Language Clubs & Honors Society

Chinese Studies Center
Library North Basement, Room 555
Phone: 323.343.4247

The Chinese Study Center at California State University, Los Angeles was established in 1980 for the purpose of strengthening and preserving Chinese culture and history while easing and hastening assimilation of new Chinese immigrants into mainstream American life.


  1. To support the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures in establishing and maintaining a major in Chinese.
  2. To support and help to sustain, according to need/demand, resident credit for courses on China and Chinese culture, as well as courses on Chinese-Americans, in various appropriate academic departments on the Cal State LA campus.
  3. To develop and produce curricular materials on Chinese-American and Chinese culture, traditions, and life, for use in humanities and General Education courses at Cal State LA and/or for use in other post-secondary and secondary institutions. Such materials will exclude political and sectarian content.
  4. To promote, coordinate, and conduct research activities related to the Center's main purpose, and to collect and act as repository for archives, monographs and periodical literature related to that purpose.
  5. To develop and sponsor seminars, symposia, conferences, workshops, and exhibits on Chinese culture and on the role of the Chinese people in America.
  6. To function as liaison between the University and the Chinese community. The Center acts as a cultural resource center for the Cal State LA campus and for the Chinese community.
  7. To work with representatives from the Chinese community to seek outside funding from external agencies to support the Center's activities.
  8. To assist in those extracurricular activities of ethnic Chinese students at Cal State LA that further the overall objectives of the Center.

Organization Director: Dr. Qingyun Wu, Associate Professor of Chinese

Steering Committee:

  • Qingyun Wu (Faculty, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures)
  • Jun Liu (Faculty, Department of English) Lawrence Hong (Faculty, Department of Sociology)
  • Henry Tiee (Chinese Community) Chien-hsiung Wu (Chinese Community)

Advisory Board:

A. Community Members

  • James Lee, Chairman, May Produce Inc.
  • Henry Tiee, Emeritus Professor, USC Major Tsai, Chairman, American Chinese Cultural Foundation and Ideal Realty Inc.
  • Chien Hsiung Wu, President of Association of Overseas Chinese Societies of Education and Culture in Southern California
  • Stephen Yee, President of Plum Blossom Poetry Society; Honorary President of the International Association of Chinese Poetry
  • Wen-Hsing Yen, Musician

B. Cal State LA Faculty

  • Stephen Ma, Department of Political Science
  • Le Tang, Department of Technology
  • Sin Fong Han, Department of Geography & Urban Analysis
  • Philip Leung, Department of History
  • Swan Ngin, Department of Anthropology
  • Francis H. Baxter, Department of Music (Emerita)


The strength and vitality of the Chinese Study Center is manifest in the number and variety of activities that it sponsors. Over the past five years, these include: Symposium on Unification between Mainland China and Taiwan Symposium on Confucius Annual Chinese Poetry Recitation Contest A Grand Reception Meeting for famous Chinese painters Xie Zhiliu and Chen Peiqiu Talks by Tianzhen Xie, "The Development of Literature in Post-Mao China"; Stephen Yee, "Chinese Classical Poetry: Tang Shi & Song Ci"; Wu Tianming "The Cinematic Art of the Fifth Generation in China"; C. Y. Lee, "Writing China in America"; Thomas Beebee, "The Lettered Women: Variations of a Metaphor"; Zhao Baoxu, "Where Is China Going?: Prospects of China's Reform," Theodore Huters, "Impossible Representations: Flowers in the Sea of Retributions," Organization of group activities: Bejing Opera, Taiwan Artists Painting Exhibition Co-Sponsorship of the Southern California Campaign of Ethnic and Moral Education Creation of the Major Tsai Scholarship in Chinese Organization of a painting exhibition a lecture by Zheng Baizhong Presentation of the film and lecture: "Female Sex vs. Power: Red Firecrackers and Green Firecrackers," Co-sponsored the Confucius Commemorative Day Celebration and a symposium on "Cufucian culture in relation to other cultures in the 20th century"


Mission: The Purpose of the Center is to strengthen and preserve Chinese culture and history. The Center’s interest is in Chinese history, culture and the role of cultural Chinese peoples in the United States. The Center is non-political and non-sectarian. As such it welcomes the participation of all Chinese without regard to their political or religious beliefs as well as all scholars, artists, faculty, students, and community members who share an interest in Chinese studies regardless of their ethnic or cultural origins.


