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Volunteer Service Award Program Recipients

A wide variety of University programs have opportunities for volunteers to get involved and connect according to their interests, passions and hobbies. These programs present Volunteer Service Awards to alumni and friends who volunteer their time and energy in support of their mission.

Volunteer Service Award Program Recipients

2019 Program Award Recipients

Demonte “Tray” Thompson ’14
Alumni Association

Demonte “Tray” Thompson graduated from CSUN in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Finance. A child of foster care, Tray found a strong support system at CSUN through the university’s Educational Opportunity Programs. He worked in CSUN’s Financial Aid and Scholarships Department before graduating alongside his twin brother, Demontea “Tae,” as recipients of CSUN’s 2015 Outstanding Graduating Senior awards.

Upon graduation, Tray’s passion for money management led him to start his professional career as the Financial Literacy Program assistant within CSUN’s Financial Aid Department. Driven by gratitude and the desire to inspire others to overcome their circumstances, the brothers founded the nonprofit TwInspire. This year they gave back to their alma mater by donating $6,000 to create and support the Lorenzo Edwards-TwInspire Scholarship for former foster youth pursuing higher education.

Today, Tray works as a Vice President of Producer Development at AIG and is a member of the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors, where he actively engages the Young Alumni group. He is also supporting local foster youth on the Board of Directors at United Friends of the Children where he conducts financial literacy presentations.

Beth Perrin

Arts Council

Beth Perrin is currently serving a third term as President of the Arts Council for CSUN. The Arts Council serves as a community resource for CSUN in its sponsorship and presentation of the arts and its educational arts programs.

Thankful for the education that her children received at CSUN, Perrin began volunteering for the Arts Council in various capacities in 2011. “Since I have been a member of the Arts Council I have had the opportunity to interact with students and faculty. I have been very impressed with the commitment of the faculty to the students’ success, and how much perseverance it takes for some students to overcome difficult personal situations in order to get their education. If I can help by providing scholarships, it makes me happy,” Perrin said.

Now retired, she has volunteered countless hours as the President of the Native Daughters of The Golden West and served as Secretary for The Campo de Cahuenga Historical Memorial Association for 20 years.

Mai Narasaki-Jara ’03, M.S. ’06, Ed.D. ’18

Mai Narasaki-Jara has three degrees from CSUN — one in Kinesiology athletic training, a master’s degree in Kinesiology adapted physical activity, and a Doctorate degree in Education. She is currently in her third season as a volunteer assistant coach with the Matador women’s tennis program. Narasaki-Jara is a former CSUN tennis player, lettering for the Matadors in 2002.

Narasaki-Jara was involved in a life-saving moment this past April at the Big West Tennis Championship in Indian Wells when the head official of the tournament suffered a heart attack.

“I had to do one cycle of CPR,” said Narasaki-Jara. “AED (defibrillator) did its job by analyzing his heartbeat, then the pulse was there, and all of us were calling his name. We saw his face go from purple and gray to coming back alive.”

In addition to her coaching duties, Narasaki-Jara is also currently a lecturer and the Director of the Adapted Aquatics Program at the Center of Achievement at CSUN. As a director, she operates 48 adapted aquatics classes per week and offers them to individuals with various disabilities. She continues to teach kinesiology students the principles of adapted physical activity through the student-service learning program at the Center of Achievement.

Laurene Abato-Earwood M.S. ’92
Delmar T. Oviatt Library

Laurene Abato-Earwood graduated from CSUN with a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering. Since then, she has gone on to be an active member of the WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) Board, where she was named as the Chair in 2016.

Abato-Earwood has served on the WISE Board since 2011 as well as the budget and events committee sub-groups. In addition to her service on the WISE Board, Abato-Earwood is involved with FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), working with high school students who build competition robots. She also volunteers her time as a sponsor, judge and referee for local robotics tournaments.

Abato-Earwood joined Xerox as a summer intern in 1985 and worked as an engineer in product and software development advancing to technical program manager at Xerox Special Information Systems. She retired from Xerox in 2016 and is currently working at Conduent — an IT and services company — as a technical program and compliance manager.

Ed Burke ’59, M.A. ’69, Cred. ’69
Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts

Ed Burke spent nearly four decades as an educator and as much time involved in politics, from the local to the national level. He always had a drive to help others.

Both Ed and his wife Carol are members of the Heritage Society and President’s Associates. Ed is a longstanding member of The Soraya Ambassadors, regularly purchasing 20 to 35 tickets to The Soraya for friends and family every time he visits from Hawaii. Ed and his wife support students at CSUN through a legacy gift that helped fund The Ambassadors Endowment as well as creating his own Ed Burke Scholarship Endowment.

Ed is active as an ambassador for The Soraya and established three charitable gift annuities with the university. His annuities and generous annual contribution support The Soraya, the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the Division of Student Affairs through various scholarships and programs throughout CSUN.

Burke taught history and government for 33 years at Chatsworth High School. He was Chief of Staff to Los Angeles Unified School District Board Member John Lorenson and Chief Advisor to Board Member Bennett Kayser. He also founded the Peer Assistance and Review (PAR) program for teachers.

Norma Andrade
Student Affairs

If there’s one day that truly represents Andrade’s volunteer spirit, it’s her birthday. For the last decade, Andrade has volunteered on her birthday for various

Los Angeles-based nonprofits, including the LA Regional Food Bank, the Downtown Women’s Center, A Place Called Home, the Midnight Mission, and Project Angel Food. Recently, Andrade has looked to her own backyard to provide special care.

In 2017, in recognition of its impact on the community, Andrade became a donor to The Soraya. The same year, she went above and beyond and contributed to Matty’s Closet, which provides professional outfits to students free of charge. Andrade held a suit drive for Matty’s Closet in 2017, gathering more than 50 suits from colleagues and friends. Andrade consistently donates to the cause, with the number of suits donated now close to 100. She also supports CSUN’s Food Pantry. Andrade, an international child support attorney for the County of Los Angeles, is a lifetime member of the CSUN Alumni  Association and serves on The Soraya Ambassadors Advisory Council and The Soraya Executive Director’s Circle.

2018 Program Award Recipients

Joan Owens 
88.5 FM          

Joan Owens is a longtime supporter of college and public radio with a passion for music. She has been volunteering with 88.5 FM since 2011. Owens was a Radio/TV/Film major at Bowling Green State University and discovered 88.5 FM (when it was known as KCSN) shortly after moving to Los Angeles from her Cleveland hometown. Owens has helped the station in membership acquisition and retention, data entry and gift-fulfillment coordination. Owens says the mix of classic and new artists combined with being a part of a community that values noncommercial, member-supported radio is what she enjoys most about the station. She is inspired by the stories of listeners who tell her the impact 88.5 FM has made on their lives.

“The university continues to provide a home for the station and support its mission," she said.

Owens worked for the Los Angeles Unified School District as an elementary and middle school library assistant from 2000-2013. She has been married to Tom Owens for 35 years and they have two sons, Patrick and Steve. 

Joan Waller ’78
Arts Council  

Joan Waller earned her master’s degree in Educational Psychology and Early Childhood Education from CSUN in 1978. Her impact on the CSUN community is reflected through her work with the Arts Council. Waller joined the Arts Council in 2014 and got involved in many of its functions immediately. She eventually became Arts Council coordinator for the Department of Theatre and helped with the organization and execution of guest lectures and their seasonal productions. Waller was instrumental in implementing the ongoing Matadors Community Credit Union Award. The $1,000 award is presented to a student in the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication to assist in completing a project that will impact the student and the community. 

Waller is also a retired College of the Canyons staff member, where she worked as director of Family Studies and Early Childhood Education. Waller and her husband Paul frequently attend many of the student events from the Departments of Music and Theatre at CSUN. Paul Waller is also an Arts Council member and editor for the council’s monthly newsletter. The Wallers are also season subscribers to the Soraya. 

Jacqueline Hansen '74

Jacqueline Hansen is a CSUN alumna who received her bachelor’s degree in English in 1974. Hansen was inducted into the Matador Hall of Fame in 1988 for her athletic success. She was CSUN’s National Intercollegiate Track & Field Champion in the mile run. During her time at CSUN, Hansen also won the 1973 Boston Marathon, which launched a career of 12 marathon wins out of 15, including two world records and the first marathon run under 2 hours, 40 minutes by a woman. Hansen has continued to stay close to CSUN. Her volunteering efforts include working with a committee tasked with advancing athletics for the university. Fast forward to today and CSUN Athletics is a thriving, successful body of athletes, teams, coaches, and staff. Hansen was also invited by President Harrison to be part of the Intercollegiate Athletics Advisory Council (IAAC). 

Outside of CSUN, she spearheaded a movement for women runners to compete in long-distance events in the 1984 LA Olympics as president of the International Runners Committee. Hansen has also successfully published a book, a memoir, and is currently working on a new book entitled The History of Women’s Running. She currently works as business services coordinator and a health education instructor in the School of Education at Loyola Marymount University, where she achieved her master's degree in Education. Hansen received a lifetime achievement award from the Road Race Management national organization.

Jenniffer Herrera ’06, M.S. '09
Delmar T. Oviatt Library                                                      

Jenniffer Herrera has been a dedicated member of the WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) Board for several years and chair of the WISE Board from 2015-2016. Herrera acts as an advisor to improve the understanding, appreciation, and recognition of women’s contributions in these technical fields. She plays a pivotal role in supporting the occupational growth of women within the engineering, math and science industries. Herrera also provides advice on the expenditure of funds related to the Bonita J. Campbell Endowment for Women in Science and Engineering. 

In addition to her service on the WISE Board, Herrera has participated on-campus panel discussions at CSUN and served on the local chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). Herrera was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala, and immigrated to the United States with her family at the age of 9. She earned a bachelor’s degree from CSUN in Manufacturing Systems Engineering in 2006 and a master’s in Engineering Management in 2009. 

Her first industry position was with Nestlé USA as an industrial engineer in the Hot Pockets factory in Chatsworth, beginning in Sept. 2010. Herrera now works in the company’s Glendale corporate office. She has held several positions, including goal alignment lead for the International Brand Division and lean value stream manager for the Confections Division. Her current role is technical services manager, continuing to support the Confections Division.

Andrea Reinken ’80
The Soraya                                                                            

Andrea Reinken, a 1980 Journalism graduate from CSUN, joined the university in 2006 as director of major gifts for University Advancement. In 2008, she moved to the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication, where she served as the development officer, raising funds for the college and the capital campaign to build The Soraya (formerly Valley Performing Arts Center), until her retirement in 2012. Six months later, she returned to work for the Mike Curb College as part-time director of development, then went over to The Soraya to work part-time until April 2016.  Her volunteer work at CSUN focuses on the arts. Currently chair of The Soraya Ambassadors, she says, “I volunteer because I care deeply about our community having access to the performing arts. 

Before working at CSUN, Reinken enjoyed a 24-year career with the Los Angeles Times. She is married to Donald Reinken (they will be celebrating 25 years of marriage in the spring) and together they are members of the President's Associates and The Soraya Ambassadors. They have been passionate supporters of The Soraya and the Mike Curb College for years. 

“Perhaps most important to me is the opportunity to be part of a vital, vibrant and diverse community that gathers at The Soraya where the arts bring us together,” she said.

Alexi Sciutto '13  
Student Affairs                                                               

Alexi Sciutto earned his bachelor's degree in Cinema and Television Arts with an emphasis in Film from CSUN in 2013. During his time as an undergraduate student, Sciutto worked on campus at the Office of Student Involvement and Development as a student coordinator. He collaborated with many different departments to get workshop, education, and informational videos out to students for use and reference. 

Through this avenue, Sciutto was working alongside CSUN staff members Christopher Aston and Tom Piernik, whom he gained an amount of respect for, and who served as the catalyst for the motivation to give back.  “Ever since then, I’ve always felt empowered to give back to the school that give me the legs to stand on to be the person I am today,” Sciutto said.

