May 17, 2004 Vol. VIII, No. 17

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.

University Honors Faculty's Exceptional Achievements and Service at Annual Awards Ceremony

Outstanding Professors and Other Individual Honorees are Saluted at Event; Emeritus and 25-Year Faculty Receive University Recognition for Service

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 Award
Yolanda Rosas

Modern 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 Award
Jack Solomon

English 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 Award
Rafi Efrat

Business 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 Award
Ann Watkins

Mathematics 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 Award
Carmelo Gariano

Modern 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 Award
Virginia Vandergon

Biology 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
Carolyn BarbianKinesiology
Elizabeth BerryCommunication Studies
Donald BetheKinesiology
Jean-Luc BordeauxArt
William BowenGeography
Nicolas BreitKinesiology
Monica Burdex-EspositoReference and Instructional Services
David CaryFinance, Real Estate and Insurance
Bernice ColmanArt
Helen CoulsonMathematics
Veronica EliasSociology
Abraham FeinbergSystems and Operations Management
Steven FreemanBusiness Law
Bruce GelvinAnthropology
Francine HallcomChicano/a Studies
David Hornbeck, Jr.Geography
Mark JureyArt
Tamara KlumpeUniversity Counseling Services
Louise LewisArt
Donal LumbertArt
Roberta MadisonHealth Sciences
Ellen McFaddenHealth Sciences
Elliot McIntireGeography
Philip MorrisonArt
Nancy OwensFamily and Consumer Sciences
John Wayne PlasekSociology
Barbara PollandChild and Adolescent Development
Jane PratherSociology
Gilbert RiosArt
Thomas ShannonBusiness Law
Vicki SharpElementary Education
Robert SmithArt
Lawrence SnedenSociology
Robert von SternbergArt
M. Birgitta WohlArt
Morris ZaslavskyArt

Faculty Completing 25 Years of Service in the CSU
James BracyPan African Studies
James ChiuAccounting and Information Systems
Arlinda EatonElementary Education
Craig FinneyLeisure Studies and Recreation
Janet FishEducational Psychology and Counseling
Catherine JeppsonAccounting and Information Systems
Sharlene KatzElectrical and Computer Engineering
Christie LoganCommunication Studies
Richard MacDonaldFamily and Consumer Sciences
Mohammad SangeladjiAccounting and Information Systems
Sidney SchwartzMechanical Engineering
Steven StepanekComputer Science

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