Sup. Solis and Cal State LA Partner to Promote Bioscience Industry

August 24, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

“The sky is the limit,” said Los Angeles County Sup. Hilda Solis last week during the closing of a five-week bioscience training boot camp at Cal State University, Los Angeles.

She was referring to the intensive training, mentoring and business knowledge graduates of the LABioStart program received to help them start and sustain successful bioscience ventures.

The event included an announcement by Cal State LA President William A. Covino that the university and Solis had reached an agreement to collaborate on initiatives to help spur interest in the bioscience industry locally by providing internships and professional development opportunities to students interested in the field.

Cynthia D. Banks, director of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services, Sup. Solis and Cal State LA Pres. William A. Covino agree to collaborate on bioscience initiatives during the inaugural LA BioStart graduation on Aug. 16. (Photo by Gareth Mackay/Cal State LA)

Cynthia D. Banks, director of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services, Sup. Solis and Cal State LA Pres. William A. Covino agree to collaborate on bioscience initiatives during the inaugural LA BioStart graduation on Aug. 16. (Photo by Gareth Mackay/Cal State LA)

As part of the collaboration, the county will support the high school summer STEM academy Cal State conducts with Grifols Biologicals Inc., and the LABioStart program, according to the announcement.

“Projects like LA BioStart energize interest in biotechnology and bioscience,” Covino told the gathering. “LA BioStart fits right into the mission of Cal State LA.”

LA BioStart is funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The program is a collaboration between Cal State LA, the Biocom Institute and the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI). Training is offered at no cost and led by top industry experts who focus on critical areas such as business fundamentals, financing models, industrial research and development, regulatory affairs, leadership skills and communication strategies.

Howard Xu is LA BioStart’s director and a professor of microbiology at Cal State LA. He said he’s  “gratified” boot camp participants are benefitting from the program and that he’s looking forward to seeing the bioscience commercial products program they will launch in the future.

Boot camp graduate and Cal State LA alumnus John Chi, founder and CEO of Synova Life Sciences in Alhambra, is commercializing a medical device to harvest stem cells from adipose tissues for use as a regenerative therapy for joints. According to Chi, the program “exceeded” all his expectations. There was “so much depth” in the real-world business knowledge shared by mentors and instructors, he said.

Cal State LA Executive Vice President Jose A. Gomez called LA BioStart participants “pioneers” in the development of “Bioscience Valley,” which extends along Valley Boulevard and includes Cal State LA and Grifols Biologicals Inc. on the east, and USC’s Health Sciences campus on the west.

“The fellows of LA BioStart are the future of the bioscience industry,” Gomez said. “Their ideas and discoveries will transform our region and enhance the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship at Cal State LA.”

CSULA No. 1 in Moving Students Up the Income Ladder

February 2, 2017 by · 1 Comment 

Low-income students who graduate from Cal State University, Los Angeles are more likely to move up the income ladder then students at other universities, including some of the most elite private schools in the country, according to a recently released national study on student mobility.

Cal State LA ranked number one in the study examining the role colleges and universities play in moving students up the income ladder.

According to the study by The Equality of Opportunity Project, Cal State LA has propelled a higher percentage of students from the bottom fifth of income into the top fifth of U.S. earners than any of the other 2,000 colleges and universities in the study, including Ivy League schools.

The study specifically defines a college or university’s mobility rate as “the fraction of its students who come from a family in the bottom fifth of the income distribution and end up in the top fifth.”

“This research confirms that Cal State LA provides a transformative educational experience,” said Cal State LA President William A. Covino in a statement following the publication of the study by the New York Times.

The study’s authors included researchers from UC Berkeley, Stanford and Brown University, who said they based their findings on an analysis of anonymous tax filings and tuition records from the federal government following 30 million college students from 1999 to 2013.

Researchers compared the incomes of college graduates in their 30s from low income families with that of their parents. The research focused on universities and colleges in the U.S. with more than 900 students born between 1980 and 1982 who attended school at some point between the ages of 19 and 22.

“This study…really lays the groundwork for future study on how places like Cal State LA can be emulated,” said Robert Fluegge of Stanford University, one of the researchers involved in the study. “We want to understand exactly what is going on at places that look really good by our metrics.”

Cal State LA’s mobility rate is 9.9%. Pace University-New York ranked second on the list with a rate of 8.4%.

“Education has the power to change the lives of all students, regardless of where they begin in life,” said Cal State LA Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Lynn Mahoney. “Our outstanding faculty and staff understand well the transformative role of public universities. They know what is needed to take students from where they are, to where they need to be.”

