SF State News {University Communications}

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Distinguished faculty honored with awards

August 24, 2010 -- At SF State's opening faculty meeting on Aug. 23, three faculty members received Distinguished Faculty Awards recognizing their outstanding contributions in research, service and teaching. The awards were presented by Provost Sue Rosser.

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.

Photo of Professor Gail Weinstein

Professor Gail Weinstein

Excellence in Service Award

The Distinguished Faculty Award for Excellence in Service was awarded to Professor of English Gail Weinstein. Since joining the faculty in 1995, Weinstein's creative integration of classroom learning with community service has improved the lives of immigrant communities and provided students with valuable teaching experience. Weinstein is the director of Project SHINE, which places student volunteers in classes for individuals applying for U.S. citizenship and those learning English as a second language. Most recently, she has established a new center at the University, called CIRCLE, the Center for Immigrant and Refugee Community Literacy Education.

"Gail Weinstein has a long history of working with immigrant communities and since joining SF State has raised more than $1 million to support her work on behalf of immigrants and refugees," Rosser said.


Photo of Professor Edward Connor

Professor Edward Connor

Excellence in Professional Achievement Award

The award for Excellence in Professional Achievement was awarded to Edward Connor, professor of biology. Connor is a renowned scholar, whose contributions to science have been recognized by his election as a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences and the Royal Entomological Society. With funding from the National Science Foundation, he is currently investigating gall formation -- the growth of abnormal tissue on plants -- a process with parallels to tumor formation in humans.

"Ed Connor has made substantial contributions in the fields of community ecology, population ecology, plant animal interactions and foraging theory," Rosser said. "He has published 87 papers in peer-reviewed journals, and, according to the Science Citation Index, his papers are cited on average 83 times per year."


Photo of Professor John Elia

Professor John Elia

Sarlo Excellence in Teaching Award

Professor of Health Education John Elia received the Sarlo Excellence in Teaching Award. Elia consistently receives exceptional teaching evaluations from students and has received 12 letters of commendation for "Excellent Teaching" from the Academic Advising Center during his more than 20 years at the University. He has mentored students and new faculty, taught faculty workshops on how to effectively teach large classes and has developed new courses on sexuality education and the history of public health.

"Peer reviews of his instruction show that he is a master teacher, capable of strategically leading students through a carefully designed learning process." Provost Rosser said. "The main thread that runs throughout Dr. Elia's teaching invariably concerns how the material is connected to the lives of the students."

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 Genie Stowers, professor of public administration. The committee included Robert Keith Collins, assistant professor of American Indian studies, Rashmi Gupta, assistant professor of social work, Martin Linder, associate professor of design and industry, Wanda Lee, dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development, Don Taylor, dean of the College of Health and Human Services, and Darlene Yee, professor of gerontology.


-- Elaine Bible


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