Campus: CSU, Los Angeles -- February 12, 2000

Cal State L.A. Professor Receives Year 2000 MSE Giants in Science Award

California State University, Los Angeles chemistry professor Carlos G. Gutierrez will be presented The Quality Education for Minorities in Mathematics, Science and Engineering (QEM/MSE) Network's Year 2000 MSE Giants in Science Award at an awards ceremony today.

Since 1994, the QEM/MSE Network has honored individuals with distinguished research, teaching and service records at its annual MSE Conferences. These individuals have made outstanding contributions in a range of MSE disciplines and in a variety of ways and settings. Each of the QEM/MSE Network's Giants in Science Award recipients has had a significant impact on students and their participation in MSE fields. They are outstanding mentors, teachers and researchers as well as strong advocates of quality mathematics, science and engineering education for all students. Each has a special interest and commitment to students underserved by our educational system. Students and peers of the recipients are successful because of the high expectations and standards to which they are held by each year's honorees.

Past Giants in Science Award recipients include Jewel Plummer Cobb (1994), President Emerita of CSU Fullerton and current principal investigator for the ACCESS Center at Cal State L.A., and Lloyd D. Ferguson (1998), emeritus professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Cal State L.A. Dr. Cobb was among the first group of individuals to receive this honor.

Carlos Gutierrez, a professor of chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is also director of the University's NIH (National Institutes of Health) Minority Access to Research Careers and Minority Biomedical Research Support programs. In his 20+ years at Cal State L.A., Gutierrez has had significant impact on minority student education, mentoring more than 180 students through National Institutes of Health-funded programs or as a faculty participant in other projects such as the National Science Foundation-sponsored Research Improvement in Minority Institutions and Research Experiences for Undergraduates programs.

In great part through his effort, the American Chemical Society (ACS) established the Committee on Minority Affairs in 1993, with Gutierrez serving as its first chair. During his tenure as chair, the Society also established the ACS Minority Scholars Program, a $5 million scholarship program for undergraduates, and the ACS Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students to Pursue Careers in Chemical Sciences. Gutierrez helped to establish the ACS Scholars Program in 1995, and has been active on its behalf since its inception.

As vice-chair of the National Academy of Science Committee on a National Scholars Program, under contract to NASA, Gutierrez has articulated persuasively the responsibility of all faculty -- but especially science faculty -- to seek out talented minority students and encourage their academic development very early in their undergraduate careers.

Gutierrez received a B.S. in Chemistry from UCLA and Ph.D. from UC Davis. He served as chair of his department at Cal State L.A. from 1988-92 and was Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley from Fall 1989 to Winter 1991. He has served on and chaired various NIH committees, subcommittees and the NIGMS Council, and is an advisory committee member of the National Research Council Office of Scientific and Engineering Personnel. He has published numerous articles, all with student coauthors.

Gutierrez' accolades include the University's Outstanding Professor Award for 1983-84; the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Cal State L.A. chapter of the national honor society Phi Kappa Phi in 1985; the Cal State L.A. Hispanic Support Network 1993 Outstanding Educator Award; and the Cal State L.A. Associated Students 1996 Outstanding Faculty Award.

Also in 1996, Gutierrez was among the first individuals named by the President of the United States to receive the then-newly-established annual Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. The honor was conferred at a White House ceremony.

Gutierrez, his wife, Linda Tunstad, an associate professor of chemistry at Cal State L.A., and daughter Naomi, reside in Pasadena.

The QEM/MSE Network is a coalition of minority and non-minority educational institutions, school districts, organizations and professional societies. It was established in April 1991 by the QEM Network as a vehicle for fostering collaborative efforts to increase minority participation in MSE fields.

Through its annual conferences, the QEM/MSE Network seeks to develop and promote national awareness of outstanding individuals as well as of exemplary program and projects that serve to increase minority participation in MSE fields.

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