Making Waves: March 2024

Published March 12, 2024

Making Waves is a monthly column that celebrates accomplishments of the community.

Employee of the Month: Ticket Director Jeffrey Scott 

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Jeffrey Scott pictured next to Employee of the Month sign
Jeffrey Scott

Every year, Long Beach State’s issues more than 300,000 game tickets, making it a central repository for thousands of fans’ personal and financial information. A lot could go wrong — but it doesn’t. That’s thanks to Jeffery Scott, assistant athletic director of Ticket Operations and . “The amount of work he has done to reduce the risk to our university is incredible,” said Luc Tran, Desktop and Network Security Administrator in Information Technology Services. “We're very fortunate to have Jeffrey's experience and knowledge in the ever-changing security landscape.” In addition to overseeing ticket sales, operations and donations, Scott handles Pyramid rentals — including sold-out crowds for events such CIF Basketball and the US Sumo Open. A Long Beach State graduate, Scott ‘07 has worked for The Beach since 2008. 

Design students beat out 1,400 in national Steelcase contest 

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Design students Leah Budd and Genesis Fajardo
Leah Budd, left, and Genesis Fajardo

Tasked with “imagining the workplace of the future,” two design students were named finalists — and one has been crowned the winner — of the prestigious Steelcase NEXT Student Design Competition. Leah Budd came in first in a field of 1,400 students from across the country, while Genesis Fajardo was one of three runners-up. The assignment was to design a 12,000- to 15,000-square-foot office that could support the changing behaviors and expectations of the modern worker. Presented before a panel of judges in Grand Rapids, Mich., and illustrated two distinct critical lenses, said advisor and  Professor Eduardo Perez, who said “he could not be prouder” of his students. In addition to Budd and Fajardo — whose honors included cash prizes for them and their programs — a third Beach student, Hanna Marzouk, earned an Honorable Mention. 

New book challenges norms around college internships    

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From left, Michelle Chang, Bonnie Gasior and Beth Manke
From left: Chang, Gasior and Manke

Two professors and the director of academic internships at have published a new book seeking to broaden the discussion around college-level internships. In (Routledge, 2024), authors Beth Manke, Bonnie Gasior and Michelle Chang examine how universities structure, support and manage campus internship programs. The book argues that key challenges to internship participation include equitable access, lack of infrastructure and bureaucratic silos that can stifle innovation and collaboration. “Having these issues in print gives them legitimacy” and helps spur change, said Manke, a Human Development professor. Gasior is a Spanish professor, and Chang director of the newly formed Academic Internships Office.

Provost honors ‘Incredibly impressive’ faculty, students  

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Winners of the 2024 University Achievement Awards
2024 University Achievement Award winners

To say the recipients of this year’s University Achievement Awards represent a diverse range of interests and talents is an understatement. The nineteen award winners — 16 faculty and three students — include an illustrator, a dancer, a wetlands ecologist, a bioengineer, a Latinx author, a religious historian, two speech pathologists, an LGBTQ activist and a chemist.  “I am incredibly impressed with the accomplishments of this year's winners,” Provost Karym Scissum Gunn said. “Their remarkable efforts are outstanding examples of the exceptional faculty and students at The Beach.” Faculty members pictured, from left starting with the top row: Christine Whitcraft, Chris Miles, Selena Nguyen-Rodriquez, Andrea Caban, David Teubner, Neal Terrell, , Belinda Daughrity, Perla Ayala, Marian Stewart, , Heather Macías, , Raisa Hernandez Pacheco, Pei-Fang Hung, Tom Maricich. Pictured on the bottom row are student award-winners Emily Marquez and Rahul Vishwakarma, both graduate students, and undergraduate Destiny Gilliland.

speech, debate teams showcase award-winning chops 

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Policy debate duo Diego Flores and Curtis Ortega
Curtis Ortega, left, and Diego Flores

It's a busy month for speech and debate competitors at The Beach, many of whom already are racking up trophies for their top-notch communication skills. Led by lecturer Deven Cooper, is now ranked Best in the West and 14th in the nation. Several debate team members are set to compete in the , while six speech competitors are in Dublin, Ireland, for the. Beach Forensics — that’s rhetorical, not criminal — is part of the Communications Studies Department in ’s . Prize-winning policy debate duo Diego Flores and Curtis Ortega are studying Political Science and Africana Studies, respectively. Other award-winners are Jean Kim, Alessandra Escobar and Cydney Izabal, Sofia Gurroal, Gabriel Torres, and Isaac Ramnani.

Data extraction from everyday smart devices subject of book 

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Cover of 'Privacy and Security for Mobile Crowdsourcing' by Shabnam Sodagari
Cover of Shabnam Sodargari's book

It’s no secret that the tracking and listening capabilities of mobile devices are reaching astonishing new heights. Users are rarely aware of how much data they contribute to crowdsourcing and crowdsensing — the term given to the extraction of information through sensory devices, such as smart phones, fitness trackers and even implantable healthcare devices. Associate Professor Shabnam Sodargari has stepped into this stealthy and increasingly relevant world of data mapping, mining and analyzing with her new book, (Rivers, 2023). Sodargari, who teaches in the Computer Engineering and Computer Science Department, said her book reflects on recent advances and addresses privacy, security and risks in crowdsensing platforms. Sodargari is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Have an item for Making Waves? Send your submissions to Wendy Thomas Russell.