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Distinguished Faculty

Carol Huston

Outstanding Professor 2008-2009

Carol Huston—Outstanding Professor 2008-2009
Carol Huston

Carol Huston, Nursing, was chosen as the Outstanding Professor, 2008–2009. Huston has been at CSU, Chico since 1982. Recognized in 2001 as the Outstanding Teacher, Huston has continued to publish widely and make professional presentations internationally. She served as president of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) nursing honor society from 2007 to 2009. As president, she was responsible for strategic planning, program implementation, and fiduciary oversight of approximately 130,000 nurses in 470+ chapters, in more than 90 countries.

Huston is the co-author of a best-selling textbook in its seventh edition, Leadership Roles and Management Functions in Nursing: Theory and Application, and the author of Professional Issues in Nursing, in its third edition. She also is the co-author of a new book, Management Tools for the New Nurse. She has more than 80 publications in scholarly journals and has keynoted more than 200 presentations.

Huston’s years of service to STTI and her current presidency have garnered her international recognition and speaking engagements throughout the world (28 in 2008, alone) said Sherry Fox, director of the School of Nursing. In addition, she led nursing delegations to China in 2005, to Vietnam and Cambodia in 2008, and to India in 2011, as part of the People to People Citizen Ambassador program.

Huston was an invited participant to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Conference in 2007—a think tank for selected nursing leaders to address major issues in nursing education. She serves on the American Academy of Nursing Global Development Task Force and is a member of the National Advisory Board for ATI testing. She is also one of seven expert faculty nationally for the STTI Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy.

In addition to her publications, she is also an editor for several journals and a manuscript review for numerous journals. She is the co-developer of the “Marquis-Huston Model for Teaching Critical Thinking,” which has been recognized internationally by nurse scholars, said Janelle Gardner, professor in the School of Nursing.

“I have been at many conferences with Dr. Huston over the years, and it gives me great joy to see the tremendous admiration and respect that she receives in the international nursing world,” said Gardner.

Troy Jollimore

Outstanding Professor 2009-2010

Troy Jollimore—Outstanding Professor 2009-2010
Troy Jollimore

Outstanding Professor Troy Jollimore, Philosophy, has been selected by the Faculty Recognition and Support Committee for the 2009–2010 Outstanding Professor Award. The Outstanding Professor Award is given to a faculty member with an exemplary record of both scholarship and teaching. One of the impressive aspects of Jollimore’s scholarship and teaching is that he has excelled in two fields: philosophy and poetry.

After establishing himself as a prolific scholar and writer in philosophy (one book and dozens of book reviews, journal articles, and essays), in 2006, he published his first book of poetry, Tom Thomson in Purgatory, which was selected for publication by the MARGIE/Intuit House Poetry Series. The book won the Robert E. Lee & Ruth Wilson Poetry Book Award and then won the National Book Critics Circle Award. He was also nominated for the Poets Prize in 2007. Tom Thomson in Purgatory was reviewed in The New York Times Book Review, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times, Midwest Book Review, and other major periodicals.

Since then, Bear Star Press published Jollimore’s chapbook, The Solipsist, which was reviewed by Washington Post online. He has a new book of poetry forthcoming from the Princeton University Press. And he has published numerous individual poems in literary journals.

Jollimore earned his Ph.D. in philosophy at Princeton, with a specialization in ethics. He is the author of Friendship and Agent-Relative Morality, a philosophical monograph published in the Studies in Ethics Series, Robert Nozick, ed., (Routledge, 2001) and has recently had another philosophy book, Love’s Vision, accepted for publication by Princeton University Press. He has had 11 articles published in refereed journals since 2000, including “‘Like a Picture or a Bump on the Head’: Vision, Cognition, and the Language of Poetry,” published in Midwest Studies in Philosophy, Vol. 33 (2009), and “Terrorism, War, and the Killing of the Innocent” in Ethical Theory and Moral Practice Vol. 10, No. 4 (Spring 2008).

He is a frequent reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle Book Review, where he has published since 2002 (almost three dozen reviews). He also is a frequent reviewer for The Boston Book Review.

Jollimore spent the 2006–2007 academic year at Stanford as a recipient of the coveted Stanford Humanities Center residential fellowship.