He currently spends his time working multiple jobs across Los Angeles as an assistant director, production assistant, writer, and a SAG-AFTRA actor. Sciutto has worked on shows for companies such as Lifetime, Hulu, Amazon, Disney, SYFY, BET, The CW and 20th Century Fox. 

As a CSUN alumnus, Sciutto continues to work with CSUN helping Aston with nearly every commencement ceremony since 2008. He volunteers as the head chapter advisor for the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity on campus.

2017 Program Award Recipients

Dorothy Fabricant
Arts Council

Dorothy Fabricant has made invaluable contributions to the music department since she first joined CSUN’s Arts Council in 1997. Two years later, she began volunteering at Cypress Hall’s Music Shoppe and hasn’t looked back since. For 18 years, Fabricant has dedicated three hours a week, nine months out of the year at the store. As part of the Arts Council, the Music Shoppe raises more than $1,000 a year for the music department. The council provides ushering assistance during music and theatre performances, conducting tours in the main Art Gallery and funding for annual student awards.

Fabricant, a Los Angeles native, earned her secondary teaching credential at UCLA and taught at Van Nuys Junior High School before raising her four sons. She later returned to teaching, this time at the Carlson Home-Hospital School in North Hollywood, where she taught students who were unable to attend school due to health issues. To Fabricant, the biggest joy she gets from dedicating countless hours at CSUN is meeting and getting to the know the students and the ability to share the students’ joy when they find an unexpected treasure at the Music Shoppe.

Bruce Lemmerman '69

Before spending more than 40 years playing, coaching and working front office positions in professional football, Bruce Lemmerman was a heralded multi-sport athlete at CSUN. Lemmerman, who played baseball and was the quarterback who led CSUN to the 1967 Jr. Rose Bowl, never forgot the lasting impact football coach Sam Winningham and baseball coach Bob Hiegert had on him. “Both coaches taught me what it took to be a pro,” Lemmerman said. “Those two men, the coaching staff and the CSUN faculty instilled in me the qualities that it took to be successful not only in my career, but in life.”

Since leaving the game, Lemmerman has dedicated much of his time and energy to CSUN. He volunteered to help fundraise and contact former players and coaches in the football program so the university could recognize the role football had in its early years. Most recently, Lemmerman has played a key role in raising funds for the Sam Winningham Spirit Plaza, a project announced by CSUN Athletics that will honor the former coach. Lemmerman said he will continue to work on behalf of the university because he believes in CSUN’s mission and leadership.

James "Jim" Parker­
Delmar T. Oviatt Library

Recognizing some of the economic, social and medical challenges many CSUN students face, Jim Parker has been involved with CSUN for nearly 30 years. He has dedicated time editing diversity grants for his wife and CSUN professor Maria Elena Zavala, who has brought in more than $40 million in funds to CSUN. The funds help support more than 100 students in STEM careers. Along with his wife, Parker has been a President’s Associate since 2007 and has volunteered at the Oviatt Library, serving on the Board of the Friends of the Oviatt Library since 2010. Currently, Parker is the president of that organization.

Parker is also a supporter of the Matador Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams, donating money to those programs since 2012.  He graduated with a degree in Industrial Engineering from Columbia University and later earned a doctorate in Sociology from the University of Colorado.

Thomas Christopher '90
Heritage Society

A CSUN alumnus who played on the Matador football team, participated in student government and maintained fraternity leadership positions, Thomas Christopher has spent the past decade giving back to his university. Christopher has volunteered his time as a resource in the Planned Giving department at CSUN, providing regular presentations for faculty, retirees and community members about estate planning and planned giving.  He also played an important role on CSUN's NCAA Recertification Committee in 2010.

To Christopher, the importance of volunteerism and hard work was obtained while he was attending CSUN. "The academic, athletic and community involvement I experienced while attending CSUN provided the foundation for my continued involvement in leadership positions throughout Southern California," Christopher said. Founder of Christopher Law Group, Inc., Christopher is also a two-time chairman of the board of the Northridge Chamber of Commerce and is currently a board member. He is the acting co-chair of the board of the LAPD Devonshire Police Activity League Supporters Youth Center and is a member of the church council and youth ministry leader at LIFEhouse Church in Northridge.

Cherry Henricks '69
President’s Association

Cherry Henricks first became involved with CSUN in 2010 as a vendor who provided flowers for the Orange Grove Bistro and at campus and graduation events. Although she has maintained that role, Hendricks importance to the university has expanded. She gradually became more interested in what was happening at her alma mater and eventually joined the President’s Associates Executive Council (PAEC) in January 2014.

Also a member of the Northridge Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Henricks has been an important liaison between CSUN, the chamber and the PAEC. Henricks soon realized that a big portion of the chamber’s members were CSUN alumni, local business owners or community members. “I thought it would be a great idea for CSUN supporters to build connections with each other by learning more about each other and sharing what the university meant to them,” Henricks said. “With this in mind, I thought it was important to bring two and two together.

As a result, the CSUN Networking Connection was formed in January 2016. The program shows business owners and community members what CSUN has to offer. “The deeper my involvement gets with CSUN, the more I’ve realized what a gem CSUN is for both students and the community. I think everyone should be more aware of what the campus has to offer.”

Stan '70 and Phyllis '70, '75, M.A. '82 Gilson
Student Affairs

For Stan and Phyllis Gilson, CSUN provided lasting friendships, career opportunities and the place they fell in love. Stan has volunteered in some capacity for the past 44 years. He was the advisor to the Phi Delta Theta fraternity for 16 years, served as the fraternity’s province president for 17 years and was the director of the House Corporation Board. As a student, Stan served as the Associated Students Director of Elections and was on the A.S. Finance Committee. As both an alumna and faculty member, Phyllis has played a key role at CSUN for decades. Currently overseeing various Alpha Omicron Pi sorority chapters, Phyllis spent more than 30 years as the sorority’s chapter and new member advisor.

Phyllis also worked at CSUN for nearly 40 years within the Office of Admissions and Records and worked with the campus’ veteran population in order to ensure an easy transition into college.  For Stan and Phyllis, the fact they have been tied with CSUN for more than 50 years is a testament to the impact the university had on them.

“We enjoyed our time at CSUN and wanted to helped the young men and women who followed us,” Phyllis said. “We wanted to make ourselves available to offer whatever guidance we could.”

Louise Adams '06
The University Corporation

In 2001, Louise Adams and a group of CSUN students, faculty and staff started CSUN Cat People in order to manage and care for the feral cat population on campus. Adams, along with other CSUN Cat People volunteers, have provided food, spay/neuter services, and vaccinations to the feral cats all over the CSUN campus. "Our goal has been to educate the community about humane solutions and cat overpopulation," Adams said. With the great help from CSUN’s Physical Plant Management, CSUN Cat People has established feeding stations around campus.

An animal-lover at heart, Adams said that the feral cats at CSUN are valuable because they provide a chemical-free pest control. From cats to students, Adams has seen first-hand how CSUN’s inclusiveness leads to a welcoming environment. A Matador alumna who spent six years working for the CSUN Student Outreach department, Adams said she saw the absolute commitment the university has toward its students on a daily basis.

“I admire and respect the way in which the whole CSUN community helps and cares for its students,” Adams said. “The fact that CSUN cares for the feral cats that live here is so in character with the school.” 

2016 Program Award Recipients

Dena Dahilig
The Arts Council for CSUN 

Dena Dahilig saw a blurb in a newsletter about getting involved with The Arts Council for CSUN and decided to attend a meeting. There was an immediate comfort level that made her feel like she belonged, even though she never attended CSUN as a student. Since that moment in 2010, she has been a vital volunteer for the organization.

When she’s not a voice actor, who specializes in commercial, promo and live events, she is the media committee chair for The Arts Council. She has been the organization’s voice, in a sense. She is responsible for the publication of all print media, online communications and social media for the group. Dahilig was instrumental in launching The Arts Council’s website, as well. Her greatest contribution, she said, is making The Arts Council more visible on campus and helping to build partnerships, such as the one with the Matadors Community Credit Union, which has helped fund activities and student scholarships.

Dahilig, who opened the graphic design firm Arts in Action, which she ran for over 20 years, has long had creative inspiration in her life. Her mother was a member for an arts council in Northern California. The USC alumna has one other strong connection to CSUN. Her husband, Gene, is a 1984 graduate of CSUN with a bachelor’s degree in computer science.

Lou Marino 

Lou Marino grew up in Brooklyn, New York and fell in love with baseball — namely the Brooklyn Dodgers and their first baseman Gil Hodges. Marino took that love with him to the West Coast in the early 1960s and fell in love with another team — the Matadors. For decades, Marino has given and raised funds for the Matador baseball program and has been an ardent supporter of CSUN intercollegiate athletics. At 83 years old, his enthusiasm is as strong as ever. “First of all, it’s baseball. Then I fell in love with CSUN,” Marino said on why he has been so supportive.

He is a member of the President’s Associates and three of his children — Carol Ann, Eric and Lou — attended CSUN. Marino is very much a self-made man and an inspirational figure having started his own company, Advanced Business Systems, out of his garage. The company was acquired by Global Imaging Systems in 2003, but Mr. Marino continued in his capacity as CEO until his retirement. Marino coached youth baseball and has supported numerous nonprofit organizations, including the LAPD Devonshire Police Activity League and the YMCA. “I like being involved. I like helping out,” Marino said. “I was raised that way.”

Marilee Wheaton ’82 
Delmar T. Oviatt Library 

Marilee J. Wheaton has volunteered at CSUN for many years. She has served on the Board of the Oviatt Library Dr. Bonita J. Campbell Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Board since 2010 and served as the WISE chair from 2013-2015. Wheaton has also served on CSUN’s College of Engineering & Computer Science Industry Advisory Board since 2005.

Wheaton, who received her bachelor’s degree from California Lutheran University, attended CSUN from 1978-1982 and later received her master’s from USC, is currently pursuing her doctorate from USC and is a Systems Engineering Fellow in the Engineering and Technology Group at The Aerospace Corporation. Wheaton is a fellow and life member of the Society of Women Engineers and an active member of the Los Angeles Section for over 30 years. Wheaton was selected as an SWE Distinguished New Engineer in 1990, as an SWE Fellow in 2000, and she received an SWE Distinguished Service Award in 2010. In addition to her service to SWE, Wheaton has made contributions to increasing the awareness of women in engineering through her participation and leadership in other professional societies.

She is a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and a fellow of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE).

Don Larson 
Student Affairs

Don Larson is a fourth-generation Northridge resident who as a small child was present for the groundbreaking ceremony of San Fernando Valley State College. He later attended the California State University, Northridge, worked here and was a popular figure on campus.

Larson has continued to be a popular figure in the community and has become a leader in it. His loyalty to Northridge is seen in his dedication to preserving its history and keeping it the jewel of the San Fernando Valley.

Larson has been an instrumental figure in all aspects of the grass roots “Northridge Sparkle” campaign — a collaborative beautification project centered on the city’s main artery Reseda Boulevard. Larson has been an essential community partner for the university especially in helping to make Matadors Day of Service a success in its first two years running — 2015 and 2016.

In particular, Larson supported CSUN by donating time, skills and community resources. He worked tirelessly in this project, which brought out more than 350 volunteers for a day of service to engage CSUN’s incoming freshman in service.

Anthony Sherrill ’05, M.A. ’07 
University Student Union

Anthony Sherrill considers himself a creator of positive change, and his favorite place to make that change is on a college campus.

Sherrill got his start in Student Affairs as a student assistant in the University Student Union overseeing the campus-wide elections process for the Board of Directors. He was offered a graduate assistantship, where he oversaw the operations of that same board. He was then moved into his first professional role as the information services and special projects coordinator, where he oversaw and staffed three information-providing locations and offered career development to his student staff.

