Faculty Senate present awards to members for excellence at Sac State

Jacob Abbott

The Faculty Senate presented its annual Outstanding Faculty Awards for 2014-15 academic year in the Redwood Room in the University Union at Sacramento State.

The four categories of awards were given for Outstanding Teaching, Outstanding University Service, Outstanding Scholarly and Creative Activity and Outstanding Community Service.

Award recipients were selected by college-based committees that exemplified excellence at Sac State.

“This is an event that affirms the impressive work being done daily at Sacramento State across the areas of teaching, scholarship, and service to the institution, as well as service to the community,” said Reza Peigahi, chair of the Faculty Senate.

The Outstanding Teaching Award was presented to Ron Coleman, Aya Ida, Nuriddin Ikromov, Jacqueline Irwin, Robert Pieretti and Lynda Stone. The award is given by each college at Sac State and recognizes excellent teacher performance.

“I’m here to say that good teachers are not necessarily born,” said Ikromov, professor for the College of Business Administration. “But they can be made. I wasn’t a very good teacher, I have to admit, when I started, but the campus has a lot of resources to improve teaching, such as the Center for Teaching and Learning, Writing Across the Curriculum, the Writing Center. So I would like to acknowledge those people who trained us and helped us.”

The awards for Outstanding University Service were presented to Phillip Akutsu, Carolynn Goetze, Lisa Hammersley, Kazue Masuyama and Pia Wong.

Peigahi said the award recognizes and honors faculty for their outstanding contributions as members of committees, as chairs of committees, for their efforts in curricular development, and advising special assignments to their department, college and university.

“Service in my department, and especially beyond, has really helped me to appreciate what a diverse, thriving community this campus really is,” said Hammersley, professor of geology. “It is a community that is full of fabulous people, faculty, staff and students, and they are doing all sorts of extraordinary things, and service allows me to learn about those things.”

The Outstanding Scholarly and Creative Activity Award was presented to Tim Horner, Edward Lascher, Saad Merayyan, Mona Siegel and Caroline Turner.

Presenting the award was Frederika Harmsen, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. She said the award honors faculty members who have a record of scholarly or creative activity of the highest quality, including peer-reviewed articles and books, performances, exhibitions and presentations.

“I consider scholarship really intrinsic to what we do,” said Lascher, interim dean and professor for the College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies. “I can’t imagine being here without teaching,[…]and I can’t imagine being here without being involved with scholarship. It’s that critical; it’s that essential.”

The awards for Outstanding Community Service were presented to Manuel Barajas, Nassrine Noureddine and Nigel Poor.

The award was established to recognize and highlight the important connection between the university’s mission and the faculty’s application of knowledge and skills in addressing community needs, according to the award ceremony program.

“I’m not a person who likes the spotlight,” said Barajas, professor for the sociology department. “But I always found myself speaking up when there were no voices to speak what needed to be said.”

The Faculty Senate conducts three signature events throughout an academic year. The Livingston Lecture Award, which celebrates a single faculty member who represents the values and ideals of John C. Livingston, the Faculty Endowment for Student Scholarships, which celebrates the work of students at Sac State in different areas of study, and the Outstanding Faculty Awards.