August 28, 2014 by University of La Verne

His photographs have captured the plight of undocumented immigrants traveling from Latin America to the United States during more than three decades. The same images have also captured many hearts, leading to accolades, including the Pulitzer Prize.

Now Don Bartletti, a veteran photographer for the Los Angeles Times, plans to share his work and wisdom at the University of La Verne during a photo gallery exhibition called “Uneasy Neighbors: The Causes and Consequences of Undocumented Migration to the United States.”

Seventeen years after he slipped into the U.S. through a gap in the border fence, Wilfredo Ramirez Jr. stands just inside the border of his adopted country in Imperial Beach, Calif. on March 28, 2006.

Seventeen years after he slipped into the U.S. through a gap in the border fence, Wilfredo Ramirez Jr. stands just inside the border of his adopted country in Imperial Beach, Calif. on March 28, 2006.

Bartletti displayed his Pulitzer Prize-winning portfolio from the Times story “Enrique’s Journey” in La Verne’s gallery in 2003. The story evolved into a national bestseller by Sonia Nazario and is the subject of La Verne’s “One Book, One University” program.

“In this latest portfolio, Mr. Bartletti has included additional images from as early as 1983 up through 2014, to expand on the original story into the breadth of the contemporary discussion of migration to the United States,” said Professor of Photography Gary Colby.

The gallery catalog for the exhibit includes faculty reflection essays by Nadine M. Nakamura, Assistant Professor of Psychology, and Adrian M. Velazquez Vazquez, Assistant Professor of Public Administration.

Bartletti has worked as a photographer for the Times since 1983 and has earned dozens of awards for his work.

“I’ve covered wars and documentary issues in 23 countries. The soul of my career has been the causes and consequences of migration between Latin America and the U.S.,” he wrote on his LinkedIn.com biography.

What: Don Bartletti photo exhibition, “Uneasy Neighbors: The Causes and Consequences of Undocumented Migration to the United States.”

When: Aug. 25 to Oct. 10, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. or by appointment. A lecture with Bartletti will be from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in Ballroom A in the Campus Center on Sept. 18. A reception will follow in the gallery.

Where: Irene Carlson Gallery of Photography, Miller Hall, University of La Verne, 1950 Third St.

Contact:
Gary Colby, 909-448-4070, gcolby@laverne.edu

August 27, 2014 by University of La Verne

It happens all too often. A person comes upon a concerning situation or witnesses an injustice that calls for help – yet they do nothing. It is referred to as the bystander effect, a common occurrence in today’s society that has gained considerable attention of late, thanks in part to eyewitness accounts and video surveillance shared on the news and through social media.

In many instances, inaction is a result of fear and/or simply not knowing what to do. In an effort to counter the bystander effect, the University of La Verne has adopted the Step Up! Bystander Intervention Program. Aimed at teaching students to be proactive in helping others, the new comprehensive program provides tools, resources and information on how students can begin taking action.

“Step Up! gives students the necessary tools to stop a negative situation before it happens,” said Director of Campus Safety and Transportation Services Stan Skipworth.

There are five decision making steps outlined in the program:

  • Notice the event
  • Interpret the event as a problem
  • Assume personal responsibility
  • Know how to help
  • Implement the help

A newly launched La Verne website explores 10 examples of situations or causes in which students are called to be vigilant and implement the Step up! action steps. From depression to discrimination to sexual assault, issues that affect students the most are outlined with scenarios, questions, considerations, action steps and resources.

Other resources available to students are videos, handouts, worksheets – all geared toward helping students overcome their fear of taking a stand.

“As a university, we must protect each other. Nothing is worse than seeing a bad situation unfold and not acting, knowing that you could have done something to prevent it,” said President Devorah Lieberman.

To learn more about the Step Up! program, visit http://laverne.edu/step-up/.

August 26, 2014 by University of La Verne

(Ontario, Calif.) The State Bar of California this month named University of La Verne College of Law Dean Gilbert Holmes the first recipient of the Annual Presidential Awards for his efforts to provide access to justice.

It is the inaugural year for the Presidential Awards, which honor legal educators and professionals in the areas of mentorship, protection of the public, civic education and access to justice.

gil_sq_1821_crop-198x300

Dean Gilbert Holmes, College of Law

In March, in response to the soaring costs of U.S. legal education and an ever-widening wealth gap between scholarship and full-tuition law school students, the College of Law announced its adoption of a flat, no-discount ‘True Tuition Model’ in effect for the 2014-2015 academic year and beyond.  Set at $25,000 per year for full-time students, the new tuition rate and structure address the affordability and accessibility of an ABA accredited legal education in Southern California.

