CSU Dominguez Hills Honors Faculty Excellence in Teaching, Research and Service

Academic Senate Chair Jerry Moore addressing the audience at the 2014 Faculty Awards reception

Academic Senate Chair Jerry Moore addressing the audience at the 2014 Faculty Awards reception

California State University, Dominguez Hills recognized five of its faculty for their excellence in the classroom, in scholarship and in service to their profession during the 2014 Faculty Awards reception on March 20 that also honored years of service milestones and the more than 200 faculty members who help reduce book costs to students through the Affordable Learning Solutions program.

“Tonight is especially important to us as an institution because our campus wouldn’t be here without these hard-working and high-quality faculty,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Ellen Junn. “It is with great pleasure as your new provost that I be able to preside and recognize the amazing talents of the faculty that we have on our campus.”

The Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity Award, the Excellence in Service Award, the Outstanding Professor Award and Lyle E. Gibson Dominguez Hills Distinguished Teacher Award are the highest honors bestowed on faculty by the university. Each recognizes a unique aspect of the teaching profession and to the contributions faculty make to the university, students, and their field.

2014 Faculty Award recipients Carole Casten, Richard Malamud, Thomas Norman, Marie Palladini, and Tara Victor

2014 Faculty Award recipients Carole Casten, Richard Malamud, Thomas Norman, Marie Palladini, and Tara Victor

This year’s Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity Award was presented to Tara Victor, assistant professor of psychology. Victor’s research is in neuropsychology with an emphasis on detecting feigned neurocognitive impairment for the purposes of external incentive and examining language, education, culture and early life experience variables on neuropsychological test performance in psychiatrically and neurologically healthy individuals. She has published in numerous academic journals and presented at a number of conferences. Victor credits her department and the College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences for supporting her research both collegially and also financially, through summer mini research grants and student interns, since joining the faculty in 2006.

“They both have allowed me to continue work in neuropsychology, studying what I want to and expanding in areas that I didn’t think that I actually would, like studying mindfulness space stress reduction in a classroom to improve student learning outcomes,” Victor said of the college grants and intern support. “So I am excited about where my research is going and actually I’m excited about where things are going with the university in general under the new leadership. It’s a good time to be here.”

For full profiles of the 2014 Faculty Awards recipients see:

Marie Palladini: 2014 Lyle E. Gibson Dominguez Hills Distinguished Teacher

Richard Malamud: 2014 Outstanding Professor

Thomas Norman: 2014 Outstanding Professor

Tara Victor: 2014 Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity

Carol Casten: 2014 Excellence in Service

Carole Casten, professor of kinesiology and recreation is the 2014 recipient of the Excellence in Service Award. Casten has been on faculty at the university since 1979, starting as a lecturer to now a full professor.  The award recognizes the contributions faculty make to university governance and development as well as off campus in the community and with professional organizations.  Casten has served at CSU Dominguez Hills on, among others, the Academic Senate, the Leaves and Honors Committee, and the Technology Advisory Council. Outside the university, she has held numerous offices in professional organizations. She also serves as athletic director at California Academy of Math and Science, the high school on campus, and conducts in-service training in school districts.

“It’s been a joy and an honor to serve CSUDH in a variety of ways, and if you think about it if there’s a committee on campus, I’ve probably been on it once or twice,” she said, “I would say that service to this campus to the community to our department to my college and to my professional organizations has been a great professional strength and has given me a great deal of pleasure.”

The Outstanding Professor Award, given in recognition of outstanding achievements in all areas of faculty performance, is shared this year with Richard Malamud, professor of accounting and finance, and Thomas Norman, chair and associate professor of marketing and management.

In nominating them for the award, College of Business Administration and Public Policy Dean Joseph Wen said both are dedicated to their students and very deserving.

“Richard Malamud, he is a faculty member who really cares about what he’s doing. He’s willing to spend a lot of time, work with students with faculty, to help student learning,” Wen said. “Tom Norman, he is a person who really brings those faculty-student close relationships to our college. That’s the reason why students really like him.”

Malamud has been a member of the faculty since 1990 and is a past recipient of the Lyle E. Gibson Dominguez Hills Distinguished Teacher Award (2000). In accepting the Outstanding Professor Award he said his parents – who were in attendance – instilled in him a love and respect for teaching. But his chosen career path might be more ingrained in his family history. His last name means “teacher” in Hebrew.

“I guess I got into the right profession,” he said.

Norman started his professional career in management positions for companies like Proctor and Gamble, Sun Microsystems, US Bancorp and Wells Fargo. When he joined the faculty at CSU Dominguez Hills in 2009 he was nearing completion of his doctorate and said he expected to move on to another university. But he fell in love with the campus.

