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Research/Creative Activity

2013 Academic Affairs Annual Report


  esearch, scholarly and creative activity (RSCA) ensures our curricula remain relevant, the degrees we confer are meaningful and that our students apply concepts taught in the classroom and learn cutting-edge skills for the workforce. It also has a direct impact on the communities we serve.

Our faculty were awarded $20 million in external funding during 2012-13, allowing them to take on a wide range of research, scholarly and creative endeavors. Here we highlight some of their work, including research and creative activity they conducted with students:


New Frontiers of Knowledge

CSULB faculty and students were at the forefront of new discoveries in 2012-13.

  • Dr. Katarzyna Slowinska (Chemistry and Biochemistry) received a four-year, $433,500 grant from the National Institute of Health to support her research on how collagen can be manipulated into carrying and releasing cancer drugs directly at or even inside tumor cells.

Students making RepRap 3D printers
CSULB students Ben Cannon and Keith Shintaku.

  • The student chapter of the Industrial Design Society of America and CSULB’s Embedded Applications Technology Society collaborated to build more than 20 RepRap 3D Printers, which represent the first step toward the legendary Star Trek “replicators.”
  • Dr. Hector Neff (Anthropology) was part of an international team of researchers that generated definitive new evidence about the chronology of events recorded on Maya monuments that are inscribed with dates in the Maya Long Count.
  • Dr. Vas Narayanaswami (Chemistry and Biochemistry) was awarded a four-year NIH SC3 SCORE grant to study mechanistic aspects of apolipoproteinE interaction with lipids in an effort to understand its role in cardiovascular disease.
  • Dr. Chris Lowe (Biological Sciences), master's student Kady Lyons and two CSULB alumni, Mary Blasius and Christopher Mull, were among the researchers who found that young Great White sharks in southern California have high levels of contaminants, DDT and polychlorinated biphenyl. In their research they found that the contaminants are likely passed on to the sharks from their mothers and seem to cause little harm to the young sharks.
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, were being reinvented from missile-launching eyes in the sky to 21st century mapmakers thanks to a collaboration between CSULB's senior industrial design class, the Geography Department, and the Anthropology Department’s archaeology program for possibly commercializing remote-sensing UAVs for surveying terrain.

Improving K-12 Education

Our faculty, through their research and funding support, worked to improve math and science education.

  • The Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC) Project, funded by the American Physical Society through the support of the National Science Foundation as well as individual and corporate contributions, provided $287,441 to increase the number of students taking the single-subject credential in physics, addressing a critical need for additional qualified physics teachers.

  • Faculty in the College of Education, with collaborators from the University of Chicago’s Urban Education Laboratory and Mathalicious, received funding from the 100Kin10 network. The research project will test innovative ways of improving math teaching across four school districts. The 100Kin10 is a national movement to provide America’s classrooms with excellent science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teachers by 2021.

  • Fluour Foundation Check Presentation
    The Fluor Foundation presented the College of Education with $20,000.

    The College of Education received $20,000 from the Fluor Foundation to support the Transforming Teaching and Learning Through Technology Program, which helps strengthen new teachers' understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics content and strategies.

  • With funding from the Bechtel Foundation, the College of Education and the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics received a $650,000 two-year grant to promote teacher preparation for preservice and inservice teachers at Long Beach Unified School District in the area of STEM education. The project aims to strengthen elementary teachers’ mathematics and science knowledge and help them earn a credential in mathematics or science.

  • The College of Education received $1 million from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs to recruit and train 30 school psychologists to provide culturally responsive, evidence-based services to students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Addressing Health Issues

Faculty and students conducted research that will have a lasting impact on the health of our community. 

  • The work being done on HIV/AIDS prevention by CSULB faculty, staff and students received national recognition when the White House Office on National AIDS Policy visited the NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation and Leadership Training Center to learn more about local efforts to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS.

  • Students worked with faculty on a two-year, $397,375 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop and pilot test an intervention model to increase HIV testing among young men.

  • A team of community health workers and 35 first generation-educated bilingual/bicultural Latino students conducted research and helped to improve nutrition and exercise behaviors in the Latino community through a five-year, $3.75 million USDA-funded grant received by the NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation and Leadership Training.

  • The NIH-funded Hispanic Health Opportunity Learning Alliance (H2OLA) provided 140 Latino CSULB undergraduates and 30 minority graduate students with research training, mentoring and opportunities designed to facilitate graduate school admission and successful careers in biomedical and health disparities research.

  • Dr. Guido Urizar (Psychology) received funding from the NIH to help confirm initial results from his 2011 research paper in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, which focused on low-income Latina mothers and a perinatal mood management program.

  • The Center for Energy and Environmental Research and Services, led by principal investigator Dr. Hamid Rahai (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering), received a $1.84 million grant to investigate methods that could significantly improve air quality in port cities and their adjacent areas.