“The time has come to tell the truth about the cost of legal education,” said Gilbert Holmes, Dean of the College of Law.  “Legal education costs have skyrocketed over the last decade.  Student debt is the highest it’s ever been.  And the disparity promoted by a rankings-driven merit scholarship model that leans on students with a sub-median LSAT performance [skewed in some instances by race, ethnicity and socio-economic factors] to fund advantaged, historically higher-scoring students, is something that we can no longer perpetuate. At La Verne College of Law, we’re reconciling that disparity, opening the door to a quality legal education by setting a flat, fixed tuition level that’s reasonable for everyone.”

The flat $25,000 tuition (a considerable decrease from the previous full-time rate of $39,900) for all students positioned La Verne College of Law as the most affordable ABA accredited legal education in California.

“I am proud to inform you that you will be the first person to receive the Presidential Award for Access to Justice for your commitment to making a legal education more accessible to the community,” wrote state bar President Luis J. Rodriguez in a letter to Holmes.

La Verne is not the first institution where Holmes has strived to increase access to a legal education.

He founded the Charles Hamilton Houston Scholars program in 2010 through the University of Baltimore School of Law, where he served nearly 12 years, including six as dean.  The program prepares under-represented college freshmen and sophomores for admission to and success in law school.

Holmes began his tenure at La Verne’s College of Law in June 2013. He will be honored during a ceremony in San Diego on Sept. 13.
                                                                          ###

August 20, 2014 by University of La Verne

A new and unique abstract painting exhibit is coming to University of La Verne’s Harris Art Gallery, showcasing the far reach of contemporary visual culture on art.

P_of_E-PR

Frederick Hammersley Tango, 1979 #5 oil on linen 48 x 48 in. (121.9 x 121.9 cm) Courtesy of Frederick Hammersley Foundation and L.A. Louver, Venice, CA

The Pictures of Everything exhibit is a nod to Kirk Varnedoe’s Mellon Lecture Series, Pictures of Nothing, given at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. in 2003. It features the work of Phil Argent, Karl Benjamin, Sarah Cain, Jane Callister, Frederick Hammersley, Allison Miller, Sandeep Mukherjee, Oliver Sutter, David Reed and Feodor Voronov,
In the exhibit, the word ‘everything’ is not a catchall term that signals a dilution of painting styles or concepts.

Instead, it triumphantly denotes a pervasive expanse, and presents a range of artists with a wide range of ideas and practices. Benjamin and Hammersley, pioneers of the Southern California Hard Edge movement, explore flat planes of color in crisp symmetrical compositions. Argent, Mukherjee and Voronov harness the energy of spatial dynamics and surface tension.

Reed’s smooth waveforms and the explosive spills of Callister emphasize gesture and motion. Cain, Miller and Sutter utilize pattern and structure as the essential elements of their work.

The unique collection of paintings fill the Harris Art Gallery space with color, texture, use of pattern, light, and space, embracing its title Pictures of Everything, and the expanse that it entails.

When: Sept. 2 to Oct. 30, 2014. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.
Reception: Tuesday, Sept. 9 from 6-8 p.m.

Where: Harris Art Gallery, located in the Landis Academic Center at the University of La Verne.
1950 Third St., La Verne, Calif.

Gallery Hours: Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment.

Details: Ten artists collaborate in Pictures of Everything, an abstract painting exhibition.

Contacts: Dion Johnson, Director of University Art Galleries, University of La Verne, (909) 593-3511 ext. 4383, djohnson@laverne.edu.

August 18, 2014 by University of La Verne

Some people refer to the University of La Verne’s Graduate Success Center as the institution’s best-kept secret. Center Director Dr. Linda De Long aims to change that.

The center is preparing for its annual Graduate Orientation for Academics, Learning & Success – or GOALS – set for Aug. 23. And De Long hopes the event will boost interest in the center.

Tutoring is one of many services offered at the Graduate Success Center.

Tutoring is one of many services offered at the Graduate Success Center.

“In a period of hours, the students are going to get a better and fuller appreciation for who’s there behind the scenes to support them as a graduate or doctoral student, and that there are departments dedicated to making that student be successful,” said De Long, who is also a senior adjunct professor.

The center, located on the second floor of the Campus Center, is a one stop shop for tutoring, mentorship and workshops geared toward graduate and doctorate students. Students who have been away from the academic world for years can brush up on writing research papers. They can spruce up their resumes to get a job. They can even learn how to manage stress.