Cal State LA also scored well when examining the upward mobility of students from the bottom 40% of the income distribution to the top 40%. The university ranks sixth on that list, with a mobility rate of 35.7%, according to The New York Times.

While highlighting the success of institutions like Cal State LA, the study also underscores the need to study the means by which high mobility rates are achieved.

“At Cal State LA we focus on what matters most—our students,” said Vice President Jose A. Gomez. “Our support not only elevates students, but also their families and the communities we serve.”

CSULA Boosts Garfield Students STEM Skills

August 18, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

No they are not doctors, but twenty students from Garfield High School were presented with white lab coats following their completion of a two-week Grifols Summer Science Academy at ?Cal State LA.

The students were also presented with certificates denoting their program participation during a formal ceremony earlier this month attended by County Supervisor Hilda Solis.

(J. Emilio Flores/Cal State LA)

(J. Emilio Flores/Cal State LA)

During the academy, students participated in a number of sessions that focused on microbiology and molecular work. The lab and research experience exposed these students to STEM-related careers and prepared them to succeed in college. The final day included a luncheon, student presentations, and a tour of Grifols Biologicals Inc.

Cal State LA has been designated by the National Science Foundation as the top baccalaureate institution of Latino science and engineering Ph.D. recipients among all predominantly undergraduate and master’s degree colleges and universities in the continental U.S.

Grifols is an international firm that develops plasma medicines, diagnostic systems and hospital pharmacy products. Its U.S. headquarters is adjacent to Cal State LA and employs about 1,000 people. Roughly 100 of the employees are alumni of the University.

Congressman Becerra Presents Flag to Cal State LA Veterans

November 11, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

“Veterans have made sacrifices on behalf of all Americans and their service should never be forgotten,” Rep. Xavier Becerra said Tuesday during a ceremony honoring student veterans at Cal State LA where he presented a flag that flew at the U.S. Capitol.

“It’s a privilege and an honor to be able to present this flag to all those warriors who are here at Cal State LA,” said Becerra, whose 34th Congressional District includes Eastside neighborhoods served by the university.

The flag was accepted by senior Thomas Lawson, a Navy veteran and president of the Cal State LA Student Veterans Organization.

Left to right: Cal State LA student veteran Thomas Lawson, President William A. Covino, Rep. Xavier Becerra and alumnus and veteran Louis Guan with flag presented to the University by Becerra.  ( J. Emilio Flores/Cal State LA)

Left to right: Cal State LA student veteran Thomas Lawson, President William A. Covino, Rep. Xavier Becerra and alumnus and veteran Louis Guan with flag presented to the University by Becerra.
( J. Emilio Flores/Cal State LA)

Cal State LA President William A. Covino said the university owes a debt of gratitude to veterans.

“We are proud that they answered the call to serve in the armed forces and proud of their work on campus and in the community,” Covino said. “They demonstrate the meaning of our mission of engagement, service, and the public good.”

More than 500 veterans are enrolled at Cal State LA, which has been recognized by US News & World Report as one of the best public universities in the West for veterans. The University’s Veterans Resource Center, which sponsored the ceremony, specializes in offering academic support counseling, peer counseling and other services to student veterans.

The ceremony began with a moving rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by veteran and Los Angeles County firefighter Humberto Agurcia. The Valley Veterans Memorial Team, which is composed of local veterans, presented the colors.

 Members of the Valley Veterans Memorial Team. (J. Emilio Flores/Cal State LA)

Members of the Valley Veterans Memorial Team. (J. Emilio Flores/Cal State LA)

Competencia Nacional de Mariachi en Cal State Los Ángeles

August 13, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

El Instituto de Verano Nacional de Mariachi en su cuarta edición se llevó a cabo en Cal State LA del 5 al 8 de agosto atrayendo a 175 jóvenes intérpretes de mariachi de familias de bajos ingresos en todo el país.

Ningún estudiante se le fue negada la asistencia al instituto por falta de recursos económicos. Los niños y jóvenes estudiaron la música tradicional mexicana bajo la tutela de artistas y educadores de mariachi reconocidos a nivel nacional como José Hernández y el Mariachi Sol de México.

La banda ganadora del primer lugar fue Mariachi Estrellas de Chula Vista, quienes recibieron $2,500 y el segundo lugar fue el Mariachi Juvenil Alma de México de San José, ganadores de $1,500.

