Return to Cover

University Links
Capital University News

Events Calendar

News by E-mail

Giving a Gift

Alumni Association

Public Affairs

CSUS Homepage

Fall 2004 l Capital University Journal
Across Campus

President's Inauguration
Leadership changes
Honk! flew south
Healthy rewards
Music students take Manhattan
Sac State: Dollars and sense for region
Boys’ night out
Tales of the century
Five siblings—all alums

Freudian slip?
California shoppin’

Legislating 101

On track  
Punt, pass & remember

Stay connected

Keep up with the latest from Sac State: e-newsletter releases, feature stories, campus facts calendar of campus events Association news, scores and schedules

President’s Inauguration

Alexander Gonzalez will be inaugurated as Sac State’s 11th president in a traditional ceremony on Monday, Oct. 4—the first day of Homecoming Week.

The inauguration begins with a 12:30 p.m. processional at the Outdoor Theatre featuring Sac State faculty, retired faculty, the California State University Chancellor and Board of Trustees, and dignitaries from universities throughout California. There will be short remarks and music, followed by Gonzalez’ inaugural address.

The event will be followed by a reception for the campus community in the nearby Library Quad.

President Gonzalez began at Sac State in July 2003, after serving seven years as president of CSU San Marcos. The inauguration is an important symbolic event for a University. It is embedded in the traditions and roots of higher education going back to medieval Europe.

The event is funded with private money and through the CSUS Foundation.


(back to top)

Leadership changes

Photo: New Administrators
Matthew Altier
VP for Capital Planning and Resource Development, Executive Director of the CSUS Foundation

Ric Brown
VP for Academic Affairs

Stephen Garcia
VP for Administration and Business Affairs

Marion O’Leary
Interim VP for University Advancement

Michael Lewis
Dean of the College of Education

Carolyn Pittman
Interim Associate Vice President Financial Services

Sanjay Varshney
Dean of the College of Business Administration

Laurel Heffernan
Acting Dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Nancy Tooker
Acting Dean of the College of Arts and Letters

Mike Lee
Special Assistant to President for Planning (one- to two-year appointment)

Phil Hitchcock
Director of School of the Arts (two-year appointment)

Joseph Sheley
Interim Director of Alumni Relations and Executive Director of the Sac State Alumni Association; continuing as Dean of the College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies


(back to top)

Honk! flew south

Photo: Part of the cast of Honk!
Part of the cast of Honk!

Sac State’s production of Honk!–a family-friendly musical based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling–made its way to the isle of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands over the summer.

Fifteen Sac State students involved with the campus production of last November and December performed with students from British Virgin Islands High School.

The show benefited Tortola’s Community Agency on Drugs and Addiction. The trip was paid for by American Airlines and the island’s Stock Pot Theater, where the show was performed.


(back to top)

Healthy rewards

Sac State was honored this year by the 23-campus California State University system for its standout effort to reduce teen drinking.

The Campus Leadership Award was given to the University for a program targeting freshmen, students turning 21, and even area high school students. It includes education about the dangers of drinking, workshops for both students and parents at college orientation, and “birthday cards” with safe drinking information sent to students turning 21.

An early analysis of the program shows a declining number of “binge drinkers,” a reduction in high-risk drinking, a decline in the frequency of drinking and an increase in alcohol abstinence. And that’s at a campus where students already only drink, on average, just half as much as their peers nationwide.

More: (916) 278-6595

(back to top)

Music students take Manhattan
Photo: A few of the members Sac State’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble on the steps of the Capistrano Hall
A few of the members Sac State’s Symphonic
Wind Ensemble on the steps of the Capistrano Hall

Skill, hard work and a host of donors came together in dramatic fashion this spring for the 50 students of Sac State’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble. The result: they played Carnegie Hall.

The performance was at the public, gala concert during the annual New York Wind Band Festival, a two-week event that included workshops, clinics and competitions. The Sac State students had proven good enough to be just one of two collegiate ensembles chosen to perform, but that was just the first hurdle. The students also needed about $2,000 each to pay for the trip.

Fortunately, big-hearted donors, many of whom had heard the students perform, stepped in to help.

And while performing at the country’s premier concert hall was certainly a highlight, it wasn’t the only one. The students also made a quick, street-side appearance on the “Today” show–greeted by none other than Sac State alumnus Lester Holt.


