Faculty Highlights: June 2011

Our faculty members participate in conferences around the world, conduct groundbreaking research, and publish books and articles that expand their knowledge and expertise to share with our students. Here are a few recent highlights from CSU Dominguez Hills faculty.

CSU Dominguez Hills faculty demonstrate academic excellence through a wide range of publications, research, and presentations.

Natasa Christodoulidou, assistant professor of marketing, has been named an Outstanding Reviewer by the Emerald Literati Network 2011 Awards for Excellence for her work with the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology; Christodoulidou has reviewed more then 20 papers this year in order to assist her colleagues in the discipline.

Christodoulidou, whose research is focused on travel and social media, says that the demand for degrees in sports, entertainment, and hospitality management is growing steadily nationwide and could be a major factor in rescuing the state’s economy. She expresses her hopes for the expansion of the program at CSU Dominguez Hills in view of the university’s high rate of job placement among the program’s graduates.

“We have the foundation, it’s just a matter of getting to the next level,” she says. “We need more people to be trained in those jobs. A lot of people get hands-on experience, but they lack the degree. It’s hard for you to graduate from this program and not find a job.”

Munashe Furusa, acting associate dean, College of Arts and Humanities, spoke on behalf of the California African American Political and Economic Institute (CAAPEI), a research and mentoring initiative at CSU Dominguez Hills, at the California Black Chamber of Commerce African American Leadership Conference in March. Furusa, who is the executive director of CAAPEI, spoke of its mission and value to the university and community in preparing a diverse student population to become leaders in business and policy.

Furusa underscored the importance of grooming the next generation of entrepreneurs, professionals, and policy makers through CAAPEI.

“We need it to mentor [students] who can become future leaders and help them get involved from the very beginning,” he says. “If we can get our young people to engage in the political process, they can help improve it. They can also begin to think about building business and entrepreneurship, because we need both future business leaders, and future elected officials who can run the state and the country efficiently.”

Thomas Landefeld, professor of biology, presented the keynote address titled, “The Ph.D.: Why get it, how to prepare for it, what to do once you have it, and is it really worth it?” at the 13th Annual Research Symposium hosted by the University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB) and Texas Southmost College in March.

“Since the Ph.D. is a terminal degree, students will be able to have a career rather than a job, and of course, with a career, one has many more options,” says Landefeld. “In addition, they are expanding their knowledge base which can also make them a better success in life.”

Landefeld also facilitated a mentoring workshop for faculty and students at UTB. In April, he spoke on “Effecting a Change in the Under representation of Ethnic Minorities in the Health Sciences” at the annual conference of the Western Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (WAAHP), which was held at Stanford University. In addition, he gave a talk on “Career Opportunities and Preparation for Graduate School” at Universidad Metropolitana in Puerto Rico, and a workshop on writing personal statements at Prairie View A & M in Prairie View, Texas.

C. Augustus (Gus) Martin, associate vice president, Faculty Affairs, has recently edited and published the second edition of the “Encyclopedia of Terrorism” (Thousand Oaks; SAGE Publications, 2011). An update of the 2002 volume of the same title, written by Harvey W. Kushner, Martin’s edition marks a first: the availability of the text online via SAGE Reference Online. Entries from a variety of experts in the field include contributions by Martin’s CSU Dominguez Hills colleagues Marie Palladini and Hamoud Salhi.

Martin says that every entry from the original text has been updated, including information on the death of Osama bin Laden, which occurred in early May this year.

“After the death of bin Laden, every pertinent entry was updated during a one-week scramble as it went to press,” says Martin. “The encyclopedia already presented a clear and detailed discussion of the modern terrorist environment, including many entries on the nature of al Qaeda and the jihadist movement.  The significant revelation from his death is that he was indeed still at the center of operational command and control.  In other words, the conventional wisdom that bin Laden was nothing more than a figurehead was inaccurate – he still served as a central strategist.”

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