Marilyn Magaram Center

Fall 2021 Director's Message

December 21, 2021

Annette A. Besnilian

“Resilience is all about being able to overcome the unexpected. The goal of resilience isn’t to just survive but thrive.” – Jamais Cascio 

Since 1991, the Marilyn Magaram Center (MMC) has been dedicated to its mission of enhancing and promoting health and well-being through research, education and services in food science, nutrition and dietetics, and all we have accomplished in that endeavor over the last 30 years has reached far beyond our imagination. Unfortunately, it is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our founder, Philip Magaram, on August 22, 2021. The MMC was established by Phil in 1991 as a tribute and memorial to his late wife, Marilyn, an alumna and faculty of CSUN. Phil’s efforts resulted in an auxiliary center that is not just of vital importance to CSUN students, but one that has grown into a trusted resource in support of the professional dietetics and food science communities. With student success as our highest priority, the Center provides internships, activities, education, research and work opportunities and serves the community at large through outreach to underserved populations. Throughout the years, Sally and Phil continuously supported the Center through their generosity and engagement. As we commemorate the MMC’s 30th anniversary this year, we are truly grateful for Phil’s original vision and are proud to have flourished into all that the Center embodies today.  Their continuous support has given the Center a sense of resiliency during the pandemic.  

Following guidance from the CSU Office of the Chancellor, the MMC is currently operating in alignment with university protocols and procedures for gradual campus repopulation.  Information about CSUN’s repopulation plans can be found through the Matadors Forward planning hub. We have transitioned our services, workshops and resources to hybrid formats with virtual and in-person offerings as health and safety regulations allow.  On December 2nd, we were privileged to provide a special tour of the MMC along with samples of our products to Chancellor Joseph Castro’s delegates during their visit to the CSUN campus 

Our resilient students, staff and faculty, keeping our core mission and vision in mind, were able to overcome the obstacles and challenges faced by COVID-19 by becoming innovative and flexible, trying different technologies and platforms such as telehealth and virtualcloud-based programs. Technology helped us thrive in the field of food and nutrition, and we now have additional resources and opportunities to offer to our CSUN community! Through our resilience, we explored and developed various methods of making our many programs, projects and services readily accessible to support the needs of our students, staff and community. In addition to free nutrition and physical activity curricula for children and adults, outreach events at local parks, and monthly food distributions coordinated by our CalFresh Healthy Living team, the MMC is pleased to offer the following programs, workshops and services: 

  • Nutrition Counseling via Telehealth (virtual) 

  • BodPod testing (in-person) and Recipe + Diet Analysis (virtual) 

  • Thrive with Diabetes + Tower Cancer workshops (virtual) 

  • Gardening at Home video series on YouTube + Instagram Live from MMC Wellness Garden (virtual) 

  • Culinary workshops with CSUN Alumni Association & Culinary Interventions in Healthcare live webinar (virtual) 

As we commemorate 30 years of success in our commitment to health and wellness, we are offering a special anniversary package and are also pleased to announce that all of our MMC products are now conveniently available for purchase through the CSUN Matador Bookstore. Please visit our website for more details about our current promotions, services, resources, and upcoming events and be sure to look for updates in our bi-weekly MMC Virtual Events emails.   

I am extremely grateful to all of our staff, student assistants, interns, collaborators, and campus and community partners for their resilience in providing hybrid programs and services to CSUN and the greater community as we continue to navigate these uncertain and challenging times.  As a reminder, you can find the most recent CSUN COVID-19 health and safety updates on the Matadors Forward webpage.  

Wishing you and your loved ones good health and safety, now and into the New Year!     

Annette A. BesnilianExecutive Director, Marilyn Magaram Center