Our students are active in community service, academic and athletic competition, during civic, business and artistic events, and within a much broader range of activities on campus and across the globe.
Tony Alfaro, a kinesiology student and former All-American defender for CSUDH’s men’s soccer team, was invited to participate in the 2016 adidas Major League Soccer (MLS) Player Combine on Jan. 7-12 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The event enables potential professional soccer players to demonstrate their skills and mental grit to MLS team coaching staffs in advance of the league’s 2016 SuperDraft in Baltimore. His impressive performance at the combine contributed to the Seattle Sounders drafting Alfaro in the second round of the draft on Jan. 14.
Alfaro, the only NCAA Division II player invited to the combine, was among 60 college players split into four teams of 15, each looking to make an impression on coaches, scouts and general managers from 20 MLS teams.
Physical tests during the combine included a 30-meter speed test, a vertical jump and a 5-10-5 agility test. The players also participated in interviews and physical testing so MLS team staff members could “get into each prospect’s head.”
Jack Bark, an environmental science major, and his friend Dave Boehne decided that instead of taking a sailboat or panga boat from the Mexican mainland to the Todos Santos islands eight miles across the Pacific Ocean, that they would paddle to the islands on paddleboards loaded with all their gear. Outside magazine writer Joseph Carberry went along for the adventure, and a story.
The feature article, which ran in November 2015 in Outside, highlighted the ocean athletes’ love of the sea and the Todos Santos islands—Boehne grew up visiting the islands with his family—and the re-emerging popularity of paddleboarding.
Bark grew up in Torrance helping out in his father Joe’s shop Bark Paddleboards, which he founded in 1982. Joe and Dave’s father, Steve Boehne, were among the first to start handcrafting stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) around 2005.
Jack Bark has won multiple Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championship titles races, and has helped bring back the popularity of prone paddleboarding, which are paddled by hand while riding on one’s knees. This past summer he took second place in the Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race, and event he has participated in five times.
Cambria Rodriguez, a history major who also works part-time for the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County photographing its artifacts and collections, was recently interviewed by KPCC for an on-air story regarding the museum’s project to catalog marine specimens collected over decades.
The National Science Foundation recently gave the museum and several other organizations on the west coast a $2 million grant to digitalize the marine fossils.
During the piece, Rodriquez describes the unexpected pressure of photographing the ocean fossils, such as the difficulty in propping up the specimens. She expects to take more than 200,000 shots for the museum over the next four years.
“You don’t know who is going to look at it in the future and you don’t know if they are going to say, ‘I can’t get anything out of this because it’s a bad picture,” said Rodriquez during the KPCC interview.
Viola Jackson, Irene Morales, Naomi Guerrero, Vanise Daniels, Dan Cuthbert and Andrea Pla are among CSUDH students whose documentation during field trips to learn environmental problems and health issues of residents of Watts, particularly those living in the Ujima Village and the Jordan Downs housing complex, was included in the exhibit Watts Now LA on display at the Watts Labor Community Action Committee complex.
In partnership with the Human Rights Housing Collective, Vivian Price, associate professor of interdisciplinary studies at CSUDH, and Jorge Cabrera, a social justice and law instructor, worked with the students as they went around Watts collecting information about environmental injustice endured throughout the neighborhoods’ toxic industrial histories.
Photographs by Ellie Zenhari, assistant professor, art and design at CSUDH, were also featured in the exhibit.
The exhibit runs through Jan 31, 2016. A closing reception will take place Jan 29.