Creative Endeavors

  • The Chamber Choir was selected to sing with the Rolling Stones at Staples Center and perform for Eric Whitacre’s talk at the TED Conference — Technology, Education and Design.

  • Craig Richey (Bob Cole Conservatory of Music) completed the score to “The World According To Dick Cheney,” which was screened at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

  • Mark Ruwedel (Art) sold 26 landscape photographs to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The collection examines the now defunct 19th-century railroad lines running across the western United States.

  • The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles acquired a work from Fran Siegel (Art) that is now part of the museum’s permanent collection.

  • Althea Waites (Bob Cole Conservatory of Music) completed her third CD titled “Celebration: Music of American Composers,” with the help of Matt Pogue (Music Department Technology), who did the CD cover and CSULB alumnus Dave Goyette, who was the recording engineer.

  • Dominic Cretara’s (Art) vast body of work as a painter was the subject of a 20-year survey at the Tritan Museum of Art in Santa Clara. The exhibition and the artist were the subjects of an extensive interview in the Huffington Post.

  • David Jacques’ (Theatre Arts) theatrical lighting design for the Chicago Opera Theater production of Phillip Glass’ The Fall of the House of Usher was given glowing credit in the Chicago Tribune.

  • Eight groups of junior interior design students presented their ideas for a renovation to the first-floor corridor of the Academic Services (AS) Building.

  • Tiffa Lu Design
    Tiffa Lu’s ‘Sea Shell Glory’ dress, modeled by Sabrina Aryadad.

    Garment design works by Fashion Merchandising and Design students Breana Chew, Kristina Koga, Tiffa Lu, Basil Malicsi, Andrea Medina, Elizabeth Moreno and Dawn Roda were accepted for inclusion in the fashion show at the International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference.

  • Fashion Merchandising and Design students Terresa Pritchett and Emma Hancock had their designs selected as entries into the Pink Ribbon Crusade’s Royal Fashion Show and Luncheon on the Queen Mary.

  • Dr. Sarah Schrank (History) appeared in a documentary film featured at the new interpretation center on Olvera Street in Los Angeles about artist David Siqueiros’ mural, América Tropical.

  • Lorin Johnson (Dance) served as artistic advisor to the Los Angeles Music Center's nine-month festival, LA's Rite: Stravinsky, Innovation and Dance for the 10th Anniversary of Gloria Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center.

Not Your Average Summer Vacation

  • Biochemistry student Joshua Feng was among 12 applicants, out of a pool of 500, accepted into the Amgen Summer Research Program at the University of Washington. The program provides an opportunity for the nation’s top undergraduates to explore and prepare for careers in scientific research.

  • Students in the NIH-funded Minorities Access to Research Careers (MARC) program were selected for highly competitive summer research internships at such institutions as the Argonne National Laboratory, the NIH-National Institute of Aging, and UC San Diego.

  • Students in the NSF-funded Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) were accepted to the highly competitive Berkeley Explorations in Science summer program at UC Berkeley.

Recognized for Excellence

Students and faculty were recognized for excellence in research, scholarly and creative efforts throughout 2012-13:

  • Dr. Kevin Malotte (Health Science and Center for Health Care Innovation) received CSULB's award for Impact Accomplishment of the Year in Research, Scholarly and Creative Activity. 

  • Dr. Editte Gharakhanian (Biological Sciences) received CSULB's award for Outstanding Faculty Mentor for Student Engagement in Research, Scholarly and Creative Activity.

  • Dr. Young-Seok Shon (Chemistry & Biochemistry) received the university's Distinguished Faculty Scholarly and Creative Achievement Award.

  • Laurie Gatlin (Art) received one of four Elliot Eisner Doctoral Research Awards given in 2013, recognizing the value of doctoral research to the profession of art education and its related disciplines.

  • Dance major Tamara McCarty received CSULB's Outstanding Undergraduate Research Student Award for her choreography and exploration of codification of gendered movement in Renaissance court dances.

  • Engineering doctoral student Shahab Taherian and Physics graduate student Sarah Grefe received CSULB's Outstanding Graduate Research Student awards.  Taherian was honored for his work with Dr. Hamid Rahai (Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering) that can be used to help design new inhalers and surgical masks. Grefe was recognized for her research with Dr. Yohannes Abate (Physics & Astronomy) on nanoparticles.

  • Biology student Amberle McKee earned first place in the undergraduate division of the biological and agricultural sciences category at the CSU Student Research Competition for her research on movement in terrestrial snails.

