The President's Awards for Outstanding Faculty Achievement

The President’s Awards for Outstanding Faculty Achievement were created to recognize the sustained effort of faculty across the university, and to reward their exceptional work. These awards support and acknowledge that faculty work is essential to ensuring that CSULB fulfills its vision, mission, and promise to students. The awards are also meant to acknowledge the work of our faculty that aligns with the strategic initiatives reflected in Beach 2030.


2023-24 Recipients 

Johannes Müller Stosch, D.M.A.
 Professor, Bob Cole Conservatory of Music & Director of Orchestral Activities 

Johannes Müller Stosch serves as Director of Orchestral Activities and Professor of Music at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music. He grew the orchestra to one of largest and finest in Southern California. In 2017 the Bob Cole Conservatory Symphony played in Germany and the Czech Republic for sold-out venues and toured South Korea in 2013. Praised as possessing "stylistic, charismatic, expressive and expert" leadership, Stosch also conducts Holland Symphony in West Michigan. During his tenure, Holland Symphony has seen unprecedented growth in size and quality of performances, as well as record numbers of season subscriptions. He was instrumental in establishing the Young American Composers Competition to assist young composers gain wider recognition. In 2019 Stosch was named the new Music Director and Conductor of the Orange County Youth Symphony, celebrating their 50th anniversary as the oldest and one of the largest and most prestigious youth orchestras in California.

Johannes Müller Stosch keeps an active guest-conducting schedule both internationally and nationally. His most recent engagements include concerts with the Kunming Philharmonic in China, Long Beach Symphony, Peninsula Symphony, Eastman School of Music (Rochester, NY), College-Conservatory of Music (Cincinnati, OH), UBC Symphony in Vancouver, Canada, and at the University of Oregon in Eugene. In 2009, Stosch was a featured guest conductor with the Busan Sinfonietta in Korea. This concert was broadcast on national TV (KBS). 

Concert tours as a soloist and collaborative artist have taken him throughout the U.S., Germany, Italy, Korea, Chile, and Japan. Stosch has several commercial recordings to his credit all of which have been played on public radio.

At California State University, Long Beach, Johannes Müller Stosch has served two terms as Director of the Bob Cole Conservatory and Interim Associate Dean of the College of the Arts. 

Robert W. Frear, M.F.A.
Professor, Bob Cole Conservatory of Music & Director of Brass and Woodwind Studies

Rob Frear is a Professor of Music and Director of Brass and Woodwind Studies at California State University Long Beach. A founding member of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, he has performed with global superstars Peter Gabriel, Garth Brooks, Earth, Wind and Fire, Journey, Chicago, Carrie Underwood, and Blue Man Group. As an active freelance trumpet player, he has appeared as Principal Trumpet with most of the Orchestras, Ballet, and Opera Companies in Southern California over the past four decades, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Opera, the Pacific Symphony, and the San Diego Symphony.

In 2009-2010 Rob was the Principal Trumpet player for the “Star Wars in Concert” International tour, performing 70 concerts in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. “The Principal Trumpet player delivered his notes with Jedi-like laser focus” (The Saskatoon StarPhoenix). A soughtafter performer of Bach’s extremely demanding “Brandenburg Concerto No. 2,” the Ventura County Star wrote that “Frear floated effortlessly over the concertato.”

Formerly Solo Trumpet of the Israel Philharmonic with Zubin Mehta, he has received critical acclaim throughout five continents. “A trumpeter of unparalleled stamina” (The Glasgow Herald); He has performed on the soundtracks of over 100 motion pictures and television shows since 1991, including Oscar-winning composers John Williams, Elmer Bernstein, James Horner, Jerry Goldsmith, Elliott Goldenthal, and Thomas Newman.

Rob Frear is a Yamaha Performing Artist. In collaboration with Yamaha’s international design team Rob has participated in the development of many of their new trumpet designs over the last 35 years.

A graduate of Los Altos High School in Hacienda Heights, CA, he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in French from CSULB and a Master of Music Degree from USC in trumpet performance.

Cindy Chen, Ph.D.
 Professor, Finance

Effort is paramount in my approach to both personal and academic pursuits, serving as a guiding principle for myself and my students. As an immigrant and someone born with a hearing impairment, I am deeply appreciative of the unwavering support I've received, which has empowered me to overcome self‐doubt and pursue my passions wholeheartedly. My journey began at Kent State University, where I earned an MA in Economics and a PhD in Finance. Despite an enticing opportunity in the hedge fund industry, I chose to follow my passion for academia and joined CSULB in Fall 2006.

Currently serving as a professor of Finance in the College of Business, I am committed to delivering forward‐thinking content to our graduate and undergraduate students. Recognizing the importance of lifelong learning, especially in today's technology‐driven landscape, I advocate for the integration of technology to foster continuous education. I have actively contributed to curriculum redesign initiatives and participated in projects focused on leveraging technology to enhance teaching and learning. 

 In addition to my teaching responsibilities, I lead two programs in Finance as the Minor Advisor and MS Finance (MS Financial Analytics) Director. These programs are dedicated to promoting socioeconomic mobility by removing barriers to higher education and fostering financial literacy among students. The impact of our programs is evident in the recognition our students receive from employers and their successful career outcomes.

As a researcher, I maintain a high level of productivity and contribute to scholarly discourse through intellectual contributions to theory, application, and pedagogy. My work reflects a commitment to advancing knowledge and improving educational practices.

Wikrom Prombutr, Ph.D.
 Professor, Finance

Wikrom Prombutr is currently a tenured Professor of Finance at the College of Business, CSULB. His teaching areas include Business Finance, Investment Principles, Financial Management Concepts, Seminar in Business Finance, Seminar in International Finance, and Directed Studies. Dr. Prombutr earned his Ph.D. in finance from the University of Texas at Arlington. His research interests encompass theoretical and empirical asset pricing, real estate investments, security valuation, portfolio management, real options, and mathematical finance. 

