In Memoriam: Dr. Erylene Piper-Mandy

Dr. Erylene Piper-MandyDr. Erylene Piper-Mandy passed away unexpectedly on September 24, 2020 after a long struggle with illness.  Erylene’s passing is an incredible loss to her immediate and extended family, particularly her beloved son Rocky, her church community, her university department colleagues and especially her students whom she mentored, sheltered, encouraged and inspired along their rich and varied pathways to adulthood.  Dr. Piper-Mandy leaves behind a legacy of inspiration, a glittering tapestry of talent, and an infrastructure of compassion that continues on in the lives of those she touched.  Some enter and exit this world with a whimper; others, like our dear Erylene, descend like a meteor, leaving the world upended and forever altered. 

Erylene was born in Boston, Massachusetts into a large extended family.  An exceedingly bright student, she went on to obtain her B.A. with Honors in Psychology and African American Studies at Vassar College in New York, and then a Master’s degree in African American Studies at Boston University, where she also served as a Ford Foundation Fellow.  She began her teaching career at La Faculté des Lettres et Sciences Humaines in Dakar, Senegal, and then upon moving to southern California became a lecturer at UC Irvine and UC Riverside while she completed a second Master’s degree in Cultural Anthropology, and subsequently her doctorate at UCI.  Her intellectual talents were recognized through numerous fellowship awards in all of these institutions of higher education.

From the beginning of her career, she was an ardent activist educator, working as an independent consultant with churches, youth and women’s groups, school districts, social work programs, correctional facilities and community organizations to advance multiracial/multicultural understanding and collaboration.  A gifted orator and spiritual leader, she spent her spare time preaching to and counseling her own Seventh Day Adventist congregation and providing ministry to a wide range of other regional churches.  At the time of her passing, she was the Executive Director of Center for Cross Cultural Competence, an organization that provided trainings in cross-cultural competence, participatory research and advocacy strategies, and presentations by social scientists to public and private agencies.

Dr. Piper-Mandy arrived at California State University, Long Beach in 1989, and over the course of her 30 years with us taught essential courses in Black Studies/Africana Studies, Human Development, Sociology, Anthropology and Comparative World Literature.  Remarkably, she taught 8 different courses in Africana Studies, and 5 out of the 7 required courses for the major in Human Development.  Her reach was far greater than these majors, however, since her courses were regularly cross-listed with other programs, like Chicano and Latino Studies, Asian and Asian American Studies, and Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies.  Sitting outside with Erylene for her office hours was like accompanying a visiting dignitary.  Students clearly adored her, looked up to her and sought her out for guidance and direction.  Her phenomenal teaching was recognized by a Teaching Excellence Award by the University in 2018. Dr. Piper-Mandy was also named the Most Valuable Professor by our 2018 Outstanding Graduate, Emi Lee.  She was honored at the Alumni Associations’ Award Banquet for this distinction. 

Erylene was well-known on campus for her kindness, offering a quiet hello and a gentle word in passing to colleagues known and unknown.  In recent years, she was closest to a group of fellow lecturers in Human Development.  Together they shared an office (“the F02 223 crew”), regular in-office and off-campus celebrations, and a raucous camaraderie rare among the high-pressure, road-warrior lecturer cohort in southern California.  As further evidence of their unusual bond, Erylene and several of her Fo2 colleagues wrote a popular text, Childhood and Adolescence: A Multidisciplinary Approach, published in 2014

Together, the faculty and staff of the Human Development Department want to express our deepest gratitude to Dr. Piper-Mandy for her unmatched contributions to the department and to CSULB, and for her unwavering support of our students, who will surely carry on her righteous work in her name.

55 responses to “In Memoriam: Dr. Erylene Piper-Mandy”

  1. Wendy Lopez says:

    My deepest condolences to Rocky, his family and friends.
    Your mother was an amazing woman and she will truly be missed. Dr. EPM was one of the most generous women I have ever met. She was always lending a hand to our students and reaching out when they were in need. I will always remember the special times your mother and I spent together. Here is a picture of her happy moment we spent at my Baby Shower in 2009. Rest In Peace Dr. Piper-Mandy and continue to guide us from heaven.

  2. Amanda Henderson says:

    My deepest condolences and extended prayers to Rocky, family and friends.
    I had Dr. Piper Mandy Fall semester 2019 and my time with her will be unforgettable. Dr. Piper Mandy was love in human form and her smile was undeniably contagious. I will carry her wisdoms, comforting heart and peaceful spirit in my memories forever. I will never forget her encouraging words during a very difficult time in my life. She uplifted my spirit and gave me the motivation and comfort I needed to keep pushing forward. I can truly say this woman was God sent and I am so blessed to have had the privilege of meeting her. I aspire to walk in generosity, peace, love and forgiveness just as she did.
    To Rocky,
    I will continue to pray for you and your family during this time. Sending love and peace your way. Thank you both for being amazing and genuine people.

