2018 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, the Excellence in Service award, and the Excellence in Professional Achievement award.



Kimberly Tanner - kdtanner@sfsu.edu

Excellence in Teaching Award (Tenured Faculty):

Professor Kimberly Tanner is the Director of the Science Education Partnership and Assessment Laboratory, her research group within SF State’s Department of Biology. That research focuses on three main lines of inquiry: understanding how undergraduate Biology majors transition from novice to expert; developing new approaches to teaching; and evaluating how to make equity, diversity, and inclusion central in science education. 

Dr. Tanner’s research, science education partnership, and faculty professional-development efforts at SFSU have been funded by more than $9 million in grants, from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Recognized nationally and internationally for both her research and her teaching in biology, Professor Tanner is also an Elected Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, and received the 2012 National Outstanding Undergraduate Science Teacher Award from the Society for College Science Teachers, and the 2017 Bruce Alberts Science Education Award from the American Society for Cell Biology.

Professor Tanner is a first-generation college student, which she says leads her to “see higher education through the lens of an outsider. For too long, success in school and science has been deeply tied to one's societal position and deeply rooted in aspects of culture tied to class, race, gender, home community, and other personal characteristics.  I strive to make classrooms more equitable, fair, and inclusive of students from diverse backgrounds and perspectives. I will continue to do what an SFSU faculty mentor taught me my first year on campus: remember that it’s about the students, keep trying new things and collecting evidence, and remember that small changes and acts of kindness can have enormous impact on the lives of young people.” 

The Faculty Honors and Awards Committee is pleased to recognize Professor Tanner with SF State’s Excellence in Teaching (Tenured) award.  



Mark Bautista - markb@sfsu.edu

Excellence in Teaching Award (Lecturer):

Professor Mark Bautista is the coordinator of two Metro College Success academies: Metro Ethnic Studies, and Metro Education. He is also a Lecturer in the College of Ethnic Studies. His teaching is grounded in his everyday service and interactions with underserved youth and communities of color. Both his teaching and his scholarship focus on the agency and self-determination of disadvantaged peoples; critical pedagogy; decolonizing education; critical-media literacies; and participatory-action research. 

Dr. Bautista has a deep-rooted connection to SF State. In 2001, as an undergraduate on our campus, he helped pioneer Pin@y Educational Partnerships. That was one year before he completed his B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Asian American Studies, and four years before he would earn his Master’s in Asian American Studies at SFSU. Pin@y Educational Partnerships, which began as a lunchtime mentoring program at Balboa High School in San Francisco, creates an opportunity to discuss the concerns of Filipinas/os and Filipino-Americans, including the lack of representation in schools’ curriculum, and the fractured sense of community. Dr. Bautista helped organize workshops that use spoken word and theatre to address these issues, and build solidarity within the community. The program has since expanded to many other schools. Professor Bautista states that through the Pinay program, he found his passion for teaching, fortunately for us and for his students.

The Faculty Honors and Awards Committee is pleased to recognize Professor Bautista with SF State’s Excellence in Teaching (Lecturer) award.  



Thomas Parker - parker@sfsu.edu

Excellence in Professional Achievement Award:

Dr. Thomas Parker, a Professor of Biology and Elected Fellow at the California Academy of Science, started his career at SF State in 1980. He has served in a variety of teaching and administrative roles in Biology, as well as being active in the graduate program, having produced 55 Master’s students, with nine more graduate-level students currently active in 2018.

Professor Parker is a broadly-trained ecologist, and although community ecology is at the heart of his expertise, he’s established himself in the diverse fields of chaparral ecology, seed banks and seed dispersal, tidal wetlands, biogeography, and fire ecology. His research has focused mostly on ecological systems in California, but has extended as far as Africa. That research has resulted, to date, in 113 articles published or in press, three edited books, and one co-authored book. Moreover, in the last 20 years, he has been awarded 33 significant grants for his research.

He is best known internationally for his work on plant seed banks and their mutualists and antagonists, fire regimes in natural systems, and the impact of climate change on tidal wetlands. He also has made major contributions to understanding the evolution of part of the rhododendron/blueberry family that includes madrones and manzanitas, and he’s the lead author on taxonomic treatments for manzanitas (Arctostaphylos) for both the multi-volume collection Flora of North America, and the Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California.

The Faculty Honors and Awards Committee is pleased to recognize Professor Parker with SF State’s Excellence in Professional Achievement award.  



James Martel - jmartel@sfsu.edu

Excellence in Service Award:

Professor James Martel teaches Political Theory in the Department of Political Science, which he chaired for 9 years. He writes and teaches on anarchist thought, critical legal thought, political theology, critical race studies, post-colonial studies, and gender and queer theory. Dr. Martel is the author of six books, most recently The Misinterpellated Subject (Duke University Press, 2017), as well as a trilogy of books on Walter Benjamin. He also has authored a steep number of essaysencyclopedia entries, book chapters, and book reviews.

Regarding his service to SF State, Professor Martel is currently the President of the California Faculty Association’s SFSU chapter. In addition, he has served as an outside member on the RTP committees for the departments of Women and Gender Studies, International Relations, and Public Administration (one of the University’s M.A. programs). Further, he chaired the University Faculty Grievance Panel for eight years, has been a member of the Faculty Rights Panel for five, and has served on numerous other committees and councils at the University.

Professor Martel has mentored colleagues across disciplines, too, and helped them publish in the Journal of Law, Culture and the Humanities, for which he is the book-review editor. Finally, he has organized and co-organized conferences at SF State, including, in Spring 2018, one titled “Resisting the Neoliberal University.” Attended by faculty, staff, students, union organizers, and political activists, the conference explored the effects of neoliberalism on public universities.  

This is work done selflessly, wholly on behalf of others. The Faculty Honors and Awards Committee is pleased to recognize Professor Martel with an Excellence in Service award.