Dean's Council of Business Advisors, which offers consultation to the college by providing valuable information about current issues facing the community and industry that directly impact the development of curriculum and programs within the college. In addition, Michael has served on the Board of Directors for the university's Entertainment Industry Institute, participating in forums to help prepare students for entertainment industry careers.

Currently, Michael Bessolo serves as senior vice president for marketing, promotion and publicity for 20th Century Fox Television. 

Julie Fabrocini
1998 Credential, 1999 M.A. Special Education
Michael D. Eisner College of Education
As director of the CHIME Charter Elementary School, Julie Fabrocini oversees the instructional and administrative aspects of the school and serves as a liaison to the university as well as to parents and the community. Under Julie’s direction, CHIME's model provides teachers with the training and additional classroom support they need - including a co-teacher trained in special education, paraprofessionals (teacher's aides) and student teachers - so they can identify the unique ways that a child learns and then tailor curriculum to fit a child's needs.

Matthew and Kathy Fein
1974 B.S. Community Health
College of Health and Human Development
Kathy Fein was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1983. She started working out twice a week with cold-water therapy at the Center of Achievement for the Physically Disabled in 1994, following the Northridge earthquake. The therapy, which includes “cold vests” adapted from NASA models by former CSUN professor Dr. Sam Britten, has helped Kathy to maintain her optimal body temperature during exercise. Kathy and her husband Matthew have been supporters of the Center for over a decade and have helped plan and coordinate the Run, Walk and Roll fundraiser held each spring. Matthew also serves on the Board of Trustees for the MS Society of Los Angeles.

Gene Fritsche
Faculty member, College of Science and Mathematics
College of Science and Mathematics
Now professor emeritus, Gene Fritsche began his affiliation with the university and the department in 1963. During his tenure, he served as the department chair for 8 years. Gene is respected as one of the foremost experts in Miocene sediment logy of central and southern California. He has served as a member and officer of many scientific societies and has presented at conferences throughout the world. Gene continues to teach and mentor others through his legendary field trips and presentations to students of all ages. 

He was the recipient of a leadership award by the Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists, a special teaching award from the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the CSUN Distinguished Teaching Award, and the Lifetime Achievement Award, Pacific Section, SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), 2001.

Edward Gilbert
Friend of the University
Tseng College
Edward Gilbert is an example of the quintessential volunteer – energetic, thoughtful, creative and always looking at the worldview. As president of SAGE, a learning-in-retirement organization operating under the aegis of the Roland Tseng College of Extended Learning, Ed provided dynamic leadership to the organization and was a good ambassador of the university in the community. He has been pleased to speak to numerous classes on campus and has taught in SAGE”s “Senior Computer” program. 

Theresa Jester
1979 B.S. Engineering
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Theresa Jester serves her alma mater as chair of the Industrial Advisory Board for the College of Engineering and Computer Science. For more than 25 years she has been responsible for manufacturing operations, technical development and product development for Shell Solar in the U.S. Today, she serves as senior director of engineering and operations for Shell Solar Industries. Her work in solar development was duly recognized by the San Fernando Valley Engineers Council; she received the Outstanding Engineering Achievement Merit Award, given to the individual who has achieved significant accomplishments in a particular area of engineering activities.

Larry Layne
Friend of the University
Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication
Larry Layne has a ten-year record of service to the College of Arts, Media, and Communication. He was named to the college’s Dean’s Advisory Board in 1995 and the following year was chosen as its chair. He continues to serve on the board as a member of its public relations committee. Larry has always been a committed volunteer who has shown a particular interest in the capital campaign for the new Performing Arts Center. He and his wife Sheelagh Boyd are faithful contributors to the College, KCSN and the current Performing Arts Center.

Joy Picus
Friend of the University
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Having served four terms (16 years) representing West San Fernando Valley residents on the Los Angeles City Council, Joy Picus continues to be actively involved in the community. She has been a long-time volunteer for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, having served on the Dean’s Council and on the first advisory board for the Center for Southern California Studies. She is currently a member of the Dean’s Council in the College of Arts, Media and Communication. 

2003 College Recipients

Brigid Baty
1991 B.S. Engineering
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Since earning her bachelor's degree, Brigid Baty has continually given back to her alma mater. Working with the MWD colleagues and faculty of the College of Engineering and Computer Science, Brigid helped develop curriculum and practicum for an upper level civil engineering design course that has become a model for other civil engineering programs. 

Deborah Feldman
1979 B.S. Marketing
College of Business and Economics
A partner in the law firm of Kulik, Gottesman & Mouton, LLP, Deborah Feldman has dedicated a great deal of her spare time to the College of Business and Economics. She is an active member of several college advisory boards including the Dean’s Council, Family Business Center and Center for Real Estate Outlook program and she has assisted with the coordination of the Family Business Center programs in conjunction with the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. She was recognized by the Journal as a “Woman Who Means Business.”

