CLA Distinguished Alumni 2001
James F. Alexander is known nationally and internationally for developing Functional Family Therapy (FFT), a highly effective intervention program for dysfunctional youth and their families. FFT had been identified as one of the few effective programs for at-risk youth by organizations such as the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence, the Centers for Disease Control, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the American Youth Policy Forum and the most recently in the Surgeon General’s Report on Youth Violence. The University of Utah psychology professor has made Good Housekeeping’s list of top U.S. mental health experts and been named Family Psychologist of the Year by the American Psychological Association’s Division 43. Alexander is principal investigator on a grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse. He and his wife, who is director of Group Fitness and Spinning for a large health and tennis club, are both involved in fitness activities for such organizations as the M.S. Society and City of Hope. “My truly proudest accomplishment has been to provide an atmosphere in which our children and now grandchildren feel safe, loved, supported and guided with their best interests in mind,” he says.
“I would not be where I am today without my CSULB education and experiences,” says Jerry Mandel, president and chief operating officer of the Orange County Performing Arts Center, one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious performing arts centers with an annual operating budget of more than $30 million and 500 performances a year. “Having two degrees from the institution as well as having my first job as an assistant professor of speech communication and then ultimately being vice president for University Relations and Development for the campus enabled me to experience CSULB at frankly all point s of my college and professional life,” he adds. Mandel assumed the center post in 1997 after serving as vice chancellor for University Advancement at UC Irvine and earlier in the comparable position at CSULB. The jazz enthusiast also was dean of the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts at San Diego State University and has served on a number of boards relating to the arts. Mandel and his wife, Whitney, a professor of broadcast journalism at CSULB, live in Irvine. His daughter, Jennifer, is a recent graduate of UCI.