CSUDH Alumni Link May 2014

May 2014

News and Information for CSUDH Alumni and Friends

Education a Key Role for Actor, Alumnus Jeff Coopwood

Jeff Coopwood earned his master’s in the M.A. Humanities (HUX) program in 2008.

From the time he was 8, Jeff Coopwood knew he wanted to be an actor. He not only reached that goal but in the nearly five decades since, the California State University, Dominguez Hills alumnus (M.A., Class of ’08, Humanities; HUX) has played scores of characters for film, television, stage and commercials, including roles on “Seinfeld,” “The Client,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Family Matters,” “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,” and “Beverly Hills, 90210.”

Full article.

Commencement 2014: A Celebration of Hope, Perseverance and Grit

Their faces filled with joy, relief and just a hint of hesitation, close to 3,000 students crossed the stage in the 2014 California State University, Dominguez Hills Commencement ceremonies as loved ones, faculty and university staff elatedly cheered them on.

Full article.

Posthumous Degrees Honor Departed Toros

Rene Romero’s friends and family cheered on as his parents collected his posthumous degree.

Commencement 2014 was a time for celebration and joy for nearly 3,000 students at California State University, Dominguez Hills, but the event also held a somber reflection to honor four students who died in the past year.

Full article.

2014 Commencement Alumni Processional

Pictured here with President Hagan, 18 CSUDH Alumni returned to campus May 17 to participate in Commencement.

Alumni Notes

Betty Bell (B.S., ’99) (M.A., ’04) was the alumni guest speaker at the Alpha Eta Honor Society Induction Ceremony at CSUDH on Saturday, May 3.  The Alpha Eta National Honor Society is a program that recognizes allied health students with scholarships.  Betty works for SCE in External Relations/Regulatory Operations and is a member of the CSUDH Alumni Advisory Council.

Chris Daley (B.A., ’12) has completed an M.A. in social science at University of Chicago and has been accepted into Ph.D. program in cultural anthropology at Duke University for Fall 2014.

Tyais Garrett (B.A., ’06) was named a Teacher of the Week at Tarawa Terrace Elementary School at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, where she teaches third grade. Garrett and has been an educator for nearly 13 years and also consults for the Los Angeles County Office of Education with its Special Arts Festival. She holds a dual multi-subject teaching credential in special education and Master of Science in Special Education from California Baptist University and recently finished her educational specialist degree in educational leadership from Liberty University.

Minnie Hadley-Hempsted (B.S., ’81) (M.P.A., ’83) has been appointed at the new president of the Los Angeles NAACP. As a resident of Los Angeles for over 50 years, Hadley-Hempstead has made a lifelong commitment to youth and education. As the chapter chair for the United Teachers of Los Angeles she was often the spokesperson for educational issues. In addition to her role with the NAACP, Hadley-Hempstead also finds time to participate in the Laubach Literacy Action International and is an active member of her local church.

Gloria Lopez (B.A., ’12) has completed her M.A. in history at California State University, Fullerton and has been accepted into the Ph.D. program in U.S. history at Indiana University at Bloomington; she will begin in Fall 2014.

Candace Messer (B.S., ’92) is the co-author of a recently published book for business owners, “Business Success With Ease: Top Experts Share Strategies for Accelerated Growth.” Messer is an attorney and certified public accountant and, and is co-owner and president of Affordable Bookkeeping & Payroll in Harbor City. She will be giving a book signing at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 3, at the Barnes & Noble store in Torrance, 21500 Hawthorne Blvd.

Tomanika Taylor (B.A., ’09) has been admitted into the master’ program in clinical psychology/marriage and family therapy at Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Michael Vezzuto (M.A., ’08) has been invited to present his M.A. research thesis on divine proportion in music at the Assisi Suono Sacro music festival in Assisi Italy on July 24, which will coincides with publication of his first novel Extreme Music.


In Memoriam

Marlin Oleson (B.A., ’71) (M.A, ’84) a long time CSUDH campus employee passed on April 21, 2014. A Vietnam veteran, his professional career at CSUDH began with his founding the VA center on campus in 1979 and serving as its first coordinator. He moved to the University Advisement Center in 1989, initially as an advisor and where he was the associate director when he retired in 2009. He also met his wife, Cathi, at CSU Dominguez Hills while they were both undergrads. The family has requested charitable donations in his memory to be made to the Sierra Club.

Arlene E. Grauch (M.A., ’93) passed away July 31, 2013. She had been a resident of Rancho Palos Verdes since 1986. Arlene retired from the LA Unified School District in 2002 after 15 years of service, the last five of which as assistant principal, counseling, San Pedro High School.  She also had been a counselor at San Pedro High and Wilmington Middle School, and an English teacher at Dana Junior High and Carson High School.  She also taught at Cal State Dominguez Hills, Marymount Palos Verdes College, National University, the University of Michigan and Colorado College. Arlene loved musical theatre and had a passion for costume design.  She designed costumes professionally for various community theatre companies in the San Francisco Bay Area, the City of Palo Alto Community Theatre, the United States Air Force Academy and the City of Torrance Recreation Department.  She also loved to sew and knit for herself and for her grandchildren, and she handcrafted many memorable keepsakes for her family and friends. Arlene is survived by her husband of 47 years, Spencer, by her son, Jason, and daughter Amber, and by five grandchildren.

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Upcoming Events

Join Now for FREE Reconnect and recommit to CSU Dominguez Hills by joining the Alumni Association. This is your opportunity to help strengthen CSU Dominguez Hills as the premier public educational institution of the South Bay. A Lifetime Membership is now available for all alumni without charge! Active alumni will be able to take advantage of a wide variety of discounts and affinity programs. Become active today by completing the online Alumni Information Update form or call (310) 243-2237.

Check out the Membership Benefits available to CSUDH Alumni Association members.

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Upcoming Events

Networking Opportunities CSUDH Alumni Los Angeles Summer Reception
Wed., June 4
Time: 6:00pm -8:00pm
Location: Elevate Lounge
811 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90017
Valet Parking $7
RSVP by Friday, May 30 by sending an email to or by calling (310) 243-2237.

Save The Date

Connecting Women to Power Business Conference
Fri., June 20
Time: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Location: CSU Dominguez Hills - Loker Student Union, 1000 East Victoria Street, Carson, CA 90747
Free to Attend.

Space is limited. Register Now or call (888)847-9652

More Alumni Events and Alumni Photos available on our website.

Calendar Campus Events

Did You Know?

Did you know you can make a gift that provides a fixed income for life? More information can be found on our Planned Giving website or by calling 310-243-2182.

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