Jump to Content Jump to Resources

History Department Faculty Member Receives NEH 2020-2021 Fellowship


Big Mound, St. Louis, by Thomas Easterly

History Faculty member, Patricia Cleary received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for 2020-2021 to work on her next book, Mound City: The Place of the Indian Past and Present in St. Louis (under contract with University of Missouri Press). Below is a brief introduction:

In the mid-1800s, early daguerreotypist Thomas Easterly documented the physical transformation of St. Louis, Missouri, with striking images full of buildings, roads, and railways. While visually recording urban expansion, Easterly also chronicled the physical disappearance of St. Louis’s indigenous past. Perhaps the most striking reminder of earlier inhabitants was the Big Mound, a massive earthen structure over 300 feet long, 100 feet wide, and 30 feet tall. Part of a ceremonial district erected by Mississippian Mound Builders hundreds of years earlier, it was the largest of over two dozen mounds that dominated the skyline and gave the early city its claim to fame. During the nineteenth century, all of these monumental earthworks—except one outlier—were razed. This project explores the life, death, and afterlife of the mounds, exploring their cultural significance for both ancient and contemporary indigenous peoples and non-Indian peoples as well. It examines both the literal destruction of Indian cultural artifacts and the narrative erasure of Indian peoples in histories of the city’s development.

CSULB Alum in Political Science and Sociology featured in Los Angeles Times

This 26-year-old became a small-town California mayor. Then a jet dumped fuel on her snakebit city



Cudahy Mayor Elizabeth Alcantar presides over a City Council meeting on Feb. 4. Alcantar, who a week into her term had to deal with a Delta jet dumping fuel on her city, represents hope for residents after years of corruption scandals. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Elizabeth Alcantar was at work when she began receiving a swarm of Twitter and Google alerts about a jet dumping fuel on her city.

She immediately texted her boss and said she had to go. Her day job was as a coordinator for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles. But a week earlier, the 26-year-old had been appointed mayor of the small city of Cudahy.

Alcantar rushed to City Hall, navigating around fire engines and police cars. Then she began trying to figure out just what had happened to her town — a snakebit place that has struggled in the past with political corruption and environmental pollution. Several nearby cities — Whittier, Pico Rivera, Downey and South Gate — were doused with fuel by a Delta airplane overhead.

But it was in Cudahy where almost two dozen students at Park Avenue Elementary School got splashed by the fuel. Soon, TV trucks and reporters descended on the city. Anger rose from the confusion.

Article continued on Los Angeles Times website.

Beach Forensics Wins at the Hannie Shaft Invitational at Southwestern College

""The last regular season tournament for Beach Forensics’ policy debate team concluded this afternoon, the Hannie Shaft Invitational at Southwestern College.

In the rookie division, the team of Natalie Lahney and Chris Steveson finished with a 3-3 record. At his debut tournament, Chris was recognized as the 4th ""speaker in the division, an impressive feat considering he joined the squad two weeks ago and was competing against rookies who have debated all season!

In the varsity division, the team of Jaysyn Green and Christian Vazquez finished with a 4-2 record, narrowly missing an elimination round appearance by a slim margin. The team of Georgie Suico and Noah Christiansen finished preliminary debates with a 5-1 record, advancing to elimination rounds as a the top seed at the tournament. Suico and Christiansen were the TOP TWO individual speakers at the tournament, and went on to win the tournament championship! This freshman/freshman team won the season opener tournament in varsity, and ends the regular season with another tournament win!

At the Hannie Shaft, the squad picked up victories over teams from Arizona State, Cal State Fullerton, Fullerton College, Southwestern College, UNLV, and Weber State. It’s worth mentioning that the teams from UNLV and Weber State were among the top 32 teams at the Texas Open last weekend in a field of more than 100 of the nation’s best teams (of which we cannot attend because of the travel ban), and the team of Suico and Christiansen beat those teams twice each, in the preliminary debates and again in elimination debates on their way to the championship.

Beach Forensics looks to keep the momentum going as we gear up for the USC British Parliamentary Championship next weekend, the District I Pacific Championship and National Debate Tournament Qualifier in two weekends, and the PSCFA Spring Championship in two weekends.

For more information on Beach Forensics, check out their website at: http://www.cla.csulb.edu/departments/communicationstudies/beachforensics/

CLA Internship Program 2019 Annual Report

""“During the 2018-2019 academic year, the College of Liberal Arts Internship Program provided professional development opportunities to over 800 students enrolled in academic internships, fostered partnerships with 183 community agencies and organizations, and supported six CLA department events.

We successfully launched and curated specialized content on our CLA social media platforms to reach a larger audience of students, faculty, staff, and community partners. We continued to collaborate with community partners to provide paid internships. In the past year, we have provided paid internships to seven graduating Long Beach Promise students and our development of the Gateway to a Promising Profession Program will allow us to assist more Promise students in their professional development and career attainment after graduation.

We are excited to showcase the success of our students, feature how we support CLA faculty, and highlight the outcome of our work with local organizations. ” Michelle Chang, CLA Internship & Career Readiness Specialist

Review the CLA Internship Program 2019 Annual Report to learn about the success of our students, how we provide professional development support to CLA faculty, and the partnerships we have cultivated with local organizations.