  3. Nancy Comito says:

    My Deepest Condolences to Rocky and his Family,

    I worked with Dr. Piper Mandy in CWL for years and she was always very kind to me. Whenever I talked to her she made me smile because she had the best sense of humor. My thoughts and prayers go to her son, Rocky, who is the most dedicated, kind son.

    Deepest Sympathies,

  4. Faith Uy says:

    Dr. Piper-Mandy is the one professor I have ever and still to this day brag about. She is the reason I became so passionate about culture. I remember never wanting to miss even a minute of class because everything she spoke was filled with wisdom, life experience, and knowledge. She prioritized our mental health and life balance over grades. For her, I am forever grateful.

  5. Andrea Ramirez says:

    My heart goes out to Dr. Piper-Mandy’s family and friends. I had the privilege of taking two of her classes during my years in CSULB as a Human Development major. I remember at the beginning of each semester she always assured us that if we ever found ourselves struggling in our personal lives, we could confide in her and she’d work with us to get through the semester. She showed us that she truly cared about our well-being and that was something I appreciated so so much because not many professors express that. Thank you for everything Dr. Piper-Mandy. You will be incredibly missed.

  6. Fiorella Fernandez says:

    My deepest condolences to Rocky, her family and friends. It has been quite some time since I have been at CSULB, yet I still remember Dr. Piper-Mandy clear as day. She was such a genuine soul and full of wisdom and comforting words.
    I was her student in Fall 2014, and at that time I was going through an incredibly hard time in my life and she was there for me. How she was able to see through my broken smile, barely knowing who I was, and lent me a helping hand to get back on my feet. It still amazes me how powerful she was. She took time to get to know me, comfort me and share some of her wisdom with me—which I still hold dear to my heart today. I’ll always remember her infectious smile and positive attitude.
    I will pray for her and her love ones as they heal during this hard time.

  7. Leila Lebardo says:

    She was my first HDEV professor in CSULB. Her class made me see things in a different perspective due to her positivity and passion. I will miss her.

  8. LaKeysha Carter says:

    My heart aches at this news and for Rocky. Dr. Piper-Mandy is one of the brightest points in my academic career. Being in her presence I would literally hang on every word. Arriving to class early just so I could have a one-on-one conversation. Just to be in the presence of her mastery, wisdom, love, care and compassion was truly transformative. I have never had a professor reach me or teach me the way that she did. She really SAW you and not with her eyes but with her heart. She was strength, grace, and beauty personified and I am forever changed by basking in her light. I am grateful that I had an opportunity to know her and I am sadden by the fact that future generations will not get that gift. This phenomenal QUEEN will be greatly missed, but always remembered.

  9. Cynthia Iniguez says:

    I am a 2010 HDEV alumni, and took two courses with Dr. Piper-Mandy. My deepest condolences go out to her family, loved ones, and to the HDEV community that has truly lost not only a colleague but a wonderful human being. God bless.

  10. Jamie Apostol says:

    Dr. Erylene Piper-Mandy was a remarkable person, mother, colleague and a dear friend of mine. She has been an inspiration to her students and our lives will forever be shaped by her insight and wisdom. I will always remember the times we shared together discussing life, family, work and everything in between. Her laughter and smile will stay with me and I will miss those moments.

    In this challenging time, my thoughts and prayers go out to her son, Rocky, and her family and friends. May Erylene rest in peace.

  11. Abigail Dominguez says:

    My deepest condolences to the family of Dr. Piper-Mandy. She was one of my favorite professors and it has truly been a privilege to learn from her. She was full of wisdom and was such a joy and pleasure to be around when I was studying for my undergraduate degree. She has touched my life and I’m sure, so many others. Her legacy lives on through all the people she has touched and made an impact on. My thoughts and prayers are with all her loved ones during this difficult time. God Bless.

  12. Denise J. Gonzalez says:

    My deepest condolences to Rocky, family and friends. Sending you many prayers your way!

    I had the pleasure of having Dr. Piper Mandy for HDEV 403 and HDEV 360 in 2009 & 2010. She was my favorite Professor always willing to help me and work with my busy schedule. I would go to her office hours just to get all the wisdom from her. She was the sweetest soul in CSULB. Always smiling and willing to talk while rushing to her next class. She would sent us emails to remind us and keep us posted on assignments and finals.
    This is an email she sent us on 12/13/2009.
    “Please bring me your stuff.  You can leave it in my office, but it is better to bring it to me so that I can confirm receipt.
    Hang in there.  It is almost over.”
    Happy Holidays!!

