The Wave

Alumni & Friends Logo

Summer 2009 | A quarterly online newsletter for Alumni & Friends of California State University Channel Islands.

Picture of Tania Garcia

Welcome to your CSU Channel Islands Alumni & Friends Association! I hope you enjoy this newsletter and find it useful, informational, and fun. I encourage you to take advantage of all that is available to you as a graduate of this campus or as a community friend. During these difficult economic times, there is no better time than now to come together to help one another build careers, business, friendships and support. I welcome each of you to share your ideas and comments with me as we continue to grow this wonderful program for the alumni, students and entire community. Have a wonderful summer and I hope to see you all at Dodger Day on September 19th.

Tania R. Garcia
Associate Director of Alumni Relations
CSU Channel Islands


President Richard Rush at Graduation CeremonyPicture of President Rush at Graduation Ceremony

Commencement Ceremony: Con"grad"ulations!
"Because of this wonderful university, we the students, I mean we the alumni, are trained and disciplined to make a difference in the world."

Alexandra Mitchell, 2009 Commencement Speech

Alumni volunteers at tableVolunteers at Table handing out t shirtsOn May 16, 2009, nearly seven hundred CSUCI students walked across a stage, shook hands with President Rush, and became proud new alumni. The University's seventh commencement ceremony was an exciting and memorable event, hosting nearly 9,000 parents, family, and friends of the graduates. In addition to the awarding of master's and bachelor's degrees, as well as teaching credentials, the ceremony included keynote remarks by CSU Trustees A. Robert Linschied and Lou Monville, President Richard Rush, and Student Government President Alexandra Mitchell. As these graduates face the future, each and every one of them is armed with an exemplary education, courtesy of California State University Channel Islands.

Older person reading a book at table
older people listening to a lectureolder people listening to a lectureOsher Institute will offer classes in Oxnard
This fall, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at CSU Channel Islands will offer University-quality classes in Oxnard for mature learners. The classes will be held at the Oxnard Public Library located at 251 South A Street. Classes will begin on August 26 and continue for six weeks. This will be the first opportunity for adult learners of all ages to enroll in Osher Institute classes in Oxnard. Enrollment is open to persons 50 years old and above. Younger than 50, but still interested? If there is room, OLLI may be able to accommodate younger students. Classes include Popular Film & Society and Beyond Story-Telling: The Art of Fiction. Enrollment and further information can be obtained by calling 805-437-2748 or by visiting OSHER(CSUCI). OLLI catalogs are also available at the Oxnard Public Library.

People walking around in Art GalleryArt Students posing in Art Gallery

"Summertime Blues" Art Show at CSUCI Art Gallery/Ventura
The CSUCI Art Gallery/Ventura "Summertime Blues" group art exhibition features approximately one hundred artworks ( painting, sculpture, photography, and design) created by CSUCI art students, alumni, and faculty artists. Much of the work exhibited is thematic based, emphasizing various aspects of light, color, and subject matter related to the essence and attitude of summertime in Southern California. The exhibit is open during regular gallery hours, which are as follows: Tuesday through Thursday 12- 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday 12-9 p.m., Sunday 12-5 p.m. The Gallery is closed on Mondays. This exhibition runs from June 18 to August 23. CSUCI Art Gallery/Ventura is located at 21 California Street in Ventura. For additional information, contact the CSUCI Art Program at 805-437-8570, or email or visit the Web site at Gallery (Art CSUCI).


Portrait of Heidi Lundgren

Spotlight on: Heidi Lundgren
Heidi Lundgren ('07, Psychology) has taken creativity to the next level after re-vamping her advertising and graphic design business in the face of California's tough economy. Although her original company, Creative Communication, is still in business, she chose to focus on a new user group-young teens and their parents. Heidi partnered with her 12-year-old son to create, a humorous Web site aimed at kids 11 to 14 years of age. is directed at helping them deal with the thoughts, fears, and questions that come with puberty. Heidi has even debuted "PuberTees" and is expanding the retail line associated with the booming Web site. Despite her success, Heidi is not finished learning. She says, "In the future, I still hope to obtain a Graduate Degree in Art Therapy so that I may one day help kids and adults with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)." Congratulations on all your successes, Heidi!

Portrait of Kimberly Matsuda

Spotlight on: Kimberly Matsuda
Kimberly Matsuda ('05, Mathematics/Computer Science) puts her double-major degree to use daily as a computer scientist for the Department of Defense. For Kim, this is her dream job; she loves being a part of the Navy and its community. She recalls a similar sense of community during her years here, saying, "One of my favorite memories at CI is the math department's sense of community between the students. The students worked together to succeed, which was especially important in such a small department." Kim also fondly remembers CI's Dodger Days as a special time during which she could share her school with her family. Kim has completed the bulk of the coursework associated with a master's in computer science at CI, and looks forward to working on her thesis, as well as advancing in her career.

