The Provost's Message - March 8, 2017

The Provost's Message Title

March 8, 2017
Provost Lynn Mahoney

Several of my recent messages have spoken directly to the pain, anxiety, and uncertainty precipitated by recent federal actions and executive orders. Almost every conversation I have with students, faculty, staff, and administrators involves a discussion about this. President Covino has repeatedly made it clear that we stand by all members of the university community affected by executive actions. To that end, the university is engaged in a variety of efforts to understand federal actions and address their consequences. To highlight just a few from this week alone:

  • Vice President Nancy Wada-McKee and Luz Borjon, director of the Glazer Family Dreamers Resource Center (GFDRC), presented information on the history of the undocumented student movement which culminated in DACA and on the critical services that the GFDRC offers students.
  • An ad hoc group of faculty and staff with expertise in immigration met with Vice President Nancy Wada-McKee and Vice Provost Octavio Villalpando to identify how we can better meet the needs of undocumented students.
  • The Office of International Programs  remains a critical point of contact and information for international students and faculty. On Monday, they facilitated a forum on Understanding Immigration for international students.
  • Vice Provost Tom Enders reminded us of the protections that FERPA provides for the privacy rights of all of our students and directed us to forward any inquiries about student information to the registrar. The Division of Student Life will host a training on FERPA and other issues related to student privacy and immigration on March 21 in the Golden Eagle Ballrooms at 11AM or 3PM.
  • And events continue across campus: Democracy in Action held a faculty-led forum on Fake News, Social Media and the Future of American Democracy, and next Monday the GFDRC will hold one of its Know Your Rights Workshops facilitated by experts in immigration.
  • Flyers abound across campus promoting a myriad of lectures and discussions, including, among others, a discussion with the president of TransLatino@Coalition, Bamby Salcedo, jointly sponsored by the GFDRC, EOP, ASI and SURGE.

What’s missing from the list is, of course, the work that faculty, staff, and administrators are doing every day with individual students, small groups of students, and in the classroom to help students identify the resources they need and to support them as they pursue their educational goals.

There is, of course, more that we could be doing, and there will be as-yet unidentified challenges that we will have to meet in the future. Only by working together will we help our students and our community. In just the past few days, many good suggestions have emerged about ally training, peer mentoring, and increased use of faculty with expertise in immigration and counseling, among other things. Please forward your suggestions to Vice Provost Octavio Villalpando who is working on this with the Division of Student Life and faculty.

As always, I remain grateful to work in such a caring environment and thank you for all you do.


Student Research Symposium Awardees 2017

On February 24, the Office of Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities (ORSCA), University Auxiliary Services (UAS), and Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society hosted the annual Symposium on Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities. Over 500 students and faculty attended. This year a record number of students participated (75 oral presentations and 83 poster presentations). 52 faculty members from six colleges mentored the student presenters; 73 faculty served as judges.


We congratulate the 10 undergraduate and graduate students chosen to represent Cal State LA at the statewide Student Research Competition to be held April 28-29 at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. This system-wide competition will showcase the excellent research conducted by undergraduate and graduate students in the CSU. Student participants will conduct oral presentations that will be judged by discipline experts from corporations, foundations, public agencies, and colleges and universities in California.

Phi Kappa Phi awards the top oral presentation with a $1,000 travel award (this person is automatically chosen as a state delegate). Awards were also given for best presentations for each disciplinary group (18 oral and 21 poster).

Below is a listing of the award recipients:

1st Place Overall Oral Presentation at the Annual Student Symposium on Research, Scholarship, & Creative Activities Phi Kappa Phi Travel Award:

Don Clarke
M.S. Biology
Development of A stem cell/ Gene therapy for Sanfilippo syndrome type B
Faculty Mentors: Dr. Edith Porter and Dr. Michelina Iacovino

Cal State LA Delegates for the 31st CSU Student Research Competition:

Behavioral and Social Sciences I
Dulce Montiel
M.A. Psychology
Media Use: Sleep, Well-Being, School-Belonging and Academic Performance
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kaveri Subrahmanyam

Gabriela Cedré
M.S. Forensic Psychology
False memories for evidence presented at trial
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Mitchell Eisen

Behavioral and Social Sciences II
Kelly Ebeling
B.A. Psychology
Neuroticism, Smoking, and Perceptions of Quality of Life in HIV Positive Persons
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Durvasula

Gredma Dalesy Casasola
B.A. Latin American Studies
"Fueron los Subversivos": Reconstructing Guatemala's Conflict Through Oral History
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ericka Verba and Dr. Enrique Ochoa

Biological Sciences I
Natalia Ukhlivanova
B.S. Biochemistry
Disaggregation of amyloid beta peptides by ginnalin A and related compounds: biophysical, bioanalytical, and cytotoxicity studies
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Feimeng Zhou

Biological Sciences II
Don Clarke
M.S. Biology
Development of A stem cell/ Gene therapy for Sanfilippo syndrome type B
Faculty Mentors: Dr. Edith Porter and Dr. Michelina Iacovino

Humanities and Letters
Katherine Mishler
M.A. History
Concepts of Gender Sensationalized: Women and Their Industrial Injuries in Newspapers during World War I
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Carole Srole

Raquel Rojas
M.F.A Studio Arts and M.A. Art History
Un Camino Nuevo| A New Path
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Mika Cho

Physical and Mathematical Sciences I
Arianna Brown
M.S. Physics
Star Formation and AGN Activity: Correlation or Causation?
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Susan Terebey

Physical and Mathematical Sciences II
Grant Robinson
M.S. Mathematics
Coloring Distance Graphs
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Liu

Congratulations to all! See a complete list of winners, including the Outstanding Poster Presentation Award recipients.


Contact the Office of the Provost with your comments and submissions.