Joe Fata, de 11 años de edad, de Mariachi Juvenil fue el vocalista ganador de un premio de $,1000.

Read this article in English: A Mariachi Experience of a Lifetime


El maestro José Hernández (centro) con miembros del Mariachi Juvenil Alma de México, ganadores del segundo lugar y el niño Joe Feda (der.), vocalista ganador del primer lugar. (Camila Tarzón)

El maestro José Hernández (centro) con miembros del Mariachi Juvenil Alma de México, ganadores del segundo lugar y el niño Joe Fata (der.), vocalista ganador del primer lugar. (Camille Tarazon)

El maestro José Hernández con el Mariachi Estrellas de Chula Vista, ganadores del primer lugar. (Camille Tarazon)

El maestro José Hernández (izq.)con el Mariachi Estrellas de Chula Vista, ganadores del primer lugar. (Camille Tarazon)





Delegación Alemana de las Olimpiadas Especial Entrena en Cal State Los Ángeles

July 23, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Cerca de 200 atletas, entrenadores y personal de la delegación alemana llegaron a Cal State LA el martes por la tarde para hospedarse por tres días y entrenar antes del inicio de las Olimpiadas Especiales el 25 de julio.

Los anfitriones del la delegación alemana son Lincoln Heights, Monterey Park y Alhambra. El miércoles por la mañana el equipo alemán comenzó su practica en la cancha de futbol, mientras otros atletas ocupaban el gimnasio y la pista de carreras.

El viernes a las 11am en el gimnasio de Cal State LA se llevará a cabo una celebración pre-comienzo de las Olimpiadas Especiales y para desearle buena suerte al equipo alemán.


(J. Emilio Flores/Cal State L.A.)

(J. Emilio Flores/Cal State L.A.)

Donación de $1.6 Millones Para ‘Dreamer Center’ en Cal State L.A.

April 30, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

La universidad Cal State L.A. ha recibido un donativo de 1,6 millones de dólares destinados a mantener en funcionamiento el centro de ayuda a estudiantes indocumentados inaugurado el pasado mes de octubre, informó el lunes la institución de Los Ángeles.

La contribución proviene de la filántropa Erika J. Glazer, cuyo nombre servirá para denominar esa oficina de apoyo a “dreamers” (soñadores) a partir de ahora.

La familia de Glazer ha contribuido con más de 2 millones de dólares en concepto de asistencia financiera desde 2006 para ayudar a que alumnos en situación irregular en Estados Unidos pudieran continuar sus estudios y terminarlos con éxito en Cal State L.A.

“En los últimos años, afortunadamente, hay menos necesidad de becas privadas pero hay una creciente necesidad de un centro donde los estudiantes puedan conseguir ayuda para salir adelante en el difícil proceso legal”, comentó Glazer en un comunicado.??La donación al renombrado Centro de Recursos para ‘Dreamers’ de la Familia de Erika J. Glazer cubrirá los costes de personal de la oficina y permitirá que siga existiendo como un espacio único donde se provee de orientación académica y asistencia múltiple a los jóvenes indocumentados.

Un total de 36 estudiantes de Cal State L.A. se ha visto beneficiados ya por la beca para “dreamers” creada en 2006 con fondos de la familia Glazer.

Cal State L.A. es una de las universidades californianas que cuenta con una oficina de atención y ayuda al alumnado en estatus legal irregular en el país, junto con las de Fullerton, Northridge, UCLA y Berkeley, entre otras.


Residents Worried SR-710 Light Rail Would Burden East LA

April 16, 2015 by · 8 Comments 

East Los Angeles residents fear they will once again be forced to bare the brunt of efforts to relieve traffic in the region.

They remember all too well the disruption to businesses and residents extending the Gold Line east caused in their neighborhood.

Lea este artículo en Español: SR-710 Tren Ligero Podría Ser una Carga Para el Este de Los Ángeles

Those concerns were expressed Saturday during a public hearing at East Los Angeles College hosted by Metro and Caltrans to get feedback on the State Route 710 Study.

While a majority of people who spoke at the hearing appeared to support a freeway tunnel option, several eastside residents said support in other cities for a light rail train through their neighborhood has them worried.

A map viewing at East Los Angeles College Saturday allowed residents who live along the proposed SR-710 Freeway project to view the impact on their communities. (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

A map viewing at East Los Angeles College Saturday allowed residents who live along the proposed SR-710 Freeway project to view the impact on their communities. (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

More vocal communities along the route are getting all the attention, they complained.

