Hundreds horde the plaza on the east side of the USU building at Cal State Long Beach to gather in prayer. Photo credit: Armando Jacobo
Hundreds horde the plaza on the east side of the USU building at Cal State Long Beach to gather in prayer. Photo credit: Armando Jacobo
Armando Jacobo

CSULB mourns loss from Paris attack

Emotional shockwaves were sent home to Cal State Long Beach where family and friends gathered to mourn for Nohemi Gonzalez, a victim of the terrorist attack that struck Paris on Friday, Nov. 13

On Sunday, Nov. 15 crowds of supporters filled the University Student Union building, each picking up a commemorative black and yellow ribbon at the entrance along with the opportunity to sign a memorial log book.

Lines extended outside of the USU building and additional seating had to be adjusted to accommodate the rest of the mourners.

They sat across a half-mast flag listening to the vigil through speakers as loved ones remembered the 23-year-old industrial design student.

Many remembered Gonzalez as selfless, hardworking and bubbly; she was one of 17 CSULB students studying abroad at the Strate College of Design in Paris for the fall semester.

Planning to come home in December, Nohemi was anxious to reunite with her longtime boyfriend Tim Mraz.

Mraz shared personal idiosyncrasies about their four-year relationship, describing her as feisty and inspirational.

“I just wanted to say something about the positive energy that she always had, she was like a rabbit how her inspiration and attitude was for each and every one of us but was always jumping around like a rabbit,” said Mraz.

Mraz explained that she had aspirations of working in the aerospace engineering field after she graduated from school.

Faculty and design students recounted stories about how she would playfully scold students when mismanaging equipment and stuck around after work just to help students through designs.

Department Chair of Design Martin Hermon, resonated the camaraderie that Gonzalez had instilled on the design program as a teaching assistant for the department.

“We entrusted her with the highest responsibilities as a student assistant in the (design) department and was beloved by all of our design students. She touched practically all of them because all of our (design) students must go through those classes,” said Hermon.

After a few words by her friends and family, mourners gathered in the plaza on the east side of the USU building in prayer as members of the Bob Cole Conservatory chorus echoed across CSULB.

“She was instrumental in shepherding all of our students in their journey and she was always generous with her time, for knowledge and understanding and sometimes working outside of the clock and beyond hours,” said Hermon.

While working as a T.A., Mraz tutored and groomed Gonzalez through the duties as an aid, that’s how they met four years ago, the couple also had dreams of one day running a shop and working on designs together.

“She was teaching what I taught her, we met in shop class, we were both T.A’s and she ran that place man, she owned it. Design (students) can tell you that was her place, that (was) her department, she was always first one in and last one out,” said Mraz.

Standing alongside Mraz, Gonzalez’ stepfather Jose Hernandez adjourned the vigil with choice words to remember Nohemi by.

“I’m trying to say something about ‘Mimi’ but I see that you guys already knew her. Because I see that all the things she did to you guys she did it to me… she’ll always be with us, she’ll always be here she’ll always be in my heart and she’ll be in everyone else’s heart too she’ll be roaming those halls just think that she’s always here,” Hernandez said.

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About the Contributor
Armando Jacobo, Online Editor
Spring 2015 My name is Armando Jacobo. I’ve been a part of Talon Marks for three straight semesters now and I enjoy every aspect of the hectic lifestyle that entails it. This is my first semester as online editor. I’m also a journalism major but I’m not entirely set what I want to do with it though. Maybe enter the sports realm or music industry…or just nothing.
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