He told those gathered at the reception that he is gets friendly ribbings from his colleagues for how much time he spends on campus, adding “it just tells you that it’s not that hard for me to come to work; so it tells me and my wife, who lead me to do this, that this is the right place for me.”

The Lyle E. Gibson Dominguez Hills Distinguished Teacher Award, named for founding university vice president of academic affairs, recognizes an individual whose teaching is not only exemplary but who also demonstrates an active interest in the progress of students and seeks new and creative ways to engage students. This year’s recipient is Marie Palladini, associate professor of public administration, who Wen said he nominated because of what she brings to the classroom from her prior career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services office in Torrance.

“She brought in with her huge experience in industry,” he said. “That’s the reason why she got the distinguished teacher award, because her class is so interesting.”

In accepting the award, Palladini said she is honored to be among “a dedicated team of teachers at Dominguez Hills who implement innovative teaching methods in the classroom so that our students can learn and acquire the necessary skills so that they can embark on successful careers in their chosen fields.

“There is nothing more satisfying to me as an educator when you’re discussing something very complex in the classroom and you start to witness it evolves into one of those aha moments, when the students realize, they get it and the lights go on.”

The evening also honored 36 faculty members who reached milestone years of service at the university, ranging from five years to, in the case of Gilah Yelin Hirsch, 40 years. Professor of art since 1973, Hirsch recalls the campus then as a “vast cattle range punctuated by forests” and teaching painting in the chemistry lab. She said she was drawn by the students, their diversity and their stories, and they have kept her here.

“I have been privileged to encourage the emergence of every student’s creative spirit and shepherd their growth into original imagery,” she said. “I have never seen the same image twice in all these years.”

Additionally Provost Junn recognized the 229 faculty members who participate in the CSU’s Affordable Learning Solutions (ALS) initiative, which works to provide students with low cost options for textbooks and instructional materials such as digital books, book rentals or free open-source means. Students, on average, spend nearly $1,000 on books each academic year. Through faculty participation in ALS, students can save significantly in this area.

“I have never been at a campus where so many faculty have done this in such a dedicated way,” Junn said. “We’re all here because of our students, and many of our students have financial need, and so our campus sort of being at the forefront is extremely important.”

To see more pictures from the 2014 Faculty Awards, click HERE.


College of Arts and Humanities

5 years: Maurice Claybrook Jr, adjunct professor, Africana studies

10 years: Kate Fawver, chair and professor, history; Benito Gomez, professor, modern languages; Ivonne Heinze-Balcazar, chair and assistant professor of modern languages and coordinator, women studies ; Patricia Kalayjian, chair and associate professor IDS/PACE; Helen Oesterheld, associate professor, English; Sheela Pawar, associate dean.

15 years: Lorna Fitzsimmons, associate professor and coordinator, humanities GE/GS, Donis Leonard, chair and professor, theatre arts and dance; Catherine Jacobs, lecturer, IDS/PACE

30 years: Sally Etcheto, chair and professor, music

40 years: Gilah Yelin Hirsch, professor, art


College of Business Administration and Public Policy

5 years: Xinmei Xie, assistant professor, accounting and finance

10 years: Kirti Celly, professor, marketing and management


College of Education

5 years: Anthony Normore, chair, special education

10 years: Jill Aguilar, associate professor, teacher education; Gwen Brockman, lecturer, teacher education; Hilda Fetcenko, lecturer, teacher education; Jeffery Miller, associate professor, teacher education; Lilia Sarmiento, associate professor, teacher education


College of Extended and International Education

30 years: Joanne Zitelli, acting dean


College of Health, Human Services and Nursing

5 years: Kathleen Chai, bachelor of nursing coordinator, nursing

10 years: Cynthia Bostick, lecturer, nursing; Scott Hornbeak, program coordinator, orthotics and prosthetics; Dale Mueller, associate professor, nursing

15 years: Michael Ernst, chair, professor, kinesiology and recreation

25 years: George Wing, director, intramural sports, kinesiology and recreation


College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences

5 years: Kenneth Rodriguez, assistant professor, chemistry and biochemistry; Elizabeth Annie Wilson Whetmore, lecturer, political science

10 years: Mohsen Beheshti,  chair and profesor, computer science; Kara Dellacioppa, professor, sociology

15 years: L. Mark Carrier, chair and professor, psychology; Janine Gasco, professor, anthropology


Enrollment Management and Student Affairs

25 years: Janet Niederman, psychologist, student health and psychological services

Speak Your Mind