Noted alumni inducted into Alumni Hall of Fame

Six accomplished graduates of SF State were inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame at a reception on May 20.

Alumna of the Year Flora Chia-I Chang is president of Tamkang University (TKU), Taiwan's oldest private university, and a professor of educational policy and leadership. She has pioneered new ways to deliver higher education and ensure that universities remain a primary source of innovation in global business, politics and culture. Under Chang's leadership, TKU was the first academic institution in the world to receive international accreditation for its comprehensive information technology data and service management. TKU also enjoys academic partnerships and exchanges in 28 countries with 110 universities, including SF State. She earned an M.A. in economics from SF State in 1982. "The multicultural environment on campus allowed me to embrace diversity," she said. "It helped shape my vision of education administration."

Additional alumni welcomed into the Alumni Hall of Fame were: Stan Bunger, Kay Takeyama Dilena, Vitka Eisen, Philip Schultz and Ramona Tascoe, M.D.

Photo of 2011 Alumni Hall of Fame inductees with President and Mrs. Corrigan

From left: Mrs. Corrigan, President Corrigan, Vitka Eisen, Philip Schultz, Kay Takeyama Dilena, Flora Chia-I Chang, Dr. Ramona Tascoe and Stan Bunger.

Currently the co-anchor of a top-rated morning news show on KCBS radio, Stan Bunger is the recipient of prestigious broadcasting awards, including a Peabody Award for his radio coverage of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. He has also produced, reported and co-hosted television news segments and shows focusing on technology, including the syndicated show "Next Step," which aired in the Bay Area on KRON-TV. Bunger was inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame in 2010, marking his 30th year in broadcasting. He earned a B.A. in Radio-TV from SF State in 1977. He noted that his father, wife and brother also earned degrees at SF State. "I owe a lot to the faculty and my classmates at SF State," he said. "They helped shape me into someone who was ready to go out and chase a career."

Professor emerita of management Kay Takeyama Dilena taught at SF State from 1973 until she retired in 1988. A native of Japan, she survived World War II in Tokyo and has dedicated her life to strengthening relations between the U.S. and Japan. In 2010, Dilena made a $5 million legacy gift to the University to honor the memory of her brother, Yasuo Takeyama, a prominent economist and journalist who survived the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and her American husband, James Dilena, who survived the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The gift established the Dilena Takeyama Center for the Study of Japan and Japanese Culture. She earned a B.A. in accounting in 1970 and an M.B.A. in management from SF State in 1973. "I found that learning something new was a great joy to me, not a burdensome chore," she said. "I am grateful to San Francisco State for nurturing intellectual curiosity in me."

Homeless, hopeless and hooked on heroin, Vitka Eisen walked into a San Francisco Walden House addiction treatment facility in 1985 not expecting to stay very long, much less become the organization's CEO in 20 years. But after completing the Walden House program, Eisen earned a master's of social work from SF State in 1993 and a doctor of education from Harvard University. She is the first graduate of the Walden House program to become president and CEO of the 40-year-old nonprofit, overseeing a $58 million annual budget, 425 full-time employees and 13 treatment facilities throughout California. She said that she was inspired at SF State by the faculty's commitment to students and community. "I am very proud to count myself among the SF State-trained social workers serving in homeless centers, drug treatment programs and many other places," she said.

Norman Mailer called Philip Schultz one of the very best poets of his generation. A recipient of both Guggenheim and Fulbright fellowships, Schultz has also received the Academy of American Poets' Lamont Prize, an American Academy & Institute of Arts and Letters award, a National Book Award nomination and the Levinson Prize from Poetry. He won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for his sixth collection of poems, "Failure." Schultz's work has been published in several magazines of distinction, including The New Yorker and The Paris Review. His new memoir, "My Dyslexia," will be published this September. Schultz is the founder and director of the Writers Studio. He earned a B.A. in English from SF State in 1967. "At SF State I was supported and encouraged to an extent that I had never known," Shultz said. "It became a model of teaching for me."

A Jefferson Award for Public Service recipient, Dr. Ramona Tascoe coordinated the working relationship of U.S. doctors and nurses providing medical relief in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake and continues to serve in the ongoing medical recovery mission in Port au Prince. An expert on behavioral factors that influence disease, disaster and social disorder, she has led medical missions to India, several African nations and the U.S. Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina. She earned a doctor of medicine degree from University of California, San Francisco, a master's degree in health services administration from the University of San Francisco and a master of divinity degree at the Graduate Theological Union. Dr. Tascoe earned a B.A. from SF State in 1970 in interdepartmental studies: political science, sociology and psychology. "When I arrived at SF State in 1967 I discovered a world ripe for exploration, self-examination and growth," she said. "Here is where my vision and my voice were cultivated and I accepted the mantle of activism."

The San Francisco State University Alumni Hall of Fame recognizes alumni who have earned the respect of their peers through professional, cultural and civic achievements. Among the previous inductees are jazz artist George Duke, Director of the San Francisco Food Bank Paul Ash, actor Jeffrey Tambor, astronaut Yvonne Cagle, actress Annette Bening and "Frazier" co-creator and executive producer Peter Casey.


Denize Springer