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California State University, Sacramento

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Department of Chemistry

College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics

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Two Organic Faculty Win NSM Outstanding Faculty Awards

Recipients of these awards are recognized for having positively affected the life of the University through their teaching, their service, or their scholarly and creative activities, displaying a consistent and engaging collegiality and storng commitment to students throughout their careers at California State University, Sacramento. The Outstanding Teaching Award affirms the importance of teaching in the life of the faculty and recognizes and honors outstanding teachers for their teaching effectiveness and their impact on the lives and careers of their students.


Dr. Cynthia Kellen-Yuen

The College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics honors Professor Cynthia Kellen-Yuen of the Chemistry Department as the recipient of the 2018-19 Outstanding University Service Award.  Professor Kellen-Yuen has provided service at multiple levels, including GE review, senate, improved safety, and numerous department committees. Her most passionate role is leading the Chemistry Club, which is very active and nationally recognized.  From her regular participation in new student orientation through helping students find jobs and celebrating their graduation, students will see Professor Kellen-Yuen’s active involvement and enthusiasm from their first day on campus to their last. For her student-focused efforts highlighting science, the College of Natural Science and Mathematics is pleased to give this special recognition to Professor Cynthia Kellen-Yuen.

Dr. John Spence

The College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics honors Professor John Spence of the Chemistry Department as the recipient of the 2018-19 Outstanding Scholarly and Creative Activity Award.  Professor Spence research has focused on synthesizing and testing enediyne compounds, which show strong anti-cancer abilities through DNA cleavage and can be light activated.  This work has resulted in five publications.  He has received numerous grants, donations and contracts of over $1 million value to support research.  He has mentored 54 undergraduate students, which have given 88 presentations, and two-thirds of these student have been inspired to continue with graduate or professional education.  The College of Natural Science and Mathematics recognizes Professor Spence’s accomplishments with the Outstanding Research and Creative Activity Award.