The orientation begins with check-in at 8:30 a.m. on the east side of Founder’s Hall, and a continental breakfast at Davenport Dining Hall. Students may obtain parking permits and student ID pictures.

University Provost Jonathan Reed and President Devorah Lieberman will kick off the orientation at 9:30 a.m. at Morgan Auditorium, followed by a panel discussion including main campus and regional campus administrators. There will also be a question-and-answer segment where students can gain new information about their Graduate program, and about the departments that service graduate students, De Long said.

Students who cannot make it to the main campus can observe the panel discussion via live Internet stream which can be found on the main page of the center’s website.

A service fair will take place on the third floor of the Campus Center at 11:30 a.m., where students can get information on everything from financial aid and the library to multicultural services and the bookstore. Students have a chance to win an iPad mini or university merchandise during a raffle that follows.

Students can then break out and meet with the deans and department chairs from their colleges.

The center, funded by a Title V grant from the U.S. Department of Education, has been in existence nearly five years. Each semester students visit the GSC in the campus center to obtain support in writing, statistics, accounting and finance, as well as career services and mentoring.

She anticipates those numbers continue to grow.

The center has added new services this year to build on its success.

In September, the center plans to begin offering workshop series’ that will cover subjects such as writing research papers, how to do a keyword search, interviewing, resume writing, the Microsoft Office series and stress management. They are also working with students who are preparing for the California Basic Education Skills Test, required for teaching in public schools.

“I’m really excited about this and the potential to support our graduate and doctoral students,” De Long said.

August 14, 2014 by University of La Verne

A national organization presented La Verne’s Campus Safety Department with an award July 29 for increasing officer training, security equipment and making other school safety improvements.

Stanley Skipworth, Senior Director of Campus Safety, Transportation & Emergency Services, holds his department's latest award from the School Safety Advocacy Council.

Stanley Skipworth, Senior Director of Campus Safety,
Transportation & Emergency Services, holds his department’s latest award from the School Safety Advocacy Council.

It occurred during the 9th Annual National School Safety Conference in Orlando, Fla. La Verne was the only higher education institution recognized during the event, which was hosted by the Maryland-based School Safety Advocacy Council. The group provides specialized services and training for law enforcement, school departments, colleges and universities.

“I’m very, very proud of the people that I work with and I’m very proud of the work they’ve done in support of the work of the university,” Campus Safety Director Stan Skipworth said.

The department has increased the number of security cameras on and off-campus from 24 to 76 this year. The number of blue emergency telephone kiosks has jumped in the last few months from three to 10. The department created a smart phone campus safety application called LeoSafe. And training for officers increased from 16 hours of baseline training to 108, Skipworth said.

The extra training covers areas such as emergency preparedness, crisis intervention and certification from a California Peace Officer’s Standards and Training Certified Academy. Officers are also required to conduct a one-day ride along with a La Verne Police Department officer.

University President Devorah Lieberman said the Campus Safety Department has worked diligently to create a university community that is the safest environment for students, faculty and staff.

“This award is well deserved and we are proud that the University of La Verne has the distinction of being the only college or university to be recognized this year by the School Safety Advocacy Council,” Lieberman said.

The organization also recognized La Verne for having several programs focused on the role of the campus community in safety.

Skipworth established Leos Caring for Leos – or LC4L – last year. Its purpose is to encourage people at the school to report suspicious activity or emergencies to campus officers, so officers can respond quicker. With the help of Dean of Student Affairs, Dr. Loretta Rahmani, and Elleni Koulos, director of counseling and psychological services, Skipworth also created the Behavioral Intervention Team to help students, faculty or staff members who may be in distress.

La Verne's LeoSafe smart phone application is one of numerous ways Campus Safety has improved security.

La Verne’s LeoSafe smart phone application is one of numerous ways Campus Safety has improved security.

La Verne’s athletic department created Step UP! to motivate students to help other people on campus in times of trouble.

“When we were recognized, they touched on all of that,” Skipworth said. “I was really proud of that. It was neat to know that our approach was a holistic one.”

Skipworth credits the school’s safety improvements and the award to partnerships on- and off-campus, including relationships with La Verne city and Los Angeles County officials, along with other higher education institutions.

“None of this is possible without the tremendous relationships with people across campus with our day to day mission to keep the university as safe as possible,” he said.

Clive K. Houston-Brown, Vice President for Facilities & Technology & Chief Information Officer praised the numerous awards the department has received since Skipworth took the helm of the department in 2013.

