News Release| Charter College of Education; Cal State L.A.

June 11, 2012

Note: To request for an interview or a photo of Robert David Black, please contact the CSULA Public Affairs office at (323) 343-3050.

Visually-impaired Razi Scholar achieves doctorate degree

Black to march at the CSULA Commencement on Friday, June 15

Los Angeles, CA –

A recipient of a $10,000 CSU Trustee Ali C. Razi Scholarship in 2010, Robert David Black will be conferred the University’s first Ed.D. in educational leadership during an official hooding ceremony at Cal State L.A.’s Friday (June 15) Commencement.

The independent Ed.D. program was launched at CSULA in fall 2009 with an inaugural cohort of 20 students.

The title of his doctoral dissertation is “Universal Design for Learning for a More Inclusive Environment in Higher Education.” A certified rehabilitation counselor, Black focuses on students with special needs and working in support services.

Black, who resides in Baldwin Park, came to California several years ago with a bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University. While considering graduate programs, Black’s eyesight began to fail, and after six operations, the end result was blindness.

Undaunted, Black was determined to pursue his career in counseling and education. Wasting little time, Black immersed himself in studying Braille and learning other tools and techniques designed for visually-impaired. Within two months, he enrolled at CSULA in a graduate program to study rehabilitation counseling.

In 2008, Black earned his master’s degree in counseling with a 4.0 GPA. While in graduate school, he was inducted into the University’s Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and served as its student vice president. He also worked as a recruitment officer for CSULA’s chapter of the Rehabilitation Counseling Association and was a member of its national association.

“While my blindness has presented—and will always present—unique challenges,” said Black, “it has also led me to meet some remarkable individuals whose perspectives have helped me to see life and opportunities in new ways.”

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