Courtyard named in honor of esteemed Chemistry emeritus professor

Courtyard named in honor of esteemed Chemistry emeritus professor

Dr. Lloyd Ferguson places his hand upon a plaque marking the Ferguson Courtyard during an inauguration ceremony in February.Victoria Nelson traces the outline of retired professor, Dr. Lloyd Ferguson.

The quad located between Cal State L.A.’s newest buildings—La Kretz Hall and Wing B of the Wallis Annenberg Integrated Sciences Complex—has been named “Ferguson Courtyard” in honor of emeritus professor of chemistry Lloyd N. Ferguson.

Ferguson, a pioneering educator and scientist, has inspired generations of scholars as the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry from UC Berkeley, and as the author of more than 50 journal articles and seven textbooks. His research has covered cancer chemotherapy, the relationship between structure and biological activity, and the function of our sense of taste.

Ferguson retired from an illustrious 21-year career at Cal State L.A. in 1986. His legacy on campus has continued to be honored through annual lectures, which bring innovative scientists to campus every year for a presentation.


Colleges welcome new deans to campus

Culminating a year-long search, on July 1, 2011 Cal State L.A. will welcome two new deans, one in the College of Arts and Letters and the other to lead the College of Business and Economics.

Peter McAllister portrait.
Peter McAllister

Peter McAllister, a renowned classical and jazz guitarist, and established music educator, will assume his post overseeing the nine departments that include more than 2,800 students majoring in the University’s creative disciplines. McAllister comes to the University by way of the University of Arizona, where he is the director of the School of Music. McAllister said that he is looking forward to “celebrating and discovering how each unit within the College intersects other disciplines on campus, and, importantly, serves the community.”

James A. Goodrich portrait.
James A. Goodrich

In the College of Business and Economics, James A. Goodrich will soon take over as dean, overseeing more than 3,000 undergraduate and 320 graduate students in seven degree programs.

Goodrich, the Dean and Vice President for International Business Programs at Alliant International University, has a breadth of experiences to draw upon. At Alliant, he has built several institutional partnerships, overseen the growth and development of new schools, and conducts research in the areas of career transition and executive coaching in organizations.

For more details on the appointments, visit Public Affairs’ newsroom at


Help solve the ‘mussel mystery’

Since the opening of the Ecosystems Exhibition at the California Science Center more than a year ago, Cal State L.A. Biology Professor Carlos Robles has piqued the curiosity of thousands of visitors through an interactive display featuring his research on keystone predators along Santa Catalina Island’s coastline.

The educational display—entitled “Help Solve the Mussel Mystery”—is located within the “Extreme Zone” of Ecosystems and highlights Robles’ research on interspecies relations and how the predator-prey relationship can shape an ecosystem. Find the answers to his research and more by visiting the museum.

“To have my work more broadly used and put to popular use is great,” Robles said. “It’s hands-on and it does make a connection between the people doing the work and the viewers. Making that connection is a strength of the center.”


Music department chair receives Fulbright Specialists award

George DeGraffenreid, chair of the Department of Music, has been selected for a Fulbright Specialists project in Australia hosted by the University of Melbourne, according to the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Portrait of George DeGraffenreid.
George DeGraffenreid

A professor of music, DeGraffenreid will collaborate with Australian colleagues in music education, serve as guest editor for a special issue of the Australian Journal of Music Education, and be a guest lecturer at five universities in Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales.

“It is an honor to receive an award like this representing the United States to our friends in Australia,” DeGraffenreid said. “Working with Australian colleagues will be a wonderful opportunity to explore best practices in music and education within the U.S. and Australia. In lectures and seminars, there will be opportunities to discuss the contribution music makes to the intellectual and emotional development of children and the value of students learning music in schools.”

DeGraffenreid is one of more than 400 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad this year through the Fulbright Specialists Program. The Fulbright Specialists Program, created in 2000 to complement the traditional Fulbright Scholar Program, provides short-term academic opportunities (two to six weeks) to prominent U.S. faculty and professionals to support curricular and faculty development, and institutional planning at post secondary, academic institutions around the world.


