FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 11/27/95
Contact: Carol Selkin, Public Affairs Manager
PHONE: (323) 343-3050
FAX: (323) 343-6405
Los Angeles, November 27, 1995 . . . California
State University, Los Angeles has named its Outstanding Professors
for 1994 - 1995. The recipients are: Long Beach resident Mohammad
Ala, Professor of Management, School of Business and Economics;
Glendale resident Helen Boussalis, Professor of Electrical
Engineering, School of Engineering and Technology; South
Pasadena resident Judith Hamera, Associate Professor of
Speech Communication, School of Arts and Letters; and Los Angeles
resident Carole Srole, Associate Professor of History,
School of Natural and Social Sciences. The award is the highest
faculty honor the University bestows and is granted for continuing
excellence in teaching, research and contributions to higher education.
As part of this annual faculty tradition, the campus' OPA committee
selected Pasadena resident William A. Cohen, Professor
of Marketing and Director of CSLA's Small Business Institute,
as the University's CSU Outstanding Professor. This award
recognizes superlative teaching and exceptional commitment to
students as well as professional accomplishments and service to
campus and community. Cohen will join California State University
educators selected by their campuses for this award in being honored
at a CSU Institute for Teaching and Learning conference in Long
Beach this coming May.
CSLA OUTSTANDING PROFESSORS -- FACULTY PROFILES
MOHAMMAD ALA, Professor of Management, School of Business
"One of the most conscientious instructors I have ever
had." Glad your course was required -- because I might have
missed it otherwise." "You related the subject of the
course to real world situations excellently. I was really impressed
with your organization." "What I feared would be a
boring class was made relevant and helpful to my job." "You
were interested in each individual student." "Even
though I didn't do as well as I wanted in your class, I thought
you were an excellent professor. All the awards you received
and are hanging in your office are well deserved.
"Personal helpfulness is at the heart of this professor's
appeal. The concern he has for individual students reflects his
commitment to the social and moral well being of the communities
in which he works and lives . . . . Relevance, in its fullest
sense, is what one keeps hearing in student praise," said
Peter Brier in introducing Mohammad Ala.
Mohammad Ala, Professor of Management is also the director and
founder of the University's Productivity Center. He has been
a faculty member at Cal State L.A. since 1985. Combining his
teaching talents with public service, he has contributed significantly
to the success of Cal State L.A.'s Small Business Institute, which
has, for more than a decade, provided free consulting to small
businesses that otherwise would not be able to afford it. Several
faculty members oversee the consulting done by upper division
and graduate business students, and among them. "over the
past nine years, Mohammad Ala has been one of our most outstanding,"
writes William Cohen, professor of marketing and director of the
Small Business Institute. Using "a wide variety of managerial
skills including operations management, quality control, purchasing
management, automation, and computer information systems,"
says Cohen, "Mohammad's leadership of students and the quality
of consulting work for the small businesses which he has helped
has always been first rate. He has brought credit to the university
Ala earned his B.S. from Tehran College of Insurance, Iran, his
M.B.A. from Emporia State University, Kansas and his D.B.A. from
Louisiana Tech University. He has been the recipient of the campus's
1990-91 Outstanding International Educator Award, the School of
Business and Economics 1991-92 Excellence in Teaching Award, and
the Cal State L.A. 1993-94 Award for Excellence in Service on
University, Department and School Committees.
Between 1986 and 1989 he was honored with four University meritorious
performance and professional achievement awards. He has published
more than 30 refereed articles and made more than 50 professional
presentations on management questions in a variety of fields,
including health care, computer application, the use of robots,
and international information systems. He has authored four chapters
in a text, Production and Operations Management, that has
gone through seven editions. Over the years, Ala has received
five research grants. His latest accomplishment is receiving
a certificate in TQM from the Harvard School of Public Health.
He is a resident of Long Beach.
