The Beach is ranked as one of the top public universities in the country.
Beach Educators Shine in Top Media Market
There’s more than one generation whose music landscape was forever changed by De La Soul. In the spring of 2023, when the iconic group’s music catalog became available for streaming after a lengthy legal battle — shortly after member David Jolicoeur died — National Public Radio interviewed Oliver Wang about this part of hip-hop history. They also asked the Cal State Long Beach professor of sociology to write Jolicoeur’s obituary for their website.
Wang is no stranger to queries from local and national media. Besides popular music, his other research interests include identity and community formation, race and ethnicity and popular culture. He’s currently project curator for the Japanese American National Museum, working on an exhibit about Japanese American car culture in Los Angeles.
Even in the resource-saturated LA metropolitan area — the second largest media market in the country, a music industry hub and a region heavy with institutions of higher learning — Wang is a go-to for features and interviews that address his areas of mastery.
So is Jason Whitehead, associate professor of political science at The Beach, who offers insight into Supreme Court decisions and other current political matters. And Laura Gonzalez, associate professor of finance, who shares facts and views on the state and the nation’s economic progress. They’re just a few of many well-prepared Beach academics who are regularly called upon by local and national media to give interviews, provide commentary and offer insight and analysis about a wealth of subject matters.
The reputation of The Beach’s go-to experts comes from the university’s focus on innovation, partnerships and practice-informed research. Particular areas of Beach expertise also lift the voices of the university’s educators in the crowded media landscape. Among the areas at Cal State Long Beach attracting the most interest is the Shark Lab, led by Chris Lowe, professor of marine biology. A hub of all things shark, the lab and its resident experts — Lowe and his students — are often called to discuss the often-misunderstood creatures and related coastal fauna.
In 2023, Shark Lab research revealed that juvenile white sharks are nowhere near as threatening to humans as previously thought. The white shark study, along with Wang’s commentary about De La Soul and Jolicoeur, were news media’s strongest draws to The Beach last year — confirmation that in one of the “Best Colleges in America,” unique perspectives and honed expertise complement the demands of a busy, competitive news environment.