(back to top)

Sac State: Dollars and sense for region

Sac State is a key economic engine in the six-county Capital Region, with an annual economic impact of $743.5 million and 15,946 jobs.

That’s according to an analysis completed last year, which shows $438.8 million in regional economic activity is directly generated by operations of the University and its auxiliaries. An additional $304.7 million in economic activity results from that spending.

The analysis was conducted by Robert Fountain, director of the Sacramento Regional Research Institute and special assistant to the president at Sac State. It was made public in a special “Golden Asset” report produced by the University.

The report also highlights the University’s significant social impact. For instance, 78,000 Sac State alumni live in the region—1 in 26 residents. Two-thirds of Sac State students come from the region, with 23 percent transferring from the Los Rios Community College District. And Sac State students contribute 2.3 million hours a year as volunteers in their communities.

The study used 2001–02 data and looked at the six-county region of El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties.


(back to top)

Boys’ night out

Think “girl talk” and stereotypes of slumber
parties and ladies who lunch come to mind. But what about “guy talk”?

Anthropology professor Cindi Sturtz-Sreetharan wanted to find out if males talk among themselves like people would expect. And she did so among an under-studied population: Japanese men.

The findings, published in Language and Society, contradict the image of men talking about “manly” topics. At least among Japanese males, feelings and emotions were as likely to come up as sports and current events.

“The stereotypes didn’t really apply,” SturtzSreetharan says. “Men get personal. They discuss their feelings and their goals. In the literature, that is relegated to the female domain. We overwhelmingly think of females as more polite and emotional.”

To carry out the study, SturtzSreetharan listened to hours of tape of groups of men–ages 19 to 67–interacting in casual settings, such as over a meal or in a bar.

She found that age was the biggest predictor of so-called masculine speech. In general, 19 to 25-year-olds were most likely to use it.


(back to top)

Tales of the century

Graphic: Tales of the century From the fi rst Ford to two World Wars and the emergence of the Internet—you see a lot when you live more than 100 years. That’s what a group of Sac State gerontology and nursing students recently learned.

As part of a class project, the students interviewed nearly 20 of the 140 centenarians who live in Sacramento County. Edited transcripts were handed out at a fundraiser for elder abuse prevention.

The stories include Leila Dunn, who worked as a shipyard electrician in World War II and “Chick” Amsberry, who had Victory Gardens for both World War I, when he was too young to go, and World War II, when he was too old.

Mildred Petersen traveled the Central Valley as the piano player for a dance band while Eva Robinson worked for the Selective Service. Mui Chan’s family immigrated from China to escape the Communists.

And some of the secrets to long life? Eva Robinson abstains from drinking and smoking. Charles Amsberry has an occasional dip of chewing tobacco. Ina Sutton swam every day until she was 98.
Cheryl Osborne, whose gerontology class did the project, plans to assign the interviews annually.

More: Cheryl Osborne at (916) 278-7163

(back to top)

Five siblings—all alums

With the graduation of Jawad, all fi ve Alie siblings are now Sac State alums. In fact, the children of Palestinian immigrants now hold seven Sac State degrees among them, fulfilling a family dream while also, they say, getting a couple of extra degrees on their parents’ behalf.

Father Adnan was always determined the children would get a good education. He hadn’t made it past the third grade, leaving school to work the family olive orchards. Their mother, Fay, left school at 16, devoting herself to new roles as wife and then mother.

The family eventually moved to Sacramento when Neal started at the University. Adnan died in 2000 of pulmonary fi brosis, having watched three of his fi ve children graduate.

Neal was the fi rst of the Alie children to graduate, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1988. He was followed by sister Manal, who earned a bachelor’s degree in 1991 and another in 1994. Mike earned a bachelor’s degree in 1992 and a master’s degree in 1997, and brother Fares earned a bachelor’s degree in 2002. Jawad earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration this spring, when he was one of about 3,500 Sac State students who graduated.

“My father was the kind of person who always looked to the future,” Jawad says. “He said, ‘With education everything is a little easier. Education gives you a lot of opportunities. Work hard and it will pay off later.’”


(back to top)

Freudian slip?

An old Freudian idea that has contributed to beliefs that homosexuals
aren’t fit for marriage should be scrapped, says Sac State child development pro-fessor Mark Biernbaum.

