The Pioneer

The Pioneer

CSUEB honors distinguished alumni

Paz Sandoval,
Staff Writer

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After Edward George Barrett graduated in 1988 from Cal State East Bay’s College of Education with a degree in physical education, he was later hired in 1999 as Major League Baseball umpire and eventually promoted to crew chief in 2013.

PHOTO BY TAM DUONG JR/THE PIONEER

PHOTO BY TAM DUONG JR/THE PIONEER

As a major league umpire, he has called Division Series, League Championship Series, and several World Series games, while at the same time being an ordained minister and cofounder of Calling for Christ, “a ministry for umpires, by umpires.”

Barrett was one of four alumni recognized for their accomplishments during Cal State East Bay’s Distinguished Alumni Awards Gala on Friday night in the New University Union. The event was the second event of the first annual Alumni Reunion weekend, dubbed “Forever Pioneer.”

“Thanks for clapping because usually when I’m introduced I don’t hear applause,” said Barrett, known to friends and colleagues as “Ted.” “Cumulative GPA was not a factor in this,” Barrett joked after accepting his award.

When doors opened at 5:30 p.m., alumni staff and CSUEB administration arrived in black tie attire and gowns to socialize and network. The area of the union where students normally line up for Panda Express and Subway had been transformed with black drapes, cocktail tables and red and black decor. In the middle of the cocktail hour, the Jazz Standards Combo class drew a crowd as they filled a corner of the room with smooth jazz.

Guests filed into their seats and promptly at 7 p.m., Cal State East Bay President, Leroy M. Morishita and Vice President for Technology and Strategy for The Walt Disney Studios, Michael Jedlicka began the awards ceremony. Jedlicka, the MC for the event, entertained the crowd with Disney trivia throughout the night.

PHOTO BY TAM DUONG JR/THE PIONEER

PHOTO BY TAM DUONG JR/THE PIONEER

The next recognized graduate from the College of Science and MBA from CSUEB alumni was Anne Foss-Durant. After graduation and for the past 20 years, she has worked at Kaiser Permanente, where she is currently the Chief Nursing Officer, East Bay Service Area.

Along with her Distinguished Alumni Award, she has also been recognized and awarded a Nursing Research Excellence Award, Regional Nursing Research Award and a STAR Leadership Award for her nursing research.

“Cal State Hayward at that time opened their doors to me,” Foss-Durant said. “Typically nurses don’t continue nursing when that happens in their life,” stated Foss-Durant, referring to the difficulty of transferring as a nursing student since the curriculum is different at every school.   

1981 graduate Cheryl Hurd was the third alumni to receive the award. A Broadway dancer and mass communications major, after

PHOTOS BY TAM DUONG JR/THE PIONEER

PHOTOS BY TAM DUONG JR/THE PIONEER

graduation she co-founded and reported for WB20/KNTV in San Francisco before it was sold and she went on to work for NBC. She gave credit to how CSUEB has shaped her, “Who I am today is because of Cal State East Bay.”

Hurd has been working with NBC as a TV news reporter for more than 25 years. In 2015, Hurd also received a Northern California Area Emmy Award for “Breaking News — Asiana Flight 214 Crash Coverage.” She was previously nominated for Emmys for her 2007 and 2012 Occupy Oakland stories and the I-80/880 East Bay freeway collapse. She expressed her gratitude to her family for showing up to this event and expressed how much they supported and guided her to this position in life. Hurd also wanted to convey her love, and to thank her dad for what he’s done, knowing he would be there if he hadn’t passed away six months ago.

PHOTOS BY TAM DUONG JR/THE PIONEER

PHOTOS BY TAM DUONG JR/THE PIONEER

The last honoree was a 1989 graduate from the College of Business and Economics, Bryan Neider, senior vice president of Electronic Arts Global Marketing and Publishing organization. He also focuses on serving children and adults with special needs by leading a few non-profit boards like Community Gatepath.

Accompanied by his wife, children, and father, Neider choked up when he explained to the crowd that he wished his mother could be at the gala.

Alumni Reunion Weekend included an alumni lunch, athletics, greek and ASI reunions and student demos. The weekend concluded with a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the multimedia graduate program.

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California State University East Bay
CSUEB honors distinguished alumni