His research has been published in various academic journals such as the Journal of Financial Research, Journal of Banking and Finance, European Financial Management, International Real Estate Review, Journal of Accounting and Finance, Review of Behavioral Finance, Review of Accounting and Finance, Studies in Economics and Finance, Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Journal of Trading, Global Finance Journal, Journal of Asia-Pacific Business, Quarterly Journal of Finance and Accounting, and Financial Review. Additionally, he has presented his research papers at various annual conferences of national and international significance.

Dr. Prombutr has developed a comprehensive system on his website, providing articles on practical investment cases and a data library. This platform attracts a community interested in financial literacy and fosters connections through LinkedIn. The portal systematically supports student research under his mentorship. 

Tianjiao Qiu, Ph.D.
Professor, Marketing

Dr. Tianjiao Qiu is a Professor of Marketing with over 16 years of teaching, service, and research experience at CSULB. She received her M.ED. in Educational Psychology and Ph.D. in Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include B2B marketing strategies, entrepreneurial marketing strategies, and international marketing strategies. She has published extensively as the sole author and lead author in prestigious national and international journals, including the Journal of Product Innovation of Management, European Journal of Marketing, Journal of International Marketing, Industrial Marketing Management, Journal of Global Marketing, Journal of Marketing Management, Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, and African Journal of Economic and Management Studies. 

Dr. Qiu’s teaching focuses on International Business, B2B Marketing Strategies, and Machine Learning. She has served and has taken up leadership roles in numerous committees and task forces at department, college, and university levels. She has also been a reviewer for many prestigious academic journals, such as the African Journal of Economic and Management Studies, the European Journal of Marketing, Industrial Marketing Management, the Journal of International Marketing, the Journal of Marketing Management, and the Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship. She actively engages in the academic community by chairing and presenting her work at well-known academic conferences such as the INFORMS Marketing Science Conference, the Summer and Winter Marketing Educators’ Conference, and the Academy of Marketing Science Conference. She has been honored twice with Best Paper Awards at Summer Marketing Educators’ conferences. Besides classroom teaching, she provides mentorships to undergraduate students, honors program students, and graduate students. She has received the Exceptional Service Award at CSULB twice for her dedicated service contributions to students, colleagues, and CSULB communities.

Shuhua An, Ph.D.
Professor, Teacher Education

Dr. Shuhua An, with over 30 years of teaching experience in math and math education, has made significant contributions to the field. At CSULB, Dr. An instructs math education courses for graduate and multiple credential programs. She served as the coordinator of the math education graduate program from 2009 to 2017. Since 2010, Dr. An has directed East Meets West, and Math at the Beach, initiatives that empower math teachers for their students. The Math at the Beach organizes annual workshops for local math teachers and pre-service teachers in Southern CA, fostering inclusive and representative discourse in math education and promoting collaboration between CSULB and local schools.

Dr. An's research spans several critical areas, including teachers' pedagogical content knowledge, assessment, STEM integration, and classroom teaching research. She is the author of two influential books: "The Middle Path in Math Instruction - Solutions for Improving Math Education" and "Teaching Elementary and Middle School Mathematics Using the MSA Approach: Model, Strategy, and Application." Additionally, Dr. An has contributed extensively to research journals and book chapters. Her editorial roles include serving on editorial boards, acting as a guest editor for special issues, and being an associate editor for various mathematics education journals. Since 2018, she has held the esteemed position of editor-in-chief for the Journal of Mathematics Education.

Dr. An's leadership extends beyond academia. In 2008, she initiated the international Classroom Teaching Research for All Students (CTRAS) at the U.S.-Sino Workshop, founded by the NSF. Dr. An has consistently led CTRAS and organized annual conferences in different countries. Currently, she serves as the President of the expanded CTRAS (M-CTRAS) organization, including 70 universities among 30 countries, guiding math educators and scholars toward excellence in math education. Her commitment to advancing the field is remarkable, and her impact resonates both nationally and internationally.

Roger C. Lo, Ph.D.
Professor & Department Chair, Chemical Engineering

Dr. Roger C. Lo is Professor and the Chair in the Department of Chemical Engineering at California State University, Long Beach. He earned his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University in 2008. He joined CSULB in Fall 2009, received his tenure in 2015, and was subsequently promoted to Full Professor in 2020. His primary teaching assignments are focused on fluid mechanics, engineering mathematics, and chemical engineering laboratory. Dr. Lo was formerly the graduate advisor and led the department effort to establish the CSULB Master of Science in Chemical Engineering (MSChE) Program, which is the second such program within the CSU system and the only one in Southern California. The inaugural class started in Fall 2019.

Dr. Lo’s multidisciplinary research interests are in microfluidics and its applications at the interface of biology, chemistry, and engineering. He established and serves as the director of the Microfluidics @ The Beach Laboratory that focuses on open-source instrumentation; and microfluidics-based systems for high-throughput separation and detection of chemical/biological species and modular chemical/biological reactions. His laboratory provides undergraduate and graduate students research training in developing new microfluidics-based instruments for various applications. Dr. Lo has mentored in multidisciplinary projects more than 30 students with the majority from underrepresented groups. 

In addition to university services at all levels, Dr. Lo dedicates his efforts to supporting students’ success in competitions. He secures funding and works closely with the CSULB American Institute of Chemical Engineer (AIChE) Student Chapter to significantly expand competition teams and outreach activities to connect with industry. Under Dr. Lo’s leadership and faculty support, the CSULB team won the 1st place in the Chem-E Car Competition in the 2019 AIChE West Regional Conference and Western SRC Student Poster Competition 1st Place Award during the 2023 AIChE Student Regional Conference, respectively. 