Jollimore receives high praise from his students. Former student Sarah Aikin, now a graduate student in philosophy at UC San Diego, wrote in her letter of nomination: “Troy’s careful teaching introduced me to the world of serious scholarly work and somehow managed to give me the audacity to believe that, some day, my ideas might contribute to the body of work. … He managed to skate that fine line between authoritative expertise and candid perplexity on topics that have been fervently debated for centuries. … He gave us the lay of the land without presuming to tell us there was some quick answer where one has yet to be found.”

Jollimore’s dedication, according to nominator Laird Easton, chair of the Department of History, “extends well beyond the classroom.” He lists Jollimore’s record of service as including membership on the Student Judicial Affairs Faculty Grievance Committee, Student Financial Aid Committee, Philosophy Department Curriculum Committee, Center for the Applied and Professional Ethics Advisory Board, and the CSU, Chico Humanities Center Advisory Board. Jollimore served as the director of the Humanities Center from 2005 to January 2010.

Tony Waters

Outstanding Professor 2010-2011

Tony Waters—Outstanding Professor 2010-2011
Tony Waters

Professor Tony Waters has been on the faculty at CSU, Chico Department of Sociology since 1996, following years of working with refugees in Thailand and Tanzania, and a Ph.D. in sociology at UC Davis. He has published four books since coming to Chico State, including Crime and Immigrant Youth (1999), Bureaucratizing the Good Samaritan (2001), When Killing is a Crime (2007), and The Persistence of Subsistence Agriculture: Life Beneath the Level of the Marketplace (2007). In addition, he has published many articles in peer reviewed and other journals, including a recent re-translation from German of Max Weber’s classic essay “Class, Status, Party.” The re-translation “Classes, Staende, Parties” was published in 2010 in The Journal of Classical Sociology.

Professor Waters enjoys teaching very much, and is often found in classes like Classical Social Theory, Self and Society, Criminology, Ethnicity and Nationalism, Sociology of World Affairs, Sociology of the Environment, and Senior Seminar in Social Science. He does this both on the Chico State campus and, since 1997, via online sections. He is known on occasion to sing Pete Seeger classics in class a capella, and is one day looking forward to getting Chico State students to sing along as beautifully as his German students.

Professor Waters is very active with the International Studies programs. While at Chico State, he has also taught in Tanzania, where he was a Fulbright Scholar in 2003-2004; Germany, where he taught at Zeppelin University in 2007–2008 and 2010; and most recently in China, where he taught at Linyi University in December 2010.  He has been active on campus as coordinator for the Asian Studies program, re-established the International Forum as a weekly campus event in 2007, and was co-director of Resources in International Studies Education from 1999-2002. He encourages students to take advantage of Chico State’s excellent study abroad programs, and study foreign languages.

Professor Waters particularly appreciates the strong emphasis Chico State places on providing a high-quality public undergraduate education. Indeed, he firmly believes that the quality of undergraduate education offered at Chico State is unsurpassed by any other public university in California, especially UC Berkeley, which he has critiqued in this essay.


Robert Tinkler

Outstanding Teacher 2008-2009

Robert Tinkler—Outstanding Teacher 2008-2009
Robert Tinkler

Robert Tinkler, Department of History, was taken aback by the appearance of President Zingg in his classroom on the last day of classes in December, and even more so as friend after friend followed Zingg into his classroom to help celebrate the announcement of Tinkler’s choice as Outstanding Teacher of the Year, 2008–2009.

Tinkler, who received his PhD in U.S. history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, came to CSU, Chico in the fall of 2001. His dissertation was titled “Ashes of Greatness: Politics and Reputation in the Antebellum World of James Hamilton.”

Tinkler became interested in history and the possibility of teaching history through his own excellent teachers. A high school teacher in an advanced placement class opened his eyes, not just to history, but also to historiography, the study of how knowledge of the past is obtained and transmitted. He remembers his first research project and how much he enjoyed it.

In graduate school, when he had a course in methods of teaching history, he was introduced to the idea of learning modes and the varying ways in which students learn. It is something that has influenced his style of teaching since then and is evidenced in comments from his students.

One former student wrote in her letter of recommendation for this award, “Professor Tinkler involves all students by using a variety of instructional methods… He gets students to engage in the course material through the use of PowerPoint presentations, graphs, charts and other visuals, as well as class discussions, film, music, and simulations.

