Campus: CSU Los Angeles -- September 21, 2001
Biology Professor at Cal State L.A. Receives 2001 College Mentor Award
Pasadena resident Carlos Robles, professor of Biology and Microbiology
at California State University, Los Angeles, was recently selected
by SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans
in Science) to receive its 2001 Community College/Tribal College Mentor
Award. The SACNAS awards are presented each year at the Society's
national conference to recognize those who have dedicated themselves to
science, education and mentoring. This year's awards ceremony will be
held in Phoenix, Arizona, on Saturday, September 29, 2001.
Carlos Robles, an intertidal community ecologist, is the director of the
newly-formed Center for Environmental Analysis (CEA-CREST) at Cal State
L.A. The Center is the first of its kind funded by the National Science
Foundation (NSF) on the West Coast. CEA-CREST offers students exciting
opportunities for focused and interdisciplinary research in the environmental
sciences. Student Fellows participate in the center research teams, the
interdisciplinary curriculum, and the university accredited internships
with off-campus agencies. Robles also designed a "Bridges to the
Ph.D. Program" to support CEA-CREST student fellows in doctoral programs
in environmental science.
Robles' accomplishment as a mentor also extends into his individual research.
Over the last three years he has mentored nine students, ranging from
high school juniors to Ph.D. candidates. As director of CEA-CREST, he
also assisted CEA-CREST faculty mentors as they placed graduating masters
students, nearly all of whom were Hispanics or Native Americans, into
Ph.D. programs at other research universities. Additionally, Robles received
grants that supported innovative training in environmental research, including
classroom exercises, special field experiences at remote field stations,
and internships with government agencies concerned with the environment.
Roble joined the Cal State L.A. faculty in 1979 after receiving his Ph.D.
from UC Berkeley, and was promoted to full professor in 1988. Since then,
he has held several positions at Cal State L.A., including acting associate
dean of graduate studies and research, and both associate and acting chair
for the Department of Biology and Microbiology.
In a nomination letter, Cal State L.A. President James M. Rosser wrote:
"Dr. Robles continues to find additional ways to expand his role
as an effective mentor and to enhance educational opportunities for students
currently underrepresented in the environmental sciences. A few months
ago, he was awarded a major NSF grant for Undergraduate Mentoring in Environmental
Biology (UMEB). Even more recently, he submitted a $7.5 million proposal
to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to
fund a 'Coastal Environment Cooperative Science Center for the Southern
California Region.' If awarded, half of the funds will go directly to
support student fellowships with an emphasis on preparing underrepresented
students for environmental science careers
.Dr. Robles has excelled
in the role of 'mentor-scholar.'"
For over 28 years, SACNAS has provided strong national leadership in
improving science and math education, as well as expanding opportunities
for minorities in the scientific workforce and academia. The SACNAS Annual
National Conference and Teacher Workshops, summer research opportunities,
E-mentoring program, and online internship/job placement resources are
tools that help a diverse community of students, professors, administrators,
and K-12 educators achieve expertise within their disciplines. The mission
of SACNAS is to encourage Chicano/Latino and Native American students
to pursue graduate education and obtain the advanced degrees necessary
for research careers and science teaching professions at all levels.