Monica ’04 | Alumna
As an undergraduate, Monica Chew ’04 made one promise to herself and her University. When she graduated, she would give back.
Monica kept that promise.
Every fall she supports the University’s Annual Fund—her first $1,000 contribution made her the first former President’s Scholar to become a member of the President’s Associates. She increases her donation by a dollar each year.
“It’s not a lot, but it’s my part,” Monica said. “Hopefully as I move up in my career and become more successful, I can do more.”
Her contributions provide the University with critical unrestricted funds, which are pooled to support academic programs, campus enhancements and scholarships. The prestigious President’s Scholars program, for instance, gives high-achieving students a full scholarship for four years, and supported Monica through her education.
“I had such a great experience at Cal State L.A. and I feel like I was blessed to get the President’s Scholar scholarship,” Monica said. “I want to give someone else that opportunity.
“Cal State L.A. was my foundation. It’s where I built my career, where I built my friendships. I am doing my part to support the University now and give other people that same start.”
Carlos | Professor
Professor Carlos Robles never got over tide pooling.
He started as a toddler when he combed the shores and pools along the Northern California coast with his parents. And Professor Robles continues today as a biological sciences professor studying coastal marine populations, predator-prey relationships and the effects of climate change along the Pacific Coast with his students.
“It’s exhilarating, cutting-edge work that not only helps move the field forward, but has created unprecedented opportunities for students” he said.
Professor Robles and his colleagues have shared their passion for marine biology, hydrology, and environmental and biological sciences with hundreds of students—taking them from Catalina Island to Canada for in-the-field research. These opportunities are priceless for the students, Professor Robles said, but they can carry a hefty price tag. That is why donors are so critical to the equation of student and faculty success.
“Gifts to the University allow us to take a new research direction and train students in the latest technology,” Professor Robles said. “An endowed program fund in environmental science, for instance, has seeded a whole range of projects that have generated first-rate scientific research, and drastically changed the lives of the students who worked on the projects.”
Carol | Volunteer
In working and volunteering with Cal State L.A. through the years, Carol Jackson has learned one thing: You gain a lot from interacting with the University’s students.
“They are inspirational,” Carol said. “It’s amazing to see how they can juggle so many different activities and responsibilities—and still find time to contribute. You really see them grow here.”
The students’ dedication and commitment has invigorated her involvement with the University, and motivated her to continue. As a result, Carol has volunteered with many different areas. Among them are the College of Business and Economics, where she served as an advisory council member for the Institute for Retail Management, and worked to create internship opportunities and raise scholarship funding for students. Now she is serving on The CSULA Foundation Board.
“Giving time and expertise to help make a difference is very rewarding—especially when you can see change happen,” Carol said. “I know I have been a small part in Cal State L.A.’s success.”
Araciel | Student
Studying to become a nurse in one of the state’s most competitive undergraduate programs, every second counts.
“It’s a very demanding program,” said Cal State L.A. senior Araciel Barba. “You realize that checking your e-mail, making dinner, going to work—that is all time you are giving up from studying.”That is why Araciel took a leap of faith just two weeks into her first year of the program, quitting her job to focus on her studies full-time. Her hope was that financial aid and scholarships would carry her and her family through. And thankfully, they have.
“These scholarships are my whole life,” she said. “This degree, this education is something I need to start my career and change my life; I couldn’t get through it without scholarships.”
Scholarships and the support of donors, Araciel said have improved her life and the futures of countless others around her.
“It’s incredible. Other’s gifts to the University were my blessing,” she said. “I came from a low income family, a poor neighborhood—I have been through it all—and I am making it today because of people who care.”
Mike ’78 | Donor
Mike Lucki ’78 moved into the field of accounting as a CSULA undergraduate because it was logical. Accounting made sense, he said.
“You worked hard, you learned the principles and you were rewarded for your work,” explained Mike, the chief financial officer at a Colorado-based global engineering, consulting and operations firm.
Mike uses the same reasoning to explain his continuing support and commitment to Cal State L.A. in the years since he graduated. When you invest in Cal State L.A, you are going to see a return, he said.
As a former partner at Ernst and Young, Mike called on the University to recruit employees; he volunteered his time, coming to campus to work with students; donated airline miles to faculty for professional trips; and even helped cultivate a culture of giving to Cal State L.A. within the firm. Dozens of Ernst and Young employees—many of whom aren’t from Cal State L.A.— still pool their money annually to support accounting scholarships and endowed funds for faculty. And with the corporation’s matching gifts program, they are able to double their impact.
“I got a great education at a reasonable price and I want to make that available to other people,” Mike said. “I feel indebted to the University for that.”
Alan | Professor
At Cal State L.A., change happens.
Students graduate to become the first in their family to hold a degree. They discover their path—growing from the student who had never touched a camera, to the creative professional, winning Emmys.
“It’s powerful,” Broadcasting Professor Alan Bloom said. “The possibilities for this place and its population are endless. The students can affect so much change in their lives; they rise really brilliantly.”
Being a part of students’ transformation as a professor is a privilege, Professor Bloom added. And in working to that end, he is willing to give almost anything.
Over the years, he has dedicated countless hours on weekends and over school breaks to working with students, and he has donated funds for improvements in editing equipment, lights and other technology. Professor Bloom and his wife also established two memorial scholarships, one in honor of his parents and one in memory of her mother.
“It’s a living memorial, but at the same time it’s providing assistance to the people who really need it,” he explained. “I don’t see it as being all that different from what I do every day as a professor.
“I see the need and I see the potential,” Professor Bloom added. “Donors don’t just have a financial impact—their support reminds students that they are doing well.”