News Release| President Covino; Cal State L.A.

October 24, 2013

Cal State L.A. President Covino earns national award for leadership in civic engagement


Los Angeles, CA – California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) President William A. Covino, who was named the recipient of the 2013 William M. Plater Award for Leadership in Civic Engagement in May 2013 while serving as provost of Fresno State University, was presented the award Oct. 23 at CSULA by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).

The Plater Award honors chief academic officers who have demonstrated exemplary leadership in advancing civic learning of undergraduates through programs and activities that encourage greater knowledge, skills, experiences and reflection about the role of citizens in a democracy.

Attending the award presentation were CSULA faculty, staff and students, as well as Fresno State University representatives Chris Fiorentino, director of the Jan and Bud Richter Center for Community Engagement and Civic Learning, and Lynnette Zelezny, associate provost/associate vice president of Continuing and Global Education.

“This is a great recognition of the commitment of so many at Fresno State to creating a true and lasting university-community partnership, and to the ethic of engagement, service and citizenship that is so deeply held by the university’s faculty, staff and students,” said Covino, a Los Feliz resident.

Under Covino’s leadership, the Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning helped volunteer service by Fresno State students, faculty, staff and administrators exceed 1 million hours for three straight years. Service hours totaled 1,129,004 in the 2011-2012 academic year. The volunteer work was done by 16,405 people, including 16,258 of approximately 21,000 students at Fresno State.

According to philanthropic standards, the estimated economic impact of Fresno State’s community service was greater than $28.5 million in the past year.

“I was impressed with how comprehensive civic engagement is at Fresno State. Bill’s leadership connected his campus to all corners of his community, improving the educational outcomes at Fresno State and enriching the community it serves,” said George Mehaffy, AASCU’s vice president for academic leadership and change.

The Plater Award was established in 2006 in appreciation for the leadership of Plater, who served as chief academic officer of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) from 1987 through 2006. For more about the William M. Plater Award:

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 Working for Californiaa 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 230,000 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. 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 forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.