Leadership Awards 2016
The faculty award recipient is Dr. Joy Goto from the Chemistry Department. Joy's contributions to both her discipline and the university are truly outstanding. She has a prolific publication record, especially her co-authorship with graduate and undergraduate students. Her love of mentoring students shows in the extensive support she provides to graduate students in their theses and projects. It also shows in the encouragement she gives to undergraduates by providing exciting opportunities to participate in cutting edge research. In addition she is very active in increasing the recruitment of under-represented students in the sciences. Truly Joy exemplifies the scholar- teacher to which all faculty members aspire.
We gave awards to two staff members, Mai Kou Vang in the Learning Center and Shirley Armbruster in University Communications Mai has been the guiding force behind the tremendous growth in the Supplemental Instruction (SI) program which has been instrumental in improving the course grades of participating students by almost a full letter grade and has been heartily endorsed by 95% of participating faculty who indicate that they would use it again in their classes. The success of the SI program has been recognized nationally by the International Center for Supplemental Instruction at the University of Missouri-Kansas City where Mai and her staff received awards as the Outstanding SI Program and individual awards for Outstanding SI Leader and Outstanding SI Mentor in May 2016. Mai's efforts will enable the university to improve its graduation rate and save students countless dollars by not having to repeat courses as well as improve their GPAs on their transcripts.
Shirley Armbruster in University Communications needs very little introduction to those of us familiar with the university. The Awards Committee was impressed by her leadership and the respect she has among her professional peers as exemplified by the recognition she received as Professional of the Year in 2015 from her colleagues in the Central California Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. In addition, on the national level she chaired the AASCU Advisory Council for Communication and Public Affairs in 2014. Public relations can be challenging and we admire Shirley's ability to lead the university's communication team in presenting the university's message through multiple main stream media sources as well as the proliferation of social media outlets that need to be monitored. She has strengthened the relationship between the university and the Central Valley through the President's Community Conversations and his feedback page – a true asset to the university!
We congratulate Dr. Goto, Ms. Vang and Ms. Armbruster on their awards. We thank everyone who participated in the process. The university is fortunate to have such a wealth of talent in its midst.