Beach Forensics Wins!

""The CSULB Forensics team has returned from their season opener at Arizona State University with multiple wins.

The team had multiple individual awards: Novice, Maggie Franckhauser and Catherine Lucas-Castillo; Junior Varsity, Brad Schindler and Christian Vazquez; and in Varsity, Georgie Suico and Noah Christiansen all received awards.

In the team competition, the varsity freshman/freshman team of Georgie Suico and Noah Christiansen went undefeated in the preliminary debates, earning them the position as first seed in elimination rounds. Suico and Christiansen went on to win every single elimination debate, culminating in the first varsity policy debate tournament championship for CSULB since the year 2006. The team was then selected as one of the 9 individual debate teams to attend the elite and exclusive Val A. Browning Round Robin tournament in October.  The team earned victories over USC, Weber State, Arizona State, CSU Fullerton, Southwestern College, Fullerton College, CSU Northridge, and Fresno State.  Both Arizona State and USC were highly competitive at the National Debate Tournament last season.

Congratulations to all the Forensics team members and their coaches.


CLA Congratulates 2019 University Achievement Award Recipients

CLA is proud of our faculty, staff and students who were this year’s award winners. Please join me in congratulating:

Outstanding Graduate Research Student Award

Olivia Silke, Psychology, College of Liberal Arts

""Olivia Silke is a second-year graduate student in the Masters of Arts in Psychology Research Program. Since beginning the program, she has completed her thesis proposal and presented nine, first authored paper and poster presentations at professional and university-based conferences. 

She continues to thrive in her program as a CSULB Graduate Research Fellow and as the American Psychological Association’s Junior Scientist Fellow. Her master’s project (built on a larger NIH-funded study) examines the role of maternal mindful disposition, or one’s ability to maintain present moment awareness, on multifaceted-stress responses. Silke’s research aims to conceptualize stress in low-income perinatal mothers and their infants by investigating multiple pathways of action, including: the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis, the sympathetic adrenal medullary axis, and perceived stress. 

Silke plans to obtain her PhD in health psychology where she can expand upon this research. She aims to: address gaps in research by including diverse samples; outline biological outcomes linked with mindfulness; and increase mind-body prenatal programs in community settings. 

Having dedicated over 20 hours per week to research methodology, design, and analysis, her future as a scientific researcher is bright. 

Outstanding Undergraduate Research Student Award

Lizbeth Castillo Monterrosa, International Studies, College of Liberal Arts

""Lizbeth Castillo Monterrosa is a 4.0 GPA, International Studies major who has been welcomed into competitive programs such as the University Honors Program, the Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Research Program, and the McNair Scholars Program.

She began her research journey at the end of her freshmen year when she was able to conduct ethnographic fieldwork in Costa Rica, alongside her research mentor Dr. Fouratt. They initiated a research project focused on migrants and refugees and collaborated with a local non-profit organization, RET International, to host a digital storytelling workshop. The purpose of the workshop was to show migrant youth how voicing their migration experiences can serve as foundation to addressing wider anti-immigrant sentiments.

After her time abroad, Castillo continued working on this project with Dr. Fouratt through UROP and now BUILD at CSULB. They currently find them- selves in the final stages of this work as they prepare to publish a manuscript. Through research, Castillo ultimately seeks to improve immigrant rights and refine the U.S. discourse on immigration by showing that immigration is not just a domestic issue but a global one as well. Her wider research aims also coincide with her aspiration of a future career in government.

Castillo is a first-generation student who excels in applying her skills and time outside of the classroom and eventually she hopes to pursue a JD and PhD in Public Health. Coming up next for Castillo is the GRE test, graduate school program applications and a summer internship in New Mexico. Here, she hopes to work directly with migrants and refugees at the US-Mexican border.

Outstanding Staff Award

Susan Tsuji, ASC History Department

""Susan Tsuji’s influence and dedication to CSULB has been reflected to not only her department, but to the entire campus as well. She is the department coordinator and graduate coordinator for the Department
of History, and an active member of the campus community since 2011.

“Susan is without a doubt the first ASC in my thirty years who not only inspires trust in how she carries out her responsibilities, but who combines her performance skills with humor, thoughtfulness, and kindness,” said Dr. David Shafer, chair of CSULB’s Department of History.

Currently, she is a CSULB Staff Council representative, member of the council’s Special Events Committee and is the chair of the Staff Council’s Staff Development Committee. Since she plays a key role in Staff Council, her duties range from coordinating education for staff engagement to planning staff campus events.