  • Students Joshua Feng, Jessica Kyees and Ashley Moran were among 12 statewide recipients of the 2013 Howell-CSUPERB Research Scholar Awards for the research they are conducting with faculty.
    • Feng is working with Dr. Roger Acey (Chemistry & Biochemistry) to investigate the potential effects of phthalate esters, which are well known environmental contaminants, on brain development.
    • Moran is working with Dr. Kelly Young (Biological Sciences) to study hamster reproduction, specifically how the non-functional ovary can become functional again with an increase in the number of hours of light per day.
    • Kyees is working in Dr. Vasanthy Narayanaswami's (Chemistry & Biochemistry) lab to gain a better understanding of how tobacco smoke affects apolipoprotein E., which plays a role in cardiovascular and Alzheimer's diseases.
  • Dr. Ragan Fox (Communication Studies) received the National Communication Association's 2012 Lilla A. Heston Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Interpretation and Performance Studies.
  • Student Kirsten Embretson received an award from the American Society for Microbiology at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students for her presentation, Autographa california Multiple Nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) Pathogenesis in Trichoplusia ni Larvae, which she worked on with Dr. Eric Haas-Stapleton (Biological Sciences).
  • CSULB awarded Graduate Research Fellowships to 11 high-achieving students, providing financial support so they could conduct research and work on creative projects in 2012-13:
    • Kirsten Byrne, a Civil Engineering graduate student, studied the effect of air and gas pocket entrapment on the hydraulic performance of sewerage pressurized pipelines with Dr. Antonella Sciortino (Civil Engineering & Construction Engineering Management).
    • MBA student Christopher Beckom looked at small business employment policies and right of privacy concerns with Dr. Dana McDaniel (Management & Human Resource Management)
    • Mindy DeYoung, a Psychology graduate student, looked into training job-seeking college students to avoid detrimental uses of social networking sites and ways of optimizing job marketability with Dr. HanNah-Hanh Nguyen (Psychology).
    • Physics graduate student Sarah Grefe conducted an optical investigation of single particle QDs using a novel high resolution optical technique with Dr. Yohannes Abate (Physics & Astronomy).
    • Musicology graduate student Maria Theresa Hu worked with Dr. Alicia Doyle (Bob Cole Conservatory of Music) on her research “The Tenth Muse: Sappho Operas Lost in Time.”
    • Allison Hunt, a graduate student in Anthropology, worked with Dr. Karen Quintilliani (Anthropology) to study military sexual trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder.
    • Working with Dr. Joshua Chesler (Mathematics & Statistics), Thanh Luong, a graduate student in math education, looked at “Questions, Responses, and Assessment Tools Associated with Khan Academy Instructional Math Videos.”
    • Doctoral student Jody Pritchett researched machine vision and motion detection with applications to robotics with Dr. Fumio Hamano (Electrical Engineering).
    • Kinesiology graduate student James Salassi studied data obtained during/after high intensity interval training of cardiac patients, working with Dr. Ralph Rozenek (Kinesiology).
    • Working with Dr. Hank Fradella (Criminal Justice) graduate student Danielle Slakoff looked into “Newsworthiness and the Missing White Woman Syndrome.” 

In Print

  • Helping English Learners Meet the Common Core

    Teacher Education Department Chair Paul Boyd-Batstone published his newest book Helping English Language Learners Meet the Common Core: Assessment and Instructional Strategies, K-12.

  • Several recent College of Education graduates published articles regarding technology and education: Rita Suh and Victoria Gerson published "Using Technology for Phonics Instruction in Kindergarten" in the California Reader. Lindsay Buck Saldaña published in The Reading Teacher "What do good readers do— On the computer?" about her experiences as a teacher in a computer lab at a local elementary school.

  • Jyotsna Pattnaik's (Teacher Education) edited volume, Father Involvement in Young Children's Lives: A Global Analysis, was published in December 2012. The book brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars from Asia, Australia, Africa, and North America to analyze issues surrounding paternal involvement of a diverse group of fathers including cultural minority fathers, homeless fathers, gay fathers, incarcerated fathers and fathers of children with disabilities as well as feminist perspectives on the topic of father involvement.

  • Dr. Margaret Kuo (History) published Intolerable Cruelty: Marriage, Law, and Society in Early Twentieth Century China.

  • Dr. Lesley Farmer published Library Services for Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders that offers librarians information to build a library literacy program geared toward children with Autism.

  • Daniele Bolelli (History) published Create Your Own Religion: A How-To Book without Instructions.

  • Men Speak Out

    Shira Tarrant (Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies) published the book Men Speak Out: Views on Gender, Sex, and Power (2nd edition).

  • Ella Burnett's book Joy in Health and Happiness, which she co-authored with Bhupendra Singhal, was published in Fall 2012. The book uses a balanced approach to achieve a joyful life, utilizing examples, quizzes, and suggestions so readers can develop their own personal path to joy.

  • Tom Blomquist (Film and Electronic Arts) and Maria Viera, (Theatre Arts) co-authored Eye of the Storm: Directing for Film, Television, and Emerging Media.