Outstanding Professors 2005-2006

October 1, 2006
Cal State L.A. honors Outstanding Professor and a President's Distinguished Professor


Traveling around the world to train future professionals in the English language and working avidly to improve the education of linguistically and culturally diverse students in the U.S., Marguerite Ann Snow (Pasadena resident) is the recipient of this year’s Cal State L.A. President’s Distinguished Professor Award. She and four other faculty members were honored at a reception October 3.
Presented with Outstanding Professor Awards were Gregory D. Andranovich, a published author and expert in urban politics (El Segundo resident); José Cruz González, an award-winning playwright and director of The John Lion New Plays Festival at Cal State L.A. (Cerritos resident); Philip S. LaPolt, a specialist in anatomy, endocrinology and reproduction whose research has received more than $2 million in funding (Sherman Oaks resident); and Andrea G. Zetlin, an advocate for children and families and cofounder of the C. Lamar Mayer Learning Center at Cal State L.A. (Pacific Palisades resident).


At Cal State L.A., the annual Outstanding Professor Awards primarily recognize excellence in teaching, along with citing significant achievements in scholarly inquiry or creativity, professional activities, and service to the campus and community. Presented to previous Outstanding Professor award recipients, the President’s Distinguished Professor Award recognizes superlative teaching and exceptional commitment to students as well as professional accomplishments and services.



Gregory D. Andranovich, Professor of Political Science - College of Natural and Social Sciences
An accomplished teacher-scholar in the field of urban politics and public administration, Greg Andranovich has authored or co-authored three books, one monograph, 16 journal articles, and 25 book chapters or reports. He has presented his research at numerous professional meetings, and is called upon by media for his expertise on tourism, economic development and Los Angeles politics.

Andranovich and his co-authors Matthew Burbank and Charles Heying received the Urban Affairs Association’s best paper award for their paper “Olympic cities: Lessons learned from mega-events politics” in 2000. They recently contributed a chapter in Tourism, Culture and Regeneration, a book scheduled for release in December by CAB International Press. Andranovich coauthored his latest book Culture, Development and Public Administration in Africa (Kumarian Press, 2005) with one of his former students.

Since 1993, when he started at Cal State L.A., Andranovich has taught 20 different courses, ranging from “Intergovernmental Relations” to “Research Design for Public and Nonprofit Managers.” This fall he teaches the new freshman orientation course, “Leading an Examined Life,” for the University’s College of Natural and Social Sciences. Andranovich has been a training mentor to his colleagues and has completed his second term as advisor of the M.S. in Public Administration program.

His students have consistently rated his classes highly, often crediting them for their new understanding of city government and appreciation of the forces influencing urban policy-making. They also highlight his energy and humor as a teacher, and his compassion as an advisor.

At Cal State L.A., Andranovich also served on the summer Academic Senate executive committee and the Natural and Social Science curriculum committee. He currently chairs the Political Science department. He received his Ph.D. in political science from UC Riverside.

José Cruz González, Associate Professor of Theatre Arts - College of Arts and Letters
A prolific and acclaimed playwright and director, José Cruz González coordinates The John Lion New Plays Festival at Cal State L.A., which he created in 1997 to stage the best student works in his playwriting classes. Since 1990, when he arrived at Cal State L.A., González served as principal academic advisor and on the master’s thesis committees for his Department.

In expressing adoration and respect for him, students describe him as “a committed and inspiring teacher.” His College dean wrote: “Your many awards and honors confirm the significance of your career in reaching young people with artistic experiences to inspire them and develop their love of the arts.”

His new play, Tomás and the Library Lady, which premiered in January 2006, reached over 72,000 young people throughout Arizona after being presented at the National Convention of Libraries this past summer. The First Lady Laura Bush, who attended a performance in Guadalupe, AZ, complimented his work.

González’s plays have been produced at Denver Theatre Center, Cornerstone Theater, Childsplay, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Orlando Repertory, The University of Texas at Austin, CSU Fresno, and Teatro Humanidad in Texas. His works has also been commissioned by the Center Theater Group/Mark Taper Forum, the Disney Theatrical Productions, the Kennedy Center, and Crossroads Theater.

He is a recipient of a 2005 American Alliance for Theatre Education award. Among his many other accolades are several awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and, most recently, a Theatre Communications Group/Pew National Theatre Residency Grant.

González recently served on the national board for The United States Center for the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People. For 11 years he directed the South Coast Repertory’s Hispanic Playwrights Project. He is a member of The Dramatists Guild of America and an associate artist with Childsplay and the Cornerstone Theater Company. He received his M.A. from Arizona State University and M.F.A. from UC Irvine.

