SF State Distinguished Faculty & Staff Awards

The Distinguished Faculty and Staff Awards are designed to honor outstanding tenured faculty and lecturers who have taught at SF State for six or more years and have a .6 or greater teaching load in the areas of teaching, professional achievement and service. These awards also honor staff members who have made outstanding contributions to the University, to the extended community, and/or to their profession via participation in service activities.  All staff members who have worked full-time at SF State for six or more years are eligible. Deans, other administrators, and previous winners of this award are ineligible. The Faculty and Staff Awards Committee encourages nominators to re-nominate candidates who were not successful in previous competitions.

Each year, the SF State Foundation sponsors four Academic Senate faculty awards and one staff award. Honorees received a $4,000 stipend and a plaque honoring their achievement and had their photos added to those of past award winners.

This year’s awardees include the following distinguished faculty and staff:  

  • Excellence in Teaching (Tenured): Paul Beckman, Information Systems 

  • Excellence in Teaching (Lecturer): Mohammad HajiAboli, Engineering 

  • Excellence in Professional Achievement (Tenured): Dianthe “Dee” Spencer, Theatre and Dance 

  • Excellence in Service (Tenured): Nancy Gerber, Chemistry and Biochemistry 

  • Excellence in Service (Staff): Phonita Yuen, Metro College Success Program 

    The total for these five awards is $20,000.

    The Foundation also provides an additional $5,000 to the Academic Senate to cover the costs for an awardee luncheon as well as associated costs, including but not limited to plaques/awards and office supplies.

    The $25,000 is a line item in the foundation’s operating budget.


    Nominations and required supporting materials are due in the spring. The applications are reviewed by the Faculty and Staff Awards Committee. Award recipients are announced at the Academic Senate meeting in May and introduced to the campus community during the University Open Convocation at the start of the following academic year.

    For more information on the awards and nomination information, visit: https://senate.sfsu.edu/content/distinguished-faculty-awards