SF State Philosophy Professor Receives CSU Wang Family Excellence Award

A photo of Anita Silvers, wearing a black turtleneck

During the past decade, under Chair Anita Silvers, SF State’s master’s degree program in philosophy has consistently ranked among the top 10 in the U.S.  

Anita Silvers, professor and chair of the San Francisco State University Department of Philosophy, will receive the Wang Family Excellence Award for 2017 in the Visual and Performing Arts and Letters Category, California State University (CSU) Chancellor Timothy P. White announced today.

The annual award recognizes four outstanding faculty members and one staff member who stand out among employees at the 23 CSU campuses. Silvers and the other recipients will be recognized during the CSU Trustees meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 31. Each will receive a one-time award of $20,000.

CSU Trustee Stanley T. Wang and his family established the award in 1998 to acknowledge and celebrate CSU faculty members who have distinguished themselves through exemplary contributions and achievements in academic disciplines.

Silvers is a nationally recognized advocate for disability rights and began her fiftieth year of teaching full-time at SF State last fall. It is the first and only job she's ever had.  

“My 50-year career at SF State has been inspired by the traditional CSU values that promise both access and excellence,” said Silvers. “I'm reassured to find these values still are important to our educational system."  Silvers plans to establish a scholarship at SF State for philosophy students with the monetary award.

Silvers has led SF State’s Department of Philosophy twice as chair, first from 1981 until 1986, and she has remained in the post since 2006. She was awarded the Quinn Prize from the American Philosophical Association (APA) in 2010. She was the first scholar from a non-doctoral-awarding university to receive the prize, which honors renowned American philosopher Philip L. Quinn. She remains the only faculty member in the CSU system to receive the honor. In 2013, the APA also awarded her their first-ever Lebowitz Prize for “Philosophical Achievement and Contribution.” In 2013, she received the CSU’s Excellence in Service Award as part of their recognition of “Outstanding Faculty.”

During the past decade, SF State’s master’s degree program in philosophy has consistently ranked among the top 10 in the United States. “The thing I’m proudest of is being able to bring our department to national recognition because it’s made such a difference in our students’ ability to get into top-notch doctoral programs,” said Silvers during an interview last fall.   

More information about the Wang Family Excellence Award Winners can be found here.