Outstanding Professors 2001-2002

November 1, 2002

Cal State L.A. Outstanding Professors 2001-2002 Announced


Los Angeles, CA—California State University, Los Angeles named its 2001-2002 OUTSTANDING PROFESSORS at the University’s Fall Faculty Day. Those honored were: Linda Beamer, Professor of Marketing (Pasadena resident); Alfred Bendixen, Professor of English (Los Angeles-90046 resident); Jean Phinney, Professor of Psychology (Los Angeles-90049 resident); and William Taylor, Professor of Physics (Glendora resident). These awards are made primarily for excellence in teaching, but significant achievements are expected in scholarly inquiry or creativity, professional activities, and service to the campus and community.


As part of the annual faculty tradition, Martin Roden, Cal State L.A. Professor of Electrical Engineering (Temple City resident), was selected as the recipient of the PRESIDENT’S DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR AWARD. This award recognizes superlative teaching and exceptional commitment to students as well as professional accomplishments and services. Only those professors who have previously been selected as Outstanding Professors are eligible for this award.


A reception in honor of these outstanding professors will be held on Tuesday, October 8, 3-5 p.m., at the Alumni Lounge in the Cal State L.A. University-Student Union.


Linda Beamer, Professor of Marketing
College of Business and Economics

Linda Beamer, Cal State L.A. professor of marketing, researches and publishes in the field of intercultural business communication. She received her B.A. from the College of Wooster and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, and has been on the Cal State L.A. faculty since 1991. Beamer has written more than two-dozen papers and coauthored a prominent textbook in her field, Intercultural Communication in the Global Workplace/2e (McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2000). She received the Outstanding Publication award from the Association for Business Communication, and its Distinguished Member award recognizing her service since 1981. She will serve as the Association’s president from 2003 to 2004. She has been associate editor of the Journal of Business Communication and editorial board member for Business Communication Quarterly. In addition, she reviews for several other periodicals. Over the past decade she has made nearly 40 professional presentations.


Beamer has twice received two-year grants from the Department of Education’s Business in International Education program for a total of over $266,000, matched 100% by campus and outside sources. Her international interests began in 1985 when she taught a three-week workshop in communication skills in the West Bank, followed by a year teaching in China. She was adjunct professor to the School of Communication at UNITEC, a polytechnic institution in Auckland, New Zealand, and has consulted for that institution for four years. She was appointed external advisor to the Applied Communication program at Hong Kong Baptist University for a three-year term in 1998, and taught faculty workshops for the Universidad Nacional del Centro de La Provincia de Buenos Aires, Tandil, Argentina.


She has developed intercultural business communication and workplace diversity courses that offer students opportunities to learn skills and knowledge about other cultures, and has given many workshops on intercultural communication. She also has taught courses in the MBA program as well as undergraduate marketing courses and business communication. In 2001, Cal State L.A.’s General Education Honors students voted Beamer “Professor of the Year.” She recently became director of the General Education Honors Program at Cal State L.A.

In 1997, Beamer was named a fellow of the International Academy for Intercultural Relations at its founding meeting. In 1992, she helped found a local chapter of SIETAR International (Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research) in Southern California and served as the chapter’s executive secretary from 1993 to 1994. She has been an active member of the International Communication Association and the Academy of International Business.


Alfred Bendixen, Professor of English
College of Arts and Letters

Alfred Bendixen began teaching in the Department of English at Cal State L.A. in 1988. He received his B.A. with honors from Harpur College, State University of New York-Binghamton, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Bendixen is the founder and executive director of the American Literature Association (ALA)—the most important organization in his field. The primary purpose of ALA is the advancement of humanistic learning by encouraging the study of American authors and their works.


Since his appointment at Cal State L.A., Bendixen has taught courses on American women writers and feminist theory, California writers, American historical novels, realism and naturalism, and more. He has published numerous articles and book reviews, is frequently invited as a keynote speaker, and has delivered numerous lectures on topics including the supernatural in American literature, American women writers, and the American literature canon.


Bendixen is an author and editor of five books, with a sixth book forthcoming, entitled Companion to the American Novel (Oxford: Blackwell, 2003). His 1986 edition of the 1908 composite novel, The Whole Family, drew considerable critical attention, and an updated version of his introduction—called “the first accurate and complete account” of the novel’s creation—was included in the Duke University Press reprinting in 2001. He is widely acclaimed for conceiving, designing and serving as associate editor of the Continuum Encyclopedia of American Literature, a leading work in his field.


Bendixen’s professional activities include serving on the PBS Advisory Panel in New York for the documentary The American Novel; the editorial board for the Resources for American Literary Study; and the advisory board for the Colloquium for the Study of American Culture at the Huntington Library. He is also a frequent reviewer for National Endowment of Humanities fellowships, a member of the prestigious Salzburg Seminar, and a reader of Advanced Placement exams and tests for the Educational Testing Services.

Bendixen’s excellent record of University service includes his leadership as chair of the Department of English, co-coordinator of the Liberal Studies Program, director of the Writing Proficiency Examination, and extensive service on all levels of academic governance.


Jean Phinney, Professor of Psychology
College of Natural and Social Sciences

Jean Phinney is a developmental psychologist with particular interest in adolescent development and in ethnic and cultural differences in developmental processes. She received her B.A. from Wellesley College and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. She joined the Cal State L.A. faculty in 1977, and is currently a professor of psychology at Cal State L.A. For the past 15 years, Phinney has been studying ethnic identity and adaptation among adolescents from diverse ethnic and immigrant groups in the United States. She is part of an international team studying adaptation of immigrant adolescents in 12 immigrant-receiving countries.