While he was part of the board that has voted on and opened the Student Recreation Center, Pride Center, Veterans Resource Center and the Oasis Wellness Center, he said his greatest contribution has been the ability to create positive change in the lives of students on campus. He is currently the assistant director of Associated Students, Inc. (ASI), where he oversees the facility, programs, and staff of the Student Union at California State University, Channel Islands.

He is an adjunct professor at CSUN and facilitates the freshmen seminar course that guides new students through the challenges of their first semester on campus. He values his role as the alumni representative for the University Student Union’s Board of Directors. He also met his wife, Rhasaan, at CSUN.

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.

Susan Brown  
Valley Performing Arts Center

For decades, Susan Brown had people close to her making efforts to bring a world-class performing arts center to the San Fernando Valley. When one finally arrived, the longtime San Fernando Valley resident who lived walking distance from CSUN for 40 years, was invited by her friends Joan Boyett and Barbara Pinchuk to experience it for herself. She instantly grew attached to the Valley Performing Arts Center.

For the last three years, Brown has been an ambassador for VPAC, promoting it and helping to raise its profile in a way that is so simple, yet so effective — face-to-face and voice communication.

It’s a skill that she honed while working for more than 20 years for The Music Center in Los Angeles. She, along with Pinchuk and inspired by her mentor Boyett, the founder of the Music Center Education Division, helped bring thousands of events to schools throughout Los Angeles County.

Thus, a relationship with VPAC was easy for her.  With her husband Robert, she has also been a donor to VPAC.  And even though she lives in Ventura, she remains dedicated to coming to VPAC and introducing people to it. She was recently on the committee for the Arts Education Benefit Gala at VPAC on Oct. 8, honoring Boyett.

“To me, (VPAC has) totally rounded out my life,” Brown said. “This gives me the ability to go to a wide variety and many live performances. I treasure that.”

2015 Program Award Recipients

Dorothy Weisinger
Arts Council

Dotty worked at CSUN for 36 years, first starting in the admissions office as a clerk before eventually becoming supervisor of Admissions and Records and retiring in December 2001. She loved her job and loved the interactions with students and staff. Volunteering for the Arts Council was a way for her to stay connected to the university and friends. She also has a love of the arts, particularly for music. Thus, she has been a dedicated, hard-working contributor to the Arts Council. She started as a corresponding secretary for the group and later added recording secretary to her duties. She is at all meetings and receptions and usually plays a major role in setting up the events.

Steve Gale
Associated Students

When you do all the math, Steve has coached more than 650 practices, 247 games and taken the CSUN Ice Hockey Club to 13 different states. All told, he has dedicated an estimated 7,000-plus hours of his time to the growth and success of Matador Hockey. To put that in perspective, there are 8,760 hours in a year. Prior to Steve arriving in 2006, CSUN had been ranked in the American Collegiate Hockey Association’s West Top 15 only once in the team’s long history, going back to 1971. Under Steve’s watch, the Matadors have been ranked in the top 15 for the American Collegiate Hockey Association West eight times. The team has made it to the ACHA West Regional Championships six times and made two ACHA National Championship appearances (2010, 2012), finishing 11th and ninth in the nation respectively. In that time frame, CSUN has also had 17 players named to the ACHA All-Academic team, eight players named to the ACHA All-West team, two All-Americans and one player sent to the ACHA National Team to compete in Europe in 2011. All of these accolades can be traced back to Steve’s dedication and expertise in coaching the Matadors.

Jilanne Fager '63, M.A. '72
Richard Fager '62

Jill and Dick Fager, married 57 years, both graduated from San Fernando Valley State College and went on to enjoy successful careers, which they felt was due in large part to their education at what was to become CSUN.After their daughter, Cathleen, came to work for CSUN, they re-engaged with their alma mater. Thus began their interest in and contributions to the Mike Curb College of Art, Media, and Communication, Valley Performing Arts Center, David Nazarian College of Business and Economics, Michael D. Eisner College of Education and CSUN’s athletic programs — especially Dick’s passion: baseball, and Jill’s passion: basketball. They also serve on CSUN’s Executive Council of the President’s Associates, Founders’ Day Steering Committee, VPAC’s Gala Committee, VPAC’s Ambassadors, as well as several civic, charitable and fraternal organizations.

Ivan Axelrod '72

Ivan shares a similar story to many CSUN alumni. While in school, he didn’t realize what sort of impact was being made on him. After graduation, he started a career in accounting and became a successful member of the community and in business. There was a near 30-year gap between the time that Ivan graduated and returned to campus. Upon that return, he immediately decided to give back to the university and become a part of not just its past, but its future. Ivan has participated in the CSUN “Professor for a Day” program, providing insight to students on expectations of the business community after their graduation. His business management firm is a regular participant at the annual Department of Accounting and Information Systems’ “Meet The Firms” night. Ivan focuses on hiring CSUN students and presently has 10 staff from his alma mater working in various positions with his firm, of which, seven have been hired in the past two years.

For the past two years, he has been a member of the Board of Directors of the CSUN Foundation and a member of the Finance and Investment Committee and was recently re-elected to a new three-year term. Ivan has also volunteered for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Temple Judea in Tarzana, Beit T’Shuvah in Los Angeles and the United States Trotting Association.

Rita Streimer     
Oviatt Library

Rita, an accomplished artist and teacher, received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art and art education from Brooklyn College. Her artistic works are mainly in paints, collage and quilting. For 35 years, Rita taught art and craft classes, as well as ESL in the LAUSD’s Adult Education program. She introduced her artistic quilt making to the curriculum of both LAUSD and Glendale Community College. And even now, though retired, she continues to teach her craft for the Pierce College Encore program. Since 1998, Rita has served on the Friends of the Oviatt Library (FOL) Board, serving two terms as president. She was instrumental in establishing and running the group’s bookstore. Rita and her late husband, Professor Emeritus Irving Streimer, are long-time members of the CSUN family. Irving joined CSUN’s psychology department in 1964, where he developed courses and was instrumental in establishing a graduate program in human factors. Through a significant contribution to the Library’s endowment fund in 2008, a library study room used by faculty and graduate students for academic research was named in honor of the Streimers. At the dedication ceremony, Rita said, “The Library is the heart of any university, and the Oviatt Library is especially dear to our hearts. This study room is an ideal way to say thank you to this university that has given us so much.”

Ronald Clouse '71    
Student Affairs

Over the last 50 years, Ronald has run the gamut at CSUN. He transferred to the university as an undergraduate student in 1965, earned his bachelor’s in economics in 1971 (his education was interrupted by three years in the military, including one year in Vietnam) and his master’s in economics in 1973. After graduation, he worked for CSUN for 33 years, most notably as chief budget officer as the director of budget planning and management. In 2006, he retired after those 33 years of service to the university. 

In 1990, Ronald was asked to be the president’s representative on the University Student Union Board of Directors. He served in this position and on the University Student Union Finance Committee until his retirement. Between this and his role as chair of the Student Fee Advisory Committee, he was able to consult with, advise and work with students, and be a part of the student-centered focus of the university. In May 2010 Ronald was asked to serve as chair of the Audit Committee of the University Student Union. He accepted and has volunteered in the position ever since. Ronald said CSUN gave him a top-rate education and it provided the opportunity for a great career. His two sons also earned degrees from CSUN in computer science and music composition. It is a pleasure, Ronald said, to be able to give back even in this small way.

Marla Lefton 

Marla Lefton was an essential part of the successful Yo-Yo Ma Gala Performance event at the Valley Performing Arts Center on May 6, 2015. She served as chair of the event’s planning committee and was tireless in recruiting relatives, friends and  other guests to participate in the event. Marla and her husband Cary’s business Agora Realty & Management, Inc. was the gala’s presenting sponsor. But more, Marla was a hard-working chair who attended all internal VPAC planning meetings and led the three full-committee meetings to plan the gala, as well. Her creative approach to the event was the impetus behind asking the CSUN ceramics students to design cello centerpieces for the 45 tables at the dinner. She also suggested and helped plan a successful live auction and insisted on sending 470 dinner guests home with milk and cookies as a special thank-you gift. She and Cary hosted four tables and convinced several friends to also purchase tables for the event.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Marla is an alumna of CSUN, where she studied graphic design and communications. Later, Marla studied fine arts with several noted painters. Marla and Cary provided significant support for the VPAC Capital Campaign.

2014 Program Award Recipients

Amada "Amy" Sosa
Friend of the University
Arts Council

Amy, a pioneer volunteer at the Plaza del Sol (formerly the Performing Arts Center), has been a member of the Arts Council since 1999. Honored as a volunteer of the month, she has worked fundraising events, been a docent at the Art Gallery and ushered theater performances. Now serving as third vice president on the Arts Council Executive Board she handles scholarships and dues.

A member of the President’s Associates since 2006, she has supported the college through the Theatre Department Patrons Scholarship and the Arts Council Scholarship.

Diana Cooley
Intercollegiate Athletics

Mark Cooley
1968 B.S. Humanities, 1971 M.A. Education
Intercollegiate Athletics

Raised in the Valley, the Cooleys met at San Fernando Valley State College where Mark was an award-winning basketball player, and Diana was a songleader. Married since 1968, the couple has made CSUN an important part of their lives. For several years, they have been season ticket holders for men’s basketball and they have made numerous donations to the department.

They both served on the CSUN Athletic Association Board, where Diana was president for two years, and served on the annual Founders' Day committee. Mark has served on the Matador Hall of Fame selection committee for several years and was inducted in 1985. In addition, they are members of the newly formed CSUN Athletics M-Club, an organization designed exclusively for former CSUN student-athletes.

Anne Cuffe Payne
1965 B.A. Education
President's Associates

Since 2011, Anne Cuffe Payne has served as the National Chair for the CSUN President’s Associates Executive Council. Through their generous financial contributions, volunteer service and ambassadorship, President’s Associates advances the overall excellence of the university and strengthens its impact. In her leadership role, she has worked with her executive council, connecting alumni and friends with the university, steering and encouraging the community and alumni to attend events, including receptions which spotlight CSUN programs, and to re-engage with the campus.

Anne and her husband, John, have been generous contributors to the university, including the President’s 21st Century Fund, the Roger Moss Memorial Fund and the Jolene Koester Presidential Scholarship Endowment.

Lilly Shraibati  
1988 B.A. Civil Engineering
Delmar T. Oviatt Library

Since graduating, Lilly Shraibati has continued to serve her alma mater as a volunteer for the Delmar T. Oviatt Library. She is a founding member of the Bonita Campbell Endowment for Women in Science and Engineering (WISE), a CSUN committee that provides undergraduate women with resources and support necessary to excel in fields of science and engineering. The endowment is a critical support in developing the library’s collections in science and engineering, as well as hosting events that celebrate and promote women’s achievements in these fields. Lilly served as committee chair for two years, and continues to serve as an advisory board member.

Lilly and her husband, Tarek ’82, M.S. ’86, are donors to the WISE endowment.

Karen J. Posner
2007 B.A. Arts, Media and Communication
Alumni Relations

Karen Posner received her bachelor’s degree in communication studies from CSUN in 2007, was highly involved with the CSUN Communication Association as co-president, and is still a frequent guest speaker at CSUN and Los Angeles-based business associations. Since 2012, she has shared her expertise with alumni and students as a guest panelist and speaker for several Alumni Association-sponsored career workshops, panels and webinars.

2013 Program Award Recipients

Barbara Terry
Friend of the University
Arts Council

An exceptionally active member, and hard worker, for the past 14 years, Barbara Terry has held the offices of luncheons coordinator, gallery store scheduler and docent hours coordinator. Despite the demands unique to each position Barbara has willingly taken on the the task of handling all three jobs at the moment. She is impressive in her ability to communicate clearly and to follow through in her duties. Her calm demeanor and poise are reassuring, and her energy invigorates those around her.

