CSU Leader
News and Information for California State University Leaders
Vol. 10, No. 6, March 17, 2011

Graduating Media, Culture and Design Excellence

Graduating Media, Culture & Design Excellence

Tom Hanks. Back to the Future. Desperate Housewives. The Joy Luck Club. Paula Abdul.

Media, culture and design has been the backbone of America for decades, and California has been instrumental in creating individuals that shine bright in these industries. Graduating 44 percent of California’s bachelor’s degrees in media, culture and design studies, the California State University plays a vital role in driving the state’s knowledge-based economy. The CSU is a critical supplier of job-ready professionals in these industries, as it graduates 74 percent of communications bachelor's degrees in California as well as 86 percent of the graduates in radio and television broadcasting.

The CSU Entertainment Industry Initiative Shines Bright

Where Stars are BornMany of the CSU campuses directly supply graduates to industry giants like Disney, HBO and Warner Brothers, among others. To ensure that students acquire working knowledge in the industry, the CSU has established the CSU Entertainment Industry Initiative, which coordinates and integrates activities to help individual campuses leverage resources.

Along with initiating closer working relationships and collaborations with the industry, the Entertainment Initiative hosts an advisory board that provides insights into the trends and needs of the industry as it relates to the preparation of students who wish to enter these fields. Full Story.

CSU: Where Stars are Born

The CSU has extensive degree programs in the media, culture and design industries that include writing, dance, music, film, video, arts education, theatre, visual arts, design, broadcast arts and new technology.

Stars are BornLos Angeles is one of the world’s largest entertainment centers, and the CSU offers an in-depth education that gives students the tools they need to succeed in the television, music, radio and film community. CSU campuses have established partnerships with media powerhouses that offer students opportunities and career paths in highly sought-after industries.

CSU campuses maintain industrial-style art and production studios, museums and exhibition spaces, state-of-the art computer labs, and intricately designed performing art centers, among other facilities.

Where Stars are BornWith the development of new technology, the design industry has grown rapidly and significantly. The CSU takes pride in creating professionals with a niche in all facets of the trade, including apparel, industrial, art, product, interior, Web and graphic design.
Full Story.

A Spotlight on Summer Arts

CSU Summer ArtsThe CSU awarded 59 percent of California’s bachelor’s degrees in fine and studio arts in 2007 and continues to contribute to the arts community with programs such as CSU Summer Arts.

Created in 1985, CSU Summer Arts is a multidisciplinary systemwide program offering academic credit plus a festival in the visual, performing and literary arts.

The academic component offers two-week residency courses for undergraduates, graduates, and professionals in creative writing, dance, music, film, video, theatre, performance, visual arts, design, arts education and new technology. Full Story.

CSU Summer Arts

CSU Voices and Views blog

Featured Blog: From Vision to Reality

Raul Rodriguez

Cal State Long Beach alumnus Raul R. Rodriguez is an award-winning and internationally recognized designer who has created hundreds of floats for the Tournament of Roses Parade.


Some of our alumni who have impacted the media, culture and design industries include:

Filmmaker Julian Wilson (Bakersfield, ’87,’91) is executive producer of Nu Dawn Productions. 

Artist Tobie Roach (Channel Islands, ’05) is one of the “chalk artists” who helped draw the 3D portrait displayed at the USA House throughout the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Entrepreneur/designer Jackie Headley (Chico, ’73) founded the handmade collectibles company Woof & Poof.

Actress Lela Rochon (Dominguez Hills, ’86) has starred in Any Given Sunday, Waiting to Exhale and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Comedy writer J.R. Havlan (East Bay, ’87) has supplied the words that have yielded laughs for big names in TV comedy including Bill Maher, Steve Carell and Jon Stewart.

Robert Hanashiro (Fresno, ’78) has been a staff photographer with USA Today since 1988.

Cynthia Popp (Fullerton, ’85) adds a little drama to her life as the director and producer of CBS’s The Bold and the Beautiful.

Stephen Hillenburg (Humboldt, '84) is the creator of the cartoon, SpongeBob SquarePants.

Steven Spielberg (Long Beach, ’01) has directed and produced works such as Schindler's List, E.T. and Jaws.

Shannon Lindsey-Frugis (Los Angeles, ’10) co-founded Loveart&, a nonprofit that allows artists and designers to sell their work to raise money for underserved populations.

Puppeteer Nathan Danforth (Monterey Bay, ’09) just wrapped up a stint for the new Muppets movie.

Mezzo-Soprano Michelle De Young (Northridge, ’09, ‘10) won two Grammy Awards for Best Classical Album and Best Opera Recording in 2002.

Eddy W. Hartenstein (Pomona, '71, '72) keeps it “newsworthy” as the Los Angeles Times’ publisher and chief executive officer.

Internationally acclaimed artist Wayne Thiebaud (Sacramento, '51, '53, ‘98) earned numerous accolades for his paintings, particularly his series of still-life pastels devoted to desserts.

Nicole Cerwin Nichols (San Bernardino, ’91) serves as senior vice president of communications and strategy for The Oprah Winfrey Network.

Julie Kavner (San Diego, ’71) creates chuckles as the voice of Marge Simpson on The Simpsons.

Actress Annette Bening (San Francisco, ’80) and writer/director Lisa Cholodenko (San Francisco, ’87) received numerous Academy Award nominations for their work in The Kids Are All Right.

A. Robert Pisano (San José, '65) is president of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc.

Scott Peterson (San Luis Obispo, ’97), lead effects animator for DreamWorks, has films like Megamind, Shrek and Antz under his creative belt.

Joshua Sandoval (San Marcos, ’07) combines diversity and laughter as associate producer for Sí TV's Latino 101.

The music never stops for American jazz saxophonist Jason Robinson (Sonoma, ’98). 

Robert J. Ulrich (Stanislaus, ’79) was recently nominated for an Emmy in Outstanding Achievement in Casting for the pilot of Glee.


Questions? For questions about editorial content, e-mail Michael Uhlenkamp at muhlenkamp@calstate.edu. For technical questions, e-mail leader-help@calstate.edu. Review past issues at the CSU Leader archives.   Subscription Information: To subscribe or unsubscribe to CSU Leader please visit the CSU Leader homepage and provide your “Subscription Information.”