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5 El Rancho High Grads Return to Inspire Others

October 08, 1987

Five graduates of El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera returned to the campus recently to give inspirational talks to the predominantly Latino student body and encourage students to continue their education. All the graduates had been members of the Academic Decathlon teams and gone on to successful college careers.

They are Patrick Acosta, a math major at USC and an intern mathematician at TRW Inc.; Jorge Carreon, a junior at UCLA who is working in the film industry as a production manager; Robert Navarro, a graduate of Harvey Mudd College in Claremont and a graduate student in electrical engineering at USC; William Rodriguez, a graduate of Yale University in writing and American Studies who will work as a teacher before going to graduate school; and Marie Saldibar, a Stanford University graduate who is an industrial engineer for Southern California Edison Co.

Crime Prevention Award

Police crime prevention specialist Larry P. Manley of Downey recently received a state award for his portrayal of Officer McGruff, the crime-fighting dog. Manley was named Crime Prevention Practitioner of the Year for Southern California by members of the California Crime Prevention Officers Assn. He has played Officer McGruff--a nationally publicized cartoon symbol--since joining the Redondo Beach Police Department three years ago. Last summer, he played Officer McGruff on the television series "Webster." Manley has helped other police departments begin Officer McGruff programs. He also works on other school programs and the Redondo Beach Police Department's newsletter.

2 Begin Peace Corps Tours

Long Beach residents Theresa Jean Elders and Karen Nicole Gentilman have begun two-year tours in the Peace Corps. Elders, 50, who taught high school English and journalism and has a master's degree in social work from UCLA, will serve as a health educator in Belize. Gentilman, 23, a graduate of Millikan High School and California State University, Long Beach, will be trained as a logistics officer in Liberia's National Drug Fund.

4 Elected to Alumni Cabinet

The Cerritos College Alumni Assn. has elected four executive cabinet officers. They are Sammi Ramos, president; Vincent McKinney, vice president; Fred Regan, treasurer; and Carol Stonecypher, secretary. Ramos was a student in the early 1980s and represented the college in two national speech tournaments. She graduated with honors in 1984. McKinney is a 1983 graduate in data processing system analysis. Regan, who headed the alumni association last year, was the 1984-85 student body president and played a role in reforming the Alumni Assn. in 1986. Stonecypher previously served on the alumni executive cabinet in 1984-85.

Art Teacher Receives Grant

The work of Rio Hondo College assistant professor of art William L. Lane has been saluted by the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C., with the award of a $15,000 visual artist fellowship grant. Lane, a resident of Long Beach, has been teaching at the community college since 1965 and is in charge of exhibits at the college art gallery.

2 Firemen Help in Oregon

Two members of the Downey Fire Department were part of a special 120-man force sent from the Los Angeles area to help fight major fires last month in the Klamath National Forest in Oregon. They were Capt. Pete Rucker and Engineer Wade Neely, who worked at the Happy Camp fire area approximately 20 miles north of the California border. It was the first time that Downey has sent its firefighters out of the state under a mutual-aid program and at the request of the U.S. Forest Service, said Downey Fire Chief Ron Irwin.

Math Professor Honored

Norwalk resident Jagidsh Prasad has been selected as one of four outstanding professors of the year at California State University, Los Angeles. The professor of mathematics joined the Cal State L.A. faculty in 1969, a year after earning his doctorate from the University of Alberta, Canada. He has published 82 articles and reviews on his specialty of mathematical approximation theory. The campus awards are given at the beginning of each academic year to honor excellence in teaching, research and professional achievement.

Chorale Officers Elected

Jeff Brown has been reelected president of Chorale Bel Canto, a Whittier-based singing group in its sixth season. Other officers are Christine Osburn, vice president; Jan Heverly, treasurer; and Christine Nelson and Jenelle McKnight, secretaries. Stephen Gothold is musical director. The chorale is rehearsing for its first concert of the season featuring Mozart's "Coronation Mass in C" and Stravinsky's "Symphony of Psalms" to be presented at 4 p.m. Oct. 25 in St. Mary's Catholic Church in Whittier.

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