SF State employees honored for teaching, service, professional achievement

Five employees pose for the camera against gray backdrops.

SF State employees from left to right: Christopher Moffatt, Mark Sigmon, Zheng-Hui He, Marcia Raggio, Dylan Mooney. (Photo credit: Hannah Anderson of Academic Technology)

Awards recognize faculty and staff members’ exceptional contributions to the University

San Francisco State University faculty and staff members were honored for their exceptional contributions to the University at the final plenary meeting of the Academic Senate on May 14, 2019.

Four faculty members received the Distinguished Faculty Award, which has been given each year since 2007 to recognize excellence in teaching, service and professional achievement. In addition, one staff member was given the inaugural Distinguished Staff Award for Excellence in Service, which recognizes efforts to create the best possible conditions for the campus community, said Chair of the Faculty and Staff Awards Committee Jennifer Arin.

Read more to learn about how the recipients are making a difference at San Francisco State.

Christopher Moffatt


Christopher Moffatt: Excellence in Teaching Award (Tenured Faculty)

Professor of Physiology Christopher Moffatt arrived at SF State in 1998. Of the staggering number of students that Moffatt mentored and trained in his research lab, nearly 30% are from backgrounds that are underrepresented in the sciences. Many of these mentees have successfully received their Ph.D and have careers in science, which is a testament to Moffat’s mentoring skills.

Moffat has received numerous awards for his work, including the Teagle Curriculum Development Award from SF State’s Office of the Provost in 2006. The award underscores his commitment to ensuring that students have opportunities to pioneer their own research and evolve as scientific thinkers.

Mark Sigmon


Mark Sigmon: Excellence in Teaching Award (Lecturer)

Lecturer of History Mark Sigmon joined SF State in 1995. Throughout his career at the University, he has received multiple awards that honor his innovative approach to teaching. For example, Sigmon received the annual Excellent General Education Teaching Award for multiple years in the early 2000s, and he was a recipient of the History Department Teaching Award in 2013.

Sigmon also continued the legacy of SF State’s unique “History of Baseball” course, originally developed by late SF State Professor of History Jules Tygiel, by reviving and teaching the class now. Sigmon also spent three years on the Academic Senate, serving as a member of the Faculty Affairs Committee.

Zheng-Hui He


Zheng-Hui He: Excellence in Professional Achievement Award

Professor of Biology Zheng-Hui He arrived at SF State in 1998. Coming from a background of impoverishment, he is passionate about using his expertise in biology to reduce hunger. For example, he discovered two gene families essential to plant growth and co-discovered a way to potentially increase rice yield by 27 percent.

He has served as a regular reviewer for various granting agencies, such as the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy. He is currently the editor of a journal he helped found, Molecular Plant, which is now one of the leading journals dedicated to plant science. He has also procured $3.2 million in external funding, including a National Science Foundation CAREER Award.

Marcia Raggio


Marcia Raggio: Excellence in Service Award (Tenured Faculty)

A faculty member at SF State since 1995, Professor of Audiology Marcia Raggio is also an alumna, receiving both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Communicative Disorders from the University. She specializes in researching peripheral electrical stimulation provided by cochlear implants, which are small electronic devices that can help provide sound to people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. 

Raggio is the former president of the California Academy of Audiology and currently serves as the chair of the Academic and Professional Standards Council for the American Academy of Audiology. She also serves as vice-chair for the California licensing board for the professions of speech pathology, audiology and hearing aid dispensers. Raggio was appointed to the licensing board first by former Governor Gray Davis and later by former Governor Jerry Brown. She also served in the administrations of former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and current Governor Gavin Newsom.

Dylan Mooney


Dylan Mooney: Excellence in Service (Staff)

Dylan Mooney graduated from SF State in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, a second bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Religion as well as a minor in Holistic Healing Studies. Currently, he is the information technology help desk and computer lab manager for the College of Health & Social Sciences.

In 2015, Mooney was elected as a staff representative for the Academic Senate’s Strategic Issues Committee, which he chaired the following year. At the request of the provost, Mooney also served on the Academic Affairs Budget Advisory Council. He was also elected twice as an at-large staff representative on the Executive Committee, participated in the Emerging Leaders Program and the Foundations of Excellence program and served on one of SF State’s Academic Master Plan working groups.

Each of this year’s award recipients received a $4,000 stipend. That stipend, along with a reception that follows the awards’ presentation, is funded in perpetuity by the generous support of the SF State Foundation and its partnership with the Academic Senate under the leadership of Academic Senate Chair Nancy Gerber, SF State Foundation President and Interim Vice President of University Advancement Venesia Thompson-Ramsay and Arin. This year’s honorees will be recognized again at the 2019 University Opening Convocation on Aug. 22.