News Release| Academic Senate; Cal State L.A.

October 3, 2013

Four Outstanding Professors, One Outstanding Lecturer, a President’s Distinguished Professor ecognized for excellence in teaching, mentoring, scholarship

Los Angeles, CA – A respected historian, a community activist and a published author on Latin America issues,Enrique Ochoa (La Habra Heights resident) is the recipient of this year’s Cal State L.A. President’s Distinguished Professor Award. He and five other faculty members were recently honored on campus during the University’s 2013 Fall Faculty Day. A reception is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 8, 3-5 p.m., in the Golden Eagle Ballroom.

Presented with Outstanding Professor Awards were:

  • John Kennedy, an American composer whose work has been premiered nationally and internationally (Los Angeles resident);
  • Matthias Selke, an internationally known chemist and a devoted mentor who involves undergraduate and graduate students in his interdisciplinary scientific research programs (South Pasadena resident);
  • Kaveri Subrahmanyam, a nationally-recognized expert in development psychology who has been published widely and quoted frequently by local and national media (Pacific Palisades resident);
  • Nancy Warter-Perez, a distinguished computer engineer who has been dedicated to improving STEM education and outreach, particularly for underrepresented minorities (Altadena resident).

This year’s Outstanding Lecturer Award was also presented to Lecturer Kathleen Hinoki (Whittier resident) who has more than 35 years of professional experience in pediatric nursing.At Cal State L.A., the annual Outstanding Professor Awards recognize excellence in teaching and cite significant achievements in scholarly inquiry or creativity, professional activities, and service to the campus and community. Presented to a previous Outstanding Professor award recipient, the President’s Distinguished Professor Award recognizes superlative teaching and exceptional commitment to students as well as professional accomplishments and services.


Enrique Ochoa, Professor of Latin American Studies/History – College of Natural and Social Sciences

Honored as this year’s President’s Distinguished Professor, Enrique Ochoa is a respected historian whose research focuses on the processes of state building, globalization, resistance, and migration. His award- winning Feeding Mexico:  The Political Uses of Food Since 1910 (2000) examined the politics of state intervention in the economy and its connection to the rise and demise of the social welfare state over the 20th century. Ochoa’s work on transnational Latino/a communities led to the 2005 co-edited book, Latino Los Angeles: Transformations, Communities, and Activism that explores the formation and reformation of diverse Latino/a communities in Los Angeles. 

In addition, Ochoa published on critical and innovative approaches to teaching Latin American Studies and history in the classroom and in communities.  His recent publications include Water:  History, Power, Crisis, a special issue of Radical History Review (co-editor, 2013), “The Political History of Food,”  in The Oxford Handbook of Food History (2012), and “Food History” in Oxford University Bibliographies Online:  Latin American Studies (2011).  He has served on the editorial boards of the journals Latin American Perspectives and Radical History Review.

In the community, Ochoa has worked extensively with students, teachers, and community activists. He is a frequent speaker on issues on multiculturalism, globalization, and social justice issues in the Américas in K-12 classrooms, at universities, for teacher in-services, and for community organizations. Between 1997-2007, he co-directed a College Mentoring Program for high school students to help them develop critical thinking skills while learning about history, culture and community empowerment. He worked with high school teachers to bring students to CSULA and to Cal Poly Pomona for special programs.  Additionally, Ochoa has served on the national steering committee of Historians Against the War, and is currently a member of the board of directors of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights-Los Angeles.  His community and civic engagement also includes several opinion articles and interviews with youth and immigrant rights activists.

Ochoa’s approach to teaching is rooted in his larger outlook on life and the importance of civic engagement, community building, and well-being. He draws on critical social theory and praxis that argues for the use of education to foster the development of healthy, educated people with the critical faculties to engage in transforming their communities for the common good.  Ochoa has developed classroom and community links, through community engagement and action projects where students develop group projects that link course material to personal or community issues and to transcend the confines of the classroom in their presentation.

A native of Los Angeles, his parents met as students at CSULA and his early years were spent on campus as they both were finishing their teaching credentials.  He grew up in the San Gabriel Valley and graduated from Glen A. Wilson H.S. in Hacienda Heights.  He received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in History from UCLA.  In addition to teaching at CSULA he was a lecturer at CSUDH and from 2006 to 2008 was the Michi and Walter Weglyn Endowed Chair of Multicultural Studies at Cal Poly Pomona.


John Kennedy, Professor of Music – College of Arts and Letters

American composer John M. Kennedy produces an eclectic group of work, ranging from mixed ensemble and solo pieces to multi-media compositions. Throughout his career, he has worked as a scholar and teacher, focusing recently in two areas, creolization in music and the confluence of American jazz and modernist music.