Dr. Hsin-Fu Chiu, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

french flag

Le Cercle Français

French Club Of CSLA

Meetings: First and Third Thursday of each month, 3:20-4:20

Modern Language Resource Room, KH D1054A

1996-1997 Officers

President: Veronica Ramirez

Vice-Presidents: Wendi Brown, Gilbert Mora

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Gretchen Angelo

Le cercle français is a club designed for those interested in French and Francophone language and culture. Most of the active members are enrolled in French classes, but all students are welcome to our meetings. Discussions and activities are held in both English and French depending on the level of language ability of participating members.

One of our goals is to give students a forum to practice French outside of class, so meetings generally include some conversation in French. In Fall, 1996, we held an additional conversation group on Wednesdays for intermediate and advanced speakers, and this can be rescheduled according to student interest.

Most club activities focus on French and Francophone culture. In 1995 -1996, these included watching the French film Germinal, meeting at a French café, playing French Scrabble*, eating crêpes, and designing our cercle français tee-shirt, as well as general conversation.

In 1996-1997, we have the opportunity to invite several guest speakers, thanks to funding obtained from ASI. In the Fall Quarter, Professor Guy Hollman, a French professor visiting CSULA's English department, spoke on the differences between French and American educational systems.

Activities planned for the Winter quarter include French cheese-tasting and a talk on Nouvelle Calédonie (New Caledonia, a French territory near Australia). We have also planned a lecture on French art for later in the year. New members are always welcome, and suggestions for new activities doubly so! Interested students are invited to attend any of our meetings or contact the faculty advisor, Dr. Gretchen Angelo, at 323.343.4239 or by email at [email protected].


The Japanese Studies Center

The Japanese Studies Center was established in 1975 to sponsor Japan-related programs; promote interchange and exchange among scholars, students, and the community; and serve as a resource and information clearinghouse for persons interested in increasing their knowledge and understanding of Japan. It was intended to be an adjunct of the Japanese program in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. The Directors have been full-time tenure track faculty in the Japanese program.

Center Director: Chisato Koike

The Center’s ongoing activities include:

  • Providing scholarships for students with demonstrated interests in Japanese studies
  • Continuing exchange programs with Kagoshima High Tech Institute and Nagoya University of Foreign Studies
  • Participating in important regional scholarly and teachers organizations, such as Teachers of Japanese in Southern California
  • Supporting Japan Club activities and sponsoring other events and activities, such as Japanese speech contests and Japanese film nights

Photos from JAPAN WEEK 2015 (November 9th-12th, 2015): Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Japanese Studies Center at Cal State LA

Cal State LA Japan Week 2015: Koto and Shakuhachi Cal State LA Japan Week 2015 rakugo

Koto and Shakuhachi performances by Ms. Saeko Kujiraoka (left) and Mr. Shozan Shultz (right)

Rakugo performance (in English and Japanese) by Mr. Iseya Daifuku (in the center, in kimono)

Cal State LA Japan Week 2015 kabuki Cal State LA Japan Week 2015 ikebana

Kabuki lecture/performance/workshop by Mr. Gankyo Nakamura

Ikebana demonstration/workshop by Ms. Miyako Arao with her assistant, Ms. Marilyn Drageset

Japanese Student Association (JSA)

The Japanese Student Association provides opportunities for students of Japanese and others interested in Japan to meet, plan, and participate in social, cultural, recreational, and eductional activities. The past JSA activities include organizing a food sale to raise funds for the association, showing Japanese films and animations, having off-campus trips (Little Tokyo area), and attending the Japan Expo, Anime Expo, and Japan Film Festival. The JSA also promotes social and cultural exchanges with students from Japan.

