Dr. Shadnaz Asgari, the biomedical engineering chair at Cal State Long Beach, was recognized as a CSU Faculty Innovation and Leadership Award (FILA) winner for her significant contributions to increasing female representation in the engineering and computer science fields.
Asgari, who has a doctorate in electrical engineering, was instrumental in planning and developing curriculum for The Beach’s newly created biomedical engineering department. Under her leadership, student enrollment in the program jumped from 80 to 200, and about half of biomedical engineering majors are women.
“I am proud of the hard work and resilience of my students, especially those from underrepresented groups, and feel privileged to contribute to their success,” Asgari said. “Receiving the FILA award will pave the way for me to continue my efforts in promoting diversity and advancing students’ success in STEM.”
Asgari has dedicated her career to making the BME field more accessible to women and underrepresented groups in STEM. She has also worked on research publications, with more than 1,285 citations, and 55 percent of her mentees are women.
Last year, Asgari hosted a three-day workshop sponsored by Google to raise female undergraduates' awareness in STEM research pathways and careers. She also was involved in the development of courses aimed at preparing underrepresented students for doctoral programs and biomedical research careers as co-director of the research enrichment core for the first phase of NIH BUILD program, and worked with a team of CSULB faculty to recruit and retain female students in collaboration with the National Center for Women & Information Technology.
“Dr. Asgari is an outstanding faculty member who has demonstrated her leadership in areas that directly contribute to the success of our female and underrepresented students," said Dr. Tracy Bradley Maples, administrator-in-charge of the College of Engineering.
Asgari was among 25 CSU faculty and staff who were recognized as FILA winners. Each awardee receives $5,000 as well as $10,000 allocated to their academic department in support of ongoing innovation and leadership to advance student success at the CSU. The awards are funded by grant support from foundation partners.