Her current activities include research on adolescent-parent relationships across ethnic and cultural groups and a longitudinal study of factors that predict positive academic outcomes of ethnic minority college students who are the first in their families to attend college. In the past 20 years, Phinney has published more than 40 articles in refereed journals, including articles in the leading psychological journals, Psychological Bulletin and American Psychologist. She serves as an assistant editor of the Journal of Adolescence.

She has written recent encyclopedia entries for two major encyclopedias in the field, the Encyclopedia of Psychology, and the International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. She has made more than 50 professional presentations at universities and professional conferences throughout the United States and in foreign countries, including Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Belgium, and New Zealand. Phinney is a fellow of the American Psychological Association.


Since 1982, Phinney has been consistently supported by research grants from the National Institutes of Health, and has mentored dozens of minority undergraduate and graduate students who have served as research assistants in her program. More than half of Phinney’s publications have student co-authors. Her students have received prestigious CSU pre-doctoral fellowships, and twelve of her former students are currently in doctoral programs or have completed doctoral degrees.


Phinney is an active member of the Society for Research in Child Development, the Society for Research on Adolescence, International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology, International Society for the Study of Behavior Development, and the Western Psychological Association. She was a visiting research fellow at Shirayuri University, Tokyo, Japan, in 2001 and at the University of Bristol, England, from 1982 to 1983.


William Taylor, Professor of Physics
College of Natural and Social Sciences

Over the course of his 32-year academic career at Cal State L.A., William Taylor has taught a total of 44 different courses and laboratories, supervised seven students through the master’s research program, and was principal or co-principal investigator for grants totaling more than one million dollars.


Taylor received his doctorate in physics from the University of California, Riverside, and was formerly a post-doctoral associate in the Ames Laboratory at the Iowa State University. He joined the Cal State L.A. faculty in 1970. In 1998, he was inducted into the CSULA Chapter of the Golden Key Honor Society, and was elected faculty member of the year by the Cal State L.A. Associated Students, Inc. that same year.


In 1997, Taylor brought the Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research to Cal State L.A., making it the first public university to host the annual conference.

Taylor is recognized as one of the cofounders of the acclaimed University Preparatory Program, established on the Cal State L.A. campus in 1989. Now a widely-imitated model, UPP works to increase the number of underrepresented minority students who earn a baccalaureate degree in science- and mathematics-based fields. The program, aimed at students who complete middle school with grades in the B to C range, provides a support structure and high school curriculum that prepares students for success in science- and mathematics-based majors at Cal State L.A. or other universities.


Demonstrating leadership and commitment to academics, Taylor has also served as acting vice president and associate vice president for Academic Affairs, associate dean for academic resources, member of the University Strategic Planning Committee, and president and vice president for the Cal State L.A. chapter of the national honor society, Phi Kappa Phi. He is the immediate past chair of the University’s Academic Senate and is currently chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.


Taylor has been an active member of the California Museum of Science and Industry Foundation Advisory Board, and chair of the California State Science Fair Planning Committee. He was a visiting scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena during the summers of 1997 to 1999, and was previously a member of the ACCESS Center National Advisory Board.


Martin Roden, Professor of Electrical Engineering
College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology

An engineer with an international reputation as an author, professor and leader in his profession, Martin S. Roden has been named the President’s Distinguished Professor at Cal State L.A. for the 2002-2003 academic year. Roden joined the faculty of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1968. He has served various terms as department chair, associate dean, dean, and as associate vice president for Academic Affairs. He was elected and served as president of the campus chapter of the faculty union (California Faculty Association) for two consecutive two-year periods. He has authored 18 major textbooks in the areas of electronics and communications, and his books – translated into many languages – are used at hundreds of universities throughout the world.

Roden has actively worked with student groups on campus. He has been faculty adviser of the student branch of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE) for nearly 34 years, and faculty adviser of the engineering honor society, Tau Beta Pi, for almost the same length of time. He has been a continuing member of the University’s Academic Senate, often as an elected at-large member, and president of the campus chapter of the national honor society, Phi Kappa Phi.


Roden’s off-campus activities currently include service as co-chair of the IEEE Communications, Signal Processing and Vehicular Technology, Los Angeles chapter, and he is a past chairman of the board of the United Way of San Gabriel Valley.

He has been a consultant to a wide variety of organizations, including Hughes Aircraft Ground Systems Group, Magnavox Advanced Products Division, and KOR Electronics, and has regularly conducted on-campus research for JPL, NASA, and the National Security Agency. His recent research has focused on blind equalization in low signal-to-noise ratio environments.


A former student, now a department chair at East Los Angeles College, notes: “Of all the teachers that I have encountered in 20 years of education, [Martin Roden] has had the most profound and lasting effect on me. He not only gave exciting lectures, but was hardworking and always available for his students.” Other nomination letters praised Roden as a professor for “every student,” and an “inspired teacher.”


Roden’s accolades also include the 1981 Cal State L.A. Outstanding Professor Award, the 1984 IEEE National Outstanding Adviser Award, the 1992 Outstanding Educator Award from the Institute for the Advancement of Engineering, and the 1997 Engineering Educator of the Year Award from the Engineers’ Council, Inc. In 2000, he received an IEEE Millennium Medal. He is a fellow of the Institute for the Advancement of Engineering.


Roden earned his B.S. and M.S. from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, and his Ph.D. from Kensington University. He also holds a GSP Certificate in Electrical Engineering from Bell Telephone Labs, New Jersey.


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