Excellence in Teaching, Research, and Service Honored at Annual Faculty Awards

The 2010 Academic Affairs Faculty Awards Reception took place on March 10 in the Ballroom of the Loker Student Union to honor faculty at California State University, Dominguez Hills for years of service. The evening included three awards for excellence, and in a nod to National Women’s History Month, three female professors were recognized. Dr. Karen Mason, associate professor of psychology, received the Excellence in Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity Award; Dr. Kate Fawver, associate professor of history, was honored with the Excellence in Service Award; and Dr. Sally Etcheto, professor of music, was given the Lyle E. Gibson Distinguished Teacher Award.

Dr. Sally Etcheto, professor of music, Lyle E. Gibson Distinguished Teacher Award; Dr. Karen Mason, associate professor of psychology; Excellence in Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity Award; and Dr. Kate Fawver, associate professor of history, Excellence in Service Award.

Dr. Sally Etcheto, professor of music, Lyle E. Gibson Distinguished Teacher Award; Dr. Karen Mason, associate professor of psychology; Excellence in Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity Award; and Dr. Kate Fawver, associate professor of history, Excellence in Service Award.

Provost Ron Vogel welcomed students, alumni, faculty, and staff to the reception and introduced President Mildred García, who congratulated the evening’s honorees. She recognized the university faculty at large for achieving more than $12 million in research and related grants for the academic year 2009-2010 and for their collective efforts to “prepare our students to be the necessary leaders for a just and equitable society.”

“Your research, you scholarship, is always cutting edge,” said García. “You help them learn about our community, their communities, and the impact they will have on our nation. You are the role models. You engage students in your research and service, you mentor them and advise them. You help them find their own voice and you give them help and direction… so that they can meet their potential.”

Dr. Susan Borrego, vice president, Enrollment Management and Student Affairs; Dr. George Arasimowicz, dean, College of Arts and Humanities; Dr. James Strong, dean, College of Business Administration and Public Policy; Dr. Mitch T. Maki, dean, College of Professional Studies; Dr. Laura Robles, interim dean, College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences; and Sandra Parham, dean, University Library, recognized faculty in their colleges and divisions for service ranging from five to 25 years on campus. Past Faculty Award recipients were acknowledged by Dr. David Karber, vice president, Emeritus Faculty Association, including Hansonia Caldwell, emerita professor of music; Munashe Furusa, associate professor of Africana studies; Judson Grenier, emeritus professor of history; Donald Hata, emeritus professor of history; Maria Hurtado-Ortiz, professor of psychology; Karber, emeritus professor of public administration; Richard Malamud, professor of accounting and finance; and Frances Steiner, emerita professor of music.

Mason, who has done extensive research with her students on health disparities in the study of HIV/AIDS said that she was “very thankful to be working at an institution that values and supports research… and to work with colleagues who really see that research and teaching are intertwined.”

Mason emphasized the opportunities for students in scholarly research at CSU Dominguez Hills and encouraged the students present to get involved in research themselves.

“I work with amazing students, incredible students who are bright, enthusiastic, and who are highly motivated,” she said. “I get a great deal of satisfaction from working with my students on research projects, from watching them conceptualize projects, complete projects, present their work at conferences, at Student Research Day, and domestic and international conferences. I get a great deal of satisfaction from watching them get admitted into master’s and doctoral level programs. I love [having] the opportunity to continue to do that and I know that I can do that at CSU Dominguez Hills.”

Mason earned her doctorate in clinical psychology and her master’s degree at Howard University. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada. She began teaching at CSU Dominguez Hills as an assistant professor in 2003 and also served as a lecturer at Howard University and Trinity College in Washington D.C. She is a licensed psychologist in private practice with Lorie Humphrey and Associates and does volunteer teaching at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She is also the program coordinator for the master’s program in psychology at CSU Dominguez Hills and is a member of the university’s Institutional Review Board and the College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences Advisory Council on Research.

Mason’s recent publications include co-authorship on numerous journal articles including “Neurocognitive Functioning in HIV-1-Infection: Effects of Cerebrovascular Risk Factors and Age” which appeared in The Clinical Neuropsychologist and “Age-associated Predictors of Medication Adherence in HIV-positive Adults: Health Beliefs, Self-Efficacy, and Neurocognitive Status” for Health Psychology. She presented “Health Disparities in Neuropsychology: Funding, Training and Research” at the 116th American Psychological Association (APA) Annual Convention in Boston in 2008 and her proposed panel titled, “The Road to a Career in Neuropsychology” has been accepted for presentation at the APA annual convention this August.

Fawver accepted her award and said that she was “particularly humbled by my selection.”

“I know that every faculty member nominated in this category as well as many who have received no formal recognition at all would be equally deserving of this award,” said Fawver, who has volunteered her time to rejuvenate the internship program for history students. “Service is what binds the university together. It is how we build programs and design and maintain rigorous and innovative curricula that will transform our students into lifelong learners and prepare them for the challenges they will face as professionals and as citizens.”

Fawver, whose student interns serve in a wide range of local community museums and institutions including the CSU Dominguez Hills University Archives, the Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Hermosa Beach Historical Society, thanked Shell Oil Company, who was an off-campus sponsor of the evening’s event.

