Top of their class
Outstanding Professors and President's Distinguished Professor announced
As part of the annual Fall Faculty Day tradition, four CSULA professors were presented the annual Outstanding Professor Awards, which primarily recognize excellence in teaching, significant achievements in scholarly inquiry or creativity, professional activities, and service to the campus and community.
Additionally, the PresidentÂs Distinguished Professor Award was presented to a previous Outstanding Professor award recipient, which recognizes superlative teaching and exceptional commitment to students as well as professional accomplishments and services.
There was a reception in honor of these distinguished professors on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 3 p.m., at the Golden Eagle Ballroom, on the CSULA campus.
2009-10 President's Distinguished Professor
A professor of English and Chicano studies, Roberto CantÃº is a highly-regarded literary critic and a scholar of Chicano, Latin American, Mesoamerican and Mexican literature. He was a recipient of Cal State L.A.Âs 1990-91 Outstanding Professor Award. Serving on the editorial boards of several prestigious publications, CantÃº is author of numerous publications. Most recently, he translated for the British Council the work of Mexican poets Coral Bracho, Araceli Mancilla, RocÃo GonzÃ¡lez, and Natalia Toledo. At Cal State L.A., CantÃº launched a minor program in Mesoamerican StudiesÂthe only such program in the CSU system. In 2009, he organized an international conference on Mesoamerican civilization with the assistance of faculty and students. CantÃº produced a play in 1999 by Federico GarcÃa Lorca, Bodas de sangre/Blood Wedding, with five sold-out performances at Cal State L.A. In 2008, he coordinated five stage readings of Rudolfo AnayaÂs Bless Me, Ultima as part of the Big Read initiative. He is currently coordinating Cal State L.A.Âs efforts and involvement in the Los Angeles Latino Book and Family Festival.
2008-09 Outstanding Professors
A professor of Art history, Manuel Aguilar has traveled on four continentsÂin nearly 100 countriesÂdoing interdisciplinary study of art, history, anthropology and philosophy. He conducts research in the art and history of pre-Columbian and Colonial Latin America, and co-directs an interdisciplinary research project about Ulama: The Survival of the Mesoamerican Ballgame, regularly involving CSULA students in far-reaching projects. Aguilar also coordinated the research project ÂWalls of Passion: The Murals of Los Angeles,Â that featured documentations and analysis of approximately 500 murals of the city of Los Angeles and involved 50 Cal State L.A. students. The project produced an art exhibition in February 2009, which drew more than 650 attendees. This past summer, he taught ÂCivilization of Latin AmericaÂ at the Fundacion Ortega y Gassett in Madrid, Spain.
A professor of nutritional science, Laura CalderonÂs areas of expertise include public health and community nutrition, health promotion/disease prevention, childhood and adolescent obesity, eating disorders, and administrative dietetics. For a decade, she has been a peer reviewer for the foremost peer-reviewed journal of The American Dietetic Association. Calderon, a faculty advisor for the Student Dietetic Association for 14 years, has helped students submit their research for presentation at professional meetings. Through CalderonÂs U.S. Dept of Agriculture (USDA) grants, the UniversityÂs Food Science Lab has become a state-of-the-art laboratory. These grants also laid the foundation for a new B.S. program in Food Science and Technology, which began this fall with its first cohort of students. Calderon will be awarding 15 scholarships this quarter made possible though her current grant.
A professor of electrical engineering, Lili Tabrizi has proposed, coordinated and taught ÂProfessional EngineeringÂ License Exam review classes in electrical engineering. The CSULA PE/EE preparation program has one of the highest passing rates in the State of California and is considered as one of the best PE/EE review programs in the Los Angeles area. Noted as a ÂchampionÂ at bringing external funding to Cal State L.A., Tabrizi has been the faculty director and principal investigator for the NASA SHARP/NASA SHARP PLUS program, 1995-2005. Cal State L.A. was the only university site that hosted the NASAÂs apprenticeship program for 11 consecutive years. She also received the Northrop GrummanÂs Â2008 Excellence in Teaching AwardÂ and NASAÂs Education Division and Quality Education for Minorities Network award. She was also voted by students as ÂElectrical Engineering Professor of the YearÂ 14 times since 1990 including 2009.
A professor of chemistry, Wayne Tikkanen has mentored countless students in his laboratories. Many students have gone on to earn advanced degrees or to medical or dental school. In 2003, Tikkanen was awarded the UC Davis Prize for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Mentoring in Chemical Research in recognition of the success of these students. Tikkanen has secured $1.5 million in grants, supporting his research in selective catalytic carbon-carbon bond formation, an area that has implications in the preparation of pharmaceuticals and other products. He was also involved with the production of a video to showcase his department at a CSU Trustees meetingÂand the video received a Bronze Telly. Chair of his department for eight years, he began serving as faculty director of general education and interim director of program review this quarter.