The Provost's Message - March 7, 2018

The Provost's Message

March 7, 2018
Provost Lynn Mahoney

As always, the University is humming with activity—all highlighting the value of Cal State LA to the community and the accomplishments of our prestigious alumni and students. On March 1, we opened a two-day event commemorating the 1968 East LA Walkouts. Noted scholars, faculty, staff, students and 1968 activists gathered in the Golden Eagle Ballroom to learn about the context, history and legacy of the walkouts. All agreed that no university better embodies the legacy of educational equity affected by the walkouts than Cal State LA. On Friday, over a thousand local high schools walked in to Cal State LA in celebration of access to higher education. Part of the 1968 commemoration includes a photography and newspaper exhibit on display at the library through May 31.  I encourage you to stop by the library and take a look at the Eastside Blowouts: through the Eyes of Chicano Media exhibit curated by Cal State LA alumnus and Cal State Northridge emeritus professor Raul Ruiz.

On Friday, the Office of Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities hosted the 26th Annual Student Symposium. A record number of students submitted poster exhibits and presented their work. More than two hundred students and dozens of faculty participated throughout the day. A big thank you to all who participated and worked to make the day a success for our student-scholars.

This week continued the momentum of incredible events on campus. Alumnus Terrence Roberts, a member of the Little Rock Nine, gave an inspiring talk on “The Urgency of Now” as part of the Mind Matters Speakers Series. A standing room only crowd learned more about the young students who stood up for educational equity in Arkansas in 1957 and were challenged to think about the issues that require urgency in 2018. Just a few hours later, Carlos Antonio H. Vaqueráno gave the Academic Senate’s Distinguished Lecture on Engagement, Service, and the Public Good.  Mr. Vaqueráno serves as the Executive Director of the Salvadoran-American Leadership and Educational Fund (SALEF) and is a regional leader and social justice activist. He stressed the critical importance of higher education for immigrants and for those suffering from injustice and inequity. And, as a faculty member noted, this is the core of what we do best at Cal State LA. The first sentence in our mission statements states it clearly “Cal State LA transforms lives and fosters thriving communities across Greater Los Angeles.  

All this happened over just three days. Imagine what we accomplish annually!

With the beginning of the spring term, students are returning to find additional seating and study options across campus. The Office of Planning and Budget worked with the colleges to identify areas in classroom buildings ideal for student common areas.

Benches and modular furniture with adjustable desktops and electrical plugs were installed in La Kretz, Biological Sciences, Engineering and Technology and King Hall buildings. Additional student seating areas will be added throughout the spring and summer. 


The American Communities Program, 2018-19
Call for Fellowship Proposals

This year, the ACP Fellowship Program has an open theme. We welcome research proposals on all topics related to American Communities. 

Deadline: Friday, March 23, 2018, 5pm. For more information on how to apply visit:

The Office of Planning and Budget recently sponsored two different funding opportunities for the Colleges to ensure that our instructional spaces are equipped to serve our students. In the fall, we funded over $1 million in proposals for instruments and supplies to support our faculty in providing hands-on and innovative instruction. The equipment included a waterjet cutter for the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology’s Makerspace; plant incubators, polarizing and fluorescence microscopes, and UV-Vis Spectrophotometers for the College of Natural and Social Sciences; camera pedestals, a microphone boom, and a music hall teacher’s console for the College of Arts and Letters; and a Fourier-transform infrared microscope for the Rongxiang Xu College of Health and Human Services.

This spring term, we funded proposals totaling $600 thousand for classroom upgrades and repairs. This included creating a behavioral research active learning space in the College of Business and Economics; and installing movable tables, rolling chairs, and whiteboards in multiple classrooms at King Hall to create active learning spaces as proposed by the Charter College of Education. We’re looking forward to seeing this equipment make a difference in the classroom experiences of our faculty and students. A sincere thank you to the College Resource Managers—Rosa Cessna, Tommy Luong, Chris Lam, Jane Sindayan, and Yanli Xia — for their work on these proposals and purchases.

Take a look at additional photos.

We note with regret the recent deaths of these members of our Cal State LA family, and extend condolences to their families, colleagues, and friends.

Dr. Robert D. Kully, Professor Emeritus from the Department of Communication Studies passed away at the age of 90 on Sunday, February 18, 2018 in Alhambra, California.

Bob earned his B.A. at Hastings College, his M.A. at University of Oregon and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Carbondale. He joined the faculty in the mid-1950s and remained on it until his retirement in 1992. Cal State LA named him Outstanding Professor in 1975. Bob also served at various times as the President of the Cal State LA Academic Senate and the President of the CSU System-Wide Academic Senate. In the early 1980s, he was appointed by then Governor Jerry Brown as the first faculty member to serve as a Trustee of the CSU Board of Trustees.  After his retirement from Cal State LA, Bob served as the Executive Director of the Emeritus and Retired Faculty Association (CSU-ERFA) until 2003. He is survived by his life partner of twenty years, Linda Costigan Lederman, Professor and Director of the Hugh Downs School, ASU, as well as seven nieces and nephews and their families.

Dr. Emmanuel Olaiya Aina, Professor of Early Childhood Education in the Division of Curriculum and Instruction, passed away suddenly last month.

Ola, a Nigerian born scholar, schooled at the University of Ibadan (The Premier University-GREAT UI) and at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. Olaiya obtained his Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. Ola taught for nine years at the University/College of Charleston, SC before joining the Charter College of Education in September 2005 where he taught primarily graduate courses in early childhood education and served as a graduate program coordinator. He also worked as a consultant with both public and private schools. Dr. Olaiya Aina was also the author of numerous academic publications and delightful children’s books.

Dr. Judy Papenhausen a long-time teacher of nursing and community leader died on January 19, four days after her 77th birthday.

Judy was a double graduate of the School of Nursing, earning both her B.S. in Nursing in 1971 and her M.S. in Nursing in 1972 at Cal State LA. Papenhausen entered Cal State L.A. with nine years of clinical experience as an O.R. staff nurse, charge nurse in the Medical-Surgical Unit, head nurse in the Coronary Care Unit and in-service instructor in Critical Care Nursing at Whittier, Palm Harbor and St. Joseph's Hospitals. Immediately following the awarding of her master's degree at Cal State L.A., Papenhausen was hired by the University as an assistant professor, attaining associate professor status in 1977 and professor status in 1982. Dr. Papenhausen continued her academic career by completing pre-doctoral work at the University of Southern California before completing her Ph.D. in Nursing at The University of Texas at Austin in 1995.

As the chair of the Nursing Department at Cal State L.A., Papenhausen was an ideal example of an alumna who has committed her career to the betterment of her alma mater. She went on to become a full professor and Director of the School of Nursing for many years. She was also the first recipient of the HHS Outstanding Alumni Award.

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