Kathleen Paulson
1984 B.S. Engineering and Computer Science
Delmar T. Oviatt Library

Kathleen "Kappy" Paulson has been an exceptional volunteer in the Delmar T. Oviatt Library. In spite of a busy schedule working in the United States Navy as a civilian mechanical engineer, Kathleen makes time for volunteer service at her alma mater. As a faithful and active board member of the Bonita J. Campbell Endowment for Women in Science and Engineering (WISE), she attends at least 10 board meetings per year and is always optimistic, participatory and energetic. Kathleen has taken the lead on several WISE events, including the annual career mentoring event for CSUN students.

April Lindh
Friend of the University
Student Affairs

Richard Weinroth
Friend of the University
Student Affairs

April Lindh is the community relations coordinator of the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission. April was instrumental in helping Unified We Serve, a volunteer program for CSUN students, establish a community garden that was launched at the 2013 Earth Fair. Produce from the garden is donated to the Rescue Mission, providing the homeless with access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

Richard Weinroth has been the food bank director and executive chef for MEND – Meet Each Need with Dignity since 2008. MEND's mission is to break the bonds of poverty by providing basic human needs and a pathway to self-reliance with through various programs. Richard has worked closely with Unified We Serve to successfully implement CSUN's Annual Clothing & Food Drive. Without Richard's help, the program would not have been able to streamline the collection and distribution of donations to the public.

2012 Program Award Recipients

Dotti Goggin
Arts Council

Goggin has been a very active member of the Arts Council for many years and been an executive board member for more than eight years. After retiring from the J. Paul Getty Museum, where she was assistant to the curator of European sculpture and works of arts, she rejoined the Arts Council. Presently she is the manager of the CSUN Art Gallery store in the Main Art Gallery, which provides unique gifts, books and catalogs related to gallery events and receptions. Funds from the Art Gallery store support exhibitions in the Main Gallery. Especially notable are the Annual Student Exhibition and the Annual High School Exhibition. Over the years, Goggin has held many positions in the Arts Council including third vice president, newsletter editor and nominations chair. She has participated in the annual planning committee and assisted with maintenance of the annual calendar and membership roster. A graduate of CSUN, she earned her bachelor’s in food science and nutrition in 1975. For her continuing service, the Arts Council awarded Goggin the Honorary Life Membership award in 2007. Other memberships include Zeta Tau Alpha, where she served as financial advisor to the Theta Chapter. As a valuable volunteer to the Arts Council, Goggin has consistently given service over and above the call of duty. Her extraordinary dedication and continuing support has been a shining example of loyalty and commitment to the goals of the organization.

Michael Arone
Intercollegiate Athletics

Opening his 10th season as a volunteer member of the Northridge men’s volleyball coaching staff, Arone’s current tenure is the longest by a Matador assistant in the team’s Division I history. During that time, the team has been ranked number one in the nation three times and reached the Division 1 Final Four in 2010. The men’s volleyball team has been one of the highest academically achieving teams, having a perfect academic progress rate for four of the last five years. During his time at CSUN, numerous All-American and All-Conference players have represented CSUN and many have gone on to play professionally. Arone spends each summer with Los Angeles Sports Academy working with at-risk youths ages 5 to 18 from disadvantaged backgrounds. He appreciates being able to share his life experiences with the campers. As a student at CSUN, Arone was a member of the men’s volleyball team. An outstanding academic, he was the men’s volleyball representative on the Varsity N-Athletic Honor Roll and selected as the CSUN Athletics Team Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology in 2000 and has taught physical education for 12 years in the Las Virgenes Unified School District. He is an honest, hard-working and caring alumnus and is very proud to call himself a Matador.

Iris Caplan
1981 B.A. Liberal Studies 
Delmar T. Oviatt Library

A dedicated volunteer, Caplan has been a faithful and committed member of the Friends of the Library Board for several years. A retired teacher with the Los Angeles Unified School District, she has served the library in many different capacities including hospitality chair. She also assists with the Friends of the Library bookstore, which raises funds for the library. In addition, she has served on the Oviatt Library Student Scholarship Committee. In 1981, she received a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies. She is a member of the Arts Council and has volunteered to read for the vision impaired.

2011 Program Award Recipients

Hazel Wittenberg
1968 B.A. Sociology, 1975 M.A. Educational Leadership
Arts Council

Hazel received her B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology in 1968 and M.A. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in 1975.  A retired educator with varied teaching experiences, she was a preschool teacher and then director and co-op director at two temple schools in the Valley.
Hazel has served on the Arts Council since 1996 in most of the board positions including president.  Hazel has always been a very genial person, and makes others feel comfortable.  Over the years her helpfulness has been invaluable to the group. She is cheerful and supportive and consistently makes time to assist her peers in council leadership roles.  In addition to her work with the Arts Council, she has served on the board of Friends of the Library, volunteers in the Friends bookstore and has been an usher at Performing Arts Center.
Erika Bowling
2001 B.A. Child and Adolescent Development

Erika received a bachelor's in child and adolescent development in 2001 and has a successful track and field career at CSUN. She continued her education, earning a masters in business from the University of Phoenix. She has consistently gone above and beyond for the program. For several years, Erika's efforts and enthusiasm have contributed to the attendance of hundreds of people at campus athletic events. On her own, she created social networing for track and field alumni on facebook and searched for alumni as well. She has been instrumental in organizing events for the athletic department, including the 2006 track and field reunion which was attended by 300. Recently retired track and field head coach Don Strametz said, "Behind the scenes, without anyone knowing about it, she has been a big reason that we have been successful in keeping in contact with our alumni". This year, she served on the track and field reunion committee and the Strametz retirement celebration committee. She also has provided invaluable assistance with fundraising events.
John Diggle
Friend of the University
Botanic Garden

The retired owner of an electronics firm, John is an example of how staying active keeps a person young and vital.  In addition to tending his own one acre property, John has faithfully spent Thursday mornings as a Botanic Garden volunteer.  During his ten years of service, John has cheerfully performed the most mundane of tasks, from counting out and planting thousands of miniscule tomato seeds to the heavy labor of moving large potted specimens.  On occasion he has even volunteered to clean the greenhouse floors and glass, and that's A LOT of glass!  He has also put his smile to good use by working overtime as the official greeter at the CSUN-al gardening classes and at the Twilight Garden Party.  No matter what odd job or responsibility, John willingly tackles the most tedious, grime-filled chore and manages to return the following week with a big smile on his face which is very impressive for a young octogenarian.
Cynthia Cohen
2007 M.A. English
Institute for Sustainability

Serving as a volunteer arborist, Cynthia spent hundreds of hours identifying the species of trees on campus.  During 2009 and 2010 she worked with the Institute for Sustainability as part of the CSUN Tree Atlas Project, which included field checking of the entire campus tree population as part of the quality assurance of the new atlas.    A third-generation alumna who grew up within a mile of the CSUN campus, Cynthia recognizes the impact CSUN has had on her life and appreciates the opportunity to give back and continue to be involved with the campus community.  She currently serves as Community Representative on the Tree Planning Policy Committee and an active member of the Alumni Association. Cynthia studied forestry and resource management as an undergraduate at U.C. Berkeley.  Graduating from CSUN in 2007 with an MA in English, as a member of the Sigma Tau Delta International English Honors Society and the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, and with special recognition from the English Department she was granted the Harry Finestone Award for most distinguished graduate thesis and the Mahlon Gaumer Award for best critical essay on English literature emphasizing the use of language.  She is currently in the final year of her second graduate program and looks forward to completing a master’s degree in library and information science through San Jose State University in May 2012. Cynthia’s environmental experience includes several years of publication production and continues today in a library-services capacity for an environmental consulting firm. She is a Certified Arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture.
Nic Harcourt
Friend of the University

Nic is sharing years of musical experience and bringing a large LA audience to KCSN.  Since joining the station in July, KCSN has been featured in the L.A. Times four times and has attracted many established and new artists to perform on air.  This has increased the station’s audience and KCSN made the Arbitron book in August.  Nic is a large reason for the growth in audience.  He left a paid position at KCRW because he believes in the mission of KCSN and the station is very fortunate that he is willing to donate his time to the station.  Sky Daniels, newly appointed Program Director of KCSN added, “It is an honor to have Nic join us as we begin a new journey as the Album Adult Alternative station for Los Angeles. Nic defines music discovery for Los Angeles listeners and will bring that devotion to KCSN. His vision will be an incredible asset to our listeners.”
Harcourt worked for KCRW/Los Angeles for twelve years, ten as music director and host of the highly influential “Morning Becomes Eclectic” program. Widely regarded as an innovator in public radio, many artists, including Adele, Coldplay and Norah Jones, have credited Harcourt for putting them on the map and helping them achieve stardom.  Harcourt has also been a music journalist for the Los Angeles Times, and currently holds the title of Music Supervisor in Residence for MTV. He also serves as host of the award-winning Guitar Center Sessions on DirecTV’s 101 and n3D channels.  As host of  KCSN’s Connections on Saturdays 3-6:oo p.m., Nic presents an eclectic mix of progressive and innovative pop, showcasing new and independent talent from across the musical spectrum and featuring live sessions and interviews with both established and emerging artists.  He is president of SamLuna Media, Inc.
Lois Feldman
Friend of the University
Oviatt Library

Lois has been a member of the Friends of the Library for seven years.  She volunteers in the Friends’ bookstore and has served on the board as hospitality chairman and secretary.  She is currently president-elect on the Friends of the Oviatt Library board.  A native of Los Angeles, Lois graduated from University of California Los Angeles where she became a member of Phi Beta Kappa.  She earned a teaching degree at San Diego State University and taught junior high school in the Los Angeles Unified School District.  After earning a credential and master’s degree in Library Science at Immaculate Heart College, Lois worked as a school librarian in both Los Angeles Unified School District and Beverly Hills. When her husband’s job in the health field was transferred to Warner Center, the Feldman family moved from the city to Northridge.  Both Feldman children, Diana and Ken, graduated from CSUN.  Ken was CSUN’s Homecoming King in 1983.  She urges everyone to visit “Good Readance,” the Friends’ Bookstore in the Oviatt Library between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on weekdays.

Chad Charton
2007 B.A. Business Administration
Student Affairs

Marcelo Vazquez
1994 B.A. Psychology
Student Affairs

As co-chairmen of the Matador Statue Fundraising Committee, Chad and Marcelo worked for over two years to bring about the realization of a dream that began at CSUN in 1990. Chad and Marcelo led the committee in identifying donors during the silent phase of the campaign and soliciting contributions when the public phase began.  To the credit of the committee, the statue was funded entirely through private donations, exceeding their original fundraising goal by over $50,000.  The statue was unveiled to the campus on September 8, prior to Freshman Convocation, and was attended by hundreds of donors, alumni, faculty, staff and students.

In 2007, Chad earned a B.S. in Business Administration with a Concentration in Financial Services.  He was a highly involved student, active with the Associated Students first as director of finance then as president in his senior year.  He is Vice President of Marketing Development for FMS Financial Management Services in Encino. He serves the community as a Reserve Officer with the Los Angeles Police Department.  In addition he has been a member of the CSUN Alumni Association Board of Director since 2008.

Marcelo received his B.A. in Psychology from CSUN in 1994. He continued his education earning a M.A. in Environmental Studies/Governmental Politics in 1996 from Prescott College and an Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Southern California in 2008.  Marcelo is the Director of Project GEAR UP at California State University, Los Angeles, providing college preparation services to approximately 3,100 LAUSD and Los Angeles Mayor Partnership high school students.  Prior to working at CSULA, he worked at CSUN as a regional Coordinator for the Office of Outreach and Recruitment.