Sociology Faculty Honors – Dr. Jan Haldipur

Goddard Riverside Stephan Russo Book Prize finalistsTwo Books Named as Co-Winners of Goddard Riverside Stephan Russo Book Prize for Social Justice

For a digital press packet including author and book jacket photos, associated logos, and a photo of the judges’ panel, go to goddard.org/packet2019

Dr. Jan Haldipur and Paul Krugman, Book Prize Judge[NEW YORK CITY — October 22, 2019] Two exceptional books about violence and criminal justice in America have been named as co-winners of this year’s Goddard Riverside Stephan Russo Book Prize for Social Justice.

No Place on the Corner: The Costs of Aggressive Policing by Jan Haldipur (NYU Press, 2018) and An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago by Alex Kotlowitz (Nan A. Talese, 2019) were announced as winners at Goddard Riverside’s Annual Gala. The award, now in its third year, celebrates the power of the written word to create change in the name of justice for all.

This is the first time the prize has been shared by two titles. “We did this because we think these books are very complementary,” explained Douglas Bauer, chair of the judges’ panel and executive director of The Clark Foundation. “Between them they tell the very unfortunate story of the impact of gun violence on urban communities.”

Through in-depth interviews, An American Summer chronicles the lasting impacts of shootings in Chicago — on survivors, family members, children, schools, friends, neighbors, and even the shooters themselves. No Place on the Corner uses the lens of a three-year ethnographic study to explore how aggressive policing tactics, such as stop-and-frisk, traumatized a South Bronx community and made public spaces off-limits to local residents.

Along with Bauer, the distinguished slate of judges includes Paul Krugman, New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize winner; Marcia Cantarella, university administrator and author of I CAN Finish College: The Overcome Any Obstacle and Get Your Degree Guide; Nancy Wackstein, former executive director of United Neighborhood Houses of New York; and Michael Zisser, former CEO of University Settlement and The Door. The book prize is named after Stephan Russo, who served as executive director of Goddard Riverside from 1998 to 2017.

Link to the complete press release article: https://www.goddard.org/grcc/news/press-releases/Prize2019/

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.


The Higher Ed Rewired Podcast

The Higher Ed Rewired Podcast is a new project supported by the CSU’s Chancellor’s Office highlighting inspirational stories from CSU faculty and staff “who are transforming the higher education landscape. They bring listeners along on their journey of engaging students with innovative practices, overcoming institutional challenges and creating groundbreaking research.” So far, three episodes are available. Please consider following/reviewing the podcast on your favorite listening app to support the show. The podcast is hosted by Dr. Oliver Wang of the Sociology Department.

New language center will bring multilingual approach to teaching


Photo by Sean DuFrene

As a young woman traveling the world, Dr. Clorinda Donato had this idea, a dream really, where someone from Japan could ask a Mexican in Spanish about immigrating to the United States.

“The world was popping for me and I wanted to be one of its multilingual ambassadors,” said Donato, the George L. Graziadio chair for Italian Studies. She wanted to be that person who could converse with her family in Italian, talk to a Frenchman in French about the Italian painter Modigliani, who lived in France, and sign with a deaf friend.


Photo by Sean DuFrene

“The courses at the university made some of that possible, but it also made me curious,” she said.

That curiosity led Donato to hold fast to her dream of interconnecting cultures and languages and eventually establish the Clorinda Donato Center for Global Romance Languages and Translation Studies, made possible by a $1.1 donation from Mario Giannini, a longtime supporter of Italian Studies. The Center officially opened last week in the College of Liberal Arts.

“We always talked about the importance of language, but the vision is Clorinda’s and that’s what made it interesting to me,” Giannini said.

“But here was a chance to get an interdisciplinary, something done where language becomes important. I feel we live in an age where no one cares about culture and language and humanities and they matter, they matter a lot.”

Donato said the Center will enable students to acquire new skills necessary in today’s ever-expanding global world. She has said that the importance of languages and cultures in peoples’ lives is “vastly underrated and underappreciated.”

This is the first center in the United States to promote intercomprehension and multilingual approaches to language teaching, strategies that boast a growing presence throughout Canada, Europe and Latin America.


Photo by Sean DuFrene

“Understanding cultural, economic, political and social intricacies of the world from local to global multinational is a requirement for the future,” President Jane Close Conoley said. “We will not continue to be world leaders and world citizens without that. So, training in communication, cultural studies, media, languages and combining that with other disciplines in the college and across the university, will create opportunities and make our students highly sought after by many, many industries, businesses, universities throughout society.”

The overarching goals of the Center are to establish collaborative, integrative and interdisciplinary educational and research programs in the teaching of Global Romance Languages and Translation Studies. Donato has said she hopes the Center will become a “powerful tool” that will attract top scholars to its research projects.


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: https://www.csulb.edu/office-of-the-provost/university-achievement-awards

94-Year-Old CSULB Student Is Enjoying Life On Campus

Harold Katz

Photo Courtesy of Ryan Guitare

Inside a classroom at Cal State Long Beach, there’s a student who doesn’t sound like any other.

Harold Katz has his notebook and computer out, an iPhone in his pocket and an Apple Watch on his wrist. He’s a World War II veteran with two degrees, who’s lived through many of the American presidencies covered in his political science class. He’s also 94.

We recently caught up with Katz to talk about his routine as a student, how he ended up at Long Beach State and what keeps him going. Listen to the audio for the full interview.


Please note this is an audio interview. KPCC does not provide a written transcript.