Professor Alison Baker
Teaches medieval literature in the Department of English & Foreign Languages, will receive the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. She challenges her students to not only understand the text of a novel or assigned academic reading, but to also “walk away with positive encounters with old stories.” Baker has regularly received excellent teaching evaluations, consistently earning an average rating of ‘very good’ over 11 years. She has inspired many students to pursue careers in higher education. In addition to her work in the classroom, she has developed pedagogy presentations and workshops in basic reading, Medieval English and foreign languages. She has also written articles on effective teaching strategies and offered readings of Middle English works to variety of audiences. Baker serves on numerous committees at Cal Poly Pomona, including the CLASS curriculum committee and the GWT Advisory Committee. She has received the Sigma Tau Delta Honors Society Outstanding Faculty Support and Advising Award four times and is currently serving as the vice president of the Executive Committee of the CSU English Council.
Professor Dan Hostetler
A plant sciences professor, will receive the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Service. He has served as farm supervisor for 38 years and as department chair for 20 years. He was instrumental in developing the Cal Poly Pomona Farm Store and AGRIscapes Center, which is visited by tens of thousands of people every year. He is one of the core developers of Cal Poly Pomona’s Horsehill Vineyards wine and an integral member of the management team for the Pumpkin Festival. Hostetler and his students sell Cal Poly Pomona products at local farmers markets, and he maintains strong relationships with youth organizations throughout Southern California. Hostetler has secured nearly $750,000 for student scholarships and over $3 million in donations to support students and the College of Agriculture’s living laboratories. In addition, he was named a Kika de la Garza Fellow by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2007 and has been invited to serve as a Fellows Advisor in 2009, 2011 and 2012.
Professor Ángel Valdés
An associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, will receive the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Scholarly and Creative Activities. He is internationally known for his research of sea slugs. He uses molecular biology to precisely identify the species of sea slugs, making it possible to track their worldwide distribution, spread, and evolution. He has discovered more than 100 new species and has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and four books. In addition, he has received over $3 million in funding from various agencies, including the National Science Foundation. Since 2010, Valdés has published 20 peer-reviewed articles with Cal Poly Pomona students as co-authors, and he has received departmental and college level teaching awards.
Read the "Valdes, Baker, Hostetler to Receive Provost’s Awards" article on Polycentric
Professor Laurie Starkey
She has developed innovative teaching techniques for organic chemistry and adapted them for online learning. She has authored a textbook and also created a YouTube chemistry channel for teachers and for students of all ages. Starkey includes peer reviews in her courses, making students part of the teaching process. She has won the Distinguished Teaching Award and twice received the Science Council Advisor of the Year award. Starkey also has served on the Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching editorial board and the GRE-Chemistry Committee of Examiners.
Professor Ernie Simpson
He has served as Chemistry Department chairman, graduate studies coordinator, and developer and chief advisor for the industrial chemistry option. He also served on numerous committees and was a reader of the Graduate Writing Test for many years. Simpson founded the College of Science’s Cooperative Education Program in 1978 and oversaw it until 2001, placing 300 students per year at more than 125 companies. He is an American Chemical Society fellow and organized annual conferences for several professional organizations. Simpson was a principal investigator on Cal Poly Pomona contracts, grants and philanthropic funding, totaling more than $4 million.
Professor Vilupanur Ravi
He is a world-class materials scientist who has pioneered research on the mechanical properties of thermoelectric materials, pack cementation coatings and the environmental resistance of boron-modified titanium alloys. Ravi is co-inventor on 11 U.S. and 13 international patents. He has conducted interdisciplinary research with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Air Force Research Laboratory and many others. Ravi won the Outstanding Advisor of the Year Award in 2006. He served on the board of trustees of ASM International, the Materials Information Society. Ravi is also past president of Alpha Sigma Mu, the international professional honor society for materials science and engineering.
Read the "Trio Selected for Provost's Awards for Excellence" article on Polycentric
Biology Professor Jill Adler-Moore, a prolific researcher, is the recipient of the Provost's Award for Scholarship and Creative Activity. During her 38-year tenure, she has been awarded $11.4 million in contracts and grants for basic research, education and research training. Most notably, she helped develop and patent AmBisome, a novel drug delivery system that has become the international gold standard for treating fungal diseases in humans. She is the founder of the biotechnology program, which includes bachelor’s and professional science master’s degree programs.
Sociology Professor Faye Wachs is the recipient of the Provost’s Award for Service. She has served on the Academic Senate, the Faculty Affairs Committee of the Senate, and the CLASS curriculum committee. In addition, she is a founding member and current director of the Center for the Study of the Inland Empire. In 2004, she received a three-year grant from the Department of Education to provide physical education resources, staff and training for children in Pomona. Wachs is the current president of the North American Society for Sport Sociology.
Professor Ed Walton, who joined the Chemistry Department in 1987, is the recipient of the Provost’s Award for Teaching. He has gained a national reputation for his innovative teaching methods, especially evident in the chemistry course he developed for pre-service K-8 teachers. Throughout his time at CPP, Walton has partnered with school districts to improve K-12 science teaching. In addition, Walton was instrumental in establishing the Diversity Ambassador Program, where students visit historical sites in the South to gain firsthand knowledge about the civil rights movement.
Second Provost's Awards Symposium article on Polycentric
Tina Hartney, a professor in biological sciences, is the recipient of the Provost's Award for Teaching. She has been a member of the university community since 2001 and is a leader in inquiry-based teaching methodologies. Hartney is credited with developing the Science Learning Portfolio, an electronic database of lab data used in courses across the sciences.
One of university's most honored faculty members, Chemistry Professor Barbara Burke is the recipient of the Provost's Award for Service. Burke earned the National Science Foundation Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Math and Engineering, thanks to her groundbreaking work mentoring minority science students. Since 1999, she has served as director of Science Educational Enhancement Services (SEES).
A leading expert on the history of 18th century Russia, Elise Wirtschafter is the recipient of the Provost's Award for Scholarship and Creative Activity. A professor in history, Wirtschafter enjoys an outstanding record of publications in top-tiered journals, in addition to writing five books with a sixth book in progress.
Provost's Awards Symposium article on Polycentric