Japan Club Adviser: Chisato Koike, Professor of Japanese

Contact: Cal State LA Japanese Student Association at [email protected]

japan bridge

sigma delta piSigma Delta Pi
(1) About Sigma Delta Pi
(2) Cal State LA chapter, Gamma Psi
(3) Activities organized by the Cal State LA
(4) Contact information

(1) About Sigma Delta Pi
The National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society (Sigma Delta Pi) was founded in 1919 at UC Berkeley, and currently has more than 560 active chapters in 4 year colleges and universities throughout the United States. Its purpose is "to honor those who attain excellence in the study of the Spanish language and in the study of the literature and culture of the Spanish-speaking peoples; to honor those who have made Hispanic contributions to modern culture better known in the English-speaking world; to encourage college and university students to acquire a greater interest in, and a deeper understanding of, Hispanic culture; and to foster friendly relations and mutual respect between the nations of Hispanic speech and those of English speech" (quoted from the 1995-1998 Booklet of Information on the Association of College Honor Societies).

(2) Cal State LA chapter, Gamma Psi
The Cal State LA chapter, Gamma Psi, was founded in 1954, and is number 95 in the chronological order of chapters founded. Dr. Dumitrescu reactivated it in 1990. In spring 2004, the chapter celebrated its 50th anniversary, on which occasion it received a commendation letter from president Rosser. Membership in the chapter is open to Spanish undergraduate and graduate students who have a minimal GPA of 3 on a 4 point scale in all Spanish courses taken, and who rank in the upper 35% of their class, or have at least a cumulative GPA of 2.75 on a 4 point scale. The bases for selection are the scholastic or professional record of the candidate; the distinction the candidate has achieved in the field of Hispanic studies; the candidate's demonstrated support of the goals and ideals of the society; and the character of the candidate. Recruitment and initiation of candidates take place each spring quarter. The chapter officers are elected each year, in fall, and are a president, a vice-president, a treasurer and a secretary.  The chapter is chartered on campus with the Associated Students and receives monetary support from them, as well as donations from faculty members. The chapter’s account is held at the University Credit Union.

(3) Activities
Among the activities organized by the Cal State LA since its 1990 reactivation are: (1) group visits to exhibits on Hispanic themes, e.g., "Thirteen Centuries of Splendor - Mexican Art, at the LA County Museum, and "Spain in the Americas: 1492-1600," at the Huntington Library; (2) group attendance at theatrical performances in the greater Los Angeles area; (3) sponsorship of guest-lectures, e.g., Dr. Carlos Loprete (Universidad de Belgrano, Argentina); Dr. Ignacio Galbis (Professor Emeritus of Latin- American Literature and the former national Sigma Delta Pi secretary-treasurer); Dr. Pascual José Masullo (Director of the Graduate Programs in Linguistics at the Universidad del Comahue- Argentina), Lic. Patricia Juárez Dappe (Universidad de Buenos Aires), Dr, Jacques de Bruyne, member of the Royal Spanish Academy and professor at the University of Gent, Belgium, the Chilean writer Lucía Guerra, professor at the University of California, Irvine,  the Mexican writers Luis Ortiz-Arias and Ignacio Solares, and others. The chapter has also organized musical performances, dance workshops, and symposia on literary cultural topics, including a very successful symposium on Federico Garcia Lorca, in connection with the theatrical performance of La Casa de Bernarda Alba on the Cal State LA campus.

