City governance expert Sonenshein named executive director of Pat Brown Institute

City governance expert Sonenshein named executive director of Pat Brown Institute

Rahpael Sonenshein speaks at the podium.

The Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Institute (PBI) of Public Affairs is under new leadership after noted professor, author and political expert Raphael J. Sonenshein took over as executive director in February from Jaime Regalado, who retired after heading the Institute for more than 20 years. The Institute is a non-partisan public policy center dedicated to sustaining the late governor’s vision of social justice, civic engagement and enhancing the quality of life for Californians. Sonenshein comes to PBI from Cal State Fullerton, where he taught since 1982 and served as chair of the Division of Politics, Administration and Justice and director of the division’s Center for Public Policy. “PBI is a jewel, one that reflects the vision of the great governor for whom it is named, and the work of the many people who built and have sustained it for more than two decades,” said Sonenshein. “I hope to further expand the Institute’s impact on the daily lives of the people who live in our neighborhoods, our cities, our region and our state, and on the public policies that affect us all. For me, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime.”

Visit the PBI website,


CSULA Field School Program Recognized

Students work outdoors at an excavation site.

Cal State L.A. and the United States Navy were jointly honored with the 2011 Governor’s Historic Preservation Award by the California State Parks and State Office of Historic Preservation for the collaborative San Nicolas Island Archaeological Field School Program. The field school, connected with the Department of Anthropology, is sponsored by the U.S. Navy as part of its cultural resource management program. It serves as a natural, outdoor laboratory where undergraduate and graduate students perform research, dig for artifacts and study the native population that inhabited the island 8,000 to 10,000 years ago. Rene Vellanoweth, department chair of Anthropology, has led students in projects making discoveries at the site for 10 years. “We were elated by the award,” said Vellanoweth. “Every now and then it’s good to pause and reflect on the good things that we’re doing and that the U.S. Navy is doing.” The Governor’s Historic Preservation Awards are presented annually to individuals, organizations and public agencies whose contributions demonstrate notable achievements in preserving the heritage of California.


Alumni recognized for impact on California

Five CSULA alumni were recognized for their contributions to the State as part of the California State University’s Working for California program. The CSU boasts 2.6 million remarkable alumni and drives the state’s economy by educating and graduating the majority of professionals in the industries that make California competitive—agriculture, engineering, business, technology, media, hospitality and tourism, nursing and more. Featured in this year’s class of successful alumni from CSULA are:

  1. Headshot of Frank Romero.Frank Romero (’09), noted artist, Alumnus of the Year and co-founder of “Los Four,” a Chicano Art Collective.
  2. Headshot of Richard Cordova.Richard Cordova (’72), president and chief executive officer of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
  3. Headshot of Raynor Carroll.Raynor Carroll (’84), principal percussionist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
  4. Headshot of Arthur Leahy.Arthur T. Leahy (’74), chief executive officer of Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro).
  5. Headshot of Joann Copperbud.JoAnn Copperud (’78 M.S.), chief executive officer of RGA Environmental, Inc., a health and safety consulting firm.

To view these alumni biographies and more, visit

Who’s the boss?

A majority (54 percent) of Americans say they have no preference for the gender of their boss, according to a recent study co-written by CSULA Sociology Professor Janet Lever. The remaining participants reported preferring male over female bosses by more than a 2:1 ratio. The research, which surveyed 60,470 women and men, shows an increasing trend. A 1953 Gallup poll found only 25 percent of participants had no preference for the gender of their boss; in 1988, 36 percent indicated no preference and in 2006, 43 percent had no preference. The study, “Does gender bias against female leaders persist?” co-authored by UCLA Professor Kim Elsesser, was published in the November 2011 edition of Human Relations.


Graduate’s thesis project secures national honors

Jacqueline Kiwata (’11, M.A.) was selected as the winner of the Outstanding Thesis Award for 2010-11 by the Western Association of Graduate Schools. Kiwata’s thesis, “The Effect of Vigorous Exercise on the Content of Cholesteryl Linoleate, a Novel Antimicrobial Effector Molecule, in Upper Respiratory Tract Secretion,” was nominated by the Office of Graduate Studies and Research. The research project seeks to confirm whether the American Heart Association’s recommendation for aerobic exercise boosts the immune response after exercise. The research was conducted under the supervision of Kinesiology Professor Andrew Cornwell and Biological Sciences Professor Edith Porter. Kiwata said the award has validated her decision to pursue a doctorate. A hardcover copy of her thesis is available in CSULA’s John F. Kennedy Memorial Library.