Picture of Dave Mayorga

Spotlight on: David Mayorga
David Mayorga ('05, BS Mathematics; '09, MS Mathematics) has had the unique experience of being one of the first students to earn a master's degree in mathematics. He finished the degree and participated in CSUCI's commencement ceremony this past spring. His research focused on using applied mathematics (specifically, Support Vector Machines) in order to model aftermarket ticket sales. Dave is even considering another advanced degree; he says, "CSUCI prepared me through discovery and research [for a PhD program], which I believe are key elements to my learning and personal growth as a student." During his time in the master's program, Dave worked as a teaching assistant, which helped him to develop teaching skills and gain experience. In the future, he hopes to continue his research and become a math instructor in the Ventura County community college system-or even someday teach at CI!

Portrait of Brandon Blake and woman

Spotlight on: Brandon Blake
Brandon Blake ('05, Business) is the operations manager at AfterMath Claim Science, Inc. In 2004, Brandon, along with AfterMath's three owners, began as the company's first employee. In only five years, AfterMath Claim Science has emerged from a small startup company to a thriving business with 45 employees and two offices nationwide (one is in Simi Valley and the other in Chicago, IL). The company develops customized overpayment recovery solutions for the nation's leading healthcare payers. Brandon's whirlwind career success is analogous to the growth of CSUCI. He notes that being a part of one of the first graduating classes prepared him to think of his feet and further develop his entrepreneurial spirit. He advises current CI students, "I have learned that you need to be hungry to succeed during these tough economic times, and never underestimate the value of Trust, Love, and Respect in personal and business relationships. I encourage everyone at CI to take charge of your own life, learn all you can, and when it comes time, pay it forward onto others." Brandon will be hosting a leadership seminar alongside his mentor, Joseph Gentile, this fall at Chaminade College Preparatory in West Hills, CA about the qualities of a leader, and how a young professional can use those qualities in the best capacity. Brandon looks forward to his future at AfterMath Claim Science, and plans to start a company of his own in the near future with the support of his wife, Jillian Mae, whom he married in October 2008.

Newly weds Michelle and Will PrattNewly weds Michelle and Will PrattPhoto Courtesy of Kristen Grinnell Photography

Spotlight on: William Pratt and Michelle Lievense-Pratt
William Pratt ('05, Business Administration) and Michelle Lievense-Pratt ('05, Business Administration) are brand-new CSUCI newlyweds! They were married on June 7, 2009. Even in the flurry of planning a wedding, Michelle and William somehow found time to propel their professional lives forward in recent months. This July, Michelle was accepted into a doctoral program at California Lutheran University in Higher Education Leadership, with classes starting almost immediately. William is in Texas, finishing his PhD in finance at the University of Texas Pan-American. Both of them have earned master's degrees from Eastern New Mexico (William in business administration; Michelle in communication). Michelle is on the executive board of Healthcare Financial Experts, Inc, which she incorporated last fall. They work as consultants and expert witnesses in federal and state court cases regarding financial healthcare issues. However, Michelle's new academic program reflects her first love of higher education. Upon remembering her experiences at CI, Michelle says that, "I had really loved co-curricular activities because they allowed me to be a part of campus growth and development." She hopes to be able to be a positive influence on students and have an important role in campus development as a student affairs administrator, just as she remembers CI's staff's influence. In just four short years, both Michelle and William have found their niches: both with each other and in higher education as well.


Picture of Leah Lacayo

Letter from the President of The Alumni & Friends Association
As we begin a new academic year, the CSUCI Alumni & Friends Association board for 2009-10 would like to welcome you. We are looking forward to an exciting and challenging year. The Alumni & Friends Association is a good resource for networking with the business community; we offer special invitations and discounts to University and off-campus events such as Dodger Day, as well as many opportunities for career enhancement. My husband and I became lifetime members because we see the positive impact and the value this University brings to the community in which we live. We look forward to working with you all, and hope to meet many of you this year. Please take advantage of what membership could mean to you as students, alumni, and yes, we also include faculty and community friends. Become members of your Alumni & Friends Association, you will be glad you did.

Leah Lacayo, President
CSUCI Alumni & Friends Association

MVS School of Business and Economics: Where Are We Now?
This event features world-renowned economist and CSUCI professor Dr. Sung Won Sohn. In 2008, Dr. Sohn provided analysis and insights of recent dramatic events in financial markets, economic issues, and preventing future crisis in "What Went Wrong?" Dr. Sohn will continue with his analysis and provide a fresh outlook in this year's installment of this lecture series. For additional details, please contact Merissa Stith by calling 805-437 - 8548 or by email at
Where: Malibu Hall 100
When: Friday, October 9, 2009
Time: 12-2:00pm
*Refreshments will be served.