Ronald Friendman
1971 B.A. Accounting
The University Corporation

Ron is a respected and successful Certified Public Accountant (CPA), who has embraced his responsibility to “give back” to the community that nurtured that success.  He has devoted time and energy to numerous organizations including his alma mater, Cal State Northridge, where he earned a B.S. in Accounting in 1971.
The University Corporation has been fortunate to have Ron on its board, where he has served since 2002 as one of three directors appointed by the university president from the community-at-large.  Ron is actively engaged in Corporation matters and has given generously of his time and expertise.  As a CPA/Partner in Charge of Southern California for MarcumStonefield, LLP, he has brought valuable experience and insight and has provided the pro bono assistance of his professional team to assist the Corporation in addressing reporting complexities.  He has pushed the Corporation to partner more closely with other University units, particularly Intercollegiate Athletics.
Ron has also served on several campus boards including the Auxiliary Audit Committee, the Advisory Committee on University Real Estate and the Dean’s Council in the College of Business and Economics.  In addition he was instrumental in securing a major gift from his firm to support the department of Accounting. The Corporation is a better organization for Ron’s involvement and the lives of many Matadors have been touched by his quiet and constant support of Cal State Northridge.

2010 Program Award Recipients

Marilyn Ehlers
Friend of the University
Arts Council

Marilyn has been an active member of the Arts Council for 20 years serving in the offices of president, Ways and Means chairman, Membership Dues chairman, and Awards Day chairman and has been treasurer for five years.  She received an Honorary Life Membership in the Arts Council in 2003.  In her 20 years of membership she has volunteered approximately 1500 hours. She has been a member of the Native Daughters of the Golden West for over 50 years.  She has held almost every office and has been financial secretary for 18 years.  She is also a Deputy Grand President.  Native Daughters of the Golden West is California’s oldest fraternal and patriotic organization founded for women born in the state.
Although she did not attend CSUN, both of her sons graduated from CSUN.  She and her husband recently celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary.  Marilyn retired as a clerk with the LAUSD at the Valley School Offices and Field Office.  She attended San Diego State.
William "Bill" Courtland
1980 B.A. English

Bill Courtland, a 1980 graduate of Cal State Northridge has been a tireless volunteer in promoting goodwill towards his alma mater.  He bleeds Matador Red and Black, and his volunteer work has centered around Matador Athletics.  For many years, Bill has volunteered to be master of ceremonies at numerous athletic events and programs including the Matador Athletic Hall of Fame and the annual Matador Golf Classic. Bill’s historical knowledge of Cal State NorthridgeAthletics is keen, and he can always be counted upon to remember key facts and figures of many past university teams and student athletes.   He also participates in the Varsity N Academic Awards to honor the top student athletes and the NESPY’s an annual event produced by CSUN student athletes to highlight the many athletic successes of CSUN. Courtland serves as the public address voice for the women’s and nationally ranked men’s volleyball teams.  His public address work has drawn praise for his enthusiasm and information during the matches.  He is also the Voice of Cal State Northridge men’s basketball.  For several seasons Bill has been the broadcaster of Matador Basketball and enjoys a large following of listeners on  Bill’s volunteer leadership is notable for its creativity, integrity and willingness to help others.  As a CSUN student, Bill played varsity volleyball.
Helen de Gyarfas
Friend of the University
Botanic Garden

The Cal State Northridge Botanic Garden has evolved over the years since its dedication in 1959. The Friends of the Garden volunteer group started in 1999 and although many volunteers have come and gone, Helen is the only original volunteer still serving.  Helen has always demonstrated a willingness to take on any task that is asked of her, even the most mundane (think WEEDS!), and is an eager participant in on-going garden maintenance projects.  Her efforts, as well as the efforts of other volunteers, enable the Botanic Garden to flourish throughout the year.  The 1.5-acre garden is a collection of some 1,200 plant species representing many regions and climates.  Nestled south of the University Student Union, the garden and its four greenhouses have become a living library of diverse plant specimens, an outdoor classroom for students, a beautiful refuge for quiet study or strolling, and a valued community asset.  The garden will continue to thrive due to the commitment of people like Helen. Helen also serves the community as a volunteer at Los Angeles County Museum of Art and as an interpreter for MEND (Meet Each Need with Dignity) Clinic in Pacoima.  MEND is a non-profit organization that takes a holistic and humanitarian approach to relieving the effects of poverty with the underlying goal of lifting the needy out of poverty and into self- sufficiency.
John "The Cooch" Minicucci
Friend of the University

John has provided KCSN with a thoughtfully programmed and popular radio program at KCSN for over ten years.  He has been reliable and consistent in his integrity to the station and the university throughout these years of service.  Known to listeners and friends as “The Cooch”, John has been driving almost 100 miles round trip to host his “John’s Attic” radio program every Friday night. Recently his program moved to Friday nights from 9pm-midnight where listeners will hear him play original Rhythm and Blues sounds of the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s. John has hosted other radio programs in Los Angeles including a show for 13 years on KPCC. Other honors include having his name inscribed on the Moon in recognition of his 38 years of service in the aerospace industry and being named Employee of the Year at Rockwell International for coaching and working with special needs kids.  In addition he has served as a high school football, basketball and track and field coach since the 1980’s as well as a Junior All American Football Coach.  High points of his coaching career include coaching a high school runner who went on to win the bronze medal in the 1986 Olympics and other students who went on to play in the NFL and the NBA. He has also lent his expertise to help out with many Boy Scouting events.
Joseph Moore
1986 M.A. Educational Psychology
Oviatt Library

Dr. Joe Moore is a steadfast volunteer for the Library.  Joe has been a member of the Friends of the Library for many years and served on its board of directors since 2000 as a past president and is the current treasurer.  He is an emeritus professor of Biology, having started his career at San Fernando Valley State in 1962. In addition, he is a CSUN alumnus, having earned a Master's degree in Educational Psychology in 1986, and eventually receiving his MFCC license.  Since retiring in 1995, Joe has kept busy with volunteering, travel, reading, tennis, and gardening. Joe majored in Zoology at UCLA receiving his Associates, Bachelors and Masters, before being drafted into the Army where he served in the medical corps before returning to UCLA to finish his Doctorate in 1961.  After graduating, Joe spent time in Central America as a Fellow in Tropical Medicine.  He has received research grants from the U.S. Public Health Service and the National Science Foundation. His education was enhanced during two sabbatical leaves to Imperial College in London, where he participated in work on the development of a vaccine for malaria.  In 1994, Joe received a Distinguished Teaching Award from CSUN. The Friends is a volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and enhancing the resources of the Oviatt Library including such activities as cultural programs, fundraising events and book sales.  In addition to the Library, Joe is a member of Sigma Xi, the Society of Protozoologists and the American Society of Parasitologists.
Bryan Green
1994 B.S. Marketing
Student Affairs

Bryan is Founder and CEO of Advantage Fitness Products (AFP) in Culver City.  He began his career in the health and fitness industry in 1991.  After receiving a Bachelors degree in Marketing in 1994 and through his early work in the commercial fitness sector, he developed his vision for AFP.  The company evolved as a single-source provider for fitness facility design, supply, and service for facilities of all sizes and profiles.  Bryan spearheads AFP’s commitment to improving our communities through health and fitness.  He has played an instrumental role in such organizations as the successful “1000 Footsteps Challenge”, a program created by Sheriff Lee Baca to increase the health and fitness levels of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.  Green and AFP are also designated partners of the California Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports. AFP serves as a strategic partner for the Council’s “ActiveCA” program designed to increase daily activity levels and better health amongst California residents. A frequent industry and public speaker on the subject of effective fitness facility design and operational strategies, Green also serves on the Editorial Board for Fitness On-Site Magazine, and advisory boards for Precor USA and Star Trac Fitness. For CSUN, Green serves on the Foundation Board, Valley Performing Arts Center Gala Committee and is a member of the President’s Leadership Associates.  In addition he is a distinguished Board Member of Junior Achievement of Southern California and an active member of the Young Presidents Organization.
Debra Bergman
1984 M.A. Educational Psychology and Counseling
University Advancement

For many years Cal State Northridge has been the beneficiary of a close and strategic relationship with Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, Inc. (PWR), and few individuals are more responsible for this great history of collaboration than alumna Debra Bergman. In respect of PWR’s core educational, philanthropic and cultural values, and her loyalty to her alma mater, she has not only helped to develop the Valley’s next generation of engineers, researchers and business professionals, she has also enhanced alumni engagement among the company’s hundreds of CSUN graduates. Since receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, as PWR’s Education Coordinator, she has served as a primary liaison between the company and the CSUN’s Alumni Association and Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations. She has organized on-site gatherings of alumni employees and has ensured company sponsorships of major campus initiatives, including to the university’s 40th Anniversary Celebration and the inauguration of Dr. Jolene Koester. For the last decade, Bergman has not only ensured that PWR has been a primary sponsor of the annual Distinguished Alumni Awards, she organized over 100 Rocketdyne employees to attend the ceremony. Bergman manages the company’s philanthropic support of the university which easily exceeds $50,000 annually to the College of Engineering and Computer Science and the College of Business and Economics. Moreover, she is managing PWR’s generous donation to the Valley Performing Arts Center and its January opening gala.
Helen Etting
Friend of the University
Valley Performing Arts Center/Plaza Del Sol

Over ten years ago Helen Etting was a “shining star” as one of the very first volunteers at the Plaza del Sol Performance Hall. Helen has spent her lifetime as a “star” in service to others. Since her grandchildren attended CSUN, Helen wanted to get involved. She had always loved theatre, so the Performing Arts Center was the ideal place to volunteer, and she is one of its most diligent Ambassadors. After graduating from Hollywood High, Helen was quickly scooped up by the entertainment industry. Helen’s career began as a studio dancer, starring in many movies with Roy Rogers, Abbott and Costello and Rita Hayworth. Helen was a swimsuit model in many Esther Williams films. During WWII she loved volunteering at the USO along with stars of the era like Betty Grable, Harry James and Bob Hope. She and husband Morrie have been married 46 years, with two children, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. Helen is always on call when needed at the Performance Hall, but she also volunteers at several other organizations including the Geffen, Skirball, and various senior centers. Constantly on the go she is still a dancer, and takes Encore classes at local community colleges. The Performance Hall thanks Helen, for her years of dedicated service to California State University Northridge, and for being an inspiration and incredible role model for the entire staff. 
Leonard J. Roth
Friend of the University
Valley Performing Arts Center

For its first volunteer award, the Valley Performing Arts Center Campaign (VPAC) has chosen Leonard Roth. Len and his wife JoAnn joined the campaign very early, first with financial support and following up with significant volunteer effort. He is one of the VPAC’s most stalwart supporters and has introduced friends and business associates to the project. He has also given valuable advice about prospects and other potential major donors to the campaign and to the university overall. His passion for this project and devotion to its success set a great example for other volunteers and we are very grateful to him for his support. Len is an associate with FMS Financial Partners in Encino and has a Bachelor’s degree from UCLA and a Masters in business administration from Michigan State University. Len earned the professional designations of Chartered Life Underwriter and Chartered Financial Consultant. He is active in various UCLA alumni support groups including the San Fernando Valley Bruins. He also participates in the Michigan State Alumni Association (Greater L.A. Chapter), and is a past president of the Big 10 Club. He was named Man of the Year by the Jewish Federation of Mens Clubs and is a former member of the Board of Trustees of Temple Ramat Zion and past president of San Fernando Valley Estate Planning Council.
Christine Soderlund
1993 B.S. Organizational Systems Management, 1999 M.B.A.
Alumni Association

