Biological Sciences Professor Glenn Stewart Celebrates 40 Years at Cal Poly Pomona


Biological Sciences Professor Glenn Stewart Celebrates 40 Years at Cal Poly Pomona
Biological Sciences Professor Glenn Stewart is congratulated by President J. Michael Ortiz for his 40 years of service to the university at the Fall Conference 2003 Service Awards ceremony presented by Staff Council in September.

Glenn R. Stewart's childhood fascination with the desert tortoise ignited a passion for biology that turned into 40 years ? and going ? as a Cal Poly Pomona faculty member. Earlier this year, the university recognized the Biological Sciences professor for his four decades of work. This quarter marks the start of his 41st year.

Throughout his years at Cal Poly Pomona, Stewart has seen the university?s enrollment blossom along with the construction of new campus buildings.

Despite the university?s growth, Cal Poly Pomona has preserved some of its surrounding natural habitats that still make a good field trip destination, according to Stewart. The coastal sage scrub hills and canyons to the north and west of the Student Health Center provide a home for plants, insects, birds, reptiles, mammals and even a few amphibians. They have been used for many class trips and research projects, Stewart says.

?There are natural labs right here on campus,? he says. ?We?re kind of unique that we have these things. At some schools, you might have to travel hundreds of miles for a class field trip.?

Stewart has traveled thousands of miles for classes. Some of his career highlights include leading field classes in Central and South America.

?Out in a natural environment, you can teach about birds, mammals and reptiles in ways you can?t by a lecture,? he says.

From introductory natural history courses to upper division field classes in exotic locales, Stewart estimates he has taught nearly 9,000 Cal Poly Pomona students. In addition, he has served as supervising professor for about 30 graduate students. His graduate students have gone on to work for the California Department of Fish and Game, the United States Forest Service and Southern California Edison, and, in a few cases, have enrolled in doctorate programs at other universities.

Nearly 200 faculty and staff were honored for their years of service to Cal Poly Pomona at the Fall Conference 2003 Service Awards ceremony presented by Staff Council in September. Stewart was recognized for the longest university service this year with a 40-year pin.

Stewart is quick to note that his good friend and Biological Sciences colleague Laszlo J. Szijj also arrived on campus with him in the fall of 1963. The two taught many courses together including Wildlife Ecology, Field Studies in Baja and Tropical Field Biology in Venezuela and Costa Rica. But Szijj started half-time service in 2001 and was not eligible for a 40-year service award. They started out sharing an office together and will again share an office as Stewart begins to cut down his teaching schedule in early retirement.

While teaching takes top priority at Cal Poly Pomona, Stewart has published 36 scientific papers in his career. His curriculum vitae includes research on black bears, rubber boas, garter snakes and the desert tortoise. Stewart was the first recipient of the Ralph W. Ames Memorial Award for Distinction in Research in the College of Science in 1985, and he was also awarded the university?s Outstanding Professor Award in 1989.

Stewart began the Faculty Early Retirement Program this fall and plans to teach half-time until he retires in spring 2008. Though he is slowing down his duties, Stewart?s biology goals aren?t quite finished. He has seen some of the West?s most elusive fauna in the wild, but there is still one animal that he would like to see in the field ? a mountain lion.