President Jolene Koester (far left) and outgoing Faculty President Michael Neubauer (far right) greet 2004 Outstanding Professor Award winners Jack Solomon and Yolanda Rosas.
Linda Bain (left), provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, with Visionary Community Service-Learning Award winner Virginia Vandergon.
University Advancement Vice President Judy C. Knudson (far left) congratulates faculty honorees Carmelo Gariano, Exceptional Creative Accomplishments Award winner; Rafi Efrat, Preeminent Scholarly Publication Award winner, and Ann Watkins, who won the Extraordinary Service Award.
The 2004 General Faculty Meeting and Honored Faculty Reception, an annual event honoring the exceptional achievements and service of Cal State Northridge's faculty, was hosted by President Jolene Koester and outgoing Faculty President Michael Neubauer on May 13 in the University Student Union's Grand Salon.
Yolanda Rosas, chair and professor of modern and classical languages and literatures, and English professor Jack Solomon each were presented with the 2004 CSUN Outstanding Professor Award.
Also honored were Rafi Efrat, assistant professor of business law, who received the Preeminent Scholarly Publication Award; Ann Watkins, mathematics professor, the Extraordinary Service Award winner; Carmelo Gariano, professor emeritus of modern and classical languages and literatures, winner of the Exceptional Creative Accomplishment Award; and Virginia Vandergon, assistant biology professor, recipient of the Visionary Community Service-Learning Award.
Sponsored by President Koester and the Northridge chapter of the California Faculty Association, the reception also was the occasion for recognition of 36 emeritus faculty and 12 faculty who have completed 25 years of service in the California State University system.
Outstanding Professor AwardModern and Classical Languages and Literatures Department
Professor Rosas, a prolific writer who has published numerous scholarly articles and book reviews, has published or edited 11 books, among them "Villasandino y Su Hablante Lírico," "El Minuto y La Palabra," "Retrato de un Poeta: Rubén Vela" and "Hubo un Tiempo.../There Was a Time." Her creative work has appeared in journals such as Fenix, La Voz Mestiza, Alba de América, Cuadernos de Poesía Nueva and The America's Review.
The selection committee applauded her intellectual breadth, demonstrated by the subjects of her writing: literary theory, poetry and feminist literary perspective, among many others.
In choosing the 1998 Distinguished Teaching Award winner for the new recognition, the committee noted that students have spoken of the immense impact she has had on their careers. Her colleagues extol her clarity and warmth as well as her gift for intellectually stimulating communication.
Rosas was cited for serving the university on numerous committees over the years, in addition to accepting invitations to read her poetry at venues such as Wichita State University and Scripps College. Most recently, she has led her colleagues and staff as the chair of the Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures Department.
Outstanding Professor AwardEnglish Department
Described as a "superb mentor" to his students, professor Solomon was chosen as one of two outstanding professors for challenging those students to excel "in some of the most difficult courses in the English Department curriculum."
Solomon's many published books and articles have made him an inter-nationally recognized scholar of semiotics. The study of all forms of human signification as well as the study of culture, semiotics involves the interpretation of culture through the analysis of every form of human behavior, and the myriad ways in which human beings interact with each other.
Among Solomon's books are "Signs of Our Time," which has been translated into Japanese; "Signs of Life in the USA"—coauthored with wife Sonia Maasik—now in its fourth edition as the best selling popular culture reader that introduced popular cultural semiotics into the undergraduate classroom; "Discourse and Reference in the Nuclear Age," a technical study of literary criticism; and "California Dreams and Realities," a composition textbook designed solely for California universities and colleges.
An active participant in the life of the university, Solomon has served as a faculty senator and on many committees, including the Educational Resources Committee.
Preeminent Scholarly Publication AwardBusiness Law Department
The awards selection committee took note of Professor Efrat's publications on interdisciplinary and comparative consumer bankruptcy in choosing him for the Publication Award. Efrat's body of published work examines the field of consumer bankruptcy laws throughout the world, with emphasis on Israel.
Collectively, the committee concluded, his work represents an important contribution to his field, with one article recently listed among the "Top Ten Downloads" in the Social Science Research Network.
Law professors in the U.S., Canada, England and Israel have rated Efrat's work among the most influential in his field, committee members observed. They added that one professor—who used the award winner's work in his own classes—described it as "in my mind, the key article in the field."
Professor Efrat's articles also have been praised by bankrupty officials within the U.S. and Israeli governments.
