SF State News {University Communications}

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News Release

SF State honors distinguished faculty

Excellence in teaching, research and service recognized

SAN FRANCISCO, September 20, 2007 -- Three San Francisco State University faculty members were honored by their peers with the 2007 Distinguished Faculty Awards for outstanding work in research, service and teaching. Biology Professor Dennis Desjardin, Gerontology Professor Darlene Yee-Melichar and Broadcasting and Electronic Communication Arts Professor Michelle Wolf accepted their awards at the opening faculty meeting on August 24.

Desjardin, who teaches in the College of Science and Engineering, received the Distinguished Faculty Award for Excellence in Research, a $4,000 gift sponsored by the SF State Office of Academic Affairs. Referred to as "a rock star in the world of mushrooms" by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Martha Mendoza, Desjardin directs the Harry D. Thiers Herbarium on campus, which contains one of the largest collections of fungi in North America.

Yee-Melichar, who teaches in the College of Health and Human Services, received the Distinguished Faculty Award for Excellence in Service, a $4,000 gift also sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs. Yee-Melichar, the coordinator of Long-Term Care Administration and director of the Health, Mobility and Safety Laboratory, was also honored as a distinguished teacher by the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education in March.

Michelle Wolf, who teaches in the College of Creative Arts, received the Sarlo Excellence in Teaching Award. The $5,000 gift, sponsored by the Sarlo Foundation of the Jewish Community Endowment Fund, honors outstanding Northern California professors and aims to elevate individual, public and institutional respect for teaching. George Sarlo, who developed the award with his wife Sejong Sarlo, a 1991 alumna of SF State, presented the award. Wolf, who has taught at SF State for 24 years, said that she believes in continually evolving her methods of teaching.

The SF State Academic Senate created the SF State Distinguished Faculty Awards in 2005 to promote, select and recognize faculty member's distinguished achievements. Honorees are selected by the SF State Faculty Honors and Awards Committee, which is appointed by the Academic Senate and vice president of Academic Affairs.

SF State is the only masters-level public university serving the counties of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin. The University enrolls about 29,000 students each year and graduates about 7,000 annually. With nationally acclaimed programs in a range of fields -- from creative writing, cinema and biology to history, broadcast and electronic communication arts, theatre arts and ethnic studies -- the University's more than 150,000 graduates have contributed to the economic, cultural and civic fabric of San Francisco and beyond.

Student Writer Lisa Rau contributed to this press release.


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