“ …I have never experienced the kind of intellectual energy that came to life each and every week of the semester. He has a unique ability to inspire students and to bring out the best of them.”

Tinkler has presented workshops to high school teachers in the North State History-Social Science Project for the past four years. Dale Steiner, director of the project, said in his letter of nomination of Tinkler, “I’ve seen the lavish praise that high school teachers have heaped on Tinkler in their evaluations. …I’ve seen Robert Tinkler teach, and I am in awe.”

In addition to his in-class teaching, Tinkler has been involved with students as the faculty advisor to Chico STAND (Students Taking Action Now: Darfur). He is an honorary member of Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society (nominated by academically gifted students for his high-quality teaching).

Tinkler is the author of James Hamilton of South Carolina (Louisiana State University Press, 2004), and has contributed entries to The Political Lincoln (Congressional Quarterly Press, 2008) and other historical encyclopedias. His book reviews have appeared in Civil War Book Review, The Journal of the Early Republic, and The Historian, among others.

Saundra Wright

Outstanding Teacher 2009-2010

Saundra Wright—Outstanding Teacher 2009-2010
Saundra Wright

Linguistics professor Saundra Wright has been selected as this year Outstanding Teacher by the Faculty Recognition and Support Committee. In letters of nomination, Wright was praised as both a cutting-edge researcher and a master teacher.

Wright came to CSU, Chico in 2001. She received her MA in linguistics from the University of Iowa and her PhD in linguistics from Northwestern University. Her specializations include syntax, semantics, and first- and second-language acquisition. She has taught courses in linguistics, English as a second language, and English as a first language, as well as courses in Liberal Studies and the Honors Program.

A defining characteristic of Wright’s teaching, according to Sara Trechter, associate dean of The Office of Graduate Studies, is that she “focuses on making every student a researcher every day.” Wright asks students to conduct their own research inside and outside of the classroom in order to compare it with published scientific studies. “In this process,” said Trechter, “students must learn theory and content, but they also understand how knowledge is constructed in an academic world.”

This method inspires engagement and motivation in her students. “Because of Dr. Wright’s enthusiasm and knowledge of linguistics,” said former student Pam Morrell, “I find myself motivated to continue to study linguistics two years after taking her course.”

Another former student, graduate Rebecca Clifford (’07), wrote, “Dr. Wright’s classes were especially enjoyable thanks to her pragmatic approach to teaching. She regularly invited students to share from their own lived experiences with and knowledge of linguistics during class meetings, and would demonstrate the anecdotes’ usefulness to given lessons. She invited questions and personal reports, which we could then analyze as a group or incorporate into assignments. This practice, in turn, helped students such as myself use in-class learning in daily life, and vice versa. In doing so, Dr. Wright encouraged students to form learning communities within a classroom, helping us to become instructors of one another.”

Department of English Chair Aiping Zhang wrote, “Dr. Wright’s student evaluation scores are consistently on the upper end of 4.0, and she is one of the few faculty members in the department who regularly receives a congratulatory note from the chair for the excellent ranking in teacher performance.”

Zhang summed up the comments she’s received from students, “They admire her great expertise as a linguist, her innovative approach in teaching, and her total dedication to students; they see her as the inspiration for their studies and careers.”

Wright has worked with Zhang as assistant chair since 2006. She led the department-wide effort on assessment and the five-year review of both the BA and MA programs in linguistics and English. He praised her for helping to initiate a series of reforms in curriculum, course scheduling, and governance, “and in creating a new department culture of collegiality, collaboration, and accountability.”

Georgia Fox, Anthropology, who has worked with Wright in the Honors Program, describes Wright’s professional generosity that reaches beyond her own department. “Dr. Wright is an individual who is willing to share her teaching ideas and approaches with other colleagues and views these exchanges as positive and highly collegial.”

Wright is an active scholar, with numerous publications and professional presentations. Currently, her article “The Realistic vs. the Romantic: A Comparison of Naming Practices in New Urbanism and Conventional Development,” is under review in Names: A Journal of Onomastics. She has presented papers at the American Name Society Meeting/Linguistics Society of America (LSA), the International Council of Onomastic Sciences, and the Annual Boston University Conference in Language Development.