“Shell Oil’s core values – honesty, integrity, and respect for people – make it an ideal community partner for Cal State Dominguez Hills,” she said. “The mutually beneficial relationship between Shell Oil and [the university] reflect a longstanding commitment of both parties to diversity in education and the workplace and to socially and environmentally responsible actions.”

Fawver received her doctorate in history at the University of California, Riverside and her master’s and bachelor’s degrees at Northern Illinois University. She arrived at CSU Dominguez Hills in 2003 as a lecturer while also a lecturer at CSU Long Beach. She has served on several committees, including the University Budget Committee, the College of Liberal Arts (now the College of Arts and Humanities) curriculum committee and the Student Retention Policy Committee. From 2007 to 2008, she served as chair of the Academic Senate.

Fawver’s specialty in colonial America has yielded numerous publications, including “Gender and the Structure of the Planter Household in the Eighteenth Century,” which appeared in Early American Studies. She participated in the Integrated Public-Use Manuscripts Summer Workshop at the Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota in 2006 and was a Lord Baltimore Research Fellow at the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore. Fawver has recently been appointed by Mayor Jim Dear to the city of Carson’s Historical Commission.

Etcheto, who has been on campus since she began as a lecturer in 1973, says that since hearing of her award, she has been asking herself what it means to be a distinguished teacher. Having decided on a teaching career at an early age, she shared memories of her childhood in a one-room schoolhouse where she would “listen to the class ahead of me and help explain things to the class below.”

“Perhaps it’s an understanding that each student is a unique individual with their own personality type and learning style and is therefore in need of special pedagogical approaches crafted just for them,” she said. “Perhaps it simply means loving what you do day in and day out and constantly attempting to transmit that love to your students by encouraging them to take the risks that learning something new demands.”

Etcheto described the broad diversity of the student body at CSU Dominguez Hills – in age, ethnicity, lifestyle, and experience – as one of the things she loved best about the university.

“I love the fact that many of our students are older and returning to finish a long abandoned dream of achieving a college degree,” she said. “I love our younger students – the real freshmen – many of whom come without any idea of what college is all about because no one in their family has ever attempted the achievement that is higher education. I love the professional musicians who grow weary of life on the road and return to formally learn the required content to gain an academic degree, thus enabling them to complement their on-the-job training and open employment doors that would otherwise have been closed to them.”

Etcheto closed her speech by inviting the audience to the upcoming 3rd Annual Rod Butler Memorial Scholarship Concert on Thursday, March 18 at 7 p.m. in the University Theatre. Held each year in memory of the late professor of music, the concert given by student and faculty artists raises scholarship funds for music students at CSU Dominguez Hills.

“While he was here with us, Rod’s vision and leadership were proof positive that what we all strive to do here is not in vain, and that the seeds we plant will, if we are patient, eventually come to distinguished fruition,” Etcheto said.

Etcheto earned her doctorate of musical arts and master’s degree in music at the University of Southern California. She received her bachelor’s degree in music education with a concentration in voice at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and was valedictorian of her graduating class at Pratt Senior High School in Pratt, Kansas. She has served on numerous committees for curriculum, retention, tenure and promotion; and faculty searches. She has also taught part-time throughout her career at El Camino College, UCLA, USC, and CSU Fullerton.

Etcheto, who runs her own private voice studio in Los Angeles, has served as vocal coach and music director for a number of musicals on the CSU Dominguez Hills campus, including the first one presented at the University Theatre in 1977, a production of “My Fair Lady.” She is currently the director of the CSU Dominguez Hills Chamber Singers.

The 2010 Service Award recipients are as follows:

University Library
5 Years: Caroline M. Bordinaro, Wei Ma
10 Years: Sandra Parham

College of Arts and Humanities
5 Years: Dr. Debra Best, Dr. Nancy Cheever, Dr. Nancy D. Erbe, Dr. Michael R. Galant, Dr. Roderick Hernandez, Dr. Ericka K. Verba
10 Years: Dr. Jung Sun Park
15 Years: Dr. Denise E. Williams
20 years: Dr. Miguel Dominguez
25 years: Dr. Sally Etcheto, Dr. Sydell Weiner-Heuschkel

College of Business Administration and Public Policy
5 years: Dr. Kimberly H. Perttula, Dr. Meng Zhao
10 Years: Dr. Mohammad Eyadat
20 years: Dr. Fahimeh Rezayat
25 years: Dr. Edward K. Chu, Dr. Reza S. Mazhin

College of Natural and Behavioral Science
5 years: Dr. Hee K Choi, Dr. Helen H. Chun, Mr. Michael H. Ferris, Dr. Karen Mason, Dr. Sharon Squires
10 years: Dr. Maria Hurtado-Ortiz, Dr. Susan A. Needham
30 years: Dr. Ramona Davis

College of Professional Studies
5 years: Dr. Edward M. Olivos, Dr. Irene U. Osisioma
10 years: Dr. James S. Cantor, Dr. Ann Chlebicki, Dr. John K. Davis, Dr. Gayl Goss, Dr. Sharroky D. Hollie, Dr. Hedy Moscovici, Dr. Margaret (Dee) Parker, Dr. A. Terry Richardson. Dr. Ben Zhou
15 years: Dr. Sharon E. Russell
30 years: Dr. Carole Casten, Dr. Max Contreras

Student Affairs
5 Years: Mr. Damaine Powell
20 Years: Dr. Connie White-Betz