Shadi Saadeh, Ph.D.
Professor, Civil Engineering and Construction Engineering Management  

Dr. Shadi Saadeh is a professor of civil engineering at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), where he has served as a faculty member since 2007. Dr. Saadeh worked for Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) 2003-2005 and Louisiana Transportation Research Center (LTRC) 2006-2007. He received his B.Sc. in civil engineering from the University of Jordan (1997), M.Sc. in civil engineering from Washington State University (2002), and Ph.D. in civil engineering from Texas A & M University (2005). 

Dr. Saadeh's research focuses on topics directly related to granular materials, including asphalt mixes and their constituents. His main research areas are constitutive modeling of highway materials at the microstructural level, preservation technologies, sustainability, life-cycle assessment, highway infrastructure performance, experimental characterization using X-ray computed tomography (CT), image analysis techniques, and mechanical testing. 

He has received over $6.5M in external grants and contracts supporting his work. Most notably, over $5.5M was awarded for the curricular development and administration of the Joint Training and Certification Program (JTCP) to certify and train the technician workforce that maintains infrastructure for the State of California. The JTCP has operated for six years and has certified 4500 technicians for Caltrans and the construction industry. Elected officials in CA laud the program for producing the trained workforce we need. Saadeh has authored 51 publications in peer-reviewed journals, conference proceedings, and technical reports. 

Dr Saadeh is the director of the National Center for Transportation Green Technology and Education (TransGet) at CSULB. He has received several awards for research and scholarly activities. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, an author and reviewer for many scientific journals such as the Journal of Transportation Research Board (TRB), the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), and the Journal of the American Society for Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Michelle Alencar, Ph.D.
Professor, Kinesiology

Dr. Michelle Alencar, PhD, CCN, CSCS, CNC, CMES, ACSM-EP, CPT, is an accomplished Full Professor at Long Beach State University. With a diverse array of certifications, including clinical nutritionist, medical exercise specialist, nutrition coach, lifestyle therapeutics health coach, exercise physiologist, personal trainer, and strength & conditioning specialist, Dr. Alencar stands as a versatile and highly qualified professional in the health and wellness field.

Her distinguished career encompasses over 40 peer-reviewed research publications, highlighting her expertise in health coaching, mobile health technology, telemedicine, weight management, and body composition. As a dedicated clinical researcher, she seamlessly integrates evidence-based principles into clinical practice, health plans, and collaborations with medical device companies. An active speaker and advisor, Dr. Alencar contributes her insights to prestigious national organizations such as The Obesity Medicine Association, IDEA Health and Fitness, and the American College of Sports Medicine, showcasing her commitment to advancing the field.

Dr. Alencar's passion lies in harnessing tech-enabled services to support individuals on their nutrition, fitness, and behavior modification journeys. Her holistic approach aims to empower individuals to lead healthy, vibrant, and active lifestyles. Beyond her impactful role in academia and research, her connections with in Health to create a significant academia <> industry connection signifies her dedication to translating scientific knowledge into practical solutions for the benefit of individuals striving for optimal well-being. Dr. Michelle Alencar stands as a beacon in the field, contributing significantly to the intersection of technology, wellness, and healthcare to create lasting positive impacts on individual health. 

Michelle Barrack, Ph.D.
Professor, Family & Consumer Sciences & Director, Nutrition and Dietetics

Dr. Barrack is a Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics in the CSULB Department of Family and Consumer Sciences (2014-present), Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD), and Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (FACSM). Dr. Barrack teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in macronutrient and micronutrient metabolism and sports nutrition. Her primary area of research focuses on dietary and exercise-related factors increasing risk of low bone mineral density (BMD) and bone stress injury in adolescent and collegiate athletes, developing screening tools to identify risk factors, and implementing nutrition education intervention programs to prevent energy deficiency, low BMD, and injury in higher-risk athletes. Dr. Barrack also conducts research on dietary supplements, food insecurity and disordered eating in collegiate athletes and other populations. Dr. Barrack fosters multidisciplinary collaborations with research, sports medicine clinicians and faculty at several R1 universities including the University of California, Los Angeles, Stanford University, San Diego State University, Harvard University, and Penn State University and has served as an undergraduate student mentor for several NIH or USDA-funded CSULB student research programs including the Advancing Nutrition Development through Alliances for Leadership and Education (ANDALE) Scholars Program, Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD), Project Hogar and the University Honors Program. Dr. Barrack provides ongoing service to the university and profession, serving on the CSULB Institutional Review Board, Athletics Compliance Committee, Department of Athletics Academic Committee, CHHS Research Committee, CHHS Faculty Council and FCS Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Science Area Coordinator. In 2021, Dr. Barrack was also elected to serve as president for the Female and Male Athlete Triad Coalition and provides service as an editor/reviewer for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Sports and Human Performance Nutrition (SHPN) Dietetic Practice Group. Dr. Barrack has 48 refereed manuscript publications in top sports medicine and nutrition journals.

Aili Malm, Ph.D.
Professor, Criminology and Criminal Justice

Dr. Aili Malm is a Professor in the School of Criminology, Criminal Justice and Emergency Management at California State University, Long Beach. Dr. Malm was instrumental in starting CSULB’s online Masters in Criminology and Criminal Justice. She also served as the online and in-person MSCCJ Graduate Advisor for almost a decade. She has served as a member of the Long Beach Police Department Citizen Advisory Committee and as President of the Western Society of Criminology (WSC). Her service has been recognized with the WSC Lohman Award and the Peace Officers' Association of Los Angeles County (POLEAC) Centurion Award for Excellence in Innovation. 

