Carlos G. Gutierrez - Student Introduction

Jose Yakushi
Former student of Carlos G. Gutierrez
2005 Outstanding Master's Universities and Colleges Professor of the Year

It is truly an honor to introduce Dr. Carlos Gutierrez as the 2005 Baccalaureate Colleges Professor of the Year. Dr. Gutierrez was my undergraduate organic chemistry professor and research advisor. It is truly an honor to introduce someone who has touched so many people's lives. Dr. Carlos Gutierrez or "the boss," as we used to call him in lab, has been one of the most influential people in my academic, professional and personal life.

As a teacher, Dr. Gutierrez took the subject of organic chemistry to new levels. His methods of teaching made the subject interesting and enjoyable. His use of molecular model kits, color graphics, and complete handouts made the class interactive and the concepts easy to understand. What I enjoyed the most were his relevant explanations of the practical uses of organic chemistry in everyday life. He talked about the history and chemistry behind coffee, chocolate and pheromones, to name a few, making his class one of the most sought after in the department of chemistry and biochemistry at California State University, Los Angeles.

As a scientist, one cannot help to notice Dr. Gutierrez's artistic side. He sees himself not just as a chemist but also as a sculptor of organic molecules, carving out electrons in the search of molecular beauty, and at the same time searching for therapeutic agents for diseases like hemochromocytosis, beta-thalassemia, among others.

But his greatest contribution to undergraduate education is his commitment to introduce more minorities to the field of research. He accomplishes this by administering programs that help students not only with funding but gives them research experience, the opportunity to coauthor and publish research articles and attend national conferences, all of which are indispensable for admission into graduate school. His success is reflected by the numerous students who are accepted to Ph.D. and M.D./Ph.D. programs and who now hold positions in colleges, universities, and industries around the country.

One way to truly grasp the magnitude of Dr. Gutierrez's contribution to society is to attend one of his yearly Christmas parties, where he invites past and present students. The party is filled with doctors, professors and scientists who, like me, were inspired by him to become mentors and role models to other students just in the same way he was once to us.

Thank you.

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