CSU Announces 2002 Wang Family Excellence Award Recipients:

Fullerton, Pomona, Sacramento, San Diego, and San Jose Recipients Each to Receive $20,000

A dean who turned his college around, a scholar exploring the boundaries of the press and politics, a drama festival maker, a mentor for young scientists, and a world-class literacy researcher have been named as the 2002 recipients of the prestigious California State University Wang Family Excellence Award. They were selected from more than 60 nominees systemwide.

The Wang award was established in the fall of 1998 when Trustee Stanley T. Wang gave the CSU system $1 million -- the largest donation ever given to the CSU system by an individual -- 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 a $20,000 award. This is the fourth year the awards have been given.

The 2001/02 Wang Award recipients are Wayne R. Bidlack, dean of Cal Poly Pomona's College of Agriculture; William Dorman, CSU Sacramento professor of government and journalism; Margaret McKerrow, San Diego State University professor of theatre; Herbert Silber, San Jose State University professor of chemistry; and Hallie Yopp Slowik, CSU Fullerton professor of elementary, bilingual, and reading education.

Wayne R. Bidlack, who won in the administrative category, has been a revitalizing force during his six-year tenure as dean of Cal Poly Pomona's College of Agriculture. His strong vision, careful planning, and energetic execution has helped create a college that is a productive powerhouse, raising the stature of the university in the process. Student enrollment and faculty positions grew greatly, almost a third more degrees were granted, new centers of research were organized, and funding grew sevenfold. Yet Dean Bidlack, whose regular "pizza with the dean," luncheons drew faculty, staff, and students into fruitful discussion, is not simply a hard worker but an inspiring leader who brings others into the challenging tasks of creating a better college.

Dr. Bidlack holds degrees in dairy and food science as well as biochemistry. Prior to coming to Cal Poly Pomona, he taught for 18 years at the USC School of Medicine in the department of Pharmacology and Nutrition, and for three years served as professor at Iowa State University where he directed the Center for Designing Foods to Improve Human Nutrition. He has published widely in the fields of nutrition, health, and biochemistry

William Dorman, who won in the category of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Public Services, is a professor of government at CSU Sacramento, where he serves as coordinator of Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies. Holding degrees in journalism from UC Berkeley and his home campus, CSU Sacramento, he has taught and published in the field of mass media and politics for 40 years, fathering a major in that cross-disciplinary field.

Professor Dorman is an exceptional classroom teacher and a serious-minded scholar who has honed both pursuits through continuous self-improvement, including peer-to-peer coaching which draws upon fellow teachers to perfect one's own teaching. He has been uniquely honored with university awards for both outstanding teaching and for scholarship. He has been a constant innovator, introducing new courses and adapting coursework to cable television to reach new students. A leader in the critical thinking movement, he has received international recognition for his work.

Margaret McKerrow, who won in the category of Visual and Performing Arts and Letters, has for three decades served as professor of theatre at San Diego State University. She holds degrees in theatre from Lake Eire College, Northwestern University and the University of Michigan. A dynamic teacher-scholar as well as a creative artist, she is nationally known in the field of child drama. Through her classes in incorporating drama in the classroom, she has influenced and enlivened the teaching of hundreds of new teachers.

Dr. McKerrow has founded and gathered support for a number of notable theatrical outreach initiatives, including the university's Children's Drama Program and the annual Theatre for Young Audiences, which tours local schools, reaching thousands of area students who would otherwise have little contact with the dramatic arts. She is also the founder and mainstay of a yearly Theatre of the World Festival for Children, which takes plays and actors from around the world and brings them to local audiences of children.

Herbert Silber, who won in the category of Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering, is a professor of chemistry at San Jose State University. Long active in the area of minority education—he received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring from the White House in 1998—Silber is an educator whose wide-ranging efforts include work as coeditor of the Macmillan encyclopedia of chemistry, which targets middle and high school students.

Holding degrees from Lehigh University and UC Davis, Dr. Silber has been a teacher and researcher for more than 30 years, including work at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. His work with minority education alone has garnered more than $4 million in grants, providing hundreds of students with support and unique opportunities in science education. He also launched at the university the federal Minority Access to Research Careers program to guide minority students into careers in the biomedical sciences, which has been sustained for 14 years by his continuing efforts on its behalf.

Hallie Yopp Slowik, who won in the category of Education and Professional and Applied Sciences, is a professor of elementary, bilingual and reading education at her alma mater, CSU Fullerton, where she has taught for sixteen years. A nationally and internationally recognized scholar in the field of early literacy, with a special expertise in the phonetic building blocks necessary to successful reading acquisition, Dr. Slowik's publications, editorial board service, and landmark research have informed state and national debates on how best to teach children to read.

Slowik earned her doctorate in education from UC Riverside after completing degrees in psychology and education, as well as teacher credential preparation, from her home campus, CSU Fullerton. Her service includes directing the university's teacher diversity project, volunteer work at a local elementary school, and advising professional organizations and legislative committees on early literacy efforts. Chosen by her university as its outstanding professor of the year for 2000-2001, Professor Slowik has guided, polished, and transformed a host of students into the excellent teachers California needs to safeguard its future.

"Thousands of CSU faculty throughout the state have dedicated their lives to teaching students, expanding knowledge and giving service to the community and their fields of study. The staff at CSU campuses are equally dedicated to serving students. The selection committee had a challenging task in choosing just one in each category, but these individuals are extraordinarily impressive," said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. "We are all grateful to Trustee Wang for providing a way to recognize these individuals for all they do for 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, sub systems 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 future generations of leaders. These individuals all have a strong passion for helping students learn and providing them with the best education possible," said Wang. "My 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 trustee and former student. I am a strong believer that faculty are most important to 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. The presidents also may nominate one administrator annually. The recipients will receive the awards at the May 14 CSU Trustees' meeting.

The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, nearly 400,000 students and 42,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded about 2 million degrees. 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.

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Last Updated: 5 April 2002

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