As president of the MBA Alumni Association (MBAA), Christine Soderlund has partnered closely with the director of graduate programs in the College of Business and Economics to plan and schedule notable and pertinent business speakers, conduct resume workshops for students and alumni and communicate university and local industry information to alumni.  Her diligent work with the MBAA and as the chapter liaison to the CSUN Alumni Association Board of Directors has made her an invaluable volunteer.   Her expertise as a recruitment and staffing consultant enabled her to focus on the implementation of a speakers’ series and with the development and facilitation of the chapter presidents’ leadership event. Christine is self-employed and volunteers in the community with business development & fundraising at Topeka Drive Elementary School as well as serving as the chairperson of the school’s Site Council Committee.  While achieving her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration she worked at the Daily Sundial in the business office and earned her MBA in 1999.
Howard Hammer
1965 B.S. Accounting
Alumni Association

As a member of the CSUN Alumni Association since 1998, Howard Hammer has played an active role in the organization and in his support of the university.  Since the inception of alumni association scholarships in 2003, he has been a member of the selection committee, reading hundreds of applications over the years as part of the process.    Hammer attends the annual scholarship banquet where the recipients are presented.  He said, “The importance of these scholarships, especially the First Generation, cannot be fully comprehended until you see the emotional appreciation of the recipients.” As a student he was a member of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity and received his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting in 1965.  He is an insurance agent/broker for Farmers Insurance, a Zurich Financial Services Company.  Hammer is member of The Executives a group comprised of more than 400 prominent business, community and political leaders whose primary mission is to support the Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aged.  In addition he is a member of the Kaiser Permanente Patient Advisory Committee.
Jacqueline Young
1979 B.A. English, 1993 M.A. English
Alumni Association

While attending CSUN as a part-time student, Jacquie Young earned a Bachelor’s degree in English with a 4.0 GPA while raising four children and four foster children.  She received a Master’s degree while teaching full time. In addition she received a teaching credential from USC.  During a remarkable career she was an award winning middle and high school teacher of drama, speech and debate. Many of her former students have continued their education at CSUN. She has given back to the CSUN community in many ways including serving on the CSUN Alumni Association Board of Directors since 1995.  Always an advocate for student scholarships, she was instrumental, along with alumna Irene Tovar, in the creation of a First Generation and Legacy scholarships.  Since its inception she has served on the Alumni Scholarship Selection Committee helping evaluate applicants each year.  Her other service to the campus includes as founding co-chairperson of the Arts Council. Since retiring from LAUSD in 2005, she was the debate coach at Chaminade College Preparatory. She remains active in the community on the board of the West Hills Neighborhood Council and the East Woodland Hills Women’s Club, and vice president of the Friends of the Madrid Foundation which funds local performing arts groups. She also serves as First Lady of the Pacific Southwest District of Optimist International where her husband Ed is the current district governor.  In 2005 Jacquie was saluted by the West Hills/Canoga Park Chamber of Commerce as an inspirational teacher, and a brass plaque saluting her achievements was placed in the sidewalk on Sherman Way’s Walk of Hearts.  She is currently a volunteer coach for North Hollywood High School.
Annette Nickell
1979 French
Alumni Association

In 1992, President Alma Zatarain invited Annette Nickell to join the Alumni Association Board of Directors.   In the 50 Year history of the organization, only two individuals, Ms. Zatarain and Dean Ed Peckham, can equal Annette's nearly 19 years of continuous volunteer service to the university as a member of the Alumni Board. Annette brings to the table a keen awareness of higher education and an insider’s understanding of how a campus can thrive and benefit from a strong and interconnected association of alumni.  Annette came to CSUN as a knowledgeable volunteer leader having been closely affiliated for over two decades with the USC Alumni Association.  Her combined volunteerism at USC and CSUN extends beyond forty years. CSUN has also benefitted from Annette’s community connections and from her association with the Braemar Country Club where she served as the club’s long-time membership director.  Annette has held leadership positions on the Alumni Association board, including roles as vice president and chair of the Alumni Homecoming Committee.  She has served on numerous association committees including the executive committee, the scholarship selection committee, membership committee, events committee, the Distinguished Alumni Awards selection committee and the 40th Anniversary alumni committee.  She has been an official co-host for several notable Alumni Association sponsored cultural events and dinner theatres.  An avid golfer, Annette enjoys athletic competition and is a loyal fan and supporter of Matador basketball.

2009 Program Award Recipients

Eleanor Baxter
Friend of the University
Arts Council

Since her retirement, Eleanor has been a long-time, active member of the CSUN Arts Council. She operates the CSUN Arts Council music shop, where sales earn money for annual music scholarships. Married for 58 years, she and her husband Claude, a retired research neurochemist, volunteer as docents at music events, and she has been involved in many Arts Council projects over the years. Prior to her retirement in 1993, at UCLA Eleanor served as Educational Director of the Intervention Program and as a Staff Research Associate through the Department of Pediatrics Infant Studies Program, a program designed for handicapped infants and children under five years of age. In addition, she served the educational community as head teacher for the Head Start Program, supervising teacher of the CSUN Pre-school lab, a member of the CSUN Advisory Committee on Day Care on the CSUN Campus and the Child Care Advisory Committee at Los Angeles Valley College. Eleanor is an active supporter of the Arts Council—a committed member who gives generously of her (and her husband’s!) time and resources. 
Kevin Baily
1993 B.A. Physical Education

James Forsyth
1996 Economics


Kevin and James have dedicated countless hours to support the Men’s Golf Program at CSUN. For the past 10 years they have co-chaired the Ben Graham Memorial Golf Tournament. This annual tournament has raised over $165,000 since its inception, supporting a scholarship in memory of alumnus Ben Graham ‘79, a member of the Cal State Northridge golf team from 1975-1979, and a three-time NCAA All-American. Ben died in 1985 at age 30. Kevin said that he attributes his volunteer experience to his friendship with Golf Coach Jim Bracken. Kevin said, “He has put his heart and soul into the golf team with a shoestring budget. James and I just wanted to help him out because of the opportunity he provided us.” While students, both men were members of the CSUN Men’s Golf team. Kevin received a degree in Kinesiology in 1993 and is currently the PGA Professional at Lakeside Golf Club in Burbank. James studied Economics at CSUN and is a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley. His community activities include the Advisory Board of California United Bank, and extending his volunteering to include golf, he is on the Bruin 18 Invitational Tournament Committee. He also serves as a coach of the UCLA Women’s Golf Team assisting the head coach, his wife, Carrie. They have three children.    
Ann "The Raven" Dolan
Friend of the University

Ann “The Raven’s” sultry, velvet voice has kept many a late-night radio listener company over the Los Angeles airwaves. Her unique style of bringing music to the listeners, coupled with the enduring popularity of the Blues, make for an unbeatable combination. With her collection of rare vinyl and CD’s, Ann has been delivering the best Blues sounds in Southern California for over 24 years. From Billie Holiday to John Lee Hooker, Santana, Shemekia Copeland, Etta James, Mavis Staples and Blues Boy King, she is the Mistress of Ceremonies for a celebration of America’s Music, The Blues! Ann has been volunteering as the resident red hot blues aficionado and host of the weekly Ann The Raven radio show at KCSN since 2000. For two years, she took on double shifts, volunteering twice a week. Ann’s level of dedication is immeasurable. At one point she commuted each week from Big Bear to the station so she would not disappoint her large, loyal listening audience. KCSN is more than grateful for Ann’s service to the station for keeping the important American tradition of Blues alive and well in the community we serve, and beyond. Ann can be heard on KCSN 88.5 Saturday evenings, 5 – 9 p.m.
Jim Dole
Retired Faculty, Biology
Oviatt Library

The Library is pleased to honor Dr. Jim Dole for his outstanding contribution to the Library and the University. Jim received a BA in Biology from Arizona State University, and an MS in Biology, and in 1963 a Ph.D. in Zoology, from the University of Michigan. His doctoral research was on amphibian behavior. He joined the CSUN Biology Department in 1963, where his teaching and research focus was Animal Behavior and Ecology. Jim taught for 44 years, retiring in 2007. During his career, he served as Department Chair for five years, created and wrote the department newsletter, Bios, for over 20 years, and in 2006 was honored with a prestigious Distinguished Teaching Award. Jim joined the Friends of the Oviatt Library Board in 2004. He took over the writing and editing of the Oviatt Friends newsletter, which has become a well-loved publication by the library’s many readers, who look forward to the bi-annual news written in Jim’s uniquely informative and personable style. Jim says, “…quite simply, the Library is the heart of any University, a repository of knowledge upon which both faculty and students depend; without its services, both original research and learning in general would suffer.” Summing up his role as a Library volunteer, Jim concludes, “If my services on the Board aid in even a minor way the continued growth of the Library and its services, it will be time well spent.”
Arthur Fass
Friend of the University
Student Affairs

Since 1981, Dr. Fass has served as a volunteer clinician for the CSUN community through the Klotz Student Health Center (SHC), providing a full range of health care services in podiatric care. He continues to serve at the SHC one afternoon a month. The clinic staff is deeply grateful for his volunteer service and truly appreciate the time he has taken away from his successful practice to offer free assistance to students, many of whom are uninsured and would not otherwise be able to obtain the high quality podiatric care he provides. For his dedication and service, the Division of Student Affairs awarded him a SUN Award. Additionally, he is involved at the university with pre-med programs and is a lecturer in the Bio-Mechanics Department. Receiving his Doctor of Podiatric Medicine from New York College of Podiatric Medicine in 1979, he maintains a successful practice, Northridge Podiatry, is Chairman of the Podiatry Department at Northridge Hospital, and is past-president of the Los Angeles Podiatric Medical Society. Married with two children, he is also involved in the community as a member of the Northridge Chamber of Commerce and the San Fernando Valley Male Chorus.
Mona Fletcher
Friend of the University
Valley Performing Arts Center/Plaza del Sol Performance Hall

Mona is the “Organizational Maven” of the Plaza del Sol Performance Hall volunteer association, The Ambassadors. She is the first person called when an usher is needed for the over 300 performances at the theatre throughout the year, and she is skilled in coordinating a crowd in under an hour. She has spent her life in volunteer work for her community. She is one of the founding members of Para Los Ninos, where she volunteered for many years, and has spent several years working with the Hospice of Granada Hills Hospital. Born in Germany and raised in South America, she has traveled extensively with her husband of 62 years, and lends that sophisticated life’s knowledge, discerning eye and joie de vivre to everything she touches. As a member of the Board of Directors for the Plaza del Sol, she has given her love and support to the Ambassadors for nearly ten years. She also finds time to usher for several other theatres in the area.