Her research centers on the assessment and evaluation of policing strategies and intelligence. She has worked as a PI or Co-PI for over $7 million in grants. She has published over 40 research articles and two books including ‘Disrupting Criminal Networks’ with Gisela Bichler, and ‘Cops, Cameras and Crisis’ with Mike White. She has also worked with several police departments across the globe, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, British Home Office, Danish National Police, and numerous local departments across the United States. In addition, Dr. Malm has served as a subject matter expert for the U.S. Department of Justice Body-Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program assisting more than 500 law enforcement agencies across the U.S. In recognition of these efforts, she was awarded the CSULB Distinguished Faculty Scholarly and Creative Achievement Award and the WSC Fellows Award.

David Powell, Ph.D.
Professor, Public Policy and Administration

I received my Ph.D. in Political Science from Miami University in 1996. After teaching for five years at universities in Florida and Illinois, I accepted a faculty appointment in the Graduate Center for Public Policy and Administration (GCPPA) in 2001. During my time at California State University, Long Beach, I have served as Department Chair (2006-2009 and 2014-2021) and DLMPA Director (2004-present). In these capacities, I managed all aspects of departmental and program operations. My primary teaching areas include Foundations of Public Administration, Organization Theory, Research Methods, Public Budgeting, and Intergovernmental Relations. 

In addition to my teaching responsibilities, I have maintained an active research agenda. My primary areas of research focus include student learning outcomes assessment, the representative effects of the California Voting Rights Act, and online teaching modalities. 

Beyond campus, I remain very active in my community and profession. I served for six years as an elected member of the Saugus Union School District Governing Board. During my time on the Board, I served as Board President and Board Clerk. I also served as the President of the Saugus-Hart Joint Finance Authority. My service to my community was recognized by the California State Legislature, United States House of Representatives, County of Los Angeles, City of Santa Clarita, and California State PTA. 

Lei Sun, Ph.D.
Professor, Speech-Language Pathology

Dr. Sun is a first-generation immigrant and moved to the U.S. when she was 26. Dr. Sun earned her B.A. in Public Policy Administration and M.A. in Communication in Taiwan and a M.S. and Ph.D. in speech-language pathology (SLP) from the University of Oregon as an international student and English learner (EL). Before she joined the CSULB SLP Department in 2011, she worked for the Los Angeles Unified School District as a bilingual school-based SLP. She worked closely with teachers and other service providers to support preschoolers and K–5 students who struggled with speech and language development due to various etiologies. As an educator, Dr. Sun uses her personal journey as an immigrant and EL to empower students to pursue their dreams and develop resilience and perseverance. Dr. Sun has been teaching various undergraduate and graduate courses on various subject matters since joining CSULB in 2011. In addition, she has been heavily involved in department-level administrative work. She firmly believes that a well-functioning department is the foundation of a thriving college or university. All her energy has been devoted to department-level work since joining CSULB, from chairing students’ theses to chairing chair/TT/lecture searches with no compensation. Dr. Sun also actively advocates for monitories, especially AAPI communities, by participating in APIN, East Asia Subcommittee and serving as co-president and executive board member on the API SLP Caucus. Dr. Sun is a firm believer that actions are louder than words. She has been the one who takes on additional work, heavy duty committees, and challenging work most of the time without compensation. Even though most of the work she accomplished is at the departmental level, which is rarely recognized by people outside of her department, these ongoing and unnoticeable efforts and work are vital to a prosperous and striving department.

Sabrina Alimahomed, Ph.D.
Professor, Sociology

Dr. Sabrina Alimahomed is Professor of Sociology at California State University, Long Beach. She is Affiliate Faculty at the Center for Security, Race, and Rights at Rutgers Law School. She is an Honorary Research Fellow at University College London’s Centre for the Study of Education in Muslim Contexts and served as a Research Fellow in the Civil Rights Division at the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA). She has published her research in Critical Studies on Terrorism, Gender and SocietyCritical SociologyRace and Class, and Women, Gender, and Families of Color on the topics of gendered Islamophobia and state violence, racialized surveillance and counterterrorism, and capitalism and the privatization of the domestic War on Terror. She is co-PI of the Innovating Faculty Workloads Equitably National Science Foundation ADVANCE institutional transformation $1 million grant at CSULB. 

She has received funding for her research from the National Endowment for the Humanities, American Association for the University Women, Association for the Sociology of Religion, American Sociological Association, Society for the Study of Social Problems, and Sociologists for Women in Society. She has served on the National Minority Fellowship Program Advisory Board for the American Sociological Association, editorial board for sociology’s leading gender journal Gender and Society, President’s Commission on the Status of Women, and as the campus CSU Long Beach Chair for the California Faculty Association’s Racial and Social Justice Council. 

She was awarded CSULB’s inaugural Faculty Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award for her work on campus as the Co-Chair of Parents & Caregivers United, Co-Chair of the Senate COVID Equity Task Force for Faculty Evaluations, Co-Facilitator of the CLA Parenting Learning Community, Co-Facilitator of the Scholar Activists Faculty of Color Network Summer Writing Program, and Co-Facilitator of the Feminist Writing and Research Group, and Faculty Equity Advocate. 