    Love her Motivational!!!

  13. Sharonda Clark says:

    My deepest condolences to the family of Dr. Piper-Mandy. I am a 2011 HDEV Alumni and I loved the course(s) I took with Dr. Piper-Mandy, she told us great stories and always motivated us to be better beings. During my final semester she took a leave of absence and I never got the chance to express my gratitude. Many blessing to her family and son Rocky.

  14. Tarah Johnson says:

    Dr. Piper-Many was a professor like no other, she was more like a mentor more than anything. She was always there to guide and support her students. She loved her family tremendously. By the time the semester was over, the whole class knew almost everything there was to know about her family. I think I can still name some of the family members. She talked about her son Rocky all the time. The twins as well, both sets of them. I will never forget the valuable life lessons she taught and will cherish them forever. Her amazing personality, warm spirit, and beautiful smile will be missed dearly.

  15. Karen Thorpe says:

    So sad to hear this. I never had her as a teacher, but I did council wither her several times. She was a wonderful person!

  16. Lanise Williamson says:

    I was blessed to have Dr. Erylene Piper-Mandy for two courses while finishing my degree in Human Development. She made it easy to engage during classroom settings, I loved how she always told a story relating to the many topics discussed in class. I am forever grateful to have been in the phenomenal presence of Dr. Piper-Mandy. Thank you for all of the wisdom and positivity. Sending love and light to your family especially your son Rocky.

  17. Jesus Ochoa says:

    That is genuinely heartbreaking. Dr. Piper-Mandy was one of a kind. Spoke often of her son. She was so proud of him.

  18. Brittany D says:

    My deepest condolences to the family of Dr. Piper-Mandy. I took her class back in 2015. I loved the stories she told us to motivate us.

    I could tell she was a passionate teacher and a very motivational professor. I knitted a scarf for her and she said, “This is why I teach.”

  19. Pinky Sunga says:

    I am so sad to hear this…My deepest condolences go out to her closest friends and family. Dr. Piper-Mandy was the best professor I had at CSULB. I graduated back in 2015, but I always remembered looking forward to going to her class. She told so many personal stories in class that made her students feel closer to her… I will never forget her as she touched so many other lives during her career. She is an inspiration and she will never be forgotten. RIP Dr. Piper-Mandy

  20. Courtney Anderson says:

    I cannot believe this news. My heart is with Rocky and the whole family. She was my FAVORITE professor at CSULB and made me want to come to class. I genuinely enjoyed every lecture, every test, and every interaction I had with Dr. Piper Mandy. I will always remember the kind hearted person she was and she will be forever missed. Thanks for everything Dr. Piper Mandy, you changed my life.

  21. Tiffany Benavides says:

    My condolences to her family and friends. I only had her for 2 classes and she became one of my favorite professors during my undergrad. I was struggling with a lot during that time, but I always found joy in attending her class. She was always happy and had such a positive energy that shined through everyone she met. She was such an amazing person and great professor with loads of stories I won’t forget!

  22. Berenis Estrada says:

    My deepest condolences to the family and friends of Dr. Piper – Mandy.
    She was a great professor and human being. It was a privilege and honor to have taken her class. Her enthusiasm, charisma, and personality filled the classroom with so much positivity.
    Thank you for all that you did.
    I will always remember you.

  23. Rachna Soni says:

    Dr. Erlyene Piper-Mandy was a wonderful person, always friendly, compassionate, thoughtful, who had a kind word for everyone. She was a devoted mother, an excellent teacher, a great colleague and a very dear friend. She cared deeply about her students and touched their lives with her positivity and her warm and caring mentorship. Erlyene was an inspiration for her students who adored her and her classes. I will always cherish the times we shared together, laughing and exchanging work and life stories and the family. We were all very enriched by her life, and her passing is indeed a great loss for us and the Long Beach community. We will forever miss her dearly.

    My heartfelt condolences to her beloved son, Rocky, her family, and her friends. May her memory be an inspiration for all of us.

  24. Maria Mata says:

    I had the privilege to be one of Dr. Piper-Mandy ‘s students. There were many things that I learned from her in her HDEV class. She was very passionate about teaching,culture and community. One of the best moments in her class was when we all brought in dishes from various cultures and shared with the class. Thank you for inspiring so many of us to learn more about other cultures.

  25. Marina says:

    May God be with Dr. Piper-Mandy and my condolences to her family and Rocky. She was an amazing and empowering professor! I had her for a few classes and remember going to get lunch with her. She was such a strong woman! She pushed me to continue my higher education. May she Rest In Peace.

  26. Preston Masters says:

    Dr. Piper-Mandy had an ability to make people feel special, even people who seemed unseen or overlooked. Thanks to Dr. Piper-Mandy for being one of my professors at CSULB. God bless her and her friends and family.