Advertisement for university gold tournament

Fourth-Annual Dolphin Classic Golf Tournament: August 31, 2009.
Enjoy a day of golf and festivities at the Spanish Hills Country Club. Your participation will help raise funds for CSUCI's intercollegiate athletics program. This event features a helicopter golf ball drop, prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in both Callaway and point-par scoring formats, a Million Dollar Shootout between the first place teams of each scoring format, presentation of the Dolphin Cup Championship trophy, and Hole in One prizes such as a luxury vehicle or $10,000 cash! For more information, contact Mitchel Sloan at or 805-437-8916.

Make the Connection: Dolphin Discount Program
One of the major perks of an A&FA membership is enjoying the discounts that the Dolphin Discount Program offers. In this program, local businesses connect with CSUCI by providing a discount to the CSUCI campus community. In return, the business receives free publicity in the CSUCI student newspaper, student government web site, and at campus activities. These different markets ensure a diverse consumer range significant to all businesses. If you think that you and your business could benefit from this great opportunity, please contact Kevin Schallert, CSUCI Student Body President, at


Alumni and Friends at Dodger Stadium

6th Annual Dodger Day! Saturday, September 19th vs. the Giants
Game begins at 1:10 pm. Enjoy a fun-filled day with CSUCI alumni and community at Dodgers stadium. Preferred, All-You-Can-Eat, and Infield Reserve seating tickets go on sale beginning Monday, August 3rd. Transportation by bus is included with ticket purchase. Please arrive by 10:30 am to catch the bus. Tickets sell out quickly-don't miss out on this fabulous event! For more information or ticket purchases, contact Tania Garcia at or (805)437-8952.

Tug of war in south quadboucy house among club tables in south quad

Welcome to CI Reception: Win Tickets to Dodger Day!
August 23, 2009 from 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Welcome to CI is a free, annual event for new and returning students and their families, alumni, faculty, staff and administrators of the CSUCI campus community to celebrate the start of a new academic year. We anticipate that more than 2,000 participants will attend this year and it is our sincere hope that you will join us as well. Be sure to enter the A&FA raffle for a chance to win a pair of Preferred Field Box tickets ($140 value) to this year's Dodger Day! Raffle tickets are five dollars each, and there are two pairs of tickets available. Special thanks to Dan and Kathy Anderson for their generous donation of these tickets. For details, contact Tania Garcia at 805-437-8952 or

Professional students networkingprofessionals networking

Save the Date: 4th Annual Alumni Mentorship and Networking Night on December 3, 2009
This unique event matches members of the Alumni & Friends Association with a local professional in their fields. Enhance your networking skills, learn about leadership opportunities, and attend that evening's Business & Technology Partnership Holiday Mixer for FREE! Mark your calendar, and remember to take advantage of this great career opportunity. If you are interested in attending, please contact Tania Garcia at or (805)437-8952.

Advertisement for Presidents Dinner

Save the Date: 10th Annual President's Dinner on October 3, 2009
Take a walk down memory lane at this year's dinner, themed When Life Seemed Simpler. Savor a retro-style evening of dancing, food, and fun in the beautiful John Spoor Broome Library at CSUCI. This event features a vintage 1950's car show, live auction, presentation of the prestigious Robert J. Lagomarsino Award, and much more! A&FA members can purchase tickets at half price. Limited number available. For more information, contact Mitchel Sloan at or 805-437-8916.

Win 8 days in Europe for two!
Start in Paris, then on to Lucerne, Venice, Florence and Rome! The tour includes luxury transportation, First Class hotel accommodations, authentic local dining experiences, daily sightseeing with expert guides and the personal concierge services of knowledgeable, professional Tour Directors. Trip dates are set: November 15 - November 23, 2009.

Buy your tickets now: $50 each or 3 for $100. For tickets, contact Dianne Wei at 805-437-8420.

Airfare not included. Trip cancellation insurance not included. Trip donated by Mary C. Kramer, Thunderbird Travel.


Headshot of Wayne Adelstein


Wayne Adelstein of Thousand Oaks, one of the newest members of the Board, is no stranger to Alumni affairs. He brings more than fifteen years of CSU Alumni experience to The Alumni & Friends Association.
Adelstein served as the president of the Cal State Northridge Alumni Association and served on the university foundation and university corporation. In 2001, he was elected president of the system-wide CSU Alumni Council, which represents all 23 campuses. Needless to say, he has an extensive state wide network to draw upon, to our benefit.

