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Celebrating the Spirit of Excellence

University Awards Program Honors Faculty and Staff

April 16, 2014

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Mikel Hogan, chair and professor of human services, right, is congratulated on her 35 years of service by President Mildred García.

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Hundreds of Cal State Fullerton faculty, staff and administrative team members gathered earlier this week to celebrate outstanding work performed by faculty and staff members on campus and acknowledge employees for their years of service.

"Our theme this year, 'Celebrating the Spirit of Excellence,' sets the stage for recognizing faculty, staff and administrators, not only their years of service and dedication to the institution, but for their many contributions that help to advance the university's mission and goals," said Lori Gentles, vice president for human resources, diversity and inclusion, as she welcomed guests.

"I couldn't help but think that those being honored here today are not only the lifeblood of our university, but also its movers and shakers," said President Mildred García. "To all those receiving awards today, that is what you do for our students. You shake things up. You shift the very path beneath their feet.

"Sure, that path may be precarious and untested at first, but through your hard work, mentoring, years of service, leadership, encouragement, guidance, programs, events and instruction, our students find their footing and the courage to press on; they find the knowledge to soar higher; they find themselves; and ultimately, they find their way. Not just here at Cal State Fullerton, but out in the world, in their careers and beyond."

This year, two staff members were selected as the recipients of the Outstanding Staff Members award:

Isaias Hernandez, lead custodian in facilities operation
Yvonne Wu, administrative support coordinator II in the Department of Mathematics

Faculty members who had received awards for the 2013-14 academic year also were recognized:

Sora Park Tanjasiri , Outstanding Professor Award
Kari Knutson Miller , Faculty Leadership in Collegial Governance Award
Maria C. Linder , L. Donald Shields Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creativity Award
Sean Walker , Carol Barnes Excellence in Teaching

This year also marked the launch of three new awards: the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award, the Leadership Award, and the Teamwork and Collaboration Award.

This year's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award was presented to Kristin Beals , associate professor of psychology. She was selected based on how she motivates students to succeed and complete their degrees. Beals also supports multiple student groups and helped implement the LGBTQ Safe Space program and new queer studies minor.

The Teamwork and Collaboration Award went to the members of the working committee that produced the fifth annual Closing the Latino Achievement Gap event. According to the nomination, the committee demonstrated cohesion, sharing, utilization of skills and expertise, accountability, trust and execution. Members of the committee included: Frances Teves, David Forgues, Claire Cavallaro, Melba Castro, Kandy Mink-Salas and Dawn Valencia.

Two Leadership Awards were presented this year — one to an individual and one to a team.

  • Larry Martin, interim director of housing and residential life, was praised for demonstrating high levels of commitment, and serving as an extraordinary role model and inspiration to his staff. Martin created new processes within Housing and Residential Life that increased efficiency and improved service to students.
  • Custodial Services Lead Team — singled out for "doing whatever is needed to ensure the highest level of cleaning possible for the campus." Team members include: Yick Chan, Mark Courtis, Barrien Crudup, Isaias Hernandez, Valentin Lagunes, Maria McCray and Edith Wilkins.

Faculty and staff members also were honored for reaching milestones from 5 years to 40 years of service to the campus community. Among the longest serving were:

40 Years: 

Joseph H. Arnold, Eric V. Kaufman, Jeremiah W. Moore, Douglas Navarick, William Presch and Betsy Stuck.

35 Years:

Joseph P. Campbell, Diana J. Davis, S. Anna Garza-Dargatz, Mikel Hogan, Gladys Kares, Donna J. Miranda and Harold Rogers.

30 Years:

William Beam, Kerry P. Boyer, Debra A. Bush, Joel T. Cotter, Son H. Do, Stephen Goode, Hassan Hamidi-Hashemi, James Hoffmann, Joyce L. Jones, Anita L. Morris, Shuyuan Shie and Debra R. Winters.

Gentles closed the event, saying, "This recognition and these awards all mean a great deal in their own right, but they mean so much more when we share them together as one university community."

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