Extraordinary Service AwardMathematics Department
In presenting Ann Watkins with the Extraordinary Service Award, the selection committee pointed to Watkins' career-long contributions to statistics education and to the mathematics professional community, contributions they called "extraordinary and widely recognized."
One of the main creators of a national statistics and data analysis curriculum in K-8 schools, Watkins helped create the curriculum, its standards and textbooks. She championed the idea of such a curriculum through a network of national organizations and government bodies.
A founding developer of the Advanced Placement course and exam in statistics, Watkins served in many leadership roles in the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), including the prestigious role of MAA president from 2001–2003.
For several years the editor of the College Mathematical Journal and the American Mathematical Monthly, Watkins was recognized by the committee for taking a leadership role in the development of the Mathematics Department's four year integrated teacher credential, including restructuring the probability sequence for math majors in the secondary teaching option.
Exceptional Creative Accomplishment AwardModern and Classical Languages and Literatures Department
Professor Gariano's novel, "Oro Verde," was praised by the awards committee for its "creative use of language" in spinning a tale of characters swept into the treacherous underworld of drugs, predators, victims, love and death on the borderline between Mexico and California. The committee pointed out that the book covered subjects and a segment of society underrepresented in literature.
"Oro Verde" was published through the university press of Universidad Autonoma de Baja California and the academic consortium that sponsors La Frontera, a program supported by CSUN and other universities.
Gariano received his first Exceptional Creative Accomplishment Award for a comedy that was a finalist in an international literary competition. He has written two other novels, a collection of short stories, online stories, several professional works and about 40 articles for literary journals.
In addition to its creativity and subject matter, the committee found "Oro Verde" an engrossing read, praising its author as "a most worthy recipient" of the Creative Accomplishment Award.
Visionary Community Service-Learning AwardBiology Department
The service-learning activities of Virginia Vandergon, according to the committee, "encompass integration of service-learning into numerous courses, including biology courses for the Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP)," focusing on coursework students will be required to teach elementary students in the future.
Vandergon, whose award is sponsored by the Center for Community Service-Learning, is the recipient of six service-learning grants. They include the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professional Development State Grant Program for teaching content to science teachers of students in grades 7-12.
National acclaim has come to Vandergon for her work with Tomorrow's Scientists: An After-School Program. In the program, under-served middle school students are brought to Cal State Northridge's campus science facilities to increase their knowledge of science.
Students in Vandergon's Biology 102 course have designed and implemented imaginative science activities based on California's science standard for middle schoolers. According to the department's newsletter, the students have delighted in building "Easter eggs" using Mendelian genetic traits, dissecting hearts and building blood pressure models, making fossils and analyzing data for adaptive traits.
A popular speaker, Vandergon has made a number of presentations about her service-learning programs.
Emeritus Faculty Name Department Carolyn Barbian Kinesiology Elizabeth Berry Communication Studies Donald Bethe Kinesiology Jean-Luc Bordeaux Art William Bowen Geography Nicolas Breit Kinesiology Monica Burdex-Esposito Reference and Instructional Services David Cary Finance, Real Estate and Insurance Bernice Colman Art Helen Coulson Mathematics Veronica Elias Sociology Abraham Feinberg Systems and Operations Management Steven Freeman Business Law Bruce Gelvin Anthropology Francine Hallcom Chicano/a Studies David Hornbeck, Jr. Geography Mark Jurey Art Tamara Klumpe University Counseling Services Louise Lewis Art Donal Lumbert Art Roberta Madison Health Sciences Ellen McFadden Health Sciences Elliot McIntire Geography Philip Morrison Art Nancy Owens Family and Consumer Sciences John Wayne Plasek Sociology Barbara Polland Child and Adolescent Development Jane Prather Sociology Gilbert Rios Art Thomas Shannon Business Law Vicki Sharp Elementary Education Robert Smith Art Lawrence Sneden Sociology Robert von Sternberg Art M. Birgitta Wohl Art Morris Zaslavsky Art
Faculty Completing 25 Years of Service in the CSU Name Department James Bracy Pan African Studies James Chiu Accounting and Information Systems Arlinda Eaton Elementary Education Craig Finney Leisure Studies and Recreation Janet Fish Educational Psychology and Counseling Catherine Jeppson Accounting and Information Systems Sharlene Katz Electrical and Computer Engineering Christie Logan Communication Studies Richard MacDonald Family and Consumer Sciences Mohammad Sangeladji Accounting and Information Systems Sidney Schwartz Mechanical Engineering Steven Stepanek Computer Science
@csun | May 17, 2004 issue
Public Relations | University Advancement
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