HELEN BOUSSALIS, Professor of Electrical Engineering, School
of Engineering and Technology
Raymond Landis, Dean of the School of Engineering and Technology,
calls Helen Boussalis "the 'superstar' of our faculty; honored
by them and selected as Chair of her department." On a visit
last year to the Cal State L.A. campus, NASA Director Daniel Goldin
awarded a special plaque to Boussalis, Chair of the Department
of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The award recognized
her development of a major $3.8 million CSLA NASA-funded project
that establishes a research laboratory for the design and fabrication
of a scale model space segmented telescope. To implement this
project, Boussalis organized what NASA reviewers called an "impressive
partnership" with Cal State Long Beach, UC Berkeley, USC,
JPL, Starlight Computing, WYLE Laboratories, TRW and Rockwell
This year's Outstanding Professor Award committee noted that Boussalis'
unprecedented research activity has brought the University more
than four million dollars in grants, and notes that this figure
exceeds the total of all other grants received in the 35 year
history of the School of Engineering and Technology.
"The projects funded by these grants are of national importance
and have brought our students in touch with scientists and other
researchers at NASA, USC, and UC Berkeley as well as JPL,"
said Peter Brier, chair of the University's Outstanding Professor
Award committee, citing what Boussalis' peers have called her
greatest strength as a teacher. "By working with graduate
and undergraduate students in her research projects on optical
systems, she has fueled their interest in university teaching
and enabled them to take giant strides toward validation as scientists
and engineers," Brier noted.
Clearly, Boussalis' rapport with and esteem for her students,
whom she calls "absolutely outstanding," is mutual.
"From this professor's lectures I have learned control
systems theory to design of mechanical and electrical systems,
and from this professor's character I have learned that society
also needs feedback control mechanisms whereby the evil nature
of some people is canceled out by the kindness of others like
this professor." "I remember the intellectual depth,
teaching ability, dedication and willingness to help students."
"My own decision to pursue a doctorate degree was largely
influenced by Dr. Boussalis' words and deeds," writes
one man, now a professional engineer, who goes on to note that
"Professor Boussalis has, in particular, been a role model
to female students. I have known women who have gotten their graduate
engineering degrees -- including the doctorate -- encouraged by
Dr. Boussalis' example and enthusiasm for the field."
Boussalis, who joined the Cal State L.A. faculty in 1985, received
a B.S. degree from New York Institute of Technology, and an M.S.
and Ph.D. from New Mexico State University. She has authored
more than 50 publications on topics in her field. On campus,
she is active as faculty adviser of the Society of Women Engineers.
Her contributions to the campus chapter of this national organization
won her an outstanding adviser award and the chapter itself the
national award. Writes one colleague, "No professor could
have more concern for students, or be more dedicated to providing
them with an exciting and useful education."
JUDITH HAMERA, Associate Professor of Speech Communication,
School of Arts and Letters
"Best class in four years at Cal State L.A. . . . the
professor tied what we were learning to philosophical and social
issues . . . I will carry what I learned here throughout my life."
"I don't think I have ever gone to a class with such eagerness
to listen to a lecture." "Logistically superior. The
class was beautifully put together." "I appreciate
the care with which you interact with us as students and people."
"I admired your talent for answering questions." "You
expect students to challenge themselves. You're great!"
"The material was overwhelming, but I learned a lot. I surprised
myself." "Never have I been expected to do more in
a class, but I achieved more at the same time."
"Awed by a highly intelligent and articulate sensibility,
students nevertheless feel empowered by this professor's skills.
She transcends the distinctions of teacher, scholar, and administrator
by incorporating them all in a continual act of professing the
values that unite all three," noted Peter Brier, chair of
the University's Outstanding Professor Award committee, in his
recognition of Judith Hamera.
