Public Affairs


Recipients from Bakersfield, Chico, L.A. and Pomona Will Receive $20,000 Each

A veterinarian, computer whiz, philosopher, chemist and historian have been named as the 2000 recipients of the prestigious California State University Wang Family Excellence Award. The four faculty members and one administrator represent CSU Bakersfield, CSU Chico, CSU Los Angeles, and Cal Poly Pomona. They were selected from 63 nominees systemwide.

The Wang (pronounced WONG) award was established in the fall of 1998 when Trustee Stanley T. Wang gave the CSU system $1 million -- the largest donation ever given to the CSU system by an individual -- to reward outstanding faculty and administrators. The award is designed to "celebrate those CSU faculty and administrators who through extraordinary commitment and dedication have distinguished themselves by exemplary contributions and achievements in their academic disciplines and areas of assignment." Over a 10 year-period, four faculty and one administrator throughout the CSU system will receive the $20,000 awards annually. The first recipients were awarded last year.

The 1999/00 recipients are: Jacquelyn Ann Kegley, professor of philosophy at CSU Bakersfield; Bob Cottrell, professor of history at CSU Chico; Carlos GutiZrrez, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at CSU Los Angeles; Steven Wickler, professor of animal and veterinary science at Cal Poly Pomona; and Frederick Ryan, vice provost for information resources and chief information officer at CSU Chico.

"There are thousands of outstanding faculty at the California State University committed to scholarship and to teaching students, as well as administrators dedicated to improving students' educational services. It is a daunting task to select just five, but these are truly shining stars who exemplify what is happening at the campuses," said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. "Because of Trustee Wang's vision and generosity, we can recognize their accomplishments in this way."

A member of the faculty at Bakersfield for 30 years, Kegley has served as chair of the campus Academic Senate for seven years and currently serves as vice chair of the CSU Statewide Academic Senate. She has been named Outstanding Professor by both the Bakersfield campus and by the CSU Trustees. She is the founder of the Kegley Institute of Ethics (named in honor of her late husband), which established the only university-wide annual lecture, bringing internationally recognized speakers to campus. The institute also supports several scholarships for students to undertake research on ethical and public policy issues.

She is an internationally recognized scholar for her nine books on logic, genetic knowledge, human values and responsibility. In addition, the Columbia University graduate has written scores of articles on families, medicine, technology and education in the nation's top academic journals and authored more than a dozen chapters in edited collections. She is currently chair of the committee on the teaching of philosophy of the American Philosophical Society and on the editorial board of the Library of Living Philosophers.

Cottrell as been on the faculty at Chico since 1984, and is well known for his diversity and depth in scholarly activities and teaching. One of the most popular Chico professors, his classes have a reputation for being demanding and usually exceed capacity. He has developed and taught 15 different courses, mostly focusing on late 19th and early 20th century U.S. history, but also on Latin American history and the history of American education. The avid scholar entered law school about ten years ago and earned a J.D. simply because he wanted to learn more about the topic.

He is the author of about 100 publications, including six books on the topics of I.F. Stone, the social gospel of Nicholas Comfort, Roger Baldwin and the ACLU, and the impact of baseball on America. He has received numerous research awards, and was named Chico's Outstanding Professor last year. He earned research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Philosophical Society. He also has served as a reviewer or consultant for organizations such as Houghton Mifflin, PBS, and the Journal of American History.

GutiZrrez has been on the faculty at Cal State L.A. for 25 years and is well known locally and nationally for his efforts to attract minorities to careers in science. He was instrumental in the establishment and served as chair of the Committee on Minority Affairs of the American Chemical Society, which has allocated millions of scholarship dollars to minority students and will provide opportunities for more than 1,000 minority students to pursue the sciences in college. He has served as director of two highly successful National Institutes of Health programs for minorities at the campus.

He was one of the first President's Awardees for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring presented at the White House in 1996. Last month, he received the Year 2000 Quality Education for Minorities/Mathematics, Science and Engineering Network's Giants in Science Award. He also has served on the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council, which allocates $1 billion annually in research grants. He has secured more than $20 million in grants and authored scores of publications throughout his career.

A member of the faculty at Cal Poly Pomona since 1986, Wickler also serves as university veterinarian, director of Laboratory Animal Facilities, director of equine research, and associate director of equine sciences. He has acquired almost $1 million in internal and external grants from sources such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. In addition, he is a member of twelve professional associations, including serving last year as president of the Association for Equine Sports Medicine.

His course on animal disease is offered live each fall on cable to as many as 40 high schools, and he is very active in outreach activities with the local schools and with diversity programs. He has authored about 150 publications--most of which include students as co-authors--and involves students in every medical case he sees on campus. He has been recognized for teaching excellence by five professional organizations, was nominated as U.S. Professor of the Year in 1995 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and was Cal Poly Pomona's Outstanding Professor in 1994.

Ryan, a member of the staff at Chico since 1977, is one of less than 10 percent of the university technology leaders nationally who manage a unified service that merges all the information on a campus and emphasizes user needs rather than organizational needs. An indication of his visionary expertise in information technology was a student survey that indicated 96 percent of Chico students felt the university's technology was an advantage of attending Chico.

He has focused technology on improving student learning; assisting faculty in incorporating technology into the curriculum; upgrading desktop technology for faculty; and expanding distance learning to 42 locations in California and Japan. He also implemented an on-line library system that includes more than 7,500 titles and receives more than 2,000 hits daily; created a 24-hour access computer lab with 24-hour support; and developed training workshops for about 700 faculty and 2,500 students annually. In addition, he created Web access for students to their grades, schedules, finances and advisement. The site receives about 25,000 hits daily.

Wang, a CSU Trustee since 1994, is founder, president and chief executive officer of Pantronix Corp., Fremont. The company, incorporated in 1974, provides a range of manufacturing services for semiconductor components, sub systems and modules. Pantronix's consumer base is worldwide in the medical, aerospace, telecommunications, automotive, instrumentation and computer industries. The China native also founded Amertron Inc., a manufacturing facility in the Philippines, in 1989.

"Great professors and leaders such as these sow the seeds for future generations of leaders. These individuals all have a strong passion for helping students learn and providing them with the best education possible," said Wang. "My professors taught me to be who I am today. The faculty recognition award is a way to demonstrate the great respect and deep appreciation I feel for them as a Trustee and former student. I am a strong believer that faculty are most important to high-quality education, which is the door to success and happiness in life."

The Wang Family Excellence Award is administered through the CSU Foundation. Each campus president annually may nominate one faculty member from each of the following four disciplines: visual and performing arts and letters; natural sciences, mathematical and computer sciences and engineering; social and behavioral sciences and public services; and education and the professional and applied science fields. The chancellor and presidents also may nominate one administrator annually. The recipients will receive the awards at the May 9 CSU Trustees' meeting.

"I have a passion for the CSU is because I have a firm belief that public education, especially our higher institutions of learning, is what makes this country different from any country in the world. These individuals mirror that passion and demonstrate why the CSU is the key to a better life for some many Californians from such diverse backgrounds," said Antonio Villaraigosa, Speaker of the California Assembly.