Academic notes

Student nabs national prize for presentation on spinal cord injury rehab

Kinesiology senior Lauren A. Conn poses with her poster presentation.

Kinesiology senior Lauren A. Conn won national honors for her presentation on spinal cord injury rehab.

For her research and poster presentation on spinal cord injury treatment, Cal State L.A. kinesiology senior Lauren A. Conn garnered first-place honors at a national conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Science Foundation.

Conn, who works in Professor Ray De Leon’s Spinal Plasticity Lab, is analyzing the local expression of neurotrophic factors in the spinal cord to determine if body weight supported treadmill training affects neural circuits involved in walking.

“I felt so honored to accept an award on behalf of all the hard work that we do in the lab,” Conn said, adding that the conference further inspired her to continue in her research and education.

Using computers to solve biological problems

Building on past successes in designing and implementing programs to serve the growing biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, this fall Cal State L.A. will begin offering a multidisciplinary minor in bioinformatics and computational biology. The minor will integrate life sciences with statistical methodologies and develop computer-based applications to model life processes, while also providing students with new opportunities in research.

For more information, visit or e-mail

Criminalistics program is among the ‘best of the best’

CSULA graduate student researcher Froseen Dahdouh at work in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.

Graduate student researcher Froseen Dahdouh analyzes a sexual assault evidence kit in a lab in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center. The University's criminalistics graduate program was recently awarded full accreditation.

Joining a select group of forensic science programs, the Master of Science in Criminalistics program is the first in Southern California to receive full accreditation for a five-year term under the national standards of the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC). The accreditation is important, faculty said, because it reinforces and gives credit to the high-quality educational opportunities available to students through the graduate program as well as establishes a standard for programs.

“[CSULA’s program] has been the most widely known and highly regarded in Southern California,” said Joseph Peterson, the director of the School of Criminal Justice and Criminalistics.

CSULA takes steps toward a multi-lingual future

In a move to become the first university in the nation equipped to educate a continuous flow of Korean language teachers for secondary schools, Cal State L.A. and the Korean Education Center in Los Angeles signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will pave the way to the launch of three Korean language programs.

Cal State L.A., supported with a five-year $769,710 grant from the education center, aims at developing a minor in Korean language by 2012, a major in Korean language by 2015, and a Korean language teaching credential program by 2016. The Korean language is listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as one of the most strategic and important languages to learn, along with Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, and Russian. Development of student skills in the language has also been a focus of the campus for many years through the CSU’s Strategic Language Initiative.

Cal State L.A. 2011 concrete canoe team.

Members of Cal State L.A.’s concrete canoe team (l-r) Art Esqueda, Adriel Panganiban, Jesus Gallegos, Sarah Manuel, Hector Ramirez, Roxanne Acosta, Matt Estrada, Synthia Romero and Rena Osorio.

Nearly 1,000 civil engineering students put their minds to the test and their work on display in March at the annual American Society of Civil Engineers Pacific Southwest Conference, hosted by Cal State L.A. for the first time.

The highlight of the competition—which featured fabricated scaled steel bridges, engineering concrete bowling balls, discus and shot put, as well as sophisticated dog houses—was the concrete canoe competition.

The regional conference drew competitors from Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii and across California.


Mark your Calendar

Discover, connect and broaden your appreciation for diverse cultures, technology advancements and academic achievement with one of the activities highlighted below:

  • Keren Ann Performance
    June 25, 8 p.m.
    Luckman Theatre

    A celebrated singer, songwriter, composer, producer and engineer, Keren Ann will deliver a uniquely refreshing gift of poetic song and whimsical melody. Her delicate musical styling is said to be as individual and intriguing as her background; her roots extend from Israel to France, Holland to New York, and beyond. For tickets, or details on other events, visit or call the Luckman Box Office at (323) 343-6600.

A complete listing of campus events is available at