Outstanding Professors 2003-2004

October 1, 2004
For immediate release:


Cal State L.A. Honors Four Outstanding Professors
and a President’s Distinguished Professor


Los Angeles, CA— California State University, Los Angeles presented its 2003-2004 OUTSTANDING PROFESSOR AWARDS (OPA) at the University’s Fall Faculty Day. The faculty members honored were: Carol Blaszczynski, professor of information systems (Covina resident); Domnita Dumitrescu, professor of Spanish (Glendale resident); Lía Kamhi-Stein, associate professor of education (Arcadia resident); and Enrique Ochoa, professor of history (La Habra Heights 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, J. Theodore Anagnoson, Cal State L.A. professor of political science (Goleta, CA resident), was selected as the recipient of the 2004-2005 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 was held TODAY at Cal State L.A.


Carol Blaszczynski, Professor of Information Systems - College of Business and Economics

Carol Blaszczynski began teaching at Cal State L.A. in 1988 as a lecturer. After completing a Ph.D. in 1997, the rapid trajectory of her career was clear proof of her dedication to teaching – she joined the faculty, received tenure in four years, and in two short years was a full professor. A Cal State L.A. alumna whose bachelor’s and master’s degrees are in business education, Blaszczynski earned her master’s degree and a doctorate from the Claremont Graduate University


Blaszczynski is esteemed for her scholarship and teaching in the areas of business communications, leadership and professional skills for accountants, and principles of accounting. Her strong support for undergraduates led her to assume the role of College of Business and Economics faculty coordinator for a peer mentoring program for students who are new to the university. Blaszczynski has made a mark in the field of business education as well, and she has delivered more than 60 conference presentations at the regional, state, national, and international levels. In addition, she has published more than 50 articles in top-ranked journals, proceedings of conferences, and book chapters.


A prolific researcher, Blaszczynski’s coauthored paper on statistical literacy won best paper award in 2003. Students have praised her courses and teaching organization and knowledge, and thanked the business professor for “improving [their] communication skills as speakers and writers.” Other students noted: “You really know your stuff” and “I can’t imagine having taken this course with any other instructor.”


Blaszczynski has served on several editorial review boards and in numerous editorial capacities including that of associate editor, editor, and consulting editor for The Delta Pi Epsilon Journal, the premier journal in business education. She is an associate editor for the 2005 National Business Education Association Yearbook about communication for a global society and a director of the Delta Pi Epsilon Research Foundation.


Domnita Dumitrescu, Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures - College of Arts and Letters

Peers and students speak of Domnita Dumitrescu’s “enormous energy and drive” when they describe this much-honored educator who served as president of the Southern California Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese from 1992-94, and was an associate editor of Hispania, the association’s scholarly journal, 1996-2001. Since 2001, she has served as associate editor of the Southwest Journal of Linguistics. She is the Linguistic Association of the Southwest national president, and the Language Division delegate of the Modern Language Association of America. Dumitrescu is also serving a fourth term as vice-president of the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society Sigma Delta Pi. This year, she has been appointed to the Spanish Standard Setting Panel to assist in the development of a new testing program, the California Subject Examinations for teachers (CSET).


As faculty advisor of Cal State L.A.’s chapter of the above honor society for 12 years, Dumitrescu helped the chapter win national recognition for almost 10 years running. She received three national awards from its Executive Committee: outstanding chapter leadership, outstanding teaching, and outstanding scholar.


Students have also recognized her dedication, repeatedly praising her knowledge, preparation, professionalism, and high standards. As one student said: “Awesome class!”

Dumitrescu has authored two books, translated several Spanish novels, published 43 book chapters and 45 articles in scholarly journals from Europe, Latin America and the United States, and delivered 106 conference addresses at professional meetings in the U.S. and internationally. Her books have been called “an invaluable contribution” and praised for “complex and nuance knowledge of both the theoretical aspects of translation and the Spanish language.”


A native of Romania and former professor at the University of Bucharest, Dumitrescu received her Ph.D. from USC. She is an expert in Spanish language and linguistics, in contrastive analysis of Spanish, English and French, and in Romanian language from a Romance comparative perspective.

In addition to representing the U.S. as a Fulbright Scholar to Argentina in 1993, the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese honored her with its Teacher of the Year Award in 2000. In 2002, she was a CSULA Distinguished Women Award recipient.


Lía Kamhi-Stein, Associate Professor of Educational Foundations and Interdivisional Studies - Charter College of Education

Lía D. Kamhi-Stein received an M.A. from Cal State L.A. and a forgivable loan before earning her Ph.D. in Language, Literacy, and Learning at USC. She is an associate professor in the Master’s in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Program in the Charter College of Education at Cal State L.A. Primarily responsible for teaching the practicum in English as a Second Language; her courses cover theories and methods, computers in the language classroom, the reading-writing connection, and sociolinguistics.

Promoting the visibility of non-native English speaking professionals and advancing research about non-native English-speaking teachers, Kamhi-Stein has published articles in TESOL Quarterly, TESOL Journal, The Journal of Adult and Adolescent Literacy, College ESL, Lectura y Vida, as well as in other peer-edited journals and edited books. Her article on teaching information competency was named one of the top 20 library instruction articles for 1999 by the American Library Association.


