CSUDH Alumni News
CSUDH Alumni News
For Alumni and Friends of CSU Dominguez Hills
October 2020
Images from 2020 Virtual NSO

Alumni Offer New Student Orientation Tips and Advice

In a typical year, CSUDH's New Student Convocation is a chance for the university to welcome and greet its new freshmen and transfer students. At the convocation, new Toros begin to acclimate themselves to the campus, meet fellow students and faculty members, and generally get acquainted with what college life is all about. As we all know, though, 2020 has not been a typical year...

University Convocation 2020

CSUDH Demonstrates Vigor and Resiliency, Despite the Challenges of COVID-19

President Thomas A. Parham did not sugarcoat the opening of his virtual 2020 Fall Convocation address. He reminded the more than 300 attendees who logged in to the Sept. 15 virtual meeting of the many unprecedented challenges the nation is currently facing and “the most extraordinary of circumstances” in which the semester began, but also reflected on the resilience the campus community has shown since COVID-19 reshaped the academic world...


CSUDH Offers New Master’s Degree in Systems Engineering

Adding to CSUDH’s growing list of master’s level programs, the new Master of Science in Systems Engineering is officially up and running. The fall 2020 semester is the first for the new cohort-based degree program, which aims to fill distinct industry needs in the South Bay...

Alumna Rhiannon Chavez

Alumna Rhiannon Chavez Named LAUSD Teacher of the Year

Hearing “Mrs. Chavez, we miss you!” from her 4th grade class encouraged Rhiannon Chavez to set up a weekly summer Zoom call to check in with her students. Some have shared their Lego creations, while others just talk about their day. One asked “Can we do this every day?” and she thought, “Wait, this is my summer vacation, too"....

Alumna Cheryl McKnight

Cheryl McKnight Honored with CSU’s Faculty Innovation and Leadership Award

WIn the 1990s, when gang violence in Los Angeles County was at its peak, Cheryl McKnight was a member of the Gang Prevention and Intervention Unit in Long Beach. She helped initiate a truce between the East Side Longos and Insane Crips gangs, resulting in a long-standing peace that remains to this day. She soon became director of the city’s Future Generations Youth Center, where she enabled marginalized youth to take some ownership of the program...

