Campus: CSU Los Angeles -- January 7, 2004

Cal State L.A. Emerita Professor Honored as American Physical Society Fellow

California State University, Los Angeles emerita physics professor Frieda Stahl) has recently been named a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) for “her scholarly contributions to the history of ideas in physics, history of condensed matter physics, and history of women in physics.”

Only one-half of one percent of the total APS membership is elected to the status of Fellow in the Society each year. Each new fellow is elected after careful and competitive review and recommendation by a fellowship committee on the unit level, additional review by the APS Fellowship Committee, and final approval by the full APS Council. Her recommending unit was the APS Forum on History of Physics.

The APS Fellowship Program was created to recognize members who may have made advances in knowledge through original research and publication or made significant and innovative contributions in the application of physics to science and technology. They may also have made significant contributions to teaching of physics or service and participation in the activities of the Society.

As the first woman physicist at Cal State L.A., Dr. Stahl joined the faculty in 1958, following several years of employment in industrial semiconductor research. In her 33+ years at Cal State L.A., Stahl proposed, developed and taught upper division and graduate courses in electromagnetic theory, physical electronics, and solid state physics, and taught introductory courses for physical science, engineering, life science, and liberal arts majors. Her research in experimental condensed matter physics was carried out primarily at Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, where she held an appointment as a visiting research associate in physics. That project engaged students of both institutions in its collaborations and resulted in many co-authored articles in both American and international physics journals.

Stahl served on the Cal State L.A. Academic Senate from 1971 to 1990, and was its chair from 1981 to 1983. She also was a member of the CSU system’s Academic Senate from 1983 to 1989, and its vice chair in 1987-88. In the campus administration, she was an associate dean of academic planning (1970-75) and coordinator of the institutional self-study for WASC accreditation (1978-80).

Following her administrative service, she returned to a long-standing interest in the historical background of contemporary physics and began the research that led to her designation as APS Fellow. In addition to her lectures and articles in the three categories cited for that award, she has participated extensively in the development of the UCLA Web site on the contributions of twentieth century women to physics, found at <>.

Granted emerita status in the summer of 1992, Stahl currently serves on the executive committee of Cal State L.A.’s Emeriti Association. She was previously vice president (1994-96) and president (1996-98), and now chairs its editorial board. She also serves on the state council of the CSU Emeriti and Retired Faculty Association (CSU-ERFA).

Stahl is a member of numerous professional organizations including the American Physical Society, American Association of Physics Teachers, Association for Women in Science and the Union of Concerned Scientists, and has been listed in American Men and Women of Science since 1976. In 1999, she was one of the first recipients of CSULA’s Distinguished Woman Award.

Media Contact: Carol Selkin, Media Relations Director, (323) 343-3044

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