Campus: DOMINGUEZ HILLS -- September 22, 2006

CSU Dominguez Hills Named an Ambassador of Education

University Wins Over 16 Others; CSUDH Succeeds USC as Ambassador

California State University, Dominguez Hills' years of work to prepare a large pool of diverse scholars to take their places in public service and public policy making will be recognized December 12 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion when the Millennium Momentum Foundation (MMF) bestows on it its most prestigious award for a university, the Distinguished Ambassador of Education Award.

The Ambassador Award goes to one institution of higher education each year that has shown it is committed to contributing to the pool of minority public policy scholars and practitioners. MMF was formed in 2002 especially to address the national trend of minorities becoming the majority in many areas of the United States but the number of minorities in administrative and policy-setting positions is not proportionate. As part of MMF's efforts, it honors institutions that have shown dedication to educating minorities for those positions. Last year's recipient was the University of Southern California.

Jason Seward, MMF founder and president, said, "We nominated 17 universities overall this year. California State University, Dominguez Hills was chosen because of its support of a diverse pool of scholars. The university clearly has a strong commitment to supporting a diverse student population, even beyond a bachelor's degree. In fact, they support them not just to go beyond a bachelor's degree, but to excel there. We are very impressed with that.

"Some of the other nominated universities," Seward said, "came very close. Very close. But Dominguez Hills' commitment to diversity, to promoting students to a bachelor's degree and even beyond, was just more than the others."

The dean of Dominguez Hills' College of Business Administration and Public Policy (CBAPP), James Strong, when told that Dominguez Hills had won the award, said, "That's wonderful, absolutely wonderful. This university, not just this college within the university, is committed to the principles of the Millennium Momentum Foundation, which is to bring minority students into the public arena. We have many minority students, many of them first-generation college students. All they need is the chance, the guidance, and the quality education.

"Some of these students in CBAPP are amazing," Strong said, marveling. "They have amazing stories to tell. They come from hard places and have had obstacles to overcome. There are many students like that at Dominguez. This is the stuff of the American Dream."

Two CBAPP students especially have shown how true Strong's statement can be. Only a few Hearst Scholarships are given by the California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees each year out of the 405,000 CSU students on 23 campuses. It is the most prestigious scholarship the board gives each year. A Dominguez Hills student has been a Hearst Scholar each of the last four years, and this year's winner, Tamanika Ferguson, is a student in CBAPP, as was last year's winner, Deidre Knighten. Knighten was also a winner of the MMF's Best and Brightest Award, given only to the highest-achieving students. The Hearst is given only to students who had to overcome many obstacles to be among the highest-achieving students in the CSU higher-education system.

Participants and past presenters at MMF include California Assemblymember Carol Liu (D-44th), who is also the chair of the Legislative Committee on Higher Education; Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke; former Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn; music legend Isaac Hayes; entertainer and humanitarian Louis Gossett Jr.; and Basketball Hall of Fame member Kareem Abdul Jabbar.

Contact:Russ Hudson, Media Relations Coordinator, (310) 243-2455/2001

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