CLA Distinguished Alumni 2002July 15, 2002
Urban anthropology, Chicano studies, ethno gerontology and Latino music are among the diverse interests of José Cuellar, professor of Raza Studies and former director of the Cesar E. Chavez Institute for Public Policy (1994-2001) at San Francisco State University. “I was born and raised within a musical working-class familia in San Antonio, Texas, but had all of my post-secondary education and academic work in Califas,” he explained. After serving in the Air Force in Vietnam, he used his G.I. Bill benefits to partially support his undergraduate studies at Golden West College and Long Beach State. His graduate work at UCLA was at the Claremont Colleges, USC, University of Colorado, UCSB, SDSU, Stanford and UC Berkeley before joining SFSU in 1990. His research has focused on issues involving Chicano culture, ethnicity and aging, and Mexican American Families and Alcohol. In addition to being a recognized scholar on Latino issues, Cuellar is founder, executive producer, lead vocalist and saxophone player of Dr. Loco’s Rockin’ Jalapeño Band, which performs across the nation to rave reviews. He most recently composed and produced the soundtrack for a director’s cut of Robert Young’s classic film, ”Alambrista.”
Eric Draper has a photojournalist’s dream job – being personal photographer to the President of United States. The position came as a result of his assignment as an Associated Press photographer to cover George W. Bush’s campaign. At a Christmas Party at the Texas governor’s mansion after the election, Draper approached the president-elect about becoming his photographer and in January 2001, Mr. Bush announced Draper’s appointment as director of the White House Photo Office. Draper later hired CSULB alumni Paul Morse to be his assistant and David Bohrer as Vice President of Richard Cheney’s photographer. Few people have as much access to the president as the photographers, who are responsible for chronicling the chief executive’s activities for posterity. Draper worked for several newspapers before joining the AP in 1993. He has won a number of photojournalism awards for his work and has covered assignments ranging from the Kosovo conflict, the 1996 presidential campaign and Princess Diana’s Funeral to a variety of sports events including the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia and several Super Bowls.