2021 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.


Dr. Katherine Boyer- katboyer@sfsu.edu

Excellence in Teaching (Tenured)

Dr. Katherine Boyer. Dr. Boyer is a Professor at the Estuary & Ocean Science Center and Department of Biology, where she started as an Assistant Professor in 2004. In her time at SF State, Dr. Boyer has taught a variety of courses and consistently receive average SETE scores of less than 1.5 each semester. Dr. Boyer actively works to integrate her scholarship with her classroom instruction. In her letter of nomination, Dr. Karina Nielsen said, “…Dr. Boyer exemplifies the teacher-scholar model, bringing the excitement and authenticity of scientific research into her teaching. An essential component of ecological science is field investigations.” Her impact on students has been profound. In April of this year, 11 former students mobilized to nominate Dr. Boyer for a professional society award to recognize her as an exemplary educator, The Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation’s William A Niering Outstanding Educator Award. In support of their Niering Award nomination, one student wrote, “I had the opportunity to take Dr. Boyer’s Restoration Ecology course .… The lectures helped tie together field work with science and were supplemented with excursions to restoration sites and conference attendance. Through this course and Dr. Boyer’s mentoring, I was able to fulfill a career aspiration of working for NOAA and eventually my current position as Lead Ecologist with the restoration contractor for the Klamath River Renewal Project, the largest dam-removal project in the U.S. to date.” Dr. Boyer has also been an innovative instructor, especially during this pandemic year. For example, she managed to deliver field trips virtually using a wifi hotspot, her laptop, and a smart phone. Dr. Boyer also conducted backyard "greenhouse" experiments at her home and had students monitor them via video live streaming sessions so they could get a“real” research experience. Dr. Boyer has also been involved in the development of two innovative programs, the Interdisciplinary Marine and Estuarine Sciences MS program and the Dive into Ecology and Evolution Program (DEEP) for upper division undergraduate students.


Dr. Larry Salomon-  lrs@sfsu.edu

Excellence in Teaching (Lecturer)

Dr. Larry Salomon. Dr. Salomon has been a Lecturer in the Department of Race and Resistance Studies since 1994. In his more than 25 years at SF State, Dr. Salomon has taught literally thousands of students in 11 different courses with average SETE scores in the 1.0 - 1.5 range each semester. In her nomination, Dr. Falu Bakrania said that Dr. Salomon, “… is compassionate towards all of his students. He has a skill in the classroom that is hard to put into words. He knows how to meet students where they are…and build community. [Dr. Salomon] is an expert at using humor to make his students feel at ease, to deliver lessons about controversial [topics], to get his students to understand different parts of an issue, and to make them feel cared for…he brings course material to life…” Dr. Salomon has also lended his expertise to other parts of the University community. According to Dr. Savita Malik, “[Dr. Salomon] is perhaps the most phenomenal teacher I have had the opportunity to work with as one of the founding faculty of the Metro College Success Program…He is a transformative leader, unafraid to challenge student thinking and incredibly generous with his time for both students and his colleagues. He has mentored every one of the new Metro faculty who teach critical thinking, supporting their content knowledge, curriculum development and pedagogical practice.”


Dr. Russell Jeung- rjeung@sfsu.edu

Excellence in Professional Achievement

Dr. Russell Jeung.

Dr. Russell Jeung is a Professor of Asian American Studies. He began his career at San Francisco State in 2002 after teaching at Foothill College for two years. Dr. Jeung is a nationally and internationally recognized scholar who has a long history of proactively using his academic career to advance social justice and effect social change. Here is only one example.  In January 2020, when news of the COVID-19 epidemic in China broke, Dr. Jeung had both the historical knowledge and foresight to recognize that this news would likely lead to the scapegoating of Chinese persons and a subsequent spike in racism against Asians in the U.S. He began to document news accounts of anti-Asian hate, and reported on the upsurge of  incidents of shunning, harassment, and boycotts of Asian businesses. To expand and collect more data, Dr. Jeung and his collaborators launched “Stop AAPI Hate” in mid-March 2020 to gather self-reported incidents of hate. Since its inception, Stop AAPI Hate has be featured consistently throughout the pandemic in national and international press.  Just a few of the outcomes of Stop AAPI’s research, reports and activities have been:

            · A US congressional resolution to denounce anti-Asian hate

            · Over three dozen local resolutions calling for tolerance and respect 

            · The formation of city task forces in New York and San Francisco

            · Pronouncements from CA Governor Newsom and Superintendent Tony Thurmond to resist racism and bullying


Most importantly, Dr. Jeung actively involves students in his scholarly pursuits where he trains them in research design and report writing and helps them develop interviewing and oral communication skills, thereby empowering them to become agents of change and ensuring that his work will be impactful on generations to come.


Dr. Sally Pasion- pasion@sfsu.edu

Excellence in Service (Tenured)

Dr. Sally Pasion. Dr. Pasion is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology where she has been a faculty member since 2001. In her letter of nomination, Dr. Burrus wrote: “As a first-generation faculty member from a background that is under-represented in the sciences, [Dr. Pasion] deeply identifies with our students. Her commitment to them shows up in her prodigious service to the Department and College, the Campus, and the Community.” Here are just a few of examples of the numerous service contributions that Dr. Pasion has made. Dr. Pasion served as Biology Advising Coordinator for 13 years, she has been active on multiple Department Committees and she has been deeply involved in efforts to create more inclusive classrooms. At the college level, Dr. Pasion has served as a CoSE Student Project Showcase for over 10 years, she is an active leader in Women in Science & Engineering and through NSF-funded efforts, she is working to advance gender equity in workload and elevate recognition that women who commit their careers to service receive. At the University level, Dr. Pasion has served on the Academic Senate where she has been on the Academic Policies and the Curriculum Review and Assessment Committees. Dr. Pasion’s service extends beyond SF State, statewide via the CSU. She has volunteered countless hours to the CSU Program for Education & Research in Biotechnology aka CSUPERB, where she has reviewed student poster abstracts, hosted workshop and participated on panels. I think that the closing statement in Dr. Burrus’ nomination letter describes Dr. Pasion the best. She wrote: “Dr. Pasion is a relentless volunteer despite the fact that service is all too often a thankless activity that is not fully recognized in the RTP process. She often takes on the critically important work that no one else wants to do. And she does it day in and day out.”