Andrew Marosi, IDSA, is part of a California State University-Long Beach (CSULB) team that's created a plaque in honor of Nohemi Gonzalez, the industrial student who became the only American killed in the 2015 terrorist attack in Paris that claimed 130 lives. The arrow-shaped, metal design, graces the CSULB ID Lower Division Shop—which is now the first classroom at CSULB to be named after a student.
Marosi tells us he worked with Michael LaForte, lecturer in the Department of Design, to come up with the design of the plaque. Marosi also served as the liaison between the faculty and students, receiving design suggestions and relaying their feedback as the design process moved along. Marosi and LaForte worked with alum Andrew Calder, who spent a semester at the Strate School of Design in Paris with Gonzalez. Calder fabricated the three-toned plaque.
Department of Design Chair Martin Herman coordinated the communication with the faculty and adminsitration, and Denny Cubbage, department operations coordinator, helped prepare the shop for the installation of the plaque.
It was all an emotional process. "It was wonderful being Nohemi’s classmate," recalls Marosi, who graduated in 2017. "She was always so cheerful and brightened the day with her big smile—always willing to help and give feedback on projects. She was, and always will be, a wonderful classmate and friend."
“She had a great love of the materials of design—the making part of it, where you wrestle your ideas into tangible form as you bring them into life—which is what this shop is all about,” said Department of Design Chair Martin Herman during the ceremony. "She was really in her element here.”
The dedication also was attended by friends, classmates, faculty and the parents of Gonzalez, whose legacy will impact future designers. $90,000 was raised to buy design equipment; another $106,000 will establish an endowment for a scholarship in her name.
“She got to live only 23 years, but it was full of life,” her mother, Beatriz, tells the Orange County Register. “Ever since she was little, she had a plan. She always said that we should all take time to design our lives.”