Spring 2015 University News


Covino leads first meeting of the new President's Council

President Covino and his council members

On April 2, Cal State L.A. convened its first meeting of the President’s Council, which is comprised of accomplished business and civic leaders who will help strengthen the University’s role as a premier public comprehensive university.

The 42 council members will work closely with Cal State L.A. President William A. Covino, offering input and advice as the University solidifies community and corporate partnerships, launches innovative academic and research initiatives and pushes forward with an ambitious branding campaign.

Many of the council members are Cal State L.A. alumni and include former elected officials, philanthropists, and government and corporate executives.

“This is a pivotal time as we both celebrate our extraordinary achievements of the past and position ourselves for even greater accomplishments in the future,” Covino told the panel during the meeting at the University’s Luckman Fine Arts Complex. “You will play a vital role as we embark on this journey to build a legacy with a renewed mission and strong sense of purpose.”

President's Council Members:

Lee Baca*
Gilbert Barajas*
Andrew Bicos
Bill Bogaard
Scott Budnick
Elise Buik
Elisa Crystal Callow*
Steve Cooley*
Richard D. Cordova*
Charon D’Aiello Sandoval*
Frank J. De Santis*
Arturo Delgado*
Victor Dominguez
María Elena Durazo*

Sandra Figueroa-Villa*
Marshal Geller*
Erika J. Glazer
Mark Steven Greenfield*
Ana Guerrero
Helen Hernandez
John Huerta*
Carlos Illingworth, Jr.*
Jesse Juarros
Billie Jean King*
Arthur T. Leahy*
Kate Lear
David C. Lizárraga
Michael A. Lucki*

Capri Maddox*
Gary J. Matus*
Omel Nieves
Tam O’Shaughnessy
Terrence J. Roberts*
David Sandoval*
Eva Stern
Ralph M. Terrazas*
John J. Tracy*
Nat Trives*
Gilbert R. Vasquez*
Linda Wah*
Mark E. Whitlock, Jr.
Willie Zuñiga*

*Cal State L.A. alumni


Cal State L.A. receives $1 million
Sikand Foundation gift


Cal State L.A. was awarded a $1 million gift from The Sikand Foundation to establish the Gunjit S. Sikand Faculty Endowment for Research in Urban Sustainability in the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology.

The Sikand family announced the gift on March 18 as a tribute to former Cal State L.A. civil engineering Professor Gunjit Sikand. He passed away last spring after a long and distinguished career as an educator, business owner and philanthropist. Sikand taught at the university for more than two decades and valued its role in providing first-generation college students an outstanding education.

“The endowment will be used in perpetuity to provide funding for a faculty member, allowing them time to focus on research,” said Mark Sikand, president of Sikand Engineering Associates, which was founded by his father in 1958.

Over the past two decades, Sikand established three endowments at Cal State L.A. through his foundation: the Sikand Scholarship Fund, the Gunjit Sikand Civil Engineering Endowed Guest Lecture Fund, and the Gunjit Sikand Civil Engineering Endowed Senior Design and Freshmen Design Fund.


Hydrogen station makes history

Cal State L.A. Hydrogen Station

The Cal State L.A. Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility has become the first station in the United States to be certified to sell fuel to the public.

The facility recently passed a rigorous state performance evaluation and can now sell hydrogen by the kilogram to drivers of fuel cell vehicles.

“This is a milestone in the commercialization of hydrogen in preparation for the next generation of electric vehicles that will be powered by hydrogen,” said Michael Dray, technical operations manager at the fueling facility. “It’s equivalent to getting the first sticker from the state government to sell gasoline by the gallon.”

Gov. Jerry Brown’s office informed the University in January that the fueling facility had received the certification, known as California Type Approval. The state is leading the effort to develop such facilities and has allocated $200 million during the next decade to further the construction of a hydrogen-fueling network across California.

Opened last May, the fueling station at Cal State L.A. is the largest such facility on a university campus in the United States and produces hydrogen on site. The station is capable of using renewable sources such as solar and wind power for hydrogen production.

The hydrogen facility provides key research data on fueling performance and station operations to the U.S. Department of Energy and the Sandia National Laboratories, as well as to state agencies such as the California Energy Commission and California Air Resources Board.

“Our hydrogen station is playing a crucial role in helping situate California as a national leader in zero emission vehicles,” President William A. Covino said. “The station also provides an ideal opportunity for Cal State L.A. students, faculty and staff to collaborate on cutting-edge research and technology initiatives with government agencies that will contribute to improving air quality in Los Angeles and beyond.”


Erika J. Glazer's $1.6 million endowment supports dreamers center at Cal State L.A.

jumpstart program students reading together

Cal State L.A. received an endowment of more than $1.6 million from philanthropist Erika J. Glazer to help fund the University’s dreamers resource center.

Since 2006, Glazer and her family have provided more than $2 million in financial assistance to help undocumented students succeed at Cal State L.A.

The latest gift, which was announced on April 27, will help the University underwrite staff costs and maintain a dedicated space to provide academic guidance, referral assistance and other support to undocumented students. The center will be named the Erika J. Glazer Family Dreamers Resource Center.

“Fortunately, in recent years, there is less need for private scholarships but definitely a growing need for a center where students can get help working their way through a difficult legal process and assistance in powering through a four-year university on time,” Glazer said. “My hope is that this resource center will be obsolete in a few years and the funds can go toward other programs at Cal State L.A.”

The Glazer family has donated more than $700,000 to fund a scholarship program that was established in 2006. Thirty-six students have received awards based on academic merit, extracurricular activities, overcoming hardships, the likelihood of success in college and other factors.