SF State News {University Communications}

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Outstanding alumni honored

June 6, 2008 -- San Francisco State University's Alumnus of the Year and three new members of the Alumni Hall of Fame were honored at a May 23 campus reception. In his introductory remarks, President Robert A. Corrigan noted that in honoring alumni, "we honor the quality of our academic programs, our faculty and our students."

Inducted into the Hall of Fame, and honored as Alumnus of the Year:

Joseph L. White, Ph.D., a psychologist and professor emeritus of psychology and psychiatry at University of California, Irvine, received a B.A. in Psychology in 1954 and an M.S., Psychology in 1958. A pioneer in the field of black psychology, White revolutionized the way people of color are understood in psychology and is widely recognized for improving diversity on college campuses. He helped found the California State University's Educational Opportunities Program (EOP) and was influential in establishing SF State's Black Studies Program, the first of its kind at an American four-year college campus.

"Every door has been opened to me since I attended San Francisco State," White said. "And it allowed me to open the doors for others."

Group photo of honorees Ken Bastida, Carla Pennington, Joseph White and Joseph Marshall

L to R: Ken Bastida, Carla Pennington, Joseph White, Joseph Marshall.

Inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame:

Ken Bastida, who received a B.A. in Radio-TV in 1981, is co-anchor of CBS 5 Eyewitness News. Since he debuted with the CBS affiliate in 1991, Bastida has garnered eight Emmy nominations including the 2004 award for Outstanding Achievement in Continuing Coverage for his series, "Inside the Middle East." In 2007 he received the Associated Press for Television and Radio Award for Best News Broadcast - 30 minutes and an Emmy Award for Best Evening Newscast - Large Market. His broadcasting career began in 1978 in radio. Before television he worked for several San Francisco radio stations including KFRC, KGO, KMEL and KCBS.

Bastida credited faculty members, many of whom attended the ceremony, for his success.  "I was just a kid with an idea that I could do this," he said. "They helped me to realize it."

Joseph E. Marshall, Jr., Ph.D., who received an M.A. in Education in 1974, left a 25-year career with the San Francisco Unified School District to dedicate his life to understanding and eradicating youth violence. Co-founder and executive director of the Omega Boys Club/Street Soldiers headquartered in San Francisco, Marshall's classification of youth violence as a disease was recognized in the 2001 Surgeon General's Report on Youth Violence. Marshall has received numerous awards including a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the Leadership Award from the Children's Defense Fund and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Award from the National Education Association.

"Thank you for making it affordable for me to get my master's degree here at State," Marshall said. "Many of the youth I have worked with are now alumni because the University was readily available to them."

Carla Pennington, who received a B.A. in Radio-TV in 1985, is the executive producer of the syndicated TV talk show "Dr. Phil," and has held the position since the show premiered seven seasons ago. Under her leadership, "Dr. Phil" has received numerous television and humanitarian awards including the Women's Image Network Award.  Pennington is also the executive producer of "The Doctors," a one-hour syndicated daytime talk show to premiere nationwide this fall. Prior to "Dr. Phil," Pennington was  co-executive producer for "Entertainment Tonight" and bureau chief of the national edition of "PM magazine."

Pennington's colleagues from "Entertainment Tonight" and "Dr. Phil" paid tribute to her in a videotaped introduction hosted by ET's Mary Hart. "I've always been a behind-the scenes girl," Pennington said. "So, I hope you don't mind if I express my gratitude for this honor in sound bytes."

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 director of the San Francisco Food Bank Paul Ash, actress Annette Bening, documentary filmmaker Arthur Dong, former San Francisco Mayor Willie L. Brown and "Frasier" co-creator and executive producer Peter Casey.

-- Denize Springer


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