  27. Destiny Cook says:

    Just last year I was hired to be a social worker for the County of Los Angeles and she was the first person I told the news. If it wasn’t for this woman finish college may not have happened for me. I never even speak of my college experience without mentioning her name. I love you Dr. Pipermandy. Praying for Rocky at this time and the rest of her family . Thank you for sharing an Angel with the world.

  28. Stephanie D'Costa says:

    My deepest condolences to those who loved Dr. Piper-Mandy as family. I am grateful for the wisdom that she shared in my HDEV coursework and beyond that I am grateful for her passion for co-constructing knowledge. I will never forget that she volunteered to be a guest lecturer for a group of pre-dominately blacks and brown elementary school students who were taking a “college” tour day with an organization I was leading. Dr. Piper-Mandy literally blew the kids away. Her joy in education and commitment to justice was such a central part of who she was. I am extremely grateful that our paths crossed.

  29. Kayla Maciel says:

    I always said I disliked children until I took one of her human development classes. Her unique teaching style through the stories she would tell in class to teach us a concept warmed my heart so much. The way she smiled when she spoke about her son, Rocky and her nieces and nephews growing up was the best. I didn’t know her very closely, but you could tell she had such a kind heart. She carried herself with so much grace and was truly one of the nicest professors I have ever had. The world needs more people like her. Rest In Peace!!

  30. Vibha s joshi says:

    Dear Dr Piper Mandy,
    You are my inspirational professor. I learned a lot from you. I apply my knowledge everyday with your teaching to me. I am Your student. RiP. Your student Vibha S Joshi

  31. Lizbeth Zuzuki Romero MSW 2021 says:

    I am heartbroken to hear this news. I had the privilege of taking her class during 2015. She was an amazing beautiful soul. She made me feel relieved and motivated. Her radiance was undeniable. I loved that she would let us bring people to her class so that they too would have the privilege of meeting her. Words cannot express the gratitude I have for being able to meet her and take with me her wisdom. Thank you Dr. Piper Mandy for being an ever lasting impact on me and being you. I will never forget how you were part of my journey in my undergrad journey. Now I am in my last year of my master’s program. I am positive that you had something to do with imprinting me to keep pushing forward despite what I believed I couldn’t do. Rest in Peace and with a heavy heart my condolences to your son and family. Thank you forever.

  32. BrandonHa says:

    I had the honor of having Dr. Erylene Pipermandy as my professor for over 2 semesters and she was the inspiration and motivation for me to continue in academia!

    She allowed me to teach multiple lectures in her class in regards to identity, masks, and the LGBTQIA experience.

    I had the pleasure of knowing her and her son Rocky on such an intimate level.

    I pray to Dr. Pipermandy for 49 days and hope her journey to the next stage is a peaceful ride!

    Brandon <3

  33. Lenna T. Nguyen says:

    To one of my life-long on-campus mothers and teachers, I have always cherished our time together inside the classroom and around campus. You mean so much to me and I hope you will always remember how much gratitude I have for you in your efforts to accept me as I was and in your imperative role in my personal and academic growth at CSULB. I will always revere you and will pray for your safe journey beyond. To you, Dr. Donham and Dr. Jafari

  34. Ana Canela says:

    My deepest condolences to her family and friends. Dr. Piper Mandy will be in our hearts and memories forever.

  35. Catherine Osburn says:

    I had the pleasure of taking Dr. Piper-Mandy last semester Spring 2020. I would always, always look forward to her class. She was the most genuine, kind, funny, and beautiful professor I have ever had. She showed up for her students in a way I didn’t know was possible. I would go home every day after her class and tell my family and friends about her and the stories she shared. She was going through a rough time during last semester and was open about it with us, and still showed up to teach us. I remember going up to her after one class and telling her that I would pray for her and her family, and she grabbed my hand and looked me in the eyes and told me she was eternally grateful for my kindness. In that moment, I had never felt anything more genuine and pure. Love poured out of her. Her energy was unmatched. I will miss her forever. To her son Rocky and her family, may God guide you and give you strength during this difficult time.

  36. Hugo Emmanuel Martinez says:

    When I heard this heartbreaking news, I did not want to believe it. Dr. EPM was one of my few HDEV professors just 2 semesters ago! She was an amazing, outstanding, and motivational mentor and educator. She taught me many life lessons, gave me insights for the future, and restored my confidence in pursuing my journey as a social worker.

