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Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity

The reach and scope of faculty and student research, scholarship and creative activity in 2010-11 was impressive.

Faculty Research and Creative Activity

  • Across the colleges, faculty were awarded more than $39 million in external grants and funding in 2010-11, including:
    • A $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to support CCDoTT, the Center for Commercial Deployment of Transportation Technologies.
    • A grant from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters and the Doris Duke Charitable Fund for the Carpenter Performing Arts Center’s project, “Banned, Blacklisted and Boycotted: Censorship and the Response to It.”
    • Five multi-disciplinary research grants worth a total of $65,400, awarded to faculty in all seven colleges.

College of Engineering Dean Forouzan Golshani was awarded a nearly $3 million, 5-year Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship grant from NSF. Working with faculty from Arizona State, Dean Golshani and faculty from the Colleges of Engineering, Health and Human Services, and Education are focusing on person-centered technologies and practices for individuals with disabilities.

  • Betty McMickenDr. Betty McMicken (Communicative Disorders) is the only person in the world with cineradiographic studies of a person born without a tongue, according to research literature.  She began using her research to help speech and language professionals teach tongue-reconstructed and tongue-impaired clients to speak and swallow in a functional manner. 
  • College of the Arts faculty participated in more than 75 performances, displayed their work at more than 40 exhibits, produced six books and four compositions, and released one DVD and one film in 2010-11.
  • Dr. Richard Behl (Geological Sciences) created CSULB’s first industry affiliates program when he successfully invited eight petroleum and gas companies to support his research on Monterey and Related Sedimentary Rocks. The rocks are important sources of petroleum and natural gas in California.
  • Stephen MezykDr. Stephen Mezyk (Chemistry and Biochemistry) received a $1.4 million U.S. Department of Energy grant to support research that could improve the safety of stored nuclear waste by reducing the levels of radioactivity and toxicity.  CSULB was the only non-Ph.D.-granting institution among 23 leading universities to receive the funding.
  • Chemistry and Biochemistry faculty Dr. Roger Acey and Dr. Kensaku Nakayama conducted research to determine whether chemicals found in plastics contribute to autism. They are also writing a grant proposal to fund future studies and have applied for a patent regarding a series of compounds that could potentially serve as a treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease.

Seen and Heard on the Screen

Several faculty were recognized as experts in their fields, appearing in or assisting with TV and film projects. Chris Lowe

    • Biological Sciences’ shark expert, Dr. Chris Lowe, appeared on Discovery Channel during Shark Week and on Animal Planet’s I,Predator.
    • Five Chemistry and Biochemistry faculty appeared in Understanding Chemistry in Our World, which won a 2010 Los Angeles Area Emmy Award for Best Instructional Series. Lecturer Nancy Gardner was an advisor and appeared as a chemistry expert along with Drs. Stephen Mezyk, Paul Buonora, Brian McClain and Marco Lopez.
    • Andrew Vaca (Dance) was a choreographer and consultant for the Boston Celtic Dance Team’s reality show.
    Carl Lipo
    • Anthropology’s Dr. Carl Lipo was filmed discussing his most recent findings on the collapse of Easter Island for a NOVA documentary that will air in 2012.
    • Robin Richesson (Art) was the storyboard artist for the movies I am Number 4 and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island starring Dwayne Johnson and Michael Caine.
    • Cole Conservatory’s John Van Houten can be heard playing tuba on the score for Pixar’s Cars 2.

Research Support

  • The Library continued to provide strong support to students conducting research.
    • Librarians taught approximately 600 library instruction sessions, reaching 11,000 students and responded to more than 4,000 requests for research assistance at the Reference Desk.
    • The Library launched revised subject- and course-specific research guides online with LibGuides, software that utilizes Web 2.0 technology.

Student Achievements

CSULB students experienced many significant achievements. Here are just a few.

  • Two teams of students won first place at the International Collegiate Business Strategy Contest, the world’s longest running and most comprehensive business competition. The competition was hosted by the College of Business Administration for the first time.

Electric Motocross Bike


  • Mechanical engineering students David Pearce, Rogelio Rosas, and Dan Southard won CSULB’s Innovation Challenge for their electric motocross bike, a hybrid between a mountain bike and a dirt bike.


  • Two film students won four awards at the 2010 CSU Media Arts Festival. 
    • Jason Oppliger received the Best in Show Award for You Cannot Learn How to be Honest, which also captured the Rosebud Award (first-place) in the experimental film category.
    • Neil Corbin received the Audience Choice Award for Virus.
    • Corbin and Virus also earned the Rosebud Award as the first-place film in the documentary category.
  • Biochemistry student Duc Le won first place in both the CSULB and CSU statewide student research competitions for his research with Dr. Paul Weers.
  • Pacific Standard TimeVocal jazz ensemble Pacific Standard Time was named Best Vocal Jazz Ensemble at the University level by Downbeat Magazine and was named top college vocal ensemble by the Monterey Jazz Festival.
  • Journalism’s Dig Magazine won third place in the General Excellence category and four Daily 49er students won awards at the California College Media Association competition in March.
    • Alexandra Baird placed second for Best Non-Breaking News Story for her story on student government salaries at CSULB and all other Cal State universities.
    • Daily 49er editor Kasia Hall placed third in the Best Feature category for her story “Searching for the American Dream,” in which she reported on international students’ struggles to find employment.
    • Amir Vafamanesh placed third for Best Sports Feature for his story on Nadia Link, a star CSULB soccer player and new mom.
    • Jenna Skarzenski placed second for Best Podcast.

  • Three of Wesley Woelfel’s Design students earned honors at the Planning and Visual Education Partnership’s 2010-11 PAVE the Way 3D Design Challenge.

  • Hermes Saddle Display
    Gregory Vanderpol
    and Catherine Morse won first place for their Hermes Talaris Saddle Display (right) and Sung Scott Truong received an honorable mention for his Better Betta display (below).BetterBetta-Scott