Tsuji also serves in the Campus Climate Committee of the Academic Senate, a General Financial Need Scholarship Application Reviewer, and formerly as the Staff Council Treasurer.

As an active volunteer in the community, Tsuji also volunteered for the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium from 2002 to 2011. During her tenure she received the Distinguished Volunteer Achievement Award by the aquarium.

Nicholas Perkins Hardeman Academic Leadership Award

Dr. Norbert Schürer, English Department

""Dr. Norbert Schürer joined the English Department at CSULB in 2003. He teaches courses and does research on literary theory, 18th-century British literature, and on major authors such as Jane Austen and
J.R.R. Tolkien. His recent publications include the anthology British Encounters with India with Tim Keirn (2011), the collection of primary materials Charlotte Lennox: Correspondence and Miscellaneous
Documents (2012), the cultural guide Berlin (2014) and the Long Beach local history study Boom and Bust: Miner Smith and his 1920s California Bungalow Mansions (2015).

He engages with students not just beyond the classroom, but beyond the country: Every other winter session he and Tim Keirn take students to India for a study-abroad experience.

Schürer was elected a member of the Academic Senate in 2008, became a member of the Executive Committee in 2014, and has been Chair of the Academic Senate since 2016. He models the importance of shared governance across all levels and divisions on campus. He worked on projects such as the General Education policy and the new CSULB definition of student success. His main interest has been improving communication on campus and ensuring that all constituents are consulted in all decision. Schürer’s success in his role as Chair has been based on his ability to maintain key collaborations in all academic environments.

Community Service Award - Staff

Mitra Baghdadi, Department Coordinator, Anthropology

""Mitra Baghdadi is involved in issues related to diversity, social justice, equity, and equality at a local and national level. She is a member and has served as Board of Directors for the Iranian-Persian American
Association of Greater Long Beach (IPAA), which aims to promote the Persian/American community’s involvement in local social events. She also runs fundraisers and donations for the Rescue Mission of
Long Beach and Homelessness Services. 

In addition Baghdadi links the CSULB Anthropology department with City Council Member Suzie Price, and the Long Beach Homeless Services. United, they research the challenges of outreach and service provision to the wide-ranging homeless population.

Baghdadi’s concerns for the community extend to national and international issues such as the travel ban. For example, in 2017 she reached out to Representative Alan Lowenthal’s office to speak about the legal and social consequences of President Trump’s so called “travel ban.” She organized a group of students to attend a town hall meeting to speak with Representative Lowenthal. Baghdadi worked to help students impacted by this Executive Order to find free legal advice and to access necessary counseling services.

As the Chair of Diversity for the American Association of University Women in state of California, Baghdadi promotes women empowerment. She developed research tools and educational programming to study and expand diversity and inclusion in membership throughout AAUW California.

One of Baghdadi’s most recent achievements is her new position as one of the staff representatives for the President’s Commission on the Status of Women. She now partakes in the Publicity & Public Relations Committee and the Colloquium Committee within the organization.

For the complete list of award recipients, please read the article:

Two CLA Students Win 1st Place in the 33rd Annual California State University Student Research Competition


California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) played host to the 33rd Annual California State University Student Research Competition on Friday, April 26th and Saturday, the 27th, 2019. This system-wide competition showcased the innovative research and creative activities of CSU undergraduate and graduate students in the full range of academic programs offered by the CSU. Student participants made oral presentations before juries of professional experts from major corporations, foundations, public agencies, colleges and universities of California.

The competition is held annually to promote excellence in undergraduate and graduate scholarly research and creative activity. It recognizes outstanding student accomplishments from throughout the twenty-three campuses of the California State University.

Session 1 – Behavioral and Social Sciences, Undergraduate

""Yohanna Brown, CSU Long Beach 1st 
The Role of Glucagon Like Peptide 1 Receptors on the Rewarding
Effects of Oxycodone in Male and Female Adolescent Rats






Session 9 – Humanities and Letters, Graduate

""Avery Amerson, CSU Long Beach 1st 
Wittgenstein, Extended Cognition, and the Problem of Other Minds






Both Yohanna and Avery also placed 1st in the CSULB competition.  Please join us in congratulating Yohanna and Avery on their awards.


