Awardees for 2017-2018

A Rudolph

Excellence in Teaching

Alexander Rudolph

Professor Alexander Rudolph is a distinguished member of Cal Poly Pomona’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. He has received extensive recognition locally, nationally, and internationally for his mentoring and teaching of students historically underrepresented in physics and astronomy. He is the founder of the California Minority Partnership for Astronomy Research and Education (CAMPARE) and the CSU-UC bridge program Cal-Bridge. Dr. Rudolph has mentored a tremendous number of undergraduate students and has co-authored many publications with undergraduate students. He has published numerous articles about research on the effectiveness of interactive learning strategies in physics and astronomy classrooms. His work has received significant external grant funding, almost all of which has focused on classroom teaching pedagogy and the promotion of diversity in physics and astronomy. Many of Dr. Rudolph’s former students are attending Ph.D. programs at some of the most prestigious universities around the country.  We celebrate the work of Dr. Rudolph as he introduces astronomy and physics to underrepresented students and inspires them to graduate work.



Excellence in Scholarly and Creative Activities

Mingheng Li

Dr. Mingheng Li, Professor of Chemical and Materials Engineering, has developed a nationally recognized research program in the area of process systems engineering with a variety of practical applications, including water desalination, renewable and sustainable energy techniques, air quality control, and advanced materials processing. Professor Li’s numerous publications, including 44 peer-reviewed articles in top-tier journals and six book chapters, have received 1200+ citations (per Google Scholar). He is a member of the distinguished editorial boards of the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy and Coatings, clearly indicating Professor Li’s prominence and accomplishments in research. Professor Li’s record of blending teaching and research into a single synergetic endeavor is impressive. His efforts are manifested by his undergraduate students’ outstanding achievements, whether being awarded scholarships to complete their graduate studies in prestigious programs nationwide, or working at top engineering companies. As stated by one of his students “The idea of learn by doing is not simply a motto in Dr. Li’s projects but the actual execution of novel and innovative research.”


Felicia Thomas

Excellence in Service

Felicia Friendly Thomas

Being one of six African American children who integrated an all-white school in rural South Carolina in the 1960's, Dr. Felicia Friendly Thomas became a passionate champion of under-served and under-represented people, especially first-generation college students like her. At Cal Poly Pomona, Dr. Friendly Thomas co-founded the Cal Poly Child and Family Services Friendmobile Program, a parenting and tutoring/mentoring center on wheels that provided free services to local communities. The Friendmobile evolved into a program where psychology students went into community facilities and schools to provide much needed services. Additionally, Dr. Friendly Thomas has been recognized for her research on diversity, bias and mentoring - conducting numerous workshops and invited presentations including being a Distinguished Speaker and “Terman Master Teacher” for the Western Psychological Association and James Jones Invited Speaker for the American Psychological Association. Finally, she was a Malone Fellow with the National Council on U.S – Arab Relations and has served on city and county agencies and commissions. 

Read the "Recipients of Provost's Awards for Excellence Announced" article on Polycentric