Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award Winners NamedPublished: July 15, 2009
This year’s Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award Winners are:
Computer Engineering and Computer Science
Seven years ago, Burkhard Englert was an adjunct assistant professor in UCLA’s Program in Computing. But when members of CSULB’s Computer Engineering and Computer Science Department met him, they were struck by the commitment and passion Englert brought to teaching and they actively recruited him.
Now Englert teaches a broad range of graduate and undergraduate courses. He has developed and served as course coordinator for new courses in the area of network security and net-centric computing, which are vital additions to the department’s curriculum.
His teaching evaluations are outstanding and are consistently above both the department’s and the college’s averages for teaching effectiveness. Englert’s classes fill up quickly and students often seek his guidance. He has advised a number of master’s theses students, independent study students and directed study students. In addition, he serves as the graduate advisor for the department. An expert in the area of distributed systems and algorithms, recursion theory and computer security, Englert is an avid researcher, publishing and reviewing papers and giving presentations. He has participated in a number of research grants and frequently integrates his scholarly activities into his teaching.
Englert earned his doctorate from the University of Connecticut in 2000. In 2002 he received the UCLA Department of Mathematics Sorgenfrey Distinguished Teaching Award for visiting faculty members.
Electrical Engineering/Computer Engineering and Computer Science
Anastasios Chassiakos believes a teacher can pave the road to student success by integrating teaching, research and service. For more than 15 years, he has put that belief into practice at CSULB.
With a diverse background in math and engineering, Chassiakos continually strives to enhance his teaching. He works to ensure students understand the fundamentals of the course, encourages them to use technology and software tools to produce rapid results and alternative solutions to basic and complex problems, and calls on them to put what they have learned into practice. He receives evaluation scores above the college average, and in many cases earns the perfect score of 5.
Chassiakos has introduced and developed 11 new courses. When he began teaching CECS 271 in 2008, he realized the designated textbook did not fit the objectives of the course. Unable to find an existing textbook that would cover the unique combination of topics that were included in the curriculum, he authored a complete textbook that is available in electronic form on BeachBoard at no cost to students.
Chassiakos has received funding from the National Science Foundation and other sources to develop modern instructional laboratories for students to obtain industry-level hands-on experience and mentoring. His published research has been cited more than 950 times in the Science Citation Index. He is ranked in the top 1 percent of all cited researchers in engineering worldwide and one of his journal publications is ranked in the top 0.01 percent of the most highly cited publications in engineering.
Chassiakos has received the university’s Outstanding Professor Award, the Distinguished Scholarly and Creative Achievement Award, and the Norman Medal from the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Elizabeth McEneaney’s gifts as a university teacher are widely recognized by her coworkers in the Sociology Department as well as the many students who clamor to enroll in her classes and rate her highly in their feedback.
McEneaney’s participation in the Learning Alliance, an academic program for incoming freshmen, has been a catalyst in her professional development, constantly challenging her assumptions about the aims of an undergraduate education and about what is possible and desirable in the classroom experience for first-year students. Collaborating with her teaching partner, Howard Willison, she incorporated assessments of writing quality in SOC 100 assignments to send an unequivocal message about the importance of strong writing skills in all subject areas.
She relies on multiple creative strategies to reach her students, and is constantly rummaging for fresh material, new examples and activities to drive a sociological concept home or consolidate an analytical skill. In addition, she often takes risks to improve the quality of her teaching.
McEneaney has increased collaboration among faculty in the department by bringing together all of the instructors of the required three-course research methods courses to meet and share syllabi, philosophy and content emphases. McEneaney has taken a leadership role in developing the new Applied Sociology master’s program, assisting with the original vision for the program, developing the curriculum and outlining a comprehensive assessment plan for the program.
McEneaney came to CSULB in 2003 with a doctorate from Stanford University, a strong record of teaching and research at Stanford and San Jose State universities, and a background teaching high school math.
Walk into one of Sharlene Sayegh’s classes when she is teaching the French Revolution and you might hear REM’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know it.” Catch a class discussing race relations in modern Britain and you might hear The Clash’s “Guns in Brixton.”
Dedicated to fostering student involvement and inspiring passion from the very moment students walk into her classroom, Sayegh uses music and innovative technology to appeal to students’ diverse learning styles and make history come alive. She is known as a tough grader, but Sayegh’s student evaluation scores are well above the norm for her department and across campus.
Sayegh teaches students to think critically inside the classroom and out. She requires students to reflect on why they hold the opinions that they do and calls on them to be mindful of how they articulate their views. In 2008, one of her lesson plans on critical thinking in world history earned Sayegh the World History Association Teaching Prize.
Kelly Young brings unbridled enthusiasm and scholarly pedagogy to her teaching. Although she teaches high enrollment courses, her student evaluations have consistently been near perfect.
For Young, teaching doesn’t end once students leave the classroom. An expert in reproductive biology, she holds an NIH SCORE grant, and has mentored 18 undergraduate and two graduate researchers in her lab. She has published nine papers in high-quality journals while at CSULB, five with undergraduate students as authors and two with a graduate student as an author. Young has been asked multiple times to speak to students about research and being a successful CSULB student. In addition, she is the co-director for the Biomedical Art program at CSULB where she serves as a mentor and guide for art majors seeking to earn the Biomedical Art Certificate. Young also serves in a leadership role for the Human Anatomy program and has served as the curator of cadavers/coordinator of laboratories.
Young continues to perfect her craft. She keeps up with current biology literature and continues to learn about new developments in teaching and learning. She has been invited to speak at the winter and summer Institutes of Teaching and Learning as well as at the new faculty orientation. She also has traveled beyond CSULB to present biology to elementary and junior high students. In order to gain a larger perspective on teaching and learning, she joined the Departmental Assessment Committee in 2006 and has chaired the committee since then. She believes that CSULB is an ideal balance of teaching and scholarly research and is proud to teach at such an institution.
— Photos by Robert Freligh