A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico
Feb. 18, 2010 Volume 40 / Number 4

From left: Sandra Flake, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs; Larry Kirk, Department of Chemistry and Outstanding Research Mentor; and Michelle Morris, Faculty Support and Recognition Committee.
Photo: Outstanding Research Mentor: Larry Kirk
Outstanding Project Directors, from left to right: James Fletcher, Recreation and Parks Management; Peter Lopez, Psychology; and Jason Schwenkler, Geographic Information Center.
Photo: Outstanding Project Directors
Professional Achievement Honor recipients from left to right: Ding Xin Cheng, Civil Engineering; Diana Coyl, Child Development; and Byron Wolfe, Communication Design. Not pictured: Sarah Pike, Religious Studies and Cris Guenter, Education.
Photo: Professional Achievement Honors

Research Foundation/RESP Honors Faculty

Nine faculty were recognized at a Research Foundation/Research and Sponsored Programs reception on Feb. 4 for their achievements for 2009–2010. Five received Professional Achievement Honors. This honor recognizes faculty who have excelled as teacher/scholars during the past three years. Three were selected as Outstanding Project Directors for their entrepreneurial spirit, persistence and effective project management. And, Larry Kirk was recognized as the Outstanding Research Mentor. The following short bios served as the introductions to these faculty and their honors at the reception by Vice Provost for Research, Katie Milo.

Outstanding Project Directors

Pete Lopez, Psychology, received a grant to provide stipends to students who are part of the Marriage and Family Therapy program. The program is intended “to help support efforts and to increase consumer and family member employment in the public mental health workforce; and to help support efforts to contribute to a diverse, culturally sensitive and competent public mental health workforce.” Lopez’s areas of expertise include Sexual Behavior, Aggression, Technology (Especially the Web) As a Teaching/Research Tool, Individual, Group and Family Therapy, Child Therapy, Family Systems, Process Issues in Counseling, Multicultural Issues Including Gender and Sexual Orientation

Jim Fletcher, Recreation, College of Communication and Education, has led sponsored projects for more than 20 years. In the late 1980s Jim assumed leadership of the Survey Research Center that later evolved into the Applied Research and Evaluation project. Much of Jim’s work at that time focused on survey projects for government agencies including the California Public Utilities Commission, the Integrated Waste Management Board and the Board of Registered Nursing. More recently some of his many contracts include: California Fishing Economic Analysis, Lake Tahoe Basin and the Northeastern California Connect broadband survey. Over the years, many legislative initiatives have been based on data gathered through the surveys Jim designed and implemented.

Jason Schwenkler replaced Director Chuck Nelson when he retired after nearly 20 years as director of the Geographical Information Center. Jason sought out RESP for project-specific briefings and was interested to learn how to view project management through the eyes of a director. Jason has not simply retained the GIC project portfolio during difficult financial times; he has managed to find ways to grow it by venturing into the world of federal funding. From broadband mapping to planning for reductions in the carbon footprint of communities, Jason has been running full speed ahead. Recent projects have included the Geospatial Workforce Training Program through the Cleantech Innovation Center in Oroville, Calif.

Professional Achievement Honors

DingXin Cheng, Department of Civil Engineering, has spent the last several years conducting research on pavement preservation processes focusing on the use of recycled tire waste. He has taken this research and integrated it into his teaching and has presented his research at conferences, both nationally and internationally. Prior to coming to CSU, Chico, Dr. Cheng spent several years in private industry as a transportation engineering consultant. Dr. Cheng was recently appointed as the interim director of the Pavement Preservation Center. He has three peer reviewed journal articles, four computer software programs, and has presented at ten conferences since 2007. He also organizes and presents at professional training workshops.

Diana Coyl, Department of Child Development, has taken her graduate scholarly work in parent-child attachment to new levels of achievement and recognition. Two special issues of the journal Early Child Development Care featured Dr. Coyl’s work and are titled “Fathering and Attachment in Context: Patterns across the Lifespan” (in press) and Men in the Lives of Young Children (2008). She and her colleagues contributed three articles to each issue, and she served as a co-editor of the in-press publication. She recently learned that both issues are being published as books. She is a frequent presenter for the Society for Research in Child Development, Society for Research in Adolescence, and American Psychological Association.

Chris Guenter, Department of Education, has a passion for both art and technology. She was the recipient of the 2008 National Art Educator Award by the National Art Education Association. Dr. Guenter was selected as a national expert by the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Schools to review the Washington State standards for arts education. She was one of eight professors selected nationally to participate in MERLOT/Carnegie Foundation to work on electronic portfolios in higher education. She is playing a key role as a technology expert in the School of Education curriculum redesign for the $7.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education for Teacher Quality Partnerships.

Sarah Pike, Department of Religious Studies, is an internationally acclaimed scholar in the field of Religious Studies. In the past three years, Dr. Pike has given presentations in Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, and Norway. She is a member of four editorial boards: Journal for the Academic Study of Magic, The Pomegranate, The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature, and Studies in Critical Research on Religion. She has three peer-reviewed journal articles, four encyclopedia articles, and an article for the American Academy of Religion’s Religious Studies news since 2007.

Byron Wolfe, Department of Communication Design, was awarded one of the one hundred eighty 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship Awards for United States and Canada. He currently holds the Lantis Endowed University Chair. His work, which is a unique combination of scholarly research and creative expression, is exhibited in nineteen permanent collections in museums around the world and, over the last three years, has been selected for exhibition in twelve galleries and museums. In 2007 Wolfe published his book, Everyday: A Yearlong Photo Diary.