2008 Program Award Recipients

Julie Breitstein
Friend of the University
The Division of Student Affairs

Julie has given almost 30 years of service and volunteering to the Center on Disabilities. Her late husband Louis was very involved with the Center and upon his passing, she assumed and continued his volunteer activities. Every year in his honor, she gives a scholarship to a blind CSUN student. She has recorded general and text books on tape for the blind. Julie is sets a wonderful example…and has encouraged many to support the center on Disabilities. 
Gene Detchemendy
1984 B.S. Marketing
The Division of University Advancement

Alumnus Gene Detchemendy is recognized as one of CSUN’s most loyal and dedicated alumni leaders. Gene is a university donor and assn. member.  He has served as the Association’s president from 2004 to 2006 and as a member of the CSUN Foundation Board of Directors during those same years. He continues to serve on the Alumni Board, an affiliation that began in 1995. During his presidency, the Association doubled its membership and realized over $700,000 in partnership royalties. Alumni Association cultivations resulted in tens of millions of dollars in private gifts to the university. Gene was a highly involved student.
Kathleen Griffin
2007 M.A. Educational Administration
KCSN Radio

For several years, Kat Griffin helped Southland radio listeners toast in the weekend with her Friday night eclectic jazz program, “Madly Cocktail”   Now, listeners have adjusted their schedules to tune into her “Americana Matinee” on KCSN each Saturday afternoon.  Kat believes public radio is a vital tool for learning and she is proud to be a part of CSUN’s commitment to keep KCSN a public service to the community.
James Manny Johnson
2004 B.S. Marketing
The Division of Student Affairs

Manny was a former highly involved student and transitioned those leadership experiences to become president of the NCOD Alumni Chapter.  In that role, he introduced an e-newsletter, worked with NCOD to present a successful Career Day involving 12 alumni panelists, hosted nearly a half dozen reunions and other gatherings, and helped double the number of annual members and triple the number of Lifetime Members.  In addition, he represented the chapter on the Alumni Board of Directors.
Anne Kogen
Friend of the University
Oviatt Library

Anne is Past President of the Friends of the Library, and serves as co-chair of the Program Committee, where she plans popular speaker programs and outings for the Friends. After raising her kids and serving as a teacher, counselor and educational consultant, she looked for volunteer  opportunities and heard about the Friends of the Library Bookstore. Anne is such a great volunteer that she wishes to take the opportunity to invite all of you to come in and browse in the Friends Bookstore.
Michael Preis
2002 Kinesiology
Intercollegiate Athletics

Mike is one of the most loyal…if not the most loyal…supporter of the Matador Soccer program.  An outstanding former player and participant in the Pan American games, he places in the CSUN records books in the top ten career charts in goals, assists and points.  He served for three years as a volunteer assistant coach for the Matadors and has dedicated his time to assist in the fundraising efforts for the CSUN soccer programs.
Nancy Reed
Friend of the University
Arts Council

Nancy is a Charter member of the Arts Council. Joining in 1972, she was one of the first docents and is still active in the program today. For thirty six years she has served the council in many positions including President, supplies chairman, newsletter editor and coordinator of the Youth Art Program. In 1983 she received an Honorary Life Membership award from the Council. She has given over 1,400 volunteer hours acting as a gallery docent and ushering at campus productions.
Jim and Donna Swavely
Friends of the University
Valley Performing Arts Center/Plaza del Sol Performance Hall

Jim and Donna are the heart of the 60-plus band of volunteers known as the Plaza del Sol Performance Hall Ambassadors. For over seven years, Jim and Donna have ushered, often more than 40 hours a month, for almost every Arts-Northridge performance, community and CSUN show.  The Swavelys will be the foundation of training for volunteer-ushers welcoming the public to the new Valley Performing Arts Center in 2010.

2007 Program Award Recipients

Patrick Baker
1978 B.A. English

With a lifelong passion for music, Pat Baker has volunteered at KCSN for over 10 years, starting as a production assistant on KCSN’s “Citybilly” and later moving on to host the long running programs “Eyes of the World Radio” featuring the music of the Grateful Dead and “Tangled Roots” a program of roots music including country, alternative country, folk, folk-rock, blues and gospel music. Pat also hosted the year long run of KCSN’s “Hot Rats” program which featured the music of Frank Zappa. Pat received a B.A. degree in English from Cal State Northridge. He is currently the president of Sustainable Shelter Inc., a general contracting firm focusing on green and sustainable home building.
Bernice Haber
Friend of the University
Oviatt Library

Bernice has been a volunteer at CSUN since 1991, serving on both the Friends of the Oviatt Library and Arts Council Boards of Directors.  She has served two terms as President of the Friends of the Oviatt Library, contributing her time and effort to make the Friends a successful support organization. As a Board member, Bernice is known for her willingness to accept new projects, her understanding of fundraising, and her wise counsel.  Bernice was born in New York, where she met and married her husband Leonard, now a retired cardiologist.  After living in Galveston, Texas and San Francisco, while Leonard finished his medical residency, the Haber family moved to the San Fernando Valley in 1959.   Bernice enrolled in Cal State Northridge (then Valley State) in 1961, studying art, with an emphasis on ceramics and sculpture. Bernice became a working artist, producing ceramics at a shared studio, and in 1981 ran a gallery business with other artists. Bernice enjoys volunteering and giving back to the community.  Bernice notes, “Volunteering enlarges my own life, and keeps me connected to the campus and young people.  Promoting education and the arts rounds me out as a person.”
Phil Minah
1976 B.S. Accounting
University Advancement

Phil Minah is immediate past President of the California State University, Northridge Alumni Association. During his tenure as President of the Association, Phil’s leadership was instrumental in ensuring record numbers of new members and soaring revenues for the Association.  He was also instrumental in spearheading the Association’s Alumni Directory project which helped the University correct thousands of addresses and added nearly 20,000 email addresses to its database. Phil is a self-employed tax accountant. He holds a B.A. degree from California State University, Long Beach and a B.S. degree from Northridge.  He is a licensed Enrolled Agent of the United States Treasury Department and represents clients before the Internal Revenue Service and Franchise Tax Board. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Matadors Community Credit Union and Hansen Dam Men’s Golf Club and has served as a member and officer of the CSUN University Club and Matador Athletic Association Boards. Before becoming President of the Alumni Association, Phil served as Vice President, Treasurer and as a member of the Association’s Executive Committee.
Harry Murphy
1966 M.A. Education Administration
Student Affairs

Dr. Harry J. Murphy is the founder and first Director of the Center on Disabilities at Cal State Northridge, from which he retired on March 31, 2000. In 1985, Harry established the first “Technology and Persons with Disabilities” conference which was attended by over 600 people including some from foreign countries.  It has become the longest-running annual university-sponsored conference of its kind in the world. Harry currently serves as chairperson of a major European conference, based in Linz, Austria, on technology and disability and reviews grant proposals for the U.S. Department of Education and National Science Foundation. Harry began his career at Northridge as assistant director of the National Center on Deafness, a position he held from 1972 to 1979.  Later, he worked as a consultant at the Grantsmanship Center of Los Angeles, training people in 39 states in week-long workshops on grant writing and grants administration.  Harry returned to Cal State Northridge in 1983 to head the Office of Disabled Student Services, Harry is well-known as an international spokesman for people with disabilities, and has received recognition in the United States from the National Council on Disability for his "outstanding leadership and services in the use of technology for people with disabilities."
Steve Pomerantz
1981 B.A. Radio Telvision Film
Intercollegiate Athletics

Steve Pomerantz is recognized by all those who closely follow Cal State Northridge athletics as one of the Matadors’ most loyal and supportive fans. A successful video editor and producer, Steve has received the Broadcast Designer’s Association Award, two “Golden Mike Awards” from the Radio and Television News Association of Southern California and ten Emmy Nominations resulting in three awards from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Since 2004, Steve has filmed, edited and produced season video highlight reels for Matador Men’s Basketball and has filmed and produced promotional spots for airing during televised sporting events involving Cal State Northridge teams. In addition, on behalf of the Athletic Department, Steve produced and edited DVDs detailing NCAA compliance regulations. The DVDs are annually shown to all Northridge student athletes. A longtime Men’s basketball season ticket holder, Steve serves as an alumni representative on the Intercollegiate Athletics Advisory Council. Steve’s support of the University extends beyond athletics. This former member of the Cal State Northridge Matador Marching Band has supported capital brick projects at the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication, is a member of the President’s Associates and is a lifetime member of the Alumni Association.

2006 Program Award Recipients

Dennis DeYoung
1987 B.S. Finance and Real Estate
Student Affairs
Dennis is an alumnus who has demonstrated in many ways his loyalty to Cal State Northridge, and the university is most fortunate that Dennis’ office is adjacent to campus on Reseda Boulevard.  A lifetime member of the Alumni Association, Dennis’ involvements in the university are numerous and diverse.  He has been a loyal supporter of Matador Athletics holding season basketball tickets and serving as a game sponsor.  He is a university donor, has attending and supported numerous cultural events and has assisted the Alumni Association in the launch of its membership program in 2002.  Dennis has served as a mentor to Cal State Northridge students and as a community representative on the University Student Union Board, he has played a key role as a member of the audit committee.  He has been as a certified financial planer for Brookstreet Securities since 1997.  Dennis is a board member for the North Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce and Matadors Community Credit Union and is a director of the Los Angeles Count 4-H Summer Camp Program.  Recently Governor Schwarzenegger appointed Dennis to the San Fernando Valley Fai Board (51st District) Agricultural Association.
June Frankenberg
Friend of the University
Oviatt Library
The Oviatt Library is pleased to honor June Frankenberg in recognition of her loyal and dedicated service to the Friends of the Library.  Jun has been a member of the Board of Directors of Friends of the Library for many years and served as the organization’s president for over three years.  June is currently co-chair of the Friends Program Committee where she works to bring speakers, tours, book signing sand events to the library and to the campus.  June works every week the Friends Bookstore, and has done so since it opened six years ago.  Born in New York, she moved to Los Angeles with her family when she was twelve.  June attended Fairfax High and UCLA, where she received her degree in education.  June taught grade five for 30 years, mostly at Glenwood School in Sun Valley, before retiring.  She loved teaching, and often runs into her former students who are very happy to say hello to “Mrs. Frankenberg.”  June has been married to her husband Herb for 49 years, and they have two children and five grandchildren, with whom she loves spending time with.  June says she enjoys retirement and working with the Friends group, which she considers to be a valuable asset to the university.
John Golisch
1972 B.S. Business Administration
University Advancement
John is an alumnus who is recognized as one of the university’s most loyal and dedicated supporters.  A Certified Public Accountant and partner with BDO Seidman, LLP, John is a past president of the California State University, Northridge Foundation having served as a Board member since 1985.  He has served on the Foundation’s development, finance, investment and nominating committees.  John is a member of the College of Business Administration and Economics Advisory Committee.  In 1990 the President’s Associates presented John with its Community Leadership Award for his role in securing the first endowed faculty fellowship gift of $100,000 in Accounting, from Arthur Andersen & Company to the College of Business and Economics.  Mr. Golisch served as a member of the Alumni Association board and was honored with an Alumni of Distinction award from the Association in 1985.  IN addition to his role as chair of the Foundation Board, he served as the Board’s CFO and Chair of the Finance Committee.  A lifetime member of the Alumni Association and longtime donor to the university, John is a founding member of the President’s 21st Century Club and has been a President’s Associates level donor since that designation was created.  
Jim and Mary Gorman
Friends of the University
Intercollegiate Athletics
Jim and Mary are two of the university’s most loyal supporters with a relationship that began as fans of Matador Tennis and expanding to nearly all of the sports in the university’s intercollegiate athletic program.  For over a decade, the Gormans have been proud season ticket holders for multiple men’s and women’s programs and are generally the first in the gate in demonstrating support for both high-visibility and lower-visibility sports.  Jim has held formal leadership positions as the President of the Matador Athletic Association and as a member of the President’s Athletic Advisory and NCAA compliance and committees Mary has been at his side each step of the way.  On his own time, Jim created the first Matador fan email list-serve to promote attendance at games, and without fanfare, Mary has been instrumental in creating an informal recycling awareness effort at Matador athletic events.  The Gormans’ philanthropic support of the university is notable and although neither of them are alumni, they are both proud members of the Alumni Association.  In another important role as a member of the Alumni Association board, Jim supported and provided leadership that led to the naming of the Outstanding Volunteer Leadership Award in honor of their good friend, Granny Heitz.  In 2001, the Athletic Department recognized Jim for his leadership and loyalty.
Frank Hoppe
Friend of the University
Frank has been one of KCSN’s most loyal volunteers for nearly 15 years.  A native New Yorker, Frank has served as a program host/producer for several highly acclaimed broadcast programs, including “Bluegrass, Etcetera” features traditional bluegrass, old-time and early country music and is the only radio show of its kind in Los Angeles.  Frank doesn’t just play music for the airwaves, he lives it.  As an accomplished musician, Frank plays the guitar, violin, cello and mandolin.  He’s also an avid dancer, and for the last 18 years has organized the fiddling and dancing segments of the California Traditional Music Society’s Summer Solstice Festival.  He has served on that society’s board and is an active member in the International Bluegrass Music Association.  Frank earned a master’s degree from UCLA in library and information science and currently works at both Pasadena City College and Glendale Public Library.  Frank honors the opportunity to share his love of music with KCSN’s listening audience, and today, the university honors his loyalty, his public service, and his true dedication to the mission of KCSN Radio.
Francine Oschin
1984 B.A. Journalism, 1985 M.A. Mass Communication
Governmental Affairs
Francine has devoted much of her life to volunteerism and public service and Cal State Northridge and has been a primary beneficiary of her wisdom, advice and commitment.  Francine served as the assistant chief deputy to Los Angeles City Councilman and fellow Metrolink Board Member Hal Berson from 1989 to 2004.  In that role, she helped organize several “town hall” meetings at her alma mater.  In 2004, she narrowly lost a bid to assume the Council seat vacated by Bernson.  Before she began her public-service career, she was a feature writer for the Glendale News-Press and the Burbank Leader.  Today, she runs her own governmental affairs consulting firm, Oschin Partners, Inc.  She serves on the Executive Committee of Mobility 21 and has served on the boards of the Women’s Transportation Coalition, and the League of Women Voters.  She has been recognized by numerous organizations including “Who’s Who Among American Women.”  At Cal State Northridge she has served on the Communications Studies Advisory Board and she is a member of the Alumni Association as well as a University donor.  She has been a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors since 1997 and for the last three years has applied her expertise as the university’s volunteer representative on the CSU Alumni Council.  She has traveled the state as the Alumni Association’s lead issues advocate and frequently has joined President Koester and an alumni delegation in Sacramento to meet with elected officials, encouraging lawmakers to support measures that enhance higher education.