Chi-Ah Chun, Ph.D.,
Professor & Department Chair, Clinical Science

Dr. Chi-Ah Chun is Professor and Chair of Psychology. She obtained her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from UCLA and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Palo Alto VA Health Care System and Stanford University School of Medicine. Her early grant-funded research examined the prevalence rates of psychiatric disorders and cultural determinants of stress and coping in Asian immigrant and refugee populations, including the Chinese and Korean immigrants in the greater Los Angeles area and the Cambodian refugees in Long Beach. Dr. Chun’s work also reflects her deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education and the national research workforce. As such, she has led for over two decades several federally funded grants that provided research training in health disparities to students and faculty at CSULB. These grants include the NIMH-funded Career Opportunities in Research program that provided training to Psychology undergraduate students and the NIMH-funded Minority Research Infrastructure Support Program that provided training and resources to CLA faculty. In the last ten years, her efforts expanded to strengthening the research infrastructure at the institutional level at CSULB through the NIH-funded Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Initiative. She served as the inaugural Student Training Program Director during Phase I and is now the lead PI of the Phase II award. Altogether, Dr. Chun secured $23 million of federal grant funding as a PI while at CSULB. Dr. Chun also served the CLA as its second Director of Research. In 2023 Dr. Chun was elected as chair of the Psychology Department. Her vision as chair is to help the department harness its strengths and unwavering commitment to its students as it transitions out of the pandemic and rises to the challenge of educating one of the largest majors on campus. 

Nancy Hall, Ph.D.
Professor & Department Chair, Linguistics

Dr. Nancy Hall is a Professor and Chair of the CSULB Department of Linguistics, and Interim Director of the program in American Sign Language Linguistics and Deaf Cultures. She is a linguist specializing in phonetics and phonology. Her research interests include acoustic characteristics of vowels, how and why languages’ sound systems change over time, and the phonology of Arabic dialects. As director of the CSULB Phonetics Lab, she has mentored dozens of students interested in research careers. She teaches courses in Phonology, Historical Linguistics, the History of English, Psycholinguistics, Corpus Linguistics, and Language Acquisition.

Jayne Howell, Ph.D.
Professor, Anthropology

Dr. Jayne Howell is Professor of and Graduate Advisor in Anthropology, and has served as advisor and Co-Director for the Latin American Studies Program. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropological Sciences at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook, and taught at SUNY Plattsburgh before joining the CSULB faculty in 1994. Her continuing ethnographic research in Oaxaca (Mexico) focuses on rural education, urbanization, globalization through migration and tourism, and analyzes ways that women’s education and professional employment challenge patriarchy and contribute to gender role change. Her monograph Women Teachers of Rural Oaxaca: Agency and Empowerment (Lexington Books) was selected as a 2023 Choice Outstanding Academic Titles text. Among other journals, her appear in Feminist Anthropology, Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, and Desatacos

Dr. Howell’s service on numerous campus committees incudes twelve years on the Institutional Review Board and as IRB liaison to the University Honors Program (2021-2023). She has held leadership roles in national and regional professional organizations. Within the American Anthropological Association (AAA), she Secretary, Treasurer and President for the Society for Urban, National and Transnational Anthropology (2006-2020), was elected to the American Anthropological Association Ethics Committee (2020-2023), was a member of the 2023 Society for Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology Book Prize committee, and is currently Treasurer for the Association for Feminist Anthropology (2021-2024). She was President of SWAA (Southwestern Anthropology) in 2022-2023, and is Program chair for the 2022 and 2024 SWAA conferences. She is also an active reviewer for academic presses, journals, and funding agencies. 

Dr. Howell’s greatest professional satisfaction is as a committed teacher and mentor to undergraduate and graduate students. In addition to supervising graduate student theses, she taught over 16 different classes. She developed new curriculum, including ethnographic methods and professional development courses and ethics modules.

Neil Hultgren, Ph.D.
Professor, English

Neil Hultgren is Professor of English at California State University, Long Beach, where his research focus is on British literature and culture of the Victorian period. Since 2007, he has taught students in areas such as Victorian literature, the novel, the Gothic, and science fiction.He has created two new courses with the help of his colleagues, including ENGL 365: Queer Literature and Queer Reading, which was approved by the English Department in fall 2023. 

He is the author of Melodramatic Imperial Writing from the Sepoy Rebellion to Cecil Rhodes (Ohio University Press, 2014) and has published articles and book chapters on Oscar Wilde, Richard Marsh, Arthur Machen, Guillermo del Toro, and M. P. Shiel. He is currently at work on a book project titled “Cosmic Romance: The Universe in British Fiction, 1885-1930,” for which he received a National Endowment for the Humanities “Awards for Faculty” grant for the 2022-23 academic year. Alongside Molly Youngkin of Loyola Marymount University, he is editing a four-volume set of historical sources on literary realism with Routledge, titled, “The Rise and Fall of Literary Realism, 1780-1920,” which diversifies the canon with sources from former British colonies. In 2021-22, he collaborated with UC professors Elizabeth Miller and Joseph Bristow on “Victorian Apocalypse: the siècle at its fin” a series of talks and events focusing on temporality, ecology, and decay in the late nineteenth century.

He has served as Co-Lead Undergraduate Advisor for the English Department (2014-21), and during the 2021-22 academic year he was Chair of CSULB’s Academic Senate. In 2023-24, he is serving as the Vice Chair. He has also held leadership positions in CSULB’s Curriculum and Educational Policies Council and CSULB’s chapter of the California Faculty Association. He currently serves as the treasurer of the Victorian Interdisciplinary Studies Association of the Western US.

Ali Igmen, Ph.D
Professor, History

Ali Igmen is Professor of Central Asian History, the Director of Research in the Humanities, and the Director of the Oral History Program at the California State University, Long Beach, and past President of Central Eurasian Studies Society (2018-19). His most recent publications are:

  • Making Culture in (Post) Socialist Central Asia, co-edited with Ananda Breed an Eva-Marie Dubuisson. London: Palgrave Pivot, Palgrave McMillan Book Series, 2020. 
  • “Between Empire and the Nation-State, between Humanism and Communism: Nazim Hikmet’s Noble Struggle with Modernity” in The Arc of Revolution, Socialist Subjectivity in Transnational Perspective, a volume in the edited compilation, Choi Chatterjee, editor, Russia’s Great War and Revolution, 1914–1922: The Centenary Reappraisal, Bloomington: Slavica Press, 2019.
  • “Soviet Central Asia” in Central Asia: Context for Understanding. David W. Montgomery, ed., Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2022. 
  • “Gender and National Identity in the Memories of the Twentieth-Century Soviet Theatre in Kyrgyzstan” in “Special Edition: Forum, Oral History and Memory in Central Asia,” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, Bloomington: Slavica Publishers, Spring 2019, 20 (2): 291-314. 