Five Students Named Finalists in the National Collegiate PRSSA Bateman Competition


CSULB’s student-led team Bateman Team

CSULB’s student-led team Bateman Team, comprised of (L-R) Louis Lopez, Research Director; Britny Coker-Moen, Media Director; Ines Torres, Team Leader; Samantha Storrey, Creative Director; and Andie Paredes, Head Writer; was chosen from 66 teams across the U.S. to present their case to a panel of judges May 16-17 in New York.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 19, 2019) – For the second year in a row, California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) students from the Department of Journalism & Public Relations are national finalists in Public Relations Student Society of America’s (PRSSA) 2019 Bateman Case Study Competition, a contest for students that serves as a national ranking of public relations programs across the country.

CSULB’s student-led team, comprised of Ines Torres, Britny Coker-Moen, Andie Paredes, Samantha Storrey and Louis Lopez, was chosen from 66 teams across the U.S. to present their case to a panel of judges May 16-17 in New York. They will be competing against Brigham Young University and University of South Carolina for the top prize. Honorable mentions included University of Florida, Temple University, Samford University, Ohio University and University of Alabama, among others.

The competition gives top students an opportunity to apply their classroom education by creating and implementing a full public relations campaign for a real-life client, from research through evaluation. Team members go through an application and rigorous interview process before being asked to join the team.

This year’s client was the PRSA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that supports programs that attract, assist and prepare young adults from diverse backgrounds to enter the public relations profession, and works with employers and industry organizations to create workplace-based inclusion efforts to welcome, support and retain a diverse workforce. CSULB’s “Diversity LB” campaign raised awareness among students, professionals and the community on the issues surrounding the lack of diversity in the workforce and empowered students and professionals to make a change in the ethnic diversity of the workforce. The campaign featured several events; the creation of an original e-book featuring stories from CSULB students, alumni and professionals; and launch of a mentorship program with the goal of increasing diverse rising talent.

“As part of an emerging majority, I am proud to be a part of this campaign because I want to educate others on how important diversity is and how it can play an important part in the success of a company,” said Ines Torres, Bateman team leader and president of PRSSA Long Beach. “Being undocumented, and coming this far in my college career, representation in the field is very important to me. We are part of such an innovative field and it is constantly moving forward, it is our responsibility to move with it.”

All participating Bateman teams across the U.S. are assigned the same client, and then develop a campaign to help the client achieve its goals. Traveling with the team will be its academic advisor Krista Coriaty, CSULB alumna and public relations professor in CSULB’s Department of Journalism & Public Relations.

“I couldn’t be more proud of how well this team represented our university and brought our students and professionals together to support the mission of the PRSA Foundation,” said Coriaty. “I’m honored to serve as a coach as our students travel to New York to present to the judges and client, which will provide them with additional experience that will be invaluable as they enter the working world.”

At the Bateman Case Study Competition finals, the first-place team will receive $3,500 and a trophy; the second-place team will receive $2,500 and a plaque; and the third-place team will receive $1,500 and a plaque. The finalist teams will also be recognized during the PRSSA 2019 National Conference.

Media contact: Krista Coriaty

(562) 413-2237 |

Cal State Long Beach Ranks No. 3 in Zippia’s Best Colleges for Human Development Majors in California

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Nov. 7, 2017) – A key attraction to choosing human development as a course of college study is the flexible career choices it provides, with futures possible in fields like social work, counseling, criminal justice, nursing, law and medicine.  For California State University Long Beach’s human development majors, these myriad career choices are made possible because of an excellent education.

Career resource website Zippia recently recognized this excellence, ranking Cal State Long Beach at No. 3 among California’s colleges and universities for human development majors.

“Human Development’s success can be attributed to a well-established multidisciplinary program that prepares students for a variety of careers through addressing the dynamic social issues facing family and communities today,” said Dr. Deborah Thien, department of geography professor and human development’s acting chair. “Our students learn skills in cultural competence, research evaluation and critical thinking and hone these skills in HDEV’s labs, through their own or their faculty’s research and in their required senior practicum class. Equipped with these skills, HDEV students step readily into education, social work, physical therapy and other fields. HDEV has experienced tremendous growth with an influx of dedicated students and talented faculty and anticipates further student successes demonstrating the value of a liberal arts education.”

Using research from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard Data and the National Center for Education Statistics, Zippia looked at admission and graduation rates, percentage of graduating class that are human development majors, and career results like mean earnings after six and 10 years as well as job retention rates.

UC Davis topped Zippia’s list of California’s best colleges for those majoring in human development. UC San Diego was second; Cal State San Marcos and Cal State East Bay rounded out the top five.

Zitzer-Comfort receives Ukleja Center For Ethical Leadership Stipend

The Ukleja Center for Ethical Leadership at CSULB is providing students from majors as diverse as English, nutrition and dietetics, and aerospace engineering with essential ethical decision-making tools before entering the workforce.