Twenty of the Cal State LA chapter's students have been awarded, over the years, the highly-competitive Gabriela Mistral Award, for academic excellence.  Six others have received Sigma Delta Pi summer scholarships to study in Spain and Mexico.  Under the direction of faculty adviser Dr. Domnita Dumitrescu, the Cal State LA Chapter was declared an "Honor Chapter" by the National Honor Society of Sigma Delta Pi each year during the 1991-1999 period. Moreover, for several years, it has also been judged to rank among the top ten of the 21 Honor Chapters distinguished with certificates of honor.

During Dr. Ignacio Lopez-Calvo’s tenure as adviser (2000-2003) the chapter has held several cultural activities, such as field trips to opera concerts, book signings by Latin American authors and poetry readings. The chapter also invited Dr. Jill Robbins (University of California, Irvine), Dr. Carl Jubran (University of San Diego), Dr. Armand Mattelart (University of Paris), Mariam Saada, Felipe Díaz, and Manuel Aguilar (Cal State LA) to give presentations on Hispanic literature and culture. Dr.Arturo Arias, President of LASA (Latin American Studies Association) and twice winner of the Casa de las Americas Award gave a talk entitled “Dos versiones de la verdad de Rigoberta Menchú: La version de MáximoCajal, y la construcción ideológica de David Stoll", and Mexican poet Citlalli H. Xochitiotzin read some of her poems and gave a talk on contemporary Mexican poetry. The chapter won the National Certificate of Honor and Merit for the academic year 2000-2001.

Dr. Domnita Dumitrescu, who was at that time serving her fourth term as National Vice-president of the organization for the Western region, has accepted to be again the chapter adviser for 2003-2005. Under her leadership, the chapter won again a certificate of honor and merit for its activity in 2003-2004, which included, among other things, the presentation of a book edited by two distinguished Department members- emeriti professors Gigi Gaucher-Morales and Alfredo Morales – in the series of the complete works of the Mexican writer Miguel N. Lira. After the presentation, a group of students read parts of a play by Miguel N. Lira. In fall 2004, professor José Cruz González, director of the West Coast Hispanic Repertory for more than eleven years, gave a lecture on the Hispanic theater in the US and showed footage of his own work with the local Hispanic community.  The chapter also invited Dr. Silva-Corvalán, from USC, to be the keynote speaker at its initiation ceremony in Spring 2004, which was attended by almost 100 guests. She spoke on the topic of Spanish in Los Angeles.

In Spring 2005, the keynote address was given by Dr. Cristian Ricci, Assistant Professor of Spanish at UC Merced, and Cal State LA alumnus, on the topic: “The Moors Return to Spain: Frontiers, Immigration, Racism and Transculturation in the Contemporay Maghrebi Literature.”After the lecture, Spanish songs were performed by Angela Estrada, from the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts, also a Cal State LA alumna.

The chapter also invited Berta Tapia, a Cal State LA alumna, to present the Who’s who in Ecuador dictionary, that she published, and in which several Cal State LA graduate students and alumni were included. The ceremony was presided over by Professor Ruzickova, who was in charge of the chapter at that time.

The major event in the chapter life is the annual ceremony for the initiation of new members and the fraternity dinner that follows.  In Spring 2008, under Dr. Maria Costa’s leadership, the chapter held a successful initiation of new members at El Cid Restaurant.  The most recent initiation ceremony took place on April 9, 2010, when the following 17 students were inducted as active members: Olivia Aguilar, Brian K. Bennitt, Jorge A. Encinas, Jardiel Ferreyra, Paola Gómez, Mee Elizabeth González, Suzette González, Victoria Harding, Esther M. Hernández, Ana Cecilia Iraheta, Miriam Monroy, María Isabel Oliveros, Heriberto A. Orea, Dulce E. Pichardo, Manrique Ramírez, Juancarlos H. Roque, and Ivett Romo Verdín.  Also, graduate student Moisés Albarrán was awarded the prestigious Gabriela Mistral Prize, for his outstanding academic achievements and active participation in the chapter’s life.  During the fraternity dinner, which was attended by the chapter’s members, their families and friends, as well as Spanish professors and a number of alumni who are now teaching Spanish at colleges in the area, professor Manuel Castillejos, Chair of the Department of Modern Languages at Mount San Antonio College, was distinguished with the Order of the Discoverers in recognition of his exemplary efforts to promote the Hispanic culture in the US and his sustained and active involvement in all the major cultural events of our Department.

