Cal State L.A. Chemistry Professor Receives
Los Angeles, CA-- California State University, Los Angeles chemistry professor Carlos G. Gutiérrez was recently announced as one of the four CSU faculty selected this year for the $20,000 systemwide CSU Wang Family Excellence Award. Gutiérrez' award falls under the category of Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering. The awards to four faculty and one administrator from throughout the 23-campus system will be presented at a formal ceremony on Tuesday, May 9, 2000 at the CSU Trustees meeting in Long Beach.
In a nomination letter, Cal State L.A. President James M. Rosser praised Gutiérrez for "devoting his entire academic life to enhancing the educational success of those students who, in particular, are underrepresented in the sciences." "Often," wrote Rosser, "in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department, throughout the campus, in local high schools and community colleges, he is regarded as the first choice for advisement from among department faculty. His sincere interest in students' welfare and his enthusiastic encouragement of their participation in the chemical sciences have inspired many of them to select these fields as careers."
Gloria Romero, California State Assemblymember for the 49th District and majority whip, sent congratulations to Gutiérrez and the University community for receiving the CSU Wang Family Excellence Award. Romero, who is on leave from her post as a professor of psychology at Cal State L.A., said "I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Gutiérrez as a member of the Cal State L.A. faculty for several years and witnessed firsthand his extraordinary efforts to enhance access to the sciences for underrepresented students in Los Angeles County. He has consistently demonstrated his commitment and dedication as a teacher and scholar. In this era of higher expectations as proclaimed by Governor Davis and the California State Legislature, he is a stellar example of just how high we should set the bar for excellence and achievement."
This is the second year of the Wang Family Excellence Award, and the second time a member of the Cal State L.A. community has received the award. Last year, Raymond B. Landis, dean of the School of Engineering and Technology, received the first award for administrative leadership.
In 1999, a gift from trustee Stanley T. Wang of $1 million-the largest ever given to the CSU system by an individual-was established to reward outstanding CSU faculty and administrators. According to the CSU, the Wang Family Excellence Award is designed to "celebrate those CSU faculty and administrators who through extraordinary commitment and dedication have distinguished themselves by exemplary contributions and achievements in their academic disciplines and areas of assignment."
Stanley T. Wang, a CSU trustee since 1994, is founder, president and chief executive officer of Pantronix Corporation, Fremont. The Wang Family Excellence Award is administered through the CSU Foundation. Each campus president may nominate one faculty member from each of four assigned disciplines, and one administrator, annually.
Gutiérrez received a B.S. in Chemistry from UCLA and Ph.D. from UC Davis. He served as chair of his department at Cal State L.A. from 1988-92 and was Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley from Fall 1989 to Winter 1991. He has served on and chaired various NIH committees, subcommittees and the NIGMS Council, and is an advisory committee member of the National Research Council Office of Scientific and Engineering Personnel. He has published numerous articles, all with student coauthors.
In great part through his effort, the American Chemical Society (ACS) established the Committee on Minority Affairs in 1993, with Gutiérrez serving as its first chair. During his tenure as chair, the Society also established the ACS Minority Scholars Program, a $5 million scholarship program for undergraduates, and the ACS Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students to Pursue Careers in Chemical Sciences. Gutiérrez helped to establish the ACS Scholars Program in 1995, and has been active on its behalf since its inception.
As vice-chair of the National Academy of Science Committee on a National Scholars Program, under contract to NASA, Gutiérrez has articulated persuasively the responsibility of all faculty--but especially science faculty--to seek out talented minority students and encourage their academic development very early in their undergraduate careers.
In 1996, Gutiérrez was among the first individuals named by the President of the United States to receive the then-newly-established annual Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. The honor was conferred at a White House ceremony. This past February, Gutiérrez was presented The Quality Education for Minorities in Mathematics, Science and Engineering (QEM/MSE) Network's Year 2000 MSE Giants in Science Award.
His other honors include the University's Outstanding Professor Award for 1983-84; the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Cal State L.A. chapter of the national honor society Phi Kappa Phi in 1985; the Cal State L.A. Hispanic Support Network 1993 Outstanding Educator Award; and the Cal State L.A. Associated Students 1996 Outstanding Faculty Award.
Gutiérrez, his wife, Linda Tunstad, an associate professor of chemistry at Cal State L.A., and daughter Naomi, reside in Pasadena.
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