Three members of the Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) community have been honored by the university as recipients of the campus’ 2013 Community Services Award.
Maria Claver, an assistant professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, received the faculty Community Service Award; Mary Anne Rose, director of graduate studies in the College of Education, was the staff honoree; and communication studies major Tony Hoang was this year’s student recipient.
The Community Service Award is designed to recognize and encourage service by members of the CSULB family to the community within which they live. The awards are sponsored by the Academic Senate, the Staff Council and the Associated Students.
All three honorees were recognized and presented with their awards at the 2013 University Achievement Awards, an end-of-the-year celebration of instruction, research, creative activity and service. The following is a summary of their service efforts:
Community Service Award - Faculty
Maria Claver is notable for her commitment to enhancing quality of life through community involvement and her research.
She is widely recognized in her hometown of Whittier as a community leader dedicated to diverse causes. She has helped raise funds for Whittier’s Relay for Life event as event co-chair, team development chair and team captain. She also serves on the Governing Board of Directors for Whittier Hospital Medical Center.
Claver has served as membership chair and grant writer for the Whittier Conservancy, a non-profit organization formed in the wake of the 1987 earthquake with the goal of protecting historical buildings and natural hillsides. Since 2009, she has secured more than $125,000 in grants to plant trees, pay for a professional assessment of a historical building and build a rest station along the Greenway Trail.
She also runs her own non-profit foundation called the Ozzy Foundation. Named for her cat that was diagnosed with kidney failure, the foundation works with local veterinary clinics and rescue groups to help people with costly veterinary bills. In addition, she co-founded the Whittier Dog Park Task Force, dedicated to successfully advocating for a dog park in Whittier.
Claver’s research focuses on two areas--best practices in service learning and emergency management, especially in nursing homes. She continues to conduct research at the Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System, where she completed her master’s internship in the inpatient geriatric ward and the out-patient geriatric clinic.
She has received numerous awards for her work, including a Distinguished Faculty Scholarly and Creative Achievement Award, a curricular development award through the Ukleja Center for Ethical Leadership to develop curriculum about ethics and awards from the Center for Community Engagement. She also received the Betty and James E. Birren Emerging Leadership Award from the California Council on Gerontology and Geriatrics in recognition of her advancement of the field in California
Community Service Award - Staff
For the past five years, Mary Anne Rose has brought together CSULB students and community volunteers to rebuild homes and improve lives in Long Beach.
Rose serves as president of the Board of Directors for Rebuilding Together Long Beach (RTLB), which restores owner-occupied homes for low-income residents, particularly the elderly, veterans and those with disabilities. She provides leadership to RTLB’s board and staff, oversees the coordination of workday events and directs an annual budget in excess of $300,000.
Since she became president in 2010, the number of homes RTLB repairs annually has increased from less than 10 to 25 in 2011 and 33 in 2013. RTLB also created the Community Stabilization Program to acquire, rehabilitate and sell homes to qualifying low or moderate income buyers. Since the program was created in 2010, RTLB has closed escrow on more than 400 properties and rehabilitated and sold nearly 300 homes.
Through her leadership at both RTLB and CSULB, more than 100 CSULB students volunteer each year on Make a Difference Day to perform repairs, paint and landscape the homes of RTLB recipients. In addition, Rose works closely with service learning students who serve as house captains or who are examining the effects of city ordinance enforcement on low-income home owners.
Professionally, Rose has been a leader in student affairs serving as a program reviewer for professional conferences and volunteering with the Western Regional Career in Student Affairs Day.
Rose earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology at CSULB in 1999 and her master’s degree in student development in higher education with an option in counseling at CSULB in 2002. She joined CSULB as a staff member that same year, working as a program coordinator for the Learning Alliance. In 2006 she became the assistant director of the Learning Alliance, and last year she took on her current role in the College of Education. She has taught several courses at CSULB including CLA 490: Making a Difference with Leadership, CLA 195: Introduction to the Learning Community and University 100: The University in Your Future.
Community Service Award - Student
Community Service is second nature to Tony Hoang who began his outreach efforts as a member of the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega and as an unpaid summer intern with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. This non-profit organization focuses on improving the quality of life for victims of spinal injuries through sports platforms such as “They Will Surf Again” and “They Will Skate Again,” offering paraplegics and quadriplegics the chance to surf or skate.
Hoang’s community service activities have been wide-ranging. This past spring, he participated in the Alternative Spring Break program for victims of Hurricane Katrina. For a study abroad trip, he chose to visit The Hague to study at the International Criminal Court and the International Criminal Tribunal for Crimes in the Former Yugoslavia. He also has helped find a bone marrow donor for a 2-year-old child diagnosed with a rare subtype of acute myeloid leukemia. With Hoang’s efforts, there is still hope and a chance for life for the child.
His primary focus, however, is on helping the homeless and the elderly. After he joined Alpha Phi Omega he brought forward an idea that developed into an event on Skid Row to help the homeless in Los Angeles. He has also been instrumental in organizing Alpha Phi Omega’s canned food drive to support Food Finders, a multi-regional food bank. In addition, he is planning a renovation of a garden at a local elementary school.
Hoang, who also is minoring in marketing, participates in as many service activities as he can because he believes any group of individuals with physical, mental or life disabilities ought not to be subjected to silence. He also finds it personally rewarding. One of his favorite quotes is from Gandhi who once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”