At the Sigma Delta Pi Initiation Ceremony on April 9, 2010SDP Sprng 102
At the Sigma Delta Pi Initiation Ceremony on April 9, 2010
Photo on the right: Professor Manuel Castillejos (left), Professor Domnita Dumitrescu (center), and Mr. Moises Albarran (right).

Professor Dumitrescu, who acted as interim adviser of the chapter in 2009- 2010, made a few welcoming remarks and acknowledged the financial support from emeritus professor Alfredo Morales, member of the Order of the Discoverers, and professor José Cruz González, from the Theater Arts Department, who is a honorary member of our chapter.  She saluted the presence, in the audience, of Cuban poet and essayist Néstor Díaz de Villegas, and she ended her talk by reading some passages from the writings of Elena Poniatowska and álvaro Mutis, praising the beauty and the richness of the Spanish language.

At the end of the dinner, while the attendees were tasting a delicious cake with the inscription “Congratulations, Sigma Delta Pi,” there was a musical program, which included three Spanish songs sung, accompanied by his guitar, by Luis Moreno, a longstanding member of the chapter, and then several Hispanic “big hits” of all times, including “Bésame” and “Granada”, among others, as well as the aria of Don Quijote from “Man of La Mancha,” in the brilliant interpretation of Manuel Castillejos, who electrified the audience.

Many students had enthusiastic comments about this event, and many more expressed the desire to join the chapter next year, when a new initiation ceremony will take place.

Since its reactivation, in 1989, the chapter has initiated more than 300 new members.  The chapter has also recognized several of its faculty members by distinguishing them with the highest orders of this prestigious honor Society.  So far, the Order of the Discoverers has been conferred on Dr. Dale, Carter, Dr. Gaucher-Morales, Dr. Alfredo Morales, Dr. Hildebrando Villarreal, and Dr. Joseph Chrzanowski, besides Professor Castillejo, already mentioned. Dr. Dumitrescu, the faculty adviser, has won in 1995 the José Martel prize for an outstanding adviser, in 1997, the Order of the Discoverers, and in 2003, the Order of Don Quijote.  The chapter has also a number of honorary members, among them: Dr. Felipe Díaz, Dr. María Costa, Dr. Alejandro Solomianski, Dr. Elena Ruzickova, Dr. Pablo Baler, Dr. María Fernanda Márquez, and Professor José Cruz González, from the Theatre Arts department, among others.  One of the recently elected honorary members of the chapter, Dr. Maya Márquez, has accepted to become the new adviser in Fall 2010.

In January 2010, Professor Dumitrescu has been appointed Honorary President of the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society Sigma Delta Pi.  According the the press release sent to the University at that time, “Her outstanding advocacy of Sigma Delta Pi and her ongoing accomplishments in academic leadership earned her this exclusive recognition that prior to 2009 had only been granted to 12 other Hispanists during the Society’s 90-year history.  Professor Dumitrescu along with Dr. Susan Carvalho of the University of Kentucky will be the first female Honorary Presidents of Sigma Delta Pi when they are formally appointed during the Society’s Triennial Convention in Guadalajara, Mexico on July 12, 2010.  Professor Gerardo Piña-Rosales, President of the North American Academy of the Spanish Language (, will be the other Honorary President appointed next summer.”

(4) Contact us
Address: 5151 State University Dr., King Hall D-1054, Los Angeles, CA 90032
Telephone: 323.343.4230
Fax: 323.343.4234

Updated in June 2010.