At present, she is a member of the national American Name Society Nominating Committee. She was a member of the Undergraduate Program Advisory Committee for the LSA national committee, and a member of the Languages in the School Curriculum Committee, LSA, from 2004 to 2007.

Masami Toku

Outstanding Teacher Award 2010-2011

Masami Toku—Outstanding Teacher 2010-2011
Masami Toku

Masami Toku was originally born in Naze Ceity (population about 50,000), located on a small island in the southern part of Japan far away from the mainland. Amami Ohshima is a beautiful semi-tropical island ringed with coral, between the East China Sea and the Pacific Ocean.

Masami Toku’s journey from Japan to the United States is unique and a little complicated. Her learning and working environments were diverse until reaching her final area of art education. Her first academic major was in Japan in the areas of Japanese Literature and Library Information Science at Tsurumi Women’s College in Yokohama, Japan. Regardless of her academic major, she was working at Mitsubishi Chemistry Laboratory for ten years as an inorganic chemistry analyst, especially in the field of agriculture. In 1989, Toku made up her mind to go back to a university to fulfill her long-term dream to be a curator and art educator in an art museum. Instead of staying in Japan to pursue her dream, she crossed the Pacific Ocean to go back to school in the U.S. and earned a BFA at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1992. While living in Chicago, she had a teaching experience in a Chicago Japanese School as a 7th grade classroom teacher and finally found her eternal destiny to be an art educator. Her final academic degrees were MA and EdD in art education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1998.

Toku joined the Department of Art and Art History at CSU, Chico in 1999 and has been a professor of art education since 2009. Toku currently serves two roles as an advisor of single subject in art and a coordinator in the area of art education at CSU, Chico. She is mainly teaching three courses in the area of art education and one course of GE (C-1) Art Appreciation-Multicultural Perspectives.

Toku’s research interest is the cross-cultural study of children’s artistic and aesthetic development in their pictorial worlds and how visual popular culture influences children’s visual literacy. She is working internationally as an educator, publisher, researcher, and speaker. For example, she is the general director of the international touring exhibition project of Girls’ Power! Shojo Manga!, sponsored by the Japan Foundation (2005–2009) which has travelled to nine sites in North America and five sites in Japan. This is still an ongoing project that continues to attract many audiences all over the world. She also participated in the visual cultural project Art and Lecture in South America as a keynote speaker, sponsored by the Japan Foundation and the Embassy of Japan in seven countries: Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Peru, and Venezuela (2006 & 2007). Due to her international contribution to Art Educational Society, Toku received the 2008 United States Society for Education through Art (USSEA) International Ziegfeld Award at the National Art Education Association (NAEA) convention, New Orleans.

Toku is a non-stop multi-task educator. She is working locally, nationally, and internationally by collaborating with many people in diverse areas. One of her current local events in Chico is an annual cultural event called Far East Fusion, in collaboration with the Art, Food Science, and Japanese departments since 2008. As an art exhibition director of USSEA, she also started a collaborative international touring exhibition of children’s artworks in the manga style of 4-panel art, Voices: What’s Going on in Youth World? Starting with public schools in Chico in 2008, the exhibition will travel to the next venue, Budapest, Hungary in conjunction with the world convention of International Society for Education through Art (InSEA).

Toku would like to say, “Thank you so much to my colleagues, friends, mentors, and students who supported me for the great honor of Outstanding Teacher Award in 2010-2011. Without your help, I would not have been able to work on the many projects that I have done in Chico over the last decade. I truly appreciate it (^_^)!”

Please visit Professor Toku’s research website for some examples of publications and more details on her projects: Visual Cultural Research in Art & Education.


Thia Wolf

Outstanding Faculty Service 2008-2009

Thia Wolf—Outstanding Faculty Service 2008-2009
Thia Wolf

English professor Thia Wolf, director of the First-Year Experience (FYE) program, has been chosen as the recipient of the 2008–2009 Outstanding Faculty Service Award. The award considers service to the nominee’s department, college, and University, to the profession, and to the community.

In her two and one-half years as head of FYE, Wolf “has worked harder than any human being I know with single-minded determination to support the youngest members of our scholarly community in their transition to college life,” said Bill Loker, dean of Undergraduate Education. “Her goal is to create an environment where any and all students can blossom, realize their potential, and contribute. She has been absolutely unstinting in her efforts, and she has been successful beyond my wildest expectations.”

