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Chemistry and Biochemistry Faculty Win Emmy Award

Published: September 1, 2010

Five faculty members in CSULB’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry were honored for their roles in the video series “Understanding Chemistry in Our World,” produced by Coast Learning Systems, which won an Emmy Award for Best Instructional Series. They were recognized at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ 62nd Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards ceremony on July 31 at the Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre in North Hollywood.

Lecturer Nancy Gardner served as one of the project’s chemistry advisors and appeared in the series as a chemistry expert along with Professors Stephen Mezyk, Paul Buonora, Brian McClain and Marco Lopez.

This national chemistry series accompanies a textbook, lab manual, and study guide also co-authored by Gardner as part of an online learning course for liberal arts majors. The video series contains 14 episodes explaining the relevance of chemistry in the real world, covering a range of topics such as nuclear energy, medicine, water treatment, cooking and environmental pollution.

As part of the series, Gardner and Mezyk were videotaped while traveling through Yellowstone National Park as they explained the chemical reactions that occur in some of the fumaroles, geysers, and the formation of travertine fountains. In addition, Buonora and Lopez described the organic chemistry involved in baking; Mezyk explained about the chemistry that occurs during water cleanup in the Orange County Water District and in reprocessing nuclear waste; Gardner covered the importance of acids and bases in relation to the medical condition known as acid reflux; and McClain and Mezyk spoke about the electrochemistry behind the workings of the earliest battery found in ancient Egypt.

Emmy Award
Photo by Rebecca Gardner
L.A. Area Emmy Awards ceremony attendees included (l-r) Susan Wilcox, Joan Stover, Nancy Gardner, Wendy Rakochy, CSULB alumni Jeff Isbell and Marie Hulett, and Mark Abdou.

Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards are given for broadcast achievements produced or solely financed and controlled by Los Angeles television stations or cable television systems. Coast Learning Systems is part of Orange County’s Coastline Community College. The series’ chemistry team was led by producers Wendy Rakochy, Marie Hulett (a CSULB alumna), and Laurie Melby, and writer Susan Wilcox.

“I am honored to have worked and learned from this team on their 19th Emmy-winning project,” Gardner said.

–Anne Ambrose