News Release| ECST Gala; Cal State L.A.

July 18, 2011

Cal State L.A. to honor U.S. Secretary of Education with the ‘President’s Award’ during 2nd annual Greater Los Angeles Engineer of the Year Gala

10 prominent public and private industry leaders to be honored during gala

Los Angeles, CA – U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will be honored with the “President’s Award” during California State University, Los Angeles’ (CSULA) 2nd annual Greater Los Angeles Engineer of the Year Gala, which will take place on campus Thursday, Aug. 4, at 5:30 p.m.

Duncan will be recognized for his commitment to inspiring students studying in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, and for helping ensure the U.S. remains a global competitor in related industries.

The gala is hosted by the Friends of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology (Friends of ECST) at CSULA. 

“At this event, we honor some of the nation’s most talented executives, engineers, computer scientists, and technologists. These are professionals who personify the attributes and characteristics that exemplify their worthiness to receive the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology’s most prestigious award,” said Warren Valdry, founder, CEO, and president of the Friends of ECST. “Their contributions to innovation in education are truly commendable and should be celebrated.”

The Friends of ECST’s mission is to support the educational programs of the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology at CSULA. The group also strives to inspire students to pursue careers in these fields through higher education, and works alongside the College to help it supply the workforce with educated, well-rounded professionals.

Duncan was nominated to be Secretary of Education by President Barack Obama and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2009. Prior to his appointment, he served as the CEO of the Chicago Public Schools from 2001 through 2008, becoming the longest-serving big-city education superintendent in the country.

In his confirmation hearings, Duncan called education “the most pressing issue facing America,” adding that “preparing young people for success in life is not just a moral obligation of society, but also an economic imperative.”  He continued, “Education is also the civil rights issue of our generation. It’s the only sure path out of poverty and the only way to achieve a more equal and just society.”

Other honorees during the gala include:  

* James Bell, The Boeing Company—Chief Executive Award

* Kevin McCoy, vice admiral, NAVSEA—Title Sponsor Award

* Wanda Austin, Aerospace Corporation—Engineering Leadership Award

* John Mastrototaro, Medtronic—L.A. Designer of the Year Award

* Noel L. Massie, United Parcel Service—Information Technology Award

* Diego Cadena, L.A. County, Dept. of Public Works—L.A. Public Servant of the Year Award

* Isaac Larian, MGA—Entrepreneur of The Year Award 

* Gregory Blasic, Parsons, and Michael J. Doucette, Los Angeles World Airports, Tom Bradley International Terminal—Engineering Project of the Year Award

“All the honorees deserve to be recognized for their work in generating the sparks that become the ideas and sustenance to the innovative process,” said Keith Moo-Young, dean of CSULA’s College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology. “Their body of work and lifetime of commitment to their respective fields makes them outstanding role models for our students.”

Cal State L.A. is located at 5151 State University Dr. in Los Angeles at the Eastern Avenue exit, San Bernardino (I-10) Freeway, at the interchange of 10 and 710 freeways.

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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 220,000 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, opening in fall 2011. 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.