Although relatively new to the position of director of FYE, Wolf has been working on behalf of first-year students for the 20 years she has been at CSU, Chico. Wolf was previously the director of the University Writing Center. “Thia created a writing center that treated all students as intellectuals who use writing to solve complex problems,” said Jill Swiencicki, Wolf’s colleague in the English department and co-creator of the FYE curriculum that connects literacy work, social justice, and research writing, and culminates in a Town Hall Meeting.

Wolf found grant support for FYE through Loker and Deanna Berg, former civic engagement director. “Thia’s ability to cut through ‘business as usual’ educational structures that close off innovation, collaboration, and curricular change, see something new, and then implement it with her colleagues is as close to miracle working as I’ve ever seen,” said Swiencicki.

Students who work as student employees in para-professional positions in the FYE wrote a joint letter to the nominating committee. “Many of us became engaged in this work after having Thia for an instructor. Because of her thoughtful, student-focused approach to teaching and program reform, students like us now have inspiring ways to plug into the campus and community, and make real impacts in both arenas.”

In addition to her program coordinating responsibilities, Wolf continues to publish and present at professional conferences. In 2008, she, Swiencicki, and Chris Fosen, English, presented “First-Year Students in the Public Sphere: the CSU, Chico Town Hall Meeting” at the Annual Conference on the First-Year Experience in San Francisco. She presented “Civic Engagement in Academic Writing at Chico State” and “Writing for the Public Sphere: Combining the Required Composition Course with the Town Hall Meeting” at the American Democracy Project in Philadelphia, 2007.

Wolf received a PhD in composition theory and pedagogy from the Miami University at Oxford, Ohio, and did a postdoctoral internship at CSU, Northridge in clinical psychology.

Susan Avanzino

Outstanding Faculty Service 2009-2010

Susan Avanzino—Outstanding Faculty Service 2009-2010
Susan Avanzino

Susan Avanzino, Communication Arts and Sciences, received the Outstanding Faculty Service Award for her contributions to her department, her college, and to the University since her arrival at CSU, Chico in 1995. Her major areas of emphasis are organizational communication and communication change, studying large- and small-venue change processes. Her service activities include playing a key role at the department level in organizing faculty advising, designing and revising several courses, most recently the introductory course for the Communication Studies major, and helping to develop assessment procedures in several areas, including the Communication Studies program, assessment of Oral Communication in General Education, as well as becoming the Assessment Coordinator for the College of Communication and Education.

Professor Avanzino has routinely represented the Communication Studies program at freshman admission events and has advised for summer orientation for 10 years and has been elected to the Academic Senate twice. She also volunteers each semester as a judge for the Rookie Tournament (speech competition) sponsored by the department, has served as the departmental awards chairperson for over 13 years, and sits on a majority of master’s theses and comprehensive exam committees for graduate students. Avanzino has also recently become the graduate coordinator for the Communication Studies MA program. “These service practices have given me profound satisfaction in contributing to the larger community,” says Avanzino, “and I am grateful for each and every opportunity.” She believes that engaged service results in meaningful partnerships, such as when she worked with the “amazing Career Center staff” to develop a career development workshop for students. “It gives me satisfaction to contribute to the collective good,” she says, “to students through my teaching or advising a student club, to my colleagues through serving on department committees or in the Academic Senate. I feel a commitment to the whole University community, as well as a profound respect and need to nurture that.”

“Dr. Avanzino’s commitment to service in her program, department, college, university, larger community, and to students is very strong,” said Ruth M. Guzley, chair, Communication Arts and Sciences. “She views service as both a responsibility and a privilege. Dr. Avanzino consistently has stepped up in good times and in bad to serve.

Charles Zartman

Outstanding Faculty Service 2010-2011

Charles Zartman—Outstanding Faculty 2010-2011
Charles Zartman

Charles Zartman, a professor in the Professional Studies in Education Department within the School of Education, was selected for the Outstanding Faculty Service Award for his years of service to the Center for Bilingual/Multicultural Studies, his department, the University, community, and profession.

The center has successfully secured and managed $9 million of external funding from a combination of state, federal, and international sources. The center has received external funding for twenty-nine consecutive years with Professor Zartman being a part of each project since 1985.

