CLA Alumni and Development

Highlighting CSULB Alumni and Southern California Community

Welcome, College of Liberal Arts Alumni! This page is dedicated to spotlighting our alumni, highlighting scholarships, and displaying new projects. Our alumni do amazing work, engaging communities and making a difference in students’ lives.

The CLA’s mission is to supply community partnerships and opportunities for students, helping students accomplish their academic and professional goals. This work could not be done without the support of the alumni community. Each year, more than 10,000 students graduate and become Beach alumni and their accomplishments deserve to be highlighted.

CSULB is a major driver of the California Economy and Beach alumni are a major part of the state’s success rate. The university is a thriving hub of activity, working together with our many partners to keep pace with the demands of our time.

To learn more about how you can help propel the College of Liberal Arts forward, see our current philanthropic priorities. To make a gift to the College of Liberal Arts, see our giving page.



Alumni Spotlight

Political Science FirstGen Endowed Internship Award

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. 

A major inspiration for both Ron and Rosemary in starting this award is the support they received for earning college degrees. Ron and Rosemary both came from Depression-era families that lacked steady incomes and opportunities for higher education. For Rosemary, she was accepted to start studying art at Immaculate Heart College, a small private college in Los Angeles. Rosemary recounts how shortly after her acceptance and registration, “my dad came to tell me one day that they raised tuition, and he couldn’t send me, and I am not going to college.” Luckily, Rosemary found CSULB, but it was a thirty-minute commute from her house to campus. She had no car and she often relied on rides from other people. She said there were “times where I had no idea if I would get where I needed to go.” However, Rosemary believes the extra time at school enabled her to be highly active in student clubs and organizations. Rosemary’s hard work gained her recognition from the dean of women students, who hired her to be an activities coordinator after she graduated. Rosemary spent over forty years on the CSULB campus between being a student and starting her career. Rosemary retired as assistant vice president for Student Services in 2000. Since then, Rosemary was finally able to pursue her love of art as a full-time student. Despite all the challenges, Rosemary said “CSULB was a place where I found mentorship, outside and inside the classroom.”    

Before Ron arrived at CSULB in 1972, he grew up in a San Joaquin Valley farm town, attended the local community college, and then transferred to UC Berkeley for his BA and MA. As with Rosemary, public support for higher education in the form of low tuition, work-study programs, and low-interest Federal student loans allowed him to gain higher degrees at California public institutions. He later attended UCR, and then came to teach at CSULB. Ron was department chair in political science twice, 1977-80 and 1984-90.  

Ron’s experience as a professor, chair and internship director allowed him to see firsthand how many first-generation low-income students could not get involved in unpaid internships because they must work while going to college. This became a major factor that inspired this endowed award program. Both Ron and Rosemary believe that education should connect with and contribute to the well-being of the community, and they want to support a program that will help political science majors engage with the public good in a direct way. 

Ron and Rosemary worked in collaboration with the Political Science Department Chair, Dr. Amy Cabrera Rasmussen, and the Development Director of the College of Liberal Arts, Howie Fitzgerald. Dr. Cabrera Rasmussen believes the POSC FirstGen Endowed Internship Award will “give students a chance to explore different career paths, start to translate their political science knowledge into professional settings and build the connections and experiences that will help them find meaningful employment after graduation.”  

POSC Internship Director, Dr. Charles Mahoney, shared that “while unpaid internships provide students with important professional experiences, they can place a financial burden on students.” An unpaid internship balanced with a paid job and full class load is a difficult workload to maintain. Mahoney believes that the “POSC FirstGen Endowed Internship Award will both encourage students to seek out internship opportunities and provide financial assistance to deserving students who might not otherwise be able to work in an unpaid internship. The award will truly make a significant impact on the lives of many future CSULB political science students.” 

Rosemary’s message to alumni is: “If anyone that worked with us, separately or together, feels like they got something from us or with us, then they might want to give to this fund, to appreciate the work of those who came before.” Ron adds, “if you feel you have received something of value from CSULB, it is time to pay it forward, to the degree that you can. Because paying it forward is how we are going to ensure the future of California and ensure the future of our common world.” 

Would you like to make a donation to support CLA Political Science? https://giveto.csulb.edu/CLAPOL21CS


Alumni Spotlight Archives

Link to Alumni Spotlight Archives


Sustaining Excellence

Below are a few of the current philanthropic priorities for the College.

  • College of Liberal Arts Internship Program: Endow the College of Liberal Arts Internship Program to supply practical training for the largest cohort of students at the university. Pairing individual students with relevant job training in their chosen fields will give them the opportunity to earn class credit while meeting graduate requirements for many disciplines. Check out https://cla.csulb.edu/internships/
  • Center for Economic Research: Endow a new center to support economic research provided by faculty to the City of Long Beach and to private entities. This center will also allow students to take part in practical research while developing ties to public and private industries that yield job opportunities. Check out https://cla.csulb.edu/departments/economics/office-of-economic-research/
  • Field School and Study Abroad: Provide students with real-world experiences abroad through field work for anthropology students and other international internships. Expanded support of these programs will make them more accessible to our diverse student body.
  • Global Studies Institute: Support the expansion of the Global Studies Institute by supplying funding for faculty to organize efforts that cultivate global thinking and action on and off campus. The institute supports international internships, brings diplomats and ambassadors to campus for visiting fellowships, hosts an annual lecture focusing on international and humanitarian issues, and cultivates virtual partnerships between Cal State Long Beach students and international students around the world. Check out https://cla.csulb.edu/centers/globalstudies/
  • Center for Social Justice: Endow a new center that engages in social justice research and community action. This center will supply resources for faculty and students to conduct and publish research related to issues such as health disparities and equity in education and public policy. It will also help offer solutions for regional and state governments and work to create a more just and fair society.
  • Lab and Classroom Support: Provide support to ensure that the thousands of students in the college’s departments and programs learn and train on the latest technology and laboratory equipment — from language labs to the Global Information System to air traffic control technology.
  • Scholarship Support: Create and endow scholarships that increase access, provide opportunities, and allow students to focus, embrace and thrive in their academic careers.

Contact

Additional investment opportunities are available. To start a discussion, please contact Howie Fitzgerald, Director of Development at Howie.Fitzgerald@csulb.edu or (562)985-1619.