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Press Release Faculty

19 CSU Faculty Recognized for Innovation and Dedication to Student Success


The California State University presents Faculty Innovation and Leadership Awards for innovative practices that improve student achievement.

Female teacher lecturing a class in front of a projector screen

The CSU FILA awards celebrate outstanding faculty for their remarkable efforts in improving student success.


​​The California State University (CSU) is recognizing 19 faculty members with Faculty Innovation and Leadership Awards, honoring faculty who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership to advance student success at the CSU.

The awards, including one granted to a two-person campus team, recognize faculty leaders who have implemented innovative practices in teaching, course design or support programs that significantly improve student outcomes. Award recipients have expertise in a wide range of disciplines from science education to public health to speech language pathology.

“These outstanding faculty consistently engage students with innovative practices and foster stimulating and equitable learning environments that support these students on their path to graduation," said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. “Their commitment to deepen and enrich learning by putting students at the center of all they do is fundamental to the mission of the CSU, and is helping to transform higher education nationwide."

A selection committee comprised of faculty, student representatives from the California State Student Association and staff members from the CSU Office of the Chancellor reviewed more than 200 nominations to identify the awardees.

Awardees receive $5,000, as well as $10,000 allocated to their academic department in support of ongoing innovation and leadership to advance student success at the CSU. Funding for the awards is provided by generous grant support from the College Futures Foundation, who sees faculty innovation and leadership as vital to improving outcomes for California's diverse students.

The recipients of the 2019 Faculty Innovation and Leadership Awards are:

Allison EvansPsychologyBakersfield
Mary AdlerEnglishChannel Islands
Alfred SchademanSchool of EducationChico State
Katy PintoSociologyDominguez Hills
Vang VangPublic Services – LibraryFresno
Sara JohnsonAnthropologyFullerton
Maxwell Schnurer & Kimberly BerryCommunication and Critical Race,  Gender and Sexuality StudiesHumboldt
Bonnie GasiorRomance, German, Russian Languages and LiteraturesLong Beach
Walter ZelmanPublic Health DepartmentLos Angeles
Nelson GraffCommunication Across the DisciplinesMonterey Bay
Steve AlasBiological Sciences DepartmentPomona
Ghazan KhanCivil EngineeringSacramento
Montgomery Van WartPublic AdministrationSan Bernardino
Sonja Pruitt-LordSchool of Speech, Language and Hearing SciencesSan Diego
Adam BurkeRecreation, Parks & Tourism (Holistic Health Studies)San Francisco
Tina KoraniJournalism and Mass CommunicationsSan José
James LoCascioMechanical EngineeringSan Luis Obispo
Youwen OuyangComputer ScienceSan Marcos

Read bios for each awardee on the Faculty Innovation and Leadership Awards website.

Faculty innovation is crucial to reaching the ambitious student success goals outlined in the CSU's Graduation Initiative 2025. This university-wide effort advances specific goals to eliminate equity gaps and significantly improve degree completion.

Award recipients will be formally honored in mid-October at the upcoming fourth-annual Graduation Initiative 2025 Symposium, hosted this year in Sacramento, California.

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About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 52,000 faculty and staff and 481,000 students. Half of the CSU's students transfer from California community colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity, and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards more than 125,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 3.7 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.​​