2016 Distinguished Faculty Award Winners

During the Open Faculty Meeting on August 29th, 2016, Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Jennifer Summit presented the annual Distinguished Faculty Awards. The awards, given annually since 2007, highlight exceptional faculty accomplishments. The honorees (listed below) receive a $4,000 stipend for Excellence in Teaching awards and a $3,000 stipend for Excellence in Service and Excellence in Professional Achievement awards.



Lucia Volk - lvolk@sfsu.edu

Excellence in Teaching Award (Tenure/Tenure-track Faculty):

“Get to know your students and let them know that you care. Then push them further than they thought they could go.”

By week three, Prof. Volk knows the names of her students and their own assessment of their learning styles. Recognizing the differences in students’ backgrounds and skills, she prepares a variety of classroom activities, assignments, and tests. Hired in 2003 as part of a faculty cluster with Middle East expertise, Prof. Volk has helped launch an interdisciplinary minor in Middle East and Islamic Studies at SF State. Based on feedback of students in her core classes, she authored and edited The Middle East in the World: An Introduction (2015) promoting a better understanding of the many linguistic, ethno-religious, and differently empowered communities in the Middle East and the links between “us” and “them”. Prof. Volk received the 2016 Distinguished Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching.



Ken Walsh - kwalsh@sfsu.edu

Excellence in Teaching Award (lecturer):

"The study of criminal justice is the study of human adaptive behavior. More than the study of cops, courts, and corrections, it is the stories of people, real  human lives that deserve our compassion, assistance, understanding, and human kindness."

Ken Walsh takes a personal interest in making sure that his students including those from other countries, students who struggle with the English language, and those from minority backgrounds have every opportunity to excel both in their academic lives and their subsequent professional career paths.  As a founding faculty member of the Criminal Justice Studies program Ken Walsh has taught most of the course offerings including the senior thesis project course where he supervises and consults with the students on their individual projects. He has consistently received the highest student evaluations for integrating teaching and advising inside and outside the classroom. He has built a reputation for guiding the students into all areas of the criminal justice field.  




Grace Yoo - gracey@sfsu.edu

Excellence in Service Award:

"With underfunding that is endemic to the  CSU, it’s only through collaborations that we can continually bring scholarship that represents the experiences of diverse communities in the state of California."

Trained in medical sociology and public health, her record of accomplishment spans two decades and has focused on breast cancer and women of color; and Asian Americans, immigrant communities and health. Reviews of her work discuss how her research brings voice and attention to health and social justice concerns. She has collaborated with colleagues and graduate students across disciplines at San Francisco State University but also within the California State University.  On campus, she has served on university wide committees including Academic Senate, Academic Policy Committee and Administrative Review and Search Committees.  She has chaired the Professional Development Council and the Lower Division General Education Subcommittee. She is currently chair of Asian American Studies in the College of Ethnic Studies.




Pam Hunt - hunt@sfsu.edu

Excellence in Professional Achievement Award:

“Inclusion is more than a set of strategies or practices. It is an educational orientation that embraces differences and values the uniqueness that each learner brings to the classroom.”

Pam Hunt’s work in the field of special education on behalf of students with significant and multiple needs has made lasting contributions to advancing the inclusion of the students as fully participating members of their school communities. Dr. Hunt has worked on this agenda since she was a young teacher. She worked in schools and then began a professional journey that led to a number of federally funded projects that opened the door to understanding how students with and without disabilities became friends while learning together in school. Her most recent $2,750,000 research grant was funded in 2015 by the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. The results of the study that she, with Dr. Elizabeth Kozleski at the University of Kansas, will conduct will provide guidance to educators on effective models for implementing systematic reading instruction to students with significant disabilities in general education classroom settings with general education peers participating in the lessons as “reading buddies.”