Zartman has provided leadership to campus programs serving first-year (through many years association with UNIV 101 and First-Year Experience program personnel work), international (23 years of work with the Chungcheongbuk Province by serving over 850 teachers from the province, and, more recently, 85 students from Konkuk University, an IHE located in the province), and graduate students (actively served on over 70 MA thesis or project committees with nine of those individuals moving beyond Chico to earn doctoral degrees), along with his primary teaching and supervision duties with the bilingual/crosscultural student teachers. He has chaired the Retention, Tenure and Promotion Committee in his department for 13 of the past 15 years, served as a member of the General Education Design and Implementation Teams, Faculty Recognition and Support Committee, and also chairs the Executive Management Evaluation and Development Committee.

Zartman has volunteered his time to coach local youth baseball, basketball, and competitive level traveling soccer teams for over 15 years. He is currently in his fourth year as an assistant coach for an Under-13-Year-Old Girls Soccer team that has experienced success in tournaments throughout Northern California.

Professor Zartman is a Board Member of the California Council on Teacher Education, President of the California Association of Bilingual Teacher Educators, and recently chaired the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Work Group and Design Team that developed the next generation of standards for the bilingual teachers of California. He has served as team leader for more than one dozen accreditation site visits for the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and is a past vice president of the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE).

Dr. Zartman received a BA in history from Loyola Marymount University, a MEd in guidance and counseling from the University of Texas at El Paso, and a Ph.D. in the social, multicultural and bilingual foundations of education from the University of Colorado, at Boulder.

Neil Schwartz

Outstanding Research Mentor 2010-2011

Neil Schwartz—Outstanding Research Mentor 2010-2011
Neil Schwartz

Professor Neil Schwartz, Department of Psychology, received his PhD from Arizona State University in Learning, Cognition and Instruction in 1981. Since that time, he has been actively engaged in the conduction of research studying the influence of graphical displays on learning and problem solving and the way humans distribute their cognition within learning systems.

In addition to working with students within the IGRE—an international consortium of research laboratories in education, psychology, and technology at the universities of Bari (Italy), Cyprus (Cyprus), Dresden (Germany), Grenoble (France), Koblenz-Landau (Germany), and Salzburg (Austria,) Schwartz also conducts research with graduate students in psychology at Chico State.

Professor Schwartz’s long-term commitment to mentoring students spans two decades. He shares his office freely with his students, creating an atmosphere of full participation for the students and engaging in what he calls a “research apprentice model.” Students participate in all phases of research projects.

One of three international faculty who co-authored and received a grant to create a dual master’s program in cognition and visualization, Schwartz mentors students by providing them the opportunity to work with colleagues in Germany and France. Over the past six years he has sent students to work in German psychological laboratories as part of their master’s study. He brings his students to conferences as co-presenters and has had 10 of his master’s students accepted in PhD research programs. He has also opened his office to German, French, and Italian students as well as recent degree recipients so that they can participate in research in Chico.

Professor Schwartz is one of the most successful authors in the department, with about one third of his work co-authored by students. He was the recipient of the CSU, Chico Professional Achievement Honors in 2007. He is the chair of the International Research and Scholarship Committee and editor of the Division C and Division 15 Bulletin for the American Educational Research Association.

Esther Larocco

Outstanding Advisor 2008-2009

Esther Larocco—Outstanding Advisor 2008-2009
Esther Larocco

Esther Larocco is the 2008–2009 Outstanding Academic Advisor. She is the coordinator of four programs and still manages to give the personalized attention and time that distinguishes her to students and colleagues.

Professor Larocco, a member of the faculty of the Department of Professional Studies in Education since 1990, is the coordinator of the Bilingual Professional Preparation Program, Multiple Subject; the Liberal Studies Program; and the MA in Education, Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Learner’s Option; and is director of the Teacher Recruitment Program. She serves as the English Language Development coordinator for the Inland Northern California Science Project.

Dean Phyllis Fernlund, College of Communication and Education, wrote in her letter of recommendation: “Esther embodies the core values of academic advising. In Liberal Studies she works with students in multiple pathways to their degree through the online Liberal Studies Program as well as the Redding and campus-based programs. … She has improved the dissemination of information to students through convocations, group advising, and the website and individual meetings with students. She has initiated a new peer advising program to use student-to-student communication and assist beginning students with basic questions about their programs.”