Philip S. LaPolt, Professor of Biological Sciences - College of Natural and Social Sciences
Described as “an extraordinary teacher” and “top-notch scientist”, Philip LaPolt has mentored more than 30 high school, undergraduate and master’s and predoctoral students in the areas of human anatomy, endocrinology and reproduction, with many heading to professional schools and Ph.D. programs.

LaPolt has consistently received excellent ratings of teaching from students and peers. One student commented: “He has truly touched my life and made my educational and personal experience at Cal State L.A. amazing and invaluable.” Another wrote: “One of the best teachers I have ever had: funny, organized, and overall a great person. Keep up the good work, and keep on inspiring!”

LaPolt’s research focuses on the physiological, cellular, and molecular mechanisms controlling the function of the female reproductive system. His work has garnered more than $2 million in funding support. He served on several grant review committees for the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, and on the Board of Editors of Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine. He has also reviewed articles for scientific journals and for textbooks on human anatomy and physiology.

LaPolt, who received a B.S. in biology and Ph.D. in anatomy from UCLA, started at Cal State L.A. in 1996. He has presented more than 35 invited lectures in the United States, Canada and overseas, and more than 60 research presentations at local, national and international meetings. His more than 60 scientific articles and book chapters have been cited more than 1,700 times, according to Citation Index.

At Cal State L.A., he also served on several department, College and University committees, in the Academic Senate and as co-chair of the 2006 Faculty Retreat Planning Committee. He currently chairs the Department of Biological Sciences.

Andrea Zetlin, Professor of Education, Division of Special Education and Counseling – Charter College of Education
 Recognized as a dedicated and respected advocate for children and families, Andrea Zetlin represents the University in efforts throughout the greater Los Angeles community to support the improvement of urban education. She works closely with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on education and foster care issues.

Zetlin, who joined the Cal State L.A. faculty in 1989, directs the C. Lamar Mayer Learning Center. She and a colleague established the Center in 1994 to serve the needs of neighborhood children and their families. It also offers opportunities to train future teachers. She also spearheads an internship program, collaborating with local school districts to produce qualified teachers. She is responsible for securing more than $2.5 million to support Cal State L.A. efforts from numerous federal and state agencies and foundations.

Zetlin has authored more than 100 book chapters, refereed journals, and other professional publications, and presents regularly at national, state and local conferences. Her articles and lectures cover a range of topics including “school-university partnership” and “integrating services in a school-based center.” Her current research addresses special education needs of children in foster care.

According to her department chair, Zetlin “has had an entire career marked in excellence.” A student wrote that she is “a fabulous teacher who presents insights, takes suggestions, and is very open to student communication and interaction.” Another said, “She is a truly motivating instructor.”

Zetlin received her bachelor’s degree from Queens College, CUNY, M.A. from New York University, and Ed.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University. She completed her post-doctoral work at UCLA’s Department of Psychiatry as a research fellow in the Socio-Behavioral Research Unit.

Marguerite Ann Snow, Professor of Education, Division of Applied and Advanced Studies in Education – Charter College of Education
A much-admired and widely traveled authority in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Marguerite Ann Snow also works closely with local public school teachers.

Additionally, her extensive international teacher-training experiences have taken her to more than 20 countries around the world, including Morocco, Turkey, Latvia, Romania, Brazil, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Spain, and Pakistan. For several years, she coordinated an M.A. degree program in conjunction with the Instituto Cultural Argentino Norte Americano (ICANA) in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to train teachers of English as a foreign language. Currently, she is working on a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) project in Egypt.

Snow, who joined the Cal State L.A. faculty in 1988, teaches a variety of graduate courses including “Linguistics in Language Education,” “Teaching English for Academic Purposes,” and “ESL in the Content Areas.” Her research focuses on language and content integration and immersion education. 

Snow has received grants from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) to develop University programs to improve the academic achievement of language minority students. She is the former chair and a current member of the Standards Committee of her primary professional organization, TESOL, and is a vice-president of the Board of Directors of the Pasadena Educational Foundation.

Snow received her Ph.D. in applied linguistics from UCLA and has taught at the Chinese University of Hong Kong on a Fulbright fellowship. She presented many plenary or keynote addresses at national and international professional meetings. In the past few years, she has been invited to states such as Indiana, Wisconsin and North Carolina to help educators find ways to integrate immigrant students into school systems that have seen dramatic increases in their ESL populations.

Her publication record includes seven authored or edited books, two special-issues of journals that she co-edited, and 43 refereed journal articles and book chapters. She received a national award in 1998 for the best research article in her field. She was a recipient of the Cal State L.A. 1998-99 Outstanding Professor Award.

“She is the consummate professional, approachable, and her lessons are organized, thought-provoking and salient,” commented one student. A professor stated, “The professional commitment and unfailing spirit of [this educator] continue to inspire me.”


Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 190,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to a unique university center for gifted students as young as 12. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH- and Rockefeller-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, to be housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center now under construction. www.calstatela.edu


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