CSUN Honored by New Horizons for Academic Programs and Community Service

CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison accepts award.

CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison accepts award from New Horizons Chairman Gene Siciliano. Photo by Tom Pascucci.

California State University, Northridge was honored by New Horizons, one of the region’s oldest and most respected providers of services to adults with developmental disabilities, at the nonprofit’s celebratory and fundraising gala on April 19.

The organization recognized Cal State Northridge for its excellent and distinctive academic programs that prepare graduates for careers of service to those with disabilities and special needs. The event, which was themed, “Fulfilling Dreams,” celebrated CSUN from the beginning to the end from a performance of CSUN’s Northridge Singers to the evening’s emcee Josh Rubenstein M.A. ’12  (Public Administration) and chief meteorologist for CBS2 and KCAL9 news to the recognition of the many faculty, staff and alumni who serve on the organization’s board of directors.

“We have been working with CSUN for decades. Together we have devised programs to enrich our achievement center and our workshop,” said Cynthia Sewell, chief executive officer of New Horizons. “We are very proud to honor CSUN for all they do for people with special needs at New Horizons, across the region and beyond.”

CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison accepted the award on behalf of the university.

“This truly has been a mutually rewarding partnership and relationship through decades of passion and commitment and true authentic caring for and wanting to make a difference in our community,” Harrison said. “The fact that you are recognizing us tonight is truly an honor.”

Harrison also applauded the CSUN faculty, staff and alumni who have served as officers and on the board of New Horizons for their dedication including Mary Ann Cummins-Prager, associate vice president of student access and support; Colin Donahue, associate vice president of facilities development and operations; and Joyce Feucht-Haviar, dean of the Tseng College of Extended Learning.

“We are grateful to the university for their many years of being our partner,” said Gene Siciliano, chairman of New Horizon’s board of directors.

Among the CSUN programs lauded as exceptional are the university’s degree programs in fields such as communications disorders and sciences, physical therapy, exercise therapy, assistive technologies human services, assistive technologies engineering, special education and behavioral clinical psychology. Some of CSUN’s outstanding clinical and support centers that serve the community include the Abbott and Linda Brown Western Center for Adaptive Aquatic Therapy; Berke Assessment Clinic and Library; Center of Achievement Through Adapted Physical Activity; Family Focus Resource and Empowerment Center; Language, Speech and Hearing Center; Los Angeles Times Literacy Center; and Music Therapy Wellness Clinic.

In addition, CSUN has further distinguished itself as a model for providing support to its own students with special needs. Established in 1964, the National Center on Deafness was the first postsecondary program in the nation to provide paid language interpreters for deaf students and remains the largest of its type in the United States. The university’s Disability Resources and Educational Services office provides support services to help CSUN students achieve and maintain independence throughout their university studies, and the Universal Design Center enables people with disabilities and special needs to access CSUN web content.

Cal State Northridge also hosts the International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference, the world’s largest and only university-sponsored technology event dedicated to exploring new ways technology can help persons with disabilities.

View the video “CSUN’s Commitment to Persons with Disabilities and Special Needs,” produced by the Tseng College, below:

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