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Faculty Award Recipients

By recognizing the achievements of our distinguished faculty in areas of professional acheivement, service, and teaching, we celebrate the climate of excellence that we create together.


2019 - 2020 Awardees

Millie Ablin Excellence in Teaching Award 2019-2020

Dr. Rhonda Dugan - Millie Ablin Excellence in Teaching Awardee    Dr. Rhonda E. Dugan has been a faculty member at CSU Bakersfield since 2005. Her approach to teaching centers on engaging students to use their “sociological imagination” through classroom assignments and projects, and independent research.  Dr. Dugan has served on nearly 40 student MA thesis and teaching committees, of which she chaired 15.  She has been the research advisor for students in the McNair Scholar’s Program, Student Research Scholar’s Program, and the CSU Student Research Competition.  She has also worked with students as the advisor for the Sociology Club, Black Student Union, and Campus Gamers.  As stated by one of her colleagues, “[it] is clear that Dr. Dugan has made a significant contribution to the intellectual, social, and personal well-being of our students.”


Faculty Leadership and Service Award 2019-2020

Dr. Jorge Talamantes - Faculty Leadership and Service Awardee     Dr. Jorge Talamantes feels grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the lives of our students and their families. As chair of the Department of Physics and Engineering at CSUB, he was responsible for starting the Engineering Sciences program, developing curricula, designing facilities and laboratories, hiring new faculty for the program, and engaging in outreach to industry and prospective students. Dr. Jorge Talamantes then led the development and implementation of Engineering Sciences’ emphases in Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Energy and Power Engineering, Management Engineering, and Petroleum Engineering. Finally, he also guided the accreditation process for the Engineering Sciences program. For his contributions, Dr. Talamantes was honored to be a co-recipient of the CSUB 2019-2020 Faculty Leadership and Service Award.


Dr. Melissa Danforth - Faculty Leadership and Service Awardee  Dr. Melissa Danforth has been a faculty member of the Computer and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (CEE/CS) Department since 2006. As CEE/CS Department chair, she was instrumental in the ABET accreditation process for the Computer and Electrical Engineering programs. She was the chair of the School of Natural Sciences, Math and Engineering Curriculum Committee during CSUB’s quarter-to-semester process, current co-chair for Goal 3 (Academic Programs and Support Services) of the CSUB Strategic Plan Task Force, and the Academic Affairs Committee chair of the CSUB Academic Senate.  Dr. Danforth served as the principal investigator/project director on multiple grants from the U.S. Department of Education and from the National Science Foundation relating to STEM education, research, and outreach. Her experience as a female college student from Kern County makes her well suited to understand the challenges faced by CSUB students as they pursue majors in STEM fields.



Faculty Scholarship and Creativity Award 2019-2020

Dr. Steven Frye - Faculty Scholarship and Creativity Award  Dr. Steven Frye’s scholarly life exemplifies the academic ideal. To his credit are seventeen peer-reviewed articles, two book chapters, and ten books that he either authored, edited and contributed to, or co-edited. Three of these are published with Cambridge University Press, an imprint of the highest academic order that publishes only the most rigorous of scholarship on subjects of established significance. According to the eminent Americanist, Eric Carl Link, “Dr. Steve Frye is a highly accomplished scholar with an international reputation. He is the preeminent Cormac McCarthy scholar in the world right now, which alone would make him a profoundly accomplished scholar, but Frye’s work extends well beyond.” He is well worthy of the Faculty Scholarship and Creative Activity Award. 


Promising New Faculty Award 2019-2020

Dr. Nyakundi Michieka - Promising New Faculty Awardee   Dr. Nyakundi Michieka specializes in Energy and Environmental Economics. Since joining CSUB in 2014, Michieka has published 15 manuscripts in peer reviewed journals including Energy Economics, Energy Policy, Economic Modelling and Resources Policy. He has presented his work at 23 conferences and has two book chapters. Dr. Michieka has worked with faculty to raise $465,755 for research related activities for CSUB, and is currently working with several students on these projects. Michieka is the Managing Editor of the Kern Economic Journal and a 2018 E. Kika De La Garza Fellow. He serves on several university wide committees and continues to represent the university within the community.


Outstanding Lecturer Award 2019-2020

Maria Palaiologou - Outstanding Lecturer Awardee 2019-2020   Maria Palaiologou has been at CSUB since 2004. Echoing Bernard Shaw “Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to the future generations.” In teaching philosophy, my students engage in a learning journey to explore their thoughts, their feelings, and their capacity to acquire new forms of knowledge. As academic researchers, they contribute to local and international debates regarding values essential to human rights and global citizenship. In doing so, they mold their individual ethos of the conscientious world citizen. The 2019-2020 Outstanding Lecturer Award epitomizes my colleagues’ appreciation and trust in this philosophic pedagogy.