    Before I left class on the last day of meeting during my semester with her she shared some kind and motivational words with me that I will carry for the rest of my life. This has been a very emotional and heartbreaking moment for me. Prayers and blessings to Rocky and the rest of the family! I will miss you greatly Dr. EPM.. 🙁

    In the event that the text is too small and not readable here is the quote:

    “From hearing you speak in class, you have already given people a path and what I am doing now, being who I am, is thanks to the teachers and scholars before me, and what they have given to me I have given to you and I know you will go out in the world and give to others.”
    -Dr. Erylene Piper-Mandy

    With much love <3
    Hugo Martinez

  37. Alvin Chea says:

    One of the most amazing people I’ve ever met-ever! And one of the top 5 all-time preachers I’ve ever heard. I still remember her sermon on the Good Samaritan. Whew…that has blessed me for over 30 years. Rocky, our prayers and love and hearts are with you and your family. Dr. Mandy was an Apex predator of Prayer, Power, Preaching, and Praise. We will see her again.

  38. QUEEN IJNANYA says:

    We remember that it was only Erylene’s body that could not take flight. Her SPIRIT has been accepted into the CIRCLE OF THE LIVING, on the other side. Erylene now speaks, teaches and preaches on the trails where those ANCESTORS who are extraordinary orators and storytellers trod. We imagine her SPIRIT to soar just as it did on this side. We imagine her SPIRIT saying, “I AM THE ONE I WAS, THE ONE I WILL ALWAYS BE…” Erylene, Mom, Professor Piper-Mandy, Sister, Sista Friend, Mentor, Co-worker, THE WIND BENEATH OUR WINGS… Someone near says, “She’s gone!” Another says, “Gone where?” ERYLENE PIPER-MANDY has gone from sight, that’s all. She is still strong and brilliant and still able to make her way. We can be sure that just as we say, “She’s gone!” The voices of the ANCESTORS took up a shout…



    And so it is…

    The Higher Learning Healing Circle Of Sisters
    Sisters International

  39. Grace Ocular says:

    Dr. Piper-Mandy was an amazing storyteller! I had the honor of taking one of her courses in my undergraduate. Every time she and I would cross paths on campus, she would always say hi and would always smile. I will miss those days and I will cherish the several times we had conversations in the hallways of LA5 and in between classes. I could tell that she loved and was passionate in teaching and incorporating her stories in her instruction to give her students challenging perspectives. She encouraged us to share our stories and reminded me to see the importance of storytelling, which was influential to my learning and growing interest as a student. She was one of a kind and it was an honor to have known her.

    I am sending my deepest condolences to the HDEV family, Dr. Piper-Mandy’s family , especially her son, and the students. Rest In Peace, Dr. Piper-Mandy.

  40. Vanessa Johnson says:

    Such a beautiful soul, smile, and presence. Thankful for her knowledge and support. She planted seeds in me and I am flourishing because of her. She is forever imprinted in my life long journey of learning, impacting, and healing. Thank you for being a listening ear. I am forever grateful.

  41. Brandon Gamble, Ed.D. former CSULB Faculty says:

    On the transition of a great mentor, family friend, colleague, and person of faith.
    I was first introduced Dr. Piper-Mandy while I was a sophomore at Palomar Community College. My friends Ren Moodie, Steve R. Woods, and I happened to be in town to visit friends from high school. She spoke at the local church on Moses and him attending college and Moses not losing who he was as one of God’s people. We looked at each other and knew we would attend an HBCU. A year later we were all attending an HBCU. Ren and I attended Oakwood College and my buddy Steve is a life long Bison from Howard. We all work in the mental health field. Ren is a therapist, Steve is a psychiatrist, and am a school psychologist.
    I met her again after attending Oakwood and starting graduate school at church. Then, I was a member of the same church and had the privilege of seeing her conduct a Kwanzaa event with her son Rocky and husband Lionel.
    A few years later, we met at the Association of Black Psychologist (ABPsi) convention in San Diego and she was there holding court. It is one thing for folks to have influence over your life at church, then generally in your profession, is quite remarkable. Although she was an anthropologist by training she used her training and brilliance to focus on a home of intellectual development with the ABPsi.
    We became close friends after I started working at Long Beach State University and we attended the same church in the area. There are very few Black faculty and staff on campus at CSULB. Also very few Black Christian faculty of my denomination, who knew me before I knew myself as scholar. She was my elder and mentor, yet she treated me like a colleague. My wife would say, “you are in awe of Dr. Piper-Mandy,” and I indeed I would do anything for her. If she asked me to speak to her class, check in on a loved one, help a student get into a graduate school, etc. I wish there was more I could have done when on campus but she also gave me warning and blessing before I came to Oakwood.
    So many friends, family, and colleagues have lost a giant of intellect, insight, healing, and love. 2020 is a harsh year but if she found peace in it, I am at peace. Rest well warrior, you have more than earned it. Your sacrifice and struggle inspires us all. Ase’, Hotep, Amen, and the Praise the Lord for Dr. Erylene Piper Mandy!

