Three prominent Cal Poly Pomona professors in wide-ranging disciplines have been selected for the 2016-2017 Provost’s Awards for Excellence.
Kamran Abedini, David Speak and Nadia Shpachenko-Gottesman were chosen for their excellence 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 2018.
“These three outstanding individuals are prime examples of the dedicated faculty members at Cal Poly Pomona,” says Provost Sylvia Alva. “Their hard work, creative approaches, and dedication to their students and their disciplines are everything we hold true in our faculty. The recipients of the Provost’s Awards for Excellence are deserving of our highest recognition and praise.”
Excellence in Teaching
Kamran Abedini, chair and professor in the Department of Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering, touts more than 34 years of experience. He devised “Puzzles Principles,” a pedagogical approach to teaching that uses cognitive and active-learning methods melded with his own experiences. The approach has been recognized by the National Academy of Engineers. Abedini has earned awards on the local and national stages for his teaching and advising of students. He describes his classroom as a “think tank” where students learn how to strategize, plan and apply. He has mentored numerous students, including underrepresented minorities in engineering.
Excellence in Service
Political Science Professor David Speak has a long and distinguished record of service, with his work stretching from Cal Poly Pomona to nearby cities to Central America. He is deeply involved with the political science department, the College of Letters, Arts & Social Sciences and the Academic Senate. Speak also has served as member of the Claremont Unified School District Board of Education and was elected to the California School Boards Association Delegate Assembly. Beyond Cal Poly Pomona, he worked as a credentialed international election observer in Central America. He is co-author of the textbook “American Government.”
Scholarly and Creative Activities
Music Professor Nadia Shpachenko-Gottesman elevates Cal Poly Pomona’s prominence in the arts through her outstanding national and international contributions in music performance. Shpachenko specializes in commissioning, premiering and recording new works by living composers, and has performed 150 recitals since joining the Cal Poly Pomona faculty. Her recent album, “Woman at the New Piano,” was awarded three Gold Medals from Global Music Awards and received three Grammy nominations. Shpachenko’s artistry, creativity and skill enhance her ability to teach Cal Poly Pomona students. “My work as a teacher is tightly intertwined with my work as a performer.”
The Provost’s Awards for Excellence, which is in its seventh year, were developed to recognize faculty who have earned distinction in the areas of teaching, scholarship and creative activities, and service. The awards are made possible by a grant from the $42-million Kellogg Legacy Project Endowment.