2018 - 2019 Awardees

Millie Ablin Excellence in Teaching Award 2018-2019

Jean West Millie Ablin Excellence in Teaching Award 2018-2019   Dr. Jean West is the recipient of the Millie Ablin Excellence in Teaching Award 2018-2019. She joined CSUB in 2005, where she is currently a Full Professor in Marketing. Her passion for teaching has been present from the time she first taught college students in 1997, at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she received her Ph.D. in Advertising and Marketing.

Dr. West is a nationally recognized marketing educator and researcher, and served as CSUB’s MBA Director from 2012 through 2014. During her term as MBA Director, she revised the MBA curriculum to incorporate better learning opportunities for students. In addition, she organized MBA events to connect students with key community leaders—affording students opportunities to showcase their talents. She formed the MBA Club on campus, as well as student membership in the National Association of MBAs.

In striving to elevate the experiences of students, she took on the position of faculty coordinator of Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies for the 2016-2017 academic year. She is the only faculty member on the CSUB campus to participate in two consecutive brown bag presentations for student enrichment, sponsored by the CSUB Programming Office.

She received the National Corporate Vision’s 2016 Marketing, Public Relations, and Communications Award for her contributions to student learning in those fields.

Faculty Leadership and Service Award 2018-2019

Aaron Hegde Faculty Leadership and Service Award 2018-2019   Dr. Aaron Hegde is the recipient of the Faculty Leadership and Service Award 2018-2019.

Years before food insecurity became a system-wide priority, Dr. Hegde paid attention to anecdotal evidence that CSUB students were going hungry.

In 2013, he and a graduate student conducted a survey that revealed 40% of the respondents, including students, faculty and staff, had experienced food insecurity.  As a result, the CSUB Food and Housing Security Committee was formed, monthly food distributions with a community partner began, and the CSUB Food Pantry was opened.

Dr. Hegde has championed environmental sustainability and has developed curriculum for two new programs – a BS in Agricultural Business and a concentration in Occupational Safety within the Environmental Resource Management program. Dr. Hegde helped raise $800,000 to endow safety concentration. He started the Ag Career Fair where average attendance has been more than 250 students. He served on more than 40 campus committees including the Academic Senate and as chair of the Budget and Planning Committee.

Faculty Scholarship and Creativity Award 2018-2019

Anna Jacobsen Faculty Scholarship and Creativity Awardee 2018-2019  Dr. Anna Jacobsen is the recipient of the Faculty Scholarship and Creativity Award 2018-2019.

Her core research focuses on plant vascular structure and function.  This is an integrative and interdisciplinary field requiring her to be an expert in microscopy, plant anatomy, evolution, and plant physiology.  She has used a comparative community approach to test long standing questions in plant evolution and ecology, with a focus on California native plants.  Dr. Jacobsen has also studied key crop plants like grapevine and olive, examining their vascular function in the context of irrigation, productivity, and pathogens.  Dr. Jacobsen has developed and maintained a highly active and successful research program.  She has produced many peer-reviewed publications, been funded by outside agencies, and provided numerous opportunities for student involvement in and exposure to scientific research.

Promising New Faculty Award 2018-2019

Michael Burroughs Promising New Faculty Awardee 2018-2019  Dr. Michael Burroughs is the recipient of the Promising New Faculty Award 2018-2019.

He is a researcher, educator, and ethics institute director. His work is defined by service to his campus and community, both locally and nationally. Michael serves as director of the Kegley Institute of Ethics at California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) and as President of the national non-profit organization, the Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization. In these roles, Michael helps to introduce ethics and humanities-based education at CSUB, in K-12 schools, prisons, community organizations, and other locations.

 Michael is also a widely published researcher, with over a dozen published articles, book chapters, and a co-authored book, Philosophy in Education: Questioning and Dialogue in Schools (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016). 

Outstanding Lecturer 2018-2019

Matthew Woodman Outstanding Lecturer 2018-2019   Matthew Woodman is the recipient of the Outstanding Lecturer Award 2018-2019.