  42. Tina Camera says:

    My name is Tina Camera and I graduated with degrees in both Psychology and Human Development from CSULB in 2011. Let me just apologise in advance for the length of my message, as I had originally wrote it in the form of an email to the HDEV Admin Support Coordinator.

    I had the pleasure of having Dr. Piper-Mandy in my final year of college and remember her and her class fondly. Dr. Piper-Mandy was everything you could want in both a mentor and professor. I visited her during office hours just to chat (I believe in F02, where I remember the vibe felt like a ladies lunch) – as she and her colleagues always, always gave students the time of day. I loved how much she honored and respected First Nations/Native American people and their history, and often interwove cultural themes into her personal stories and style of teaching. And of course, SHE WAS HILARIOUS. I looked forward to every single class I had with her. I loved hearing her family stories – things like when she was given $5 from the women at her church who were rooting for her when she was studying, being part of a large family, and the way she raised both her own kids and younger family members. We were working through language acquisition, and she talked about how, at times, she would curse with her younger family members in secret because she saw it as almost a rite of passage for when they were mature enough to discern swear words’ appropriateness. She talked about how she’d teach and discuss need verse want with the younger children in her family, and a child’s capacity for understanding an aversion to materialism, and how proud she was to see their growth in this regard. She was loving, kind and one of the most insightful people I ever had the pleasure of meeting. Like many of the professors at CSULB, and in the HDEV department (up in F02 223), she had an incredibly profound effect on me.

    I was part of a campus organisation called “Students of Life Organisation” or SOLO – as in, we are all students of life. I asked if she could come as a guest speaker. I was elated when she said yes, and was sure to bother her with details leading up to the meeting she was meant to speak at. She ended up being a little late – and I called her just to make sure she was still coming. I was relieved when she finally turned up, and when she spoke, the premise of her talk was about seeing and realising the strength in each and every person. I was taken aback by the fact that she had used me as an example in her talk. While I thought I was being annoying, she shared with the group that I had strength in my level of persistency – that in addition to the number of verbal reminders I had given her, when I didn’t get a response to an email sent, I had printed the email and brought it to class, just to make sure she had gotten the information. I was really heartened by some of the things she was saying about me, because she made note of strengths within me that I didn’t see in myself.

    As CSULB alumni and a graduate of the HDEV program, I attribute so much of my success to the university and the people who teach there. I thought about Dr. Piper-Mandy all the time. I currently live in Sydney, Australia and work at a nonprofit organisation. Subsequent to graduating from CSULB, I’ve learned a lot about, and work daily in community development and community participation. Both at the individual and community level, we’ve been using frameworks such as Trauma Informed Care, Asset Based Community Development and Strengths Based Approaches. I use the values and frame of mind Dr. Piper-Mandy had instilled in me as an undergrad everyday, particularly when it comes to seeing the strength in each person. Everyone has strengths and deserves the opportunity to build on, be honored for those strengths.

    Students shared things with Dr. Piper-Mandy they hadn’t shared with anyone. She was the type of person that could be trusted with personal and traumatic information by students, because we had confidence in her capacity to not just handle the information, but to aid us her insights and consolation. Dr. Piper-Mandy was incredibly forthcoming and gave her full self to us as her students. Vulnerability is a bit of hot topic these days, nevertheless, Dr. Piper-Mandy showed us her vulnerabilities and allowed for us to share ours in return.

    I will never forget her and the impact she had on me. I’m sure there are hundreds, if not thousands of students and people who can say the same. I am so sorry for this loss. My heart hurts for her, her family and the HDEV department. I send my sincerest condolences, but know that Dr. Piper-Mandy died in the best way possible: by leaving this planet having touched the lives of every single person she met. We are all lucky to have been graced with her presence. She is someone who changed people – whether you were black or white, left leaning or right leaning, I saw firsthand in our class, how she completely changed peoples’ frames of mind – to value everyone – and that truly is one of the hardest and most impacting things a person can do. She changed the world while she was here.

  43. Cindy Hernandez says:

    My deepest condolences to the family and friends of Dr. Piper-Mandy. I took a class with Dr. Piper-Mandy in the Fall of 2019 and I always looked forward to going to her class. The most memorable memory that I have of her is when she would ask someone to go to the snack shop on campus to buy her a pack of Fig Newtons and a Diet Dr. Pepper. I would volunteer to go buy them for her because I knew she would do the same for anybody else. Dr. Piper-Mandy shared many stories about her selfless acts to help and care for others. She always put others before herself. She did not want to see anyone unhappy. She also did her very best to ensure that all of her students were on track to passing her class. She was understanding of any issue that someone was going through and she would allow an extension to those students who needed it. Dr. Piper-Mandy surely made a great impression in my life and I am sure that other students and faculty members at CSULB would agree with me. Dr. Piper-Mandy I will never forget you. Rest easy. Gone but NEVER forgotten.