Active in professional associations at the state and international levels, she is the editor of Learning and Teaching from Experience: Perspectives on Nonnative English-speaking Professionals (University of Michigan Press) and co-editor of Designing a New Course for Adults (forthcoming, TESOL). She served as president of California TESOL (2002-2003). She was a co-founding member and chair of the Nonnative English Speakers in TESOL (NNEST) Caucus. She serves on the TESOL Board of Directors as director-at-large (2004-2007).

Under her mentorship, 56 students presented papers at professional conferences, 52 assisted in organizing professional conferences, and 14 authored and coauthored articles. These students repeatedly praised Kamhi-Stein for her organization, knowledge, experience and dedication, thanking her for “doing so much beyond what is expected.”


Dr. Kamhi-Stein is a frequent presenter at the annual conferences of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and the California Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (CATESOL). Her research interests include issues related to academic literacy and the integration of technology in TESOL teacher preparation and the language classroom.


Enrique Ochoa, Professor of History - College of Natural and Social Sciences
With a heart that belongs to teaching, mentoring and social change, Enrique Ochoa has served as associate chair of the History Department as well as associate coordinator of Latin American Studies at Cal State L.A. He also has been active in establishing a minor degree program in Labor and Working Class Studies. He has worked with a number of students who have gone on to doctorate programs and has served as a faculty advisor for the student groups, MEChA and Latin American Society. Students who have been taught by Ochoa applauded his “knowledge of the material,” using words like “brilliant and refreshing,” “inspiring” and “selfless…”


Ochoa’s research has focused on Latin American political and economic history, the welfare state, revolution, critical pedagogy, and transnational Latino/a communities. He is the author and editor of five books, four special issues of journals, and several articles. His prize-winning book, Feeding Mexico: The Political Uses of Food Since 1910 (2000), examined the evolution of Mexico’s social welfare policies and their link to national politics and the Mexican Revolution. His forthcoming book includes Latina/o Los Angeles: Global Transformations, Communities, and Political Activism (co-edited with Gilda L. Ochoa, University of Arizona Press). He is also associate editor of The Encyclopedia of Social Welfare History of North American. He is currently researching the history of the tortilla industry in Los Angeles.


Ochoa has been active in a number of professional organizations, having served on the board of the Pacific Coast Council on Latin American Studies and on Southwest Labor Studies Association, where he was the past vice president. He also serves on the editorial boards of the journals, Latin American Perspectives and the Radical History Review . Ochoa, who earned his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from UCLA, is frequently called on to give presentations on globalization and free trade in the Americas to local community groups.

Ochoa was the principal investigator of three grants totaling $500,000 from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation that created the Latin American Responses to Globalization Project. Through the project, he helped organize several conferences on the impact of globalization on Los Angeles and on the Americas that included participation by academics, activists, journalists, and policymakers from a number of countries throughout the Americas.


J. Theodore Anagnoson, Professor of Political Science
College of Natural and Social Sciences

Distinguished for an admirable professional record in his field, Professor of Political Science J. Theodore Anagnoson is the recipient of the President’s Distinguished Professor Award for 2004-2005.


Anagnoson—who served as chair as the department for nine years and chair of the Academic Senate for two terms—has taught 22 different courses at Cal State L.A. His superior teaching skills and passion for educating have earned him an outstanding reputation among his students, who comment on evaluations that they have never seen a professor take such an interest in a subject and keep classes so well-informed on the current developments in the field. Wrote one student: “I crack up every time I see an e-mail from you and think, ‘Okay, what’s he sending us now?’ And it’s always something to do with class preparation or something that we might be interested in. I have never had a professor take such an interest in his subject and keep the class updated on the latest happenings.” Another student wrote, “To this instructor—clone him!”


Since joining Cal State L.A. in 1983, Anagnoson has taught computer applications, information management and data analysis/statistics courses in the Master of Science in Public Administration program, as well as American politics and public policy for the Political Science undergraduate program. He developed and placed into the curriculum 14 new courses and has authored or coauthored four books and over 20 articles, book chapters and monographs. He has received 20 grants—four of which were from the National Science Foundation.


From 1995-1997, Anagnoson also consulted with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where he helped develop the President’s plan for what became the State Children’s Health Insurance Program in 1997. U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala praised his work, saying that his analyses were instrumental in legislation that included the largest increase in funding for children’s health in 20 years. In a letter to Anagnoson, she wrote: “You brought both expertise and a fresh perspective to our deliberations.”


Anagnoson has been a member of the CSU Social Science Research and Instructional Council from almost the day he arrived on campus. As chair of the Council from 1990-1991, he worked tirelessly to prevent the discontinuance of systemwide memberships in the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research and the Field Institute—valuable sources of social scientific data for teaching and research. Before joining Cal State L.A., Anagnoson taught at UC Santa Barbara, Alfred University in New York, and the Universities of Canterbury and Waikato in New Zealand. He received his B.A. from Lehigh University, his M.A. from The American University in Washington, D.C., and his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester.


WORKING FOR CALIFORNIA – California State University, Los Angeles: A comprehensive university at the heart of a major metropolitan city. The 175-acre hilltop campus is located five miles east of Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. Since 1947, Cal State L.A. has been a leader in providing quality higher education. Today, the campus comprises a faculty of internationally recognized scholars and artists, and more than 20,000 students with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds that reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Cal State L.A. is one of 23 campuses in the CSU system.