Contrary to Freud’s theory, gay and lesbian individuals are not psycho-logically immature, Biernbaum wrote in the May/June Journal of Homosexuality. They haven’t failed to grow into mental adulthood, which Freud believed caused them to seek partners of the same sex much like children seek playmates.

Biernbaum found instead that gay and straight 18- to 25-year-olds with similar backgrounds responded almost identically to a questionnaire designed to test psychological maturity. That finding also rules out the idea that immaturity makes homosexuals more prone to mental illness.


(back to top)

California shoppin’

Photo: VegetableCalifornia dollars could be bountiful fruit for the state’s economy, says Dennis Tootelian, a Sac State marketing professor and director of the Center for Small Business.

His recent study, commissioned by the Buy California Marketing Agreement, found that state consumers could offer a big boost to the state’s economy just by buying more California-produced agricultural products—tomatoes, lettuce, milk, fish and the like.

If consumers bought just 10 percent more California products annually, the study found, the result would be about 5,565 new jobs and $188 million in tax revenues.

California is the nation’s leading producer of a wide range of agricultural products, and leads the nation in agricultural exports to other countries.

Details: (916) 278-7278

(back to top)

Legislating 101

Graphic: Capitol BuildingSac State’s Center for California Studies and the University of Southern California’s State Capital Center have landed the nation’s premier training and development program for legislative staff.

The program, called the Legislative Staff Management Institute, is the cornerstone of the staff training programs offered by the National Conference of State Legislatures. It was created in 1990.

“Effective state legislatures are essential to America’s representative democracy,” says Center for California Studies Director Tim Hodson. “Legislatures, like any other organization, need dedicated, skilled and well-trained staff. The Legislative Staff Management
Institute develops that staff.”

The CSUS–USC partnership competed successfully with some of the most prestigious universities in the nation—the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute and the LBJ School of Public Policy at the University of Texas.

More: National Conference of State Legislatures at, Center for California Studies at and USC State Capital Center at

(back to top)

On track

Photo: 2004 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials at Sac State’s Hornet Stadium
2004 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials
at Sac State’s Hornet Stadium
Sac State is fast becoming the heart of track and field competition in the United States—the venue of choice for athletes and coaches across the country.

In fact, if there was any doubt, it ended just before the second consecutive U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials began here in July.

Sac State, campus and city officials announced, had been chosen to host the next three NCAA track and field championships.
It will be the first time a single university has hosted the event in consecutive years since Marquette University in 1944 and 1945.

The championship events will cap a run of high-profile meets at Sac State that started with the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials and continued
with the 2001 Junior Olympics and the 2003 NCAA championships. Sacramento and Sac State boosters could hardly have guessed their efforts would pay off so dramatically.

“This unprecedented three-year commitment from the NCAA to hold the national championships here is a tremendous opportunity to showcase Sacramento State to the nation,” Sac State President Alexander Gonzalez said.

John Kane, associate athletics director at Boston College and chair of the NCAA track and field committee, cited Sacramento’s fan base, organizational expertise and climate as key factors in awarding the meets.

“We think something special is happening in track and field, and Sacramento is where it’s happening,” Kane said. “I consider the week I spent in Sacramento during the 2000 Olympic Trials the best week of my track and field life.”

In addition to showcasing the campus and the city, the meets promise to bring a bit of an economic boost to the area—estimated at $5 million per championship by the Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The Olympic Trials, of course, are the showcase event. Sacramento won the right to host the event again in 2004 after attracting a record 187,000 fans in 2000. Attendance was strong, but slightly lower, this year.

The event also attracted the largest group of media ever seen at Sac State, with organizers handing out some 1,200 credentials to reporters from all over the world. That turnout even topped California’s Recall Election debate at Sac State, in which future Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s participation helped attract about 700 media representatives.

More: and

(back to top)

Punt, pass & remember

Photo: Hornet football, 1969
Hornet football, 1969
Sac State’s Alumni Association has a new chapter—Hornet Football Alumni and Friends.

It’s designed for everyone who played a part in the football program over its more than 50 years, from players and cheer team to field crew and parents.

The chapter kicked off with a March event at the Alumni Center honoring Sac State’s head football coaches. Future activities will include pre-game parties, Monday Night Football and other gatherings.

Details: (916) 278-6295 or

(back to top)

Return to Cover