News Release| Friends of ECST; Cal State L.A.

July 30, 2012

Cal State L.A. honors U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis with the ‘President’s Award’ during 3rd annual Greater Los Angeles Engineer of the Year Gala

10 prominent public and private industry leaders to be honored during gala

Los Angeles, CA –  U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, the first Latina elected to the California State Senate, will be honored with the “President’s Award” during California State University, Los Angeles’ (CSULA) 3rd annual Greater Los Angeles Engineer of the Year Gala, which will take place on campus Thursday, Aug. 2, from 6 to 9 p.m.

With this year’s theme, “Transform Los Angeles,” the gala will be held in the Golden Eagle Ballroom on the CSULA campus, beginning with a VIP reception and followed by a dinner program.  The event is hosted by the Friends of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology (Friends of ECST). The Engineer of the Year Award will be announced and presented during the gala.

“We congratulate Secretary Solis for her President’s Award, as well as all the other award recipients. She is not only a champion for industry and developing funding that enables displaced workers to get back on the job, but she also strives to find green employment solutions that will better the environment, and the nation, now and into the future,” said Warren Valdry, founder, CEO and president of the Friends of ECST. “In many ways, her efforts reflect what Cal State L.A. and its College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology does every day through the hard work of its professors and students.”

Solis is a recognized leader on clean energy jobs. She authored the Green Jobs Act, which provided funding for “green” collar job training for veterans, displaced workers, at-risk youth, and individuals in families under 200 percent of the federal poverty line.

She was nominated to be Secretary of Labor by President Barack Obama and confirmed to serve in 2009. Prior to her engagement, Solis was the representative of the 32nd Congressional District in California since 2001.

In 2000, Solis was the first woman to receive the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for her pioneering work on environmental justice issues. Her California environmental justice legislation, enacted in 1999, was the first of its kind in the nation to become law.

Other honorees during the gala include:

  •          Arthur Leahy, Metropolitan Transportation Authority — Chief Executive Award
  •          Patrick Brady, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) — Title Sponsor Award
  •          Munir Sindir, Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne — L.A. Designer of the Year Award
  •          Krishniah Murthy, Metropolitan Transportation Authority — Special Leadership Award
  •          Shaun Shahrestani, Construction Division, Port of Los Angeles — L.A. Public Servant of the Year Award
  •          Henry T. Sampson, inventor, gamma-electrical cell — Entrepreneur of The Year Award 
  •          Dennis Mori, Westside Extension (Subway to the Sea), L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority — Engineering Project of the Year Award
  •          Ashok K. Kothari, Westside Extension (Subway to the Sea), Parsons Brinckerhoff, L.A. County MTA — Engineering Project of the Year Award

The Mistress of Ceremonies for the 3rd annual Greater Los Angeles Engineer of the Year Gala will be KTLA-5 News Anchor Michaela Pereira.

The Friends of ECST’s mission is to support the educational programs of the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology at CSULA. The group also strives to inspire students to pursue careers in these fields through higher education, and works alongside the college to help it supply the workforce with educated, well-rounded professionals.

 “All the honorees deserve to be recognized for their work in generating the sparks that become the ideas and sustenance to the innovative process,” said Keith Moo-Young, dean of CSULA’s College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology. “Their body of work and lifetime of commitment to their respective fields make them outstanding role models for our students.”

To RSVP, visit /academic/ecst/Friends_ECST/Event.php.

Location: The Golden Eagle Ballroom at Cal State L.A., 5151 State University Drive in Los Angeles. The University is located at the Eastern Avenue exit, San Bernardino (I-10) Freeway, at the interchange of the 10 and 710 freeways. Click here for a campus map.

To arrange photo shoots or interviews with award recipients, please contact the Cal State L.A. Public Affairs office in advance at (323) 343-3050.

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Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 225,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six Colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to the Honors College for high-achieving students. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.