Tune in for special guest lectures, theatre productions, concerts, and more!
Get your Vote out!
Saturday, October 24
CSUDH Vote Center opens
Monday, November 3
Election Day
Alumna Karen Bass
Congresswoman Karen Bass
The national spotlight fell on one of CSUDH's most accomplished graduates this summer, when Rep. Karen Bass (Health Science, '90) was placed on the shortlist of candidates to join Joe Biden on the Democratic presidential ticket. Bass has represented the 37th Congressional District since 2013, and is chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. Prior to serving in Congress, Representative Bass made history as the first African American woman to serve as speaker of the California Assembly. Although Bass was ultimately not chosen to run for vice president alongside Biden, the fact that she was among the top candidates allowed the nation to get to know her as one of Congress' most influential and important members.
Recent accomplishments of fellow Toros.
Sonya Earley (MA ’96) was reappointed to the Physician Assistant Board by California Governor Gavin Newsom in August 2020, where she has served since 2013. Currently, she is a physician assistant and certified diabetes caregiver, as well as an education specialist for Kaiser Permanente Medical Group in Southern California. Since 2004, she has also served as an adjunct clinical associate professor of medicine at USC's Keck School of Medicine. Prior to that, she worked as a pediatric physician assistant at L.A. County and USC Medical Center Women’s and Children’s Hospital. She is a member of the Physician Assistant Education Association, California Association of Physician Assistants, Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine, and the Council of African American Parents.
Brittany Esnayra (BA ’08/CRDT ’11, ’16) was recently awarded the Paramount Unified School District’s Teacher of the Year. Award for 2020-21. Brittany is a Language Arts Teacher at Paramount Senior High School Campus.
John Fitzgerald (MA ’94) at age 88, published Octojock: A Memoir, which documents his journey through education, the arts, athletics, and those he met along the way to find meaning in life. One-third of the profits from his book will be donated to the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley in New York, his favorite charity.
Randy Jaye (BA ’92, MA ’93) recently published Perseverance: Episodes of Black History from the Rural South. The book takes readers on a journey through black history in the rural South, featuring local historical adventures weaved into broader national and international events spanning the European Invasion of the New World to the Civil Rights Movement and beyond. Randy has lived in Florida for more than 25 years. Realizing that Florida has the oldest European-influenced history in the United States, he is committed to researching, exploring, and writing about its fascinating and important diversity, and how it has played key roles in impacting the development and establishing the identity of the nation. 
Carmelita Jeter (BA ’06) joined the University of Alabama track and field coaching staff in August. Carmelita is a three-time Olympic medalist and world record holder. She is the most decorated track and field athlete in the history of CSUDH, and is the university’s first Olympian. In 2009—her third season on the professional track and field circuit—Carmelita earned the title of “Fastest Woman Alive” when she set a record time of 10.67 in the 100m at the 2009 Shanghai Golden Grand Prix. During the 2012 Olympics, Carmelita anchored the U.S. Olympic 4x100m relay team to take home gold. She became the first athlete to ever medal in both the 100m and 200m race at an Olympic Games, taking home the silver in the 100m and bronze in the 200m.
Natalia Camille Lazo (BS ’15) has debuted her new book of poetry, SOARING, published during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her collection details the highs and lows of one young woman's journey to self-love. The poems take the reader on an introspective ride through a variety of life's adventures such as identity, relationships, and overcoming depression. Natalia currently works as a Health Educator contracted by the LA County Department of Public Health, and has been writing poetry since she was 8 years old.   
Daniel Martinez (BA ’83) is the Pearl Harbor National Memorial Chief Historian in Honolulu. He oversees the USS Arizona Memorial and visitor center; the USS Utah Memorial; the USS Oklahoma Memorial; the Chief Petty Officer Bungalows on Ford Island; and the mooring quays that were part of Pearl Harbor's "Battleship Row." Working as a foreman at the Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility, his grandfather witnessed the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Daniel has had the privilege of providing tours to Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. He will be a presenter during a free virtual program on December 3 in preparation for Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
Linda McClure (MA ’00) was named Teacher of the Year by the Long Beach Unified School District. At Bancroft Middle School, she has created courses and opportunities for students to develop real-world career skills in various STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) related fields. Most recently, her technology-based instruction style, which includes producing videos of her lessons, allowed her students to convert to online instruction seamlessly during COVID-19. She also founded and developed the Makerspace Club at the school, which serves as a space for students to develop critical thinking and creativity as they invent items using 3D printers, computers, and craft supplies.
Sarah Slemmons (MA ’13) was awarded the 2019-2020 California School Counselor of the Year by the California Association of School Counselors (CASC) for her excellent leadership and innovative counseling work with students. She is a middle school counselor at Culver City Middle School.  
Jesus Trejo (BS ’10) released his first hour-long comedy special, Stay At Home Son, which is now streaming on Showtime. Jesus worked his way up the ladder of stand-up comedy success after meeting the likes of Pauly Shore and Russell Peters while performing at the Comedy Store in Hollywood. When both of his parents were diagnosed with cancer, Jesus took it upon himself, their only child, to care for his parents and provide for them through his talent.  
Our faculty members participate in conferences around the world, conduct groundbreaking research, and publish books and journal papers that contribute to their field and highlight their expertise. View the latest >
Liberty Mutual ad with Statue of Liberty
Liberty Mutual offers exclusive savings on auto and home insurance to CSUDH alumni.
Student holding a laptop
Toros Helping Toros! Post your internships and job opportunities with the CSUDH Career Center.
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Make a Gift to the Toro Fund
to support scholarships and other campus initiatives.

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