In March, Metro and Caltrans released a Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS), which outlined five alternatives for closing the gap between the 710 and 210 freeways. The options include a traffic management system, a rapid bus line, a light rail, a freeway tunnel and the required “no build” option.

About 100 people from Pasadena, South Pasadena, Alhambra, Monterey Park, El Sereno and East Los Angeles attended the hearing.

Many speakers supported the option to build a 2-way, 6.3 mile tunnel from Valley Boulevard in Alhambra to the connection with the 210/134 freeways in Pasadena.

The double decker option would have two lanes traveling in each direction and would run for 4.2 miles of bored tunnel. Vehicles carrying flammable or hazardous materials will be prohibited in the tunnel.

Residents from eastside communities and throughout the San Gabriel Valley spoke at the SR-710 Metro meeting, held at ELAC Saturday. (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

Residents from eastside communities and throughout the San Gabriel Valley spoke at the SR-710 Metro meeting, held at ELAC Saturday. (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

Several eastside residents claimed they “were left out of the conversation,” referring to the decision to include the Light Rail Train (LRT) alternative. They pointed out that some of the businesses hurt by construction of the Gold Line Eastside Extension in 2009 never recovered.

A light rail will destroy “one of the nicest corridors” and the East LA Civic Center on Third and Mednik Streets, they complained.

“We do not need the rail,” Martha Hernandez told Metro. “We can get to Pasadena on the Gold Line,” she said, adding that eastside residents can already get to Cal State LA by taking Metro’s Silver Line. There is also an express shuttle from ELACC.

Liz Sanchez lives one block from Mednik Street where a station could be built if a light rail is chosen. She told EGP a train would add to parking problems in her neighborhood because there’s no plan to provide public parking for rail passengers.

“I have a disability and even now it is hard to find parking… I don’t want to be selfish, but this is not a good option,” she lamented.

Clara Solis asked Metro and Caltrans to explain why East LA residents should bare the burden of other cities’ transportation problems. “Fifteen of our precious businesses that are walking distance from residences will be removed,” she said.

Yolanda Duarte, advisory chairperson for the Maravilla Community Center, said Metro 710 project spokespersons had gone to the eastside Center to give the community and businesses more information about the project.

Yolanda Duarte, an East Los Angeles resident, told Metro officials her concerns with the rail alternative. (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

Yolanda Duarte, an East Los Angeles resident, told Metro officials her concerns with the rail alternative. (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

“On two occasions questions were asked if businesses or residences will be taken, the answer [by Metro] was no. [Now] The EIR states 15 businesses will be targeted” to make room for rail stations, she said, visibly frustrated. The businesses are on Mednik, south of the I-60/at Third Street: One home and a businesses on East Cesar Chavez could also be taken.

People were able to review maps and other visual materials pertaining to the five alternatives and ask Metro engineers questions before the public hearing got under way.

Metro planners explained that if the light rail is chosen, it would travel 7.5 miles, divided into 3 miles of aerial track and 4.5 miles submerged approximately 6-stories underground.

The rail line would run from south of Valley Boulevard, with the first aerial station on Mednik Avenue adjacent to the East LA Civic Center Station, and two more aerial stations on Floral Drive and at Cal State LA. It would then go underground with stations in Alhambra, Huntington Drive, South Pasadena and to the Fillmore Station in Pasadena where it would connect with the Gold Line.

Many eastside residents have long resented Metro opting to build the Eastside Gold Line above ground while  approving preferred but costlier underground subway options for other communities.

Several people said the eastside is once again getting the short end of the stick, complaining that the proposed rail line would run above ground through East LA, but then go underground through the more affluent communities north of Cal State LA.

“Why don’t we get a tunnel” like they do in Pasadena, one speaker demanded to know.

“Take out this project, do not even consider it,” said Gilbert Hernandez.

How to fill the 4.5-mile gap between the 710’s terminus in Alhambra and the Foothill (210) Freeway in Pasadena is a debate that has raged on for more than six decades. If a route is eventually selected, a revenue source to cover the hundreds of millions, perhaps billions of dollars needed to build it would still have to be found. The project could take three to five years to complete if the light rail is chosen.

L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis represents East Los Angeles and other areas impacted by the SR-710. She told EGP via email it is imperative to reduce congestion, improve air quality and enhance mobility for all residents, however, she does not yet see “any option as a natural choice” due to the many pros and cons.