Jeffrey Holt
1992 B.A. Physical Education
College of Science and Mathematics
In 1984, Jeffrey Holt established Mountain Geology, Inc., a consulting firm of professional Engineering Geologists that provides engineering geologic services for clients in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties for property development, construction and land/home purchases. Jeff has continued to provide counsel to the Geological Sciences Department and advise faculty and students on practical real world issues relating to various aspects of geologic services. He and his family have remained close to Geological Services Department and the faculty who made a profound difference in their lives. In addition to organizing two golf tournaments to benefit geology, he arranged for funding and then produced a promotional video in support of the department. He regularly recruits CSUN students and alumni.

Deborah Leidner
1970 B.S. Political Science
Michael D. Eisner College of Education
Following the years as a classroom teacher, instructional advisor and assistant principal, Dr. Deborah Leidner served as a principal of a continuation high school, a comprehensive high school and a middle school. She was the Cluster Administrator of the Birmingham/Cleveland/Reseda Cluster until she was selected to be Superintendent of Local District A of the LAUSD. As a volunteer for the Michael D. Eisner College of Education she further affirms that philosophy. Her involvement with the college includes service on advisory boards, course curricula design, lecturing to classes and assisting with the college’s “Teachers for a New Era” initiative.

Hermine Mahseredjian
1972 B.A. French, 1973 M.A. Counseling, 1974 M.A. Psychology
College of Humanities
Hermine Mahseredjian's name has been synonymous with the Armenian Studies Program at CSUN, and for 25 years she has been a mentor and advisor to countless CSUN students and alumni. Primarily responsible for establishing the Armenian Student Association, Hermine served as its first advisor. That association assured support for establishing a minor in Armenian Studies, and Hermine was proud to help issue individual academic recognitions for Armenian Studies for the first time in 2002. That same year, she raised thousands of dollars to escort a group of students in a “full emersion” program to Armenia. She helped establish the Association of Armenian Alumni International Scholar.

Wendy Machlovitz
1987 B.A. History, 1998 M.A. History
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Wendy Machlovitz's ongoing work in support of the History Department's Natchez Project reflects her commitment to historical research as well as her experiences as a graduate student studying ante bellum courthouse records in Natchez, Miss. Wendy worked closely with professor Ron Davis to create and build the nationally respected archival research effort that has mentored several hundred CSUN students since 1992; students are provided with summer internship programs sponsored by the National Park Service. She was also instrumental in the creation of the renowned Historic Natchez Conference, held every other year in Natchez and featuring the work of CSUN students. Wendy has also coordinated the acclaimed CSUN summer internship program for the last five summers as well as numerous fundraising events to support the CSUN Natchez Project, especially the “Christmas at Monmouth Plantation Dinner.”

Sam Sokolow
Friend of the University
Tseng College
A retired economist with Southern California Gas Company, Sam Sokolow has adopted the university and has supported CSUN, particularly through his involvement in SAGE, Tseng College's learning-in-retirement organization. A founding member of SAGE, Sam served as the organization’s president and curriculum chair. Sam has also been an active volunteer in supporting the many activities and programs in the university Gerontology Program. Sam has been a highly visible supporter of the university through speaking engagements on behalf of SAGE and the many projects he supports in the area of gerontology studies.

Susan Tartakoff
1971 B.A. Psychology
College of Health and Human Development
In 1997, Susan Tartakoff, a client of the Center of Achievement for the Physically Disabled, helped create “Friends of the Pool,” a group devoted to helping realize Sam Britten’s dream of an adaptive aquatic facility. As a key member of FOCAS (Friends of the Center of Achievement and Sponsors), she has helped raise over $100,000 for the Abbott and Linda Brown Western Center for Adaptive Aquatic Therapy and is currently on the 3rd Annual Run, Walk and Roll fundraiser. Susan suffered a spinal cord injury when, during a high- speed police chase in 1985, an intoxicated driver hit her car.

In March, she was presented with the Stephen Aroff Memorial Award in recognition of her overcoming her disability, becoming a role model to those who are hoping to rebuild their lives after spinal cord injury.

Milt Valera
1968 B.A. Journalism
Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication
As president of the National Notary Association since 1982, Milt Valera has propelled the organization into national and international prominence. A veteran newspaperman, he has also worked at the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, and the Northeast Newspapers community chain in Southern California. In addition to serving on several advisory boards for the College of Arts, Media and Communication, Milt is a board member and advisor for several prominent community organizations. Milt is a past president of the Journalism Alumni Association and currently serves as a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors. With his family, he is finalizing details for the establishment of a scholarship that will benefit current and future CSUN students.

