10 ways to reconnect with Cal State L.A.:
Sports complex named after alumna, tennis great
Alumna and Tennis Hall of Famer Billie Jean King poses with Olympian Rafer Johnson and CSULA student-athletes (l-r) Zuzana Cizova (volleyball), Jillian Sangria (tennis) and Liz Franco (soccer).
In recognition of alumna and Tennis Hall of Famer Billie Jean King’s commitment to Cal State L.A. and its student-athletes for nearly five decades, the University has established the Billie Jean King Sports Complex. The complex includes the University’s 3,200-seat Eagle’s Nest Gymnasium, the 4,500-seat Jesse Owens Track & Field, Jim Reeder Field, the campus tennis courts and swimming pools.
King, a 1986 CSULA Hall of Fame inductee and 1997 honorary doctorate recipient, was a Cal State L.A. student from 1961 to 1964. She arrived on campus with the 1961 Wimbledon doubles title, and she repeated the feat in 1962 as an undergraduate. In her career, King won 39 Grand Slam titles, and defeated former Wimbledon men’s tennis champion Bobby Riggs in the famous “Battle of the Sexes” match.
Since that time, she has built a reputation for being a dedicated champion of social justice, service, philanthropy, equality, fitness and education. Through an annual gala, King has helped raise roughly $2.2 million in the last decade to support Cal State L.A. student-athletes.
Read a letter from King to the campus community in the “Letters to the Editor” section.
Under the microscope: Research
Partnering to better understand climate change
Biological Sciences Professor Carlos Robles on a research trip with students off the coast of Canada.
Cal State L.A. students and faculty will be participating in a collaborative study on climate change and its impact on Pacific Ocean communities as partners in a new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research institute, the Cooperative Institute for Marine Ecosystems and Climate.
The Cal State L.A. team comprised of biology and geography faculty Carlos Robles, Patrick Krug and Hengchun Ye and student research fellows will explore how changes in climate, rainfall, and watershed discharge might affect coastal marine ecosystems. Their interest, in particular, is in investigating how changes in sea surface salinity from increased fresh water runoff might affect latitudinal species distributions and the behavior of key predators in coastal communities, Robles said.
It’s an area of great importance because many of these species make up the base of the food chain, and changes in their environment could result in a “potential restructuring of the ocean web,” Robles said.
The institute brings together seven California campuses and the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center with a five-year, $55 million federally-funded grant. Robles said Cal State L.A. qualified to participate in the institute, in part, because of its reputation for research in this area. Robles began studying sea surface salinity with the support of an environmental science endowment from Morton La Kretz.
Reinvesting in higher education, discovery
The University was awarded more than $3.5 million in federal funding to support 14 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) projects as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The primary focus of the Cal State L.A. projects are outreach, teaching and research, with funding available to support everything from a student research partnership with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to implementing a new approach for teaching algebra in high schools. For a complete list of projects, visit the University’s newsroom at http://www.calstatela.edu/univ/ppa/newsrel/ARRAfunding-CSULA.htm.
“(American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) funding helps our talented faculty generate new knowledge, supports student success through their participation in research and prepares future scientists and teachers,” said Philip LaPolt, director of research and development in the Office of Research and Development. “The federal government realizes that these projects represent a much-needed reinvestment in America’s research and education enterprise.”
Throughout the California State University system, researchers have received more than $62 million in recovery funding to conduct nearly 200 individual STEM research projects.
Powering up ‘green’ research
A $1.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation has been awarded to the University to create a core research facility to support the efforts of the Center for Energy and Sustainability. The multidisciplinary center encompasses four areas of study: fuel cells, photovoltaic cells, combustion and carbon sequestration.
Ashish Vaidya took over the position as CSULA provost and vice president of Academic Affairs in October.
Economics professor returns to lead faculty, academic affairs
In October, the University welcomed onto campus a new Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Ashish Vaidya. The former dean of faculty at California State University, Channel Islands, has broad administrative experiences and an extensive record of academic successes. Vaidya also has roots at Cal State L.A., where he served as a professor of economics, director of the MBA program and as the associate chair of the Department of Economics and Statistics.
Doctoral student receives top CSU Trustees’ award
Robert David Black '08 MS, a student in the University's doctoral program in educational leadership, was honored as one of two 2010 CSU Trustee Ali C. Raza Scholars. The $10,000 award is the top honor given by the CSU Trustees.
Black enrolled at CSULA just two months after losing his eyesight, defying all odds with his determination to build and pursue a career in counseling and education.