Awardees for 2016-2017
Excellence in Teaching
Kamran Abedini, chair and professor in the Department of Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering, touts more than 34 years of experience. He devised “Puzzles Principles,” a pedagogical approach to teaching that uses cognitive and active-learning methods melded with his own experiences. The approach has been recognized by the National Academy of Engineers. Abedini has earned awards on the local and national stages for his teaching and advising of students. He has an exceptional record of getting his work in major publications and sharing his innovative pedagogical teaching tools. Abedini describes his classroom as a “think tank” where students learn how to strategize, plan and apply. He has mentored numerous students, including underrepresented minorities in engineering, and those students have won awards at regional and national competitions. Abedini is a lifelong learner who continues to hone his teaching and mentoring to achieve maximum effectiveness. His colleagues and students attest to the impact he has made at Cal Poly Pomona.
Excellence in Scholarly and Creative Activities
Professor of Music, Dr. Nadia Shpachenko-Gottesman elevates Cal Poly Pomona’s prominence in the arts through her outstanding national and international contributions in music performance. Dr. Shpachenko specializes in commissioning, premiering, and recording new works by living composers, and has performed 150 recitals since joining the Cal Poly Pomona faculty. Her recent album “Woman at the New Piano” was awarded three Gold Medals from Global Music Awards and three GRAMMY® nominations. Dr. Shpachenko’s artistry, creativity and skill enhance her abilities to teach Cal Poly Pomona’s students, with whom she often collaborates. In her words, “My work as a teacher is tightly intertwined with my work as a performer. I model my scholarship and creative activities with students every day, as I work with them on improving their craft, striving to find their voice in music and learning firsthand, by my continuously evolving example, what it takes to be a successful musician.”
Excellence in Service
Political Science Professor David Speak has a long and distinguished record of service, with his work stretching from Cal Poly Pomona to nearby cities to Central America. He is deeply involved with the political science department, the College of Letters, Arts & Social Sciences and the Academic Senate. Speak also has served as member of the Claremont Unified School District Board of Education and was elected to the California School Boards Association Delegate Assembly. Beyond Cal Poly Pomona, he worked as a credentialed international election observer in Central America. He is co-author of the textbook “American Government.” Speak’s commitment to social justice and equality serves as his motivation. He works with student groups, serves as liaison to the ASI Senate and advises the Political Science Club. Speak has made an indelible impact on Cal Poly Pomona and the community. “We are a service-oriented university system, and I am a most fortunate guy in being able to serve this great campus as it provides first-class university access to the sons and daughters of Everyman.”
Read the "Recipients of Provost's Awards for Excellence Announced" article on Polycentric