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Making Waves: Accomplishments of the CSULB Community

Published November 16, 2020

Assistant professor wins Outstanding Early Career Scholar Award

catherine maiorca
Dr. Cathrine Maiorca

Assistant Professor Dr. Cathrine Maiorca was recently awarded the School Science and Mathematics Association Outstanding Early Career Scholar Award for 2020. 

“I have always loved mathematics and wanted to help others see the beauty of mathematics as well,” Maiorca said about why she chose the field of math education. “It is important that our preservice teachers see how mathematics is interconnected to the world around us because this will help them engage their students in meaningful problem-solving activities that encourage critical thinking.” 

Student chosen for Society of Women Engineers Leadership Development Program

Michelle Heng, a junior chemical engineering student, was selected for the Society of Women Engineers Leadership Development Program as a Beginner Track member. Interested members must meet rigorous qualifications, such as holding a cumulative GPA of 2.5/4.0, being an active collegiate member and demonstrating strong leadership potential. 

Heng has a passion for energy and sustainability and has researched developing renewable energy materials. She has had internships as a Wells Engineering Intern at Shell Oil Company as well as at INROADS, a program that helps develop driven students from diverse backgrounds and connect them to opportunities in the corporate world.

Rising Scholars co-founder wins Hispanic Heritage Month award

Joe Louis Hernandez
Joe Louis Hernandez

Joe Louis Hernandez, the co-founder of the CSULB chapter of Rising Scholars, won a California 39th District Hispanic Heritage Month award

"Their dedication, commitment and service to the 39th District exemplify what it means to be an outstanding leader,” Rep. Gil Cisneros said of the award recipients.

Rising Scholars is a student group at Cal State Long Beach devoted to the needs of formerly incarcerated students.

Associate professor contributes to research analyzing ancient bacteria

Dr. Renaud Berlemont, associate professor of Biological Sciences, recently contributed to research analyzing samples of ancient soil trapped in the Arctic as part of a collaboration with the United States Geological Survey and Cal State Northridge.

The team analyzed the soil chemistry and bacteria that were able to survive the frozen Arctic conditions. As the permafrost melts due to climate change, it is important to understand how the microbes will reactivate and degrade remaining plant material. 

Student journalists win top national news award

The Daily 49er staff recently won the national Pacemaker award from the Associated Collegiate Press at a virtual national convention in October.

The award is given for best online product. The student newspaper also took second place for best feature photography and received four honorable mentions. 

Students win awards from National Hispanic Science Network

Tyler Nelson
Tyler Nelson
Student Tiffany Gonzalez
Tiffany Gonzalez

Master’s student Tiffany Gonzalez and undergraduate student Tyler Nelson won Best Poster by a Basic Sciences Young Investigator from the National Hispanic Science Network (NHSN) at the NHSN 2020 Conference. Both students are pursuing degrees in psychology. 

The NHSN’s mission is to improve the health equity of Hispanics through research and the advancement of scientists. 

Professor conducts research about “nature vs. nurture" in STEM

Dr. Lisa Martin-Hansen, chair of the Department of Science Education, conducted research looking at the question of “nature vs. nurture" in STEM and found that spatial thinking abilities are not just something people are born with, it is a characteristic that can be developed.

Martin-Hansen and her team of researchers, which includes CSULB lecturer Dr. Youngjin Song, analyzed five years of data about students’ spatial thinking abilities in the general education course called Scientific and Spatial Reasoning.

It is known that the ability to think spatially is necessary to be successful in STEM majors in college and ultimately in STEM careers, but it was long thought that spatial ability was more of a characteristic people are born with. 

However, the research team found that pre- and post-test data showed the students’ spatial ability grew at a statistically significant level — suggesting that there are ways to grow future engineers' abilities to think spatially.

CSULB magazine wins national award

The Honor Code, a magazine written by University Honors Program students, took third place in this year’s National Collegiate Honors Council electronic competition.

The magazine showcases student and alumni achievements and research, event highlights, and study abroad experiences.

Have an item for Making Waves? Email it to emily.holland@csulb.edu.