CSU Announces 2006 Wang Family Excellence Award Recipients: Humboldt, Pomona, San Bernardino, San Francisco, San José

Four faculty members and one administrator to receive $20,000 each

Contact: Clara Potes-Fellow, 562-951-4806, cpotes-fellow@calstate.edu

(April 13, 2006) – A virtual lifetime musician, a versatile innovator in education, a brilliant volcanologist, a classic historian educator and an internationally recognized scientist have been named as the 2006 recipients of the prestigious California State University Wang Family Excellence Award.

The Wang award was established in fall 1998 when then-Trustee Stanley T. Wang provided $1 million 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." Annually, during a 10 year-period, four faculty and one administrator throughout the CSU system will receive $20,000 awards. This is the eighth year the awards have been given.

Wang, who in fall 2000 gave an addition of $1.2 million to establish student and faculty travel scholarships for China study, is the largest individual donor to the CSU system office.

The 2006 Wang Award Recipients are:

  • Eugene D. Novotney, Humboldt State University, Visual and Performing Arts and Letters
  • Doreen Nelson, Cal Poly Pomona, Education, and Professional and Applied Sciences
  • Alan L. Smith, Cal State San Bernardino, Natural Sciences, Mathematical and Computer Sciences and Engineering
  • Paul K. Longmore, San Francisco State University, Social and Behavioral Sciences and Public Service
  • Kenneth H. Coale, San José State, University Administrator
Eugene D. Novotney: An internationally recognized scholar and devoted music teacher at Humboldt State University, Dr. Novotney founded the Humboldt Calypso Band less than a year after his part-time teaching appointment in 1986. With no money to fund the band, Dr. Novotney sold his car to purchase the steel drum instruments still used today. The Humboldt Calypso Band was the first non-western ensemble at HSU as well as the first steel drum ensemble in the entire CSU system.

Novotney completed his doctorate and master’s from the University of Illinois, Urbana as well as his bachelor’s from the University of Cincinnati. Novotney has also studied music abroad in Ghana and various other countries. In its 20 years of existence, the Humboldt Calypso Band has become the model for steelband programs both statewide and nationally, and its former members have gone on to form and lead steel bands and initiate world music programs at every academic level.

Doreen Nelson: A professor of education at Cal Poly Pomona, Doreen Nelson pioneered the field of design thinking in education. She developed the nation's first Master of Arts degree program in education with an emphasis on Design and Creativity: Applying Technology, where students of any age learn to design and construct a city of the future in their classrooms. The methodology demonstrates how design and creativity enhance and extend the teaching of math, sciences, language arts and social studies. It has been practiced world-wide in public schools, museums and universities.

Professor Nelson received her master's in Educational Administration with Distinction from California State University, Northridge and her bachelor's in Arts and Humanities from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Alan Smith: A teacher, mentor and department chair at Cal State San Bernardino, Dr. Smith has taught a wide variety of topics in natural sciences. He educates as many as 200 students at a time on subjects such as history of life, natural disasters, crystal chemistry and geochemistry of mineral systems. Since coming to CSUSB, Smith has had a large influence on the curriculum in the geology department. Two new general education courses have been added to the list, natural disasters and volcanic hazards.

Smith received his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley and his bachelor’s from the University of London, King’s College. Since Smith became chair of the geology department, the number of geology majors has doubled and class enrollment in general education classes in the geological sciences has increased by 30%. In addition, a graduate program in environmental sciences has been successfully initiated.

Paul K. Longmore: A professor of history at San Francisco State, Dr. Longmore has not only helped change public perception of people with disabilities, but has also helped establish the analysis of disability as a field in academic research and teaching, much as women studies and ethnic studies were shaped in prior decades. Dr. Longmore brings remarkable credit to San Francisco State through his scholarly and popular academic publications, presentations and awards.

Longmore earned his doctorate in U.S. History from Claremont Graduate School and his master’s and bachelor’s from Occidental College. His dissertation, “The Invention of George Washington,” was burned by his own hands in a protest in support of disability rights in front of the federal building in Los Angeles.

Kenneth H. Coale: At a time when Moss Landing Marine Laboratories were experiencing significant fiscal and administrative problems, Dr. Coale raised $4.2 million and oversaw the $25 million construction project of the laboratory’s earthquake-destroyed facilities. He works in all areas of the Moss Landing Marine Lab where he oversees fiscal stability, institutional development and teaching. Dr. Coale has brought new funding, acres of land for programs, and a variety of graduate seminars.

Dr. Coale obtained his doctorate and bachelor’s from the University of California, Santa Cruz. With countless publications and public service experience. Dr. Coale maintains a world-recognized research program in chemical oceanography.

“Countless California State University faculty members have dedicated their lives to teaching students, expanding knowledge and serving both their community and their field of study. The CSU staff is equally dedicated to helping students achieve their goals. To choose just one in each category was a challenging task for the selection committee, but these individuals are all extraordinarily impressive,” said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. “We are all grateful to Trustee Wang for providing a means to recognize these five individuals for all they do for CSU students.”

Wang, who served as a CSU Trustee from 1994 to 2002, is founder, president and chief executive officer of Pantronix Corp., based in Fremont, CA. The company, incorporated in 1974, provides a range of manufacturing services for semiconductor components, subsystems 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 the next generation of leaders. All of these individuals have a strong passion for helping students learn and providing them with the best education possible,” said Wang. “My own 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 former trustee and student. I am a strong believer that faculty are the key to a 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 four discipline categories. Each president also may nominate one administrator annually. The recipients will receive the awards at the May CSU Trustees’ meeting.

The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 405,000 students and 44,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded about 2 million degrees, about 84,000 annually. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. Its mission is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California. See www.calstate.edu

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Last Updated: April 13, 2006

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