2005 Program Award Recipients

Cindy Hanks
Friend of the University
Intercollegiate Athletics
Cindy Hanks’ son Derek started playing soccer at Cal State Northridge in August 2002. Since that time, she and her husband Rollie have helped create an organization that supports intercollegiate soccer teams and the University athletic program. Under Cindy’s leadership, the booster club began selling merchandise at all home games with proceeds supporting fan programs and team pre-game lunches.  Cindy organized kick-off breakfasts, year-end banquets, and gifts for seniors athletes while arranging critical support for these efforts. Two years ago, in recognition of her many endeavors, Cindy was appointed to the Matador Athletic Association Board of Directors.  Cindy’s impact on the athletic program is seen in the jerseys, bags, jackets and other apparel that is provided to coaches and team members by the Booster Club. She remains a proud soccer mom and in 2004, Derek was named to the Big West All Conference team.  
Richard Gay
Friend of the University

Dr. Richard Gay was among the Rocketdyne engineers who helped build rocket engines for national defense and space exploration. An active researcher, he holds 13 patents and is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the American Chemical Society. He has been a tireless supporter of higher education, serving both as chairman of the governing board of the UCLA engineering school’s alumni association and as a member of the engineering school’s dean’s council from 1983 to 1998. Championing new ventures in the school, he began the Entrepreneurship in Engineering program, a collaborative venture with the UCLA Anderson School of Management. At Northridge, he is an avid listener, supporter and benefactor of KCSN and has participated in a feasibility study for the Imagine the Arts Center.
Fred Levy
Former Faculty, College of Engineering and Computer Science
Oviatt Library
After several years of service to the Friends of the Oviatt Library, Fred has recently become President of that organization.   He also works two mornings a week in the Friends Bookstore. Fred and his family left Germany prior to World War II and traveled to Palestine, before settling in the U.S. He served in the Army Signal Corps, worked in New Jersey for the RCA and earned a degree in physics, with an emphasis on micro electronics.  Fred came to California to work for Hughes Aircraft. After his retirement in 1988, he taught at CSUN, in the College of Engineering and Computer Science. He and his wife Kay have been married for 55 years and two of their three children earned degrees from Cal State Northridge.
Milt Valera
1968 B.A. Journalism
University Advancement
Milt is the first University alumnus to earn a second Volunteer Service Award. The first award was bestowed by the Journalism Alumni Association in 2003. A past president of the Journalism Alumni Association, Milt is a lifetime member of the Alumni Association. Milt is also a member of the Alumni Association Executive Committee and Dean's Circle of Advisors for the College of Arts, Media and Communication and advises University Advancement on issue pertaining to the Imagine the Arts Center campaign. In 2004, Milt and his wife Debbie established an endowed scholarship for Cal State Northridge Journalism students. Since 1982, Milt has served as President of the 230,000 member National Notary Association, the leading authority on the American Notary Office.  Before joining the NNA, Milt had a successful background in journalism, marketing and public relations.

2004 Program Award Recipients

Ethel Bliven
Friend of the University
Oviatt Library
Ethel’s love for Cal State Northridge is evident in her 35-year affiliation with the campus.  She first came to San Fernando Valley State College in 1970 as the department secretary for geography.  She soon moved to the College of Humanities where she served as secretary to the dean until her retirement in 1986. During her years in humanities, Ethel would spend her lunch hour in the library reading books.  Her fondness for the library was cemented then and in retirement began to volunteer for the Friends of the Oviatt Library, serving on that organization’s board of directors for the last eight years.  She has been indispensable to the library’s fundraising efforts, working weekly in the Friends bookstore and wearing her cashier’s hat at the quarterly book sales. She has served “the friends” as historian and as secretary. Her on-campus volunteer service is not limited to the library:  she is an active member of the Cal State Northridge Arts Council.  In the community she remains involved with and supports LACMA as membership chair of their service council, the Granada Hills library and the San Fernando Valley Iris Association.  She is also president of the El Cariso Women’s Golf Club. 
Tom Hutchison
1971 B.S. Recreation
Intercollegiate Athletics
Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, Tom’s academic days began at Plummer Street Elementary School, and continued through Sepulveda Middle School and James Monroe High School. Hutchison received his bachelor's degree in recreation from Northridge in 1971. His career with City of Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department began in 1966 and Tom has worked in many of the recreation centers throughout the San Fernando Valley. After a 33-year career in recreation, Tom retired and returned to his alma mater to volunteer with the department of intercollegiate athletics. He works with the Matador baseball team securing funds, creating the "Diamond Club" and maintaining the playing field. His efforts paid off in 2001 when he was a part of a team that won its first Big West Conference Championship.
Sanford "Sandy" Paris
Friend of the University
University Advancement
Sandy Paris has had a long and active relationship with the College of Business Administration and Economics that has included serving as guest lecturer for real estate classes.  Paris, a developer of industrial parks, is involved with many non-profits, serving on the boards of Tarzana Regional Medical Center, L.A. Headquarters City Association, L.A. County Library, Valley Industry & Commerce Association, California State Bar Association, the San Fernando Valley Bar Association, and the Southwestern Law School.  H received a B.S. in accounting from UCLA, LL.B. from Southwestern Law School, and was named “Man of the Year” by the Anti-Defamation League in 1987.  He is a past chair of CSUN Foundation Major and Planned Gifts Committee.

2003 Program Award Recipients

Tina Fitzpatrick
Friend of the University
Intercollegiate Athletics
For many years, Tina Fitzpatrick has been the key volunteer chairperson behind the scenes of Matador Mania, a primary fund-raising event supporting Intercollegiate Athletics. Tina has organized volunteers, with other logistics of the annual event. Tina has not only contributed her time, but she has also made significant monetary contributions to the university’s athletic programs. She has been a longtime member of the Matador Athletic Association Board of Directors.
Debra Goldman
Friend of the University
Oviatt Library

In her empathetic and caring way, Deborah Goldman helps ensure that underprivileged children have the tools and opportunities to lead successful and fulfilling lives. Having always recognized that “ reading is fundamental” and having understood the importance of early childhood education, she became involved with the Head Start program in Pacoima, where she started a toy-loan library for underprivileged children. Simultaneously, she mentored her daughter and other young women through the Campfire Girls program, teaching them the value of serving the community and helping those less fortunate. She owned a needlepoint store for 20 years, and her retail skills served her well when she was asked to join the Friends of the Library. When the Chairperson of the “Friends” Bookstore went on vacation, Deborah was asked temporarily step in and ensure that the store remained open and service to the Oviatt Library and the community it serves. She took the role seriously and upon the Chairperson’s return, they agreed to work together as a team. Shortly after that, the chair became the President, and Deborah became the Chairperson and since then, the Library has been the beneficiary.
David Honda
Friend of the University
University Advancement
A former racecar driver, David Honda is the President of D.S. Honda Construction Inc., which specializes in high-rise tenant planning and construction. He was the Co-Founder of Spacemakers, Inc. and Vice President of Innovax Construction. A member of the Mayor’s North Valley Planning Commission, he serves as President of the Asian Business Association and is a member of the Board of the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley. He has served his alma mater in several ways including as chair of the Foundation Board of Directors, member of the North Campus University Park Development Corporation Committee and member of the President’s Associates. David and Yolanda Honda’s daughter Jennifer is a senior at Northridge studying Accounting.

2002 Program Award Recipients

Carlos Fuentes
1982 B.S. Political Science
Intercollegiate Athletics
Carlos’ service to the university can be traced back to his days as a student. As a former Associated Students president, student-athlete on the baseball team and member of the Sigma Pi fraternity, he has not stopped volunteering his time to support Cal State Northridge.  Currently, Carlos serves as president of the Matador Athletic Association board of directors and has been actively involved in assisting the department with its public relations and fundraising efforts over the last several years.  In his current position as corporate vice president at Wells Fargo Bank, Carlos played a key role in strengthening the relationship between his alma mater and the corporation, resulting in a large donation to the university and the athletic program.  Another way Fuentes stays involved with CSUN is through his membership in the Alumni Association and by attending numerous sporting events with his wife and two children. It should be noted that Carlos met his wife, Patricia, while attending CSUN. Patricia was an outstanding athlete for the women’s basketball team.
Marjorie McGregor
Friend of the University
University Advancement
A longtime resident of the San Fernando Valley, Marjorie has been actively involved with Cal State Northridge in a variety of roles.  First joining the President’s Club in 1974, serving as the breakfast chair and then taking the lead as its first female president in 1980, McGregor’s record of support and interest in CSUN has never swayed.  Whether conducting weekly English conversation groups, volunteering as a campus host for international student programs or supporting the CSUN Arts Council, Marjorie is a familiar face on campus.  Today, her generosity and commitment continues with her service to the President’s Associates and the CSUN Community Advisory Board.  Marjorie is consistently making new friends for CSUN among the corporate leadership of the San Fernando Valley by bringing business leaders to campus nearly every week so that they may experience firsthand the dynamism and unique qualities of the university.  Earning her B.S. in Public Health and Nursing from the University of Minnesota, Marjorie is the president of the McGregor Speakers Bureau.  Her husband Gordon joins her in support of the university and her son, Jack, is a CSUN alumnus.
Joseph Russo
1974 B.A. Psychology, 1976 M.A. Counseling, 1989 M.P.A.
Oviatt Library
Before retirement, Joseph was an accomplished electrochemical engineer, receiving his B.S. degree in chemistry from Pratt Institute, and graduate education at Brooklyn Polytechnic and Adelphia College.  After moving to Southern California, he worked on a number of nationally important projects such as the Apollo Moon Program and the Trident Missile Program for TRW and Hughes Aircraft.  Joseph works enthusiastically on behalf of the library, raising funds, spreading the goodwill in the community and advancing its mission at every opportunity.  In August of 1999, he joined the Friends of the Library board of directors and as chair of the gift book committee.  Joseph donates 12-15 hours a week of his time collecting donated materials, stocking the Friends Book Store, and organizing fundraising events several times a year.  He is the heart and soul of the gift book program, and greatly respected by the librarians, staff and other members of the Friends for his unselfish dedication and great sense of humor.