Alumni Spotlight Archives

Alumni Spotlight

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Melissa Adams, establishing donor of The Adams International Internship Endowment

More than a decade after Blake Adams graduated CSULB in 2009, his mother felt the need to give back. Inspired by the scholarship her son received to study art in Florence, Italy and her own travel experience, Adams was inspired to establish The Adams International Internship Endowment, which allows students to help fund their internships abroad. On her motivations for donating, Adams said, “I want to provide a bridge from university classrooms to adult life that will enable students to further their education through immersive experiences in their area of study, as well as in other cultures.”

After starting her college career majoring in art, Melissa switched to English after receiving perfect scores on both the English SAT and the English Advanced Placement Exam. She graduated cum laude from UCLA in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in English. Post-graduation, she has continued learning through workshops on creativity, writing and photography, but believes her real education has been “outside the classroom (and often my comfort zone), learning about people through travel.”

After beginning her career as a travel writer for the American Automobile Association (AAA) in 1973, Melissa worked as an advertising copywriter, public relations writer, ghostwriter, and newspaper columnist for many years. Though officially retired, she continues to freelance for numerous publications.

Read more about Melissa Adams

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Max Marmor, BA in Philosophy Class of ‘78

Max for CAA News

Max is President of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. After earning his BA in Philosophy in 1978, Max went on to earn an MA in Art History at Cal State Northridge (1982) and then a MLIS degree from UCLA (1988). Originally an art librarian by profession, Max began his career in the 1980s as curator of special collections at the UCLA Art Library, where he was responsible for managing the collections and services of the west coast branch of the Princeton Index of Christian (now Medieval) Art, the premier photographic archive devoted to medieval art and iconography, and the Elmer Belt Library of Vinciana, the premier research collection devoted to Leonardo da Vinci. Max’s scholarly interests lie in the field of Leonardo studies and in the bibliography and historiography of art. He is co-editor of the standard reference work, Guide to the Literature of Art History (ALA Editions, 2005) and author of numerous articles, translations and book reviews, including an article on censorship in the Nietzsche archive. Max was subsequently professionally affiliated with Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University (1988–1990), the NYU Institute of Fine Arts Library (1990–1994), and the Yale University Arts Library, of which he was the director from 1994–2001. He left Yale in 2001 to assume a position at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, as part of the planning team for the Artstor digital initiative. Max was appointed President of the Kress Foundation in July 2007, and is planning to begin his retirement in 2024.

Read more about Max Marmor



Nicholas Perovich graduated from CSULB in 2011 with a double major in International Business and French and Francophone Studies. Within his French major, he received the Distinguished French Undergraduate Award and graduated with the second highest GPA within the French Romance, German, Russian Languages and Literatures (RGRLL) department for that year’s graduating class. Perovich’s academic and career journey reflects how a Liberal Arts education diversifies a work portfolio and creates a well-rounded member of society.

Perovich currently works as a consultant for Guidehouse in New York. He manages projects for state and local governments, such as budget reassessments, business process improvement, grant management, and his team offer recommendations and implementation support based on his team’s findings. His current project is the enhancement of a training program for a large transit authority. A large part of his work includes interviewing clients and peer transit agencies and helping develop technical training content. NYC is remarkably diverse and Perovich believes his background in French helped him learn and appreciate communicating with diverse groups, particularly with those whose primary language is not English.

Read more about RGRLL Alumni Nicholas Perovich.





First-generation political science (POSC) majors can now receive financial support for completing an internship within the political science field. The POSC FirstGen Endowed Internship Award has been made possible by a generous endowment created by Dr. Ronald (Ron) Schmidt and Rosemary Taylor Schmidt. The award fund will start making awards to students in the Spring 2023 semester. 

As first-generation college students themselves, Ron and Rosemary are grateful for the support they received from earlier generations of California taxpayers. They are both highly motivated to “pay it forward.” Ron and Rosemary both had long careers at CSULB and developed a deep love for the campus and its students. Rosemary was in Student Affairs, advising the Political Science Student Association, and after Ron became the faculty advisor to the same group, they became friends as well as colleagues. Ron and Rosemary have now been married for forty-one years. Throughout their marriage, Ron and Rosemary have been donors to several units on the CSULB campus, as well as to UC Riverside, where Ron earned his Ph.D., and where they started a “pay it forward” scholarship fund for first-generation UCR political science students. 

Read more about the Political Science FirstGen Endowed Internship Award


Michael Anastasi, Region Editor of the USA Today and VP of the Tennessean

Few twelve-year old kids subscribe to Time Magazine, but CSULB alumni Michael Anastasi did. Perhaps this early interest led Anastasi to his current role as editor-in-chief of the Tennessean in Nashville and editor of the South Region of the USA TODAY Network. While Anastasi now lives in Nashville, he is still involved in the CSULB community and has not forgotten his home state of California. 

Anastasi graduated from the Department of Journalism in 2001 and was an editor for the Daily 49er newspaper. However, before becoming part of The Beach community, he was a student at UC Davis, majoring in international relations. At the local newspaper, Anastasi was quickly recognized for his natural talent for journalism. Anastasi accredits this to always being subscribed to papers growing up, believing he “learned through osmosis how to organize news stories.” After receiving the job, he joined the CSULB community to continue his education.

Read more about Michael Anastasi.


The Yoho family are multi-generational CSULB alumni, consisting of Steve Yoho, his wife Nancy, and their two kids Dan and Alison. Steve graduated from the College of Business with a degree in finance in 1982, while Nancy graduated in 1981 from the College of Liberal Arts with a degree in Geography. Dan and Alison followed their mother into the geography field, graduating in ’08 and ’13, respectively. Alison also earned an M.S. in Geography in 2016. Multiple generations of CSULB graduates inspired them to establish the Yoho Family Student Award, which awards financial aid to deserving Geography majors in their junior or senior year.

Read more about the Yoho Family


Community Spotlight

Joan Roberts and Honoring Dr, Edwin Roberts

Dr. Edwin Roberts was a beloved professor at CSULB in the Political Science department. He loved his job, and his colleagues expect that he would still be doing it to this day if he had not passed in 2005. Dr. Roberts was gone too soon, but his memory is not forgotten.

Dr. Roberts is survived by his family and his sister, Joan Roberts.

To honor his legacy, Joan became a part of the extended CSULB community by creating an endowed scholarship for students in the Political Science Department. The scholarship is titled the Edwin A. Roberts Memorial Endowed Award. It awards students in their Junior or Senior year and is based on scholastic achievement. Recipients must have a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Read more about Dr. Roberts.