Cal State L.A. graduate student to receive CSU Student Teaching Award

Peter EwingLos Angeles, CA —Peter Ewing, who is pursuing a master’s degree in the biological sciences program at Cal State L.A, will be recognized with a prestigious award for outstanding student teaching in the 23-campus California State University (CSU) system.

Ewing has displayed energy and passion for teaching undergraduate students and was selected for the Crellin Pauling Student Teaching Award by the CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology, known as CSUPERB.

The award acknowledges outstanding student teaching achievement by a CSU student in biotechnology-related courses and programs. Ewing will receive the award during the 27th Annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium, which takes place January 8-10 in Santa Clara.

“It is an honor to receive this award, and I’m grateful to the Pauling family for making it possible. I would not be where I am today if not for the many great mentors and educators in my life,” said Ewing, who lives in Los Angeles' University Hills neighborhood near campus. “Likewise, I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to give back and hopefully inspire students like I once was. It has been a pleasure teaching, mentoring and cheering on some really great students here at Cal State L.A.”

Award recipients receive $2,000 and are nominated by a CSU faculty member. Ewing was nominated by his faculty mentor, Howard Xu, professor of microbiology at Cal State L.A.

Ewing initially majored in psychology and medieval studies at UC Davis but found his “calling” in science and biology. He took classes at community colleges and Sacramento State University, and participated in the CSU East Bay’s Pre-Health Professional post-baccalaureate program. Along with his studies, he managed to work full-time as a 911 dispatcher at the Sacramento Police Department for about seven years.

In fall 2013, Ewing joined Xu’s lab as an M.S. student and started as a Cal State L.A. teaching assistant. He thrived in both research and teaching and worked with Xu on his M.S. thesis, entitled “The role of a novel heme utilization gene cluster in the virulence of Acinetobacter baumannii.”

“Peter’s dedication, creativity, work ethic and rapid mastery of basic laboratory techniques in my laboratory far exceeded my expectations!” Xu said. “His energy in and passion for teaching is also contagious. I often see a number of students waiting in line for Peter’s office hours.”

Ewing was also awarded a Department of Defense BioDefense Scholarship.

The CSUPERB committee has also selected Cal State L.A.’s biological sciences major Kevin Parducho (Pasadena resident) as a finalist for the Glenn Nagel Undergraduate Student Research Award. The award fosters excellence in undergraduate student research throughout the CSU system in biotechnology-related areas. Parducho is mentored by Cal State L.A. Professor Edith Porter. He plans to attend the Santa Clara symposium and present his research on “Synergistic activity of antimicrobial peptides and lipids – important for host defense and possibly a platform for new drugs.”

The CSU Biotechnology Symposium is designed to broaden exposure to cutting-edge biotechnologies, product-focused innovation and career paths available in the life sciences.

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Photo: Peter Ewing teaching a Human Anatomy and Physiology lab class at Cal State L.A. (Photo credit: Cal State L.A.)


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