A lecturer in the English Department at CSU Bakersfield, Matthew Woodman has been a voice and mentor for creative writing. He edits and publishes a “Local Poets” chapbook in coordination with an annual poetry reading featuring campus poets as well as those from the Kern County community.  Additionally, he has begun an annual ongoing collaboration with the Bakersfield Museum of Art’s “Art After Dark” series whereby CSUB students write and perform ekphrastic poetry inspired by the museum’s exhibits.  Finally, as the founding editor of the literary journal Rabid Oak, he has created a medium for CSUB students to gain editing experience. Woodman demands excellence and nurtures courage and confidence in his students; his classroom is a place of creative risk-taking.  

2017-2018 Awardees


Millie Ablin Excellence in Teaching Award 2017-2018 

Mahdy-Elhusseiny_Millie Ablin Excellence in Teaching Award   Dr. Mahdy Elhusseiny grew in a small town in Egypt. He worked as a teaching assistant at the Higher Technological Institute in Tent Ramadan City from 1992 till 1998. He came to the United States on March 1999. He completed his PhD in Business Administration and finance major at the Old Dominion University, VA in August 2005. He joined the University of South Dakota (USD) as an Assistant Professor in finance in August 2005. He came to the CSUB in September 2007 as an assistant professor in finance.  

Dr. Elhusseiny is a professor who shines in the classroom.  He captures his students’ attention, delivers high-quality content in an engaging and memorable way, and inspires his students to do their best. 

Dr. Elhusseiny takes as much time and energy as is needed to ensure that each student succeeds and feels valued as a member of the class. In fact, Dr. Elhusseiny was recognized by 2014, 2015, and 2016 CSUB graduates as an individual contributing to their success as indicated by the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. 

In addition to his excellence in the classroom, Dr. Elhusseiny puts forth an incredible amount of time and energy to guide students in several key endeavors outside of the classroom. An excellent example: For nearly 10 years, he has served as an advisor for the Financial Management Association for students. Each year, Dr. Elhusseiny leads a group of at least 25 students to engage in a real-world experience in New York City. Students visit Wall Street, and also meet with high-ranking professionals tied to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY), and several other financial institutions.  His students have described these experiences as life-changing and edifying to their career paths.

Faculty Leadership and Service Award 2017-2018 

Paul-Newberry_Faculty Leadership and Service Award  Dr. Paul Newberry’s service record at CSUB spans more than 30 years and reflects a consistent commitment to general education. His sustained efforts to develop, implement, maintain, evaluate, and revise our GE program demonstrate his commitment to shared governance and the success of our students.

Shortly after the approval of the new General Education program and governance structure in 2014, Dr. Newberry was selected to be the program’s Faculty Director and serves as Chair of the General Education Curriculum Committee (GECCo). Under his leadership, GECCo approved over 200 courses for the new program, hosted over 30 professional development workshops, and prepared over 250 faculty members for teaching in the new program.

Dr. Newberry has worked closely with on-campus stakeholders and leaders from our region’s high schools and community colleges. In each of these settings, he has striven to ensure that all perspectives are heard and that decisions are grounded in our shared commitment to student success.

Faculty Scholarship and Creativity Award 2017-2018 

Robert Yohe II Faculty Scholarship and Creativity Award   Dr. Robert M. Yohe II has been selected as CSUB’s 2017/2018 recipient of the Faculty Scholarship and Creative Activity Award.

Dr. Yohe came to CSUB in 1999 and is currently a Professor of Anthropology and the Director of the Laboratory of Archaeological Sciences at CSUB.

He is an internationally recognized scholar with close to 100 peer-reviewed publications, and is a recognized pioneer in the field of immunological protein residue analysis on stone artifacts, ceramics, soils, and human remains.

As a mentor, Dr. Yohe engaged undergraduate and graduate students in bioarchaeology field work in middle Egypt at the site of Tell El Hibeh; this work was featured in an episode of The Bone Detective on the Discovery Channel. 

Dr. Yohe procures substantial external funding for his research with students, an accomplishment the campus recognized with the 2013/2014 Bronze Award for Research Excellence. He is described as a generous colleague, who frequently contributes his expertise and help.

Faculty Leadership and Service Award 2016-2017 

Joe Fielder

Dr. Joe Fiedler is the recipient of CSUB’s 2016-2017 Faculty Leadership and Service Award. His deep and sustained commitment to leadership and service over the past 27 years at CSUB has had a tremendous impact on every level.  He has conducted 96 workshops, made 63 presentations for teachers, and participated in 33 external grants.  He has been honored by the California Mathematics Council, the Bakersfield Mathematics Council, CSUB STAAR, and CSUB’s Educational Support Services. Most recently, Dr. Fiedler was invited to participate in a national workshop to develop performance tasks for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), the national K-12 testing program, and has served on committees to review subject matter for the SATs, the CSET, and the California High School Exit Exam.  At CSUB, Dr. Fiedler has served the Mathematics Department in 22 different roles, the School in 9 different roles, the University in 50 different roles, and the community in 9 different roles.  This includes his past positions as a member of the Teacher Education Advisory Council, numerous WASC preparation committees and search committees, the Academic Senate, and the Budget Advisory Council.  In addition, he has played a valuable role as Chair of the Academic Senate’s Budget and Planning Committee for multiple terms. From national task forces to an individual student or colleague, Dr. Fiedler has always stepped forward to serve.

