More than 150 California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) marine biology students, alumni, and faculty recognized the accomplishments of Professor Emeritus and world-renowned scientist Ju-shey Ho at the third annual Marine Biology Alumni Event held in September at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.
Ho, who attended the event with his wife, taught at CSULB from 1970 when the program began through 2004. Students recalled his marine invertebrate zoology course as being one of the most difficult in the program and shared stories of how he touched their lives then and now.
“To say that your class was tough puts it mildly, don’t you think?” said alumnus Mike Schaadt, who is currently the exhibits director at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. “I told him ‘Your class is tough.’ He looked at me and said ‘It’s gonna be good for you.’”
Former students spoke of countless late nights reviewing 100 pages of lecture notes before a test, family dinners they enjoyed with Ho and his wife, Ho’s passion for research as well as the high standards he held for all students.
“Dr. Ho is so special because he expects nothing but the best from his students and every student who worked with him knew the bar was set extremely high,” said alumnus Mas Dojiri, the division manager for Los Angeles’ environmental monitoring division. “Dr. Ho leads, not by words, but by action. He does his very best in everything he does: his lectures were always up-to-date, really well-organized, easily understood, and wonderfully presented; his research is well thought out, investigated, written, and illustrated; and his skill and abilities as an advisor is beyond reproach. He is a very special professor and researcher.”
Today Ho is still conducting research on parasitic copepods, parasites that are commonly found on cultured and wild fish. He is working with researchers from all over the world including Korea, Japan, South Africa, Portugal, Spain, Mexico and Brazil to find a means of controlling the parasites, which are known to cause disease in fish like salmon and have an impact on what consumers pay for fish at the cash register.
“I am really very honored,” Ho said after receiving a standing ovation from faculty, students and alumni at the event. “I am glad I am here today to see so many old faces. I don’t think I truly deserve this.”
In addition to honoring a professor emeritus each year, the Marine Biology Alumni Event, sponsored by the CSULB Marine Biology Student Association, serves as an opportunity for current students to network with alumni and for alumni to reconnect with friends and former faculty. CSULB is the only campus in the California State University system that offers a BS in marine biology. Since the program was created nearly 700 students have graduated from the program and, as of spring 2007, there were more than 200 marine biology students enrolled.