  44. Crystal Soria says:

    For those reading: I want to share something that took me time to gather my emotions and thoughts for Dr. Erylene Piper-Mandy. It has been two weeks since I found out of her passing but I realized how much more difficult it was to accept this passing. At first, when I found out, all I could see was her sitting across from me in the classroom in silence. The room would be empty, dim lights (my gloomy sad days), and all I could see is her smiling at me from across the room. I have lost a sibling to suicide and keep in mind one that I witnessed. However, my response to the loss of both are so much more differently than I anticipated. Reason being is because I was just another student in her classes, I had her for three because I loved her teaching methods. Given that she had many students to teach, her heart was the kindest I had ever known. When my brother passed, it was hard because I never had closure. But Dr. Erylene Piper-Mandy. She was different. She was beautiful, strong, and the kindest than the average person you get to meet. Her smile is so beautiful that I see it till this day. She was a blessing in my life and it was a privilege to have. Although I was just simply another student in her life, her beauty as an individual now let’s me feel at peace to know that she’s in heaven being the angel she always has been. Why? She saved me in a way that no one else ever could. She saw past your smile and into your soul. That eye contact of love, I still see it. Now when I am depressed and sitting down, I can feel her hand on my shoulder. Reminding me that it is okay, and that everything is going to be alright with that soft voice of hers. I see her above me as I sit in this dark time of my life right now. With that beautiful smile, with her powerful wings and her beautiful halo. Telling me that I got this. That is how strong of an impact in my life she made: she makes me feel safe. Reason being is because after my brothers passing, my depression, anxiety and family relationship dynamics have changed. I remember that I was suffering and in pain when I reached out to her in college. During that time, I had recently attempted suicide, so I was forced to leave my home in which I was raised in. That’s a different story though. My point is that because she helped when I was struggling then, she is still spiritually helping me now. Simply by being kind and sweet. She makes me want to be a better person every day. I could imagine if I was just simply another student in her room, how much she might have touched other souls. Despite all her struggles, she still showed up to educate people like myself. That is what a strong, empowering, and beautiful woman looks like. I come to realize that I love Dr. Erylene Piper-Mandy. I am blessed to have had the privilege to have her teach me with words of wisdom.

    Rocky: You are so brave. You are such a strong man. I saw you every day making sure your mom had everything she needed to do what she loved to do. You made sure she was okay and doing well. I saw how you were always by her side. That is one son who was taught well. She raised you so well. You are also sweet like her. You show loved to the woman in your life that is important to you and that matters in society. We never spoke, maybe a simple “hello” but even then. I didn’t have to know you to know you have leadership, kindness, and love, just like your mom. Thank you for always making sure she did what she loved to do, I know you also uplifted her the way she has to you. That is a healthy relationship, it is so beautiful to see that. To have these memories of you two. Thank you once again, for helping your mom make a change in a community. It was the best experience I ever gained in life.

    Dr. Erylene Piper-Mandy:

    Dear Dr. Erylene Piper-Mandy,

    I know you didn’t maybe realize that I was another student who looked up to you. You taught me more than I can begin to express. You left beautiful memories with me that will forever stay in my heart. I wish I could’ve done more to have connected with you on another level. Your words of wisdom really stuck to me and till this day I can see your beautiful smile. The impact you created and the safe environment you established in class was very clear that you only wanted kindness in life.

    Your legacy and the memories you’ve created made a greater impact on the development of growth in people than you can begin to imagine. Thank you again Dr. Erylene Piper-Mandy for everything. Prayers to your family, and may you Rest in Peace.

    Your student,
    Crystal Soria


    Attached is an email I sent to her during my difficult times while at school. She let me have the confidence in speaking freely without being judged. She worried more about my health than grades. It was amazing to reflect and see how much trust I had in her, that is how safe I felt. The world deserves to know that she made people feel safe, that she was unique and sweet. She was a privilege for all of us, she was a blessing, she is empowering and she deserves the recognition for it. My condolences for everyone who feels the love she left for us. I could imagine that if I was just another student in the room took this one differently, I wonder how many souls she touched in ways people often can’t see.

  45. Justin Abellera says:

    I had Dr. Piper-Mandy last semester and it’s still a shock to know that she has passed away. She was such a funny person and her stories were amazing. When transitioning online because of the pandemic, Dr. Piper-Mandy made many adjustments to our class that cut out work and made things easier for us as students. She didn’t have to do that for us but it was something I appreciated coming home to a chaotic environment. My condolences to all her family and friends. I am glad to have taken her class last semester and may she rest in peace.