Through one of its key initiatives, Ethics Across the Curriculum, the Ukleja Center offers $3,000 stipends to faculty members who integrate a three-hour ethics module into their courses. In addition, the center recently began offering $5,000 faculty stipends for original ethics research.

Carol Zitzer-Comfort (English) received a 2015-16 pedagogical stipend award for The Ethics of Teaching English/Language Arts to ‘Other People’s Children’–Ethical Considerations for English Education.

Daily 49er wins 20 statewide awards at CCMA

Armando Jacobo | Daily 49er

The Daily 49er team poses for a photo after winning multiple awards at the California College Media Association awards banquet Feb. 20.

LOS ANGELES – The Daily 49er took home 20 statewide honors including second place for Best Daily Newspaper at the California College Media Association awards banquet Saturday night.

The awards included first place for Best Breaking News Story. Yasmin Cortez, Miranda Andrade-Ceja, Kevin Flores and Amy Patton were recognized for their coverage of the community’s outpouring of grief after the Nov. 13 death of CSULB design student Nohemi Gonzalez in Paris.

The California College Media Association each year recognizes the best in student media among two-year and four-year colleges. Entries are judged by professionals in print and digital media, magazines and advertising.

“The entire Daily 49er staff put in a lot of hard work over the last year, and being recognized for that effort was something to be proud of,” Editor-in-Chief Greg Diaz said. “But I am excited to see what we can do before I graduate from CSULB and the newspaper in May.”

The Daily 49er took second in the Daily category for Best Newspaper. The Daily Bruin at UCLA won first and the Spartan Daily at San Jose State took third.

Brooke Becher won first place for Best Arts and Entertainment story for “Star Wars Day: ‘May the fourth’ be with you, next gen,” a humorous look at the 1977 movie’s influence on youth born decades after the movie was released.

The Daily 49er also placed for Best Podcast, Best Audio Slideshow, Best Newspaper Column, Best sports, news and feature photos, Best Newspaper Design, Best Sports Story, Best Feature Story, Best Special Issue and Best Online Ad, among other awards. Dig Magazine won Honorable Mention for Best Magazine Website.

In addition, Daily 49er content adviser and CCMA President Barbara Kingsley-Wilson was named Educator of the Year by the California Journalism and Media Affiliates.

NEH Grant Aids Berquist’s Research

Originally Published: January 15, 2015

Emily Berquist

By Richard Manly

History’s Emily Berquist Soule recently received a grant of $50,400 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to fund her research on the politics of slavery and antislavery in the late Spanish Empire.

“I’m really excited to be able to move forward on my second book,” said Berquist, who joined CSULB in 2007. “I’m ready to write it and it’s great to have the time to do it.”

The NEH grant comes as part of $17.9 million in grants this year for 233 humanities projects. Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the NEH supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation.

Berquist hopes her second book, tentatively titled The Politics of Slavery in the Late Spanish Empire, will be a major contribution to the scholarship of the period with its overview of the political stance of the Spanish Empire towards slavery in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

“What make the story really interesting were the paradoxical politics,” Berquist explained. “On one hand, the Spanish Empire was trying to become increasingly involved in the slave trade as the plantation economies developed in the Spanish Caribbean. On the other hand, there was a growing if small abolitionist movement in the Spanish Peninsula and some of the laws allowed by the Spanish government actually promoted anti-slavery sentiment and policies. For instance, the royal government officially allowed manumission or self-purchase by slaves. They also allowed slaves to keep plots of land for their own personal use. This book will explore the tensions between the promotion of slavery and the opposition to it.”

Berquist’s NEH grant will fund a full year’s leave from her teaching responsibilities with the goal of finishing her book’s first four chapters.

“So far, I’ve performed a third of the archival research I need,” she said. “I’ve made several trips to Spain to work in the archives in Madrid’s Naval Museum and Seville’s Archive of the Indies. Some of the most interesting documents I’ve found include a captain’s log that detailed an ill-fated expedition to found a slave depot off the west coast of Africa in what is today Equatorial Guinea. It was a disastrous mission that included everything from sabotage to mutiny.”

Berquist’s prior major research awards include $30,000 from the American Council of Learned Societies and a $50,000 Dibner Research Fellowship in the History of Science to fund a fellowship at the Huntington Library in Pasadena. A former Fulbright scholar, Berquist has also been awarded funding from the American Historical Association, the Atlantic History Seminar at Harvard University, the American Society for 18th Century Studies and the Spanish Ministry of Culture, among others.