Recent composition highlights include the 2013 premieres of “Lamentations: Hayasdan” for flute and piano by the Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble in Moscow; “Opaque Silence-Flash: Symbia III” for solo violin in Malta; and performances of his “Smoke and Mirrors: Symbia II” for solo saxophone at tithe 2013 Thailand International Composition Festival in Bangkok.

Upcoming performances include “Yer-“ for solo flute in Tokyo; a new work for alto saxophone and piano for William Street and Roger Admiral in Edmonton, San Jose and Los Angeles this October; and the premiere of a musical adaptation of Jean Paul Sartre’s “The Wall” in Los Angeles this coming March.

His commissions include the Olympia Youth Orchestra, the Baldwin-Wallace College Wind Ensemble and the Northern Ohio Youth Orchestra. Early recognition for his work includes the Charles Ives Prize from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and a Young Composer Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

While attending the University of Michigan, Kennedy studied with Leslie Bassett, William Albright, Fred Lerdahl and Eugene Kurtz, and received his M.M. and A.Mus.D in Music Composition. His work receives continuing recognition with grants from Meet the Composer, Inc. (now New Music USA); annual Standard Panel Awards from ASCAP since 1991; and Subito grants from the American Composers Forum, Los Angeles. Kennedy performs regularly on the double bass as music director of the Chamber Players of Los Angeles. 

Since 1994, he has taught music composition and directed the New Music Ensemble at CSULA, where he also chairs the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance. Additionally, he has lectured for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, interviewing many composers including Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Christopher Rouse, Jerry Goldsmith, Elmer Bernstein, Osvaldo Golijov and Esa Pekka Salonen. He has also presented at conferences in the U.S., United Kingdom and Canada.

Matthias Selke, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry – College of Natural and Social Sciences

Committed to providing CSULA students with opportunities for hands-on research experience, Matthias Selke has mentored about 60 undergraduate and graduate (M.S.) research students as well as six postdoctoral fellows. Many of these students have participated in CSULA training programs for disadvantaged students, such as the Minority Biomedical Research Support-Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (MBRS-RISE) Program, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), or the Center for Energy and Sustainability program, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

An internationally known chemist, Selke is known for his interdisciplinary research program on the interaction of light and oxygen with organic molecules. Light and oxygen can be toxic and react with various organic molecules, including biomolecules. This process has been studied by Selke and his co-workers at CSULA for antioxidants, such as trans-resveratrol (found in wine grapes), as well as some amino acids and related molecules.

He has also explored new metal-based molecules that can make singlet oxygen which is a high energy form of oxygen used in photodynamic cancer therapy. In addition, Selke and his research group have studied the interaction of light and oxygen with some semi-conducting nanomaterials called quantum dots. His research has been supported by the NIH, NSF, the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, the Research Corp as well as the Petroleum Research Fund of the American Chemical Society.

He has published nearly 50 peer-reviewed papers and book-chapters. Other intellectual interests of Selke include history of science, philosophy and political economy, and comparative literature. Selke received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from UCLA.

In addition to teaching chemistry classes at all levels in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Professor Selke has developed a new undergraduate thesis class sequence in the Honors College at CSULA. Students in the Honors College now have to complete an original year-long research project supervised by Selke, in addition to a mentor in their respective discipline.

He has also developed an organic laboratory series specifically designed for nutritional science students at CSULA. Selke has chaired the College of Natural and Social Science’s (NSS) Graduate Studies Subcommittee, and has been on the Honors College Steering Committee, as well as NSS Student affairs Subcommittee.

Kaveri Subrahmanyam, Professor of Psychology – College of Natural and Social Sciences

A developmental psychologist, Kaveri Subrahmanyam is a nationally-recognized expert regarding the effect of interactive media on children and adolescents. She also conducts research on language development, and just recently completed a Minority Biomedical Research Support-funded study on Latino children’s second language learning.

For her research, she has garnered more than $400,000 in external funding by the National Institute of General Medical Science, the Spencer Foundation, and the Consumer Connections. She has published 50 peer-reviewed articles and chapters, two co-edited special issues, 11 book reviews and handbook entries, and one co-authored book, soon to be translated in Korean, Chinese, and Czech. She has also been an invited speaker for talks and panel presentations at the local, national and international level and has participated in conference presentations with her graduate students.