He works on the history of Soviet culture and gender politics in Central Eurasia and Turkey, currently writing his third book to the Becoming a Citizen During the Multi-Party Era in Republican Turkey: A Female Journalist’s Journey in the city of Bursa, from 1958 present. He received his doctorate from the University of Washington in Seattle, and taught at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Kyrgyz National University in Bishkek, Osh State University in Osh, Kyrgyzstan, and Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey. A significant number of awards such as Fulbright-Hays, SSRC, Mellon Slavic Studies Initiative Grant and FLAS helped support his research on Central Asian History. His research, teaching and service focuses on marginalized populations such as women, LGBTQ+, and immigrant communities in the USA and Eurasia.

Kevin Johnson, Ph.D.
Professor, Communication Studies

Kevin A. Johnson, Ph.D. is Professor of Communication Studies and Director of the Center for First Amendment Studies at California State University, Long Beach. His specialty area are in the First Amendment, rhetorical theory and criticism, and public controversies. He has published two books, Religious Freedom v. Equal Protection: Clashing American Rights and Fear and the First Amendment: Controversial Cases of the Roberts Court, over 29 articles in peer reviewed journals, over 20 book chapters, book reviews, and invited manuscripts, and over 100 competitively accepted conference presentations. He has served an Editor of the National Communication Association’s (NCA) First Amendment Studies and Communications and Democracy journals, and served as Chair of the Freedom of Expression Division of NCA and as Chair of the Law and Policy Division of the Broadcast Education Association. He has earned Certificates of Recognition from the City of Long Beach the State Assembly and Senate of California, and the U.S. House of Representatives. He also serves on the Executive Committee of the Long Beach Branch of the NAACP, is an accomplished CIF football official, and is an Assisting Minister at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Long Beach. 

Professor Johnson has a longstanding commitment to CSULB. He has a demonstrated record of service to the university, including serving on several ASI Boards, leadership on budget and resource boards, personnel, and review boards, and more. As an undergraduate, he was a Cross examination Debate Association All American, and won the prestigious Carl Bovero Award from the Pacific Southwest Collegiate Forensics Association for consistent success at tournaments, being active in the community, assisting coaches and leading teams, fostering great citizenship with other teams at tournaments, and helping promote speech competition overall. His extended family is a proud member of the Beach community, having earned 14 degrees from CSULB.

Amy Cabrera Rasmussen, Ph.D.
Department Chair, Political Science

Dr. Amy Cabrera Rasmussen received her B.A. and M.A. from CSULB and earned her Ph.D. from Yale University, all in Political Science. She was a visiting researcher at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race and received research fellowships from the Ford Foundation and the American Association of University Women. Her current scholarly work examines policymaking processes, discourse, and impact and is substantively focused on the construction of “good work” in the U.S. context—past, present, and future. 

Dr. Cabrera Rasmussen teaches on politics and policy at both the undergraduate and master’s level. She served as an undergraduate advisor for nearly a decade. In 2017, she was recognized with the CSULB University Distinguished Faculty Advising Award. She has also contributed to many career-focused efforts in the College and University. She is a co-founder of the Long Beach Community Internship Program, previously served on the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women and was part of the fifth cohort of the President’s and Provost’s Leadership Fellows Program.

Beyond CSULB, Dr. Cabrera Rasmussen was a member of the American Political Science Association’s Presidential Task Force on New Partnerships. A founding director of APSA’s Institute for Civically Engaged Research, she also spearheaded the creation of a new APSA Distinguished Award for Civic and Community Engagement and co-wrote the proposal for the teaching and learning website APSA Educate. She has also contributed to local environmental justice advocacy.

Dr. Cabrera Rasmussen currently serves as Professor and Chair of Political Science at California State University Long Beach. Her professional aim is to bring together campus, community, high impact practices, and research—all with a focus on access, equity, diversity, and inclusion—to help those who want to utilize their knowledge and skills to address the challenges and opportunities of this current historical moment.

Kristy Shih, Ph.D.
Professor, Human Development

Dr. Kristy Shih is a Professor of Human Development at CSULB. She is a critical race feminist sociologist specializing in Asian Americans, racially/ethnically minoritized families, immigrant and transnational families, family diversity, intersectionality, feminist theories and methods, qualitative interview methods, and anti-racist and social justice scholarship. She obtained her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Riverside. Her publications have appeared in Asian American Journal of Psychology, Journal of Family Issues, Journal of Family Theory and Review, Journal of Child and Adolescent Counseling, AFTA Springer Briefs in Family Therapy, Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Family Studies, Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, and Handbook of Gender Research in Psychology.

An expert on Asian American families, Dr. Shih’s scholarship has interrogated the negative impacts of the “model minority myth” on Asian American youth, families, and communities. Her multi-site interview project examines the transnational family experiences of adult former “parachute kids” from Taiwan who immigrated to the U.S./Canada alone for educational purposes during middle to high school years. As parents often stay in the home country to continue their employment or family obligations, minor-aged “parachute kids” are left on their own, with relatives, or in boarding houses with a stranger acting as legal guardian. Using intensive interviews with former “parachute kids” who are now adults, this study examines how they describe growing up in a foreign country without their parents, the ways in which they negotiate racial/ethnic and gender identities and inequities in a transnational context, and how transnational living arrangements affect their relationships with their parents and other family members. This study also explores their return migration experiences. She is also a co-PI on three collaborative projects: 1) newspaper reporting of Anti-Asian hate crimes since the COVID19 pandemic, 2) racial learning among Asian American young adults, and 3) Asian American queer and racial identities.

