When Fahimeh Rezayat, professor of information systems and operations management at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), knows she has significantly influenced a student, she doesn’t rest on her laurels; she becomes inspired to work harder.
Rezayat received the Lyle E. Gibson Dominguez Hills Distinguished Teacher Award, which recognizes individuals whose teaching is not only exemplary, but who demonstrate an active interest in the progress of students and seeks new and creative ways to engage them. The award was named after CSUDH’s founding university vice president of academic affairs.
“Working for students who work full-time, have children and still come to learn at the university is an honor for me. I really enjoy watching them change their lives,” said Rezayat, who began her tenure at CSUDH in 1989.
Rezayat’s teaching combines the complex combination of people, computer software, procedures and data, which her students utilize to support the operational and managerial needs in a variety of fields in the workforce.
In front of the class, she calls upon her eclectic fields of study, such as management, decision science and statistics to instill in her students the complex science of systems engineering and management.
One of Rezayat’s students, Nisrine Seklawi, praised her ability to engage students beyond the lecture.
“As a new transfer student I couldn’t have asked for a more knowledgeable, caring, and patient professor,” wrote Seklawi in his nomination letter. “You made me not only love learning about statistics, but also love CSU Dominguez Hills because it has professors like you.”
When Rezayat is teaching she has two main objectives: to provide students the analytical tools they need to excel in the ever-growing complex world of information technology, and to teach students how to communicate the results of their labor and unique ideas clearly to a variety of audiences.
“I always try to emphasize in all my courses the importance of using analytical skills in real life and critical thinking, as well as active learning and team work,” she said. “I want my students to be proficient, logical and to know when it is appropriate to use what I have taught them throughout their educational journey.”
Over the years, Razayat has published articles in dozens of journals internationally, such as the International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, IEEE Transaction on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Automacia, and IEEE Transaction on Reliability.
“I try to emphasize to my students is that they need to be able to communicate the results of their findings clearly with a layperson,” she said. “That’s extremely important, in every field. They need sharp comprehension and communication skills, especially in writing.”