“He has worked tirelessly to raise the level of professionalism, training, and capabilities of the department and the University is receiving national exposure and recognition for it,” Houston-Brown said.

August 7, 2014 by University of La Verne

University of La Verne President Devorah Lieberman joins dignitaries in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Small Business Development Center in La Verne.

University of La Verne President Devorah Lieberman joins dignitaries in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Small Business Development Center in La Verne.

San Gabriel Valley entrepreneurs used to have to drive to Long Beach to find the nearest Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for help hiring employees, accessing capital and developing government contracts.

That commute became shorter on Aug. 6 with the opening of University of La Verne’s Small Business Development Center, in a building formerly occupied by the institution’s human resources department.

“It fits perfectly with the vision that the University has,” said Dr. Ibrahim “Abe” Helou, Dean of the College of Business and Public Management.

University of La Verne President Devorah Lieberman speaks during the Small Business Development Center grand opening on Aug. 6.

University of La Verne President Devorah Lieberman speaks during the Small Business Development Center grand opening on Aug. 6.

About 100 dignitaries, business officials and educators gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony at the site.

A confluence of ideas between legislators and the University led to the opening of the SBDC. Congresswoman Judy Chu learned of the absence of such a facility in the San Gabriel Valley during a Pasadena conference in 2011, she said. La Verne had already been discussing the idea while developing its 2020 Strategic Vision months earlier.

“We came up with five areas that the community is going to need based on market research, etc.,” said University President Devorah Lieberman. “Right at the top was small business.”

There used to be a center based at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, but it closed in 2009. When Chu discovered this, she reached out to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA agreed to help fund a center in the San Gabriel Valley, but it required matching funds from a university or college.

La Verne and Pasadena City College stepped up, bringing not one, but two centers to the San Gabriel Valley. The SBA and Long Beach Community College District partnered with La Verne to make the University’s project a reality.

“Small business is the backbone of the San Gabriel Valley. The San Gabriel Valley definitely deserved to have one (a center),” Chu said.

Congresswoman Grace Napolitano said the region is often looked upon as a stepchild of Los Angeles County, but having the site will change that.

“That will help to develop the jobs we need to increase our economic viability in this area,” Napolitano said. “And that’s something that I’m committed to, not only because it’s in an area that needs it but because it’s an area that is poised to take center stage.”

Small business owners and entrepreneurs will have access to free business consulting, as well as low-cost seminars and conferences. They can increase their sales, obtain loans and position themselves for long-term growth.

The site will be a part of the Los Angeles Regional SBDC Network, serving businesses in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. La Verne’s center will serve business owners living or working in cities such as Pomona, West Covina, Diamond Bar, Claremont, San Dimas, La Verne, Industry and Hacienda Heights, but it is also open to small businesses and entrepreneurs in surrounding cities as well.

The center will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information on the University of La Verne, visit http://www.lavernesbdc.org, or call, (909) 448-1556.

August 5, 2014 by University of La Verne

University of La Verne sophomore Victoria Matveev-Suarez has been volunteering in her community for as long as she can remember.

Receiving the 2014 Pomona Community Hero of the Year Award still came as a surprise, despite her hard work.

Victoria Matveev-Suarez is the recipient of the 2014 Pomona Community Hero of the Year Award.

Victoria Matveev-Suarez is the recipient of the 2014 Pomona Community Hero of the Year Award.

“I feel so blessed to be given this award.” Matveev-Suarez said.

The award, given by the city of Pomona, is celebrated during Pomona Day on September 5th at the L.A. County Fair.

“One of the perks of the award is that I get to ride in the parade,” she said.

Matveev-Suarez attends the special day every year and has ridden on group floats in the parade before with her father, who has served as president of the Pomona Valley Democratic Club.

“But this time, I get to ride in a fancy vintage car, so that will be fun!” Martveev-Suarez said.

In addition to balancing school and work, Matveev-Suarez always makes time to volunteer and help out in the community. As a graduate of Pomona Catholic High School, and all-girls school in Pomona, she makes sure to go back and help with the track and soccer teams.

She competed on the both teams during all four years of high school, and appreciated the mentors who would volunteer their time.

“When I’m there, and coaching the girls, they ask about college, and have questions about all aspects of life. I can relate to the girls, and am happy to be there and have that time with them,” she said.

On campus, Matveev-Suarez attends all of the events, and makes the most of her college experience. She makes time to campaign, and helps with meetings and events for her father, as well as other members of the Pomona Valley Democratic Club.

