2008 Award Recipient
Dr. Stuart S. Sumida
Dr. Stuart S. Sumida is professor of biology at California State University, San Bernardino, where he joined the faculty in 1992 after completing a Ph.D. in biology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is an internationally respected instructor and paleontological researcher, and a research associate at the Field Museum in Chicago and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh.
Dr. Sumida has published three books and over 60 journal articles-many with students, introducing them to the process of research and publication in refereed journals. He is recognized internationally for his research on biological transformations that took place as backboned animals became adapted to life on land and as dinosaurs transformed into birds millions of years ago.
Acknowledged as the world's leading expert as an anatomical specialist for animation and digital special effects, Dr. Sumida has more than 30 feature-length film projects to his credit, working with such studios as Disney, DreamWorks, Pixar, and Sony Pictures.
Whether his audience is 250 undergraduates or a small graduate class section, Dr. Sumida is a demanding classroom instructor. Institutions such as the Claremont Colleges and the University of California, Berkeley have adopted his laboratory manuals. Dr. Sumida was the driving force in securing an agreement whereby six CSUSB biology majors per year are admitted to classes at the Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona.
Dr. Sumida was selected in 1997 to lead the California State University's partnership with the Field Museum, Disney, and McDonald's Corporation to prepare the Tyrannosaurus rex, known as Sue, for public display. Under his direction, the CSU graduate and undergraduates were the only students in the world to handle this famous specimen.
Through his personal efforts, thousands of Pleistocene-age fossils have been donated to CSU San Bernardino's new Natural History Museum. He also secured the donated services of local craftsmen to build display and storage cases for the specimens. Dr. Sumida's students are constructing fully articulated skeletons of saber-tooth cats, camels, bison, dire wolves, and others for public display in the campus museum.