May 10, 1999
Raymond B. Landis, Cal State L.A. Dean,
Los Angeles--May 10, 1999-- Raymond B. Landis, dean of the School of the Engineering and Technology at California State University, Los Angeles, is the first California State University administrator to receive the $20,000 systemwide CSU Wang Family Excellence Award for administrative leadership. The administrator's award, along with four faculty excellence awards, will be presented at a formal ceremony on May 11, 1999 at the CSU Trustees Meeting in Long Beach.
Last fall, a gift from trustee Stanley T. Wang of $1 million-the largest ever given to the CSU system by an individual-was established to reward outstanding CSU faculty and administrators. According to the CSU, the Wang Family Excellence Award is designed to "celebrate those CSU faculty and administrators who through extraordinary commitment and dedication have distinguished themselves by exemplary contributions and achievements in their academic disciplines and areas of assignment."
Raymond Landis has been with the CSU for more than three decades and with Cal State L.A. for 14 years. He has led his School in the highly acclaimed Cal State L.A. solar car projects that culminated in the national first-place victory of Solar Eagle III at the end of the 1,250-mile Sunrayce '97. Since 1989, the University's three solar-electric vehicles have focused international attention on Cal State L.A. students in the School of Engineering and Technology as they defeated teams from major U.S. research institutions in GM- and DOE-sponsored Sunrayces. Securing top positions in three national races, the student-faculty-staff teams also competed successfully against major automotive teams in Australia's World Solar Challenges.
Landis himself is nationally recognized for his pioneering efforts in the education and retention of underserved students. His Minority Engineering Program (MEP) is a national model for the education of economically and educationally disadvantaged students. Landis designed and implemented the MEP program at California State University, Northridge, where he was Professor of Engineering from 1967 until 1985, when he joined the faculty and administration of Cal State L.A. At present, 20 engineering colleges in California alone have replicated the program developed by Landis. As technical adviser for more than 60 universities across the United States, he continues to oversee the programs' effectiveness.
"Dean Landis has devoted his life and his career to increasing the representation of minorities in engineering," said Cal State L.A. President James M. Rosser. "I know of no other engineering educator who has accomplished more. His unparalleled achievements can be attributed to the combination of a unique personal commitment, an unrelenting drive to make a difference, and a remarkable energy and work ethic."
In his capacity as a dean at Cal State L.A., Landis continues to teach and mentor students. In addition, through his textbook for college freshmen, Studying Engineering: A Roadmap to a Rewarding Career, Landis has reached more than 32,000 students at over 300 institutions across the nation. His complementary efforts to help guide faculty include his popular newsletter, Success 101, for engineering and engineering technology faculty, and more than 700 engineering educators throughout the country have benefited from his Chautauqua short course, sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
Landis began his career in engineering as a member of the technical staff at Rocketdyne, a division of Rockwell International, from 1963-67, and has continued to work with the industry as a consultant on issues related to minority engineering education. Mike R. Bowlin, chairman and CEO of ARCO, has noted that Landis' work "has had significant impact in diversifying the engineering workforce across the nation."
Throughout his career, Landis has garnered significant recognition for his work. Most recent among his numerous awards are the 1998 American Society for Engineering Education Visiting Scholar Award, the Los Angeles Council of Engineers and Scientists' 1998 Engineering Project of the Year Award (Solar Eagle III), and the 1998 Spirit of Los Angeles Award from the Transportation Foundation of Los Angeles. In 1998, he was honored by the ARCO Foundation, and in early 1999 he was among the first inductees in the National Association of Minority Engineering Program Administrators Hall of Fame.
Under Landis' tenure as dean, Cal State L.A.'s School of Engineering and Technology has risen to the ranks of the nation's top 20 undergraduate engineering schools and has received the highest rating from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Landis currently oversees the University's $31 million renovation of its Engineering and Technology building, which will provide students with some of the most technologically advanced laboratories in the country upon completion. Under his leadership, the School's research funding rose from almost nothing to $3 million annually, and the University received one of the largest research grants ever awarded to a single faculty member in the CSU-$3.8 million from NASA, for a testbed of a space segmented telescope.
Stanley T. Wang, a CSU trustee since 1994, is founder, president and chief executive officer of Pantronix Corp., Fremont. The Wang Family Excellence Award is administered through the CSU Foundation. Each campus president may nominate one faculty member from each of four assigned disciplines, and one administrator, annually.
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