2002 College Recipients

Morris Cutler
Friend of the University
Tseng College
Before retirement, Morris Cutler served the education community locally and abroad for more than 30 years as a teacher and elementary school principal in the Los Angeles Unified School District. In 1987, Morris found his way to CSUN to become the founding president of SAGE, the university’s “Learning in Retirement” organization that operates under the aegis of the Tseng College. Through his work at SAGE, Morris has brought many prominent retirees to CSUN for both educational and philanthropic activities. In 1990, he served as the first director of senior computers, teaching two classes per year to seniors with donated computer equipment. Morris is also a member of the Friends of the Delmar T. Oviatt Library and KCSN.

Jolie DeVorin
Friend of the University
College of Health and Human Development
Jolie DeVorin is a loyal volunteer and client at the Center of Achievement for the Physically Disabled and soon to be completed Abbot and Linda Brown Western for Center Adaptive Aquatic Therapy. Almost two years ago, her vision created FOCAS, a volunteer group comprised of friends and clients of the Center, that raises funds and awareness for it. Whether she is selling entertainment books or planning the second annual Run, Walk, and Roll, she is an inspirational role model for clients of the center. 

Daisy Kuhn
Faculty, College of Science and Mathematics
College of Science and Mathematics
Daisy Kuhn received her Ph.D. from UC Davis before coming to the university as a member of the original faculty for San Fernando Valley State College.  As a microbiologist, she described the following unusual organisms-Arthrobacteratro, Cyaneus Cristispira found in Pismo clams, and Simonsiella Alysiella - to name a few. When she wasn’t in the classroom, Daisy served as the primary advisor for biology students entering pre-med, pre-pharmacy, veterinary, podiatry, optometry and a few other areas. After her retirement in 1994, Daisy returned to the university to do the same job on a volunteer basis. Serving as the primary advisor, Daisy maintains an office handing all records and regularly sending student application materials to medical schools. 

Alan Meyer
1968 B.S. Business Administration, 2001 Credential
David Nazarian College of Business and Economics
Upon retirement in 1993 as the president, founder and owner of Meyer Interest Rate Survey, Alan Meyer returned to his alma mater to earn his teaching credential. He currently divides his time as a part-time instructor in the Department of Finance, Real Estate and Insurance at CSUN and as math teacher at Viewpoint School in Calabasas. Alan volunteers as a member of the CSUN Foundation Board of Directors, the College of Business and Economics Dean’s Council of Business Advisors, the Family Business Center and the Center for Real Estate. Alan was instrumental in starting the college’s Resume Book for students seeking employment and has several benches, wall plaques and a lecture hall named in his honor.

Alan is an altruistic donor for a number of scholarships, specifically as an early supporter of the Minority Business Program, currently operating through the Office of Student Services and Advisement (OSSA/EOP). Program coordinators credit much of the success of OSSA/EOP to Alan’s investment of time, energy and talent over the years.  

Jackie Schroggin
Friend of the University
Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication
Upon retiring from her position at the Department of Defense, Jackie Schroggin became interested in the CSUN Arts Council and quickly became actively involved in fundraising projects on behalf of the council. A few years later Jackie was appointed the co-manager of CSUN’s Gallery Store. Jackie's extensive travels have been instrumental in her choices of international merchandise for the Gallery Store ranging form African ceramics to Mexican silver. The store also features art books and greeting cards. In 1998, Jackie became manager of the Gallery Store and continues to serve that position today.

Don Sepulveda
1995 B.S. Civil Engineering
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Alumnus Don Sepulveda has spent the last five years of his career as a senior rail systems engineer/project manager for DMJM/HARRIS, a leader in civil, transportation and structural engineering.  During his undergraduate study, Don participated in the steel bridge competitions, and was president of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Following graduation, he made a personal commitment to give back to the student and professional organization that had given him so much. Today, he serves on the advisory board for the department and as a guest instructor in the capstone senior design class. Thanks to a little help from Don, the CSUN student chapter of ASCE placed 10th overall in the nation in 2001, and sixth overall in 2002 in the steel bridge competition.

Patrick Smith
Friend of the University
Michael D. Eisner College of Education
Patrick Smith serves in a volunteer capacity as the chairman of the board of directors of the CHIME Institute for Children with Special Needs, which sponsors the CHIME Charter Elementary School. The CHIME Institute has been working closely with the Michael D. Eisner College of Education to develop programs of academic excellence for all types of learners at the new CHIME Charter Elementary School. This school serves as a demonstration site of the best current practices for inclusive teaching and learning. Smith has provided the professional leadership necessary to make the administration of creating, opening and running a new charter school successful. He has been an instrumental factor in the growth of the school over the past year.