Wayne's commitment to the CSU system, and advancement of higher education in general, comes from his appreciation and recognition of the importance higher education played in his professional success.

Wayne's interest in our university dates back to when the CSU was searching for a site in Ventura County, the acquisition of the land formerly occupied by Camarillo State Hospital, and the hiring of President Richard Rush. And although he has only recently joined the Board, he was involved in assisting in the early formation of Alumni & Friends.

Upon moving to Thousand Oaks, fellow board member and long time friend Gary Wartik approached Wayne about serving on the board. Wayne couldn't resist.

"I strongly believe that the relationship between the University and the communities it serves will have a significant impact on the socio-economic development of the region." Adelstein further states, "It is important that the University initiate effective 'Friend-raising' programs that will lead to greater community participation and ultimately financial support in the form of scholarships and support of our academic programs, particularly at a time when state support is tenuous. I look forward to being a part of this great institution."

We are lucky to have such an insightful and committed person serving on the CSUCI Alumni & Friends Board.


Students sitting under trees near university glen


Dr. Cynthia Wyels is a one-of-a-kind professor. Instead of traveling or relaxing during her summer break, she is a research mentor on campus in an REU program. REU stands for "Research Experience for Undergraduates;" it is a 6t o 9 week summer program for undergraduate students. They conduct intensive research full-time in a small group under the guidance of a research mentor, such as Dr. Wyels. REUs are generally designed to replace a summer job, providing the student with room, board, and often a generous stipend. The CSUCI Mathematics REU receives a grant for four U.S. students to participate. This year, a private donor covered the costs for a student from Universidád Autónomo del Estado Hidalgo, Mexico to participate as well.

Dr. Wyels says that she enjoys supervising annual REUs : "This particular REU focuses on providing access to higher levels of mathematics to students from minorities underrepresented in math. Also, we work intensely together, so I get to know the students exceptionally well - it's an excellent mentoring opportunity. The REU experience can be very influential in terms of their future achievements not only as undergraduates but also in opening doors to graduate programs."

For the past three years, Dr. Wyels' research topic for her students has been graph labeling. Although there are different students each summer, they all conduct research on some aspect of this topic and build on what others have done in previous years. REUs are offered in a broad array of disciplines, and they are a great way to build research skills and mature within a field. For more information on REUs and the CSUCI math program, visit Dr. Wyels' web site at



President Richard Rush talking to older gentleman

CSUCI Alumni Invited to Join the President's Circle at a Special Rate
Abigail Adams, wife of president John Adams, once said, "Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence."

As an alum of CSUCI, you already know about the "seeking with ardor" part - you worked hard for your education and you succeeded! There is a special group of people that was here to help when you were a student and that continues to support CSUCI - taking care of that "attending to with diligence" part of the equation. This group is the President's Circle - people who contribute $1,000 or more through the CSUCI Foundation every year.

We would love to invite you to join this special group, but we understand that you may not yet be in the financial position to give at that level. That's why we want to offer CSUCI alumni a chance to join the President's Circle for a special rate of $500 annually. This amount will let you join the group and renew your membership for up to five years at that same rate. You will receive all of the same benefits as all the other members - they are listed below. The President's Circle can provide an important way for you to stay connected to CSUCI and to meet community folks that are interested in what you are doing and may be able to help you as you progress in your career or further education.

Membership Benefits (beyond your A&FA membership):

  • Invitations to President's Circle events
  • Gold lapel pin
  • Invitations to University events hosted by the President
  • Annual reception with the President's Scholars
  • Electronic President's Circle newsletter with updates on programs and curriculum
  • VIP treatment at Commencement, the President's Dinner and the Dolphin Classic Golf Tournament

To take advantage of this offer, simply contact Marti DeLaO, Director of Development, Donor Relations and Annual Fund, at or 805-437-8919.


facebook logo

Search under "groups" tab in your profile for "CSUCI Alumni & Friends" or by email for

linkedin logo

Visit our profile at

Events & Activities by Recreation Connection
Recreation Connection offers discounts on tickets to various theme parks, movie theatres, sporting events, concerts, plays, and other events. Discounts vary monthly. Order tickets by calling (818) 240-7400, email to, or send in an order form (PDF, 17K) . For more information on this month's discounts, check out the RC Benefits (PDF, 872K).

Are you a member?

Students hiding behind pole in broome library pond areaNOT A MEMBER OF THE CSUCI ALUMNI & FRIENDS ASSOCATION? CLICK HERE TO JOIN NOW.alumni posingalumni sitting