CSUF News Service
Health Scientist Receives Wang Family Excellence Award
Sora Park Tanjasiri Garners Prestigious Award From CSU
Jan. 26, 2015
Tanjasiri’s commitment to raising awareness of key health issues, along with her record of accomplishments in teaching and research, has provided countless benefits for her students, as well as the community.
Sora Park Tanjasiri, acting chair and professor of health science, and director of the University's Health Promotion Research Institute, will receive the California State University system's prestigious Wang Family Excellence Award at tomorrow's (Jan. 27) Board of Trustees meeting.
Tanjasiri, a 12-year faculty member at Cal State Fullerton, is among four CSU faculty members and one staff member to earn the $20,000 award in 2015. Tanjasiri, recognized in the Education and Professional Applied Sciences category, is the 10th Cal State Fullerton recipient of the Wang Family Excellence Award.
"It was an honor to just be nominated, so I was shocked to hear about the actual award," Tanjasiri said. "The letter came right before the winter holidays, so it was truly a wonderful opportunity to celebrate with my family."
Beginning in 1998 with a $1 million gift from then-CSU Trustee Stanley T. Wang, the Wang Family Excellence Award was established to recognize, over a 10-year period, CSU faculty members and administrators who have made remarkable contributions in their academic disciplines and have a palpable impact on students.
Recently, Trustee Emeritus Wang reinstated the award with a $300,000 gift to provide a $20,000 award to each of four CSU faculty members and one staff member annually for three years, starting with the 2015 recipients.
"Dr. Sora Park Tanjasiri's groundbreaking and collaborative work not only transforms lives in our classrooms, it saves lives in the diverse communities we serve," said Cal State Fullerton President Mildred García. "Her commitment is a key contributor to our students' academic success and provides crucial momentum towards our aspiration to become the model comprehensive university of the nation."
Tanjasiri, who received Cal State Fullerton's 2013 Outstanding Professor Award, said she is most proud of the long-term research relationships that she has helped to build among academics, community leaders and organizations.
"I have seen so many remarkable projects and outcomes from the research studies we have undertaken together, and hope that the many students and community members who have been trained continue using community-based participatory research principles to build greater and lasting benefits for underserved populations."
C. Jessie Jones, interim dean of the College of Health and Human Development, describes Tanjasiri as a "master teacher."
"In addition to having an impressive research agenda that focuses on the community health needs of diverse populations, Sora [has] a dynamic and innovative style that actively engages students in the learning process," said Jones. "She is passionate about mentoring faculty, especially in community-based research, and on involving students in ongoing research and internships to gain valuable skills and insights. I couldn't be more proud of her."
The other 2015 Wang Award recipients are: William Franklin, Cal State Dominguez Hills; Arne Jacobson, Humboldt State University, Kevin Jordan; San José State; and Nate Thomas, Cal State Northridge.