Faculty Scholarship and Creative Activity Award 2016-2017 

Brandon Pratt

Dr. R. Brandon Pratt is the recipient of the 2016-2017 Faculty Scholarship  and Creative Activity Award.Since his arrival at CSUB in 2005, he has developed an impressive research program and scholarship record. He has published more than 30 papers in nationally and internationally recognized journals; these articles have had a substantial impact on his field and have been extensively cited.  Dr. Pratt is a nationally recognized plant ecophysiologist as evidenced by his current position as Associate Editor of The American Journal of Botany, and he has presented scholarly papers on four continents.  Dr. Pratt has an exceptional record of obtaining external funding for his research, with over $6 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and other competitive funding sources.  He received the NSF CAREER award in 2009, one of the most competitive and prestigious awards given by the NSF.  Dr. Pratt’s grants have supported three post-doctoral scholars, several graduate students, and more than 30 undergraduate students working in his lab, and many of these students have already been published in peer-reviewed journals due to Dr. Pratt’s exemplary mentorship.

Mille Ablin Excellence in Teaching Award 2016-2017 

Anne Duran

Dr. Anne Duran is the recipient of CSUB's 2016-2017 Millie Ablin Excellence in Teaching Award. For Dr. Duran, teaching is her passion; she has demonstrated her commitment to high-quality, innovative, collaborative, inclusive, student-centered instruction through her exemplary teaching record.  In the classroom, students report that “she presents information with an intelligence, humor, and ease that is unrivaled,” and that “she sparks the interest of her students and immerses them in the content in a way that is memorable and meaningful.”  Dr. Duran is recognized for her remarkable ability to help each student question, learn, and grow; she is an expert at turning a difficult situation into a teachable moment. Dr. Duran’s mentorship has also had a tremendous impact on her students outside of the classroom. In her research lab, Dr. Duran’s apprenticeship model has provided an opportunity for dozens of students to develop their research, presentation, and publication skills.  She has served as a mentor for over 45 students who have continued their education in graduate school, five of whom now hold their PhDs.  Dr. Duran has also helped educate the community through the yearly Ally Rally, an event that helps educate about LGBTQ issues. Dr. Duran has been an outstanding resource for educators at CSUB through her service as a peer mentor, and at the national level through her role as Director of the Terman Teaching Conference, an event held as part of the Western Psychological Association’s annual meeting.

Faculty Leadership and Service Award 2015-2016 

D Baron

Dr. Dirk Baron is the recipient of CSUB’s 2015-2016 Faculty Leadership and Service Award. Dr. Baron made service to the community a priority and established an outstanding record in this area. Most significant are his outreach efforts to improve science education at K-12 schools and recruit students into science majors. He was instrumental in creating “dual-credit” geology classes at local high schools.

Faculty Scholarship and Creative Activity Award 2015-2016 


Dr. Hossein Bidgoli, has been selected as CSUB’s 2015-2016 recipient of the Faculty Scholarship and Creative Activity Award. Professor Bidgoli has an ongoing and impressive record of cutting edge scholarship in all aspects of Management Information Systems (MIS). During his tenure at CSUB he has authored more than 164 publications and served as the editor-in-chief of five Encyclopedia and Handbook series.

Faculty Leadership and Service Award 2014-2015 


Dr. Carlisle has been a leader in the areas of online teaching, distance education, and graduate studies. His contributions in leadership and service to the university, students, and community through his passionate efforts to make higher education more accessible make him well deserving of the 2014-15 Faculty Leadership and Service Award.

Faculty Scholarship and Creative Activity Award 2014-15 

Jianjun Wang

Dr. Jianjun Wang is the recipient of CSUB’s 2014-15 Faculty Scholarship and Creative Activity Award. During his 21 years of tenure at CSUB, Dr. Wang published over 60 nationally-refereed research reports and journal articles.  His research grants received funding from various federal and state agencies, including National Science Foundation, National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, Carnegie Foundation, California Department of Education, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)’s Secondary Analysis Program, and American Educational Research Association.