Judith Hamera, Associate Professor of Speech Communication in
the Department of Communication Studies, School of Arts and Letters,
joined the faculty of the University in 1987. A highly regarded
scholar in her field, performance studies, Hamera's interests
range from Cambodian dance to western ballet, from feminist theory
to performance pedagogy. Author of over thirty articles in scholarly
journals and fifty presentations at conferences in her field,
Professor Hamera has established a reputation as a scholar whose
work encompasses a vast body of knowledge at what colleagues term
a "remarkable level of insight."
As Brier commented, "Those of us unfamiliar with dance theory
can hear so many traces of learning grounded in philosophy, psychology,
literature, rhetoric, language theory and more that we are made
somewhat dizzy by the intellectual demand." Those in her
field find her work equally praiseworthy. Regarded as a "professor's
professor," Hamera guides other professionals in her field
by providing "precise directions" to those whose articles
she reviews "in a tone of voice that invariably manages to
be both clear and encouraging," comments the editor of Text
Her highly challenging classes, which require that students demand
the most from themselves, and her ability to tie together numerous
strands of intellectual inquiry and multiple disciplines has made
her an exciting and popular classroom teacher.
Currently serving as Acting Chair of the Department of Communication
Studies, Hamera has also served as Acting Chair of the Department
of Theatre Arts and Dance. She continues as a member of the Academic
Faculty of Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and serves
as a member of the Gallery Committee of the Armory Center for
the Arts in Pasadena. A recipient of a B.A. from Wayne State
University and Ph.D. from Northwestern University, Hamera is a
member of the national honor society Phi Kappa Phi, and Phi Beta
Delta Honor Society for International Scholars.
CAROLE SROLE, Associate Professor of History, School of Natural
and Social Sciences
"The class was rigorous, demanding, mind stretching. The
instructor's favorite question is 'why?'" "[Her] approach
to teaching had a profound effect on me." "So well
prepared for class . . . fascinating lectures . . . group discussions
were superb." "Among all the classes I've taken as
an undergraduate at Cal State L.A., this was probably the one
from which I've retained the most: Reconstruction, Progressivism,
World Wars, Cold War, Civil Rights -- her lectures were clear;
ample criticism on my papers showed she gave my work a close read.
Lastly, she was available, both as professor and tutor."
Speaking for a minute as a professor of English rather than chair
of the Outstanding Professor Award committee, Peter Brier remarked
in his recognition of Carole Srole, "You will understand
why I found the following praise of Carole Srole somewhat threatening
-- 'Her positive influence in this field was enough to almost
make me change my major from English to History.'"
Carole Srole earned her B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. from UCLA. She joined
the history faculty at Cal State L.A. in 1984. Her students continue
to praise Srole for her attention to their individual needs, commenting
that they are enriched by her enthusiasm for her subject. She
received a CSLA Innovative Instruction Award in 1993-1994.
Srole's success in the classroom has inspired her to share her
teaching approaches with colleagues. The OPA committee reported,
"Her dedication to the problems of teaching history is of
such fervor that she took what many might consider a professional
risk. She interrupted work on her manuscript, The Wrong Sort:
Class and Gender in the Feminizing World of Clerical Work, Boston
1815-1915, to devote much of the last four years to writing
and speaking about teaching." Srole, who has authored numerous
publications in her field, has produced over ten conference papers
alone on teaching and an unpublished manual, Teaching Analytical
History, which has been in demand at conferences and circulated
at campuses throughout the country. In addition, she established
a successful Cal State L.A. workshop for history faculty emphasizing
practical teaching procedures.
Speaking for the OPA committee on the success of one of her campus
endeavors, Brier said, "Single-handedly, Carole Srole revitalized
Women's History Month and has helped to keep it alive for some
ten years." Now, with students, staff and faculty, Srole
coordinates faculty presentations and encourages participation
from all corners of the University. "Other universities
have watched this process and have adopted similar programs,"
Recommending her for this year's award, Carole Srole's department
Chair wrote: "I think that when faculty go out of their
way, well beyond what is necessary, to try to improve the quality
and success of our teaching, they are indeed contributing to the
much discussed 'mission' of this university. They should be recognized
for such efforts."