  46. Willa Henshaw says:

    A great mind, brilliant, a sweet person and an excellent teacher. She taught me statistics at UC Irvine and thanks to her my statistics grade went from a C- to a B. She would tell me “if you don’t understand it we can go over it until you get it!” Rest In Peace Dr. Erylene!

  47. Brittany Williams says:

    My deepest condolences to the family and friends of Dr. Piper-Mandy Especially her son Rocky. I took HDEV 360 with Dr. Piper-Mandy and the amount of knowledge I gained from class is amazing. She knew every topic and could teach and share stories that just kept you engaged and wanting to continue. Her spirit was so genuine. She made an impression on me as a person, student, and my life. The knowledge I gained from being her student will stay with me. She will truly be missed and never forgotten. Rest in Heaven Dr. Piper-Mandy.

  48. Gaby says:

    She was one of the first professors to ever really make me (an average C student struggling immensely with imposter syndrome) feel worthy of any praise even though she did not really know me. She was kind and absolute in everything she said and did, approached every student with the same patience and tenacity and was never afraid to go there and ask the questions that needed to be asked. May she rest in love <3

  49. Darlene J Harris says:

    I am speechless and shocked to hear about the passing of Dr. Erylene Piper-Mandy. I was hoping to find a picture of her when this webpage came up during my search. Dr. Piper-Mandy wrote the introduction to And He Restoreth My Soul, a resource to those who walk with the sexually abused. Erylene was a gifted speaker with a soft voice, but her words were intentional and heartfelt. I’m glad she is no longer suffering. She is missed yet remains loved and cherished.

  50. Samantha Lai says:

    I am deeply saddened to hear of Dr. Erylene Piper-Mandy’s sudden passing. During my 2nd semester of undergraduate studies, I was conflicted about continuing my studies as a Biochem major. I ended up enrolling in Dr. EPM’s HDEV 180 course and LOVED IT, so much that I ended switching my major to HDEV. From the way she interacted with the class to the way she shared her knowledge, she became one of my favorite professors and still have inspired me to this day. She was full of light and joy like no other. She would tell us that she loved sitting in the quad near the vending machines and observe how people interacted with one another.

    To Dr. EPM:
    Thank you for being such a light and inspiring me to appreciate the little things in life; to not take life so seriously and to have fun. You are and will be truly missed. Rest in peace.

    To Rocky, friends and family:
    My sincerest condolences to you all during this time.

  51. Monica Castro says:

    Dr. Piper-Mandy,

    You were so inspiring and loving as well as educated and just full of light. I looked up to you and even met other students that had you in previous years and had nothing. but positive things to say. Thank you for the love and encouragement you always provided when you found out I worked two jobs and attended CSULB full-time! Your classes were always my favorite and I learned so much from your wisdom.

    Here I am as class of 2021, and I can reflect on how much your encouragement impacted my college journey. I know you’re rejoicing in heaven and that brings me peace. You will be forever missed here.

    Much Love,

    Monica Castro

  52. JULIE THORPE says:

    Dr. Erylene Piper-Mandy was a lovely, kind woman. She would stop by the course materials office in the bookstore to chat, or to let us know what books she would be using for a class. She will be greatly missed. My deepest condolences to her family.

  53. Ky Turk says:

    I cannot even believe this happened!!! She is gone too soon. Dr. Piper-Mandy lived a full life. I loved listening to her stories and advice. She genuinely cared about her students, their well being, and their lives outside of school. She said that you could bring anyone to class with you, but they should get ready for me to ask them questions. Dr. Piper-Mandy was a victim of racial discrimination, but she did not let that get her down. Instead she rose above. I only wish I could have seen her once more before her passing. She gave wonderful hugs and had a wonderful heart. She will be severely missed by me and SO many others. I will put her picture on my altar this year for day of the dead. I love you Dr. Piper-Mandy! I will never forget you.

  54. Jacqueline Benson says:

    I’m devastated to hear this. Sending love and prayers to her beloved son Rocky. Dr. Piper-Mandy was a mentor to me while I was completing my human development degree and she wrote me a letter of recommendation for my psychology graduate program. My mother and I both adored her. I will be forever grateful for her wisdom, support and guidance during some of the most formative years of my education. My life is better because of her and I honor her in all that I do.

    With love and reverence,

    Jacqueline (Dennis) Benson

  55. Julius Bravo says:

    I am incredibly disheartened to learn of her passing as she has been one of the few educators in my life who has made such an impact in my professional trajectory. I often reflect back at her wisdom and the knowledge and passion she shared to reimagine a better world and society for all of us. Her words will remain with me and her legacy will live on.

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