Christopher Warren, Ph.D.
Professor, Industrial-Organizational Psychology

After receiving his PhD from Tulane University, Dr. Warren joined the Long Beach State faculty and since has taught courses at the undergraduate and graduate level, such as Training in Organizations, Group Dynamics, and Research Methods, and supervised numerous thesis projects, on topics ranging from Psychometrics to Sexual Harassment Training in Organizations. In addition to research presented at regional, national, and international conferences and publications focusing on organizational behavior such as the barriers to employment those with disabilities may face, his work on stereotypes in comic arts has also been featured at venues such as Comic Con International. Dr. Warren is also a core faculty member of the Master of Arts Program in Organizational Psychology at Long Beach State where he trains many of I/O practitioners in the Southern California area. Dr. Warren also serves on the Academic Senate, the Executive Board for California Faculty Association, has served on the Program Assessment and Review Council at Long Beach State, and helped to organize the first annual Diversity in Leadership Conference in Long Beach. In his more applied work, Dr. Warren has developed assessment plans for academic and community organizations, and designed training programs with student for local and international non-profits. Dr. Warren is an active member in several professional societies, such as the Society for I/O Psychology and serves as Treasurer and board member for the Western Psychological Association. In his free time, Dr. Warren enjoys hiking, cooking, and tennis.

Nell Wieland, Ph.D.
Professor, Department Chair & Undergraduate Advisor, Philosophy

In 1998 she graduated with a BA in Philosophy from Humboldt State, and completed her PhD in Philosophy in 2007. Her dissertation was on the topic of ‘linguistic agency’ and was a philosophical look at how the social dimensions of speech and language intersect with the nature of language itself. In 2007 she began as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at CSULB. In 2013 she was promoted to Associate Professor. In 2016 she was elected for her first term as Department Chair. And, in 2018, she was promoted to Full Professor. She is now in her eighth year, and third term, as Department Chair. Since 2007, her philosophical research has been in several main areas, each of which has been integrated with teaching at all levels. These areas are the philosophy of language, atypical agency, and the intersection of language and agency with social phenomena. This has included work on the authority of pornographers, context-sensitive language and pragmatic theory, theories of quotation and indirect reports, and work on the history of speech act theory. It has also included work on the obligations of parents, and on diminished and abnegated agency. Most recently, she has turned to linguistic phenomena inside of fictional contexts, as well as the use of the fictional in ordinary speech. She has been extraordinarily fortunate to pursue this life of teaching and scholarship in philosophy. As a student of the CSU, along with her siblings and parents, a commitment to the mission of quality education accessible to all Californians is in her blood. She cares deeply about the history and aspirations of public education, and the enhancement to quality and meaning of life that comes with the study of philosophical questions and problems.

Cory Wright, Ph.D.
Professor, Philosophy

Cory Wright is Professor of Philosophy in the College of Liberal Arts. His research spans Cognitive Science, Epistemology, and Philosophy of Science, and focuses especially on the nature of truth and scientific explanation. Cory’s promotion of intellectual achievement is exemplified by his special commitment to high impact practices; although highly time- and labor-intensive, he has mentored, supervised, and advised hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students. He has also been a driving force behind the rise of his department’s now top-ranked MA program—an achievement from which he went on to serve as his college’s Director of Graduate Studies from 2016-2023 under four different Associate Deans. Despite those administrative and service duties pulling him out of the classroom, Cory has still managed to teach >23 distinct new course preps at all levels of instruction. He arrived at CSULB in 2008 by declining a Mellon postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University, prior to which he held a McDonnell postdoctoral fellowship at the Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology program at Washington University in St. Louis. He earned a dual PhD in Cognitive Science and Philosophy from the University of California San Diego in 2007, with a dissertation on the nature of truth from the perspective of Cognitive Linguistics. Along the way, Cory was awarded a Fulbright research fellowship to The Netherlands in 2004. Another formative experience involved conducting intracranial self-stimulation experiments to study mesocorticolimbic dopamine and glutamate in the Koob/Markou neuropharmacology lab at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla. Cory’s educational trajectory is marked by a commitment to interdisciplinary and collaborative inquiry across the Life Sciences and Humanities, and he is committed to showing students how to achieve success in pursuit of their own areas of inquiry, wherever they may lead.

Arturo R. Zavala, Ph.D.
Professor, Behavioral Neuroscience

Dr. Arturo Zavala is a professor in the Department of Psychology. He earned his bachelor’s in psychology and master’s in general experimental psychology from California State University (CSU), San Bernardino, and his Ph.D. in behavioral neuroscience from Arizona State University. He joined CSU Long Beach (CSULB) as an assistant professor in 2008 and was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2014. In the department, he teaches psychobiology, the physiology of behavior, and the psychology of addiction. Dr. Zavala’s research focuses on the functional consequences of early exposure to psychoactive drugs and later susceptibility to drug abuse, as well as the role of serotonin and glucagon-like peptide 1 in modulating the effects of drugs of abuse. His lab combines neurochemical, molecular, and pharmacological approaches with animal behavioral models to understand the neural basis of addiction. He mentors undergraduate and master’s students in his lab and prepares them for a career in neuroscience, many of whom have pursued a doctoral degree in neuroscience. Dr. Zavala is also the codirector of the Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) program, which aims to increase the number of underrepresented students entering biomedical and health-related research careers. As co-director, Dr. Zavala has led efforts to increase CSULB’s research capacity and infrastructure. Lastly, Dr. Zavala is the Director of the Pre-Professor Program (PREPP) and Faculty Fellow for Future Faculty Initiatives for the Office of the Chancellor at CSU. He co-created PREPP to foster a pipeline for prospective new faculty at the CSU. Dr. Zavala received the CSULB Distinguished Faculty Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activity (RSCA) Mentoring Award and the National Hispanic Science Network’s National Award of Excellence in Mentorship for his involvement in research with undergraduate and graduate students.