WILLIAM A. COHEN, Professor of Marketing, School of Business
"Thanks for your teaching genius .. the most rewarding
experience of my professional and personal life." "Best
class in 16 years of schooling!" "Best class I have
had at Cal State L.A." "Best class in the business
program" "I hardly speak in class, but in yours I talk
too much." "You transfer the excitement in your subject
to your students." "What I found unusual about your
class was the way we all became one big family." "I
learned more from you than in four years at USC, four years in
government management, and one year of marriage."
Peter Brier, chair of the University's Outstanding Professor Award
committee, announced William Cohen's selection as Cal State L.A.'s
1995 CSU Trustees Outstanding Professor: "This outstanding
professor is famous for building the self esteem of individual
students. What happens in his classes kindles the spirit of community
Cohen has been a member of the faculty of Cal State L.A.'s School
of Business and Economics since 1979. He holds a B.S. in engineering
from the U.S. Military Academy, an M.B.A. from the University
of Chicago, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Claremont Graduate
School. Formerly Chair of the Marketing Department at Cal State
L.A., he is now the Director of the University's Small Business
Institute, a national program that he has directed since 1979
under the auspices of the U.S. Small Business Administration and
now one of the largest in the nation.
Outside the University, he has served as President of Global Associates,
Advanced Technology Marketing Manager for McDonnell-Douglas Astronautics
Company, and as a Project Engineer for Israel Aircraft Industries,
Ltd. As an expert in marketing strategy and entrepreneurship,
Cohen has been a consultant to Fortune 500 companies and the U.S.
government, and has directed consulting for over 400 small businesses.
Of his four major text books, one has been adopted by 177 colleges
and universities, not including foreign editions, and a text on
direct marketing was the first of its kind published. He has
authored 25 trade books, one, Building a Mail Order Business,
is going into its 4th edition: in 1991, the third edition was
translated into Chinese. He has collaborated with his wife, Nurit
Cohen, a psychologist and Cal State L.A. alumna, on two books:
Top Executive Performance and, in 1993, The Paranoid
Corporation and 8 Other Ways Your Company Can Be Crazy. The
latter was a Fortune Book Club Selection and has been translated
into German and Portuguese. In 1990, Prentice-Hall published
his book, The Art of the Leader. Recommended by Fortune
500 CEOs, the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, the Chief of
Staff of the Air Force, the Chief of Naval Operations and others,
it was translated into German, Korean, Indonesian, Spanish, and
Chinese, with an audio version in Japanese, and was selected as
a Best Business Book of the Year by the Library Journal among
Cohen received a Cal State L.A. Outstanding Professor Award for
1982-3, the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge Honor Certificate
for Excellence and George Washington Honor Medal for Excellence
in Economic Education -- national awards of high distinction --
and numerous other awards and grants, including the Outstanding
Service Award from the National Management Society.
Under his supervision, Cohen's students, too, have garnered many
prestigious awards. In 1994, Cohen advised a team of students
who won the National Collegiate Competition in Promotional Products
and Target Marketing. As director of the Small Business Institute,
he supervised the student winning the Graduate Case of the Year
in a 150-case competition. This year, Cohen's students won two
first and one second place awards in both California and national
competitions for best Promotional Plans, competing in the national
award category against 90 entries from 24 universities.
Not only a leader in his profession as an academic in the field
of management, Cohen is a Major General in the United States Air
Force Reserve. During the Gulf War he was called to active duty
and served as Deputy Director of a Special Action Group in the
Office of the Secretary of Defense responsible for psychological
operations at the strategic level. He currently directs a reserve
program at Randolph Air Force Base in Texas consisting of approximately
846 assigned and another 1000 attached Air Force Reservists.
He has also flown in combat for the Israeli Air Force.
Cohen is listed in Who's Who in America and many other