Professor Brad Brown, noted peer relationships researcher at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, wrote about her book: “With a strong research base and careful attention to major theories of adolescent development, this is the definitive work on how Internet activities affect adolescence. A ‘must read’ for all who are concerned about raising healthy teens in a digital age.”

She also served as co-editor of a special section of the American Psychological Association’s Developmental Psychology (March 2012). Subrahmanyam, who holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from UCLA, also published a scholarly publication, entitled Digital Youth: The Role of Media in Development. The book received a positive review from PsyCritiques.

A CSULA faculty member since 1996, Subrahmanyam has worked in two departments teaching 14 different courses, spanning from lower division to core courses to upper division electives. She has excelled at student mentoring, not only supervising theses and projects, but actively involving students in her own research.

She has also served on and chaired committees for multiple departments and colleges, including the University General Education Subcommittee, the Equity and Diversity Committee and her College’s Fiscal Policy Committee. She was also acting chair of her department for one year.

Additionally, Subrahmanyam has served as an expert commentator for the popular press both in the U.S. and abroad, with her interviews and quotations appearing in the New York Times, the L.A. Times, USA Today, as well as the Guardian, in the UK, and newspapers in Germany and in India.

Nancy Warter-Perez, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering – College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology

Nancy Warter-Perez, director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) IMPACT LA GK-12 Program at CSULA, is helping to change the image of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in society by training graduate students to communicate their research to a broad audience, working with middle school teachers to bring research-related STEM activities into their classrooms, and providing a wide-range of opportunities for underrepresented minority students to explore science and engineering careers.

Over the past five years, the IMPACT LA Program has impacted more 5,000 underserved middle and high school students from East Los Angeles.  Her paper on “Strengthening the K-20 Engineering Pipeline for Underrepresented Minorities,” received the 2010 American Society for Engineering Education’s Annual Conference & Exposition PIC IV Best Paper Award.

Warter-Perez is also the recipient of the 2010 CSULA Distinguished Women Award and the NSF Young Investigator Award. Since 1993, Warter-Perez has been awarded close to $6 million to support engineering and educational research and innovative educational programs. In 1994, she established the CSULA Compiler Research Group to study advanced compiler techniques for high-performance processors.

Additionally, Warter-Perez has developed and taught a broad range of computer engineering courses and, since 2000, has co-developed curriculum for training biologists and computer scientists in the emerging field of bioinformatics.

She has published widely on compiler techniques for high-performance computing and on collaborative project based learning (CPBL)—an active learning strategy for engaging students using a tablet-based platform. Her CPBL work has been proven to enhance student retention and persistence in computer engineering. She is currently co-leading an academy to train other STEM faculty on CPBL and other active-learning strategies.

A faculty member at CSULA for 20 years, she has been actively involved in academic governance, having been an academic senator from 2009 to the present and on the Senate Executive Committee. She has served as acting chair for her department in 2005-06, and has served as chair of the Computer Engineering Curriculum Development Committee since 1996. She was also co-chair of a Faculty Retreat Planning Committee in 2004–06. Warter-Perez holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Kathleen Hinoki, Nursing Lecturer – College of Health and Human Services

This year’s Outstanding Lecturer is Kathleen Hinoki. She has been a registered nurse for 35 years, working primarily in pediatrics. She is nationally known for her work in pediatric anticoagulation and electrophysiology, and is currently expanding her research interests to include the study of second degree college students who change over to nursing as a second career. She has published papers and delivered presentations at national and international conference in her areas of expertise.        

A CSULA faculty member since 2006, Hinoki has been teaching undergraduate and entry-level MSN courses while working as the lead pediatric clinical instructor for the University’s School of Nursing. She primarily teaches pediatric and nursing research courses, as well as an introduction to higher education course each fall for incoming freshmen. She has also been the Entry Level Master’s in Nursing (ELMN) program coordinator since 2008.

Between 2008 and 2012, Hinoki has served as president and past president of the Board of Directors of the Society of Pediatric Cardiovascular Nurses.  She currently serves on the board of directors for Sigma Theta Tau (Nu Mu chapter) as research chair. This is an honor society of nursing that provides leadership and scholarship in practice, education, and research. She has also been an active participant in the accreditation visits for the University’s School of Nursing, and a guest speaker for the Pre-medical Honors Association at CSULA.

A CSULA alumna, Hinoki received both her BSN and MSN through the University’s nursing program.  She is now working toward her Ph.D. in higher education at Claremont Graduate University. Her curriculum has centered on culture, gender, and diversity issues in the higher education setting, and her dissertation topic will focus on “Promoting college graduation success in Latino males at CSUs.”

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