Judy Brusslan, Ph.D.
Professor, Biological Sciences

Dr. Judy Brusslan is a professor of Biological Sciences at CSULB, where she has been a faculty member since 1995. Dr. Brusslan was hired to teach General Genetics, which she teaches annually. She has also consistently taught Molecular Plant Physiology and the Genomics module of the Cell and Molecular Biology lab course. Dr. Brusslan provides opportunities for students to practice genetics concepts each week since engaging with challenging material fosters learning and intellectual achievement. Dr. Brusslan incorporates primary literature and research design into her courses, including her summer research experience for incoming students entitled “Getting to Know DNA”.

Dr. Brusslan’s research focuses on leaf senescence, the process in which older leaves recycle their nutrients to nourish younger portions of the plant. The Brusslan lab focuses on the regulatory pathways that link development of the reproductive structures to the onset of senescence in older leaves. She has published a gene regulatory network proposed to define this communication pathway, and the student community in her lab is testing the network using molecular genetic approaches. Dr. Brusslan mentors a large cohort of students, currently 15 lab members, and 13 students from the Brusslan lab have joined PhD programs in the last five years. Eleven of these students are from underserved/underrepresented populations. Dr. Brusslan serves as a Managing Editor for the respected journal Plant Physiology.

Dr. Brusslan is the PI of the NIH-funded Bridges to the Doctorate program which provides support and expands access for underserved/underrepresented MS students who aim to earn a PhD. Dr. Brusslan brought this program to CSULB and has carried to fruition the proposed activities. Through the Faculty Formative Feedback Project (FFFP), Dr. Brusslan partners with faculty from other colleges to help them assess and improve student engagement.

Shahab Derakhshan, Ph.D.
Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Dr. Shahab Derakhshan is a distinguished academic and accomplished researcher specializing in Inorganic Materials Chemistry. He earned his BSc and master's degree in chemistry in Iran, followed by a Ph.D. in Inorganic Materials Chemistry from the University of Waterloo. After completing his graduate studies, he studied magnetic materials for 3.5 years as a postdoctoral fellow at McMaster University.

In August 2009, Dr. Derakhshan joined the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry as an assistant professor. His strong dedication to students’ success across teaching, research, and service earned him promotions to the rank of associate professor in 2015 and full professor in 2020. His remarkable impact on the BEACH is evident through several recognitions, including the 2021 Distinguished Faculty Scholarly and Creative Achievement Award, the 2018 Most Valuable Professor (MVP) in CNSM, the 2014 CNSM Pretty Darn Good Professor, and the 2013 CNSM Academic Affairs Student Success Award.

His commitment to excellence in teaching is exemplified by his contribution to the development of six new courses, substantial revamping of CHEM 111A and inorganic chemistry courses. He played a pivotal role in establishing a new degree program in Materials Science involving both the Departments of Chemistry and Physics.

His research expertise in energy-related materials is globally recognized in the research community. Since joining CSULB, he has authored 20 peer-reviewed articles in esteemed journals, with 14 articles featuring CSULB students as coauthors. Dr. Derakhshan and his students have presented their research results at numerous local, national, and international scientific conferences. In addition to earning several CSULB RSCA awards, he has secured substantial external grants from agencies such as DoD, NSF, and Keck Foundation totaling approximately $4.6 million.

In addition to service to the scientific community, he has served in CSULB academic senate for six years, GEGC and numerous committees at CNSM and his Department.

Kasha Slowinska, Ph.D.
Professor, Department Vice Chair, Chemistry & Biochemistry

I received (BS/Magister) degree summa cum laude (1997) from Warsaw University and PhD (2003) from University of California, Berkeley in Chemistry. After a year at the General Electric Global Research Center, I joined CSULB as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry in 2004. I received tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in 2010, and to Professor in 2015. I was a visiting professor at UCI (2013) and USC (2021). I received the CSULB Outstanding Professor Award (2023) and CNSM Faculty Award for Excellence (aka. Pretty Darn Good Professor Award) (2022). I was an invited speaker at GRC “Chemistry and Biology of Peptides” (2020) and West Coast TIDETalks (2023). I am a Provost and President Leadership Fellow (2018-2020). My research interests are in the method development for drug delivery systems and functional materials based on collagen, and collagen peptides. I raised over $1.57M in research funding and about 2.04M in education related funding (NSF MRI and IUSE, UC-HSI DDI/UCSD MRSEC). I published 26 peer revied publications with student coauthors and supervised 12 graduate student theses. I mentored over 65 students, many of whom presented their work at scientific meetings (48 last 10 year) receiving several awards. My teaching interests are focused on active learning techniques in analytical chemistry. I redesigned instrumental and quantitative analysis courses and developed several new courses: chemistry capstone, biological performance of materials, and fluorescence microscopy. I gave several presentations at national meetings about active learning methods applied to analytical chemistry and my teaching approach was featured in C&E News. I am a member of ACS, MRS and APS. I served in the Academic Senate, was an Undergraduate Student Advisor, and Department Seminar Coordinator. I am an associate editor in The Analytical Sciences Digital Library that focuses on curricular development and supporting technical resources in the analytical sciences.