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CSU Announces 2008 Wang Family Excellence Award Recipients

Fullerton, East Bay, Channel Islands and San Bernardino
Awardees Each Receive $20,000

(April 2, 2008) – A computer scientist, an economics educator, a biology professor, a student-centered administrator, and a human communications professor have been named as the 2008 recipients of the prestigious California State University Wang Family Excellence Award.

The Wang award was established in fall 1998 when then-Trustee Stanley T. Wang provided $1 million 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 have received $20,000 awards. This is the tenth and final year the awards have been given.

Wang, who in fall 2000 gave an addition of $1.2 million to establish student and faculty travel scholarships for China study, is the largest individual donor to the CSU system office.

The 2008 Wang Award Recipients are:

  • Dr. Zvi Drezner, Cal State Fullerton -- Education, and Professional and Applied Sciences
  • Dr. Jane S. Lopus, CSU East Bay -- Social and Behavioral Sciences and Public Service
  • Dr. Wm. Gregory Sawyer, CSU Channel Islands-- University Administrator
  • Dr. Stuart S. Sumida, CSU San Bernardino -- Natural Sciences, Mathematical and Computer Sciences and Engineering
  • Dr. Stella Ting-Toomey, Cal State Fullerton -- Visual and Performing Arts and Letters

“Countless California State University faculty members have dedicated their lives to teaching students, expanding knowledge and serving both their community and their field of study. The CSU staff is equally dedicated to helping students achieve their goals. To choose just one in each category was a challenging task for the selection committee, but these individuals are all extraordinarily impressive,” said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. “We are all grateful to Trustee Wang for providing a means to recognize these five individuals for all they do for CSU 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 provides a range of manufacturing services for semiconductor components, subsystems 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 and in KunShan, China in 2001.

“Great professors and leaders such as these sow the seeds for the next generation of leaders. All of these individuals have a strong passion for helping students learn and providing them with the best education possible,” said Wang. “My own 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 former trustee and student. I am a strong believer that faculty are the key to a 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. Each president also may nominate one administrator annually. The following recipients will receive the awards at the May CSU Trustees’ meeting.

More on the 2008 Wang Awardees:

Dr. Zvi Drezner is a professor of information systems and decision sciences at CSU Fullerton, where he joined the faculty in 1985 and received the 2006-07 Outstanding Professor Award.  He earned a Ph.D. in computer science from The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. Dr. Drezner is considered one of the world’s leaders and most active researchers and scientist in his field of location theory and analysis.

Drezner’s body of work provides the methods to determine which airline hub combinations are optimal for individual and merged airlines.  His methods and models support optimization of facility locations, essential both to efficient shipping and to competitive supply chains. As an inspirational instructor who energizes and engages students by using real-life situations, he has a reputation for breaking down complex content into smaller, understandable pieces.   Drezner edited two books and authored/co-authored 226 articles in top refereed journals.

Dr. Jane S. Lopus, a professor of economics at CSU East Bay, is a nationally known leader and researcher in economics education, an accomplished classroom instructor, and an active participant in campus governance.  As an example of her national reputation and impact, Lopus served as president of the National Association of Economic Educators during 2006-2007. She joined the CSU East Bay faculty in 1979 and is the recipient of the CSU East Bay Outstanding Professor Award for the 2006-2007 academic year.

Lopus earned a Ph.D. in economics at the University of California, Davis. As director of the Center for Economics Education, she conducts programs, develops materials, and provides research and evaluation studies to promote the teaching and learning of economics.  Her work with area teachers results in their students having an interest in attending CSU East Bay.  Lopus trains secondary school teachers in market-based Western economic principles in California as well as teachers in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.  In addition, she has trained economics teachers in South Africa, Egypt, Paraguay, and Mexico. 

Dr. Wm. Gregory Sawyer is vice president for student affairs at CSU Channel Islands, a position he has held since January 2002. Sawyer performs at a passionate and visionary level for the students and faculty at CSU Channel Islands, and has been described as an awe-inspiring administrator, classroom teacher, counselor and mentor.   In addition to his administrative duties, he also teaches public speaking and leadership courses.  He is a highly valued member of the CSUCI community, and leads by example to define and support the student-centered mission and culture of CSU Channel Islands.  Sawyer gives strong encouragement to staff members to pursue an academic education and advanced degrees, and is a trailblazer for student affairs program assessment at the national level. Sawyer completed a Ph.D. in higher education administration at the University of North Texas.

Dr. Stuart S. Sumida, professor of biology at CSU San Bernardino, joined the faculty in 1992 after completing a Ph.D. in biology at University of California, Los Angeles. He is an internationally respected instructor and paleontological researcher, and a research associate at the Field Museum in Chicago and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh.

Sumida has published three books and over 60 journal articles – many with students, introducing them to the process of research and publication in refereed journals.  He is recognized internationally for his research on biological transformations that took place as back-boned animals adapted to life on land and as dinosaurs transformed into birds millions of years ago. Through his personal efforts, thousands of Pleistocene-age fossils have been donated to the CSU San Bernardino’s new Natural History Museum. Acknowledged as the world’s leading expert as an anatomical specialist for animation and digital special effects, Sumida has more than 30 feature-length film projects to his credit working with such studios as Disney, DreamWorks, PIXAR, and Sony Pictures.

Dr. Stella Ting-Toomey, professor of human communication studies at Cal State Fullerton, is an internationally renowned expert in intercultural communications, conflict management, and intercultural competence. Having joined the CSU Fullerton faculty in 1989, Ting-Toomey previously served on the faculty of Arizona State University and Rutgers University.

A prolific author of books and articles, Ting-Toomey’s book, Communicating Across Cultures, is considered essential reading for interculturalists around the world. She has volunteered her expertise in South Africa, Germany, Portugal, Japan and China – all promoting the reputation and knowledge of CSU Fullerton. Ting-Toomey routinely shares authoring and editing credits for many of her publications with her students, which has launched their academic careers. Her scholarship impacts such fields as international diplomacy, hostage negotiation, and international management.


The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 450,000 students and 46,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded nearly 2.5 million degrees, about 90,000 annually. 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. See

Last Update: April 04, 2008

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