Opening faculty meeting held

A capacity crowd gathered in McKenna Theatre on Aug. 31 for the opening faculty meeting. The meeting was University President Les Wong's first formal address to the faculty and he described his plans to build on SF State's strong history.

Photo of University President Les Wong talking with faculty at a reception

University President Les Wong talks with faculty at a reception before the opening faculty meeting.

"I respect where San Francisco State has been but my interest is in where we are going," Wong said. "In order for me to represent our collective sense of the future, we must talk to each other and we must listen carefully."

Wong outlined his priorities as the budget, the WASC accreditation visit in March, learning about the campus community, and evaluating staff positions with the goal of addressing employee morale. In addition, he described a desire to add 100 "game-changing" tenure track positions over the next decade.

The meeting continued as 27 new faculty members were welcomed and three tenured professors were honored for their outstanding scholarship, service and teaching.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Sue Rosser presented the Distinguished Faculty Awards. Honorees receive a $4,000 stipend from the Academic Senate for the Excellence in Professional Achievement Award and the Excellence in Service Award and a $5,000 stipend for the Sarlo Excellence in Teaching Award, which is sponsored by the Sarlo Foundation.

Excellence in Professional Achievement Award

Photo of Professor of Creative Writing Camille Dungy

Professor of Creative Writing Camille Dungy,

The award for Excellence in Professional Achievement was presented to Camille Dungy, professor of creative writing. Since joining the faculty in 2006, Dungy has earned national recognition for her published poetry collections and edited anthologies. Her groundbreaking anthology "Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry" won the 2010 Northern California Book Awards' Special Recognition Prize and her second book of poetry, "Suck on the Marrow," received a 2011 American Book Award. Dungy has incorporated her scholarship into the classroom, using her expertise to design and teach new courses that introduce students to different genres of poetry. 

"Professor Dungy is an avid writer, tireless speaker and guest lecturer, and author of over fifty works in single authored books and edited volumes," Rosser said.

Excellence in Service Award

Photo of Professor of Biology Barry Rothman

Professor of Biology Barry Rothman,

The Distinguished Faculty Award for Excellence in Service was presented to Professor of Biology Barry Rothman, honoring his work preparing diverse students to enter careers in the health professions. He directs the University's Pre-Health Professions Certificate Program, which equips post-baccalaureate students for admittance to medical, dental and other health profession schools. Rothman has established a range of programs that prepare disadvantaged students for success in health care careers, including a post-baccalaureate dental program, a Summer Science Institute for undergraduates and most recently, a pre-nursing program that began in June 2012.

"Since Dr. Rothman's career began at San Francisco State in 1986, he has gained valuable knowledge and experience to succeed in becoming a leader who is dedicated to service within his field and community," Rosser said.

Sarlo Excellence in Teaching Award

Photo of Professor of Sociology Karen Hossfeld

Professor of Sociology Karen Hossfeld,

Professor of Sociology Karen Hossfeld was awarded the Sarlo Excellence in Teaching Award. Hossfeld consistently receives exceptional teaching evaluations from students, many of whom say that her engaging classes and passion for social change inspired them to major in sociology or continue their studies at graduate school. Since joining the faculty in 1988, Hossfeld has created the Sociology Department's popular community internship course. In her lecture classes, she uses an undergraduate teaching assistant system that helps students develop leadership skills. Hossfeld has shared her teaching expertise by publishing articles and serving on the editorial board of the journal Teaching Sociology.

"Dr. Hossfeld has an impressive track record of mentoring students beyond the classroom, evident in their many letters of support and gratitude," Rosser said. 

The Sarlo Excellence in Teaching Award was established in 1997 by George Sarlo and his wife Sejong Sarlo, an SF State alum. Sponsored by the Sarlo Foundation of the Jewish Community Endowment Fund, the award honors outstanding Northern California professors.

Recipients of the Distinguished Faculty Awards are selected by the Faculty Honors and Awards Committee, which this year was chaired by Robert Keith Collins, assistant professor of American Indian Studies. The committee included Michael Anderson, assistant professor of classics, Sacha Bunge, dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development, Martin Linder, associate professor of design and industry, Ozgur Ozluk, assistant professor of decision sciences, Lizbet Simmons, assistant professor of criminal justice studies, and Don Taylor, dean of the College of Health & Social Sciences.  

--Elaine Bible