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In Memoriam: February 2010

Published: February 15, 2010

Donald F. Popham, professor emeritus of teacher education, died Jan. 1, 2009. Popham joined the CSULB faculty in 1956 and served the university until his retirement in 1986.

Staff emeritus Louis Preston Sr. died Jan. 1. He was 74. In 1970, Preston began working as an associate professor at CSULB and served as a counselor in the Counseling Center, where he worked with the Upward Bound Program. He also taught “Career and Personal Explorations,” educational psychology and Black history courses before his retirement in 2004. In 1990, Preston began to have visual problems and eventually went blind due to uveitis, a rare eye disease, though his condition did little to slow down his busy life, according to family and friends. Preston was active in many organizations including the NAACP, the Braille Institute and Toastmasters. He was also a licensed family and marriage counselor.

Ramses B. Toma, a professor of Food Science in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, passed away Jan. 25. Toma had an illustrious career in Food Science and at the University. His journey began with earning a Bachelor of Food Science degree and a Master of Food Technology degree from Ain Shams University in Cairo Egypt. He received a Master of Science and a Ph.D. in Food Science from Louisiana State University and a Masters in Public Health and Nutrition from the University of Minnesota. He began his career at the University of North Dakota where he served as professor and chair. He came to CSULB in 1984 as a Professor in Food Science. Concurrently, he served as an adjunct Professor of Food Science and Nutrition at Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt. In 2007, he was chosen as Grand Marshall for one of the College of Health and Human Services graduation ceremonies. Previously he received the College of Health and Human Services Community Service Award in 2006 for his involvement in the local, national, and international community. He was a member of numerous organizations in his field including the Southern California Institute of Food Technologists, the American Institute of Food Chemists, the American Dietetic Association, the Institute of Food Technologists, and many others. Most notably, however, he was a member and officer in the Association of Egyptian Scholars in the United States. Perhaps his proudest academic honors were being named Outstanding Professor of the Year in 2005 and Best Faculty Advisor in the College of Health and Human Services in 2001; very fitting recognitions for this student-minded professor. Toma was also an avid researcher, publishing nearly 100 articles and abstracts over his nearly three decade career. He extended his research, in his work with graduate students, supervising more than 50 theses and serving as a committee member on countless others.