News Release| Alumni Awards Gala; Cal State L.A.

Note to editors and reporters:  Call the Public Affairs office at (323) 343-3050 in advance to request a press pass to the Gala or to request for a detailed biography of an honoree.

 Pulitzer Prize-winning photo journalist named Cal State L.A.’s ‘Alumna of the Year’

Olga Orloff, 10 others, to be honored at University’s 38th Alumni Awards Gala 

Los Angeles, CA – Roll out the “black and gold” carpet…. California State University, Los Angeles announces Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Olga Shalygin Orloff (’77) as the recipient of the University’s 2012 Alumna of the Year.

Orloff (Berkeley, CA resident)—a critical care registered nurse and documentary filmmaker—was the Associated Press picture editor in Moscow and was part of the 1992 Pulitzer Prize-winning team that covered the fall of communism. She and her husband, Cliff Orloff, operate Red Door Productions, which concentrates on telling stories of rapidly changing indigenous cultures.

Orloff is one of eight outstanding CSULA alumni and two students who will be recognized during the 38th annual Alumni Awards Gala Thursday, Oct. 11, at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex, on the Cal State L.A. campus.

 2012 University Service Award
Guillermo Zuñiga (’86), president and chief executive officer of Grifols Biologicals Inc., which is located in Los Angeles and near the CSULA campus. 

Distinguished Faculty Alumnus
Fred Daneshgaran (84, ’85) is a professor and chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He is a La Crescenta resident.

Distinguished Alumni Awards
Cynthia Kawa (’79, ’82), chief executive officer, New Horizons located in North Hills
America Tang (’79), chief executive officer, Ace Fence Company and founder/chief executive officer, Lending Hope Foundation (Monterey Park resident)
Nancy J. Lavelle (’71, ’77), president/chief executive officer, Total Education Solutions, Inc. and founder/president, Institute for the Redesign of Learning (Santa Monica resident)
Alan Davidner (’73), former president, endOclear®, LLC (Claremont resident)
Pamela Wiley-Wells (’75), president, Los Angeles Speech and Language Therapy Center, Inc. (Marina Del Rey resident)
Marx L. Cazenave II (’62), cofounder and former chief executive officer, Progress Investment Management Company (Kentfield resident)

Outstanding Senior
Wayne A. Warner  (B.S., Biochemistry and Microbiology ’13), Los Angeles resident

Outstanding Graduate Student
Mario Giron-Abrego (M.A., Anthropology ’10, ’13), Los Angeles resident

Organized by the CSULA Alumni Association, the event opens with a VIP reception at 5:30 p.m. in the Luckman Gallery. The dinner festivity begins at 6:30 p.m. on the campus’ Luckman Street of the Arts, followed by an Academy Awards-style ceremony and multimedia video presentation at 7:30 p.m. in the Luckman Theatre. For tickets or more info, call (323) 343-2586 or visit  


What:               Cal State L.A. presents its 38th Annual Alumni Awards Gala.

When:              Thursday, Oct. 11, 5:30 p.m.-VIP reception; 6:30 p.m.-dinner program; awards presentation-7:30 p.m.

Where:             Luckman Fine Arts Complex, on the CSULA campus. The University is located at the Eastern Avenue exit, San Bernardino (I-10) Freeway, at the interchange of 10 and 710 freeways. Public permit dispenser parking is available in Lot 7 or upper level Parking Structure C.

Info:                 Call the Alumni Association at (323) 343-2586.

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Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 225,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six Colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to the Honors College for high-achieving students. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.