“I’ve worked for them my whole life. Because my dad has always been so involved in the community, every Saturday morning I’m there and helping them with their campaign issues,” she said.

And her work in volunteerism shows no sign of slowing down.

“Anytime I have the opportunity to volunteer I take it. Whether it’s staying late in the library to tutor students, or running track with the high school girls; in everything I do, I always try to volunteer and lend a helping hand,” she said.

July 31, 2014 by University of La Verne

High school students dashed up the stairs of the Mainiero Building after a coffee pit stop at Barbara’s Café. They gathered in the biology lab, began hooking each other up to EKG devices and then jotted down results in their notebooks.

Southland high school students participating in the university's STEM summer camp work at the Pomona College Organic Farm.

Southland high school students participating in the university’s STEM summer camp work at the Pomona College Organic Farm.

“We want to show the effects of stimulants on the heart,” said Dr. Jerome Garcia, biology department chairman.

It was all part of University of La Verne’s two-week Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) summer camp, which drew a dozen teens from Southland high schools and 12 students from Taft College in Kern County.

The camp has been held four times through Title V STEM grants.

“The purpose of the camp is exposing the high school students to the diversity of the natural sciences,” said Garcia, who is the STEM grant director for La Verne.

They have dissected sheep hearts, toured Jet Propulsion Laboratory, surveyed insects in the San Dimas Experimental Forest and analyzed water samples from San Antonio Creek near Mt. Baldy. They have also had classes in computer science and mathematics.

Ganesha High School students Elizabeth Flores and Jonathan Tostado haul compost at the Pomona College Organic Farm in Claremont during University of La Verne's STEM summer camp program.

Ganesha High School students Elizabeth Flores and Jonathan Tostado haul compost at the Pomona College Organic Farm in Claremont during University of La Verne’s STEM summer camp program.

That’s what drew 15-year-old Nia Rasshan’s interest. The junior from Ganesha High School in Pomona said she is drawn to computer science and engineering, as well as studying computer hardware and software.

“I hope to get more information on the (college) classes I’d take and to get the college experience,” she said.

Taft students broke off into separate groups, assisting La Verne faculty with their own research.

La Verne did not hold the camp last summer, in part, because coordinators wanted to revamp and expand the program, Garcia said.

This year, there are more areas of study, and debate exercises and competitions make up 50 percent of the session.

How does debate apply to science and technology?

Future scientists need to be able to communicate their novel ideas, Garcia said. Having skills in speech communication will help.

“It’s not really about being right or wrong, but providing different perspectives,” he said.

After the EKG exercise, students ventured over to the Pomona College Organic Farm in Claremont, where they learned about sustainable agriculture. They broke up into teams, preparing soil for planting, sifting compost and removing weeds from a watermelon patch.

Damien High School sophomore Kalani Matton, who helped with the weeding, said he signed up for the camp due to his interest in biology, but he hasn’t decided on a college major yet.

“I’m still thinking about it. I’m just trying out new things,” he said.

The camp continues until Friday.

Participants in University of La Verne's STEM summer camp gather at Pomona College Organic Farm in Claremont.

Participants in University of La Verne’s STEM summer camp gather at Pomona College Organic Farm in Claremont.

July 23, 2014 by University of La Verne

It’s a boon for entrepreneurs and a boost for economic growth.

The University of La Verne is set to open a Small Business Development Center on Aug. 6, offering the East San Gabriel Valley free business consulting, as well as low-cost seminars and conferences. The U.S. Small Business Administration and Long Beach Community College District partnered with La Verne to make the project a reality.

“Supporting our local small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs is our main goal,” said University President Devorah Lieberman. “We are thrilled to host the SBDC program because it aligns perfectly with our core values.”

Dr. Abe Helou, Dean of the College of Business and Public Management, dreamed up the idea as a way to support the business community, said Sean Snider, center director.

“The SBDC program is built on the concept of combining the resources of institutions of higher learning and government to assist small businesses,” Snider said.

The site will be a part of the Los Angeles Regional SBDC Network, serving businesses in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. La Verne’s center will serve business owners living or working in cities such as Pomona, West Covina, Diamond Bar, Claremont, San Dimas, La Verne, Industry and Hacienda Heights. But it’s also open to small businesses and entrepreneurs in surrounding cities as well.

The University will host an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. to formally introduce the program and its services to the community. The center will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information on the University of La Verne SBDC or to RSVP for the open house, visit www.lavernesbdc.org, or call, (909) 448-1556.