Alumni honored for accomplishments, commitment and ‘giving back’

CSULA Alumni Association.

Alumni honored for accomplishments, commitment and ‘giving back’

Group photo of alumni, faculty and student honorees at the 36th Annual Alumni Awards Gala.

(Top, l-r) Benjamin Caron ’10; Noelia Rodriguez ’86; Susan De Pietro ’71; Stephen E. Pickett ’75; Anne Hiroe Rodriguez ’09; James Wilson Davis ’76. (Bottom, l-r) Richard D. Cordova ’72; Marlene Zepeda ’72; Jeffrey S. Silverman ’77; Deborah A. Proctor ’76; and Eric’73 and Bill ’77 Teitelbaum.

Celebrating the achievements of ten alumni, students and faculty, the Cal State L.A. Alumni Association hosted the 36th annual Alumni Awards Gala in October. Through their professional and personal endeavors in the arts, business, heath care, education, science and innovation, this year’s honorees have brought much honor to themselves and the University.

We thank all of them for their great work and commitment to their communities and Cal State L.A.!

Portrait of Richard Cordova.Richard D. Cordova ’72, Alumnus of the Year
President, Chief Executive Officer, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Widely recognized as being one of America’s leaders in the field, and a prominent minority executive, Richard Cordova has dedicated his life’s work to improving health care access, delivery and quality. In his climb to the top as a hospital administrator, he has not only been an innovator, but a role model and a leading proponent of increasing diversity and representation throughout his profession.

Portrait of Susan De Pietro.Susan De Pietro ’71, University Service Award
Nurse, attorney, educator

With professional roots in nursing and law, Susan De Pietro brings a unique combination of skills and knowledge to both hospitals and academic settings. Through leadership and administrative roles, she has helped develop legal nursing practices, broaden community awareness and mold the future of the industry, educating young nurses on law, ethics and decision-making in the field. She is a part-time faculty member in the University’s School of Nursing and served as the president of the CSULA Alumni Association for the 2009-10.

Portrait of Marlene Zepeda.Marlene Zepeda ’72, Distinguished Faculty Alumna
Professor, College of Health and Human Service

A recognized scholar in the area of child development and family studies, Professor Marlene Zepeda has completed extensive research on Spanish speaking children and families, and early childhood education. Her findings have contributed to the structuring of curriculum and training of personnel in the field.

James Wilson Davis ’76, Distinguished Alumnus Charter College of Education
President, The Davis Group, Ltd.

An educator and administrator for most of his career, James Wilson Davis has worked to create the best learning opportunities for youth, while also promoting a higher level of leadership in private and public sectors through training and executive coaching. 

Stephen E. Pickett ’75, Distinguished Alumnus College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology
Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Southern California Edison Company

In more than 30 years of service to Southern California Edison, Stephen Pickett has been instrumental in resolving energy issues. He has played an important role in projects involving nuclear work, anti-trust law and utility holding companies.

Deborah A. Proctor ’76, Distinguished Alumna College of Health and Human Services
President and Chief Executive Officer, St. Joseph Health System

Leading one of the top Catholic health systems in the country, Deborah Protor has enhanced direct patient care, healthcare education, administration and bio-ethics.

Noelia Rodriguez ’86, Distinguished Alumna College of Business and Economics
Director, John F. Kennedy Forum, Institute of Politics, Harvard Kennedy School of Government

An accomplished executive with extensive experience in strategic and crisis communications, media and public relations, and public affairs and management, Noelia Rodriguez is a stakeholder and contributor on what is happening nationally and internationally.

Jeffrey S. Silverman ’77, Distinguished Alumnus College of Natural and Social Sciences
Senior Vice President, Manufacturing Operations/Product Development, Abraxis BioScience

Jeffrey S. Silverman works at the forefront of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, assisting teams in creating technologies for blood products and insulin delivery, and developing cancer treatments. 

Eric ’73 and Bill ’77 Teitelbaum, Distinguished Alumni College of Arts and Letters
Cartoonists, writers, producers

A creative duo, Eric and Bill Teitelbaum are recognizable voices in comedy. The brothers draw the nationally syndicated business cartoon, Bottomliners, have worked on internationally syndicated strips, trained artists and designers, and done marketing and production for television shows and materials.

Anne Hiroe Rodriguez ’09 and Benjamin Caron ’10 were also honored as the Outstanding Graduate Student and Outstanding Senior Student, respectively.

For more details, on the event and honorees, visit


Alumni Association Member Benefits Update

As an Association member, you have access to many benefits and services, including:

  • A 15 percent discount on service, parts and accessories, as well as special alumni pricing on new and pre-owned inventory at Longo Toyota/Longo Scion/Longo Lexus.
  • Up to 60 percent off most office supplies at Office Depot.
  • Up to 30 percent off Dell computers, software and accessories.
  • Up to 20 percent off regular performances at the Luckman Theatre on the CSULA campus.

For details, visit


The CSULA Alumni Mentoring Program

Alumni mentor Alex Vargas’91 and mentee Guadalupe Zambrano’12..

Mentor Alex Vargas ’91 and mentee Guadalupe Zambrano ’12 meet regularly to discuss her career goals in law enforcement. Vargas is a Sergeant 2 with the Los Angeles Police Department.

Build partnerships, develop your career and be inspired by fellow alumni and students by participating in the Alumni Mentoring Program.

Through the thoughtful pairing of student and alumni mentees with alumni mentors, participants create lasting professional relationships and further their career goals, while also “giving back” to their alma mater. Since its inception in 2008, the program has successfully matched and engaged dozens of alumni leaders, students and recent graduates.

Join us for the next Alumni Mentoring event on Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. in the University-Student Union (Los Angeles C Room).

To sign up as a mentee or mentor, visit the Have questions? E-mail the Association at or call (323) 343-ALUM (2586).

Mentor Corner

Portrait of Paul Gomez.

Paul Gomez ’88

Drawing upon more than 20 years of experience in public relations, including his current post in the Public Affairs Department for the City of Los Angeles Public Works, Paul Gomez ’88 mentors three alumni through the Alumni Mentoring Program. He is also a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, and membership and communications committee.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed passing on my knowledge and experience in the professional working world, while assisting my mentees with establishing strategies to reach their career goals. One of my mentees spent several months as an intern in our office, and another attended a networking event with me, so that I could teach her techniques involved with meeting business contacts.”