Like all historians, Berquist uses a special skill set in her research.

“Academic Spanish is the foundational requirement, which I practiced by reading and studying Spanish Golden Age literature while in college,” she explained. “I’ve traveled and read complex documents but the most important skill is actually finding the documents. That takes time but it is a skill I have practiced for 10 years.”

Berquist received her B.A. cum laude from Vassar College in New York and her Ph.D. in Latin American history from the University of Texas at Austin.

She’s grateful to the History Department and the College of Liberal Arts for their support. “We’re very fortunate to be allowed to accept these research grants,” she said. “I’m grateful to both our outgoing and incoming chairs and to Dean (David) Wallace.”

Her first book, The Bishop’s Utopia: Envisioning Improvement in Colonial Peru, which appeared this year from the University of Pennsylvania Press, helped prepare Berquist to write her new book despite some real differences in the subject matter.

“However, the subject of my first book was a contemporary of the events I deal with in the second,” she said. “Bishop Martínez Compañón was a dedicated reformer who spent his entire life in Peru trying to help the indigenous people. He tried to improve their ability to work, their education and their living conditions. But as I continued my work on him, I realized that a third of the population of his bishopric was Afro-Peruvian—but he never mentioned them, much less tried to help them improve their lives. This got me thinking, why spend all this time reforming but never even mention people of African descent? What was the position of 18th-century Spanish reformers toward slaves and people of African descent? I found out that, basically, they had no position, not one they spoke of publicly, at least. The question that began my book was, why is there this void in the historical record that has been reflected in the scholarship? I think it came from tension between the economic interests the crown was trying to promote and a growing antislavery movement.”

She feels one reason the NEH recognized her research was the intriguing nature of her topic.

“In terms of scholarly literature, there is not yet a book that explores this subject for the late colonial period which represents a major hole in colonial Latin American scholarship,” she said. “This is an advantage for scholars working on colonial Latin America—it is not like studying colonial America where there are multiple takes on everything. We still have major holes in our understanding. A book like this fills those gaps and therefore serves both the classroom and other scholars.”

Yokkaichi Board of Education Grants English Fellowships to CSULB Grads

Screen Shot 2013-10-15 at 1.28.00 PMThree English fellowships were granted to recent CSULB graduates by the Yokkaichi Board of Education in Japan through the Long Beach-Yokkaichi Sister City Association.  The Association’s relationship with Long Beach turns 50 years old this year and the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies is proud to be working closely with them to support the Yokkaichi English Fellow Program (YEF) by creating connections to students looking for educational and cultural opportunities.

Having participated in the English Village summer study-abroad program in South Korea, a program established through the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies where students can take courses and assist teaching English, Victor Nguyen found his stepping stone.  Victor was born in Vietnam and has recently graduated with a B.A. in International Studies.  While completing his undergrad degree, he also studied Japanese for three years at CSULB. He carries with him a unique perspective on teaching English and the importance of “nurturing an appreciation for foreign languages and cultures.” (Long Beach-Yokkaichi Sister City Association News Letter, October, 2013)

Similarly, Courtney Roe, a recent graduate of Japanese in the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies, developed a connection to Japan during a one year stint at Waseda University in Tokyo.  She now sees herself as a “bridge between America and Japan” with aspirations of becoming a good teacher that makes a difference in her students’ lives. (Long Beach-Yokkaichi Sister City Association News Letter, October, 2013).

Alexander Smith, also graduated from the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies with a B.A. in Asian Studies.  He also studied for one year at Waseda University.  His experience in learning another language has helped him understand the difficulties involved and believes that “students need a little encouragement, a slight push, or a new approach to how they are trying to learn.  I am still new to teaching and believe that the YEF program would be a great step in enriching my teaching abilities.” (Long Beach-Yokkaichi Sister City Association News Letter, October, 2013)

Written by Michelle Seales-Kaestner

For more information on the Long Beach-Yokkaichi Sister City Association and the CSULB grads, see the Long Beach-Yokkaichi Sister City Association October newsletter here.

Professor Gary Metzker (JOUR) Acknowledged as Journalism Educator of the Year

The College of Liberal Arts congratulates Professor Gary Metzker for being selected as Journalism Educator of the Year in the four-year university division by the California Journalism Education Coalition (Cal-JEC).

Click here to read more.

R-L: Professor Gary Metzker, Konnie Krislock, director of Newspapers2 and a Cal-JEC member, and Department Chair Chris Burnett