California State University, Long Beach
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Twosome Receive Early Academic Career Excellence Awards

Published: July 15, 2011

Ali Igmen
History

Ali Igmen
PHOTO BY ROBERT FRELIGH

In the past five years, Ali Igmen has established himself as an expert on Central Asia, the Soviet Union, the Middle East and oral history; as a dedicated instructor who has enhanced the World History curriculum; and as a strong collaborator, working closely with colleagues at CSULB and universities throughout the world.

Since he joined the History Department in 2006, Igmen has established a new Central Asia and Afghanistan curriculum and is working to create a Central Eurasian concentration. He is co-director of the Middle Eastern Studies program and director of the Oral History Program, which he has enhanced by redesigning courses to meet students’ needs. Since Igmen took over the program, there has been an increase in the number of students enrolling in oral history courses.

Igmen has been highly active on campus, serving on 10 committees within CSULB, seven graduate master’s thesis committees, two committees in the Central Eurasian Studies Society and on the organizing committee for CSULB’s “Modern Genocides and Global Responsibility” Conference in 2007. He is especially proud of the conference he organized at CSULB in 2007 titled “Eurasian Women and Self-Reliance: Religion and Education in the Contemporary World” which addressed women’s positions and roles in forging contemporary identities in several Eurasian societies during the 20th century and today.

Igmen’s research has taken him all over the world. He has been invited to participate in conferences and workshops at the Max Planck Institute in Germany, Harvard University, San Francisco State, UCLA and the Middle Eastern Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, where he joined a roundtable on the April uprising in Kyrgyzstan. Since 2008, he has invited to CSULB four young Kyrgyz scholars specializing in American Studies, through the Junior Scholar Development Program.

His recent book titled Speaking Soviet with an Accent: Crafting Culture in Kyrgyzstan is under review by the University of Pittsburgh Press. It explores the Soviet processes of establishing cultural policies in Soviet Houses of Culture, National Festivals and Theater in the 1920s and 1930s. His most recent article “Kyrgyz Houses of Culture, 1920s and 1930s” in Reconstructing the Soviet and Eastern European Houses of Culture, will be published this year by Berghahn Press of Germany. Igmen is working on his second project, “Daughters of Kyrgyzstan: Gender, Power, and National Politics in Twentieth-Century Central Asia.”

Susan Gomez Zwiep
Science Education

Susan Gomez Zwiep
PHOTO BY ROBERT FRELIGH

When strangers ask Susan Gomez Zwiep “What do you do?” she has a quick and clear answer.

“I am a teacher,” she says. “This identity forms my values, my beliefs and my actions. My view of teaching and learning is very much influenced by my belief that students need to make their own meaning for new knowledge to be constructed and endure.”

Gomez Zwiep has taught a wide range of courses, from University 100 to graduate science, and courses for the elementary teacher credential program. She also supervises secondary science teachers in middle and high schools and teaches content to a cohort of teachers in Orange County who provide math and science support to teachers working in juvenile halls and other alternative
settings.

In 2009, Gomez Zwiep was appointed to the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics College Council where she assists the college and its departments in developing and approving faculty retention, tenure, and promotion documents.

But her service extends beyond CSULB. She was one of the original panel members who created single subject science program accreditation guidelines for the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and now reviews submissions from colleges and universities across the state seeking accreditation for their single subject teaching programs.

During her time at CSULB, Gomez Zwiep has written or co-written nine articles published or in press with peer-reviewed national and international journals. In addition, she has chapters published in four refereed books and 24 formal, peer-reviewed research conference proceedings. In the last six years, she has obtained (in collaboration) six grants with awards totaling more than $3.3 million. The most notable of these was her groundbreaking K-2 Teaching Learning Collaborative Grant in 2007 that attempted to implement a blended curriculum of English language development and science, an emerging topic of science education research.

Gomez Zwiep joined CSULB in 2005 as a lecturer after working as a middle school science teacher and a district science coach in the Montebello Unified School District. She earned her bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley, her master’s degree from Whittier College and her doctorate from USC in 2005.

–Richard Manly