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CSULB Students, Faculty Honored for Outstanding Research

Two California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) students and two faculty members received cash awards for their efforts in research at the first All University Celebration of Research, Scholarly & Creative Activity May 1. All four recipients received $500.

 Kate Jirik, who is working on her master’s degree in biology, was presented with CSULB’s first Outstanding Graduate Research Fellow Award for her work on the movement patterns of stingrays in Seal Beach. Working with biology Professor Chris Lowe, Jirik has discovered that increases in water temperature at the Anaheim Bay Estuary have led to a greater number of stingrays – particularly pregnant females.  In her research, she has found that warmer waters tend to speed up a stingray’s gestation rate.  Ultimately, Jirik’s work will help determine the importance of estuaries for breeding behavior, reproductive ecology and early life history of round stingrays in Southern California. 


Richard Roberson, a psychology major who is graduating this month, won the university's inaugural Outstanding Undergraduate Summer Stipend Student Award for his research on stimulus-response compatibility. Roberson, whose work has been conducted with psychology Professor Kim Vu, has studied people's natural response tendencies during times of stress.  Through his research with Vu, Roberson has found that displays and controls – such as the knobs on a kitchen stove – should be organized based on people's natural tendencies in order to enhance efficiency and minimize errors. Roberson was also awarded first place at both the CSULB and CSU state wide student research competitions. 

Psychology Professor William Pedersen received the Provost’s Award for Outstanding Faculty Mentor for Student Engagement in Research, Scholarly or Creative Activity.  Since he arrived at CSULB in 2002, Pedersen has worked with 80 students. In the past 18 months alone, Pedersen has worked in his lab with 14 graduate students and 17 undergraduate students and served on 24 thesis committees, chairing seven thesis projects.  Pedersen’s research with his students focuses on displaced aggression and the evolutionary perspectives of gender differences in mating strategies.

Chemistry Professor Xianhui Bu was presented with the Provost’s Award for Impact Accomplishment of the Year in Research, Scholarly or Creative Activity.  He was selected based on the significance of his research, high research productivity, the quality of his research and the extensive involvement of CSULB students. Over the past year and a half, Bu has published 15 manuscripts.  In addition, during the past month alone, he submitted seven manuscripts for publication. Bu’s manuscripts, which highlight his research in preventing medicines from producing harmful side effects, have been published by some of the top journals in his field including The American Chemical Society and Angewandte Chemie

“These are outstanding examples of the research our students and faculty are conducting,” said Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Karen L. Gould.  “Their work has a significant impact in their fields and demonstrates how research across the disciplines is interconnected.  I want to congratulate each of the award recipients on this honor.”


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