“For example, the light rail alternative threatens the highest number of businesses and homes while the tunnel options could become a bottomless money pit. A combination of alternatives may end up being the way to get the most for our money,” she stated, adding that her staff is studying the various options and will hold community input meetings in addition to those scheduled by Metro.

“The communities I represent deserve a solution that absolutely improves their quality of life and environment … while improving mobility and using transportation to foster economic growth,” she said.

Metro and Caltrans have scheduled two more public hearings:

—Wednesday, May 6 at La Cañada High School auditorium, with a map viewing from 5-6 p.m. and public hearing at 6 p.m.

—Thursday, May 7 at the Los Angeles Christian Presbyterian Church, map viewing 5-6 p.m. and public hearing at 6 p.m.

The full study is available at and can be viewed at the Caltrans District Office, 100 S. Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 and public libraries listed here: 710-conversations.

Comments will be accepted by mail through July 6: Mail to Garret Damrath, Caltrans Division 7, Division of Environmental Planning, 100 South Main Street MS-16, Los Angeles CA 90012.

To read more about the SR-710, go to


Twitter @jackiereporter
Updated 2;50 p.m.

Two Teens Shot at CSULA

April 2, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

 Two males, one 14 and the other 18, were shot and wounded in a parking lot at Cal State Los Angeles Sunday.

Teens inside a van that made its way through an area east of downtown Los Angeles taunted people as they went and when they drove into a parking lot at the university about 9:15 p.m. someone fired on the vehicle, striking the victims, said Lt. Peter Gamino of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollenbeck Station.

Both were taken to County-USC Medical Center, he said. Their conditions were not immediately available.

University police were investigating the shooting, which appeared to be gang-related, Gamino said.

No suspect information was available, he said.

Journalist Ruben Salazar to be Focus of Cal State LA Panel

January 29, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A panel discussion on the relevance Mexican American journalist Ruben Salazar’s life and work has in today’s society will take place Feb. 4 at Cal State University, Los Angeles.

Titled “Rubén Salazar – Siempre Con Nosotros/Always With Us,” the discussion is being presented in conjunction with the multimedia exhibition, “Legacy of Rubén Salazar: A Man of His Words, a Man of His Time,” on display through March 26 at the University’s John F. Kennedy Memorial Library.

Both events are free and open to the public.

Next Wednesday’s panel will be led by noted history and journalism scholars, Mario Garcia, Ph.D, who has published works on Mexican American and Chicano activism and Latino millennials, and Felix Gutierrez, Ph.D, who has written and spoken extensively about the biases of mass media and the need for diversity in journalism.

(EGP photo archive)

(EGP photo archive)

Panelists will speak to the importance of principled journalism in today’s polarized society, using the life and writings of former LA Times and KMEX-TV Spanish language news reporter Ruben Salazar as context.

Salazar, perhaps best known for his death at the hands of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies during the 1970 Chicano Moratorium, was at the forefront of principled journalism during another period of polarization, the 1960’s civil rights and anti-war movements.

He was a nationally recognized foreign correspondent who reported on the escalation of the Vietnam War and on Latin America during the beginnings of the post Cuban revolution. When he returned to Los Angeles in 1969, he found a community in transition, fighting to be empowered.

Salazar’s in-depth reporting of the Mexican American and emerging Chicano movement for the Times and KMEX in many ways gave voice to that struggle, presenting leaders and common people as subjects, not objects, or stereotypes for mainstream media sound bites.

Early in his career, while covering jail conditions in El Paso, he was arrested while posing as a drunk and went on to describing life in the tank. One of his last columns before being killed, in moving detail described the plight of welfare mothers and children.

Salazar covered action on the front lines in Vietnam, the Tlateloco massacre in Mexico at the time of the 1968 Olympics, and he wrote about the beginnings of Cesar Chavez’ farm labor organizing before the strikes and boycotts. He also wrote about Chicano teacher Sal Castro years before he emerged as a major figure in the East LA Walkouts.

Salazar’s tragic death cemented his place as an icon of the Chicano Movement.

His return to Los Angeles in 1969 marked the establishment of the Mexican American/Chicano news beat, journalism to empower people.

In the year before he died, Salazar wrote over 100 articles on a wide range of issues from the barrios and fields in and around Los Angeles and nationwide.

The panel discussion will be held at 3pm, Feb. 4 in the Golden Eagle Ballroom 2, in the Student Union building. To attend, RSVP by Feb. 2 at For more information, call (323) 343-3066 or send an email to

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