Campus: CSU, Northridge -- June 21, 2001

CSUN Sociology Professor Receives University's 2001 Extraordinary Service Award

Cal State Northridge has awarded its 2001 Extraordinary Service Award to sociology professor Herman DeBose for not only serving the community himself, but for infusing his students with a life-long commitment to civic engagement.

The award honors the faculty member who has made outstanding contributions to the university, its students, and the professional community and community at large through service.

"Dr. DeBose's service enriches our students, our university and all the people in our community reached by his competence and care," said CSUN President Jolene Koester upon presenting DeBose with the award.

Among DeBose's accomplishments cited was his involvement with the Youth Service Specialist Program. Working in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Probation Department, this program provides academic credit and part-time employment to 20 CSUN students who assist probation officers while gaining practical experience grounded in sociological theory.

The YSS Program aims to reduce recidivism by helping deputy probation officers expedite the transition of juveniles on probation into the community.

DeBose, who grew up in Willmington, N.C., has a long history of social service. After receiving his bachelor's in sociology from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in 1969, he became a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya. He continued his service with the Peace Corps as a recruiter in Chicago, and later as a director in the western part of Kenya in charge of 125 volunteers, directing programs in education, small-town development, business development, agriculture and deforestation.

"Key to what all I've been able to accomplish is my experience in the Peace Corps," DeBose said. "I realized I could do stuff. I could bring another piece to the class."

He went on to become a patients' rights advocate in Los Angeles County and was involved with the Los Angeles County AIDS Program, assisting with training, partner notification, behavioral change and groups with full-blown AIDS.

He taught at Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Los Angeles before coming to CSUN in 1994.

In 1999, DeBose received the university's Distinguished Teaching Award.

"I try to say to (my students), you can get a job, but you can get more-an education that can lead to better things," DeBose said.

He is currently working on a book about biracial identity with CSUN sociology professor Loretta Winters.

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