Candidate Statements for the 2014 Elections

The statements for the candidates in the 2014 CALPACS elections appear below. You will receive your ballot via email. Thank you for voting!


Justin A. Russak, Ph.D.  Justin has been serving on the executive committee for the ACS Los Padres Chapter for the past 3 years with great pleasure.  He served in the U.S. Army for 8 years as a combat medic before attending college at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, earning a Bachelor of Chemistry with honors and distinction in 2004.  Following a desire to reach and impact undergraduate teaching he completed a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 2010.  Since then he has served as the laboratory coordinator for organic chemistry at UCSB and lecturer at California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo.  Currently he is affiliated with the Marine Sciences Institute at UCSB co-leading a project on tamarisk bio-control and as part-time lecturer of chemistry at Cal Poly.


James Pavlovich, Ph.D.  has been Manager of the UCSB Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Mass Spectrometry Facility since 1994. He received his B.S. in Chemistry from Cal Poly, SLO in 1985. He worked at an environmental analytical laboratory in SLO from 1985-1987. He received his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Oregon State University in Corvallis in 1993. He did postdoctoral research in the Environmental Science and Engineering Department at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. James has served as section chair, treasurer, and secretary.


Ata Shirazi, Ph.D. retired in 2011 as Manager of the UCSB Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry NMR Facility where he had served since 1984. He received his Ph.D. from University of Nebraska at Lincoln, and did post-doctoral work at University of Iowa at Iowa City. He was Manager of the NMR Facility at Washington Univ. School of Medicine from 1980-82 before moving to Santa Barbara. Ata has previously served as section treasurer and for two terms on the Executive Committee.

Executive Committee

Bianca Terminello It has been my privilege to serve on the executive committee this past year, and I am asking for your support for this next term. I am an early career professional working as a contractor at Amgen, and a recent graduate of Oxnard College and CSU Channel Islands. During this past year, I have worked to make the local section relevant to students and early career professionals. If elected, I plan to continue this work to help our local section expand membership and participation.

Heather Shafer, Ph.D.  I am the chemistry teacher at Bishop Diego High School in Santa Barbara. I have worked as a chemistry educator since earning my Ph. D. in analytical chemistry at the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2000. Prior to 2013, I taught in the chemistry departments at Smith College and College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts. One of my goals in life is to open up the minds of young adults to chemistry and get them interested in pursuing science in college. As a member of the Executive Board of CALPACS, I plan to serve as a liaison between the board and other local high school chemistry teachers. I also hope to spread my enthusiasm for chemistry with a larger share of the local community.

Phil Hampton, Ph.D. I received my B.A. in Chemistry in 1984 from St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota, a small liberal arts college which shaped my interest in conducting research with undergraduate students and my passion for teaching. In 1989, I received my Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry with Professor James P. Collman at Stanford University. After completing my graduate studies, I took a two-year postdoctoral position at California Institute of Technology (1989-1991) with Professor Robert H. Grubbs. In 1991, I was hired as an assistant professor in the Chemistry Department at the University of New Mexico and was promoted to associate professor. In 2001, I was hired as a founding faculty member at California State University Channel Islands (CI) and was promoted to full professor in 2002. I have served as the Chair of the Liberal Studies and Chemistry majors and Interim Director of Faculty Development at CI. I maintain an active research program with CI undergraduates that focuses on organic synthesis, specifically the synthesis of potential anti-cancer agents, and on chemical education. I currently serve as the Project Director on a nearly $6 million grant from the Department of Education, entitled Project ACCESO. Bringing science to the community, specifically K-12 grade students, is one of my greatest passions. I founded the annual (free) Science Carnival that is offered each Fall where PK-8 grade students can engage in over 80 hands-on science activities. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, backpacking, kayaking, reading, and tinkering with Arduinos and electronics.

D.K. Philbin, M.S. I received my B.S. and M.S. degrees at Cal Poly SLO back when there were only four elements on the periodic table (earth, air, fire and water)! I have spent over thirty years teaching chemistry at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, CA as well as at Cal Poly SLO, Cuesta, Cal State Dominguez Hills as well as two years at the Birkerod Gymnasium, Birkerod, Denmark under the Fulbright teacher exchange program. My passion is teaching and inspiring my students to become excited about science and chemistry in particular. I am famous (infamous) on campus for my demonstrations and have been very involved in Science Night, an extremely successful evening of science outreach that the Hancock College science department presents to the community each year.

In addition to teaching Introductory Chemistry, the year long General Chemistry sequence, and Organic Chemistry (both survey and the year long sequence) I have developed and continue to teach Chemistry and Society, a four unit on-line (lab included) course that meets the general education science requirement for non-science majors.


Al Censullo, Ph.D. received his B.S. in Chemistry from Villanova University (Villanova Pennsylvania), and Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Penn State University. He moved to California in 1974, to join the faculty of the Chemistry Department at Cal Poly. He is currently Professor Emeritus of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo. He has served continuously on the CALPACS Executive Committee since the start of the section in 1995. He is been active in National ACS activities, and is the current Chair of the ACS Committee on Nomenclature, Terminology, and Symbols.

Alternate Councillor

David Marten, Ph.D. is a recently retired (2014) professor of chemistry at Westmont College where he taught for 31 years. Previous academic positions were held at the University of Oklahoma and the University of Iowa after receiving his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, working with Charles Casey (past President of the National ACS), and two years of post-doctoral research at Brandeis University. He received his bachelors degree in chemistry from Western Illinois University. His research is in the area of organometallic chemistry directed towards organic synthesis. He was one of the founding members of CALPACS and has held positions of Chair, Executive Committee Member and Alternate Councilor.