Fil-Am faculty Ray de Leon received Cal State LA’s 2018 Outstanding Professor Award. Photo by J. Emilio Flores/Cal State LA

Cal State LA recognized Ray de Leon as one of the institution’s outstanding professors during the 2018 University Fall Convocation on Friday, August 17. 

De Leon, a professor of kinesiology in the Rongxiang Xu College of Health and Human Services at Cal State LA, was one of four outstanding professors honored for excellence in teaching and significant achievement in scholarly inquiry or creativity, as well as professional activities and community service at the event held at Luckman Fine Arts Complex.

An expert in exercise therapies for spinal cord injury, de Leon pioneered the use of robotic devices for gait rehabilitation in rodent models. His findings led to the development of new devices used to treat paralysis after spinal cord injury and stroke. A resident of Glendale, de Leon received his Ph.D. in physiological science from the University of California, Los Angeles.

He has secured grants totaling more than $4.2 million, which have supported more than 80 Cal State LA students in research projects, and he has authored over 50 papers that were published in top journals, such as The Journal of Neuroscience and The Journal of Neurotrauma. 

He is director of the university’s School of Kinesiology and Nutritional Science. He is also the founder of the Mobility Center at Cal State LA, which has helped more than 300 people with disabilities get access to exercise therapy. 

De Leon helped develop Rehabilitation and Therapeutic Exercise curriculum in kinesiology. This curriculum emphasizes community service and has received multiple awards and special recognition from Congress, the California Legislature and the City of Los Angeles. 

Additionally, three Outstanding Professor Awards went to Cal State LA faculty members Nana Lawson Bush, V, Dionne Espinoza and ChorSwang Ngin, and an Outstanding Lecturer Award was given to Howard Lum. A President’s Distinguished Professor Award was also presented to Daphne Liu, who was a previous outstanding professor recipient.

This award recognizes the faculty member’s superlative teaching and exceptional commitment to students, as well as professional accomplishments and services.

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