Mariappan Jawaharlal, Jeffery Scott Mio and Craig LaMunyon will receive the 2016 Provost’s Awards for Academic Excellence.
The recipients will be honored for their efforts in teaching, service, and scholarly and creative activities. In addition to being recognized at their respective college commencement ceremony in June, they will present at a symposium during winter quarter 2017.
“These individuals are wonderful examples of the quality faculty we have at Cal Poly Pomona,” says Provost Sylvia Alva. “We’re proud of their hard work, creative approaches and dedication to their students and their disciplines. Each of them deserves this recognition.”
Excellence in Teaching
Mechanical Engineering Professor Mariappan Jawaharlal (Jawa) practices a hands-on, guided discovery approach to help students learn. He provides his students with highly creative project experiences. His innovative teaching approach makes learning complex concepts simple as he relates them to everyday life. He has received numerous honors including the Northrop Grumman Award for Excellence in teaching.
His School Robotics class was the first engineering service-learning course at Cal Poly Pomona; students and faculty visit local K-12 schools to train school teachers and mentor students with hands-on activities about robotics. This program culminates with an annual Robot Rally, which is the largest program of its kind in the country, and reaches thousands of elementary, middle and high school students. Jawaharlal was instrumental in creating the Femineer program recognized by the White House for increasing educational outcomes and opportunities for female Hispanic K-12 students. He is a pioneer in developing engaging, online videos for hard to learn concepts in the STEM fields.
Excellence in Service
Jeffery Scott Mio, a professor in the psychology and sociology department, joined Cal Poly Pomona in 1994 after earning a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Illinois, Chicago and a decade of teaching at other universities. Mio’s service has a remarkable scope and influence. It includes service to Cal Poly Pomona, his profession and the community.
At Cal Poly Pomona, Mio serves at the department and university level, with particular contributions to the AsianPacific Faculty, Staff & Student Association. At the national level, he made many contributions to the American Psychological Association and the Asian American Psychological Association. At the community level, Mio was president of the Media Action Network for Asian Americans, a media watchdog group.
Excellence in Scholarly & Creative Activities
Craig LaMunyon, professor and chair of the biological sciences department, has developed a nationally recognized research program on various aspects of biology, from the evolution of sexuality and the mechanisms of vitamin transport, to the genetics of sperm development. He currently works on nematodes (roundworms), to investigate sperm motility and methods to control agricultural parasites.
LaMunyon has published 34 peer-reviewed papers, including several in very prestigious journals, and has obtained $2.7 million in grants to support his research. LaMunyon’s research has a focus on improving the human condition, from shedding light on our understanding of the function of important genes to controlling devastating crop pests. He has trained 37 graduate and undergraduate students, as well as two high school students, in cutting edge research. As evidence of LaMunyon’s research impact, several of his publications have attracted attention from highly visible media.