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Howard Wang, right, and fellow award winner Frankie Orrala, left, of Heal the Bay, and Sharon Lin, an EPA project manager.

Kudos for Community Involvement

Howard Wang Wins EPA Award for Service on Council Reducing Fish Contamination

June 23, 2009

By Mimi Ko Cruz

As a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Community Resource Council, Howard Wang, associate vice president for student affairs and executive director of the Student Health and Counseling Center at Cal State Fullerton, has been awarded the EPA's 2009 Citizen Excellence in Community Involvement Award.

The council, or CRC, is part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Institutional Controls program to clean the coastal waters stretching from San Pedro to Santa Monica — an area known as a Superfund site.

Wang’s award was bestowed by the EPA in Washington D.C. on May 19. It is a team award that recognizes the CRC and Heal the Bay, a nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to making Southern California coastal waters and watersheds safe, healthy and clean.

The CRC was created to build partnerships. Its goal is to “have a fairly permanent group of community members who will provide input into the Fish Contamination Education Collaborative program.”

“My role on CRC is to serve as a resource person familiar with the Vietnamese and Chinese communities where a particular type of fish — White Croaker — is being consumed,” Wang said. “This fish is heavily contaminated with PCB and DDT from dumping by the Montrose Chemical Plant on to the Palos Verdes Shelf.”

Wang’s service on the CRC board includes providing input on outreach projects.

“Utilizing my research expertise, I provide input on the program design to ensure that the outcome of the outreach projects result in measurable risk-reduction measures,” he said.

Wang, of Walnut, last year was appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to the 48th District Agricultural Association Board of Directors. He also is a member of the Asian Business Association of Orange County and its corporate advisory board, the Organization of Chinese Americans — Orange County Chapter Board of Directors, the Chinese American Association of Walnut and the greater Los Angeles chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans.

He holds a doctorate in higher education administration from UCLA and has worked at Cal State Fullerton since 2003.

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