Students speak about her availability to them and the flexibility with which she will respond to their schedules and their academic goals and challenges.

“Dr. Larocco is an amazing advisor because she goes above and beyond the requirements of an advisor…if I had a question about anything, I knew I could turn to her. She has so many responsibilities on campus, but she somehow finds time to respond to e-mails the same day, make a special appointment, or drop everything to help you figure something out.”

Pamela Morrell, Liberal Studies advisor, noted in her letter of recommendation that Larocco has responded to the challenge of providing a sense of community in the Liberal Studies Program and Advising Office. “Dr. Larroco created a welcoming environment and programs such as the annual student convocation and the Liberal Studies Advisory Board, on which four students sit, which connect students to the program.”

Morrell also mentioned the advising pathways to other institutions, especially community colleges, that Larocco has created. “She regularly meets with local community college advisors to keep them updated on CSU programs and readily invites prospective community college students to visit Liberal Studies.”

Jim Richmond, retired chair of PSE, said of Larocco, “I have worked directly and continuously with Dr. Larocco, beginning with her first semester on campus. She has always been the ‘go to’ individual in the bilingual teacher preparation for students with questions. … She has a clear sense of what is needed to maintain high-quality programs and always keeps the students as top priority.”

Colleague Michelle Cepello, coordinator, Education Specialist Intern Program, endorsed the choice of Larocco for Outstanding Advisor with these words: “I have come to know Esther as a true educator, both as an intellect and humanitarian. Her interest in working with students is exceptional. She gives unselfishly of her time and brings keen insights that have been an asset to us all.”

Kathryn Silliman

Outstanding Advisor 2009-2010

Kathryn Silliman—Outstanding Advisor 2009-2010
Kathryn "Katie" Silliman

Kathryn “Katie” Silliman, Nutrition and Food Sciences (NFSC), has been selected as the Outstanding Advisor for 2009–2010. She has taught at CSU, Chico since 1990. Her advising is lauded as outstanding, not just in sheer numbers or the complexity of the major and graduate programs she is responsible for, but in the inspiration, support, and encouragement she provides to students.

Silliman has advised almost 250 students alone for the last few years, as other faculty capable of advising have had other program responsibilities. She teaches two to three classes each semester and has been the chair of the new Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences since 2007.

NFSC is unique among majors, as students must be prepared to qualify for an American Dietetic Association Accreditation process. That means that students must find a local dietetic “externship” placement, complete numerous internship and graduate school applications, and prepare for the national Registered Dietitian examination.

As an advisor, Silliman maintains e-mail listservs for all new job announcements to help with job placement and writes letters of recommendation. She is available to graduate students who rely on her for orientation and class scheduling, research topics and matches with respective faculty, help with organization of graduate school paperwork and deadlines, and announcement of student defense topics and dates.

A former student wrote in a letter of recommendation that Silliman was an enthusiastic teacher as well as advisor who helped her and others experience the joy of learning and the thrill of helping others. “Katie sets a very high bar—and she gives her students the tools necessary to achieve their best. She is the single most influential educator and role model in my life.”

Jane Rysberg

Outstanding Advisor 2010-2011

Jane Rysberg—Outstanding Advisor 2010-2011
Jane Rysberg

With a PhD in educational psychology with specialization in human development from Arizona State University, Professor Rysberg joined the CSU, Chico faculty in 1981. She has shown an incredible commitment to students. At one point or another, she sees a majority of the 800 undergraduate majors.

Rysberg is the chair of the undergraduate advising committee. Not only does she advise the students, but she provides invaluable assistance to the department advisors. She has prepared the two- and four-year academic plans for the major. In addition, she recruits, trains, and oversees the psychology department peer advisors program and actively places students into internships, about 60 throughout the year.

In addition to academic advising Rysberg is the chair of the College Curriculum Committee and serves on the Department Scholarship Committee. She serves on several university committees, including the First-Year Experience committee, Getting Connected/Wildcat Welcome, and the Outstanding Thesis/Project Committee, of which she is chair.

Professor Rysberg is a caring and attentive advisor who goes above and beyond the requirements of an advisor. She participates in preview days and does summer advising. In fact, Professor Rysberg will do anything to encourage students to major in psychology, including organizing scavenger hunts and performing an original rap song. Eminem look out!

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